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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

F&W Bookshelf

6 Supersmart Tips for Kids' Lunches

Beating the Lunch Box Blues

By day, J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for the Associated Press, but each morning, he embraces his unofficial gig as an expert lunch packer. After years of making delicious, easy and fun meals to-go for his son, Parker (like a Star Wars–themed egg sandwich, the Obi Wan-wich), Hirsch is sharing his wisdom in a book called Beating the Lunch Box Blues,which hits shelves September 3. Based on his blog, Hirsch’s book (he calls it an “un-cookbook”) features great ideas for superfast boxed lunches, gorgeous annotated photographs and 30 fast dinner recipes that yield strategic leftovers. Here are six of the brilliant tips from his book. MORE >

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Tasting Room

Affordable Summer Wines: Dry Rosés

Vera Vinho Verde Rosé

Pair with grilled vegetables, turkey burgers, hot dogs and pasta salads.

2012 Vera Vinho Verde Rosé ($11) From a region known for its white wines, this low-alcohol Portuguese rosé (11.5 percent) 
is ultra-tangy—serve it very cold on a hot day.

2012 Barnard Griffin Rosé of Sangiovese ($12) Scarlet-hued and full of citrusy acidity, this is a Washington-state interpretation of one of Tuscany’s classic grape varieties.

2012 Librandi Cirò Rosato ($12) Italy’s Librandi has a loyal following for its Cirò red. The rosé version is 
just as appealing, with 
ripe cherry fruit and 
a touch of smokiness.

2012 Penya Rosé ($12) The local wine cooperative in the tiny French village of Cases-de-Pène, about 30 miles north of Spain, makes this watermelon-scented, lively rosé.

2012 Domaine de Malavieille Charmille ($17) Organically grown grapes (mostly Syrah) from southern France’s Pays d’Oc region produce this minerally rosé.

Related: Summer Wines
Summer Wine Tips from Experts
Grilling Wines
Summer Drinks

Drink This Now

Secrets to Drinking Like You're in Havana

Havana Beach

I'm not saying I went to Cuba. But if I had gone, I probably would have spent most of the time eating lots of grilled lobster (the stripey Caribbean kind, not the red Maine kind) in paladares (restaurants run out of magnificent family homes) and over-consuming exceptional rum-based cocktails. As the birthplace of the mojito and the spot where Ernest Hemingway popularized the Papa Doble (a double frozen daiquiri), Havana would inspire any non-heretics to drink copious amounts of each. Again, I'm not saying that I went there, but if I had, these would probably have been my most memorable brushes with alcohol. MORE >

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The Why Guys

Brooks Headley's Secret to Exceptional Desserts: Negative Space

Chef Brooks Headley

Iconoclastic restaurant pro Brooks Headley (Pastry Chef at Del Posto, New York City) questions conventional wisdom to push the dining scene forward.

Why do restaurant desserts need to be so complicated?
They really don’t have to be so complicated. Is baking a science? Well, yeah, there is some science involved, sort of, but my grandma did not really care about that, she just wanted to make awesome cookies. And she did! Often. Remember, sweet stuff is still food. It needs to be seasoned and cared for, the ingredients championed, the fruit gushingly embarrassed and red-faced at its plump ripeness. Desserts need to be wildly delicious. And simple, in the absolute best possible way.

Negative space is my muse. The stuff that ain’t there. The stuff that does not exist, the stuff that makes all the other stuff, like, totally, way cooler. As the amazing Chris Bianco, of Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, once said: “The greatest ingredient in cooking is restraint.” The dude speaks the truth.

Related: Ultimate Guide to Dessert Recipes
Beautiful Art-Inspired Desserts
Desserts from the Best New Pastry Chefs 2013

Supermarket Sleuth

Olive Oil Primer: Healthy Smoke in a Bottle

Smoke in a Bottle

Photo © Sara Julian (Holy Smoke). © Lee McLaughlin (The Smoked Olive).
Courtesy of (Castillo de Canena)

These olive oils are a clever way to add smokiness to all types of food.

Holy Smoke (left)
Smoked over hickory and pecan wood. $15 for 8.5 oz;

The Smoked Olive Sonoma (middle)
Fruity and a little spicy. $24 for 6.75 oz;

Castillo de Canena (right)
Fantastic on roast potatoes. $21.50 for 250 ml;

Try it in a Recipe: Smoky Salmorejo
This chilled, no-cook Spanish soup is similar to gazpacho but blended instead of chopped. Smoked olive oil adds meatiness to the vegetarian dish. GET THE RECIPE »

Related: Lazy Grilling: Shortcuts to Smoky Flavor
F&W’s Summer Grilling Guide

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Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.