The first documented cheesecake was at an Olympic game in the seventh century in Greece. It then spread to other European countries and eventually made its way to North America when immigrants crossed the ocean to seek their fame and fortune. Little did they know that the recipe they brought with them would eventually launch a huge following of people who love cheesecake and would balloon into a multimillion-dollar industry across the world.
The decadent taste and texture of cheesecake belies the fact that it is fairly simple to make. Cheesecake lovers know that they can have this delightful delicacy anytime they want by stirring up a few basic ingredients including cream cheese, sugar and eggs, and then pouring it into a pie shell which can be made of graham cracker crumbs or other conventional pie crusts and baked.
So what's not to love about cheesecake? It can be eaten anytime of the day or night, it's easy to make and even easier to buy, it tastes divine, and on top of all this, it creates a feeling of well being that only comes from being good to yourself. So go ahead, eat and be jolly! Then you'll know why I love cheesecakes!
Send a Cheesecake to someone special today.
Pork is a staple food of the mountain regions of northern Italy, where it's often said that a well butchered pig should leave 'nothing but the oink' behind. As a pig is typically around 30% fat, thrifty locals had to come up with a way to use and preserve this valuable source of protein, and the result is Lardo.Lardo di Colonnata, to give it its full name, is a delicacy produced from pork fat in and around the Tuscan mountain town of Colonnata. Happily for fans of cured meat, it's not only a frugal way of preserving "pork fat" over winter - it's delicious too!It's made in large vats known as conche, fashioned from marble quarried at the nearby 'white mountain' of Cararra, which are first liberally rubbed with garlic. Next, layers of pork fat, salt, and a special mix of herbs and spices are added until the vats are full. The conche are then sealed with a wooden lid and left in cool mountain caves for 6 months or longer to mature in the clean air.After the maturation time is over, the conche are opened to reveal a silky-smooth, meltingly tender 'meat' which can be eaten in much the same way as Parma Ham or other prosciutto.While Lardo is often used to keep roasted meats moist by placing a thin layer over the skin, it is also delicious simply sliced thinly and eaten with bread, olives, and a good extra virgin olive oil as part of an antipasto course. It is not at all tough or greasy, and is well worth trying even if the idea of eating pure fat leaves you a little apprehensive!Despite the long years of making Lardo in the traditional way, most of the examples that you may find in your local deli or store will have been made in a much more industrial setting, mainly as a result of modern hygiene laws taking precedence over customs and heritage. Gone are the marble conche and the mountain air, replaced by stainless steel and air conditioning.However, visitors to the area around Colonnata may still be lucky and get hold of Lardo made in the old way that has been proven over the centuries - just don't tell the authorities if you do!
It's amazing how so many people love chocolate cakes. One of my favorite is the "Red Lobster Chocolate Lava Cakes". It's sooooo delicious!If you are like me, I urge you to try this recipe when you have time. You'll fall in love with it. Trust me... :-)So here it is: "Red Lobster Chocolate Lava Cakes" Number of servings: 6 personsIngredients:
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 6 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen raspberries thawed, pured in blender
- Fresh raspberries, optional
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, softly beaten
- Fresh mint sprigs, optional
- Confectioners' sugar for dusting, optional
Instructions1. Spray inside 6 individual custard cups or souffl dishes with nonstick cooking spray; then set aside. In small heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth. Add butter and sugar; stir until melted.2. Pour chocolate mixture into large bowl. In small bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, and baking powder.3. With electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat chocolate mixture; add eggs and flour mixture; beat about 6 minutes until thickened. Divide mixture evenly among prepared dishes; cover with plastic wrap. Freeze at least 2 hours or overnight.4. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.5. Remove and discard plastic from frozen cakes. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, until edges are set and center is moist. Cool cakes slightly before inverting onto serving platters.Miam miam! :-) Enjoy! 2006. Joana Steele.
