All Posts By Guest Blogger

Pizza Picks for Your Wednesday-Before-Thanksgiving Dinner

by in Holidays, Restaurants, November 13th, 2014

by Cindy Augustine

One of the busiest pizza nights of the year is — wait for it — the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. It makes perfect sense: With most Americans prepping turkeys, chopping veggies and baking pies, who has time to make dinner? Fortunately, a hot and tasty meal is only a phone call, and sometimes just a delivery, away. Here are some of the best independent pizza spots across the country — no reservations required. Check out the full gallery to find the best pies near your Thanksgiving destination. Read more

Cookbooks for Candy (Yes, Candy)

by in Books, October 30th, 2014

Cookbooks for Candy (Yes, Candy)By Michelle Park

The last couple months of the year are packed with excuses to consume ridiculous amounts of sweets. Why not take full advantage of the season’s sugary spirit and make your own? Homemade candy is a great party trick, and it’s surprisingly straightforward. If you have reservations about thermometers and molten sugar, fear not — the well-versed duos behind this month’s picks will have you caramelizing with confidence.

1. The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook by Liz Gutman and Jen King
Gutman and King, co-founders of the Brooklyn-based candy company Liddabit Sweets, have a love affair with candy. It’s no small task to demystify the art of candy making for the average home cook, but their optimism is contagious. Their playful, extremely thorough cookbook starts with a three-page chart titled Speed Date the Candies, a swift tour of the 75 recipes ahead, so you can quickly find one to fit your needs, whether that’s vegan, fun to make with the kids, or “melt-in-your-mouth-y” (sic) — or all of the above (Chocolate Mint Meltaways). Candy 101 then explains everything you need to know about sugar, chocolate, cleaning, safety and essential equipment. (The equipment section is split into “musts” and “coulds,” and you might find that your kitchen is already equipped to bust out some Pecan Turtle Caramel Corn.) Because Gutman and King want you to remember that “MAKING CANDY IS FUN” from start to finish, these chapters read less like a chemistry textbook and more like a friend discussing softball sugar with you over coffee. As far as the recipes go, no secret is withheld, and they range in difficulty from easy (Buckeyes) to ambitious (Gutman and King’s signature peanut-butter-banana candy bar, aptly named The King) to ambitious and patient (Beer Pretzel Caramels). You can rest easy regardless of what you choose first; “Liz Says” and “Jen Says” bubbles pop up on every other page with additional encouragement, suggestions and troubleshooting tips, should you make any missteps.

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How to Host a Cardboard & Kraft Paper Birthday Party

by in Entertaining, September 3rd, 2014

How to Host a Cardboard and Kraft Paper Birthday Partyby Camille Styles, photography by Melanie Grizzel

Entertaining a group of kids can be tricky, to say the least. Between the menu, the decor and the activities, things can get out of hand (and expensive) in the blink of an eye. This party concept simplifies the process by limiting all decor to projects that can be made using inexpensive materials, and by basing the party around a cookie-decorating activity, so kids will be well-fed and entertained throughout.

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5 Steps to Perfectly Grilled Meat

by in How-to, August 25th, 2014

5 Steps to Perfectly Grilled MeatGrilling meat is a pretty basic concept. It’s grilling meat well that gets more complicated — but not much, once you commit these meat commandments to memory.

By Teri Tsang Barrett

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On the Road: Summer Travel Must-Eats

by in Restaurants, August 12th, 2014

Summer Travel Must-EatsBy Joanna Gryfe

Craving a delicious summer vacation? No need to break the bank or hop any borders; we’ve scoured the States for the top domestic destinations with specialty dishes worth traveling for. Check out these must-eat spots to sample local recipes that Food Network chefs praise as being The Best Thing I Ever Ate.

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How to Host a “Pretty in Pink” Shower

by in Entertaining, August 11th, 2014

Pink ShowerBy Camille Styles, photography by Molly Winters

We’ve all been there: Your nearest and dearest is preparing to walk down the aisle or expecting her first baby, and it’s your job to throw her a party that’s feminine, unique and memorable. For most, hosting a shower means big spending and lots of stressing, but with just a bit of preparation and these simple tips, the next shower you host will come together in a flash!

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How to Host a Luau-Inspired Summer Pool Party

by in Entertaining, July 28th, 2014

How to Host a Luau-Inspired Summer Pool Partyby Camille Styles, photography by Buff Strickland

As temperatures are slowly on the rise, it’s officially time for some fun in the sun! And there’s no better way to celebrate the season than with a pool party inspired by the colors, flavors and flowers of Hawaii. This year, take a cue from everyone’s favorite tropical destination, and host a stylish yet approachable luau with a few simple tips.

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Foe or Foie?: Top California Chefs Host a Protest Luncheon

by in News, July 26th, 2014

Foe or Foie?: Top California Chefs Host a Protest Luncheon By Meesha Halm

Foie gras is polarizing. Diners either love it or hate the very idea. Buttery, ultra-rich duck liver has been one of the most venerated ingredients in a chef’s arsenal for centuries. Whether floating in a soup at Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare or miso-cured at Acadia in Chicago, it’s considered the ultimate luxury.

Not so in California, where foie gras has been banned since 2012. Foie gras hasn’t exactly gone away in the Golden State; it’s just gone underground. The sale and production of it are forbidden but consumption of it is not, so restaurateurs circumvent the ban by sending it out as a “gift from the chef.” But some California chefs, including Ken Frank (La Toque), are willing to fight publicly for it. Last month, Frank and five top toques rallied to host “State of American Foie Gras,” a protest luncheon at his Napa Valley restaurant.

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How to Set Up a Summer Lemonade Stand

by in Entertaining, June 17th, 2014

How to Set Up a Summer Lemonade Standby Camille Styles (photos by Nicole Mlakar)

Summer’s in the air! And for many of us, that means the kids are home to stay. If you’re in the market for outdoor, kid-friendly activities that don’t require a car ride, look no further than your own front yard. Setting up a lemonade stand is a creative way to keep little ones entertained during the dog days of summer, and provides a perfect way to educate them on the basics of cooking, team -work and handling money. These quick and easy tips will show you how to make your lemonade stand the talk of the neighborhood this year.

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A Beatrix Potter Inspired Easter Party

by in Entertaining, Holidays, April 16th, 2014

A Beatrix Potter Inspired Easter Partyby Camille Styles (photos by Kate LeSueur)

I love hosting parties with guests of all ages — they’re the perfect opportunity to get creative, explore a fun theme, and add a touch of whimsy to the decor for an event. For this year’s Easter celebration, I wanted to create an outdoor event that would be fun for kids and parents alike. I didn’t have to look further than my daughter’s own nursery to find inspiration — the illustrated works of Beatrix Potter. The English author’s collection of sweetly illustrated children’s tales provided just the right tone for my backyard bash, and her Tale of Peter Rabbit was the perfect source of cotton tailed inspiration. With fun carrot-and-ranch snacks served in tiny terra-cotta pots, homemade bunny-tail bunting, and fresh centerpieces made from garden vegetables, this was one Easter celebration that we’re pretty sure Peter himself would approve of!

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