Blog Posts by YumSugar

  • Perfect Pasta Cookery with These Tips from the Pros

    POPSUGAR FoodSource: Perfect Pasta Cookery With These Tips From the Pros

    Think cooking pasta is as simple as dropping a fistful of noodles in a pot of boiling water? That might get the job done, but for truly stellar results, check out these tips from the likes of Mario Batali, Giada De Laurentiis, Michael Symon, and more on the matter.

    • Giada De Laurentiis: Skip the Pot Lid: To make pasta prep less stressful, Giada De Laurentiis recommends cooking pasta without a pot lid; here's why.
    • Michael Symon: The Secret's in the Yolk: While many fresh pasta recipes use a whole egg, Iron Chef Michael Symon prefers to only use egg yolks when making pasta dough. He explained his reasoning for the omission, and offered a handful of other pasta-making pointers.
    • Matt Accarrino: Skip the Oil Slick: Some cooks add a glug of oil to boiling pasta water in hopes that it'll help the pasta from sticking to itself, but SPQR's Matt Accarrino cautions against the practice. Find out his rationale for the omission
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  • 5 No-Cook Breakfasts

    POPSUGAR BeautySource: 5 No-Cook Breakfasts

    Gravlax, banana almond smoothie, "everything bagel" cottage cheese: what do these foods have to do with one other? Well, the fact that they are no-cook breakfasts. When the weather's hot and there's no chance of turning on an oven or stovetop to break the morning fast, fill up on (and cool off with) one of these crave-worthy breakfast options.

    • Summer Fruit Salad With Mint: Boost the flavor of your Summer fruit salad by tossing in mint and lemon zest. To stave off hunger, add Marcona almonds for a filling protein.
    • Cottage Cheese Toast: Flavor cottage cheese with a familiar mix-in like everything bagel spices, then dollop it over toast.
    • Greek Yogurt With Granola and Jam: Greek yogurt is all the rage as of late, but keep things interesting by adding mix-ins like jam or even lemon curd.
    • Homemade Gravlax: Curing your own gravlax couldn't be simpler. It just takes a few days in the fridge, then you're on your way to salty, salmony bliss.
    • Banana Almond
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  • 5 Summer Vegetables and What to Make with Them

    POPSUGAR FoodSource: 5 Summer Vegetables and What to Make With Them

    Now that we're in the swing of all the season's produce, it's time to take advantage of the berries, stone fruits, and Summer vegetables at the farmers market. My current obsession with produce spans far and wide and includes vegetables like zucchini, tomatillos, and okra. Make the most of what you're seeing this season when you keep reading!

    • What to Buy: Zucchini Squash: Zucchini - or courgettes, as they're also known - are abundant and inexpensive right now. Savor their delicate texture and flavor until the end of August.
    • What to Make: Zucchini Crostini: Meld zucchini, feta, dill, and lemon zest together for a Summer salad that takes just minutes.
    • What to Buy: Corn: Ears of white and yellow corn, plump with sweet baby kernels, are ripe and ready for the picking. Once they've been picked, they should be consumed as soon as possible.
    • What to Make: Mexican Street-Food-Style Grilled Corn: Mimic Mexico's famed elote asado by
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  • How to Season to Taste

    Source: How to Season to Taste

    Season to taste: three simple words that can, and often do, mean the difference between a bland and a boisterous dish, but what does it mean exactly? It may seem like a cop-out directive added by lazy recipe writers, but truly, even if a recipe does not explicitly call this step out, it's best practice to include it in your cooking process.

    In an ideal world, a recipe would turn out the same regardless of who's at the stove, the ingredients and tools they used, and their interpretation of instructions, but that's simply not the case. While most foods should not taste explicitly salty, tart, hot, or oily, the inclusion of small amounts of ingredients with these qualities can take a dish from bland to exceptional in a flash.

    More from POPSUGAR Food: 5 Summer Vegetables and What to Make With Them

    Try this general plan of action the next time a dish falls flat.

    • Taste as you're cooking: This may seem obvious, but half the battle to seasoning food properly
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  • The Ultimate Ice Cream Social Menu

    POPSUGAR FoodSource: The Ultimate Ice Cream Social Menu

    Here's a fun idea for a party that both children and adults will enjoy: an ice cream social! This traditional gathering, which dates back to the 18th century, is a great way to get people together. It makes a delicious event during the Summer when the weather is hot, so why not throw one now before the kids head back to school? From scrumptious sauces to marvelous mix-ins, here's the perfect menu for the ultimate ice cream bar.

    • Vanilla Ice Cream: There's nothing like classic vanilla ice cream. Make it from scratch, and everyone will be delighted with the smooth, creamy taste. If the guest list is large, then you might want to make two batches.
    • Hot Fudge Sauce: Ice cream purists will be happy with a bowl of vanilla ice cream that's topped with a decadent hot fudge sauce. This fudge also doubles as a festive favor!
    • Honey Whipped Cream: Pillowy and light honey whipped cream is incredibly easy to make. Adjust the sugar level based on
    Read More »from The Ultimate Ice Cream Social Menu
  • 5 Ways to Use Up Leftover Watermelon

    POPSUGAR FoodSource: 5 Ways to Use Up Leftover Watermelon

    It's a common occurrence to get overly ambitious and buy more than guests can possibly eat, usually when it comes to epic holiday barbecues. If you find yourself in a similar boat, especially with that big watermelon that no one got around to after the chips and dip, here are five ways to use up the leftovers of this crisp, juicy fruit.

