Gift Guide Giveaway: Win These Foodie Gifts!

November 15, 2010 at 6:00 am , by


There’s a great gift here for every type of foodie in your life: Wine snob? Check. Adventurous home cook? Done. Baker? Check. Beer lover? We’ve got it. Busy mom? Covered. There are even gifts for those of us who like to watch and eat instead of, well, cook. One lucky reader will score all of the foodie picks here. Read more about each prize in our Foodie Gift Guide.

Enter to win by posting a brief comment below telling us why you’d like to win one of the holiday gift packages. Comments must be posted by 11:59 ET on Monday, December 20. We will randomly select one winner. Read the full rules here. Good luck!

Cooking With Your Kids

July 8, 2010 at 9:04 am , by

Sophia - pizzaThere are a few things I’m good at, but cooking is not one of them. So, what do I do with a kid who says she wants to be a chef when she grows up?

Somehow, we manage to have a great time in the kitchen. We wear matching aprons and use princess spatulas. We make a lots of brownies, cookies, and cakes from box mixes. And we spend way too much time on the decorating part—see our Ariel birthday cake for evidence of that. (Another Erneta family fun activity is getting store-bought cookies and decorating them with frosting.)

Recently on a trip to my parents’ house, my mom got a few Boboli pizza crusts and the kids (both of them, the 2yr old included!) had a blast making pizza. Their sense of pride was enormous as everyone complimented the chefs.

I asked our savvy Food Editor, Tara Bench, for some tips on getting your kids in the kitchen and she had lots of great ideas. She told me, “Anything that they can layer or build feels like a big treat for them.” That must be why Sophia loved helping me make lasagna. Tara also recommends sandwiches, tacos and fruit kabobs for more layering fun. Some other great cooking ideas for kids: peanut butter cookies (kids love mixing and they’ll like making marks with a fork), no-bake cheesecake (so fun to press in a graham cracker crust),  and easy drop cookies. Pancakes and puddings can be fun too—just reserve the hot stove part for bigger kids only. Happy cooking!

So, tell me: What do you cook with your kids?

Eco-Friendly & Healthy Nonstick Pans

March 10, 2010 at 10:46 am , by

pansI love to cook with my stainless steel All-Clad, but I’ll be honest, at home I mostly use my inexpensive nonstick pans. Why? Because clean-up is SO much easier. But am I damaging my health? Well, maybe.

While nonstick cookware touts an easy way to be healthy and cook with less fat, its biggest draw is that it’s a breeze to clean. But there have been some health concerns surrounding the chemicals used to produce PTFE (the material that gives nonstick it’s properties), such as Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This and other chemicals are being linked to thyroid disease and infertility. Basically, if your traditional nonstick pans aren’t cared for properly, it can be hazardous to your health.

Many companies have responded to this new information by introducing a nonstick ceramic-based surface. They have none of the worrisome chemicals and can outlast traditional nonstick. An added bonus? They’re earth-friendly!

We tried out a bunch of the new ceramic nonstick varieties and found that our favorites were also among the most affordable: (1) Earthpan II Sandflow, $25; (2) Cuisinart Green Gourmet, $50; (3) Todd English GreenPan, $50; (4) Starfrit Alternative Eco-Pan, $34.

Are you in the market for new cookware? If your Teflon pans are all scratched up, you should be—seriously, go toss them right now!