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Chowhound Blog

Our favorite products, gadgets, restaurants, bars, wine, beer, and food websites and blogs.

Why Is Natural Wine Such a Big Deal?

natural wine, organic wine, and responsible wine drinking

Natural wine, including biodynamic and organic wine, is well worth seeking out, especially if you’re interested in being a responsible wine drinker. Here’s what you should know.

In the age of wellness Instagram influencers and food bloggers, and the prevalence of cleanses and detoxes, consumers are much more mindful about what they’re putting in their bodies than ever before. That shouldn’t stop with the wine they bring home.

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How to Care for Enameled Cast Iron So It Lasts a Lifetime

how to clean enameled cast iron from Dutch ovens to braisers
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You’ve sprung for a gorgeous piece of enameled cast iron cookware; protect your investment by cleaning and caring for it the right way.

From Dutch ovens and braisers to stock pots and saucepans, enameled cast iron cookware already has a few things going for it that traditional cast iron pans do not. Enameled cast iron doesn’t require seasoning either initially or after each use, it can be easily washed with soap and warm water, and it’s even dishwasher-safe. And, its shiny glaze not only looks beautiful but means food is way less likely to stick than what your grandmother or great-grandmother was used to in the kitchen.

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Wine & Sulfites: What You Need to Know

wine sulfites: what are they, are they harmful, and how do you get rid of them
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You’ve likely heard something about wine sulfites before, but what exactly are they and are they cause for concern? Here’s what every wine drinker needs to know.

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Chefs’ Favorite Caribbean Pantry Staples You Can Order Online

best Caribbean food ingredients to order online
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If you want to cook Caribbean food at home, stock up on these chef-approved pantry staples.

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7 Doughnuts from Around the World That’ll Make You Want to Put a Ring on It

best donuts around the world
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Doughnuts (or donuts) are one of the most popular fried snacks that unites cultures around the world. Doughnuts come in all sizes and shapes: rings, holes, spheres, twists, and balls. It’s hard to argue that everyone enjoys fried dough no matter what shape or form it is served in. As long as it’s hot, fresh, and fried crisp!

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19 Great Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren’t Pie

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When the usual pie lineup feels boring and uninspired for your dessert repertoire, you’ve got to make a change. We’re not saying eliminate the classics like Thanksgiving pies altogether, but consider tossing in a wild card. Sometimes you’ve got to branch out and try something new. If you’re looking for an alternative to pie, here are some highly recommended Thanksgiving dessert recipes you haven’t tried yet.

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The 20 Best ALDI Finds for November Are All About Cookies & Thanksgiving

The leaves have transformed from green to yellow and red, pumpkin spice has infiltrated all our favorite baked goods, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It’s true: Fall is here and well along its way. That can only mean that ALDI, the beloved German grocery store, has welcomed in plenty of new, seasonally inspired items. We’re talking every kind of cookie imaginable, all the Thanksgiving essentials, and plenty of treats that’ll help you stay warm as the cold weather sets in. 

Related Reading: The Best Food & Drink Advent Calendars for 2020 Read the rest of this entry »

Everything You Need to Know About Pepperoni, Pizza’s BFF

pepperoni 101: where it came from, how it's made, and why cup and char is so superior to flat pepperoni
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Pepperoni is a perennial favorite, but do you know where it came from, how it’s made, or what makes it Buffalo style? Read on to find out.

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How to Store & Defrost Frozen Bananas for Baking

how to bake with frozen banana, plus the best way to freeze and defrost them
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If you’ve got ripe bananas and no immediate plans to eat them, you can let them rot away on your counter, whip up some banana bread on the spot, or throw them in the freezer for later.

There are many ways to use frozen bananas, but some of the best uses are baking. Read on to learn how to freeze and defrost bananas – and the best ways to use frozen bananas in baking (and beyond).

