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My Healthy Habit Challenge: I’m Gonna Buy More than Four Types of Produce
Welcome to our Healthy Habit Challenge! Instead of focusing on (impossible-to-keep) new year’s resolutions, this year we’re challenging four writers to start a new healthy habit. These challenges aren’t about cutting out sugar, going on a diet, or focused on the negative. They’re about doing something new and good — and making it second-nature.
Jan 18, 2017
Trader Joe’s Wine Tasting Room Comes to Bay Area
If you live in the Bay Area and are a Trader Joe’s aficionado, your Saturday nights are about to become a whole lot greater. The Mercury News reports the second Trader Joe’s in the region (in Menlo Park) has been approved to maintain a wine and beer tasting area.
Jan 13, 2017
My Healthy Habit Challenge: I’m Gonna Start Meal Planning
Welcome to our Healthy Habit Challenge! Instead of focusing on (impossible-to-keep) New Year’s resolutions, this year we’re challenging four writers to start a new healthy habit. These challenges aren’t about cutting out sugar or going on a diet or focused on the negative. They’re about doing something new and good — and making it second-nature.
Jan 9, 2017
Did You See the Trader Joe’s Float at the Rose Parade?
If you’re obsessed with Trader Joe’s, you’re in good company. Everything from the cult grocery chain’s cookie butter to its frozen section has devoted fans. That’s why it’s no surprise that this beloved grocery store gets its own float in the annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA. Did you catch this year’s creation in the lineup? The float, which was themed “All Aboard!
Jan 3, 2017
Oreo Candy Bars Exist and They Sound Magical
Just when we thought the good people at Nabisco had reached the limits of innovation with Swedish Fish-flavored Oreos, they’ve surprised us once again. Oreo has teamed up with German chocolate brand Milka to concoct ingenious Oreo-filled milk chocolate bars. The crossover candy bars debuted in Europe last year in two varieties: “Milka Oreo Big Crunch Candy Bar” and “Milka Oreo Chocolate Candy Bar.
Nov 22, 2016
The 5 Things You Should Buy from Trader Joe’s Now for Thanksgiving and Beyond
We love Trader Joe’s for their regular lineup of freezer staples, pantry basics, and of course, the quirky finds This festive and fizzy nonalcoholic drink is made with fresh fruit, and boasts a refreshing sweet and tart flavor. It’s a welcome addition to Thanksgiving dinner and holiday brunches in place of alcoholic beverages and even juice. Change up your apple cider game with this seasonal spiced pear and cinnamon number.
Nov 16, 2016
The One-Stop Thanksgiving Shopping Guide: Costco
Feeding a crowd this Thanksgiving? You can literally get every ingredient for dinner and the table to serve it on in one stop at Costco.
Nov 14, 2016
The Fastest Line at the Grocery Store, According to The New York Times
What’s your strategy for choosing the shortest line at the grocery store? Do you just go for length of the line? Do you try to decipher if anyone standing in line is actually together? Do you look to see how many baskets versus carts are in line? A new study by Christopher Mele for The New York Times suggests a new way to get through the line faster, and it’s not what you think. According to Mele, you should choose the shortest line where shoppers have the fullest carts.
Sep 12, 2016
7 Frozen Breakfast Sandwiches (and Burritos) Worth Buying
We’d love to keep our freezers stocked with make-ahead breakfast sandwiches at all times, but sometimes the convenience of store-bought is just a gift. These days the freezer section is filled with an ever-growing selection of breakfast sandwiches. From choices in bread that span English muffins to tortillas, to meat-filled and vegan options, there’s a sandwich out there for every taste and preference.
Sep 10, 2016
How I Use Costco and My Freezer for a Month of Breakfast Sandwiches
Bulking up the freezer with breakfast options is one of the secrets to successful meal planning. Costco and an afternoon of cooking is the secret to making freezer breakfasts to last my family a month. Here’s how a trip to Costco and one afternoon of work can save breakfast — one freezer sandwich at a time. While a dozen freezer breakfast burritos might last a week or two in your house, they last just three days with my family of four.
Sep 8, 2016
3 Reasons Why You Should Actually Buy That Mini Watermelon
Years ago your only choice for watermelon was the big 20-pounder or perhaps wedges of that behemoth cut and wrapped nicely by your grocery store staff. Nowadays, however, the larger watermelons have minis to compete with. And frankly, I like mini watermelons — the ones that clock in at around five pounds — a whole lot more. Here are three reasons why I believe mini watermelons are the ones to buy.
