Ever wonder why you’re not supposed to wear white after Labor Day? The tradition goes back to the end of the Civil War, when society was ruled by the wealthy wives of old-money elites. As more new-money millionaires entered society, the jealous old regime invented a whole suite of arbitrary fashion rules that only those in the in-crowd would know. Anyone who showed up to an autumn dinner party in a white dress, for example, would be instantly outed as a nouveau riche newbie. That tradition of not wearing white past summer has since trickled down through fashion magazines and into mainstream culture… even for those of us whose ideal dinner party garb is sweatpants. The good news is, most fashion experts agree that there’s no need to follow this elitist rule today.
Thanks to Brandon Specktor, Claire Nowak of Reader’s Digest for that bit of fashion history.
If your kitchen countertop space is precious, then adding another gadget to the mix might sound frivolous. But for all its trendy hype, the air fryer is admittedly a powerful and versatile cooking companion. “Fryer” is a bit of misnomer; it’s really just a small, high-powered convection oven that circulates heat all the way around the food inside its basket, cooking items quickly to achieve a crispy exterior without the added calories and fat in actual fried foods (which are prepared in hot oil). So, while the air fryer will never create dead-ringer fried chicken, it can turn just about any food into a crispy, more appetizing version of itself—and these recipes will show you how.
Putting vegetables in an air fryer will make you want to eat them all the time. It will put an end to your struggles of figuring out what to do with vegetables at dinnertime. Even when they’re simply prepared, the air fryer makes them into something worth eating. This recipe, which takes its cues from cumin beef, is so simple that once you gather your ingredients, it takes less than 90 seconds to prepare. Get the recipe for Sichuan Cumin Asparagus here.
Anyone who’s been to Red Lobster understands that the Cheddar Bay Biscuits are the best part of the meal. So we’ve taken that winning appetizer and turned it into the main event. These croquettes are golden, crispy, and buttery on the outside, and they’re creamy, oozy, and irresistible on the inside. Best of all, the recipe has a high yield so you can store extra in the freezer to be quickly air fried for future meals. Read more about Cheddar Bay Shrimp Croquettes here.
Here’s something you probably hadn’t thought to air fry: pasta. The convection heat does something wonderful to gnocchi, which is to say, it transforms each piece into crispy little potato nuggets.” These crunchy bits can be combined with fresh vegetables for a unique textural contrast that no one typically expects from a pasta dish. Get the recipe for Crispy Gnocchi and Raw Tomato Sauce here.
This recipe is technically two recipes: one for homemade focaccia and one for air fried focaccia. You’re welcome! Focaccia is the bread for bakers who would rather curl up into a ball than tend to a sourdough starter. It’s simple, delicious, and transforms into “fries” when you slice it up and air fry it with oil and spices. It’s a dunkable appetizer that goes great with tomato sauce. Get the recipe for Homemade Focaccia and Garlic Bread Fries here.
City Chicken is the most delicious lie we’ll ever tell you. This “chicken” is, in fact, fried breaded pork nuggets. The name comes from the Great Depression, when immigrants living in the Rust Belt could more easily afford pork than chicken and so cooked the former to resemble the latter. It’s typically made on long skewers, but to fit inside the air fryer, individual portions are doled out on toothpicks and served alongside a sweet dipping sauce. Once you drop these into the air fryer, they’re done in under 15 minutes. Get the recipe for City Chicken Nuggets here.
It’s rare that our craving for doughnuts overlaps with our desire to haul a bunch of frying oil onto the stove and hover over its hot surface with a metal spider. So here’s a recipe for air fryer bomboloni, tiny yeast-risen doughnut holes that come out of the convection heat after 5 minutes all sweet and puffy, ready to be slathered in cinnamon sugar, cocoa powder, and Nutella. Learn how to make Air Fryer Bomboloni Doughnuts here.
This is one of those recipes designed for you to whip up a batch at the start of the week, freeze it, and then drop a portion into the air fryer each morning for a quick breakfast. It’s a play on rellenitos de plátano (stuffed plantain balls) filled with cream cheese and encrusted with sweet, cinnamon-y cornflake crumbs. Traditionally, rellenitos de plátano are fried, but this version lets high convection heat do all the work, leaving you free to enjoy your morning. Get the recipe for Cream-Cheese-Stuffed “Fried” Plantains here.
When someone in your family feels sick, one of the first things you typically do is take their temperature. Fever is a common symptom for many illnesses, including influenza and COVID-19, making a thermometer an essential household tool, especially during a global pandemic. Because temperature readings often involve direct contact with a sick person, thermometers should be cleaned before and after each use. If multiple people are using the same device, you should both wash and disinfect the thermometer between uses to avoid passing germs between people. To make sure you’re sanitizing it safely, follow these instructions for cleaning a thermometer, including digital and infrared versions.
