Megan Gordon's Recent Articles
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Eating Vegetarian? 7 Cooking Blogs to Check Out Right Now
These 7 vegetarian cooking blogs are a few of my favorites. Some are narrative, while others are more informative or educational. Taken as a group, they are pretty much all you need. 7 Inspiring Vegetarian Cooking Blogs The First Mess: Laura’s photos will be the first thing to draw you in, but it’s her unique and impeccably-tested recipes that will keep you coming back for more.
May 9, 2013
On Letting Go of Your Food Magazine Collection: Got Any Tips for Me?
Let me first say that I’m far from qualified to write on this subject. As you can see, I’ve got food magazines piling up — soon to overtake the large wicker basket I bought to house them. While I know of schools, libraries, and friends who would gladly take them off my hands, it seems more of an emotional tie than a rational or logical one. When is it time to let go of all these glossy magazines?
May 8, 2013
Got Dukkah? 6 Ideas for Using it At Home, No Cookbook Required
There are many different ways to use dukkah in the kitchen, and I’d encourage you to try making a few batches of your own at home to see how, exactly, you prefer yours (for instance, I love mine pretty heavy on sesame seeds with a good hit of salt). → Make Your Own: Basic Dukkah Once you’ve mastered your own favorite dukkah, there are a number of great ways to use it in the kitchen: Fold it into your favorite hummus or dip.
May 7, 2013
Miso’s Unlikely Sweet Side: 5 Dessert Recipes Worth Trying
Miso is often seen as more of a savory ingredient — mixed into salad dressings, rubbed on salmon or chicken, stirred into a soup, or used as a simple sandwich spread. But how about adding it to some of your favorite desserts instead? I usually stay away from recipes that use an unlikely or unexpected ingredient just to be different or wacky or garner attention. But that’s not the case with these dessert recipes. In these recipes, miso contributes quite a lot.
May 2, 2013
Reading Food Labels: How Can You Tell if a Product is Truly Whole Grain?
The Whole Grains Council has a symbol that will help consumers identify products that are actually made with whole grains. If a product carries this symbol, it’s guaranteed to be made with 100% whole grains. They advise you to “be skeptical if you see the words ‘whole grain’ without more details, such as ‘crackers made with whole grain.’ The product may contain only miniscule amounts of whole grains.
Apr 29, 2013
The 5 Best Reasons to Make Pizza at Home
Recently Serious Eats published a piece on their Slice blog touching on why making pizza at home can make you happier and ends up being easier on the pocketbook. They lay out five detailed reasons — which, when taken together, are more than enough to convince even those who think good pizza only comes out of a master pizzaiolo’s wood-fired oven.
Apr 24, 2013
The Cocktail Threshold: How Much is Too Much to Pay for a Drink?
The reason I ask? Last week I read a piece in The Washington Post about a bar in Washington, D.C. that was serving a $22 Manhattan. That’s right: $22!  Now I should say that this isn’t your average cocktail: it’s made with a small-batch rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and Byrrh quinquina, a sweet French aperitif. Once mixed up, it’s then aged for six weeks in an empty whiskey barrel.
Apr 19, 2013
Beyond Bar Nuts: 7 Happy Hour Snacks with a Serious Crunch Factor
Cocktails beg for snacks, and in our house, when we think snacks we usually go for simple crackers and good cheese. Alternatively, if we’re having people over, I love making bar nuts tossed with olive oil and herbs. But with the ushering in of a new season comes the drive to do something new in the kitchen, so lately I’ve been looking for snack ideas beyond store-bought crackers and bar nuts.
Apr 16, 2013
Cooking with Fennel: Tips for Using the Whole Head (Don’t Toss Those Fronds!)
Has fennel crossed your kitchen threshold yet? If you’ve never tried fennel, it helps to know that it’s used as an herb as frequently as a vegetable. It is very aromatic, with a slightly sweet, little-bit-spicy anise flavor. The super versatile bulb is shredded to make salads and side dishes, braised with chicken or fish for heartier dinners, and pureed into soups and sauces. I’ve even had fennel ice cream, and it was quite wonderful.
Apr 5, 2013
Easy Spring Brunch Party: 10 Low-Key and Delicious Recipes
What makes each of these dishes low-key? While many of them have manageable ingredient lists and very familiar methods (simple salads, throw-together muffins), the real answer is that you can do so many of them ahead of time. All of these salads can be done the day before, so they’re not on your mind the morning before guests arrive. You can easily mix up the muffin and waffle batters the night before, and bake and refrigerate the quiche and frittata ahead of time.
