Sugar Demystified

At its simplest, sugar is a carbohydrate that is present in every fruit and vegetable. Plants make sugar through photosynthesis and then store it as food. In the United States, common white sugar or sucrose comes from sugar cane and sugar beets. One teaspoon of sugar has 15 calories.

In the kitchen, sugar plays a necessary and complex role especially when we cook and bake.

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A Guide to Basic Asian Cooking Ingredients

For many cooks, the biggest hurdles to cooking Asian cuisine are knowing and finding the right ingredients. To help you navigate the Asian food section at your local market, we compiled a basic guide to common Asian cooking ingredients.

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A Touch of Red for Valentine's Day

On Valentine’s Day, we joyfully embrace the bold and beautiful color, red. According to feng shui practitioners, red brings powerful fire energy into the environment, fueling feelings of passion, luxury, love and romance.

In the kitchen and dining room, red is an eye-catching color that stimulates the appetite and other senses.

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Super Bowl® Fans Savor Super Snacks

On Super Bowl® Sunday, football always takes center stage. Snacks, finger foods and beverages, however, are still in the spotlight. While hot wings, creamy dips and crunchy chips are perennial favorites, we’re looking for new recipes for this year’s Super Bowl® menu.

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Muffuletta: Make this Italian sandwich for a no fuss meal on Super Bowl® Sunday

New Orleans is well known for its Cajun and creole cuisine, both heavily influenced by the French. Another quintessential New Orleans dish is muffuletta (moof-fuh-LET-tuh, muff-uh-LOT-uh or moo-foo-LET-ta), a submarine-type sandwich popularized by Italian immigrants.

A classic muffuletta is made with a sesame seed-topped Sicilian-style round bread, various Italian cold cuts and cheeses and a chunky olive salad.

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Beignets: Classic New Orleans doughnuts

In New Orleans, when people say they’re “goin’ fo’ coffee and doughnuts,” they mean café au lait and beignets, probably at legendary Café du Monde, a New Orleans landmark. Beignets are so popular that, in 1986, they became the official doughnut of the State of Louisiana.

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Spice up your Super Bowl Menu with a Taste of New Orleans Cuisine

Super Bowl XLVII takes place on February 3, just a few weeks away. I’m following post-season play on the sidelines – my favorite not-to-be-named California team missed the playoffs, again. While ardent NFL fans debate who will play for the coveted Vince Lombardi trophy, I’m busy planning the menu for our Super Bowl bash.

This year’s venue, New Orleans, tempts cooks to add spicy Cajun and Creole-inspired dishes to their Super Bowl spreads.

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Food Trend: Milk Substitutes Invade the Dairy Case

If the supermarket dairy section is a gauge of current food trends, then more and more people are trading cow’s milk for dairy-free knock-offs made from plant-based ingredients like almonds, soy, coconut, hemp seeds, rice, oats, flax seeds and cashews. These milk substitutes appeal to consumers who choose to forego cow’s milk for health, environmental or ethical reasons.

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Stand Mixer versus Hand Mixer: Do you need one or both?

If you’re a serious baker, you probably own a stand mixer and, without hesitation, admit it's your best friend in the kitchen. For others like me, choosing a mixer is a difficult decision that sets up a classic battle between "I want it" and "do I need it."

If you’re eyeing that lovely KitchenAid stand mixer in your favorite shade of blue but are not sure you really need it, take a deep breath and read on. Today at CHEFS Mix, we help you understand what to look for in a stand mixer and hand mixer and determine if you need one or both.

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Baking with Tea

Most days, I regard tea as a soothing beverage on a cold winter’s night or refreshing drink on the hottest summer day. I have a large stash in my pantry – just can't resist trying new blends or another brand of Earl Grey. Unfortunately, loose tea loses its flavor and fragrance over time. Rather than sending my ageing purchases to the compost bin, I've begun using tea leaves in my every day cooking. To my delight, loose tea is an exciting baking and cooking ingredient, imparting unique flavors and aromas to both sweet and savory dishes.

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Toasting the New Year: Make mine lemonade

According to some  industry experts, sour foods with tart, acidic and bitter flavors are “in” for 2013. I am not a trendy or trendsetting cook. Tonight, however, I’m jumping on the “sour” bandwagon by choosing citrusy beverages that are heavy on the sour and light on the sweet.

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New Year's Food Traditions: Lucky Foods from Around the World

On New Year’s Day, indulging in good luck foods for prosperity and health is a time-honored custom around the world. For example, in the United States, eating black-eyed peas is a popular Southern tradition (look for our recipe for "Hoppin' John" at the end of this post).

If you’re still planning your New Year’s Eve celebration or New Year’s Day brunch and are a tiny bit superstitious, add some of these good luck foods for an inspired and eclectic menu.

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Garlic Soup Recipe

Every month or so, I join several of my CHEFS colleagues for a potluck lunch. We're all food-loving cooking enthusiasts with a diversity of kitchen experiences and cooking skills. The cooking challenge is simple: make and share healthy dishes that use fresh, seasonal ingredients and accommodate specific dietary restrictions like gluten-free and low-fat.

The centerpiece of our recent lunch was my version of Jacques Pépin‘s garlic soup recipe from an episode of Essential Pépin. The soup was a light, creamy and flavorful purée, perfect for lunch. It would also be a delicious addition to any post-holiday, game day or winter meal.

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Recipe Ideas for Quick and Easy, Last Minute Homemade Food Gifts

Did the words “quick and easy,” “last-minute” and “homemade” in the title catch your attention? The week before Christmas, they always capture mine.

Despite my best efforts, I end up needing an unplanned gift or two. Before heading to the stores, I always check my pantry and kitchen for possible ideas – my friends really appreciate homemade food gifts from my kitchen. Over the years, I've learned that many gift-worthy recipes use readily available ingredients and take only an hour or two to make.

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Homemade Irish Cream Recipes

If you’re ready to stock your bar with store-bought Irish cream, consider making your own this year. Irish cream recipes are easy, and the liqueur is delicious over ice, in coffee or in mixed drinks. Homemade Irish Cream is also perfect for last minute gifts.

Today at CHEFS Mix, we’re sharing two recipes for homemade Irish Cream: traditional and dairy-free.

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Bread Pudding Recipe

Several years ago, if I heard the words, “bread pudding,” I immediately imagined the too sweet lump of raisin-studded, milk-soaked bread I sampled in college. Today, I adore bread pudding for dessert especially around the holidays.

What caused my change of heart?

I credit Mark Bittman, the food writer best known for his cookbook, How to Cook Everything, and his New York Times food column, “The Minimalist.”

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Cutlery: Get to know your kitchen knives

The more you know about kitchen knives, the more fun you’ll have shopping for cutlery for your own collection or gifts. Today at CHEFS Mix, we’re answering basic questions about knives and how to choose the best ones for your kitchen.

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What's the best cookware?

Is a cookware set for her first apartment on your niece’s wish list?
Do you want to surprise a cooking enthusiast with specialty pan that will expand his cooking repertoire?
Is choosing cookware confusing?

If you answered “yes” to at least one question, you've come to the right place. Today at CHEFS Mix, we're sharing cookware basics that will boost your confidence when picking cookware for gifts or for your own kitchen..

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