Blog Posts by Epicurious.com

  • Foods that AREN'T Killing You

    Megan O. Steintrager

    Lately it seems as if you can't open a newspaper, magazine, or online publication without seeing panicky headlines with phrases like "must-avoid ingredient," foods "that can make you sick" or "that will kill you," additives that are "banned in other countries," "scary," or "dangerous," and so on (these are all real examples of recent news headlines, by the way-Google "food killing us" for more). Sure, there's reason to worry (or at least educate yourself) about many things associated with food (trans fat and antibiotic resistant bacteria come to mind), but I worry that all this worry is what's going to make us sick. So, in conjunction with Healthy Eating Doable Challenge #12: De-Stress Your Diet, I asked licensed nutritionist, author of Nutrition Diva's Secrets for a Healthy Diet: What to Eat, What to Avoid, and What to Stop Worrying About, and Epicurious contributor Monica Reinagel to weigh in on food matters we could all stand to chill about. Read on after the

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  • Thanksgiving Troubleshooting: EveryLast-Minute Problem, Solved

    Lauren Salkeld

    Planning ahead might be the secret to a stress-free Thanksgiving, but sometimes, no matter how organized you are, you still run into Turkey Day trouble. We rounded up 10 of the most common Thanksgiving mishaps-from forgetting to defrost the turkey to burning the pie crust-and then racked our collective brain for the best last-minute solutions. Follow our advice to keep your Thanksgiving dilemmas from turning into Thanksgiving disasters.

    You've Got Last-Minute Guests
    It's 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving eve and your sister calls to say she's bringing her new boyfriend-plus his parents and younger brother, the one who plays college football and eats about three times as much as the average person. Before you succumb to a panic attack, relax and focus on hors d'oeuvres. At parties, people have a tendency to fill their bellies with whatever nuts, cheese, dips, and crackers you put in front of them, and while that habit can be irksome if you're serving an elaborate meal, in

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  • The Fastest Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing

    Kemp Minifie

    The Fastest Gluten-Free Cornbread StuffingThe Fastest Gluten-Free Cornbread StuffingThis recipe is inspired by one created by a former Gourmet magazine test kitchen colleague, Shelley Wiseman. It's brilliant because Wiseman showed me I could eliminate the time-consuming step of drying out the cornbread--so typical of most stuffing recipes. You can make the cornbread ahead, then bake the stuffing outside the turkey during the half hour or so while the roasted turkey is standing and you're making the gravy.

    The Fastest Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing

    Serves 8 to 10

    INGREDIENTS
    For the Cornbread:
    2 cups yellow cornmeal (preferably stone-ground)
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    2 large eggs
    1 3/4 cups well-shaken buttermilk
    5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    SEE MORE: Thanksgiving Sides You Need to Make

    For the Stuffing:
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1/2 pound onions, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
    2 large outer celery stalks, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 to 4 ounces Spanish chorizo,

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  • Taste Test: Packaged Stuffing

    Carolina Santos-Neves


    Judges tasted a dozen packaged stuffings, including traditional, herbed, and cornbread varieties, and found three winners

    While nothing beats homemade stuffing, when the Thanksgiving time-crunch hits, even some of the most dedicated from-scratch cooks among us reach for a box, bag, or can of packaged stuffing-either as a stand-alone side or as a base for fresh herbs, vegetables, and other seasonings.

    To determine which store-bought stuffings can pass for homemade, Epicurious tested three stuffing categories: home-style (also called traditional or country-style), herb-seasoned, and cornbread.

    First we set the criteria for not-made-from-scratch stuffing: The ideal stuffing would have to be quick and easy to make. The bread pieces should be moist and crunchy, not dry or soggy. They should retain their shape and not dissolve into a gummy or mushy paste. The dressing should be well seasoned with natural-tasting herbs and spices-it should not be overly salty or have

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  • Has a Scientific Hangover Cure Been Discovered?

    Joanne Camas

    British professor David Nutt hopes so. He's researching how alcohol copies the brain's system for calming and relaxing us, and says he's close to inventing a synthetic formula that would give you the buzz of a few drinks without the scourge of that morning-after hangover.

    See more: Everything You Need to Know About Thanksgiving Turkeys

    As a bonus: You'd be able to pop an antidote when you had to sober up to drive home or return to the office after a liquid lunch. The Daily Mail quotes claims Nutt makes on his blog: "After one possible compound, I was quite relaxed and sleepily inebriated for an hour or so, then within minutes of taking the antidote I was up giving a lecture with no impairment whatsoever."

    See more: Thanksgiving Sides You Need to Make

    Nutt, who's the head of Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College in London, says his new drinks would be safer and more social, cutting out the problems of addiction and aggressive behavior.

