Taste of Home https://www.tasteofhome.com Find Recipes, Appetizers, Desserts, Holiday Recipes & Healthy Cooking Tips Thu, 18 Jan 2024 21:30:13 +0000 en-US hourly 6 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9 https://www.tasteofhome.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/TOH_Pinterest_ProfilePhoto_RedBkg.png?resize=32,32 Taste of Home https://www.tasteofhome.com 32 32 What Is Orzo and How Do I Use It In Recipes? https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/what-is-orzo/ Thu, 18 Jan 2024 21:30:13 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?p=1946665 Though it might look like rice, orzo is a pastina, a tiny pasta that can be served alone or used in soups and salads.

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Cooking with pasta is anything but basic. From-scratch penne alla vodka upgrades a typical weeknight meal, while homemade fettuccine is the ultimate date night activity. Then there’s a slew of pastine, aka small pastas, that are perfect in a pasta salad or soup.

The most popular small pasta in Italian recipes: orzo.

What is orzo?

Orzo Pasta On Marble Background

Orzo is a very small type of pasta shaped like sunflower seeds. Because it’s not a grain like rice, you might wonder, what is orzo made from? Like other pasta, it’s made with semolina flour and eggs. Rather than rolling out the dough and cutting it into floured strips like fettuccine or tagliatelle, orzo is made with a pasta extruder. This machine pushes dough through a die (metal plates created to cut specific shapes into pasta) and then a blade slices off the dough as it gets pressed through the plates.

In Italian, orzo literally translates to “barley.” If you’re ever in Italy, you might be more likely to see this pasta shape called risoni or puntalette.

Substitutions for Orzo

What can you use if the store is out of orzo? Because all pastina is made up of semolina flour, orzo is easy to replace with another pasta shape. The simplest choice would be another small pastalike ditalini, macaroni elbows, farfalle, stelline or even small shells. The ingredient closest to orzo would be Greek orzo, called kritharaki.

Though kritharaki looks exactly like Italian orzo, there are two small differences: The durum wheat Greeks use is slightly different from the type of flour Italians use and kritharaki comes in three sizes. Because it’s still a wheat product, it will cook up the same if you find kritharaki in a specialty Greek store and want to try it.

Small pearl couscous and long grain rice are your next best bets, though the cook times will be quite different. Follow the package instructions so your delicious dinner doesn’t turn into overcooked mush…or undercooked cardboard.

How to Cook Orzo

Greek Orzo Salad

The standard method for cooking orzo is to boil it in salted water like any other pasta. Cook for nine to 11 minutes depending on how al dente or tender you prefer the orzo.

To prevent the pasta flavor from getting lost in a soup, toast the orzo in olive oil for a few minutes before adding broth. Toasting it will bring out a nutty flavorthis Greek tomato soup with orzo is a great example.

What is orzo used in?

There are so many orzo recipes out there, including salads, soups and skillets. You can also use orzo instead of rice in stuffed peppers or as a base for a citrusy salmon dinner or Greek chicken kabobs. Add orzo to soups for a rice-like texture minus the extra cook time (hello, quick weeknight dinners).

If you’re making a Greek orzo salad, try to find an authentic kritharaki to use instead of regular orzo. You could also opt for whole wheat orzo to make your recipes a smidge healthier.

Our Best Orzo Recipes
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Homemade French Cruller Doughnuts https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/french-cruller-donut-recipe/ https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/french-cruller-donut-recipe/#respond Thu, 18 Jan 2024 18:33:43 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?p=1912165 Looking for a fancy breakfast pastry? Learn how to make delicate, swirled French cruller doughnuts at home.

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Nothing beats a fresh doughnut with the perfect texture. And while most doughnut recipes are made with a rich, heavy yeast dough, French crullers boast a more delicate texture.

These spiral-shaped doughnuts start with a choux pastry base, or pte choux. Here’s exactly how to make them for your next fancy brunch!

What is a French cruller?

French cruller doughnuts are made with pte choux as a base. The choux pastry is made by heating a base of butter, water, milk, sugar, salt and flour, which is then mixed with eggs to create a smooth and shiny mixture. Instead of molding the doughnuts by hand, you pipe the choux pastry into circles, chill them and then deep-fry them. This creates a golden, crispy exterior with a delicate, airy center. Eat them on their own or dunked in a simple vanilla glaze for an extra touch of sweetness.

How to Make French Crullers


  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • Oil for deep-fat frying


  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Step 1: Make the choux pastry base

Make the choux pastry base

In a large saucepan, bring butter, water, milk and sugar to a rolling boil. Add flour and salt all at once and beat until blended. Cook over medium heat, stirring vigorously until mixture pulls away from sides of pan and forms a ball.

Step 2: Mix in the eggs

Mix the eggs until the mixture is shiny and smooth

Remove from heat; let stand five minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until smooth. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.

Step 3: Chill the choux pastry

Insert a large star tip in a pastry bag; fill with pastry dough. Refrigerate dough until chilled, at least one hour.

Step 4: Pipe the doughnuts

Pipe and chill the choux pastry

Cut parchment paper into eighteen 3-inch squares. Pipe a 3-inch circle on each parchment square.

Step 5: Fry the doughnuts

Fry the doughnuts

In an electric skillet or a deep fryer, heat oil to 375F. Carefully lower squares, pastry side down, a few at a time, into hot oil (leave parchment on the pastry in the oil). Cook for one minute. Carefully remove paper with metal tongs. Fry until golden brown two to three minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Step 6: Glaze the doughnuts

Glaze the doughnuts

In a small bowl, mix confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Dip tops of warm doughnuts into glaze.

How to Store French Crullers

French crullers are best served fresh to maintain the ideal texture, especially once they’re glazed. Leftover crullers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for two to three days.

Tips for Making French Crullers

What type of oil should you use to fry French crullers?

Frying French crullers in oil is key to creating the ideal texture. Choose an oil for frying with a high smoke point of at least 400 and a neutral taste, such as vegetable oil, avocado oil or canola oil. You don’t want to use an oil with a low smoke point, such as olive oil, coconut oil or flaxseed oil.

How can you make sure French crullers fry up fluffy?

To craft the perfect French cruller shape and texture, use a large enough piping tip to create a tall piped ring of choux pastry. Chilling the dough at least one hour will also help to create a reaction with the hot oil. The oil must be consistently hot enough at 375 so the doughnut doesn’t soak up too much oil and maintains its fluffy, tall shape.

What other types of glaze can you put on French crullers?

While a simple vanilla glaze will add a touch of sweetness to your homemade crullers, there are plenty of other possibilities. Consider making a chocolate glaze, maple glaze or even a fruit topping such as lemon or orange glaze.

How else can you make French crullers?

Frying French crullers will produce the best texture for your doughnuts, but they can also be baked. This will result in a different, firmer exterior texture. To bake crullers, pipe the choux pastry onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 450 for five minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 to bake for another 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the oven and let the doughnuts sit in the oven with the door cracked for five minutes.

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Bruvi Review: I Can Brew My Morning Coffee From Bed https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/bruvi/ Thu, 18 Jan 2024 14:10:52 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?p=1910596 I'm a coffee addict, and this is the best coffee pod machine on the market. The smart app-compatible, touchscreen device brews seven drinks.

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As a coffee snob, I’m not the biggest fan of single-serve coffee makers. I usually prefer my French press. Typically, single-serve coffee makers excel in convenience and speed, but not taste. Bruvi claims to make a coffee house-grade cup of coffee, including espresso and cold brew. Its the first pod-based machine to make cold brew. And, its B-Pods are sustainable and better for the environment.

The Bruvi coffee maker is convenient because I can schedule all of my brews in advance from my phone. This aesthetically pleasing appliance brews up to seven different beverages.

What is the Bruvi Coffee Maker?

Toha24 Bruvi Coffee Maker Daria Smith 02 Ssedit

The Bruvi coffee maker is a single-serve brewer that makes seven drinks: coffee, espresso, Americano, cold brew, iced coffee, infused coffee and tea. Bruvi scans each distinct B-Pod and auto-adjusts brew parameters. It actually brews good coffee, and its the smartest coffee maker Ive ever encountered.

I’ve used my Bruvi every day for the past few months. For an appliance to top my Nespresso Vertuo Plus, which I previously used daily for six yearsthat’s a big deal.

Bruvi Pods

Bruvis main focusthey only partner with roasters who make their coffee sustainably and ethically to create their B-Pods. Each B-Pod contains 40% more coffee than the average K-Cup, and the Bruvi coffee maker saturates each pod with 20 streams of water for even extraction.

I sampled five different B-Pods in the variety pack: a Colombian light roast, an Ethiopian light roast, a medium-dark roast from Colombia and Honduras, a medium roast from Guatemala and Colombia and a medium roast espresso from Colombia and Honduras. Each coffee serves a distinct flavor reminiscent of its roast and origin. B-Pod coffee roasters on the site include Mulholland Roasters, Wonderland Coffee Spellbinder D. C. A., Equator Coffee, Lamill Coffee and Joyride for cold brew.

Its hard to compare the Bruvi coffee maker to fresh, ground beans in my French press, but its pretty close. The same goes for the Espresso B-Pods to a true Espresso machine.

Smart Machine

Using the Bruvi coffee machine is so simple with a large touchscreen control panel. After filling the removable water tank, Bruvi scans the inputted B-Pod, and the screen reflects pod options, differentiating between coffee and espresso. Select from four sizes ranging from 6 to 12 ounces. For a stronger brew, select the stronger option. For a coffee pod, make it hot, iced or cold brew, and for an espresso pod, brew a single, double or triple. Brew options average around three minutes, with the cold brew function taking five minutes. This is impressive, considering most cold brew coffee makers take an entire day to steep.

Once your coffee is finished, the machine chimes and sends a notification to your phone. In the app, it records which coffees you brewed, and you can schedule your brews in advance. Pre-load a B-Pod and mug, then select preferences and schedule coffee to brew from your phone. The night before, I set up my Bruvi coffee maker and scheduled it to wake me up in the morning with a hot brew. I don’t like to get out of bed, but if I smell the coffee, I’m up and at ’em.

Options & Features

I often use the hotter option to brew hot water for French press coffee or tea. The “hotter” brew setting also increases the beverage temperature from 155 degrees to 165 degrees. The “low acid” function uses colder water when brewing.

Sustainability is an area of concern with single-serve coffee machines, but B-Pods can simply be tossed when usedunlike Nespresso where the pods must be mailed back. Bruvi creates B-Pods with a food-safe bio-enzyme, so pods degrade in a few years, and no microplastics are left behind. Test results prove a B-Pod breaks down 63% in 577 days, whereas an untreated pod breaks down just 2%.

Bruvi nailed the aesthetics of this coffee maker with a large sleek touchscreen, a white exterior, light wood accents and a minimalistic design. The machine itself looks smart and futuristic. The Bruvi coffee maker weighs 13.2 pounds and measures 12.6 x 10.2 x 11.5 inches. With the lid open, the machine is 17.2 inches tall.

After a B-Pod is used, its stored in a six-pod capacity bin. Once the bin is full, dump it in the trash. Note, the Bruvi coffee maker tends to make slight backsplash. This is a higher concern with espresso cups when the coffee has a longer distance to travel. The Bruvi’s drip tray can be adjusted to a taller height to minimize splashing when brewing in a smaller vessel. Or, remove the drip tray for mason jars and travel cups. Anything taller than 6.75 inches won’t fit under the Bruvi spout.

My main issue with the Bruvi is that you must press down very hard on the lid when inserting a pod. The first time I used the Bruvi, I thought I had broken the appliance. However, the plastic of the B-Pod just needed a good crunch. I also wish the Bruvi had a built-in milk frother. As a workaround, I use an Amazon frother. To accompany my morning brew, I employ East Fork Pottery mugs and Daysie syrups.

Toha24 Bruvi Coffee Maker Daria Smith 05 Ssedit


  • Remote brewing with smart app capability
  • Four size options ranging from six to 12 ounces
  • Seven drink settings
  • Easy to use with a large touchscreen control panel
  • Makes better coffee than other single-serve coffee makers
  • Aesthetic design with white exterior and bamboo accents
  • Sustainable coffee pods


  • Only compatible with B-Pods
  • Lots of backsplash when brewing, which makes a mess on the counter
  • Lacks a milk frother
  • Must press the lid down hard when inserting pod

We Tried It

Bruvi Coffee Maker

Bruvi makes the best pod coffee machine that's a smart app-compatible, touchscreen device that brews seven drinks: coffee, espresso, Americano, cold brew, iced coffee, infused coffee and tea.

