Saturday, November 8, 2008

Holiday Magazines - New Food Network Magazine

Food Network just came out with there first test issue of Food Network Magazine. It's of course a holiday issue for both November and December. It's made by some of the same people that make Everyday with Rachael Ray which is probably why the format of the cover looks so similar. The pumpkin pie photo with the cranberry crumble which is supposed to be Tyler Florence's "Ultimate Pumpkin Pie" didn't look all that great to me, kind of dry actually. The inside is well...everything food network. The photography of the food is done well though I didn't find any of the recipes particularly interesting (also like Everyday). There are a lot of tid bits from the food network stars as well as tips, gadget reviews, and the usual useless foodie facts. The book review page of recent book releases by food network stars to be more like advertising than reviews- like they're going to say anything bad about their own network stars.
Anyway, it's well organized and if you love foodnetwork, you'll probably like this magazine. I heard they already approved a second test issue for January.

Here are updates on some of the other food mags:

Bon Appetit - November 2008

This is one of my favorite holiday issues so far. It of course focuses on Thanksgiving. There are lots of recipes for turkey and sides but my favorite is the "Purely Pumpkin" section which has all sorts of pumpkin dessert recipes like Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake with Caramel and Cream Cheese Frosting, Pumpkin and Brown Sugar Creme Brulee, and Pumpkin Cheesecake with Marshamallow Sour Cream Topping and Ginger Snap Crust (hey, I didn't say they were healthy desserts).

Everyday with Rachael Ray - December 2008

This issue advertises $91, 230 dollars worth of free gifts. Gifts range from cooking sets, knives, and trips to even a bag of Rachael Ray Dog food - just what we all need! Though the recipes in this magazine aren't usually all that great, there is a cookie section in this issue that actually looks pretty good. My favorite section of Everyday is the Taste Test, where they test different brands of a certain type of store bought food and rate their favorite. This month the taste test is frozen appetizers, which I think is a bit of a stretch since many of us don't bother with them.

Cooks Illustrated - November/December 2008
I don't have much information on this one since I don't have a subscription yet and I couldn't find it in the stores. I know that this is a very good magazine though and it really focuses on recipes and food as well as step by step instructions. Subscriptions are more expensive at $24.99 for 6 issues but it seems worth it. Or, you could just watch the show "Cooks Country from Americas Test Kitchen" on PBS (my new favorite!) that the founder and publisher, Christopher Kimball, hosts.

Gourmet - November 2008

The cover gives it away - your standard Thanksgiving issue. I haven't looked at it in detail but I don't see anything special here.

Saveur - November 2008

One of the more sophisticated of the food mags, offers some insteresting articles. There are recipes and huge photos of some gourmet Thanksgiving sides like Oyster Stuffing and Cranberries with Port. This is a quality mag but their recipes always require fancy ingrediants I can't find. Check out the pie crust on the cover - looks almost too pretty to eat.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Here it is - my first seasonal recipe: Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream! For those of us who live in South Florida, this cool treat is a nice substitute (or complement) for Pumpkin Pie. I actually developed this recipe because I had extra pumpkin puree leftover from a pumpkin pie I made. It worked out so well that I now buy extra puree just for this recipe. Eat it alone, with pie, or with whipped cream on top. Enjoy.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

1 cup milk
½ cup heavy cream, plus ¼ cup
1/3 cup sugar, plus ¼ cup
2 egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup Pumpkin Puree
½ - 1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. Nutmeg
½ - ¾ tsp. Allspice
½ tsp. ground ginger
3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick

In a saucepan combine the milk, ½ cup cream, and 1/3 cup sugar over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whip the egg yolks with the remaining sugar using an electric mixer until the eggs have become thick and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup of the warm milk and cream mixture into the egg mixture and stir. Add this mixture back into the saucepan. Add cloves and cinnamon stick. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile mix or blend together pumpkin, remaining cream, and spices in a medium bowl.
Place a strainer over the bowl with the pumpkin and pour the warm custard mixture through the strainer. Stir in the vanilla. Chill mixture completely before pouring into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions to freeze.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

That Time of Year

Well its getting to be that time of year - the aromatic smells and comforting tastes of fall cooking will soon be upon us. Though most of the country is reluctantly trading in their tank tops and flip flops for sweaters and boots, we in South Florida tip toe around until the end of hurricane season and wait for the more enjoyable and comfortable weather that the winter brings. Though I must say, I do miss the apple picking and the colorful fall leaves up north, we can just as easily enjoy the fruits of fall right here. Pumpkins are now abundant in the supermarkets and the price of apples should begin to drop (yes the economy sucks but be positive!). And lets not forget squash - there are all sorts of wonderful butternut squash recipes (Raviolis, Lasagna, or just plain roasted) that I suggest you try. I will be sharing some of my favorite fall recipes shortly!