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  • 25 Sandwich Makeovers

    Healthy, fresh upgrades for your kids' lunchbox favorites

    by Kendra Vizcaino-Lico, Epicurious

    Kelly Senyei and Lauren Salkeld; food and prop styling: Kendra Vizcaino-LicoKelly Senyei and Lauren Salkeld; food and prop styling: Kendra Vizcaino-Lico Back-to-school season means stocking up on school supplies, helping your kids with homework, and coming up with creative and healthy ways to make brown-bag lunches more exciting. These simple variations on kid-friendly, classic sandwiches are sure to please even the pickiest palates. Go beyond the basics with quick and easy add-ons that will help save time and make healthy and delicious lunches for your kids.

    More from Epicurious:

    Top 7 Celebrity Juice Cleanses Essential Tools for Portion Control Best Burger Recipes Cooking With 5 Ingredients or Less

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  • Frozen Waffles Taste Test

    We tested 10 varieties to find our top three frozen waffle favorites
    by Carolina Santos-Neves,
    You don't have to be a kid to love waffles-parents love them, too, especially on busy school mornings when breakfast prep puts a premium on speed. But at any age and any moment, cravings can occur for a waffle topped with maple syrup, whipped cream, ice cream, or all of the above. When convenience counts, the frozen waffle is hard to beat.

    Some of us on the Epicurious editorial team are huge fans of both frozen and homemade waffles, while others were resistant to the store-bought variety. There was only one way to resolve this great debate: to taste frozen waffles of all sorts, from "home style" to gluten-free to multigrain. We sampled them all in one sitting, and it was mostly pure bliss, with only a few disappointments. The result? We all agreed on three winners that we'd gladly serve to friends (and pretend we made them ourselves).

    See more: Healthy Comfort

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  • Eat like an Olympian

    Healthy tips to keep you energized-whether you're running a marathon or just want more stamina in your everyday life

    by Megan O. Steintrager,

    It happens to all of us: You promise yourself you're going straight from the office to the gym, but come quitting time, you're too exhausted to lace up your sports shoes. Heck, you barely have the energy to make yourself a snack. But chances are a snack is exactly what you need. "Food is fuel," says sports nutritionist Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D., and if you want to have energy for peak performance in athletic events-or for daily life workouts like your job or chasing a toddler-you have to fill up your tank with quality "gasoline."

    To get tips on eating for energy and fitness, Epicurious spoke to Clark, as well as three top athletes: swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Dara Torres; gymnast, Olympic gold winner, and Dancing with the Stars winner Shawn Johnson; and Garmin-Slipstream Pro Cycling Team member Timmy Duggan.


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  • Expert Tips for Perfect BBQ Ribs

    Photos: Selma Dakota, Extreme Images; Jonathan Chester, Extreme Images; Ardie A. DavisPhotos: Selma Dakota, Extreme Images; Jonathan Chester, Extreme Images; Ardie A. Davis

    by Ardie A. Davis and Paul Kirk

    The humble rib, a delicacy since man discovered fire, is one of America's favorite things to eat. But the vast majority of the time we feast on ribs at roadside rib shacks and barbecue joints rather than make them at home. If you've never grilled or smoked ribs on your own and don't know where to start, or even if you know a lot, listen up. We've run and competed in hundreds of rib contests, and there's always more to learn. In this basic primer we'll share our secrets to shopping for, prepping, and grilling or smoking ribs, plus provide recipes from our new book, America's Best Ribs. But, before we jump into the details, here are 10 dos and don'ts for mastering ribs.

    See also: Healthy Comfort Food Recipes for Any Day

    Ardie A. Davis and Paul Kirk's Rib Commandments

    1. Fresh First, Frozen Second: There is no doubt that fresh meat is best, but frozen ribs can be delicious, too; if using frozen meat, always thaw before cooking.

    2. Avoid

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  • DIY Food Gifts for Mother's Day

    Photos by Ma'ayan RosenzweigPhotos by Ma'ayan Rosenzweig

    by Kendra Vizcaino,

    Moms are busy 364 days a year taking care of everyone else, but come Mother's Day, Mom gets to sit back and be spoiled. Well, at least that's always the plan. This year, show your mom just how much you appreciate her by giving presents that can be enjoyed every day of the year. From frames decorated with pasta to edible candied flowers, these five food-inspired crafts are easy enough for children to make with some adult assistance. With just a few household and pantry items, along with some basic art supplies, you can create charming gifts that any mom, grandmother, or aunt is sure to love.

    Related: The Best Mother's Day Brunch Ever

    Kitchen Caddies

    If it's hard to keep track of cooking utensils, help Mom keep them organized with a decorative kitchen- tool holder.

