Stephanie Barlow's Recent Articles
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Zipzicles Help You Make Popsicles in a Pinch (Even In a Tiny Kitchen)
Item: Zipzicles Price: $2.99 for 12 on Amazon Overall Impression: Great alternative to popsicle molds; perfect for parties, kids, and one-off freezing herbs and leftover smoothies. I’ve owned popsicle molds on at least two separate occasions. I used them once or twice and they gradually made their way to the back of my cupboard, only to be rediscovered again on my next apartment move.
May 30, 2019
After Dinner Treat: Espresso Chocolates From Italy
Do you like espresso? And dark chocolate? Together? These are the questions a friend asked before placing a retro-looking wrapped candy in my palm. I unwrapped it, ready to take a bite, when she just about knocked the piece of chocolate out of my hand. You can’t just bite into half of Pocket Coffee, for one crucial reason.Pocket Coffee, made by Italian chocolatier Ferrero (yes, of Ferrero Rocher), is unlike any other coffee-flavored chocolate I’ve tried.
May 24, 2019
Sweet Cookies in a Jar: Speculoos Spread
Could there be a less-appealing name for a food? This is what I wondered when I saw speculoos spread in a list of waffle toppings at Wafels & Dinges, a New York City food truck. It turns out to be a sweet Belgian gingerbread spread, as Thomas DeGeest, the man behind Wafels & Dinges, explained to me. Gingerbread in spread form? Yes, please.I watched as he slathered the brown paste on my golden waffle much as a brick layer would smear concrete.
May 2, 2019
Trader Joe’s Pantry Essential: Red Pepper Spread
I am a die hard make-it-from-scratch cook for dinner parties. I’ll take the extra step to make even the most basic foods myself — hand-rolled tortillas, homemade caramel, pie crusts, and everything in between. Although these details make a difference to me, I’ve learned that cutting a few corners never breaks a party. Tip number one: Trader Joe’s red pepper spread.
May 2, 2019
Ingredient Obsession: Flavored Salts
There’s a stand at the New Amsterdam Market in New York City I visit every Sunday that sells flavored salts, olive oils, and vinegars. I always taste the exotic flavored salts and recently brought some home to try. They’re great! Have you used flavored salts?The Filling Station, a New York-based retailer, sells a sophisticated variety of salts at the market that are so good I often find myself snacking on them straight from the jar.
May 2, 2019
Ingredient Spotlight: Beet Sugar
Lately, I have heard food companies highlighting that they use beet sugar. The term seems to be thrown around as an answer to high fructose corn syrup. But, is it really something noteworthy?Beet sugar refers to sugar refined from sugar beets. Growing up in Michigan, a big producer of the stuff, I actually assumed all sugar came from sugar beets. These root plants have a higher concentration of sucrose than traditional beets and are grown for the sole purpose of making sugar.
May 2, 2019
Gluten-Free Cereal Picks: Puffins
When I heard that one of my favorite cereals was wheat-free, I was pretty surprised. Puffins, those tasty crunchy cereals with the puffin mascot are, in fact, made without wheat. And there are also two varieties that are strictly gluten-free as well!Puffins are like the cereals you enjoyed as a kid, but actually good for you! How else could you justify eating peanut butter flavored cereal for breakfast?This light and crunchy rice and corn cereal is an addictive treat right out of the box.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Slow Cooker Vegetarian Split Pea Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
I grew up eating my grandmother’s split pea soup, and it’s one of the first things I learned to cook when I moved away from home. For this version, I omitted one harder-to-find ingredient so I can make it without a trip to a specialty store! To me, split pea soup tastes like home. However, when I tried to replicate our family recipe on my own, I always had trouble finding a ham bone. My local grocery store just wouldn’t sell me ham hocks or a ham bone.
May 2, 2019
Cooking with Oil: Does Quality Matter?
This might be an idea you’re already familiar with, but sometimes those fancy bottles of olive oil just call to me from their supermarket shelf, begging to be purchased. If you’re splurging this holiday season, be sure to know how NOT to use them!Sometimes, when you feel like splurging for a holiday dinner or a special occasion, it’s tempting to buy the best oil you can find.
May 2, 2019
Edible Gift Recipe: Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint and Pumpkin Walnut Biscotti
These biscotti are dressed up for the holidays – with a drizzle of chocolate and crushed candy canes. Here are two recipes ideal for gifts.Biscotti make great gifts — they’re easy and inexpensive to make, and they keep for a week or two in a sealed container. The chocolate-dipped peppermint biscotti are the real holiday stars here, with an almost shortbread consistency and a satisfying chocolate and candy cane crunch.
