All Posts By Cameron Curtis

Nachos, Every Way

by in Recipes, October 22nd, 2015

If I could eat only one food for the rest of my life, it would be nachos. And I’ll take ‘em any way they come, from chips that are individually topped and have the perfect cheese distribution to a mess of cheesy goodness smothered in guacamole where you have to hunt for each topping. With tailgating in full swing, it’s easier than ever for me to justify my nacho craving every weekend while watching a game. They are the perfect party food, though; if it were up to me, I’d never have to share.

Classic, Just with Cheese

When you’re short on time or low on ingredients, Ree Drummond’s nachos are simple: Cover white tortilla chips with Monterey Jack cheese and jarred jalapeno slices.

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How to Make Milk Bar’s Famous Birthday Cake

by in How-to, Restaurants, September 13th, 2015

Milk Bar was founded in 2008 by James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef award-winner Christina Tosi; you may have heard of some of the bakery’s more popular items, like Cereal Milk ice cream, Compost Cookies and Crack Pie. With five locations in New York, one in Toronto and another opening in Washington, D.C., later this year, Milk Bar is becoming its own dessert empire. But it’s the eatery’s Birthday Cake that has won my heart and my stomach. It’s a modern take on the classic Funfetti cake, and it makes an appearance every year when it’s my birthday (and also when it’s not). The key to the moist cake layers in this towering treat? A soak of whole milk and clear vanilla extract. That’s right: It’s like a tres leches cake gone birthday bonkers, in the best way possible. We stopped by Milk Bar’s test kitchen location in Brooklyn to see how the masterpiece comes together.

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Buy These Fruits Now and Preserve Them for Later

by in Recipes, August 8th, 2015

As summer winds down, the thought of no longer seeing local strawberries and stone fruits is already making me yearn for another month of warm weather and seasonal produce. But not all is lost! You can buy fresh fruit now and preserve the produce with recipes for easy jams and preserves. Don’t be afraid to do it yourself: Canning jam is easy enough and means you can be eating summer fruit long past their market-fresh appearances.

Easy Strawberry Jam (pictured above)
Ina Garten loves to use big pieces of hulled, fresh strawberries in her jam, so she cuts the berries only in half. She adds superfine sugar (which melts really quickly), but if you can’t find it, you can blend your own in the food processor. Orange-flavored liqueur will bring out the sweetness of the strawberries, and a chopped green apple will help thicken the jam; a few blueberries will add depth of flavor and create a great deep-red color. The mixture will keep in the fridge for at least two weeks. But if you want to store it for longer, pack and seal in canning jars according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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Ree Drummond Launches Homeware Line, Loves Turquoise and Teals

by in Food Network Chef, July 15th, 2015

The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, is bringing her favorite home goods to your table with the launch of her serveware line out this fall. It’s a fun and flea-market-inspired collection that Ree is incredibly close to — down to picking out the number of dots on each porcelain cup. From cake plates to measuring cups, you’ll be able to outfit your weeknight table or party spread. We checked in with her at the product launch party to find out what she’s up to when she’s not designing glassware or developing recipes. Read more

5 Cocktails That Were Made for Muddling

by in Drinks, July 11th, 2015

What’s the best way to get the most flavor out of your cocktail? Muddling. The gentle mashing and combining of fruits with other ingredients will help to release fresh flavors and encourage a mingling of your base and spirit. In fact, it may be even more important than shaking or stirring when it comes to creating the perfect summer cocktail. Be careful not to over-muddle when working with delicate herbs such as mint and basil (which will become bitter) or delicate fruits that may benefit from larger pieces (for color and for visual appeal). Rosemary, lemon, limes and sturdier ingredients will be able to stand a heavy muddling. Whether you choose to use a wood, plastic or metal muddler, it’s the ultimate tool to craft these summer cocktails.

Pineapple-Raspberry Rum Refresher (pictured above)

Skip soda water or tonic and use coconut water for your summer cocktail. Melissa D’Arabian gently muddles frozen raspberries before topping with coconut water, pineapple juice and rum. Stir gently and serve with sprigs of mint.

