Blog Posts by Sarah McColl, Shine staff

  • Easy Grilled Summer Dinners

    The culinary equivalent of the easy summer sundress is dinner on the grill: throw it on, and you're good to go. Sure, you can dress it up with sauces and marinades, but when something so simple can be so good, why complicate things? Join the Shine Supper Club this month by sharing your best grilled dinner recipe.



    Here's how:


    1. Tweet @YahooShine a link to an original recipe and photo and include the hashtag #shinesupperclub by Sunday, June 23, 11:59PM PST. Not on Twitter? Email the link to shine_sarahmccoll at yahoo.com. Only one entry per person. We will compile the links in a slideshow on Shine featuring all Supper Club participants.


    2. Finalists will be posted in a poll by 12PM PST Monday, June 24 with voting open to the community until 12PM PST Wednesday, June 26. The winning recipe will be added to the Shine Supper Club winner's circle (with a badge to post on their blog) and featured on the Shine homepage.



    Happy grilling!

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  • Chocolate Ice Cream Makes Everything Better: 9 Recipes to Prove the Point

    In light of National Chocolate Ice Cream Day, we'd like to advance a theory. Add chocolate ice cream to just about anything and its deliciousness is multiplied by infinity. We've tested the theory on coffee, peanut butter cookies, and even beer, and walked away happy. Not convinced? Allow us to present all the (delicious) evidence.

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  • Refrigerate Condiments: Do I Really Have to Do That?

    There are certain labor-intensive recipe phrases that can make the most diligent cook roll her eyes. "Do I really have to do that?" we wonder. Leave your Do I Really Have To Do That? questions in the comments and they shall be answered, saving us all a lot of needless trouble.

    Nothing puts a damper on piping-hot pancakes or salty, golden french fries faster than frigid maple syrup and cold ketchup. Do we really need to refrigerate condiments? We turned to the great sage of all kitchen minutia, America's Test Kitchen, and the makers of many of these dips, sauces, and spreads, for the answers. Surprisingly, we learned that with most condiments, "refrigerate after opening" is a gentle piece of advice rather than a hard and fast food safety rule. Behold our condiment refrigeration cheat sheet.

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  • Dinner on the Grill: Join June's Supper Club

    The culinary equivalent of the easy summer sundress is dinner on the grill: throw it on, and you're good to go. Sure, you can dress it up with sauces and marinades, but when something so simple can be so good, why complicate things? Join the Shine Supper Club this month by sharing your best grilled dinner recipe.

    Here's how:
    1. Tweet @YahooShine a link to an original recipe and photo and include the hashtag #shinesupperclub by Sunday, June 23, 11:59PM PST.  Not on Twitter? Email the link to shine_sarahmccoll at yahoo.com. Only one entry per person. We will compile the links in a slideshow on Shine featuring all Supper Club participants.
    2. Finalists will be posted in a poll by 12PM PST Monday, June 24 with voting open to the community until 12PM PST Wednesday, June 26. The winning recipe will be added to the Shine Supper Club winner's circle (with a badge to post on their blog) and featured on the Shine homepage.

    Happy cooking!

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  • Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Caramelized Onions by Julia's Album

    Mac 'n' cheese is probably the ultimate kid food, but Julia of Julia's Album, our latest Shine Supper Club winner, took home May's prize with a rendition that adults can get excited about. Loaded with bacon, caramelized onions, classic Cheddar and grown-up Gruyere, her's is a dish that remakes a childhood classic for more sophisticated palates (recipe below). We asked Julia to spill on our usual questions:

    What ingredient are you currently obsessed with? 

    Fresh salmon! There are tons of different and easy ways to prepare salmon, and it’s perfect for weeknight dinners on busy days. Plus, salmon is packed with high-quality proteins and omega-3's, and it will keep you full. My current favorite is a broiled salmon with mango salsa––a great way to use all those mangoes and fresh pineapple that you see at the market this time of the year. Another popular ingredient in my kitchen is cauliflower. I really like using cauliflower-based creamy pasta sauce as a healthy alternative to the traditionalRead More »from Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Caramelized Onions by Julia's Album
  • Washing Chicken: Do I Really Have to Do That?

    There are certain labor-intensive recipe phrases that can make the most diligent cook roll her eyes. "Do I really have to do that?" we wonder. Leave your Do I Really Have To Do That? questions in the comments and they shall be answered, saving us all a lot of needless trouble.

    My mom taught me how to roast a chicken when I moved into my first apartment as the cornerstone of a weekly meal plan. First step: rinse and pat it dry. Cleanliness is next to godliness, right?

