Blog Posts by Gourmet

  • Five Drug-Free Tips for Better Digestion

    CN Digital StudioCN Digital StudioKemp Minifie, Gourmet Live

    If it's January, it must be diet-talking time. But we'd all be better off if we first talked digestion. The fundamental reason for eating is to absorb the essential nutrients we need to grow and thrive. Here are five simple, drug-free tips to enhance one of the most basic jobs our bodies do everyday:

    Turn It Off: That means the TV and the phone. Put the computer to sleep. Remove the earbuds, unless you are alone with slow, peaceful music. Digestion requires a calm environment.

    Get Comfortable: Find a quiet spot. Balancing yourself on the edge of a couch is not restful. Sit down in a chair with your back to the computer or TV screen (the temptation to sneak a peek, or check emails is just too strong).

    Be Mindful: You don't have to be religious to take a moment to look at what you are about to eat and be thankful that you have it.

    De-Stress: Before that fork gets anywhere near your lips, take a couple of minutes to breathe slowly and deeply, to put your body

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  • 5 Tips for a Perfect Fried Egg

    CN Digital StudioCN Digital StudioKemp Minifie, Gourmet Live

    Whether you like them sunny side up or over-easy we've got the tips and techniques for cooking the perfect fried egg.

    Fried-Egg-Over-Easy Perfection

    Even if you don't cook much, it's not hard to fry an egg, right? Yes and no. It's the simple things that get us pretty heated about the best technique. I'm a fried-egg-over-easy girl, and here are my five tips for perfection:

    1. Get your toast or whatever the egg's going on ready. Fried eggs don't wait.

    See Also: The Best Sandwiches Across the Globe

    2. Use a cast iron skillet if you have one, and heat it first before adding a mix of olive oil and butter. (If using a nonstick, heat the pan with the fat in it). The pan should get hot enough so that the butter foams up and then subsides, but not so hot that it burns.

    3. Crack the egg on a flat surface, not an edge-your chances for a clean break are better that way-then slide it gently from the shell into the pan.

    4. Turn the heat down to medium and cover the

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  • 5 Tips for Great Holiday Cookies

    Kemp Minifie, Gourmet Live

    There's no better gift than a homemade one, and with cookie swaps on the horizon, tis the season to rev yourself up for holiday baking. Cookies should be an enjoyable project, not cause for tearing your hair out. Here then, fresh from my own recent experiences, are five tips to keep you sane:

    1. Roll out Your Dough Between Sheets of Wax Paper, Not Parchment
    Wax paper peels easily off the top of the dough; then cut out the cookies and they'll peel right off the bottom sheet. Not true with parchment paper; no matter how cold the dough is, it clings.

    2. Chill, Baby, Chill
    The secret to neat and tidy edges? Chill the dough before and after you cut out shapes, and whenever it gets soft. Just pop the dough, supported on a baking sheet, into the freezer for 10 minutes to firm it up.

    Related: Best Holiday Cookie Recipes

    3. Metal Cup Measures Do Double Duty
    When pressing dough into a pan for bars, use the smooth bottom of metal cup measures to pack it into an even

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  • 12 Pasta Myths Debunked

    CN Digital StudioCN Digital StudioGourmet Live

    Expert Kemp Minifie on how to cook and serve pasta like a pro.

    Of all the international cuisines America has welcomed to its kitchens, Italian food gets the warmest embrace. The single supermarket shelf of spaghetti, elbow macaroni, and German-style egg noodles I remember as a kid has given way to entire pasta aisles devoted to myriad brands-imported as well as domestic-and a dizzying variety of shapes, plus sauces to top them. Even homemade pasta, the subject of a separate primer in this issue, has become a pride and pastime of many. Yet in the grand scheme of anthropological time, the relatively few years it's taken America to go from canned Spaghetti Os to artisanal garganelli would probably register as a nanosecond. So, as popular as pasta is, there's still a fair amount we've yet to learn about it, and misconceptions abound. Here's the real deal on preparing one of America's favorite meals.

    1. Fresh pasta is better than dried.

    Unfortunately, food snobs have

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  • The Biggest Celebrity Chef Restaurant Flops

    Wolfgang PuckWolfgang PuckRobert Sietsema, Gourmet Live guest blogger

    Though we often hear about restaurants opening, we rarely take notice when they close. Maybe it's because they make such a commotion at the outset but often die a slow and agonizing death in silence. Or maybe it's because the reasons for closing are so poorly understood. Was the location cursed? Was the place undercapitalized? Did the service fall short, or was the menu just plain wrong for the neighborhood? Little research exists to answer these questions, but usually when restaurants fail, everyone wants to get as far away as possible. But one things for sure: When the titans of chefdom fall, they fall hard.

