by Patrick Decker, October 28th, 2014
by Lawrence Bonk, October 28th, 2014
Halloween is here at last! When we were growing up, the evening of Oct. 31 was 100 percent dedicated to getting out the door in search of candy. With the impending candy onslaught, dinner was a bit of an afterthought (“Whaddya mean I can’t just have candy bars and peanut butter cups?!”).
Whether you’ve got little ones of your own or you are fending off the horde at your doorstep, set yourself up for success with a no-brainer meal to power you the whole night through. Kielbasa sausage — which comes ready to eat — is the perfect rich and hearty companion to a barley salad that can be served warm or at room temperature. That barley can even be made hours before the army of orange plastic pumpkins descends.
Also, just to be clear about that whole peanut-butter-cups-for-dinner thing, I’m not not condoning it. Just think of the example you’re setting for the children.
by Carol Blymire, October 24th, 2014
The rest of the world has been sipping on their lattes and petting on their felines for a couple of years now. Meanwhile, the closest America has gotten is a pop-up or two. That seems highly unfair, given the country’s unabashed love affair with cats. Well, it looks like that long national nightmare is over. California just opened their very own cat cafe.
Cat Town Cafe in Oakland, California will get you filled up with caffeine and with noted parasite toxoplasma gondii. All of the cats roaming around are adoptable if you are looking to work some kind of ‘rent to own’ deal. In addition to feisty kitties, they serve a variety of coffee drinks and snacks. You know, the usual coffee shop fare.
by Contributor, October 24th, 2014
AKA Nothing Com-pears to You
Pears are the unsung heroes of fall. Everyone at the farmers market last weekend was all, “Oooohhh, apples this and apples that.” Fine. Let ‘em try and outdo each other with “Honeycrisp is better than Jonagold, but for baking it’s all about Mutsu.” That keeps them away from the best fruit of the season: pears. You know I’m right. And I want them all for myself.
As a kid, I loved opening my lunchbox at school and finding a pear instead of an apple. Those were very good days. As an adult, I love eating them raw, poaching them in wine, making chutneys and butters with them, and baking with them. One time I tried to make a pear pie. It was, shall we say, gross — really, really gross. A pear tart with a creamy custard, though? Bonkers-good.
by Jamie Lisanti, October 22nd, 2014
Oktoberfest in Germany may have ended, but you can keep the celebrations going all month long.
Sauerkraut, a traditional German fermented cabbage, isn’t just a delicious hot dog topping or stuffing for Reuben sandwiches. It contains probiotics (those same ones found in yogurt), which help maintain healthy stomach functions, so eat up!
Break out a beer stein and your lederhosen to prepare these delicious sauerkraut-stuffed dishes.
1. All you need to make Alton Brown’s Sauerkraut recipe is cabbage, some spices and a fair amount of time; it takes about two weeks for the cabbage to ferment. Pickling salt is a fine-grain pure salt that doesn’t contain additives like anti-caking agents or iodine that other cooking salts may have.
2. Rachael Ray’s Reuben-Style Casserole with Pastrami Meatballs, Sauerkraut and Barley is an easy make-ahead meal, perfect to warm you up on chilly fall evenings.
3. If you’re an adventurous baker, make Beer and Sauerkraut Fudge Cupcakes with Beer Frosting.
4. Serve Michael Symon’s Bratwurst Stewed with Sauerkraut (pictured above) on a baguette at your next tailgate.
5. A simple Sauerkraut Soup with Sausage is hearty enough to be a full meal.
6. Cook Good Luck Pork and Sauerkraut low and slow on the stovetop or in the slow cooker for meat so tender it falls right off the bones.
by Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D., October 22nd, 2014
Have you eaten your quota of fun-sized candy bars yet? While there’s still plenty of time before October 31st, there’s no harm in getting in the spook-tacular mood early with these Creeptastic Zombie Cupcakes. They’re also ideal for a Walking Dead zombie party. The skulls, eyeballs and gooey brains that sit on top of the cupcakes start with a simple red velvet cake, broken down into crumbs and mixed with enough frosting to bind them together into cake eyeballs, brains and skulls. Dip them in white chocolate and go wild creating the brains and guts. Your friends won’t believe their eye(ball)s!
For more creepy creations to jumpstart your Halloween celebrations, check out these bone-chilling recipes from Cooking Channel:
by Patrick Decker, October 21st, 2014
Before you buy industrial-size bags of candy bars and make yours the most popular house in the neighborhood come Halloween, pause for a minute. Yeah, yeah, yeah, of course there’s the issue that we as Americans eat too much sugar and face an obesity epidemic. We’ve heard plenty about that. But also more important than ever is the issue of deadly food allergies. That’s why FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is promoting the Teal Pumpkin Project this Halloween: Offer something that’s not candy (or food) and paint your pumpkin teal so savvy (and food-sensitive) trick-or-treaters can know which houses are safe.
Lest you fear getting TP’ed for your treats, the alternatives to candy don’t have to just be raisins and toothbrushes. Here are a few cooler ways to sidestep candy.
by Lawrence Bonk, October 21st, 2014
Move over, pumpkin spice latte — you’re not the only squash-themed edible that deserves the seasonal spotlight. Let’s clear a path for good ol’ reliable butternut. Is it the sexiest squash at the market? Hardly. But what it lacks in front-porch decor appeal it more than makes up for with a cute name and remarkable versatility.
This time of year, butternut squash really is everywhere. You can pick one up whole or already cubed up in the produce section. They’re also hiding out in a lesser-known location: the freezer case. Frozen squash will save a ton of prep time, whether you buy it cubed or pureed. While the recipe below makes fantastic use of the whole squash, buy yourself a little extra and toss it in with soups, stews or your breakfast hash. You’ll be doing your dinner plate a vitamin-boosting favor and helping out an underdog.
Now, step out into that spotlight, butternut squash. You deserve it.
by Lawrence Bonk, October 21st, 2014
There’s a certain excitement in the air when a new restaurant opens up in the neighborhood. Finally, a reason to leave the house. However, not all eateries are worthy of you escaping from your bubble of Netflix and Facebook “Likes.” Some of them are downright failures in every conceivable way possible. Here are the worst of the worst of these sad experiments in eating displeasure, the biggest successes in failure-dom, if you will.
Photos: 10 Worst Restaurants in the World
One of the great struggles of existence is trying to decide what dessert to shove down your gaping maw. Apple pie sure is good, but so is chocolate cake and, oh, what about pumpkin pie? Life is hard! However, does it have to be? One bakery decided to just put every dessert in one big cake.
Three Brothers Bakery in Texas have just unveiled their take on the Turducken, the Pumpecapple Piecake. This beastly baked good contains layers of apple pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate cake and pecan pie. Additionally, there is caramel sauce and icing between every layer. Somehow the whole thing manages to stay aloft, which is a marvel unto itself.