The Food Virgin Blog

The Food Virgin is the home of The Food Virgin articles and podcasts, providing everything you need to know to eat any cuisine. With advice covering what to expect, what to order, what the food is like and how to eat it, The Food Virgin provides answers for people who are trying a new cuisine for the first time, as well as experienced diners who want to eat like the experts.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

T'is the Season... for Gingerbread Cookies!

Why is gingerbread such a holiday-time food? Probably because you can shape it and decorate it into fun things. Last year, I made a gingerbread shack. I say 'shack', because my architectural measurements were done rather lacksidaisically, so when it came time to put up the structure on the plate, it was less like a perfect Amish barn raising, and more like building a shanty in a third world slum. Even the decorations didn't help. Ultimately, its only tenants were fruit flies.

Today, I tried to make my favourite gingerbread cookies. They are normally delicious and get rave reviews. Today, though, they stuck to the pan, so getting them off without breaking them was a challenge that has left my cookie sheet forever scarred. My plan is to bring them to a Christmas party tonight, and blame the broken ones on the bottom on breakage in transport. Hee Hee Hee! In all honesty, I think my problem today was a slight shortage of butter. They do say that baking is a science, and boy are 'they' ever right!

Happy holidays to you!

Here is the cookie recipe: Spice Sugar Cookies

Friday, December 15, 2006

Forgotten Recipes

Does anyone else cook in cycles, or am I the only one who makes lots of one recipe for a while, and then move on to other things only to not make the recipe for a long time again?

Tonight I just made something that I haven't made in months- shashlik- and while it turned out fine, if I'd been in the habit of making it, I'd have remembered that I should have everything ready to go before starting to cook (yes, this is something that everyone learns in lesson 1 of Home Economics, but hey!). Anyhow, I'll probably remember to do so for the next little while, but that's only if I make shashlik again sometime soon.

Here's a link to the recipe:


Maybe I'll add a note to myself so that I don't forget ingredients or key cooking tips! :-)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Seasonal Food

A lot of the time, when someone talks about food being seasonal, we think of fruits and vegetables that only ripen at certain times of the year: Apples in the Fall, strawberries in early summer, peas in late June.

We do also have seasonal meats too, though. Spring lamb, turkey in the holiday season.

Are there meats that are eaten in your part of the world that are seasonal? Let us know here, or at the forum!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Holiday Cookies

So, it's that Christmas/Hannukah/Hari Raya/New Year time of year, which could also be known as "Cookie Time!"

This year, in addition to making lots of apple crumble (try this recipe here: , I'm about to move into Cinnamon Spice Cookie making mode. These are my signature cookie, if such a thing as a signature cookie exists. I think it does because I have another friend whose signature cookie is the traditional chocolate chip, which is also yummy.

To make my favorite cookie, use this recipe here, and follow the undercooking instructions (I think 9 mins is enough usually).

Anyone else got holiday cookie recipes they'd like to share?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Real Mexican Food

So, you think you've had Mexican food, right? Ground beef tacos a la Taco Bell, or maybe you've gone all out and splurged at a Fresh Mex at the mall.

Well, brace yourself, because coming next is an article about what to expect when eating real Mexican food-- the kind you'd find if you made a run for the border, and actually crossed it. Get ready for lots of tips on seafood, what 'mole' really means, and whether huitlacoche is as gross as it sounds.