Thursday, July 31, 2008

Corn at the Right Time

Who can resist sweet summer corn? Well now, you have a new way to serve it at summer potlucks and barbeques. It's fresh, colorful and super simple.

Grilled Corn Salad

Recipe courtesy of The Neelys and the Food Network

6 ears fresh corn, husked with silks removed
2 tablespoons canola oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
2 cups packed arugula

Lemon Dressing:
1 lemon, juiced
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Neelys Barbeque Seasoning (paprika, sugar and onion powder) to taste

Preheat grill or broiler to medium heat. Rub corn with 2 tablespoons of canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill or broil corn for 7 minutes or until ears are lightly browned. Remove from grill and allow to cool. Remove the kernels form the cob and place in a large mixing bowl along with the cherry tomatoes, red pepper, scallions and arugula.
In a small bowl, prepare dressing by whisking together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and Neelys Barbeque Seasoning to taste. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve at room temperature.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hanging Handbags

I've come across an unusual gadget that should serve fashionistas well. It's called ClipChic, and it's a handy item if you need some help keeping your handbags pristine. I recently read a study about how much bacteria ends up on the average woman's handbag simply from resting it on the floor. It's kind of scary, but ClipChic can help solve the problem. The small device is a compact hook that latches on to any flat surface, allowing your purse to hang in midair while keeping it secure, clean and nearby. The clips, available for purchase online, cost $19.95 and come in a variety of colors which you can coordinate with your purse if you're so inclined. They're clever, cute and would make a great gift for those stylish gadget-loving girls.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Winner of The SoHo Giveaway

Congratulations go to cupcake monkey! This morning, I closed my eyes and had an old-fashioned drawing to find the winner of one copy of Savannah Classic Desserts. I'll be contacting cupcake monkey and sending the book her way. Thanks to everyone for entering!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

SoHo Giveaway!

So I've hit a milestone, not a major one, but a milestone none-the-less. It's my 100th blog entry and to celebrate I'm hostessing a giveaway! It's your chance to win a copy of Savannah Classic Desserts. The cookbook is a collection of fabulous dessert recipes from popular restaurants and cafés all over my hometown of Savannah, Georgia. The chosen recipes exemplify the Savannah lifestyle and hopefully the SoHo lifestyle.

Simply leave a comment between now and midnight on Sunday, July 27th, and you'll be eligible to win. The winner will be chosen at random and notified via blog post. Thanks for supporting The SoHo over the last 100 posts! I look forward to sharing many more explorations in cooking, shopping and entertaining.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Homemade Ice Cream Experiments: Butter Pecan

This week, I tried out butter pecan in the ice cream maker. The sweet milk-based vanilla with slightly salty pecans tossed in was a perfect treat. And if you're into the homemade ice cream sandwiches, try butter pecan on a pecan sandie.

Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Recipe courtesy of Cuisinart

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup whole milk, well chilled
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, to taste

Melt 1 stick unsalted butter in a 10-inch skillet. Add 1 cup roughly chopped pecans and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until the pecans are lightly browned. Remove from the heat, strain (the butter will have a pecan flavor and may be reserved for another use). Allow the pecans to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer or a whisk to combine the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1-2 minutes on low speed. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla to taste. Pour chilled mixture into your ice cream maker and let mix until thickened.
Add the toasted, buttered pecans during the last 5 minutes of mixing. Recipe yields ten 1/2 cup servings. Put the ice cream in a plastic container and keep it in the freezer overnight if you want a firmer consistency.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Necklaces Make a Bold Statement

My J. Crew catalog arrived today and on the cover was a bright yellow double-stranded necklace. The necklace features glass beads made in Japan in the 1960s. Secured by an ornate medallion, the jewelry definitely has a vintage look, but the lemony color provides an unconventional modern twist. While the necklace is beautiful, it's a steep $228 and supplies are limited, so I went in search of similarly appealing neck-ware. At Banana Republic, I came up with another necklace featuring a brooch as well a selection of bold three-strand beaded necklaces available in orange, purple and turquoise, all retailing for $59. Anthropologie's lemondrops necklace is just $38 and with its candy-inspired design, looks good enough to eat. So be bold and throw on a colorful necklace of any price range to make your summer fashion shine.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer Sips: Raspberry and Lemon Sorbet Float

This drink/dessert is a quick fix that's perfect for an outdoor summer meal. The recipe is courtesy of Martha Stewart Living, but it couldn't be easier. While the recipe calls for raspberry and lemon sorbet, I opted to go with just the raspberry sorbet (because the grocery store was out of lemon) and squeezed in a bit of lemon juice to add tartness. The ginger ale provides a sweetness and fizz that's kid-friendly, but Prosecco would make for a more grown-up treat. Overall, it's a refreshing drink that serves as a light and tasty dessert.

Raspberry and Lemon Sorbet Floats
Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart Living

1 pint lemon sorbet
1 pint raspberry sorbet
2 bottles (12 ounces each) ginger ale, preferably naturally brewed

Use your favorite sorbet in this recipe. High-quality, naturally sweetened ones work especially well. Place 1 scoop lemon sorbet and 1 scoop raspberry sorbet in each of 4 tall glasses. Fill each glass with 3/4 cup ginger ale, and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Garlic Hands Be Gone

I absolutely love cooking with garlic, but one of my biggest pet peeves is the odor that's left on my hands when I'm done. For flavor, garlic's a yes, but for perfume, a big no. Luckily, there's a solution and it comes in the deodorizing form of stainless steel. Simply wash your hands with soap and water, while rubbing them against something made of stainless steel. Anything from a faucet to a knife to pots and pans ought to do the trick. If you're looking for a sleeker solution or a gadget for your foodie friends, many companies, like Lekker, make a stainless steel "soap" designed for this exact purpose. Apparently the stainless steel method doesn't work for everyone, but it did work for me. So next time you're making spaghetti sauce, give it a try. Your loved ones will thank you.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Budding Decor

There's nothing like bringing flowers indoors, especially if you're an apartment or condo dweller who's lacking in the yard department. If you're bored with standard glass vases, there are a variety of possibilities when it comes to floral decor. CB2 currently has some beautiful and original options, including these inline vases that stand like a fence, this hanging bottle design, which can be mounted on the wall and this porcelain, carton-shaped vase. The affordable containers bring a refreshing charm to a basic home decor item. They might even steal the show from your flowers.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Homemade Ice Cream Experiments: Adventures with Strawberry and Gingersnaps

What's more American than ice cream? This week, I went with strawberry, combining the ingredients from my handy Cuisinart recipe book with the method used in The Perfect Scoop. I ended up with a slightly sweet, very pink ice cream, which I decided to pair with gingersnaps for a little crunch. I liked the combination so much, I made gingersnap ice cream sandwiches. You can make and serve them immediately, or make them and stick them back in the freezer to set up. Work quickly though because this ice cream melts fast. Happy 4th!

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

1 pint fresh, ripe strawberries, stemmed and sliced
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sugar, divided
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a small bowl, combine the strawberries with the lemon juice and 1/3 cup of the sugar; stir gently and allow the strawberries to macerate in the juices for 2 hours. In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer or a whisk to combine the milk and remaining granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1-2 minutes on low speed. Stir in the heavy cream. Run the strawberries in a blender until puréed. Pour through a sieve or mesh strainer to remove all seeds. Combine strawberry purée with heavy cream mixture and add vanilla. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and let mix until thickened. Add sliced strawberries in the last 5 minutes, if desired. Put the ice cream in a plastic container and keep it in the freezer overnight if you want a firmer consistency. Recipe yields twelve 1/2 cup servings.


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