Why I Love It

The best thing about Bruviit makes seriously good coffee. It’s a full-bodied, palatable cup of joe. Each roast is packed with flavor and distinguishable from the others.

No, I don’t think a single-serve coffee maker will ever beat the taste of French press coffee with freshly ground beans. However, it is easier to brew coffee in the Bruvi, and a heck of a lot quicker when I’m in a pinch for time.

When guests come over, they’re always in awe of my Bruvi and all the options. For a coffee maker, it’s quite entertaining to use with the large touchscreen control panel and smartphone app capability.

The Bruvi is aesthetic and looks beautiful on my coffee bar with a white exterior and bamboo accents. I’m all for a bright, minimalistic appliance. Plus, it’sthe only single-serve coffee maker that can make so many different types of drinks. And, it’s sustainable and aesthetic!

But Dont Take My Word for It!

Toha24 Bruvi Coffee Maker Daria Smith 01 Ssedit

I’m not alone, reviewers are obsessed with their Bruvi coffee makers.

Five-star reviewer, Tyler S. is throwing out his Keurig and encourages you to bite the bullet with Bruvi. “I don’t know what I was expecting, but all of my expectations have been exceeded. I’ve been dedicated to the Keurig brand for a good number of years now solely due to convenience, but I’ve never been too impressed with the quality of the coffee. In my opinion, Bruvi is finally an alternative to Keurig that successfully does what Keurig can’t. Coffee strength is impeccable, taste is amazing [and] it never feels watered downI can even make strong iced lattes in the comfort of my own home! If you’re struggling to bite the bullet with Bruvi because you already have a Keurig, let this be your sign,” he writes.

Stephanie Q. says this is the best coffee maker she’s ever used. She seldom leaves reviews, but felt this one was needed. “I cannot say enough positive things about the Bruvi. We added this to our coffee bar about three weeks ago, and it has become my new favorite kitchen gadget. I was strongly against the pod system because I didnt care for how the water sat in the machine. We used to own a Keurig, and that would often make us have stomach troubles. I have not experienced that yet with the Bruvi. I can taste the difference between the pods and feel the temperature which is amazing.”

Where to Buy the Bruvi Coffee Marker

The Bruvi coffee maker bundle retails for $398 on Bruvi’s website and Amazon with the inclusion of a brewer and 20 B-Pods. This option serves the best bang for your buck. Or, purchase the brewer alone for $373 on Bruvi.

A pack of 20 pods ranges from $22-$30, so each pod costs $1.10-$1.50. Opt for auto-delivery every two, four, eight or 12 weeks and receive a 20% discount. I always end up restocking the variety pack for an array of options.

Final verdict, the Bruvi lives up to the hype. While others may have different opinions, the Bruvi is the only pod coffee maker I’d recommend.

Bruvi Coffee Maker

Bruvi uses an auto-optimized brewing system to brew up to 40% more sustainably sourced, 100% Arabica coffee than a typical pod.

Why You Should Trust Us

I’m a Senior Shopping Editor at Taste of Home and have years of experience reviewing products. I’ve tested numerous pod coffee makers and coffee brewing vessels, including Keurig, Nespresso, Chemex, AeroPress, Bialetti and Bodum to name a few. As a coffee connoisseur, I worked at a Fair Trade-certified coffee shop in college and learned the art of coffee.


Does Bruvi use K-Cups?

No, the Bruvi coffee maker only uses B-Pods, which can be purchased on the Bruvi site.

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How to Make Glazed Chocolate Doughnuts https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/glazed-chocolate-donut/ https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/glazed-chocolate-donut/#respond Wed, 17 Jan 2024 21:34:41 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?p=1913053 A glazed chocolate doughnut doesn't have to come from a bakery. It's easy to make homemade cake doughnuts with our step-by-step guide. No deep-fryer required!

The post How to Make Glazed Chocolate Doughnuts appeared first on Taste of Home.

Don’t be intimidated by homemade doughnuts! The breakfast treat is actually simple to make from scratchespecially a baked doughnut, like this glazed chocolate doughnut.

While classic bakery doughnuts are usually made with yeasted dough and then deep-fried (daunting for a home cook, especially before the caffeine kicks in), cake doughnuts are simple. Delicious, soft and light, they’re as easy to make as cupcakes: prepare a batter, pour into a special pan and bake. Adding a glaze is literal icing on the cake…er, doughnut.

Glazed Chocolate Doughnut Recipe

This recipe, from Taste of Home contributor Jennifer Sobjack, yields 1-1/2 dozen doughnuts.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted


  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream


Step 1: Mix the dry ingredients

Mix the ingredients

Preheat your oven to 350F. In a large bowl, whisk the first five ingredients. You’ll mix the final batter in this bowl, so make sure to use one that’s big enough.

Step 2: Whisk the wet ingredients

Whisk eggs, buttermilk and butter together

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and butter until well-blended.

Step 3: Combine

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until blended; there shouldn’t be bits of flour in the mix. The batter will be thick.

Step 4: Pipe the doughnuts

Pipe the doughnuts

Cut a small hole in the corner of a food-safe plastic bag, or use a piping bag. Fill with batter. Pipe into two 6-cavity doughnut pans coated with cooking spray, filling the cavities about two-thirds full.

Step 5: Bake

Bake until the doughnuts spring back when touched, about 10 to 12 minutes. Since the batter contains cocoa, they’ll be too dark to use browning as an indicator of doneness. If unsure, pierce with the tip of a knife; the tip should come out clean.

Cool the doughnuts for five minutes in the pan before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Step 6: Make the glaze

In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and just enough heavy cream to reach the desired consistency. Some people enjoy a thick glaze you can sink your teeth into, while others prefer a thin layer. If the glaze is too thick, you can always add more cream. Too runny? Add a bit more sugar.

Step 7: Glaze the doughnuts

Glaze the doughnuts in bowl

Dip each doughnut into the bowl, holding the edges with your fingertips. Let the glaze reach halfway up the doughnut, then lift straight out, allowing excess to drip off. Place on a wire rack and let stand until set.

Repeat with the remaining doughnuts.

Tips for Making Glazed Chocolate Doughnuts

Glazed Chocolate Doughnuts on wire rack

Can you fry chocolate doughnuts?

Fried doughnuts are doable for home bakersthey just require a different technique and, alas, a different recipe. Batter for cake doughnuts is generally wetter and relies on chemical leavening agents to rise. If you try to fry doughts with this recipe, they will probably fall apart in the oil. Use a proper yeasted doughnut recipe if you prefer to fry.

Can you make different glazes?

Absolutely! One of the best traits of cake doughnuts is their versatility. While we love chocolate glaze, you might enjoy traditional vanilla glaze. Maple glaze is a fall favoritesprinkle with bacon bits for a sweet and savory treat. Or, toss the warm doughnuts in cinnamon sugar for a different sweet finish. If you don’t want to make icing or don’t have the ingredients, you can never go wrong with spreading some peanut butter over the top!

What if I don’t have a doughnut pan?

It’s definitely easier to make doughnuts in a pan designed for the job. But, if you don’t love single-use kitchen gadgets, you can rig up a doughnut pan using a muffin pan, aluminum foil and some ingenuity.

How do you store glazed chocolate doughnuts?

Store frosted doughnuts in an airtight container for up to two days. They’ll keep at room temperature, but if it’s hot or humid, it’s best to keep them in the refrigerator. Doughnuts freeze well too. Place them on a sheet pan and freeze until solid, then transfer to an airtight container. They’ll keep up to two months.

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Chicken & Sausage Tortellini Alfredo Casserole https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chicken-sausage-tortellini-alfredo-casserole/ Wed, 17 Jan 2024 14:22:12 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chicken-sausage-tortellini-alfredo-casserole/
Pesto pinwheel rolls top this golden-crusted casserole. With its spicy Italian sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, plump cheese tortellini and velvety Alfredo sauce this dish makes a thoroughly satisfying meal. —Jeanne Holt, St. Paul, Minnesota
Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Bake: 45 min.


8 servings

Updated: Jan. 17, 2024


  • 1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 1 jar (15 ounces) Alfredo sauce
  • 1 can (14 ounces) water-packed quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 package (12 ounces) fully cooked Italian chicken sausage links, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 package (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1/3 cup prepared pesto
  • 1/4 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • Torn fresh basil leaves, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a 6-qt. stockpot, cook tortellini according to package directions, reducing cook time to 5 minutes. Drain; return to pot. Add Alfredo sauce, artichoke hearts, sausage, chicken, cheese and tomatoes; toss gently to combine.
  2. Transfer to a greased 2-quart baking pan, spreading evenly. Bake, covered, 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, for topping, unroll crescent dough; press perforations to seal. Spread pesto on top. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with short side; pinch seam to seal. Using a serrated knife, cut crosswise into 8 slices.
  4. Arrange slices over casserole, cut side up. Bake, uncovered, until rolls are golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. If desired, top with torn basil leaves.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 523 calories, 27g fat (12g saturated fat), 101mg cholesterol, 1176mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 32g protein.

I’m Halfway Through Dry January, Here’s What I’ve Experienced So Far https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/dry-january/ https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/dry-january/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2024 21:38:36 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?p=1946243 How's dry January going 14 days in? Learn about the benefits of this 30-day period and the joy of nonalcoholic drinks.

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For many of us, the start of a new year is a time to kick old habits and pick up healthy new ones. To start 2024, I decided to tackle Dry January. While I already have a habit of not drinking during the week, weekends are often a different story. I find that socializing, dinners out and wanting to relax after a long week often leads to drinking more than I intend to.

My main reason for wanting to be “dry” in January is to see if it improves my sleep. This is a struggle I’ve had for several years. As a registered dietitian, I know that sleep impacts hormones, raising cortisol and throwing off blood sugar. I believe that alcohol could be the reason for my frequent 3 a.m. wake-ups.

Taking a month-long break from drinking seemed like a reasonable way to evaluate if alcohol is the cause.Here’s what I’ve learned so far!

What is Dry January?

Dry January is simply not drinking for the month of January. Some people use this month as a reset period after overdoing it during the holidays. Others are “sober curious.” Dry January can be a way to determine if they want to make it a lifestyle beyond the first month.

Many of us are looking to have healthier habits in the new year. Cutting back on alcohol is a great way to improve your health, get better sleep, lose weight and even save money.

My Experience with Dry January

I’m two weeks into Dry January and staying strong with my goals. This is what I’ve discovered, day by day:

Day 1

The few days of the year it was fairly easy to abstain after a champagne-fueled New Year’s Eve party. I didn’t even think about drinking as the year began to ramp up.

Day 5

I attended a book club meeting and the host wanted to make a “warm boozy drink” that everyone could enjoy. I spoke up and requested an alcohol-free version for those of us doing Dry January. Turns out I wasn’t the only one who was looking for that option. The host ended up serving hot chocolate with lots of toppings. I enjoyed my cocoa and the inspirational conversation without the booze!

Day 6

This is when things became more challenging, as there always seems to be an opportunity to drink on weekends. I had tickets to a monster truck show, and there’s nothing I love more than beer and monster trucks. I asked my husband to get me a diet cola and was surprised that the rest of our group also chose nonalcoholic drinks to enjoy during the show. I started a trend!

After the show, we went out to eat as a family. This was the hardest time so far because typically my husband and I like to enjoy a few drinks at dinner. Luckily, The Cheesecake Factory has quite a tasty selection of mocktails, which was enough to take the edge off. It was nice to be able to wake up clear-headed on Sunday morning.

I was proud of myself that I made it through my first weekend alcohol-free!

Day 10

I read that it takes 10 days for alcohol to completely get out of your system. I hoped that by now I would be sleeping or feeling better and I can’t say I feel that different. I was still up at 2 a.m.

Day 12

For a successful second weekend without alcohol, I did a few things to make it easier to abstain. I turned down an invitation to a party that’s typically fueled with wine and instead brought my kids to a pinewood derby event on Friday night. I invited some neighbors over on Saturday who are not big drinkers. Being around others that don’t drink has helped me stay on track. Plus, they’re fun to hang out with!

Day 14

I’m proud of myself for abstaining from alcohol for two full weeks. I’ve had time to evaluate the moments I “need a drink.” It has helped me question if those thoughts are really true or if I’m just drinking out of habit.

