Get Professionally Cooked Seafood Recipes With Parchment Paper

Whoever taught you how to cook, be it Mom, Grandma or the Food Network, probably shared the secret to no-muss, no-fuss baking. After all, many chefs know that baking with parchment paper is key for moist cookies, brownies, cakes and other sweet treats.

Do you also think of using parchment paper for meats, seafood, pizza, soup, fondue, vegetables and more? You should – the tool is practically limitless. It can be used in dozens of dishes with the simplest clean-up. Plus, unlike wax paper or plastic wrap, parchment paper doesn’t melt onto your food. Check out a savory catfish recipe using parchment paper and U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish:

Easy, Elegant Entertaining With a French Touch

(NewsUSA) – Elegant entertaining is easy with help from Wini Moranville, author of "The Bonne Femme Cookbook." The title, meaning "the good wife" in French, refers to fresh and delicious cuisine served at home, no matter who does the cooking. Breeze through the hectic holiday season with a touch of French flair by following these simple suggestions.Welcome guests with bowls of salted almonds and olives. Add a touch of vintage glamour with a classic cocktail like the Sidecar, made with Cognac, fresh lemon juice and triple sec. Moranville’s time-saving tip: whip up a pitcher of drinks before friends arrive. Landy Cognac V.S. has delightful floral and orange aromas. From renowned spirits producer Cognac-Ferrand, its friendly price is also easy on the budget.Create a show-stopping yet fuss-free course for the main event. Even Julia Child would approve of the updated classic French dish, Chicken Véronique — chicken breasts with grapes in a white wine sauce. Wondering which wine to use? Ch?teau Bonnet Blanc, a crisp, dry Sauvignon Blanc blend from Bordeaux, works beautifully in recipes, and you can enjoy the rest of the bottle with dinner.For more tips and recipes, visit chezbonnefemme.com. Chicken VéroniqueServes 44 boneless skinless chicken breast halvesSalt and freshly ground black pepper1/4 cup flour2 tablespoons unsalted butter1 tablespoon olive oil2 garlic cloves, minced3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth3/4 cup dry white wine1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar1 tablespoon honey1 cup seedless red grapes, halved 1. Place each chicken breast between sheets of plastic wrap, pound until 1/4 inch thick. Season both sides with salt and pepper; dredge in flour, shake off excess.2. In large skillet, melt 1 T. of butter and heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken, cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until no longer pink inside, turning once (reduce heat if chicken browns too quickly). Transfer chicken to platter; cover with foil, keep warm.3. Add garlic to skillet; sauté briefly. Carefully add chicken broth, white wine, balsamic vinegar. Boil until liquid reduces to 1/2 cup. Whisk in honey. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of butter until melted. Sauce should be slightly syrupy (boil a little longer if not).Add grapes and heat through.To serve, spoon grapes and sauce over chicken.

Easy, Elegant Entertaining With a French Flair

Elegant entertaining is easy with help from Wini Moranville, author of “The Bonne Femme Cookbook.” The title, meaning “the good wife” in French, refers to fresh and delicious cuisine served at home, no matter who does the cooking. Breeze through the hectic holiday season with a touch of French flair by following these simple suggestions.

Welcome guests with bowls of salted almonds and olives. Add a touch of vintage glamour with a classic cocktail like the Sidecar, made with Cognac, fresh lemon juice and triple sec. Moranville’s time-saving tip: whip up a pitcher of drinks before friends arrive. Landy Cognac V.S. has delightful floral and orange aromas. From renowned spirits producer Cognac-Ferrand, its friendly price ($25) is also easy on the budget.