Aug 25, 2016
5 Tips for Proper Grocery Store Corn Etiquette
Watching customers at a grocery store shop for corn is surprisingly fascinating. Every person, myself included, has a different method for checking whether the ears they are buying meet their standards. It’s hard to tell if you’ve got perfect corn kernels behind those thick husks, but what’s really OK when it comes to inspecting corn? Seriously, please don’t be that person.
Jul 20, 2016
5 Things to Look for When Buying Eggplant at the Grocery Store
When eggplant season is in full swing, I find myself buying more than I can carry. The meaty vegetable is just so versatile — throw it on the grill, roast it, stir-fry it, and more. Instead of haphazardly grabbing one and hoping for the best, be sure to check for these five things when picking out an eggplant to ensure you’re getting a fresh one. Eggplant should feel heavy in your hand, which is a sign that the flesh is fresh and in good condition.
Jul 16, 2016
5 Ways to Turn a Grocery Stop into a Great Road Trip Meal
It’s the eighth hour of your road trip and you’re famished. What do you do? Fast food feels like the easy answer, but wait! There’s another way. Before you pull up to that window and order a cheeseburger and fries, consider the surprising yet obvious alternative: the grocery store. Grocery stores are usually easy to spot, just off the highway, and nearly as quick, yet so much better than a greasy paper bag of fast food. So, what do you buy at the grocery store?
Jul 14, 2016
I Tried Every Bartles & Jaymes Wine Cooler and Ranked Them
I still remember when (long before my 21st birthday), my dad tossed me a neon pineapple-flavored wine cooler at the beach. “It’s just a wine cooler,” he said, “It won’t hurt you.” Although that statement isn’t completely true (as many of us learned in college), there is something incredibly innocent about these mesmerizingly colored, dangerously easy bottled beverages.
Jun 21, 2016
5 Tips for Preparing & Organizing the Ramadan Kitchen
Tackling a month’s worth of meals during Ramadan might seem similar to tackling a usual month’s meals, except for one key difference: You’re fasting for most of the time you’d usually spend doing meal prep. Trying to doing that on a nearly empty stomach isn’t exactly easy. That’s why taking the time to get ahead before Ramadan begins is so important.
Jun 10, 2016
The Grocery-Store Tea That Changed My Life
I tried it all: Tylenol, Ibuprofen, hot packs, exercising, wishing for a quick and painless death. Then, I discovered relief in a common grocery-store tea.
May 24, 2016
These Are the Most Popular Trader Joe’s Products of 2015
For the last seven years, Trader Joe’s has asked customers to vote on their favorite products. From baked goods to beverages to produce, these are the things customers loved to buy from Trader Joe’s in 2015. Did your favorite product make the list? According to loyal customers of Trader Joe’s, the cookie butter is the overall fan favorite. It was also the number-one pick last year, so it’s interesting to see that this trend is still holding strong. Have you tried it yet?
Jan 5, 2016
Why Your Grocery Store Serves Sushi
I grew up in a world where putting powdered butter-like flavoring over broccoli was common, and eating curdled dairy by the spoonful was completely fine — but raw fish and cucumbers wrapped in rice was absolutely terrifying. Sushi has come a long way. While I can count on one hand the number of family members who’d eat even a simple California roll, I’m happy to say it’s become a norm in the grocery store.
Dec 17, 2015
5 Trader Joe’s Party Appetizers We Love (Plus 5 to Pass On)
Whether you’re throwing a dinner party, having people over to watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, or hosting an impromptu happy hour after work, there’s no need to go all Martha with the appetizers. Instead, just check out Trader Joe’s frozen, ready-to-heat appetizers. There are some great options out there that need nothing more than a short spin through the oven, which means you can focus on more important things like, um, cleaning up your kitchen before guests arrive.
Dec 9, 2015
Your Wine Cheat Sheet
If you’re skipping the sangria (you don’t have to — you can do it on a budget) or don’t want to be bothered with cocktails but still want to do some sipping with Thanksgiving dinner, plan on having a few house bottles of white and red wine. Picking two wines and sticking to them throughout the night keeps things nice and easy from both a drinking and buying perspective: Choose the two wines you want to serve, and pick up a few bottles of each. Easy.