May 2, 2019
Cookie Recipe: Glittering Lemon Sandwich Cookies
These are the show-stopping cookies you will want to whip up to impress even the most jaded cookie swapper. Light and buttery, they taste as good as they look. And by dipping the dough in a rainbow of sanding sugars you can make them as bright and festive as you’d like!These cookies were part of Gourmet magazine’s last December issue, published in 2008.
May 2, 2019
Cookie Molds: 5 Recipes
If you’ve never make cookies using molds, they produce the most beautiful and intricate results. They are the perfect holiday baking project. Try these recipes with your molds for a few delicious variations.Cookie molds generally are either carved in wood or cast in ceramic. The traditional German springerle cookies are made using intricate wooden molds, as are the Belgian speculaas. The recipes below include several twists, including one gluten-free, on the classic cookies. Happy baking!
May 2, 2019
How to Accommodate a Gluten-Free Dinner Guest: 5 Tips
So one of your dinner guests can’t eat gluten. How do you plan? Like cooking for any food preference, cooking for a gluten-free guest can seem overwhelming. Here are some tips to keep the evening flowing smoothly.1. Plan a gluten-free dinner – This might seem extreme just to accommodate one person, but if you’re expecting someone with a high sensitivity to gluten, even some residual flour on a plate can cause a reaction.
May 2, 2019
On Cooking Through Your Pantry: Using Up Odds and Ends
It’s getting to be that time of the year where I feel uninspired in the kitchen. Short a bright and tasty clementine here and there, my freezer and pantry are pretty dull. But then, in an effort to do some early spring cleaning, I started on a project to cook through all the half bags of couscous, sun-dried tomatoes, and cans of beans. And, you know what? It’s pretty fun!Last night I pulled together a dinner of Trader Joe’s Giant White Beans and couscous.
May 2, 2019
Beyond BPA: Why to Avoid Plastic Food Containers
We’ve heard it before: Plastic containers can release chemicals into the food and liquids we store in them; It’s not smart to microwave food in plastic or leave plastics, including water bottles, out in the sun. I’ve avoided these behaviors, but thought I was safe using BPA free water bottles and take out containers. Well, a recent study reported by NPR suggests otherwise. It’s one of those articles you hate to read. NPR reports that a new study has found that most (most!
May 2, 2019
5 Ideas for a Make-Ahead Potluck Breakfast
I have a love hate relationship with potlucks. On one hand, they are a great opportunity to experience friends’ cooking and creativity. On the other hand, they always seem to come up at the last minute. Breakfast potlucks are the most difficult. Here are five ideas to help you shine at your next one.1. Breakfast Casseroles – These are ideal make-ahead dishes: easy to assemble the night before and bake in the morning or on site.
May 2, 2019
Easy Entertaining with Ice Cream: 9 Ways to Dress up a Scoop
What’s easier than serving ice cream for dessert at your next dinner party? A few tips can turn a boring scoop into a party worthy dessert. And no one will be the wiser that they only took you a few minutes to put together!
May 2, 2019
Recipe: BBQ Chicken Pizza
Store-bought pizza dough, leftover chicken, BBQ sauce … check, check, check! This weeknight pizza couldn’t be easier. It’s savory, sweet, tangy, and it only takes 15 minutes of oven time. Who could ask for anything more? I definitely took some shortcuts with the ingredient list here to minimize cooking time on weeknights.
May 2, 2019
Don’t Toss Them! 10 Uses For Ripe Bananas
Sometimes a bunch of bananas is just too much pressure for one person. Day after day you watch them ripen and you know you won’t be able to eat them before the brown spots spread. Do you make a promise to turn them into banana bread only to end up throwing them out? Don’t let it happen again!The number one rule in banana preservation is: freeze them! Throw them right in the freezer, peel and all. Then, relax. Once a few pile up, check out the ideas below:1.
May 2, 2019
Virtual Grocery Shopping: In The Subway?
