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    Friday, 29 February 2008

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 01:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Friday, 29 February 2008
    My issue (well, one of them) is that I eat quite a lot. The reason I eat most of the time is because I am emotionally tied to my food. Every time I bite into something it reminds me of a certain place in time. It is definitely a blessing and I need to make it be not a curse. It is something I have to work on transforming.

    As soon as I bit into this beautiful Chocolate Chiffon Cake I was taken back to the French Market in Disneyland. French Market has always been my favorite restaurant in Disneyland since I was a kid. I always loved the New Orleans Square setting, the buffeteria style food, the classy tables, and the lively jazz band. When you are there you feel absolutely at peace with the world, with the nice outside air and the happy people. You can see the beautiful french style buildings around you, the clear blue lake with the Mark Twain next to you, and the Haunted Mansion right in front of you. It is so very aesthetic. The band plays New Orleans jazz and it absolutely compliments the food, making it even more lively. Even if the band isn't playing you can hear the murmur of people all over the park enjoying themselves. Before you even walk in the door you can smell the aroma of fresh clam chowder and fried chicken. What I immediately zap into when I taste this cake is that moment when I bite into the dessert. Ever since I was little I have been getting their chocolate cake. They have these great chocolate cakes with pictures of the characters on the front. There is nothing like that cake and all the memories of the moments I have in that one spot. That is why I will always make this lightly rich chocolate chiffon. It is always yummy. Next time I go to the French Market you better bet I will be in the same table upfront with my little chocolate cake.....feel free to say hi.....

    Here's the recipe to send you back to your own memories....I hope you enjoy it.*

    Ingredients: 1/2 cup baking cocoa, 1/2 cup of baking soda, 3/4 cup very hot water, 1 and 3/4 cup of cake flour, 1/4 tsp cream of tarter, 7 eggs separated, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 and 1/4 cup of Splenda, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 2 tsp vanilla extract.

    Ingredients for Icing: 1/3 cup of butter, 2 cups of confectioners' sugar, chopped pecans, 3 to 4 tbs hot water, 2 squares unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled, and 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

    1) Eggs should stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes. In a large bowl, put together the cocoa and water. Stir until it is smooth in texture. Cool for about 30 minutes. In another large mixing bowl the flour, sugars, baking soda, and salt go together. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, oil and vanilla. Then add the dry ingredients along with the cocoa mixture. Beat with a mixer until blended. In another bowl beat egg whites and cream of tarter (with clean beaters) until stiff peaks form. Slowly fold into the mixture.

    2) Carefully put batter into an ungreased 9.75 inch tube pan. Cut through batter (with knife) to remove air pockets. Bake on the lowest rack at 325 degrees for 60 minutes or until top springs back when touched. Immediately invert pan and cool on wire rack. Run a knife around sides and center of tube pan. Invert cake onto a serving platter.

    3) Melt butter in a pan. Remove from stove. Then you stir in the confectioner's sugar, chocolate, vanilla, and water. Then have fun drizzling over the cake. Sprinkle with pecans.

    4) Enjoy!

    *Sources started with a Taste of Home recipe and progressed into my own.

    Rachael Rizzo has been acting since she was nine years old. She uses her experience to write about what the things she loves mean to her (mostly movies and baking). She is twenty-three years old and resides in beautiful Oregon.
    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 12:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Thursday, 28 February 2008

    Give this garlic soup to a family member or friend when they are sick or just to warm their heart.

    The properties contained in these tiny little bulbs of garlic are the greatest for lowering cholesterol and increasing immunities.

    Note : If you are taking a blood thinning medication, I would suggest not including the garlic in your recipe because it also effectively thins the blood. This includes the "one a day" preventative medications.

    You can store this soup in the freezer, for future use. If that is what you are going to do, please note that the noodles will absorb even more water after they have been cooked. What are you going to do? Simply add more water and a little more spices and you are ready for your soup to make you better!

    What you will need:

    I use a wok to make my soups as they are bigger and give me more freedom to work.

    2 or 3 Bulbs of Garlic
    Dill
    Parsley
    Jalapeños (McCormick's makes a great crushed pepper in a jar, but using real is best. Just slice 'em and dice 'em and you are all ready.)
    Coarse Black Pepper
    Carrots
    Celery
    Lemons

    I have not given size allotments for the foods for one reason. I may like 2 cups of carrots in my soup, but that does not mean you will.

    (If you would like the allotments that I use, please email me and I will forward exactly how I make it.. )
    I feel like making a soup is like making a picture. You can change the colours but you will never please everyone. Please yourself first.

    Either way these ingredients are all apart of my "picture".

    Directions :

    I begin by boiling the water and pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees Celsius first. While the water and oven are getting ready, I start chopping my spices and everything else I will need for the soup.

    When the oven is ready I put my 2 or 3 bulbs into the Garlic Roaster to roast for approximately 10 minutes. The carrots and celery go into the water first. Use it to your hearts content. If you like a lot of these, then go for it. If not, then only use enough to add some nice colour, but it should be added.

    I usually use about 1/4 cup of chopped dill and put this into the boiling water next.

    Parsley is a diuretic. (That means you will be using the washroom after.) Use parsley in moderation. Less than a 1/4 cup is sufficient, but you can use more. Do not use more than 1/2 a cup as that as it causes a lot of distress on your bowels.

    I remove the garlic from the oven at this point, unpeel and drop into the soup. Again if you are not a fan of the clove, only use a couple and dice them up small.

    I sprinkle as much pepper on as possible remembering who else aside from myself will be eating it.

    Then I add the Jalapeños. Whether it is crushed Jalapeños, or Jalapeños that I have diced myself, the spice factor is what you are after with this one. Although you may not enjoy Jalapeños, it makes for an amazing spice in your get - well - soon - soup. Jalapeños increase your white blood cells assisting your body with fighting off a virus.

    Depending on the size of pot you are using, gage how many cups of Fuscilli Noodles to use. I try to add at least 3 1/2 - 4 cups as I know I will add more water when I unfreeze it for another meal.

    Stir on occasion so that the noodles do not get stuck together.

    The very very last thing I do before taking it off the stove? I cut two lemons in half. They have seeds so you can use your hand to strain them, but this gives a little more kick with those first few slurps!

    Now that everything has been added I wait. You can add cooked chicken to add protein to this soup. It is a great protein for this soup, and offers the body added iron that is typically lacking when we are ill.

    The whole process takes me approximately 30 - 40 minutes from first adding the water to in my own bowl.

    Tip: If at the first bite it is very hot and spicy, adding a dollop of sour cream will help counter the heat, but you will still receive the benefits of the food.

    I stir this only on occasion because I enjoy the sights and smells coming from my pot. And now, your soup is born! Enjoy it, share it, and cook away. Eating this soup at the onset or during a cold or flu virus, will help increase your bodies ability to fight it off, thereby shortening the length of your cold or flu.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 02:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Wednesday, 27 February 2008

    Americans love chocolate. In fact, millions of us are admitted "chocoholics." U.S. chocolate consumption is around 3.3 billion pounds per year, according to the National Confectioners Association. That's nearly 12 pounds for every man, woman and child in the nation.

    But for more than 21 million Americans with diabetes, forbidden treats - such as luscious dark chocolate truffles - are not part of a healthy diet. Many of us believe that sinfully sweet indulgences must be unhealthy, especially for diabetics. Or are they?