    Critics

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  • Thanksgiving Turkey: To Brine or Not to Brine

    Tanya Steel

    'Tis it nobler to suffer the slings and arrows of brining or should thy take up arms against a sea of salt? The answer depends upon what type of turkey you will buy, whether you'll be stuffing the bird, your gravy recipe, and how much time you have. Brining is a process in which you salt protein before cooking to draw moisture to the meat, tenderize tougher cuts, and enhance other added flavors. It's a time-honored technique that involves immersing the meat in a salt-water bath or rubbing into the skin. Here's a rundown on what you need to know:

    See more: Thanksgiving Sides You Need to Make

    Kosher turkeys cannot be brined: This type of turkey has been pre-salted, as has any turkey that says it has a sodium solution added to keep it moist. Only turkeys that have no additives are brine candidates.

    Skip the brine if you stuff the bird
    : Any brined bird will drip a salty solution into the cavity and thus make stuffing inedible; thus, a brined bird will require cooking

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  • Foods that Are Keeping You Up at Night

    Alessandra Bulow


    If you've kicked your afternoon coffee habit and stopped looking at your blue-light emitting phone before bed but still can't sleep, it might be time to take another look at what you're eating before you go to bed.

    "Sleep is part of your overall health so the same things that you do to take care of your body and health are good for your sleep," says Janet K. Kennedy (a.k.a. NYC Sleep Doctor), a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist in New York City. "If you're snacking at night, make sure it's a healthy snack that's not loaded with sugar, which can alter blood sugar. Eliminating foods one by one will give you a sense if one may be affecting your sleep."

    Here, Kennedy reveals foods that may be keeping you awake at night and the surprising reason why you should choose ice cream over cookies as a nighttime snack.

    SEE MORE: The Sugar Hiding in Your Favorite "Healthy" Food

    Wine, Beer, and Booze: A nightcap before bed may not actually be a good idea.

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  • Why the Butterball Turkey Shortage Won't Ruin Thanksgiving

    Kemp Minifie

    Relax, folks. The news that Butterball has far fewer fresh turkeys in the 16-pound and over category this Thanksgiving is no reason to panic. In fact, it could well be the best thing to happen to your holiday spread this year, and here are 5 reasons why:

    1. A Smaller Turkey is Better Anyway
    : Instead of one large turkey, we recommend cooking two smaller ones. They cook faster and provide more drumsticks to gnaw on, not to mention more crispy skin to sneak when no one's looking. Or, you could go with one smaller turkey and a turkey breast to ensure plenty of white meat for those all-important sandwiches.

    See more: Thanksgiving Sides You Need to Make

    2. You Don't Need a Big Bird to Serve a Big Crowd
    : Roasting a turkey whole isn't actually the ideal way to cook the star of the Thanksgiving table, because the white and the dark meat cook at different speeds. Take a tip from chefs who crank out hundreds of servings of Thanksgiving dinners, and cook your turkey in

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  • Best (and Worst) Instagram Filters for Food Porn Photos

    Jolie Peters

    Martha Stewart has found her way into the spotlight once again. This time, everyone is buzzing about a recent food photo she posted to a social media site that is less than appetizing.

    We all know that photos can be made far more flattering with the tap of a filter setting on Instagram. Here are five Instagram filters that are best to use when sharing your food pics. To help all of you avoid a "Martha moment," we have outlined the best and worst times to use these filters.

    See more: Thanksgiving Sides You Need to Make

    Amaro:
    This setting will brighten a dark photo, which could be helpful if you're taking a pic in a dimly lit restaurant or bar. But if you're documenting your kitchen adventures, this could make your meal look like it was cooked under florescent lighting--or worse--in a cafeteria.

    Rise:
    Rise adds a soft glow to any image. It is forgiving when documenting anything with a blemish. For example, the fruit salad you made with the banana you forgot to

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  • Stuffing Vs. Dressing: What You're Looking for Depends on Where You Live

    Siobhan Adcock

    Italian Sausage and Bread StuffingItalian Sausage and Bread StuffingWe recently decided to settle an internal debate about whether the essential Thanksgiving side dish was called "stuffing" or "dressing" by most people. Being logical, my colleagues reminded me that if it's cooked alongside the bird, it's technically called "dressing," and if it's cooked inside the bird, it would be called "stuffing." Being a gigantic nerd, my first thought was, "I know! I'm going to look at a big spreadsheet full of data!"

    The data in question was internal search data for the months of October and November this year and last year: peak Thanksgiving search season for "stuffing," "dressing," and related terms. Here's what I found:

    1. "Dressing" as a search term is almost exclusively Southern. In two years of peak-season search queries, only one state north of the Mason Dixon was home to any cooks searching for "dressing." Guess which state? Hint: Starts with I, ends with "owa." Who knew.

    2. Southerners who are looking for "dressing" know

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