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  • How to Find Allergy-Friendly Restaurants

    People with food allergies or sensitivities must be constantly on guard when they eat out. This week tipped its editorial hat to AllergyEats, a website offers information that will make dining choices a little less stressful.

    Readers submit their restaurant reviews based on staff knowledge, willingness to accommodate diners' allergy-specific requests, and how well ingredient information is displayed.

    You can search for restaurants by your particular allergy, such as peantus, dairy, or gluten, and also by ZIP code.

    "As a parent of food-allergic children, it's important to know in advance whether a restaurant can accommodate my kids' unique food requirements," says Paul Antico, the site's founder. "AllergyEats provides a forum where food-allergic families can exchange feedback and review restaurants' menus, websites, certifications, allergen and nutrition info, plus directions and other helpful information," he adds.

    AllergyEats also has links to

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  • 12 Sumptuous Fall Desserts

  • How Much Do You Love Canned Pumpkin?

    We can't deny it anymore: Fall is here and that pretty much means it's time to incorporate pumpkin into everything. Some of my favorites are pumpkin pie, pumpkin loaf, and pumpkin pancakes! But should one use canned pumpkin purée or make their own from scratch? During the holidays the canned stuff is my go-to, because it makes life so much easier, especially during a time crunch. I would also argue that the canned pumpkin is smooth, flavorful, and reliable.

    Out of everyone in my family, my younger brother Gabe has always been the biggest supporter of canned pumpkin. But it wasn't until recently (we now live together) that I found out that he is quite fond of it. He takes pride in being a healthy guy, so for him, it's a quick way to satisfy a sweet tooth while also maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Canned pumpkin is a super food (because it has carotenoids and anti-oxidants), and 1 cup contains less than 100 calories and just 1 gram of fat-plus, it provides 7 grams of fiber.

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  • How Well Do You Know Your Halloween Candy?

    So there's a certain non-official holiday that's around the corner. I won't mention it on the off-chance there are some wee ones nearby who might go into a premature sugar-fueled hyperactive fit (also, it's in the headline of this post).

    Naturally, as mature adults, we never get worked up over sweets, but it's fun once in a while to see how much of our childhoods we can remember. Here's a little quiz I put together with a little help from a photographer and a macro lens.

    Can you name the candies from their close-ups?

    By the way, I was having trouble posting this as a comment, so here's my explanation for CD1:

    How many did you get right?

    By Michael Y. Park


    16 recipes for scary-good Halloween sweets, drinks, and more

    3 easy, edible Halloween baking projects for kids

    Kids and adults pick the best snack-sized chocolates

    Brain cupcakes,

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  • 5 Clever Ways Not to Waste Food

    As the mom of four hungry, growing boys, I'm always looking for ways to stretch our food budget. But whether you're anxious about saving dollars or saving the planet - or generally opposed to waste on moral grounds - making the food in your house last longer just makes sense.

    I stumbled on some clever tips from Country Living today, and I bet you have more to share. Here, my favorite five from their list:

    1. "Stop cheese from drying out by spreading butter or margarine on the cut sides to seal in moisture. This is most effective with hard cheeses sealed in wax." We have this trouble all the time in our house when zip-top bags aren't closed properly. (You know who I'm talking about.)

    2. "In order to make cottage cheese or sour cream last longer, place the container upside down in the fridge. Inverting the tub creates a vacuum that inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes food to spoil." OK, I'm not sure why this works, and I haven't tried it yet. Anyone heard of this

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  • What Was Your Worst Airline Meal?

    This week, Continental Airlines announced that, starting this fall, it will be the last major airline to give up free meals for coach, marking the end of an era that began when people dressed up to take a flight and airline meals were served on china. (Do you remember those days? I sure don't. But I do remember when you could smoke on flights. Anyway ....)

    What will Continental's grand sendoff meal be? No idea, but I'm guessing it'll involve those styrofoam "dinner rolls," an entree that smells like burnt rubber, and that watery coffee that always ends up on your lap whenever someone walks to the bathroom.

