Eating well

This apple crisp gets an unlikely boost from cranberries

By AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN Although it's hard to imagine that apple crisp needs much improvement, we liked the tartness and texture that cranberries added to one of our favorite standard dessert recipes. The challenges were balancing the fruit flavors and making sure that the filling baked ...

Invite your kids to help make this chocolate sheet cake

By AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN This chocolate sheet cake requires that you use Dutch-processed cocoa powder. What exactly is that? A process called Dutching, which was invented in the 19th century by a Dutch chemist and chocolatier named Coenraad Van Houten, raises cocoa powder's pH level, which ...

No-fuss mashed potatoes hot and on time

I’ve been making mashed potatoes, just like my mother made, for years. They always turn out smooth, creamy and delicious. So why would I change perfection? Well, I’ve got a few reasons and I’m sure I’m not alone. Not as spry as I once was, I worry I won’t get everything to the ...

Make this green bean casserole ahead of the party and relax

By AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN Green bean casserole is a holiday staple, so we set out to develop a version that could be assembled in advance to make our holiday cooking easier. To ensure that the flavor of the casserole didn't become dull in the freezer, we boosted flavor by using plenty of ...

A tender and fluffy alternative to plain white dinner rolls

By AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN Good honey-wheat dinner rolls have the softness of white rolls, with satisfying heft and a nutty whole-wheat flavor that's complemented by a touch of floral sweetness. That said, these appealing rolls rarely hit the mark: Commercial versions are soft but taste ...

Roasting gets Brussels sprouts caramelized on the outside

By AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN Roasting is an easy way to produce Brussels sprouts that are caramelized on the outside and tender on the inside. To ensure that we achieved this balance, we started by roasting them covered with foil; tossing them in a little bit of water to create a steamy ...

Gingerbread goodness

METRO — Gingerbread is a broad term that can describe anything from a firm and crispy cookie to a moist, soft cake. Traditionally, gingerbread is seasoned with ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and other aromatic spices. Molasses and brown sugar counteract the spice with sweetness. North Americans ...

Turn smoked turkey and melty cheddar into an inspired lunch

By AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN Panini, sandwiches traditionally cooked in a ridged press, are hard to get wrong_but also surprisingly hard to get just right. To turn a crowd-pleasing combination of smoked turkey and melty cheddar cheese into an inspired lunch, we needed a condiment with some big ...

Pecan pie with a smooth-textured filling and a nice buttery crust

By AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN There is much to love about sweet, nutty pecan pie, but it's easy for this simple dessert to turn out tooth achingly sugary and void of pecan flavor, with a curdled filling sogging a leathery crust. We wanted to create the ideal recipe for a not-too-sweet pie with ...

Thanksgiving veggies add bling to the meal

In a few short weeks we’ll be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday and my motto is that it is never too early to begin planning the menu. Of course, there will be roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pan gravy, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. But what usually stumps me are the ...

Cooking and glazing a moist and cured ham? It’s in the bag

By AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN Heating and glazing a cured ham seems effortless, but many recipes yield leathery meat in an overly sweet glaze. We wanted to guarantee moist meat in a nuanced glaze. Bone-in hams, labeled "with natural juices," have the best flavor and spiral-sliced ones make ...

Baked brie with jam or fruit is popular for good reason

By AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN Baked Brie topped with jam or fruit is popular for good reason. When the cheese is warmed, it becomes rich and gooey, and pairing it with sweet fruit brings out the savory notes in the cheese. For sweet and creamy flavor in every bite, we reengineered the ...

A recipe for rolls as good as any from a European bakery

By AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN European-style dinner rolls are different from their rich, tender American cousins. The dough for these rustic rolls is lean and the crumb is open, with a yeasty, savory flavor. But the best part might be their crust_so crisp it practically shatters when you bite ...

A spicy taste of Mexico from the comforts of home

METRO — An idyllic country with extensive mountain ranges and miles of coastal beaches, Mexico also is home to beloved cuisine. Spicy Steak Tampico Makes 4 servings 4 beef tenderloin medallions (each 6 ounces and 3/4-inch thick) 2 tablespoons olive oil Seasoned salt and freshly ...

Bundt cake demands a spot in your next brunch spread

By AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN Delivering bright apple flavor and a temptingly moist crumb, this simple yet stunning Bundt cake demands a prominent place in your brunch spread. We maximized this cake's apple taste by shredding 1 1/2 pounds of tart Granny Smiths and bolstering their flavor with ...

This quiche’s velvety custard makes it perfect for any party

By AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN This quiche's velvety custard makes it perfect for an elegant affair or a laid-back brunch. Store-bought pie dough, partially baked and still warm, can be used in place of the homemade crust. LEEK AND GOAT CHEESE QUICHE Servings: 6-8 Start to finish: 3 hours 30 ...

Chicken breasts for dinner in 30 minutes or less

I just got a great deal on a 10-pound bag of frozen boneless skinless chicken breast halves. In their current frigid state they look anything but appetizing, but with a quick thaw and a little pounding, they’ll become the base for a delicious meal when time is short and hunger is high. ...

Want a crisp and moist turkey with mahogany skin? No sweat

By AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN Unless you have access to multiple ovens, only a very large turkey will do when you've got a crowd coming to dinner. But finding a container large enough to brine a gargantuan bird can be tricky, and turning the bird in the oven (our usual method for evenly cooked ...

This elegant nut tart is surprisingly easy to prepare

By AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN This elegant nut tart is surprisingly easy to prepare, thanks to the very simple filling. For the filling, we used a pecan pie base but swapped in walnuts, reduced the amount of sugar, and added a hefty amount of vanilla as well as a hit of bourbon (or rum). The ...

Serve up warmth on chilly fall nights

METRO — Wassail can be made in many different ways, depending on one's tastes. But cider is an integral ingredient in most wassail recipes. Home cocktail creators can use this basic recipe and modify as they see fit. Wassail Serves 8 to 10 1/2 gallon apple cider 2 cups orange juice or ...