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A Very Subjective Ranking of the Best Candy Heart Sayings

From ‘Call Me’ to ‘LOL,’ classic candy heart sayings can pack big punches. Here, we evaluate five of the most popular ones to determine which are worth circulating.

Photo of candy hearts ranked
Amanda Suarez / Serious Eats

Crafts, candy, a kindergarten class size-worth of Valentine’s to go home with—if you ask me, this capitalist-driven holiday was much more exciting in the days of our youth. It was a day to look forward to, especially if there was a certain someone that made your heart flutter. (I so appreciate the innocence of a crush back in the day; nowadays, love gives me dread and I much prefer being a grumpy, lonely, existentialist 28-year-old). And it was probably in these early days of life where we were first introduced to…

The iconic box of conversation hearts! They show up around this time every year in cute little boxes and candy dishes everywhere. We spend weeks trying and failing to pass them on to friends and friends with kiddos. They linger long after the holiday has passed and then we do it all again the next year. Somewhere in between, we send pictures and memes of their lil messages to relevant parties, thriving on the ‘lols’ but never actually eating the candy. And while with any other product, we’d have gone in hard on a taste test, these guys lend themselves better to complete whim, sass, and subjectivity. Anyway, who doesn’t love a silly little ranking of popular products on the market?

So! The sayings on these Necco and Brach’s sweet treats are reviewed and changed every year to stay current, but the classics are just canon. According to a rep from Brach’s, the Queen Bee of Candy Hearts, “LOVE YOU” is America’s favorite conversation heart message, chosen by 50% of people surveyed this year. But did it make our list? Keep reading to find out!

Pile of candy hearts
Amanda Suarez / Serious Eats

Be True

Don’t tell me you drive a Lamborghini when you really drive a Honda Civic. Don’t tell me you’ve had Via Carota’s iconic insalata verde when you haven’t (tell me you haven’t, actually, so we have an excuse to try it together!). And don’t you dare catfish me. Be yourself!! That’s the only way to do it. 

BFF

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to just be for couples, people!! Make sure to show your friends the love, too. Friendships can stand the test of time, and I know my heart would be warmed if a pal tossed one of these at me. Maybe show your mom some love with it, too, or even the barista at your local coffee joint who’s memorized your order and never judges you for looking like you just rolled out of bed. Idk, just a thought!! You never know what could come from it…

LOL

I don’t know about you, but “lol” is a term I’ve come to use IRL, not just via text. It’s cute, it’s fun, it’s lighthearted, and even Boomers know how to use it these days. Context is important here, though. Is there anything worse than professing your love for someone and then having them chuck an “LOL” candy heart at your head? Play this card lightly, my friends. [Ed. note: Since initially filed, it has come to our attention that LOL may mean..."lots of love" in this particular context. We can find no evidence to support this, nor can we dig up any evidence to the contrary. Also related: Most of us are mid-to-elder millennials.]

GOAT

A rare exception! An update that works! Case in point? The GOAT option, which, as most of us know, translates to “Greatest of All Time.” Is it something I’d think to call a crush or partner? Honestly no, but maybe we should give it a try!

Call Me

It transcends generations. It’s simple and to the point: give me a call, won’t ya? More than it being simple, it’s also assertive and exudes confidence with two simple words—the energy we all need to bring to our lives (and relationships). Though young millennials and Gen Zers may be averse to picking up a phone call, there’s no doubt that one from a crush would get your heart racing. I know it would for me! Or it would, ya know, give me a total and complete panic attack.

Everything You Need to Know About Ground Ginger, Because Fresh Isn’t Always Best

How to buy, store, and cook with the spice, plus a little bit of history.

Overhead view of ground ginger in a bowl
Serious Eats / Jordan Provost

Picture this: You’re hovering over the kitchen counter, flour all over your apron, maybe a little in your hair. Your stand mixer is taking a rest, a pile of dirty bowls is (manageably) stacked up in the sink. Things are good. Things are comforting. You’ve just put a batch of crispy lemon-ginger cookies—or maybe it's pumpkin gingerbread, I have no way of knowing when you're reading this—in the oven. Either way, after a few minutes, the warming scent fills the room, conjuring up coziness, restfulness. The person you were planning on sharing your cookies and/or cake with walks in and declares with such confidence: "You're making cinnamon rolls!! I love cinnamon rolls." Well, OK, that's great, babe, but I hope you like these ground ginger-centric baked goods! 

Overhead view of ginger three ways
Serious Eats / Jordan Provost

Used in both sweet and savory applications (the former of which are, sure, yes, often paired with cinnamon and nutmeg), ground ginger has become a staple in many kitchens, if not one with a slightly less overpowering smell than its sweet-and-spicy counterparts. But this invigorating, slightly peppery format of the aromatic isn't always a 1:1 swap-in for its fresher self. We dove into all that is ground ginger with Alyse Baca, Culinary Director of Spicewalla and our very own Genevieve Yam to learn more about how to use it, as well as what to look for when buying and storing it.

What Is Ground Ginger?

