Food news roundup

Hesitant cooks find it hard to freestyle at a farmers market. They clutch recipes like puzzle pieces and look for an exact fit. But traveling the aisles without a plan is liberating and allows you to use what’s best and fresh – and cooking seasonally may save you some money, too. The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) offers help to think outside the recipe box by following a chef through the State Farmers Market. Read more here. It’s in the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, too, where Kathleen Purvis also tracks down a rumor about vendors at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market. The scoop is here.

Where there’s smoke, there’s a discussion of the myriad uses for smoked paprika, and it’s in the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal here. I love the stuff. When I started using it, most people hadn’t heard of it – now it’s widely available. I will say, too much can overwhelm, so start small. And the longer you keep the jar, the stronger the smoky aroma and flavor becomes, and not always in a good way. Another reason to purchase fresh spices and herbs regularly.

ThePieDaily offers the recipe for the goodie that sold out first at the Triangle Food Blogger Bake Sale on Saturday in Durham. Of course, it contains chocolate.

Ever pulled out Mom’s ancient recipe for a cake, baked it and found it, well, awful? Happened to me with an apple cake recipe that was drowning in oil by today’s standards. A Portland, Ore., baker is trying to adapt vintage cake recipes to modern eaters. Read more in the Oregonian, here.

JanNorris doesn’t let a mere power failure stand between her and sweets. She offers no-bake dessert recipes here.

If you feel extra light and puffy today, that’s because it’s National Cheese Souffle Day. And I wouldn’t have known that without Eatocracy telling me so.

I have to say, one thing I have never thought about doing to strawberries is roasting them. But it occurred to LeitesCulinaria, and there are details.



Food news roundup

Grab the sponge cake and whipped cream – it’s time to pick your own strawberries. Lists of farms that offer PYO for crops all through the spring and summer are in The News & Observer (Raleigh N.C.), here, and the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, here. Remember to show good PYO etiquette: A farm is not a dog park, so leave the pooch at home; bring your own buckets; and don’t let the kiddies stomp all over the plants.

Read about the idea of Triangle Meatless Mondays in the Independent Weekly (Durham, N.C.) here. There’s a list of restaurants with specials for the occasion.

The Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal offers an interview with Brian Sonoskus, chef of Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville, N.C., and recipes from the restaurant’s new cookbook here.

Over at NestMeg, see the results of a chocolate-chip cookie tasting by carefully selected judges. (Friends and fellow University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students, with a couple of ringers from Duke. Well, we must be broad-minded.) The cookies are rated by factors including milk dippability and taste of cookie dough.

It’s never late to “green” your kitchen. Although Earth Day was April 22, this post from that day on GreenEatsBlog offers good suggestions for any day.

It’s cheesecakes everywhere at JanNorris. No matter how much we talk about eating healthy, woe be the restaurant that doesn’t offer a cheesecake on the dessert menu. These are some interesting recipes, one including pistachios.

Tofu for a Passover Seder? Gefilte fish looks tofu-like, but a family mentioned in the Miami Herald served a tofu roast. The article here explores the trend to vegan and vegetarian eating (Bill Clinton claims he’s “almost vegan”) and the health aspects.

Sake: It isn’t just for sushi bars anymore. So so says the Seattle Weekly, here.