My Hungarian family serves this dessert at every winter and spring holiday, but my neighbors in Hoboken, N.J., claim that it's originally from medieval Slovenia since their relatives passed down a recipe from that origin to them.
Beigli is the Hungarian version of the dessert roll I grew up with, and we make it with ground walnuts and fragrant cinnamon or with dark, luscious poppy seeds boiled with spices and sugar to form a thick, sweet, spreadable paste. The filling is lower in calories and fat than chocolate spreads and doesn't contain preservatives. It has only 60 calories for one tablespoon and 1 1/2 grams of fat, but still has a rich, satisfying taste.
The orange squash is one of the most undervalued delicacies in the world of food. By adding it to a cake, you get all the rich and spicy flavor contrasted with vanilla or chocolate. Since this is a cake, it can be made ahead of time -- freeing up the oven for the last-minute fare -- and adds some three-dimensional whimsy to your holiday table.
Several years ago for my birthday, Miss Flighty Alberta Straub combined both her jamaica and her famous "Spa Mix" with other delicious ingredients in what she calls her Playboy Bourbon Cooler.
When she first sent me the instructions to prepare this drink for my birthday party, I was so nervous about getting every detail perfect. I was a bit intimidated about finally meeting this famous bar personality who had made plans to come to my former shop LeNell's in Brooklyn to host not only my birthday, but the store's anniversary.
As we assembled all the ingredients in some of my beautiful antique punch bowls and got to know each other better, I realized there was no need for the fear of not getting it all "perfect." It's not always about having an exact recipe, but understanding flavor and pleasing guests. Important lesson, indeed.
I don't believe in giving up anything when it comes to food, but I don't want my nibbles to take up my whole allotment of fat for the day. I created this version of jalapeño poppers that are baked but still have the yummy contrast of creamy filling with crunchy breadcrumb coating.
While unpacking into my new home in Mexico, my drink making options remain limited. We still await the delivery of my wine and spirits collection. No drinks possible with original Amer Picon, Red Hook Rye or Old Schiedam genever just yet.
I have grown accustomed to having hundreds of bottles of liquor and wine on hand to experiment with every day. When faced with limited supplies, our creativity can often open up combinations we normally would not consider. However, I've just honestly been too exhausted from this move to get very creative these past few weeks. Having easy yet delicious old favorites on hand gets us through hard times.
All the stress from this major over-the-border move from New York to Baja, Mexico, has taken its toll on my body. I cannot afford a real spa visit, but I have a spa-mix recipe. Bartender Alberta Straub's famous "Spa Mix" is one of those easy standby's that's healthy and so versatile when you don't have a pantry full of esoteric liqueurs and bitters on hand.
The traditional ginger bread house can be as simple as four walls and a roof stuck together with icing. If you're looking for something more spectacular, check out "The Gingerbread Architect" by Susan Matheson and Lauren Chattman, authors who recreate 12 iconic American homes -- from a Greek Revival antebellum plantation gingerbread house to an urban brownstone. Jennifer Lindner McGlinn gives instructions on a Betsy Ross gingerbread house and a gingerbread church in her book "Gingerbread: Timeless Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Desserts, Ice Cream and Candy."
Wendy Copley shares her tips for making the gingerbread house shown above on her blog Wendolonia. Get started with KitchenDaily's gingerbread house recipe.
These crunchy Halloween cookies have run their way back and forth across the Web, but we've come up with twists and style updates that are sure to please. Hit the jump and visit the gallery for inspiration.
The Wisconsin State Journal debunked the myth that Wisconsin requires apple pie to be served with cheese at restaurants in the state. The paper asked Connie Von Der Heide at the Wisconsin State Law Library whether or not state law required cheese to accompany the pie after a reader inquired about it.
"It certainly sounds plausible since after all this is the Dairy State, but the answer is no," she said. "The 1935 Laws of Wis., ch. 106 came close; it required serving a small amount of cheese and butter with meals in restaurants (effective from June 1935 to March 1937)."
What crazy food laws have you heard of? Let us know in the comments below.