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Jun 03, 2015

How to Host an All-Out Backyard Barbecue, Part I: The Plan

Being a party-goer is easy: you show up, eat food, drink drink, have fun, and go home. Nice. But sometimes you need to return the favor, do your part and be a good guy. Sometimes, it's gotta be your turn to host.

How to Host an All-Out Backyard Barbecue - Part 1

That's why we're creating the ultimate man's guide to backyard entertaining. We're skipping the burgers and hot dogs, but saving the grill-power and the open flame. This is no fancy dinner party with flowers and special place settings and specialized utensils. But it is an event for grown-ups (read: no kegs) who want to get together and enjoy a great evening of good grub, tasty wine and conversation. 

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May 29, 2015

My Big Kitchen Upgrade: Two Mouth-Watering Recipes for You To Try

Steak with Wasabi Cream SauceDuring the last few weeks, I've been hard at work remodeling our kitchen with some simple DIY upgrades, and brand new pro-grade appliances from Frigidaire Professional. Now that I've worked up an appetite, my wife and I put our heads together and came up with two delicious recipes to test out on our new equipment. Read on for the full recipes, and some palette pleasing food photos.

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May 28, 2015

The Last Mac and Cheese Recipes You'll Ever Need

Mac & Cheese Jalapeños Poppers. Mac & Cheese Meatballs. Deep Fried Mac & Cheese. One-Pan Taco Mac & Cheese. Mac & Cheese Waffles. Mac & Cheese Burritos. Mac & Cheese Sushi. I honestly don't know what else to say.   

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May 27, 2015

David's DIY Kitchen Upgrade - The Final Reveal

 

created at: 05/27/2015

The kitchen is the center of the home. It's arguably the most important room in the house, and, for many of us, it's the room that gets the most use. Unfortunately, my kitchen was kind of a bummer. Like the weird roommate you got stuck with your freshman year of college - you know, the one who never left the room and sort of started to blend into the beige cinderblock walls after awhile - that was my kitchen. 

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May 27, 2015

3 Spring Grilling Recipes To Start The Season Off Right

created at: 05/27/2015As spring comes around, it's time to get the grill dusted off and fired up. Here are 3 grilling recipes to really welcome in the season. These easy meals are a great way to stay close to the conversation without having to babysit the food.  

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May 11, 2015

Spring Eats: How to Upgrade Your Homemade Nachos

NachosI happen to believe that every party gets better with a big plate of nachos. While the veggie platter is great, and bacon wrapped hot dogs are delish, there's something excellent about a fully topped mound of chips that just can't be beat. Here are 5 ways to make this excellent party staple a bit better.  

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May 01, 2015

How to Dice an Onion Like a Chef (In 30 Seconds)

created at: 05/01/2015

With most things in everyday life, the ManMade argument goes: if your going to do something, you might as well do it right. And while the definition of "right" is variable, oftentimes, we look to the pros. I take care of my vehicle the way a mechanic would, I work on my garden and lawn with the tips I learned from farmers, and I try to prep and cook food in the same way as those who doing for a living.   

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Apr 30, 2015

Make This: Homemade Pop Tarts Revisited

created at: 04/30/2015

There's some seriously special memories a Pop Tart brings to in my mind. It's like, I love these things, but as an adult, I know I'm not supposed to eat them, but then I can make my own and control the ingredients, and ta-da! They're back in my toaster. 

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Apr 29, 2015

The NY Times Field Guide to the American Sandwich

created at: 04/29/2015

Prepare yourself for this exhaustive exploration of the breath of diversity in the American sandwich market. The guide begins defining the parameters of the sandwich according to the United States Department of Agriculture and the famous 2006 court case, Panera v. Qdoba. In other words, the "product must contain at least 35% cooked meat and no more than 50% bread" and cannot be open-faced. Also excluded from this complete list are hamburgers, hot dogs, gyros, shawarmas, tacos, and burritos.  

