These foods go together like peas and carrots
The sweet tanginess of a crunchy apple is the perfect complement to the salty, creamy richness of peanut butter.
While there’s a certain joy in experiencing the beauty of one perfect food item, there are plenty of flavor combinations that, when partnered together, taste better than the sum of their parts. It’s like music: while a piano sonata can certainly be beautiful on its own, a string quartet can be just as, if not more, beautiful. Here are 6 foods that simply taste better together. Some of these are obvious, others not so much.
Apples and Cinnamon
There’s something about this delicious combination that not only makes apple pie the treat we know and love but also what makes autumn feel like autumn.
Peanut Butter and Jelly
When smeared onto white bread, there may be no sandwich more perfect.
Eggs and Cheese
Rich in calcium, protein, and calories, combining eggs and cheese brings both to a whole new level. Throw in some bacon, and you’re reaching astronomical levels of deliciousness.
Strawberry and Tomato
Ever have strawberry gazpacho? Eleven Madison Park serves it, and it’s one of the most delicious soups you’ll ever eat.
Pears and Blue Cheese
Sweet, salty, acidic, and fatty, this pairing hits all the right notes, and should be an essential part of any cheese plate. Or fruit plate, for that matter.
Apples and Peanut Butter
The sweet tanginess of a crunchy apple is the perfect complement to the salty, creamy richness of peanut butter. It’s also loaded with protein and energy, making it a perfect afternoon snack.
11 Meals That Taste Even Better The Next Day
Curried anything is better 24 hours later. Store it in a Foodsaver Fresh Container, and the spices will mellow and meld together for a smoother, richer taste.
You've always known pizza as the king of leftovers&mdashuntil you've tried this pizza soup.
Meatballs pack way more flavor than your basic meatloaf, and are easier to store away until the next day.
Bake a whole bag of potatoes along with a big pot of chili, and you've got dinner for the fam for at least two solid meals. Made too many loaded potatoes? Store them with FoodSaver's FM5000 Series, a super simple appliance that keeps your eats fresh five times longer in vacuum-sealed bags.
These Coasties were tougher than your first sergeant
Posted On January 28, 2019 18:42:16
The Coast Guard is typically more worried about life jackets than L-shaped ambushes, so they often get a reputation for being bad-ss free, but it’s actually not true.
A bunch of the oft-mocked “puddle pirates” are actually tough as nails. Here are six Coasties from history who weren’t afraid to put life and limb on the line so that others may live:
Ten Simple Tips to Make Food Taste Better
Sometimes it's the small touches that make the biggest difference when you're in the kitchen. Here are some simple tips from America's Test Kitchen for prepping, cooking, and seasoning designed to boost flavor in everyday cooking.
1. Don't Prepare Garlic and Onions in Advance
Chopping garlic and onions releases sharp odors and strong flavors that become overpowering with time, so it's best to cut them at the last minute. Soaking sliced or chopped onions in a solution of baking soda and water (1 tablespoon per cup of water) tames their pungency for raw applications just be sure to rinse them thoroughly before using.
2. Don't Seed Tomatoes
The seeds and surrounding "jelly" contain most of the flavor, so don't seed tomatoes unless called for in a recipe where excess moisture will ruin a dish.
3. Keep Fats Tasting Fresh
The fats in butter, oils, and nuts can go rancid and impart off-flavors to your cooking. Minimize their exposure to oxygen and light to slow down this process. Store butter and nuts in the freezer, keep nut oils in the fridge, and store vegetable oils in a dark pantry.
4. Strike Only When the Pan Is Hot
The temperature of the cooking surface will drop the minute food is added, so don't rush the preheating step at the start of most sautés. Wait for the oil to shimmer when cooking vegetables. When cooking proteins, wait until you see the first wisps of smoke rise from the oil.
5. Never Discard the Fond
Those caramelized browned bits that stick to the bottom of the pan after cooking are packed with savory flavor. Deglaze the hot pan with liquid (wine, broth, or juice) and scrape the bits free with a wooden spoon to incorporate the fond into sauces, soups, or stews.
6. Season with Sugar, Too
Browned food tastes better, and the best way to accelerate this process is with a pinch of sugar sprinkled on lean proteins (chicken and seafood) or vegetables.
