Blog Posts by The Daily Meal

  • America's Greenest Restaurants for 2012

    Eco-friendly eateries certified by the Green Restaurant AssociationWith Earth Day approaching (it's April 22), restaurants nationwide are looking to tout their green initiatives. For diners looking to keep their environmental footprint in check while eating out, it can be tough to find the truly eco-friendly spots. The Green Restaurant Association (GRA) is there to help.

    Click here to see America's Greenest Restaurants

    There are a wide array of tips and tactics available to restaurants that are trying to boost their environmental consciousness, and the GRA helps by creating easy and sustainable solutions for eateries. According to Michael Oshman, executive director of the GRA, "What works is creating a system that restaurants can go through and setting up a maintenance system for them to follow after certification."

    Click here to see Where to Find America's Best Fries

    Restaurants going through the certification process must be able to meet guidelines across specific environmental categories - including water efficiency, waste reduction and

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  • 5 Outrageous Drink Gadgets

    These remarkable gadgets actually existA couple weeks ago, the internet was ablaze with the news that an unmanned, robotic taco-delivering helicopter had been invented and was set to debut in San Francisco. Unfortunately for taco-loving enthusiasts, that turned out to be more hoax than reality. Still, that people would believe it to be true arguably speaks to the level of innovation we have become accustomed to these days.

    Sure, you could also argue that it just proves how gullible are as a society - eager and willing to hop on the bandwagon of the latest trending topic with blind faith. But sometimes the outrageous things you read and hear about online aren't fake-outs.

    Click here to see 7 Outrageous Drink Gadgets

    For example, a giant half-ton corkscrew that can open a bottle of wine and pour some into a glass for you. Or a soda can that is capable of chilling itself. These things actually exist.

    Now, technically, a gadget is defined as a "small mechanical or electronic device with a practical use but often thought of

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  • How to Be a Faster Home Cook

    Time-saving tips for home cooksIf there's one thing every cook wants in their kitchen, it's more time. A few extra precious minutes to set the table, to pack the kids' lunches for tomorrow, to do the dishes, and, most importantly, to enjoy gathering around the table and dining together with friends and family.


    Click here to see How to Be a Faster Home Cook

    The first step to maximizing efficiency and speed in the kitchen is to think like a restaurant chef. Weekly - or even monthly - menu planning will allow for smart shopping and can eliminate the need to run back and forth to the grocery store every other day. Gathering all the necessary ingredients together before starting to cook (what's known as "mise en place") and reading a recipe in its entirety before turning on the oven are other must-dos that will help home cooks get organized and work faster. And one-pot dishes like paella, beef stew, and bouillabaisse can also be lifesavers for those without a dishwasher.

    Click here to see 20 Ways to Improve Your Eating

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  • Chefs' Tips for Meatless Monday

    When it comes to adhering to a Meatless Monday-diet, a growing trend across the country, it can become a little difficult to figure out how to plan a meal or decide on a recipe. For many who eat meat-centric diets, this once-a-week change can be daunting, especially if the right tools and tips aren't available.

    Click here to see 10 Time-Saving Tips for Home Cooks

    Luckily, the passionate folks behind Meatless Monday reached out to five talented chefs across the country who offered their tips for how to make a delicious Meatless Monday dinner and enjoy every minute of it. These chefs offer easy-to-follow advice, from Louisiana cuisine (yes, you read that right) to grocery shopping tips. Plus, we've included a few meatless recipes to help make the process even easier.

    Enjoy and happy cooking!

    Spinach and Ricotta Farro PastaGianfranco Minuz, Executive Chef, Locanda del Lago, Santa Monica, Calif.
    "Build your meal around whole grains, which will fill you up with their fiber and chewy, nutty texture. I enjoy using Old

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  • America's Most Outrageous Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

    In honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, we've highlighted the most over-the-top versions of this classic sandwichIn honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, we've highlighted the most over-the-top versions of this classic sandwichTraditionally, a grilled cheese consists of sliced bread, cheese, and butter, all toasted to gooey perfection in a pan or on a flattop. But these days, the sandwich has taken on more variations than ever imagined - from a grilled cheese stuffed with buttermilk fried chicken to sandwiches topped with mac and cheese, barbecued pork, and caramelized onions to a grilled cheese sandwiched between a glazed doughnut.

    Click here to see America's Most Outrageous Grilled Cheese Sandwiches


    The widespread national food truck trend has had a notable impact on the grilled cheese world; there are a surprising number of mobile and brick-and-mortar operations dedicated solely to this cheesy creation. In fact, half of the sandwiches on this list come from stores and trucks serving only grilled cheeses.