We can’t talk about ground ginger without acknowledging its roots (pun intended)—ginger itself. The aromatic ingredient comes from the rhizome, a plant stem that spreads its roots underground. Turmeric and galangal are also part of the rhizome family. More specifically, ginger is from the Zingiberaceae family, of which there are more than 1,300 species of flowering ginger plants. The knobby, golden ginger plant is native to Southeast Asia, specifically nations like Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore, and used in many of these cuisines. The type that’s often sold in supermarkets is called Zingiber officinale

Overhead view of ground ginger coming out of a bottle
Serious Eats / Jordan Provost

“About one-third of the world’s ginger is grown and harvested in India,” says Baca. “Historical references to ginger being used in food, as well as medicine, date back nearly 5000 years.”

Ground ginger is made by peeling and drying the fresh ginger plant and then pulverizing it into a fine powder. The spice is pungent, but has a tamer, milder flavor than fresh ginger.

How to Buy and Store Ground Ginger

Ground ginger can be found anywhere you buy spices, whether in a regular-schmegular grocery store or an international market. You’ll want to look for a beige color when shopping. As for storing, make sure to keep ground ginger in a cool and dry place away from sunlight, just like with most of your other spices. 

While ground ginger will last up to two years before losing potency, smell is also a good indicator of freshness. “The aroma of a spice will give you a lot of information about how fresh and flavorful it is,” says Baca: “If you are able to smell your spices and they have a strong aroma it is likely to be at its freshest.” So if you sniff your ground ginger and don’t pick up much scent, that’s a sign your ground ginger is no longer in its prime, and, therefore, won’t have the desired impact on whatever you’re using it in.

How to Cook With Ground Ginger

Ground ginger is usually preferred over fresh when used in sweet applications and baked goods. “I almost always prefer to use ground ginger in dessert recipes, unless it's a recipe that would really benefit from the zing of fresh ginger, like a British-style steamed ginger pudding or wintery ginger cake with molasses,” says Genevieve. Baca notes that ground ginger can be better in desserts that require smooth textures, like custards, because you’re likely after the flavor of ginger but not the fibrous root. 

The warm notes that ground ginger offers also works well in classic sweet treats like pumpkin pie, brownies, and even our homemade pumpkin spice latte. You know, desserts that are better with a slight bit of punch.

Contrastingly, some may think to use ground ginger as a substitute for fresh ginger in savory dishes, but while “dried ginger lends a kick, it just isn't as punchy as fresh ginger," Genevieve adds. The ground spice is pungent in its own way, but lacks the freshness that an aromatic can offer. It can be used in a lot of curries, stews, or braises, but again, it may not have the same effect as fresh. “If I'm making Chinese food, I always use fresh ginger,” says Genevieve. “I'd rather not make it if all I have is ground ginger!” She goes on to mention the ground flavor works well in marinades, while Baca likes to add ground ginger to soups and salad dressing, for a “lovely zip of flavor.”

A substitute for ground ginger is, of course, fresh ginger—plus, it’s easy to keep it around like you might with garlic and onions. I even like to freeze fresh ginger to prevent it from going bad, although it does have a decent shelf life. Still, it never hurts to keep both around! That way when a baking itch strikes (and you want to make something nice for someone who knows less about spices than you do) that warm-and-cozy smell can fill your kitchen at a moment’s notice.

We Tested and the Brits Are Wrong: You Should Be Adding Salt to Your Tea

After professor and chemist Michelle Francl published a book about tea that claimed adding salt would make it better, utter chaos ensued globally. We tested the theory ourselves.

Table salt being added to a porcelain teacup covered with flowers.
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Have you heard? The British are coming…for this Bryn Mawr professor. Michelle Francl, who is also a chemist, has always loved tea, prompting her to write a book about the science behind it. Steeped: The Chemistry of Tea, dropped this Wednesday and it gives readers some unusual advice for making their tea: just add...salt. The advice, however, has our comrades across the pond up in arms, so much so that even the U.S. Embassy of London and the British government had to weigh in with their own commentary (it's so cute when diplomats get playful!). 

In the book, Francl explains that incorporating a pinch of salt into your tea can help block the receptors that make tea, specifically black tea, bitter.

This makes sense! “Most [black] tea isn’t very good,” Max Falkowitz wrote on this very site back in 2018, “overly bitter and tannic yet curiously bland.” (And yet we’re all out here taking subpar, wince-worthy mugs to the face, assuring ourselves we’re doing something better for our bodies than chugging even more coffee.) None of this is shocking to this crew of over-caffeinated food geeks: People have been adding salt to coffee for ages for the same reason (not to mention the long history of salted teas like butter tea in Nepal and Tibet). Plus, salt, a famous flavor potentiator, has built-in powers to ameliorate said bitterness. Why wouldn’t we put this magical, ubiquitous bitter-mitigating compound into our icky cups of tea?

The key, Francl notes, is adding no more than a pinch in order for the sodium to go unnoticed when drinking. The nerds in us were naturally intrigued by the science of Francl’s tip, so naturally, we decided to put this viral outrage to the test. Several members of the team made steaming salty cups o’ tea following Francl’s advice. We also made a control cup to compare, brewing the tea in the exact same way, but omitting the pinch of salt. 