Nov 18, 2015
Thanksgiving on a $100 Budget: A Shopping List, with Tips
Can you throw a bountiful, generous feast for a big crowd on a budget? Absolutely! We shared our menu for Thanksgiving for 10 on a $100 budget, and our super budget sangria. To make this classic Thanksgiving feast a reality in your own kitchen, here’s a full shopping list. But first — a few words of wisdom from our readers on budget shopping for Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays.
Nov 18, 2015
A Guide to Surviving Your First Solo Shopping Trip to Costco
Costco is a grocery store like none other. A membership card is required, the shelves stretch to infinity, and the carts are extra-big. A few months ago, I followed my mom around Costco to see what the fuss was about. Last week, I took my first solo trip, confident that I was about to be the boss of this shopping experience. I was not. I stumbled out in a zombie-walk, clutching my mega-pack of toilet paper beneath one arm and moonshiner’s jug of Bulleit whiskey with the other.
Nov 3, 2015
13 Thoughts Everyone Has While Waiting in the Grocery Store Check-Out Line
You remembered to bring your coupons, you found the food on your grocery list, and now all that stands between you and home is the check-out line. Sometimes it’s super short and you can run right through, and other times it’s a drawn-out process with lots of heartache. Such is the life of a home cook. Grocery shopping is a war zone and everyone is a soldier.
Oct 7, 2015
Here’s a Visual Guide to the 34 Ingredients in Cool Ranch Doritos
New book Ingredients takes popular processed foods and photographs their individual chemical components. So what does it take to make Cool Ranch Doritos? The 34 ingredients you see pictured. Turns out even the cheese in Cool Ranch Doritos is composed of 10 flavors and chemicals. This book delves into other popular foods, like Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup and Quaker Instant Oatmeal, and visually explores just how processed modern food production has become.
Sep 22, 2015
Yes, a Pantry Challenge Can Save You Money. Here’s How.
It’s been seven years since I first started doing a regular pantry challenge, and it’s never failed me in saving money and helping our family stay under budget. If you’ve never heard of a pantry challenge, know that it’s not complicated; it’s simply making the effort to use up what you already have. By not buying more (because you already have what you need), you lower your grocery budget for that period of time.
Sep 1, 2015
Can You Recommend Good Red and White Wines for Cooking?
Q: I just started cooking with wine, and I love the flavor it adds to my food. Unfortunately, I don’t like to drink it, so I don’t know what a good wine for cooking would be. What are some recommendations for good red and white wines to use in my cooking? Sent by Madi Editor: Choose a wine that’s reasonably priced and versatile. With whites your best bet is something that’s dry and crisp, like sauvignon blanc, an unoaked chardonnay, or even sparkling wine.
Aug 25, 2015
I Followed My Mom Around Costco and This Is What I Learned
For one thing, there's a giant bag of greens for just $2.50.
Aug 7, 2015
The Art of Shopping and Preparing for Shabbat Dinner
Because Shabbat comes every week, it often feels like as soon as the dishes from this week’s dinner are over, I am starting to plan the next one. Over the years, I have come up with a few strategies to keep the planning and prep simple and organized, so I can enjoy it almost as much as the dinner itself. Before crafting a menu, I check in with guests about their dietary needs. We keep a kosher home, so we are already set for both kosher and non kosher guests.
Jul 30, 2015
Break the Rules: 10 Wines to Drink with Ice Cream
Who says you can’t drink wine with your ice cream? Ask most wine professionals, and they’ll tell you, “Pairing wine with ice cream is one of those ‘impossible pairings.’ Go with beer or have a sip of whiskey, instead.” But what if you are presented with a situation where wine is your only option, or what if you simply love wine and ice cream together? Adaptability is a positive quality, so let’s break some rules.
Jul 22, 2015
3 Things You Should Be Buying Right Now in Your Grocery Store
A savvy shopper keeps an eye on the the perimeter of the store, with its seasonal changes in selection and price being the easiest to track. But even though every grocery is filled with products boasting nonstop claims, I’ve yet to see a sticker on a container of strawberries that says, “Now in season: I taste better!” Food marketers, please go forth and make this change upon our shopping experience. In the meantime, here’s a list of what tastes great this month.
