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  • Trendy Diets Done Right: The fat-burning “flat ab” diets

    Looking to lose weight or just eat healthier in the New Year? Let us help you weigh the many options out there with our Diets 101 series.

    We explain the most popular diets-including Atkins, South Beach, Skinny b---- , Flat Abs, the Perricone Weight-Loss Diet, and the Mediterranean Diet-and show you how to choose one that fits your culinary style, health goals, and dieting personality.

    We've divided the big "brand name" diets into five categories by concept and explained what you can and cannot eat with each regimen. We've also given each diet a major flavor upgrade, with chef-tested, nutritionist-approved recipes, selected according to each diet's principles.

    First up is the Fat-Burning "Flat Ab" Diet. Check back each day for the rest of the diets.

    Fat-Burning "Flat Ab" Diets

    Diets promising a "flat belly" or " L.A. shape" are popular, but can their approach help you torch calories? Find out below.

    The Concept

    • The right combination of foods and
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  • Strangest new food concept: Cooking with semen

    Exactly how dedicated are you to the concepts of recycling, scrimping and using all-natural products in your food?

    If you're willing to put your money-shot where you mouth is, you'd send away for a copy of the cookbook "Natural Harvest," which goes into stomach-churning detail about how to store, prepare and serve semen as food.

    Yes, it has really, erm, come to this.

    "Semen is not only nutritious, but it also has a wonderful texture and amazing cooking properties," the book's description goes. "Like fine wine and cheeses, the taste of semen is complex and dynamic. Semen is inexpensive to produce and is commonly available in many, if not most, homes and restaurants. Despite all of these positive qualities, semen remains neglected as a food. This book hopes to change that."

    And, yes, it appears to be a real book, and a second edition is already on the way.

    Right off the bat, you get a recipe for a cocktail (a White Russian, naturally):

    2 oz. vodka
    1 oz. coffee

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  • How to make Japanese tuna maki

    In these videos, The Culinary Institute of America's Chef Shirley Cheng shows us how to make authentic Japanese tuna maki or sushi rolls (the word "maki" means "roll" or "to roll"). Rice seasoned with rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and kombu (dried kelp); top-quality tuna; and cucumber are wrapped up with thin sheets of seaweed called nori.

    Note: "Sushi" does not mean raw fish, as is sometimes assumed, but actually refers to the vinegared rice that is used in maki and other types of sushi, including nigiri (finger-shaped sushi). Cheng demonstrates the basic techniques for seasoning the rice, creating well-formed rolls using a bamboo mat, and slicing perfect bite-sized rounds-with these skills, you can make maki with any filling, including raw and cooked seafood, vegetables, egg, and tofu.

    Watch Shirley Cheng make Japanese tuna maki rolls here.


    Tuna Maki

    Epicurious | December 2008

    by Chef Shirley Cheng, The Culinary Institute of America

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  • Essential tools for portion control

    These 12 products-including measurers, plates, scales, and cards-will help you stay in charge of how much you eat It seems that everything these days is super-sized, from our homes and our cars to the food we eat. "Portion sizes have subtly and steadily increased over the past 30 years and are now

  • Favorite one-dish comfort foods

    Delicious recipes and tips for one-pot casseroles, gratins, soups, and stews

    When the wind is howling outside and you're chilled to the bone, reach for a homey casserole, gratin, soup, or stew to warm you up. One big advantage to making our favorite no-fuss one-pot recipes: Clean-up won't be such a chore, so you'll be able to spend more time with friends and family.


    Great Gratins

    Penne and Vegetable Gratin

    Crab Meat Gratin

    Swiss Chard Gratin

    Macaroni and Cheese with Prosciutto and Taleggio

    Cozy Casseroles

    Sausage and Egg Casserole with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Mozzarella

    Cod, Potato, and Fennel Casserole

    Bean Burrito Casserole

    Vegetable Casserole with Tofu Topping

    Sumptuous Stews

    Seafood Stew with Fennel and Thyme

    Colombian Chicken, Corn, and Potato Stew

    White Bean, Butternut Squash, Kale and Olive Stew

    Veal Stew with Green Olives and Potatoes

    Satisfying Soups

    Roasted Yellow Pepper Soup and Roasted Tomato

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  • Ten tasty low-calorie treats

    We all know that the healthiest snacks are unprocessed or minimally processed foods like fruit and veggies, nuts, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. But sometimes you just have to splurge on something salty, crunchy, gooey, or sweet-or all four of those things at once (pass the kettle corn!). Epicurious editors worked their way through several grocery-cart loads of diet and reduced-calorie versions of popular snacks and came up with the ten tasty treats gathered here. Each one will satisfy your snack-attack without blowing your diet plan.

