The CHOW Blog rss

Insights, tips, and restaurant reports from CHOW editors and Chowhound.

Fall Cocktails

Chowhounds offer up recipes for cocktails with autumnal flavors:

jpschust recommends Woodford bourbon for the Maple Leaf:

3 parts bourbon
1 part maple syrup
1 part lemon juice

Shake over ice, then pour over ice. Serve with a lemon twist.

ashwood says Fallen Leaves has a very clean flavor:

3/4 oz. calvados
3/4 oz. sweet vermouth
1/4 oz. dry vermouth
lemon peel

Stir with ice, giving the lemon peel a good hard twist. Strain into a cocktail glass, using the peel for garnish.

2top offers Pumpkin Pie:

2 parts vanilla vodka
1 part pumpkin schnapps
splash of cream or splash of orange juice
garnish with nutmeg

wontonton combines good apple cider with dark spiced rum and warms it.

Board Links
Fall Cocktail Ideas

160,000 Ways to Use Your Leftovers

rworange is delighted by the possibilities inherent in the Leftovers Wizard. You enter in the ingredients you have left over, and the database pulls up any recipes that use your items. She says, with apologies to Paul Simon:

Reuse that lamb rack, jack
Make a new flan, stan
Use up that soy, Roy
And get dinner free

Glencora likes it–three recipes for the combination of mango, shrimp, and rice–but is annoyed by the advertisements. Robert Lauriston says he gets more results just entering his leftovers into Google–lots of hits for chocolate and grapefruit, as opposed to none with the Leftovers Wizard.

Board Links
There must be 160,000 ways to use your leftovers

Don’t Leave Home Without It

Mashups: They aren’t just for the dance floor anymore. Delightful pairings of Web content are beginning to proliferate online. For instance, Ski Bonk offers updates on ski conditions for users who click on a Google map.

And then there’s Chocomap. Even the name is mouth-watering. Click on a city and up pops a map with each chocolate shop pinpointed. A floating text box provides address, phone number, and a short description.

The possibilities are endless. Plan a Paris walking tour in which you hit at least five chocolatiers per day. Make sure you haven’t overlooked a confectionary gem in your own town (unlikely, I know). Check out the candy stores near your friends’ homes and drop hints for an invite or a care package.

The map is in its infancy, and some cities need help. Drop them an email if your favorite shop isn’t on the list.

The rest of the site, produced by the Vancouver, B.C.-based Ecole Chocolat confectionary school, is pretty all right, too, with articles on tasting chocolate, interviews with chocolatiers, recipes, and plenty of other chocolaty goodness.


I’ve never wondered what carbonated sweet potatoes tasted like. Maybe I’m missing something, but the sweet potato purée under my veal chop is about as liquid as I want the beta carotene–packed tubers. However, Jones Soda is once again daring people to drink their holiday-themed pops.

Their savory six-pack includes the following soda flavors: Turkey and Gravy, Green Pea, Dinner Roll, the aforementioned Sweet Potato, and the (perhaps very necessary) Antacid. If, even with the Antacid soda, you really can’t bring yourself to choke down any of those, they also have a dessert pack, which includes Cherry Pie, Banana Cream Pie, Key Lime Pie, Apple Pie, and Blueberry Pie.

Flippy at food blog I Rant: Therefore I Am has started rating the dessert sodas. She really loves the Banana Cream Pie and Blueberry Pie but is not so thrilled with the Apple Pie, writing, “If someone likes apple soda w/a cinnamon aftertaste, this is the drink for them.”

For a bit of historical perspective, Jones introduced their Turkey and Gravy soda in 2003, and the first holiday pack ever (which included Green Bean Casserole Soda, Mashed Potato & Butter Soda, Fruitcake Soda, and Cranberry Soda) followed a year later.

Man, the only thing I like about a soggy, khaki green bean casserole is the deep-fried onions—I wonder if they can incorporate that flavor into another rendition.

Jones’s seasonal sodas benefit Toys for Tots and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Notch Up-Kicking Hits New High-Water Mark

Underground food guru Emeril Lagasse obtained a whiff of much-needed publicity in this month’s National Culinary Review. It seems the darling of the indie food scene cooked up a little something for NASA astronauts.

The November edition of NCR celebrates the Mardi Gras jambalaya, kicked-up mashed potatoes with bacon, green beans with garlic, and rice pudding with mixed fruit that the celebrichef whipped up for residents of the International Space Station.

But those of us able to get past the child-entrancing wonder of rice pudding dollops floating around in a zero-G environment will probably marvel at two or more of the following facts surrounding this NCR scoop:

—The food was served to the astronauts on August 10, 2006, nearly three months before the magazine’s date of publication. For those of us in touch with the natural world, the entire life span of most adult butterflies is about two weeks. Therefore, a butterfly that emerged from its chrysalis at about the time Emeril’s food was served to NASA astronauts would not only miss reading about it in the National Culinary Review, but it would also not live long enough to watch the St. Louis Cardinals win a disappointing World Series against the Detroit Tigers.

—Green beans with garlic merit mention as a separate dish.

—Emeril’s publicist greenlighted the following quote: “This gives the term ‘kicking it up a notch’ a whole new meaning.”

RSVP Endurance Mojito Muddler

RSVP Endurance Mojito Muddler

Muddle me this, Batman. READ MORE

Old but Not Lethal

Old but Not Lethal

Why raw eggs in aged eggnog won't make you sick READ MORE

Universal Meat Chopper

Universal Meat Chopper

Better living through sausage-ry. READ MORE

Wine Whiner

Wine Whiner

Is it OK to send vino back if you hate it? READ MORE

World’s First Vacuum Decanter

World’s First Vacuum Decanter

Control your wine's oxygen consumption. READ MORE