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Serve Your Dishes on a Stick

by in Recipes, June 4th, 2015

Skip the hassle of serving ware at your next outdoor event by serving all of your favorite dishes like stuffed mushrooms and strawberry shortcake on a stick. You’ll get all of your favorite flavors with way less cleanup, thanks to single-serving skewers that guests can take and tote as they mingle.

Stuffed-Mushroom Skewers

Stuffed mushrooms are an all-time favorite appetizer, and these skewered bites are ready in just 30 minutes. Slide them onto a skewer and pop them on the grill for your next outdoor gathering. For a zesty spinoff, try substituting fresh chorizo and cilantro for the sausage and parsley.

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Matcha: It’s a Trend

by in News, May 3rd, 2015

Though matcha has been around for centuries as part of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, the finely ground green tea-leaf powder is taking cafes (and Instagram) by storm. Traditional green tea is made by steeping green tea leaves that are then discarded, but with matcha, whose name literally means “powdered tea,” you’re drinking the actual leaves. This whole-leaf consumption means a higher nutrition content and, more specifically, a higher concentration of antioxidants. But what about the buzz? One cup of matcha has 70 milligrams of caffeine per eight-ounce cup. Coffee has 96 milligrams for the same portion, but matcha drinkers say that their energy is more consistent, with less of a dive after the caffeine effect wears off.

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5 Ways to Get Grapefruit Into Your Life

by in Recipes, April 9th, 2015

For a long time, the serrated grapefruit spoon was the blocker between my love of grapefruit and the number of times I actually indulged in the citrus fruit. The grapefruit spoon always seemed inefficient and often incapable of getting all of the meat out; a knife was usually involved as a back up plan. So it was almost a miracle when I discovered that I needn’t use a grapefruit spoon to get my fix: Segmenting took half the time and resulted in almost the whole fruit on my plate.

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Famed NYC Grocer Preps for Passover with 1,200 Pounds of Matzo

by in Holidays, April 2nd, 2015

The eight-day festival of Passover commemorates the freeing of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. The highlight of Passover is the Seder, which is observed on each of the first two nights of the holiday. In honor of the unleavened bread that the Israelites ate when they left Egypt, leavened grain (including bread, cake, cookies, cereal, pasta) is not allowed at Seder. Instead, matzo (a crisp, unleavened bread) is eaten, along with other traditional Jewish foods.

Eli Zabar is New York City’s iconic and pioneering grocer and caterer, with markets, cafes and restaurants on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Namesake company owner Eli and his team cater more than 500 Passover Seders in New York City. And yet the father of two still finds time to host the family’s Seder at home. “The Zabar family has divided up all the holidays: One gets Hanukkah, one gets Thanksgiving and so on. We like hosting Passover, since it’s a lively, happy time. My whole family shows up! We’re going to be about 35 this year. One of the things that’s happened over the years is that these little kids who didn’t take up any seats and used to spend their time playing or looking for the afikoman are now young adults in need of seats and we’re trying to figure out how to fit more people in.” His Seder uses everything that is featured in his store, and he makes sure to include his favorite dishes, plus a chocolate-covered matzo sweet treat (recipe below).

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These 5 Vegetarian Recipes Prove Comfort Food Doesn’t Need Meat

by in Recipes, February 17th, 2015

You know the classics: chicken pot pie, chicken Parmesan … and the meaty list of comfort food favorites goes on. So what’s a vegetarian to do in the depths of winter when there’s no end of snowstorms in sight? These recipes are hearty enough to satisfy meat eaters and vegetarians alike.

1. Chickless Pot Pie (pictured above)

Trisha Yearwood’s vegetarian take on chicken pot pie is easy to make, thanks to store-bought pie crust and a whole host of veggies you might already have on hand. Plus, if you’re looking to avoid dairy, you’ll be glad to know this recipe swaps in almond milk in place of traditional dairy.

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