Le Whif

Le Whif

It is the chocoholic’s dream – a sweet treat that gives all the joy of chocolate without any of the calories.

The new sweet treat, Le Whif is a revolutionary new way of eating chocolate – by breathing it! Its inventor, David Edwards, who helped develop inhalable insulin and is working on an inhalable TB vaccination, threw out the idea of breathable food while teaching an engineering sciences class at Harvard several years ago.

Along with several students, Edwards developed a modified inhaler and settled on using chocolate particles that are 80 to 300 microns—too big to enter the lungs and trigger coughing, he said. The device coats the user’s mouth with the taste of chocolate—at less than 1 calorie.

The culinary possibilities of whiffing will be revealed during a year-long Le Whif World Tour. First there’s the launch party in Paris on April 29, then ten days at the beach bar of the Majestic Hotel during the Cannes Film Festival, and finally an appearance at one of the world’s major candy shows, the All Candy Expo, in Chicago. The tour will culminate in a culinary exhibition and degustation at Le Laboratoire with several major international chefs.

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tax-dayI hope that the IRS does not break your piggy bank. But if you are looking to pinch a penny or two, some food-friendly folks are offering savory freebies and discounts to help you get through tax day, April 15th, with a smile on your face and sustenance in your belly.


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Cinnabon is hosting a Tax Day Bites! promotion, wherein every mall-based Cinnabon will give away free Classic Bites on the 15th from 5pm to 8pm. Locate your nearest Cinnabon.

maggiemoosMaggie Moo’s Ice Cream and Treatery is also ponying up the sweet stuff, offering one free single-scoop cone to every customer in all their stores, nationwide.

McDonald's

Baltimore area McDonalds will be giving away small hot McCafés or medium iced McCafé Coffee throughout the day on April 15th. The free coffee will be at outlets in Baltimore and the surrounding counties of Howard, Baltimore, Cecil, Carroll, Harford and Anne Arundel. Stores that don’t offer McCafes yet will offer other types of coffee for free.

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PF Chang’s China Bistro is offering 15% off your food and drink purchase on tax day. Find location and make your reservation.

papajohnslogoPapa John’s is once again providing last-minute filers, or “pro-crust-inators,” a “1040” online deal. Through midnight on April 15, consumers can cash in on this tax break by entering “1040” as a promotional code at www.papajohns.com for a large, original crust pizza with up to three toppings for just $10.40.

====> Check out the list of Birthday Freebies.

Made this for the family tonight as a change of pace and everyone loved it!

I love red petite potatoes because in addition to the attractive bright skin color, they offer a combination of fast cooking time, excellent flavor and are receptive to spicy seasonings.

I also enjoy grape tomatoes, usually in a salad or a standalone snack.  With a higher sugar content than many cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes have become fast food, finger food and kid-friendly. They have a long shelf life, and unlike most cherry tomatoes, can be eaten neatly in one bite, making them a squirt-free choice for social occasions.

The following recipe that combines these two, makes for a great change of pace side dish.  This dish accompanied our Roasted Chicken and Italian Pole Beans earlier tonight.

Roasted Petite Red Potatoes and Grape Tomatoes

  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees F,
  • Rub potatoes with softened butter or olive oil,
  • Toss in a bowl with salt, fresh cracked pepper and Italian seasoning to thoroughly coat,
  • Place potatoes in a roasting pan and roast for about 30 minutes or until softened, turning frequently to brown all sides,
  • Add tomatoes about 15 minutes prior to pulling the entire dish out of the oven.

Roasted Petite Red Potatoes & Grape Tomatoes

Roasted Petite Red Potatoes & Grape Tomatoes

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Let’s celebrate with the throwing of water and great food.

For the second year in a row, the Office of Commercial Affairs of the Royal Thai Embassy has organized Thai Restaurant Week to celebrate Songkran, or Thai New Year, April 13-19. DC and Boston area Thai restaurants will celebrate Songkran, each in their own unique way, offering special menus, discounts, or traditional Thai New Year’s performances.

My favorite Thai restaurant (I ate there last night) Pana Thai, (7224 Muncaster Mill Road, Derwood, MD 301-990-8501) is participating!

More information and a full list of participating restaurants is available on the Royal Thai Embassy website or in the Washington Post article Spring Brings Thai Specialties.

Suk-san Wan Songkran

Spring has truly arrived when the greatest golfers gather at Augusta National for the annual Masters event.  The Masters teed off with a ceremonial swing from Arnold Palmer.

The King whacked his ball down the right side of the fairway, then turned it over to 96 players competing for the green jacket on a sunny Thursday morning at Augusta National. The rest of us can plop down on the couch, and settle in with a tall cool Arnold Palmer for a great weekend of golf.

Arnold Palmer (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Arnold Palmer (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

An Arnold Palmer or Arnie Palmer, is a drink consisting of half iced tea and half lemonade. It is said to be Palmer’s favorite beverage and is mine also!

