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  • TV Dinners: True Blood Menu and Party Plan

    By Sara Bonisteel,


    Fake blood, vampire teeth, zydeco music, Goth decor (red and black candles, trays, and dinnerware), but by all means hold the silver and garlic!

    Get a full day's rest, take a drop of V from Lafayette, and invite plenty of vamps


    A Cajun breakfast with a supernatural twist

    The Menu:
    If you're going to hang with the vampires of northern Louisiana's Area 5, you'll be getting up at dusk, so why not have breakfast for dinner? Life does, after all, begin after dark. We've created a menu that's high in iron, offers a bit of spice, and features sausage, as that's what Sookie Stackhouse first tastes after drinking vampire blood. "It's like I can close my eyes and I can see the farm the pig lived on, and feel the sun and the rain on my face, and even taste the earth that the herbs grew out of," she tells Granny.

    See also: Our Ultimate Grilling and Barbecue Guide

    Naturally, we included some blood (in the form of Bloody Mary

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  • 12 Diet Tips for a Bikini Body

    By Lexi Dwyer & Megan O. Steintrager,

    We admit it: The phrase "bikini body" is a little groan-inducing (and we're not just talking about all the sit-ups you might feel compelled to do to get a swimsuit-ready figure). Cheesy terminology aside, the fact is that a lot of people are trying to slim down for summer right now, both to look better in their two pieces or trunks and to have more stamina for activities like swimming.

    So to help those looking to trim a few pounds without giving up good food, we got tips and recipes from the authors of two diet and lifestyle books: The Skinny: How to Fit Into Your Little Black Dress Forever and Bikini Bootcamp: Two Weeks to Your Ultimate Beach Body. The former was coauthored by journalist Robin Aronson and food writer Melissa Clark (who has written numerous books with and about chefs, and whose articles and recipes have appeared in many publications, including The New York Times and right here on Epicurious). The latter was written

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  • How to Host an Ice Cream Social

    By Lauren Salkeld,

    Several years ago, I went to an ice cream social and while I barely knew any of the other guests and most were either 20 years younger than me or at least 10 years my senior, it was one of the best parties I've ever attended.

    First of all, I love ice cream and let's be honest, most people are pretty fond of it. But on top of that, there was something so casual and fun about the whole thing. Picture this: A big backyard; tables spread with various ice creams, sauces, toppings, and cones; kids and adults building their own frozen creations. What's not to love?

    See also: Our Ultimate Grilling and Barbecue Guide

    If that scenario sounds like just about the best summer entertaining idea you've ever heard, check out The Scoop on Hosting an Ice Cream Social. Our guide features everything you need to know to host the ultimate ice cream-centric event, including how much ice cream you'll need, tips on making your own and how to store it, menu planning

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  • 10 Keys to Healthy Living

    By Marissa Lippert,

    One of the goals at Epicurious is to help you balance the great pleasures of eating and cooking delicious food with maintaining a healthy diet. Wholesome eating and a healthy lifestyle can be surprisingly simple when a solid foundation of smart habits is in place. Here are ten useful tips you can easily incorporate into your day-to-day life.

    See also:
    Our Ultimate Grilling and Barbecue Guide

    1. Be Prepared
    When it comes to establishing and maintaining nutritious eating habits, being well-prepared makes a world of difference. Set up a weekly time in your schedule to head to the grocery shop or the farmers' market to ensure that your kitchen is well stocked with a variety of healthy foods for meals as well as convenient, portable snacks.

    2. Rearrange Your Plate
    Limit calories and boost nutrients by filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables. The other half of the plate can be split between lean proteins, such as fish, chicken, and tofu, and

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  • Our Favorite Burger Recipes

    Mmmmm...burgers. They're not just for meat-lovers anymore. Sure, the classic hamburger is a nice beef patty sandwiched between two pillowy buns and perhaps enhanced with cheese, sliced tomatoes, and ketchup. But these days, the sky's the limit when it comes to what constitutes a burger: salmon burgers, crab burgers, bison burgers, lamb burgers, pork burgers, and the standard vegetarian burger option, portobello mushroom burgers. Even our highly rated black-bean burger won't have meat-lovers wondering Where's the beef? So whether you're a traditionalist or an adventure-seeker, give all our burgers a try!

    See the full list of mouth-watering burgers at

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  • Saucy Summer Grilling Ideas

    Grilled Halibut with ChimichurriGrilled Halibut with ChimichurriBy Lauren Salkeld, Epicurious

    One of my favorite summer meals is a simple mix of grilled meats and veggies. Protein options include chicken, beef, shrimp, and tofu (obviously not meat but I happen to love grilled tofu). Veggies can be anything from asparagus, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes to mushrooms, onions, and zucchini. Any combination works.