How to Clean a Digital Thermometer
Typically the least expensive option, a digital thermometer uses an electronic heat sensor to measure a person’s body temperature in less than a minute. These can typically be used in the mouth, armpit, or rectum (but each device should be limited to one type of use to prevent cross-contamination). To clean a thermometer, you’ll need rubbing alcohol with at least 60% alcohol, which is most effective at killing germs according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Then follow these instructions to clean and sanitize a digital thermometer before and after use:
Soak a cotton ball or pad in rubbing alcohol and use it to thoroughly coat the entire device. Use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to clean inside any small crevices.
Allow the alcohol to air-dry on the thermometer to effectively kill germs.
If desired, rinse the device under cool water to remove traces of alcohol, taking care not to wet any electronic elements, such as the display.
Let the thermometer air-dry completely before using or storing.
Alternatively, you can wash the thermometer with soap and water, but take care not to submerge the electronic components, which could damage the device. You should also avoid using hot water to clean a thermometer, as this could damage the sensor that reads the temperature.
How to Clean an Infrared or Forehead Thermometer
This type of thermometer uses an infrared sensor to measure body temperature in a few seconds through a forehead scan. Although many are designed to be used without touching skin, the device should be sanitized before and after use in case contact happens. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance on cleaning your specific model. Follow these basic steps for cleaning forehead thermometer:
Clean the thermometer’s sensor with a cotton ball or pad soaked in at least 60% rubbing alcohol. You can also use a bleach wipe or alcohol pad .
Let the thermometer air-dry completely before using or storing.
Cleaning a thermometer is vital to avoiding the spread of germs between members of your household. With these tips, you’ll be ready to take a safe, effective temperature reading whenever you need it.
In tragic news, it was announced this morning that Chadwick Boseman, who rose to fame as the star of Black Panther, died on Friday evening after a four-year battle with colon cancer. As fans grieve the loss of this iconic actor, also known for playing pivotal black figures like Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, and James Brown, what particularly stings is the unfairness of his young age: Boseman was just 43.
A statement released via the actor’s Instagram account shared that Boseman learned in 2016 that he had Stage III colon cancer—a diagnosis with a daunting 40 percent survival rate. Despite “countless surgeries and chemotherapy,” the statement explains that his cancer progressed to Stage IV over the following four years.
Boseman’s sad and untimely death is a wakeup call to many for whom colorectal cancer is at best an afterthought, and at worst a taboo. That’s why we’re sharing the seven signs of colon cancer you should never ignore: knowing the symptoms and seeing a doctor for routine screening are your two best tools for avoiding a late-stage cancer diagnosis.
1. A persistent change in your bowel habits
Though changes in your bowel habits could be the result of dietary or lifestyle changes, you’ll want to take notice if they persist over time. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Constipation or diarrhea that lasts longer than a week may indicate the presence of a large colon polyp,” which can develop into cancer on the inner lining of the colon.
2. Abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
You may experience cramps or gas after eating something that doesn’t agree with you, but if the pain is severe and persistent, your body could be trying to alert you to something far more dangerous. Many colon cancer patients also experience bloating and discomfort brought on by eating.
3. Rectal bleeding or bright red blood in your stool
If you notice blood in your stool, this could be a telltale sign of colon cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), “Colorectal cancers can often bleed into the digestive tract. Sometimes the blood can be seen in the stool or make it look darker, but often the stool looks normal.” If you notice this symptom, ACS recommends having a blood test, which can reveal a low red blood cell count in early stages of the cancer’s development.
4. A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
If you regularly feel that the need to empty your bowels isn’t relieved by actually going, this could be a sign of colon cancer. Some patients describe feeling as though their bowels don’t empty completely, and note that it takes longer for them to go.
5. Weakness or fatigue
Polyps can cause internal bleeding in the colon, which can ultimately lead to fatigue and weakness, according to the American Cancer Society. As WebMD points out, “Cancer-related fatigue is one of the most common side effects of colorectal cancer and its treatment. It is not predictable by tumor type, treatment, or stage of illness. Usually, it comes on suddenly, does not result from activity or exertion, and is not relieved by rest or sleep.” If you notice weakness or fatigue paired with any other symptoms on this list, ask your doctor about having a screening.
6. Unexplained weight loss
Unexpected and unexplained weight loss can be a sign of various types of cancer. In particular, this symptom may point to colon cancer because polyps can affect the way your body metabolizes food, making it harder to keep weight on. Blockages in the colon can also interfere with digestion, and the resulting discomfort may lead to a decrease in food intake.
7. Changes in stool color or consistency
OK, so it’s unpleasant to talk about, but knowing these signs could literally save your life! Those with colon cancer often notice changes in their stool, including darkened color (usually the result of blood entering the digestive tract), softened consistency, or a more “narrow” shape. If you notice any prolonged changes, be sure to talk to your doctor about screening for colon cancer.