Jul 14, 2015
4 Ways My Family Stays on Budget While Traveling
My husband and I love to travel. After years of scrimping, saving, and paying off debt, we reached a point in our family life where we could swing the costs of family travel. While our family particularly loves Santa Barbara and Mammoth Lakes as closer-to-home locations, we were able to introduce our children to England and France when we spent a month there last fall.
Jul 8, 2015
The 5 Best Trader Joe’s Wines (Under $10!) to Drink with Pizza
It’s Pizza Week here at The Kitchn, and pizza means wine. The classic combination of cheese and tomato will never get old, but I’m also glad that pizza now means something more. Pizza crust is basically a blank canvas, like a tortilla or toast; once you see it as such, the ingredient combinations are endless, as are the wine-pairing possibilities. Who doesn’t love finding a killer bottle of wine under 10 bucks? I certainly do.
Jul 7, 2015
The 10 Most Annoying Food Packaging Quirks
Food-packaging technology is part of what ensures the food we buy stays intact during the shipping, shelving, and shopping that needs to happen before we bring it home from the store. For the most part, packaging is fairly effective — even ingenious. However, there are some foods that are packaged in ways that make me shake my fist in frustration: “Why, oh why, do they make it so hard?” Come on, I know you feel me here.
Jun 25, 2015
6 Ways to Host Without Going into Hock
Best-Ever Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Over the last four weeks, our family has celebrated Father’s Day and two birthdays, as well as hosted houseguests three times. We’ve absolutely loved the feasting and fun, but my grocery budget has definitely been challenged. While I am rarely tempted to splurge in a clothing store, the supermarket is another story.
Jun 23, 2015
Save Money by Stocking Up on These Foods During the Summer
One of my favorite strategies for saving money on food costs is stocking my pantry and freezer to serve me all year long. Packaged foodstuffs generally last for many months, which means I can stock up on a great sale and use those items far past their typical “season.” Also, learning a few tricks in food preservation allows me to extend the shelf life of seasonal produce and enjoy summer fruits in the dead of winter. Here are few of the seasonal deals I look for throughout the year.
Jun 9, 2015
If You See Any of These 12 Things at the Farmers Market, Buy Them Now
As exciting as it may be to see table after table heaped with colorful fresh, local food during the growing season, it can also be overwhelming. And it’s nearly impossible to eat all the seasonal produce you encounter, unless you’ve got a clan whose hunger and numbers are sizable (and tons of time on your hands). You gotta have a strategy and pick out the things that really count.
Jun 3, 2015
How Familiarity with Your Grocery Store Can Save You Money
Does it matter where you grocery shop? I mean, aren’t all stores basically the same? No, they aren’t. In fact, there can be a huge range of pricing for the very same item in a number of stores. Where you shop can save you money. But did you know that shopping at the same store can also reduce your grocery bill week after week? Familiarity can breed contempt — but I prefer when it saves me some coin.
May 19, 2015
Why Labneh Should Be Just as Popular as Yogurt
If you’ve ever bought a tub of labneh – that ultra-strained, lightly salty, Middle Eastern yogurt “cheese” – or made it yourself through a process of straining yogurt via suspension or compression, you may have noticed one particular thing: it lasts a really, really long time without getting moldy or otherwise spoiling. It can last for weeks, and still taste as good as when freshly bought or made. This shouldn’t surprise us, right?
May 8, 2015
Why Yogurt Is So Much More than a Healthy Substitute
I understand why people view yogurt as a substitute. The problem comes when that becomes not just the headline, but the whole story. Because of its acidic properties, its creamy richness, and its body, yogurt does indeed make a fine substitute for other cultured dairy products like sour cream and buttermilk. Fact is, if a pancake or waffle recipe calls for buttermilk and you only have yogurt, you can go ahead and replace it. (Consider thinning it with a bit of milk first.
May 7, 2015
Why I Don’t Buy Fat-Free Yogurt
I grew up eating low-fat yogurt. Not because I was afraid of fat, but because low-fat yogurt dominated the yogurt case. I grabbed it because it was the default option, and I rarely gave the fat content another thought. When Greek yogurt arrived, something changed. Maybe it was marketing, or maybe it was all the press coverage, but suddenly, nonfat Greek yogurt seemed to be the “it” thing.