If you are just starting to cook, or are moving in on your own, chances are, you don't have much in terms of cooking equipment. Here is what we recommend for you to get, as you are starting out. As times goes by, you will, of course, get more kitchen gadgets. But here are five that we recommend starting out with:- Chopping board. This is something very basic, as you can't chop anything without having a chopping board. It is very versatile, as you can chop pretty much anything on it - onions, potatoes, tomatoes, meat, herbs, etc. Some people prefer to get separate chopping boards to meat, dairy items, vegetables, etc. Others get differently sized chopping boards, and use them depending on the volume of things they need to chop. Start out with one, and see what else you need.- A knife. Again, this is very basic, but you will not be able to chop or cook anything without a knife. A good, sharp knife goes a long way to help you prepare food. You can go to some stores, and hold the knives in your hand, so that you know which one you are comfortable with.- A big pot. You need a pot for pretty much anything - from boiling pastas to making soups to stewing to pretty much anything else. Some pots come with colander inserts, which makes it easier to cook pasta. Or, you may get a colander separately, and use that.- A saute pan. We love saute pans, and use them all the time. Again, they are very versatile, and we recommend getting ones without wooden handles, so that you can put the saute in the oven as well. Use the saute pan for preparing stir fries, sauteing meat and fish, cooking vegetables and much, much more.- Roasting Pan. These are perfect for preparing things in the oven. From roast to roasted chicken to roasted vegetables, a roasted pan can help you cook your favorite dishes in the oven.Don't be scared - cooking is fun. Start getting a few things that we recommended, and add to your collection of kitchen equipment as time goes.
In Italy, stylish dining has long been embraced as a relaxing way to unwind after a busy day. So before you order takeout and eat in front of the television, take a cue from the Italians and make each meal a treat.Whether dining alone, with family or with your closest friends, turn an otherwise hurried meal into a chic expression of style with these tips from Ecco Domani Italian wines.* Determine the dcor. Whether you are dining at the kitchen table or in a more formal setting, it's easy to add some pizzazz to your surroundings. Candles cast a warm glow once the sun goes down. Strands of small lights also enhance the mood; string them around the room or even bunch them in a Mason jar for a funky tabletop display.* Master the art of mood music. Mellow jazz will help take the edge off a long day, and classical music can help lift your mood. Consider tailoring the music around the type of cuisine you are serving. For an Italian meal, for instance, play an assortment of Italian opera. If you're dining with family or friends, get them involved by inviting them to bring their favorite CDs. Set your disc player to shuffle so that everyone's music selection gets played during the meal. * Create a stylish menu. To help you unwind, it's best to keep your meal simple. Luckily, delicious meals are a snap to make with fresh, easy-to-prepare foods. And you can add flair to any basic dish with just a few additions.For an Italian meal, a tomato, basil and mozzarella salad is always a crowd-pleaser. Drizzle chicken and fish with olive oil and lemon for a fresh, light flavor. And dust colorful veggies with Italian seasonings to bring out their natural flavors.Whatever your menu, be sure to select a delicious wine to accompany the meal. Ecco Domani 2003 Pinot Grigio is a perfect wine for everyday dining because of its crisp, fresh flavor, which pairs perfectly with today's light cuisine.It is easy to infuse any setting with glamour by adding a few small touches. In the end, nothing says style like taking the time to make each meal special. - NU
When it comes to making a good impression, saying Thank you, or selecting a gift sure to delight, few other choices guarantee success like gourmet gift baskets; especially when the food basket comes from Full Moon.Thats because Full Moon Gift Baskets are particular. We include only the highest-quality of gourmet foods; ones with the highest of palatable standards. With a variety of styles from which to select, our "gourmet gift baskets" are the perfect choice for corporate business gifts, birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and weddings, just to name a few. There is a just-right gift basket brimming with select gourmet foods, one to fit every occasion.Take the Crowd Pleaser Gourmet food basket, for instanceas visually impressive as it is appetizing. A lavish basket adorned with cascading ribbons, bows and gift card, filled to overflowing with delectable treats: gourmet cookies, coffees, herbal teas, flavored popcorns, Ghirardelli chocolates, hot cocoa, lemon cake, and more. Plus three humorous perpetual calendars, sure to bring a chuckle to help ease work related or holiday stress. This generous food basket is sure to win rave reviews!WOW is the only way to describe our corporate gift baskets, theme oriented with high-impact visual appeal. Exquisite and elegant, each gourmet food basket a masterpiece - offering such tantalizing tummy-pleasers as gourmet cheeses and mustards, mouth watering sausages, wine crackers, dried fruit, candies and so much more. Quality with executive flair! Dont forget our sampler Gourmet Delight. It offers a variety of taste-teasers sure to satisfy the most scrutinizing gourmet connoisseur. Custom-made Gourmet gift baskets can also be personalized to your specifications. Our talented design team is just a phone call away; on standby to create the perfect gift basket extraordinaireclassy, tasty, affordable, and custom made. Make a good impression and choose a gourmet gift basket for your gift giving occasion.