    1. Spago, Chicago
    Fifteen years ago, Wolfgang Puck's organization marched eastward from L.A. like an invading army, plotting the takeover of the country with his premium Spago brand of fine dining restaurants. But while he's made it in Vail and Vegas, the Windy City proved too tough a nut to crack, and Spago Chicago shuttered after

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  • Is Bleach a Solution for Safer Salads?

    GourmetGourmetKemp Minifie, Gourmet Live

    "You soak your produce in Clorox?" my friends exclaimed. "That's totally insane!" I thought so, too, when my husband came home from a naturopath visit two years ago with a mind-numbing list of guidelines. Of all the naturopath's edicts, drowning our fruits and vegetables in a Clorox solution was the one we had the hardest time wrapping our heads around.

    The naturopath maintained that Clorox helps remove contaminants such as pesticide residues, bacteria, and fungus. Only use regular Clorox brand, he warned us, because it is free of scents and other unwanted additives to the basic bleaching agent, sodium hypochlorite.

    The amount of Clorox in the naturopath's recipe was so tiny--1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon for every gallon of water, followed by a 10- to 15-minute soak in plain water, plus a rinse--that we decided to give it a try. We were relieved to find that we didn't detect any hint of bleach in the flavor of the produce, whether eaten raw or cooked. In fact, the

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  • The History of...Summer and Popsicles

    Conde Nast Digital StudioConde Nast Digital StudioAllison Poindexter, Gourmet Live

    It's hard to think of a food product more emblematic of summer than the Popsicle. This notable piece of Americana is versatile, refreshing and full of flavor. It's a cold treat for kids, and with a little added pick-me-up, it can be transformed into a frozen cocktail for adults. But what are the origins of the Popsicle? Read on as we take a look at the history of the ultimate icy-cold, summertime sweet.

    Although it is hard to imagine a summer without Popsicles, what we know as the Popsicle today wasn't invented until 1905. As the story goes, on a particularly cold evening in San Francisco, 11-year-old Frank Epperson accidentally left a combination of powdered soda, water and a stirring stick in a cup on his porch overnight only to find the mixture frozen in the morning. Soon after his discovery, he began to share the frozen treat with his friends at school. Eighteen years later, Epperson started to consider his icy-cold creation's business potential.

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  • The Truth About Quinoa

    Conde Nast Digital StudioConde Nast Digital StudioKemp Minifie, Gourmet Live

    Whole Foods regularly runs out of it in their bulk bins. The New York Times referenced it online eight times in the past five months. It's a top-ten search term on our sister site, Epicurious. And, finally, it's hit the tipping point of proper pronunciation where enough people know enough about it to refer to it correctly. It's the new food obsession that's packing a powerful protein punch in a pinhead-size seed. Welcome to the spotlight, quinoa.

    But what could possibly make this tiny cereal cause such a buzz? Quite simply, it's a superfood, and according to a 1993 NASA Technical Paper, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa, in case you need a reminder), is unlike any other grain in that it is a complete protein with all eight essential amino acids in proportions that come close to or exceed those set by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. What's particularly outstanding about quinoa is its high level of the amino acid lysine, which most other

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  • The 50 Most Important Women in Food of All Time

    Julia Child.Julia Child.Kate Sekules, Gourmet Live guest blogger

    Men have the big toques, but when you think about it, it's women who may have exerted the most influence over our foodways--especially since there's been mass media to record their feats.

    So here's our top 50 countdown of the most important women in food. Period. It's the view from the United States, but with key players from other cultures. Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think.

    1. Julia Child
    The great Julia needs no introduction. Especially not after the great Meryl played her in the movie.

    2. Alice Waters
    The great Alice needs no introduction. OK, just this: Chez Panisse, farmers' markets, locavore movement, Edible Schoolyard. As yet, they've only made documentary movies about her life.

    3. Fannie Farmer
    If it weren't for her we'd still be cooking with "handfuls" and "pinches." Farmer's 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book introduced standardized measurements. She also explained the chemical stuff a century before Harold McGee.

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  • Are Your Burgers Bacteria-Free? 8 Great Tips for Pathogen-less Patties

    Conde Nast Digital StudioConde Nast Digital StudioKemp Minifie, Gourmet Live

    When you walk into a newsstand and feel assaulted by the big juicy burgers gracing the covers of practically every food magazine, you know Memorial Day and Father's Day are right around the corner. Burgers are so insanely popular these days that they could be topping Mom and apple pie as the iconic symbols of America.

    But talking beef also brings up some unsavory topics, such as harmful pathogens possibly lurking in the meat. Too many magazines, websites, and books gloss over the topic. OK, so you may be tired of scare stories concerning the foods you love, but I don't know anyone who relishes a night spent hugging the toilet bowl or even worse, a hospital bed. So here's the beef on eight tips you need to know before you fire up your grill.

    1. Use an Instant Read Thermometer
    This Father's Day, treat Dad to a gift that keeps on giving: the instant read thermometer. It's the only way to tell if your burger has reached a safe temperature. Go for digital ones;

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