How to Make Mulled Wine

Mulled wine is a warm, rich beverage that’s perfect for chilly winter evenings, and it tastes even better when enjoyed in the company of family or friends. Here are three tasty recipes for mulled wine that you can make right in your own kitchen.

Ina Garten’s Mulled Wine [Food Network]
The Barefoot Contessa’s mulled wine recipe is zesty, spicy and perfectly flavorful. It uses cinnamon, honey and star anise for a lighter flavor than most mulled wines, but it’s still just as tasty. All it takes is 10 minutes to make this delicious seasonal recipe come to life, and a few orange peel garnishes make it feel truly festive.

Bon Appetit’s Mulled Wine [Bon Appetit]
Clove lovers will adore this complex mulled wine created by Bon Appetit magazine, which includes 20 whole cloves and a number of other spices. It can also be made two hours ahead of time to help you prepare for a holiday dinner party without missing a beat.

Williams-Sonoma’s Mulled Wine [Williams-Sonoma]
This recipe helps you to make mulled wine in a more traditional way by steeping cloves and nutmeg in a square of cheesecloth. The result is a dark, flavorful beverage that will warm you up from the inside out.

What Are Your Favorite Spring Recipes? Here Are a Few to Try This Season!

As the days get longer and springtime (finally!) rolls around, you likely start to crave lighter meals made with bright, fresh ingredients. Retire your usual favorite spring recipes in favor of something new and exciting with these delicious dishes from around the web.

Grilled Artichokes [oprah.com]
Create a tasty side dish for chicken, steak, or fish with Oprah’s recipe for flavorful grilled artichokes. Grilling these layered veggies on a stovetop grill gives them a bit of a blackened taste, and the homemade dipping sauce that goes with them adds even more flavor.

Sautéed Fiddlehead Ferns [localfoods.about.com]
Fiddlehead ferns come into season during the spring, which makes this dish very fresh and delicious. This recipe also takes just 10 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook, so it makes quite a quick last-minute side dish on busy weeknights.

Risotto With Prosciutto and Peas [realsimple.com]
If you’re looking for something heartier and more filling, this rich, creamy risotto recipe is the perfect choice come spring. Thin prosciutto adds a salty taste, while the sweet spring peas make it perfect for warmer weather. Cook the risotto in white wine and chicken broth to add a deep, complex flavor throughout, then serve it with your favorite grilled meats or as an entree with a fresh salad.

Nutrition Tips for Vegetarians

Whether you want to show support for animals or simply choose to avoid meat products, becoming a vegetarian can be a very healthy lifestyle choice. Though it decreases your risk for many long-term diseases, a vegetarian diet can make it difficult to get the protein and other nutrients a person needs to stay healthy and energized.

These vegetarian eating tips can help you create a balanced, meat-free diet:

  • Make sure that you get enough protein by incorporating nuts, beans, peas and soy products into meals and snacks.
  • Keep up with your necessary iron intake to create healthy oxygen absorption in the blood by eating a lot of spinach, kidney beans, lentils, black-eyed peas and iron-fortified cereals.
  • Choose calcium-fortified soy milk to replace the calcium normally found in regular cow’s milk.
  • Consider vegetarian alternatives to traditionally meat-based foods to keep your diet exciting (for example, bean burritos, veggie lo mein, or vegetarian lasagna).

Tips for Vegetarians [USDA]

Three Podcasts for Foodies

Sure, everyone has to eat, but some people like to take the art of preparing food to a much higher level. If you’re a self-proclaimed foodie with a love of all things culinary, these three podcasts are worth a listen.

Good Food
Good Food, a podcast distributed by Santa Monica College’s KCRW radio station, is enjoyable, thought-provoking listening for the culturally aware food lover. Host Even Kleiman discusses current food phenomena, the science behind cooking, and weekly restaurant suggestions with LA Times food writer Jonathan Gold.

Earth Eats
If you’re an environmentally-conscious foodie with an interest in local food and sustainable agriculture, Earth Eats is the perfect podcast. This weekly show aims to connect people with the food they eat through interviews, recipes with fresh ingredients, and discussions of current events in the local food movement.

The Sporkful
The Sporkful is a quirky, conversational podcast that discusses off-the-wall food trends and facts about the things we eat every day. Host Dan Pashman discusses one issue per episode, often with vibrant guests or real listeners calling in to chat. If you’ve ever wondered the ideal soaking time for Count Chocula cereal or the meaning of the word ‘falafel,' The Sporkful is your kind of podcast.

Find these Fresh Veggies at the Farmers Market this Fall!

One of the best things about farmers markets is that they offer fresh veggies, in season. Of course, since growing seasons change, farmers market visitors will find different produce from week to week and month to month. For many crops, fall marks the end of the season, so you'll find fewer berries and tomatoes than you might've seen in July.

However, some fruits and vegetables come into their own in the fall. Here are few to find at your farmers market in the next few months.

Squash
A hearty gourd, many varieties of squash appear throughout the fall. You might find zucchini and butternut squash. You'll also see pumpkins, another member of the squash family. These veggies make welcome additions to pies, risottos, and much more.

Apples
In many places, the peak of the apple harvest lasts from late summer through fall, so you'll likely find quite an abundance of apples at the market. They're great as snacks (either on their own or with peanut butter), and also in baked treats like pies.

Radishes
Radishes also make great snacks, eaten either alone or with hummus. They're delightful in salads, and even work well in stews.

Turnips
A root vegetable with a distinctive flavor, the turnip might be an acquired taste. Prepared well, however, they're often quite enjoyable. Like radishes, turnips can be added to stews; like potatoes, they can be mashed or roasted for a tasty side dish.

Say Cheese: Five Great Classic Cheesecakes

Cheesecake is one of the most popular dessert dishes out there – it’s relatively simple to prepare and can support a wide variety of flavors. While a plain cheesecake is often satisfying enough, you can kick it up a notch with some of these exciting and unique cheesecake recipes.

–          New York style cheesecake has rightfully secured a space in America’s palates. As made by the famous deli Junior’s in Brooklyn, it’s characterized by the use of heavy cream to make the cake exceptionally smooth.

–          You can add a variety of fruits to the cheesecake batter during the baking process, but one of the most popular is pumpkin. The sweet, earthy flavor of the gourd is exceptional.

–          Cheesecake is very popular in Asian countries, and people there add a number of unique ingredients to their batter. One that always gets people talking is matcha, sweet green tea powder. It turns the cake an attractive color, adding a deep, complex flavor.

–          In St. Louis, they make what is called “Gooey Butter Cake” by baking a traditional flour cake with a second cheesecake layer atop it. This makes a delicious mélange of the two flavors.

–          Marbled cheesecakes are gorgeous to look at and delicious to eat. To make the best marbling, spoon 2/3 of the cheesecake batter into the crust, then melt chocolate chips and swirl them into the remaining third.

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