Blog Posts by bon appétit magazine

  • The 10 Worst Halloween Candies of All Time

    Michael Singer




    Even the most conscious cook can indulge for the holidays. We're interrupting our usual healthful kitchen tips with a few posts to celebrate Halloween (and by "Halloween" we mean "candy"). Follow my advice and avoid the ultimate faux-pas in your candy handout stash.



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  • 10 Rules for Cooking with Pumpkin This Fall

    Danielle Walsh


    The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is only the beginning of the onslaught of pumpkin products that fall brings. And yes, we get it: you want to be festive. You want to wash your hair with pumpkin pie shampoo and then frolic in a pumpkin patch while eating pumpkin pie.

    No.

    There are rules for using pumpkins. Rules that ensure you don't get tossed into a vat of white chocolate pumpkin latte mix (by us). Here are the pumpkin products we endorse and despise, as well as a few cooking (and carving) tips that will get you through Pumpkin Season 2K13.

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    1. While I support the use of pumpkin and its accompanying spices in recipes, I am very firmly against it in things other than baked goods. Like Pringles (seriously, why?). And, yes, pumpkin spice lattes. -Joanna Sciarrino, assistant editor.

    2. Canned pumpkin is 10000% acceptable. The texture of pumpkin purée can't be beat. Let go of your epicurean pride and embrace Libby's. Libby's

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  • How to Cook Chinese Food Even Kids Like—Without a Wok

    Manny Howard


    I know it afflicts many fellow home cooks, but I'm rarely plagued by magical thinking in the kitchen. I enjoy cooking immensely. Still, I engage even a well-rehearsed spécialité de la maison with nothing short of grim determination. I cook for children, so in my kitchen complete failure is always a possible outcome. Living with this truth is a requirement of the job. Meal-to-meal, my work is to minimize the variables, learn from experience, and keep on cooking.

    You know, the journey not the destination. That load.

    The one stark exception to this practiced pragmatism is cooking with a wok. Just like everybody else who has aspired to, just once, cook General Tso's Chicken like they do it in town, I've fired up that meticulously seasoned wok, committed to getting it so basaltically hot that this time the dish will cook properly. And like all of us in General Tso's army, I've been buoyed by the sight of diced ginger and garlic dancing in crackling peanut oil. And like

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  • 21 Food Superstitions We Still Believe

    Danielle Walsh




    Everyone knows that garlic wards off vampires and that spilling salt is terrible luck. But did you know that you should never cut a banana with a knife? And speaking of knives, did you know that you should never give a knife to a friend? If you're constantly in the kitchen, you should probably consider these 21 superstitions so you don't end up unmarried, childless, friendless, or worse.



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  • How a Government Shutdown Would Affect Food in America

    Christopher Michel


    Bon AppetitBon AppetitNo doubt you're well aware that a shutdown doesn't actually mean the government pulls the shades, locks the door, and puts the key under the mat. Essential services-anything involved in protecting life or property-remain operational. We'll still have an army, although no one gets a paycheck until this all gets sorted out. And even the "nonessential" services don't disappear: mountains of paperwork just get put on hold as several hundred thousand people twiddle their thumbs, hoping Congress will quit its hissy fit amicably resolve its differences in time for everyone to pay the rent.

    But if this goes on long enough even you, Joe and Jane Citizen, will be affected. And-more important for you Bon Appétit fans-your food be affected. Which is totally the worst! Here, in no particular order, are the ways this debacle may alter your plate:

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    Food Inspection: Food inspectors are both life-saving and essential, and thankfully the government

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  • How to Taste an Apple like a Pro

    Rachel Friedman

    The apple may be the simplest of fruits. Just pick it, wash it (or, in a pinch, rub it on your shirt till it shines), and bite in. No peeling or preparation truly necessary. The crunch, sweetness, and tartness that follow are pretty much the definition of instant gratification.

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    For professional growers, breeders, and scientists, however, eating an apple can be a far more complex process. They're considering texture alongside taste, shelf life in addition to sugar content - not to mention how to make the harvest process easy for local growers.