4 Tips for Local Farm Market Finds and Buys

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – All over the country, people are hopping on the farm-market bandwagon. Buying local, organic food helps the environment, is healthier for your family and supports area businesses.
Here’s what to look for when you go out shopping:
Eat fresh. You’ll find only in-season fruit and vegetables, rather than those flown in from around the world. That can mean no blackberries in the winter months, and also higher quality of what is available. Expect to taste the difference with produce so fresh sometimes it’s picked the same day.
Discover more. Farm stands are kicking it up a notch in recent years, selling local products including canned salsa, smoked jerky and baked fruit pies. Taking it one step further, the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York hosts a Cheese Trail introducing visitors to area cheese makers like Finger Lakes Dexter Creamery (www.fingerlakesdextercreamery.com). While you’re in the area also look for such items as honey, jams and jellies, and even pancake mix made from locally grown grain.
Ask and learn. Farm stand employees are a wealth of knowledge. Find a vegetable you’ve never eaten? Ask staff how to prepare it, and even what to serve with it.
Among the 940 farms in the Finger Lakes is Elderberry Pond Country Foods (www.elderberrypond.com), an organic farm, store and gourmet restaurant. Because they believe in eating from the land, they teach their customers how to do that, too. If you’re in town for only a few days, a market is the next best thing to a visitor’s bureau. Ask for directions and sightseeing suggestions. You’re likely to learn off-the-beaten-path ideas that will give you a better sense of the community.
Give. Farm markets not only help you plan better meals, and save the environment, but buying things made local means less travel for everyone involved. You can also find gift ideas for loved ones. Some offer local wine to sample and buy. In the Finger Lakes (www.tourcayuga.com), for example, markets often offer wine tastings from one of the more than 100 area wineries.
Also, look for homemade soap, sweaters and crafts made by local artisans. If you are an antique or art collector, markets sometimes carry items, or they’ll know of nearby locations to find something special.
The next time you’re in town or away from home with free time on your hands, consider a farm market for gifts, ideas and fresh, local produce.

Women: Simple Tips to Identify Migraine Triggers

You enjoy a glass of red wine, but an hour later, even the dimmest lights make your head throb. Coincidence? Probably not.

Migraine headaches – those chronic, severe headaches that typically cause intense, crippling pain that is often accompanied by nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound – have triggers, or factors and events that make them more likely to occur. Not every migraine sufferer has the same triggers, and the same migraine sufferer might not react to her triggers the same way every time. Sometimes, it’s not a single trigger, but a series of triggers that cause the migraine. For example, a woman might not get a migraine from skipping a meal, but might get a migraine from skipping a meal on a day in which she’s had inadequate sleep or too much caffeine.

Tips to Arrange a Romantic Dinner for Two

Between work and family obligations, many couples struggle to find time together. But  finding time to enjoy your partner’s company is important, so why not have fun with it? Planning a romantic dinner might be easier than you think.
Here are some tips for couples looking to plan a special dinner with their partner:
1.    Arrange “alone” time. If you have kids, see if they can spend the night at a friend’s or relative’s home. If not, hire a sitter to entertain your children outside of the home.
2.    If the dinner’s a surprise, make sure that your partner isn’t going to be busy with other plans. If you want to let your partner know about your plans, leave an invitation on his or her pillow.
3.    Set the scene. Make sure that your home looks romantic when your partner arrives. Candles and roses let your partner know that you have arranged something special. Set the table with china, lovely stemware and your favorite linens.
4.    Choose a delicious wine. Conversation over a wonderful wine is one of life’s simplest pleasures, so indulge in something light and refreshing. The 2007 Clos du Bois Rosé (closdubois.com) is a delicate, floral wine with hints of wild strawberries and ripe watermelon. It’s bright acidity and rosy color make it a wonderful choice for romantic nights in. Better yet, dry rosés work with most food pairings, whether you’re planning an all-chocolate menu, ethnic food or your partner’s favorite dish.
5.    When it comes to food, play it safe. If you’ve never rolled your own gnocchi before, now is not the time to give pasta-making a try. Choose a recipe that you know well, or order carry-out from a favorite restaurant. If you do order food, transfer it to attractive dishes before serving. Don’t forget appetizers. Go to a local cheese shop for help putting together an elegant cheese plate that pairs with your wine.
6.    Dress up. A cous cous with spicy vegetables looks much less elegant if you’re wearing a ratty T-shirt and worn jeans. You don’t need to make yourself uncomfortable, but do put some effort into your appearance.
A festive bottle of wine, a pretty table and a few hours alone together can make any simple dinner romantic.