    The good news is that recent clinical studies show some types of chocolates actually have significant health benefits. Dark chocolates, particularly those made with minimal processing, are high in flavonoids, which are plant compounds with potent antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are known to gobble up free radicals - the killer compounds that harm cell membranes, damage the heart, attack DNA, cause aging, and make heart attacks and cancer far more likely.

    It may surprise you to know that dark chocolate actually has more antioxidants per gram than red wine, green tea, peanuts, cranberries, apples, and many other fruits and vegetables that also are rich in antioxidants.

    One independent study led by Claudio Ferri and researchers at the University of L'Aquila in Italy found that consuming dark chocolate not only lowers blood pressure and cholesterol as some prior studies suggest, but also improves the body's processing of sugar - and in theory, guards against diabetes. Jeffrey B. Blumberg of Tufts University, who collaborated on the study, says "the new finding suggests that specific flavonoids have beneficial effects on several measures of health."

    Dark chocolate contains more flavonoids and less saturated fat than milk chocolate. Cocoa powder and baking chocolate contain even more flavonoids than dark chocolate, while white chocolate has none. The flavonoids in chocolate, by the way, are called flavanols.

    Ferri and his colleagues included dark chocolate bars in the diets of 10 volunteers with high blood pressure, and gave 10 others white chocolate bars with no flavanols. The subjects weren't obese, and none gained a significant amount of weight during the five-week study. The volunteers who consumed dark chocolate bars reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, while those given white chocolate experienced no change.

    In addition, the dark chocolate group demonstrated accelerated metabolism of blood sugar (glucose), a process that involves the hormone insulin. Impaired insulin function can lead to diabetes. Dark chocolate also lowered cholesterol in hypertensive patients, the researchers reported.

    Additional benefits associated with dark chocolate in other studies include improved flexibility of the arteries, which can contribute to lower blood pressure, and reduced stickiness of clot-forming blood platelets, which may reduce the risk of strokes and other problems.

    Another study, at the University Hospital of Cologne, Germany, tested the effects of dark chocolate vs. white chocolate on artery hardening and heart disease in smokers. The study's authors concluded that "...only a small daily treat of dark chocolate may substantially increase the amount of antioxidant intake and beneficially affect vascular health."

    Another study done at the University Hospital of Cologne and published in the July 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concluded that consumption of small amounts of dark chocolate was "associated with a lowering of blood pressure, without weight gain or other adverse effects."

    "Chocolate is a very remarkable substance with enormously beneficial health properties," says Keith Scott-Mumby, MD, PhD, an internationally recognized expert in diet and nutrition who formulated The Doctor's Chocolate. His delicious dark chocolate truffles, made with the finest unaltered Swiss dark chocolate and red raspberries, contain zero trans fats and very low total fat. Sweetened by Xylitol, a sugar alcohol that is recognized by the FDA as very safe, each truffle has only 20 calories. "It's totally safe for diabetics," Dr. Scott-Mumby says.

    Jan Hrkach is an advocate of health, you are what you eat. Exercise and eating right make a big difference in our daily lives and creates a better you. http://www.thedoctorschocolate.com/

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 12:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Tuesday, 26 February 2008

    Do you like chocolate brownies? I’m sure that you do, unless you were deprived of it during your childhood. These brownies are a timeless classic that have many different tasty variations. It’s a given that you love chocolate if you are fond of chocolate brownies. After all, chocolate is good for you. In fact, adolescents and women of all ages consider it as a major food group.

    You can’t ever go wrong if you bring a plate of this delicious desert to any type of gathering. The chocolate brownies will surely be gone in no time. You can add nuts, cherries, raspberries, marshmallows, caramel, peanut butter, white chocolate, and mint flavoring to a basic brownie recipe. Some modified versions of the classic recipe including low fat brownies, and recipes that use sugar substitutes.

    Let me give you some interesting facts about chocolate brownies to increase your knowledge about America’s favorite desert. This wonderful desert is also known as the Boston brownie. It was named after its brown color, which is sometimes glazed with fudge or other ingredients.

    Chocolate brownies are most popular in America, but they are also known all over the world. The best way to serve a chocolate brownie is serving it fresh and hot with vanilla ice cream. Other toppings like hot fudge or fresh whipped cream are optional. It’s the most common desert item on the menus of country diners and fine dining establishments.

    Do you like to cook? If you are an adventurous cook, then you can find recipes for chocolate brownies in cookbooks and on the World-Wide-Web. It’s not hard to find a delicious recipe since it is one of the most popular desert recipes of all time. You can also find many specialty sites that feature gourmet baked goods online.

    In this day and age, brownie connoisseurs all over the globe can choose from twelve flavors that use fine Belgian chocolate on sites like www.brownies.com. You can now shop online for scrumptious chocolate brownies that can be gift boxed and sent anywhere in the world.

    Morgan Hamilton offers expert advice and great tips regarding all aspects concerning Chocloate Brownies. Visit our site for more helpful information about Chocloate Brownies and other similar topics.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 12:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Monday, 25 February 2008

    Few getaways can exhilarate your taste buds as vibrantly as wine country tours can. These romantic and enlightening trips provide an opportunity to enchant your sense of taste with an array of California wine, as well as exquisite restaurants featuring local, fresh ingredients to accompany every selection.

    Whether you have a partiality for Pinot Noir, a penchant for Pinot Grigio or a soft spot for Shiraz, wine country tours can help you enjoy all of your favorites, as well as learn to love new wines - all with the benefit of experienced tour guides.

    Any legitimate wine guide can explain wine ingredients and the growing, fermenting, and aging processes involved in wine creation. However, a wine guide's knowledge can be extremely useful for pairing complementary foods and cuisines with matching wines for maximum sensory enjoyment.

    The ultimate wine country tours provide ample tasting opportunities for a wide variety of wines. Wineries want you to fall in love with their product, so they give you the chance to fully experience the taste. Thus, a comprehensive tour often provides transportation to and from the vineyard.

    On your tour of the vineyards, make note of the wines you like best. Also, inquire about the possibility of joining a wine club. A wine club can be set up in various ways. Sometimes, the winery offers discounts for buying cases of your favorite vintage. Other times, the club's membership guarantees that you have first rights to new offerings. Regardless of the type of the club, it is in your best interest to investigate the possibilities.

    In addition to the educational and tasting opportunities, California wineries provide some of the most spectacular scenery. The rolling hills of grape arbors and fruit orchards make a picturesque and romantic setting for a picnic, so be sure to take advantage of the backdrop that comes with wine country tours. And don't forget the thrilling wine caves of the region, which offer a cool respite during summer months. Whether you are in Sonoma County or the Napa Valley, there is a California wine, as well as a whole new world, waiting to be discovered by you.

    Wine country tours are a great way to satisfy your taste buds while having a romantic or educational opportunity to expand your knowledge of the vast array of California wine Whether you are a fan of Pinot Noir, prefer a Pinot Grigio, or would rather drink a Shiraz, wine tours have something for every wine lover. Additionally, you can learn to love new wines and gain a new appreciation with the experienced assistance of your tour guides. On your tour of the vineyards, make note of the wines you like best. Inquire about the possibility of joining a wine club to get discounts and first rights to new offerings.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 03:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Saturday, 23 February 2008

    What would a birthday celebration be without the candles burning brightly upon the top of an elaborately decorated cake and the happy celebrants face framed in the glowing light as they prepare to blow out their candles? We take the birthday cake for granted, but it has had a place in human history for many, many years.

