March 2011

One Cannolo, Two Cannoli
March 29, 2011 14:59

While I’m waving my Italian flag, I might as well mention cannoli. 

What I like about the cannolo is that it isn’t afraid to get creative: chocolate chips, candied fruit, pistachio-studded shells. But why wait for dessert, when you could dine on Parmesan and Cracked Pepper Cannoli with Shrimp and Celery? Holy Cannoli!

At every family gathering, guests come pastry-handed. No matter what the occasion, it feels like Christmas every time I untie the string and peek into the white cardboard box. Sfogliatelle, pignoli, zeppoli, struffoli, and…wait for it… cannoli. I close my eyes and inhale the sugary aroma... read more

Meat Means War
March 22, 2011 17:13

I have never quite accepted the meatball subs that sustain my sister. (Then again, she also loves that dog food Chef Boyardee calls Spaghettios.) I grew up eating spaghetti and meatballs, smothered in tomato sauce. As a pureblood Italian, it’s just what we do.

To me, meatballs mean business. My mom and I pull up our sleeves and start rolling baseball-size meatballs out of ground beef, mixed with some parsley, breadcrumbs, and a few other extras. Simmering in a saucepan, fishing them out reminds me of bobbing for apples, although my mom insists I use a spoon. They turn out perfectly juicy, and look picturesque atop a mountain of pasta. 

So upon my first trip to IKEA, you can imagine my surprise when I read the words “Swedish meatballs” in the cafeteria. Meatballs, from Sweden!? It hurt my hears, but my mouth was curious... read more

The Chocolate Pizza Company
March 21, 2011 18:41

In Marcellus, N.Y., this joint serves up dessert for dinner. 

A Piece of Pie-adise
March 15, 2011 15:34

As exams sneak up, pizza makes a perfect snack. I’m not talking 18-inch, grease-spots-on-my-notebooks pizza, but cute little pizza bites. 

Making minis couldn’t be simpler, and best of all, the pizzabilities are endless! Starting from the bottom up, get your dough right. You can take the boring Bagel Bite route, or opt for an easy sliced English muffin—the edges crisp up nicely in a toaster oven.  

If you choose to get creative, roll out some pizza dough and cut small rounds with a glass. You can mold the dough in muffin tins to make little cups, poking holes at the bottom with a fork. Dare to be different? Mini pizzas come in all shapes and, well, one mini size… but so many shapes! Use cookie cutters to form fun shapes, like stars, hearts, or even pizzabread men... read more

Happy Pi Day!
March 14, 2011 7:12

     Roll out the dough because today (3.14) is National Pi Day!
     Think back to middle school geometry and recall the measurements of a circle. The circumference divided by the diameter of any circle spells Pi. Celebrate by baking your favorite flavor pie and eating dessert before dinner.
     And save those juicy summer berries for July 22 (22/7 in day/month format) and celebrate Pi Approximation Day...see more

The Sweet Life: Michael Speach, a fourth generation candy maker, satisfies Syracuse’s sweet tooth
March 11, 2011 19:28

As a child, Michael Junior Speach would wake up Easter morning to find a basket full of fruit. No chocolate bunnies, marshmallow Peeps, or jelly beans, but instead apples, bananas and oranges. “Everything is a little different when you’re in the candy business,” says Speach.

Being surrounded by sugar excited his friends, but for Speach, going trick-or-treating on Halloween, for example, meant more of the same. As he grew older, he studied electronic media communications at Onondaga Community College and then went on to get a degree in theatrical design at Ithaca College. He never planned to inherit the 90-year-old Speach Family Candy Shoppe, but in 2007, when his parents considered retiring and closing shop, Speech, decided to take it over. “It’s a great feeling to carry on a tradition, and it means a lot to my family,” he says, now 29... read more

Does Cornell Eat Better Than Syracuse?
March 10, 2011 23:23

The Wall Street Journal reports that professional chefs are now retiring from restaurant kitchens and moving into frat houses. Lambda Chi Alpha and Phi Kappa Psi at Cornell University are two of the lucky fraternities that dine on gourmet meals nightly.

Happy 40th Anniversary to Starbucks!
March 9, 2011 11:41

In addition to rolling out a new logo, the coffee company is celebrating its birthday with a limited edition spicy and full-bodied Tribute blend with berry and dark cherry notes. Stop in to order a drink between 2 and 5 p.m. this Thursday through Saturday and enjoy a complimentary Petite, Starbucks’ new less than 200 calorie treat. The dainty dessert comes in eight varieties, including whoopee pies, peanut butter mini cupcakes, and rocky road cake pops.

The Little Quiche That Could
March 8, 2011 11:04

My semester abroad put a lot of things in perspective, and one of those things was quiche. One weekend, I traveled to Strasbourg, France to visit one of my good friends. It just so happens that her mom is an amazing Alsatian cook who used to own a French restaurant. That weekend, I ate a quiche Lorraine that rocked the entire European continent so hard that it was thought to have triggered the volcanic eruption in Iceland, consequently freezing air travel in northern Europe for weeks.

Bien fait, France! You sure know how to do eggs rights... read more

Skip the Skippy
March 7, 2011 22:54

Unilever United States Inc. has recalled Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread and Skippy® Reduced Fat Super Chunk Peanut Butter Spread because of possible Salmonella contamination. Tainted products were removed from the shelves in New York State, but check the UPCs and Best-If-Used-By dates on this recall site before smearing your spread.

Free FryDay Friday at Chick-fil-A
March 4, 2011 9:12

Today Chick-fil-A hands out free waffle fries to customers from 2 to 4 p.m. in celebration of Heinz's release of  "Dip & Squeeze" ketchupWe're always stoked about free food, but equally as exciting is this revolutionary ketchup innovation. No longer will hungry fry fiends have to smear messy ketchup all over a napkin. Instead, they can tear the top of the package to squeeze out ketchup, or peel back the film to dip fries in the convenient container. TGIFryDay!

Flippin' for Free Flapjacks: Celebrating National Pancake Day at the local IHOP with one hundred of my closest strangers
March 3, 2011 8:13

Soccer-mom Subarus and second-hand Corollas fight for spots in the jam-packed parking lot of the IHOP on West Genesse. For a Tuesday night, the place is swamped, but on National Pancake Day and people will do anything for a free short stack of pancakes.

Hungry customers linger in the narrow hallway by the entrance; a tired mother with three kids hanging off her arms, a group of high stoners in tie-dye shirts, a grandfather with his princess granddaughter perched on his knee, and a gawky teen fresh from the barber shop with a Justin Beiber haircut.

I wade through the ocean of people to the host area to put our party’s name in. Mark, a pimply teenager with brown curly hair and dark-framed glasses, greets me with a forced smile. He tucks his shirt neatly into his pants, secured with a belt. “A table for five, please, for Meredith.” Mark misspells my name on a long waiting list and glances back to the bustling tables behind him, assuring me we’ll be seated within 20 minutes... read more

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
March 2, 2011 9:21

Today, March 2nd, Dr. Seuss turns 107 years old, just 105 years older than Cindy Lou Who. Celebrate by eating One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, or if you're a vegetarian, opt for the best-selling Green Eggs and Ham.

Corn Puppies
March 1, 2011 14:14

A moment of honesty: Corn dogs have always scared me. Something about a fried dog on a stick is just wrong. While they remind most people of a comforting childhood, to me, they are eerie and menacing and should be kept on a leash.

So, when I stumbled upon these adorable mini corn dogs, it felt like the Fried Foods God was smiling down on me. Battered cocktail weenies perched on a toothpick, they are delicate and refined. The perfect example of why tiny tastes better.