Blog Posts by Maggie Nemser, Shine staff

  • 10 things to do before the end of summer

    1. Make the best burger in the world. Seriously.
    Take a cue from the grilling pros that will have you flipping the hottest patty at the party.

    2.Pack a picnic
    If you're not an avid picnic packer take a lesson from the pros.

    3. Go for a bike ride
    I'm over the theory that spinning gives you a big bum. After some further investigation, I found that it actually creates a nice lift (score!) so hop on your bike before piling in the burgers n' dogs.

    4. Throw a stress-free party
    These great recipes for easy Labor Day eats will help you chill without getting super-glued to the stove.

    5. Don't feel compelled to wear white
    According to Shine's fashion expert, Jennifer Romolini, white has legs that extend beyond Labor Day. If you do decide to don white, try to avoid the grill without the proper protection.

    6. Make your potato salad pop
    There's no need to go ho-hum with your tater salad. Spice it up with one of these 10 potato salad recipes.

    7. Perfectly pair your beer with your BBQ

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  • Eat for free! But it has to be 72 ounces of steak in under an hour

    According to BBC News, The Big Texan Steak Ranch, located in Amarillo, charges 72 bucks for a 72 ounce steak, but if you can take it to the dome in under an hour, it's free. [-BBC News] Seriously? Wasn't seeing that skinny dude with the huge belly eat 100 + Nathan's dogs in under 20 enough? Is is socially responsible to shove 72 ounces of anything into our mouth when people are starving? I'm all for tradition and kitch, but as a wise man named Balki Bartokomous once said, "Don't be ridiculous!"

    Related links:

    4 healthy steak recipes

    Does "natural" and "organic" mean the same thing?

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  • If you tweak a recipe, is it legit to call it your own?

    Yesterday a friend took me on a whopping 26 mile bike ride. I've never biked that far; I assumed distances of that magnitude were reserved for the "bright yellow suits." The ones who flail their hands as blinkers, screaming "on your right!" in overzealous tones (dude, I saw you) and sport flap caps after hours.

    After some convincing, I decided to to throw caution to the pedals. After all, it was kind of a date and I didn't want to wimp-out. It wasn't the sexiest performance. I managed to unknowingly sport a suntan lotion mustache and I couldn't make it up a small hill to save my life, but it was a blast, and I did it.

    To thank him for pushing me outside of the comforts of spin class, I offered to make a quick dinner. I'm one of those people who read recipes daily but doesn't directly follow them. They serve as "inspiration" until I tweak. I'm not sure if this strict recipe defiance is an ego thing (if I sub in chili oil and it rocks, am I creative?) or an irresponsible lack of

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  • Sushi scam: Are we getting what we're paying for?

    According to The New York Times, a couple of high school students played inspector gadget with sushi as their subject and found evidence pointing to a fishy scam. Apparently there's a pretty prevalent game of "bait and switch" going on where grocery stores and sushi restaurants are tricking their customers into believing that they are getting what they order when they are really being served a fake. Some of these fast ones include prawning, er...pawning off tilipia as white tuna and secretly substituting the less popular cod fish for the more in demand, red snapper. It seems that this deception is not always done intentionally by the restaurant and groceries stores as they are sometimes deceived by their source. [-The New York Times]

    This is a serious buzz kill. First the mercury scare and now fishy fake-outs?

    Would you be able to tell if someone was screwing with your sashimi?

    Related links:

    A trusted guide to buying sustainable seafood

    Teriyaki grilled shrimp

    Read More »from Sushi scam: Are we getting what we're paying for?
  • Question of the day: Are you pro-bread basket?

    I'm anti restaurant standard bread baskets. When I go out to eat I want to enjoy the food unless we're talking about off-the-chain homemade or olive bread. I have friends however, who consistently hit the basket even if it means leaving no room for dessert. I want to understand this, really I do, but I can't. Why waste precious tummy real estate on bread that isn't amazing? Don't get me wrong, I'll be the first to dip my bread into a steaming bowl of mussels to soak up a great sauce or enjoy a spread of tapenade over a crusty roll but if we're talking dry bread with butter, what's the point?

    Are you a fan of the bread basket and if so, what's your topper of choice?

  • Why we love fall: 6 amazing apple pies

    The only thing that got me through a 6 AM spin class this morning was the thought of apple pie. I know what you're thinking. Apple pie for breakfast? Hey, a craving is a craving and fall is just around the corner.

