Blog Posts by YumSugar

  • The Secrets to Safe Slow Cooking at Home

    Source: The Secrets to Safe Slow Cooking at Home

    Slow cookers - we love them on game day and for lazy weekend meals, but what about the weekdays? Is it safe to leave a slow cooker on and unattended for a full workday? The answer is mostly yes. While there is always a risk that something could go wrong, chances are nothing will as long as you follow these instructions.

    Set it up properly

    • Do not set the slow cooker on a finished wood table. Instead, place it on something more heat safe, like a tiled kitchen counter. To protect the counter or table surface, place a hot pad, trivet, or protective padding underneath the slow cooker.
    • Keep six inches clear from the wall and six inches clear on all sides.
    • Don't let the cord hang over the edge of the table or counter or touch any heated parts of the slow cooker.

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    Choose and follow the right recipe

    • Fill the slow cooker with enough liquid (between half and two-thirds full)
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  • Off the Bookshelf: Apple Crisp Baked Apples

    Source: Off the Bookshelf: Apple Crisp Baked Apples

    Combine two American dessert classics, apple crisp and baked apples, and the result is bound to be noteworthy. At least that was my rationale when deciding which recipes to try first from

    Thankfully, my suspicions were not unwarranted. To add to the apples' virtues, an aroma far more fetching than any perfume wafted out of the oven as they baked. And if - emphasis on if - you have leftovers, they can easily be transformed into an indulgent breakfast by swapping plain yogurt for the ice cream. Or in my case, nestled into a bowl of piping-hot oatmeal. Convinced yet?

    Get the seasonal recipe after the jump.

    More from POPSUGAR Food: The Secrets to Safe Slow Cooking at Home

    Adapted from Cook Taste Savor: 16 Inspiring Ingredients for Delicious Dishes Every Day by Editors of Sunset Books

    Apple Crisp Baked Apples


    1/3 cup (1 1/4 ounces) walnuts, chopped medium fine
    1/3 cup (1 1/4 ounces) pecans, chopped

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  • The Secret to a One Hour Dinner Party

    Source: The Secret to a One Hour Dinner Party

    It's late, you're hungry, and that pile of delivery menus is singing its siren song, but hold up. What if you could whip up a comforting five-course British meal (including a cocktail!) in roughly the same time takeout will arrive on your doorstep? Mission impossible? We think not: provided you've done the shopping ahead of time, this can (and should) be done. Your wallet, taste buds, and dinner companions will thank you.

    A luxuriously rich pot pie seems an unlikely candidate for a fast and easy dinner, but thanks to a few smart tweaks, that fantasy can become reality.

    Adapted from Meals in Minutes by Jamie Oliver
    Chicken Pot Pie


    4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    Olive oil
    1 pat of butter
    1 bunch of scallions
    6 ounces button mushrooms, rinsed
    1 heaping tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
    2 teaspoons English mustard, such as Colman's
    1 generous tablespoon heavy cream
    1 1/4 cups chicken broth
    A few

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  • 6 Ways to Use Every Last Bit of that Apple

    Source: 6 Ways to Use Every Last Bit of That Apple

    All too often, apple skins and cores get tossed in the trash when making an apple pie or another treat. While composting scraps is the lesser of the waste evils, here's how you can incorporate every part of the apple with these recipe ideas.

    • Skin: Sure, you can buy apple chips or dehydrated apple slices at the supermarket, but why not try dehydrating apples at home? After peeling the apples, coat the pieces with a light glaze of simple syrup and bake at a low temperature for a few hours, until crisp.
    • Flesh: Make homemade apple sauce or toss paper thin apple slices in a Waldorf salad. For an all-American dessert, try Michelle Obama's apple cobbler. Its slow cooking time caramelizes the apples until they practically dissolve upon bite.
    • Core: Use an apple corer to cleanly remove the seeds and fibrous center of each apple. Store them in an airtight baggie in the fridge until you have enough for a full recipe. Because apples
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  • Make the Most of Your Slow Cooker

    Source: Make the Most of Your Slow Cooker

    What's not to love about crockpot cooking? After all, you can put just about everything from Cuban chicken to beef chili in the slow cooker, then set it and forget it (until you're hungry, that is). As straightforward as a slow cooker sounds, however, there are a few tips to bear in mind that guarantee you'll yield the best results.

    • Take advantage of the slow cooker to cook the cheapest cuts of meat - shoulder, shank, and ribs. Braising them over time will result in a tender piece of protein.
    • Trim proteins of excess fat, which cooks at a faster rate. Vegetables don't cook as quickly, so layer them at the bottom of the appliance, closest to the heat source.
    • To add more depth of flavor to your meal, brown your meat in a skillet first. Then deglaze the pan with a little bit of stock, wine, or water, and add those browned bits of flavor into your slow cooker, too.
    • For a thicker sauce, dredge your meat in a little bit of flour before
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  • The Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake, Perfected

    Source: The Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake, Perfected

    Often it's the most classic of recipes that take the longest to develop. Case in point: the chocolate chip cookie cake. A few months back, my co-worker requested it for his birthday, and I quickly rose to the challenge. The first batch was chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside, but my pie tin wasn't the right vessel, and the cookie cake sunk in the center.

