As the winds of winter (and more) blow outside,
After Hours surfs across the Web to a variety of culinary points of
interest. After a beverage-laden start, this month’s foray heads into
food-related search tools galore.
Republic of Tea
First stop: The Republic of Tea, for a hot cuppa Irish Breakfast Tea. This newcomer to the Republic’s roster is rich and full-bodied, with a strong flavor that I can describe only as round and golden – and far earthier than English breakfast tea.
to the line-up, briefly, is the limited edition Rose Petal Tea, subtitled
Tea for the Queen of Hearts. It’s both perfumey and subtly spicy, and
contains actual rose buds.
Recipe Search Tools
When I go
online for a recipe, my usual haunts are the
Searchable Online Archive of Recipes,
Epicurious, and, sometimes, the
Food Network. Now I can search all of
them at once, and many, many more, by using the search tool at
FoodieView.com. This tool
not only simultaneously searches selected public recipe collections, but
also allows you to browse recipes by category and save recipes of your
choice in a virtual recipe box.
If your goal is bread making, help yourself to a prowl around CookingBread.com. This site is a cornucopia of recipes for plain, sweet and savory breads. It also offers cooking “classes,” which are step-by-step instructions, with photos, for a range of bread types – from simple country white to roasted garlic and sun-dried tomato to Chinese BBQ pork buns. The site has a newsletter, but no hint of the identity of the generous spirit behind it.
you’ve got a recipe, what if you want to change the proportions? When you
want to resize a recipe drastically, head for the
hosted by a food service industry support site called the
WEBstaurant Store. It’s
designed to expand recipes into catering-sized quantities, but also works in
reverse to reduce large-portioned recipes to smaller yields. Type in the
number of people the recipe feeds and the number you want it to feed, then
enter the quantity, type of measurement and name of each ingredient. (Note
that it does not adjust cooking times, which may well need to change for
cooking or baking.)
Wine and Food Matcher
Stumped by what wine to pair with your recipes? Consult the interactive wine and food matching tool recently launched by award-winning wine writer Natalie Maclean.
drop-down menu to access the matcher. One starts with food, with selections
based on courses (appetizer, dessert) or type of food (pasta, seafood and
game, vegetables and salads). The other approaches the issue through wine
types, which are listed by category (i.e., red, sparkling, dessert). Each
option leads to a much longer drop-down menu with uncommonly specific
entries. Ethnic food, for example, breaks down into categories of dishes
(sashimi, borscht, coconut curry) as well as national cuisines (Korean,
Spanish, Tex-Mex). Similarly, each top-level wine category leads to an
exhaustive drop-down menu of specific varieties, from the familiar to the
not-at-all-so. Select one to view a page of food recommendations by course
and type. Just below the results is a search tool for retrieving Maclean’s
recommendations by label of your chosen wine type.
Copyright 2006 Kathy Biehl. All Rights Reserved.