Overhead view of Daniel's two cups of tea
Daniel's two cups of tea testing salt's impact on tea's flavorSerious Eats / Daniel Gritzer

The best advice we can give after trying this ourselves is to emphasize that Francl is really calling for a pinch of salt. Our very own Tess Koman may have been a bit too liberal with it. “I found the salt completely mitigated any bitterness I've come to expect with black teas,” she said. “I went heavy with my pinch and still my cup was delicious, like drinking the sweetest, mildest version of salted licorice (this is a good thing and I will not hear otherwise).” Daniel Gritzer went easier on the salting, noting “the salted tea, to me, did not taste even remotely salty, but its flavors were more well-rounded, whereas the salted tea had more of a tannic edge. I preferred the salted tea.” He asked his wife Kate to blind-taste each cup and she, too, preferred the salted version. He went on to add: “This little diplomatic media-relations exercise has been cute, but we're not gonna be impressed until the Brits send some frigates this way for a real battle—we're overdue,” so now it’s A Whole Thing in Slack.

As for me, I’m not the biggest tea drinker, but I was compelled (read: “strongly encouraged” by my editor) to try this out myself (“Who knows, maybe salted tea literally converts you to liking it?”). To my surprise, tasting both cups of tea side by side, the cup of salted tea was noticeably less bitter…and, dare I say, more delicious? It definitely still needed some sugar, which I added with gusto once I completed our lil experiment. Anyway, I owe many thanks to Ms. Francl for giving me a solution to my tea-hating problem!

Regardless of the consensus here, I think we can all agree the King's subjects need to chill. Not every conversation about tea needs to involve them! (After all, when was the last time anyone asked the Italians how best to pull a shot of espresso?) Let this be a reminder that there are plenty of other countries that drink the beverage religiously. And with that, I bid you a hearty ta-ta and cheerio, as the British may very well be readying to come for us now.

7 Recipes That Exude Barbiecore, Because Who Cares What The Academy Thinks

Noticeably absent from this year’s Oscar nominations? A Best Actress nod for Margot Robbie and a Best Director nod for Greta Gerwig for their respective roles in the film. We decided to celebrate their achievements with some recipes that exude Barbiecore.

Collage of recipes with a Barbie theme
Serious Eats

We were tricked, we were backstabbed, and we were quite possibly (no, definitely) bamboozled. With the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations came a whopping eight nominations for last summer’s cinematic phenomenon, Barbie, but notably absent? A Best Actress nomination for Margot Robbie and a Best Director nomination for Greta Gerwig for their respective roles in the film. The noteworthy snubs were rounded out by Ryan Gosling’s nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Ken in the movie. The irony of two of the most important women involved in Barbie missing out on nominations for a film that tackles the stereotypes and gender inequality women deal with in a male-dominated world is a less-than-subtle nod to the patriarchy, and there weren't even horses involved this time. (Even Gosling himself expressed his disappointment, saying in a statement: "There is no Barbie movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for this history-making, globally-celebrated film.")

So as we sit here in our disdain at the Academy getting it wrong yet again, we wanted to celebrate all that is Barbie with some recipes that exude Barbiecore—which, by definition, “isn't just about wearing a certain shade [of pink]. It means channeling a confident attitude and exuding happiness into the world, almost infectiously." Because despite these snubs, women should still scream happy confidence (or any type of confidence, for that matter) into this world, just like these recipes do.

Make these recipes with us! Don’t let your husband take credit! Grab your rollerblades! We sound our Barbie-ric yawps over the roofs of the world at midnight! 

Lemon Meringue Pie

Side view of lemon Meringue pie
Serious Eats / Fred Hardy

Unabashedly bright as sunshine, the tangy lemon filling, flaky pie crust, and pillowy clouds of bruléed meringue make this an irresistible classic. You can smile while eating it, but only if you want—not because someone told you you’d be prettier if you did. :)

Croquembouche

Crouquemboche
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

All we can ever hope in this life is to stand as tall and proud as this French classic. The towering masterpiece of caramel-covered cream puffs—complete with golden threads of spun sugar—is just screaming “look at me” in the best way possible. 

Classic Mayo-Dressed Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Tuna salad sandwich served on a plate
Serious Eats / Qi Ai

If there are people out there who hate tuna salad, this Barbie doesn’t care. With additions like fish sauce and red wine vinegar-soaked red onions, this recipe stands out from the rest. 

Coconut Cream Pie

Slice of coconut creme pie
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

You can’t tell us this pie doesn’t scream “large and in charge”—it’s definitely not afraid to take up space, that’s for sure. Filled with a rich custard and topped with whipped cream and toasted flaked coconut, you’ll be pleasantly delighted with every bite. 

Canh Chua Cá Thì Là (Vietnamese Fish Soup With Tomato and Dill)

Overhead view of soup on a pink, titled background
Serious Eats / Vy Tran

It’s not everyday a fish soup is proud to be a fish soup, but today is not one of those days for this Northern Vietnamese specialty. It’s light! It’s delicate! It’s refreshing! What’s not to like?

Onde-Onde (Malaysian Sweet Palm-Sugar Dumplings)

Overhead view of a hand picking up an onde-onde from a platter full with one cut open to see the inside
Serious Eats / Michelle Yip

The emerald nuggets are the ultimate one-bite dessert. We love to keep these sweet Malaysian dumplings in our freezer for emergency snacking—talk about a reliable queen.

