All Posts By Guest Blogger

3 of a Kind: Oil Cocktails

by in Restaurants, November 23rd, 2016

#3 Cocktail from Birch

By Natalie B. Compton

3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.

Oil is seeping past the confines of the kitchen, thanks to creative bartenders across the country. While the ingredient has been used in cooking for decades, it’s starting to pop up in new drinkable ways from coast to coast. The addition of oil to the arsenal of standard cocktail ingredients has enabled bartenders to play with textures and flavors in innovative ways. The opportunities seem vast for this burgeoning bar technique, whether tweaking the texture of a savory concoction or enhancing the flavor of a bright, citrus-forward drink. Here are some standout cocktails that typify the trend. Read more

7 Dishes That Will Win Friendsgiving

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 18th, 2016


By Allison Robicelli

Thanksgiving is about following tradition; Friendsgiving is about making new ones. This is a holiday where all the old rules are meant to be rewritten, so take the opportunity to put a fresh spin on your favorite classics. No one will mind if Grandma’s famous mushroom-soup casserole isn’t on the table. These new-school recipes are not only showstoppers, but they’re perfect for a potluck celebration where everyone can pitch in to create a festive dinner to remember. Read more

What’s the Most-Popular Fast-Food Spot in Your State?

by in News, November 16th, 2016

What’s the Most-Popular Fast-Food Spot in Your State? By Lauren Haslett

You know what kind of fast food you reach for after a late night. But are the rest of the folks in your state on the same page as you? Foursquare Swarm and City Guide apps recently compiled a whole lot of data for us on which fast-food restaurants people in each state of our great nation visit the most. And the results might surprise you.

Nearly 50 percent of states — a whopping 24 of them — prefer Chick-fil-A above all else. West Virginia is among that group, but it’s unique in that it has two top picks: Chick-fil-A and Sheetz. You may not be familiar with Hawaii’s favorite fast-food spot: Zippy’s Makiki, which is a chain based on the islands. Not surprisingly, McDonald’s is well represented, with 17 states liking that spot best. If you want to check out your home state’s favorite fast-food indulgence, just take a closer look at the map above.

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Chefs’ Picks: Favorite Burger Patties in Los Angeles

by in Restaurants, November 13th, 2016

Baadmaash Burger
By Brad Japhe

Chefs’ Picks tracks down what the pros are eating and cooking from coast to coast.

In addition to movie stars, sunshine and traffic, Los Angeles also offers burgers aplenty. While they never claimed to have invented it, the residents of Southern California have been cultivating a cultish obsession with their burgers for the better part of a century now. As a result, many an Angeleno chef will go aglow when asked to name his or her personal favorite. In this city of millions, it’s fitting that there be nearly as many opinions on the subject as there are chefs. Read on to find out where the pros go to score their perfect patty.
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Which of Your Favorite Starbucks Holiday Beverages Are Back?

by in News, November 3rd, 2016

Which of Your Favorite Starbucks Holiday Beverages Are Back?Every year, Starbucks simultaneously rolls out its signature holiday beverages and introduces a brand-new seasonal cup that they are served in. And this year, for (maybe?) the first time ever, that festive cup is not red but green.

Green is, of course, Starbucks’ signature color, and based on that and the description of the new cup in the recent company press release, it’s evident this new design is pretty personal. The cup shows a single line connecting an array of different people — everyone from coffee farmers to baristas to families — and was designed by Seattle-based artist Shogo Ota. It is also, says Howard Schultz, the company’s chairman and CEO, a design that represents “the connections Starbucks has as a community with its partners (employees) and customers. During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other.”