    In the Beginning

    There are conflicting opinions about when the tradition of birthday cakes first got their start. Some say the tradition began during the Middle Ages in the country of Germany. A sweet bread dough was baked to represent the baby Jesus in his swaddling and was used as a commemoration of the Savior's birth. Later, the birthday cake was reintroduced to the German population as a sweet treat for a child's birthday.

    Others say the tradition began in the Roman era. The Romans were known for celebrating three different types of birthday occasions; those for people, those for cities and temples and those of emperors both present and past as well as members of their family. A special cake was baked for a fiftieth year celebration with olive oil, honey, cheese and wheat flour.

    Ancient Greeks were said to make bread or honey cakes to commemorate a birthday. In England, it was customary to bake objects inside such as a thimble or coins. It was thought that the one who got the coin would become rich and prosperous and the unlucky finder of the thimble would never have the opportunity to marry. Each object that was found signified a prediction.

    Candles Burning Brightly

    The candles of a birthday cake were originally used to bring God wishes for a happy birthday. Ancient people used to say their prayers over an open fire because they believed that smoke would carry their thoughts to the gods. Today the birthday celebrant is challenged to blow all the candles out with one breath in order to make their wish come true.

    Birthday Celebrations are Not a Global Affair

    There are many cultures that do not tack importance on the day an individual was born. In some regions it is the name day that is celebrated. This is the day that the person was given the name they carry through life instead of the day they came into the world. Others consider celebrating birthdays a pagan tradition and strive to eradicate any type of birthday celebration. One such religious group is the Jehovah Witnesses.

    Others view celebrating their birthdays as an unhappy rite of passage. Once those important birthday milestones have been met, having a birthday is an indication of the passing of years and the fact that we are growing older. Not all adults view their birthday as a time to celebrate. Most joyful birthday celebrations center around the children. They are the ones who seem to take the most joy out of a birthday cake that is ablaze with candles and the prospect of sweet cake to eat once the blaze is blown out.

    Jeffrey is a nationally recognized pastry chef and Austin wedding cakes designer. He has competed and medaled in numerous cake, wedding cakes, chocolate, and sugar competitions.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 02:53 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Thursday, 21 February 2008

    Ham is the main dish that people all over the world cook and eat for the Easter Holidays and for other large family gatherings. Cooking Easter ham is a tradition in many families. The custom of cooking ham at Easter seems to go back as far as William the Conqueror. You can use a whole, bone-in ham, score it and stick in a few cloves, maybe put on a paste of some brown sugar and mustard, then seal it all in bread dough and bake it. But there are many recipes you can use for cooking your Easter ham.

    Cooking Easter ham is a simple main course to prepare and cook, but cooking ham seems to be something that a lot of people fear as they are afraid they will ruin it. The high price of a nice sized ham is probably the reason for the entire fuss over cooking ham, family gatherings are sometimes stressful and when you have the chance of ruining dinner it ads to the tension. There are many reasons to start cooking ham according to the directions, but cooking your Easter ham from a nice recipe is most of the time a better choice because that can ad more flavor.

    Create your own experience

    If you don't have a lot of experience in cooking ham, you may want to practice a little before the big Easter meal. There are many different recipes on the Internet and in cooking books waiting for you to try. When you start well in advance You can buy some very small hams for little money each so that you can experiment with different recipes to see which one you like the best and which one is the easiest for you to make. This way you will end up serving your guests the best cooked Easter ham they have ever had.

    Family recipes for cooking Easter ham

    Traditional recipes can also be found very close by, and your own family is usually a good source for them, so speak to your family members to see what there favorite recipes are for cooking Easter ham. Maybe there is a recipe that has been passed down and used in the family for generations and you may want to try your luck at that.

    Cooking Easter ham does not need to be stressful and to help relax you a little; there are certain things that are traditionally added in a lot of families when cooking Easter ham.

    - Use beer to baste the ham in. Adding beer gives it a very moist taste but don't worry, you will not taste the beer nor end up drunk from it.

    - Spread and smother brown sugar on the top and the sides of the ham. This will add just the right amount of sweetness when cooking ham.

    - Put pineapple slices on top. When finishing up, you could try placing a few pineapple slices on top of the ham and hold them down with tiny little toothpicks. This also helps with flavor and a lot of people tend to like eating the ham-flavored pineapple.

    - And last but not least use Cola to baste the ham in. Adding Cola is a sort of combination between beer and brown sugar, it gives a very moist sweet taste to your wonderful cooked Easter ham

    So you see there is no reason to be afraid to start cooking a ham for Easter. Just give it a try and as stated above do a few test runs with smaller hams, this way you can master the fine art of cooking an Easter ham.

    Kenny Vanderburen is the main blogger at http://www.kitchencookings.com The kitchen might as well be his living room, that's how much time he spends there.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Onlne AT 02:28 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Wednesday, 20 February 2008

    If you have a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion that requires the giving of a gift then consider a wine gift basket. They can provide elegant gifts for wine lovers and can include additional products besides wine. They can also include such goodies as cheese, chocolates, fruit, nuts and wine accessories like corkscrews and bottle openers, drip stoppers, foil cutters or whatever else you decide to add to the basket. You can buy them already assembled or you can make your own for a very special gift-giving touch. All you need to know is the type of wine the recipient enjoys, or you can create a surprise basket.

    Buying Prepared Baskets

    If you'd rather buy a wine gift basket pre packaged, stop into your local liquor store to see if they have a selection available. Liquor stores will often sell gift baskets, especially during the holiday season. You should be able to choose which wine you'd like to include in the basket and then add accompanying products.

    Shop Online

    The internet is a great place to order customizable gift baskets. You can start by ordering one or more bottles of wine of your choice, then begin adding complementary products from the wide range available. Complementary products could include smoked salmon and caviar, savory crackers or cheese crackers, soft or hard cheeses, cheese knives, nuts, exclusive mustards or honey ... the sky's the limit in what you can add to them.

    The online company will then deliver the packaged gift basket to you or directly to the gift recipient. This is a very easy option if you are searching for a corporate gift or as a thank-you to a staff member.

    Make Your Own Gift Baskets

    Making your own wine gift basket gives allows you to add that extra personal touch. Start by buying an attractive basket. Even a simple and inexpensive basket will do because you can then decorate it with silk flowers or colored tissue paper. Buy your wine of choice or choose champagne for a special celebration, add some additional products depending on the preferences of the gift recipient. For example, you don't need to limit your basket to wine and wine-themed gifts. You could include handicrafts for someone interested in arts and crafts, or a book about wine for a wine lover who is also interested in the history or the making of wine. Select some gourmet food products to accompany the wine, tuck everything into the decorated basket and wrap the whole thing in clear cellophane.

    If possible, personally deliver the gift basket to the recipient so you can see the joy when they receive it. If .you're very lucky they might even share the bottle of wine with you.

    For non-wine drinkers you can still assemble some stunning gift baskets. For a coffee drinker you could try a coffee-themed gift basket that could include coffee mugs, freshly roasted coffee beans from different coffee-growing regions of the world, gourmet cookies, toffees and, nuts. A tea drinker would appreciate a selection of teas from different regions, a teapot and strainer and a fine china teacup. A tea or coffee gift basket could, in fact, be packed onto a decorated tray rather that a basket. Again, wrap the whole package in clear cellaphane and add a ribbon.