    Click here to see the Athlete Inspired Sandwiches slideshow

    Think we missed your favorite extreme grilled cheese sandwich? Leave a comment below with your picks of the craziest combinations in the

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  • The Best Restaurants for Dining Alfresco


    A collection of the best places to dine outdoors during the warmer monthsA collection of the best places to dine outdoors during the warmer monthsNow that the April holidays have passed, it's officially time to start fantasizing about the warmer months coming up just around the bend. One surefire way to tell that spring is on the horizon is the outdoor furniture and expanded alfresco dining rooms at restaurants around town.

    Plenty of restaurants offer outdoor seating during the spring, summer, and fall, but some do a better job with it than others. Alfresco service can be tricky because restaurants have to make sure customers don't feel crowded by diners waiting to be seated, they can't take up too much precious sidewalk space, and they must offer comfort against impending poor weather conditions.

    Click here for The Best Restaurants for Dining Alfresco slideshow

    Of course, some of the most important factors for great alfresco dining are the view and surroundings - restaurants that offer stellar food and a unique, breathtaking skyline view or waterfront setting make the experience of dining outside extra special.

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  • Top Picnic Destinations in America

    Perfect places to celebrate the arrival of spring with an outdoor mealThe dictionary defines a picnic as "an excursion or outing with food usually provided by members of the group and eaten in the open." But according to me, a self-proclaimed picnic fanatic, the dictionary definition should read "the act of food and beverage consumption performed outdoors for a period of time that exceeds at least one hour, and may include activities such as board games, people watching, or napping. See heaven."

    Click here to see the Top Picnic Destinations in America

    The sun is out and flowers have just begun to bloom, but absolutely nothing screams spring like a picnic. Homemade sandwiches, wine and cheese, pita and hummus - everything tastes better outside on a blanket with good company. Even the most humble fare seems magically transformed into ambrosia when eaten under a cloudless sky on a warm day.

    Click here to see 18 American Foods You MUST Travel For

    To help celebrate the arrival of warmer temperatures, we've scoured the nation to find the best locales for a

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  • 10 Jaw-Dropping Wedding Cakes

    These original and outrageous cakes will knock the socks off newlyweds and guests alike These original and outrageous cakes will knock the socks off newlyweds and guests alike Wedding cakes are a rite of passage for any newlywed couple. On the big day, the cake is sliced and admired, and a year later, the couple breaks out the leftovers to celebrate their first anniversary. Though the ritual remains, the appearance of a wedding cake has not stayed the same. In recent years, the classic three-tiered tower with all the bridal fixings has taken a turn… for the crazy.

    Click here for the 21 Jaw-Dropping Wedding Cakes slideshow.

    While the quintessential tiered tradition is always accepted and still seen at many weddings, it's the creative, out-of-the-box cakes that are catching everyone's attention. These extravagant confections come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, depending on the couple's hobbies, interests, and themes.

    Click here to see the 10 Best Pinterest Boards for Table Settings slideshow


    With shows like Cake Boss, Top Chef: Desserts, and Ace of Cakes taking over the airwaves, it's nearly impossible for viewers and engaged couples alike to not want to

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  • Everything You Want to Know About Avocados

    Recipes, Storing tips, plus some fun new facts about these creamy delicious treatsCreamy, silky, and undeniably delicious, avocados are not a tough sell. Unfortunately, for those living on the East Coast and in colder climates, avocados do not grow on trees like they do in some parts of the world. But thanks to modern technology and transportation, cold-climate dwellers can also enjoy all that is lovely about avocados.

    But as approachable and versatile as avocados are, they are also a little mysterious. Particularly when it comes to how to ripen them quickly or how to best store leftover halves that went uneaten (how that happens is beyond us - just eat it!)

    Click here for the Best Avocado Recipes

    To answer these pressing questions and to learn more about avocados in general, we turned to Avocados from Mexico, who sent us a sample of their fabulous product, which we used to create the tasty recipes below.

    Cristy-Lucie Alvarado, a representative of Avocados from Mexico shared some tips and information that any avocado lover should know. Check out what she has to

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  • Best Small Towns for Food

    Small towns that pack a punch when it come to foodGood food is not exclusive to metropolitan areas, this we know. A dense population and international airports are not necessarily the first ingredients in creating a thriving food scene. Across the country, there are small towns (for our purposes, they have less than 300,000 residents) where fresh ingredients are readily available and a passion for cooking and eating local foods never wanes. Where once we stumbled on these towns haphazardly, now travelers are arriving at them on purpose. As we are traveling more and more often for food (and local, fresh, seasonal food at that), it makes sense that we'd head toward the deeper cuts - why get a lobster roll in New York City when you can get one direct from the source in Maine?

    Click here to see the Best Small Towns for Food

    That three of these towns are adjacent to wine regions should come as no surprise - they serve the best local foods to pair with the best local wines. And what could be more inviting to winemakers and wine drinkers

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