Denise reveals her ghost recipe writing brilliance. And fees.
ABC Entertainment News | ABC Business News
Mar 9, 2014
Feb 28, 2014
|Jon Edwards Photography|
I love St. Patrick's Day for several reasons.
My first husband was a dentist, my second is a lawyer. My lover in between was Irish.
He was the best and the worst of boyfriends. Fun, wild, and chock full of troublesome charm. My sisters named him "O' Danny, O' Boy!" When my mother met him, she said very clearly, "He's so cute, but certainly not marriage material." My mother always had a point. She was right of course, and no one knew better than me that he was in for a speedy sprint kind of life, rather than the long race.
For two or three St. Patrick's Days , I pretended to be Irish. It was a stretch. I was dull compared to a room full of Leprechauns, and no one was fooled by my green hat. The Irish really know how to have fun. I filled in the gaps of my heritage by learning about Absinthe and I discovered that I like kissing green fairies.
In case you are looking for something special this St. Patrick's, here are some things to know about Absinthe. Please rehearse your own limerick.
The name Absinthe comes from the botanical name Artemesia absinthium, which is commonly known as wormwood. Wormwood was first used for medicinal purposes in ancient Greece, but the alcoholic drink was not created until 1792. A French doctor living in Switzerland distilled the wormwood plant in alcohol and added anise, lemon balm, and hyssop. The doctor is only one of many folks credited with the birth of Absinthe, including the Henriod sisters. The actual inventor or inventors remains a mystery. I would like to think it was the sisters, cooking up this powerful elixir to serve their community.
The traditional way to drink Absinthe is to pour one ounce in a glass and place a sugar cube on a fancy, slotted spoon that rests on top of the glass. Drip between three and four ounces of very cold water over the sugar cube so it dissolves into the Absinthe below. Your drink will turn opalescent and the aromas from the herbs should bloom.
I like brown sugar cubes. I don't know why.
Feb 7, 2014
Frozen pound cake is easier to cut, easier to assemble, and easier to coat than room temperature pound cake.
1 (16 ounce) package frozen butter pound cake
1 (16 ounce) package frozen chocolate pound cake
2/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 1/3 cups dark chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups white chocolate chips
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1. Place two wire racks over two baking sheets and set aside.
2. Using a serrated knife, trim the crust from the top of pound cakes to make a flat surface. Turn cakes over and slice off bottom, sides and ends.
3. Slice each pound cake into 6 equal slices about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut each slice in half to make 12 squares. Trim off any uneven sides.
4. Slice each cake in half, spread thinly with jam, and put back together. Place chocolate pound cake pieces on one baking sheet and butter pound cake pieces on the other prepared baking sheet. Set aside.
5. Place chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Place white chocolate chips in another medium bowl.
6. Place cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. As soon as it reaches a boil, pour half over chocolate chips and half over white chocolate chips. Let stand 3 minutes. Stir until mixtures are smooth.
7. Spoon chocolate mixture onto the center of chocolate cake pieces, allowing excess to flow down sides to coat completely. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
8. Spoon white chocolate mixture onto the center of butter pound cake pieces, allowing excess to flow down sides to coat completely. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
9. Spoon a second coat of chocolate over cake pieces and refrigerate for 15 minutes more.
10. To decorate, drizzle tops of petit fours with contrasting chocolate mixture.
11. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Feb 5, 2014
Pink Champagne with Cointreau-Infused Raspberries
Makes 4-5 servings
This pink drink is perfect for Valentine’s Day or for any lazy weekend brunch.
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/3 cup Cointreau
1 (750 ml) bottle rose Champagne, chilled
1. Place raspberries and Cointreau in a small bowl and set aside for 30-45 minutes.
2. To serve, spoon raspberries into glasses.
3. Pour remaining Cointreau through a fine mesh strainer into glasses. Fill glasses with Champagne and serve immediately.
Jan 29, 2014
Jan 16, 2014
The Media Chronicles interviewed Denise about her beginnings in the food styling world, how the industry has changed, and what advice she has for aspiring culinary artists. Following is a bit about styling for TV.
You’ve done quite a bit of work on the Food Network, HGTV, Iron Chef America, Bravo, and countless commercials. Is there a difference between styling for scripted shows like Aaron Spelling’s shows and styling for news?
Oh sure, every show, especially a live show, like The Ellen DeGeneres Show, is going to be different—you set it up, you do it live, but you never know what’s going to happen. Or when we go to Fox in the morning or Jay Leno, you never know what you’ll get. On shows like that, it’s really not about the food. The Ellen DeGeneres Show is about Ellen, so even though she has a chef on, Ellen is what they’re selling.
On a sitcom, sometimes the food is the joke, like they’re out of milk or the kid spills it at the table, so that part of the script is the joke. If you’re in a drama, the food is maybe helping to build the theme, because it’s a romantic dinner, and obviously a romantic dinner tells the viewer it’s something different. And if it’s a print shoot for a brand packaging, that’s entirely different, because you have to get up close and personal to help sell that stuff.
Click here to enjoy the interview in its entirety.
Jan 9, 2014
Last month, I cruised on the HAL Noordam. For those of you who haven't cruised in a while or perhaps never...there's not just one dining room anymore! There are specialty restaurants, buffets, private dining rooms, terrace bars and even chocolate kiosks. If you can think it, it's on Holland America Ocean Liners. I love to say "Ocean Liner" because it makes me think of gloves and hatboxes. Most people say cruise ships, which makes me think of swaying casinos and karaoke.
One night in the Italian restaurant, Canoletto's, I ordered dessert and they served me a limoncello mousse. I loved it and vowed to create something similar.
Here is my version, which is ridiculously simple and divine. Don't ask about calories because the trick is portion control. Be European and use small glasses and it won't bust your diet.
I think lemon is the perfect dessert flavor, light and creamy. We finish this parfait with a float of limoncello on top.
Write us when you make it!
Makes 6 servings
1 (8 ounce) container mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup super fine baker's sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup limoncello
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup crumbled amaretti or biscotti cookies
6 cookies for garnish
- Place mascarpone cheese, sugar, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of limoncello in a small bowl and whisk together for 3-4 minutes.
- Place cream in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Add mascarpone mixture to cream. Fold gently to combine.
- To serve, put half of the crumbled cookies in the bottom of small dessert glasses. Spoon half the limoncello mixture on top. Sprinkle with remaining crumbled cookies. Dollop remaining limoncello mixture on top.
- Gently pour a bit of limoncello on top to create a float. Garnish each glass with a cookie just before serving.