Fun Food

Nutty “Bloody Brain” Dip

Looking for a fun, healthy, last minute Halloween snack? Make this “Bloody Brain” dip! The garlic walnut dip is placed in a cauliflower “brain” and is perfect at a Halloween or zombie-themed party with some bread, crackers, or veggies. See below for the recipe featured in the video. (And special thanks to Sante Nuts for sharing the recipe!)

Nutty “Bloody Brain” Dip
by George Duran

Ingredients:
7-oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 C. Panko bread crumbs
1 5-oz. package of Santé Candied Walnuts
3 garlic cloves, pressed or crushed
1 T. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. dried hot red pepper flakes
1 tsp. kosher salt
¾ C. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large cauliflower for “brain”
Pita chips

Directions:
In a food processor, place all of the ingredients except olive oil and pulse until coarse. Slowly add olive oil and process until smooth. Set aside.
Make cauliflower “brain” by trimming leaves and bottom stem. Make hole in the top center of cauliflower by gently cutting a ring that will fit a small bowl. Keep digging through the top half of cauliflower until the bowl fits snuggly. Place dip inside bowl, making sure it overflows around cauliflower “brain.”
Serve with pita chips.

No matter what your plans are or what type of treat you make, I wish you a happy, safe, and spooky Halloween!

Einhorn’s Epic Cookies

Einhorns

While at NYCC, I passed by a booth with cookie samples. Clearly, I had to stop. The cookie flavors all sounded amazing, and the one I tried (Cadiz: birthday cake, crisped rice, and rainbow sprinkles) was even better than I could imagine. It had a bit of a buttery, salty taste to balance the sweetness of the flavor, and it was perfect. Even better? I found out all of the cookies come with a small comic book, showcasing the adventures of the male unicorns the cookies are named after.

The brand is Einhorn’s Epic Cookies, and you don’t need to be at NYCC to get your hands on them–you can buy them online! The cookie flavors are:

Houston: Chocolate chip and potato chip

Cadiz: Birthday cake, crisped rice, and rainbow sprinkles

Romsey: Peanut butter, bacon, and chocolate chip

Broxburn: Oatmeal, chocolate chip, and maple

I’m kicking myself that I didn’t pick up at least one of every flavor when I was there.

If you like cookies, comics, and unicorns, you’ve gotta get your hands on these cookies. Find out more info at einhorns-epic-cookies.com.

What flavor are you loving most?

The Official Cronut Recipe

 Cronut

Dominique Ansel, the creator of the Cronut, released a home version of the recipe for his famous pastry. And people are freaking out.

The recipe takes 3 days to make, but if you follow the directions (and have all of the tools),  it’s really not that tough. Most of the time is allowing dough to rest and ganaches to marinade with their flavors. By breaking it into 3 days, you can do a bit each evening after work and have an amazing pastry ready for brunch or a party over the weekend!

You can find the recipe over at Good Morning America. Want to see more? You can pre-order Dominique’s new book “Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes,” which will be out on October 28th.

Have you tried one of his cronuts? Will you be making the recipe?

Burger Cupcakes in Honor of Bob’s Burgers

Cupcake Hero

I wanted to make a burger-themed cupcake in honor of the new Bob’s Burgers season premiere, and I’ve always wanted to try this version I’ve seen around. I thought it would be difficult to make it look convincing, but it was surprisingly easy. I had multiple people asking if they were sliders.

Cupcake Overhead

Bonus? These cupcakes are fantastic if you plan on dressing up as Gene at a con or for Halloween. The cupcakes are the perfect size for his sample tray, and they’ll last a lot longer than real burgers!

Cupcake Close Up

The recipe is adapted from Duncan Hines. Check it out below!

Hamburger Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix, plus ingredients listed in the instructions on the back
  • 1 Box Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix, plus ingredients listed in the instructions on the back
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (or more, to taste) shredded coconut
  • Red, Yellow, and Green gel food coloring
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds

 Directions:

  1. Bake yellow cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes in greased cupcake pans WITHOUT cupcake wrappers. Follow the instructions on the back of the cake mix boxes.
  2. Let cupcakes cool in the pan for around 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a rack to completely cool.
  3. Make buttercream frosting by putting the unsalted butter into a mixer and mixing on medium-high until butter is completely smooth and against the bowl.
  4. Slowly add in the powdered sugar to the butter until it is fully mixed.
  5. Add in the vanilla extract and salt and mix until you have a whipped buttercream frosting texture.
  6. Split the buttercream frosting into 3 separate bowls. Add red coloring to one until it looks like ketchup, add yellow coloring to one until it looks like mustard, and keep one white.
  7. Mix the shredded coconut and a small amount of the green food coloring in a bowl until it looks like shredded lettuce.
  8. Slice the yellow cupcakes in half horizontally.
  9. Slice the chocolate cupcakes in thirds horizontally. (You should be able to cut the bottom in half, and then slice a small portion of the rounded bit off the top to create three “meat patties”.)
  10. Spread a small amount of the white frosting in the center of the bottom half of the yellow cupcake. Place a brown cupcake “patty” on top.
  11. Using a pastry bag and a small round tip, pipe the frosting around the edges of the brown cupcake “patty”. Allowing the frosting to fall over onto the sides will help it show up even more once it’s all pieced together!
  12. Sprinkle the coconut “lettuce” on top of the frosting.
  13. Place the top of the yellow cupcake on top of your mini cupcake burger.
  14. Lightly brush the top of the cupcake with water and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  15. Marvel at the adorable hamburger cupcake you’ve just created! Repeat until all cupcakes have been made.