May 6, 2015
Why I Believe We Should All Eat More Plain Yogurt
Since I’m not a dietitian or a dentist or an expert on childhood obesity, I look at yogurt as a food to consume first and foremost for pleasure, and only second, for health. Food as medicine is a popular topic, and a worthy one, but it’s really not my professional or personal focus. So what I’m about to say may surprise you: Despite the above caveat, I still think people who consume large quantities of yogurt should consider stocking up on (or making) big tubs of plain yogurt.
May 5, 2015
The Yogurt Aisle Is Getting Wild: Here Are 4 Tips for Navigating and Finding New Favorites
For years, the cereal aisle represented, to me at least, the bounty of the typical American grocery store. I mean, anyone who has lived outside the US for an extended period and then returns to our shores is often shocked at the sheer breadth and scope of offerings – the bright colors, the wide-ranging flavors, the smiling cartoon characters! Cereal was always the food we had in abundance more than any other. Until now. Now it’s yogurt.
May 4, 2015
10 Things to Buy at a Mexican Grocery Store
Do you shop in Mexican or Latin American grocery stores? If not, you may be missing out on some good ingredients — not to mention good deals on groceries you usually buy elsewhere. We sat down and talked to Top Chef Season 12 finalist Melissa King about some of her experiences with Mexican cuisine, and she shared with us some of the ingredients she always stocks up on when she’s shopping in those stores!
May 1, 2015
Do Missing Ingredients Make You Panic? 4 Tips for Facing Your Fear
For those of us who did not grow watching Grandma make pasta from scratch, the kitchen can be a scary place. From the store to the sauté pan, there’s a lot to learn and often a lot at stake for the beginner cook — like, an edible dinner. These fears often keep people from trying something new or cooking at all. Which is why, one by one, in this new column we will tackle these roadblocks.
Apr 16, 2015
5 Grocery Store Myths That Need to Be Stopped
There are many theories, myths, and misconceptions about how and why grocers operate.
Apr 14, 2015
5 Benefits to Paying Attention to Sales When Grocery Shopping
I started grocery shopping when I was a teenager. I worked as a “bag girl” at the local Lucky Store so my mind was literally on food at least four hours a day. I convinced my dad to let me do the family grocery shopping. I made a list of meals I wanted to eat during the week and bought the items on the list. Rarely did I take inventory or adhere to a food budget. I just bought what I wanted. This habit followed me into my college and newlywed years.
Apr 7, 2015
Inventory: My First Step in Meal Planning and Saving Money on Groceries
So, you’ve got some goals for your money — that big trip, the new car, the debt-defiance — and you’ve got a food budget to help you tell your money where to go. You might think that the plump grocery fund is your carte blanche to go shopping, but there’s something you need to do first before heading out. Nope, I’m not talking about meal planning or grocery list making, though those are super important.
Mar 23, 2015
An Easy Way to Stop Wasting the Groceries You Bring Home
Hands up if you’ve ever forgotten something delicious or new you brought home from the grocery store: a nice piece of cheese, a basket of berries. I’m certainly guilty of this; I can feel so inspired when shopping only to have my motivation evaporate after putting the groceries away. But I have a little trick for remembering and following through with my groceries — it takes all of 5 seconds.
Mar 20, 2015
10 Rules for Grocery Shopping When You’re Hungry
We all know the axiom for sane, rational grocery shopping: Don’t go to the store when you’re hungry. Research supports this sage and ancient advice: this study found that people bought more high-calorie food when grocery-shopping hungry. However! That’s the ideal. Life often works out otherwise. How often have you hit the grocery store for a dinner run, ravenous after a long day, and come out dazed and clutching two extra bags of cookies and fixings for nachos? Uh-huh. Us too.
Mar 18, 2015
6 Unexpected Ways to Make Your Grocery Work for You
You don’t need a pile of coupons to get added value from your grocer. Grocers have a lot to communicate to their customers, and unless you pick up that newsletter or get chatty with that cashier who’s been there since Crystal Pepsi was in stock, some of their offerings get buried under more urgent messages like 5 for $5 promos, cooking classes, or a new offering in the deli.
Mar 17, 2015
Demand for Local Food Is Growing, But Farmers Markets Aren’t
Even though consumers are still clamoring for locally produced food, NPR has declared that we’ve hit the peak of farmers markets. Why? Turns out there are better ways for farmers to get their food to your tables. Quartz looked at two of the more popular ways for farmers to connect with consumers: farm-to-school programs and digital marketplaces like Farmigo.