Chicken Piccata (Fried Chicken Cutlets With Lemon-Butter Pan Sauce)

An oval platter holding fried chicken cutlets topped with lemon-butter pan sauce containing capers. The platter is on a blue and white dish towel.
Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

Given that chicken piccata isn’t afraid to be itself (aka a big ol’ mess to cook), we couldn’t exclude it from this list. The crispy, juicy cutlets are finished off with a lemon-butter pan sauce that’ll put a pep in your step once you get around to cleaning the kitchen. 

Photo: 2001 German Oscar up close by Marco Verch under Creative Commons 2.0

Mise en Place #0010: EOY Content, SE Contributors, and Fav Holiday Food Moments

In the latest installment of our new weekly series, we give you a behind-the-line look at our recipes, Slack conversations, and more.

Collage for mise en place
Amanda Suarez

Well folks, we did it! We made it to the end of 2023. How? We’re not quite sure. It all seems like a blur, but we can’t say we didn’t accomplish a lot—a French desserts package, a fourth consecutive year of an extra starchy Starch Madness, a vibrant farmers market package, Jamaican recipes, Vietnamese recipes, Thai soup recipes…woof, we’re out of breath! We’re so grateful for everyone we work with who makes our lil corner of the internet possible, but also to you, our readers, for taking it all in and motivating us. We can’t wait for what 2024 will bring. Maybe you think that’s cheesy, but if you do, well, I didn’t ask!!

Before we bid this year ado, we wanted to bring you one more Mise en Place for the year! This one is full of some last roundups of the year, a “Back of House” piece highlighting our wonderful contributors, and some fun anecdotes from the staff about their favorite holiday movie food scenes.

Last Call For EOY Content!

We realize it’s possible some of our audience isn’t aware of all of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into making Serious Eats great. We’re lucky enough to have a skilled culinary team down in Birmingham, as well as our wonderful freelance cross-testers, who work tirelessly to test our recipes before we bring them to you. We wanted to take a moment to shout them out and hear about their favorite recipes they’ve worked with—since they really do spend a lot of time with these recipes—so, we did! Make sure to read about what they enjoyed testing (and eating) this year. 

Two stickers of pasta and espresso
Serious Eats

We also, for the first time, tried our hand at putting together a list of what we think will be “in” and “out” in the world of food in 2024. It’s silly! It’s goofy! It’s not really that serious!! (Okay, maybe it is a little). Truthfully, it’s just another way for us to share our (many, many) opinions, because it’s fun. Give it a read and let us know what you think, will ya?

We're Nothing Without Our Contributors

Last year, we started taking this end-of-year time to recognize our talented contributors—both recipe developers and photographers—who work faithfully to help diversify and deepen the content on our site. This year, we’re back with round two! Make sure to read all about the faces behind our recipes and photos, and stay tuned for more of their work next year.

Contributor gif

Only One of Us is Allergic to Holiday Movies

We’re all looking forward to a little holiday break, and of course, watching a plethora of holiday movies. This week we went around the (virtual) table and shared our favorite food scenes from these movies. The responses? Most won’t surprise you, but some actually might!

Kevin's mac n’ cheese in Home Alone!! The Who's roast beast in The Grinch! When Clark cuts into the turkey in Christmas Vacation! Does the Christmas party scene in Goodfellas count as a food scene? Because that is a great scene! —Leah Colins, senior culinary editor

Does Trading Places count as a Christmas movie? If so, the scene where Dan Aykroyd eats salmon out of his Santa beard lives in my head rent free. —Katie Brown, commerce news/deals writer

Apparently none of the movies I watch around Christmas are actually Christmas movies, so let’s say the dogs stealing the turkey in A Christmas Story. —Jesse Raub, commerce writer

The scene that breaks my heart is in The Holiday when Kate Winslet and Jack Black are eating sushi and he runs off to go talk with his ex. But you know it's also leading to the pivotal moment when he realizes that he should be with her (slash make Arthur's celebration!). —Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm, senior commerce editor

Cameron Diaz shopping for her night alone in the cottage in The Holiday. Buying so much cheese and wine that the cashier asks if she’s having a party. “Oh yeah,” she says while chugging out of a bottle. It’s a whole mood. —Taysha Murtaugh, commerce director, food group

I'm allergic to holiday movies. I've seen many, I like some of them...but total mental block on them all. —Daniel Gritzer, senior culinary director

Mise en Place #0008: New Vietnamese Recipes, Popular Recipes, and Cookie Central

In the latest installment of our new weekly series, we give you a behind-the-line look at our recipes, Slack conversations, and more.

A collage of images on a risograph patterned background
Serious Eats

I think it’s safe to say that nothing slows us down here at Serious Eats, not even the nearing of the holidays. If anything, it pushes us to do even more! This week, we published a new set of Vietnamese recipes, as well as a collection of our most popular recipes of the year. We’re on a roll, and we’re not stopping there! There’s more to come next week, but you can read about what went on at SE this week, including a holiday cookie brainstorm. Enjoy!

Salad! Rice Paper Rolls! Bánh Mì! Oh My!

