The CHOW Blog rss

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

Make Your Own Candy Bars

Here's the thing with nostalgia: Memories betray you. Those candy bars that you remember loving are stuffed full of waxy chocolate, weird fillers, and preservatives. Try our souped-up take on four beloved candy bars. Give the store-bought stuff to the kids, and save these for yourself. And, for crafty extra credit, download the wrappers for each candy. Read past the recipes for a guide to chocolate, complete with a glossary, book list, and FAQ. READ MORE

9 Ways to Mix Up Passover

It’s Passover, that time of year to gather round the table for a family seder with rubbery jelly rings, grandma’s over-salted matzoh ball soup, and mom’s sawdusty brisket. This is the year that you keep the family and jettison the subpar food. Here are a few choices to kick your Passover into high gear–after all, we didn’t flee Egypt to eat poorly, did we? READ MORE

14 Drinks Inspired by Your Favorite March Madness Teams

When it comes to March Madness, there’s more than just basketball on the line. This isn't only a battle of teams, there's also the conflict of the best way to imbibe throughout all those days and nights of game-watching. We can't promise that your favorite team will make it to the Final Four, but we can promise that you'll drink well throughout the tournament season thanks to our roundup of signature drinks from a number of your favorite March Madness contenders' hometowns. Don’t have a hometown team? We have an easy-sipping beer or cocktail with your name on it, too. READ MORE

Plated Date Night

Are you too busy to make dinner? Join the club. But luckily Plated has a great solution. By providing you with a quick and easy way to make dinner with your partner, Plated has reinvented date night. No need to drop big bucks for a mediocre meal—Plated has managed to make the cooking process fun by eliminating the annoyance of shopping for ingredients and bringing back quality, face-to-face conversation at your dinner table. READ MORE

11 In-Your-Face Baked Potatoes

You love baked potatoes, right? Of course you do. From nutritious, veggie-packed plate fillers to gut-busting cheese and butter bombs, the baked potato can be dressed up, accessorized, and bedazzled to suit any style. Think of it as the gustatory equivalent of the little black dress: It goes with everything. READ MORE

11 Healthy Recipes That Sneak Spinach into Your Diet

One sure sign that spring’s approaching is the sight of perky green spinach leaves at the market. While the leafy green is available year-round, it’s at its peak during the cooler months of fall and spring, which means it’s coming into abundance right about now. In addition to being affordable both fresh and frozen, spinach is full of phytonutrients and antioxidants, as well as vitamins K, A, B6, and C. Not so into the idea of eating raw spinach salads? That’s OK—the lightweight leaf takes well to blending, steaming, sautéing, and more, so it’s a great candidate for sneaking into dips, finger foods, sauces, and even pastries. READ MORE

18 Easy Entertaining Dishes That Go Beyond the Ordinary

If you love entertaining but are tired of the standard meat-and-potatoes combination, check out these 18 easy dishes that go beyond the framework of everyday dinner and are as delicious as they are inventive. Packed with spices and fresh herbs, and simple to boot, these recipes are a fail-safe way to add another entrée to your current dinner-party rotation. Don't take CHOW's word for it: Invite some friends over this weekend and pick out your favorite of these to kick your weekend off right. READ MORE

The Ultimate Guide to Pasta and Sauce

The dried pasta options at the store can be bewildering. Do you want corkscrews, stovepipes, or little ears tonight? Perhaps a big dish of priest stranglers—that’d be strozzapreti in Italian. There are reasons that pasta exists in so many forms: It’s partly regional (Italian cities big and small always seem to have a specialty pasta), but it’s also practical: Certain pastas are best eaten with certain sauces. Others work well with a wide variety of sauces—the workhorse pastas, like farfalle. READ MORE

9 Bar-Inspired Recipes for March Madness

Watching March Madness 2015 unfold on a widescreen from the commercial-free comforts of your own sectional? Do it up right with classic bar food recipes and sports-watching favorites. READ MORE

How to Make the Best Seared Chicken Breast

Boneless chicken breasts are easy to find, low in fat, high in protein, and consistently tender, all factors that contribute to them being the most popular cut of poultry in the country. Yet despite the fact that we eat chicken breast all the time, it can be surprisingly hard to make just right. By its nature, the cut is unevenly shaped, which means it’s prone to being either slightly undercooked or grossly overcooked. READ MORE