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The Ultimate Guide to Pomegranate, ‘The Jewel of Winter’

pomegranate guide: how to pick, cut, prepare, juice, and cook with pomegranate
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Mystic, beautiful, decorative, lucky, nutritious, superfood—these are some of the words used to describe a pomegranate fruit. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing and using pomegranate.

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Tired of Pumpkin? This Genoise Cake with Cranberry Curd Filling Is the Move

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Let’s get one thing on the record: Cakes may be easy to bake, but they’re certainly tough to decorate. There’s a simple reason why we spend money on cakes from bakeries, after all.  Those trusted bakers are often far superior at frosting and piping than us home cooks could ever be. 

Related Reading: If You Cut Cake in Wedges, You’re Doing It All Wrong
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Fish Sauce vs Oyster Sauce: Do You Know the Difference?

fish sauce and oyster sauce: what is the difference and can you use them interchangeably
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They’re both complex, potent seasonings that are staples of Asian cuisine, with nautical creature namesakes to boot. But that’s about the extent of the commonalities between oyster sauce and fish sauce. Using one instead of the other will have drastic and disastrous effects on the outcome of your recipe. Let’s examine what makes them so different.

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Marzipan & Almond Paste: What Exactly Is the Difference?

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As holiday baking season approaches, one question on everyone’s mind is: Are marzipan and almond paste the same thing? OK, maybe that’s not a universal wonder, but the heady scent of ground almonds is especially prevalent during the holidays, where it graces many baked goods from cookies, to cakes, to croissants and other pastries.

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Birria Red Tacos Prove Soaking Your Tortillas Is a Genius Move

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Learn how to make birria tacos at home and you’ll never go back to your usual naked tortilla.

A taco isn’t truly complete without a few accoutrements—a sprinkle of cilantro and diced onions along with a splash of salsa offer the perfect final touch. But while the focus tends to be on the toppings, when it comes to the red taco (a longtime Mexican favorite and recent sensation in the Los Angeles culinary scene) it’s the tortilla itself which takes center stage, dipped in a fiery oil bath and then fried for a flavorful and eye-popping finish.

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9 Clever Ways to Use Your French Press Besides Making Coffee

how to use french press besides coffee
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A French press is a handy tool for making coffee, but there’s a lot else you can do with it too, from frothing milk to making cocktails.

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A Show-Stopping Beef, Stilton & Onion Pie to Warm You Up This Fall

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Calum Franklin is a wizard with pies. The self-proclaimed pastry deviant knows how to weave together pie dough into stunning confections, a task he’s undertaken as the executive chef at London’s Holborn Dining Room. Here, he prepares all sorts of pies—from curried mutton pies dotted with mango salsa to swirly, puffed up Yorkshire pudding—flaunting elaborate knifework and pastry decoration you don’t often seen in the U.S. And now you, too, can become a pie connoisseur, thanks to Calum’s new cookbook: “The Pie Room.” 

Related Reading: This Banana Cream Pie with a Peanut Butter Cookie Crust Is Too Good to Be True Read the rest of this entry »

A Lodge Dutch Oven for $40 Is Too Good to Pass Up

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I’m going to level with you: We’re looking at a stressful couple of weeks and if ever there were a time for comfort food it is now. In a rare flash of good news, there are two can’t-miss-em $40 kitchen deals that’ll help make it happen. You don’t have to poke around our cookware coverage for long to discover how we feel about Dutch ovens. In fact, I’ll save you even that small bit of time: We love them, and Walmart currently has a high-quality 5.5-quart Lodge Dutch oven on sale for just $40, complete with free shipping. Speaking of all-star comfort food cookware, Best Buy has slashed the price on an 8-quart Insignia multicooker down 50% to just $40, for today only. It’ll do everything your standard Instant Pot does (check the reviews!) but at less than half the cost. See below for details on these two very excellent $40 kitchen deals.