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Apr 28, 2015

6 Ways to Freshen Up Stale Tortilla Chips and Give Them New Life

To be honest, we don't really have the stale tortilla chip problem at my house. Our conundrum is more along the lines of how-many-crumbles-are-at-the-bottom-of-the-bag-and-does-Chris-have-any-shame-about-eating-them-dowsed-in-hot-sauce-with-a-spoon-like-a-bowl-of-cereal-in-milk kinda problem. 

Nevertheless, in Mexican cuisine, the tortilla chip (a tostadita or totopos) isn't a think that scoops up melted cheese sauce, but an ingredient in all kinds of tasty dishes. So, if you've a stale bag lying around and don't expect me to come by anytime soon, there's

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Apr 27, 2015

You Need to Watch: Mind of a Chef

I stumbled upon Mind of a Chef on PBS one saturday after my usual ritual of This Old House and Woodrights shop and completely fell in love. If you haven't yet, I highly recommend you add the first and second season to your Netflix list and binge watch the heck out of it.

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Apr 17, 2015

How to: A Complete Guide to Making Your Own Bacon from Scratch

created at: 04/17/2015

With all of its magical texture and immensely satisfying combo of flavors, it's easy to think that bacon is made of nothing but little fairy tickles and stuff on the other side of rainbows. But the ingredients list is amazing simple, and the technique pretty basic.

All of which means, of course, that you can make it at home.     

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Apr 14, 2015

Weekend Recipe: Homemade New York Steak Poutine

Steak PoutineLooking for something to make this Friday (or Tuesday) night special? If you haven't experienced the delectable goodness that is steak poutine, stop everything and make it happen. This rich appetizer is the perfect finger food to get the party started.  

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Apr 09, 2015

How To: Make the Perfect Homemade Salsa

Though it's the way most of us consume them, salsas are not just for chips. That limitation is a shame, because these Mexican table sauces can be so much more than watery blend of canned tomatoes and vinegar intended for scoping. I was born in Mexico, so fresh, bright and bold salsas are close to my heart. 

created at: 04/24/2013

So, join me on a virtual south-of-the-border trip, and learn the basic techniques of making the perfect homemade salsa.

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Apr 08, 2015

Impress Your Date and Make This Tasty Treat: Earl Grey Brulee

Earl Grey Brulee

Dessert is one our favorite parts of dinner, and this exceptional Brûlée recipe is the perfect end to a great meal.  

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Apr 01, 2015

Weekday Grill Night: Grilled Pizza and Mango Margarita Recipes

Pizza NightIt's time for some spring grilling!  Here's an easy (and delish) weeknight meal the whole family will love. Oh, and it works real well on a Friday or Saturday, too. 

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Mar 25, 2015

How To: Make Your Own High Protein Energy Drink

Chia Seed Energy DrinkA few months ago, we bought a huge bag of chia seed and have been adding it to just about everything for a great protein boost. The small seeds pack a big chunk of energy, so mixing up this drink is a great way to keep up with the day minus the over-caffeinated jitters.  

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Mar 24, 2015

A Helpful Beginner's Guide to Hunting and Cooking Morel Mushrooms

Gentlemen, I give you: spring. If it's not there yet, it will be. And with it, comes actual growth...not just the stuff that manages to survive over the snow covered winter (I'm looking at you, beets.)

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Mar 05, 2015

How to: Make a DIY Food Smoking Gun for Under $20

A countertop cold smoking machine is a great way to add a depth of grilled or barbecued-style flavor to a simple weeknight meal, or to up the excitement of a standard cocktail or a less-expensive dram of whiskey. They're easy to use, relatively small to store, and really can bring a different level to simple plate of roasted vegetables or pan-seared protein, especially in the dead of winter.   

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Feb 24, 2015

How to Make Amazing Fried Chicken in a Cast Iron Skillet

There's a lot of myths and legends about construction perfect fried chicken at home: secret spice blends, brines and buttermilks, free range vs air chilled vs standard chickens, special sauces, even proper oil or fat selection. But never underestimate an essential component: the vessel in which you fry.    

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