    Breakfast, Snack, or Granola Bar:

    Special K Cereal Bars

    Per serving (one bar, .8oz./22g): 90 calories, 1.5g fat (1g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 17g carbohydrate

    Frankly, we weren't bowled over by any of the cereal or granola bars we tasted (most were "too sweet or stale, or just plain gross," in the words of one editor), but these were the best by far: a good grab-and-go option that's crunchy and nicely sweet without being

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  • The smart way to lose weight: The best low-calorie recipes & diet tips

    In our recent diet poll, Epicurious editors asked readers to tell us which is the best diet choice: low-carb, low-sugar, low-fat, or low-calorie. The overwhelming answer? Low-calorie, with 41.1 percent of the votes.

    They're smart cookies, according to many nutrition and healthy-eating experts. "All diets are about calories, no matter what they're called-they all reduce calories, otherwise you wouldn't lose weight, " says Dr. Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University (the department she chaired from 1988-2003) and author of Food Politics, Safe Food, and the James Beard Award-winning What to Eat.

    "A reduced-calorie diet is the only effective diet for weight loss," agrees Monica Reinagel, chief nutritionist for our sister site and author of The Inflammation Free Diet Plan. "You can eat a low-carb diet, a low-fat diet, or a low-sugar diet, but the only way you're going to lose

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  • Epicurious’s favorite winter breakfasts

    Start your day warm with these delicious recipes and tips

    Need an excuse to rise and shine? Instead of cowering under the covers, warm up winter mornings with an indulgent feast for yourself or family and friends. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

    Recipe Tips:

    Staying Warm

    A single layer of pancakes on an ungreased cookie sheet will stay warm and fresh in a 250°F oven for 10 minutes.

    Keeping Dry

    Wrap a paper towel around a plated frittata to soak up excess liquid. (Remove it before serving.)

    Nuke It

    Transfer maple syrup to a microwave-safe container and heat it to make pouring easier.

    Setting Up

    Set the table for breakfast the night before to save time in the morning.


    Bed & Breakfast Fare

    A sumptuous spread to shake away sleepiness

    Tangerine Mimosa

    Smoked-Salmon and Cream Cheese Frittata

    Sweet and Spicy Bacon

    Breakfast Crepes

    Meyer Lemon Marmalade

    Kids' Picks

    Sweet treats to

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  • Tips for a Last-Minute New Year's Eve party

    New Year's Eve, a holiday notorious for producing high expectations, is fast approaching, and as usual, much of the world is pondering how to make it special. Rather than leaving the evening to chance, joining the masses of horn-blowers, or falling asleep in front of the TV before the traditional ball-drop, the best way to guarantee you'll ring in the new year in grand style is to throw your own fête. If that sounds like too much work amid the holiday hullabaloo, think again.

    It's not how much money or time you spend that makes the evening memorable. The secrets to success are a straightforward organizational strategy, simple yet glamorous food and cocktail recipes, and a few clever decor tricks. Add a dash of lightheartedness, some creativity, and a group of good friends, and you'll design an affair to remember and still have enough time and energy to be the life of your own party.

    There's no sense in throwing a party if you're too exhausted to enjoy it. Make party prep

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  • Hangover cures: 17 helpful foods for the big-head blues

    Oops, you did it again? We know how you feel. The day after our companywide holiday party, somebody stuck a box of Dunkin' Donuts Munchkins in the office kitchen with a note reading "Perfect for Hangovers." Doughnuts do cover several of the food groups-fat, sugar, and carbs-deemed crucial to hangover recovery, according to our informal poll of Epicurious editors and contributors, as well as our booziest friends. Other cures center around salt, liquid, protein, caffeine, eggs, organ meats, more alcohol, and specially formulated combos of all of the above. Read on for our favorite remedies-one of them is bound to get the cotton wool out of your head.

    Bacon, Egg, and Cheese-On a biscuit, roll, or English muffin, this cholesterol bomb is an all-time favorite for curing hangovers (while likely causing myriad other health problems).

    Bagel and Cream Cheese-This one covers your carb, fat, and protein groups. "My sister claims that the idea of eating something greasy and carb-heavy like

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