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  • Create Edible Art at Home with "Modern Art Desserts"

    by Esther Sung


    If I had to name one cookbook I was most looking forward to this year, it would be Caitlin Freeman's Modern Art Desserts: Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Confections, and Frozen Treats Based on Iconic Works of Art (Ten Speed Press). My excitement goes back to last summer when I beelined it to the Blue Bottle Cafe inside SFMOMA and ordered a slice of Mondrian Cake. After having read about it for awhile, my expectations were high. Let's just say, I became a fan with one bite. And while we may never get around to making desserts inspired by Rosana Castrillo Díaz, Richard Avedon, or Jeff Koons, Modern Art Desserts is undoubtedly a magical cookbook, for what Freeman and her pastry team have managed to create are miniature masterpieces. Perhaps the best part of the book is gaining insight into the process, care, and thought--from conceptualization to execution--that Freeman and her dedicated colleagues all bring.

    I had the opportunity to speak with Freeman about the book and

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  • Ten Things You Didn't Know About Avocados

    by Kemp Minifie

    A Beauty Avocado from the California Avocado CommissionCinco de Mayo is just around the corner and that means a larger than usual mound of avocados will soon appear in your supermarket. Why? Cinco de Mayo is one of the biggest days for avocado consumption during the year. Hello guacamole! Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission shared more interesting facts with me:

    Kemps-kitchen215Kemps-kitchen2151. For 10 to 15 years the Super Bowl and Cinco de Mayo played tag with each in the statistics department for top consumption of avocados, but in 2012 the Fourth of July beat them both! Who knew guacamole was so popular on Independence Day? It's yet another example of the transformation of an ethnic ingredient into a mainstream one for all Americans. And avocados aren't just eaten as guacamole! Check out these possibilities in the database.

    2. Consumption of avocados is increasing with all the major holidays, including St. Patrick's Day. Avocados are green, after all. Now try to fathom this

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  • Michael Pollan Gets 'Cooked'

    by Tanya Steel

    Michael Pollan's This week marks a boon time for those erudite and impassioned to expound on the simple truths of how mind, body, and soul are intertwined. To wit:

    After years of investigating the hows, whats, and wheres of America's food industry, Michael Pollan now gets to the crux of the matter in his seventh book, Cooked. Pollan spoke to Epicurious on the "cooking paradox," why the art of cooking is so fundamentally important, and how a pork shoulder barbecue recipe took weeks of mastery.

    In Wednesday's New York Times, Mark Bittman reveals he follows a flexitarian lifestyle, i.e.: "a diet that's higher in plants and lower in both animal products and hyperprocessed foods, the stuff that makes up something like three-quarters of what's sold in supermarkets." Bittman essentially follows Pollan's ethos of "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

    Increasingly, this is how more and more of us are eating, with produce comprising half the meal, as MyPlate encourages.

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  • Give Your Snacks a Makeover

    Megan O. Steintrager

    Ditch the junk food for easy, healthy snack recipes and tips from the chef and nutritionist at Miraval Resort & Spa

    You probably know from experience that a well-timed snack like a banana or a handful of nuts can help get you through a workout or a long day on the job. But snacking can also have a downside: Over the past 30 years, an uptick in snacking frequency-along with increased portion size-has contributed to America's obesity epidemic, according to a large study by Kiyah J. Duffey, Ph.D, and Barry M. Popkin, Ph.D, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who published their findings in the June 2011 issue of PLOS Medicine.

    What's more, many packaged snacks are loaded with so much salt, sugar, and fat that they're addictive, claim some experts, as reported in Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Moss' new book Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. In other words, the more of these unhealthy, empty-calorie-laden foods we eat, the more

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  • Top Ten Places to Hide Your Snacks

    by Kemp Minifie

    Hiding Oreos in the Bran FlakesBranFlakesOreos
    As human beings we like to think we're generous, but if we're really honest with ourselves, most of us have to admit to secretly stashing favorite food treats, so that when the time's right or the craving hits, we'll have it all to ourselves. I polled a wide swath of family, friends, acquaintances, and co-workers to come up with these ten secret spots.

