Blog Posts by Epicurious.com

  • The Ultimate Nacho Generator Plus Tips on Preping for the Party

    Mix and match your way to a winning Super Bowl snack strategy with 10 takes on chips, cheese, and toppings
    by Kelly Senyei, Epicurious

    Super Bowl Sunday is a snack lover's paradise. And while chicken wings and sliders are popular game-day favorites, when it comes to quarterbacking the buffet, there's one dish on the must-have list: nachos. This crowd-pleasing party dish is quick and easy to make, and with so many potential chip, cheese, and topping combinations, the field is wide open. Our mix-and-match nacho guide equips you with 10 classic and creative ways to make nachos the star of your Super Bowl bash, including pizza- and barbecue-inspired versions, gluten-free and vegan options, and sweetly crispy dessert nachos.

    Game Plan:
    * Choose from our suggested matchups of chips, cheese, and toppings, or mix and match ingredients to your taste buds' desires.
    * Bake the nachos on the center rack in a 450°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
    * Nachos are

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  • How to Make Tiny Breakfast Tweaks at the Grocery Store

    by Megan O. Steintrager, Epicurious

    We're three weeks into our first monthly Epicurious Doable Challege: Get a Healthy Breakfast Boost, and hopefully you've tried eating a bigger morning meal, adding protein to breakfast, and enjoying a serving of fruits and vegetables at the start of your day (it's not too late to jump on those now, by the way). This week, I'd like to suggest some small tweaks to make at the grocery store--these little buying changes can make a difference over the long run for overall health and weight control and they're all really easy:

    Choose fat-free milk rather than whole: In one cup of milk, you'll save 63 calories and take saturated fat from 5 grams to zero.

    See more: 5 Most Common Recipe Mistakes People Make

    Pick 100% whole grain products: A Thomas' Original English Muffin, for example, has just 1 gram of fiber, while the brand's 100% Whole Wheat muffin has 3 grams for 12% of the daily recommendation for fiber. Look for whole grain as the first ingredient on

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  • The 5 Most Common Recipe Mistakes People Make

    by Kemp Minifie, Epicurious

    As more and more people get into cooking--whether inspired by hipster TV chefs, luscious food photos in magazines and blogs, or the need to save money by cutting out restaurant meals--recipes have become more important than ever. Although there are plenty of flawed recipes out there in cyberspace, the good, well-tested ones can be ruined by users' flawed assumptions. Here are the five most common mistakes I encountered during many years as a magazine food editor talking to countless readers.

    Failure to Read the Recipe:
    How many times has the following scenario happened to you? You're in a big hurry. You find a recipe that uses what's in your fridge and you're halfway into the prep, when you discover to your chagrin that the recipe requires hours of marinating, or some labor-intensive step. If only you'd stopped long enough to calmly read the instructions all the way through, you would have seen the booby trap! Even I'm guilty of this one sometimes.

    See

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  • A Super Bowl Party for Meatball Maniacs

    Gear up for the big game with meatball recipes and tips from New York's Meatball Shop
    by Carolina Santos-Neves, Epicurious

    From left: Michael Chernow and Daniel Holzman at their restaurant, The Meatball Shop. From left: Michael Chernow and Daniel Holzman at their restaurant, The Meatball Shop. It's that time of year again, when you start thinking about what to make for your Super Bowl party. Last year you probably made wings. The year before that you probably made…wings. Those tasty nuggets have been a go-to for football parties since the early 1960s, when a Buffalo bar purportedly invented the Buffalo chicken wing. Well, it's 2012, for goodness' sake, time for a change!

    What to make instead? Meatballs are riding a popularity wave again, so we turned to the Meatball Shop's chefs, Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow, for advice. After successfully opening three restaurants in the New York area, the duo published The Meatball Shop Cookbook, and they have a thing or a hundred to say about how best to feed feisty football fans.

    So this year, go about game-day business as usual. Chill some beers, put out bowls of chips and guac, and follow these meatball

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  • How to Add Fiber to Your Diet

    The Mayo Clinic's tips on adding this essential nutrient into your daily diet
    by Carolina Santos-Neves, Epicurious

    Dietary fiber may not be a trendy health topic like antioxidants or omega-3s, but to ignore fiber's benefits would leave us wanting more. Literally. Fiber helps regulate blood-sugar levels and fullness, reduces the risk of heart disease, keeps our digestive tract functioning properly, and plays a key role in weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight, making it an essential nutrient. We interviewed the director of clinical dietetics/nutrition at the Mayo Clinic, Jennifer Kay Nelson, MS, RD, LD, and she gave us a breakdown of the fruitful (and veggie-ful) world of fiber.

