February 4, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO — Most Sacramentans know the massive Blue Diamond almond plant only from the outside, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. With the right breeze at the right time, the aroma of fresh almonds near C Street in midtown can trigger mouthwatering cravings. Walk or ride a bike along the side fence of the facility on any given day and you're likely to get a whiff of what's happening on the 90-acre Blue Diamond property. Some days, the bouquet is so true and intense that the flavors practically announce themselves.
January 5, 2012
Homemade pop tarts? Are we crazy? Absolutely not. This isn't just another example of the locavore artisanal movement gone mad, these pastries developed by food writer Amy Scattergood are really delicious. The dough is much richer and flakier than the original — and it's made with whole wheat. You can fill it with jam or fruit preserves and it'll be really good. But what got this recipe into the top 10 was the filling of almond-flavored frangipane. Making them is a bit of a project — certainly more work than just popping them in the toaster — but the flavor more than makes it worthwhile.
December 29, 2011 |
Whether your New Year's festivities include planning a big cocktail party or hosting a simple dinner, odds are you'll want something to feed your guests over the hours as they count down to 2012. Here are 25 easy-to-make little dishes to choose from - they're not recipes really, but ideas you can adapt to make your own. No matter whether you're planning fancy hors d'oeuvres or are looking for some simple nibbles to keep the natives from getting restless as the clock winds down, we should have you covered.Many can be prepared hours - even a day or two - in advance.
December 15, 2011
"My mother, Wendy Johnson, had me brainwashed as a child. Chocolate cake with almond frosting for my birthday? Yes! Sugar cookies with almond flavoring? Delicious. It wasn't until I was in college and I made my roommate the homemade chocolate cake with almond frosting that I quickly learned my mom totally messed me up. Apparently using almond in lieu of vanilla flavoring in everything is not normal. I learned to hide my familial love of almond for the much more universally accepted vanilla.
December 12, 2011 |
'Tis the season for all kinds of tasty treats, including marzipan. But the sweet indulgence made from ground almonds and sugar may not always be made from those expensive nuts. Fakes are on the market, and a new test may be able to spot them. Yes, Virginia, counterfeiters have found their way to food, and apparently some items tagged as marzipan may be made with other ingredients, such as ground up peach and apricot pits, soybeans and peas. How to tell the difference? A recent study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry used polymerase chain-reaction-based techniques to determine ingredients.
December 1, 2011
Total time: 50 minutes Servings: Makes about 1 cup 2 cups sugar 1/2 cup water 1 cup whole toasted almonds 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (minimum 66% cacao), roughly chopped 1/2 cup cocoa powder, more as needed 1. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper. 2. In a medium heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Heat the mixture over high heat until the sugar melts and the mixture turns a rich caramel color, 10 to 12 minutes. Brush the sides of the pan using a pastry brush dipped in water to keep the sugar from crystallizing.
October 20, 2011 |
Dear SOS: A relatively new cafe in Mar Vista, the Curious Palate, makes a wonderful chicken salad with almonds, dried cranberries, scallions and Rocky Jr. chicken. It is the best chicken salad I have ever eaten. Is it possible to obtain the recipe? Courtney Lockwood Santa Monica Dear Courtney: The Curious Palate was happy to share its recipe for chicken salad, which we've adapted below. Enjoy! The Curious Palate's chicken salad Total time: 45 minutes, plus roasting and cooling time for the chicken Servings: 6 to 8 Note: Adapted from the Curious Palate in Mar Vista.
August 26, 2011 |
The most popular beverage in the Temecula Valley, the picturesque wine region not far from the urban sprawl of Orange and San Diego counties, is something called "almond champagne. " It is a more or less naturally sparkling wine (the bubbles induced in pressurized tanks) with almond flavoring added. Smelling sweetly of cream soda and marzipan, the wine's thick, cloying flavor wouldn't seem out of place in an ice cream parlor if not for a modest alcohol kick and its bitter finish.
June 16, 2011
Aunt Mary's pilaf with topping Total time: 35 minutes Servings: 4 to 6 Our recipes, your kitchen: If you try this or any other recipe from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen, we would like to know about it so we can showcase it on our food blog and occasionally in print. Upload pictures of the finished dish here. 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, divided 2 cups converted rice 4 1/2 cups chicken broth 1 cup slivered almonds 1 cup chopped dates 1. In a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan, melt one-quarter cup (one-half stick)
May 12, 2011
Total time: 40 minutes (plus 1 month if making homemade preserved lemons) Servings: 4 Note: Adapted from Travis Lett of Gjelina. Preserved lemons also can be purchased at Middle Eastern markets, select specialty food stores and well-stocked grocers. Small hardwood hickory chips are required to smoke the almonds on the stovetop; they are available at select cooking supply stores and online. Butter lettuce or endive can be substituted for the escarole. Our recipes, your kitchen: If you try this or any other recipe from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen, we would like to know about it so we can showcase it on our food blog and occasionally in print.