Our lovely contributor Vy Tran is back with more Vietnamese recipes! This week, we published gỏi gà bắp cải (chicken and cabbage salad), nem nướng cuốn (grilled pork paste rice paper rolls), and egg and pâté bánh mì. The first question whenever we drop a new collection of recipes is: Which one should we make first? I haven’t had a bánh mì in a minute, but…is there any harm in just making all three recipes at once? Call me ambitious!! I’ll report back and let you know how it goes. 

Favorites and Favorites and More Favorites

Cheesesteak photo with a graphic button on it
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Listen, it’s not a popularity contest…..but you all definitely had some clear favorites from the recipes we published this year. So we put together a collection of the most popular recipes we published this year—ones that you clicked on and read the most. Topping the list are Leah’s Philly cheesesteaks, which Amanda is convinced is a sign that the Eagles will win the Super Bowl next year (Go birds, as they say!!!). Also making the list were a few of our French dessert recipes, some contenders from this year’s rice-centric Starch Madness, and even some smoothies, sauces, and seasonings. We love a well-rounded collection of favorites—hats off to our lovely audience for that!

Holiday Cookie (Monster) Club 

You can’t have a holiday season without cookies, right? This weekend, I’ll be hosting a cookie club with some friends, where we’ll all bring a batch of cookies to share and will definitely eat more than enough (‘tis the season!!!) while sipping on homemade hot chocolate. So I asked the team for their suggestions on what to bring. Daniel’s immediate response? Stella’s ricotta cookies, which are a big hit with the team (and everyone we make them for!). Grace also suggested some Mexican wedding cookies or gingerbread cookies—classic options you can’t go wrong with. If you need some inspiration for your own cookie extravaganza, check out our collection of Christmas cookies to spread the holiday cheer!

The Most Popular Recipes We Published in 2023

From Philly Cheesesteaks to Egyptian fatta, Serious Eats published (and you enjoyed!) a whole host of classics this year.

Philly Cheesesteak photo with a Reader's favorite graphic
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Each year, we publish a host of new recipes that are rigorously tested, thoughtfully written, and beautifully arted. While we have our favorites, we love seeing which recipes resonate most with you all and keep you coming back for more! We took a look at the data and pulled the top 20 new recipes that went live on the site in 2023—the ones you, our dear readers, clicked on and read the most. 

Unsurprisingly, your favorites corresponded to most of our big projects this year. We dipped into the world of French desserts, and also showed you how to make the most of your farmers market produce. New recipes from our Argentinian and Jamaican cuisine guides got a lot of attention, and we can't forget about 2023’s rice-centric Starch Madness that saw hits like Brazilian galinhada mineira and Vietnamese cơm tấm. You showed us what you loved most, from classics to projects to technique-driven dishes. And a fun fact about this year’s most popular recipes: Every one of our culinary staff—Daniel, Leah, and Genevieve, plus myself—managed to crack the top 20! So without further ado, here are the recipes that you (and us, too, really) kept coming back to. 

Philly Cheesesteaks

Overhead view of two cheesesteaks
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Tender, well-marbled steak, sautéed onions, and melty provolone cheese served in a soft but sturdy hoagie roll define this classic Philly sandwich.

Albóndigas de Ricota (Argentine Ricotta Balls)

Overhead view of albondigas de ricotta on a blue background
Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

These ricotta balls are the perfect cheesy vehicle for thick, garlicky red sauce.

Jamaican Curry Chicken

Overhead view of curry chicken with rice and fried plantains
Serious Eats / Karina Matalon

Marinated with an assortment of spices and coated in a rich, creamy gravy, this flavorful curry chicken is a simple and delicious Jamaican staple.

Shack Sauce

Four toasted burger buns open on a baking sheet, each one with three lines of homemade Shack Sauce on the top half of the bun, and lettuce and tomato on the bottom half of the bun.
Serious Eats / Andrew Janjigian

Shake Shack's secretive Shack Sauce is a creamy, tangy condiment for Shack Burgers and other seared sandwiches.

Chocolate Mousse

Side angle view of a spoon lifting up chocolate mousse
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Rich with bittersweet flavor and light as a cloud, chocolate mousse is a simple, elegant dessert that’s deeply satisfying to eat.

Galinhada Mineira (Brazilian Chicken and Rice From Minas Gerais)

Overhead view of Galinhada Mineira in a serving bowl
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

This Brazilian dish is a deeply comforting, one-pot meal of chicken and rice, chock full of peas, carrots, and plenty of garlic and onion.

Peach Crisp

Overhead view of peach crisp served with ice cream
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

With a jammy filling of vanilla-scented peaches beneath a topping of whole-wheat flour, oats, and pecans, this peach crisp tastes like the best of summer.

Soubise (French Onion Sauce)

20150316-soubise-onion-sauce-roast-chicken-daniel-gritzer-07.jpg
Daniel Gritzer

This classic French onion sauce is elegant, luxurious, and incredibly simple to make.

Sautéed Mushrooms

Overhead view of a plate of sauteed mushrooms
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

For savory, meaty-textured, deeply browned mushrooms, start with steam.

Coconut Cream Pie

Slice of coconut creme pie
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Filled with a rich custard and topped with whipped cream and toasted flaked coconut, this coconut cream pie is fragrant, nutty, and a delight to eat.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Side Angle view of Strawberry milkshake
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Made with just a handful of ingredients, this strawberry banana smoothie tastes like a sippable version of strawberries and cream.

