A Take on 2 Thai Cooking Schools, Plus Recipes

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Kate Crowley
Dining after class at the Blue Elephant Cooking School

Having recently traveled to Asia to attend classes at a few cooking schools, I brought back a number of great recipes, memories and a long list of ingredients not available at Fry's. While in Thailand I had the opportunity to attend day long classes at two very different schools. Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School in Chiang Mai and Blue Elephant Cooking School in Bangkok. If you're considering traveling to Thailand and want to decide where to cook, read on for a glimpse into what each school offers and two great recipes direct from each school.

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Chef Justin Pfeilsticker of Zuzu at Hotel Valley Ho on What He's Growing

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ZuZu, Hotel Valley Ho
Chef Justin Pfeilsticker stands in his impressive home garden.

Justin Pfeilsticker, executive sous chef at ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho, has an enviable garden. He has passion for taking care of his produce and uses unusual (and often discarded) parts of the plant in his dishes. Lucky for you, Pfeilsticker gave us a sneak peek into his garden and shares an inspiring seasonal recipe after the jump.

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10 Crazy Recipes for Your Holiday Cookie Exchange

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Heather Christo
Bourbon? Butter? Bacon? These cookies have it all.

The season for cookie-exchange parties is in full swing, and though you can always whip up a batch of iced sugar cookies or Nestlé Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies, showing up with the same cookie as someone else can feel a bit like wearing the same dress as another guest to a party. Ensure a "who baked it best?" moment doesn't kill the holiday spirit at your friendly exchange by bringing one of these ten unique cookies.


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DIY Coconut Vodka Berry Slush

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Laura Armenta


If you're looking to impress your guests at Fourth of July celebrations and weekend BBQs, look no further. We've got you covered with this simple slush recipe. Just be sure to keep it away from the young ones because it packs a punch! Non-alcoholic versions of this could made -- but let's not go there.

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DIY Raspberry Red Wine Spritzer

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Laura Armenta
The season of outdoor parties and barbecues is officially under way, and refreshing cocktails are a must. Whether you're hosting or an attendee at your next soiree, indulge in this simple and delicious cocktail.

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DIY Alcohol-Infused Paletas

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Laura Armenta
Many of us are lucky enough to have our very own neighborhood paleta man. I hear the ringing of the little bell and the sound of the paleta cart coming down my street just before sunset each day. The sound of that bell makes me want to run out the door with a dollar in hand, but there's one thing the friendly neighborhood paleta man can't deliver: boozy, icy goodness on a stick. Turns out, neither could I -- on the first try. But I made it work and I'm ready to share.

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Put Your Juicer to Good Use with Our Margarita Recipe

Categories: Cocktails, Recipes

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Laura Armenta
Pineapple, Cucumber, Watermelon
The juicing craze seems to still be in full swing, so let's go a step further from the typical post gym pick-me-up and throw some alcohol in the mix! Margaritas are a summer staple 'round these parts. They're easy to make, refreshing, and can be made in frozen form. What's not to love? Take a look at these non-traditional but still delicious margaritas made using a juicer.

See Also: How to Make Perfect Frozen Margaritas,10 Best Margaritas in Metro Phoenix

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DIY Peach Salsa -- and More Recipes

Categories: Recipes

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Andy Broder

The local peach season has come and gone -- sorry to say -- but peaches from cooler climes will meander their way into the produce aisle for the next couple of months. Peaches don't really ripen after they're picked, so choosing ripe peaches is key. It's not hard to distinguish a ripe peach from one that was picked a bit young on the twig. Peach-colored peaches are ripe, and green tinted peaches are not. I like to see a range of color on a peach from rosy pink to reddish orange. I also like a peach that's tender when pressed. Last, a ripe peach announces its presence with a pheromonally enticing aroma.

See Also:
AndyTalk: The Anatomy of a Tart, Or, I'm Not a Lazy Cook, I Just Don't Want to Go to the Store
AndyTalk: The Secret to Perfect French Toast


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3 Summer Dips for Chips Give Plain Old Hummus Some Competition

Categories: Recipes

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Andy Broder
Butter Bean Hummus - on Whole Wheat Naan

In the grocery store I was tempted by a sea of hummus, tubs of every size, tinted by all sorts of extras, demanding way too many dip-related decisions. Then it occurred to me that I had a can of garbanzos in my pantry and I could make my own hummus. When I got home and looked for the garbanzos I came across a shiny-topped can of butter beans and, shiny objects being a source of attraction, my attention was diverted. I made Butter Bean Hummus and it was good.

See Also:
AndyTalk: How to Prepare for a Party in Under an Hour -- and Clean Out Your Fridge at the Same Time
AndyTalk: 3 Springtime Pizza Recipes

On the second day I pulled a package of Melissa's pre-cooked lentils out of the fridge and made yet another hummus-inspired dip. On the third day, being on a roll of sorts, I made a hummus-like dip with corn. On the fourth day (my stamina being very un-godlike) I rested.

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Perk Up 3 Great Recipes With Fresh Oranges

Categories: Recipes

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Andy Broder
Orange Supremes in the Making

Sometimes the secret ingredient that will perk up your next meal is right under your nose, or in the case of the orange, ever present and mostly overlooked. When I teach about marinades or dressings, part of the lesson is about what makes a good dressing/marinade. The goal is to strike a balance using acid, fat (as in oil), sugar, and salt. An orange satisfies 51 percent of the equation; it's both sweet and acidic. I give it an extra one percent for its pleasing flavor.

See Also:
AndyTalk: Four Riffs on Caprese Salad


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