Feel Like a Kid Again with These Five Back-to-School Weeknight Meals

Getting in the back-to-school groove can be tough, especially when it comes to getting dinner on the table. You want something quick and easy that will satisfy any picky eater but also keep the adults full. Luckily, Rach has dreamed up some delicious dinners that are kid- and grown-up-approved. Plus, they’ll be on your table in just 30 minutes! That’s what we’d call an A+ meal.

Monday, September 7th

Zucchini and Corn Chili

Read more

The Pastry School Diaries: A Choux In!

Editorial Assistant Lauren Katz is enrolled in the part-time Baking & Pastry Arts program at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education. Follow her each week as she shares her sweet experiences!


I was 16 the first time I ever made pate a choux, the dough used to make cream puffs and eclairs. I remember so vividly standing over the stove, boiling milk, butter and sugar, adding flour and vigorously stirring the pot until a cohesive dough formed, and then ruining all of my hard work by cracking eggs directly into the hot pot and scrambling them into the dough. My mom compared the consistency to that of matzoh balls, gave me her typical “I told you so” spiel about impatiently ignoring the directions and told me to start over.


When I found out we were going to make pate a choux in class, I was excited to have another chance to work on my technique. The procedure we were taught was exactly the same–except for one crucial detail, a word that gets used almost every day in the pastry kitchen: tempering. To temper something means to either increase or decrease the temperature of it, which is quite easy given the proper ingredients and instruction. T0 temper choux dough, slowly pour beaten eggs into the pot where your butter-milk-flour mixture has cooked and stir it continuously until the mixture is cool enough (it feels warm to the touch but not scalding) to dump the remaining eggs in. Scrambling the eggs in my dough could have been easily avoided had I just tempered it first. Lesson learned.



In class I wound up with a beautifully soft and smooth choux dough, ready to be piped, baked, filled and eaten. I couldn’t wait to share photos of my successful desserts with my mom: cream puffs stuffed with homemade ice cream, also known as profiteroles (pictured above), and one of my proudest accomplishments, croquembouche, a tower of cream puffs filled with pastry cream and held together by caramel sauce (pictured below).



You can see I’ve come a long way from my matzoh ball-like choux days– this was one sweet feat!


Check back next Friday for another delicious adventure!

Quick & Fun Recipes to Celebrate Chicken Month

Happy September! In the height of back-to-school season, we’re so happy it’s National Chicken Month. You know how versatile and delicious chicken can be, but the fact that it can cook up in no time gives this bird even more weeknight street cred. Check out some of our favorite ways to get everyone’s favorite protein on the table–fast!

Sweet & Spicy Chicken 


Tingly Chicken & Greens Noodle Bowls


Lemon-Rosemary Roasted Chicken Thighs with Potatoes

Stuffed Chicken Pinwheels with Roasted Green Beans


Categories: Every Day Scoop, Food | Tags:
No Comments

A Look Inside Siena Farms

For our September issue, we had three chefs across the country take us behind the scenes at their farms. For the full story, pick up an issue today!

Most of the beautiful produce chef Ana Sortun cooks at her vegetable-centric Boston-area restaurants Oleana, Sofra and Sarma comes from 75-acre Siena Farms, which is across the street from her home in Sudbury, MA. Sortun’s husband, Chris Kurth, grew up on the farm and now runs it. It’s named after the couple’s 10-year-old daughter.




“Chris was working at a teaching farm, a place called the Farm School in Athol, MA, and he was looking for some restaurant accounts to work with—he was trying to sell us some spinach. Basically it was one of those love-at-first-sight things: I took the spinach and that was that.”



“Harvesting ingredients at
their moment has been huge. You know when the potatoes are just dug, they are much different than when they’ve been stored for a month. There are lessons I’ve learned by being around things growing, like the parts of the vegetable that aren’t super sexy—the stalks of Brussels sprouts or the leaves of broccoli—are actually really delicious. It’s pretty spectacular.“


MAKE THE DISH: Cheesy Squash Pupusas

Ingenious Ways to Use Avocado

Although we love a good avocado smash, there are so many other ways you can use this delicious superfood. Their smooth and creamy texture makes a great binder for dips, soups and even desserts! And their luxurious flavor is a great contrast for fresh veggies and fruit. Check out some of our favorite avocado recipes that you can make any time of year and day!


Chilled Avocado Soup Shots give all the flavor of guacamole in a fun, crowd-pleasing presentation.

Change up pizza night by grilling your pie and topping it with chunks of avocado, poblano peppers and plenty of pepper jack cheese.

No ice cream maker necessary for these rich and creamy Avocado Ice Pops!

Spicy Avocado & Cucumber Bowls are elegant and healthy.

The Pastry School Diaries: Starting with the Basics

Editorial Assistant, Lauren Katz, has enrolled in the part time Baking & Pastry Arts program at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education. Follow her each week as she shares her sweet experience!
The last few classes have focused on different ways to work with eggs and sugar. It’s amazing how far knowing and mastering a few simple recipes can get you in the kitchen. Take meringue, for example, you start by simply whipping egg whites and sugar. Once baked, the mixture turns into an airy cookie.

