Megan Gordon's Recent Articles
Page 5
Why Bagged Lettuce May Be a Bummer
Bagged lettuce is a lot of things. It’s convenient, it’s usually affordable, and it can make a quick lunch or dinner side salad in a cinch. But recent health scares and extensive media coverage have people chatting about the other not-so-great side of bagged lettuce. Modern Farmer recently explored the potential health risks that go along with bagged lettuce.
Jul 22, 2013
Beyond Whole Wheat: 4 Delightful Whole-Grain Pie Crusts
Reaching for whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour is an easy way to work whole grain nutrition into a simple pie dough. In doing so, you’ll not only have a healthier pie shell, but you’ll have one that boasts the flavor of whole wheat flour (as all-purpose white flour doesn’t have as much flavor on its own).
Jul 11, 2013
Recipe: Ham, Cheddar & Chive Egg Bakes
Cooking while traveling can be a tough endeavor. You lose most of the control you usually have at home: who knows how the oven will work, who knows where the local grocery store is… and on. And on. These egg bakes are a good solution to a healthy, delicious breakfast while traveling. The ingredients are basic and easy to track down, and they’re infinitely adaptable so you can toss in a little of whatever vegetables or cheese you have on hand.
Jun 19, 2013
Got Cherries? Make Boozy Cherry Soda
I was pleasantly surprised last week at the farmers’ market to discover cherries. Because I lived in California most of my adult life, this wouldn’t have shocked me a few years ago. But here in Seattle, most of the summer produce is usually delayed in comparison. But last week, early season cherries arrived. Now: what to do with them? Truthfully my favorite thing to do with fresh cherries is to make cherry pie with a rye crust.
Jun 13, 2013
5 Easy Ways to Eat More Whole Grains This Summer
You’ve likely read a lot about whole grains in the news lately. It seems everywhere I turn, a magazine or major news source is touting their benefits, and it’s now recommended that our intake of whole grains sit right around 48 grams per day, which can feel overwhelming to many people. But it doesn’t have to be; there are a lot of sneaky, quick ways to work whole grains into your diet without sitting down to a big bowl of farro every day.
Jun 7, 2013
Drink Your Rhubarb: 7 Drinks to Celebrate Our Favorite Stalk
Here in Seattle, it’s All Rhubarb All the Time right now. Or at least in our house. I’ve been slicing it into muffins, and roasting it to spoon on top of ice cream or yogurt. But until recently, I hadn’t thought to do much with it on the beverage side of things and it turns out: there’s a whole world of rhubarb cocktails, fizzes and even milkshakes to explore!
Jun 5, 2013
Say Hello to Your New Addiction: Popcorn Inspired by Girl Scouts Cookies
Last weekend while strolling the farmers market I somehow ended up bringing home a big bag of kettle corn. We actually had strawberries and cherries available for the first time that week, and what did I ultimately end up buying? Sweet and salty popcorn. A few days later, I stumbled across this recipe inspired by a favorite Girl Scout cookie and figured it was a sign: homemade deluxe popcorn was in my future.
Jun 4, 2013
5 Tips for Making Healthier Banana Bread
It’s true that when the weather turns warmer, I don’t bake as often. But when you live in Seattle, that tends to be a slow, evolving process with many people here insisting that summer doesn’t actually start until after July 4th. In other words: we’ve got some baking days left in us yet! I’ve been experimenting with wholesome quick breads for breakfast and had great luck turning oil-laden, sweet recipes into healthier morning options.
May 31, 2013
The Very Best Cheese for a Frittata: What Gets Your Vote?
In a recent piece about frittatas for The Washington Post, food writer Joe Yonan discussed deciding which cheese to use for his spring frittata. He favors a salty feta, although he recognizes that not everyone agrees. For instance, he mentions that chef and cookbook writer Lidia Bastianich reaches for a rich, whole-milk ricotta (which I’d never thought to do).
May 31, 2013
Summer Salad Mojo: The Only 5 Salad Dressings You Need
With more fresh vegetables arriving every day at the markets, we’re now approaching the salad-as-dinner season. Late spring in Seattle means green garlic and ramps, carrots and occasional shelling peas — all an absolute invitation for the perfect salad dressing. What you’ll notice with these dressings: they tend towards the creamier side of things, as I love to lightly cloak summer veggies in a creamy dressing.
May 29, 2013
Quick Fix to a Bland Meal? Add Some Acid!
Wine is another winner in the acid department. It counterbalances any undesirable or overly sweet flavors.  For more on how to improve a bland recipe, check out Julia Warren’s terrific article: Read More → 6 Ingredients That Will Rock a Bland Recipe, by Julia Warren for Everyday Food BlogDo you have a favorite acid you like to use while cooking?
May 23, 2013
Craving a (Not Too) Sweet Dessert? 7 Desserts Without White Sugar
Dessert is one of my favorite meals. Let’s face it: I have a pretty fierce sweet tooth. But many of us are trying to watch our sugar intake or, at least, cut down on the pure white stuff. Here are seven desserts that satisfy a sweet tooth without using any white sugar at all.   So what are they? They’re a list of a few inspired and varied desserts that don’t rely on processed white sugar (or chemical/artificial sweeteners) to craft delicious, satisfying desserts.