How often, when waiting for your subway train, do you think about grocery shopping? No? Apparently, some folks in South Korea are a step ahead. One station has opened up a virtual grocery store, allowing consumers to shop for food and have their purchased delivered directly to their homes later that day. Would you order your groceries from a subway station?Clearly this concept is based on clean, well running subway stations, which are mystical to those of us who live in New York City.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Black Bean And Heirloom Tomato Quinoa With Lemon Dressing
Quinoa is the perfect vehicle for summer vegetables: it’s more substantial than couscous or rice and it kind of binds ingredients together. This simple version involves minimal cooking: just toss hot quinoa with black beans, chunks of ripe heirloom tomatoes, and crunchy scallions, and cover with a refreshing lemon dressing. Cooking quinoa was once a bit of a mystery — I had read a rather complicated recipe that called for steaming it in a towel towards the end of the cooking process.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Almond Buttermilk Cake with Cherries
There’s a secret to this simple, almost pound cake dessert: it freezes beautifully! Perfect for tucking in a lunchbox or pulling out of the freezer on a rainy day, slices of this cake thawed will rival their just baked counterparts. And it works with any juicy fruit or berry! This cake ends up having a dense, perfectly cake-y texture. The cherries release their juices and form an almost caramelized layer on top the not too sweet cake.
May 2, 2019
New Digital Gluten-Free Food Magazine: Easy Eats
Meet Easy Eats, a lovely new gluten-free digital magazine. We’re loving this new resource. The first issue debuts today and you’ll want to check it out for some great gluten-free cooking tips, recipes and products!More than just a slew of tips or things we already knew, Easy Eats makes gluten-free eating seem fun! We love the roundup of gluten-free Halloweeen candy and reviews of different types of gluten-free bread.
May 2, 2019
Change it Up: 5 Ways to Enhance Basic Chicken Soup
Sometimes the idea of making another batch of chicken soup doesn’t really do it for me. Sure, making stock from scratch enhances the taste over the store bought stuff, but it can end up feeling like a tired dinner choice. When basic won’t cut it, here are five ideas to bring your soup to a new level.1. Go Beyond Basic Noodles: What a difference a different kind of noodle makes!
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Classic Apple Pie with Tips from Magnolia Bakery
There’s hardly a time when a warm slice of apple pie doesn’t just hit the spot. While it’s best associated with cool fall days, apple pies are a standard in my kitchen year round. And when Magnolia Bakery offered to share classic pie tips, I had to check it out! Read on for step by step photos of constructing a fabulous apple pie. In Magnolia Bakery’s kitchen in their Upper West Side location in Manhattan, apple pies are created assembly line style. Really!
May 2, 2019
My Weeknight Treat: Yogurt with Walnuts, Golden Raisins, and Honey
Feel guilty eating dessert on a random weeknight? When I need a sweet treat I turn to Greek yogurt and honey. I add in whatever fruits and nuts I have on hand, usually crushed walnuts and golden raisins. Sprinkle on a few spoons of flax seeds and plan yogurt morphs into a sweet, healthy treat!Much like my favorite morning cereal ritual, adding raisins and walnuts to a small bowl of Greek yogurt totally hits the spot for me. And there are endless variations on the toppings to include.
May 2, 2019
Freeze These Tasty Appetizers Today to Bake and Serve for a Party Later, You Hosting Queen
Dreading the appetizer prep for your next party? Why not plan ahead for your next gathering and stock up your freezer? These apps make it easy to pull together a stellar spread in a hurry without skimping on the homemade touches.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Roasted Balsamic Vegetable Pasta with Mint & Yogurt
Excited for spring but still waiting for beautiful produce to show up at the farmers’ market? Try this bridge between seasons – a creamy yet light pasta dish filled with roasted veggies and a balsamic sauce.This is a pasta salad meets dinner dish – toss hot pasta with a slew of roasted veggies and coat with a tart, sweet, and just a little spicy balsamic dressing. You’d be just fine if you wanted to stop there, but what’s a great pasta dish without something creamy?
May 2, 2019
Gluten-Free Snack: Sesame Parmesan Crisps from Kitchen Table Bakers
Have you ever hosted a gluten-free guest and felt unsure what to serve along the cheese and crackers? I’m a big fan of the delicate baked Parmesan crisps served at restaurants—gluten-free, simple cheese flavor, with a substantial crunch. They’re easy to make at home, too, but when I’m pressed for time baking up a batch is not going to happen. Enter Parmesan crisps. Made entirely of Parmesan cheese, they’re a great complement to any appetizer spread.
