Stephanie Barlow's Recent Articles
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The Spiral Cut: The Most Delicious Way To Eat a Hot Dog
Planning a low key burgers and dogs menu for this year’s 4th of July BBQ? Take a look at this simple tip that will take your hot dogs to the next level! A little prep work will turn your dogs into spiral condiment-grabbing and conversation-hogging BBQ stars. More than just a novelty way to serve hot dogs, this technique allows for better and more even cooking on the grill. Use a thin skewer to pierce the hot dog lengthwise and cut the hot dog on the diagonal while turning the skewer.
Jul 2, 2012
Cooking Without Sight: Tips from Masterchef Contestant Christine Ha and Other Blind Chefs
Think blind chefs can’t possibly cook at full speed? Just watch Christine Ha blaze through the competition on MasterChef. She shares some amazing tips and tricks on how she can cook without being able to see, with BBC News. Many tips apply to all chefs, too.As one would imagine, blind chefs rely heavily on their sense of smell, taste, and touch.
Jun 22, 2012
Onions in Salads: Soak Them in Water First
There’s nothing wrong with a good hunk of onion in a salad: it’s crunchy, and filled with pungent flavor. However, when that strong flavor takes over the dish, not to mention the next few hours of the victim’s mouth, that’s when one starts to push those crisp onion slices off to the side of the plate. But there’s a great way to have your onion and eat it too!
Jun 20, 2012
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.
Jun 13, 2012
Make It Sizzle: 10 Dessert Recipes Featuring Grilled Fruit
Yes, we’re talking grilled fruit. Outside on the gas grill or indoors on a grill pan, we love the way grilling caramelizes the natural sugars in fresh fruit. Never tried it? Read on for 10 delicious and easy summer grilled fruit ideas.• Grilled Peaches with Bourbon Vanilla Whipped Cream: Hello perfect summer dessert! Peaches grill up better than just about any other fruit, and a little spiked whipped cream only sweetens the deal.
Jun 8, 2012
Bigger and Blander: What’s Up With Strawberries?
A few summers ago, I visited the incredible farmers’ market in Portland, OR and perused the stalls bursting with fresh produce. It was late in the morning and the vendor selling pints of strawberries had almost sold out. I snagged one of the last pints and sat down to enjoy a sweet snack. One bite into The Best Strawberry of My Life, and I knew I’d been fooled by grocery stores for years. Bigger, blander strawberries are the norm these days and what gives?
May 21, 2012
Seize the Season! 5 Tips for Preserving Fresh Vegetables in the Freezer
Love to buy loads of fresh veggies at the farmers’ market but can’t always use them up in time? Look to your freezer for help! However, it’s not as simple as throwing a few tomatoes in the freezer; there are techniques that vastly improve the thawed product. Read on for tips!In general, just plopping fresh veggies in the freezer results in rather sad, limp results once thawed. Why?
May 18, 2012
How Long to Cook Vegetables: A Beginner’s Guide to Preparation Times
When it comes to vegetables, I tend to stick to a routine. Roasted Brussels sprouts tonight, sautéed broccoli tomorrow. Do you ever gaze across the produce in the grocery store or the farmer’s market and wonder how you’d prepare something new? Look no further. Here’s a beginner’s guide to proper preparation times.If you’re new to the kitchen or trying to shake things up a little, it’s helpful to know which vegetables cook in a similar manner.
May 16, 2012
5 Ways to Shake Up Boring Ice Cubes
You’ve taken care to create a perfect cocktail, so why dull it down with a boring icecube? Read on for 5 cures to the common ice cube.• Striped Ice Cubes: More than just eye candy, these pretty cubes can even be made with alcohol. It adds another dimension to any cocktail!• Spherical Ice Cubes: These ice spheres are a bit more challenging to make (don’t even get us started on how to make the ice perfectly clear), but impressive nonetheless.
May 9, 2012
Leftover Wine? Make Wine Jelly!