Apr 4, 2013
Recipe: Warm Citrusy Millet Salad with Roasted Fennel and Kalamata Olives
We had some friends over for potluck dinner a few weeks ago, and one couple brought some fennel and citrus to roast, inspired by a recipe in the Jerusalem cookbook. Right before pulling them out of the oven, my friend Olaiya tossed in a generous handful of kalamata olives. The result was one of the more glorious things I’ve tasted coming out of a roasting pan: warm and citrusy with a salty kick from the olives and a slight bite from a mustard vinaigrette.
Mar 21, 2013
5 Tips for Smarter Grocery Shopping
I love going to the store, choosing which apple looks perfect to me, and stumbling upon products that weren’t necessarily on my shopping list. But there are weeks when it all gets tiresome, and I find myself going to the grocery store more times than makes sense. I’ve started to get smarter with each trip to the store, acknowledging that there are easy steps that alleviate the potential headache.1.
Mar 19, 2013
Quick Bulgur Wheat for Lunch: 10 Recipes to Break the Sandwich Rut
Quick simple lunches don’t have to be limited to sandwiches or over-priced take-out. Instead, why not try one of the most delicious, quick-cooking grains of them all? Bulgur wheat! Bulgur may not be as trendy as quinoa or heirloom rices, but it deserves a spot in your grocery cart all the same. Bulgur is made by parboiling and cracking whole wheat berries. Because of this, it requires little real cooking. You simply boil water and let the grains steep.
Mar 13, 2013
Hot and Melty: 10 Delicious Grilled Sandwich Recipes
It’s not every day that we have the time to prepare a really delicious, over-the-top melty sandwich for lunch. Work gets in the way, family obligations get in the way, real life gets in the way. But for those moments when you have an extra 30 minutes, lunchtime magic can occur with some relatively basic sandwich ingredients. Now I know what you’re thinking: I don’t have a panini press! Or maybe, if you’re like me, you haven’t dusted yours off in awhile.
Mar 11, 2013
My Love/Hate Relationship With My Nespresso Machine
At my house we have a sleek little Nespresso machine and an older, heavy Italian model that belongs to my boyfriend, Sam. Both have prime real estate on the counter: Sam uses his almost exclusively; I use mine almost exclusively. He calls my espresso “faux’spresso,” insisting it doesn’t taste as good and lamenting the fact that the pods are so wasteful. In a way, I agree. And yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Mar 8, 2013
Recipe: Honeyed Grapefruit Yogurt Parfait with Popped Amaranth
Sometimes I like to trick my senses into thinking we’re experiencing warmer, more spring-like mornings than we really are in Seattle. Case in point: this pretty, delicate breakfast recipe that’s perfectly-balanced with creamy yogurt, toasty coconut, crunchy amaranth and sweet honey.
Mar 6, 2013
A Break From Granola: Why Muesli Rules
If granola and yogurt is your morning speed, chances are you’ve come across muesli at some point. While many of the ingredients are the same, muesli, the Swiss cousin of granola, is different. So if you like granola, why mess with your routine? What’s the big deal with muesli? As some of you already know, I own a granola business here in Seattle, Marge Granola.
Mar 4, 2013
Recipe: Baked Za’atar Eggplant Fries with Lemon Tahini Dip
Eggplants were on sale at the market this week, so I picked one up and challenged myself to do something other than fry it. Since fried eggplant is so delicious in dishes like Eggplant Parmesan, I think it tends to be my easy go-to answer. I had something else in mind this time: an afternoon snack with a quick, delicious tahini dip that would carry us through until dinner.
Feb 27, 2013
5 Habits To Help Keep Food Fresh
We’re starting to round a corner where maybe, just maybe, we can sense spring in the air. We’ve had a few hopeful days here in Seattle, and I’m eagerly awaiting spring produce at the farmers’ market. So now is a great time to start thinking and planning for things you can do around the house to keep your food fresher for longer.
Feb 22, 2013
The Appeal of Two-Ingredient Recipes: Have You Tried One Yet?
