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Veggies in the raw

Updated: 1/2/2014 4:37:15 PM
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  • Gluten Free, Reduced Carbohydrate Chocolate Cobbler, 7/24/14

    Gluten Free, Reduced Carbohydrate Chocolate Cobbler, 7/24/14

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:00:44 GMT
    Brandon DouglasPrep Time 30 minBake Time ~35 minCool Time Serve Instantly for Ideal Texture2 ½ cups Splenda Zero Calorie Sweetener, Divided into 1 ½ cups and 1 cup2 cup Gluten Free Bisquick All Purpose flour6 Tbsp ½ cup cocoa, divided respectively4 tsp baking powder½ tsp salt2 cups Whole Milk2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted3 teaspoons Gluten Free vanilla extract½ cup firmly packed Splenda Brown Sugar blend3 cups hot waterPreheat oven to 3500FStir Together 1 ½ cups Splenda Zero Calorie Sweeten...More >>
    Brandon DouglasPrep Time 30 minBake Time ~35 minCool Time Serve Instantly for Ideal Texture2 ½ cups Splenda Zero Calorie Sweetener, Divided into 1 ½ cups and 1 cup2 cup Gluten Free Bisquick All Purpose flour6 Tbsp ½ cup cocoa, divided respectively4 tsp baking powder½ tsp salt2 cups Whole Milk2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted3 teaspoons Gluten Free vanilla extract½ cup firmly packed Splenda Brown Sugar blend3 cups hot waterPreheat oven to 3500FStir Together 1 ½ cups Splenda Zero Calorie Sweeten...More >>
  • Raspberry Lemonade, 7/23/14

    Raspberry Lemonade, 7/23/14

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-07-23 14:09:04 GMT
    Michael LanariKitchen Bath Concepts4 cups fresh lemon juice3 cups sugar1 bag frozen raspberriesIce cubes, for servingSqueeze the lemons and pour the juice into a pitcher. Mix together the sugar with 3 cups water and stir to dissolve to make a syrup. Add the syrup to the lemon juice and top it up with 8 cups water. Taste to make sure it's sweet enough for you, and then add the raspberries. Mix the lemonade together and let chill in the fridge. (Keep in mind that the raspberries are tart, so b...More >>
    Michael LanariKitchen Bath Concepts4 cups fresh lemon juice3 cups sugar1 bag frozen raspberriesIce cubes, for servingSqueeze the lemons and pour the juice into a pitcher. Mix together the sugar with 3 cups water and stir to dissolve to make a syrup. Add the syrup to the lemon juice and top it up with 8 cups water. Taste to make sure it's sweet enough for you, and then add the raspberries. Mix the lemonade together and let chill in the fridge. (Keep in mind that the raspberries are tart, so b...More >>
  • Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with Oreo Cookies, 7/22/14

    Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with Oreo Cookies, 7/22/14

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-07-22 15:12:24 GMT
    Alan BennettYield: 32 servingsIngredients:1 1/4 Quart Oreo Pieces-small, divided6 Tbl. butter, meltedCup Original Cream Cheese, softened2 Cup sugar4 Ea. eggs1 1/4 Cup fresh blueberries1/3 Cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate, meltedDescription:Cheesecake bars made with fresh blueberries and Oreo Cookie Pieces.Preparation Steps:Combine 1 lb. of the Oreo Pieces and butter; press evenly onto bottom of 1 parchment-lined half-sheet pan. Place cream cheese and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer fitt...More >>
    Alan BennettYield: 32 servingsIngredients:1 1/4 Quart Oreo Pieces-small, divided6 Tbl. butter, meltedCup Original Cream Cheese, softened2 Cup sugar4 Ea. eggs1 1/4 Cup fresh blueberries1/3 Cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate, meltedDescription:Cheesecake bars made with fresh blueberries and Oreo Cookie Pieces.Preparation Steps:Combine 1 lb. of the Oreo Pieces and butter; press evenly onto bottom of 1 parchment-lined half-sheet pan. Place cream cheese and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer fitt...More >>

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For me, the whole thing began with radishes.

When I was seven, thanks to the spiral-bound 1965 edition of the Betty Crocker Boys and Girls Cookbook — my mother's childhood copy — I was introduced to the extraordinary notion that radishes could become roses. I learned to carve thin petals into them and drop them into ice water, where they would blossom. I'd savor them with a little sprinkle of salt.

There's nothing new about eating raw vegetables, but in the States it wasn't until the first half of the 20th century that an austere serving of celery sticks was recast as an opulent appetizer.

The distinction is partly semantic: Fashionable French restaurants in America offered first-course relish plates of raw vegetables, referring to them in their native tongue (the word crudité itself is French for “rawness,” though the presentation may include cooked or cured ingredients), and the term caught on.

To me, the definition is also an aesthetic one: Crudités live or die by their composition, by their balance of colors, and the allure of the arrangement. Whether it's a single sliced carrot or a polychromatic cornucopia, it's meant to be admired.

Crudités' popularity has waxed and waned over the years. They never really went away at a certain type of gilded brasserie, but only very recently has the dish been showing up at the hipper sorts of restaurants. I'm proud not to have been a fair-weather fan — and I'm in good company. James Beard called crudités “the most appetizing dish imaginable,” and artist Wayne Thiebaud immortalized them in his 1963 painting Plate of Hors d'Oeuvres.

What accounts for their timeless appeal? For me they're the best demonstration of earthly abundance you can lay on a table. Broccoli is just a starting point; I might add wedges of raw fennel, pickled caperberries, or blanched green beans, and always several dips. I never make the same composition twice — but I always use radishes, and sometimes I even carve them into roses.

See the recipe for Creamy Watercress Dip »

See the recipe for Lemon Parmesan Dip »

See the recipe for Roasted Carrot and White Bean Dip »



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