May 2, 2019
5 Store-Bought Cookie Brands You Didn’t Know Were Vegan
There’s a well-known bakery in NYC famous for its cupcakes. And they just happen to be vegan. Oh, and gluten-free as well. How do they do it? BabyCakes bakery relies on agave nectar, canola and coconut oil, as well as other natural ingredients. One taste of their cupcakes and you’d never know they were anything other than delicious. But did you know the following five store-bought cookies are naturally vegan as well?
May 2, 2019
Leftover Miso? 10 Great Dishes Featuring Miso
We love the salty, savory taste of miso, but hate ending up with leftover miso paste. Recipes rarely call for more than a few tablespoons of the stuff and suddenly it’s months later and the package is still sitting in the back of your ‘fridge. Does this happen to you? Read on for 10 ideas on how to use every last spoonful!Miso is great whisked into salad dressings, shaken up in marinades, and stirred into a bowlful of plain chicken broth.
May 2, 2019
It’s In the Sauce: My Secret to Actually Enjoying Scrambled Egg Whites
Egg whites are pretty awful. If you’ve tried to eat them as a recommendation from a doctor, or just out of a diet concern, you know that they cannot be eaten the same way as whole eggs. Plain, egg whites can taste flavorless, each bite a reminder that they’re lacking exactly what makes eggs delicious: the creamy yolk. So, forget eating them alone. However, with the right culinary allies, egg whites can become palatable, even tasty!My trick, in one word: salsa.
May 2, 2019
From Chia Pets to Seeds: An Unlikely Journey into the Kitchen
Chia seeds have been making the health food store rounds for a number of years now, but they only recently broke through into the mainstream. I’d written them off as some sort of diet fad until I tried a chia seed smoothie and thought Hmmm, these aren’t half bad. But somehow, I missed the fact that their resemblance to the fad Chia Pet was more than a coincidence.Did everyone know that Chia Pets are made with the same chia seeds so many are swearing by in their food these days?
May 2, 2019
Green Juice: 5 Great Recipes to Try
What makes green juice, well, green? Adding kale, spinach, celery or parsley adds that green hue and a multitude of health benefits. Throw in a sweet element to keep the juice palatable, but going too sweet may result in crafting a dessert rather than a drinkable vitamin. Personally, I steer clear of adding parsley and celery (only because I don’t love the flavors) and focus on kale and cucumber along with an apple or ripe nectarine. Add chia seeds for a fun crunch and instant snack!
May 2, 2019
I Tried Blue Apron’s Meal Delivery Service and Here’s How It Went
Service: Blue Apron Price: $65.94 for three meals serving two people each Overall Impression: Great for busy weeknight meals and to shake up your cooking routine. There are some weeks I just don’t have the time to meal plan ahead of time. And then those weeks turn into days when I just don’t have the time to think about what to make for dinner. Enter: Blue Apron.
May 2, 2019
7 Recipes That Can Be Made Faster (and Better) in the Toaster Oven
I read recently that the toaster oven, that old-fashioned behemoth of an appliance long replaced by the microwave, is making a comeback. Well, in my kitchen it never left! To be honest, though, I’m enjoying a renaissance of toaster oven use in the kitchen, and it is all my fiance’s doing. Once I realized the ease of having a mini oven heat up in no time, I couldn’t imagine getting rid of it. Here are six ways to put the toaster oven to use beyond, you know, making toast.
May 2, 2019
6 Tasty Dinners Featuring a Pint of Cherry Tomatoes
Ever find yourself with a pint of cherry tomatoes that are about to pass their peak? From grilling to roasting to blending, never fear, there couldn’t be more ways to rescue those sweet little tomatoes from waste, and you can just sub them into any recipe that calls for regular tomatoes. We’ve compiled six of our favorite ways to feature cherry tomatoes for dinner tonight. 1.
May 2, 2019
5 Reasons Why I Run My Slow Cooker All Night (Not All Day)
When I first started using a slow cooker, I was delighted to prepare ingredients before I went to work so I could come home to a hot meal. Sometimes, however, there just isn’t time in my morning routine. Searing meat, cooking vegetables, and reducing liquids sometimes amounts to an hour of prep or more. Then I decided to start using my slow cooker the other way: overnight instead.
May 1, 2019
5 Tips for Recreating Restaurant Recipes at Home
Living in New York City, I eat out at restaurants frequently. Sometimes, too frequently. While I love a night out at a fun restaurant, my waistline and wallet prefer I cook at home. But why not enjoy my favorite restaurant dishes at home? In 2014 I started a video blog dedicated to recreating many of my favorite restaurant meals at home, and I picked up a few techniques to make the process easier along the way.
