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Sweet Treat Tuesday: Celebrate Nutella
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You know how we love our food holidays, here at f2n. Well, yesterday just happened to be Nutella Day. Who doesn’t love Nutella? We  stumbled across this gem of a recipe for an Oven Crespella with Nutella Sauce on epicurious.com
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 and we were delighted with the results. The crespella is somewhere between a pancake and a crepe, light yet buttery, and pairs wonderfully with the decadent Nutella sauce. It definetly left us wondering, crespella – where have you been all our lives?

What you need:

 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons whole milk, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread such as Nutella
What you do:

You’re going to want to place a 12-inch ovenproof heavy skillet in middle of oven while you oven preheats to 450°F.

Next, whisk together flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and 1 1/2 cups milk in a bowl.

Add butter to skillet and heat in oven until golden, about 1 minute. Pour batter into skillet and bake until puffed, set, and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Whisk together Nutella and remaining 3 tablespoons milk until smooth. Thin sauce with additional milk if necessary.

Cool the crespella in your skillet on a rack 5 minutes (note: it will sink). Dust with confectioners sugar and drizzle with sauce and enjoy!

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chicken lettuce wraps
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Need a fun finger food to spice up your week? These
chicken lettuce cups will do the trick! They’re not only tasty but easy to make too. We made a few changes to this recipe to give it some heat. Enjoy!

Chicken lettuce wraps (Adapted from Chicken Lettuce Cups on epicurious.com)

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. light soy sauce
1 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp. clear rice vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup red onion
1/2 cup water chestnuts, minced
1 lb. ground chicken breast (or boneless, skinless breasts, minced)
8-10 leaves of iceberg lettuce
Handful of fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted cashews

Combine the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, red pepper, salt and sugar in a bowl and mix until sugar dissolves. Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in a wok (or skillet) over high heat. Add garlic, ginger, onion and water chestnuts and stri-fry for 2 minutes. Remove contents from wok and place in bowl. Heat the remaining 2 tbsp. of oil in the wok. Add chicken and brown for a few minutes until no longer pink. Add the cooked veggie mixture back to the wok, decrease heat and stir in the sauce mixture. Cook until chicken is cooked through. Scoop the filling into lettuce leaves and then top with cilantro and cashews. Mmmm…

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Tomato Crush Thursday: Hello Hugh
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Hugh Acheson is blowing up these days. He’s got a new cookbook, A New Turn in the South
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. You’ve seen him judge on Top Chef: Texas
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(check out his judge’s blog here
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). Let’s not forget his fab Atlanta restaurant Empire State South
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 and where it all began at his Athens restaurant Five and Ten
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.

We had the pleasure of meeting Chef Acheson at the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

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and he kindly posed for a quick pic. Hats off to our first February crush!

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Baked Sweet Potato Fries: Mystery Solved
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Here it is! The mystery has finally been solved. The secret to actually getting a crispy baked sweet potato fry: BLANCHING! Say bye-bye to the soggies! Need a reason to give this a try?…February is National Sweet Potato Month! A big “thank you” to our friends on Chowhound for the idea.

 

Here’s our version below:

You need:
2 medium sweet potatoes, unpeeled
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp.garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt

Here’s how:
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Cut the sweet potatoes lengthwise and cut each half into 1/4 inch thick slices.
3. Blanch for about 2-3 minutes then pat dry.
4. Mix your potato slices, olive oil and spices in a bowl to cover each piece.
5. Spread out your potato slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Be sure to leave some space between slices.
6. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, flipping them over every 8 minutes until crispy.
7. Add more salt if needed.
8. Serve hot and enjoy!

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Sweet Treat Tuesday: Haystacks!
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February is Celebration of Chocolate month. In preparation, we started racking our brains for sweet treat ideas using this star ingredient. F2n gal Whitney immediately recalled fond memories of her Grandma making haystacks, an easy and delicious treat combining chocolate and chow mein noodles. We started thinking about possible substitutions for the noodles and came across numerous recipes, including this one

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 on food.com using potato sticks (YUM) and pecans.

The beauty of the haystack is, you can tailor the recipe to suit your tastes. Prefer dark chocolate? Go for it. Hate pecans love peanuts? Switch it up! How about a potato/pretzel stick number? Yes, please!

