Sorry for the long hiatus, but with the holidays, traveling, book events, and a nasty inner ear infection, I’ve been completely distracted!
If you recall, I asked you all to vote for my recipe online when it was a finalist in the 2010 Cooking Light Ultimate Reader Recipe Contest, and boy did you guys deliver! I won the online vote “by a landslide” and won the contest, and I have all of you to thank for that – so thanks again everybody!!!
We did the photo shoot way back in September and seeing the spread brought back happy memories of the experience.
The Cooking Light marketing staff couldn’t have been more warm and friendly. I was quite nervous, but they made me feel so comfortable, as if it was normal to be in the spotlight in a studio kitchen with lights and cameras on me – Ok well, as comfortable as was possible in that situation!
I also got to meet Chef Billy Strynkowski, Executive Chef of Cooking Light, who is completely down to earth and chummy. My husband who joined us later thought he was “the equipment guy” as he wasn’t in his chef whites. Ha ha.
Karen Cattan, the photographer and her lighting assistant, Lynn Sawville, did a fantastic job on the pictures. They made the food look really beautiful, and were able to get shots of me with my eyes open (a rare occurrence when I’m being photographed!)
I made my entire dish during the shoot, while we all chatted and snacked on munchies and had a good time.
The photo shoot was capped off by a fantastic dinner at Marea with the Cooking Light staff and publisher, and the next evening, by a wonderful Supper Club event where Chef Billy demonstrated various cooking techniques while making the dishes we were eating. I think I gained a couple of pounds those two days eating all the amazing food that was offered!
Then, that weekend, my husband and son and I got treated to a “Weekend Getaway” in Manhattan, a real indulgence— we would never ever stay in a hotel in the city, as we live right across the river.
We stayed two nights at the Hudson Hotel designed by Phillippe Starck. Jamie loved it: “This is the coolest hotel ever!!”
Check out their bar, which looks like the set from 2001: A Space Odyssey at the very end of the movie.
We completely indulged and ate all our meals out. Highlights were:
The waffles at Petit Abeille.
A ginormous caramel shake from Shake Shack.
And an amazing Japanese dinner at Menchenko Tei where we had the pleasure of being seated next to Richard Thomas and his family. No, I did not say “Good Night, John Boy!” when we left!!
It was a perfect New York City experience. Thank you, Cooking Light for everything. I’ll always have such wonderful memories of that week in September!!
To end, I leave you with my most recent favorite Cooking Light recipe. Oh my gosh, this stuff is addictive. It is awesome (as my son would say). You must try it for the holidays. I plan on making a lot to send to family and friends this year. Enjoy!
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup light-colored corn syrup
5 1/4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon molasses
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with non stick spray.
- Combine sugar, corn syrup, butter and molasses in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook 5 minutes, stirring once.
- Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda, salt, and vanilla.
- Put popcorn in a large bowl. Pour syrup over popcorn, stirring to coat.
- Spread mixture in one layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Stir to break up large clumps. Cool for 15 minutes. Stir again to break up clumps and serve or store in an airtight container for one week.
Yield: 18 2/3 cup servings
Calories 126; Fat 3.6 g; Iron 0.4mg; Cholesterol 9 mg; calcium 15 mg; carbohydrate 23.9 g; sodium 151 mg; protein 0.7g; fiber 0.8g
From Cooking Light, December 2002
Original Recipe is here.