7. Bloom Spices and Dried Herbs in Fat
To intensify the flavor of ground spices and dried herbs, cook them for a minute or two in a little butter or oil before adding liquid to the pan. If the recipe calls for sautéing aromatics (like onions), add the spices to the fat in the pan when the vegetables are nearly cooked.
8. Brown Breads, Pies, and Pastries
Browning equals flavor, so don't take breads, pies, or even cakes out of the oven until the exterior is deep golden brown. We bake all pies in a glass plate so we can track color development. When working with puff pastry or other flaky dough on a baking sheet, we lift up the bottom of individual pieces and look for even browning.
9. Add a Little Umami or Savoriness
Soy sauce and anchovies contain high levels of glutamates, which give dishes a savory, meaty boost. Add a teaspoon or two of soy sauce to chili, or cook a few minced anchovies along with the vegetables in a soup or stew.
10. Incorporate Fresh Herbs at the Right Time
Add hardy herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, and marjoram to dishes early in the cooking process this way, they release maximum flavor while ensuring that their texture will be less intrusive. Save delicate herbs like parsley, cilantro, tarragon, chives, and basil for the last minute, or they will lose their fresh flavor and bright color.
They're just simple tips, but even if you're not an experienced chef or are just trying to cook more in your every day life, you can use these pointers to make normal dishes sing.
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Being able to cook at home isn't that hard—all you have to do is follow the recipe. Unfortunately,…
The test kitchen team spent more than a year rebuilding our classic landmark family cookbook from the ground up, continuing its quest to create the absolute best versions of recipes everyone counts on. The America's Test Kitchen New Family Cookbook contains more than 1,100 new recipes accompanied by new photography and a brand-new package.
6 Veggies That Actually Taste Good in Smoothies
If the thought of a bright green smoothie packed with veggies makes you shudder, you're probably not alone. Until two years ago, I felt pretty much the same way. In my case, this anti-vegetables-in-smoothie stance developed with the advent of the juicing trend in Los Angeles where I lived. Juices – in this case, pressed juices — and smoothies aren't quite the same but trendy green juices were how I came to understand what a drinkable vegetable would taste like.
What I discovered was that most of them tasted like liquified grass. I did not acquire a taste for it. Despite giving green juices a good hard try over the years as friends and celebrities proclaimed their love for the stuff, I began to associate those brightly-colored bevvies with disappointment.
Cut to two years ago when I visited my mother in L.A. and she insisted on making a green smoothie in her beloved Vitamix for me. Although I was fully prepared to gulp it down like medicine to humor her, it turned out to be really good. It was fruity, not bitter, and though it was very green, thanks to spinach, the dominant flavors came from the green apples and orange juice she'd used.
In that moment, my stomach's heart grew three sizes to accept Grinch-colored smoothies and, as one does, I captured the moment on Instagram for posterity.
5 Meals That Taste Better the Next Day
Why it's good the first night: Many renditions of this meat, beans and veggies dinner take hours, but this one is ready in 30 minutes and brings a Friday-night feel to any day of the week.
Why it's even better the next day: The Tex-Mex favorite tends to thicken overnight, making it all the better for scooping up with thick tortilla chips. (Follow the USDA's guidelines and put the food in the fridge within two hours of cooking.)
Why it's good the first night: This casserole serves a crowd (at least nine people) and is rich and filling but also happens to be vegetarian.
Why it's even better the next day: Letting the lasagna chill for a day and then reheating it gently (so it's warm but not piping) will make slicing it into neat squares a breeze. One caveat: when you're boiling the pasta, take care not to overcook it you want it a little bit firm, since it'll become tender during baking and even more so in reheating.
Why it's good the first night: Chicken salad in a zippy curry dressing is so versatile: You can make it part of a larger buffet or serve it as a main lunch or dinner course, scooping it into cups of Bibb lettuce or layering it between slices of toasted flatbread.
Why it's even better the next day: If you make a curry or curried salad and eat it the same night, you'll taste the cumin, the cayenne, the garam masala, the ginger and the turmeric individually. Come back 12 to 24 hours later, though, and the flavors will have melded, resulting in a smooth, savory and robust-tasting dish.