    Equipment: Wooden utensil caddy available at crafts shops or home stores, sponges, scissors, water, tempera paint

    Appropriate for: Children 2+ years old, with help from a grown-up

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  • What's Your Favorite Sauce?

    by Carolina Santos-Neves, Epicurious.comPhoto by Romulo Yanes/GourmetPhoto by Romulo Yanes/Gourmet

    In cooking school this weekend, we spent the morning making stocks and the afternoon crafting an array of sauces. I love a good sauce. Whether it's salad dressing or, well, just sauce I love it...especially with veggies and rice. I find that it can make for the perfect meal. So this was an exciting day for me.

    See also: How to Throw a Perfect Taco Party

    Most of the sauces we make on Saturday called for mire poix (generally chopped or minced celery, onion, and carrot), stock, and whatever the flavor profile was like curry, or a red wine based sauce. And all of them called for roux, a.k.a. 4 tablespoons of butter (or 3 1/4 tablespoons of oil) to 7 tablespoons of flour.

    In general roux is used as the thickening agent in the three mother sauces of classical French cooking. It was the first time I ever made roux. It's fairly simple, but there are three types: light or white, which adds little flavor; brown, which add a slight nutty flavor; and

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  • The 10 Best Tacos in America

    by Carolina Santos-Neves,

    What's the best taco you've ever sunk your teeth into? Was it in Mexico? Los Angeles? San Diego? Your hometown? Or in your own kitchen? Or perhaps you are one of the many pilgrims still in search of your perfect taco.

    See also: Healthy Comfort Food Recipes for Any Day

    A truly euphoric taco experience is defined differently depending on whom you ask. Some people prefer corn tortillas over flour. Some prefer their tacos stuffed with pork; others, pulled chicken or fish. Some like their tacos to be sauce-free, and some enjoy a little guacamole and sour cream. We asked 10 food critics from 10 American cities to tell us how they found their favorite pick and what makes it so special. Read on to see if your top taco made the list.

    Austin, Texas: Tacodeli
    According to Rachel Feit of The Austin Chronicle, "tacos are like flavor bombs." For Feit, a memorable taco starts with great fillings, meaning slow-cooked meats stewed with plenty of chiles and

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  • Modern Cinco De Mayo Desserts

    by Carolina Santos-Neves,

    Pastry chef Jennifer Jones knows a thing or two about sweets, especially Mexican-influenced ones. The Charlie Trotter alum and rising star at Topolobampo, of Rick Bayless' Frontera group, was recently named the Chicago Tribune's Pastry Chef of the Year. In honor of Cinco de Mayo, Jones has shared with us four recipes perfect for any celebration. These recipes reflect the chef's love of chocolate and fruit (in particular, cherries, apricots, blackberries, and peaches) and her fondness for bold spices, herbs, and malty flavors. The key, says Jones, is to have fun and to be fearless in the kitchen! So don't worry if sometimes it takes a couple of tries (or more) to master a recipe.

    Related: How to Throw a Perfect Taco Party

    XOCO Churros with Mexican Hot Chocolate
    Photos by Lara FerroniPhotos by Lara Ferroni

    To add flavor to these churros, Jones suggests incorporating a teaspoon of almond extract or the zest of an orange, or simply replace 10 percent of the flour with cocoa powder. "Be

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  • The Art of Making Delicious Salsa

    by Carolina Santos-Neves, Photo: CN Digital ArchivePhoto: CN Digital Archive

    Salsa, the word for "sauce" in Spanish, can add a bit of vida to almost any meal, and we're not just talking tacos and burritos. For a fresher alternative to the acidic jarred stuff that's loaded with sodium and sugar, try making your own salsa-you may be surprised how easy it is.

    See also: Healthy Comfort Food Recipes for Any Day

    James Peterson, the author of Kitchen Education: Sauces, Salsas, and Chutneys-Recipes and Techniques on Cooking believes salsa has no strict definition. "To define a salsa in the most general terms, I would say it's a mixture in which each of the ingredients retains a degree of integrity. In other words, you can see the stuff that makes it up, unlike in a mayonnaise or a hollandaise sauce." But at the same time, there are a few general qualities all salsas possess: They are usually served cold or at room temperature; they're often spicy; and typically they're a combination of chopped raw ingredients, such as

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  • Do You Know How to Eat Out?

    by Michael Y. Park, Epicurious.comPhoto by Michael Y. ParkPhoto by Michael Y. Park

    In The Atlantic, an economist offers six basic rules for getting the biggest bang for your buck in a restaurant.

    Here they are:

    1) Order the least appetizing item on the menu.

    2) Don't choose a place to eat based on the happy, beautiful people inside.

    3) Strip malls offer better value than downtown eateries. Plus: Food trucks are awesome. (And if you're in Manhattan, stick to streets over avenues.)

    See also: Healthy Comfort Food Recipes for Any Day

    4) Ask around.

    5) Avoid restaurants that put their budget into staff over the food.

    6) Choose unpopular cuisines over similar popular cuisines (Vietnamese over Thai, Pakistani over Indian).

    Though I know to keep in mind that he's focusing purely on getting the best value for your money, there are definitely occasions where terrible service or ambiance have ruined what would otherwise be a good meal, which make me question 2 and 5. And I don't know if I buy his argument for

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