Different Chocolate Haystacks from food.com

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What you need:

1 (6 ounce) package chocolate chips

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1 (6 ounce) package butterscotch chips

1/2 cup peanut butter

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1 cup pecans

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, chopped

2 (1 1/2 ounce) cans potato sticks

What you do:

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt your chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and peanut butter and stir.

F2N note: Hey, why not stop at this step? What a wonderful fondue this would make for your next dinner party. Have your guests dip some angel food bites, pretzel sticks, apple or pear slices into the chocolate-y goodness.

 2. Stir in pecans and potato sticks (or whatever ingredients you choose).

3. Using a teaspoon, scoop mixture and drop onto waxed paper.

4. You can put in fridge to cool quicker then store in airtight container.

 WARNING: These are HIGHLY addictive!

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Fashion Fare Friday: Winterize Your Accessories
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Look. We don’t know how many days of Winter are left but we know there are enough that it’s not time to lighten it up for Spring. In fact, I do believe I saw snowflakes in Atlanta this morning. That said, why not winter-proof your look with an adorable clutch boasting cold weather fabrics? We fell in love with this fantastic handmade wool/alpaca blend cable knit clutch by Yours By Design at Hazel, a boutique in historic Roswell, GA. Happy Friday!!

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Tomato Crush: ink.’s own Chef Michael Voltaggio
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We are super excited about our first crush of 2012: Chef Michael Voltaggio.

We had the pleasure of dining at ink

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. in LA recently and were blown away by the food and the Top Chef himself.

 Voltaggio was working the line in the exposed kitchen on a busy Friday night. We were beyond thrilled that he graciously took the time to say hi to the f2n gals and oblige our photo op request.

The dining experience seemed magical. Plate after plate of food as beautiful as it is delicious.

The small plates allowed us to share and sample most of the menu. The pic below on the right is their take on chicken-and-waffles, if that gives you any sense of the innovation going on at ink..

 

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The coffee service is also something else, as the waitstaff is armed with a timer for coffee perfection.

 

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We vowed that on our next trip to LA we will sample the sandwiches at ink.sack

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. Like the plates at ink., we are told these sammies are small, leaving the option of sampling many. Cold fried chicken  or bahn mi pork butt? Yes, please!

Did we mention the cocktails? Our fav was tequila number with serrano, lime, grapefruit and soda garnished with basil buds. Cheers!

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Cocktail Corner Wednesday: Martha’s Pomegranate-Champagne Punch
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We are still in celebratory mode but yet mindful of consuming things that do your body good.

This Pomegranate-Champagne Punch fits the bill in our book.  Celebrate the possibilities 2012 will bring with Champagne all the while sneaking in some anti-oxidants a la pomegranate.

Martha Stewart

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shares the recipe here
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on her website.

What you need

  • 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup pear nectar
  • 1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) Champagne

What you do:

Simply combine the first three ingredients into a large pitcher. To that you will slowly add Champagne.

Serve over ice and enjoy!

F2n note: punches are great for parties as guests can serve themselves and you don’t have to play bartender. Also, this would be perfect for your next brunch (along with yesterday’s Sweet Treat fruit parfait.

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Sweet Treat: A Yummy Fruit Salad with Limoncello and Yogurt Topper
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New year. New you. Why not indulge in a treat on the lighter side, like this Fruit Salad with Limoncello number from f2n favorite Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten 
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? The recipe is found here on FoodNetwork.com
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.

 What you need:

  • 7 ounces Greek yogurt (recommended: Fage Total)
  • 1/3 cup good bottled lemon curd
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
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  • 2 cups sliced strawberries (1 pint)
  • 1 cup raspberries
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    (1/2 pint)
  • 1 cup blueberries
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    (1/2 pint)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons limoncello liqueur
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • Fresh mint springs

What you do:

First you will create the delectable lemon yogurt topping by whisking together your yogurt, lemon curd, honey and vanilla. Set this aside keeping at room tempature.

Next you will prepare your fruit salad by combining your berries with sugar and limoncello. Allow the fruit mix to stand at room temp for 5 minutes as it macerates. Finally, fold your bananas in.

Arrange your fruit into bowls or parfait glasses, top with the lemon yogurt and a sprig of fresh mint.

 Gorgeous and wonderfully light and tasty!

F2n note: while this would be wonderful after any meal, it would be perfect for your next brunch!

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