Tips for Planning a Wine Tour For Your Next Special Event

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – If you’re looking for a unique way to mark an occasion, spend time with friends and family or even host a work event, consider a wine tour. Most wineries are open year round and cater to groups of all sizes. Consider the following to help you plan:

* Choose a theme: Many wineries have theme weekends throughout the year that celebrate changing seasons, holidays, local happenings and new vintages. Start with an invitation and then plan everything from food to music around your theme.

* Location, location, location: Make it convenient and choose your tour destination based on the number of wineries and hotels in one area. The Finger Lakes Region in New York is home to more than 200 wineries spread along five organized wine trails that make touring easy.

Travel resources such as www.tourcayuga.com can help visitors map out their route, learn more about a specific trail or find things to see and do along the way — even point you to wineries off the beaten path. Other growing wine regions such as Napa and Sonoma Valley, Calif., and the Niagara region found between Western New York State and Southern Ontario offer more than 50 wineries for visitors to choose from.

* Leave it to the professionals: If you don’t know the area, schedule a guided tour. Many Inns and bed and breakfasts, for example, provide overnight packages that include private, luxury wine excursions (as well as picnic lunches and other “wine themed” surprises). Check out Aurora Inn’s “Wine Country Getaway” package at www.aurora-inn.com or 10 Fitch’s “Spoiled Girl’s Getaway Package” at www.10fitch.com.

* Get in on the action: Don’t just taste the wine, be part of the process. Call the wineries you plan to visit in advance to see how you can roll up your sleeves and get involved in everything from the picking to the stomping. For example, Heart & Hands Wine Company on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail in Union Springs, New York, offers an annual “Crush Camp.” Work alongside the winemaking team by picking fruit, sorting and pressing grapes, performing lab analysis and even the cleaning!

* Make it a lasting memory: Take a photo of your group, and turn it into a unique wine label for your favorite wine bottles, or hand them out as inexpensive souvenirs. Photo coasters are another fun, affordable way to remember your tour. Host a tasting event at your own home, and ask friends to share their favorites.

Wine touring can be a fun, unique and inexpensive way to spend a day with friends, loved ones or a large group. Don’t wait until the last minute to book your tour or overnight reservations, particularly in the peak months of June through October. Try to plan midweek to avoid big crowds. Saturday is the busiest day at most wineries.

Always the Bridesmaid? You Can Wear the Dresses Again

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – “And you’ll be able to wear it again!” is a phrase often used around bridesmaids’ dresses. Because a ridiculously expensive lime-green taffeta shepherdess gown is appropriate for almost any occasion, and the Peter Pan collar is poised to make a comeback any century now.

If you’re one of the many women who has piles of Pepto-Bismol-colored ruffles stuffed in the back of her closet, never fear -; you will be able to wear that dress again. Host an old bridesmaids’ dress party, and the good times may even blot out the embarrassment of having had to wear that dress in the first place.

Where to start? The concept is simple — invite all of your girlfriends over, and tell them to wear their most hideous bridesmaid dress. Not only will you get to rewear the bridesmaids’ dresses of weddings past, you’ll also get to laugh at some of the more hideous outfits. Note: if you were a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding, either don’t invite her or try not to wear the dress she chose, even if it does include a tutu and puffed sleeves.

Adding an inexpensive spin to classic elegance is the way to go. Skip the chips and dip in favor of a fruit-and-cheese platter. For a refreshing twist on champagne, the traditional wedding libation, pick up a few bottles of a fruit-flavored sparkling wine. Arbor Mist (arbormist.com), which is known for fruit and wine combinations like Strawberry White Zinfandel and Blackberry Merlot, has recently released a line of sparkling wines. Both the Peach Sparkle and the Raspberry Sparkle combine light and crisp sparkling wine with natural fruit, creating the perfect refreshment for a get-together with your girlfriends.

