8 Clever Recipes That Will Help You Empty Your Pantry

by in Recipes, August 31st, 2016

Mexican BakeFall provides another one of the year’s natural reset buttons. Long summer days end, school begins and we somehow start to notice everything in our lives that could use sprucing up — and we suggest you start with your pantry. Even though shelf-stable cans, jars, boxes and bags can last a long time, it feels good to empty things out and start fresh (plus, you’ll be proud of yourself for finally cashing in on all those two-for-one deals that grabbed your attention at the grocery store). These easy meal ideas will get you on your way to more a organized kitchen in no time.

Mexican Bean Rice and Corn (above)

Inspired by chilaquiles, this dish is the perfect “use up whatever you’ve got” dinner. With ingredients like tortilla chips, canned black beans, canned corn, canned tomatoes and rice, you might not even have to shop at all to make it
Read more

3 of a Kind: Chef-Driven Breweries

by in Restaurants, August 31st, 2016

Arts District3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.

Beer has long been the post-shift drink of choice for chefs, but it’s rarely been the front-runner for pairing with the food in their restaurants. That’s changing as chefs are experimenting with culinary brewing, focusing on the flavors and aromatics of the suds to pair with the specific cuisines that they serve. Seasonal produce, bold spices and pantry items are all fair game when it comes to seeking the perfect balance for a brew.

Read more

One-on-One with the Chopped Teen Tournament, Battle 2 Winner

by in Shows, August 30th, 2016

Samantha and LyannaChopped has returned with a third season of the popular five-part Teen Tournament. In tonight’s second round, four teens entered the prestigious kitchen to try their chances at decoding the mystery baskets. Even advanced practice cannot prepare a chef for the added pressure and time constraints of the competition. And the key to unlocking the ingredients isn’t always obvious from the get-go. The teens took the challenge in stride, bringing their raw talent to battle with the hopes of earning one of four spots in the finale. From that final showdown, only one will emerge victorious as the winner of $25,000.

Get the Exclusive Interview with the Part 2 Winner

How Pink Lemonade Got Its Color

by in News, August 30th, 2016

How Pink Lemonade Got Its ColorNothing quenches your thirst quite like a tall, icy glass of lemonade on a hot day. And somehow it feels even more delicious and treatlike when that lemonade is pink. It’s not that pink lemonade tastes different — at least, not usually. Still, something about its gently blushing, sky-at-sunrise hue makes every sip just a bit more special.

But did you ever pause to wonder how pink lemonade came to be? After all, lemon juice — even the juice from pink lemons, which do exist — is not pink.

The history-minded people at Smithsonian magazine have recently recounted the tale of pink lemonade’s origins. Or should we say “tales”? Because there are two different versions of how pink lemonade originally got its color — and they both involve the circus.

A brief timeline, with dates plucked from the Smithsonian article:

Read more

Saving Summer Produce

by in In Season, August 30th, 2016

Refrigerator PicklesPeaches, berries, corn, zucchini…our favorite flavors of summer are oh-so-fleeting. Find the best ways to carry them into fall and beyond with these techniques for preserving, freezing, pickling and more.

Freezing
Nothing tastes as good as a peach, raspberry or squash picked at the height of its season. Plus, that’s generally when produce is at its cheapest too. So it’s worth a little prep work to have frozen summer produce to use  in cooler months.

Fruit
Start by washing and thoroughly drying fruit. Berries can be frozen whole, but you’ll want to slice and remove the pit of peaches, nectarines, plums and other stone fruits. Once the fruit is cleaned and prepped, place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer so the pieces aren’t touching, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Freeze until solid (a few hours, or overnight), and then transfer to a freezer bag. (Yes, you could skip this last step and throw all your sliced peaches into one big bag, but then it would freeze together into a big brick instead of individual pieces.) Read more

Pack a Picnic Like a Pro — INFOGRAPHIC

by in Shows, August 30th, 2016

Pack a Picnic Like a Pro — INFOGRAPHIC

The Infinite Perfection of Taffy Pulling

by in News, August 29th, 2016

The Infinite Perfection of Taffy PullingTaking a break from the sun, the sand and the squeals of wave-jumping children to pad over to the saltwater-taffy “shoppe” and watch the complex apparatus do its pully-twisty thing is, truly, one of the great joys of summer.

It also turns out to be one of the great joys of mathematics. In fact, a professor of fluid dynamics at the University of Wisconsin, Jean-Luc Thiffeault, whose field of study mixes mathematics and physics like the air and sugar that are taffy’s chief ingredients, has written an entire research paper — “A mathematical history of taffy pullers” — about the mathematical efficiency of taffy-making machines and the innovations over the years.

In a report on Thiffeault’s research, the Washington Post highlights some interesting tidbits about taffy’s history to chew on. Among them:

Read more

Classic Sandwiches Get a Brand-New Twist

by in Recipes, August 29th, 2016

Chicken Salad SandwichIf there comes a point during the school year when you just can’t make another PB&J, try a twist on a classic. Your favorite standbys are getting kid-friendly makeovers, which means lunchtime will be a surprise for your student — and packing will be more fun for you. Try one of these new sandwiches to add some variety to your kid’s lunchbox.  Read more

Duff Goldman and Lorraine Pascale Take On 12 Bumbling Bakers in the New Series Worst Bakers in America

by in Shows, August 29th, 2016

Lorraine and DuffWorst Cooks Boot Camp is getting a bakeover, as coaches Lorraine Pascale and Duff Goldman draft 12 of the most-disastrous bakers in the nation into the most-difficult culinary Boot Camp on Worst Bakers in America, premiering Sunday, Oct. 2 at 10|9c. Duff and Lorraine will attempt to mold two teams of catastrophic recruits into potential dessert impresarios, until two rise to the top to face off in one final challenge. With $25,000 on the line, these wannabe bakers better show off their sweeter side if they intend to beat the competition and survive six weeks of baking challenges.

Read more

California Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, August 29th, 2016

California Salad with Hard Boiled EggsMost hearty and filling salad recipes call for plenty of meaty elements, like diced turkey and ham in the traditional cobb. But you don’t have to rely on meat to guarantee a satisfying salad. The secret is using other proteins that deliver the heft you crave.

Read more