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The Dish
May 13  |  
A shot of gazpacho will cure what ails you The playground bully hates his victim's guts. The fisherman guts his prey. The soldier guts it out. Strong stuff. It takes guts to deploy the word guts.

Now guts is going glam. Against all odds, it's in.

Whole books are devoted to cultivating a happy, healthy gut, one flush with microbes eager to churn mere food into energy, health and vitality. Not just books, but cookbooks.

I tried. I spent a week blending brews that promised a gut teeming with...

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May 6  |  By Becky Krystal The Washington Post
Slow rise for a quick pie
Ruth Gresser moves at a deliberate pace.“Obviously, I do things slowly,” said the owner of Pizzeria Paradiso. “It’s been 23 years, and I only have three restaurants.”“Only” three might sound strange, except in this day and age, restaurateurs are prone to much quicker empire-building. But Gresser is about to pick up the pace: Her newest venture - seven years in the making - centers on the premise of speed.

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April 29  |  By Dorie Greenspan Special To The Washington Post
The less fuss, the better the shortbread I'm a slowpoke in the kitchen. Always was, and I guess I always will be; I haven't gotten a second faster since I started cooking decades ago. Don't look for me on any of the competitive cooking shows: Just thinking about that ticking clock gives me hives. But even I, who considers baking a form of meditation, can get this shortbread in the oven in about 15 minutes. Not that I've ever timed myself ...

Shortbread comes in so many varieties: Some have eggs, some don't; some...

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April 15  |  By Roberto A. Ferdman The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — For decades, Americans have sipped on fountain sodas, wondering, at least occasionally but likely much more often, what exactly that thing that makes the drink so sweet is. It’s called high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), that much we have known. And it could be bad for us in a way that sugar is not. But what exactly is it, where does it come from, and how much does it truly differ from the ingredient it so often replaces in processed foods?

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April 8  |  By Leah Eskin Chicago Tribune
Foregoing cake recipe with lard in favor of cornbread
Lard is practically a swear. No surprise, given that both pig and fat are redeployed as insults. Lard used to work the bakery with dignity, yielding flaky pastry and crisp crusts. So when a friend confessed that her favorite cake is larded with lard, I resolved to make one.Necessitating lard. Once lard lounged next to the Crisco (vegetable fat), or butter (milk fat), or margarine (high-tech fat). Now it’s scarce.

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April 7  |  By Dorie Greenspan Special to the Washington Post
Surprise ingredient makes these biscuits great Here's one of the million things I love about baking: You learn something new every time. Recently, I learned that I could make biscuits using cottage cheese instead of milk.

I was going to file that under "necessity is the mother of invention," but it's more likely that this new biscuit came about because of sloth: I couldn't face heading out in the snow for buttermilk, and I didn't have my usual b-milk hack: yogurt (I use about two-thirds yogurt to one-third...

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April 1  |  By Peter Whoriskey The Washington Post
Buying organic fruits and vegetables costs more, and for many shoppers, the advantage hardly seems worth the expense. But there are certain produce items for which “buying organic is a must,” according to a new release from Consumer Reports, the non-profit long-known for its product reviews.

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April 1  |  By Jan Roberts-Dominguez Special to The Herald
Get cracking: Easter tradition full of memories
Growing up in the Roberts family, an egg cracking contest was always the highlight of our Easter dinner festivities. Once everyone had selected a colored egg from the basket, arms and an occasional egg shell would fly as egg-wielding opponents squared off.

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April 1  |  
Biscotti cookbook a mix of classic, creative
That loud crunch you hear is the sound of biscotti being consumed across America. Yet the Italian cookie savored these days may not look at all like the twice-baked number that’s been around since Roman times. Why, it may not even look like the ones pastry chef Antonio Mattei created when he got his hands on an old recipe, mixed up flour, sugar, eggs and nuts then began selling his version in 1858 in the Tuscan town of Prato, and winning a couple of culinary awards with them as well.

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March 25  |  By Roberto A. Ferdman The Washington Post
The most popular breakfast cereals in America today
WASHINGTON — It’s a tough time to be in the cereal business. General Mills, the biggest seller of cereal in the United States, announced another disappointing quarter Wednesday morning, marking the sixth straight time the company has reported lower sales.

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March 18  |  
Meyer lemon souffle a welcome ray of sunshine
March, aptly named, is a slow, obligatory trudge. The scenery is best indoors: cup, counter, cookbook. A moment startled, one morning, by the buzzer; the man in the brown uniform handed off a brown box. Small, heavy and postmarked California.I slit the tape, folded back the flaps and squinted into a blaze of sunshine: seven Meyer lemons, straight from Ann’s tree.

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March 17  |  
Use puffed wild rice for nutritious snack bars
When a cook from Minnesota’s Red Lake Nation showed chef Jerome Grant how to puff wild rice, amping up its nutty flavor, he knew just where to deploy it: in a grain-packed alternative to the granola bar.

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March 12  |  By Judy Hevrdejs Chicago Tribune
Rich taste of Ireland served up in a trio of cookbooks
You need not have cousins in Cork or Mayo to stir up a few Irish dishes. Not with this trio of cookbooks with their enticing recipes and beautiful photos.

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March 4  |  By Leah Eskin Chicago Tribune
Homemade pad Thai brings generations together Punctuation strikes you as handy, tidy and responsible. It's rash to sound off without the pause inspired by the comma or the deep breath mandated by the period. Punctuation saves lives — when applied judiciously. You sigh over that panda turned criminal in "eats, shoots and leaves."

So it comes as a surprise to learn that among members of the handheld generation, punctuation is not merely considered superfluous. It's rude.

