Category Archives: Food

Austin Cupcake Comparison

Austin Texas Cupcake Challenge

Why do we love cupcakes?  We’re all adults here at Fooding Blog – for the most part, anyway.  Shouldn’t we be eating grown up desserts like crème brulee or some kind of dowse-with-brandy-and-set-on-fire thing?  Don’t get me wrong: I love a good crème brulee, but it requires a torch and a utensil.

Cupcakes, however, remind us that it’s ok to feel like we did as kids, when dessert was fun and gooey and colorful.  They remind us it’s ok to eat with our hands and get a little frosting on our chins and maybe on our shirts too.  Cupcakes remind us that desserts don’t always require an open flame.

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Martha Stewart’s ‘Cupcakes’ Book Review

With the cupcake’s new found popularity, it comes as no surprise that the Queen of everything food/home/gardening/entertaining would quickly step up to release an all inclusive guide on Cupcakes.  Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone’s Favorite Treat (link goes to Amazon.com) arrived on my doorstep early last week, and I was hooked at first sight. The tasty cover photo and title sum up everything that this book is about – Cupcakes!

In true Martha form, anyone who reads this book will walk away more educated about the art of the cupcake and definitely inspired to bake. The book includes 175 recipes categorized into visually appealing sections including Swirled & Sprinkled,  Piped & Topped, and Birthdays!  Inside, the reader will find recipes running the gamut of cupcakes from the traditional Devil’s Food to the creative and exciting Amaretto-Pineapple Cupcake. Additional chapters of the book provide inspiration on Displaying, Icing, and Preparation and include Decorating Templates & Clip Art.

Click here to read more about Martha Stewart’s new cupcake book!

You CAN Win Friends with Salad – Taco Salad that is…

Taco Salad 2

According to the Bart Simpson song from ‘Lisa the Vegetarian,’ You Don’t Win Friends with Salad! (link goes to YouTube)

While we love the Simpson’s, my husband and I have to disagree with their song. The following take on Taco Salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser whether you are cooking for a large group of friends, your family, or making dinner for one.  After all, who doesn’t like things topped with crushed chips and cheese!?

The following recipe will feed 4 hungry salad eaters.

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Shrimp and Grits (Prawns and Hominy) – Great Meals

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If you are a regular to the blog you might know that I went to South Carolina a few weeks ago to photograph a wedding in Charleston and get my Southern Cooking fix. I’ve already written about my fast food experiences on this trip (see my post on Bojangles’ fried chicken), but I did get to sample some highbrow South Carolina cooking during the wedding as well at the restaurant Tristan at the French Quarter Inn.

The bride and groom really love food, and their reception seriously had some of the best wedding food I have ever eaten. The highlight of the meal was definitely the Shrimp and Grits, or ‘Prawns and Hominy’ as the restaurant Tristan likes to call it. While those who have never had this dish might think that the combination of shrimp and grits together (pictured above on the right) is weird , trust me on this one – get over it, eat it, it’s delicious and you won’t regret it.

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Fooding Overseas – Taiwan Live Fish Restaurant

Shiyuan Taiwanese Live Fish Restaurant

“Waste not, want not” the old saying goes – and the next Fooding adventure definitely does just that.

As you probably know, most people outside of America are not squeamish about the fact that meat was once a live animal. In Asia, they take it to the extreme. There, the ultimate sign of seafood freshness is being able to go to a restaurant and point at living meat (future meal) swimming around in a tank and then 10 minutes later, have that formerly living meat show up at your table cooked in 5 delicious ways, head, skin, and bones still attached – almost every part of the fish utilized in some way. This is the story of my Taiwan Live Fish Fooding adventure.

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How To Smoke a Brisket – Texas BBQ Brisket

I like brisket. No, I love brisket. It is THE best form of BBQ. I wanted to chronicle the process and provide a How To guide for BBQ smoked brisket. This smoked BBQ brisket recipe has provided me with consistently tasty and repeatable results. Below, I detailed a step by step process for using your own offset smoker to create a BBQ brisket that will rival that of any local BBQ joint. I’ve also included lots of photos for your reference.

…Click to see the entire recipe.

Bacon Salt Review

Bacon Salt Ingredients and Nutritional Information

When we first heard about Bacon Salt a couple of years ago, Jon immediately bought a couple of bottles for both of us. It held such promise… after all, bacon makes everything taste better!

And for a while, it was amazing! I dashed it on eggs, on mashed potatoes, on chicken, on everything. It really did taste like bacon, if it was a bit on the salty side. Slowly though, as the newness of bacon salt wore off though, reality set in.

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Austin Wine Festival 2009

Austin Wine Festival 2009 - Go Texan

Today all of the members of Fooding Blog took a field trip to visit the Austin Wine Festival. Despite the May Texas heat, we managed to have a great time sampling various local wines from the Texas Hill Country and beyond.

You may say to yourself, “Wine in Texas?” Why yes, there is indeed a lot of wine in Texas. According to the Orbitz Insider Index, Austin is the 2nd Fastest Growing Wine Destination in the Nation. Also, the Wine Society of Texas tells us that there are well over 100 wineries here in the Lone Star State.

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Din Tai Fung Dumpling House

If you ever find yourself in Taipei, wondering to yourself… “What should I do for dinner tonight?”, well I have the answer for you. Din Tai Fung. Din Tai Fung is a first and foremost a dumpling house, but these are not your typical Sunday morning Chinatown Dim Sum type of dumpling, these are pure ecstasy for the taste buds.

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Their signature dish is the pork dumpling with soup. I’m certain there is a more elegant name for them, but that was the translation the group of friends that I was with gave to me. These dumplings were exactly as described, a dumpling filled with tasty ground pork and soup. So naturally my first question was, how do they get the soup in there? After some speculation about needles and secret magic, no one knew the answer. Thus, I made my way down to the kitchen area to watch the 20 or so employees frantically making the dumplings(this is a very popular place). I watched them closely as they assembled the dumpling first the wrapper, add a bit of meat, then a glob of something that resembled jelly, only it was brown. Then it hit me, they were using congealed broth! Brilliant. They would place a small amount of the congealed broth, then seal the wrapper. During the steaming process, the broth would melt and become tongue searing hot soup.

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No Durians

Can durian fruit really be so bad, that they are banned from the Singapore Metro?

There isn’t even a fine associated with it.

nodurian

Update: Turns out durian does not smell all that great.

Update 2: Cracking one open in your house isn’t such a great idea.

Update 3: I don’t care for durian.

Update 4: Neither of my dogs care for durian.

Update 5: My wife has forever banned durian from the house.

-Jon