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Insights, tips, and restaurant reports from CHOW editors and Chowhound.

11 Chocolate-Filled Recipes to Fuel Celebrations

CHOW’s chocolate mint brownies aren’t just flavored with peppermint oil – they have 35 chocolate-covered peppermint patties candies mixed into an already rich chocolate batter. Make sure not to over-bake and you’ll have gooey, luscious brownie reminiscent of your favorite Girl Scout cookie, Thin Mints. READ MORE

24 Kitchen and Food Hacks That Will Change Your Life

Okay, maybe these kitchen hacks won't change your life in an "I won the lottery" or "I just found out I'm pregnant" kind of way. And maybe you've seen a few of these before. But we've mixed it up a bit and covered a lot of territory here -- from pimping out your refrigerator to the easiest four-ingredient ice cream you'll ever make (no cooking or fancy gizmos required). Got a hack of your own? Do tell in the comments section. READ MORE

How to Make the Best Pork Chops

In the cooking world, a lot of breath is spent on explaining how to cook the perfect steak. What else could you expect, given the near fetishistic emphasis that gets placed on pricey, prime beef? But as long as we're on the subject of cooking to temperature and getting a sear, it's worth mentioning that, hey, there are other meats out there to which the very same principles apply, with no less tasty results. Consider the pork chop, which more or less, is the porcine equivalent of the rib eye, t-bone, or sirloin steak. READ MORE

The Ultimate Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Sandwiches, Plus 5 Other Great Beef Recipes

Certain cuts of beef—hard-working ones, with lots of beefy flavor, that take a lot of simmering to get tender—were practically made for the slow cooker. Brisket, chuck, and other traditional pot-roast cuts—even plain old ground chuck—are never better than after 4 or 5 hours at a slow, gentle simmer in the crock pot. Here are 6 of our all-time beefy favorites. READ MORE

11 Simple Shrimp Recipes for Spring and Summer

Shrimp might be one of our favorite proteins to cook with--it’s relatively inexpensive, hard to screw up, and can be prepared about a million different ways. Just ask Bubba (from Forrest Gump), you can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sauté it… READ MORE

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo With These 13 Recipes

With live mariachi music and bottomless bowls of chips and salsa, that cantina across the street can be a tempting destination on Cinco de Mayo. But heading to your favorite taco spot on the fifth day of May is not unlike dining prix fixe on Valentine’s Day: you’re likely to get subpar service and a limited menu with inflated prices. READ MORE

The Ultimate Guide to Peppers

Chile peppers are thought to have originated in South America, but they have been cultivated all over the world for centuries, resulting in a wide variety of species with different colors, shapes, flavors, and, of course, spiciness. We consulted pepper expert and grower David Winsberg from Northern California’s Happy Quail Farms to put together a chart of some common peppers as well as a few less common varieties that are now becoming available in the United States thanks to specialty growers like Winsberg. Average size and hotness scale (from 1 to 5) included. READ MORE

How to Make Your Own Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout Cookies are one of the highlights of the year: their scarcity (along with their deliciousness) makes them a seasonal treat to look forward to each year. But if you’re craving a Girl Scout Cookie in the middle of the summer, check out these homemade versions that are just as tasty as the originals (but perhaps not quite as uniform). READ MORE

Get Classy With These 13 Trout Recipes

The first time I really ever gave any thought to trout was while watching Gilmore Girls. In one episode, Richard Gilmore is dismayed at having fish for dinner, yet again, after his doctor advises him to cut back on red meat. His wife Emily counters back that it’s not such a bad thing, since they are eating sea bass, after all: “Trout can be a fishy fish. But sea bass is not really a fishy fish.” READ MORE

9 Healthy Orzo Salad Recipes

Five things you might not know about orzo (but really should): 1) Orzo is a type of cut pasta; it is most definitely not a grain, but it is made from a grain (wheat). 2) Most orzo is made with semolina flour, which is made from denser parts of the wheat berry that give the pasta a more toothsome, firm texture. 3) If you're on a gluten-free diet and get depressed reading features about wheat-based pasta, you can use DeLallo's Gluten-Free Corn/Rice Orzo in all (yes, every single one) of these recipes. 4) "Orzo" is Italian for "barley" and gets its name for it's grain-like shape. 5) A 2-ounce serving serving of orzo contains about 200 calories and 2 grams of fiber. Make it whole wheat, and the amount of fiber jumps to about 6 grams per serving. READ MORE