Category Archives: Food TV

Morimoto-Approved Mochi Donut Kit

Yes, I made these at home -- thanks to Global Grub's Mochi Donut Kit.
Yes, I made these at home — thanks to Global Grub’s Mochi Donut Kit.

Get a sweet taste of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s cooking in your own home.

You can with this fun, make-it-yourself Mochi Donut Kit ($42.99) that was created in collaboration with Walnut Creek’s Global Grub.

CEO Carly Sheehey’s love for travel inspired her cooking kit company that aims to bring a delicious taste of different countries near and far to home cooks in an easy, approachable manner.

Global Grub now offers eight different DIY cooking kits that feature everything from churros to sushi.

All you have to add is a few ingredients -- and your time -- to make these gluten-free, chewy-licious donuts.
All you have to add is a few ingredients — and your time — to make these gluten-free, chewy-licious donuts.

I had a chance to test-drive the mochi donut kit when I received a sample from the company a few weeks ago.

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Coffee That’s Best Enjoyed With “Friends”

I don't even have to tell you whose saying this is, do I?
I don’t even have to tell you whose saying this is, do I?

For original (yours truly) and newbie fans of the hilarious ensemble sitcom, “Friends,” you’ll be happy to know you can now experience a taste of everyone’s favorite Central Perk, the hangout coffee shop of Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross, Joey, and Chandler.

Central Perk Coffee Company has debuted with three different artisanal coffee varieties, available ground or in whole beans or in single-serve pods.

None other than acclaimed chef-restaurateur and “Top Chef” head judge, Tom Colicchio, is one of the industry experts behind this new line.

The coffee varieties take their names from iconic “Friends” sayings that have been ingrained into the lexicon: “Pivot Blend” (medium/dark roast), “We Were On A Coffee Break” (dark roast), and “How You Doin’?” (medium roast).

When asked which of the three I most wanted to sample, you know I had to have the “How You Doin’?,” coined from the immortal Joey Tribbiani pick-up line.

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Spoil Yourself With Blackberry & White Chocolate Muffins

Fresh blackberries, white chocolate, a little bit of yogurt, and a little bit of cream cheese star in these muffins.
Fresh blackberries, white chocolate, a little bit of yogurt, and a little bit of cream cheese star in these muffins.

The one and only time I rafted down the American River was truly memorable.

It wasn’t just the camaraderie of friends laughing and paddling together in three rafts down the relatively calm part of the river.

It was also the wild blackberry bushes our guide had us maneuver our way to near the shore as we waited for the other rafts to catch up to us.

Truth be told, we were all secretly wishing those other folks would just take their sweet time, because we were as content as can be, reaching over the side of our raft to pluck berries that we devoured voraciously.

Nowadays, I get my blackberries from the farmers market or grocery store. Maybe it’s not as adventurous. But it is convenient, especially as blackberries are abundant even through early fall.

In fact, I eagerly picked some up recently specifically to highlight in “Blackberry & White Chocolate Muffins.”

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Seared Duck Breast with Caramelized Orange Butter

Seared duck breast with a most buttery sauce.
Seared duck breast with a most buttery sauce.

Southern grit is definitely what Chef Kelsey Barnard Clark exhibited when she triumphed against a tough field on “Top Chef” season 16 and also snagged “Fan Favorite” honors.

It’s also the apt title of her cookbook. “Southern Grit: 100+ Down-Home Recipes for the Modern Cook” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy, that embodies Barnard Clark’s Alabama roots and Southern charm. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, she went on to work at Cafe Boulud and Dovetail, both in New York before returning to Alabama to start a catering company and eatery, KBC.

The more than 100 recipes in this book are definitely not aimed at those counting calories. Be fair-warned that here is an eye-popping abundance of butter and mayonnaise used throughout. The homey dishes include the likes of “Squash Casserole,” “Smoked Gouda Grits with Redeye Gravy,” “Creole Tomato Gravy Shrimp,” and “Golf Cart Cinnamon Rolls.”

Case in point: “Seared Duck Breast with Caramelized Orange Butter.” The easy sauce is made with an entire stick of butter. For two servings. Oh, my!

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Christina Tosi’s Take on Ted Lasso Biscuits

Pastry Chef Christina Tosi's version of the "Ted Lasso'' biscuits are even better than the original.
Pastry Chef Christina Tosi’s version of the “Ted Lasso” biscuits are even better than the original.

If you’re experiencing “Ted Lasso” withdrawal like me, there’s only one thing that can assuage it.

And that’s baking a batch of buttery biscuits, otherwise known in the States as shortbread cookies.

You’ll remember I tried my hand at the official “Ted Lasso Biscuit Recipe,” which were wonderful and super easy to make.

But what tops it is Pastry Chef Christina Tosi’s version.

The founder of the sugary phenomenon known as Milk Bar, Tosi is a Lasso fan, and recounts hilariously in this Bloomberg story how she would rewind episodes to meticulously study just how everyone’s favorite soccer coach made his biscuits.

The recipe she came up with takes a couple of liberties that definitely enhance the original. Don’t get me wrong; the original recipe turns out shortbread that’s crisp on the edges, tender within, and incredibly melt-in-your-mouth buttery delicious. They are good, basic, and classic.

But hers go beyond that, keeping everything you love about shortbread, but refining it to make it utterly exceptional.

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