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Five finger foods that won’t break the bank

If you read Phoebe and Cara’s tips on throwing a classy holiday party on the cheap (we’re all about class over here at NTK), you might be wondering, “OK, what now?” Here are Big Girl, Small Kitchen’s picks for five elegant, wallet-friendly finger foods that are sure to impress even the scroogiest of partygoers.

1. Shrimp & Mango Wonton Crisps
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Holiday entertaining made easy

With all the gift-giving and travel planning that goes into the holiday season, entertaining can seem totally out of the question for many of us. Who has the time, energy or funds to throw a party? And then you have to clean up? Pass.

But fearing a lonely, hungry December, we turned to our friends Phoebe and Cara at the blog Big Girls, Small Kitchen for some tips on throwing a holiday party with all of the fun and none of the stress. They shared eight easy tips:
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South Korea in ferment over kimchi shortage

Photo: Flickr/Craig Nagy

In a situation that can only be described as a national emergency, South Koreans have found themselves in the grips of a kimchi shortage — thanks to unseasonably heavy rains that have ruined cabbage crops. The prices for Napa cabbage, the key ingredient in kimchi, have doubled in the past few weeks, with the price per head now averaging at about $10 to $12.

Kimchi, a dish made of fermented cabbage, chili paste and radish, is a staple of the Korean diet and is served with every meal in most households. (In a pinch, it can also double as a meal with a bowl of rice.) Many Koreans also put stock in this beloved condiment’s health benefits, which are said to include anti-aging and anti-obesity properties. (But really, we love it because it’s delicious.)

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How do you like them apples?

Now that health care reform has begun to take effect, I’ve been thinking a lot about medicine as practiced in the United States. It seems like only yesterday an actual candidate for the Republican Senate nomination in Nevada, Sue Lowden, was suggesting a barter system for health care. “Chickens for Check Ups,” critics called it. Actually, pretty much everybody called it that.

She lost. Even in this year of the wacky, that was a bit much.

Personally, I subscribe to preventive medicine, as in, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.  (Which, if you think about it, is also a little wacky — it sounds as though an apple is to a doctor what garlic is to a vampire. But maybe I’m being too literal.)

Anyway, about those apples. Apples are the best thing about autumn, other than sending the kids back to school, and there are a million ways to enjoy them. Here is a new recipe I tried this weekend that was so good it started as a side dish at dinner and got a curtain call at dessert time.

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Home remedies for Seasonal Appetite Disorder

Change is in the air: after two months of a solitary Om echoing off the walls of my yoga studio, my morning classes are now packed; excitable children line up outside my apartment building every morning for the bus; and a newly christened jar of cinnamon sits proudly on the shelf of my very own kitchen. Fall is here… almost. What do you call this in-between season when you’re packing a sweater to work, but still wearing summer sandals? More importantly, what do you eat when it’s not quite lasagna season, but the idea of a salad for dinner starts to seem like a sad joke?
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Schnitzel on wheels

Today I am off to interview the Schnitzel King of NYC for a piece for NTK.

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