In addition to helpful organization, the recipes are extremely well explained and even the complex ones are easy to follow. Considering who the author is, this isn't surprising. Darina Allen, the cookbook's author, runs the Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork, has been on numerous TV programs and won the ICAP's Cooking Teacher of the Year award in 2005, so she is more than well-versed in the art of teaching people how to cook. She intersperses the recipes with cooking tips and background on the ingredients, cooking techniques and history of dishes. Helpful to those new to Irish cooking is the "Irish Pantry" section of the book, where Allen goes through all the staples than Irish cooks might keep at home and how to go about making them.
Meet The Team / Nicole Weston
Nicole Weston is a writer and sometimes chef in Los Angeles, California. She has a passion for baking and maintains the blog bakingsheet which features recipes and other food things that she has cooked up lately. When not writing for Slashfood, she might be found scheming for an invitation to appear on a Food Network program or tracking down the latest food trends. She also enjoys horses, sunsets, long walks on the beach, clichés, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera and so forth. If you ask her nicely, she might be persuaded to share some freshly baked cookies, too. Nicole Weston is a writer and sometimes chef in Los Angeles, California. She has a passion for baking and maintains the blog bakingsheet which features recipes and other food things that she has cooked up lately. When not writing for Slashfood, she might be found scheming for an invitation to appear on a Food Network program or tracking down the latest food trends. She also enjoys horses, sunsets, long walks on the beach, clichés, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera and so forth. If you ask her nicely, she might be persuaded to share some freshly baked cookies, too.
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Irish Coffee is a hot coffee drink that bears a striking resemblance to a mug of freshly poured Guinness because of the way it layers whiskey-spiked coffee and cream. The drink was invented (as best anyone can say, anyway) by the head chef at Foynes, a now-defunct (replaced by Shannon Airport) in Western Ireland sometime in the 1940s. It was a hit with travelers and was eventually brought to the US by a travel writer working for the San Francisco Chronicle, who pushed it down the road to popularity by getting it on the menu at the Buena Vista bar.
The drink consists of lightly sweetened coffee with a head of whipped cream. The coffee must be sweetened with a bit of sugar to allow the cream to float neatly on top. It is traditionally served in a special Irish coffee mug, like the one pictured, but any glass that allows you to see the layering should do.
Read on for the recipe:
ConAgra has now been dealing with their peanut butter problems, which extend back several years, for a few weeks, doing damage control and dealing with consumer complaints/concerns. Even after all that they've been through, the company has vowed that they will clean up the Georgia factory that produced the salmonella-contaminated spreads and will bring Peter Pan back, safely, to consumers.
But this begs the question of whether or not it is worth the effort on ConAgra's part to do so. The recall of tainted peanut butter stretches back to 2004 - is that long enough to have permanently shaken consumer confidence in the brand?
Peter Pan is the number three selling peanut butter brand in the US, after Skippy and Jif. Over the past four weeks, more than 400 people in 44 states reportedly became sick as a result of eating their peanut butter, although ConAgra itself has recorded over 1.4 million calls about the recall and from consumers who think that they might have become ill after eating it. The recall is estimated to cost $50-$60 million in the first four months of this year alone. Peter Pan brand peanut butter typically does about $150 million in annual sales.
The source of the problem, according to Wrap's chief executive, Jenny Price, is that people constantly want to have a choice and want to "make sure that there's plenty in the fridge" whenever possible. She also feels that people tend to not think about what it is they're throwing away. Once the food has been tossed into the bin, or sealed up in a garbage bag, the "out of sight, out of mind" maxim kicks in. Most people, according to the research, had no idea what they were throwing away; only 10% admitted that they probably disposed of quite a lot of food.
Proposed solutions include encouraging supermarkets and vendors not to up-sell people into buying more than they need and encouraging shoppers to keep lists - or at least check the cupboards - before heading out to shop. "People who go into stores with a shopping list usually stick to it, and you usually find they have less waste," said Price.
Icebox pies, and icebox desserts in general, are ones that require no baking time. The filling for the pies might need some time cooking on the stove, but these types of recipes ultimately come together in the refrigerator or freezer. Icebox Pies is a collection of 70 of these easy, no-bake pies that are simple enough for even the most reluctant baker to master. The fillings include custards, mousses and ice creams to make pies like Black Bottom Butterscotch Pie, Banana Split Ice Cream Pie, Lime Cream and Strawberry Pie and Espresso Mousse Pie. In addition to the fillings, there are about 30 recipes for pie crusts and sauces/accompaniments. The crusts are all crumb crusts, made with different types of cookies and quickly cooked in the oven. While that would seem to take away from the "no bake" aspect, the crusts can (and should) be made well in advance, so you can have one or two on hand when you know you're going to want a pie. Alternatively, a store bought crust can easily be used to cut down even further on the prep time and the amount of cooking/mixing that needs to be done.