    Dietary fiber can be divided into two groups: soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is found in whole foods such as oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus, carrots, and barley. It's known for lowering blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve

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  • Get a Healthy Breakfast Boost, Doable Challenge No. 1

    This month, power up your days and help control your weight by eating a better breakfast--delicious recipes and nutritionist tips included
    by Megan O. Steintrager, Epicurious

    To kick off a healthy new year, we're introducing a monthly series of Doable Challenges: achievable goals we can all undertake together, one at a time, for greater health and energy. For this debut installment, let's start at the beginning: If you skip or skimp on breakfast, it's time to rethink your mornings, especially if you're trying to lose weight. "Breakfast is absolutely the most important meal of the day," declares Kathleen Zelman, a registered dietitian and director of nutrition at WebMD. "You are breaking the fast," Zelman explains. "You have been sleeping for hours and you have low blood sugar. And in order to perform--whether it's in the classroom, the boardroom, or on the playing field, whatever you're doing--you need glucose. Glucose is the fuel that gives not only your muscles but also your brain

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  • 6 Foods and 18 Recipes that Fight the Flu

    Boost your immunity with healthy recipes from Epicurious and advice from John La Puma, M.D.
    by Megan O. Steintrager, Epicurious

    Have you noticed that people who normally shun shots are scrambling to get flu vaccines this year? At Epicurious, we're always looking for a food solution to any problem, so we contacted John La Puma, M.D., the author of Chef MD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine, for advice about what to eat to boost immunity and fight the flu.

    Before we jump into La Puma's list of top flu-fighting foods, here are a few notes from the doctor:

    * The flu is most likely to be spread from person-to-person contact, through coughing and sneezing--and the "best and easiest protection" against flu is to "wash your hands often, for 15 to 20 seconds, with soap and water, or with an alcohol-based hand cleaner, [rubbing] until your hands are dry."
    * People with immunity problems, such as thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and celiac disease, should talk to

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  • Flu-Fighting Foods

    by Tanya Steel, Epicurious

    Hearty Chicken Vegetable SoupHearty Chicken Vegetable SoupThe Center for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting this season's flu outbreak is the most widespread and severe in a decade, with 29 states reporting high activity and 41 states reporting outbreaks. While the number one way to prevent contracting the flu is to get the flu shot, followed by constantly washing your hands with warm soapy water, there are some foods that will help strengthen your immune system, thus decreasing the chances of getting sick and reducing the severity of the symptoms if you do come down with the flu.

    Vitamin C-Rich Foods: This vitamin strengthens disease-fighting cells, so load up on berries, citrus, sweet potatoes, and melons. Chile peppers like jalapenos and serranos are also vitamin C powerhouses and have the added benefit of clearing your sinuses. This Thai Shrimp Soup with Lemon and Jalapenos is a veritable bowlful of vitamin C.

    See More: Healthy Comfort Recipes for Any Day

    Pro-and-Pre Biotic Foods: We've long heard how

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  • Food Expiration Dates: Obey or Ignore?

    by Kelly Senyei, Epicurious

    courtesy of Naomi Pescovitzcourtesy of Naomi PescovitzThe other day I was doing my daily comb through my Facebook newsfeed when my friend shared the above snapshot from her mid-winter cleaning session. It's a box of Betty Crocker angel food cake mix, with an expiration date of May 31, 1991.

    See More: Healthy Comfort Recipes for Any Day

    The cake mix expired 22 years ago. Twenty-two years. That's three years before Justin Beiber was even born. As shocked as I was at the ancient date on the box, I knew there was no way I could throw stones given the current condiment situtation in my refrigerator. I have almost weekly discussions with myself in which I justify the "freshness" of that old bottle of Dijon or jar of sweet pickles, both of which are etched with dates signaling their contents are days, months, or (gulp) years past their prime. "Ketchup can't expire," I state in defiance.

    I know I'm not alone in my blatant disregard of certain foods taking shelter in my fridge and pantry well beyond their recommended

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  • What to Do with Leftover Pasta

    by Kendra Vizcaino, Epicurious

    Gourmet/Yanes,Romulo AGourmet/Yanes,Romulo A Leftover pasta is a constant problem in my kitchen. Since I'm usually cooking for two, I tend to make about 3/4 of a box at a time. This leaves me with small amounts of a variety of different pasta shapes. While it might seem like these spare noodles might end up going to waste, there are a variety of uses for them.

    1. Cook them together. If the shapes have similar cooking times boil them all together. If the cooking times vary, add them to the pot of water at the appropriate times for each one.

    See More: Healthy Comfort Recipes for Any Day

    2. Make crafts with kids. String tube shapes on thread or twine to make necklaces and bracelets, or glue them onto picture frames and paint them to showcase your favorite photos.

    3. Stop salt from clumping. Crush the pasta into small pieces and add them into your salt shaker. The pasta will help break up the salt, as rice does, and keeps it flowing smoothly.

    See More: Favorite Casserole Recipes

    4. Perk up your soup.

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