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  • The Easy Way to Eat a Healthier Lunch

    Megan O. Steintrager

    Are you trying to increase energy to get through your workday (or workout), lose weight, or generally improve your diet? Eating lunch-one that's healthy and delicious-is as important as having a wholesome breakfast. "No skipping lunch!" emphasizes Tina Ruggiero, M.S., R.D., author of The Truly Healthy Family Cookbook: Mega-Nutritious Meals That Are Inspired, Delicious and Fad-Free. It's one of your three main opportunities during the day to not only satisfy your appetite but also get crucial nutrients into your body for overall well-being.

    In fact, rather than grabbing a hasty take-out lunch or mindlessly munching away on snacks because "there's no time to eat," the best way to eat better at lunchtime-or at any other meal, for that matter-is to make your own food. Doing so empowers you to make healthier choices, since you control the ingredients and portion sizes. And Ruggiero points out that even if you end up having to eat at your desk, as she does four days

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  • Breakfast, Weight Loss, and Reasons Not to Skip Your Morning Meal

    Megan O. Steintrager

    Quick Omega-3 GranolaQuick Omega-3 GranolaHaving kicked off this Year of Doable Challenges with a call to eat breakfast, I took notice when recent news headlines questioned a long-held belief (much repeated in the media) that starting the day with a good meal can help prevent weight gain and even help with weight loss. In the article Myths Surround Breakfast and Weight in The New York Times, Anahad O'Connor writes that "new research shows that despite the conventional weight-loss wisdom, the idea that eating breakfast helps you lose weight stems largely from misconstrued studies." It turns out the evidence is much more mixed and inconclusive than many people, including me, have come to believe, and that for some people, skipping breakfast might (and that might is important) lead to weight loss.

    SEE MORE: Indulgent, Delicious Breakfasts

    But another line in The Times article jumped out at me: Referring to a study that looked at data from the National Weight Control Registry, which tracks more than

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  • Creamy Blueberry Blintzes for the Yom Kippur Break Fast

    Sarah Kagan

    After a day of fasting on Yom Kippur, it's traditional to mark the end of the holiday with a breakfast-like dairy meal. Gentle and comforting on empty stomachs, dishes such as blintzes fit the bill. This recipe is a classic-a rich, creamy filling enhanced by a topping of lightly sweetened fresh blueberries. The crêpelike wrappers can be made and filled a day ahead, so the only steps that need be done at the last minute are frying the blintzes and making the sauce.

    Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to make blintzes.

    See more from Epicurious:
    How to Make Bagels in Your Own Kitchen
    Heavenly Honey Cake
    Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Honey

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  • DIY Pizza-Making Tips

    Kemp Minifie

    Yikes, how did Labor Day weekend come and go so fast? It was just before Memorial Day that I answered @MeeganLora's tweet about how long to let her pizza dough rise. In the meantime the dough recipe she uses has become a favorite of mine because it's so easy to roll out to make a thin crust. @MeeganLora has been making pizza this summer, too, because she tweeted again with another pizza question. Since everybody loves pizza, and I had a hankering for a homemade pie myself, I couldn't resist answering her. For those of you waiting for other answers, don't fret. I'll tackle them all soon.

    Q: @MeeganLora asks: My favorite pizza now is sautéed fennel and onion with mozz and parm cheese, but I don't know what sauce to use?

    Kemp: You don't need a sauce! You've got all the makings of a delicious pizza right there. That said, I've got a few tips to offer and a few tweaks you might want to try.

    Oil the top of the dough first:
    I learned years ago from Evelyne Slomon, author of

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  • A Comforting Dinner for the First Day of School

    Siobhan Adcock

    Smoky Bacon Mac and CheeseSmoky Bacon Mac and CheeseThe Monday after Labor Day week is the last of the firsts: It's the first day of school for much of the Northeast, and for lots of kids in other parts of the country. My own little ladybug starts preschool on Monday, and when I'm not weeping copious tears about it I'm planning some fun first-day-of-school family rituals that I'm well aware will probably not last past first grade.

    See more: Quick and Easy Dinners

    There may be no more appropriate resource for a special first-night-of-school dinner menu than Oakland's adorable Homeroom, the classroom-themed restaurant devoted to the art and science of mac and cheese. The owners of Homeroom have an appealing new cookbook out this month, The Mac and Cheese Cookbook. Homeroom offers ten or so different mouthwatering variations on mac and cheese at a time, with seasonally rotating sides and desserts, and, most exciting for us grownups, wine and beer pairings to complement all the smoky, cheesy, gooey goodness. The cookbook

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  • Where to Eat During New York Fashion Week

    Patricia Reilly

    Fashion week comes to New York City this week, kicking off a solid month of shows and celebrations as the scene moves on to London, Milan, and then Paris. Among fashion professionals, the long days are famous, the nights occasionally infamous. Now that food and fashion are officially on friendly terms, we asked Matthew Schneier, deputy editor of the powerhouse site, which restaurants and bars here and in Europe's fashion capitals are magnets for the catwalk crowd and continent-hopping party people.

