All Posts By Guest Blogger

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

3 of a Kind: Creative Croissants

by in Restaurants, September 28th, 2016

Birthday Croissant from Union Fare
By Patty Lee

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

Croissant mash-ups soared into the spotlight in 2013, thanks in large part to Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel’s now-famous Cronut. This croissant-doughnut hybrid became such a dessert sensation that it stoked demand for similar creations across the country and beyond. Several years later, the croissant is back in the limelight, but this time chefs are having fun with the humble French pastry in its more classic form. Instead of marrying the buttery, flaky breakfast item to another pastry, the pros are tweaking croissants with cheese, sprinkles and other creative add-ins.

Read more

7 Hot Dips to Kick Off Fall

by in Recipes, September 15th, 2016

Warm Artichoke and Bacon DipBy Colleen Park

Whether you’re gathering friends and family together for game night or for game day, break out your favorite baking dish and make a hot dip your go-to appetizer. Though we love cold chip accoutrements like guacamole or layered dips with fresh veggies, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a perfectly crunchy chip topped with oozing cheesy goodness. As easy as they are to blend and bake, these hot plates will have everyone hovering around the snack table until the last chip is gone.

Warm Artichoke and Bacon Dip (pictured above)

Artichokes get a lot of love in cheesy dips, though you might forget there are vegetables involved when bacon gets into the mix. Giada De Laurentiis blends bacon into this warmed dip and crumbles it on top for bursts of savory flavor and crispy texture. And with a base of creamy mascarpone cheese, there’s no melt time needed. Just bake for 10 minutes to warm the dish through. Read more

3 of a Kind: Cooling Port Cocktails

by in Restaurants, July 20th, 2016

Fig and Walnut Julep

By Amanda Marsteller

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

When most people think of port, they picture a cold-weather drink consumed fireside. But Portugal’s sweet fortified wine doesn’t have to be relegated to winter; its complexity is equally enjoyable in summer months. Those signature dark-fruit flavors have been harnessed in classic all-weather cocktails since the 1800s, even making an appearance in Jerry Thomas’ How to Mix Drinks (widely regarded as the first American cocktail manual). Port has recently begun experiencing a resurgence in popularity with modern bartenders, who are rediscovering the powerful effects of this potent wine. Bearing hints of chocolate and cinnamon, port adds rich depth to any mixed drink. This season, innovative bartenders are incorporating it into summer sours, tiki drinks and other cooling cocktails.

Read more

Scenes from the Summer Fancy Food Show: A First-Timer’s Take and Tastes

by in Events, June 30th, 2016

Summer Fancy Food ShowBy Karintha Grune

Picture an enormous room filled with a seemingly endless number of products to sample. To your left is a long row of booths with the alluring smell of baked goods. To your right, enthusiastic people are talking about “the next best thing in water consumption.” Straight ahead are smiling faces in green shirts handing out samples of freshly brewed matcha tea. Those were my initial impressions as I walked into my first Summer Fancy Food Show, America’s largest specialty food and beverage show, which was held in New York City this week. Of the 2,550 exhibitors representing the next big products, big companies and big trends, these were three of my favorite.

All About the Alternative Flours
I headed toward some booths offering new substitutions for wheat flour. Bright packages filled with coconut, farro and banana flour began the extended choices of gluten-free and ancient-grain flours. Having never seen banana flour in my local grocery store, I was quickly intrigued. The allure of no longer having to wait for those perfectly ripened bananas before I could bake a delicious bread was a welcomed joy.

Read more

3 of a Kind: Creative Kimchi

by in Restaurants, May 11th, 2016

Blue Duck Tavern

By Amanda Marsteller

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

Kimchi is having a moment: The traditional Korean dish is beloved for its fermented funkiness and the instant dose of umami it adds to any recipe. Though typically made with napa cabbage or daikon, kimchi is getting a creative overhaul in some restaurants. Lately, chefs have been experimenting with alternative kimchi bases — and finding undeniably pungent success.

Read more