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WINTER FOOD IDEAS

I hope everyone had a very happy holiday and New Year!  For this edition of Edible Internet, I have gathered some of my favorite food and food-related finds perfect to enjoy during the cold winter months.

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1. TRADITIONAL FONDUE POT

http://fondue.notlong.com

Nothing says winter to me more than warm and gooey cheese fondue.  Growing up, I spent many winter holidays visiting my Swiss-German cousins at their home in Switzerland.  It’s where my uncle taught us how to savor authentic Swiss fondue the way his family has made it for generations.  For all you cheese lovers out there, there’s no better way to get your fromage fix than soaking a piece of rustic bread in a combination of salty Emmentaler and smooth Gruyere.   It’s a social way to bring the family together on a cold winter night for dinner.  My Swiss uncle is always very particular with the recipe, the bread, the cheese, and even the fondue pot.

Aside from going to Switzerland and buying a pot, this fondue pot from Swiss shop is as authentic as they get.  My aunt bought me this one above from this website two years ago and I love it.

For cheese fondue, Uncle Thomas would say buy the ceramic pot, but earthenware, or enameled cast-iron all distribute heat evenly and will also get the job done.  For $163.90 excluding shipping, you can purchase a traditional ceramic fondue pot, burner, and fondue forks.  But, look around the site, they have many interesting fondue pots at varying price points.

I had to include my family’s fondue recipe.  Enjoy the Kirschwasser!

FONDUE RECIPE for four persons:

INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ lbs of cheese –  approx. 1 lb Gruyere and ½ lb Swiss Emmenthaler

½ pint of dry white wine

1-2 shots of kirschwasser (cherry brandy)

2-3 level teaspoons of cornflour or plain flour

pinch of pepper

pinch of nutmeg

half a clove of garlic

1 loaf of crusty bread (doesn’t have to be fresh bread)

DIRECTIONS:  Rub the inside of the fondue pan with a halved clove of garlic.  Add the wine and let it come to a simmer over medium heat, then add the cheese to the fondue pot.  The amount of cheese you use may vary – experiment with taste adding more or less of each cheese to equal 1 ½ pounds.   On high heat, bring the mixture to a boil on stove top while stirring vigorously, then turn down heat and allow the mixture to simmer for a couple minutes.  In a separate small bowl, mix 1-2 small shot glasses of Kirschwasser and the corn flour.  Add to the fondue mixture and stir.  Once everything is incorporated, place fondue pot on traditional fondue burner.  Place crusty bread pieces on fondue forks and dip into cheese.  Use a different fork to eat your fondue so as not to double dip.  A small shot glass of Kirschwasser is traditionally drunk half way through the way the meal.

My uncle says that his secret tip is putting a squeeze of fresh lemon juice into the cheese fondue while it’s cooking.

 

2. S’MORES MAKER

http://www.chefsresource.com/goskit.html

When it’s cold outside, nothing is better than warming up in front of a warm fire.  And for me, when there are sweet treats that can be cooked over that fire, that’s even better.  I think I’m going with a fire theme this week!

This S’mores maker from Chef Resource is a great way to make those chocolate marshmallow graham cracker treats.  For $69.95 including shipping you get the mini grill, 100 bamboo skewers, some chocolate, and a platter to hold everything.  (Marshmallows and Graham Crackers not included.)  And once you run out of the skewers, go ahead and use your handy fondue forks.

 

3. LET IT SNOW PLATES

http://countryporch.notlong.com

While eating your cheesey bread fondue pieces or savoring a sweet S’more, you’ll need the right wintery dishware for all this great food.  I just love these “Let It Snow” winter plates and mugs from Country Porch.  Each ceramic pottery dessert plate is $12.95 excluding shipping and they are ideal for fondue, S’mores, or any other small bites.

 

4. COOKIE CUTTERS from Karen’s Cookies

http://cookiekit.notlong.com

Baking sweet delicious cookies is a great way to spend a snowy afternoon.  At Karen’s cookies check out the mitten and winter cap cookie decorating kit for $25.99 without shipping.

You have to make your own cookie dough and icing for your cookies, but the kit contains the mitten and winter cap cookie cutters, food coloring, decorating supplies, and step by step instructions to make your own creative cookies.

9 PIECE SNOWFLAKE COOKIE CUTTER

http://tinofcookiecutters.notlong.com

If you just want to buy the cookie cutters without the decorating kit, the 9 piece snowflake cookie cutters in a tin box is a great deal for $10.99.

 

 

 

INDIVIDUAL CUTTERS

http://individualcutters.notlong.com

or just buy each cookie cutter individually.  Cookie cutters are a great last minute item to attach to a wrapped present.  Each cutter is less than $2 and you can find everything from candy canes to snowman to gingerbread men.

 

5. WINTER CANDLE

http://sedafrance.notlong.com

Not that I don’t love the smell of cookies baking, but I had to include my favorite winter time candle scent.  (Another fire related product, must be because our NYC apartment is so cold!) I think this is a great gift to buy yourself.  For the clean refreshing smell of crisp winter trees and pinecones with a touch of sweet fruits like orange and grapefruit, try this fragrant candle from Seda France.  All year round I love their candle scents, but their holiday winter smell is particularly refreshing and relaxing.

