Blog Posts by YumSugar

  • Dorie Greenspan's Baking Advice, Favorite Cookies, and More

    Source: Dorie Greenspan's Baking Advice, Favorite Cookies, and More

    When we ran into her at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, accomplished cookbook author Dorie Greenspan agreed to sit with us for a quick chat. Greenspan, who is also the brains behind Beurre & Sel cookies, had plenty of sage advice to give to bakers, as well as musings on the craft itself.


    • On why she's an avid baker: While Greenspan is an accomplished cook as well as baker, she admitted a particular fondness for baking, as you "share things you bake," whereas typically "you cook for yourself." She enjoys the process of baking, and stressed the importance of patience in the kitchen, explaining that "nothing can be rushed"; it's important to enjoy the process.
    • On her advice for baking novices: Greenspan emphasized the importance of reading the recipe twice before starting, and getting one's mise en place in order before proceeding.

    More from POPSUGAR Food: Andrew Zimmern's Must-Buy Asian Ingredients

    • On
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  • Your Ultimate Summer Produce Guide

    POPSUGAR FoodSource: Your Ultimate Summer Produce Guide

    Along with Summer comes bathing suits, fireworks, and, of course, delicious produce. Can't you just picture biting into juicy fruits and crisp veggies? Luckily you don't have to wait any longer! The time is here to savor sweet watermelons, avocados, peaches, and more. Take a look at what to expect this season and get ready to hit the farmers markets with more than one tote in hand.

    • Apricots: Apricots have a short season that runs from May through July, with some prized varieties (like Blenheims) only available for a few weeks in late June/early July.
    • Bell Peppers: Sweet bell peppers are available as early as May and as late as December, and are at their peak during the Summer months.
    • Avocados: Creamy avocados are typically available year-round, but hit their peak in the Summer (at least in California).
    • Blackberries: Blackberries are available as early as May and as late as October.
    • Blueberries: Blueberry season typically runs from May
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  • Sharp Cheddar Ideas from Food Network's Jeff Mauro

    Source: Sharp Cheddar Ideas From Food Network's Jeff Mauro

    "Sandwich King" Jeff Mauro knows a thing or two about great cheeses. In particular, the Food Network star, who's partnered with Cracker Barrel Cheese, has a soft spot for cheddar, specifically domestic varieties. "We're turning out great cheese and beating a lot of imported cheeses," he said. "Go America, right?" Since we're always on the hunt for affordable cheese plate ideas, a punchy sandwich, or great pairing ideas, we asked Jeff to share his cheese expertise. Here are his thoughts on all things cheddar.

    • Showcase cheddar on a cheese plate: "Use a good, affordable cheese as the bulk, then indulge in the more expensive imported cheeses," Jeff advises. Cracker Barrel's version is just under $4.
    • Splurge on a domestic aged cheddar: Jeff loves old cheddars, which are strong and slightly crunchy from salt and aged enzymes. "I have gotten an 18-year-old cheddar [from an Amish village] that cost me $24 for a small block. It
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  • It's a Spicy Life for Chipotle's Nate Appleman

    Source: It's a Spicy Life For Chipotle's Nate Appleman

    For the past two and a half years, Nate Appleman has been Chipotle's culinary manager, working on recipe developing for the burrito chain and its new Asian eatery ShopHouse, sourcing ingredients, and streamlining kitchen and restaurant operations. After his chef demo at the San Francisco Chipotle Cultivate Food Festival we discussed his nontraditional workdays at Chipotle, the challenges of using fresh ingredients, and the importance of thinking beyond the food being served.

    POPSUGAR: What does your typical day look like?
    Nate Appleman: My day changes every day. I work a lot on developing ShopHouse and seeing it to market. I'm personally involved in hiring the crew, the managers, looking at the food cost numbers, and developing the menu. I spend a lot of time on that. But I spend a lot of time on Chipotle. It's constantly changing, because we use real ingredients, and real ingredients change. It's not like other restaurants or

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  • Top Trends at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen

    POPSUGAR FoodSource: Top Trends at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen

    The magnitude of celebrity chefs and fine dining opportunities at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen make it an ideal event to forecast culinary trends. Last year, we spotted the rise of vegetarianism, game meats, and high-brow desserts, which continued to rise in popularity over the year and still shape the culinary scene today. This year, we scouted a few new trends worthy of noting. Take a look.

    • Ceviche: Every row at the Grand Tasting Tent served some sort of ceviche, or raw fish marinated in lemon or lime juice and seasoned with chile peppers, red onion, and chopped herbs. We saw variations tossed with fresh fruit like watermelon. Beyond sea bass ceviche, Peruvian chef Ricardo Zarate of Mo-Chica served blue shrimp ceviche and Best New Chef Alex Stupak of Empellón doled out little cups of octopus ceviche with parsnips and spicy pepitas.
    • Crispy Animal Skin: Forget about the days of skinless fish and chicken. The skin
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  • Never Fear Unmolding a Bundt Cake Again

    Source: Never Fear Unmolding a Bundt Cake Again

    Eye-catching and almost sculptural, bundt cakes are a beauty to behold when unmolded from their pans unscathed. Unfortunately, if the correct precautions aren't taken, what makes these cakes so visually appealing - their intricate ridges and valleys - can be a downfall. Thankfully, with a little know-how, this problem becomes a nuisance of the past.