The text message,...

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February 25  |  
A realistic take on raw food
Book: “Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat”Author: Gena HamshawAs soon as Hamshaw began experimenting with a raw food diet, she saw the benefits. The clinical nutritionist credits the regimen with solving her digestion woes, boosting her energy level, expanding her taste horizons and even changing her life.But she still craved roasted veggies tossed in olive oil and sea salt. So she ate them.

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February 18  |  By Aaron Swaney Herald Writer
Piglet’s cookbook madness
For basketball players, March means madness.For chefs and cookbook enthusiasts, February is the month.The New York City-based food blog, Food52, started the annual Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks in 2010 and it has the feel of the annual March Madness college basketball tournament — except these Cinderellas are cookbooks.

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January 28  |  By Jan Roberts-Dominguez Special to The Herald
Great seafood stews to freeze and enjoy quickly We all know how good fish is for our overall health. But when you're trying to pull some marginal fish eaters over to your way of thinking, a good attitude is only half the battle. The truly successful nudge comes via good cooking. This time of year, a healthy-but-flavorful fish stew might be just the ticket.

But there's that cooking thing. Not all that difficult on the culinary arts spectrum, but for a week-night meal, some of us might consider it messy and...

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January 28  |  Herald staff
Super eats: Best finger-food recipes to make for the big game This Sunday it's the big game, Super Bowl XLIX, and you'll likely be entertaining friends and family at home. So how to feed that hungry horde of pigskin-loving fans? We've collected some of the best finger food recipes that can be made ahead of time.

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January 27  |  
Football-themed recipes for your Super Bowl crowd Hidden football cake is among our football-themed ideas for catering to your Super Bowl crowd. Click through our gallery for the recipes.

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January 21  |  By Ellie Krieger The Washington Post
Start with avocado, then have fun with other toppings "Why didn't I think of that?" was my main reaction when I first heard of avocado toast. I have enjoyed and advocated ripe avocado as a bread spread for years. Its creaminess and buttery flavor is ideal on toast in the morning, adding a rich yet healthful element to the breakfast plate. But aside from topping mine with a slice of tomato, that is as far as I took it.

Avocado toast is so simple that explaining how to make it is like giving someone a recipe for a...

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January 14  |  
Recipe of the Week: Must-have minestrone Peek into my refrigerator anytime throughout the winter, and you will find the basics: milk, yogurt, eggs and such. But to get to them, chances are you will have to move a big pot of minestrone out of the way. I make it practically every week. It’s to the point where I feel a little out of sorts if I don’t have some around.

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January 7  |  By Jan Roberts-Dominguez Special to The Herald
January is a good time to go greener on your body Now that we're well into the new year, there's something you're just going to have to face: The party's over. In other words, if your diet in recent weeks has been organized around what I consider to be the Basic Four December Food Groups — egg nog, fudge, Christmas cookies and hors d'oeuvres — your system's in for a shock.

I mentioned this to a friend and she said, "I know what you mean. Last night I tried to slice fudge into my salad."

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December 31  |  
Recipe of the Week: Pork tacos with Pico de Gallo Mondays often mean leftovers in my house, so I turn to tacos.

Tacos are quick and easy to make and anything goes. Use leftover cooked beef, chicken or turkey and even vegetables.

This recipe uses leftover pork and calls for a topping of Pico de Gallo — a relish of sorts made with finely chopped fresh onions, cilantro, fruits (mango), bell peppers or hot peppers. Don't feel like making the Pico de Gallo? Top the tacos with any favorite chunky salsa. But I...

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December 24  |  
Recipe of the Week: Almond and orange snowballs The bomb may be fearsome on the front, but as metaphor, it’s the bomb. Chic, charming and clever are the bomb. Unlike, say, the actual bomb. Hard to grasp how something so fierce came to define some things so fine, but that’s the lingo.Then there’s the photo bomb — intrusive, irksome and in. As fad, it’s the bomb.

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December 24  |  Reshma Seetharam Herald writer
December 13  |  Associated Press
12 Days of Cookies: Holiday cookie inspired by Butterfingers You may not lay a finger on anyone's Butterfinger, but you will want to grab a plateful of this Butterfinger-inspired holiday bark. Like the candy bar, this sweet treat is jammed with peanut butter, has a satisfyingly crunchy-flaky bite and — of course — sports plenty of chocolate. But to keep your enamel intact, we made it slightly less sweet and a little more grown up.

Crackle bark

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December 12  |  
12 Days of Cookies: Cookie-topped blueberry mini pies
Eds. note: We’re running 12 cookie recipes as we prepare for Christmas. If you have a cookie recipe you’d like to share with the world and run on The Dish blog, send it to Witt SedgwickSpecial to The Washington Post

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December 11  |  By Daniel Neman St. Louis Post-Dispatch
How to make holiday cookies extra festive
Cookies are good. Icing is good. And according to baker Christy Augustin, that is important to remember when you try to decorate cookies.“Just forgive yourself. It’s going to taste great even if it doesn’t look good. It just takes practice,” she said.

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December 10  |  By Gabriella Boston Special To The Washington Post
At the moment we favor bright orange and soon we will turn toward vivid red and intense green as we express the culinary spirit of the season in everything from candy corn to Christmas cookies.But can we do this without the use of, say, Yellow No. 5, Red No. 40, Green No. 3 and other artificial colors? Can we opt for natural color that might also add nutritional value to our baking and cooking?

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December 9  |  
1 3/4 cups flour, plus more for the work surfacePinch sea salt, plus more for sprinkling16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature1/4 cup sugar, plus optional 2 tablespoons for sprinkling1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus tender sprigs for optional decoration

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