    But since it is an occasion for nostalgia, let's reminisce a little. What was your worst airline meal? Did you actually have any good ones? (And if so, who was it?)

    I'll share my worst airline-food experience.

    I was flying a Pakistani airline in the mid-90s from Frankfurt to New York City. There was a very rotund (and floridly bad-tempered) German man in front of

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  • Homemade Halloween Treats

    Store-bought candy is cool, but nothing beats these recipes for homemade Halloween sweets

    Whether you're filling costumed kids' goodie bags or hosting a grown-up bash, homemade snacks take Halloween to a whole new level. And the good news is that beyond a thermometer and a few tricks of the trade, making your own Halloween confections doesn't require any special equipment or professional experience. Here, we've gathered recipes and tips for making old-fashioned sweets like brittle, bark, and caramel apples, plus three homespun takes on store-bought classics-Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Almond Joy bars, and York Peppermint Patties. Best of all, some of these you can make with your little goblin's help.

    Candy-making tips:

    • Avoid Crystallization

    Several of our homemade candy recipes involve cooking sugar to make caramel, and there are a few helpful techniques to keep in mind. Start with a heavy-bottomed pan and be sure to use tools that can withstand high

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  • Butternut squash polenta

    It's one of those words that gets funnier the more you say it, right? Like "cow." (Try it: Cow. Cow cow cow.) Or "shirt." Or "bunny."

    Now that winter squash has come into season where I live, lucky me, I have ample opportunity to enjoy squash, both the word and the actual, delicious, nutritious vegetable. Butternut squash is one of those "deciding ingredients" for me, as in, if a dish on a restaurant menu contains butternut squash, that pretty much decides what I'm going to order.

    Squash recipes I'm excited to dig into this year include these moist, delicious cupcakes you can make with butternut squash (courtesy of Locanda Verde's Karen DeMasco, who baked them for the Epicurious Entertains New York City Cooking with Kids event earlier this month), a hearty-looking Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash soup recipe just posted today on Serious Eats, and my all-time favorite squash recipe, Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew. And maybe this Butternut Squash

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  • What to Drink When You're Not Drinking

    I've decided to take a sabbatical from drinking alcohol for the next month. It's not that I drink all that much-I generally have a moderate one-to-two glasses of wine a night. But lately, I've been drinking a bit more than I would like due to birthdays and dinner parties. The result: I feel tired, have less money in my pocket, and I'm taking in more calories than I should. So I've come up with three ways to make it through the next 30 days alcohol-free:

    1. When out with friends I will drink a seltzer with fruit juice or have a fancy mocktail.

    2. At home, I will up a batch of mocktails to have on hand when I crave a glass of wine.

    3. I will meet friends at coffee houses instead of bars.

    Lemon Verbena Soda

    Epicurious | December 2005

    Adapted from Clio, Boston, MA

    Yield: Serves 4

    This refreshing, slightly sweet soda is one of several kinds that Erin O'Shea, sommelier at Clio, in Boston, pairs with chef Ken Oringer's exciting food as part of the

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  • In Praise of the Sunday Bagel

    There are fewer more hallowed New York City traditions than the Sunday morning bagel, usually accompanied by the Sunday crossword puzzle and either an extra-spicy Bloody Mary or fresh-squeezed orange juice.

    But here's where I have something to confess. I kind of like tofu cream cheese. I hated it at first, but now I've come to enjoy the somewhat odd, just slightly sour taste of the cream-cheese substitute (though it can vary widely from brand to brand and store to store). So my Sunday bagel of choice? An everything bagel with scallion cream cheese or scallion tofu.

    People, naturally, vary widely in their bagels of choice. I had a friend from L.A. who once offered to bring the bagels to an early-morning road trip and then left me agog when he pulled out cinnamon-raisin bagels with cream cheese and grape jelly. My father always makes sure he always buys at least one or two pumpernickel bagels for himself in a dozen, which no one else will touch. He'll toast them and eat them

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