    The ideas for gourmet gift baskets are only limited by your imagination.

    Alison Stevens is an online author and maintains Wine Globe to benefit wine lovers with tips, techniques and information about wine, wine collecting and Wine Cellar Secrets to provide information on building your own wine cellar

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 01:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Tuesday, 19 February 2008

    Here is my quick version for the cure-all whether it's the cold, flu, or you're just not feeling up to snuff.  Homemade Chicken Soup is the kind of comfort food that makes the worst go away and sends you on the mend as it is just Feel Good Food.

    HOMEMADE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

    2 quarts chicken stock

    4-6 chicken breasts 

    small bag baby carrots 

    3 stalks celery

    1/2  pound good wide egg noodle

    3 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped

    salt & pepper to taste

    I always keep homemade stock in the freezer, but should you be out of this or find such a thing foreign to you, buy a good organic chicken stock at your grocery store.  I happened to already have  roasted chicken breasts in the refrigerator, so I diced them up.  If you don't, then lay your chicken breasts on a baking sheet sprinkle with salt & pepper, drizzle olive oil on top and pop into the oven 35-40 minutes or till juices run clean. Let the chicken cool when done,  remove meat from bones, dice in large chunks and keep to side.

    Meanwhile I heat the stock in a large stockpot. Then I slice carrots and celery drop them in boiling stock with with the egg noodles and cook till almost done about 7 minutes on medium high heat partially covered.  I then add my diced chicken and heat for a minute or two till all is warm.  As a final touch I add my freshly chopped parsley along with salt & pepper to taste.  Serve homemade chicken noodle soup warm in large soup bowls or mugs. This takes all of 15 minutes to make minus the cooking time for the chicken.  I make plenty of this when not feeling well, eat it for lunch and dinner, and bring to work when I am on the mend. This recipe freezes well as I have done so plenty of times and glad I've had it on hand.

    Honestly it takes no time to make, this is so much better than canned and you will be glad you gave it a go.

    Recently remarried to a "meat and potatoes" guy, I have miserbly failed at reinventing myself into a "meat and potatoes"cook. Don't get me wrong I love simple food, but the good kind of simple food, the kind that can't come out of a can or popped in the oven from a box neatly tucked in the freezer. So I am about to embark on a journey to find my way back to the kitchen I once knew, and return to my love of preparing good food for my family, despite my long hours of work at a job that let's just say...........isn't my calling. Grab a cup of coffee and stop by for a visit at http://www.GoodFoodJustGotBetter.com for more "Musings about Food, Family and God's Grace".

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:51 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Monday, 18 February 2008

    The old general rules - red with red meat, white with poultry and fish - still apply, but there are exceptions, qualifications, nuances of intensity, tartness, dryness. Wine can alter the taste of food, food the taste of wine. Food and wine should enhance each other, not fight each other or cancel each other out.

    Wine does not go well with chocolate, citrus, vinegar, artichokes, peppers, sweet corn, barbecue sauce, ketchup. If you do serve wine with these foods, make it a rosé, Gamay, or Zinfandel. Here are few suggestions:

    Fish:

    Shellfish: Sauvignon Blanc, Chablis, Chardonnay, white Burgundy, Muscadet, Soave, sparkling wines.

    Smoked fish and fish soup: Sauvignon Blanc.

    Oysters: Chablis, Muscadet

    Light fish: dry Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Sancerre, and white Burgundy.

    Fish dishes made with red wine: young Bordeaux

    Salmon and other meaty dish: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Sauvignon Blanc, white Burgundy, white Zinfandel.

    Meat:

    Veal and pork: Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Dolcetto, white Rhône wine, Riesling.

    Veal, beef, meat loaf: Merlot.

    Grilled steak: Zinfandel.

    Lamb: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Bordeaux reds, Zinfandel.

    Meat stew: Zinfandel, Côtes-du-Rhone, Châteaunefu-du-Pape, Gigondas.

    Poultry:

    Chicken: Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Dolcetto, white Rhône wine, Riesling.

    Duck: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot.

    Poultry stew: Côtes-du-Rhône.

    General:

    Spicy Southwestern, Mexican, Oriental Food: Côtes-du-Rhône.

    Shrimp or chicken salad: Soave, Sauvignon Blanc, Fume Blanc.

    Fruit salad or fruit soup: dry Riesling.

    Salty and highly seasoned foods: sparkling or sweet wines.

    Thanksgiving dinner: any color, young, matched to the stuffing - Rhône wine for chestnut dressing, Riesling or Gewürztraminer with apple stuffing, for instance.

    Pasta with tomato sauce: Barbera, Zinfandel.

    Pasta with vegetables: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Soave, sparkling wines.

    Cold salmon and oriental food: dry Riesling.

    Kiya Sama is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Writers

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 11:46 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Sunday, 17 February 2008

    St Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17th, is a day full of Irish customs. From green bread to Guinness, there are many items you can serve if you’re having a party. Here are a few ideas:

    Most of the time, you will find an array of green items on the menu along with traditional Irish fare. Baked goods in particular lend themselves to being dyed green. To start off a menu you will need some traditional Irish beverages from Bailey’s Original Irish Cream to Irish coffee, and on to Irish Whisky. From the drinks you will move to Irish Breads including Irish Spice Bread, Irish Soda Bread, and Irish Wheaten Bread. The Irish dinners may include baked stuffed herring, Irish sausages, beef in Guinness, Irish stew and many other types of delicious food.

    For a typical Irish stew you will need 2 pounds of lamb, 8 medium potatoes sliced and peeled, 3 Spanish onions, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, 2 cups water, salt and pepper to taste. Like any stew you will combine the ingredients in to a large pot with water and cook about an hour and a half.

    Irish Scones are another great addition to the menu. You will need 1 cup of flour, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ pound of butter softened, 2 ounces sugar, 1 egg, 2 ounces milk, and fruit or nuts to add to the scones. Mix the ingredients together with the dry goods mixed separately, and then added slowly to the egg mixture. Then place the scones in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at a temperature of 350 degrees, making sure the scones are light brown when they come out. Serve them with butter, cream, jelly, honey or marmalade.

    Whatever you choose to serve on St Patrick’s Day, traditional yet simple food often works best. That way, instead of being caught up worrying about the catering, you’ll be kicking up your heels with your guests.

    Mrs. Party... Gail Leino takes a common sense approach to planning and organizing events, celebrations and holiday parties with unique ideas for St. Patrick's Day party supplies and fun party games. She explains proper etiquette and living a healthy life while also teaching organizational skills and fun facts. The Party Supplies Hut has lots of party ideas with hundreds of free holiday printable games and free birthday party activities. Over 100 adorable Themes including Party Supplies to fit your birthday celebration, holiday event, or "just because" parties. Party themes include cartoon characters, sports, movie, TV shows, luau, western, holidays, and unique crazy fun theme ideas.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 11:50 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Thursday, 14 February 2008

    My family loves this pie and it's so easy to make, my 12 year old son can do it. It's easy to have all the ingredients on hand for just that special moment when you feel like having a pie. We especially like it with vanilla ice cream.

    When I created this recipe, it immediately became a holiday favorite. But then something interesting happened. My kids and husband started asking for it even when there was no special occasion so it became our everyday pie (not that we eat pie everyday).

