Cooking Infographic: The Plethora of Pasta Permutations

Love pasta? Here’s a fun poster that illustrates more than 250 different shapes. Which one is your favorite? (click through for a larger, zoomable version)

The Plethora of Pasta Permutations

via Pop Chart Lab –> Design + Data = Delight –> The Plethora of Pasta Permutations.


Using those delicious summer tomatoes

I grew up hating tomatoes. Flicking them across my plate, picking them out of my salads, anything I could to keep them away from my taste buds. But over the years I’ve come to appreciate a good tomato, and I’ve discovered that they can be quite tasty, especially when they’re eaten at the peak of the summer season. So when summer comes around and the tomato bins get full, I love discovering new ways to cook and eat these tasty treats.


So many tomatoes!

I still love a good main dish full of veggies like the tomatoes and polenta recipe, but when we’re looking for a good light appetizer, this Summer salad with tomatoes and watermelon can’t be beat. Plus, it’s incredibly easy and great for crowds since watermelon tend to be huge. This recipe is a riff on Sprouted Kitchen’s Stacked Watermelon with Feta and Balsamic – from her delicious cookbook. She doesn’t use tomatoes in her recipe, but I couldn’t resist throwing a few in, and I think it adds a nice little summery taste. Whenever I make this, I don’t usually pay too much attention to the amounts – it’s a great recipe that you can really play around with and customize to your liking.


Summer Salad with Tomatoes and Watermelon

Serves 4-6 or more if you want


  • 1 small watermelon, chilled
  • 5-6 heirloom tomatoes (or more if your watermelon isn’t so small)
  • 1/2 c. feta cheese
  • 1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 c. white balsamic vinegar (white balsamic vinegar is a bit milder than its dark cousin)
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Cut the watermelon into 1/2″ slices. Slice the tomatoes into 1/4″ slices.
  2. In a bowl, combine the feta, vinegar, olive oil, and pepper.
  3. Lay the watermelon and tomatoes out on a plate, alternating the slices. Sprinkle the red onion over the watermelon and tomatoes and drizzle with your dressing. Feel free to add a few sprinkles of salt if you’d like (taste it first as some feta cheese is saltier than others).
  4. Enjoy!

For more delicious recipes, you can check out the Sprouted Kitchen blog here.

Julia Child Was Wrong: Don’t Wash Your Raw Chicken, Folks

Saw this post on a recent NPR blog and I thought I’d share: Julia Child Was Wrong: Don’t Wash Your Raw Chicken, Folks : The Salt : NPR. If you’ve ever wondered, “Should I wash raw chicken?,” you now have a definitive answer!

“There’s no reason, from a scientific point of view, to think you’re making it any safer,” she says, “and in fact, you’re making it less safe.”

That’s because washing increases the chances that you’ll spread the foodborne pathogens that are almost certainly on your bird all over the rest of your kitchen too, food safety experts say. We’re talking nasty stuff like salmonella and Campylobacter, which together are estimated to cause nearly 1.9 million cases of foodborne illness in the U.S. each year.

Some studies suggest bacteria can fly up to 3 feet away from where your meat is rinsed — though you can’t necessarily see it.

Read more on the original post on NPR’s The Salt.

Easy & Delicious Potato Side Dish

Potatoes are often difficult. They’re either too dry if you try to bake them, don’t crisp up properly when you try to turn them into french fries, or take too long when you try to mash them (plus I don’t always want that added butter!). I found a delicious recipe for what I call Smooshed Potatoes on the delightful blog The Pioneer Woman. She calls them Crash Hot Potatoes, but I needed something a little more descriptive in there.  Whatever you call them, they’re a super easy side that delivers delicious results. Most of their cooking time is either boiling or baking, so there isn’t a lot of hands-on work. You can easily make them in the background while you’re cooking/grilling something else. They end up crispy, full of flavor, and dangerously addicting. They’ll go perfect with a burger or a steak, and are even dainty enough to serve alongside a salad – mine went alongside a grilled steak salad (recipe coming soon). Enjoy!

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Healthy (well, healthier than most) Lemon Bars

I love a good lemon bar. The tartness of the lemon, the sweetness of the sugar, the crunchiness of the crust – it all comes together to make such a great dessert. And though it’s not something that I bake often, during the summer, when the lemons are a-ripening, it’s a great option for a warm summer day. I recently discovered this Cooking Light recipe (it was one of their recipe makeovers), that is a way healthier option that the original lemon bar recipe. And you won’t be suffering either – all that good flavor and taste is still there!

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