Related Reading: What to Do with Your New Dutch Oven

Lodge 5-5-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, $39.94 (originally $49.99) on Walmart

Lodge

Enameled cast iron is the much-coveted combination of high heat retention and even heat distribution, making it perfect for braising meats and slow-cooking sauces, stews, and soups. The sturdy enamel coating is easy to clean and safe to use on any cooktop or with any heat source. Lodge is one of the oldest American cookware companies, and its 5.5-quart signature Dutch oven is as low as we’ve seen it this year. It’s available in cherry red or royal blue and ships for free.Buy Now

Insignia 8-Quart Multicooker, $39.99 (originally $119.99) on Best Buy

Insignia

With all of the functionality of its predecessor, the Instant Pot, this Insignia multicooker can be used as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, rice cooker, warmer and more. The ultimate vehicle for tender meats and easy weeknight dinners that taste like they took hours, but definitely didn’t. Not to mention healthy meal planning and even a simple, protein-packed breakfast in a pinch. The Insignia receives extremely high marks in more than 3,000 verified purchase reviews and is down to just $40, plus free shipping.Buy Now

Save $70 on a 6-quart Instant Pot Smart with Wi-Fi Functionality

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The Instant Pot really hits its stride this time of year. If your ideal fall or winter dinner involves some tender, fall-off-the-bone meat situation but you haven’t quite perfected the art of starting dinner three or four hours in advance, then you definitely need an Instant Pot, pronto. Right now Best Buy has a 6-quart Instant Pot Smart—both Wi-Fi and Alexa-enabled—marked down $70 to just $80 as one of its Deals of the Day.

Instant Pot Smart with Wi-Fi, $79.99 (originally $149.99) on Best Buy

Instant Pot

The 6-quart is definitely the most popular multicooker size and the Instant Pot Smart is one of the brand’s most advanced models since you can monitor remotely and access hundreds of programmable recipes through the app. That means you won’t have to do any digging or guesswork to find out how long your batch of short ribs, pork shoulder, or chicken chili should cook for. Best Buy will ship the Instant Pot for free or you can choose free in-store pickup and grab it later today. If you prefer to buy from Amazon, the online retailer has price-matched the very same model.Buy Now

Bella 4.3-Quart Air Fryer, $39.99 (originally $79.99) on Best Buy

Bella

If you’re already set up with an Instant Pot or other multicooker but have had your interest piqued by all this air fryer talk of late, Best Buy is also featuring a well-rated 4.3-quart Bella air fryer down to $40another one day deal. It’ll make wings and frozen snacks taste like they’ve been deep-fried, with virtually no oil and totally slashing the fat and calorie counts. This air fryer also ships for free or is eligible for in-store pickup.Buy Now

An Award-Winning Wheat Bread That’s Going to Change the Way You Bake

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Sure, you could use your lovingly maintained starter to bake sourdough loaves (like you did earlier in the quarantine), or you could attempt a kind of fermentation that’s not as ubiquitous: naturally fermented loaves using yeast water starters. Instead of relying on flour, water, and the natural yeast swirling in your kitchen, baker Paul Barker wants to get you invested in submerging plants, flowers, fruits, and vegetables in water to ferment, which creates a natural starter for breads and yeasted pastries that reflect whatever flavors you’ve included. Like a traditional/flour-based? sourdough starter, this botanical water raises dough slower than packaged yeast, producing not only a flavorful bread, but also one that’s better for your gut.  

Related Reading: These Homemade Sourdough English Muffins Will Make You Nostalgic for Your Youth Read the rest of this entry »

Is Shopping the Outside of the Grocery Store All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

healthy grocery shopping tips

You may have heard that shopping the outside of the supermarket is a healthy grocery shopping strategy, but is that really true—and what else should you know?

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9 Short Rib Recipes to Feast on All Fall & Winter

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Any way you cut it, short ribs satisfy with a juicy layer of fat that adds gobs of delicious beefy flavor to the meat. Their chameleon-like adaptability to a broad spectrum of herbs, spices, rubs, and sauces make it beloved in cuisines the world over.

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