Why it's good the first night: Iconic beef bourguignon is one of those meals with a transporting aroma: Are you in your familiar old kitchen, or are you in Julia Child's Paris apartment?
Why it's even better the next day: The combination of crispy-edged cubes of beef, wine and vegetables is irresistible the first night, but peak deliciousness actually occurs after the bay leaf, thyme, garlic, onion and wine have had a day to work their magic on the meat, helping it become even more tender on the inside. Your best bet is to let the stew cool, then cover and refrigerate it in its pot. About 20 minutes before serving, bring the dish to a simmer, cover and let bubble slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.
Why it's good the first night: Meatloaf is the beloved blue-plate special that can go in a thousand directions, whether you make it with onion soup mix or crushed Cheddar Goldfish. It's one of those meals that doesn't take very long to make but tastes as if you've been in the kitchen for hours.
Why it's even better the next day: There are people out there who make meatloaf just so they can put it on a sandwich. Such people deserve our love and admiration. Toasted sourdough and crusty ciabatta can stand up to a thick slice of last night's supper for toppings, try sour, crunchy pickles sharp Cheddar and coleslaw.
6 Simple Ways to Make Vegetables Taste Good (and even amazing!)
1. Use salt
Many vegetables contain a bitter flavours.
While a love of bitterness can be acquired, there’s something you can do to mask it.
Really seasoning makes a HUGE difference.
Don’t be worried about the negative health connotations associated with salt.
That’s for when you’re eating industrial-sized quantities, not the small amount of sea salt that it takes to mask the bitterness in your kale.
Salt is also makes vegetables taste great because it enhances other flavours.
2. Use oil
Fat carries flavour and makes everything taste better. Hello potato chips.
Fat also provides fat soluble vitamins which tend to be lacking in veg. And it can help absorb the nutrients in vegetables.
So it’s actually better for you (and your taste buds) to use olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil or even butter when cooking veg.
3. Don’t boil your veg
One of the easiest ways to make vegetables taste yuck is to boil the hell out of them.
Boiling is also problematic because your water soluble vitamins end up down the sink.
These days, the only veg I boil are broad beans, broccoli and spuds for roasting or when I’m making mash.
4. Roast, pan fry or stir fry
I love roast veg but they can take a while, so I often pop them in a frying pan for a speedier alternative.
Unlike boiling, these dry heat methods of cooking help add yummy caramelized flavours to your veg and remove excess moisture.
Which is why they’re so delicious!
5. Use good quality veg
When I was little I hated peas. Boiled frozen peas were all I knew.
Then one day I had a life-changing spring vegetable soup at the Lynwood Cafe which had its own vegetable garden.
I couldn’t believe that I not only liked the freshly picked sweet peas.
Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with frozen peas. They’re a brilliant vegetable to have on hand.
I tell the story as a reminder that all veg are not equal when it comes to flavour.
The carrot you get from the supermarket generally never holds a candle to one you grow yourself.
6. Use tasty accompaniments
I’m a big fan of using tasty accompaniments to make my veg more palatable.
Here are some of my favourites:
- soy sauce
- parmesan cheese
- miso paste
- olives or tapenade
- peppery extra virgin olive oil
- fresh herbs
- spices .
6 Dinner Recipes to Eat After a Particularly Stressful Day
You overslept and sprinted to work (in which time you dumped coffee down your shirt and realized you left your lunch at home). Luckily, you arrived at your 9 a.m. meeting just in time to have your to-do list loaded up by your boss. After battling a last-minute deadline and playing mediator for a disagreement between your siblings via text message, you manage to make it to the gym before finally heading home.
To say you’re ready to dive headfirst into a bag of potato chips (and perhaps wash them down with some Rocky Road) is an understatement.
But while your taste buds may tell you to enjoy a stress-fueled indulgence, these foods aren’t going to do anything for the symptoms that you’re attempting to soothe. You know: a crappy mood, low energy and unhealthy food cravings.
