The Time Has Come for a New Fashioned

Classic cocktails have stood the test of time for a reason, but even the most perfect cocktails can use a good twist now and then. As long as the twist is from the right person!

Enter award-winning bartender Luis Hernandez of Gibson + Luce in the Life Hotel. He takes the perfect combination and tweaks it to give it little more life and modernity.

So if you’re in need of a good warming cocktail for the weather watch the video below and give it a whirl.

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Dorie Greenspan Has a Salad To Save You

When I met Dorie Greenspan many years ago I was so delighted to learn that the voice I relate to so much on the page of her cookbooks is the exact person you get if you are lucky enough to have her standing in front of you. For so many of us she is our helpful and enthusiastic guide, coaxing us along to make recipes that bring out our best selves without feeling a lot of stress.

For her newest book, Everyday Dorie, she really brings us into her home and I wanted to tackle a recipe from it with her that really spoke to her demeanor. This salad we made together doesn’t have an artfully done photograph in the book nor was it one of the ones she suggested. But I love it because it reminded me of the quintessential way all of Dorie’s books make me feel - like I can do anything with whatever I have on hand and it will still turn out fabulously.

So watch me gush over one of my favorite people (sorry, I just have to every time I see her) and then get inspiration for a salad that will have you reaching into your pantry in no time.

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The Easiest Winter Cocktail

The problem with any cocktail or cookbook is always where to begin. With dozens of options in front of you it seems impossible to choose. But this is the beauty of the new book Be Your Own Bartender. It really starts with just the idea of ‘what should I drink tonight?’ and takes it from there. Through questions and flowcharts it will get you where you need to go. Do I want something light or heavy? Is it cold outside? Am I drinking alone? This book has you covered.

The delightful authors are two of the best experts around- Carey Jones and John McCarthy. The cocktail-loving duo know how to approach cocktails from both the geekiest cocktail side and the simplest consumer perspective. It’s a book for anyone who loves to drink and hates making decisions.

We got them both over to make an easy but perfectly balanced winter treat- the Gin Gingerly!

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Martina McBride Is a Country AND Cooking Sensation

Sometimes life just isn’t fair. You’re not supposed to be able to sell 14 million albums AND be a great cook. But alas, that’s what you get with Martina McBride. The country music superstar just happens to also be an accomplished cookbook author and her second book, Martina’s Kitchen Mix, was recently released.

Martina came by the kitchen to share a little bit about her book as well as one of her recipes. She was so sweet we might even forgive her for being good at everything.

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What Exactly is a Pu Pu Platter?

I grew up with an American lens to Chinese food. In Charleston, where I was raised we had Chinese food that mirrored a lot of other places across the country, with its own unique dishes. When I moved to New York I started to learn more about more traditional versions of Chinese food but it also gave me an appreciation for the unique sub-culture that is Americanized Chinese cuisine.

One of the best things to me - and apparently, one of the most American - was the Pu Pu Platter. It was a dish that any children who grew up in the latter third of the last century would find familiar. It had everything you could want - fire, spinning and lots of choices.

But as our culture tried to move towards greater authenticity in different cuisines a lot of these stalwarts fell by the wayside. It had been a long time since I saw a Pu Pu Platter on a menu until I recently had dinner at Kings County Imperial. So I just had to sit down with Chef Josh Grinker to get his thoughts and to really hash out the special place of this uniquely multicultural dish

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The Trick to Lattice Pie Crust

I grew up with a grandmother who was all about pie, and she was particularly adept at the perfect pie crust. It was always a lattice and she made it look so effortless.

But of course as I got older and tried doing it on my own I started to feel that there was a lot of effort behind the effortless. I needed someone to take the fear out of my lattice. And Vallery Lomas was just the best possible person.

You might recognize Valerie as the winner of the Great American Baking Show. She has an awesome blog Foodie in New York that is a party-lovers’ dream. Vallery came over to show me her lattice crust secrets and she had so much advice. From the best way to cut the pie crust to the tricks to hide any imperfections I feel like I am ready to take on any pie now.

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The Lighter, Brighter Take on Egg Salad

Certain concepts seem to be stuck in another time. Egg salad always feels that way - a bit heavy and a bit basic with the tweaks in herbs or spices never feeling quite large enough to shift the genre. But that’s where Cal Peternell comes in. His recipes always have the feel of something you should have been making forever but are actually his own special spin. His newest book, Almonds, Anchovies and Pancetta, is a delight and is full of semi-vegetarian recipes that all fit that bill. I fell in love with his Salsa Rustica because it feels like a breath of fresh air to the egg salad mold. It serves the same purpose but without any mayo and ingredients to give depth and new life.

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