    See more: The Best New Restaurant in New York

    What are the hottest restaurants and bars in New York during this week's Spring 2014 ready-to-wear shows?

    The most buzz I've been hearing is for the East Pole, the new restaurant from Ben Towill and Phil Winser of the Fat Radish, which has just opened on the Upper East Side. That's not exactly ground zero for fashion, though, so I expect the standards will keep going strong: Indochine, the Smile, Bar Pitti, and the

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  • Heavenly Honey Cake for Rosh Hashanah

    Lauren Salkeld

    Heavenly honey cake for Rosh HashanahHeavenly honey cake for Rosh Hashanah

    Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year (which begins this year at sundown on Wednesday, September 4), is a time to reflect on the past and to look toward the future, and honey has long played a significant role in the holiday, symbolizing the hope for a sweet year ahead. While challah and apples are dipped in the sweet nectar, honey is also often baked into a rich, delicious cake. For this year's celebration, we've updated the classic cake, giving it a modern spin.

    It's a perfect ending for a Rosh Hashanah dinner or any special occasion. "This is a cake worth making no matter what religion or belief system you follow," insists Kemp Minifie, resident recipe guru at Gourmet Live and former executive food editor of Gourmet magazine. For Minifie's contemporary take on classic Honey Cake, see the recipe included here. And for more advice from Minifie, see her shopping and prep tips below.

    Find Your Honey:
    "There's so much choice out there in terms of honey," says Minifie. She found Read More »from Heavenly Honey Cake for Rosh Hashanah
  • How to Make Smart Dairy Choices

    Megan O. Steintrager

    I love cheese, ice cream, and yogurt so much that I have long joked about reporting from the Dairy Desk, a whole news bureau devoted to the topic. So not even Ellie Krieger, who I interviewed for this month's Doable Challenge: Make Small Changes for Big Results, could convince me to give up real cheese or the occasional scoop of chocolate moose tracks. Fortunately, she's not trying to. In keeping with her balanced approach to healthy eating, Krieger advises switching to low-fat and fat-free dairy products some of the time, while not giving up full-fat cheeses and other rich dairy products completely. So this week's challenge is to cut calories and saturated fat in the diet by making smart dairy choices. Here are some tips to make it doable:

    Use Full-Fat Sparingly
    : Certain full-fat dairy products, particularly cheeses like blue, Cheddar, and Parmesan, simply don't have a low-fat version that's up to most food lovers' standards in terms of texture and flavor. The

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  • The Best End-of-Summer Cheeses

    Amy Sherman

    Cheeses are seasonal. Milk is more plentiful and richer in the summer and fresh cheese just feels lighter and more in keeping with the season. Also sheep and goats only produce milk in the spring and summer. Since cheese makers freeze the milk or curds you can find fresh cheeses all year round, but enjoy them now while they are truly farm fresh.

    See more: Got Milk? A Portable Milk Taste-Test

    Mozzarella: Made from cow or buffalo milk, it's mild and milky rather than rich and buttery. A classic summer dish with mozzarella is Insalata Caprese.

    Salty dry or creamy feta is perfect crumbled over salads, adding a bright and tangy counterpoint to naturally sweet summer fruit and vegetables. A classic summer dish with feta is Watermelon Feta Salad. Fresh goat cheese Fresh soft goat cheese has a lovely tangy quality and sticks to pasta or spreads easily on bread. In the summer goat's milk can be more floral and grassy, indicative of their diet. Try serving fresh goat cheese

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  • There Are HOW MANY Kinds of Milk?!

    Got milk?Got milk?As far as I know there is no such thing as a milk sommelier, but based on the variety of milk available at my local grocery store, perhaps there ought to be. There seem to be more choices now than ever, and thats a good thing, although it can be a bit confusing. Most conventional milk is from Holstein cows but milk from other breeds are also available as well as many non-dairy sources. Here are some of the milk varieties Ive found recently and my take on each.

    Organic milk
    : What makes milk organic? Organic milk comes from cows fed organic feed and not given synthetic growth hormones or antibiotics. Its possible that organic milk has higher concentrations of some omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, but thats not the only reason to buy it. Organic dairy cows are required to spend time on organic pastures and organic practices are better for the environment too.

    Non-homogenized milk
    : There has been a lot of controversy about homogenization. While some say homogenization is not good for

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