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Reading – Back Pocket Pasta by Colu Henry – 2 in a series

December 30th, 2017 Comments off

I’ll be highlighting books that I am reading (or re-reading) on all sorts of topics this year — Douglas

Back Pocket Pasta by Colu Henry – 2 in a series

Reading - Back Pocket Pasta by Colu Henry - 2 in a series

While there are a few familiar recipes from my own pasta repertoire here, there are also a host of new recipes that I have already added to my “To Try” list. We are a half-Italian family by both blood and culture, so pasta is an important part of our diet and something we enjoy immensely. While I have some go-to recipes we make every month or so, it is always great to add a few new ones to the rotation.

Here are some of my favorites from Back Pocket Pasta…

  • Buttery Basil Pesto with Linguine
  • Sicilian Escarole and Sausage
  • Creamy Zucchini and Sausage
  • Easter Ham Carbonara (Just like the author, we always have plenty of leftovers)
  • Pretty “Parslied” Spaghetti
  • Tuscan Kale “Caesar” Pasta
  • Fusilli Alfredo (with NO cream, as it should be (LAUGH))
  • ..and many more!

From Amazon.com…

As much a mindset as it is a cookbook, Back Pocket Pasta shows how a well-stocked kitchen and a few seasonal ingredients can be the driving force behind delicious, simply prepared meals. Pantry staples—a handful of items to help you up your dinner game—give you a head start come 6pm, so you can start cooking in your head on the way home from work. For instance, if you know that you have a tin of anchovies, a hunk of parmesan, and panko bread crumbs, you can pick up fresh kale to make Tuscan Kale “Caesar” Pasta. Or if you have capers, red pepper flakes, and a lemon, you can make Linguine with Quick Chili Oil. With genius flavor combinations, a gorgeous photograph for every recipe, and a smart guide to easy-drinking cocktails and wine, Back Pocket Pasta will inspire you to cook better meals faster. 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Previously in (Re)Reading:

Categories: Books, Cooking, Drinks, Food, Italy-Sicily Tags:

05 Moka Pot Stove Top Coffee Maker  | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 10th, 2017 Comments off

Dew gift guide 2017 header

See all the 2017 Gift Guide Entries


05 Moka Pot Stove Top Coffee Maker  | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

After our last trip to visit family in Sicily, I switched over entirely to their style of home coffee making — The Moka Pot. I am sure you have seen these pots in stores everywhere here in the US, too. Their convenience and the quality of coffee they make are worth the fairly low-cost price. There’s no need to invest in espresso machines costing hundreds of dollars if you only want a good cup of coffee in the morning. Even better, it works great on a camp stove, too! — Douglas

05 Moka Pot Stove Top Coffee Maker  | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

  • Produces 6 demitasse (2 ounce) cups of rich, velvety espresso in less than 5 minutes
  • Made of high quality polished aluminum in the classic Bialetti Octagon shape
  • Max Boiler Capacity : 10(fl oz), 300ml
  • Patented safety valve; Easy to clean and disassemble
  • 2 Year Warranty, Designed and Made in Italy

— Amazon



 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

Categories: Cooking, Drinks, Food, Gift Guide, Products Tags:

The Best Bourbons for $20 and Under — Spirit Guides via The Kitchn

May 19th, 2017 Comments off
I’ve always had a sweet spot for bourbon as my go-to tipple, though I’ve never been one to chase the high-end of the market. Some of the most famous bourbons area unavailable no matter what the price, but I always look for something that shows off bourbon’s char and natural sweetness and goes down smoothly. I can foresee myself working my way through this list, just to expand my bourbon experience — and test out my taste buds. — Douglas
 

Living in Louisville comes with responsibilities; my 502 area code seems to confer with it bourbon ambassadorship. And while most of us around here just seem to have a good measure of bourbon coursing through our veins, I actually did study to become a Certified Bourbon Steward. However, being a bourbon enthusiast can get expensive, so I’ve learned how to do it without too much damage to the checking account. I’m always on the lookout for that sweet spot of price and flavor.

Here are eight favorites you’ll find on my bar — all for $20 or less. Pro tip: Serve them from a vintage crystal decanter and people will think you’re sharing your special stash.

 

Read The Best Bourbons for $20 and Under — Spirit Guides via The Kitchn


An interesting link found among my daily reading

DIY Instant Cocoa: How to Make the Best Hot Chocolate (Plus, It’s Mind-Blowingly Easy) via America’s Test Kitchen

May 10th, 2017 Comments off
Nothing like a tasty cup of hot chocolate to get your day started or relax at the end of the day. Here is an easy method of making a great hot chocolate that uses real chocolate instead of powder. — Douglas
 
 
 
Here’s how to make homemade hot chocolate—it’s super-convenient to make a cup whenever you have a craving. Made with real chocolate, our homemade version of gourmet hot chocolate is just as easy to make as the pre-packaged stuff and tastes infinitely better. 
Think of it as a go-to hot chocolate concentrate—and all you need is a microwave. No fancy equipment required.
 
Watch DIY Instant Cocoa: How to Make the Best Hot Chocolate (Plus, It’s Mind-Blowingly Easy) via America’s Test Kitchen



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!