Mar 17, 2015
My Golden Rule for Grocery Shopping
They seem like distant memories, but I remember when I used to have all the leisurely time in the world to grocery shop. I could browse the aisles, comparison shop, and even plan meals while in the middle of the grocery store. And now? Working full-time, as well as having a spirited two-year-old daughter, means that grocery shopping is a sprint to get through the grocery store as efficiently and quickly as possible, always with a list.
Mar 16, 2015
How a Food Budget Got Us Out of Debt (and 4 Steps to Help You Create Your Own Budget)
Years ago my husband and I thought we were frugal people. We looked for sales, drove used cars, and otherwise opted out of an extravagant life. However, it somehow missed our attention that we were still living beyond our means. Since ours was a one-income, self-employed household, we’d never learned how to budget. In fact, we’d kinda dismissed it as being impossible to budget on an irregular income. Credit cards and home-equity loans fooled us into thinking we were doing just fine.
Mar 10, 2015
A Love Story, With Grocery Stores: Introducing The Grocery Insider
I am fluent in the language of grocery. I speak POS and SOP, FIFO and EDLP*. I believe Doose’s Market is the true star of Gilmore Girls and deserves its own mention in the opening credits. My favorite Christmas song is Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Old Auld Lang Syne,” because unrequited love in a grocery store parking lot is the best kind of love.
Mar 8, 2015
The Easiest Way to Comparison Shop at the Grocery Store
I found myself in the produce section at Whole Foods recently staring at the baby spinach. There were prepacked bags and bulk baby spinach to choose from. I usually assume bulk goods are cheaper, but the prepacked bags were oh-so-tempting and easy. Which should I get? I decided that price would be the deciding factor, so I set about trying to figure out which was a better deal, when I realized the answer was right there in front of me! I didn’t even have to do any math!
Feb 5, 2015
Meals By Mail: Which Meal Kit Delivery Service Is Right for You?
It seems like every other day we hear about a new meal kit delivery service. We’ve written in the past about the pros, cons, and ultimately the opportunities of convenient meal kits. With so many good options out there, how do you choose the one that’s right for you? We took a look at the nuts and bolts of six meal-delivery services to see how they stack up. (There’s even one for smoothies!
Feb 4, 2015
How I Take a Freezer Inventory That Works
Whether you have an itty-bitty fridge freezer or a large deep freezer in the basement, it doesn’t help you a whole lot if you don’t know what you have in there. Often we forget about something for so long that we end up chucking it. They say Americans waste 25 to 30 percent of the food they buy. Think of the resources — and money! — we could save if we never wasted food. Over the years, I’ve learned how to keep a freezer inventory that works for me.
Feb 3, 2015
Here Are the Most Popular Trader Joe’s Products of 2014
For the sixth year in a row, Trader Joe’s has released its Customer Choice Awards. From the best slice of bread, to customer’s favorite cheese, all these products are true stars at the grocery store. Can you guess which product received favorite overall for 2014? The winner for the favorite product overall at Trader Joe’s last year was cookie butter! Are you surprised? No? Neither was I.
Jan 8, 2015
10 Grocery Deals to Stock Up on Before the Holidays Are Over
The holidays often usher in a surplus of grocery items that we don’t normally get a chance to purchase at low prices. As much as I want to start karate-chopping my way through the crowds packed into the holiday baking aisle, I’ll brave the hordes to take advantage of good deals on these staples. 1. Butter: It freezes like a champ and right now it’s officially the cheapest it will be all year long. 2. Parchment paper and muffin cups: Who cares if they’re red and green?
Dec 17, 2014
12 Pantry Items That Will Last Nearly Forever
Whether you’re preparing for a major pantry clean-out or you’re about to load up on essentials for holiday baking and entertaining, there are quite a few items where an expiration date doesn’t apply. When stored properly — in an airtight container, kept in a cool, dry place — there are a number of pantry staples that can last just about forever. We’re not talking until the end of time forever, although some of these staples just may hold up that long.
Dec 1, 2014
3 Aromatic Bitters to Fit Your Budget
Angostura is the most widely known aromatic bitters, but not your only choice when it comes to stocking this important ingredient of your 9-Bottle Bar. This week we look at a few strong contenders. Time to stop and smell the bitters. To recap a bit from last week’s introduction to aromatic bitters, we learned that bottles belonging to this category of cocktail “seasoning” tend to present a flavor profile that’s anchored in notes of bitter roots and baking spice.