Egyptian Fatta

Overhead view of a half of dish of Egyptian fatta
Serious Eats / Jen Causey

Egyptian celebrations aren’t complete without this crowd-pleasing dish of toasted pita, fragrant rice, and slow-cooked beef drizzled in a garlic-vinegar sauce.

Italian-American Pasta Salad

Overhead view of a Italian pasta salad
Serious Eats / Greg Dupree

For a stellar pasta salad, skip the vinaigrette and opt for punchy, briny ingredients like capers and olives.

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Overhead view of buffalo chicken salad
Serious Eats / Robby Lozano

This salad was made for the Buffalo wing lover in your life.

Grill-Baked Skillet Apple Crisp

Overhead view of apple crisp
Serious Eats / Lorena Masso

This bubbly and lightly charred apple crisp is baked directly on the grill to evoke smoky campfire cooking.

Cơm Tấm (Vietnamese Broken Rice)

Overhead view of Vietnamese Broken Rice
Serious Eats / Vy Tran

This iconic Southern Vietnamese dish is piled high with grilled and shredded pork, pork-and-egg meatloaf, fresh and pickled veggies, and a tangy-sweet sauce.

Italian-American Beef Braciole

Overhead view of beef braciole
Serious Eats / Lorena Masso

This homestyle classic features thin slices of beef topped with a savory breadcrumb filling and prosciutto, that's rolled up and braised in a tomato sauce.

Biscuits and Gravy

Overhead view of biscuits and gravy
Serious Eats / Amanda. Suarez

A handful of ingredients and a well-seasoned cast iron skillet are all you need to make this Southern breakfast staple.

Crème Brûlée

Overhead view of creme brulee
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Made well, crème brûlée is a magnificent dessert of silky, vanilla-scented custard beneath a shatteringly crisp topping of caramelized sugar.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Overhead view of homemade taco seasoning in a small bowl
Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

Making taco seasoning from scratch guarantees a fresher flavor than store-bought mixes—one that you can adjust to your tastes.

Mise en Place #0007: SE Wrapped, Math, and Lots of Commerce Content!

In the seventh installment of our new weekly series, we give you a behind-the-line look at our recipes, Slack conversations, and more.

Overhead view of a mis en place
Serious Eats

While this Monday and Tuesday after Thanksgiving were almost a lost cause (the emails…endless, accumulated emails) we can sincerely say that the SE team is finally back in the groove this week to bring you more recipes and reviews and all things food-related. We’ve still got a month left in the year, people! And we’re intent on finishing it off with a bang. In this week’s Mise en Place, you’ll find a special Serious Eats Wrapped, lots of math surrounding our upcoming Thai recipes, and so much commerce content that you won’t be able to contain your excitement about it. Dive in! 

Serious Eats Wrapped

Top artist, number of minutes listened, yada yada yada—sure, we love sharing our Spotify Wrapped (probably more than we love seeing everyone else’s). But today we see your Spotify wrapped and we raise you our Serious Eats Wrapped: an overview of all the fun and words and reviews that made up our website this year. Is any of it surprising? Not one bit. Is it all fun to see? Absolutely! Some notable stats include a word count of 6,003 from Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm on food subscription boxes and a whopping 101 pizzas made by our commerce team this year to test gear. Can we top these stats next year? Only time will tell! 

We haven’t called it a wrap on the year just yet, so stay tuned for more exciting recipes, reviews, and roundups throughout December!

It’s High Time for Some New Thai Recipes

If you’ve loved the Thai recipes on our site from contributors Derek Lucci and Pailin Chongchitnant, then you’re in luck! The two are back for another round. This past week, Amanda and Daniel hit the studio with Derek and shot five Thai noodle recipes over the course of two days. The math was indeed mathing, with Daniel and Derek doing so much math to make sure the recipes came out flawless.The three studio-goers also consumed 10 bowls of soup (three a piece for Derek and Amanda; a whopping four for Daniel!!) on Tuesday alone. Goals? Goals! 

A behind the scenes sneak peak
A behind-the-scenes look from our shoot day last this Tuesday. Check the site next week to find out what thai noodle soup we were shooting here!Serious Eats / Amanda Suarez

These Thai recipes are dropping next week, along with a guide to Thai noodle soups from Pai. They are arguably essential dishes to add to your “How to Defeat the Doom and Gloom of Winter” kitchen kit.

What’s Your Flavor? Tell Me What’s Your Flavor!

Do you have a favorite hot sauce? Because you’d better believe that the SE team does.(We’ve got lots of opinions on just about everything, if you haven’t picked up on yet.) We are hot sauce people through and through. Grace collected some thoughts on staff favorite hot sauces, and while a few of the classics like Cholula and Frank’s Red Hot made the list, there are plenty more that might just become a new discovery (and a new favorite!) for you. Keep an eye out for that roundup next week and get the wings ready! 

There’s more commerce content where that came from! Let it be known that Grace made an ungodly amount of flan for a review of casserole dishes, and she somehow did not get sick of it. What a flan queen! The review will be up next week, along with guides to the best programmable coffee makers, electric pasta machines, coffee percolators, and even a review of a dough sheeter. In the meantime, check out this week’s roundup of the best pasta drying racks. Mamma mia!