May 13, 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Drink Your Oats: 5 Nourishing Whole-Grain Smoothie Recipes
In the early fall as the mornings get just a touch cooler, the breakfast options can get all the more hectic. There are often new school schedules to contend with, or at the very least, new school traffic to contend with. While granola bars or quick oatmeal are easy options, the substantial smoothie is a great way to mix things up this time of year. In the summer, smoothies so often consist mainly of seasonal berries or stone fruit with a good dollop of yogurt and maybe a dash of honey.
Sep 10, 2012
Quick Tip: How to Tell if Eggs Are Good
It comes up in our house a lot. I’m guessing it might in yours, too. It goes something like this: one of us is holding up X ingredient to the other asking, “do you think this is still good?” What follows is a delicate dance of sniffing, staring, scratching our heads and making a quick decision that’s often more guess than certain knowledge. But with eggs, that decision can be much easier. Now if you’ve ever encountered a really bad egg, you’d know.
Sep 4, 2012
5 Ways to Use Chimichurri Sauce
Chimichurri is that wonderful, fresh sauce that brightens anything it comes in contact with. Traditionally made with olive oil, lots of fresh parsley, lemon, garlic and shallots, it’s most often used as a sauce on grilled meats and fish, but I’ve found that keeping a little container of it in the refrigerator allows you to dress up even the most basic of leftovers.
Aug 31, 2012
Baking With Dates: Which Variety Reigns Supreme?
Dates have been on my mind. I’m in the process of developing a recipe for raw energy bars and have been experimenting with many different types of dates for flavor, texture and consistency. I found my very favorite for this particular recipe, but when I tried using them in other baking recipes, they fell short. I came to the quick conclusion that all dates are not, in fact, created equal.
Aug 16, 2012
To Soak or Not to Soak: How Do You Enjoy Your Muesli?
In my mind, summertime is prime museli time. It’s a cool breakfast that gives me loads of energy without feeling sluggish or overly full. And it’s so simple to throw together at home. Some folks treat it much like cereal or granola, adding a splash of milk or a dollop of yogurt right before serving. Others soak it overnight. There are, indeed, benefits to both.So first, and I’d argue most importantly, there’s the issue of taste. Either you like soaked muesli or not.
Aug 13, 2012
Don’t Toss Your Leftover Coffee! 10 Recipes That Use Your Leftover Brew
When we have leftover coffee in the pot, we’ve been saving it in the refrigerator to make iced coffee later in the day. But we’ve had a cooler spell here in Seattle and we haven’t much felt like iced coffee, so it was time to start thinking outside of the caffeine box. Here are 10 recipes to put that leftover coffee to good use!
Jul 25, 2012
The Best Way to Prevent Soggy Fruit Crisp
I’m guessing we’ve all been there. You pick up summer fruit you’re really excited to turn into a crisp or crumble, but the final baked result is a little juicier (dare we say soggy?) than you’d really like. There are many reasons for this, and one really good trick to avoid it.Cook’s Country ran a recipe for Peach Melba Crisp in their September 2012 issue, and it was a delightful-looking combination of tart raspberries and juicy peaches.
Jul 20, 2012
Baking Bread: The Best Flour For Baguettes, Sourdough, and More!
I don’t bake very much in the summer, and I’m guessing the same might be true with you. (When it’s hot out, the last thing you want to gear up is your oven!) But the two things I do find myself baking are pies and loaves of bread, the latter of which is a staple all year-round. But when reaching for those trusty ingredients, what type of flour do you turn to?People study bread-baking techniques for years, and I am the first to admit I’m far from an expert.
Jul 16, 2012
Ginger Ale vs. Ginger Beer: What’s the Difference?
Dark and Stormy. Moscow Mule. Two favorite warm weather cocktails that rely on ginger beer as one of the main ingredients. But wait: ginger beer doesn’t actually have any beer in it. So then how does it differ from the beloved ginger ale?First thing’s first: ginger beer was the very beginning. It originated in the 1800’s in England and, at that time, did contain a small percentage of alcohol.
Jun 8, 2012
Top Yogurt with Tiny Crunchy Grains: How To Make Toasted Amaranth
I find breakfasts this time of year pretty exciting, mainly because I can subsist on yogurt and fruit and be quite happy, and summer fruits are finally here! But I also have a little secret up my sleeve: toasted amaranth.If you’re not familiar with amaranth, it’s a seed that folks generally lump into the category of “whole grains” (like quinoa). It’s gluten-free and especially high in protein and calcium.
Jun 7, 2012
Recipe: Salted Coffee Caramel Sauce
I’ve come to an important realization: While hot fudge is fine and good, an ice cream sundae just isn’t complete until it has thick, salty caramel drizzled on top. With summer right around the corner, I think it’s time for us all to practice our ‘quick, make a batch of caramel!’ skills. It’s easier than you may think. I’ve made Smitten Kitchen’s Easy Butterscotch Recipe a few times, and this recipe was inspired by her approach.
May 22, 2012
Seasonal Ingredient Spotlight: Chive Blossoms
Chive blossoms have been the prettiest thing at the farmers’ market for two weekends in a row, and both neighbors on either side of me here in Seattle are growing them in the front yard. I’m seeing them everywhere I turn! But what are chive blossoms? Simply put, they’re wild chives with beautiful purple flowering blossoms. You’re probably familiar with chives.
May 22, 2012