    After class I went for the gold and got a slice. It was warm and seriously attractive, but didn't taste good. To be honest, it kind of sucked. The apples weren't sweet and the crust wasn't flaky.

    Oh, how I should have gone for my morning muffin (cue violin) and known better than to buy a slice of pie. The best pies come straight from a home oven. I sound like an overzealous, bake-o-holic, but I digress. There's no reason to waste a serious craving on a bad piece of pie so to spare you bad pie "trauma," here are 6 delicious versions that will make the summer's end a little bit sweeter.

    1.Lattice-Topped Apple Pie
    What's the secret to this stellar Food & Wine apple pie? It calls for both tart and sweet apples.

    2.Grandma Ople's Amazing Apple Pie
    Interesting name for a

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  • Do I have something in my teeth? And other annoying habits we should be aware of

    The other day I told an acquaintance something I've been wanting to say for a long time: "You have about 6 months worth of plaque stuck between your two front teeth."

    Why didn't I tell her this before? The truth is that a. we are not very close and b. it wasn't my place. It's the place of the mirror, a string of dental floss, a dentist or close friend but not for an acquaintance. I took one for the team and decided if I didn't step up to the plate, the girl would be walking around, smiling and making people queasy without knowing. I began to think about things people don't and should share with even their loosest acquaintance, to spare embarrassment.

    I called it in to a friend and self-proclaimed "social expert" who's infamous for saying all things we want to say but don't. Together, we narrowed down the top 5 icky things we all do when we eat but shouldn't do. They are absolutely obvious but worthy of repeating as we all seem to keep doing them over and over

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  • How to make an angry lobster

    How do make a mean Lobster? Scott Swiderski, executive chef of Philadelphia's beloved Buddakan, gave Shine a version that takes under an hour and isn't too challenging. This provocative recipe will piss the pants off the sweetest of lobsters, but will most likely make you and your dinner guests pretty pleased.

    Chef Swiderski strongly recommends buying only Canadian lobster this time of year to avoid getting softshell lobsters. The catches from Canada are larger and meatier than other regions but If you can't get find em', Maine lobster is a great alternative.

    Buddakan's Angry Lobster

    Total cooking time:
    Lobster: 15 minutes
    Sauce: 45 minutes

    3-4 lobster bodies (shells)
    1 carrot
    2 stalks celery
    1 stalk lemongrass
    1 apple
    1 tablespoon curry powder
    Pinch red pepper flakes
    2 cups plum wine
    1 quart heavy cream
    1 cup coconut milk
    1 tablespoon Coco Lopez

    Steam One 3 pound lobster. Cool and remove from shell. Reserve shell for Read More »from How to make an angry lobster
  • Is it okay to steal a pickle from a family member's plate?

    The other day I ordered a turkey club sandwich for lunch while my father ordered a salad. Our table's napkin dispenser was running on empty so I went to grab some and when I returned my pickle was gone. I could have sworn that it was beside my sandwich moments before. Hmmmm... "Did you take my pickle?" I asked. My dad denied having anything to do with it.

    I could have just order a side of pickles but for some reason, perhaps visiting-home-induced immaturity, I couldn't let it go. I took a bite of my club, smiled fake-politely and said, "I know you took my pickle."

    Is it legit to take a family member's one and only pickle? I'm on the fence. On the one hand I think I owe him my pickle. After all, he did raise me! On the other hand I think a pickle should be considered non-poach-able.

  • Why do men hate raw tomatoes?

    Chris was one of the most popular boys in my high school. He was the tough guy who wore his pants low and caused trouble in Central Park after school. My hot and rebellious crush didn't say much. When he did speak, it was a perfectly crafted wise crack that made girls swoon. It seemed like Chris wasn't afraid of anything or anyone and that was sexy.

    During lunch, I always sat with my girlfriends, but one day Chris joined us. I nervously tried to look cute while eating my turkey sandwich but in my true and klutzy form my tomato slipped out and onto my plate. Chris' face went white. He was literally on the cusp of a gag. I asked what was wrong and he explained that raw tomatoes are the one thing that makes him frightened and nauseous. I was embarrassed and intrigued. I had managed to scare Mr. tough guy and learn about an interesting phenomenon that I later found out was not a Chris exclusive.

    To my surprise, I've heard many men confess to having this same bizarre fear over the years.

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