Blog Posts by Sarah McColl, Shine staff

  • Adding Vinegar to Egg Poaching Water: 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. Every week, we will track down the answer to that question. Why? Because as much as we love cooking, we're kind of lazy. 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.

    Recently I posted a picture on Instagram of a simple spring dinner (for the Shine Supper Club, natch). "Poached egg?" one of my friends asked. "I still suck at that." I gave her my stupid-easy egg-poaching method, which involves cracking eggs into boiling water, covering the pot, turning off the heat, and fishing them out after three minutes. And then a commenter piped up: "Add a tsp of vinegar to the water. My secret weapon!"

    I've never used vinegar in my poached eggs, even though nearly every recipe echoes this suggestion, and they seem perfectly fine. But would my eggs be transcendent with it?

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  • Spring Vegetables from the Shine Supper Club

    We know you're sick of those kale salads, too. Show us the bright spring veggies you're eating!

    1. Snap a pic of how you're cooking and eating the first spring vegetables. Do it on your blog, Instagram, or Flickr by Sunday 11:59PM PST, April 21st.


    2. Tweet @YahooShine with a link to your post and include the hashtag #shinesupperclub.

    3. The best-looking finalists will be posted in a poll by 12PM PST Monday, April 22 with voting open to the community until 12PM PST Wednesday, April 24. The winning entry 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. Woot!

    Need some inspiration to get you going? Allow us to help:

    Read More »from Spring Vegetables from the Shine Supper Club
  • 6 Steps to "Mad Men" Party Success: A Cheat Sheet

    We're going to make this easy, because we're much too excited to see Joan and Don back in action to fiddle with a bunch of period-appropriate finger foods. Here, 6 steps to make your Sunday night "Mad Men" viewing party a stylish success.

    STEP 1. PARTY-READY PUNCH

    This show has too many snappy one-liners and subtle looks of sexual innuendo for you to be playing bartender all night, shaking cocktails one-by-one. You'll miss all the fun. Mix up one big, potent punch. This one is a dangerous crowd-pleaser and fittingly, is far older than even Bert Cooper.


    RECIPE: PHILADELPHIA FISH HOUSE PUNCH
    from Saveur
    Makes 3 quarts (enough for about 12 cocktails)

    Ingredients
    3 cups dark rum, preferably Jamaican
    1½ cups cognac
    1½ cups simple syrup
    1½ cups fresh lemon juice
    ¾ cup peach schnapps
    1 lemon, thinly sliced crosswise, to garnish

    Combine rum, cognac, syrup, juice, schnapps, and 3 cups chilled water in a large punch bowl; place a large block of ice or ice ring mold in the punch to chill. Float lemon Read More »from 6 Steps to "Mad Men" Party Success: A Cheat Sheet
  • NPR's Cook Your Cupboards Helps Us Use Up All Our Pantry Odds and Ends and We Are So Excited!

    This is genius: NPR started a Tumblr called Cook Your Cupboard, and it's the answer to every strange ingredient you've ever bought on impulse. Users submit photos of the odds and ends from their pantry, and submissions so far include a sack of rice flour, a can of vegetarian haggis, Iranian dried rose petals, bonito flakes, Melba toast, and a bag of candy corn. Then the smarties at NPR take your weird crap and tell you what to cook. It's like a look inside a culinary junk drawer––documenting random ethnic store finds, specialty ingredients from vacay, and items of regrettable whimsy––that winds up magically organized!

    Our cupboards, for one, could use the help. Right now I've got a half-used bag of gluten-free pasta, some dried shredded pork, a cup each of green and yellow split peas, a jar of whole mustard seeds I'll never get through, and a can of smoked trout that seemed like a good idea at the time. These are items I'd be tempted just to throw away––who doesn't want a clean slate

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  • Show Us How You're Eating the First Spring Vegetables

    Spring is here, and we plan to gorge ourselves on asparagus, radishes, rhubarb, pea shoots, carrots, and baby lettuces until we blow-up like a rainbow variation of Violet Beauregarde. Not really. We actually want to graze like a spring-stepped bunny or women at a very ladylike lunch, but you get the idea. We know you're sick of those kale salads, too. Show us the bright spring veggies you're eating!

    1. Snap a pic of how you're cooking and eating the first spring vegetables. Do it on your blog, Instagram, or Flickr by Sunday 11:59PM PST, April 21st.