We know, leftover wine isn’t usually an issue in our kitchen. However, sometimes you don’t have a use for that half empty bottle of Merlot (especially if it wasn’t top notch to start with). Well, start looking at the bottle as half full… of wine jelly. Spread this homemade delicacy over cheese or package it into a unique hostess gift.Wine jelly is made like other types of jelly, by reducing the liquid, sweetening, cooking and adding thickener.
Apr 25, 2012
Smart Tip: The Key to Making Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for a Crowd
Think making grilled cheese sandwiches for a crowd involves transforming into a short order cook? My pans fit two or three sandwiches, max, and require hovering over them to avoid any burns. No longer! Check out this smart tip involving two baking sheets.This is one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” moments. The key to this process, as explained by Cook’s Country, is to cook the sandwiches between two preheated baking sheets.
Apr 16, 2012
Got Leftovers? Follow the 2:4 Rule
Ever find yourself faced with a tray of leftover snacks after a party wondering if you should save or toss them? Usually, logic sort of goes out the window and smell and taste kick in to determine their refrigerator shelf life. But have you tried the 2:4 rule? Wonder no longer!The 2:4 rule is simple: store leftovers within two hours and consumed the leftovers within four days.
Apr 6, 2012
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.
Mar 30, 2012
Freeze Cake Slices for a Weeknight Treat
Baking a cake on a random weeknight , especially when living in a small household, is a rare occasion. However, craving a slice of cake on a Wednesday night is not that uncommon. What to do? Freeze slices of cake, of course. Then you’re only a few minutes away from a slice any night of the week.A few cautionary items before throwing that birthday cake in the freezer: frosting can get weird when thawed out.
Mar 28, 2012
The Do-Not-Freeze-These-Foods List
In the battle against limited freezer space, some foods just don’t cut it. But how do you know which ones to toss before they hit the freezer? Three rules help break down the mystery and keep your freezer free for success. Rule One: The cardinal rule of freezing: if it didn’t taste good to begin with, it won’t taste any better after freezing. In fact, it will most definitely taste worse.
Mar 21, 2012
How To Make Your Own Frozen Wraps
I used to walk the freezer aisle in envy of all of those perfectly engineered frozen burritos. How did they managed to get everything in there in so it doesn’t overcook when reheated? And sealed in with just a thin plastic wrapper? Well, I dare say I’ve conquered it. A number of tips will help you create your own fresh freezer fare, too!• Reheating Gently: Let your wraps thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at least for a few hours before reheating.
Mar 14, 2012
An Ode to Cereal: Shredded Wheat
I’m not sure when I discovered shredded wheat, but I can be sure it was by accident. Growing up, cereal meant the sugary kind that left the milk delightfully sweet. Hounded by my parents to cut back on sugar, I must have tried their shredded wheat one day and decided it was not completely disgusting. But now? I stockpile the stuff.Shredded wheat is the blank palette of breakfast foods: it is essential to load up the bowl with anything else to make it edible.
Mar 9, 2012
Freezer-Friendly Scones: Freeze Unbaked Dough, Bake When Needed!
I first encountered the idea of frozen scones on vacation in Michigan. The Lake Street Market in Boyne City, MI sells rolls of their delicious apple walnut scones (and about a million other varieties) already frozen. What better for a summer lake house than a few scones in the freezer, just waiting to bake up and lure you to the breakfast table?
Mar 7, 2012
Freezer Friendly: Caramelized Onions
The whole point of freezing things is to have ingredients on hand right when need them. If you haven’t heard it before, caramelized onions freeze wonderfully well and are great flavor boosters for almost any food. Read on for freezing tips and quick fix uses!Caramelizing onions sounds like more of a process than it really is. Onions practically do it on their own if left alone in a pan.
Feb 29, 2012
Freezer Frenzy: My Favorite Tools for Freezing
Being prepared to freeze just about anything, from soups to sauces to egg whites, is a huge advantage in the kitchen. After all, what good is throwing an entire lasagna in the freezer when you know you’ll never thaw the whole thing out? Read on for my essential supplies to make freezing a breeze.• Ice cube trays – My last apartment kitchen came with these seemingly useless ice cube trays that produced ice the size of sugar cubes.
