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Happy New Year: Our Sweet Rosh Hashana Menu

Labor Day Picnic
Sundown on Wednesday marks the eve of 5775 in the Jewish calendar and the beginning of the Rosh Hashana holiday. While most celebrations lack much of December’s New Year’s Eve flair (no Champagne, and there are yarmulkes instead of party hats), the holidays do share one common tradition: Everyone gathers for a huge meal. If you’re looking to amp up your holiday dinner — or you simply want to enjoy a fall-centric menu — give these classic dishes a spin. You might like them enough to incorporate them into your next New Year’s party. After all, who needs caviar when you have kugel? L’shana tova (aka happy New Year!).

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Cookbook Giveaway: The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls

As any gluten-free baker knows, creating a wheat-free substitute for all-purpose flour might as well require a Ph.D. in chemistry. While a store-bought mix might work for one recipe (say, cookies), it could yield hockey pucks when used for bread or muffins.

The Everyday Art of Gluten-FreeThat was the epiphany that Austin-based Blackbird Bakery founder Karen Morgan had eight years ago while working as a pastry chef in France. French bakers rely heavily on specific flours for their various breads and pastries, so why would we assume one all-purpose option would work equally well in all gluten-free goods? (In fact, the absence of gluten increases the need for precision in flour.)

Since then, Morgan has developed six flour blends to suit all manner of baked goods, from biscuits to cakes. In her new book, The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free (on sale today), Morgan shares mixes in dedicated chapters that showcase a number of sometimes surprising ways to use each of them. Turn her biscuit blend into tacos or ice cream cones; the donut and fritter blend could become fried calamari or gumbo; and the pie and pasta blend is your ticket to Danishes and gnocchi, and so on. Whether you’re allergic to gluten or you have chosen to eliminate it from your diet, Morgan ensures you can have muffins and cookies, rather than homemade hockey pucks.

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25 Ways to Use Basil

Basil plants everywhere else have grown wild this summer and now you’re probably wondering what you’re going to do with the rest of your abundant supply.

Your first instinct is probably to make a boatload of pesto. Do it. One can never have too much pesto. But once you’ve tired of pesto, it’s time to branch out with your basil options. The beautiful thing about basil is that it’s naturally sweet, so adding it to desserts (pair it with strawberries and ricotta) isn’t too much of a stretch.

Use up the rest of your basil supply with these 25 recipes:

  1. Drizzle Basil Oil over some sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella for a classic Caprese salad.
  2. Lemon Basil Potatoes make for a fresh alternative to mayo-heavy potato salads.
  3. Pulse together some Italian staples like garlic, basil and Parmesan for a simple side dish on Italian night, Basil Garlic Bread.
  4. Giada’s Tomato, Watermelon and Basil Skewers (pictured above) are drizzled with a balsamic reduction and sprinkled with some sea salt, making for a fresh balance of sweet and savory.
  5. Kelsey Nixon’s take on risotto, Lemon-Basil Orzotto, is a quick and easy weeknight dinner fix.

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Sifted: Brioche with Sour Cream Custard, Plum Upside Down Cake + More

Brioche with Blueberry Sour Cream Custard

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  • Making bagels at home isn’t the easiest DIY project. Instead, opt for a yeasty, no-hole bialy. Baked without boiling, these homemade Bialys by Eat the Love have sautéed onions loaded in the center.

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The Most Insane Carnival Food Ever

It’s no secret that carnivals feature some of the unhealthiest, and most-awesome, foodstuffs known to mankind. But even these festive funtopias occasionally go too far. Here are some of the wackiest and strangest foods that’ll have you tossing your triple-fried cookies all over that dang Gravitron.

The World’s Craziest Carnival Foods

Tune in to Carnival Eats every Monday at 10:30pm ET to ride a food-frenzied roller coaster of culinary delights.

Cookbook Giveaway: Food Network Magazine’s Sweet

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who don’t appreciate desserts, and those who possess insatiable sweet teeth. For the (far wiser, fun-loving) latter, there exists an endless Internet of blogged confections, pinned pastries and ‘grammed goodies to inspire treat seekers to break out their stand mixers. But when it comes to baking, precision (and testing and cross-testing recipes) is key. And that’s where an esteemed brand like Food Network — and its talented culinary staff — comes into play, empowering you with ironclad recipes for drama-free at-home dessert creation.