    2. Tweet @YahooShine with a link to your post and include the hashtag #shinesupperclub.

    3. The best-looking finalists will be posted in a poll by 12PM PST Monday, April 22 with voting open to the community until 12PM PST Wednesday, April 24. The winning entry 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. Woot!

    Need some inspiration to get you going? Allow us to

    Read More »from Show Us How You're Eating the First Spring Vegetables
  • Rinsing and Sorting Lentils: 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. Every week, we will track down the answer to that question. Why? Because as much as we love cooking, we're kind of lazy. 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.

    This week's question is for all the vegetarians, vegans, and legume-lovers in the house. Do we really have to rinse and sort lentils? We took to the Internet, the source of all Truth, to talk to our cook friends on the Twitter. The conversation was kind of funny.

    Related: Veggie burgers that don't taste like cardboard


    Two-thirds of our hugely expansive and very scientific test pool say they don't sort, while one is a model of Girl Scouts-like caution and preparedness. This one ultimately comes down to how much of a gambler you are. Chances are you won't find anything. But do you believe in Read More »from Rinsing and Sorting Lentils: Do I Really Have To Do That?
  • Meet Sara of Average Betty, Our New Shine Supper Club Winner

    Her site's called Average Betty, but this funny lady and video host is a Sara (she's also anything but average).  The creator of the whimsically named Horse Eggs (aka Horseradish Deviled Eggs–recipe below), grabbed the lion's share of votes in this month's Shine Supper Club. Peek inside Sara's mind and refrigerator as she answers our usual questions:

    What ingredient are you currently obsessed with?


    I'd have to say mangoes at the moment. I'm working on a Spicy Mango Shrimp with Macadamia Nuts. But constant obsessions are Idaho potatoes, California avocados and anything SPICY.

    Have a favorite food memory?

    I was at a Mexican restaurant in Studio City that is known to have celebrity regulars. While munching on chips and salsa, a friend leans over and says to me, "Sara, don't look now, but is that George Clooney?" Of course, I looked right away, locked eyes with George Clooney, and was so star-struck, I blew the salsa right off the chip that was headed for my mouth. Embarrassing!

    What's your

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  • Hand-Washing Knives: 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. Every week, we will track down the answer to that question. Why? Because as much as we love cooking, we're kind of lazy. 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.

    This week's question comes from Snow, a reader lucky enough to have a fully-loaded kitchen: “Why can't I put my good knives in the dishwasher?" We turned to Kemp Minifie, Senior Editor at Epicurious.com for the answer.

    Related: The only 4 knives you'll ever need

    "As tempting as it is to stick your knives in an automatic dishwasher—particularly if you've been using them to cut up raw poultry, for instance—don't do it," she cautions. "Even if the manufacturer's instructions said the knives were dishwasher safe, it's not a good idea." Why? "Once you close that dishwasher door and turn it on, you

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  • Rachel Khoo and Her Spring Lamb Stew Are Everything We Love Right Now

    I'll get to the stew recipe in a second. First, I have to admit my consuming crush on Rachel Khoo, British author of The Little Paris Kitchen. Just look at this chick. She's my style ideal, a girly girl made of equal parts flirty Audrey Hepburn bangs, vintage frocks, and commanding red lipstick. Don't you just want to meet her on a warm evening for a Lillet (or three) and talk about lingerie? I do.



    With what can be day-in, day-out dinnertime drudgery, Rachel's approach to food is a reminder of something all too easy to forget: that great cooking can inject style and creativity into the everyday. Put simply: she's an inspiration. Whether it's opening her tiny apartment kitchen to strangers in order to test the recipes for this cookbook or figuring out how best to use the first strawberries of the season, Rachel brings a kind of sensuous, feminine fun to cooking we haven't seen since we first discovered Nigella Lawson. The world could use more of that.

    And now for her lamb stew. Rachel

    Read More »from Rachel Khoo and Her Spring Lamb Stew Are Everything We Love Right Now
  • Vote for this month's Shine Supper Club winner


    We asked cooks everywhere to join the Shine Supper Club by sharing a favorite egg recipe and you delivered with mile-high meringue, protein-packed pancakes, easy Easter egg bakes. We narrowed the field to seven finalists and now it's time to pick a winner. Voting closes Wednesday, March 27 at noon PST. Good luck and good eating!

    See all of this month's Supper Club entries and recipes here.

    Read More »from Vote for this month's Shine Supper Club winner

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