Lately I’ve been seeing more two-ingredient recipes pop up on food blogs and websites. From chocolate mousse to chocolate chip cookies, they seem to be everywhere. And yet, I haven’t tried one yet. Have you?Last week Joanna from Cup of Jo shared a two-ingredient cookie recipe. The only two ingredients are banana and quick-cooking oats, although then you can stir in whatever mix-ins you’d like — chocolate chips, nuts, spices, whatever. (And yes, I know!
Feb 21, 2013
Forget Stirring! Try Baked Polenta Instead
Polenta is one of those dishes that is so wonderfully satisfying on cold winter days, but it takes some time standing at the stovetop and stirring vigorously every 10 minutes to get that nice creamy texture. But did you know there’s a way to enjoy a delicious polenta without the constant stirring?I started to think that there had to be a hands-off version of polenta, and as it turns out, there most certainly is!
Feb 15, 2013
New Website Crush: American Food Roots
New food website American Food Roots has a tagline of “Why we eat what we eat.” If you’re even remotely interested in food, we think you’re going to like this website. It’s a rich, engaging food resource that’s already becoming a wealth of information and a dynamic place for readers to share stories and videos.
Feb 14, 2013
Cold Weather Cocktail Hour: 5 Favorite Winter Liquors
One of my favorite treats on a Friday evening is enjoying a new cocktail at home. Often it’s something as simple as a Gin and Tonic, but with the cold nights of February upon us, we’ve been turning to sipping warming liquors instead.While highly subjective, I have a few favorites that I think are particularly nice for colder evenings. I like to mix some of these into an actual cocktail while others are great for sipping neat.
Feb 13, 2013
Make Killer Vegan Mac and Cheese: 3 Insider Tips
I have a few friends who own a macaroni and cheese restaurant in Oakland, CA called Homeroom. Now that I live in Seattle, I miss it dearly. While everything is delicious there, what stays with me is the memory of how creamy and delicious their vegan mac and cheese was. I couldn’t believe it was dairy-free! I’ve been looking to duplicate the recipe at home and started searching online for some tips and tricks on achieving a creamy, cheesy dish without … the cream. Or cheese.
Feb 11, 2013
The Traveling Cocktail: 5 Tips for Drinking Well on the Road
We recently returned from a quick trip to Montana by train. The plan was to not bring computers, read as much for pleasure as we could, snowshoe every day, and drink copious mugs of hot chocolate. We did pretty well on the plan, adding to it at the last minute a few flasks of cocktails we whipped up at home for the overnight train ride. What we learned? You can drink well on the road. We like to have friends over and make drinks, so I realize our home bar might be a bit more robust than most.
Jan 30, 2013
Craving Indian Food? 5 Starter Recipes
Around this time in the winter, dinners start to become predictable. Soup is in heavy rotation as are whole-grain casseroles or baked pasta with loads of greens. Routines set in and I start to turn to what what’s easy, filling and delicious. But lately I’ve been craving food with a warmer kick—spicy food, food that isn’t always in my weekly repertoire.Truthfully, I don’t cook much Indian food at home.
Jan 28, 2013
Beyond Mornings: 7 Savory Ways to Use Your Marmalade
I recently took a marmalade class here in Seattle and was surprised with some of the questions that came up from fellow attendees. While I had questions about the size of the citrus chunks or how exactly I could tell when the marmalade was done cooking, other students really wanted to know what to do with their marmalade. Beyond toast, how should they use it?I thought the question funny only because I use marmalade in so many different ways in the kitchen, morning and evening.
Jan 25, 2013
Baker’s Ingredient Spotlight: What to Do With Maple Sugar
I don’t use white sugar much at home these days. Now I reach for a more unrefined cane sugar like turbinado, or experiment with maple syrup or honey as sweeteners. But the problem with this, for bakers in particular, is that you have to be careful about adding extra liquid to a recipe because it changes the entire composition and structure. So what’s a good solution if you want to add a deep, dark sweetener like maple syrup? Pick up a bag of maple sugar!
Jan 22, 2013
How to Make Creamy Tomato Soup Without the Cream: 3 Brilliant Tips
We’re deep in it. Soup season, that is. And in my opinion, there’s not much more comforting than a steaming bowl of creamy tomato soup. But is there a way to achieve that blissful flavor without the heavy cream?Over Christmas, my family ate at a great Italian restaurant in the Bay Area and I ordered tomato soup to start. It was the most luxurious, creamy tomato soup I’ve ever had and I asked about the recipe.
