How much do you know about the world's most famous geeks? Get a glimpse into their personal and professional lives with one of these fascinating books. We've rounded up nine must-read biographies to help you learn about the smartest, savviest nerds.
Kentucky is perhaps best known for thoroughbred horse racing, mint juleps, and — lately — its national championship-winning college basketball teams. But the state is quite a foodie haven with a rich culinary tradition.
Thanks to the many ethnic influences on its cuisine, Kentuckians have developed a diverse array of foods over the last few centuries that make the state a worthy destination for Derby Day and beyond. Take a minute to learn more about some of the state's delicious offerings.
Burgoo: While this stew was not invented in Kentucky, the state has molded the dish into something all its own. There was a time when burgoo derived its main ingredients from whatever meat was available (squirrel, opossum, raccoon, and venison were popular choices), but today you'll find most restaurants fill their hearty pots with pork, chicken, and mutton.
Mutton barbecue: Western Kentucky was once the state's center for wool production, so mutton became a popular meat. However, the most widely available sheep were often older and their meat tougher and too strongly flavored. Slow-cooked barbecue became an efficient way to soften and season the meat. Today, Owensboro, KY, is still renowned for its delicious mutton barbecue.
Keep reading to see more Kentucky favorites.
Graduation is such an exciting time, and for many former coeds, it's a chance to try out a new city, pursue dream jobs, and rent an off-campus apartment. It also may mean stocking and maintaining a "real" kitchen . . . at least one that's used for more than steeping ramen noodles and unpacking fast-food bags. We've rounded up 10 kitchen items that are essential to any postcollegiate kitchen (hint, hint, gift givers).
Perfectly coddled eggs and ham on an English muffin: what's not to like? Although a grand breakfast like eggs Benedict might usually be reserved for weekends, we've happened upon National Eggs Benedict Day, so there's no excuse not to eat the country's favorite brunch item at just about any hour today.
Before you get started poaching your own eggs, however, take a look at the variations you might want to take on for this American classic.
- Eggs Florentine: poached eggs and spinach atop an English muffin with hollandaise sauce.
- Eggs Royale: poached eggs and smoked salmon atop an English muffin with hollandaise sauce.
- Eggs Blackstone: poached eggs, side bacon (that'd be the type most commonly seen in America), and a tomato slice atop an English muffin with hollandaise sauce.
- Eggs Sardou: poached eggs and creamed spinach atop artichoke bottoms with hollandaise sauce; a specialty of New Orleans.
- Eggs Provençal: poached eggs and ham atop an English muffin, served with béarnaise sauce in place of hollandaise.
- Eggs Beauregard: fried eggs and sausage patties atop an American biscuit, served with country gravy in lieu of hollandaise sauce.
What's your favorite twist on eggs Benny — or do you prefer the tried-and-true classic?
Are you sick of watching bundles of leftover herbs languishing in your crisper? Fret not, there's an easy solution: plant an herb garden. Resilient and low-maintenance, most herbs can grow indoors or outside — a backyard, deck, or balcony are ideal, but a sunny countertop will suffice — leaving little reason not to break out the potting soil, a trowel, and some seeds or herb starts. You'll not only waste less, but will be inspired to add fresh herbs to dishes more often, a boon for both your conscience and your palate. Before you rush off to the nursery, keep these step and tips in mind.
- Assess the situation to determine what sort of set-up is ideal. Do you have a backyard? How long do you plan to live in your current home? If you can dedicate a corner of your backyard to the venture, and aren't planning on uprooting any time soon, consider a raised bed, either store-bought or DIY, which will provide enough space for a vast variety of herbs. If you're looking for a smaller-scale solution, terracotta or ceramic pots are a great alternative.
- Consider what herbs you cook with most often. It can be easy to get carried away when browsing seed catalogs or the herb start section of your nursery. Plant only what you'll realistically use in order to avoid waste; you can always add more to the mix later. Herbs like basil, parsley, mint, thyme, rosemary, and cilantro are most practical, but consider chives, dill, tarragon, oregano, or more-exotic varieties like Thai basil, marjoram, or savory if you think they'll be a worthwhile addition.
- Gather up the necessary equipment: Even if you're going the raised bed route, consider separate terracotta planters to restrict the growth of plants like mint that tend to grow rabidly, lest they overrun your other plants. You'll also need potting soil, a sturdy trowel, seeds or herb starts, a hose with a sprinkler attachment or a watering can, and a pair of gardening gloves. If your herb garden will live by a sunny window, make sure to buy planters with a saucer to collect excess water and avoid messy cleanup; alternatively, try one of these clever indoor setups.
If you're not yet acquainted with your supermarket's bulk aisle, there's no time like the present. Assuming your market has high turnover, bulk items are generally fresher, more economical — particularly when you need just a bit of an ingredient — and allow for eco-friendly shopping as they reduce and can even eliminate disposable packaging from the equation. Add to that the variety of snacks, staples, and even spices on offer in some stores, and it's no wonder many swear by this section. But before we get carried away, keep these tips in mind:
- Stock up on storage containers: Transfer your newly bought loot to a sturdy storage container — whether it be a pop-top container for grains, nuts, dried fruit, and the like, or small jars for spices — to avoid a pile up of flimsy plastic bags, and an organizational headache. That said, if you're planning to use up the contents of your purchase within a few days, don't sweat it.