    • While we understand the appeal of a vintage bundt pan, generally these are best relegated as kitchen decor, as most are thin, don't promote heat evenly, and are less likely to unmold cleanly. Use these at your own risk, and take extra care with pan prep. Our favorite pan is sturdy and has a light-colored (for less-intense browning) nonstick coating for added insurance, though other options will work as well.
    • Brush the entire interior of the pan (get into those nooks and crannies!) with a thin coat of melted butter. To make sure you didn't miss a spot, examine the pan under a bright
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  • 10 Tricks for Better Fruit Salads

    POPSUGAR FoodSource: 10 Tricks For Better Fruit Salads

    It may seem as though there's not much to a fruit salad other than tossing chopped fruit in a bowl, but a few simple tricks transform a flat fruit salad into something enticing to the eye and pleasing to the palate. From picking fruit with the same level of ripeness to spritzing fruit with lemon juice, these 10 tricks will help you make better fruit salads all year round.

    • Buy Seasonal Fruit: Flavor- and texture-wise, seasonal fruit always tastes better. Ever had mealy, bland blueberries or apples during their off-season? It's a common and often accidental occurrence, but it's best to avoid buying produce from halfway around the world during its off-season. Instead, look for seasonal produce that's local to you - or at least originating from the continent in which you live.
    • Choose Fruit With the Same Levels of Ripeness: A fruit salad instantly becomes less appetizing when some bites are mushy and other bites are too tart and
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  • 10 Tricks for the Best Homemade Salads

    POPSUGAR FoodSource: 10 Tricks For the Best Homemade Salads

    Do you have a whole plateful of salad woes? If you find that your homemade salads just aren't as good as those in restaurants, perhaps the problem rests in the prep of the salad, the choice of ingredients, or the dressing itself. Integrate these 10 tricks into your salad-making routine, and we promise, you'll toss better homemade salads in no time.

    • Wash and Dry the Leaves Thoroughly: Most people simply rinse lettuce under the sink, but to really get all the dirt out, dunk the lettuce in a bowl full of water and massage the grime out. Then use a salad spinner to completely dry the leaves, or else the salad dressing won't stick to them, resulting in a watery, bland salad.
    • Salt the Dressing: No matter if it's just oil and vinegar, salt the dressing to taste to enhance the salad's flavor. A lot of people neglect this step, but that's why restaurant salads taste so good - chefs often salt their dressings.
    • Use Varying
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  • 5 Alternative Burger Recipes to Try Immediately, from Lamb to Salmon

    POPSUGAR FoodSource: 5 Alternative Burger Recipes to Try Immediately, From Lamb to Salmon

    Love an anything-but-beef burger? At Sutter Home Winery's Build a Better Burger Recipe Contest this past weekend, contestants submitted alternative burger recipes for a chance to win $15,000. These five finalists flew to Napa Valley to cook their alternative burgers (including pork, salmon, and lamb) in front of the judges. Take a look and get inspired to cook something other than beef!

    • Better Than Breakfast in Bed Burgers: The toppings: Buttermilk biscuits sandwich the ground pork burger, fried egg, and bacon. Oh, and it's slathered in a spicy maple mayo.
      The takeaway: Make the mayo. Seriously. This is quite possibly the best breakfast sandwich I've ever had, and the audience agreed, as this won the People's Choice Award. Spicy, sweet, smoky, and rich, this sandwich indeed lives up to its name and is better than breakfast in bed.

    • Smoky Sweet Salmon Sliders: The toppings:
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  • Tips for Making a Stunning Salad

    Source: Tips For Making a Stunning Salad

    When building salads, it's far too easy to get stuck in a rut. You know what works, buy the same ingredients, and inevitably eat green leaf lettuce with black olives, sliced tomatoes, and shredded carrots everyday. However, with a little creativity and an open mind at the grocery store, you can enjoy a fabulous variety of healthful yet crave-worthy salads on a regular basis. To get inspired, take a walk around the produce section and be inspired by the vegetables and fruits you come across. Try a new lettuce or pick up a veggie you're unfamiliar with. Just remember: from crunchy to creamy to crispy, a good salad has an assortment of textures (and colors). Here are a few ways to shake things up in the salad department.

    Filling Proteins

    • Think beyond grilled chicken: Sliced steak, chunks of pork, and flaked fish are excellent additions. Deli meats, like salami, ham, and turkey are easily shreddable, too.
    • Don't forget cheese and
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