In the nearly six years that Food Network Magazine has been published, Food Network Kitchen has been enticing readers with spectacular sweets, from burger- or cheese-wheel-shaped fake-out cakes to trusty cookies, cupcakes and pies for big occasions and everyday celebrations alike. Now the magazine editors are publishing Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy and More (on sale Aug. 19), a book that gathers these myriad treats into clear categorized chapters for swift, sugary kitchen navigation.

Interspersed between the cleanly printed recipes and full-page photos are ideas for amping up basic recipes, like topping cupcakes with alphabet-shaped candies or rolling candy apples in surprising, savory ingredients. There’s something for everyone, from the wee kids to us fully grown kids at heart. (For example: We’re going to take a page out of our sister brand’s book by slipping a little rum into our next barbecue dessert with Boozy Cherry Chocolate Pies, shown above).)

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Red, White and Blue July 4th Berry Cake


The ultimate July 4th meal is eaten outside. It doesn’t matter where — sitting on your front porch, on a picnic blanket in the park, on a city roof, beachside — so long as you’re enjoying a warm summer night under the stars (and, if you’re lucky, watching fireworks). There is just something about the patriotic holiday that makes it best enjoyed in the company of a celebratory crowd (friends, family, neighbors, strangers). These red-white-and-blue cakes are the perfect ending for your festive meal. In addition to having the star-spangled palette, the cakes’ brown butter icing will hold up well at your alfresco gathering.

July 4th Red, White and Blue Berry Cake

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Airbnb is Trying to Make the Dinner Table Even More Awkward

They call it the ‘sharing economy.’ You get to share something in your life, say a car, and get a teensy bit of money for your trouble. The company who facilitates the sharing gets an absolute boatload of money. Everybody wins! One of the first websites to start this trend was Airbnb, a site that allows you to turn random rooms in your house into a hotel. Now Airbnb have turned their communal eye toward supper time.

In addition to having a stranger in your bed, you can now have a stranger at your dinner table. The new service gives home chefs the ability to ply their trade in front of an impartial audience, namely that weird dude who hasn’t left the spare bedroom in three days. You get some, hopefully positive, reinforcement. They get some, hopefully edible, grub. Airbnb gets more money. Again, everybody wins!

Of course, if you are the type that travels a lot, it would be really cool to taste some truly local cuisine wherever you go, so the idea does have some merit.

G. Garvin’s Ft. Lauderdale Travel Tips

Me and chefs Christy and Mike at Hot and Soul

Located just north of Miami, Fort Lauderdale has plenty to offer vacationers. As South Florida grows, so does its culinary scene. Dine on tasty seafood and check out the bars and restaurants by the marinas when you visit the beach.

Hot and Soul
Hot and Soul is the creation of husband-and-wife team Mike Hampton and Christy Samoy. They’ve lived in different cities and brought techniques from famous kitchens to Fort Lauderdale to create their own concept: International Soul Food. I had a great time in their kitchen making gnocchi and tasting pate. If you’re in town you just can’t miss this spot.

Southern Swank Kitchen
Southern Swank Kitchen is a new spot in Davie made by young chefs with a hip crowd in mind. I enjoyed their fun take on Southern comfort food, especially the drinks! The locals will keep coming because of its awesome atmosphere and live music.

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Out of Rice? Get it From a Vending Machine

Here in America, the notion of vending machines have undergone something of a makeover in recent years. Sure, you can still plunk down some change and get some stale chips or a soda. You can also, however, use them to buy fresh burritos and other full-fledged meals. China, however, has just taken this concept to whole new starchy level.

The South China University of Technology has just installed steamed rice vending machines throughout the campus. That’s right. Pop in some change and out comes a perfectly cooked batch of mushy rice. This is perfect for those times when you are carrying around cooked vegetables but nothing to eat them over.

So if you ever find yourself in China and need some rice, you now have another option. Here’s to hoping America installs vending machines that pop out spaghetti or deep-fried whatevers.

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