“The effects of chronic stress is mediated through the hormone cortisol,” says Dr. Barry Sears, leading authority on the dietary control of hormonal response, author and president of the non-profit, Inflammation Research Foundation. “Excess cortisol has adverse effects on anxiety and depression, as well as depressing the immune response. [It] can also cause damage in the hippocampus thus affecting memory. Cortisol increases insulin resistance, which has a negative effect on blood pressure. Insulin resistance also affects appetite by creating hyperinsulinemia that leads to low blood glucose…and increases deposition of excess fat in the adipose tissue causing weight gain.”
"When we feel stressed we seek foods that are going to comfort us immediately, but often times those foods lead to surges and crashes in hormones and blood sugar that increase our susceptibility to new stresses."
“Dealing with high-stress days (especially on a consistent basis) can wreak havoc on your health in a variety of ways, but one of the greatest health detriments it poses is strain to your digestive system,” says Marra St. Clair, board Certified Nutritional Consultant, Holistic Health Coach and pair co-founder of Project Juice. “Since 80 percent of your immune system lives in your gut and 90 percent of your body's serotonin (happiness chemical) is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stress poses a real threat to your wellness and your happiness! Stress increases inflammation, can weaken your intestinal lining and decrease your healthy gut flora.”
You probably didn’t realize that your stressful day was having such a drastic effect on your body. But what does this have to do with what you eat for dinner?
The Food/Stress Connection
Stressful situations — whether it’s a tight deadline at work or sitting in traffic — set off a series of reactions in the body. Coritsol is the catalyst for those actions. As Dr. Sears mentioned its release has effects on our mood, immune system, blood pressure and appetite.
Cortisol gets a bad rap, but it actually serves an important purpose, released when we’re stressed to help drive-down inflammation in the body. But “if the initial levels of cortisol secreted from the adrenal glands is not sufficient for the inflammation at the molecular level, then more cortisol is secreted, which results in the effects mentioned above that we often associate with chronic stress,” explains Sears.
This is where our diet plays an important role: “The more of an anti-inflammatory diet we follow, the less need for excess cortisol to reduce chronic inflammation,” says Sears.
Plus, since stress may increase our desire to eat (when we aren’t actually hungry) and drives us to seek out “comfort foods” it’s important to keep stress-eating under control. Which many of us have a hard time doing: More than a third of the participants in a national survey conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health said they change their diets during stressful times.
"When we feel stressed we seek foods that are going to comfort us immediately, but often times those foods lead to surges and crashes in hormones and blood sugar that increase our susceptibility to new stresses," David Ludwig, a professor of pediatrics and nutrition at Harvard University and a researcher at Boston Children's Hospital told NPR.
Over time, constantly elevated stress levels can lead to weight gain. A meta-analysis conducted by Yale University School of Medicine hypothesized that hyper-palatable foods (read: chips, ice cream) may serve as “comfort food” that act as a form of self-medication to dispel unwanted distress.
“Repeated bouts of minor daily stressors that keep the stress system in a chronically activated state may alter brain reward/motivation pathways involved in wanting and seeking hyperpalatable foods and induce metabolic changes that promote weight and body fat mass,” the authors wrote.
That’s why having a few go-to recipes to whip up when you get home after a super-stressful day may be the key to preventing stress from showing up on your waistline.
5 Stress-Busting Dinner Recipes
So Doritos and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s aren’t going to cut it. But which foods should we be reaching for to help counteract the effects of stress on the body? The last thing we want to do after a long, hectic day is slave over the hot stove. That’s why we’re keeping these recipes in our stress-busting arsenal, to throw together when the cortisol spikes.
“The best nutrient to reduce inflammation is omega-3 fatty acids. They are not only anti-inflammatory at low concentrations, but also provide resolution of inflammation at higher concentrations,” says Dr. Sears. Get a double-punch of the healthy fats by trading in your meat patty for salmon, and topping with a creamy avocado salsa. Think the colorful fish seems a bit ambitious for a weeknight? You’ll have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.
When you’re strapped for dinner ideas and time, grab your skillet and whip up this easy 30-minute meal. Magnesium-rich foods—like quinoa--can help stabilize mood, lower blood pressure and combat insulin resistance that stress can induce. Plus, foods high in magnesium also tend to be high in fiber, which helps to stabilize your blood sugar (and your mood), and fills you up to help stave off “comfort-food” cravings.
