Blog Posts by Sarah McColl, Shine staff

  • Caramel Cake Mastered, Courtesy of The Lee Brothers

    Caramel cake is a Southern tradition, the likes of which "can reduce a fully grown adult to tears," Matt and Ted Lee write in their newest cookbook, The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen. And they don't mean tears of joy. It's the toffee-sweet icing that's the trouble.

    "It has to be just the right temperature," they explain. "Warm enough to be pourable, but cool enough that, when you work it around the cake with an icing spatula, it sets in place." When the icing sets, magic happens; it develops a toothsome, fudge-like crystalline texture. It's also where things can go wrong. If the icing sets too fast, you'll rip apart your cake layers as you attempt to spread it. If it doesn't cool fast enough, you'll have caramel icing running all over the counters. Freaked out yet? Don't be.

    It's likely the reputation of a purportedly untameable caramel icing that's kept this cake a Southern confection, rather than a coast-to-coast classic. But when Matt and Ted hand over crystal clear directions, a

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  • DIY Classics: Homemade Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups

    Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ulysses Press/Judi Swinks Photography

    We don't make a habit of looking at the ingredients lists of some of our favorite snack foods. We're well aware there's unpronounceable, death and disaster-causing gook in there, but look, we really, really love Cheez-Its. "Classic Snacks Made From Scratch" takes all our beloved greasy-fingered treats (Fritos, Pop-Tarts, and Hostess Cupcakes, we're looking at you) and makes them from perfectly normal, find-it-in-the-grocery-store, easy to pronounce ingredients.

    Make no mistake: author and culinary whiz Casey Barber isn't out to make these treats low-cal. She's an enthusiastic cook and self-described "DIY fanatic" who loves the mad scientist deconstruction of factory-produced treats. "It's supremely gratifying to nail a recipe and find those flavors that have such strong emotional connections," she writes,"but without preservatives or weird chemical aftertaste."

    Let's look at one of our favorite school lunch sweets, Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups. You won't find a single strawberry in the Read More »from DIY Classics: Homemade Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups
  • Pi Day Means We're Baking this Coconut Key-Lime Pie



    While some celebrate mathematics on March 14, Pi Day, bakers everywhere celebrate pie.  No knocks on the number 3.14, known more formally by the 16th letter of the Greek alphabet π (are you having scary high school flashbacks yet?), but we think our approach is a little more fun, and more delicious by far.

    In this recipe, a classic Key lime pie gets a double dose of coconut. A rich coconut milk custard filling is crowned with a cloud of whipped cream, then sprinkled with flakes of golden, toasted coconut. We call that infinite deliciousness.

    Coconut Key Lime Pie
    from Everyday Food
    Serves 8

    1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
    1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
    1/3 cup fresh or bottled Key lime juice
    7 large egg yolks
    1 Easy Press-In Pie Crust, made with graham crackers, or a store-bought graham cracker crust
    2 cups cold heavy cream
    2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
    3 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk togetherRead More »from Pi Day Means We're Baking this Coconut Key-Lime Pie
  • Sift Dry Baking Ingredients: 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.

    Truth be told, I never do it. Sifting flour, baking soda, and baking powder feels like a finicky extra step in the baking process. But am I  doing harm to my cakes and muffins? Turns out, yeah.

    Two-time Food Network Cupcake Wars winner Hollis Wilder sympathizes with my resistance. "Sifting is a pain because it adds an extra step to the recipe, especially when you can't wait to get the finished product in your hot little hands. But it's a must if you want a light and airy product. There are no shortcuts to perfection!"

    Perfection, in this case, is a tender crumb created by aerating the dry

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  • Amazing Egg Recipes from the Shine Supper Club

    We love eggs, but poor things don't exactly get their due. They show up for dinner when there's nothing else to make, appear on so many Saturday mornings without asking for much in return, and do excellent background work for cakes and custards. But what better kitchen stalwart than the egg, a symbol of life, to kick off the season of fresh starts, green shoots, and fragrant, warmer air? Grab your whisk, ramekins, and your frying pan. This month, the Shine Supper Club is putting the ultimate kitchen pinch hitter in the spotlight. Join us by sharing your favorite egg recipes. Here's how:



    1. Write a blog post telling us about your favorite egg recipe by Sunday 11:59PM PST, March 24th. Be sure to include a photo and a recipe.