    When I started alkalizing for more energy, I alkalized this recipe too. All the ingredients suggested are alkalizing and produce a pie that is not only great tasting but actually good for you too. I'll provide the standard alternatives too for those who haven't discovered the amazing health benefits of alkalizing yet.

    For two 9" pies you will need:
    2 12oz bags of frozen organic red raspberries
    2 10oz bags of frozen organic dark sweet cherries
    2 extra large organic eggs or 3 medium organic eggs
    3 tablespoons lemon juice
    2 teaspoons arrowroot
    1/4 cup cool water
    6 tablespoons sucanat sugar
    2 9" organic frozen pie shells

    To prepare:

    Separate the pie shells and place them on the countertop to thaw. You can either thaw the bags of fruit ahead of time by setting them out in a large bowl or you can thaw them when you're ready to prepare the pie. Empty the fruit bags into a large skillet.

    Set the heat to medium-low and stir to heat the cherries and raspberries. Do not leave unattended. Remove from the heat if you must leave.

    Add the sucanat sugar to the fruit. Sucanat is a contraction for "sugar cane natural" and is a healthy alternative to processed white sugar. Stir the sugar into the mixture until thoroughly melted.

    Stir arrowroot into the 1/4 cup of water to dissolve. Arrowroot is an alkalizing alternative to corn starch and can be used to thicken sauces.

    Add the lemon juice to the arrowroot water. Pour this mixture in with the fruit and stir to blend well. Careful not to mush the fruit.

    Beat the eggs and blend them into the fruit mixture until the color is consistent throughout.

    Continue stirring. The fruit mixture will thicken. When it's the consistency of thick gravy it's ready.

    To bake:

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Evenly distribute the pie filling into both pie shells. Place pies in the center of the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until crust is browned.

    Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving. The pie will solidify more as it cools.

    Variations:

    You can replace the arrowroot with corn starch in the same quantities. You can also exchange regular granular sugar for the sucanat in the same quantities. Of course, anything I suggested you use organic, you can also use it's conventional alternative.

    If you don't like the raspberry seeds, you can remove them first. Put the raspberries in a food processor with just enough water so it's not too thick. Blend until the berries are liquified. Press through a fine siv to remove the seeds. Pour cleaned raspberry juice in with the cherries. The raspberries fall apart anyway during preparation and cooking so the result is the same except for the lack of seeds. You will need to heat the fruit long enough to reduce the water out.

    I prefer the dark sweet cherries because the darker the fruit, the more antioxidants it contains. Any cherries you prefer will work.

    I hope you enjoy this wonderful pie as much as my family does.

    Shelia Norling combines her background in systems design, self-development, and nutrition with her love for cooking and her zest for life to deliver practical, no nonsense information for how to tweak your diet for greater health and vitality and how to tweak your life for greater enjoyment. Claim your free copy of Shelia's extensive Alkalizing Food List and more at http://www.Tweakability.com . Download a printer friendly version of this recipe at http://www.Tweakability.com/cherryrasp.html

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 11:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Wednesday, 13 February 2008

    Most everyone likes to eat cakes. This is an easy recipe. Start with a boxed mix, and mix as directed. You may wish to add any of your favorite flavorings, or things such as coconut, cinnamon, etc. Bake the cake according to the box instructions, or the directions in a cookbook. You can make homemade icing by using 3/4 bag of powdered sugar, 2/3 cup solid white shortening, and milk as a last ingredient. Add the milk a little at a time after you put the first two ingredients in a mixing bowl. Keep adding milk, stopping when the icing is the consistency you like for putting on a cake. Use food coloring dyes to make separate colors of icing. You may want to use icing from the supermarket, and keep in mind that you can add chopped nuts, coconut or other things to this type of icing too.

    After the cake is iced, you can decorate it. You may wish to purchase a professional cake decorating set with different tips to make leaves, flowers or words. Try to place the icing as far down inside the bag as possible, and push it down with a spoon. Then fold the end over and over until the icing starts to come out of the decorative tip. If you are going to use different colors of icing, mix the colors separately in different bowls. Make the decorations you want on the cake. When you are finished with the decorating bag, push all of the icing you can out through the tip. Take the pieces connected to the bag apart, and let them soak in warm water for a few minutes to aid in easy cleaning.

    You may want to buy cake decorations such as candied hearts, or use miniatures such as plastic horses, tractors, or some other item. Make sure the item will not dissolve on the cake icing, and do not use items on the cake unless you know for sure they are safe to use around food.

    Anyone can decorate a cake. Even you!

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 11:31 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Tuesday, 12 February 2008

    In my family both growing up and later as a mom raising my own children, food was center to our time together. Whether it was simply sitting together at the dinner table, or the time I spent cooking while the children watched closely wondering what I was preparing, while looking up from their homework, food mattered in our home. Lindsey was our second of three daughters and the most stubborn. This is the story of THE ULTIMATE CRAB CAKE which is the first food my daughter Lindsey ate as a toddler. Lindsey spit out her baby food refusing everything except her bottle. I slaved over the stove preparing homemade baby food, when that didn't work I bought every store bought brand and taste I could find. They all produced the same results, she refused to eat and held out for her bottle. This went on till 16 months of age when a trip to the pediatrician sent me away with instructions to take away her bottle and let her sit her in her high chair at dinner to eat or go hungry. As usual, she refused the baby food I put in front of her, making clear she would have no part in the meal. When suddenly out of frustration and to this day I am not sure if was her frustration or mine she waved her hand at our dinner. You guessed it! We were dining on crab cakes, and she wanted what we were eating. Her first meal was eaten with success which put a smile on her face and mine and is owed to this recipe which has been adapted from one of the T&C Maryland style crab cake recipes. Lindsey is now 27 years old and when she visits she still wants me to fix them for her.

    CRAB CAKES

    1 lb jumbo lump crab meat

    2 large eggs beaten

    3 Tbsp heavy cream

    1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

    1 tsp Dijon Mustard

    1 Tbsp Old Bay Seasoning

    dash cayenne pepper

    fresh ground pepper to taste

    3 Tbs. minced scallions

    1/4 cup minced onions

    1/4 cup minced parsley

    1/3 cup Hellman's mayonnaise

    Few dashes pepper vinegar

    1/2 to 1 cup bread crumbs

    Whisk the eggs in a large bowl with the cream, mustard, Worcestershire, pepper vinegar, Old Bay seasoning, cayenne and pepper to taste until mixture is well blended. Add the scallions, onions, parsley and mayonnaise. Gently fold in the crab meat and breadcrumbs taking care not to break up the jumbo lumps. Using your hands, divide the crab meat into 8 shaping them gently into rounds. Chill covered in plastic wrap for 1 hour. Heat a few Tbsp butter and oil in heavy skillet sauté 3-4 minutes each side till golden brown. Keep warm in a 200 degree oven. Serve with Spicy tarter sauce.

    SPICY TARTER SAUCE

    2 Tbsp pepper vinegar

    1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

    1/4 tsp sea salt

    fresh ground pepper

    Tabasco to taste

    1 cup Hellman's mayonnaise

    1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

    1 medium onion finely chopped

    3 Tbsp. chopped dill relish

    1/4 cup chopped parsley

    Lemon juice to taste

    Mix ingredients together, chill 1 hour, sauce will be thin.

    Enjoy the recipe, these Crab Cakes are great served on a bed of lettuce with a dollop of spicy tarter sauce as a salad entrée. For a lunch time or easy dinner, crab cakes are great on toasted bun as a sandwich with lettuce and tomato. For a southern twist, garnish with a fried green tomato.