An interesting link found among my daily reading

3-Ingredient Happy Hour: The Blackberry Lavender Fizz via Lifehacker

April 26th, 2017 Comments off
It’s time for Summer cocktails and this combination of blackberry, lavender and gin could be your porch sipper of the season. While I wouldn’t normally drink lavender soda by itself, I can see how it brings a unique note to the cocktail. Here in Los Angeles we can easily find Dry Lavender Soda at a nearby BevMo or other liquor stores. Yet another cocktail to try out. I think I have a list here somewhere. (LAUGH) — Douglas
 
Basically, I wanted something that was a little fruity, a little floral, and as pretty as an Easter egg. Though it initially seemed slightly ambitious, I was able to craft such a beverage using just three, flavorful ingredients, and the result was quite the porch-pounder. Bonus: This beverage can be built right in the glass, saving you time and dishes.
 

An interesting link found among my daily reading

Trader Joe’s Coffeecello, reviewed via Baking Bites

April 25th, 2017 Comments off
I love making liqueurs as much as I like drinking them, so when this appeared in my feed I instantly added it to my To Buy list. I love coffee, too, so it sort of makes this one a no-brainer. — Douglas
 
Read Trader Joe’s Coffeecello, reviewed via Baking Bites



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!


An interesting link found among my daily reading

23 Classic Cocktails You Need to Know How to Make via Bon Appetit

April 21st, 2017 Comments off

I’m on medication which is severely harshing my cocktail vibe at the moment, but I’ll keep this post around for the future when I can work my way through most of all of them. (SMILE) Everyone should taste the classics at some point so you know how crazy some of our newer cocktails are. — Douglas

Knowing how to make classic cocktails is important. There’s only one problem: There are a lot of them. Unless you’re a bartender, there’s no way you’ll remember what goes into a Sazerac or the proportions of a Moscow Mule. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up the 23 most important stalwart drinks to know how to make, from a Manhattan to a Daiquiri to a simple whiskey on the rocks. Check them out in the slideshow and get shaking (and stirring).

Read 23 Classic Cocktails You Need to Know How to Make via Bon Appetit



An interesting link found among my daily reading

On YouTube: Airmail | Rum & Champagne Cocktail | Barney Toy

March 23rd, 2017 Comments off
Categories: Drinks, Food, Recipe, Video Tags: , , , , ,

Small Victories: Recipes, Advice + Hundreds of Ideas for Home-Cooking Triumphs by Julia Turshen [Book]

March 13th, 2017 Comments off

Small Victories
Recipes, Advice + Hundreds of Ideas for Home-Cooking Triumphs
Julia Turshen

When reading a cookbook I don’t tend to make grand proclamations that this book is good and that book is bad. Cookbooks are all about what you take away from the book and one person’s favorite is another’s failure. For me, my like or dislike of a cookbook directly relates to how well it works for me. Does its message resonate? Are the recipes actually something I would consider making? Can I put my new found knowledge to immediate use? With those criteria in mind, Small Victories certainly worked for me on a variety of levels.

First, even though I am a bit of a fussy eater, I found many recipes I want to try out as soon as possible. Each recipe is well described and also includes several variations you might want to try. Turshen includes old standards like her take on biscuits (Everything Biscuits), roast chicken (Roast Chicken with Fennel, Rosemary + Lemon) and desserts (Berry + Buttermilk Cobbler) while also exploring further afield with Roasted Salmon with Maple + Soy, Jennie’s Chicken Pelau, and Crisply Hominy + Cheddar Fritters.

In Small Victories, you’ll find sections dedicated to Breakfast, Soups + Salads, Vegetables, (maybe even a few that I would eat) (LAUGH), Grains, Beans + Pasta, Meat + Poultry, Shellfish + Fish, Desserts, A Few Drinks + Some Things To Keep On Hand and Seven Lists — which gives some great ideas on small bites to serve with drinks, 7 Things To Do With Pizza Dough, Leftover Roast Chicken and more.

Another reason I found Small Victories so enjoyable are the excellent stories attached to each recipe. Even when I wasn’t particularly interested in a recipe, I still made a point of reading each of these descriptions almost like I would read a regular book. These descriptions also contain the “Small Victories” which are the namesake of the book. These are small tips and hints are a great addition to the cookbook and provide yet another level of value.

As Turshen writes, “Think of small victories as the corners of the puzzle, the pieces that help us become inspired, relax cooks who know how to fill in the rest.

I found my copy of Small Victories at my local library and you might find it there, too. It’s always a great place to start when looking for new books in your life. However you get your hands on Small Victories, I highly recommend you do. I think you’ll find some interesting recipes, tips and maybe even the next step in your cooking adventures.

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

On YouTube: Gold Fashioned Whisky Cocktail | Shev

March 3rd, 2017 Comments off

I love a good Old Fashioned. I saw another recent recipe that used maple syrup as the sweetener, so I think I need to try this one out, too! As she mentions in the video, I’m not sure of using a single malt whiskey in the drink. I usually reserve that for straight sipping — Douglas

On YouTube: Gold Fashioned Whisky Cocktail | Shev

Watch YouTube: Gold Fashioned Whisky Cocktail | Shev

I liked this video and think you might find it interesting, too!

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