Dining

Seek the savory side of chocolate in the new year

Written by By MELISSA D’ARABIAN for The AP Sunday, 28 December 2014 11:23

While I still pay attention to what I eat during the holidays, I nonetheless allow plenty of small splurges. And those splurges mostly can be summed up in one word: chocolate!

Trouble is, the holidays eventually pass, but my cravings for the deep flavor of a perfectly-roasted cocoa bean linger. Even more than the sweetness that accompanies most chocolate desserts, I miss the unctuous coating cocoa leaves on the palate. But who says healthy eating must mean the end of that deliciousness? Enter unsweetened chocolate! All the richness of the flavor without the sugar.

Pot-dining in Colorado pits chefs against law

Written by Kristen Wyatt,
Associated Press writer
Friday, 12 December 2014 17:49

Acclaimed chef Chris Lanter is talking a crowd of eager foodies through a demo on cooking with marijuana. As he prepares steak au poivre, he describes how to deglaze the pan with pot-infused brandy. How to pair marijuana with fine foods. How to make marijuana’s skunky tang work for a dish, not ruin it.

Narragansett launching beer for H.P. Lovecraft

Written by The AP Monday, 24 November 2014 11:03

Providence native son and horror writer H.P. Lovecraft is getting his own beer.

Narragansett Beer President Mark Hellendrung told WPRO-AM this weekend that the company is launching a Lovecraft Honey Ale to celebrate the late writer's literary work. It's being launched on Jan. 19, the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe, whom Lovecraft admired.

Taste tradition in red wines of the Old World

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 November 2014 16:45

Next time you pour a glass of wine, consider how long the nectar of the grape has been filling drinking vessels around the world.

Say ‘cheese’ when holiday entertaining

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 11 December 2014 12:57

In Wisconsin, cheese isn’t merely a food — it’s part of the lifestyle. As such, a well-considered cheese platter should be a staple of your holiday entertaining.

Woodman’s spirits department rising

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 27 November 2014 11:58

The selection at Woodman's. — PHOTO: Courtesy

The assignment seemed simple: Sample and report on organic beers. In Madison, that should be as easy as falling off a barstool, right?

Go For the Food: Hole in the Wall in Des Moines

Written by BARBARA RODRIGUEZ,
Associated Press writer
Thursday, 20 November 2014 07:10

There’s a hole in the wall in Des Moines that’s just that: a food joint called Hole in the Wall.

A small room inside a bar a few blocks from downtown, Hole in the Wall is the kind of place you could easily miss if you walked by. It’s less than a mile from my apartment, yet for months I didn’t know it existed. But it’s there, with food for both indoor patrons at the Gas Lamp bar and customers ordering outside a window. A few plastic chairs lined up against an exterior wall are about all you’ll get if you ask for a reservation.

Chef Tory Miller: Cook authentically this Thanksgiving

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 13 November 2014 16:39

Madison chef Tory Miller plans Thanksgiving dinner around the same main dish as most families — the turkey.

French vs. American wines? Vive la différence!

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Thursday, 11 December 2014 21:52

In 1976, a handful of California winemakers entered a wine competition in Paris hoping to gain attention from the elites who governed the European wine trade. No one was more shocked than the French judges themselves when the series of blind tastings resulted in overwhelming wins for American viticulture.

Pairing holiday foods and wine

Written by Michael Muckian,
Contributing writer
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 11:57

Pairing, a holiday gift.

When pairing wine with food, most hosts and hostesses know that red goes with red meat and white pairs with fish.

Wisconsin ranks No. 2 … in love for the green-bean casserole

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Monday, 24 November 2014 15:57

Wisconsin ranks No. 2 on a survey of love for the green-bean casserole, that apparent favorite of Thanksgiving Day side dishes.

Del Monte conducted the survey, which it called the Del Monte Green Bean Index, and released it just days before the holiday, when an estimated 30 million green-bean casseroles will be set upon U.S. tables. To conduct this study, bean counters at Del Monte asked 1,500 Americans to rate their fondness for the classic green-bean casserole side dish.

10 Things: 10 fresh ways to improve a mug of cocoa

Written by The AP Tuesday, 11 November 2014 19:05

We can’t help it. Once the cooler weather arrives, we crave hot cocoa with the same intensity that we crave a cold beer during barbecue season.

There is, after all, something intensely comforting about drinking a warm mug of nature’s most perfect food — chocolate! Add a dollop of freshly whipped and lightly sweetened cream and it doesn’t get much better.