Feb 22, 2012
Calling All Sandwich Lovers! The Return of the Toas-Tite
Imagine a contraption that allowed you to make a grilled cheese sandwich without plugging anything in or dirtying a pan. Yep, it’s a Toas-Tite! If you’ve ever used one of these retro gadgets, you already know the magic behind their perfect circular sandwiches. Until recently, however, they were hard to come by. Search no longer!The Toas-Tite, originally designed for campfire cooking, was made in the 1940s and 1950s. Lay a sandwich (with cheese!
Feb 15, 2012
Cooking with Fire: DIY Doner Kebab
A great doner kebab is a thing of wonder. Fresh hot pita stuffed with juicy lamb, crisp lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and topped off with hot sauce and a bit of tahini sauce (and sometimes a few French fries!), it’s not an easy dish to pull off at home. The lamb is cooked in a tall stack, turning on a spit, for one. But there’s an easy (or easier) way to make it at home!
Feb 13, 2012
Check it Out! Watch Cocktails Explode in Slow Motion
It’s been a long week. Maybe you had a little too much turkey over the weekend and you’re still feeling a little…full. Or those relaxing days off were soon negated by a few stressful catch up days at work. Either way, it’s time to take a moment and watch cocktails explode in a super cool slow motion video! Phantom Cocktails from Ty Migota on Vimeo. Filmed with a Phantom camera at 5,000 frames per second, exploding beverages have never looked so cool. Enjoy!
Dec 2, 2011
Look! Make Your Own Maple Cream
We polished off another small bottle of maple syrup with a post Thanksgiving brunch and I just had a feeling I’d need more sooner rather than later. If I had only listened to myself and picked up a bottle I could have whipped up a bit of maple cream tonight! Read on for the surprisingly simple (only one key ingredient!) recipe.Doesn’t the thought of thick maple cream spread on freshly baked pound cake sound like something worth trying?
Nov 30, 2011
Quick Recipe: Creamy Lemon Pasta with Spinach & Peas
This light creamy pasta comes together in fewer than 15 minutes and you’ll be amazed at its flavor. Bright lemon combines with deep garlic and a hint of heat to transform spinach, peas, and, of course, pasta. The key in this dish lies in simmering cream with garlic and red pepper flakes. It infuses the cream with deep flavor which cooks into the spinach as well. And what could be easier than throwing in a few frozen peas to add a little something extra?
Oct 11, 2011
Date Night Recipe: Slow-Roasted Turkish Lamb Stew
When my boyfriend and I first started dating, he invited me over for a home cooked meal. However, living in New York City, my expectations for home cooking on a date were limited. Would he make macaroni or spaghetti? But when he told me the menu involved a dish he learned from his mom in Turkey, I prepared for some seriously delicious food.After reading my blog posts over the past year, my boyfriend wanted to contribute one of his specialties.
Sep 27, 2011
Beer for Breakfast: Several Surprising Pairings
If you’ve ever found yourself in a European train station early in the morning, you’ll know that having a beer with breakfast isn’t out of the ordinary for some. In fact, beer has a rich history at breakfast, dating back to the 19th century. The Wall Street Journal suggests a few pairings to start your morning buzz.Thinking of beer as nutritious might be a stretch, but adding a pint to your breakfast table could mean for a spectacular pairing.
Sep 12, 2011
LU Pim’s Pear Cookies: Ode to a Hard to Find Favorite
You may know LU cookies and crackers – the European brand has been popping up across this country more and more. They make a delicious cake cookie filled with jam and dipped in dark chocolate called Pim’s. But one flavor just hasn’t made the jump across the pond.Pim’s cookies are laughably easy to find in my neighborhood. They’re sold at Duane Reade, a drugstore chain that seems to have just about as many locations as Starbucks in NYC.
