On what is easily the coldest day so far this winter, I met with IKEA to talk about … summer. Because, why not? The weather will warm up again eventually (or so I’m told) and IKEA waits for no squall: The stores will start to roll out the summer collection (and other new items) in February. Yes, as in the next few weeks!
I got a sneak peek and these are the new items I’m most excited about. Take a look and pick your favorite in the comments at the end of this post!
It’s been a groundbreaking month for sandwich cookies of all sizes. This week brought the release of Oreo’s much-awaited, sounds-like-something-made-up-in-a-school-lunchroom, massive Most Stuf cookies that have four times the stuffing of a regular Oreo (as a filling-lover, I think that sounds like the perfect Oreo, especially if I removed one of the cookies). But while Oreos are getting bigger, our friends down at Trader Joe’s seem to have stuck to their New Year’s resolutions because they’re releasing a slimmed-down version of Joe-Joe’s.
I think everyone can agree that ice cream birthday cake, if anything, is a bunch of delicious words and ideas stuck together. But what seems to be a point of contention is what actually constitutes an ice cream cake. Is it ice cream and cake? Or is it just ice cream you can slice? I want to know.
Without citrus fruits, the winter months would be bleak indeed. Luckily there are plenty of lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits, pomelos, and more to go around. Now all you need are some recipes that put them to use. Well, look no further — these recipes make the best of the bright fruit family.
I don’t know about you, but when it gets cold all I want to eat is comfort food: the heartiest meals that make me feel all warmed up and cozy inside. But I also don’t want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen, you know, not wrapped up in my blankets. Luckily Ree Drummond recently shared her favorite Instant Pot recipes, which will satisfy your desire for comfort food that doesn’t take much effort to make.
Let me guess? When you get home from the grocery store, you grab that jar of natural peanut butter that you picked up in a bid to eat healthier breakfasts, and you toss it on the upper shelf of your pantry and then forget about it for about three weeks until you get a sudden craving for toast. That’s all well and good. Almost. Because if you’re storing the container in your pantry right side up, then you might want to reconsider.
For almost 20 years, Rachael Ray has appeared on screens across the world with her simple, convenience-minded approach to cooking. In fact, she’s gone beyond the screen with her magazine, her website, and books. But now, firmly planted as a culinary A-lister, Ray’s making her way back to the root idea that got her EVOO in the door, so to speak.
This week Rachael Ray herself made the announcement on Instagram while on the set of her eponymous weekday talk show: “Have you heard the good news? 30 Minute Meals is coming back to @foodnetwork. More info to come!!” The show ran from 2001 to 2012 with much success, and now it’s BACK.
Every time I flip on an episode of Fixer Upper, I imagine what life would be like as a member of the Gaines family. On weekends we’d go antique shopping, with Joanna leading the charge (in search of the perfect vintage barn door that we would then magically convert into a master bedroom headboard), and then after that’s done we’d make biscuits. (Barn doors and biscuits sound about right, right?)
Honestly, I’m not far off. In her cookbook, Magnolia Table, Joanna says that she spent a year’s worth of Saturdays perfecting this biscuit recipe, Goldilocks-style. They couldn’t be too heavy, flat, light, salty, dry — too anything, really. They had to be just right. A noble pursuit!
While people love to complain about the produce at Trader Joe’s, the salad kits are actually pretty darn amazing. We should know: We spent the last two months eating and talking about nearly every salad kit sold in America.
See, the salad kits at Trader Joe’s are just super interesting. They go above and beyond the standard set that we see in most supermarkets (read: TJ’s has options beyond Southwest- and Asian-inspired!). The Trader Joe’s team comes up with surprising ingredients and combinations that miraculously work well together. Riced cauliflower in a salad? Yes! Dried blueberries in another? Yum! Shredded broccoli in a third? TJ’s knows what it’s doing!
There was just one salad kit we didn’t love (the Yellow Curry Chopped Salad), and here are the five we loved the most.
My friend Art Bovino is obsessed with Buffalo wings. (I can hear you saying “SAME,” by the way.) He’s so obsessed that he spent a lot of time in Buffalo over the last couple years learning everything he could about them so he could write a book, and ended up having so much to say, he wrote two. The first, Buffalo Everything, came out last August and it’s a guide to eating in the city, takes us to bars, old-school Polish and Italian-American eateries, Burmese restaurants and newer farm-to-table cafes. The second, The Buffalo New York Cookbook, came out a few months later and teaches us how to make all of the food he fell in love with at home, from beef on weck, chicken finger subs, sponge candy, Tom & Jerrys, frozen custard, and, of course, all of the Buffalo wings you could ever dream of. He talks to the restaurants that lay a claim to creating them and others that just made them more famous or delicious. He talks to the masters. He learns the rules. He learns technique. He learns niche trivia (did you know that the “flats” of wings actually have more meat than the “drumettes?” I didn’t either!) And while not everyone agrees on everything, they all agree on this: baked Buffalo wings are a pale and unacceptable imitation of the real thing.
Meh, I say. You just haven’t made great ones. These are.