As a Foodbuzz featured publisher you get perks.
What kind of perks you ask? Well occasionally you get picked to try something new. I like this perk - a lot! I love trying new things. I love that moment right before you try it, the expectation, the anticipation, the excitement. Sometimes it is fantastic and you can't wait to try it again and sometimes you really wish you never tried it at all!
Well I received a perk a couple of weeks ago. Wendy's recently revamped their menu, they are striving to get back to what counts - the food. Real food the way it should be instead of the mass produced fast food we are all used to seeing (and perhaps indulging in in moments of weakness).
The first menu item to get a make over was their fries. To be honest Wendy's fries pre-make over were never really my favorites; my favorites have always been Arby's curly fries - I like my fries on the spicy side. So I wasn't really expecting much from this product review. But I thought I would keep an open mind and just dive in.
The new Wendy's fries are advertised to be natural cut russet potatoes with skins on and a sprinkle of sea salt. Sounds great right? Well in fact I was pleasantly surprised by them. They actually tasted like potatoes, honest to goodness fresh potatoes. The sea salt enhanced the flavor just right and for me was just enough. Overall I liked the new fries but moreover what I liked most was that fast food is making an effort to bring back real food. This is a trend I hope to see continued and broadened because it is important to remember that food should be not only great tasting but good for us too and that can only happen if we stick to what is real!
I suggest you go out and try these new fries and let me know what you think, I don't think you will regret it!
Ah...the Christmas holidays! Let the baking begin!!!
Every year in my kitchen I have the same dilemma; there is so many things to be done and NEVER enough time to do them in. But from years of rushing, stressing and maybe even a little crying, I have learned that it doesn't matter, because Christmas will always turn out great. Which for yours truly is quite ironic seeing as I am a perfectionist!
To be a bit more specific, when I say "things" getting done I am talking about food "things" (surprise surprise). This is my favorite time of year. I break out my notebooks, cookbooks, and assorted sheets of scrap paper - anything that might contain a recipe. Some tried and true, some traditional, and some off-the-wall crazy! Then I just sit back with a mug of hot tea and plan out my holiday cooking/baking list.
Now I must warn you my goals are totally unrealistic...there is just so many yummy recipes and I want to make them ALL. I just can't say no. (Am I the only one with this problem??) This year, of course, is no different-10, 20, 100 recipes have all caught my attention at one point or another in the last month or so. Each one making me giddy, excited and running to the store for more ingredients.
First up, these fantastic little white mounds that I am re-naming (the name on the recipe was super cheesy) Snowballs.
This came into my possession via my mom. To make a long story short (or at least I will try to), every year my mom gets these holiday books from various publishers. Some contain crafts, some decorating tips, and most are filled with holiday cooking ideas. Everything from Christmas Eve dinner to easy to make gifts from the kitchen. I know what you are thinking..."how fantastic, I love those books"...yeah me too. But my Mom...she HATES them. Don't get me wrong she is not an anti-Christmas Scrooge. She is, however, anti-cooking. Spending countless hours in the kitchen is not something she is interested in. So after she has complained to me about receiving ANOTHER holiday book, she offers it to me! Woohoo...more recipes to add to my collection...ah...the possibilities!!!
It was in one of these books that I found these little jewels. They are wonderfully cute, versatile and have a melt-in-your-mouth texture that will surprise you. I am not kidding when I say they are a breeze to make, everything is done in a food processor! No mess, and not complicated! They can be decorated in a variety of ways: vanilla sugar, cinnamon sugar, heck..any type of sugar, or maybe even a delicate glaze! I like white on white decorating during the holidays so I opted for powdered sugar and a clear sparkling sugar. Next time I may attempt a flavored sugar....(ohhhh dangerous! ha)
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup cold butter, cubed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In the bowl of a food processor combine flour, powdered sugar, and cornstarch. Pulse several times until combined.
Through the feeder tube add several cubes of butter at a time, pulsing several times in between additions. Add vanilla and keep pulsing until the dough starts to cling and form a ball.
Shape the dough into 1 1/4" balls. Place on parchment lined cookie sheets about 2" apart. Bake for 12 minutes or until the edges are brown.
Roll warm cookies in sugar, or dust in powdered sugar.