For entertainment, ask each woman to tell the story behind her bridesmaid dress. You can also have fun playing a wedding-themed round of Pictionary or charades. You can also hold a vote to find out, for once and for all, which one of you had to endure the wearing the worst bridesmaid dress.

For more information about Arbor Mist wines, visit www.arbormist.com.

It’s Your Choice of Wine: Red, White or Green

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – “Sustainability” is a popular term when it comes to being eco-friendly, but what does it really mean? For California’s vintners and winegrape growers, who subscribe to California’s Sustainable Winegrowing Program, it’s very clear.

“Sustainable practices include the way we preserve and protect the land, water and air, and how we responsibly interact with employees and local communities,” says Kim Ledbetter-Bronson, Chairwoman of the California Association of Winegrape Growers.

Specifically, California vintners and winegrape growers are adopting the following practices in their vineyards and wineries:

* Using alternative energy sources. Growers and vintners use solar and wind power, and biodegradable fuel produced from vegetable oils and animal fats.

* Using sheep, goats, chickens, falcons, owls, dogs, beneficial insects and other creatures to provide a low-impact, natural cultivation method and to manage pests.

* Using “green” building materials such as straw bales, rammed earth, earthen plaster and recycled lumber in winery construction.

* Preserving wildlife habitats and creating nest boxes for owls, raptors and other beneficial birds when designing vineyards.

* Using cover crops and compost to prevent erosion, attract helpful insects that prey on pests and enrich healthy soils.

* Being a good neighbor and giving back to the community.

* Adopting winery and vineyard water conservation practices.

The good news for consumers: The increased attention to detail that these sustainable practices require results in higher-quality wines.

“California wine is ahead of the curve in adopting sound environmental practices, and we will continue to lead in sustainable wine growing,” says Robert P. Koch, president and CEO of the Wine Institute.

For more information, visit www.wineinstitute.org, www.cawg.org or www.sustainablewinegrowing.org.

Create California-Style Simplicity at Home

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – California-style cuisine is the essence of simplicity, relying on locally grown, sustainable ingredients harvested at the peak of ripeness. Committed to eco-friendly growing practices, Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers offer this farm-fresh recipe designed to complement a range of California wines:

Warm Harvest Bread Salad

1 one-pound loaf artisan bread, preferably a day old

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, minced

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons pear vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

2 firm-ripe pears

3/4 cup pitted black olives, halved

3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley

Set the bread on a clean work surface, and cut it in half crosswise. Remove the crusts and about 1/4 inch of the bread. Preheat an oven broiler. Brush the bread very lightly all over with olive oil, set it on a sheet pan and broil until the bread takes on a little color; turn and continue until all surfaces have been lightly toasted. Cool, tear into 2 inch pieces, put the pieces into a wide shallow serving bowl and cover. This can be done up to a day in advance.

Put the shallots into a small bowl, season with 1 teaspoon salt, add the sugar and vinegar and agitate the bowl gently to dissolve the sugar. Add the thyme, and let rest for 15 minutes. Stir in 4 tablespoons of the olive oil, taste and if it seems a bit too tart, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

Spoon half the dressing over the bread and toss. Set aside.

Put the butter into a medium sauté pan. Working quickly, peel the pears, cut them in lengthwise quarters; remove the seed cores and cut into 3/4-inch dice. Melt the butter over medium-low heat, add the pears and sauté, turning gently with a spatula, until they are lightly browned all over. Remove from the heat and add to the bread, along with the olives, cherry tomatoes and parsley. Toss the salad, and mound it on one side of the dish.

Serve the bread salad with a roasted chicken, using either your favorite recipe or the roasted chicken recipe at www.discovercaliforniawine.com (click on CA Wine Month). Pair the white meat with Chardonnay, the dark meat with Pinot Noir. To serve just one wine, consider a dry rosé.