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Ballot-Worthy Bites: 11 Election-Themed Dishes and Drinks

by in News, Restaurants, November 1st, 2016

By Patty Lee

It’s been a heated election season, with no shortage of debates, speeches and campaign revelations, and the race to the White House has had everyone talking — including the country’s chefs and bartenders, who are taking politics into the kitchen. From burgers to ice cream to cocktails, check out the creative election-themed specials that bars and restaurants across the country are whipping up. Read more

10 Things I Ate About You: Old Saybrook, Conn.

by in Restaurants, October 31st, 2016

Cioppino from Fresh Salt

By Jennifer Baggett Brennan

10 Things I Ate About You finds 10 enticing bites in smaller cities from coast to coast.

A tiny gem along the Connecticut coastline, Old Saybrook is perfect for travelers craving a weekend getaway without the pretension (or price tag) of other New England favorites. This idyllic spot (and hometown of screen icon Katherine Hepburn) offers sandy shores and sparkling marinas, and its Main Street channels classic Americana. Quaint storefronts stand alongside popular tourist attractions that include the historical James Pharmacy & Soda Fountain (more on that later). When it comes to restaurant options, Old Saybrook actually delivers far more sophisticated fare than its charming small-town appearance may suggest. Thanks to an influx of urbanites from New York City and Boston, the town’s food scene has undergone a renaissance in the past decade, with stepped-up menus featuring fresh seafood recipes, creative farm-to-table meals and more. Here are 10 top dishes to try. Read more

Turn Whole Heads of Cauliflower Into Main Course-Worthy Dishes

by in Recipes, October 9th, 2016


By Colleen Park

Cauliflower has been unveiling its talents lately as a culinary chameleon, making its way onto plates as cauliflower rice, mock mashed potatoes and even gluten-free pizza crust. But we think cauliflower can be pretty great even without these dramatic transformations. Though most recipes call for cauliflower to be broken into florets during the cooking process, there’s something striking about this cruciferous vegetable when it’s prepared closer to its natural state, sliced into steaks or even cooked whole. Here are some of our favorite ways to make cauliflower the star of a dish.

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Cauliflower steaks on the whole don’t need more than a basic salt and pepper seasoning before they go into the oven to roast. Valerie Bertinelli keeps things simple here with a buttery mixture of toasted pine nuts and golden raisins to add a layer of flavor and texture to the simply roasted vegetable.

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6 Super-Satisfying Make-Ahead Breakfasts

by in Recipes, October 6th, 2016

Cinnamon-Pecan Pancake Breakfast Casserole

By Colleen Park

Some mornings, you want more than a plain yogurt or cold cereal. You crave something warm and rich in flavor that can fill the kitchen with the smell of the perfect home-cooked breakfast. If you’re daunted by the idea of breaking out too many kitchen tools in the a.m., though, these breakfast casserole recipes offer a solution. Prep these dishes the night before, pop them in the oven the next morning and voila — you’ve got a full breakfast with all the fixings for the whole family.

Cinnamon-Pecan Pancake Breakfast Casserole (pictured above)

Pancakes are great. Letting them soak in a cinnamon-spiked custard overnight makes them even better. While you’re waiting for the casserole to bake in the morning, take five minutes to cook the pecans in maple syrup. Pour it all over this pancake masterpiece for flavorful bites that were made for fall.

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3 of a Kind: Ube Desserts

by in Restaurants, October 5th, 2016

Ube Ice Cream from 2nd City
By Patty Lee

3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.

With its striking color, a unique flavor and a texture that works in cookies, cakes and other confections, ube — a purple yam native to the Philippines — was destined to become the next dessert sensation. While lavender-hued sweets have recently caught the eye of Instagrammers, the ingredient is more than just a buzzy trend for Filipino chefs. “In any Filipino party, ube would be present at the dessert table alongside leche flan and fruit salad,” says Ginger Lim-Dimapasok, owner of Cafe 86 in Pasadena, Calif. “To those of us who moved to the U.S. from the Philippines, being able to eat ube and to have it be so easily accessible really brings us back to our roots.” As Filipino cuisine rises in popularity, more ube-centric eats are popping up on menus, sometimes in unexpected forms. “It’s inspirational to see how other chefs transform this ingredient very differently from how we’ve always known to eat it growing up,” says Nomad Donuts’ Kristianna Zabala. Here’s how three chefs are currently shining a spotlight on ube.

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