    Watch: How to make an easy roast chicken

    Pull that chicken out from under the faucet. This might come as a shock, but the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), a division of the USDA, advises against washing raw poultry, beef, pork, lamb or veal before cooking. Why? Some bacteria on the chicken can be dislodged with a little water and will splash all over your sink, counters, and nearby dish rack as you rinse. This is called cross-contamination, and it freaks the FSIS out for good reason; it's a great way to get food

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  • What Does a $100,000 Burger Taste Like?

    7 Train Caramelized Green Curry Burger, 2012 Build a Better Burger winnerWhat does a $100,000 prize-winning burger taste like? For Erin Evenson, who took home a giant check as the blue ribbon champ of Sutter Home's 2012 Build a Better Burger contest, it's cooked up from family memories and an ode to New York City's No. 7 train.

    "This is my burger of a lifetime," the Brooklyn-based cook told Yahoo! Shine. "It kind of ties together my family [and] my love of New York City. When I finally put it all together I thought, 'That'll work.'"

    Watch: The Most Creative Burger in America

    Evenson, who grew up with parents who loved to forage for food, often ate watercress as a kid. "I always thought it was the absolute best watercress in the world until I moved to New York about 10 years ago. I went to a Thai restaurant in Woodside, Queens, and I had a fried crispy watercress salad there. And that just changed my mind entirely. 'OK, this is watercress.'"  Evenson now jokingly calls the 7 train that runs to Queens "The Crispy Watercress Express."

    Her winning burger recipe

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  • Using an Electric Mixer: Do I Really Have to Do That?

    There are certain labor-intensive recipe phrases that can make the most diligent cook roll her eyes. "Do I really have to do that?" we wonder. Leave your Do I Really Have To Do That? questions in the comments and they shall be answered, saving us all a lot of needless trouble.

    One of my friends is, as she admits herself, not much of a baker. So when on a whim recently she decided to bake a citrus pound cake but found herself without an electric mixer, she opted to squish together her butter and sugar with her hands. It wasn't a proud (or pretty) moment, but it did the trick, and her cake turned out just fine. But it made me wonder (surely, you see where this is going): do we really have to use an electric mixer at all?

    Our detail-oriented friends at America's Test Kitchen said, yes, yes we did. And it all comes down to one of our favorite foods: Butter.

    Creaming room temperature butter –– the kind that yields completely to pressure –– makes a flat cake. (OK, now that you mention it, my

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  • Do I Really Have to Do That: The Pasta Edition

    There are certain labor-intensive recipe phrases that can make the most diligent cook roll her eyes. "Do I really have to do that?" we wonder. Leave your Do I Really Have To Do That? questions in the comments and they shall be answered, saving us all a lot of needless trouble.

    Lots of questions come up when we're cooking pasta. How much salt should I add? Should I add a glug of olive oil? Do I really have to reserve some pasta water before draining? We answer all carbohydrate quandaries today with the help of the editors at America's Test Kitchen in our master pasta edition of Do I Really Have to Do That?

    Related: Fabio's perfect pasta

    DO use more water than you think you need.
    For every pound of pasta, you'll need four quarts of water. "This amount of water may seem excessive to some, but pasta contains tons of starch, and if cooked in too little liquid, the noodles will stick together." Ever had a pot of pasta foam up and boil over? That's a sure sign you didn't use enough water.

    DO add

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  • Gluten-Free Week: 5 Weeknight Gluten-Free Recipes

    Shine's going gluten-free this week for National Celiac Awareness month. We'll be serving up smart ideas, solutions, stories, and of course, super-delicious recipes to help you eat sans gluten––without feeling like you're missing a thing.

    We are a little obsessed with Kristine Kidd's approach to food. Her recipes are unfussy, fast, and fresh, so  when she says they can be whipped up every night of the week, we believe her. Kidd's newest cookbook, Weeknight Gluten-Free, is the like a touchdown-filled playbook for the gluten-avoidant household. There are no weird fake foods here or War and Peace-length ingredients lists. This is real food, made simple. We're sold, but see for yourself.

    Photo: Kate Sears

    Grilled Steak and Fingerlings with Herb Salad


    This is a 21st century upgrade to the classic steak and potatoes dinner.

    Cumin seeds and coriander seeds, 2 1/4 teaspoons each
    Flank steak, 1 1/2 lb (750 g)
    Extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) plus more as needed
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black Read More »from Gluten-Free Week: 5 Weeknight Gluten-Free Recipes

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