This lady just cooked up something great.You know the scene: It's a weeknight, and it's dinnertime. You open the cabinets and fridge. You see olive oil, half-filled boxes of pasta, milk and some wilted lettuce. What the hell are you going to make for dinner? For some, as many of you have said in the comments, this is a thrill. Who knows what will happen! You belong to a naturally intuitive tribe who loves walking into the kitchen without a recipe, throwing in a little of this, a little of that, and seeing what happens. Nigella Lawson has said many times that many of dishes are born from a midnight scrounge of odds and ends.
I am bad at that kind of cooking. Like, spectacularly bad. Several years ago as a novice, curious cook keen on experimentation, I attempted a sweet-salty pairing of anchovies and jam. It seemed so promising in theory, that agrodulce the Italians love so much. But in reality? Weird. I've more or less stuck to recipes since then, at least as a template.
But this week I had the kind of kitchen serendipity
Blog Posts by Sarah McColl, Shine staff
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Shine Food – Fri, Apr 20, 2012 1:10 PM EDT
This lady just cooked up something great.You know the scene: It's a weeknight, and it's dinnertime. You open the cabinets and fridge. You see olive oil, half-filled boxes of pasta, milk and some wilted lettuce. What the hell are you going to make for dinner? For some, as many of you have said in the comments, this is a thrill. Who knows what will happen! You belong to a naturally intuitive tribe who loves walking into the kitchen without a recipe, throwing in a little of this, a little of that, and seeing what happens. Nigella Lawson has said many times that many of dishes are born from a midnight scrounge of odds and ends.Read More »from What Are Your Happiest Kitchen Accidents (and Most Spectacular Failures)?
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Shine Food – Thu, Apr 19, 2012 2:21 PM EDT
by Sarah McColl, Shine staff
The store-bought rotisserie chicken is my favorite easy peasy dinner, but in a household with only two people I can always count on a second half to contend with. How do you make those rotisserie chicken leftovers seem new? My standbys are a spicy-sweet chicken salad with Greek yogurt, grapes, cilantro, red onion, and curry powder, or a big chopped salad with romaine, grape tomatoes, and feta tossed a tart vinaigrette. But my new short order chicken dinner has won our hearts: pre-made Indian curry sauces (Maya Kaimal is my favorite) simmered with the shredded chicken and frozen cauliflower--maybe some peas if I have them on hand--and served over brown rice. Done and done.
Even with tried and trues we all get hungry for something new. These leftover rotisserie chicken recipes cover the salad and stew bases with a few super-fast pasta dishes in between. Some feel special and a little elegant, while others are just the kind of comfort we crave on crispRead More »from Feast Your Eyes: Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Recipes
asparagus on my mind. Because after a season of braises, short ribs, and roasted root vegetables, lighter spring fare is starting to sound just right. I'm already having outdoorsy food-focused fantasies: picnics on crisp afternoons, sandwiches stashed in backpacks for weekend hikes, a ladies brunch with fizzy rhubarb cocktails...Spring has officially sprung: I've got a bouquet of daffodils on my desk and Read More »from Shine Supper Club: Spring Clean Your Supper
But, ahem, there's still reality to contend with. The weeknight dinner rush doesn't vanish with brighter, warmer days (despite our most vivid daydreams). This month, we're asking for your tips, tricks, shortcuts and secrets for spring cleaning your supper. What's your go-to spring recipe for the lighter, healthier fare that feels right, right now?
I'm a huge fan of a whole roast chicken. When there's no time to pop a bird in the oven myself, I pick up one from the store, already rubbed and roasted in kicky adobo or fresh rosemary and garlic. Then all I need is a box of pre-washed
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Shine Food – Wed, Apr 4, 2012 1:34 PM EDT
The winning cake by Sara's CakesWe're delighted to announce the winner in the Shine Birthday Cake Contest. You cast your votes and the winner--with 1534 votes--is Sara'sCakes! Sara, we'll be contacting you directly about your prize. A huge thank you to everyone for baking, voting, and participating in our great big community birthday celebration. Here's to another happy (and delicious!) year on Shine!Read More »from Announcing the Winner of the Shine Birthday Cake Contest!
5 Things That Blew Us Away About Your Cakes
1. You totally nailed our logo. How did you perfect that swaying "i" in icing? We have no idea, but we were mega impressed.
2. You captured the spirit of Shine in a cake.
The whimsy! The fun! The color palette! Well done!
3. You've got an eye for detail.
Buttercream swirls and cherry blossoms, fondant figures, fresh flowers--they're almost too pretty to eat. Almost.