The beverage is storied to have been created at the Cherry Creek Country Club in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, but is particularly popular in northern West Virginia, Central Ohio and western Pennsylvania, as well as the South, and is known throughout the country. In some parts of the South particularly Baltimore, it is known as half and half. In southern Ohio this beverage is known as a “Blend”. A purely cosmetic variation in which the drink is not mixed, causing the lemonade to settle on the bottom and the iced tea to float on the top, is known as an “Adam Palmer”.

Your local grocery store will likely have some variation. There’s the pioneer, Snapple, with regular and diet versions of Lemonade Iced Tea. And AriZona Tea Co., has a hard-to-find Arnold Palmer Lite Half and Half drink (with Arnie on the can). And, of course, Trader Joe’s has Organic Tea & Lemonade in 64-ounce, ready-for-the-party containers, complete with vintage cartoon golfers on the label as well as golfing terms.

It is very easy to make at home and tinker with the measurements for your own taste. Here is my “recipe”:

Arnold Palmer

INGREDIENTS

  • Ice
  • 1/2 cup Lemonade
  • 1/2 cup Basic Iced Tea

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place ice in a tall glass. Fill halfway with lemonade and top with iced tea. Sweeten to taste.

If you are looking for a little kick, there are a number of alcoholic variations. The first, known as the “Tom Arnold”, consists of the original iced-tea/lemonade mixture, with vodka added. Another variation, the “John Daly”, contains 1¼ oz citrus vodka, ¼ oz triple sec, topped off with ½ lemonade and ½ iced tea. The third variation is referred to as the “Dirty Palmer.” This drink consists of 2/3 Arnold Palmer and 1/3 Sailor Jerry Rum. The “Hard Arnold” or “Stiff Palmer” is equal parts of Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Twisted Tea. Also if you add a splash of grenadine it is called a “Bryan Palmer”. Finally, adding a shot of Amaretto, such as Disaronno, is called an “Arnold Palmer Senior.”

A little more than six months ago our family was blessed to move to our new home.  The new place provides plenty of room, a big yard and great schools.  My wife, Raquel, loves her closet, the kids (and the dogs) love the yard and the nearby reservoir.  As for me, I love my kitchen.

The kitchen is big, airy and open to the family room. This lets me cook and still be in the mix with the rest of the family.  But of all the wonderful things I can say about my kitchen I think my favorite thing is the cooktop with the built-in griddle.

I LOVE MY GRIDDLE!

The Cook Top w/ Griddle

The Cooktop w/ Griddle

Cooking on a griddle makes life so much easier. There’s just one surface to clean – no pans, no scrubbing, no fuss. And you can cook so many things at once; the entire meal is ready- literally – in minutes. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, griddles just naturally make food taste good.

The best griddle time is breakfast, especially when my hungry boys and their friends are around. Griddle Cakes  or pancakes are the kid’s favorite. I usually do bacon and always cook that first. When cooking the bacon, use the spatula to slide the drippings over to the drip pan, so the bacon will be crispy.  After the bacon is done, I wipe down the griddle with paper towels, and then do the pancakes. The pancakes have the smokey taste from the bacon when you leave a thin coat of bacon drippings on the griddle before pouring the batter.

For pancakes the griddle should be about 350 degrees. You can tell if the griddle is ready by letting a drop of water fall from a spoon onto the hot surface. If the liquid immediately bubbles and evaporates, the griddle is too hot. If the water does boil and evaporate in a minute or so, it’s ready. If the griddle is not hot enough, the water will take several seconds before it appears to boil.

When the griddle is hot enough, pour the pancake batter onto the surface, spacing them side-by-side until they almost touch. I can get eight good pancakes on the griddle! You’ll know it’s time to turn the pancakes over when you see that the top of the pancakes are bubbling. The bubbles will be swelling up and popping before it’s time to turn. When turning, use a thin spatula and scoop it quickly. Thick, coated spatulas (like my big silicon spatula) tend to scrunch the pancake up when you turn them. Let the second side cook for only a couple of minutes, and then slide the spatula under one to check for browning.

Adding maple syrup and butter results in a quiet house while the crowd scarfs down the cakes.

The Hungry Boys

My Hungry Boys & Their Friends

My family loves bananas but we always seem to end up with a bunch of bananas that are starting to go bad. You know, the skins on the outside of the bananas go black and the insides get all brown and mushy.  I used to get annoyed and think what a waste, then I realized that these black bananas might be part of a family conspiracy — the Nana Bread Conspiracy.  Could it be that there is a pact in my house to not eat the last four bananas?  They let them hang there, aging, ripening and pushing me to throw the gnat magnets in the garbage or… make everyone’s favorite dessert: Nana Bread.

Nana Bread

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl.
  3. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas.
  4. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla.
  5. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.
  6. Add the flour last, mix.
  7. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan.
  8. Bake for 1 hour.
  9. Cool on a rack.
  10. Remove from pan and slice to serve.