    • Popsicles: Stay cool with these watermelon popsicles. They also have layers of blueberry juice and lemonade; however, feel free to just make them pretty pink watermelon-flavored.
    • Watermelon Feta Skewers: These easy watermelon skewers are a classic crowd-pleaser that can be prepared in minutes.
    • Mango, Cucumber, and Watermelon Salad: Using unexpected ingredients, this complex-flavored watermelon salad is salty, sweet, and spicy.
    • Grilled Watermelon: Try this minty grilled watermelon recipe, an interesting and unique way to cook watermelon.
    • Watermelon Jalapeño Margarita: Keep the party
    Read More »from 5 Ways to Use Up Leftover Watermelon
  • A Sweet Twist on Caprese Salad

    Source: A Sweet Twist on Caprese Salad

    What can possibly top biting into a slice of watermelon so juicy that it threatens to drip down your chin? Not much, but this ultrasimple salad is a strong contender. Watermelon's subtly floral sweetness complements mozzarella's mild creaminess, and cherry tomatoes' tang (try orange Sweet 100s if you can find them; they're as lovely as their name implies). Add a drizzle of oil, vinegar, and a sprinkle of salt to tie it all together, and the resulting salad is pretty darn perfect.

    From Nicole Perry, POPSUGAR Food
    Watermelon Caprese Salad


    1 pint cherry tomatoes, larger ones halved
    About 2 cups of watermelon cut into 3/4-inch cubes
    8 ounces bocconcini, halved
    8-10 large basil leaves, chiffonaded
    3/4-1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or to taste
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or to taste


    1. Add the tomatoes, watermelon, bocconcini, and basil to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with
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  • Brie-ng on the Grill for a Cheesy Appetizer

    Source: Brie-ng on the Grill For a Cheesy Appetizer

    Throwing a wheel of brie into the oven creates a delightfully oozy appetizer, but this recipe is a little out of the ordinary, because it calls for your brie wheel to be grilled. The cheese develops that same righteous runnyness with the added bonus of smoky char marks on the rind. Paired with grilled bread and a cherry-thyme relish, this recipe couldn't get any more Summer-appropriate.

    If by the odd chance you end up with a smidgen of leftovers, store them in an airtight container and do as my family did, and divide the cheese and cherry relish on a bed of lightly-dressed arugula.

    Adapted from Every Day With Rachael Ray

    Grilled Brie With Cherry-Thyme Relish


    If you plan to serve four or fewer, buy a wedge (in lieu of a wheel) of brie, then wrap the cheese in foil before you grill it to prevent the brie's insides from oozing onto the grill and burning.


    2 cups cherries, pitted and cut

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  • Laura Werlin: "Anything Can Go into Mac and Cheese"

    Source: Laura Werlin: "Anything Can Go Into Mac and Cheese"

    Cheese expert Laura Werlin, author of Mac & Cheese, Please! ($17), taught two jam-packed seminars (who can say no to the American staple?) during the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. The queen of cheese knows a thing or two about the best cheeses to use for homemade macaroni and cheese, as well as lighter variations to make during the heat of Summer.

    POPSUGAR: When recipe developing, what were your favorite cheeses to use in mac and cheese?

    Laura Werlin:
    The best cheeses to use are the ones that melt the best. Among my favorites are cheeses from Europe like comté, gruyere, and Italian fontina. From this side of the Atlantic, I love younger cheddars, monterey jack, and mozzarella. Basically you want the cheeses that are going to create that gooey-ness that I think should be part of mac and cheese.

    PS: Did you discover any cheeses that simply did not work in mac and cheese?
    Actually, I discovered the opposite: all cheeses

    Read More »from Laura Werlin: "Anything Can Go into Mac and Cheese"
  • Andrew Zimmern's Must-Buy Asian Ingredients

    Source: Andrew Zimmern's Must-Buy Asian Ingredients

    Asian supermarkets can be equal parts intoxicating and intimidating to those unfamiliar with their wares. Thankfully, Andrew Zimmern has come to the rescue: After demoing how to make classic Chinese dishes like dumplings and hand-pulled noodles at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Zimmern answered a few crowd questions; one regarded his five must-buy ingredients from the Asian supermarket. Rather than stop at five, Zimmern enthusiastically rattled off seven; keep reading to see what he suggests seeking out.

    • Star anise ($7): this ingredient is one of the components of Chinese five-spice seasoning, and is also employed in a variety of marinades, sauces, and more.
    • Doubanjiang ($4): a Chinese fermented bean paste is a "crucial ingredient" missing from American cooks' pantries.
    • Dark soy sauce ($12 for 2 bottles): thicker and more robust than standard soy sauce, it's an essential element in sweet aromatic soy sauce, a
    Read More »from Andrew Zimmern's Must-Buy Asian Ingredients


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