F&W Free Preview All You Coastal Living Cooking Light Food and Wine tab Health myRecipes Southern Living Sunset
My F&W
quick save (...)

Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

RSS
What Not to Do

5 Reasons Not To Go Out on Valentine's Day (With One Exception)

Restaurants everywhere know their customers are powerless to stay home. But they should stay home! And here are five reasons.

read more
What Not to Do

The Dos and Don’ts of Burns Night

Robert Burns

You don't need to know anything about Scottish poet Robert Burns to hold a Burns Night supper. You just need to like Scotch, appreciate a good poem and be open to eating some offal. 

read more
what not to do

Reddit Users Have Insane Ideas About Cocktails

When Redditors recently started talking about their favorite cocktails, things got crazy fast. Here are some of the strangest responses, arranged from weird to (possibly) palatable.

read more
What Not to Do

5 Common Cookie Mistakes

Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies

Milk can help wash down failed baking experiments at home. But it can't save you from turning up at a holiday party with tough, flat or ugly cookies. Here, F&W's Kay Chun explains how to avoid the most common cookie mistakes. Read more >

read more
What Not to Do

5 Surefire Ways to Botch Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Takeout from Chicago's The Goddess and Grocer

There are, of course, an infinite number of ways to screw up Thanksgiving. You can bring your biological parents unannounced; you can make inappropriate jokes about the recently deceased; you can look bad, smell funny, or take all the scalloped potato crust, leaving just white mush for everybody else. But this being Food & Wine, I will stick to cooking mishaps. Any of these can easily happen, even to an experienced cook, and most of them have at one time or another. So be vigilant! Read more >

read more
What Not To Do

5 Ways To Make Chefs Hate You

5 Ways To Make Chefs Hate You

Chefs are not, for the most part, happy people. Let's get that out of the way. They work long hours, they have hardly any home lives to speak of, and they spend their whole day being mad at people who hate them right back. It's a rough job. But it doesn't make it any easier when diners (in their minds, anyway) go out of their way to make them miserable. And while there are many ways diners can make chefs hate them, these five are surely near the top of the list. Read more >

read more
What Not to Do

5 Signs Your Bartender Is Doing It Wrong

Good glassware.

Just as bartenders have evolved to become more knowledgeable and engaged with their craft, so too have bar patrons. But not every bar—nor every barkeep—can keep up. Pay attention and you might spot a few surefire signs: If your bartender mixes a classic daiquiri with bottled sour mix, or shakes a Manhattan (a drink that should invariably be stirred) it’s an indication you ought to stick to the basics. We talked to a few cocktail industry vets to suss out other harbingers of doom behind the bar. Read more >

read more
What Not to Do

Why Your Potatoes Are Lacking

default-image

Pommes Anna at Minetta Tavern

With Easter and Passover around the corner, there will be much attention paid to headlining meats: brisket, lamb, ham. That said, there is one food that's almost more important to master—since it's as essential to the success of holiday meals as weeknight dinners—the potato. Here, the talented chefs at New York's Minetta Tavern, Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr, help suss out the most common mistakes made by home cooks when roasting, mashing and frying that humble and delicious vegetable. Click here to see what you're doing wrong.

Baking

Magnolia Bakery: 6 Ways to Ruin a Cupcake 

default-image

Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes

© Courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes

Last week, the confectionery geniuses at New York City’s Magnolia Bakery started offering their Sex and the City–approved cupcakes for national delivery. The company spent nearly two years testing out packaging before adding cupcakes to its lineup of cookies, brownies and bars already available online. (The cupcakes had a tendency to become less than pristine during the shipment process.)

 “I think my mother’s sick of me sending her cupcakes,” says Magnolia Bakery president Bobbie Lloyd. That’s not to say Lloyd will ever tire of America’s enduring dessert obsession. She served cupcakes at her wedding long before they became trendy. While Magnolia’s cupcakes can arrive literally overnight, Lloyd is happy to encourage baking at home. Here, she shares six mistakes that home bakers make when trying to create the perfect cupcake.

1. Skimming the recipe. Thoroughly reading the full recipe before getting started will help you avoid unwanted surprises midway through. Even as a professional baker, Lloyd admits to skipping this step: “There have been times where I’ve run out of vanilla extract, or sometimes my brown sugar will be as hard as a rock because I haven’t baked in a while.”