- Don't get too carried away: It's easy to get excited by the plethora of options on offer, snapping up a bit of this and a bit of that, but keep in mind that like a buffet, the bulk aisle's variety can lead to overconsumption, overspending, and even waste. Buy what you think you'll use in a few weeks (longer if you're shopping for spices, oils, or vinegars), unless you're shopping somewhere unusual, and don't think you'll find the ingredient elsewhere. You can always come back for more!
What's keeping you from composting? Is it too stinky? Does it attract fruit flies in your kitchen? Or does it just seem too difficult to bother with? Whatever your excuse is, these tips will help dispel your fears or bad experiences with composting so you can feel good about filling the green bin.
- Get rid of the stink and flies: While there are some airtight compost bins with charcoal lids that help prevent smells from getting out, here's a guaranteed stink-proof method. Place all the food scraps in a compostable green bag and store it in the freezer until the bag is full.
- Stop trashing your food: The compost bin can be the new home of all of your food scraps including vegetables, eggshells, coffee grinds, meat, bones, and leftover cooked food. Just remember to remove any stickers, plastic, or foil from the food.
- Toss the packaging: If it's made of wood, paper, or compostable plastic, then it belongs in the compost bin. If it came from the ground, it's compostable, so even greasy pizza boxes can go in there. (Plastics labeled "biodegradable" are not compostable.)
- Research where you can compost: If you have access to a backyard, set up your own composter or reach out to the city for a green compost collection bin. If you live in a large city, see if your apartment building has a green bin or ask your landlord to request one. Otherwise, most farmers markets will have a compost drop-off for you to contribute to each week.
- See the amazing results: If you compost and recycle regularly, you'll soon notice that you barely have any trash — I toss one bag of trash a week, if not once a month. Thanks to composting, the days of stinky trash are gone, as my trash bin only holds nonrecyclable packaging, plastic wrappers, and bags.
What are your tips for smarter composting?
A great grilled cheese stands alone, but sometimes a side dish adds even more by offering an acidic contrast to the creamy cheese. When you're wondering what to possibly serve, experiment with these dips and side dishes.
- Soup: Try pairing your toastie with tomato, black bean, pureed lentil, or other creamy soups.
- Salad dressing: Balsamic vinaigrette, dijon vinaigrette, or ranch salad dressings can complement melted cheese and bread.
- Sauces: When making a grilled sandwich out of Italian breads and cheeses, serve it alongside marinara sauce for a pizza-like rendition.
- Condiments: Condiments like ketchup and mustard never hurt. A grilled cheese, after all, is still a sandwich!
- Pickled vegetables: Cheese is heavy, but pickles will help cut through the grease. There's always the classic cucumber pickle, coleslaw, pickled jalapeños, or even kimchi.
- Chutney or jam: Sometimes a grilled cheese calls for something a little sweet like a mango chutney or a fig jam.
While we'll happily dig into an ooey-gooey grilled cheese starring sharp cheddar or American cheese — bonus points for homemade — there's something to be said for exploring the cheese counter's other enticing options. Most aged cheeses are worth experimenting with — fresh or brined cheeses like chèvre or feta typically don't melt properly — here are some of our favorites; let us know in the comments if we left your favorite off!
- Fontina: This mild, buttery Italian cheese is practically made to be melted; try it with pancetta, basil, and peaches (or strawberries, while we wait on stone-fruit season) for a salty-sweet treat.
- Brie: Creamy, earthy brie; camembert; and other bloomy rind cheeses like Vermont Farmstead's Lillé lend richness, velvety texture, and a mild mushroom-like funk and are particularly perfect when paired with sweet-leaning elements like blackberry jam or fig preserves.
- Raclette: If you love the classic Swiss communal dish based on (and named for) the funky alpine cheese, then consider nestling a hefty handful between bread. Score bonus points by adding chopped cornichon to the mix or using potato bread as a nod to raclette's classic accoutrement.
Pretzels. Hot dogs. Sandwiches. It's easy to find a use for a can of Dijon mustard, but the same can't really be said for dry mustard. After all, how many of us admit to having a tin of Colman's mustard powder at home that's been open (and unused) for months or even years?
In truth, powdered mustard, as it's also known, is really just the dehydrated equivalent of the world's favorite condiment, which means it's just as versatile in the kitchen. Here are a few ways to make the most of it.
- Add a pinch to achieve intense, saturated flavors in your favorite deviled egg recipe.
- Incorporate powdered mustard into any spice rub and use on barbecue chicken, smoked ribs, and more.
- Add a straw-yellow color and acidic bite to a casserole like baked macaroni and cheese or potatoes au gratin.
See a few more of our suggested ways to use dry mustard when you read on.