I’ve been surprised by the number of people who told me that they too want to cut back, but feel pressured to drink socially. There’s a lot of stigma in admitting you want to abstain from alcohol, although it shouldn’t be this way. But friends seemed more than happy to abstain with me when I said I wasn’t drinking. I believe that people are afraid of others thinking they “have a problem” with drinking or being judged. Taking a break doesn’t mean you have a problem; in fact, you should be applauded for doing it!

I’ve made it this far, so I plan on finishing the last two weeks of Dry January. I’m not sure of the role of alcohol in my life moving forward, but right now I’m taking things one day at a time. Making decisions about whether I will drink at an event in the future seems overwhelming. But I know that I can make it through social events, book clubs and dinners out without alcohol, which has given me more confidence. And the realization that many friends feel the same way about alcohol and want to drink less empowers me to think about ways we could hang out withoutbooze.

Dry January Benefits

This month has many physical, mental and even financial benefits. Here are a few:

  • Improved overall health. Alcohol is a toxin and a Group 1 carcinogen. Avoiding alcohol improves liver function, reduces cholesterol, lowers the risk of high blood pressure and reduces your risk of many cancers.
  • Weight loss. Alcohol consumption has been correlated with increased body weight. Alcohol itself is a source of calories, plus it also lowers your inhibitions making it easier to reach for unhealthy food.
  • Better sleep. Alcohol can disrupt sleep, so it’s harder to reach the deep REM sleep that your body needs.
  • Improved mood and reduced anxiety. Alcohol is a mood disruptor. Hangovers make you feel depressed, grouchy and anxious.
  • Financial benefits. Not drinking can save you quite a bit of money. My husband was blown away at the cost of dinner out without any drinks!

Dry January can be a great way to feel and look better. Being 14 days in, I highly recommend taking a bit of time away from drinking on an annual basis. It can help you gain clarity around the role alcohol plays in your life. (It’s also fun to experiment with nonalcoholic spirits.)

Dry January Tips and Ideas

I’m two weeks into Dry January. This is advice I have for anyone tackling a sober month:

  • Enlist support. You might be surprised at how many other people want to cut back on drinking. Be the leader in your social group!
  • Take it one day at a time. It’s easy to get stressed about the future and your relationship with alcohol. Instead of trying to figure it all out at one, focus on not drinking today. Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.
  • Have a plan for triggering situations. Your cravings typically won’t last more than 15 minutes, so come up with a plan to get through them.
  • BYOB. If you plan to attend a party, offer to bring nonalcoholic beer or nonalcoholic wineto share.

Nonalcoholic Drinks to Mix Up All Month
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The 5 Best Plant-Based Meal Delivery Services of 2024 https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/best-plant-based-meal-delivery/ Tue, 16 Jan 2024 19:12:49 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?post_type=listicle&p=1945270 We tested over 15 services to find the best plant-based meal delivery options, whether you're trying it for the first time or a vegan foodie.

The post The 5 Best Plant-Based Meal Delivery Services of 2024 appeared first on Taste of Home.


Purple Carrot

Best Overall

Purple Carrot

Topping our list of best plant-based meal delivery services, Purple Carrot is 100% vegan and plant-based. They stand out for ease of ordering, strong meal variety and fresh ingredients. While some services specialize in one category, like “prep and cook it yourself” kits or heat-and-eat style meals, Purple Carrot offers it all. Looking to channel your inner chef? Go for the meal kit option. What about those nights when you’re craving something easy yet packed with flavor? Purple Carrot’s prepared meals and frozen meals are ideal.

Plus, there’s a kit option for home cooks who desire less prep time. Bonus: the “plantry” section makes it a breeze to stock up on vegan pantry goods. As if it could get better, Purple Carrot meals are clinically proven to lower LDL cholesterol and may lower the risk of developing diabetes.

I first tested this service in October 2022 when I was trying plant-based eating for the first time. I remember feeling overwhelmed by the amount of ingredients I had to cut out of my diet to maintain a plant-based plate. When I tried Purple Carrot, I was blown away by the flavor and ease of cooking. Who knew all it took was a juicy portobello burger meal kit to convert me to this eating style? In all seriousness, Purple Carrot is the top service that gives me the confidence to maintain a plant-based diet that tastes amazing and makes my body feel good, too.


  • 100% vegan and plant-based meals
  • Meals are packed with flavor and fresh ingredients
  • Ordering is easy and convenientno need to filter for vegan-exclusive meals
  • Strong recipe variety spanning meal kits, ready-to-eat dishes and frozen options


  • If you have a nut allergy, pay extra attention to dishes with plant-based dairy substitutes as they typically contain tree nuts

Shop on Purple Carrot

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4-Ingredient Chocolate Dump Cake https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/4-ingredient-chocolate-dump-cake/ Sat, 13 Jan 2024 14:15:42 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/4-ingredient-chocolate-dump-cake/
Total Time

Prep: 5 min. Cook: 40 min.


12 servings

Updated: Jan. 13, 2024


  • 1 chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 cups (12 ounces each) semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • Vanilla ice cream, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Evenly sprinkle dry cake mix into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Sprinkle dry pudding mix over cake mix and top with 1-3/4 cups chocolate chips. Drizzle milk over the top. Gently stir to combine (mixture will appear thick and lumpy). Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips.
  2. Bake until top appears set and edges pull away from sides of dish, 35-40 minutes. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm, with ice cream if desired.

Nutrition Facts

1/2 cup: 460 calories, 19g fat (12g saturated fat), 3mg cholesterol, 338mg sodium, 76g carbohydrate (53g sugars, 4g fiber), 6g protein.

How to Make Boston Cream Doughnuts https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/how-to-make-boston-cream-doughnuts/ Fri, 12 Jan 2024 19:44:11 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?p=1903991 Love Boston cream pie? Make Boston cream doughnuts for a version that's handheld—and acceptable to eat for breakfast.

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Filled doughnuts are the best kind of doughnuts. Don’t get me wrong, a good cake doughnut or old-fashioned doughnut is good in its own right, but the added element of a decadent filling is simply too good to resistand Boston cream doughnuts are a classic example.

These doughnuts take the traditional pastry cream you’d find in Boston cream pie (which is actually a cream-filled cake, not a pie) and puts it in a new vessel: A fried yeast doughnut with a glossy chocolate icing. I’d argue Boston cream doughnuts are much better than the “pie” version. Here’s everything you need to know to make them at home.

Boston Cream Doughnut Recipe

This recipe from our experts in the Taste of Home Test Kitchen makes 16 doughnuts.



  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm 2% milk (110 to 115)
  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Oil for deep-fat frying

Pastry cream:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream


Step 1: Activate the yeast

Activating the yeast in large bowl

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm milk. Add 1 cup of flour and mix well. Let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Create the dough

Dough in large bowl

Add the room temperature egg, egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar and salt and mix well. Beat in the butter, vanilla and remaining 2-1/2 cups flour. Do not knead.

Dough resting in large bowl with cloth over it

Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Step 3: Make the pastry cream

checking cream with spoon

Meanwhile, for the pastry cream, mix the sugar and cornstarch in a small heavy saucepan. Whisk in the milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce the heat to low, cook and stir for 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.

Step 4: Temper the eggs for the cream

Whisking the eggs in bowl

In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks, and return it all to the pan, whisking constantly. Bring to a gentle boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes.

Checking the cream with sppon

Remove from heat. Immediately transfer to a bowl.

Step 5: Finish preparing the pastry cream

bowl of cream resting on large bowl of ice

Place the bowl of custard in an ice-water bath for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the butter and vanilla. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the custard. Refrigerate until cold.

Step 6: Cut out the doughnuts

Cutting out doughnuts from dough

Punch the dough down. On a lightly floured surface, roll it out to 1/2-in. thickness. Cut circles from the dough with a 3-in. biscuit cutter. Place the doughnuts on lightly greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 45 minutes.

Editor’s Tip: After you cut doughnuts from the rolled-out dough, there will be scraps that you can gently re-roll to avoid waste and squeak out a few more doughnuts.

Step 7: Fry the doughnuts

Frying the doughnuts

In a deep-fat fryer or electric skillet, heat the oil to 375F. Fry the doughnuts, a few at a time, for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Drain on paper towels after you take them out of the hot oil.

Editor’s Tip: Associate recipe editor/test cook Maggie Knoebelloves the All-Clad deep fryer because it’s easy to use, keeps a constant temperature and has a deep basket. However, you don’t need to use a deep fryer to make doughnuts: Using a pot with high sides will work too, since it will prevent splatters of hot, bubbling oil. Our guide to how to deep fry at home will provide you with other tips and tricks if deep frying isn’t necessarily your forte!

Step 8: Fill the doughnuts

Filling the doughnuts with cream

Cut a small hole in the tip of a pastry bag, and insert a small pastry tip. Fill the bag with the prepared, refrigerated pastry cream. With a small knife, pierce a hole into the side of each doughnut. Fill with pastry cream, just a little less than 1/4 cup per doughnut.

Test Kitchen Tip: Use a small paring knife to pierce a hole in the side of each doughnut. Maggiesays that a paring knife will help cut a hole that’s deep enough in the doughnut where the filling will be distributed equally. “When filling the doughnuts, I like to hold it in my palm, so I can feel each doughnut weighs about the same after filling,” says Maggie.

Step 9: Make the glaze

In a microwave, melt the chocolate and heavy cream and stir until smooth.

Editor’s Tip: Our guide to how to melt chocolate provides plenty of tips so your melting experience goes smoothly.

Step 10: Dip the doughnuts in the chocolate glaze

Dipping the doughnuts in melted chocolate

Dip each doughnut halfway, allowing excess glaze to drip off. Place on a wire rack and let stand until set. After that, serve them ASAPdoughnuts are best fresh, after all!

Chocolate dipped doughnuts resting on wire racks

Tips for Making Boston Cream Doughnuts

Why didn’t my doughnuts turn out?

There are multiple reasons why your doughnuts could turn out anything less than perfectwhether they’re oily, burnt or even raw on the insideand the oil is probably the culprit. Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure you let the oil come back to temperature between batches. The temperature will lower a bit every time you add a doughnutand if the temperature is too low, the doughnuts will absorb too much oil. Frying too many doughnuts at a time will cause the same thing, so be patient and only add a few at a time.
  • If the oil is too hot, you’ll likely burn the doughnuts. If you test the oil and find out that the temperature is too hot, give it a few minutes to reach 375 again.

We’d recommend doing a single test doughnut at the start after your oil has reached 375. Get the hang of it, then get frying!

Do you need a pastry bag to fill the doughnuts?

If you don’t have a pastry bag or pastry tip, don’t worry. You can fill up a plastic bag with the pastry cream and cut off the corner for a similar experience.

How should you store Boston cream doughnuts?

If you have any left, store your Boston cream doughnuts in an airtight container in the fridge. The chocolate icing doesn’t fully set, so you’re better off keeping them in a single layer so none of the gooey chocolaty icing is lost.

Can you make Boston cream doughnuts ahead of time?

While most fried doughnuts are best eaten the same day, you could prepare the pastry cream two to three days ahead of time. Store it in the fridge until you’re ready to fill the doughnuts. Keep in mind, you may need to whip it up slightly to loosen it before adding it to a pastry bag to fill the doughnuts.

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We Visited 10 Chicken Wing Restaurants to Find the Best Fast-Food Wings https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/best-chicken-wing-restaurants/ https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/best-chicken-wing-restaurants/#respond Thu, 11 Jan 2024 21:59:23 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?post_type=listicle&p=1944502 After sampling menu items from 10 chicken wing restaurants, we ranked each location. How does your favorite place measure up?

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WingStreet / Pizza Hut

10. WingStreet/Pizza Hut

While Pizza Hut is known for its pizza and breadsticks, the chain has teamed up with another franchise called WingStreet, and often you will see locations with both names on the sign. This allows the restaurants to expand their menu offerings.

Here you can buy both traditional and boneless wings with dry rub options including lemon pepper and Cajun style, or sauce options including garlic Parmesan, honey barbecue, buffalo mild, spicy garlic, sweet chili, buffalo medium and buffalo burnin’ hot. For this taste test, I went with the middle of the road option and ordered the buffalo medium.

Unfortunately, these wings ranked the lowest on our list. The buffalo sauce had a distinct tomato flavor and almost came across like a spicy pizza sauce. The wings themselves were decently crispy, but without any sort of breading. The sauce wasn’t what we were looking for, and the wings were almost drowning in it, so it was a bit too much.

Bottom Line: It’s nice that customers can pick up pizza and wings in one convenient location, but next time we might just stick with our favorite pizza order instead.

