23 unexpected, but intriguing,flavor combinations

One of the hardest challenges for cooks is to go beyond cookbooks (no matter how great they are) and branch out into experimenting with creating individual recipes, maybe using unusual food combinations. And here is where true taste preferences can come in (peanut butter and pickles anyone?). But despite the obstacles, it remains a fascinating challenge. In this context, we… read more

How to purchase cookbooks to match your cooking style

  As avid cookbook collectors, we're sure that everyone in the EYB community has met with one of two aggravating scenarios. First, there are the recipes that just don't tell you enough. For example, a muffin recipe calls for 2 butternut squash, pureed, but just how much pureed squash is that - after all, squash come in different sizes and… read more

Eliminating smelly fish odors

We all know that we should eat a lot of fish - not a hardship since fish can be extremely tasty. But you rarely see a discussion regarding one issue with fish - the odor that remains after you cook it. Over at the Kitchn they've looked at the problem and come up with some solutions. Here are a few:… read more

Cookbook ghostwriters – the secret behind the sauce

Some time ago there was quite a kerfluffle about cookbook ghostwriters (here's the blog we wrote to refresh your memory). Rachael Ray, in particular, took great umbrage. The Chicago Tribune has brought the subject up again in an article called Hidden Ingredients,  but this time they're highlighting some great chefs who aren't afraid to look for help. To begin, they… read more

Eating with your eyes: books for the coffee table

On NPR yesterday evening, a reporter was speaking with an independent bookstore owner.  What was selling?  "Cookbooks," the owner replied.  Coffee table cookbooks, the kind that never see the inside of a kitchen or the dirty underside of a spatula. Back in the 1980's, my dad and a couple of friends started a publishing company, Stewart Tabori & Chang, and produced… read more

The one kitchen app that rules them all

Since we ran a Black Friday gift article with ideas from Michael Ruhlman and others last week, it's only appropriate that we acknowledge Cyber Monday - the time that everyone goes online to shop. Of course, now it's perhaps even more appropriate to acknowledge that an EYB membership is the perfect cyber gift, but we also wanted to bring up… read more

Discovering potted shrimp

As the weather turns chilly, at least here in the Northern Hemisphere, it's time to start curling up with murder mysteries. And part of the fun - at least in old-fashioned English mysteries - is reading about the food. Has anyone else ever had a fantasy about having tea with Miss Marple? So we thought it was fun that one… read more

The one thing I can’t abide in a cookbook

Poivrade artichokes.  Veal kidneys.  Gilt-head bream.  Mastic crystals. These are a few of the ingredients I've seen as I page my way through hundreds of cookbooks on my long, slow path to holiday roundup.  And, though I try to be level-headed when judging cookbooks, each of these made me see red.  What is it about unannotated obscure ingredients that's so… read more

The best holiday gift of all, plus 2 additional gift guides

Here in the United States, there is a tradition that the day after Thanksgiving is the best day to go shopping. On "Black Friday" (so-called because for many retailers it's when they finally go black - i.e. earn a profit - for the year) stores bring out their supposed best deals. As these things often go, matters have admittedly become… read more

Marcus Samuelsson’s 10 ways to use up Thanksgiving leftovers

We're sure all our non-U.S. members are getting a little tired of our Thanksgiving blogs, but we promise this is the last one - it's hard to overlook the one holiday truly devoted to eating. And for our final blog, what is more appropriate than one dealing with how to use up Thanksgiving leftovers? There's a lot on the web… read more

Introducing the Thanksgiving Cherpumple and the Sir Plumple

Now that a Turducken has become almost mainstream (we even wrote a serious blog about it), we're very pleased that Serious Eats has taken up the gauntlet of producing a new, outlandish Thanksgiving treat - and not just one, but two. The Cherpumple is described thusly:  "First there was an original Cherpumple (yes there was a forefather Cherpumple who spawned derivative… read more

What’s up with the sausages?

