Blog Posts by YumSugar

  • 5 Chilled Soups to Temper the Heat

    YumSugarYumSugarSource: 5 Chilled Soups to Temper the Heat

    I'm a bit of a soup fiend, so I devour it year round, even when temperatures spike. My secret? Instead of tucking in to a piping hot brothy bowl, I turn to luxuriously creamy chilled soups in warm weather, which provide much needed internal air conditioning. Additionally, all of these cool creations can be made ahead (excluding garnish) and enjoyed throughout the week; as an added bonus, in many cases the flavors bloom and mellow when sent to the fridge to chill out overnight.

    • No-Cook Avocado and Corn Soup: This creamy crab-topped avocado soup can easily be adapted for vegans by omitting the briny crab garnish, making it a versatile dinner party appetizer.
    • Classic Gazpacho: Try this nuanced take on classic Spanish gazpacho from lauded chef José Andrés. Bonus: leftovers can be transformed into a superlative bloody mary, with the addition of 3 simple ingredients (hint, one is vodka).
    • Julia Child's Potage Parmentier:
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  • 7 Essential Pieces of Canning Equipment

    Source: 7 Essential Pieces of Canning Equipment

    Making jams and pickles involves more than just throwing the contents into a glass jar; if you plan to store the canned item for several months, the cans must be processed using a method of suctioning the seal of the cans to preserve the jar's contents. But before attempting any recipe that calls for canning, it's important that you have all the equipment on hand, especially if you are making jam or pickles for the very first time. Here are the essential items you'll need and the purposes they serve:

    • Fine mesh sieve or chinois: If you are making jam and need to strain the fibrous skin and seeds of the cooked fruit, a fine mesh sieve or a chinois is the easiest way strain the juice. The Williams-Sonoma chinois strainer, pestle, and stand ($70) is a jam-making life-changer. Simply place a bowl under the nifty stand, and with the other hand, use the pestle to extract every last drop of cooked fruit juice from the chinois.
    • Jar
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  • 5 Ways to Get a Caffeine Fix Camping

    Source: 5 Ways to Get a Caffeine Fix Camping

    There's nothing like the great outdoors . . . with a latte in hand. Unfortunately, having that combination when you head out on your next camping adventure isn't really an option. But if you can handle the kitchen and the campfire, you can surely have your caffeine the next time you hit the trails. With a few creative, shortcut, or back-to-basics methods, you won't be yawning or missing that perfectly foamed milk.

    • The French method: A French press is a quick method for brewing smaller amounts of coffee. Aside from the press, all you need is the coffee itself (medium grind) and a pot to boil water in. Try this GSI Outdoors Java Press ($110) or get personal with a Bodum Travel Coffee Press ($40) that you can take with you on the trails.
    • Perk up with a percolator: A campfire percolator like this Coleman Enamelware Percolator ($25) is the most common way to enjoy caffeine while camping. It is fairly easy to use over a campfire,
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  • Essential Outdoor Cookware that Beginner Campers Should Pack

    Source: Essential Outdoor Cookware That Beginner Campers Should Pack

    For newbies to camping, the key to setting up for satisfying fireside meals is preparation and packing the right "gear," as camping enthusiasts like to call it. While camping is an excellent opportunity to experiment with clever kitchen hacks, make sure to include these items on your packing list. That way, you won't forget the essentials (like matches, a can opener, and a pot to boil water), as well as those critical items that make brisk, early mornings infinitely more bearable (like a coffee percolator).

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  • Killer App: Marinated Goat Cheese and Olives

    Source: Killer App: Marinated Goat Cheese and Olives

    What do you do when you're entertaining for a crowd, don't have a lot of time, can't spend a boatload of money, and still want to impress everyone? If you're me, then you pull the oldest trick in the culinary book: a simple appetizer of fresh goat cheese and cured olives, bathed in an olive oil marinade of thyme, lemon zest, and freshly-ground pepper.

    It's literally the easiest hors d'oeurve in the world, but the thing is, guests always go nuts for it - and then they proceed to ask how it's made. Honestly, I usually hesitate to divulge the answer, for fear that I'll be busted for being the laziest host ever, but now the secret's out.


    More from YumSugar: Killer App: Mushrooms Stuffed With Artichoke and Spinach Dip


    Goat Cheese With Olives, Lemon, and Thyme
    From Gourmet Quick Kitchen

    Ingredients

    1/2 cup assorted olives (I used a mix of dry-cured gaeta olives and marcona almonds)
    3 fresh thyme sprigs
    3 tablespoons

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  • Buns Aplenty: Ways to Use Up Leftover Hamburger and Hot Dog Buns

    Source: Buns Aplenty: Ways to Use Up Leftover Hamburger and Hot Dog Buns

    Those darn leftover hamburger and hot dog buns! After every grilling party, it seems like they're fated to be tossed in the corner of the pantry only to be discovered several weeks later as a gnarly, green science experiment. Don't let this happen to your buns. While you can always freeze them for the next grilling party, it might not be an option if the buns are crushed and misshapen. If you're looking for ways to waste not, check out our tips for using up those leftover buns.