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I Tested the TikTok Recipe for ‘Swamp Soup,’ and It’s Shockingly Good https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/viral-swamp-soup-recipe/ https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/viral-swamp-soup-recipe/#respond Thu, 11 Jan 2024 16:27:42 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?p=1944526 Believe it or not, this recipe for 'swamp soup' is made with leftovers.

The post I Tested the TikTok Recipe for ‘Swamp Soup,’ and It’s Shockingly Good appeared first on Taste of Home.

The vivid green hue of this “swamp soup” may be off-putting to some (who else remembers green and purple ketchup?), but this TikTok recipe is still crazy popular. With a long list of healthy, immune system-boosting ingredients, we will hold off our immediate judgment and put this questionably named (and colored) recipe to the test.

What is ‘swamp soup’?

Swamp Soup served in a white bowl

This was first shared by TikTok creator @wishbonekitchen. The soup gets its name from its bright green color and “swampy” appearance. If the name is too much for you, it’s often referred to as green garlic and ginger chicken and rice soup, too.

The soup touts a nutrient-dense combination of ingredients including spinach, ginger, garlic, jalapenos and bone broth, all of which are believed to help bolster the immune system (like these other foods to eat when you have a cold). Thanks to the splash of soy sauce and ginger, swamp soup tastes reminiscent of a miso soup but is heartier due to the rice and chicken.

Don’t confuse this recipe with Southern swamp soup, a completely different, old-fashioned recipe by the same name. Southern swamp soup (like this one from @patrick_springer) usually features turnip greens (like this greens and beans soup), spicy sausage and a mixture of assorted beans and vegetables.

Viral Swamp Soup Recipe

This recipe from Wishbone Kitchen makes 4-6 servings.


Ingredients to make Swamp Soup on a table

  • 4 cups chicken bone broth or chicken stock
  • 4 cups baby spinach, packed
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 cup fresh parsley stems and leaves, packed
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 pound cooked chicken, shredded or cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh lime juice, optional

Keep in mind that chicken stock and bone broth are not the same thing!


Step 1: Wilt the spinach

Spinach inside the stock pot to make swamp soup

In a Dutch oven or stock pot, bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove the spinach to a blender or food processor. Reduce the heat to low to keep the remaining broth warm.

Step 2: Blend with aromatics and spices

Spinach and other ingredients blended in a mixture

To the spinach, add the jalapenos, garlic, ginger, parsley and 1/4 cup of the warm broth. Puree until smooth, then return the spinach mixture to the pot of warm broth.

Editor’s Tip: Want more spice? Add an extra jalapeno or two. Love ginger? Toss in an extra piece for the health benefits. This recipe is easy to adapt to your taste.

Step 3: Combine and simmer

Spinach chicken soy sauce mixed in a pot

Add the cooked rice, chicken, soy sauce and salt to the pot and stir to combine. Bring the soup back to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until hot.

Editor’s Tip: We used cooked jasmine rice for our swamp soup, but you can use any type of rice. Basmati would be lovely in this soup, while brown rice would add extra fiber.

Step 4: Serve the soup

Swamp Soup with lemon served in a bowl

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and additional chopped parsley for garnish. Enjoy!

Tips for Making Swamp Soup

Is swamp soup the same as green posole?

No. While the ingredients have some overlap, we found TikTok’s viral swamp soup to have a very different taste than green chile posole. Swamp soup has a stronger Asian flavor profile due to the umami of the soy sauce and the bite of the ginger. It lacks several key ingredients in traditional green posole, such as hominy, green chiles, cilantro and tomatillos, which give posole a brighter, tangier flavor than swamp soup.

Why did my swamp soup turn brown?

Leafy greens and herbs like parsley and spinach oxidize when exposed to the air once they are cooked or chopped. This means that this soup will inevitably turn brown over time (only adding to its swampy effect). To enjoy its bright green hue at its peak, don’t allow the soup to simmer for too long. As soon as it’s hot enough to serve, remove it from the heat and enjoy.

Editor’s Tip: Wilting the spinach by blanching it in the bone broth helps prolong the greenness of this soup. Don’t be tempted to skip that first crucial step!

Can I freeze swamp soup?

Yes! This is a soup you can freeze. Since it does not contain dairy, it thaws and reheats like a dream, and freezing it will preserve its vibrant green color. Store in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 6 months. To serve, defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then warm gently on the stovetop over medium-low heat until heated through. You can also microwave leftover swamp soup.

Every TikTok Recipe We've Tested
1 / 75

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Giada De Laurentiis’ Lemon Spaghetti Is a Ridiculously Easy Weeknight Dinner https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/giada-de-laurentiis-lemon-spaghetti/ https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/giada-de-laurentiis-lemon-spaghetti/#respond Thu, 11 Jan 2024 14:05:09 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?p=1945205 Giada De Laurentiis' lemon spaghetti promises a rich and tangy pasta dish. I had to put her recipe to the test.

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If you’re the kind of person who squeezes lemon on everything they eat, you have not lived until you’ve tried Giada De Laurentiis’ lemon spaghetti.

This no-cook spaghetti sauce is a true weeknight savior, even for beginner cooks. Just whisk the sauce ingredients in a large bowl, add cooked spaghetti, toss to combine and dinner is ready! This pasta is savory thanks to Parmesan cheese, tart thanks to a ton of fresh lemon juice and perfumed with the fragrance of basil throughout.

Giada De Laurentiis’ Lemon Spaghetti Recipe


Ingredients for Giada De Laurentiis' Lemon Spaghetti

  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

Editor’s Tip: You can easily make this recipe vegan by using a plant-based Parmesan cheese.


Step 1: Combine the sauce ingredients

In a large bowl, whisk together the cheese, oil, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Step 2: Cook the pasta

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. (Check the package for a suggested cook time.)

Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta.

Step 3: Combine the sauce and pasta

Add the spaghetti to the bowl with the sauce, along with the basil. Toss the pasta with enough of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten, starting with 1/4 cup and adding more as needed. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if desired.

Divide among bowls and serve.

What to Serve with Giada De Laurentiis’ Lemon Spaghetti

Giada recommends serving this pasta with grilled fishthink grilled shrimp or grilled swordfish. Giada’s chicken piccata would also be a great pairing. To keep the meal vegetarian, go for grilled zucchini or tofu instead. Keep the Italian vibes going with Giada’s lemon ricotta cookies for dessert!

Tips for Making the Best Lemon Spaghetti

Giada De Laurentiis' Lemon Spaghetti served in a bowl

  • This pasta calls for fresh lemon zest and juice. Be sure to zest the lemons before juicing, since it’s challenging to zest a cut lemon.
  • Do not let the spaghetti cool before combining it with the sauce. It’s key that the pasta is hot so it can absorb the sauce.
  • For a dairy-free version, swap the Parmesan cheese for vegan Parm.

For another famous lemon pasta, check out Ina Garten’s lemon capellini.

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Taste of Home Bakeable Drawing Contest (#302) Official Rules https://www.tasteofhome.com/taste-of-home-bakeable-drawing-contest-302-official-rules/ Thu, 11 Jan 2024 12:42:28 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?page_id=1945955 NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. PURCHASE WILL NOT IMPROVE AN ENTRY’S CHANCE

The post Taste of Home Bakeable Drawing Contest (#302) Official Rules appeared first on Taste of Home.



Taste of Home February 2024 Bakeable Drawing (#302) is sponsored by Trusted Media Brands, Inc. (Sponsor). Drawing begins at 9:00 am (Central Time) on February 1, 2024, and ends at 11:59 pm (Central Time) on February 29, 2024 (the Drawing Deadline Date).

1. ELIGIBILITY: Sweepstakes open to persons age 18 and older who are legal residents of the United States, its territories and possessions, or of Canada (excluding the Province of Quebec). Employees, officers and directors of Sponsor, its affiliated or subsidiary companies, judging agents and promotion partners, and immediate family members and members of the same household (whether related or not) of such persons, are not eligible. Sweepstakes is void in the Province of Quebec and where prohibited by law or otherwise regulated. All applicable federal, state/provincial and local laws and regulations apply.

2. HOW TO ENTER: You can enter this Drawing as follows: Visit www.tasteofhome.com/article/bakeable-challenge/ and complete the entry form as instructed by the Drawing Deadline Date. Each entry must be received no later than the Drawing Deadline Date and include all required elements. There is a limit of one entry per person, regardless of the method of entry. If multiple entries are received, only the first entry will be included, and later entries will be disqualified. All entries become the property of the Sponsor and will not be returned. By entering this Drawing, each entrant grants Sponsor, its licensees and agencies the worldwide, perpetual right to use and publish in any and all forms of media, now known and hereafter devised, the entrants submission, in whole or in part, and the right to use the entrants name and biographical information about them in connection therewith, without further compensation or authorization. Each entry has an equal chance to win. Incomplete entries and/or entries containing inaccurate entrant information will be void, at Sponsors sole discretion. In the event of any dispute regarding the identity of an entrant who submitted an online entry, the authorized account holder of the email address used for the entry at the time of entry will be deemed the entrant. Authorized account holder is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an email address by an internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g. business, educational institute) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address. Any potential winner may be requested to provide Sponsor with proof that such winner is the authorized account holder of the email address associated with the winning entry. In the event this Drawing is entered via a mobile device, Message and Data charges may apply. Sponsor is the official timekeeper for this Drawing and, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to disqualify any person tampering with the operation of the website or the entry process.

3. PRIZES: A total of 5 (five) winners will each receive the following prize: one (1) 9 x 13 Jelly Roll Pan cooling rack manufactured by OXO. The approximate retail value (ARV) of each prize is $20.99. The total ARV for all prizes offered in this Drawing is $104.95. Each prize is not transferable and cannot be redeemed for cash or substituted or assigned by the winner, unless prohibited by law. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a similar prize of equal or greater value in the event that the stated prize is not available for any reason. Neither Sponsor nor any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, parents, partners, divisions, judging agents or prize providers, nor any of their respective employees, officers or directors, will be responsible for any loss, liability or damage arising out of the winners acceptance or use of any prize. All taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the winners. This Drawing is in no way sponsored or endorsed by nor affiliated or associated with OXO.

4. WINNER SELECTION: Winners will be selected by random drawing from all eligible entries on or about March 7, 2024, by Sponsor, whose decisions are final in all respects. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Approximate odds of winning are estimated at 1 in 200. Winners will be notified by email and/or mail within five (5) days of the drawing and may be required to execute a Statement of Eligibility and Release within 14 days of prize notification attempt or winner will be disqualified and prize may be awarded to an alternate winner. Return of prize or prize notification as undeliverable will result in disqualification and an alternate winner may be selected. Entry and/or acceptance of any prize constitutes permission for the Sponsor, its agencies and licensees to use the winners name, address (city and state) and/or likeness for advertising and trade purposes without further compensation or authorization, worldwide and in perpetuity, in any and all forms of media, now known and hereafter devised, unless prohibited by law.

5. CONDITIONS: By entering, participants agree to be bound by these complete Official Rules and Sponsors Privacy Policy, accessible at www.tmbi.com/privacy-policy. Sponsor is not liable for, late, lost, delayed, damaged, misdirected, incomplete, garbled or jumbled, stolen, postage due mail or illegible entries or for printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor is not liable for any malfunctions or failures of any telephone network or lines, computer internet system, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to participants or any other persons computer, mobile or any other device and/or its contents related to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials relating to this Drawing, or other technical difficulties or failures or other errors of any kind. Any person attempting to defraud or in any way tamper with this Drawing will be ineligible for any prize and may be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Sponsor reserves the right to terminate or modify the Drawing at any time for any reason. In such circumstances, the prizes will be awarded based on entries received to date of termination.

6. NO RECOURSE TO JUDICIAL OR OTHER PROCEDURES/SEVERABILITY: To the extent permitted by law, the rights to litigate, to seek injunctive relief or to make any other recourse to judicial or any other procedure in case of disputes or claims resulting from or in connection with this Drawing are hereby excluded, and any entrant expressly waives any and all such rights. In the event that a court of competent jurisdiction finds the foregoing waiver unenforceable, entrants hereby consent to the jurisdiction and venue residing exclusively within the federal or state courts sitting in New York County in the State of New York, U.S.A. and agree that any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Drawing or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action. Entrants agree that these Official Rules are governed by the laws of the State of New York, U.S.A. without reference to principles of conflicts of law. If any provision(s) of these Official Rules are held to be invalid or unenforceable, all remaining provisions hereof will remain in full force and effect.

