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

The Ultimate Guide to Mushrooms

Mushrooms, the fruiting bodies of edible fungi, are amazing things in the kitchen, bearers of flavor that range from nutty to aromatically woody to—naturally—earthy. Sometimes it’s the texture of a mushroom that strikes you most, other times it’s texture and flavor working in an eerily gorgeous kind of symbiosis. We asked Ian Garrone, founder of Far West Fungi in San Francisco, to guide us through the most common (and delicious) culinary specimens. Garrone comes from a family of mushroom hunters and growers, and his shop in the San Francisco Ferry Building overflows with familiar and exotic species, from the beige buttonlike cremini to the bright orange lobster mushroom, curled like a fist. And please note: This is a buying guide, not a foraging guide. Leave foraging to the experts, and leave eating and enjoying these amazing varieties to the rest of us. READ MORE

Spicy Chicken Taco Menu for Slow Cooker Sunday

Ah, the crock pot—you can pile things in, turn it on low, program time and temp, and deal with the dozen things you need to accomplish even before you set foot in the office. Or, you can use the slow cooker as a weekend enhancement: same piling stuff in and setting to low, same freedom to walk away while it produces something amazing. READ MORE

10 “Mad Men” 1960s-Inspired Recipes for the Final Season

The last season of Mad Men starts on April 5, and here at CHOW we’ve gathered a series of 1960's-inspired recipes perfect for your Mad Men viewing parties. With the help of acclaimed Chef Jennifer Puccio and Pastry Chef Emily Luchetti of SF's Marlowe, The Cavalier, ​and Park Tavern (and recent semi-finalist for the James Beard Award for Best Chef West), you can make these retro recipes at home. READ MORE

9 Recipes that Prove Your Muffin Tin is Your Best Friend

Don't let the twee name fool you. A great muffin pan is a hardcore, multi-purpose piece of cooking gear that can be used in ways that go far beyond dainty fruit muffins. It's an excellent vessel for creating perfect, single-serving sizes for brunch buffets and appetizers (g'bye ugly casserole dishes!), and when you're serving rich, decadent foods, muffin pans offer an added bonus of built-in portion control. This collection of recipes showcases the sheer range and versatility of muffin pan cooking–from savory miniature meatloaf and baked eggs to cute-as-a-button pies and tarts for dessert. READ MORE

How to Grow Herbs Indoors: Easy? Maybe not. Rewarding? Hell yeah.

A windowsill of fresh herbs is one of the best things you can do for yourself as a city dweller–with a little sunlight, you can have herbs ready to use in the kitchen in only a matter of weeks. We spoke with gardening experts to figure out what it takes to grow herbs indoors.

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11 Mexican Recipes to Spice Up Your Spring

Springtime means flowers blooming and picnics galore, right? Not always. Lingering snowstorms and April showers can be the toughest reality of spring. Need some perking up? We’ve got just the thing: vibrant recipes, inspired by the flavors of Mexico, to spice up your meals–and your mood.

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13 Breakfast Recipes to Power You Through the Day

Remember the old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? With all of the activity going on throughout the day–work, the gym, happy hour–skipping breakfast is a big no-no. So to get your day off to a great start, we’re giving you 13 hearty breakfast recipes guaranteed to keep you full through lunch (or at least most of the morning).

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No Need to Hunt: 11 Drinks the Easter Bunny Left for You to Enjoy

Whether you observe the religious aspects or not, the sight of Cadbury Creme Eggs and marshmallow peeps on grocery store shelves is always a welcome sign of Spring. Here are some wines and cocktails that to enjoy while that last bit of gray snow melts. READ MORE

Weeknight Dinner Solution: 9 Sophisticated, but Easy Recipes

We know that weeknight dinners can be a pain. After a long day at the office, the last thing on our minds is what to have for dinner...until it’s too late. Take-out is always an option but those bills can add up fast and frankly, it probably isn’t the healthiest choice night after night. Cooking a home-cooked meal will always be the better option but that involves 1) planning and 2) time, both of which are in short supply during the week. READ MORE

13 Things to Do With Canned Sardines

Usually canned sardines are thought of as a last resort for when you can’t be bothered to cook, but reconsider. Not only is the small, oily, silvery fish inexpensive, easy to prepare, and loaded with things that are good for you, like omega-3 fatty acids and calcium, it’s also one of the most sustainable fish around: The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program lists Pacific sardines as a “best choice” due to their abundance and high production rate. Here are 13 creative serving suggestions. READ MORE