2. Using warm butter. Cupcake recipes often call for room-temperature butter, but what is room temperature? “For all intents and purposes, it should be 70 degrees,” says Lloyd, “but most people's home kitchens are too warm.” This is a problem if you want to make cupcakes from scratch, since butter is the leavening in those recipes. “When the butter is warmer than it needs to be,” she says, “you can’t whip it into the ingredients long enough, meaning the end result doesn’t come out as it should.” Her quick tip: If you take butter straight out of the fridge, then put it in the microwave on defrost for 10 seconds, it should reach the correct texture.

3. Forgetting to check the oven temperature. “Most home cooks never think to check this,” says Lloyd. It’s especially important when you’re working in a new or unfamiliar kitchen. “The first time I tried baking something in my new apartment, I burned a cupcake recipe I’ve been making for years. I went out and bought a thermometer, and guess what? The oven temperature was actually 75 degrees hotter than what I’d set it to!”

4. Substituting ingredients. Be careful how you alter a recipe. “A friend of mine once added cake mix instead of cake flour to a mixture of flour and baking soda, and her cupcakes ended up exploding in the oven!” says Lloyd. 

5. Watching TV instead of your cupcakes. It’s extremely easy to overbake cupcakes, so don’t lose track of the time. “If the recipe says 25 minutes,” says Lloyd, “go and test them in 20.” If the tester comes out clean at that point, go ahead and take them out to cool, since they’ll continue to bake for a few minutes outside of the oven.

6. Letting your cupcakes cool completely in the pan. After taking your cupcakes out of the oven, Lloyd suggests removing them from the pan after about 10 or 15 minutes. “The cupcakes will absorb too much moisture if you leave them in any longer,” she says. And soggy cupcake paper is never pretty.

Related: F&W's Best Cupcake Recipes
Beautiful Desserts
How to Make Layer Cakes
Best Pie Spots in the U.S.

Cooking

Tips on How to Deep-Fry a Turkey

default-image

© © Con Poulos
Soy-Sauce-and-Honey-Glazed Turkey

As amusing as it was to watch William Shatner’s dramatic tale of a fried turkey gone wrong for State Farm this month, we thought it might be useful to provide some grounded tips this Thanksgiving. Deep-frying a turkey can yield incredible results: a glistening bird with golden-brown skin that’s cooked perfectly in minutes. But anyone who’s watched a YouTube video in which a deep-fried turkey goes up in flames should understand that the technique is no joke. Done right, you could be filling your plate in an hour. Done wrong, you could be eating Jell-O at the ER. Here, Food & Wine’s deep-fried turkey tips (use at your own risk!).
 
1. Test to see how much oil you really need. Do not fill the pot with oil yet. Using cold water, measure how much liquid should be put in the pot to cover the turkey without overflowing onto the burner.
 
2. Go outside. Turkey frying should only be done outdoors, on a flat and level surface—not in an enclosed area (like a kitchen or garage) or on a wooden structure (like a deck)! Also, remember that oil is also hard to clean off of concrete. Make sure to clear the area of children, pets and intoxicated relatives.
 
3. Use a fresh bird, or fully thaw a frozen one. The minute any moisture from the turkey hits hot oil, the oil will start to splatter and can cause a spillover effect, starting a fire.
 
4. Skip the stuffing. You’ll have to keep the stuffing on the side when frying a turkey. Michael Symon’s stuffing muffins with lemony mushrooms and pine nuts, or butternut squash with corn bread, are fantastic. Also, remember to remove the giblets from the bird’s cavity before frying.
 
5. Lower the bird slowly into the oil. Do not drop the turkey into the deep-fryer.
 
6. Do not move the pot. Are you Homer Simpson? Adjusting a vat of hot oil is incredibly dangerous.
 
7. Stick around. Never leave the turkey unattended. It can only take a moment for something to go wrong.
 
8. Don’t start drinking until after the oil has cooled. Better to be alert until this bird is cooked.
 
9. Wait to carve. Let the cooked turkey rest for at least 30 minutes, in order to retain the hot juices.
 
10. Keep heavy blankets nearby for emergencies. Water will not extinguish an oil fire, it will only spread the ignited oil. A wool blanket will help put out flare-ups.

Related: 30-Minute Thanksgiving Recipes

20-Minute Thanksgiving Recipes

10-Minute Thanksgiving Recipes

advertisement
The Dish
Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
American Express Publishing ("AEP") may use your email address to send you account updates and offers that may interest you. To learn more about the ways we may use your email address and about your privacy choices, read the AEP Privacy Statement.
How we use your email address
advertisement
Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Join celebrity chefs, renowned winemakers and epicurean insiders at the culinary world’s most spectacular weekend, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.