7. CONSUMER INFORMATION/LIST OF WINNERS: If you do not want to receive future sweepstakes or skill contest postal mailings from Sponsor, specify your request in writing to: Taste of Home February 2024 Bakeable Drawing (#302) Mailing List, P.O. Box 3125, Harlan, Iowa 51593-0191. To receive a list of winners, write to: Taste of Home February 2024 Bakeable Drawing (#302) Winner List, P.O. Box 3063, Harlan, Iowa 51593-0127. Request for list of winners must be received within one year of the Drawing Deadline Date.

Sweepstakes Facts
PrizeRetail ValueNumber of PrizesOddsFinal Closing Date
Each winner of the Taste of Home February 2024 Bakeable Drawing (#302) will receive one (1) OXO 9″x13″ Jelly Roll Pan$20.9951:200*February 29, 2024
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No one will know who the winners are until after the Sweepstakes ends. Your entry deadline may vary. Final Closing Date is the last date entries are accepted. See Official Rules for details.


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Coriander vs. Cilantro: What’s the Difference? https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/coriander-vs-cilantro/ https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/coriander-vs-cilantro/#respond Wed, 10 Jan 2024 22:22:14 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?p=1945258 If a cilantro plant is green and leafy, the herb is cilantro. But once the plant flowers and goes to seed, it becomes coriander. Here's how to use each herb.

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Is there a difference between coriander and cilantro? Yes! Both are herbs from the Coriandrum sativum plant, a familiar plant in kitchen herb gardens. The fresh leaves of the plant are cilantro, while the dried seeds from its flowers are coriander. You use cilantro as a fresh herb, and coriander as a dry one.

What is cilantro?

Fresh Cilantro leaves

This tender herb has a mild, crisp taste with muted notes of lemon, lime and pepper. Beware, because the flavor of cilantro is divisive! Some people complain that cilantro tastes like soap, though most of us enjoy using it in salads, bowls and other recipes. Though quite different in flavor, consider it as an alternative to parsley. Like other fresh herbs, cilantro can be used for color, texture and taste in both the body of a dish and as a garnish.

Cilantro grows wild in parts of Asia and Europe, though in the United States it’s most likely to be found in an herb planter.

If a cilantro plant is green, growing and leafy, it’s considered cilantro. Once it flowers, goes to seed and dries out, it becomes coriander.

What is coriander?

Coriander seeds close up

Coriander is the dried seeds of the cilantro plant. Plants put their energy into producing lots of leaves, but at some point, for their survival, they “bolt.” Bolting means they stop producing leaves, send up flowers and produce seed heads. If allowed to dry, the seeds can be harvested as usable dried herbs.

Coriander seed is earthy, with a smell evocative of mild cumin. Like cilantro, it has notes of citrus, and might be compared to caraway and sage in taste.

Are cilantro and coriander the same?

If your recipe calls for a fresh herb, it will ask for cilantro, referring to the green, leafy herb. If it calls for dry herbs, it will ask for coriander, referring to the seeds, either whole or ground, of the cilantro plant. The exception: In the UK, both leaves and seeds are referred to as coriander. Keep this in mind if you’re following a recipe from across the pond.

In the US, cilantro and coriander are unique herbs, each with a distinct flavor profile, different from almost anything else in the spice family. You’ll find that cilantro is a major component of salsas and green sauces, where even the stem can be used for a crunchy bite. On the contrary, coriander is used in spice mixes for deep, earthy tastes in soups and Indian dishes.

The plant will easily grow indoors and out, is quick to germinate and loves the sun. Readily available in most markets as fresh cilantro and dry coriander, these herbs are always worth having on hand.

Cilantro Recipes from Across the Globe
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Butter Beans vs. Lima Beans: Here’s the Difference https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/butter-beans-vs-lima-beans/ https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/butter-beans-vs-lima-beans/#respond Wed, 10 Jan 2024 22:12:07 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?p=1945221 When it comes to butter beans vs. lima beans, you might be surprised to learn that they're the same bean. Here's how to cook them.

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Butter Beans Vs Lima Beans Gettyimages 1485346406

Beans are divisivepeople love ’em or hate ’em. If you’re part of the group that loves beans and you’ll eat anything from bright green fava beans to hearty black bean recipes, then you probably also love butter beans. Or are they lima beans? Let’s settle the debate between butter beans vs. lima beans and make grocery shopping a little less confusing.

Is there a difference between butter beans and lima beans?

Butter beans are a common moniker for the group of beans known as lima. You might think lima beans are those green monsters from childhood dinners with a bad rap, but lima beans cover a whole range of colors along the beige and pale green spectrum. Scientifically known as Phaseolus lunatus, which literally translates to “moon-shaped bean,” their size range includes everything from the diminutive black-eyed pole lima to the gigantes.

Lima beans were first recorded in the Americas, both North and South. In fact, lima beans are so ingrained in Peruvian culture, they date back to the 15th century! They can be seen as a motif on local pottery and predate cultivated corn, a mainstay of Peruvian cuisine.

Lima beans are seen historically on most continents, having been grown by Native people in America and brought back to Europe by colonizers in the 16th century. They’re still popular in the American South, where butter beans are part of any reputable succotash. The larger gigantes variation is famous across Greece and Italy in Mediterranean recipes and of course in Peru, too.

What do butter beans and lima beans taste like?

Green Lima Beans in a bowl

While butter and lima beans cover a swath of varieties from pole beans to bush beans, and can be speckled or monochrome, they generally share some traits in terms of taste. Their skins tend to become thicker as they get larger, though still remain thin compared to some other types of beans. The interiors are creamy and luxuriously silky, perfect for mashes and blended bean dips. While the taste of lima beans or butter beans has been described as vegetal, that might do the variety a disservice. The taste ranges from mildly creamy to slightly herby, and the beans do a wonderful job adopting the flavors of the dish they’re in.

How to Cook Lima Beans or Butter Beans

A bowl of Mexican Bean Soup

Beans can take on many times their weight in liquid, and in fact need to in order to be cooked. When they take on that liquid too quickly, they tend to split and pucker, so when you’re using dried beans, overnight soaking is recommended. The overnight soak allows the beans to slowly absorb liquid at their own pace. This will also cut down on cooking time when you are ready to get them on the stove.

To soak butter beans or lima beans, rinse the beans and pick out any with spots or that immediately float. Cover the beans with room temperature water by at least a few inches and then leave them out overnight.

If you cook the beans without presoaking, they’ll still turn out delicious, but they may split and will take longer to become tender. People often buy limas in cans, precooked, but using dry beans gives you more choices for which variety of lima beans to buy.

There are all sorts of recipes for butter beans or lima beansbut the most basic butte bean or lima bean recipe would be to simply simmer them in well-salted water with a splash of olive oil until they are fork tender, which should take 60 to 90 minutes. To add more flavors, cook the beans in citrus and herbs like this lemon garlic lima bean recipe, or toss them with canned tomatoes, wine or stock to create more liquid for the beans to absorb.

Once cooked, lima beans or butter beans can be marinated in oil, sauteed, blended into a hummus-like dip, or used in our favorite Mediterranean recipes. Beans take on spices excellently, so use plenty of salt, pepper and fresh or dried spices.

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Bacon, Blue Cheese & Fig Bruschetta https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/bacon-blue-cheese-fig-bruschetta/ Tue, 09 Jan 2024 13:58:30 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/bacon-blue-cheese-fig-bruschetta/
This is my decadent, robust version of bruschetta. I like to serve it at parties, especially New Year’s or other winter holidays. If you don’t like blue cheese, you can substitute feta or goat cheese. —Kristyne Mcdougle Walter, Lorain, Ohio
Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 20 min.


40 appetizers

Updated: Jan. 09, 2024


  • 40 slices French bread baguette (1/2 inch thick)
  • 1 cup fig preserves
  • 1 cup crumbled cooked bacon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic glaze


  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Place bread on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 5-7 minutes. Spread with fig preserves. In a small bowl, combine bacon, walnuts, and blue cheese. Spoon on top of jam; drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

1 appetizer: 83 calories, 3g fat (1g saturated fat), 5mg cholesterol, 139mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.

Minty Pea Soup with Lemon https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/minty-pea-soup-with-lemon/ Tue, 09 Jan 2024 13:58:12 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/minty-pea-soup-with-lemon/
This is one of our favorite St. Patrick's Day meals that also tastes great other times of the year. You can add cayenne or lemon pepper for a little kick. —Laura Wilhelm, West Hollywood, California
Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 30 min.


6 servings

Updated: Jan. 09, 2024


  • 1 pound fresh or frozen peas
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 small lemon, quartered and seeded
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • Optional: Nonfat Greek yogurt, croutons and fresh mint leaves


  1. In a Dutch oven, place peas, vegetable broth, potato, green onions and lemon. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove soup from heat; cool slightly. Remove lemon quarters, squeezing out excess juice into soup. Stir in mint, garlic powder and salt. Process in batches in a blender until smooth; return to pan and heat through.
  2. If desired, garnish with nonfat Greek yogurt, croutons and fresh mint leaves.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 100 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 583mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 5g fiber), 6g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Filling https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chocolate-cupcakes-with-strawberry-filling/ Tue, 09 Jan 2024 13:58:02 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chocolate-cupcakes-with-strawberry-filling/
My husband and I got engaged on Valentine’s Day, so the holiday is extra special in our house. Each year we go all out with fancy desserts. —Kristin Bowers, Gilbert, Arizona
Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min.


1 dozen

Updated: Jan. 09, 2024


  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 fresh strawberries, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt together twice; place in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg, oil and vanilla until smooth. Add to flour mixture. Drizzle in hot coffee, beating until smooth.
  3. Fill prepared cups three-fourths full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
  4. Place freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor; process until a fine powder. In a large bowl, beat butter until creamy. Beat in confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla, salt and strawberry powder until smooth. Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry bag; insert a very small tip. Fill with strawberry filling. Push the tip through the bottom of paper liner to fill each cupcake.
  5. Place chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; let stand 2 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Dip tops of cupcakes in ganache, let stand until set. If desired, garnish tops with slices of fresh strawberries.

Nutrition Facts

1 cupcake: 336 calories, 16g fat (7g saturated fat), 39mg cholesterol, 206mg sodium, 49g carbohydrate (36g sugars, 2g fiber), 3g protein.

Mother’s Day Ham https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/mother-s-day-ham/ Tue, 09 Jan 2024 13:57:48 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/mother-s-day-ham/
After one bite, my husband informed me this slow-cooker ham was the best I've ever made. I invented it because I’m always buying international condiments and finding ways to use them. Sumac is the secret ingredient here. —Molly B. Johnson, Stevenson, Washington
Total Time

Prep: 10 min. Cook: 6 hours


12 servings

Updated: Jan. 09, 2024


  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • 1 teaspoon adobo seasoning
  • 6 to 8 pounds fully cooked smoked bone-in ham
  • 1 cup chutney (Preferably Major Grey's)
  • 1/2 large sweet onion
  • 1 can (12 ounces) ginger ale


  1. In a small bowl, mix garlic powder, sumac and adobo salt; rub over ham. Spread chutney over top; transfer to a 7-qt. slow cooker. Add sliced onions and ginger ale; cover and cook on low until a thermometer reads 140°, 6-8 hours.

Nutrition Facts

5 ounces cooked ham: 273 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 100mg cholesterol, 1565mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 0 fiber), 33g protein.

Peach Bourbon Shrimp https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/peach-bourbon-shrimp/ Tue, 09 Jan 2024 13:57:14 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/peach-bourbon-shrimp/
Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 25 min.


about 2-1/2 dozen

Updated: Jan. 09, 2024


  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup peach preserves
  • 3 tablespoons peach bourbon, such as Jim Beam
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • Minced fresh parsley


  1. Sprinkle shrimp with seafood seasoning and garlic powder. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add shrimp; cook 2 minutes. Flip; cook 2 minutes longer. Stir in preserves, bourbon, brown sugar, honey, lemon juice and vinegar. Cook and stir until shrimp turn pink, 2-3 minutes longer. Sprinkle with parsley.

Nutrition Facts

1 shrimp: 55 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 18mg cholesterol, 151mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.

