10 Frostings to Make Any Chocolate Cake Feel Special — Baking with Chocolate

Ganache! Buttercream! Whipped Cream! Frostings are something that get me excited about cake, because they (along with a few sprinkles) turn any cake into a celebration. Whether you’re baking a chocolate Bundt cake, a chocolate pound cake, or, my personal favorite, chocolate sheet cake, here are 10 frostings that upgrade classic chocolate cake to something unique and special to celebrate anytime.


My Healthy Habit Challenge: I Started Reading Nutrition Labels — Healthy Habit Challenge

(Image credit: Lisa S./Shutterstock)

Welcome to our Healthy Habit Challenge! Instead of focusing on (impossible-to-keep) New Year’s resolutions, we challenged four writers to start a new healthy habit. These challenges aren’t about cutting out sugar or going on a diet, or focused on the negative. They’re about doing something new and good — and making it second-nature. Here’s how they went.

A few weeks ago, I embarked on a mission to get in the habit of being a more informed grocery shopper. The plan: To read — and understand — the labels of everything I buy. I saw my store trips double in time (reading the fine print takes forever!). Tedium aside, I did learn some interesting information about the foods I buy (and maybe will stop buying).


5 Chocolate Treats for Your Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius — Your Chocolate Horoscope

This month we partnered with the Astrotwins to reveal the ways your zodiac sign informs your chocolate preferences. According to the Astrotwins, “Each zodiac sign has a distinct set of personality traits — and believe it or not, there’s a chocolate recipe out there to match every horoscope sign.”

The gooey, messier, and more indulgent, the better — that’s your mantra, Sagittarius, which is why a rich chocolate cobbler is likely your chocolate treat of choice (throw a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream on your serving, while you’re at it). You also have a taste for the unusual, which means beyond the fudgy and decadent, you enjoy the unique and different. Here are five over-the-top chocolate treats just for you.


5 Reasons Cool Ranch Doritos Are Better than the Original Ones — Food Rivalries

Doritos are a fascinating food stuff. While ostensibly tortilla chips, they’re not meant to be dipped in salsa, guac, or even queso. Instead, their raison d’etre is to be eaten on their own, totally naked, the way God and Frito-Lay intended. This being the case, there really is only one choice when deciding which flavor to serve at your Super Bowl party.

Dorito aficionados of the world, please allow me to provide five flavor-packed reasons why going for Cool Ranch is always the smart move.


What’s the Difference Between Devil’s Food and Red Velvet Cake? — What’s the Difference

Did you know that for some time in their history both Devil’s food cake and red velvet cake shared a similar red hue? They were both baked with a combination of natural cocoa powder and “red” aka brown sugar. These cousin cocoa cakes share a surprisingly similar history with a charming difference.


We Wanna Cook Here: Beautiful Family Home in Rockridge — Vacation Rentals for the Home Cook

(Image credit: Cluny)

Vacation Rental: Beautiful Family Home in Rockridge, Oakland, California
Sleeps: Up to 12 guests
Price: From $275 per night; five-night minimum
Why We Wanna Cook Here: We’re suckers for a breakfast bar. And this one is eight feet!

This spacious house was recently redone, but still has plenty of rustic charm. Just look at that breakfast bar (did we mention it’s eight feet?), the farmhouse sink, the painted window trim, and that Wolf oven! There’s just so much to love about this kitchen.


10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Did Whole30 — 30 Days of Whole30

For 30 days this month we’re exploring Whole30, the 30-day reset and refocus on whole foods. Whole30 isn’t a diet or a judgment of foods as “good and bad.” It’s actually a short-term reset that has helped many of our readers cook more and figure out the foods that make them feel their best. Read more about our coverage here.

The first time my husband, Chaz, and I did Whole30 we went into it with tepid excitement. We were excited because It Starts with Food, the Whole30 book that combines program guidelines with science, was the first time my super-crunchy side and my husband’s medical knowledge finally collided!

But we were also nervous because, even though we understood the reasoning behind the Whole30, it still felt impossible. We had so many questions: Will we be totally miserable? Can we seriously do this? Will we be empowered to eat better once we’ve done the program? Will this really change our lives?

We’ve now done it five times — and we learn something new each time. Here are the 10 biggest things we’ve learned. They’re all lessons that would have been good to know ahead of time, so I hope they’ll help you before you get started!


5 Locals Share the Best Things to Eat in Oakland, California — Travel Bites

If you are a food-lover, chances are you are familiar, at least in passing, with Oakland, California. Perhaps you’ve flagged the East Bay city as a day trip, a single-day diversion from the main attraction, San Francisco, which is rightly renowned as a mecca for food-lovers. But you’d be wrong to relegate Oakland to the sidelines.

That’s not to say that if you hop on the BART, hitch a ride on the ferry, or drive over the Bay Bridge, you’ll be disappointed in your short-lived foray. No, the opposite is true. This East Bay charmer will have you wishing you’d allowed more time to explore its multi-faceted (and seriously delicious) dimensions.

Here, five Oakland locals share their very best bites in their hometown.


We Wanna Cook Here: A Modern Zen Cottage in Oakland — Vacation Rentals for the Cook

Vacation Rental: Modern Zen Studio Cottage in Temescal, Oakland, California
Sleeps: Up to 2 guests
Price: From $95 per night
Why We Wanna Cook Here: Cozy morning vibes.

Okay, so you can’t really cook much in this tiny kitchen, but it has a mini fridge and a microwave, which means you can make bacon and eggs. And it’s a five-minute walk from shops, cafes, and restaurants in the Temescal neighborhood, making takeout a totally feasible option.


Food Rivalries: Pie- or Square-Cut Pizzas — Food Rivalries

Ever notice how some arguments have had the same opposing sides for what seems like all of time? We’re exploring the discourse around common kitchen arguments in our series on ancient debates and food rivalries. There are always two sides to a story, and sometimes everyone’s right.

Have you ever gotten into a good-natured screaming match with someone you’ve only known for two-and-a-half days? We did. It was about pizza.

It won’t be surprising that we met at a program dedicated to food writing. Predictably conversations centered on food, and on the 4th of July, the topic wandered into pizza. We were off.