Meringues piped by myself and my class members, flavored and colored similarly to our marshmallows.

Adding just a bit of almond flour transforms the same mixture into French macarons. OR, you can gently fold in melted chocolate, butter and egg yolks and create a flourless chocolate souffle!


I’m going to have to recreate these flawless souffles as part of our final exam


Another must-know recipe is custard. To make a basic custard, you boil milk and sugar, gradually add it to a mixture of eggs and vanilla, strain it and cool. Easy as– well, easier than– pie! With this custard base, you can bake it to make creme brulee or flan, or you can add chunks of baguette and raisins to make bread pudding. Other desserts that start with a similar base are creme anglaise and ice cream.


Flan is made by cooking sugar down to a caramel, letting it harden in a tin cup, pouring custard base on top and then baking it in a water bath.


Coffee creme brulee flavored with my new favorite ingredient, Trablit 


Be sure to check back next Friday for more delicious fun!

Not-Your-Average Burger Recipes

As summer begins to wind down, there’s no better way to savor the last of the season than with a great burger. Lucky for us, today is National Burger Day, and you better believe we’re planning on celebrating. But rather than the average beef patty and American cheese, we’re getting a little fancy today with these cool combos. Happy grilling!


Graze Burger

Brunch Burgers

Tenderloin Burgers with Horseradish Sauce

Chorizo Burgers with Sweet Corn Guacamole

Eat-Your-Greens Burgers with Avocado Ranch Dressing

A Look Inside Summerland Farm

For our September issue, we had three chefs across the country take us behind the scenes at their farms. For the full story, pick up an issue today!

In 1992, chef Anne Quatrano and her husband, chef Clifford Harrison, left the hustle of New York City’s restaurant kitchens for the small town of Cartersville, GA, where they started farming on a 60-acre property that’s been in Quatrano’s family for 175 years. It supplies all five of their Atlanta food businesses—including the James Beard Award–nominated Bacchanalia and gourmet shop-café Star Provisions—with produce and eggs.




“In the beginning, Clifford would come in to the restaurant after he’d taken care of the farm and then cook all night. Back then we had cows and goats that we milked and chickens we had for eggs, so there was a lot to do.”



“At times about 90 percent of our menus come from the farm, and we really celebrate that with our diners: ’Oh, this just came in!’ or ‘These are the first tomatoes of the season!’ It used to not seem as important to our guests as it was to us. But I think now it is.”


MAKE THE DISH: Spiced Carrots Two-Ways



Ingredient Intel: Tamari Time!

Ever pondered the difference between soy sauce and tamari? Both start with by-products of fermented soybeans, but soy sauce is brewed with wheat to speed up fermentation, while tamari has little to no wheat (and is often gluten-free). Tamari is darker than soy sauce, with a more delicate, less salty flavor. You can often use the sauces interchangeably, but choose tamari when cooking with mild ingredients so their flavors shine.
Here are some delicious ways to use this savory sauce:


Oodles of Soba Noodles and Veggie Bowls


Asian Deviled Eggs


Korean Steak Lollipops


Asian-Style Salmon Burger BLTs


The Pastry School Diaries: Never Buy Marshmallows Again

Editorial Assistant, Lauren Katz, has enrolled in the part time Baking & Pastry Arts program at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education. Follow her each week as she shares her sweet experience!

After a month of classes, I finally feel adjusted to my new schedule and the pastry school curriculum. I’m becoming more comfortable working in an industrial kitchen, cooking sugar, whipping egg whites and chopping fruit. I’ve already noticed a difference between baking at home and baking in a professional kitchen: we weigh all of our ingredients to the gram, a clean station is a must and we’re not just baking delicious treats– we’re developing an understanding of the science behind each of them, as well.

When I hear the word, ‘gelatin,’ the first thing that comes to mind, of course, is Jell-O. But we quickly learned that gelatin is used in all sorts of desserts, like panna cotta and marshmallows. Gelatin is essential to these desserts because it is a hyrdrocolloid, or stabilizing agent. Hydrocolloids are added to heated water to influence a dessert’s texture. Lucky for us, rather than just understanding what gelatin does, we got to see it in action.


Our Chef Instructor, Jenny McCoy, pouring freshly whipped marshmallow batter into a sheet pan to set.


I was a bit intimidated at first to try my hand at homemade marshmallows, but I’m so glad I got the chance to learn how simple it is. You just let the gelatin bloom and soften in cold water, boil a mixture of corn syrup and water, combine it with your gelatin, whip it until room temperature, add your flavor and color and pour into a pan to chill. They come out beautifully.



They taste delicious, too! My class whipped up some fun flavors including vanilla, coffee-cinnamon, lemon, orange and almond. These sweet, fluffy pillows are nothing like what you can find in the store: they’re flavorful, chewy and delicate, and oh-so addictive. Then my favorite part of class comes: when we get to take home all that we’ve made. Marshmallows for days!!

My team’s vanilla bean marshmallows

Be sure to check back next Friday for a new sweet story!