Blog Posts by bon appétit magazine

  • Kim Severson's Spoon Fed

    Last week, I snagged my local bookstore's last copy of New York Times food writer Kim Severson's Spoon Fed. Once home, I scrunched myself into my favorite chair and flipped open the cover, pen in hand, ready to underline Severson's seemingly effortless turns of phrase.

    Looking back at all the blue lines (and sometimes exclamation points), I realized that it was Severson's yearning for acceptance that resonated with me most. ("As much as I want to get out of the rat race, I still want to be the best rat. I want to be the best little recipe writer ever. Because I think, on some level, that I am a fraud.") The book centers around eight female cooks and the life lessons they helped Severson learn (or re-learn). Throughout, Severson is candid about her struggles with alcoholism, her sexuality, her preoccupation with trying to please others. Yes, the winner of four James Beard Foundation awards is a work in progress, just like the rest of us.

    Some have complained that Severson spends too

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  • 15 Ways to Eat More Spring Greens

    Eat more greens. They're delicious, they're good for you, and they're at their peak right now. Here are our three current faves that you need to try now: dandelion greens, Swiss chard, and mustard greens. Look for them at your local market or farmer's market.

    Swiss Chard
    Before preparing, chard needs to be washed thoroughly. Place chard in a sink full of water, swish it around, and wait a few minutes; the sand will settle to the bottom. Remove the leaves, drain the sink and refill it, then repeat the process. After cutting off the stalk where it meets the leaf, prepare the greens the same way you would spinach.

    TRY IN: Broth or risotto, or sauteed with garlic and dried crushed red pepper.

    Roasted Garbanzo Beans and Garlic with Swiss Chard
    Swiss Chard with Olives and Lemon
    Bacon and Swiss Chard Pasta
    Chard and Salami Frittata

    Dandelion Greens
    Leaves should be rinsed, dried thoroughly, and stored in an open plastic bag. They'll keep for a few days in the fridge.

    TRY IN: Soups

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  • The noodle soup oracle

    Noodle soups have a lot going for them. They are comforting, texturally satisfying, and the perfect remedy on a sick day. Fans of this age-old dish (widely consumed in Asia) know just how easy it is to make a meal out of flavorful broth cooked with starchy egg- or rice-based noodle ribbons. But it's not always easy to think of fresh takes on noodle soup. aka "the noodle soup oracle," is an online generator of pared down, noodle soup recipes. It helps you find your ideal combination, or just great new ideas. Not sure you want macaroni in chicken broth, topped with eggplant tempura, bok choy, and furikake? Then onto the next: a bowl of hot udon in beef broth topped with a tea egg, grilled zucchini, and pickled radish. Not sure what furikake is? It's probably linked to Wikipedia's detailed description.

    Hong Kong-native Michele Humes developed this fun noodle-centric website with collaborator Joshua Sierles to demonstrate the versatility of the noodle soup format. Each dish is

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  • New York's Nine Best Spots for Beer

    In the late 19th century, Brooklyn alone boasted nearly 50 breweries and Queens had close to 300 leafy beer gardens. But post-World War I anti-German sentiment, then Prohibition, squelched Big Apple beer culture. Now all that's changing. Besides the stalwart Brooklyn Brewery, that borough has newer brands like Sixpoint and Kelso. And beer gardens and hops-centric restaurants are blooming from Manhattan to Queens. Before you go, download this story with an illustrated map of the top destinations.

    Three major airports serve New York, but we recommend saving money for buying rounds of beers by flying into JFK and taking the subway into the city.

    André Balazs's latest ultra-hip hotel The Standard incorporates the High Line (a popular elevated park) into its design. Upstairs, rooms have stunning views; downstairs, there's the outdoor Biergarten that's a great first stop on any New York beer tour. Rooms from $195; 848 Washington Street; 212-645-4646;



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  • food52's Best Pizza and Artichoke Recipes

    The web site food52 asks home cooks to submit their best recipes to weekly contests that determine which will make it into a forthcoming cookbook. Each week we feature the contests' finalists. Check out the recipes, go vote, and connect our passionate food community with theirs.

    Last week we learned some cooking tips from our Q&A with food52's Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. ("Cooking a chicken in a tube pan leads to a really crisp skin all around.") Today, we're sharing the best home cook-submitted recipes from food52's latest contests. The contest themes this week were "Best Pizza" and "Best Artichoke" recipes.

    So, who have Hesser and Stubbs chosen as their finalists this time around?


