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NEWS
January 3, 2013 | By Betty Hallock
Skippy, meet Spam. Hormel Foods, the maker of Spam canned ham, is buying the brand Skippy peanut butter from consumer products giant Unilever for about $700 million. The move comes as Austin, Minn.-based Hormel is beefing up (heh) its portfolio of meats such as Farmer John sausage and Jennie-O turkey and boosting its presence overseas, according to a Los Angeles Times report . The sale includes Skippy factories in Little Rock, Ark., and Shandong Province in China , CNN says . Hormel Chief Executive Jeffrey M. Ettinger told analysts in a conference call that he expected Skippy to become one of the company's biggest brands.
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BUSINESS
January 3, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Lunch meat purveyor Hormel Foods is making a run at the supermarket's middle aisles, buying the Skippy peanut butter brand for about $700 million. The Austin, Minn., company, also known for its Spam canned ham, is acquiring Skippy from Unilever's U.S. operation, which also owns brands such as Vaseline and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Hormel, whose main strength is its domestic sales of Jennie-O, Farmer John and other lunch meats, is trying to expand its portfolio of products and boost its presence overseas.
FOOD
December 22, 2012 | By Nancy Silverton and Carolynn Carreño
There are lots of little tricks that will help you make a great rough puff pastry. Here are some of the most important ones: Use European-style butter (I use Plugrá), which has a lower water content. Make sure the butter is at the right consistency before you begin folding it into the détrempe to make the puff pastry. Work in a cool kitchen on a cool work surface. Make sure your work surface is big enough for the task. Ideally, your work surface will not be too high, as you will need to apply firm, even pressure to the dough as you roll it out. Marble is ideal for making puff pastry.
FOOD
December 22, 2012 | By Nancy Silverton and Carolynn Carreño
One of the things that keeps me excited about what I do is that I am always learning. When I was making puff pastry not long ago, someone asked me why I made a tic-tac-toe-like slash in the process of making the dough. I had been slashing puff pastry dough, and having my chefs do it, for 30 years, or for as long as I'd been making puff pastry, and yet I had no idea why. I was thinking about this during a drive down to Pizzeria Mozza in Newport Beach. Then, just when I got out of the car, like magic, there was the renowned French baker Claude Koeberle.
FOOD
December 8, 2012 | By Jonathan Gold, Los Angeles Times Restaurant Critic
If you had asked an observer a few years ago whether the future of dining in Los Angeles was more likely to be influenced by its mobile restaurants or its pop-ups, the money would have been on the trucks. Food trucks seemed to draw from everything about L.A. in 2010 - mobility, multiculturalism, social-media compulsion and the ceaseless drive toward novelty. The food truck culture rewards the short attention span. It rewards it with kimchi cheesesteaks. But while the Kogi empire is still expanding, this may have been the year when restaurants born as pop-ups began to assert themselves.
NEWS
December 5, 2012 | By Noelle Carter
When shopping for citrus, choose fruit that are heavy for their size -- they'll be the juiciest. And look for fruit with nice, tight skins. Avoid fruit that are wrinkled or spotted, or feel lightweight. You can generally tell the ripeness of the fruit by the thickness of the rind -- the thinner the rind, the more ripe and juicy. Most citrus will keep for several days at room temperature. They'll also keep well in the refrigerator, stored in the crisper for up to several weeks. Thin-skinned citrus such as mandarins or tangerines should be refrigerated right away.
NEWS
December 3, 2012 | By Noelle Carter
Nut butters -- peanut, almond, cashew, etc. -- are terribly simple to make. Grind nuts until they release their oils and are reduced to a smooth paste. And voila! You've got nut butter. All you need are nuts and a little flavoring or seasoning. You can add some sugar if you want to sweeten, or perhaps a touch of honey or maple syrup, but that's it. Don't worry about adding oil -- nuts naturally have a high oil content, and will release enough oil for the butter themselves with enough time and patience.
OPINION
November 29, 2012
The bins of peanuts outside were uncovered, food safety inspectors reported, allowing birds to do on them what birds do. Employees failed to wash their hands regularly or to practice other basic hygiene. Salmonella was found in dozens of locations throughout the plant, which had shipped jars of peanut butter even though its own tests showed they were tainted with the potentially deadly bacteria. After more than 40 people were sickened, the plant closed voluntarily in September and the company's products were recalled.
NEWS
November 27, 2012 | By Betty Hallock
Flexing its new enforcement muscle from a 2011 food safety law, the Food and Drug Administration on Monday shut down operations of the largest organic peanut butter processor in the country after discovering salmonella, the Associated Press said .  The FDA halted production at Sunland Inc.'s New Mexico plant after 41 people in 20 states were sickened by peanut butter from the plant, sold at Trader Joe's grocery stores. The food safety law gave the FDA authority to suspend a company's registration - preventing production and distribution - when food made there has a "reasonable probability" of causing serious health problems or death.
FOOD
November 10, 2012
  Total time: 2½ hours, plus chilling and cooling times Servings: 8 Note: Adapted from Quinn and Karen Hatfield. Pie dough 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup plus 3½ tablespoons water 2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (12 ounces) flour 3/4 cup (1½ sticks) plus 3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into ½-inch cubes 1 tablespoon (½ ounce) cold lard or shortening, cut into ½-inch cubes 1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the salt and cold water until the salt is dissolved.
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