Mise En Place #0005: Thanksgiving Eats, Non-Controversial Chili, and Gift Guides Galore

In the fifth installment of our new weekly series, we give you a behind-the-line look at our recipes, Slack conversations, and more.

Collage of images on a texured background
Serious Eats

Another week in the books at Serious Eats. It’s been nothing but utter chaos over here as we prepare for one of the biggest food-centric days of the year, but…we’re managing, as always. Anyway! We’ve got lots of ground to cover this week—much like last week, and the week before, and so on—including our own Thanksgiving plans, gift guides galore, and what turned out to be a non-controversial Cincinnati delight. Let’s get into it, shall we?

Turkey Day Slay

Ladies and potatoes, the time has come—well, almost. We’re in the home stretch! Less than a week from now is The Big Day. No, not the Super Bowl, as Tess seemed to confuse it with when I used the term earlier this week (Editor’s note: Amanda agrees with Tess). Turkey Day! Most of us are usually tasked with making sure our families’ Thanksgiving dinners go off without a hitch—whether that means making a few dishes or taking charge of the whole dang show. This week, we went around the (virtual) table and shared what’s on the menu for said Big Day:

“I'm flying down to NOLA with my family for a big Thanksgiving with 30-plus of my in-laws, and the meal will be catered. I'm actually pretty stoked for it: It's all coming from Cochon Butcher, which I know from prior visits does great food, and the menu reads like exactly the kind of marriage of traditional turkey-day fare with Cajun and Creole influences I would want. One turkey will be smoked, the other stuffed with boudin. The cranberry sauce is flavored with local Satsuma mandarins and the dressing includes shrimp and eggplant. There will be jambalaya and pimento cheese finger sandwiches, platters of cold cuts galore, plus oh-so-many pies and tarts along with a salted caramel doberge cake. The only thing I'm worried about is that I under-ordered, but that's always an anxiety I have and every other time in my life it's led to me grossly overestimating how much we need. Fingers crossed there's too much food this year as well, not because I like waste but because I adore Thanksgiving leftovers.” —Daniel Gritzer, senior culinary director

“It'll just be me, my sister, and my Dad this year. We have yet to make any actual plans, but you know what will be there? Deviled eggs. Obviously.” —Amanda Suarez, associate director, visuals

Collage of deviled eggs
Amanda's deviled eggs will not look nearly as nice as these.Serious Eats

“So for the first time in forever, we're not cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year. (Although my version of "not cooking" still includes roasting the turkey, making a pumpkin pie, and probably a lasagna still). We're going to stay with my mom for the week in OC, NJ and celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. We've decided to order dinner from our favorite local butcher (I guarantee it won't be as amazing as Cochon). I will definitely cook from all of the leftovers, though. Our (new-ish) family tradition is leftover turkey with mole (I don't know what kind yet this year) and freshly made tortillas. I might turn it into leftover turkey enchiladas, and reference Kenji's chicken enchilada recipe.” —Leah Colins, senior culinary editor 

“I found out someone who has a dairy, egg, grape, and cruciferous vegetable allergy is coming to my Thanksgiving. So I don't want to talk about anything. Suffice to say, ALL MY PLANS WENT OUT THE WINDOW." —Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm, senior commerce editor

“1) Leche flan (pumpkin-ified). CANT STOP WONT STOP. 2) After hearing such high praises of SE's sage and sausage stuffing, I'll be making that to compete with classic, beloved boxed stuffing for a seat at the table. (It might come to blows, idk). 3) John is making Kenji's smoked turkey, and we're looking to get the skin all crackly and crispy (rather than tough and chewy, an issue we've had with chicken skin in the past). Fingers crossed!” —Grace Kelly, associate commerce editor

“We always do a different country’s traditional Christmas meal for Thanksgiving, so this year we’re doing an Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes with cioppino and maybe this squid ink pasta.” —Jesse Raub, commerce writer

Our culinary team not cooking much this year? We’re shocked! But also, they deserve a break. Grace making leche flan for the 3587th time this year? That tracks. Jesse, we’re obsessed with your family’s tradition and can’t wait to see the results. And Amanda, deviled eggs are always an excellent choice—let us know how many you end up downing. Our condolences to you Riddley for the loss of your dream Thanksgiving, but we’re eager to know what you come up with to still make it special. Please share!

As for me? My family will have the usual suspects (turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, etc.), along with my mom's "world-famous" stuffed mushrooms (if I say it's famous on a food website circulating the internet, then that makes it true, right?)—those will probably be the first to go. I’ve also taken it upon myself to switch up our typical Costco pumpkin pie with Arlyn’s pumpkin chiffon one instead, which I haven’t stopped thinking about since I made the decision to make it this week. 

If our own feasts don’t inspire yours, we don’t know what will!

Time for Some Cincinnati Chili. Play Nice, Everyone! 

Here at SE, we love food opinions—yours, ours, anyone’s really. A little controversy never hurt anybody! When we started working with Jed Portman on a Cincinnati chili recipe, we were ready for an onslaught of reactions. To locals, the dish is a delicacy, but to many outside of the city and the state of Ohio, it can tend to induce horror. But as Jed notes, “It’s noodles, Mediterranean-spiced meat sauce, and cheese. What’s not to like?” Louder, Jed!!!