    An empty nester, recently remarried to a "meat and potatoes" guy, I have miserbly failed at reinventing myself into a "meat and potatoes"cook. Don't get me wrong I love simple food, but the good kind of simple food, the kind that can't come out of a can or popped in the oven from a box neatly tucked in the freezer. So I am about to embark on a journey to find my way back to the kitchen I once knew, and return to my love of preparing good food for my family, despite my long hours of work. Grab a cup of coffee and a comfy chair while you visit me at http://www.GoodFoodJustGotBetter.com

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 02:18 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Monday, 11 February 2008

    Majority of people will celebrate Valentine's Day by going to eat a Valentine's menu at the restaurant. But so many couples do this on Valentine's Day that we have to make reservation a long time before February 14th and in restaurants that do not take reservations we have to wait a long time before being seated.

    There is an alternative to the Valentine's Day restaurant: cooking dinner at home.

    Firstly, ask your partner to help you cook the meal: it is a great way to spend more time together. Do not plan an elaborate meal if your partner is not a great cooker. On the other hand, if you cook an elaborate meal, working together will ensure that your meal will turn out great.

    When you plan to cook your Valentine's Day dinner, ensure you to purchase the ingredients in advance in order to not scramble at the last minute to find the missing ingredients. This will also avoid an unnecessary stress.

    Another thing to consider when you cook your Valentine's Day dinner is that your partner will enjoy the meal you selected. Ensure you that your partner has no allergies or dietary restrictions or, simply, that your partner is not vegetarian while you plan to cook roast beef.

    If Valentine's Day happens on a working day, set the table as soon as you come back from your day job. Deco ideas: a bloomed centerpiece surrounded by two candles; put the wine bottle in an ice bucket... Light the candles when the meal is almost ready, this way, they will not be entirely consumed when you will be seated at the table.

    Plan to give your present at the end of the dinner; this will prolong the festive atmosphere of the evening.

    Valentine's Day Menu Idea:

    Valentine Cocktail

     

    4 cl passion fruit liquor,

    4 cl pineapple juice,

    16 cl champagne

    Appetizers:

    Eggs stuffed with tuna and salmon cream

    Ingredients:

    Canned tuna

    Canned salmon

    3 boiled eggs

    Mayonnaise

    Directions:

    Cut each egg in two parts

    Mix yolks, tuna, salmon and mayonnaise

    Fill the egg whites with the mixture

    Serve cold

    Starter:

    Valentines scampi In Amaretto cream

    Ingredients :

    12 cooked prawns

    2 sliced onions (optional)

    20 cl cream (0% fat)

    10 cl Amaretto

    1 table spoon of tomato puree

    1 clove garlic

    1 table spoon melted butter

    Salt

    Pepper

    Directions :

    In a saucepan assemble melt butter, prawns, garlic, sliced onions, salt and pepper

    Take a few moments back

    Pour the Amaretto and let evaporate

    Add the tomato puree and fresh cream

    Put the mixture in two baking dishes

    Sprinkle grated Emmenthal or Gruyer

    Pass under the grill

    Serve with French bread.

    Main Dish:

    Sole with mushroom sauce and Mashed Potatoes

    Ingredients :

    2 sole fillets

    200 g sliced mushrooms

    20 cl cream (0%)

    250 g mashed potatoes

    Lemon juice

    1 table spoon butter

    Salt, pepper to taste

    Directions :

    Melt 1 table spoon butter in large skillet

    Brown sole fillets for a few minutes

    When cooked, remove filets to a serving plate; keep warm

    Pour lemon juice and the mushrooms in the skillet on medium heat until cooked

    Add cream, salt and pepper

    Serve immediately

    Dessert:

    Heart-shaped chocolate cake

    Ingredients :

    100 g butter

    100 g black chocolate

    150 g sugar

    3 eggs

    50 g flour

    Directions :

    Pre-heat the oven (320° F)

    In a saucepan (low fire), melt chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth

    In a bowl, assemble eggs and flour

    Add the mixture butter/chocolate and mix until smooth

    Pour the mixture in a baking plate

    Bake at 320° F for 20 minutes

    Serve sprinkled with icing sugar.

    Bon appetit and Happy Valentine's Day!

    Prosperity66 is an European History, Holidays and Tarot cards passionate. She writes articles and creates websites dedicated to these subjects. For more Valentine's Day Ideas feel free to visit Feb 14th: The Prettiest Valentine's Day Ever!

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 11:05 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Friday, 08 February 2008

    If you have a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion that requires the giving of a gift then consider a wine gift basket. They can provide elegant gifts for wine lovers and can include additional products besides wine. They can also include such goodies as cheese, chocolates, fruit, nuts and wine accessories like corkscrews and bottle openers, drip stoppers, foil cutters or whatever else you decide to add to the basket. You can buy them already assembled or you can make your own for a very special gift-giving touch. All you need to know is the type of wine the recipient enjoys, or you can create a surprise basket.

    Buying Prepared Baskets

    If you'd rather buy a wine gift basket pre packaged, stop into your local liquor store to see if they have a selection available. Liquor stores will often sell gift baskets, especially during the holiday season. You should be able to choose which wine you'd like to include in the basket and then add accompanying products.

    Shop Online

    The internet is a great place to order customizable gift baskets. You can start by ordering one or more bottles of wine of your choice, then begin adding complementary products from the wide range available. Complementary products could include smoked salmon and caviar, savory crackers or cheese crackers, soft or hard cheeses, cheese knives, nuts, exclusive mustards or honey ... the sky's the limit in what you can add to them.

    The online company will then deliver the packaged gift basket to you or directly to the gift recipient. This is a very easy option if you are searching for a corporate gift or as a thank-you to a staff member.

    Make Your Own Gift Baskets

    Making your own wine gift basket gives allows you to add that extra personal touch. Start by buying an attractive basket. Even a simple and inexpensive basket will do because you can then decorate it with silk flowers or colored tissue paper. Buy your wine of choice or choose champagne for a special celebration, add some additional products depending on the preferences of the gift recipient. For example, you don't need to limit your basket to wine and wine-themed gifts. You could include handicrafts for someone interested in arts and crafts, or a book about wine for a wine lover who is also interested in the history or the making of wine. Select some gourmet food products to accompany the wine, tuck everything into the decorated basket and wrap the whole thing in clear cellophane.

    If possible, personally deliver the gift basket to the recipient so you can see the joy when they receive it. If .you're very lucky they might even share the bottle of wine with you.

    For non-wine drinkers you can still assemble some stunning gift baskets. For a coffee drinker you could try a coffee-themed gift basket that could include coffee mugs, freshly roasted coffee beans from different coffee-growing regions of the world, gourmet cookies, toffees and, nuts. A tea drinker would appreciate a selection of teas from different regions, a teapot and strainer and a fine china teacup. A tea or coffee gift basket could, in fact, be packed onto a decorated tray rather that a basket. Again, wrap the whole package in clear cellaphane and add a ribbon.

    The ideas for gourmet gift baskets are only limited by your imagination.

    Alison Stevens is an online author and maintains Wine Globe to benefit wine lovers with tips, techniques and information about wine, wine collecting and Wine Cellar Secrets to provide information on building your own wine cellar.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:46 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Thursday, 07 February 2008

    You want the Best Gourmet Recipe available on the web?The term "gourmet" when applied to a recipe implies that it's the best of it's kind, the fanciest, and probably the most expensive. What about all of us who love good food, are hosting an event (like a book club meeting) and want to delight our guests with some gourmet recipes of our own? This is where a Homemade Gourmet Recipe comes in handy!