    2. Mention and link to the Shine Supper Club in your post: https://shine.yahoo.com/supper-club/


    3. Tweet @YahooShine with a link to your post and include the hashtag #shinesupperclub. Aren't on Twitter? Email the link to shine_sarahmccoll at yahoo.com. We will

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  • National Meatball Day is the Perfect Excuse to Make One of These Recipes

    We feel a little torn about these silly food holidays. On the one hand, who needs an entire month commemorating frozen food? And in the other palm is a deep appreciation for nationally sanctioned encouragement to consume our favorite foods. Thank you, National Meatball Day. We're thinking outside the pasta box with ten recipes that will speak to your meatball mood, whether you're longing for "Lady and the Tramp"-style tradition or the recipe that will keep you from calling Szechuan Delight (again).


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  • Rinsing Quinoa: 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.

    You're already a quinoa expert, thanks to its Jennifer Lawrence-like ascent to "it" grain. You know, for instance, that the part we eat is actually a seed, that it's pronounced KEEN-wah (not kee-NOH-ah), and that it's been a high-protein mainstay in South America since long before Machu Picchu. You might even have more advanced-level knowledge, like a preference for the red variety (word). But do you know why we're supposed to rinse it and, more importantly, if we really have to?

    Quinoa has a natural bitter coating of saponins, which dissolve when quinoa is rinsed. Some people are more

    Read More »from Rinsing Quinoa: Do I Really Have to Do That?
  • Share Your Favorite Egg Recipe with the Shine Supper Club

    Grab your whisk, ramekins, and your frying pan. This month, the Shine Supper Club is putting the ultimate kitchen pinch hitter in the spotlight. We love eggs, but poor things don't exactly get their due. They show up for dinner when there's nothing else to make, appear on so many Saturday mornings without asking for much in return, and do excellent background work for cakes and custards. But what better kitchen stalwart than the egg, a symbol of life, to kick off the season of fresh starts, green shoots, and fragrant, warmer air? Join the Supper Club by sharing your favorite egg recipes. Here's how:

    1. Write a blog post telling us about your favorite egg recipe by Sunday 11:59PM PST, March 24th. Be sure to include a photo and a recipe.
    2. Mention and link to the Shine Supper Club in your post: https://shine.yahoo.com/supper-club/
    3. Tweet @YahooShine with a link to your post and include the hashtag #shinesupperclub. Aren't on Twitter? Email the link to shine_sarahmccoll at yahoo.com. We

    Read More »from Share Your Favorite Egg Recipe with the Shine Supper Club
  • Meet Serena of Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch, Our Shine Supper Club Winner

    Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch is the mastermind behind this month's winning Supper Club recipe: a swoony, rich, and perfectly classic chocolate cake (recipe below). Peek inside Serena's mind (and refrigerator!) as she answers our usual questions.

    What ingredient are you currently obsessed with?

    My current obsession is definitely strawberries, ever since the arrival of the first bright red berries of the season! Most of my last week has been spent day dreaming of new ways to use the juicy little berries.

    Favorite food memory?
    Breakfast with Granny. She would spend the morning fixing whatever you requested which many times was between 3-4 different meals, dependent on how many people were in the house. My usual request were puff pancakes or pancakes with blueberry sauce. When I was in about 4th grade she made me puff pancakes almost every day for a year, I never did become sick of them. She also made everything from scratch and was the biggest inspiration for my blog.

    What's your go-to

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  • Trussing a Chicken: Do I Really Have To Do That?

    This cook believes in trussing her chicken...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.

    Julia Child does it. Michael Ruhlman does it. Alice Waters does it. But do we really have to? As we dug into this, it felt more like we were out to solve the riddle of the sphinx rather than answer a relatively straight-forward cooking question. Jesus, we just want some chicken!

    Let's start with the basics. Here's what trussing can do:

    1. Trussing makes for a lady-like looking bird (if you're into that).
    "Trussing serves purely aesthetic purposes," as blogger Sarah Puleo of Betty Cupcakes told us. "It keeps the chicken legs from being splayed apart and the wings tucked under the bird. Put it

    Read More »from Trussing a Chicken: Do I Really Have To Do That?

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