    To get some guidance on how the experts eat apples, we turned to Susan Brown, the Cornell University horticulture professor who last year gave us a preview of RubyFrost and SnapDragon, two new apple breeds that came to market this year. Follow her advice, and you, too, can ace any apple exam.

    Refrigerate Your Apples-But Don't Eat Them Cold

    Some fruit, including apples, release a gas called

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  • A History of the Cake Mix, the Invention that Redefined 'Baking'

    Michael Y. Park




    Before you turn up your nose when your mom offers to bring a box of cake mix to your house the next time she visits, consider the story of how the much-maligned timesaver came to be in the first place.

    Though the standard line is that the cake mix was born after World War II and was developed by corporate mills that had too much flour on their hands, it's really older-it was brought into being at least as early as the 1930s, thanks to a surplus not of flour but of molasses.

    We have a Pittsburgh company called P. Duff and Sons to thank. On Dec. 10, 1930, the company's John D. Duff applied for a patent for an "invention [that] relates to a dehydrated flour for use in making pastry products and to a process of making the same." In the application, Duff's mix for gingerbread involved creating a powder of wheat flour, molasses, sugar, shortening, salt, baking soda, powdered whole egg, ginger, and cinnamon that the home cook could rehydrate with water, then

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  • A Healthier Take on Eggplant Parmesan

    Danielle Walsh

    Normally, eggplant Parmesan is similar to a lasagna: layer upon layer of the fried nightshade, sauce, and cheese. Now, we're all about lasagna, but sometimes-and especially on a weeknight-all that fried breading and cheese is a little much. But we've come up with a nifty trick to reproduce all the flavors of traditional eggplant Parmesan without all that heaviness.

    First, we use straight-up eggplant halves, which roast up to be creamy and rich. Then we spoon a layer of sauce over the eggplant's flesh and top it with a blanket of fresh mozzarella. Finally, we sprinkle breadcrumbs over the whole production, and bake it until the mozzarella is bubbling and the breadcrumbs are crispy and golden-brown. Trust us, you won't miss those extra layers of fried breading (and neither will your waistband).

    EGGPLANT PARMESAN WITH FRESH MOZZARELLA
    Removing all but a strip of the eggplant's skin lets the flesh meld with the sauce without falling apart
    Recipe by Dawn Perry

    Ingredients

    ¾

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  • How to Throw a Pie Party

    Julia Bainbridge


    It's a pie party!It's a pie party!Yes, a pie party. And why wouldn't you want to do this? We've got access to late-summer stone fruit for sweet ones, and fall is around the corner, beckoning us to make meals out of comforting, savory ones. Yes, pie. It's what's for dinner.

    A Pie Party Expert's Tips for Throwing a Pie Party

    This Is Not a Time for Facebook: Sure, says Bon Appétit tablet designer Patrick Janelle, Facebook is easy to use, "but you have a much better chance of having a good event and getting people to be responsive if you send out something more personal." Paper invites aren't required; an email works-just attach a fun image or something that will add visual interest.

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    Convey Your Expectations-Without Adding Pressure: On the invite, let people know what they're supposed to bring-they should have all the information up front. But Janelle "also wanted everyone to be excited about what they were baking, so I left it open: people could bring

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  • 5 Foods Worth Waiting in Line For

    Julia Bainbridge


    "I won't wait hours in line for fad foods," says the BA Foodist, Andrew Knowlton. Yes, he's looking at you, cronuts, cronut concretes, and cronut pizza. ("I made that one up, but hey, it can't be long!") But classic, last-meal-worthy comfort foods, executed in their most expert, dare we say perfect, forms? We'll wait for that. For smoky, almost melty brisket; for oysters so clean, cold, and salty-sweet you could call them "crisp"; for the bread we expect to eat in heaven (given we don't eat so many pillowy doughnuts that we're sent to that other place). These are the five things our staffers actually would wait hours to purchase, stare at for a bit, and take a couple whiffs before putting in our mouths and closing our eyes, feeling lucky to be alive.

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