Brandy Alexander Cheesecake https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/brandy-alexander-cheesecake/ Tue, 09 Jan 2024 13:56:53 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/brandy-alexander-cheesecake/
My husband and I really enjoy a good brandy Alexander, so I thought it would be fun to create a cheesecake with the same flavors. It's not necessary to use both the dark and white creme de cacao in this recipe; six tablespoons of either one may be substituted. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
Total Time

Prep: 30 min. + chilling Bake: 1-1/2 hours


16 servings

Updated: Jan. 09, 2024


  • CRUST:
  • 1-1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup white baking chips
  • 2 pounds cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons brandy
  • 3 tablespoons dark Creme de Cacao
  • 3 tablespoons white Creme de Cacao
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white baking chips
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Whipped cream, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Wrap foil securely around pan.
  2. In a small bowl, mix cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon; stir in butter. Press onto bottom of prepared pan.
  3. In a microwave, melt chocolate; stir until smooth. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour and nutmeg until smooth. Beat in brandy, Cacao, and melted chips. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until blended. Pour over crust. Place springform pan in a larger baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.
  4. Bake until center is just set and top appears dull, 85-90 minutes. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack 10 minutes. Loosen sides from pan with a knife; remove foil. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight, covering when completely cooled.
  5. For ganache, in a microwave, melt white baking whips and cream; stir until smooth. Cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Remove rim from cheesecake pan. Pour ganache over cheesecake, allowing ganache to drip down the sides. If desired, serve with whipped cream.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 528 calories, 33g fat (19g saturated fat), 125mg cholesterol, 295mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate (38g sugars, 1g fiber), 7g protein.

Halva-Caramel Alfajores (Caramel Filled Sandwich Cookies) https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/halva-caramel-alfajores-caramel-filled-sandwich-cookies/ Tue, 09 Jan 2024 13:56:43 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/halva-caramel-alfajores-caramel-filled-sandwich-cookies/
A modern twist on a Latin American classic, my delicate butter cookies have an irresistible halvah-caramel center. —Andrea Potischman, Menlo Park, California
Total Time

Prep: 25 min. + chilling. Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling


3 dozen

Updated: Jan. 09, 2024


  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled marble halva
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Dash sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons caramel sauce (such as Mrs. Richardson's)
  • Confectioners' sugar


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and halvah until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm enough to roll.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 1-1/2-in. circle-shaped cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until edges begin to brown, 7-8 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  3. Once cool, spread 1/2 teaspoon caramel sauce on bottoms of half of the cookies; cover with remaining cookies. Refrigerate until serving. Dust with confectioners sugar.

Nutrition Facts

1 sandwich cookie: 85 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 41mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

Meaty Wild Rice Meatballs in Cranberry Sauce https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/meaty-wild-rice-meatballs-in-cranberry-sauce/ Tue, 09 Jan 2024 13:56:05 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/meaty-wild-rice-meatballs-in-cranberry-sauce/
We celebrate Indigenous People's Day in October. Native Americans in Minnesota have been harvesting wild rice for generations. To honor them, I make these wild rice meatballs. —Joyce Moynihan, Lakeville, Minnesota
Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 1-1/4 hours


10 servings

Updated: Jan. 09, 2024


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 cups cooked and cooled wild rice
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 can (14 ounces) whole-berry cranberry sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 425°. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, pork, eggs, bread crumbs, onion, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cooked rice; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 30 1-1/2-in. balls.
  2. Place meatballs on a greased rack in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake until browned, 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350°. Remove pan drippings into an oven-safe skillet.
  3. Add butter to skillet and melt over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and remaining salt and pepper until blended; cook and stir until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes (do not burn). Gradually whisk in broth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Add cranberry sauce, stirring until well combined. Add meatballs to skillet; stir to coat in sauce.
  4. Bake until cooked through, about 45 minutes, stirring halfway.

Nutrition Facts

3 meatballs with 1/4 cup sauce: 380 calories, 17g fat (7g saturated fat), 105mg cholesterol, 710mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 1g fiber), 21g protein.

We Tried the Viral Bissell Little Green Machine—And The Results Are Disgustingly Good https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/bissell-little-green-machine-review/ Tue, 09 Jan 2024 16:27:43 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?p=1919107 Our Bissell Little Green Machine review left us in shock at the grime and dust trapped in our upholstered surfaces. See our results for the full scoop.

The post We Tried the Viral Bissell Little Green Machine—And The Results Are Disgustingly Good appeared first on Taste of Home.

Bissell Little Green Machine

As a cleaning-obsessed homebody and pet parent, I’ve spent several years investing in high-quality gadgets to keep my home in tip-top shape. Anyone who relates knows a closet filled with the best cleaning products cuts down on chore time (looking at you, Tineco VacMop). Rock star cleaning products also offer peace of mind knowing your gadgets are really deep cleaning the home. During this time, I’ve curated a list of non-negotiable cleaning heroes: Grove Collaborative’s eco-friendly products, an electric spin scrubber for the bathroom, and my new favorite gadget: the Bissell Little Green Machine. Read on for our official Bissell Little Green Machine review.

What is the Bissell Little Green Machine?

Also known as a portable upholstery cleaner, the Little Green Machine uses wet/dry vacuum technology to eliminate tough stains and spills. I like to call it a magic eraser for couches, car seat cushions and carpets because it makes surfaces look (and feel) brand new. So how does it work? Simply fill the clean tank with water and one capful of the included cleaning solution. Then, plug it in, spray stains with the scrub brush attachment, and vacuum the area in an upward motion to clean. After a few short minutes, stains magically lift away while making surfaces look and smell as fresh as day one. It’s that easy!

Speaking of, you’ll never use a dustpan again after trying a stationary vacuum.

We Tried It

Bissell Little Green Machine

The wet/dry vacuum is like a magic eraser on couch cushions, car seats and carpet.

Bissell Little Green Machine Features

Features of Bissell Little Green Machine

  • Portable
  • 48-ounce dirty tank capacity
  • Includes cleaning solution
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Size: 8.25 x 17.25 x 12.5 (DxWxH)

How We Tested It: Bissell Little Green Machine Review

My initial review began in September 2023. Upon unboxing, my Little Green Machine arrived mostly assembled. A few parts, like the cord holder and spray brush, required manual attachment. The instructions for adding these pieces were simple and took a mere five minutes. Next, I filled the clean tank with water and a capful of the included cleaning solution. All that was left was to plug in the device and press the power button. Time for my Bissell Little Green Machine review!


Spilled coffee on the couch and a clean white couch

To put this gadget to a true test, I spilled black coffee all over my white couch. Risky, I knowbut this is the best way to test its limits. I let it sit for 30 minutes, then went in with the Little Green Machine. All it takes is spraying the solution all over the affected area and then working the scrub brush in an upward motion to vacuum. I discovered it’s best to move the scrub brush in multiple angles to clean the entire surface. I followed this process of spraying, scrubbing and vacuuming three to four times before I saw visible results, which is expected based on all the Bissell Little Green Machine reviews I’ve read. Still, in just 10 minutes, my white couch no longer had a black coffee stain. After about an hour of drying, my white couch looked as bright as day one. My initial spilled coffee test proved the Little Green Machine is solid gold.


Spilled Juice on the carpet and a clean carpet

Time for risk number two: dumping orange juice on my carpet. Just like my couch, I let the orange juice stain soak in for 30 minutes. Going in with the machine, I rigorously sprayed the carpet with solution and began vacuuming. Immediately, orange juice started filling up the dirty tank. Cleaning with this gadget is so satisfying and dare I say, fun. Yes, the final result is amazing, but vacuuming is just as delightful because it’s like a magic eraser. The key is numerous sprays and at least five minutes of vacuuming to ensure the stain is lifted from deep within the upholstered surface. After five minutes, the carpet fibers were no longer crusted over with orange juiceand it smelled fresh, too!

Other Surfaces and Messes

As I mentioned, I’m a pet parent. Though my dog, CeCe, is mostly trained, there are always occasional pet accidents. And if they’re on carpet, it can be as long as a few days or weeks until I catch a crusty stain. I’ve tested a lot of pet stain removers, but nothing cleans the carpet quite as well as the Bissell Little Green Machine. If I catch the pet stain immediately, I always treat the area with an enzymatic spray and clean it the next day with the green machine. If it’s an old stain, I immediately go in with the green machine.

I then tested the machine on a recent accident on my bedroom carpet. I’m not exaggerating when I say it could have been there for months before I caught it. Firing up the Little Green Machine, I saturated the area with the solution and vacuumed it in multiple up, down and side-to-side motions. Whiffs of pet urine lifted away as I cleaned the carpet, signaling the machine was deep cleaning the fibers. When I was finished, the dirty tank was a dark brownaka the sign of the machine’s success. Better yet, my carpet no longer had a layer of yellow crust on the top.


  • Multipurpose portable carpet cleaner
  • Eliminates stains on any upholstered surface
  • Powerful suction
  • Fun to use
  • Large dirty water tank capacity means less rinses in between cleanings
  • Works on tough pet stains
  • Includes cleaning solution
  • Removes odors
  • One-year limited warranty


  • It’s not cordless
  • Must clean the machine immediately after use to avoid odors or malfunctions
  • If you want to clean an entire couch or rug, it will take a while, but the results are worth it


Cleaning the carpet with Bissell Little Green Machine

What is the Bissell Little Green Machine used for?

The Bissell Little Green Machine is a portable wet/dry vacuum that removes stains or spills on upholstered surfaces: couches, carpets, rugs, throw pillows, seat cushions, car seat coversyou name it. Any surface with a stainwhether new or five years oldis no match for this gadget.

Does Bissell Little Green leave couch wet?

Because the machine is a wet vacuum, surfaces are left somewhat damp and will need to air dry for at least one hour. The machine combines water and liquid cleaning solution to thoroughly clean couch cushions and beyond, so make sure to suction up every last bit, even after stains are no longer visible, to ensure surfaces dry properly.

What Other Reviewers Had to Say

Five-star reviewer Collin M. writes, “I absolutely love this thing, for certain, it’s simply magic. We had a stain in the house for YEARS that refused to come up no matter what cleaner you used on it, and was removed in a couple minutes with this bad boy. The water that came up from that old stain was so dark it was disturbing, haha. The only problem now is that the spot where the stain was is now so clean that it makes the rest of the carpet look dirty, lol. Definitely, 100% would recommend!”

“So, with multiple kittens in the apartment, plus kiddo’s got his dog visiting for a little while, as you can imagine, my poor carpet’s taken quite a beating these last three months,” writes verified purchaser T. Rea Okerberg. “Since I can’t afford to have one of those upright shampooers, not only because of their price tag but because of how bulky they are and I lack the space to store it when it’s not being used, I knew I needed to find SOMETHING that would work. Hello, Bissell Little Green! This little guy is SO strong with its suction, it cleaned the mess up super well, and you can’t even tell where he’d marked!”

Product Comparison

Though the classic Little Green Machine is the most popular portable carpet cleaner Bissell offers, it’s not the only one. The brand offers several more portable carpet cleaners like the Pet Pro Portable Carpet Cleaner,Cordless Little Green Machine (ideal for cars or areas where an outlet isn’t nearby), HydroSteam and the ProHeat. These machines are more heavy-duty than the classic model, so it truly depends on how deep of a clean your home or business requires. From my tests, I’ve found the classic Little Green Machine is an ultra-powerful spot cleaner for stains, spills, dirt and grime produced by humans or pets. It also works wonders cleaning entire couches and rugs, just note it requires a little more manpower and patience.

For pet parents, Bissell’s Little Green Pet Pro line is ideal for homes with multiple furry friends who frequently have accidents or get dirt on upholstery. The machine’s technology is specifically designed for big pet messes, making it a saving grace in the event of serious pet accidents. If your pets are small or their accidents are rare, the classic Little Green Machine cleans just as well.

Choosing a portable carpet cleaner comes down to personal preference. The HydroSteam and ProHeat models have heat technology and additional tools that permanently remove stains and deep-clean fibers. Rest assured that no matter what model you choose, upholstered surfaces are guaranteed to get a serious deep clean.

Final Verdict

Bissell Little Green Machine with a liquid soap

If you can’t tell by now, my Bissell Little Green Machine review proves this cleaning device is solid gold. I found it takes a healthy amount of spraying and vacuuming to truly eliminate stains. Because it’s a wet/dry vacuum, surfaces are wet post-vacuuming. Be patient if the upholstered item isn’t in A+ condition right away. It’s also important to vacuum every last bit of liquid or else surfaces won’t dry properly. Still, cleaning with the machine is as easy as spraying, scrubbing and vacuuming to transform any upholstered surface. The bottom line: any home with kids, pets or everyday stains they can’t seem to remove can benefit from the Bissell Little Green Machine.

Where to Buy the Bissell Little Green Machine

We Tried It

Bissell Little Green Machine

The wet/dry vacuum transforms surfaces to like-new condition.

