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Sound Like a Smarty Pants at Your Own Jersey Shore Dinner Party

As summer winds down, we of the great Northeast return from our coastal abodes…back to the hibernal embrace of our more urban homesteads. Philadelphians are no exception. This time of year, they leave behind the sand-caked flip-flops and boardwalk pizza to re-haunt the cityscapes and suburbs of the Delaware Valley. 

Posted by Joe Costal

How-To Tuesday: Baked Chocolate Bananas

End the summer on a solid note with an alternative to regular ol' s'mores. Here's an excerpt from Campfire Cuisine by Robin Donovon!

Posted by Christina Schillaci

Literary French Fries

August 19th has been designated National Potato Day and really, could there be a more delicious holiday? Potatoes are a wonderful vegetable and can be prepared in a multitude of ways. You can boil them, bake them, fry them, mash them, roast them…ugh, man, do we want potatoes. The possibilities are endless!

French Fries are by far one of the most popular ways to serve potatoes and legend has it that they were first introduced in the United States by Thomas Jefferson. Supposed during his term as president, he requested that the White House chef prepare “potatoes served in the French manner” for a dinner party. 

Today we’re putting a literary spin on some french fries to bring you recipes inspired by books. The recipes below don’t list quantities, as you can use as much or as little of the toppings as you’d like.

Posted by Sarah Brown

Hot Diggity Dog! Six Books To Get You In the Mood for National Hot Dog Month

Did you know that July is National Hot Dog Month? Probably not unless you work for Oscar Mayer or Hebrew National. But don’t fret, there’s still time to celebrate. So go out and buy your 10-pack of hot dogs and an annoyingly unsynchronized 8-pack of buns, then pick up one of these 6 books to show your appreciation for blended pork bits.

Posted by Diana R. Wallach

Five Characters Who Did Not Get Food Poisoning

It is that time of year—summer—which of course means barbeques and picnics galore! Neighbors and friends get together to share food that has been grilled or pulled out from an icy cooler. If you are anything like us, you cannot help but look at the food with a bit of skepticism. Did they really cook the meat long enough? Is that cooler at the right temperature to preserve the food? Will I get food poisoning? To help temper your paranoia, we present you a list of five characters who have eaten strange items and didn’t get food poisoning (at least in the standard sense of the term).


Persephone from Greek Mythology

Apparently you can eat food from the Underworld and not get any indigestion. When Persephone eats pomegranate seeds from Hades’ kingdom, she doesn’t have any side effects. At least, not when it comes to her physical health. She does have to return to the Underworld because she consumed the seeds. On second thought, maybe that is the equivalent of food poisoning for immortals.


Count Ugolino from The Inferno by Dante Alighieri

Dante makes us think of Hell’s Kitchen in a whole new way. Count Ugolino must spend eternity gnawing on the Archbishop Ruggieri degli Ubaldini’s head. How did he end up in this ninth circle of hell? Well, it is a long story, but the theme of betrayal plays a huge role. Basically, don’t do it. Although he has to snack on the Archbishop’s head for eternity (and let’s face it, that’s pretty terrible), Count Ugolino does take a moment of rest to chat with Dante. That is something, right?


Alice from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

We have got to hand it to Alice: the girl has guts. It takes a certain kind of person to eat or drink something without really understanding its purpose or potential consequences. In fact, that would be a huge reason for many people not to partake in these refreshments. Alice did shrink and grow a bit too large, but she doesn’t experience any other symptoms of physical discomfort. In the end, she does return to her original size, so we would say there is no harm done.


Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Like Alice, Violet is a girl who is not afraid to experiment with food. In this case, Violet willingly chews gum that she knows is still in its testing phase. As a result, she takes on the flavor and essence of the gum and turns into a blueberry. Let this be a lesson to you folks: always wait for food to be approved by the FDA. Sure, it may not give you food poisoning, but you could spend the rest of your life as a piece of fruit. And we all know that is not a very good look on anyone.


Baz from Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

There are so many vampires in literature to choose from. There is the classic Count Dracula. There is the sparkly, dreamy Edward Cullen from the Twilight series. But the vampire who really sticks out in our minds for having an iron stomach is Baz. Like all vampires, he does drink blood, but he is pretty principled about it—he drinks blood from rats in very creepy places. Instead of making him ill, blood actually gives Baz strength and is a necessary part of his diet. We lobby that there is a new food pyramid created for vampires. 

Posted by Sarah Fox

Recipe: The Perfect Pie Dough from “Making Dough”

Excerpted from our Making Dough cookbook by Russell van Kraayenburg.

YIELD: 1 pound  |  PREP TIME: 2 hours  |  BAKE TIME: varies


6 ounces bread flour

2 ounces cake flour

1 teaspoon salt

7 ounces (14 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold

¼ cup water

Posted by Russell van Kraayenburg