    For the second batch, I used a pizza pie pan, which I quickly discovered was not the appropriate baking vehicle, as the cookie dough oozed out the sides at an alarming rate, sizzling on the oven floors and smoking up my kitchen.

    But I held firm to the belief that the third go would be the charm. Sure enough, using a proper cookie cake pan and halving my recipe resulted in a perfect chocolate chip cookie cake that my lucky co-workers demolished before noon. So, for many reasons, this recipe was a long time in the making, but I think the end result is well worth the laborious

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  • 6 Signs Your Bottle of Wine's Gone Bad

    Source: 6 Signs Your Bottle of Wine's Gone Bad

    Not all wine is ideal for storing. If it's been in contact with air for too long or has a tainted cork, the liquid inside has turned and should not be consumed. Here are a handful of telltale signs that might indicate a good wine has gone bad.

    • The smell is off. If a wine's aroma is moldy or resembles a musty basement, wet cardboard, or vinegar, it's turned. A heavy raisin smell is another bad signal.
    • The red wine tastes sweet. If the bottle of red wine has the aroma of Port or tastes like dessert wine (even though it is neither of those two things), it has been overexposed to heat, and is therefore undrinkable.
    • The cork is pushed out slightly from the bottle. That's a sign the wine has overheated and expanded within the bottle.

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    • The wine is a brownish color. A brown hue in red wine demonstrates that the liquid is past its prime. White wines that have
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  • POPSUGAR Editors' Picks: Our Favorite Frozen Foods

    POPSUGAR FoodSource: POPSUGAR Editors' Picks: Our Favorite Frozen Foods

    Sept. 10 is National TV Dinner Day, and the date just so happens to land on the cusp of Fall TV premieres. Since we're all guilty of hitting up our freezer for a fast and easy dinner (mac and cheese and Glee do go together), we asked our editors to share their favorite frozen foods so that you can enjoy them in front of your TV, too!

    • Evol Veggie Fajita Burrito Plus Guacamole: I must admit, I love a good frozen burrito . . . even for breakfast. I've always been a fan of Evol burritos, but now that the Veggie Fajita Burrito comes with a packet of guacamole, I love them even more.
    • Amy's Tofu Vegetable Lasagna: Amy's Tofu Vegetable Lasagna tastes cheesy and rich, like normal lasagna - without the actual meat.
    • Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken: I love Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken - totally naughty but I always add broccoli and eat it over TJ's Frozen Organic Brown Rice.
    • Healthy Choice Four Cheese Ziti
    Read More »from POPSUGAR Editors' Picks: Our Favorite Frozen Foods
  • The Basics: How to Make Soft Caramel Candy

    Source: The Basics: How to Make Soft Caramel Candy

    Making caramel may seem like a daunting task, but it is an exhilarating (and delicious) science project that requires a little preparation, patience, and timing. Challenge your candy-making skills by trying out this soft caramel recipe by a chef from the Culinary Institute of America.

    As you cook the caramel on the stove top, you will notice the sugar, butter, and evaporated milk will slowly deepen in color and flavor. Caramel expands and bubbles as it cooks, so use a larger pot to avoid a hot, sticky mess from boiling over. As you cook, your flame should be high enough to allow the caramel to bubble yet low enough to allow the caramel to slowly develop its flavors.

    When you reach the magic number, work quickly and don't delay! Even a few degrees can completely change the texture, consistency, and flavor of a caramel. But use extreme caution, because caramel burns are dangerous and painful; keep a bowl of ice water nearby just in

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  • What to Do with Leftover Grilled Meat

    Source: What to Do With Leftover Grilled Meat

    After a holiday weekend of grilling, chances are you've got some leftovers in the fridge. Brisket, ribs, sausages, and steak aren't exactly ideal leftovers; reheating these dishes can dry meat out, or even worse, make it chewy and inedible. But don't discard your barbecued meats just yet - with a little creativity, you can transform it into a delicious new dish.

    • Quesadillas! Shred or finely chop chicken drumsticks, and layer it between tortillas with cheese.
    • Go to bean town: Add to a pot of simmering beans. Enjoy the beans over rice with hot sauce.

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    • Make a hash. Sauté just-boiled potatoes with onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Throw in the leftover meat, and top with fried eggs.
    • Create a new pizza: If the meat was originally cooked with barbecue sauce, use it as a pizza topping. Try pulled pork with taleggio and arugula, or craft your own take on the classic BBQ
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