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

8 Ways to Celebrate the Season of Confit

This time of year, it’s dark when you get home from work, the temperatures are dropping if it’s not already snowing, and those chilly morning commutes can only mean one thing: sweater weather! Now, the best part of sweater weather is, of course, the knit garment’s ability to camouflage those few extra winter pounds. We're all bundling up in layers, so why worry about your figure? You’re not going to see a swimsuit until spring break anyway. Enjoy this time, it's the season for confit. READ MORE

What’s Your Gumbo Personality?

Forget chili or chowder: There’s no crisp-weather dish that sparks more controversy than a bowl of gumbo. Gumbo is defined as “a spicy chicken or seafood soup thickened typically with okra or rice,” but the dish is so hyperregional that plenty of versions may eschew chicken, seafood, okra, rice, or even all four. (The only thing that really does hold true is that gumbo's composed of three parts: a thickening agent, the stock, and the protein and vegetables in the stock.) In the spirit of regional appreciation and culinary discovery, we’ve done lots of sifting and sorting to pair you up with your best gumbo match. READ MORE

Banana Bread How I Love Thee: Let Me Count the 14 Recipes

Banana bread is one of the most versatile snacks: You can have it toasted with butter for breakfast, or frost it with cream cheese and bake it in a Bundt pan for an elegant dessert. It’s simple, comforting, and very reliable. And the variations are endless! Here are 14 recipes to test out this baking season. READ MORE

7 Crowd-Pleasing Family Meals from the Slow Cooker

Even if you’re the world’s most avid home cook, let’s be honest: Between work, family commitments, and now, holiday shopping, sometimes you just need to get dinner done. For those days, turn to one-pot pleasers that are packed with flavor and sure to make everyone—from your pea-averse five-year-old to your persnickety significant other—happy. READ MORE

9 Recipes That Make the Most of Your Muffin Tin

Aside from making delicious muffins, you can use your muffin tin as a smart and simple way to portion larger recipes into cute, individually sized helpings that are fun to pass around at parties and easy to freeze for future meals. If you’re sick of oversized chocolate chip, blueberry, and corn muffins from the corner store, try out these nine innovative recipes that make the most of your muffin pan. READ MORE

7 DIY Infused Liqueurs to Get You Through the Holidays

Infusing alcohol like vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and brandy is a great way to add your own special touch to a homemade cocktail, and it also makes a great gift. Here are some recipes for making your own flavored liqueur. Prepare yourself—the flavor combinations are endless. READ MORE

9 Fantastic and Filling Vegetarian Entrées

In the eight years that I was a vegetarian, I often found that my veggie-centric preferences were the afterthought of the party. More often than not, menus offered one item either heavy in carbs or lacking in sustenance, and rarely anything wildly exciting. As a catering chef, I’ve guiltily and silently watched and assisted as my chef would arrange random side dishes and vegetables on a plate for the couple who RSVP’d vegetarian. Although I now refer to myself as a “reformed vegan” (I’ll eat anything), I’ve learned that a meal can be plant-based, balanced, flavorful, and filling. Here are nine meatless recipes that are worthy of entrée status and taste great. READ MORE

Steal These 8 Breakfast Ideas from Around the World

Breakfast, the experts maintain, is the most important meal, so it’s high time we stopped giving it the least amount of thought. Put down that cup of fruit yogurt, banish your shredded wheat to the back of the pantry, and instead, jump-start your day with one of these eight flavor-packed first meals from around the globe. READ MORE

11 Beet Dishes That Go Beyond Goat Cheese

DJ Pauly D will get stuck in your head, you’ll hate yourself, and then you’ll crave them. The beets. So many beets that your kitchen will look like a Dexter-level murder scene and even Olivia Benson will be like WHOA.

We all had our fill of beet salads a few years ago, so here are some options that feel fresh enough to help you get down with this. sick. beet. And prevent you from actually getting sick, as they’re packed with vitamin C, potassium, folate, and fiber. Even better, the underutilized beet greens are rich in iron, calcium, and B vitamins (aka the vitamins that celebrities inject to stay youthful). READ MORE

9 Braising Recipes to Keep You Warm

Braising is a cook’s best friend—with a few simple steps, you can make a meal that tastes like it's straight out of a Michelin-starred restaurant. Here’s our basic primer, but just remember that braising liquid is worth its weight in gold. The rich sauce that results is packed with flavor, velvety and mouth-watering. Check out these nine recipes for some all-star braising ideas. READ MORE