When the whole preserving-canning thing took hold in the cookbook world a few years ago, it seemed to me that it owed its resurgence to an essentially vegetarian source culture - you know, homesteaders and beekeepers and organic CSA share-holders. So it didn't surprise me when a whole flock of books came out on raising chickens and fresh eggs came… read more

An assortment of food-related apps

In their article, Six tablet apps for making the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, TechHive has some great apps for iPads and other tablets that are applicable not only for Thanksgiving but for all holidays and even everyday cooking. As they write: "These apps will help you at every step, from picking recipes and planning a menu, to cooking multiple dishes at… read more

How to insure a crunchy brownie top

With the demise of the Twinkie, we thought we'd refocus on a comfort sweetie that will never go out of style or production - the homemade brownie. And the perfect brownie has to have a crunchy top - it makes the fudgy goodness underneath that much more delectable.  So while it may not be an earth-shattering issue, it's important to… read more

R.I.P. Twinkies, Ding Dongs, and Devil Dogs

We'll admit that we haven't eaten a Twinkie or Ding Dong in far more years than is possible, but the fact that these iconic U.S. lunch box treats will no longer be available is worthy of notice. Due to a variety of factors Hostess, the company that makes these (and other baked goods like Wonder Bread) is liquidating. And for… read more

Happy national bundt cake day!

It seems that every day is a "national" day (or week or month) for some sort of food item. It's easy to ignore most of them,  but every now and then a "national day" comes along that should be celebrated. We feel that way about "national bundt cake day." Bundt cakes are awesome - they seem to feed a million… read more

The NY Times gives Guy Fieri’s restaurant the cattiest review ever

We'll confess that every now and then cattiness makes for a fun read. Dorothy Parker made a whole career out of it - as in once reviewing a Katherine Hepburn performance as "running the gamut from A to B." And there was always Alice Roosevelt's pillow ("If you can't say anything good about someone, sit right here by me"). In… read more

The rise of the blog book

At first, it was only Julie Powell, blogging her way to stardom as she chronicled her mastery of Julia Child's magnum opus.  David Lebovitz and Pam Anderson were out there too.   The books food bloggers used to write pretty much looked like regular cookbooks. In a few cases, the books featured little more than a bunch of recipes downloaded… read more

Two alternatives to brining a turkey – steaming or dry salting

Fifteen or so years ago, brining - soaking a turkey in a salty water solution for 24 hours - was introduced as the best way to insure a moist, flavorful turkey. But brining has now come under assault. It always was a problem in that it required a large container and refrigeration - difficult for anyone who didn't have an… read more

Turducken or not to turducken?

Over the past several years, Kenji Alt, the science guru at Serious Eats, has tackled the intriguing problem of how to cook the perfect turducken. In The Food Lab: How to Make the Perfect Turducken, he gives us the benefit of all that experience. For those of you who aren't aware of this Cajun dish, Kenji describes it thusly: "Ever… read more

Tom Douglas

For this month's author profile, we have a glimpse into the three favorite cookbooks of an author currently more in the news for his baked goods:  Tom Douglas, winner of the 2012 James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurateur, and the chef/owner of thirteen of Seattle's most popular restaurants as well as the Dahlia Bakery, home to the much-loved Triple Coconut… read more

Surprising many, California defeated the GMO label requirement

Before we move on to really serious matters - like does a turkey really need to be brined? - we did want to note one U.S. election result that impacts the world of food. In California, Proposition 37 was defeated fairly soundly. For those who were not aware of it, Prop. 37 required that any food that had been genetically… read more

The silliest food network recipes

Looking for a quick laugh? Over at BuzzFeed Food, they've collected The Most Hilarious Food Network Recipes of All Time. And we have to say, these are pretty priceless. Here are a few classic  examples: Robin Miller's Orange-Ginger Salad: The total ingredients are 2 cups preshredded carrots and 3 tablespoons store-bought ginger dressing; instructions are mix well to combine.  And… read more

The Smitten Kitchen publishes a cookbook

One of our favorite food blogs is the Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perelman. Of all our indexed blogs, the Smitten Kitchen is at the top of the our blog list, with 1,146 of our members following her. Her popularity is obviously due to the quality of her recipes and photos, but it should also be noted that her kitchen is a… read more

Three no-cost ways to protect cookbooks & tablets from splatters

We're heading into some intensive cooking weeks, so an item from America's Test Kitchen with ideas on how to prevent cookbooks and recipe cards from getting splattered struck us as particularly useful.  And they use no-cost items you probably already own - clear pot lids, ziplock bags, and clear protector sheets. You can see them demonstrated here.  And while these ideas don't… read more
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