     

    A Homemade Best Gourmet Recipe is tried and true by someone you know. Generally they are passed down through families or friends by word of mouth until someone, like me, decide to start writing them out! There are chefs who work for years to perfect their secret ingredients and then charge an arm and a leg for you to try them when instead, you could be making your own!

    The best way to go about starting a collection of Homemade Gourmet Recipes is to go straight to your favorite sources. Have an Aunt who is known for her Cream Chip Beef Dip? Go Get It! Does your mom make the best Lasagna this side of the Mississippi? Ask Her For It! Once you start collecting these recipes (email is always a great way to do this) create a recipe file box and add each one. Try them out on your own. Modify if necessary. Tell your friends and soon you'll all be sharing and making the best gourmet recipes out there - in your own home!

    I couldn't resist giving you one of our favorites:

    John's Shrimp Di Oro Appetizer for 4 people.

    Ingredients

     

       

       

    • 1 lb (16/20) Shrimp, peeled and de-veined but leave tail on

       

       

       

    • 1 cup Olive Oil

       

       

       

    • 1 cup Vegetable Oil

       

       

       

    • 1 cup All Purpose Flour

       

       

       

    • 3 lemons

       

       

       

    • 1 sprig of Fresh Parsley

       

       

       

    • A pinch of salt

       

       

       

    • A pinch of pepper

     

    Combine Olive Oil and Vegetable Oil in a 10 inch sauté pan. Heat over medium-hi heat for 15 minutes.

    Cover each individual shrimp in flour. Be sure to shake off excess flour. Once oil is heated, place shrimp in oil turning occasionally until golden (1-3 minutes). Remove shrimp and place on paper towel to soak up remaining oil. While the shrimp is hot, dash with pepper and salt.

    Place shrimp on platter. Cut Lemon in half and squeeze over all shrimp (do not drop the seeds!). Take 2 remaining lemons, quarter them and spread around the rim of the plate. Garnish plate with sprig of parsley in middle.

    ENJOY!

    Interested in more homemade gourmet recipes? We have them!

    Desiree, aka Queenie D, is an English teacher, mom, and lover of books!

    Want more information on book clubs? Looking for a book to read? Want to share something you've read? Visit http://www.book-club-queen.com for a fantastic adventure in reading!

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 11:23 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Wednesday, 06 February 2008

    The Marquise de Sévigné once wrote a friend saying: "If you are not feeling well, if you have not slept, chocolate will revive you. But you have no chocolate! I think of that again and again! My dear, however will you manage? Everyone knows the meaning that this quote tries to portray. What would our life be like without without chocolate truffles, this time of year.

    Chocolate has been used as a gift for the gods, kings and an exotic gift for thousands of years. Even today a box of luxurious truffles says; "Thank You", "I Love you", "I'm sorry" or even, "I hope you feel better." Nothing expresses these sentiments better than the beautifully boxed truffles of today.

    When people think of chocolate they think of something sensual, sweet, sumptuous, gratifying, luxurious, creamy, seductive, silky and ooohh so good! Is there another food that can express these feelings in a better way? It has always been associated with passion, romance and love, and such association goes as far back as our ancient civilizations. Some ancient civilizations believed it brought wisdom, energy and even sexual power.

    The Invention of the Truffle

    How was the chocolate truffle that we see in the gourmet shops invented? It appears that the invention evolved from several different inventions in the industry, and they really were not produced until the mid 1800's. The process first began in the world until about the 1840's when the cocoa press was invented and allowed for the separation of the cocoa butter from the bean solids, and thus inventing the solid form (previously it had always been in powdered form).

    The first factory was Fry's in England and it wasn't until 1879 when A Swiss named Henri Nestle invented milk chocolate by combining solid form with powdered milk, and this same invention brought about the experimentation and the development of ganache which is the center of a truffle which occurred in the late 1800's. Learn more at http://www.gourmetdarkchocolatetruffles.com

    Today there are thousands of different types of truffles, and chocolates available and just as the Marquise de Sévigné wrote, chocolate is a world unto itself, it is the ultimate comfort food.

    As Miranda Grahamm would put it; "It's not that chocolates are a substitute for love. Love is a substitute for chocolate. Chocolate is, let's face it, far more reliable than a man." And this is truly the way most people feel about sensual, creamy, elegant chocolate truffles.

    Read more about all types of delicious gourmet chocolate truffles and specialty chocolates

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:32 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Tuesday, 05 February 2008

    The name of my website is diabetic food and believe me that is a true statement. I love good food! And I'll just bet that you do too; am I right? The one thing I have learned since being diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic at the age of sixty is this, being diabetic does not mean I can no longer enjoy good food. Oh sure, I'd rather not be a diabetic. I'd rather be able to eat the way I used to. But I have found ways to change my favorite recipes around to make them diabetic friendly. I found a recipe in a newspaper grocery store advertisement and thought perhaps I could make it into something I could enjoy without guilt or a spike in blood sugar. Give my Fruit and Nut Bread a try.

    1/2 cup fresh blueberries

    2 1/4 tsp baking powder

    1/3 cup light olive oil

    1/2 cup quick cooking oats

    1 1/2 cups flour

    2/3 cup Splenda

    1/4 tsp salt (optional, according to diet)

    1/2 cup egg substitute

    1 cup mashed ripe bananas

    1/2 cup chopped walnuts

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the flour over blueberries. Sift rest of the flour with Splenda, baking powder and salt. Stir in oats. Blend egg substitute, olive oil and banana together. Combine dry ingredient mixture with banana mixture. Stir in nuts. Fold in blueberries. Pour into a loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake one hour or until bread springs back when lightly touched. Cool ten minutes then remove from pan. Allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

    This recipe is easy to make, has healthy ingredients and has never caused my blood sugar to rise. I enjoy it for breakfast with some yogurt, as an afternoon snack or a slice as a dessert replacement. It is also a great hostess gift or a good item you can take to "pitch-in" meals. That way you know there is a sweet you can enjoy without guilt while others induldge in sugar-laden sweets. I find that others often ask for the recipe and can't believe it's a "no sugar added" food.

    If you enjoyed this recipe please visit my website where you will find more recipes catering to diabetics. And visit often. I am constantly adding more recipes and information as I continue to experiment and try new things. After all, we diabetics like to eat good food just as much as anyone else. And why shouldn't we?

    For more delicious and easy diabetic recipes, go to http://www.diabeticenjoyingfood.squarespace.com

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 11:54 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Monday, 04 February 2008

    The history of pie is rich in flavor. Pies have been around for thousands of years, we know this, since the ancient Egyptians kept records of their practices and pie is included there, along with all the mysteries and charm of those long ago days. The Egyptians would fill their pies with such ingredients as honey, fruit and nuts. The visitors to Egypt learned as many of their secrets as possible. The ancient Greeks liked the idea of pie and took the recipes home with them, then surrendered the recipes to the Romans, who thought so much of pie as to make offerings of pie to their deities. Since then the rich history of pie has grown while traveling to many different lands, many people enjoy pie.