Jan 16, 2013
10 Make-At-Home Snacks for Movie Night
While there are quite a few movies on my list to see before the Oscars this year, a movie night in is often what these cold winter nights call for. And when curling up with a good flick, snacks are necessary. But store-bought packages or movie theater boxed treats are so often laden with preservatives and ingredients you can’t pronounce, why not start thinking about homemade versions of your favorites to do at home?
Jan 11, 2013
Make Way for Underberg: A Favorite German Digestif
This past weekend, my boyfriend and I went out on an evening walk to pick up a few things at the corner grocery store. On our walk back home, we decided to pop into this festive German bar we’d seen so many times. At that moment a good German beer sounded like it could possibly turn the whole day around. As we shared a warm pretzel and a towering mug of beer, it began to snow. (This doesn’t happen all that often in Seattle.
Jan 10, 2013
Is Homemade Eggnog Worth the Effort?
I was recently at a small Christmas gathering where the host served warm cocktails and homemade eggnog. Everyone was raving about the creamy, traditional nog so I tried a small glass and couldn’t help but think that the carton I’d bought at the store was better. Sure, I doctor it up with a little fresh nutmeg and rum or brandy, but still, the store-bought version was smoother and had more nuanced, subtle flavors than this homemade version, which tasted quite eggy to me.
Dec 13, 2012
Impromptu Holiday Cooking: 10 Simple, Seasonal Suppers
There are many reasons why having a quick holiday meal in your back pocket, so to speak, is handy this time of year. There are the folks who stop by unannounced, but more often than not, it’s simply a crazy time of year and sometimes the simpler the meal, the better.While our family does go all out on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, the meals leading up to those occasions are usually filled with simple, satisfying meals.
Dec 5, 2012
Recreate Starbucks Treats at Home: Homemade Cranberry Bliss Bars
We all have different guilty pleasure sweets. Maybe it’s a slice of cheesecake or a scoop of good ice cream. Perhaps it’s a decadent hot chocolate with piles of whipped cream. Or maybe you can’t quite walk by the case at Starbucks without thinking twice about those Cranberry Bliss Bars. Well now we’ve found a recipe so you can make them at home in no more than 30 minutes.I’ve tried to recreate restaurant recipes before and it’s a tough job.
Dec 3, 2012
DIY Gifting: Homemade Tea Blends
Holiday gifting is in the air. Store window displays became festive overnight and neighbors are stringing lights. I always spend the week before December thinking through people’s gifts, what to buy and what to make. This year, I’m making more gifts than buying and starting early to avoid the accompanying stress. First up: customized tea blends for family and friends!Before moving in with my boyfriend, I used tea bags whenever I made tea mainly because they were simple and mess-free.
Nov 26, 2012
Do-Ahead Holiday Baking: 3 Ways to Make Pies and Pie Dough in Advance
Pies are the component of the holiday meal that I look forward to the most. They’re something we don’t generally indulge in on average weeknights (or weekends, for that matter) and they seem like such a celebratory dessert, such a happy dessert. So why not make life a little easier this year by doing your pies in advance so you don’t have to think about them on Thanksgiving morning? Here are three ways to get your pies done now so you can enjoy them later! 1.
Nov 16, 2012
Bread at Thanksgiving: Do or Don’t?
The Thanksgiving prep has begun with dogeared recipes, phone calls to family members, and pie dough made and frozen. But recently the question of bread came up: do we need it? Do we want it? Will anyone miss the bread if it’s not a part of the meal?People do Thanksgiving in many different ways – some are traditional with turkey and mashed potatoes, some staunchly untraditional with tamales or even take-out Chinese. My family falls very much in the traditional camp.
Nov 12, 2012
10 Bite-Sized Fall Breakfast Recipes
Eating small at breakfast can mean a few different things. First, it means you can scale back and eat smaller portions. Alternatively, it means you get to try many things without committing to one full-size choice. Following this logic, I’ll often get a few mini cupcakes or cookies in the afternoon instead of one large one, and I’ve been doing mini versions of favorite breakfast recipes at home, too.