To our surprise, once we dropped the recipe on Instagram this past Wednesday, the comments were nothing short of pleasant and lovely. Even those who weren’t a fan of the dish encouraged others to enjoy it as they see fit. Jed even mentioned that he was “tired of defending the dish,” but looks like he didn’t even need to. See what happens when we all play nice? Well done everybody, I had faith. 

The only question we’re left with is: How much cheese is too much cheese? Does the limit exist? Just say when!

‘Tis the Season

Mariah Carey may think she was the first to welcome the holiday season on November 1st this year, but it—news flash—it was actually our commerce team! They’ve been hard at work for weeks—nay, months—putting together a slew of gift guides to kick off your holiday shopping. No, these are not your boring list of 20 products you already thought of or that no one needs. These babies are curated, okay!!

There is—and we cannot emphasize this enough—truly something for everyone. And if you need even more of a reason to start shopping, check out these early Black Friday deals our commerce team discovered! As the saying goes: happy shopping!

Mise En Place #0002: Yukon Golds, Candy Corn Discourse, and Tea (Lots of It)

In the second installment of our new weekly series, we give you a behind-the-line look at our recipes, Slack conversations, and more.

A collage of a pumpkin spice latte, chai, and candy corn
Serious Eats

We’re back this week with another round of Mise en Place, a new and casual weekly update giving you a behind-the-line look at all the things that made Serious Eats, well, Serious Eats this week. We're just trying to get to know you better, and also navigate our difficult-to-navigate website. Let’s get into the chaos, shall we?

Some Piping Hot Tea For Ya

Amanda has dubbed this moment in time “squarely tea season,” which is fitting since we just dropped our recipes for chai and teh tarik. With the days getting shorter and the impending gloom of winter nearing, what better way to bring some joy into our lives and also fight the sniffles? (This would be a great place to add that it was just this week we learned that one of Tess's personal icks is the word “sniffles.” Turns out she feels “unwell” or “snotty” does the trick. We've not yet come to an official conclusion on whether or not we will be banning “sniffles” on Serious Eats, but we will keep you updated). We'd be remiss if we didn't re-up Daniel’s new-ish pumpkin spice latte, purchase a sunrise lamp (or a few), and consume a hefty daily dose of vitamin D…we’re doing what we can over here! 

Where Did All the Yukon Golds Go?

When we got a reader email this week—we love these, by the way!!—with the subject line: “Where are the Yukon Gold potatoes?” We were intrigued! One Carlo Vogel reached out to us (and several other food publications) this week with a genuine concern: While several food websites call specifically for Yukon Gold potatoes in their recipes, Mr. Vogel "[has] not found Yukon Gold potatoes in dozens of different stores for several years.” In fact, he went on to clarify, “there are lots of people who are literal enough and afraid to screw up a recipe that they will drive to multiple stores looking specifically for YG in vain.” And to that we say…we’re on the case, sir. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Leah pointed us to this excerpt from Vegetables Illustrated, a Cook’s Illustrated book she worked on in her previous role : 

The Yukon Gold potato, though yellow fleshed, is a cross between a yellow and a white potato and is usually labeled as such. A “yellow” or “gold” potato is not a Yukon Gold potato, but all three potatoes have similar starch contents and flavors and can be used interchangeably in recipes.

The mystery remains, but don’t let that stop you from leading a potato-inspired life!!

The Candy Corn Discourse Is Out of Control…

20141022-candy-corn-vicky-wasik-5.jpg

Who doesn’t have any opinion on candy corn? Is it a good opinion? Do you know how your coworkers feel about it? I’m afraid that I do…

If you didn’t already know, our very own Tess Koman is probably candy corn’s biggest fan (yes, candy corn). Every year she conducts a staff poll that goes something like: “What’s everyone’s opinion on candy corn? If you hate it, you suck.”

Every year she begins to insert her candy corn discourse into our Slack conversations [Ed. note: Yasmine, we've been working together for two years!!], slowly as fall approaches, then a lot more frequently around Halloween—or until she’s finished the last of her candy corn for the year, whichever comes first. Does anyone else have such strong feelings about these cone-shaped sweet bombs (and tooth destroyers)? Honestly, we’re afraid to ask.

Anyway, if you, a normal human, also can’t stand candy corn, might I suggest these spooky marshmallow sandwich cookies instead? ‘Tis the season!

Let’s Get Steamy

a fork poking a piece of broccoli in a steamer basket
Serious Eats/Irvin Lin

It may be squarely tea season, but it’s also squarely steam season around these parts. No, it’s not what you think! The commerce team has been hard at work testing bamboo steamers with everything from broccoli to salmon filets and, of course, frozen soup dumplings. Because no, we can never have enough dumplings, and yes, we will only be making them with the best possible steamer we can find! Contributor Irvin Lin tackled this testing and more in his newly published review: “To this day, when I smell the particular scent of a bamboo steamer in use, I get sent back to being 12 again,” he writes, “anxiously awaiting my first taste of my mom’s homemade steamed pork buns.” Irvin, do you think your mom will have us over sometime soon? We'll have to settle for making our frozen dumplings in the top-rated bamboo steamer in the meantime.