4. You proved they were edible.
As if the sight of all these cakes wasn't enough to get us craving cupcakes the size of our heads, you revealed the insides of your cakes: lines of sweet icing suspended between
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Shine Food – Tue, Apr 3, 2012 12:49 PM EDT
For the first month of the Shine Supper Club, we asked you to make your scariest dish. Why submit you to this terror? We had a feeling that if we could cook outside our comfort zone and confront a fear, we'd all wind up with more kitchen confidence. Even if our souffle fell, we'd have looked our personal cooking demon straight in the eye, and that takes guts. From there, it's self-fulfilling: more confidence leads to more experimentation, trial and error leads to unexpected triumph, and then whaddya know--we're having fun among the pots and pans on a random Tuesday night. So what did we learn from our first endeavor?Read More »from Shine Supper Club: What We Learned About Your Scariest Dish
1. Fried Chicken is Scary
Still smiting from her childhood bout with salmonella, Sarah Lipoff bravely stepped up to the plate to make her own fried chicken, which she'd always worried was a recipe for food poisoning. Sarah approached her scary recipe with a Zen attitude and wound up with a crisp--thoroughly cooked--batch. But there was some debate in the comments: Was
Remember when it was somebody's birthday in grade school? A tray of cupcakes would show up after lunch, and the classroom would erupt in frenzied, pre-sugar-rush birthday glee. Multiply that by 47, subtract the sugar crash, and you've got an idea of about how excited we were to see the birthday cakes you baked.Read More »from Shine Birthday Cake Contest: Vote for the Winner!
And y'all can bake (and make gum flowers, and polka dots, and mount Barbies on top of three tiers of buttercream...). To say we were wowed and humbled--and very, very hungry--doesn't even cover it. In fact, narrowing the cakes down to five finalists was so brutal it hurt. These cakes were amazing.
Without further ado, it's time to cast your vote for the best Shine Birthday Cake. We only wish you bakers made deliveries.
For Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions, click here. Void where prohibited.
One last thing: we'd be remiss if we didn't call-out our two honorable mentions:
Ashley Sullivan1's rising sun cake
Tirzah Mounsey's white cake with flowers
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Shine Food – Fri, Mar 23, 2012 2:51 PM EDT
We've never met a cake we didn't like.Happy Birthday to us! This April 1st, Shine turns 4 years young. And, over the years that we've been writing/obsessing/looking/admiring/informing (we hope!) on this here interwebs, we've had some amazing adventures. From crashing Fashion Week to traveling all the way to the White House to meet our truly wondrous first lady, it has been an incredible, exciting, and humbling ride. But none of this would be nearly as much fun if you guys weren't around to be in on the conversation. Since Shine launched, our readers have contributed over 8 million comments (!!). You've helped us make Shine what it is today-a dynamic, ever-changing place where we can talk about issues most important (and not so important) in all of our lives. Because of this, our birthday wish is to give a present back to you.Read More »from Shine's Birthday Contest: Bake Us A Cake And Win $100 Worth of Gourmet Baking Ware
But first, you're gonna have to bake for it. We're looking for the most beautiful, most creative, most delicious (we will obviously have to trust you on this one!) Shine birthday cake that ever was.
'Mad Men' has inspired clothing collections, bar trends, and makeup lines. But there's a world of difference between retro-themed and bona fide authenticity, and a show as painstakingly researched as 'Mad Men' (which premieres its new season this Sunday night 9 ET on AMC) deserves a party with some accuracy. Yahoo! Shine spoke to food historian Francine Seegan, Lesley M. M. Blume author of Let's Bring Back, and Rebecca Federman, culinary collections librarian at the New York Public Library for insight on what a '60s party would have really looked like––all so your 'Mad Men' party can include a few more authentic details than frozen daiquiris and a conga line.President John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy attend a White House Ceremony February 19, 1963 in Washington, DC. (Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers) What Would Jackie (or Julia) Do?
"Across the country, Jacqueline Kennedy was huge," says Francine Seegan. "The Kennedy White House epitomized glamour and elegance," adds Lesley M. M. Blume. "Everybody was looking to Jackie Kennedy to see how she entertained and emulated her."Read More »from How to Throw a '60s-style 'Mad Men' Party
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Shine Food – Thu, Mar 15, 2012 3:51 PM EDT
By Sarah McColl, Shine staff
If you're searching for St. Patrick's Day menu inspiration, look no further. We rounded up a rainbow of recipes--including the proverbial pot of gold--all created by super talented bloggers. Feast your eyes on hearty traditional dishes like Irish soda bread and lamb stew, a corned beef and cabbage recipe with a bright, modern twist, and whimsical iterations of St. Patrick's Day sweets (chocolate stout cake, anyone?). And for the grand finale: Who could turn down a shot of homemade Baileys in their coffee? Certainly not us.
Read More »from Feast Your Eyes: Irish Recipes for St. Patrick's Day
You're invited to the Shine Supper Club: our real-life, down and dirty blogging community for people who love to cook and eat--novices, experts and everyone in between. Each month, we give you a theme, and you bring your best dish. It's a place to commiserate and encourage, inspire and kvetch. Think of it like a virtual potluck.
For our inaugural edition of the Shine Supper Club, we're going to take the band-aid approach and jump right in the deep end: What's your scariest dish? What recipe has long intrigued you but has seemed too intimidating? Together, armed with whisks and pot holders, let's stare down that fear. It's just a recipe, right?
My scariest dish has long been soufflé. With its purported potential for failure, it feels like culinary terrain rigged with land mines and booby traps: experts only. Plus, it's French, and a little fussy, and far fancier than my usual cooking. Every year I say I'm going to make one and every year...I don't. But what's the worst thing that Read More »from Join the Shine Supper Club!