The Final Four: Game-Changing Flavors

Carolina-Style Barbecue

As the clock counts down to the Final Four games of March Madness this weekend, it’s time to turn your attention to the spread … the snack spread, that is. With college basketball teams from Washington, Oregon, North Carolina and South Carolina facing off on Saturday, will your party playbook favor the flavors of the Pacific Northwest or the cuisines of the Carolinas? Looking to both regions for inspiration, we’ve rounded up a roster of winning recipes.

 

The Carolinas

Saucy Barbecue

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Why We’re Stalking Rhubarb

Rhubarb Pie

Step aside, strawberries. The start of spring belongs to rhubarb. It may be a semi-tough stalk that needs a lot of time to stew, but rhubarb yields a tart, sweet result that is so much better than the usual seasonal superstars.

If you plan to land a few ’barbs in your kitchen, here’s where to start:

12 Ways to Sweeten Those Stalks of Rhubarb

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Win Tia Mowry’s Cookbook

This is your chance to win Tia Mowry’s new cookbook. But first, you should know why this cookbook exists. Tia has a condition called endometriosis that made it difficult to conceive a child. After advice from doctors and a lot of research, she decided to make changes to a major part of her life: the food she eats. Once she improved her diet, her migraines stopped, her skin cleared up and she was finally able to get pregnant. Now with a busy acting career and a five-year-old son, Tia has to balance an extremely busy schedule while maintaining the diet that literally changed her life.

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Munch Madness: Recipes from the Best College Restaurants

We decided the madness shouldn’t be limited just to the basketball court. We pitted the best dishes from college towns against each other in our “Bracket Battle: Best College Eats” tournament. Check out the best college food in the country from campus restaurants and find out how to make it all at home.

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When Comfort Foods Collide

Why indulge in one classic dish when you can enjoy two of your favorite foods at once? We fused 10 iconic comfort foods into five over-the-top recipes. Doughnuts and cake? (Answer: Uh huh.)

Get all the recipes.

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Answers to Life’s Most-Pressing Food Questions


Get pumped for our new animated series The Snackdown that will answer the food-classification questions that keep us up at night. The show premieres on the site and our Facebook page on March 1.

Watch the teaser after the jump:

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The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Cocktail

What’s wrong with most red velvet cupcakes? According to Classy Ladies Alie & Georgia, it’s the lack of vodka. Watch them fix that after the jump:

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Food Predictions for 2017

Whether it’s hidden flavors or textures, jolting temperature shifts, or cultural crossovers, surprise is poised to be the flavor of the moment. This plays to our sense of adventure and toys with our expectations. It charts a new direction in novelty: a move beyond the mash-up to something both more subtle and exciting. Surprise plays it close to the vest, offering one thing to the eye or the mind but another to the palate.

Look for:

• Sweet-savory flip: savory funnel cakes, fish sauce caramel
• Inventive fillings: creative Juicy Lucys, modern tamales
• Crossing cultures: mapo ragu, tofu caprese
• Mass market: cauliflower rice (Green Giant)

Check out more of our forecast of food trends that will shape what you order, eat, watch and read this year.

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6 Types of Bread to Complement Your Holiday Dinner

Gathering ’round the table for a big holiday dinner requires a lot of prep work, and one item tends to get overlooked in the madness of Christmas meal planning: bread. It’s tempting to buy premade canned dough, but aside from the biggest problem — your being terrified when the can pops open before you’re ready — it really takes down the quality of the meal. Don’t settle for store-bought. Try a few of our favorite holiday bread ideas, starting with gorgeous grape-studded rosemary focaccia (pictured above).

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Unique Savory Cookies to Throw a Curveball Into Your Holiday Cookie Swap

There are only so many gingerbread figures and snowflake-shaped sugar cookies that you can make, so impress everyone at your cookie swap party by going savory this year. Try Parmesan-black pepper thumbprint cookies with cranberry-orange-thyme marmalade, or just top chocolate chip cookies with candied bacon — they’ll be a welcome break from the holiday sugar rush.

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