Sep 7, 2011
Product Review: Blue Diamond Dark Chocolate Almonds
I discovered these unassuming almonds one day while shopping at the drugstore. Sweetened almonds are usually jam packed with sugar in the form of a hard candy coating and are not an ideal snack food (delicious yes, but just try limiting yourself to the serving size – not easy!). These so-called natural chocolate dusted almonds looked different. And they are! Totally snack friendly.Although the second ingredient is evaporated cane juice (duh, sugar!
Sep 2, 2011
Twinings Changes Earl Grey Recipe: Tea Lovers Outraged
Imagine picking up a box of Earl Grey tea bags at your local store and brewing a cup, as you have for many years. You bring the steamy beverage to your lips and realize something is wrong. Did someone replace your favorite tea with dishwater? That’s (literally!) what some Brits are saying about Twinings’ new Earl Grey recipe, launched in UK in April. Read on for the incredible comments from outraged tea drinkers.
Aug 31, 2011
Own An Air Popcorn Popper? Roast Your Own Coffee
Do you have an air popcorn popper taking up space in your pantry? Why not turn it into a multi-tasking tool and roast your own coffee beans. Mark Frauenfelder, founder of Boing Boing and editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine, did just that. It’s easier (and less time consuming) than you think!Mark explains that he has three main reasons for roasting his own beans. First, unroasted coffee beans are cheaper than those that have been already roasted.
Aug 19, 2011
Baking Tips: Use A Tea Strainer To Sift Powdered Sugar
I love finishing baked goods (especially those that I’m trying to pass off as homemade) with a dusting of powdered sugar. However, in the interest of saving kitchen space, I’ve never purchased a small sieve for delicate projects. Instead, each time I battle with a big colander, cover my counter top with powdered sugar, and end up feeling a little less than efficient. That’s when I remembered my tea strainer.
Aug 19, 2011
Check These Out! Edible Parmesan Pencils
This box of pencils packs a cheesy punch! Leave it to a German ad agency to think up this cute — and practical! — way to transport and serve Parmesan cheese. But are they coming to the United States anytime soon?Disguised as run-of-the-mill over-sized pencils, the “leads” of these pencils are actually flavored Parmesan cheese. Each set comes with a sharpener, allowing one to shave truffle, chili, and pesto flavored Parmesan right from the pencils.
Jul 22, 2011
Recipe: Blackberry Cabernet Granita (No Ice Cream Maker Necessary!)
It’s that time of year when ice cream cravings pop up with sudden urgency. And with fresh berries at the farmers’ market, who can resist coming up with their own flavor? However, after a major kitchen appliance purge, the last thing I wanted to do was buy another gadget to take up space. Inspired by the Ciao Bella cookbook, I created a rich, not too sweet, grown up granita with red wine and blackberries, all without an ice cream maker.
Jul 14, 2011
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.
Jul 8, 2011
Alice Water’s (Gorgeous! Surprising!) Rhubarb Galette
Of course Alice Water, culinary pioneer and the woman behind Chez Panisse, makes a beautiful rhubarb galette. But it’s the detail in the crust that makes it totally unique. The outer edge of this tart isn’t just plain dough; it’s stuffed with something special!The Wall Street Journal Magazine photographed key steps in Alice Water’s rhubarb galette.
Jun 29, 2011
The Cookie Designers: Oreo Cookies and Architecture
How closely have you looked at an Oreo cookie? That iconic seal imprinted onto each Oreo is the standard of classic excellence in the world of cookie designers. Yes, there’s such a profession!And real architects are Oreo design fans, too! Pulitzer prize winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger said the cookie’s design remains “the stuff of legend.”What’s so special about the Oreo’s flowered embossed design?
Jun 17, 2011
Duty-Free Food Souvenirs: Cadbury Chocolates
Unless you’re lucky enough to shop at a grocery that carries international candy, you may only know Cadbury, the UK chocolatier conglomerate, just for their Easter eggs. Next time you’re passing through an airport, be sure to check for these creamy chocolates!Although Cadbury is no secret (Kraft purchased the company in 2010 and the duo are officially the world’s largest confectionary company), their chocolates still aren’t widely available in the US.
