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Gabriele Corcos and Debi Mazar’s Road Trip Eating Tips

As a family we love taking road trips, especially after having moved to Brooklyn, where we feel a bit constricted by the “concrete jungle.” It’s fun to load up the car, punch a few digits into the nav system and go explore what surrounds the city: Long Island and the Hamptons to the east, Upstate New York to the north, Pennsylvania to the west and south.

Tradition wants that we never leave for a road trip without a couple of bags loaded with food, and possibly a cooler with drinks: When traveling with kids, it’s always better to be ready rather than to all of a sudden become slave to a tantrum because of an empty stomach. Therefore, whenever we embark on a new road trip adventure, we never leave without our mortadella or prosciutto sandwiches, the absolutely necessary slices of pecorino cheese to eat with some fruit, and the occasional yogurt, cereal bar or bag of cookies. What we carry along with us goes into our “first-aid kit” in case of hunger; otherwise we usually have tons of fun trying to figure out what to eat locally and where. We ask people on the side of the road; we read every sign posted; sometimes we even track down smells. Imagine driving on a late-summer afternoon and smelling barbecued meat and fresh corn. Wouldn’t you stop the car to smell the air and adjust your route?

When we travel across Italy it is extremely easy and safe to rely on the local Autogrill, a fantastic chain of highway pit stops where the food is prepared on the spot by cooks from the area.

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Sifted: Easter Cupcakes, Homemade Milk and Cookie Shots + More

5 Hot Links We’re Loving:

1. Pastel-colored speckled jelly beans inspired these tiny Easter cupcakes from Urban Bakes.

2. Spring rhubarb becomes a tangy compote for French toast at Eats Well with Others.

3. Dominique Ansel debuted his logic-defying cookie cup to wild acclaim and curiosity last month; try it at home with Kirbie’s Cravings‘ chocolate chip-studded rendition.

4. If a Spanish vacation seems out of reach, try Everyday Maven‘s garlicky, sherry-splashed shrimp pil pil.

5. Lighten up the mornings with Live Laugh Rowe‘s grab-and-go broccoli-bacon frittata.

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The 26-Layer Alphabet Sandwich

Trying to teach your kids about the alphabet? Sure, you could make them memorize the order the old fashioned way, via that ridiculous catchy song. Or, if you were feeling industrious, you could make a gigantic sandwich that utilizes each and every letter in said alphabet. That’s what this blogger did.

Nick from renowned food blog Dude Foods has just unveiled his most ambitious creation yet, the Alphabet Sandwich. This 26-layer (28 if you count the buns) mega-wich includes ingredients from every single letter of the alphabet. “A” is for avocado; “B” is for bacon; “K” is for, uh, Krispy Kreme donuts. This monster also includes ramen noodles, pepperoni and, of course, fish sticks. Let’s hear it for learning!

Meatless Monday: Easy Cheese Fondue

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

The final season of Mad Men kicks off on Sunday with Don Draper and his gang of ad world execs entering the final year of the jet-set 60s. As interested as we are in the business and personal dealings of the Sterling Cooper office, we’re even more obsessed with the decade’s nostalgia-inducing food and drinks. From steakhouse power lunches to Draper’s whiskey-swilling habit, there’s been no shortage of throwback fare featured on the wildly popular drama.

In honor of the upcoming premiere, we’re taking a culinary step back in time with one the 60s most popular party tricks: fondue. Jamie Oliver’s spin on the retro favorite is a cheese-lover’s dream and features three types of the runny, gooey goodness: cheddar, Gruyere and blue cheese. He suggests croutons and potatoes as dippers, but with so much beautiful spring produce available at the market, we’re going with seasonal greens like roasted asparagus and artichokes — not to mention an Old-Fashioned cocktail or two.

Easy Cheese Fondue

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Quick Onion Tarts for Spring Entertaining

As you ready yourself for the spring holidays and general turn-of-the-season entertaining, consider adding this simple (yet impressive-looking) recipe to your arsenal. Elegant, party-ready foods needn’t take much of your time to prepare, or be particularly difficult to execute. Here, I use a sheet of puff pastry, onion, herbs, cherry tomatoes, feta and French olives (all of which happened to be in my refrigerator) to make these bite-size tarts. This combo makes a great Mediterranean-inspired dish, but really any mixture of pantry items will do. Consider it my contribution to your spring cleaning.

