December 23, 2010 |
After last-minute shopping at two malls and a side trip to find wrapping paper only to come home and discover you've run out of Scotch tape, nothing makes the holidays happier than a good stiff drink. It's even better if it's one that's easy to concoct and uses what's in season. And now that we're just days from turning the corner to 2011, sharing a cocktail or three with friends and family is imperative -- in a convivial setting, maybe with James Brown's "Soulful Christmas" playing, some mistletoe hanging or even balloons and streamers.
December 23, 2010
Persimmon Champagne cocktail Total time: 20 minutes, plus cooling time for the syrup Servings: 1 Note: Adapted from Jason Schiffer, 320 Main. Persimmon syrup 1 ripe Fuyu persimmon, cut into ½-inch cubes 1/2 cup water Fresh grated nutmeg 1 sprig rosemary 1 cup brown sugar In a medium saucepan heated over medium heat, cook the persimmon until the pieces caramelize, 5 to 10 minutes. (The persimmons may stick to the bottom of the pan. Gently scrape them from the pan, and continue to stir to keep them from burning.)
October 26, 2010 |
High-fructose corn syrup is often singled out as Food Enemy No. 1 because it has become ubiquitous in processed foods over about the last 30 years – a period that coincides with a steep rise in obesity. One of the primary sources of HFCS in the American diet is soda – in fact, many public health advocates refer to soda as “liquid candy.” That nickname is more apt than advocates realized, according to a study published online this month by the journal Obesity.
September 15, 2010 |
Much in the same way that troubled companies change names to improve their reputations, the Corn Refiners Assn. is trying to do away with high-fructose corn syrup. Not the product. Just its moniker. The trade group said that it was petitioning the Food and Drug Administration to replace the phrase "high-fructose corn syrup" with "corn sugar. " The suggested change didn't get a ringing endorsement from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which would have preferred something more apt for an engineered food product, perhaps something like "chemically converted corn syrup" or "glucose-fructose corn syrup.
April 20, 2010 |
Feeding a sweet tooth won't just lead to weight gain and a mouthful of cavities. A new study suggests that diets high in added sugars can alter levels of important blood fats and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The study, published in the Wednesday edition of the Journal of the American Medical Assn., found that people who got at least 25% of their daily calories from added sugars of any kind were 3.1 times more likely to have low levels of so-called good cholesterol in their bloodstream than people who got less than 5% of their calories from added sweeteners.
March 25, 2010
Tecate cake Total time: 2 hours, plus cooling time for the cake Servings: 16 to 20 Note: Adapted from Kiss My Bundt. This recipe calls for Tecate beer, a lighter beer in terms of color and flavor, resulting in a cake that is mild in its beer taste. The taste develops the longer the cake sits, becoming more pronounced by the second day. Using a stronger beer will result in a stronger flavor. This recipe makes 1 Big Ol' Bundt (a 10-cup capacity pan) Tecate syrup 3 cups Tecate beer 3/4 cup sugar 1. In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the beer and sugar.
January 29, 2010 |
The one thing you can be sure of when you walk out of a BMW news conference is that you'll have plenty of information. Your head aches from it. Your ears ring with it. Your jaws are sore from swallowing it whole like a snake. I fairly staggered out of the press briefing at a hotel here laden with facts about the company's latest personal executive sedan, the 2011 BMW 5-series. This numerical disquisition will soon be yours, so brace yourself. But here's a number that absolutely fascinated me. According to BMW execs, the 5-series -- the company's second-best-selling model after the multifarious 3-series -- represents 50% of the company's total profit.
January 4, 2010 |
It's been a long time coming, but Campanile's Mark Peel and Jay Perrin have finally opened their bar and supper club a few blocks north of their iconic place on La Brea Avenue. Named the Tar Pit, it is painted, outdoors, an appropriate dark brown. Inside is something altogether different: a drop-dead glamorous boîte with mirrored leather booths, dramatic Art Deco touches, and a bar where the bartender whips up nostalgia-based cocktails created by mixologist extraordinaire Audrey Saunders (Peju Club in New York)
October 28, 2009 |
Dear SOS: I had the most refreshing cocktail at the Girl & the Fig in Sonoma called a "Gin"-ger basiltini. Described as "cucumber-infused gin, muddled basil, ginger simple syrup & fresh-squeezed lime juice," this would be a delicious brunch libation. Susan McEowen Sherman Oaks Dear Susan: We loved the harmony of flavors in this cocktail. It marries the bright, fresh flavors of basil and lime with delicate cucumber and spicy ginger. Make the cucumber gin and ginger syrup in advance to chill.