The Best Flavor Pairings

Raincoast Flatbread

Peanut butter and jelly. Maple and bacon. Cinnamon and Sugar. Pumpkin and Spice. Flavors are just often better paired, and successful pairings seem to spread through recipes, parties, and restaurants like wildfire.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the International Food Bloggers Conference, and among the amazing tips and techniques I picked up during demos, panels, and events, I noticed a new popular pairing in the making. During a demo at the Sur La Table test kitchen, the chef made a delicious kale and walnut pesto. I had never had a pesto that wasn’t the traditional basil and pine nut mixture, and I loved it. (I’m actually looking forward to making it myself soon!) From there, I headed to a meet and greet with Lesley Stowe (the creator of Raincoast Crisps), and we found out about her newest product, Raincoast Flats. The starting flavors? Lemon & Fennel and Kale & Walnut. I spoke with Lesley a bit about her process of finding the right flavors and pairings for her products, and she told me that when you find the right mix, you just know. It’s perfect.

It seems Lesley and others have stumbled upon a new perfect pairing: Kale and walnut. I wouldn’t have thought of the combo myself, but I absolutely love it. If you want to try it yourself, start with Lesley’s new flatbreads. (I believe you’ll be able to find them in Whole Foods starting in October!) I’d top the Kale and Walnut flatbread with a lightly dressed salad, some pesto, or some hummus. Kale and walnut not your thing? The Lemon and Fennel flavor would be FANTASTIC with a nice olive tapenade.

What do you think about kale and walnut? And what are some of your favorite food/flavor pairings?

The Ultimate Snack for Sriracha Lovers: Spicy Sriracha Cosmos Creations

MultiServe_SpicySriracha

I swear, Sriracha and Pumpkin Spice are neck and neck in the race for most popular flavor. Stick either on a food item or in a drink and people will give you ALL the money. The proof? The Spicy Sriracha Cosmos Creations. The “premium puffed corn” is a delicious (and fairly addictive) snack on its own, but the Sriracha flavor just kicks it up to a prime snack option for your next game night/Netflix marathon.

I’m not into super spicy food, and even I can appreciate the flavor of this snack. It’s spicy and garlicky, and leaves a bit of fire on the tongue after eating. The best part? Unlike a lot of other chips/snacks, Cosmos Creations uses ingredients you can pronounce, and is gluten and trans-fat free.

You can pick up a bag for yourself and (check out the other flavors if Sriracha’s not your thing) at cosmoscreations.com!

SURGE is Back!

Surge

Did you know there was a group called “The Surge Movement“? And did you know that they accomplished their goal of getting Coca-Cola to bring back SURGE?

The citrus soda, Coca-Cola’s answer to Mountain Dew, is back in 16 oz. cans on Amazon.com only. Whether you want to relive your childhood or just want a “surge” of caffeine, you’ve gotta get this quick. It looks like the first set already sold out, but hopefully they’ll restock soon.

Find Surge on Amazon.com.

Pre-Order Geeky Sprinkles!

Missed my Geeky Sprinkle Kickstarter? Now’s your chance to order sprinkles!  I opened up the pre-order page today so non-backers can place orders before the initial shipment arrives.

You can purchase bottles of lightning bolt, blue policebox, steampunk gear, or meeple sprinkles as well as accessories like the Geeky Hostess apron, themed recipes, and cupcake pins.

Go here: http://bit.ly/sprinklepreorder or click through the widget above to visit the pre-order page! (And let me know in the comments what you’re planning on making with your sprinkles!)

A New Nomiku is on Kickstarter!

4_Nomiku_KickstarterCrop

You may remember my post about Nomiku from last November: It’s a super easy-to-use sous vide device and it’s about to get even easier and sleeker. The new Nomiku, announced today via Kickstarter, is smaller, has a larger screen, and is Wifi-compatible. This means you can use Nomiku’s “Tender” app to find sous vide recipes from well-known chefs and other members of the Nomiku community, and send the instructions straight to your Nomiku.

The Kickstarter has been up for half a day, and they’ve already reached over 60% of their goal. If you’re interested in trying out sous vide cooking, take advantage of their early bird pricing and get yourself a Nomiku asap! Visit them at Kickstarter.com.