    1. Bottom Shelf of The Refrigerator: This might not sound like a hiding place at first, but it's got all the right qualities: it's dark and not easily visible unless you bend way over or get down on one knee, which is much more effort than most people exert when looking in the fridge for something to eat. My vice is chocolate--bittersweet bars, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies--and that's where I stash it. Unfortunately for me, chocolate also happens to be a favorite of my husband and daughters. When our girls were tots, I hid my hoard in the freezer out of their reach. That worked until my husband

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  • The Second Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids' "State Dinner" Launches

    by Tanya Steel

    Following last year's hugely successful Healthy Lunchtime Challenge & Kids' "State Dinner," Epicurious is again teaming up with First Lady Michelle Obama, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Department of Agriculture to host a nationwide recipe challenge for children, ages 8 to 12, to promote healthy eating among America's youth. The contest kicked off Wednesday and ends Sunday, May 12th.

    We are looking for original, delicious, affordable recipes that first and foremost are healthy and nutritious, adhering to MyPlate guidelines. The recipes created by the kids should comprise fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. One winner from each of the 50 states and U.S. Territories will be awarded a trip to Washington, D.C., and the opportunity to attend the Kids' "State Dinner," hosted by Mrs. Obama at the White House this summer. A selection of winning recipes will most likely be served at the event.


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  • Ask Kemp: Dairy-Free Buttermilk, Biscuit Secrets, and Lime Frosting

    by Kemp Minifie

    MuffinsWe debuted the new Ask Kemp column last month with two rather meaty questions in the hopes of getting a lot more reader queries spanning a wide range of cooking topics. You came through with some good ones and thankfully, they weren't all about meat.

    Q: @jkonecky asks: "What's a good dairy-free substitute for buttermilk?"

    Kemp: I haven't had a lot of experience with dairy-free baking, but I know someone who has: my former Gourmet magazine colleague and expert baker, Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez. I knew Eriquez had had great success with dairy-free birthday cakes. Eriquez's recommendation? Substitute 1 cup soy milk combined with 1 tablespoon white vinegar or fresh lemon juice for every cup of buttermilk. This is essentially the same procedure dairy devotees use when they've only got milk and need buttermilk in a recipe: add 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk.

    But the soy milk got me thinking about people with soy allergies.

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  • 'Chicks,' a 'Girls' Parody in Peeps

    by Sara Bonisteel

    Eastertime means Peeps time, and over here at Epicurious, playing with the edible chicks and bunnies is our business. Last year we created A Peep of Thrones, and this year, we've decided to pay homage to Lena Dunham's TV show, Girls, with the marshmallowy holiday staples.

    See more from Epicurious:
    Make Your Own Marshmallows
    Easter Desserts
    Homemade Easter Candy
    Easter Recipes

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  • Easy Easter Appetizer: Nut and Spice Crusted Goat Cheese

    by Kemp Minifie

    Spiced Goat CheeseI'm not one to fall for the cute factor often, but Dan Torrison's multi-flavored Goat Cheese Nubbins totally captivated me one recent Saturday morning, when I walked a mere four blocks to my little local farmers' market, rather than take the subway to the big daddy Greenmarket at Union Square in New York City. Torrison's stand, Rabbits' Run Farm, was a natural draw. In my mind, rabbits = childhood pet = chocolate Easter bunnies. But it's not rabbits or chocolate bunnies he sells. It's goat cheese.

    I spied Torrison's Nubbins (in photo above), a colorful mosaic of short rolls of fresh (mild) goat cheese coated in various combinations of seeds, herbs, and spices, right away. It's such a great--and simple--idea I wished I'd thought of it myself.

    To his credit, Torrison readily admits inspiration from the description of Bernard Soreda's Perigord goat cheeses in Steve Jenkins' The Cheese Primer. Soreda arranges small hand-rolled balls of goat cheese in rows,

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  • Easter Traditions Around the World

    Laura Neilson

    An international guide to Easter traditions, including customs in Germany, Guyana, Peru, and Poland

    n the United States, Easter is associated with bunnies, egg hunts, and chocolate candies, not to mention a resplendent Easter brunch. But around the globe, the weekend between Good Friday and Easter Monday is observed in a number of ways, with different festivities, customs, and traditional dishes. From taking to the streets with buckets of water to whipping up omelets made with thousands of eggs, here's a glance at how other nations and cultures celebrate this lively holiday.

    Laura Neilson is a New York City-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in ReadyMade, Time Out New York, Every Day With Rachael Ray, Chow, and Cool Hunting.

    See more from Epicurious:
    Make a Better Roast Chicken
    Best Burger Recipes
    5 Common Recipe Mistakes
    Easy Family Dinners
    25 Sandwich Makeovers
    How to Eat Your Spring Veggies

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