If you have kids, pets or can’t seem to avoid messy spills (aka literally everyone), take our Bissell Little Green Machine review as your sign to add the grime-busting pro to your cart. Find it on Amazon, the Bissell website, Walmart and Target where it goes for around $123.

Considering it revives any upholstered surface (couch cushions, car seats, rugsyou name it) back to like-new condition, it’s one of the best cleaning gadgets to have in your back pocket when serious messes occur. Not to mention it’s a much more affordable alternative to hiring a professional cleaner. If you need me, I’ll be freshening up the couch with this fun gadget!

Next, check out the Bissell Steam Shot for hard-to-reach cracks and crevices.

The post We Tried the Viral Bissell Little Green Machine—And The Results Are Disgustingly Good appeared first on Taste of Home.

Nacho Wings https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/nacho-wings-2/ Tue, 09 Jan 2024 13:57:02 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/nacho-wings-2/
Total Time

Prep: 1 hour Bake: 10 min.


about 2 dozen

Updated: Jan. 09, 2024


  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 package (14-1/2 ounces) nacho-flavored tortilla chips, crushed (about 4 cups), such as Doritos
  • 2-1/2 pounds chicken wingettes and drumettes
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • Pickled jalapeno slices, optional
  • Sour cream and guacamole


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place melted butter and chips in separate shallow bowls. Dip wings in butter, then in chips, patting to help coating adhere. Place in greased rimmed baking pans. Bake, uncovered, until juices run clear, 30-40 minutes.
  2. Layer half the wings in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Top with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, green chiles and 1/2 cup salsa. Repeat layers with remaining wings, shredded cheese, salsa, green onions and if desired, jalapeno slices.
  3. Bake until cheese is melted, 10-12 minutes. Serve with toppings of your choice.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 192 calories, 13g fat (6g saturated fat), 53mg cholesterol, 375mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 11g protein.

What Are Fava Beans? https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/what-are-fava-beans/ https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/what-are-fava-beans/#respond Fri, 05 Jan 2024 18:10:18 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?p=1942233 Fava beans, also known as broad beans, have a bright green exterior and mild flavor. Favas are fabulous raw, cooked or as a crunchy snack.

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Favas are a fascinating member of the pea family that inhabit a space halfway between pea and bean. In fact, favas are often known as the broad bean, and have a bright green exterior. The color of the fava is undeterred by a quick steam, and favas are fabulous raw, cooked or as a crunchy snack.

What are fava beans?

Favas, or broad beans, are typically a large, green podded bean that grow on thick stalks. Though thought of as a spring crop, favas are so sturdy and resilient, they are often grown year-round. Fava beans have an exterior skin that must be removed from the fresh bean before eating, which is why many people skip fresh favas (a mistake) and use canned favas instead.

Canned fava beans are a bit tough to find, though they certainly exist. These will be processed, meaning they are both cooked and have been shorn of their outer skins, and are best used for blended preparations such as dips. In late spring and early summer, look for fresh favas at the farmers market. Off-season, favas are most likely to be found dried, where they take on a mildly shriveled, brown appearance.

What do fava beans taste like?

Fresh favas are crisp and mild, with a buttery, creamy texture and a hint of nutty flavor. The fresher the fava, the milder it will taste, so dry favas tend to have a slightly stronger flavor.

How to Eat Fava Beans

Ful Medames - Dish of Egyptian fava beans with lemon ,cumin ,vegetable

Favas can take on any flavor and make great vegetarian snacks. They pick up dusting powder really well, whether salt and pepper or wasabi. Favas only need to be cooked quickly, but doing so brightens the green color, and makes the beans silky soft.

Fresh favas are notorious for requiring some work to harvest the tender beans from their skins. First, release the beans from their pods. You’ll find a translucent skin on the bean, but a paring knife or fingernail easily pierces it, and allows you to peel it off.

Dried favas have the same skin. A simple soaking will loosen up that skin so it may be removed and then the beans are ready to be cooked, which will bring them to life.

Almost any recipe with chickpeas could use fava beans instead. This includes bean salads and dips, as well as air-fried fava beans!

While fava pods aren’t edible, the green, leafy tips of fava bean stalks are. Tender and herbaceous, they lend themselves to stir-fries or soups like hot pot.

How to Store Fava Beans

Fresh fava beans should be stored in the refrigerator and used within a few days. To dry your own favas, remove the beans from the shell and allow them to dry out completely using a dehydrator on low or an oven. This process must be done as slowly as possible to eliminate the fava from cracking in half, as favas hold a lot of moisture. Dried favas should be stored in jars or other airtight containers, away from bugs and moisture.

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How to Make The Pioneer Woman’s Tender Cowboy Steak https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/cowboy-steak/ https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/cowboy-steak/#respond Fri, 05 Jan 2024 14:33:22 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?p=1942048 This cowboy steak recipe is the best bone-in ribeye ever!

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Home, home on the range, where the steaks are juicy and eaten straight from the bone. OK, those may not be Neil Young’s exact lyrics, but I think cowboys past and present would appreciate the authenticity of my improvised verse.

Whether you’re a real cowboy or merely a fan of rustic, homestyle cuisine, Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman cowboy steak recipe is for you (as is this Pioneer Woman pot roast). This monstrous, indulgent steak will feed a crowd and is perfect for your next cookout.

What is a cowboy steak?

Raw Cowboy steaks on a kitchen table

If you’re not familiar with a cowboy-cut steak, it’s a special cut of ribeye that got its name from the steak’s popularity among ranchers and cowboys. This bone-in ribeye is typically thicker than a standard cut, usually around 2 inches thick, with more meat included beyond the eye. Often, butchers will also trim some of the exterior fat from the steak as well for a cleaner appearance. (If you can find a cowboy ribeye from a butcher with dry-aged steaks, it’s worth the splurge.)

Another key feature of this type of steak is its Frenched bone (meaning an exposed bone trimmed of all meat and fat) that was originally intended to serve as a handle so cowboys out on the range could eat this cut straight off the bone. However, don’t confuse this cut with its fancy-pants cousin, the tomahawk steak. While similar, a tomahawk ribeye features a longer, Frenched bone with a little extra fat left on the steak.

How to Cook Cowboy Steak Like Ree Drummond



  • 2 (2-pound) cowboy steaks (about 2 to 2-1/2 inches thick)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, optional

Ranch compound butter:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ranch seasoning (e.g., Hidden Valley)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley


Step 1: Season the steaks

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and season all sides generously with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Prepare the ranch butter

Meanwhile, combine the softened butter, ranch seasoning and parsley in a small bowl until evenly mixed. Transfer the butter to a piece of plastic wrap and roll it into a small log. Refrigerate the compound butter for at least 30 minutes until firm.

Step 3: Sear the steaks over direct heat

Set up your gas or charcoal grill with the coals or flames under one half of the cooking grates so there are two distinct cooking zones. Preheat to medium-high heat (about 400-450F) for 15 minutes, then place the steaks over direct heat (the side with the flame or coals). Sear for 3-5 minutes per side until deeply charred grill marks form.

To cook steak in a skillet: Preheat the oven to 375. Meanwhile, heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat on your stovetop until very hot. Next, coat the bottom of the skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil. Place one steak in the skillet and sear for 3-5 minutes on each side until a deeply golden crust forms. Then, using a spoon, tilt the pan and remove some of the fat drippings; discard. Reduce the heat to medium and then turn the steak onto its side and sear the fat cap for 1 minute.

Step 4: Move to indirect heat

Transfer the steaks to the indirect cooking zone of your grill (the side with no coals). Cover and cook for an additional 8-16 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 135 for a perfect medium rare steak. Remove promptly to a carving board.

To cook steak in a skillet: Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 8-16 minutes, or until the internal temperature closest to the bone reaches 132 (for medium rare). Remove promptly from the skillet and transfer to a carving board.

Step 5: Top with butter and rest

Prepared Cowboy Steak steak with a generous slice of ranch butter

Top steaks with a generous slice of ranch butter, cover, and let rest for 5 minutes. To serve, carve the steak off the bone and thinly slice it against the grain. Serve immediately.

Editor’s Tip: Don’t be afraid to enjoy as cowboys do and use the bone as a handle to dig right in. Then, pair it with one of these other cowboy-approved recipes.

Here’s What I Thought

Cut out pieces of Pioneer Woman Cowboy Steak served in a plate

Bold, rich, tender and juicy. Need I say more? Ribeyes have always been my favorite cut of steak when I’m looking to treat myself, and this one does not disappoint. While ribeyes are a fattier cut, a ribeye with compound butter adds an extra layer of flavor and indulgence that really is icing on the cake, erm, steer.

I would love to try this recipe with other meat rubs and compound butter flavors in the future. I’ve also recently splurged on a fancy smoker, and I think a reverse-seared cowboy steak is next on my bucket list!

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What Is the Difference Between Olive Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil? https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/olive-oil-vs-extra-virgin-olive-oil/ https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/olive-oil-vs-extra-virgin-olive-oil/#respond Wed, 03 Jan 2024 23:23:42 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?p=1942232 When do you use olive oil vs. extra virgin olive oil? We'll share the differences in taste and various uses in cooking.

The post What Is the Difference Between Olive Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil? appeared first on Taste of Home.

Staring at all the olive oil options at the grocery store gets intimidating. Unlike vegetable oil or canola oil, there seem to be so many brands of olive oil. Then there are the various types: cold-pressed, virgin, extra virgin, refined and extra light.

Which one should you choose?

This golden oil purportedly helps prevent many major diseases and is credited with a variety of health benefits, but much of that can depend on the type of olive oil you buy. Let’s go over the basics of olive oil vs. extra virgin olive oil, and learn when it’s best to choose one over the other.

What is olive oil?

Olive oil is produced by crushing the ripened fruit of the olive tree. Olive trees as we know them date back thousands of years, and historians believe that humans have been making and consuming olive oil for more than 6,000 years. Some fossils suggest that relatives of the olive tree were around millions of years ago. The olive tree is native to Asia Minor but eventually spread across the entire Mediterranean basin. Most of the world’s olive oil is still produced in those regions.

The oil is liquid at room temperature, but solidifies when cold. Olive oil is a crucial component of the super-healthy Mediterranean diet and is one of the primary cooking fats in Greece, Spain and Italy, among other places.

Regular olive oil, which can’t be labelled “virgin” or “extra virgin,” is more refinedaka less flavorfulthan virgin oil, and may have been heated during production. It is considered to be a lower grade of olive oil. It can be made using olives that had defects in flavor, but because it is refined, those flavor notes will not be noticeable in the finished product.

What does olive oil taste like?

Olive oil in a bottle and gravy boat on the kitchen table. Oil bottle with branches and fruits of olives. Place for text. copy space. vegetable oil and salad dressing.

Regular olive oil will have some of the characteristics of the olives from which it was made, but because of the way the oil is produced, the flavor will generally be comparatively smooth and mild. As the oil is heated and refined, the compounds that give olive oil its unique and interesting flavors are removed.

How do you use olive oil?

Non-virgin olive oil can be great as a cooking oil. It can be used to saute vegetables or in marinades for meats (although virgin oils are great for those tasks too).

There is debate about whether olive oil should ever be used for frying as it has a lower smoke point than peanut oil, canola oil, corn oil and other oils prized for use in super hot applications. A refined olive oil will likely have a higher smoke point than one that is unrefined and will definitely have a higher smoke point than an oil that is unfiltered. To settle any confusion, we have a guide on cooking oils that discusses all sorts of uses and applications.

What is extra virgin olive oil?

Extra virgin is a classification for olive oil that has been produced by cold mechanical extractionsuch as by grinding with stonesand without the use of chemicals (some much lower quality olive oils are processed with a chemical treatment).

To qualify as extra virgin, the oil must also receive high marks for its flavor and have a low percentage of free oleic acid. Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil retains much more of the nutrients that offer the health benefits touted by olive oil. Oil that is cold pressed and doesn’t merit the extra virgin designation can be sold as virgin oil.

What does extra virgin olive oil taste like?

Extra virgin olive oil is made from the same types of olives as regular olive oil, but it’s a grade reserved for the most delicious batches. Virgin oils will taste different depending on the kind or kinds of olives that were pressed to make it and how ripe the olives were at harvest time.

Some virgin olive oils are smooth and buttery tasting, but many have peppery and grassy notes, and will cause a little tickle in the back of the throat. Certain olive oil packages list information about the flavor profile of the oil within.

How do you use extra virgin olive oil?