    • Sub for breakfast toast: Toast the buns for an egg, cheese, and bacon sandwich or to make kid-approved cinnamon toast. If you want to get fancy, use a hamburger bun in place of an English muffin in a poached egg and prosciutto breakfast sammy.
    • Pack a sandwich for lunch: Cold cuts taste great paired with soft, spongy buns. However, if the buns were left out and are borderline stale, grill them up in a panini. Opt for
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  • Kitchen Hack: Use a Bench Scraper to Transfer Chopped Food

    Source: Kitchen Hack: Use a Bench Scraper to Transfer Chopped Food

    Unless you went to culinary school or are an amateur pizzaiolo, a bench scraper like this OXO version ($10) might not frequent your kitchen counter - yet! While traditionally, this dull-edged, rectangular piece of stainless steel is used to portion out bread dough and scrape off persnickety pieces of dried pastry dough from countertops, there's an even more practical way to implement this tool.

    Bench scrapers are indispensable when it comes to streamlining kitchen prep; I use mine on a near-daily basis, to neatly transfer chopped vegetables, fruit, or meat from the cutting board to an awaiting pan. After prepping an ingredient, hold the dough scraper with the left hand, so the blade end touches the cutting board at a 30-degree angle. Slide the dough scraper across the board, sweeping the food onto the top in one fluid motion. Use your right hand to help brush any errant items onto the scraper. As you move to the

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  • Trendspotting: Kouign-Amann

    Source: Trendspotting: Kouign-Amann

    Ever heard of the kouign-amann? If you haven't, you will soon.

    This pastry emerged out of obscurity last Fall to make a splash at various spots in San Francisco. But given its rapid growth over the past year, it's likely it'll be in bakeshops across the country sooner rather than later.

    The kouign-amann (pronounced "queen a-mahn") hails from Brittany, France; think of it as a cross between a croissant and a palmier, with layer after layer of buttery, flaky pastry on the inside, yet caramelized with ever-so-slightly-burnt sugar on the outside. Our favorite thus far, which comes from Oakland's Starter Bakery, also comes in a chocolate version and a seasonal fruit version in addition to the classic rendition.

    The Breton pastry's hit California big time - it's available at Starbucks-owned La Boulange locations, as well as Whole Foods Markets in Northern California and at Thomas Keller's Bouchon in Beverly Hills. But it's also big in Salt Lake City,

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  • 8 National Road Trip Food Stops Worth Braking For

    YumSugarYumSugarSource: 8 National Road Trip Food Stops Worth Braking For

    Sure, travel snacks are great when you're hitting the open road for a long weekend, but sometimes, cross-country trips simply aren't conducive to packing coolers full of perishables. That's why we suggest hitting up one of these tried-and-true spots for a spontaneous bite. From Waffle House to Cracker Barrel, here are some of the most reliable road trip food stops.

    • Denny's: Call Denny's multipurpose: it's not just for Grand Slams (although those are a hit). Sugar copy editor Mary White argues it's worthy of multiple stops: "Whenever my sisters, parents, and I go on road trips, we always hit up Denny's for lunch. Not so bad on its own, but on especially long car rides, we'll sometimes find another Denny's for a late-afternoon dessert or coffee stop. The food is reliable, there's something for everyone, and the sit-down meal gets us out of the car. Denny's BLTs and chocolate peanut butter pie will always remind me of family
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  • Killer App: Burrata-Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Olive Tapenade

    Source: Killer App: Burrata-Stuffed Squash Blossoms With Olive Tapenade

    Traditionally, squash blossoms are stuffed with creamy cheese, battered, and deep fried; lovely and enticing in their own right, to be sure, but a girl can only eat so many deep-fried snacks without palate fatigue. So when my best friend brought a basket of these Summer beauties to dinner, alongside a rustic baguette, a tub of creamy burrata, and a jar of pungent olive tapenade, I knew I was in for a real treat.

    I watched in rapt attention as she deftly prepared this quick appetizer, barely able to restrain myself from sneaking a taste of the burrata as it oozed with cream. Mere minutes later, we bit in, and at that moment, I was sold. Not only are squash blossoms extraordinarily beautiful in their raw state, but when shed of their battered exterior, their nuanced delicate flavors truly shine. I imagine I'll be experimenting with raw preparations, until, like tomatoes (another Summer favorite), they're sadly

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