    #1 Broccoli Rabe, Potato and Rosemary Pizza by TasteFood

    What Hesser and Stubbs say: "This is simply one of the best white pizzas we've ever tasted. The crust is crisp and rich with olive oil, and gently perfumed throughout with garlic."

    #2 Una Pizza Rustica e Autentica for Sophia Loren

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  • Green Art, for Food's Sake

    All over the country (and beyond), artist-created gardening projects are aiming to raise awareness about food, nutrition, and sustainability. Here are three we want to check out this summer:

    * The Los Angeles-based Fallen Fruit collective curated an exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art entitled eatlacma, in which artist-designed gardens fill the museum's campus. Runs through November 2010. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA; (323) 857-6000 for hours and directions.

    * A San Francisco group, Futurefarmers, has planted gardens on public land, among other things. (Its Victory Gardens 2009+ seeks to create an urban farmers' network.) From May 27-29, two of its artists will run a workshop called Beneath the Pavement: A Garden at Leicestershire, UK's Loughborough University, creating edible landscapes. They are also looking for volunteer gardeners to help tend the land. Email or call 01509 222 881.
    * Architect-activist

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  • 10 Ways to Cook and Bake with Coconut

    Coconut meat is rich in iron and a good source of potassium. It's high in saturated fat, but natural coconut oil enhances your immune system, improves digestion, helps the body absorb minerals, and improves your overall cholesterol ratio. The thin brown skin is edible and high in fiber. Coconut juice is just about the best source of electrolytes around--the balance is identical to what's in our bloodstream.

    Crack open a whole coconut and the payoff is fresh, round flavor that walks the line between savory and sweet.

    Learn how to crack a coconut.

    Fresh coconut gives haunting, rich depth to Southeast Asian, Indian, and Jamaican curries and stews and adds texture and nutty sweetness to fruit salads, cakes, and cookies.

    -Amy Albert

    Three Ways to Use Coconut

    Toast peeled strips of coconut in a dry skillet over low heat until browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle coconut strips over oatmeal or granola, or toss them with nuts and dried fruit for an easy-to-eat and satisfying

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  • Q&A with food52 Founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs

    Yesterday we told you why we love food52--the web site that asks home cooks to submit their best recipes to weekly contests that determine which recipes will make it into a cookbook at the end of 52 weeks.

    Today we bring you an interview with the projects founders', New York Times food writers Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. Check back tomorrow, and every Thursday, to see which recipes Hesser and Stubbs have chosen as that week's finalists.

    We hope you'll get involved in food52 and help link our passionate food community to theirs!

    Bon Appetit: What part of this project has been the most fun?

    Getting to know cooks all around the world. There is incredible community on the site--and for the Internet, a remarkably supportive community. Everyone seems intent on making food52 a place they'd like to hang out.

    The most challenging?

    Choosing between recipes--there are so many great recipes and we want to recognize all the good work. That's why we started our Editors'

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  • The Future of Food Media? food52 and Crowd-Sourced Recipes

    Starting tomorrow, will feature the four finalist recipes from food52's weekly contests with a quick note from founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. We hope you'll get involved in food52 and help link our passionate food community to theirs.

    The goal of food52 is both simple and brilliant: to publish a cookbook of recipes submitted online by home cooks. But food52, a website founded by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, has quickly evolved into something bigger than its end game. By setting up weekly contests that entice their users to submit recipes, vote for their favorites, and become crowned as winners, Hesser and Stubbs have built a dedicated community of cooks. Their community is engage, their community is discerning, and most remarkably, their community is providing them with some darn good recipes.

    Each week Hesser and Stubbs announce two themes (for example, this week's themes are salmon recipes and Caesar salad recipes). Home

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  • Tweeting for Turnips: Farmers Markets Get Techy

    For all the press that seasonal cooking gets these days, it's surprisingly difficult to find good online resources that help determine what's in season. In an effort to correct this, farmers markets around the country have started using Twitter to let shoppers know what's filling their stalls. A quick look at the Twitter page for the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City shows that fiddlehead ferns and mixed baby lettuces are available today, and that chef Louisa Shafia is on hand signing copies of her cookbook Lucid Food. (New Yorkers, plans your meals accordingly.)

    Other markets that have embraced this technology: The Geneva Greemarket in Geneva, IL,; Portland, OR's Hillsdale Farmers' Market; and The Food Trust in Philadelphia, PA. If your local market isn't on this short list, contact its organizers and push them to jump on the Twitter bandwagon. It's easy to use (not to mention it's a great PR tool) and valuable for those of us who like to stay seasonal.

    -Sunil Kumar


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