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Author Von Diaz explores kinship between Southern, Puerto Rican food

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When Von Diaz talks about her new book, "Coconuts & Collards: Recipes and Stories From Puerto Rico to the Deep South," she usually describes its genesis as a "Julie & Julia,"-style project in her tiny Brooklyn kitchen.

Diaz decided to cook her way through a copy of her grandmother's favorite cookbook, "Cocina Criolla." That volume, by Carmen ...Read more

The perfection of pesto: a public service announcement

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You haven't forgotten about pesto, have you? This is a public service announcement.

I made pasta with pesto for guests recently, and they loved it. As in, could not stop talking about how good it was while they ate it as fast as they could and then asked for more. The happiness-to-effort ratio was approximately 1,000,000 to 1. I felt like I ...Read more

Nothing small about these shrimp dishes

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Shrimp are special.

Not, of course, if you look at them -- especially if they still have their heads. Then they're kind of gross. I know one woman who refuses to eat them because, as she puts it, they look like "insects of the sea."

Fine. More for the rest of us. And that's good, because shrimp are special.

I decided to celebrate everything ...Read more

Yep, mayonnaise-flavored ice cream is a thing. The internet is (mostly) grossed out

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For decades we got our peanut butter in our chocolate. We got green tea in our ice cream. There's Heinz's Mayochup -- mayonnaise and ketchup together in one bottle, which sounds odd until you realize it's the same byproduct that's coated your BK Whopper's bun since its inception in 1957.

Sonic even introduced a pickle-juice slushie this summer....Read more

Perfect wines for your summer barbecue? Surprise your guests

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For reasons I cannot begin to explain -- and I have given it considerable thought -- the word "barbecue" is impossible to pin down. It simply refuses to commit to one meaning. Or maybe it's that we refuse to assign one meaning to it, letting it run wild and stand in for different things depending on the word we put next to it. Going to "a" ...Read more

Test Kitchen recipe: Have a taste of New England with these lobster rolls

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A co-worker who recently spent two weeks on the East Coast raved about the lobster rolls served at Spindler's in Provincetown, Mass.

It's no wonder the lobster roll was good. The restaurant's menu development was overseen by James Beard award-winning chef Barbara Lynch, who is the chef-owner of Boston-based Barbara Lynch Grupp, according to www...Read more

Simply throw together peas and goat cheese for afternoon delight

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"Ticklemore, peas and lovage." The message, dispatched from a London hotel suite, made me blush. It sounded sweet and naughty and terribly British.

My world traveler, once home, insisted I had to try it. Cautious and curious, I acquiesced. He dropped his plans, dashed out the door and returned with a paper-wrapped packet of goat cheese. Imagine...Read more

Beer of the Month: Deep Space goes deep as fruity, balanced double IPA

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The beer: Deep Space, Half Acre Beer Co. (Chicago)

What it is: A seasonal double IPA from Half Acre that's among my very favorite beers made in Chicago. Deep Space is a gloriously fruity-bitter-boozy hop bomb that's impossibly easy to drink. It's the rare Half Acre IPA featuring darker malt in the mash, which leads to a sweeter, bready ...Read more

Environmental Nutrition: Gad-zukes!

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Environmental Nutrition

A homegrown favorite, zucchini is pleasantly prolific in home gardens.

The folklore

Fortunately, zucchini's versatility -- it's as tasty in savory sautéed, grilled, stuffed or "zoodled" recipes as in baked goods -- keeps step with high yields. Commonly known as ...Read more

Seriously Simple: Luxurious lobster dish is extravagant, memorably delicious

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As the heat descends upon us in the summer, I am reminded that salads are the way to go. And no-cook salads are even better. I love lobster, but I find it costly. So I like to reserve it for special meals.