 

6. UNIQUE SKI POLE

http://www.coldpole.com

As an avid snowboarder, when I saw the next item, I thought, why didn’t I think of that?  For all your alpine skiers out there, you need to buy this unique ski accessory right away.  This coldpole is not just a highly functioning ski pole made of high-grade lightweight aluminum, but it’s also a flask that holds your favorite libation.  For real.  It’s perfect if you’re shredding up the slopes and need a quick drink to keep you going or you just want a clever way to start up a conversation on the gondola.  The top part of the pole unscrews and can store approx. 8 oz. of liquid (half a pint) in each shaft depending on the size of pole you buy.  Whether you choose your favorite liquor to keep you warm or the comforting taste of a warm hot chocolate, keep in mind that non-alcoholic drinks will freeze if it’s colder than 32 degrees.  For $79.95 per pair you can look cool planting these poles in powder and when the lifts close truly be the life of any après ski party.

 

Each week there will be a new Edible Internet, so check back often!

Thanks for reading!

HOLIDAY FOOD FINDS

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Hello!  This is my first post.  Thank you for reading.

It is the holiday season and there are MANY websites worth investigating.  Below are a list of four websites and my favorite products from each of them.  Some you may know, some you may be less familiar with, but all of their food finds would be great presents for friends and family, or just to treat yourself.

Over the holidays, you can always find something really cool at these first two well known websites.

1.  http://www.williams-sonoma.com

PERSONALIZED GINGERBREAD STOCKING COOKIES:

These adorable stocking cookies can be personalized with up to eight characters per treat.  They are made with vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger.  Personalizing always makes gifts seem extra special.  They are about $27 for three cookies excluding shipping.

PERSONALIZED GINGERBREAD HOUSE:

With this sweet, small scale home makeover, you can personalize your very own holiday gingerbread house.  It sells for $56.95 and the name above the door can hold up to eight letters.

 

PEPPERMINT BARK:

For just $26-$46, this festive and decadent holiday bark combines two of my favorite flavors in one candy – mint and chocolate.  Using natural peppermint oil, white chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, and peppermint candy bits, this is a great holiday hostess gift.

 

PEPPERMINT NORTH POLES:

These candy coated sticks are perfect for stirring your favorite hot chocolate.  Each one has a sweet chocolate candy coating and is infused with oil of peppermint.  Just $16.50!

 

 

2.  http://www.neimanmarcus.com

I love Neiman Marcus’ visually stunning annual gift guide which you can also find online.  Go to their website and click on GIFT in the top right corner to connect to their holiday page.   The below food ideas are from the gourmet gift section.


They have many great gourmet food items, but expect Neiman Marcus prices.

MINI-HOLIDAY CHEESECAKES:  Check out the mini individually wrapped cheesecake cakes.  Four for $112 Yikes!  But they are so cute and will make an impression if you can spend the dough.  You get two citrus cheesecakes (vanilla cheesecakes with lemon and orange zest) and two milk toffee cheesecakes (vanilla and milk chocolate cheesecakes with toffee swirl).

CHOCOLATE COATED POTATO CRISPS

I also love how they took cheap potato chips and turned them gourmet by dipping them in chocolate and calling them crisps like we’re in England.  Ohh, Cheerio! God Save the Queen! Look at me I’m an English Crisp!  Whatever,  I’ll pay $20 for Pringles dipped in chocolate.  They come in white, dark, and milk chocolate.  It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory and a looks great on a holiday party snack tray.

 

GOLDEN EDIBLE CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES

My sister LOVES strawberries, so I had to include these chocolate covered sweet ones.  For a box of four, it’s about $60 plus shipping.  Go with the hot shot Pringles I say!

 

 

 

 

DIGITAL RECIPE READER

This digital reader is amazing.  It’s like an iPad, but only for recipes.  It can store up to 2,500 recipes.  It comes with some that are already pre-loaded and then you can add or download your own.  It does measurement conversions for you and you can even add in your own pictures.  It’s totally worth the $299.  And right now, it’s on sale for $199.  I do love the sales. You can find it on Neiman’s site by searching “Digital Reader”.

 

3.  http://www.mrchocolate.com

Next, for the person that has everything or who you just don’t know what to get, one of my favorite foodie websites is Jacques Torres’ site Mr. Chocolate.   His chocolates are elegant, beautiful, and taste unbelievable.  I recommend the twenty five piece dark chocolate box set.  It’s about $36 excluding shipping.  It’s a good deal and who doesn’t love chocolate as a gift.


I also recommend the dark or milk chocolate bark for $7.  Jacques’ best selling wicked or classic hot chocolate mix for $18 is well worth it because it’s hands down the best hot chocolate you will ever taste.

If you can’t order on time before the holidays you can order all year round.  For an extra special treat, head to Jacques’ store in Brooklyn or Downtown Manhattan.  Here you can watch Torres’ tiny chocolate masterpieces being hand-crafted while sipping hot chocolate and eating truffles.  It’s the best kind of chocolate overload.


 

 

 

 

 

4.  http://www.ecreamery.com

And finally, what goes best with all those rich chocolate holiday desserts and homemade pies?  Ice cream.

At eCreamery, you can customize your OWN flavors and even label the ice cream container whatever you’d like.  Put your best friend’s name on it and send them their own unique flavor.  It’s about 70 bucks without shipping for four pints of ice cream.  Plus they have ice cream holiday gift sets already created.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!