    Related: Our Ultimate Grilling and Barbecue Guide

    Skewers or one of those handy grill baskets make the meal just about effortless, but the real secret is whipping up a couple yummy sauces. One of my go-to recipes is chimichurri, a vibrant and garlicky parsley-based sauce with a pinch of cayenne or crushed red pepper for heat. Chimichurri comes from Argentina where it's usually paired with the country's beloved beef, but I find it works equally well with chicken, veggies, or even fish as in this Grilled Halibut with Chimichurri recipe.

    See also: Father's Day Recipes, Gifts and Menus

    My newest obsession is a sweet and spicy peanut sauce I

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  • Cocoa and Health: More Good News About Chocolate

    By Megan O. Steintrager, Epicurious

    I never get tired of hearing good news about chocolate's health benefits. Here's the latest from an email newsletter from the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter: "Spanish researchers report that daily consumption of 40 grams (about 1.4 ounces) of cocoa powder in about 2 cups of skim milk improved cholesterol levels."

    Now, the study was small (42 people with an average age of 70) and short (two, four-week periods), but researchers found that when the volunteers in the study were given skim milk with cocoa instead of plain milk, "they saw a 5% increase in good HDL cholesterol and a 14% reduction in oxidized bad LDL cholesterol,' according to the Tufts report.

    See also: Blue-Ribbon Chicken Dishes

    Want to duplicate the experiment at home (with your doctor's approval, if necessary)? The amount of cocoa used in the study, 40 grams, is a little less than three tablespoons. Try it out in Mexican Hot Chocolate, or, even simpler: Stir unsweetened cocoa powder

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  • The Ultimate Father's Day Meal: Let the Kids Cook It

    By Sara Bonisteel, Epicurious

    One of the joys of celebrating Father's Day is seeing the little ones pitch in to honor Dad. While they may not be old enough to make the entire meal, it's pretty easy for them to get in on the kitchen action, be it washing veggies, mixing toppings, or serving a summer elixir.

    For starters, make Deviled Eggs. Young kids can sprinkle the paprika garnish on top, while teens can be put in charge of hard boiling and peeling the eggs. This Spicy Chick Pea Salad doesn't require any cooking, so pre-teens can pretty much whip it together themselves.

    Related: Best Pasta Recipes

    Mom will have to tend the fire for our Grilled Corn with Lime-Cilantro Butter, but the kids can shuck the corn and remove the silk as well as mix together the butter that will garnish the recipe.

    For the main event, try these Turkey Cheddar Burgers. Kids can form the patties (be sure they wash their hands before and after handling) or man the sandwich-assembly station.

    Sun Tea is an

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  • Greek Yogurt Taste Test

    We tasted 14 types of Greek yogurt and found 2 exceptional brands
    by Carolina Santos-Neves

    View this story on >

    What has an average of 20 grams of protein per 1 cup serving and acts as honey's partner in crime? Greek yogurt, and we're not talking about the frozen kind. (Check out those favorites in our recent frozen yogurt taste test .)

    Remember when the dairy aisles at your local supermarket were filled with rows of flavored yogurts? These days, it's all about thick, strained, plain Greek yogurt. Practically every leading yogurt brand has launched a Greek version to keep pace with the competition.

    Don't believe us? Open up the Epicurious fridge on any given day, and you'll find an array of Greek yogurts-all from different brands, each with its own taste. In fact, the Epicurious editors-who are fond of the stuff for breakfast, lunch, and snacks-have long debated whose brand is the best on the market.

    Recently, we decided it was time to settle

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  • Watermelon, Arugula, and Pine Nut Salad

    | July 2004

    yield: Makes 4 first-course servings

    Active time: 15 min start to finish: 15 min

    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon table salt, or to taste
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    3 cups cubed (1/2 to 3/4 inch) seeded watermelon, drained (from a 2 1/2-lb piece, rind discarded)
    6 cups baby arugula (6 oz)
    1/4 cup pine nuts (1 oz)
    1/3 cup crumbled feta or ricotta salata (1 1/2 oz)
    Coarsely ground black pepper to taste
    Fleur de sel to taste (optional)

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    Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, and salt in a large bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.

    Add watermelon, arugula, and pine nuts and toss to coat, then sprinkle with cheese, pepper, and fleur de sel (if using).

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