These protein-packed balls are made up of a handful of stress-busting ingredients. Walnuts offer up healthy fats, while beans and oats check off the complex carbohydrate bucket.
“Complex carbohydrates are good to add to a balanced diet because they help to increase the production of serotonin,” says St. Clair. Since stress can spike your blood-sugar levels (which is why you just snapped at your significant other for no reason), the fiber and protein-rich meal will also help get your erratic mood back under control.
Plus, some onions for good measure: “When it comes to combating the negative effects of stress on the digestive system, pre-biotic and probiotic-rich foods are the name of the game,” adds St. Clair. “Prebiotics are un-digestible plant fibers that probiotics eat to stay alive. One of the most common, accessible and delicious prebiotic-rich foods is raw or cooked onion.”
When is upping your fruit and veggie intake not the answer? Combatting stress is no exception: A 2013 study from the University of Otago found that college students tended to feel calmer, happier, and more energetic on days they ate more fruits and veggies. And a recent study published in PLOS ONE confirmed that young adults given two additional servings of produce experienced significant short-term improvements to their psychological well-being. Keep this salad recipe on hand for an easy weeknight go-to as the weather warms up.
Oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast — go the savory route for a super-filling meal that will also help ease stress. Oats will signal our brain to release that mood-boosting dose of serotonin, while dark leafy greens like kale are high in folate (which can help lower risk of depression symptoms, and vitamin C, which can help to lower stress hormones, says St. Clair).
Plus, topping you bowl with an egg adds staying power, and a dose of tryptophan, a mineral that’s been shown to cause the release of dopamine. Your dinner partner will thank us: a 2006 study published in the Journal of Psychiatry Neuroscience, found that people who were argumentative (based on personality tests) were perceived as more agreeable by their study partners after taking tryptophan supplements.
For those who can’t shake the sugar cravings after a long day, cap off your dinner with a chocolatey chia seed pudding. A study that found cocoa flavanols can help boost mood and sustain clear thinking among adults who are engaged in intense mental efforts like students cramming, or journalists on deadline — or you trying to crank out a few more emails after a long day at the office.
Memories of a (Beef) Tongue
It’s funny how things rarely play out as they do in your head. Last week, I did my best to weave parts of the eulogy I gave at my Bubbie’s (Yiddish for Grandmother) funeral into a post. As I was writing, I thought to myself as I teared up at Starbucks, “This is heavy for me, but I don’t know what others will make of it?” But I decided to just write for myself and let the rest take care of itself.
Simply put, I was touched by all the wonderful comments, so thank you. It was great to see my Bubbie and her love of family resonated with those who are or have been blessed with a similar relationship. But even more importantly, I felt it a privilege to share that moment with others who were not as fortunate to have known their grandparents.
My Bubbie was not a fan of having her picture taken, so sadly there are not a ton of pictures of us together. She gave in somewhat in her later years (I think just to humor us), so although I have a ton of memories, they are not always affiliated with pictures. On the bright side, a memory lasts forever.
I was thinking of some good times we shared and one of my fondest memories is when I was about 5 years old living in Montreal. She was a wonderful cook and when a Bubbie gives you food, you eat, it’s a rule, even if it’s not your Bubbie! So she gave me a piece of meat and told me it was chicken, so of course I believed her. As I took a bite, my mother came into the kitchen and asked if I liked the beef tongue I was eating. Needless to say, at 5 years old, I only knew of the tongue in my own mouth, not the eating of someone else’s so it quickly went back on to the plate. My Bubbie had a good laugh about it and said I had liked it just fine when I thought it was chicken.
To this day, I have yet to try beef tongue again and I don’t really have an inclination to do so. But at any mention of it, I smile and think of an adorable little 4” Bubbie who was happiest in her kitchen surrounded by family and having fun with her grandson.
Ironically enough, this memory about beef tongue actually ties in with a contest currently being sponsored by Eat, Write, Retreat, a food blogging conference in May 2011. Eat, Write, Retreat has partnered up with the folks at Canadian Beef to generously sponsor five (5) randomly selected Canadian food bloggers to attend the conference in Washington if they share a story or recipe of Canadian Beef.
It’s not very often a story about beef tongue can be applied to a chance to attend a food blog conference.