    Did you know that pie was originally a simple cooking and serving container fashioned of dough for containing and cooking the enclosed ingredient as well as their juices? When a pie had a crust, it was at that time known as a coffin, although pies with no crust were at that time known as traps. Large, short-sided pies are tarts and very small pies are tartlets. When someone made a pie of some type of bird, he or she would leave the legs of the bird outside the edge of the pie and used the legs for handles.

    Pies at that time had a very hard crust and were very often to hard to be eaten, since the crust of the pie was used mainly for baking the pie as there were no pie pans back then. Think primitive pottery here, at times it was also known as bulletproof dough. Because of this quality, between the 13th and 16th centuries, many pies held live birds, frogs and other small creatures, even dwarfs and sometimes a small orchestra. These were contained inside the pie to emerge to enliven royal feasts with entertainment.

    Pies made their way to England and soon showed up in America with the first colonial settlers, them bringing along cottage and shepherds pie. From the American natives, the pilgrims learned the many healthy fruits and berries. Women at that time conserved their rations by making round pies and shallow pies. During the 1700s, pie first saw one of its best celebrating moments while gaining popularity in many homes, picnics and fairs. Many people have enjoyed pie eating contests or pie throwing games. Pies and their recipes have traveled a very long way from where they began to this present day.

    As pie has moved along through the years, it has been adapted to fit into every culture it has touched. We enjoy pie today made of many different ingredients, such as meats of beasts, fowl and fish, vegetables, berries, fruits and nuts as well as cheese, custards and creams of many flavors. Many generations have seen the passing down of family pie recipes and many are still secret today. An assortment of many different sweet and savory seasonings and ingredients are included in pies. The smell of a pie baking can bring back fond memories of family and friends as well as build new ones. In homes the world over, someone will be baking a pie, while someone is savoring the wonderful aromas that make home so sweet. Everyone should enjoy some pie every day.

    For some delicious homemade pie recipes visit http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/pierecipes.htm and make a pie or crisp the hillbilly housewife way.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 12:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
    Saturday, 02 February 2008

    Here's another idea for a special Valentine's Day meal that you can prepare at home for that special someone. Get your creative juices going and cook your own Valentine dinner. This is the second of 4-part series of ideas. This combo uses potato as salad, shrimp and pasta for main dish, ginseng fudge for dessert, and a special Valentine punch.

    Pink Mashed Potatoes

    Ingredients:
    * 4 potatoes
    * 1/2 cup milk (heated in the microwave)
    * 4 tablespoons butter
    * Salt and pepper
    * Red food color

    Directions:

    Peel potatoes and cut into 10-12 pieces, put in pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and cook for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Turn off the stove, pour the potatoes into a colander and shake to remove the water. Cut the potatoes in a bowl; with an electric mixer or beater, beat the potatoes, butter and a little salt and pepper, adding the milk while you mix. Add food color carefully until it is a pretty color

    Champagne Shrimp and Pasta
    Ingredients:
    * 8 ounces angel hair pasta
    * 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    * 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
    * 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
    * 1 1/2 cup champagne
    * 1/4 teaspoon salt
    * 2 tablespoons minced shallots
    * 2 plum tomatoes, diced
    * 1 cup heavy cream
    * salt and pepper to taste
    * 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    * freshly grated Parmesan cheese

    Directions:

    Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 6 to 8 minutes or until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Cook and stir mushrooms in oil until tender. Remove mushrooms from pan, and set aside. Combine shrimp, champagne, and salt in the frying pan, and cook over high heat. When liquid just beginning to boil, remove shrimp from pan. Add shallots and tomatoes to champagne; boil until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup,for about 8 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup cream and boil until slightly thick, for about 1 to 2 minutes. Add shrimp and mushrooms to sauce, and heat through. Adjust seasonings to taste. Toss hot, cooked pasta with the remaining 1/4 cup cream and parsley. To serve, spoon shrimp with sauce over pasta, and top with Parmesan cheese.

    Valentines Love Fudge

    Ingredients:
    * 3/4 cup margarine or butter
    * 3 cups sugar
    * 1 (5oz) can evaporated milk
    * 1 package (12oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
    * 1 jar marshmallow creme
    * 1 cup chopped pecans
    * 1 teaspoon vanilla
    * 3 capsules ginseng (available at drug stores and health food stores)

    Directions:

    Lightly grease a 13X9 inch baking dish. Mix margarine, sugar and milk in a large heavy saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil for 5 minutes. Stir constantly. Turn offthe heat and stir in chocolate chips. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Pour into baking dish and let it set up at room temperature.


    Cranberry Valentine Punch

    Ingredients:
    * 1 quart cranberry juice
    * 1 quart apple juice
    * 1 can (6 oz. size) frozen orange juice
    * 2 small sticks cinnamon
    * 6 whole cloves
    * Sugar to taste

    Directions:

    Mix all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.

    If you like these ideas, look out for the next meal combo for your special Valentine dinner.

    Valentine's Day Recipes

    Noraini Maskuri has professional training in bakery, enjoys cooking and experimenting with recipes. She own a cookery site, to receive free Valentine Recipe eCookbook , please visit : http://www.mycookery.com/blog/

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 12:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Friday, 01 February 2008

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 01:02 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
    Friday, 01 February 2008

    Of all the things in life that seem to be important to a lot of people wine and food gift baskets seem to frequently rank near the top of the list. When most people think of the phrase food and wine it gives them an instant thought of gourmet types of food and expensive wines. This combination is also used frequently with gift basket for gift giving on various occasions.

    There are various resources from which gift baskets can be found as well as ideas to put your own Italian wine and food gift basket together. It does help to know the tastes of the intended recipient before heading out to find the items for any gift basket but buying a pre-made basket is acceptable for almost ever occasion. You may want to consider the type of wine being used as it relates to any food items such as cheese or meat that will be included, so that it compliments instead of contradicts the wine.

    It is considered an art form if you can choose the right wine and food gift basket arrangement for those special occasions like birthdays, anniversary, Christmas and New Years. Most believe the guideline that stipulates red wine with red meat and white wine with white meats and fish. However, there are many different varieties that can go well with many different types of food and the preference is more a matter of taste than direction.

    Wine is used in So Many Different Recipes: Are We Cooking with the Right Wine?

    Many recipes may call for cooking wine to be used as an ingredient. Many people do not realized that there are specific wines made for cooking and the majority of table wines will be too sweet to use in a recipe. Unless specifically recommended, it is suggested that food and table wine not be mixed in a pot or a pan.

    There are numerous resources for recipes and designs of many gift baskets and one of the most popular is Italian wine and food gift baskets, especially for those who want to make their own wine from scratch along with homemade food. This is one the greatest gifts because it comes from the heart and is done with pride. Many magazines focusing on gourmet foods will also offer recommendations for the type of wine to be served with a certain meal and many articles may also suggest trying a selected brand of wine to go with fish, chicken or even beef.

    For holiday gatherings wine and food gift baskets typically go over well and the food should be prepared with the understanding that it will be sitting on a table for a prolonged period of time. Perishable items should be refrigerated and replenished as need. Whether you use meats or vegetables, at most gatherings it should be noted that almost everyone likes a little meat and cheese with their wine.

    Alyssa the Wine Enthusiast enjoys writing about the many different styles of wines and accessories that are on the market today. You can learn anything from how to purchase cheap but good wines, to how to grow your own grapes or make your own wines right from your kitchen.

    Posted by: Gourmet Grocery Online AT 10:47 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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