Nov 12, 2012
Beyond Arborio Rice: 7 Risotto Recipes Made with Whole Grains
Arborio rice is the go-to choice for risotto as it has a high gluten content and makes for a creamy, hearty rice dish. But when you’re ready to introduce more whole-grains into your diet, there are a wide range of options that work perfectly in risotto recipes, and are just as rich and creamy! I began making barley risotto about six months ago when I realized that barley cooks up so creamy. I found it extremely satisfying and filling, and now I don’t miss the white rice at all.
Nov 6, 2012
10 Flavor-Boosting Add-ins for Incredible Chili
I’ve talked before about how soup is my go-to dinner party food in the fall and winter, but I recently read a piece on mean chili: spicy, exciting, innovative chili with unexpected flavors. It got me thinking that it may just be time to switch up my usual routine and get on the chili bandwagon. Here are 10 flavor boosters to get you really excited about chili.
Nov 2, 2012
5 Tips for Hosting a Soup Party
My favorite kind of gathering to throw this time of year is a soup party. Hands down. It encourages a very informal mingling that I’m always drawn to far more than stuffy, plated dinner parties and it gives me a chance to flex my soup muscles and try a few new recipes. But I’ve found that, while casual, a soup party does take a little tending and planning.My family has a long history of soup parties in the fall.
Oct 17, 2012
Indulge More Often: 5 Whole-Grain Pizza Crust Recipes
Pizza gets a bad rap health-wise. And understandably so, I suppose. There’s the oil and the cheese and the oh-so-delicious dough. But strangely I rarely feel guilty about the toppings themselves: it’s usually the white-flour dough that leaves me feeling like I could’ve done better. But then, there are whole-grain pizza dough recipes, and some really fine ones indeed.
Oct 11, 2012
Rename that Recipe! A Good Strategy for Dealing with a Failed Attempt
Perhaps you’ve found yourself in this situation: you have guests arriving in 5 minutes and you’re pulling a soufflé from the oven. It didn’t rise quite like you thought it should but you know the flavors are stellar. You can’t very well toss a dish with friends on their way, and frankly, it still tastes great. What to do?Have you had a similar experience? Maybe your stuffed peppers collapsed for some reason. A family recipe for chocolate candy didn’t harden.
Oct 10, 2012
10 Favorite Cocktails for Fall
We’ve put away the blender and the iced tea pitcher and finally accepted the fact that summer cocktail season has, indeed, come to an end. But the mourning period was brief: fall cocktails are packed with flavor, color and spice and do wonders to make the darker evenings more bearable!Many of my favorite fall flavors (ripe pear, vanilla bean, pomegranate, tart apple) make a showing in fall cocktails, spanning the map from the classic margarita to a twist on a hot toddy.
Oct 2, 2012
Frozen Berries In Off-Season Baking: Should You Thaw Before Using?
There comes a time when you get a hankering for something out of season. Strawberry rhubarb pie in the fall, for example, or fresh blueberry muffins in the dead of winter. The obvious solution: use frozen berries. But should you thaw them first? What’s the best way to integrate these handy little gems into your off-season baking? In most cases, you don’t want to thaw your berries before using them in baking recipes. Frozen berries in muffins? Great. Frozen berries in pie?
Sep 25, 2012
Look! Hashbrown Waffles
Occasionally I run across something online that really floors me. That makes me take a step back and wonder, why didn’t I think of that? When I stumbled upon the uber-crispy hashbrown waffle, I knew it would be in my very near future.Writer Tara Austen Weaver of Tea and Cookies had a pretty brilliant breakfast idea recently: hashbrown waffles.
Sep 17, 2012
The Sweet Subtlety of Date Sugar
There are many different kinds of natural sugars out there, all waiting to sweeten baked goods, cereals or coffee and tea in a less-processed and often more flavorful way. We’ve written about turbinado, demerara and muscovado sugars before here on The Kitchn, but have recently come to be quite fond of date sugar. Have you heard of it? Date sugar is really just dehydrated and ground dates. It’s dark and moist much like muscovado sugar, so it should be stored in an airtight cool place.
Sep 13, 2012
3 Tips to Help You Make Perfect Oatmeal
In the warmer months, yogurt and granola are my go-to breakfast. As fall approaches, I start making more and more oatmeal and each year I aim to perfect this relatively simple breakfast. With these three main tips, we’re pretty close to perfection.People like their oatmeal in very different ways. Not just the toppings, but the preparation itself. Some like it uber-creamy and soft while others prefer oats that are more chewy and toothsome.
Sep 12, 2012