May 1, 2019
12 Ways to Use Up Candy Canes
They appear just once each year, but what to do when you’re stuck with more candy canes than you know what to do with? Rather than tossing these festive sweet treats, transform them into baked goods and even cocktails and use up every last (even broken) piece! Read on for some creative uses for your leftover candy canes this holiday season. Perfect for even the broken leftovers, crushed candy canes make tasty and cute garnishes for holiday treats.
Dec 28, 2014
The Fastest Way to Make Uniform Apple Slices for Apple Pie
When you’re baking apples into pies and tarts, cutting them into uniform slices means they’ll cook evenly and best of all, just look gorgeous and perfect. Using a knife to do the work, especially when faced with the pounds of apples that are needed to go in a deep-dish pie, can be a tedious task when you’re trying to make the slices as even as possible. Time to pull out a gadget that might be gathering dust in the back of the kitchen drawer!
Nov 7, 2014
Did You Accidentally Pick 20 Pounds of Apples at the Farm? Let Us Help You With That.
Finally this year I remembered to go apple picking before the frost hit! I remember looking at the somewhat small bags the orchard provided and thinking that I should pick enough to fill two or three bags, because one wouldn’t be enough. Well, it’s been two weeks and we still have apples to spare. Are you in a similar state? Overloaded by apples brought on by over-eager pickers? Read on for tips on what to do with your apple bounty this fall!
Oct 29, 2014
Don’t Make the Mistakes I Made When Roasting a Pumpkin
Last year, after admiring two of our uncarved pumpkins as Halloween came and passed, I tried something I’d been wanting to do for a long time. I’d seen many Pinterest posts and articles promising how much better homemade pumpkin puree could be than the good old canned variety, and I thought, “Why not?” One fall afternoon (and it took ALL afternoon, let me remind myself), I took on the task of cutting open, de-seeding, peeling, roasting and pureeing my own pumpkins.
Oct 22, 2014
5 Recipes I Learned in College and Still Use Today
Ah, college cooking. It brings to mind such sophisticated fare as Rice Krispie treats (eaten straight out of the bowl, of course), thick dining hall chili, boxed brownie mixes and the like. For me, college was when I really figured out that I liked to cook, so my memories actually include somewhat sophisticated foods like homemade pita bread, baba ghanoush, gnocchi, and risotto. I found a few favorite recipes along the way that I still use today — read on to find out which ones!
Oct 1, 2014
5 Tips for Finding a Vacation Cooking Class
Ah, vacation. No deadlines, no responsibilities. And the perfect time to cook! While sometimes it’s great to take a break from my kitchen, one of my favorite parts of traveling is experiencing food and cooking somewhere new. There’s no better time to learn a new cuisine. Read on for my favorite tips to find the best cooking classes to take while traveling. The more you search beforehand, the better prepared you’ll be.
Jul 30, 2014
6 Tips That (Mostly) Cured My Fear of Cooking Rice
It all started in the hectic moments before a dinner party. I was serving sushi with amazing fresh fish ready to be rolled with rice and doused with soy sauce. I’d painstakingly followed every single cooking instruction on the sushi rice package, including washing the rice no fewer than 10 times and soaking it for 30 minutes. I slowly lifted the lid and tasted a few grains. Crunchy. Not a good sign.
May 15, 2014
Recipe: Squash & Lemongrass Soup with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
Looking for a fresh option for lunch? This is an ideal fall and winter soup: creamy without being heavy (and without cream!), bright, and packing an unexpected and zesty lemongrass flavor. This is the recipe to have on hand when you feel like making soup, but actually want to be eating it 30 minutes later. It comes together incredibly quickly and combines rich squash with a crunchy garnish. The lemongrass flavor comes through bright and clear, with a little help from the ginger.
Mar 10, 2014
The Best Way to Make Big Batches of Smoothies Ahead of Time
A new convert to smoothies, I always wondered why Pinterest is full of images of individually packed smoothie ingredients — why not just make a big batch of smoothie and stash it in the fridge for meals throughout the week? Well, if you’ve tried this, you know why it doesn’t work. The smoothie separates and the fruit takes on a sort of funky flavor almost bad enough to turn you off smoothies all together. But you know what works? Freezing the smoothie!
Feb 18, 2014