Onion Tarts

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In 1 Minute, Learn How to Make Decadent Tiramisu

All these Mondays back at work are really cutting into our sitting-in-the-park-to-watch-the-flowers-bloom time. It’s unreasonable after that incorrigible winter. The reassuring news is that you need only 60 seconds to find out how to make Giada’s tongue- and mind-stimulating tiramisu. Drop a post-it note on the floor and watch this video while your boss bends down to pick it up. Then when she hands it back, write “I know how to make tiramisu” on it and wait for your promotion:

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Alie & Georgia’s Favorite Foodie Instagrams

While bloggers have the Internet food market not just covered but smothered, and professional food photographers drizzle blood, sweat and tears over each shot, the little corner of the Internet known as Instagram is turning cell phone photos of food into works of art. But a Hudson filter and some fancy framing do not food porn make. It takes skill, patience and excellent captioning skillz to attract the fickle foodie masses

We’ve rounded up a few of our very favorites in the world of Instagram food-photo fame, so you have a place to start your stomach growling. You’ll find no Cooking For Bae shots here (warning: link not for the faint of stomach), just good, old-fashioned, stunning food photos.

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Super Food Nerds: Make Your Own Kimchi

Once kimchi has gotten its hooks into you — stinky and fiery as it may be — life becomes unthinkable without the fermented Korean dish. It makes masochists of those who happily endure its scorch — even Super Food Nerds like myself. Kimchi packs the earthy-fruity wallop of a good hot sauce, the crunch and tang of a great pickle, and, rumbling beneath it all, a funky-savory-umami bass note uniquely its own. Any food that can do one of those things well deserves a place in your kitchen. A food that excels at all three is, quite simply, indispensable.

As I embarked on the quest to develop a worthy kimchi recipe, I enlisted the help of my colleague Esther Choi, a marvelous chef who, having grown up in a traditional Korean kitchen, has kimchi pretty much coursing through her veins.

What I learned from Esther could fill a book; I’ll stick to the highlights. According to Esther, kimchi is more method than dish. There are hundreds of harvest-preserving kimchis: summer kimchis, fall kimchis, kimchis meant for eating fresh and those meant to see you through a season. Once you get the hang of the method, nearly any vegetable can be kimcheed. I once tasted watermelon rind kimchi Esther made; it was spectacular.

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Grow a Kitchen Herb Garden in 5 Easy Steps

For anyone with even the slightest nub of a green thumb, the longer, lighter days mean that it’s nearly time to grow things. Fortunately, there is an almost-foolproof way to do that: Plant a kitchen garden. All you really need is a window that gets at least six hours of south-facing light (without scorchingly hot direct sun) and an ability to remember to water the plants (which is admittedly hard for some). Here’s what else you need to get started and the steps you can take to start an herb garden on your windowsill:

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Chocolate Chip-Pecan Kentucky Pie for the Final Four

Many college kids don’t exactly follow a healthy meal plan, and I was no exception. Since the majority of restaurants in my Alabama university town accepted our campus dining card, I would often order a lavish takeout dinner. Excess was the rule. One of my all-time favorite splurges was a rather large slice of warm Kentucky Pie from a local deli. That sublime chocolate chip cookie/pecan pie hybrid, a riff on Louisville’s famous Derby Pie, was the stuff that dreams (and the dreaded ‘freshman 15′) were made of.

This Saturday, whether you’re cheering on the Kentucky Wildcats or a fan of gooey chocolate chip desserts (because surely you are at least one of these things?), consider making this riff on crowd-pleasing Kentucky Pie for your fellow March Madness revelers. Serve slabs of this soft cookie-pie warm, straight out of the oven, with whipped cream or ice cream if you so please. (I do.) And if you want to do it like a real Southerner, offer a nip of bourbon on the side.

(Want even more recipes inspired by famous college town foods? Check out Cooking Channel’s Bracket Battle of the Best College Eats.)

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