Nov 12, 2014
5 Things I Learned the First Time I Went to Trader Joe’s
There isn’t a Trader Joe’s in my town, but I run with hipsters, so I was pretty sure I knew all about it. The grocery store of cheeses, açaí berries, fair-trade oatmeal, and probably a stunning array of hummus? Home of Two-Buck Chuck, the world’s number-one cheap wine? A smaller version of Whole Foods?
Nov 6, 2014
Are U-Pick Farms a Waste of Money? We Decided to Find Out
I remember fingertips stained strawberry red, hay bits stuck on kneecaps from kneeling on strawberry beds, small brown shoulders hot with summer while I balanced a half-empty crate, cramming my mouth with perfectly ripe berries. I remember the orchard every autumn: watching my dad pick the tree-top apples for my mom; inhaling the sharp cider-scent of rotting apples scattered beneath trees; casting sideways glances at the hornets hovering.
Oct 24, 2014
3 Orange Bitters to Fit Your Budget
Now that orange bitters (along with a host of other varieties) have made their big, recent comeback onto the cocktail scene, there are suddenly a welcome wealth of options to choose from when stocking your personal bar. Discerning spirits shops and specialty-food stores have begun carving out shelf space for these diminutive bottles, making them more available to the budding cocktail enthusiast.
Oct 15, 2014
8 Dark Red Wines from Trader Joe’s for Your Halloween Party
Whether you’re attending a costume party, curling up with a horror flick, or simply handing out treats at your door, enjoying a decadent red wine with your Halloween festivities assures us that the fun doesn’t just belong to the kids. And nothing completes a convincing zombie or vampire costume like a glassful of deep, blood-red wine!
Oct 9, 2014
My Top 10 Tips for Creating a Grocery Budget (and Sticking to It)
Grocery budgeting is a science, and an art. So much must be balanced: time, preference, income, store availability, seasons, life situations, and more. These are my top 10 tips for creating a grocery budget—and sticking to it. Before you can make a realistic grocery budget, you have to have a realistic idea of what you usually spend. You might spend more on food (including drinks and eating out) than you realize. Start tracking what you spend for a month. Keep your receipts.
Oct 8, 2014
An Unscientific Taste Test of Maraschino Cherries
Orbiting just beyond the spirits, vermouths, liqueurs, and bitters that make up the 9-Bottle Bar solar system are a handful of important bar extras — items such as eggs, simple syrup, and grenadine — that bolster your home bar’s drink-making potential but which aren’t quite so essential to have around that they to warrant a place on the main roster.
Oct 1, 2014
A Complete Guide to All the Labels on Chicken Packaging
If you’ve ever felt totally confused when reading the label on a package of chicken, I can guarantee that you’re not alone. Not by a long shot. There are so many terms to know, and it seems like new labeling buzzwords keep popping up. It can be tricky to know what’s important versus marketing buzzwords that don’t actually carry much weight.
Sep 29, 2014
Where Can I Buy Milk with No Additives?
Q: Is there anywhere in the United States where I can get milk which is just milk? I am originally from the UK and our milk is just milk, whereas here, it’s Vitamin A, palmitate, and Vitamin D3. I can’t taste the difference, but there is a recipe I use from Home Made with milk, and it doesn’t seem to work when using the US milk — that’s what I am blaming! I am curious to know what these added ingredients do, and why they are not added in the UK?
Sep 22, 2014
8 Foods to Always Spend Money On
I’m a graduate student, so obviously I’m on a budget. But over the years, as I realize how connected my health and productivity are to the foods I eat, I’ve created a list of foods I’ve learned are always worth spending money on. I call it my core splurge list. We all splurge on something. Shopping, eating out, trips — our paycheck destination always reveals our priorities.
Sep 19, 2014
6 Ways to Maximize Your Trip to the Farmers Market
Who shops and eats here: Batya Stepelman of Sparrows & Spatulas, along with her husband, Matt Berman, and their young sons, Otis and Theodore See her kitchen: Batya Stepelman’s Open, Garden-Powered Kitchen Where: Denver, CO Rent or Own? Own We recently toured the open, garden-powered kitchen of Batya Stepelman and were inspired by her city garden and how she finds ways to bring healthier meals and more vegetables to her family’s table.
Sep 18, 2014