I had a total "aha" moment in the kitchen; I went on a search a couple months ago for the best ice cream scoop, with the intention of sharing it with everyone, and I never shared my findings! Truthfully, it was kind of a joke at first, but when I realized how most normal scoops are so disappointing - never releasing, getting an ugly scoop, or just chipping away small shavings - I also realized how it wasn't really that silly of a search after all. Unlike some reviews that'll compare five different ones and then reveal their best, I'll get quick to the point. Sure, there are a lot of great scoops out there, but there's something just a little better about this one....

As a theme for the cold weather coming up, I'm going to do a recipe collection based on a couple Swedish / Nordic delights that are wonderful for keeping warm in the cold weather. I'm also going to include some favorites of mine from other parts of the world. The inspiration for this idea came from the discovery of hygge. Now, what is hygge exactly?According to VisitDenmark.com, hygge (pronounced "hoo-gah") is described in the following way: In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. There's nothing more hygge than sitting round a table, discussing the big and small things in life. The interesting thing about hygge is that it doesn't have just one meaning or purpose. It's an idea, really. It's a word that can be used to describe...

[caption id="attachment_928" align="alignleft" width="346"] Left: Dash DPB-500 Digital Blender Right: Finished Green Drink[/caption]Of course, the headline of the article is my opinion, but, at the same time there are certain things that are just indisputable. Just a warning: this is a huge post. But it's the summation of a TON of information I've learned and waded through.You've seen them everywhere. Oprah has had them on her show with Dr. Oz. Naked, Bolthouse Farms, Odwalla and many others offer them at your local supermarket, countless recipe books have been published just in the past year. Are they the be-all-end-all weight loss solution? Not entirely. But that was never my fascination with them anyhow. You see, you and I probably have a lot in common. In a recent survey by NPD, researchers found that males aged 18 to 34 are those who are most likely to forego the most important meal of the day. For...

[caption id="attachment_782" align="aligncenter" width="580"]cioppino seafood soup Cioppino (Italian-American Seafood Soup) with Crusty French Bread[/caption]It’s high time that I get back on here with something new. I’ve taken a hiatus for quite some time on my postings, mostly because life took over. Never fear, though, my cooking / eating did not suffer, as I got myself into quite a regular habit of hosting dinner parties for friends. The funny thing about said parties was the fact that my cooking always involved new creations — untested recipes — things that looked good enough on paper to try. Luck smiled upon me, on two accounts — one, that I had a forgiving crowd, and two, that everything always turned out quite satisfactory, if not, truly gourmet.

Recipes and article by Thomas Sauer and Tyler DavisA few weeks ago, Downtown Dweller blog contributor Thomas Sauer and I were having a conversation about how we’ve always wanted to cook together. Now, this topic has come up in conversation several times, but because of our hectic schedules, and the busy whirlwind called life, our plan had never come to fruition. This time, however, we were determined! We simply picked a date, decided on a theme, and let the market do the talking. Our chicken bouillabaisse with rouille was the result of this meeting. Keep reading to see how it came about!Thomas makes an amazing French baguette that can be used for practically everything. It’s culinary applications are endless and the recipe, he told me, was “Reallllly easy”. With Thomas fixated on making his famous baguette, I knew only French food would do it justice. So he and I took it to France, and came up with a menu of classical french meets modern day epicure.The day of our friendship feast, we ventured to a local grocery store close to his house. It was plentiful, with lots of incredible looking vegetables and herbs that I knew I had to get my hands on. and we then looked around a bit further and decided poultry was to the pièce de résistance.

Tortilla de PapasFollowing the Spanish theme for this month’s articles, I thought one of my favorite breakfast foods would be appropriate. I’ve always been a fan of the omelette, but the tortilla de papas is not your ordinary huevo dish. In essence, it combines the crispy hash browns, with light, and fluffy eggs. There are many variations of the dish, and many preparations. The most common spanish style omelette combines fresh eggs, with potatoes and great olive oil, fried until the potatoes have crisped up, and the eggs, luscious clouds of golden goodness!

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