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Lynn Andriani (187 posts)
How it works: You tell Gojee which ingredients you have on hand and which ones you don't like or are allergic to. It then pulls up recipes that meet your criteria, from food blogs like Not Eating Out in New York and Sassy Radish. Beautiful, screen-wide photographs make every recipe look like a winner.
Best for: CSA subscribers with specific tastes, who are trying to figure out what to do with seven pounds of zucchini or three huge bunches of kale.
Food on the Table
How it works: You build a profile, finding your local grocery store on the site's map, selecting which proteins (e.g., pork, beef, fish) you love, and picking which kinds of meals you want to always, sometimes or never make (e.g., heart-healthy, vegan, Italian, kid-friendly). Then, the site creates weekly meal plans with recipes and grocery lists based on that information, and tells you if any of the necessary ingredients are on sale at your store. There's a mobile app, too.
Best for: Heads of households who have a life outside of cooking dinner for their family.
How it works: The site uses real-time data like tweets and Facebook shares to measure which recipes people are talking about online. It rates each recipe from 1 to 100; the higher a recipe's score, the more it has been talked about and shared on the web. New recipes appear minutes after they're published, and the site has a sleek, magazine-like visual layout.
Best for: Foodies who want to make of-the-moment dishes, which might be Blueberry Ketchup one day and tacos made with Pillsbury Grands! refrigerated buttermilk biscuits the next.
Eating dinner alone
A new book, 40 Years of Chez Panisse: The Power of Gathering, is a tribute to the ideas and people that have shaped the restaurant, and, in turn, American food. Yes, it's also about the importance of eating locally grown foods (dandelion greens and heritage pork, anyone?), but what really thrills our hearts is the way this book commemorates a shared meal's ability to make us feel loved. As, Waters writes, "Our full humanity is contingent on our hospitality: we can be complete only when we are giving something away; when we sit at the table and pass the peas to the person next to us we see that person in a whole new way."
Two more lines from the Chez Panisse book that will make you want to share dinner with someone tonight.
Cranberry Bean, Cherry Tomato and Cucumber Salad from La Tavola Marche
This pretty salad + crusty bread + a wedge of pecorino = your best lunch of the week.
Borlotti and Ricotta with Whole Wheat Spaghetti from Found While Walking
Barely a recipe--adjust the proportions to your liking, and toss in your favorite herbs--this pasta dish is fresh and hearty.
Cranberry Bean Bruschetta from Fresh Brioche
Simmered with garlic and water (plus bacon, a Parmesan rind and/or tomato) and sprinkled with sage, cranberry beans become a perfect topping for slices of toasted baguette.
Cranberry Bean and Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Gouda from MarcusSamuelsson.com
A no-cook salad dressed in a sweet and salty vinaigrette has an unexpected element: meltingly smooth bites of gouda cheese.
Fresh Shell Beans Over Polenta from Printer & Piemaker
This minimalist recipe allows for plenty of interpretation. The basics: gently boil the beans with some marjoram, slowly cook onions with thyme, and serve them together over creamy polenta drizzled with a little bit of good olive oil.
Cranberry Bean Hummus from The Parsley Thief
A cross between hummus and baba ghanoush (thanks to the addition of zucchini), this is a lovely spread for toasted pita bread triangles.
Halloumi with summer vegetable ragout
Mixed bean soup mix
Nuun Electrolyte Enhanced Drink Tabs, $24 for 48. Sports drinks can be too sweet, but not Nuun. Drop one of these discs into your water bottle for your next workout and get sugar-free, carb-free hydration. They come in fun flavors, too, like strawberry lemonade and lemon tea (besides classics such as lemon-lime).
VinniBag, $28. Carry anything fragile—wine, olive oil, antique tea cups—safely home with these inflatable bags that cushion breakables from airplane turbulence or less-than-dainty baggage handling.
Maybelline New York Great Lash Designer Limited Edition Collection, $5.50. The iconic pink-and-green tube gets a makeover in honor of this mascara's 40th birthday, courtesy of fashion designers Max Azria, Tracy Reese and Vivienne Tam.
Whimsy & Spice Marshmallows, $6 for 12. Husband and wife Mark Sopchak and Jenna Par make shortbread cookies, biscotti, brownies and other treats out of their Brooklyn kitchen. Their marshmallows—in flavors such as caramel, cardamom, lemongrass and maple—might just be too lovely to smush between graham crackers and chocolate...but you be the judge.
1. Wine and cheese is predictable.
2. Rum is not just for Caribbean cocktails. Dark sipping rums—which are meant for drinking neat, not mixing in piña coladas—can carry the flavors of roasted nuts, smoky oak, vanilla, cocoa and spices, just like wine. Barrie Lynn, a cheese expert in Los Angeles with an online show called Cheese Rules, suggests Neisson Rhum Agricole Réserve Spéciale or Mount Gay Extra Old Rum: "I haven't met a cheese they didn't love."
