Stephanie Barlow's Recent Articles
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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 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
Recipe: Basil Ricotta Tortelloni with a Rustic Tomato Sauce
I had the privilege of learning this recipe from a very seasoned chef in Italy during a cooking class at his family restaurant. It was no surprise that he made creating this dish from scratch look simple. But after a few attempts (and mishaps) in my own kitchen, what surprises me now is that it’s something I can put together without looking at instructions.
Mar 23, 2011
Product Review: Aveda Comforting Tea
One place I wouldn’t expect to find my new favorite tea is my hair salon. But that’s what happened last time I stopped in for a trim. And as it turns out, it’s no supermarket variety tea blend.Aveda salons and stores always have tea brewing. At first taste, I was surprised at the light flavor and sweet aftertaste. However, when I asked what the shop sweetened their tea with they told me it was a natural taste from the herbal blend and that the tea was unsweetened.
Mar 21, 2011
Stephanie’s Pepper Mill: Trudeau Seville Grinder
I didn’t give much thought to my tiny, ancient salt and pepper set until I received a new pepper mill as a gift. It was at a work holiday party and each of us had to complete a questionnaire about our favorite things. We then each received someone’s favorite item as a gift. At the time, I wasn’t a big fan of the dullard who chose pepper grinder. But today, it’s a pretty important staple in my kitchen.
Mar 11, 2011
Duty-Free Food Souvenirs: Kinder Bueno Chocolates (and Why Not to Buy Kinder Eggs)
Next time you’re in the duty-free shop at the airport, look for Kinder chocolate products. These German confections are aimed at kids and are available in several chocolate-covered varieties. Kinder Bueno are my Kinder chocolates of choice: hazelnut cream in a crunchy and creamy chocolate bar. But beware of bringing home Kinder Eggs!A strange thing happened to me as I was coming through customs after a recent trip.
Feb 23, 2011
How To Make Mexican Braised Beef in a Slow Cooker
This shredded braised beef in a rich sauce with a spicy kick tastes better than you can imagine. Really, it’s that good. And cooking it in a slow cooker means you can have it ready and waiting when you come home from work! Want more smart tutorials for getting things done around the home? See more How To posts We’re looking for great examples of your own household intelligence too! Submit your own tutorials or ideas here!
Feb 18, 2011
Product Review: Trader Joe’s Giant White Beans
I discovered this jar in the back of my pantry, and on an evening when my dinner options were sparse. Cracking open the jar, these giant (they really are huge!) beans didn’t seem like much. But when heated up with couscous and a dusting of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, I was surprised at the meal that resulted!At first glance, the beans seemed rather oily, but the tomatoes and chunks of spices kept my hopes up.
Feb 7, 2011
Popcorn Popping Tip: Start with Just 3 Kernels
Sometimes I get a little nervous when dealing with hot oil for popcorn. If it gets hot too fast and I’m not moving the pan around, kernels can burn pretty quickly. And, it’s a bit tedious to stand at the stove shaking the pan. Here’s simple solution to know just when the oil is hot.Next time you make popcorn on the stove, after pouring oil (vegetable oil, peanut oil, or other oils capable of high heat) in the pan, crank up the heat and add 3 popcorn kernels.
Jan 31, 2011
Fake Blueberries: Another Reason to Make Your Own Muffins
Ever bite into a blueberry muffin and taste a clump of blue sugar? This week the LA Times reported on findings that this phenomenon is widespread across some major supermarket brands. Many popular brands of muffins, bagels, and cereals labeled as blueberry don’t actually contain any of the little berries. Did you know?This isn’t much of a surprise to most of us, but what is news to me is the lengths food companies will go to describe these falsities in ingredient lists.
Jan 26, 2011
Sanding Sugar: Color Your Own!
Sanding sugar is one of those specialty baking products you find yourself buying once and then forgetting about in the back of your pantry, until after you’ve bought the exact same color again, of course! Ever wondered if you could just color your own, as you need it? Here’s how!Sanding sugar, that sparkly, crunchy topping to sugar cookies and fancy baked goods is nothing but coarsely ground sugar.
Dec 13, 2010
Holiday Cooking Project: Homemade Hand-Pulled Cotton Candy
There’s something about this time of year that inspires me to spend full weekends trying new recipes, snuggled up in my apartment. This ambitious, yet simple, project to make hand-pulled cotton candy, also known as dragon’s beard, is next on my list!This hand-pulled cotton candy is a traditional Chinese treat known as dragon’s beard.
Nov 29, 2010
Entertaining Tip: Keep Your Kitchen Smelling Great with One Ingredient
Next time your apple pie drips into your oven and fills the house with a less than lovely burning fragrance (hey, it happens!), try this simple kitchen trick to keep your place smelling inviting and warm.Yes, cinnamon! When an apartment in my building caught fire a few years ago the damage to my own place was minimal, except for a smell that lingered for months.
Nov 17, 2010
Entertaining Shortcut: Trader Joe’s Stroopwafels
Dessert is always the last thought in my entertaining plan. I can handle appetizers and cocktails, but I always seem to decide on making dessert a few hours too late in the game. But no one is ever disapointed when I break out these Dutch cookies.Stroopwafels (syrup waffles) originate from the Netherlands where they are tradtionally served with a hot drink. These stroopwafels are just wide enough to rest on a mug and are served perched on top, heating up and slowly melting the syrup.
Nov 10, 2010
It’s True! Yuengling Beer Is Coming To A State Near You
America’s oldest beer maker, D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc., announced plans to expand this week. Are you familiar with this sought-after beer? Remember the first beer you learned to order in a bar? You know, your go-to choice when you were too young to know much about beer except that you were happy to get it? Yuengling (pronounced ying-ling) was mine. It sounded a lot cooler than Bud or Miller and tasted better, too.
Oct 22, 2010
A Bloody Mary, With a Twist of Pickle
Bob and Joe McClure decided four years ago to use their great grandmother’s pickle recipe to start a company. Today, McClure’s pickles are sold across the country and they are offering a new delicious product: bloody Mary mix.When the McClure brothers started the venture, Bob, an actor, had just moved to Brooklyn. They thought it would be smart to keep costs down and operate out of their hometown in suburban Detroit and leave the promoting and experimentation to Brooklyn. It worked.
Oct 1, 2010