Italian ciabatta bread cut in slices with herbs, olives, pesto sauce, garlic and parmesan cheese on a concrete table. Fresh homemade Italian Ciabatta bread sliced with herbs and spices.Place for text.

The top-flight flavor means that extra virgin oil is superb for taste-forward applications such as drizzling over salads or as a dip for breads. Because extra virgin oil is more expensive than its virgin counterpart, budget-conscious cooks might want to save it for times when its flavor will truly stand out. However, if you’ve got cash or you’re budgeting for healthier foods, extra virgin olive oil can be your go-to oil for low to medium temperature cooking.

Extra virgin olive oil is considered one of the healthiest fats. However, because of its robust flavor, olive oil is not an all-purpose oil. If you want the health benefits of olive oil without the zing, it can be combined with neutral or nutty-tasting oils such as sunflower or grape seed.

Solo, olive oil is excellent in Mediterranean dishes such as hummus, pesto and gazpacho. Starchy foods pair well with the oil’s rich and sharp taste, so choose olive oil for tossing with pasta, making pizza dough or as a dip for bread. It is also an important part of the dressing for tabbouleh.

Extra virgin oil can be used in sauces and for cooking in place of regular olive oil, if desired.

Olive Oil vs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

So, regular olive oil is refined and may be produced using heat. Virgin and extra virgin oil are very similar to each other, but the extra virgin version has the finest flavor.

If you’re a cost-conscious cook, it can be great to use a less pricey oil for pan cooking and in sauces, but keep a bottle of extra virgin olive oil around for use in salad dressings and as a healthy drizzle on top of soups, a dip for bread and so on. Choose virgin olive oil as a middle-of-the-road option for cooking and save the fanciest stuff for special occasions.

If price is no object and you only want to keep one bottle of oil on the shelf, go for the extra virgin. It can be used in all of the same ways as other olive oils, but will be particularly delicious. In addition, extra virgin oil is purported to have the most health benefits.

Don’t forget that some olive oils are buttery and well-rounded, while others are grassy or peppery and piquant. Finding the flavor of olive oil that you like most may be even more important than whether it’s virgin or extra virgin!

Whichever you choose, make sure you store the olive oil properly.

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How to Make Air-Fryer Chicken Tenders Just as Crispy as Your Favorite Fast Food Joint https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/air-fryer-chicken-tenders-recipe/ https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/air-fryer-chicken-tenders-recipe/#respond Wed, 03 Jan 2024 16:29:13 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?p=1936455 Air-fryer chicken tenders cut the grease and the time it takes to fry regular tenders, making this a great weeknight dinner option. Pair with fries and sauce!

The post How to Make Air-Fryer Chicken Tenders Just as Crispy as Your Favorite Fast Food Joint appeared first on Taste of Home.

A good chicken tender is defined by two factors: moist chicken and a crackled, crispy exterior that holds on to dipping sauce. In any shape and size, they’ll bring smiles to the entire tableespecially when paired with air-fryer french fries. Great for dinner, lunch or a snack, these air-fryer chicken tenders are low-calorie and have less fat thanks to the air fryer.

This is a quick recipe (just 30 minutes!) with little cleanup. Pick out your favorite French fry dip and let’s go!

Air-Fryer Chicken Tenders Ingredients

  • Chicken tenderloins: Using only the most tender part of the breast (sometimes called “the nugget”), you have a perfectly sized, moist piece of meat that requires no prep. If you buy extras and freeze them, use ’em up in these other chicken tenderloin recipes.
  • Panko bread crumbs: The gold standard of breadcrumbs, panko is made from crustless bread, resulting in large crisp flakes that fry beautifully.
  • Garlic powder: For a more evenly flavored coating, use garlic powder instead of minced garlic cloves.

Air-Fryer Chicken Tenders Recipe


Air-Fryer Chicken Tenders Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature


Step 1: Prepare the air fryer

Set the air fryer to 400F and allow it to preheat as you prepare the chicken.

Step 2: Prepare the chicken

Chicken pieces layered with mixture

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, set aside.

Set up three bowls. In the first bowl, combine the bread crumbs, garlic powder and paprika. In the second bowl, whisk the eggs really well until completely incorporated. Leave the third bowl empty.

Using your less dominant hand, dip a chicken tender into the egg wash, shake it off and then place into the bowl with the bread crumbs. Use your dominant hand to toss additional breadcrumbs from the bowl on top of the tender, and then lightly press them onto the chicken so they adhere. Place the chicken in the empty dish at the end and start again.

Editor’s Tip: By only using one hand to handle the raw chicken and egg, the other remains clean and able to toss the breadcrumbs easily.

Step 3: Fry the chicken

Chicken Tenders Frying in a black pan

Place the chicken in a single layer on a greased tray in the air-fryer basket. Spray the top of the chicken with cooking spray. Cook seven to eight minutes before flipping the tenders over and repeating on the other side. The goal is a golden brown coating and no pinkness left in the chicken. If you test a tender and find pinkness, return the tenders to the fryer for another one to two minutes per side.

Recipe Variations

  • Add cheese: Add Parmesan to the chicken breading for a cheesy, umami-rich way to elevate a simple tender.
  • Spice things up: Cajun chicken tenders give the nuggets a kick of heat when you’re looking for a little something extra. Simply add homemade cajun seasoning to the bread crumb mixture.
  • Get saucy: Finger-licking good tenders could always use some hot sauce to heat things up (these are our favorite hot sauce brands to stock up on). Air fry the chicken tenders as normal and then coat them in sauce. Serve with plenty of napkins!

How to Store Air-Fryer Chicken Tenders

To keep your chicken tenders crispy and fresh, layer them in airtight containers with paper towels between the layers. They’ll last four to five days in the refrigerator. When ready to eat, simply reheat them in the air fryer for two to three minutes per side to recrisp the breading.

How to Freeze Air-Fryer Chicken Tenders

Making a big batch of tenders makes the most sense, so you can always have them on hand for a snack or when a surprise guest shows up. To freeze, lay your tenders on a cookie sheet lined with parchment, uncovered, and then place in the freezer. When the tenders are completely frozen, which should take five to six hours, place them in a large resealable bag. Remove as much air as possible from the bag.

You don’t need to defrost your tenders when you’re ready to heat them up; simply turn your air fryer to 400, and once ready, place your tenders back into the air fryer in a single layer and cook for eight minutes. You don’t even need to flip them! Do not remove the tenders once the time expires; leave them in the basket for an additional five minutes to heat through.

Tips for Making Air-Fryer Chicken Tenders

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

How can you make sure the air-fryer chicken tenders are crispy?

The key to crispy tenders is removing all moisture. The chicken should be dry before it goes into the egg, and your panko should also be dry. You can let the tenders dry out further by placing the plate with the raw, breaded tenders in front of a fan for five minutes. As long as the air-fryer is set to the right temperature, and you spray the basket and top of the tenders with cooking spray, they should get crispy.

What can you serve with air-fryer chicken tenders?

With chicken tenders, the name of the game is dipping sauce. You can lean into a homemade ranch dressing or barbecue sauce of any variety. And you could always try something different like a peanut butter dipping sauce. While it may sound simple, a really delicious homemade ketchup can be a surprisingly comforting choice too. Besides sauces, a crudits platter, air fried vegetables or even a french fry charcuterie board are great things to serve with chicken tenders.

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What Is Bulgur Wheat and How Do I Cook It? https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/bulgur-wheat/ https://www.tasteofhome.com/article/bulgur-wheat/#respond Tue, 02 Jan 2024 20:34:13 +0000 https://www.tasteofhome.com/?p=1941861 Bulgur wheat brings a nutty flavor and chewy texture to grain bowls, salads and traditional Middle Eastern recipes. Here's how to cook, serve and store bulgur.

The post What Is Bulgur Wheat and How Do I Cook It? appeared first on Taste of Home.

Bulgur has a long history in Middle Eastern, North African and Eastern European cuisines, and has become popular relatively recently in other parts of the world. Once you know what bulgur is and how to cook it, you’ll be tempted to add it to your lineup of healthy whole grain options.

Full of flavor and nutrients, this wheat-based grain can introduce you to a world of traditional dishes from other cultures or stand in for rice or couscous in favorite recipes.

What is bulgur wheat?

Bulgur starts as whole, raw, hulled wheat kernels, often called wheat berries or groats, that are parboiled, dried and ground into several sizes. This makes bulgur wheat distinct from milled, yet still raw, cracked wheat. Like parboiled rice, bulgur cooks relatively quickly, but it remains packed with fiber and nutrients.

Sometimes spelled bulghur, the dry grain may be red or white, depending on the wheat variety used. More important than the color is the grind, especially when deciding how to use this grain. Just keep in mind that bulgur is not gluten-free.

Are there different types of bulgur?

Bulgur grinds range from fine to extra coarse, with each type requiring more heat and time to cook completely. Finely ground bulgur can be soaked in a little hot water, so it’s sometimes called quick-cooking bulgur. You can still soak a medium grind, but it takes a bit longer and will be chewier than cooking it on a stovetop. Coarse and extra coarse bulgur are best cooked unless you like an ultra-chewy texture.

The grind might not be listed on packaging or bulk bins, although some companies specify the grind on their website. Fine bulgur looks a lot like couscous when dry and, once cooked, shapes well into balls, molded salads and kibbeh. Medium bulgur is the most common type; use it if the recipe doesn’t specify the grind. About the size of sesame seeds, a medium grind works particularly well when stuffing peppers or grape leaves but has all-around uses in side dishes, salads (like tabouli) and grain bowls. Coarse and extra coarse grinds, in nearly whole kernels, are best in a hearty pilaf or cooked into soup.

How to Cook Bulgur Wheat

raw bulgar in a measuring cup on a marble counter

To cook bulgur, simmer the grains on the stovetop or soak them in hot liquid. The coarser the grind, the longer it takes. Soaking in hot liquid keeps the grains well separated but is most effective with fine- and medium-grind bulgur. Instead of water, try vegetable or chicken stock, milk or coconut milk for more flavor. Plan on about 1/4 cup of dry bulgur per serving.

Cooking bulgur

Step 1: Simmer the bulgur

In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 cup of bulgur, stir briefly and cover. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until tender, checking after about 10 minutes for fine bulgur. Add 5 minutes for each increase in coarseness; add a splash of hot water as needed to keep the bulgur from sticking.

Editor’s Tip: Bulgur can also be cooked instead in a rice cooker on the white rice setting or in a pressure cooker.

Step 2: Drain and fluff

When fully cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat. Drain off any excess liquid; use a fork to fluff the bulgur. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let sit for five to 15 minutes before fluffing again and serving or using in a recipe.

Soaking bulgur

Step 1: Prepare the bulgur

In a heatproof bowl or pan, combine 1 cup of bulgur with boiling water, using 1 cup water for finely ground bulgur and 2 cups water for coarser grinds. Cover with a lid.

Step 2: Soak and drain

Let the bulgur sit in the hot water until tender; this might take 10 minutes for fine bulgur and up to an hour for coarse bulgur. Drain off any excess liquid, fluff with a fork and serve.

How to Serve Bulgur

Traditional Middle Eastern recipes that use bulgur include salads, pilaf, stuffed vegetables and dishes that shape cooked bulgur, often mixed with beans or lentils, into balls or patties. Bulgur can find its way into plenty of nontraditional dishes, too. Consider bulgur alongside a main dish of chicken or tofu and roasted vegetables or as the base for a Mediterranean bowl. Slip bulgur into a fusion recipe like chicken Greek salad, vegetarian enchiladas or a hearty jambalaya.

What does bulgur taste like?

Traditional delicious Turkish food, bulgur pilaf with vermicelli (Turkish name; arpa sehriyeli bulgur pilavi)

Bulgur has a light nutty flavor and retains a slightly chewy texture even when fully cooked. It has more flavor on its own than many other grains but remains mild enough to blend with a range of ingredients in sweet or savory dishes. Cook it in milk with a little cinnamon and then stir in honey for a sweet base, or simmer in vegetable, mushroom or chicken stock for savory recipes.

The taste and texture of bulgur make it a popular ground beef replacement in vegetarian and vegan chili (like this bean and bulgur chili), but it can also be served alongside meat instead of rice or another starch.

How to Store Bulgur Wheat

Keep dry bulgur in its original packaging or in an airtight container. Store in a dry place at a cool room temperature.

Cooked or soaked bulgur will last for up to four days in the refrigerator or three months in the freezer. Once tender, fluff the bulgur and let it cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container for storage. It can be used chilled, at room temperature or reheated with a splash of liquid over low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

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