3. And about the cheese. Creamy, nutty aged Goudas, superaged sharp cheddars and fresh chèvre go especially well with rum. And while the drinks may be pricey (the Neisson costs about $67, and the Mount Gay is about $38), the cheese doesn't have to be; one of Barrie Lynn's favorites is a $3.75 tub of Widmer's Aged Brick Spread.
4. A little goes a long way. One bottle of rum is more than enough for a group of eight.
5. Pirate-themed novels! Discuss the finer points of Treasure Island or Robinson Crusoe as you swill the sailors' favorite, Pusser's Rum.
6. Rum also pairs well with Dickens. The classic English writer (of whom Oprah's a fan) was actually something of a punch aficionado (here's his recipe for rum punch). Best cocktail for Great Expectations or The Mystery of Edwin Drood: Dark and Stormy.
7. Paper umbrellas. Because sometimes it is all about Caribbean daydreams. Here are O's recipes for the classic rum cocktails Cuba Libre and Mojito.
Achiote (ah-chee-OH-tay, Spanish)
This common ingredient in Mexican cooking can actually induce an "achoo," since it's a spicy blend of annatto (a peppery pod from the achiote tree), Mexican oregano, cumin, clove, cinnamon, black pepper, allspice, garlic and salt. Achiote often comes in a paste form, where it adds a red color and a little kick to dishes like Yucatan Pork Tacos (pictured).
Clafouti (klah-fu-TEE, French)
For the longest time, whenever I read this word, I pictured someone named Fifi wearing a frilly pink nightgown. But now I know it's an easy, pancake-like dessert, made by pouring a batter over fresh fruit and baking it until it puffs. Pop this bubbly, custardy cherry clafouti into your oven midmeal and 30 minutes later, "clafouti" will be your new favorite word.
Fregola (FRE-go-la, Italian)
Saying the word for these tiny, toothsome balls of pasta--think Israeli couscous--could sound like something you'd say to your worst enemy. But if you roll the "r," add some Parmigiano-Reggiano (roll those r's, too, just to make your dinner companions laugh), plus fresh corn, peas or asparagus, you have a lovely, light summer meal. This recipe from Elaine Louie, who writes the New York Times column "The Temporary Vegetarian," is a cinch.
Everybody knows that cooking vegetarian is the healthy way to go (one example: the American Diabetic Association says vegetarians are less prone to heart disease). But it can be a little intimating, especially when you're confronted with that first jiggly block of tofu or bag of hard-to-pronounce quinoa. Luckily, Dr. Oz and family can lead the way, with a delectable vegetarian dinner smorgasbord in this September's issue of O, complete with recipes. One of the sides, Lisa Oz's Lemony Kale Salad, prominently features hemp seed, a versatile little food source that, yes, is cultivated from the Cannabis plant (but no, it won't get you loopy) and is rich in protein and essential fatty acids. If you're wondering how else you'll finish the 8-ounce bag you bought for that lemon-kale salad, try this go-all-day breakfast dish from dietitian Ashley Koff and fitness trainer Kathy Kaehler, co-authors of Mom Energy: A Simple Plan to Live Fully Charged. It's a fruity-cereal bowl of goodness, made with pre-measured smoothie packets, milk, honey, your favorite cereal (we like Nature's Path Crunchy Maple Sunrise) and the rest of those hemp seeds. In fact, it's so easy, after taking one look at the recipe, you'll know it by heart.
A little sweet, a little sour, roasted grapes are an easy addition to many foods and dishes you're probably already making. Holly Smith, the chef at Cafe Juanita outside Seattle, folds them into risotto with hazelnuts and cheese. Brad Farmerie, of the restaurant Public in New York, spreads creme fraiche on a toasted scone and drizzles it with roasted grapes for a sweet-savory breakfast. Farmerie also spoons the grapes over ice cream, uses them as a finish to grilled chicken or pork, or tosses them with baby spinach, olive oil and crispy pancetta.
And the recipe could not be simpler...
Moleskine "Le Hammerhead Shark" Notebook, $16. In honor of Shark Week, pick up one of these notebooks that remind you to "always do what you're afraid to do," whether that's going for a swim in the ocean or writing down your deepest, darkest secrets.
Flat Iron/Curling Iron Cover, $25. No need to wait around for your flat iron to cool; you can just tuck it in this cute heat-resistant pouch and head out.
Over Our Heads Umbrella, $50. Rainy days are much more enjoyable when you're under your own personal art gallery. Graphic options include a nighttime seascape or a bright city skyline. And by buying one, you're helping an artist get her business off the ground.
Newspaper Blackout Poems, $20 and up. Poetry made by taking an article from the New York Times and blacking it out with a Sharpie marker, leaving only a few choice words behind. There's truth in them there newspaper pages.