Jun 6, 2011
Things We Already Knew: Expiration Dates Deemed Subjective
Even the most inexperienced food consumer knows that those little dates printed on containers of milk, cheese, and eggs are to be taken with a figurative grain of salt. MSNBC reports this week that expiration dates lead to an incredible amount of food waste. Do you pay attention to expiration dates?We’ve always been partial to the sniff test to determine if food just past its expiration date is safe to eat.
Jun 3, 2011
A Little Pink: USDA Lowers Temperature Guidelines for Cooking Pork
It’s something chefs (and The Kitchn!) have been saying for years: 160 degrees is overdoing it for pork. Today the USDA announced they agreed and set a new benchmark for a safe cooking temperature for the meat. But did they go low enough? Today, the USDA cooled their previous recommended cooking temperature for pork by 15 degrees. They now recommend that pork be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
May 25, 2011
The End of Tater Tots? A Proposal to Ban Potatoes in Schools
The potato has had it rough the past few years. First that whole low carb craze, and now an effort to eliminate potatoes in school lunches? Really, what’s so bad about the potato? Do you think it should be banned?When you stack it up against more colorful and nutrient packed vegetables (carrots, spinach and the like), it’s true that the humble potato doesn’t seem like much.
May 18, 2011
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 16, 2011
The Original Celebrity Chef: Chef Boyardee
If you think chef-branded foods like Ina Garten’s cake mixes and Rick Bayless’s sauces are new to supermarket shelves, think again. A man named Ettore “Hector” Boiardi (pronounced boy-ar-dee, get it?) was a forerunning culinary sell out before there was such a thing. But did you know he once worked as a chef at New York’s Plaza hotel? This week, TIME chronicled how Boiardi helped shape American Italian food, for better and worse.
May 6, 2011
Butter Lamb for Easter: Traditional or Wacky?
As a Midwesterner, I’ve come to expect boxes of butter lambs on grocery shelves as Easter approaches. Some versions are prettier than others, including little ribbons and crosses, but they are displayed front and center in the dairy aisle. So, when a friend posted a photo of one of these grocery store displays on Facebook this week questioning the butter lamb’s very existence, I felt conflicted. I wanted to explain that these are commonplace in some parts of the country.
Apr 20, 2011
A Royal Dessert: Will & Kate’s Biscuit-Filled Wedding Cake
It was announced this week that Prince William and Kate Middleton will serve a cake made with somewhat humble origins at their upcoming wedding. The concept is based on one of Will’s favorite childhood treats. And the cake will be served frozen!The Guardian UK reports that this special cake, known as a “chocolate biscuit cake,” will debut at the April 29th royal nuptials.
Apr 1, 2011
Stephanie’s Favorite Odd Tool: Soft Boiled Egg Top Cutter
I found this strange tool in a kitchen shop during a recent trip to Germany. Although it’s a very specific tool (please let me know if you can ever figure out a second use for it!), I use it every time I make soft boiled eggs. I think I even make them more often just so I can use this tool!When I lived in France for a semester in college, I noticed all sorts of charming kitchen details.
Mar 30, 2011
7 Women Who Turned Their Food Passion into a Career
Ever considered turning your jam into a business? That’s what Rachel Saunders did with Blue Chair Fruit (which we happened to feature in a cookbook review). This month’s O magazine touches on six other women who succeeded in creating a business out of their interest in food.More than just stories about the food that allowed these women to start their own businesses, O Magazine covers how each of them got started. One similarity between the stories? No idea is too small.
Mar 28, 2011
In a Hurry: 3 Defrosting Tips for Super Fast Results
Freezing food is a great way to conserve and plan for easy dinners, however, it doesn’t make for a spontaneous cooking experience. Read on for a few tips that take defrosting beyond waiting hours and nuking it in the microwave. 1. Thaw Meat Quickly with Water – This trick has become the standard in my kitchen. Simply put frozen meat in a bowl and run cool water over it until it has thawed. Don’t use warm or hot water as it will start to cook the surface of the meat.
Mar 25, 2011