In this elegant salad, sweet lobster meat is dressed with a lemony mayonnaise, studded with bright orange salmon roe, and decorated with ...Read more

EatingWell: Try this new method when making eggplant parm

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The coolest way to make classic eggplant parm -- and easier too! Use the Hasselback technique to make partial cuts into the whole eggplant every 1/4 inch or so to fill up with melty cheese, flavorful sauce and crunchy breadcrumbs.

Hasselback Eggplant Parmesan

Serves 4

Serving Size: 1 eggplant & 1/4 cup sauce

Active Time: 25 minutes

Total ...Read more

The Kitchn: The easy everything bagel spice blend you can make at home

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TheKitchn.com

I live in New York City, the home of amazing bagels, so it should come as no surprise that I eat plenty of them. And no matter the filling, my bagel choice is always the same: an everything bagel. You can even buy the everything bagel spice blend that gives them their signature flavor, but ...Read more

The Kitchn: 5 tips to help your kids pack their own school lunches

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TheKitchn.com

Do you remember the first lunch you made for your child? Maybe it was bittersweet. You pictured them eating the sandwich you lovingly prepared and reading the sweet note you wrote, and you smiled. But you knew that eating away from home meant they were growing up, and the opportunities to do...Read more

Here's the rule for substituting all-purpose flour for cake flour

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Q: A recent recipe mentioned how to substitute all-purpose flour for cake flour. But it was a bit confusing. How do you substitute flours?

A: Not all flours are created equal.

All-purpose flour is just that. It means it can be used in myriad baked goods. Cake flour is used for cakes and cookies when you're looking for a tender crumb. Pastry ...Read more

Test Kitchen recipe: Here's how to make P.F. Chang's lettuce wraps at home

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Popular Asian eatery P.F. Chang's has been celebrating its 25th birthday.

The lettuce wraps are arguably one of the most popular and best-loved dishes at P.F. Chang's. They consist of seasoned ground chicken that's scooped into crunchy iceberg lettuce and topped with crispy bean thread noodles. Wrap and eat.

The chain won't give out the recipe...Read more

What you should know about Neapolitan pizza

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Neapolitan and American pizzas are so different, it's like comparing filet mignon to hamburger: Same animal, different planets. Great Neapolitan isn't about the toppings, it's about the crust.

That gets push-back from some customers, says Grant Arons of Inizio Pizza Napoletano in Charlotte, N.C.

"People come in with a predefined notion -- 'I ...Read more

Cheering cherries: 4 recipes for this versatile fruit

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When I was a child, my favorite flavor was red. If pressed to be specific, I always said my favorite was cherry.

When I became a man I put away childish things, but I still love cherries. At this time of year, when they are so abundant, I can never quite get the stains of cherry juice off my fingers.

Cherries are sweet, of course, and they ...Read more

6 simple ways to dress up ice cream using ingredients you're sure to have on hand

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It was the Greek playwright Aristophanes, I believe, who said, "Under every rock lurks some ice cream."

Actually, that may have been my dentist, Dr. Aristophanes L. Throckmorton, D.D.S. The "L" stood for Lloyd.

Whatever, whether it's ice cream, gelato, sorbet or any of their chilly mates, who doesn't love lurking about with a headache-inducing...Read more

4-ingredient poached apricots: Result is so much greater than sum of its parts

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The apricot -- all heady scent, velvet touch, supple bite -- harbors a secret. Cut along its cleft line and twist to reveal brilliant flesh and heart of darkness. The rugged pit hides an almond-shaped kernel tinged with cyanide.

Boring the fan of murder mystery. The villainous chef would have to grind a lot of stones to prep any dastardly dish....Read more

Daniel Neman: Are we losing the art of cooking?

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Are we a country that no longer cooks?

A story in the Harvard Business Review -- published last year, but only getting notice now -- revealed that only 10 percent of Americans love to cook. Forty-five percent absolutely hate it, while another 45 percent are indifferent.

The story's author, Eddie Yoon, conducted a similar survey just 15 years ...Read more

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