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Lynn Andriani (187 posts)
If you'd rather be on the beach with a margarita: Tortilla Soup
Ancho chili, cumin, tomatoes, cilantro and fried corn tortilla strips are key ingredients in this soup, but the best part is the toppings, which can include anything from sliced avocado and shredded Monterey Jack cheese to salsa and lime wedges.
If you love spice: Thai Chicken Coconut Curry Soup
With fresh ginger, 5 cloves of garlic, Thai green curry paste, coriander, cumin and jalapeño, this bracing soup will clear any stuffed-up nasal passages. Garnish it with some freshly shaved coconut or unsweetened coconut flakes.
If you're watching your salt intake: Luther's Italian Chicken Soup
Singer Luther Vandross, who suffered from diabetes, made this soup with no-salt-added stewed tomatoes; reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth; no-salt-added tomato paste; and plenty of herbs.
Oatmeal. The trick to chewy but not mushy oats is in the cooking time. Resist the temptation to set the timer for 9 hours. The oats--even those sturdy steel-cut ones--will lose all texture if you cook them that long. Although some recipes call for just 4 to 6 hours of cooking time, you may prefer to have a bit more sleep than that. So 7 or 8 hours is a fine compromise. Just before going to bed, combine 1 cup of oats and 3 cups of water in a slow cooker. Set on low, cover and cook. In the morning, stir in milk, cream, spices or fruit to taste.
There are many ways to make this decidedly un-fancy food. And if you're getting ready to watch a big game this weekend (Ravens, Patriots, Giants and 49ers fans, we're looking at you), here are a few of the most interesting ones we've seen, from some of the most best-known food blogs on the web. Just be sure you eat it straight from the bag. Putting Frito Pie in the spotlight is one thing, but putting it in a bowl is quite another.
The Pioneer Woman
This version is robust and classic, with beef, beans, spices and masa.
In keeping with Texan chili tradition, there are no beans in this hearty mix.
The site actually shares four ways to make the chili, from one with butternut squash, to Cincinnati-style, which has a touch of chocolate.
When Cheetos show up on the menu
Try tossing Fritos into cookie dough
Dr. Oz's favorite healthy junk foods
Metallic Twine, $20. A paper bag makes fine wrapping paper for a birthday gift...especially if you tie it up with this blend of natural cotton fibers and gold or silver metallic filament.
Mittens/Drink Holders, $30. These Scandinavian "koozies" would come in handy while ice fishing, watching an outdoor hockey game, or just taking your dog for a walk on a cold winter night.
Cuppow, $8. We love drinking from canning jars: they're easy to clean, made of heat-resistant glass, cheap and durable. These lids fit on almost any jar so you can enjoy spill-free sipping away from home.
RumbaTime Watch, $20. A slap bracelet that’s a watch--and it comes in 11 colors, from cotton candy to grapesicle.
1. Homemade, from-scratch versions can be really, really good. In a taste test at the site Instructables (a spin-off of the MIT Media Lab), an organic, vegan Twinkie cake with gluten-free filling beat a traditional one that was made with cake mix and vegetable shortening.
2. They're the last-minute dessert your guests will love. You can adorn Twinkies with melted caramel, whipped cream, sprinkles, colorful frosting, peanuts or nearly anything else you might put on a banana split.
3. Pumpkin Twinkie Bread Pudding. And other inventive (and, yes, bizarre) ways to doctor up the humble cake.
4. They actually don't keep indefinitely. At the end of "food clone" master and former Oprah Winfrey Show guest Todd Wilbur's excellent video on making your own Twinkies (and even fashioning your own Twinkie tin foil pans), he opens up a 13-year-old box of the treats. Watch the clip to find out what Wilbur does with them.
First, there's truffle salt, such as this Sicilian one, which contains sea salt and dried summer truffles. A 3.4-ounce jar costs just $19 and can turn French fries, steak or corn on the cob into a luxurious meal or snack (Oprah sprinkles it on popcorn). Truffle oil is another option; La Tourangelle sells both white and black truffle-infused oils for $17 each. White has a smoother taste; black is more intense. A little drizzle goes a long way, on pasta, mashed potatoes, pizza or roasted chicken. Then there's truffle butter, which can go into most savory dishes that call for butter, spoon for spoon. You can also brush it over meat before serving or--the most decadent way to enjoy it--spread it over toasted baguette. D'Artagnan's 3-ounce tub is $8.
A mail-order black truffle pizza
Macaroni and cheese get the truffle treatment
How Sheryl Crow likes to use truffle oil
Higher in protein than most grains, quinoa has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture. Rinse a cup of quinoa in a strainer first, then add 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil, simmer for 15 minutes, and fluff with a fork. O mag assistant editor Rachel Mount likes to stir frozen blueberries and coconut butter into the warm grain; the fruit melts and turns the dish deep purple.
First, cut off both the little nub that sticks out and the opposite, flat end of the fruit. The pomegranate can now stand on either end, since there are even surfaces on both sides, and you'll be able to see 4 to 6 sections, divided by white membrane. Score the peel along each membrane, going from one end to the other, not cutting deeply--just an eighth of an inch or so.
Rainbow Trout Cupcakes
This month, Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, the color-obsessed food stylists whose previous books include Hello, Cupcake! and What's New, Cupcake?, return with a third guide to turning ingredients like JELL-O and Fruit Roll-Ups into amazing cupcake decorations. Cupcakes, Cookies, and Pie, Oh My! includes instructions for making these cupcakes, which are decorated with M&Ms and spice drops.
Chinese Scallion Pancakes
Celebrate the Year of the Dragon when Chinese New Year begins on January 23 with these savory pancakes. They're crisp, golden and filled with scallions and sesame seeds. Fold them into wedges and dip into a ginger-chili sauce.
If you're stuck in an apples-and-cinnamon rut, break out with new mix-ins. To make Blackberry Pie Oatmeal, stir in 1/3 cup blackberries near the end of cooking, then top with chopped walnuts, a few more blackberries, and a crushed graham cracker. Or try Pumpkin–Cottage Cheese Oatmeal by adding 1/4 cup canned pumpkin and 1/4 cup cottage cheese when the oatmeal's almost cooked. Sprinkle toasted sliced almonds and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg on top. Here are even more ideas for jazzing up your oatmeal.
While Florida and Texas have been shipping these classic winter treats since October, two other big growing states--Arizona and California--have just started to hit their stride this month, so you shouldn't have trouble tracking the citrus fruit down. Look for ones with brightly-colored skin and no bruises. They should be be firm and springy to touch. And the heavier the grapefruit, the more juice it'll have. Not just for breakfast, grapefruits are excellent in salads, too, such as this fennel and arugula mix.
3 meatless meals to make this week
A citrus salad for dessert
An entire meal celebrating oranges
Which is why these 4 dishes are just what you need this week: They're meatless, yes. But they're also savory, warm, filling, and a lot easier to make than a big, meaty dinner.
Take these Brown Rice and Lentil Burgers, for one. Shiitake and cremini mushrooms add a steak-like flavor; topped with some Bibb lettuce and, okay, a slice of aged white Cheddar, they make for decadent meal you can feel good about eating. This Healthy Mac and Cheese recipe has a creamy sauce that relies on an unlikely ingredient: that cold-weather superstar, pureed butternut squash (it adds sweetness and heft). And Lisa Oz's Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Lemony Kale Salad highlight more winter workhorses...while keeping you on the light track.
Cristina Ferrare's favorite vegetarian cookbooks
Dining at the Oz family's house
A vegan starter kit