Everything tasted better when my grandma was around.
Growing up, we didn't get to see my dad's side of the family all that often, but I noticed at some point that all the food we ate in Grandma Kinsman's presence was exponentially more delicious. Later on, I came to realize that it wasn't due to some special grandmotherly mojo, but rather that she used real butter rather than margarine, and my family shopped accordingly when she was in town.
No matter the ingredients, I was predisposed to enjoy her cooking. I loved her and she loved me, her weird, short-haired, misfit granddaughter, even if the rest of the world wasn't inclined to. Seldom did I feel that love so strongly as when her yearly shipment of holiday cookies arrived.
Casey Barber, a food writer in Clifton, New Jersey, says many Hostess products and their associated feelings of nostalgia are easy to conjure up in a home kitchen, but there's one thing she's never been able to replicate: "There's just a fakeness about them, a teeth rattling extra super-sugaryness that comes with the high fructose corn syrup that you're not going to get if you make a Twinkie or Devil Dog at home."
She made these raspberry "Zingers" - a snack cake sold under both the Dolly Madison and Hostess brand names - in October. The recipe is in her forthcoming book,"Classic Snacks Made from Scratch."
Like your Oreos with a far-out twist? The hundred-year-old brand paid homage to today's Mars Curiosity rover landing with an installment of their Daily Twist campaign featuring a split-open cookie with red-dyed cream and tire tracks to mimic the impression left by the craft on the planet's surface.
Ashley Strickland is an associate producer with CNN.com. She likes perfecting pineapple upside down cake, tackling English toffee, sharing people-pleasin' pizza dip and green soup, cajoling recipes from athletes and studying up on food holidays.
I’ll always remember the summer of 2008 as a dream come true, full of rock concerts and soft pretzels.
Like many other families across the country, we were perfecting the art of the “staycation.” People were rediscovering the glory of their own cities, neighboring towns, and even their backyards.
But perhaps the greatest gift of that season was our summer tour of concerts. For two music lovers like my mom and me, concerts were manna from heaven.
Not wanting to indulge in a heavy meal before we danced around and sang along with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Keith Urban, Foreigner, Bryan Adams or the Steve Miller Band, one snack emerged as our concert-day favorite.
But we ignored the chemical-laden, overpriced food at the snack bar and tailgated beforehand with homemade salty soft pretzels.
CNN photojournalist John Bodnar is a second-generation Slavic-American whose grandparents emigrated from Eastern Slovakia, and his mother’s Carpatho-Rusyn ethnicity is the prominent influence for his cultural and family traditions. Previously, he wrote about haluski.
Spring in Western Pennsylvania was all about the sounds of the birds, the smells of renewed life, and sights of the buds and green surrounding us. All of this seemed to happen suddenly, and with these changes we knew that Easter was soon upon us. The traditions of my mother’s Byzantine Catholic and my father’s Roman Catholic church were prevalent in our lives, and the sound and smells of these traditions were as stunning as spring.
Ashley Strickland is an associate producer with CNN.com. She likes tackling English toffee, sharing people-pleasin' pizza dip and green soup, cajoling recipes from athletes and studying up on food holidays.
It’s the cookbook we don’t have to pull off the shelf, because it’s already open on the counter, turned to the beginnings of the next awe-inspiring meal.
It is also the book that provides the Augusta hostess with a week of recipes for the Masters Tournament. But for golfers, restaurants, resorts and families all across Georgia, it’s a scrapbook of the dishes that bookmark our lives.
In January 1988, my Aunt Edna gifted Mom with the green, plastic spiral comb-bound cookbook compiled by the Junior League of Augusta, Georgia, in 1977, creatively titled “Tea-Time at the Masters.” My mother not only rediscovered her favorite squash casserole within its pages (once thought lost forever), but recipes to start and build a family with - apropos, because I was born just a few months later in April.
Think your signature recipe is worth a million bucks? Christina Verrelli of Devon, Pennsylvania, learned today that her Pumpkin Ravioli with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream isn't just a crowd-pleaser; it's a cash cow.
Verrelli bested 94 women and five men ranging in age from 25 to 77, both new and veteran Pillsbury Bake-Off finalists to earn a prize of $1 million in the 45th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest. Her victory was announced today on a live broadcast of "The Martha Stewart Show," at the Peabody Orlando Hotel in Florida.
I have done some horrifying things in pursuit of deliciousness. Horrifying. I've dug elbow-deep into a fresh, steaming pile of pig guts to hand-harvest intestines for sausage casing. I've toted a freezer bag of squirrel carcasses across multiple state lines, scooped smoked brain from a cow skull into my mouth and had it written into my wedding vows that creepy little jars of fermenting food "projects" would be tolerated, if not joyfully accepted.
Who'd have thought I'd be felled by a fruit?
The darndest things show up on our desks. Usually they're edible or drinkable (no, thank YOU, makers of smooth, elegant Courvosier Connoisseur), but few make us as giddy as a flash drive loaded with pictures of the latest creations by our resident Kosher kitchen wizard Steven Weinberger.
We didn't get a whole lot of details this time - "The pictures speak for themselves," he e-mailed. But when he materialized later, he mentioned he'd augmented these hamantaschen (which he'd actually made during Hanukkah, and which are also spelled "hamantashen") with a batter made from some funnel cake mix purchased at Bed, Bath & Beyond, sticks and 375°F Wesson vegetable oil.