This Is the Real Difference Between Pinot Noir, Cabernet, and Other Red Wines
Are you up for some red wine education? Here’s Cheyenne Buckingham’s article from Eat This, Not That! that offers some insight.
Sipping on a glass of smooth red wine is a relaxing experience, and wouldn’t it be great if you could learn more about the different types of red wine so you could pick a better bottle for an even better experience? Wine aficionados are some of the few individuals, aside from sommeliers, who are well-versed in the flavor profiles of the types of red wine out there and their best food pairings. However, Cameron D. Lincoln, a sommelier at Fisk & Co. in Chicago, Illinois, says that a layman shouldn’t be afraid to take a deeper dive into learning the differences and origins of the types of red wine.
“Wine shouldn’t be daunting or irreconcilable in the way it is represented; like anything else worth liking, it has history, origin stories, and even laws governing the way it should be made,” he says.
Also, Wes Narron, Chief Wine Ambassador of City Wine Tours, says red wine can pair with anything from high-end cuisine to even fast food—if you pick the right type.
“Red wine can bring so many different attributes into play, from lively acidity to playful fruitiness to a more robust and austere experience,” says Lincoln. “Wine changes how we experience food and how we experience the dynamics of a meal based on its profile.”
Learn the different types of red wine here, and get ready for even better food pairings and dinner parties.
Cabernet Sauvignon is derived from a special kind of grape: the hybrid of a red Cabernet Franc grape and a white Sauvignon Blanc grape, which naturally occur in the Bordeaux region of France.
“Cab Sauv can be made in as many ways as a winemaker can dream, but much of the Cab we drink sees some oak, and the best have been bottle-aged,” Lincoln says.
Pairs best with: Steak and any grilled food
Narron says that Cabernet Sauvignon is often paired with steak or other fine (expensive) cuts of beef. However, the wine ambassador says that shouldn’t deter you from pouring a glass to go with your Burger King Whopper or a Shake Shack Double Cheeseburger.
“Cabernet Sauvignon, with its high tannins—the-naturally occurring preservatives that add body and structure to the wine—is the best accompaniment to anything grilled,” he says.
In French, Merlot means The Little Black Bird. The Merlot grape is also a sibling of the Cabernet Franc grape.
“Merlot, however, leans toward more purple and red fruits, where the profile in Cabernet is generally more about the spice and mineral notes,” says Lincoln. That’s exactly why when the combination of the two grapes makes for a balanced wine blend.
Pairs best with: Seafood
“Try a Merlot with tuna tartare. Fresh, raw fish with sesame seeds and ginger soy sauce go splendidly with the smooth, fruity elements of Merlot,” says Narron.
“Pinot Noir is one of the most difficult wines to grow, as it is thin-skinned and therefore prone to many types of maladies or minor natural disasters,” says Lincoln.
Pinot Noir is one of the most versatile grapes to work with, giving the winemaker the freedom to create several different styles of wine.
“Pinot can be whimsical and bright like the wines from the newer generations in France’s Loire region, or austere and thought-provoking like more traditional Burgundian wines,” says Lincoln.
Pairs best with: BBQ chips
Narron suggests pairing Pinot Noir with quality BBQ chips such as Cape Cod Kettle-Cooked Sweet Mesquite, Lay’s Mesquite Kettle Cooked BBQ, or Kettle Backyard BBQ.
“The earthy spiciness of Pinot Noir and the umami-like BBQ seasoning is the most classic of wine and junk food pairings,” he says. “Almost as good as fried chicken and Champagne!”
Similar to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Malbec has origins within the Bordeaux region of France. Lincoln says Malbec is now largely harvested in Argentina because the roots of the grapevine did not respond well to France’s climate.
“Traditionally, Malbec from France has a great high-acid profile and moderate, prickly tannins. However, the style from Argentina that we see more often now is quite lush and full, bursting with dark purple [and] red fruits,” he says. “Most of these wines will also see moderate-heavy oak-aging, lending itself to more nuanced flavors like tobacco and vanilla.”
Pairs best with: Chocolate cake
“Molten chocolate cake, chocolate lava cake, flourless chocolate fudge cake…call it whatever you want, but get yourself a Malbec to go along,” says Narron. “Malbec shows plump flavors of coffee, spice, and smoke, the crux of all good chocolates. The darker, the better.”
“Syrah is another of those split-personality wines that have immensely different structures and flavor profiles [and] aromatics depending on the region in which they were made,” says Lincoln. “Regardless of the region, that personality is a bit of a bully. Syrah is a hugely bold, robust wine that is most often seen coming from Australia as Shiraz.”
When sourced from its birthplace in France, the wine is referred to as Syrah.
Pairs best with: Short ribs
“I recently had beef short ribs cooked in maple and aged balsamic vinaigrette, matched with a Cote du Rhone Syrah, and I thought my head was going to explode. I was smacking the table, stomping my feet, and praising my time on this mortal coil, as I wolfed it all down,” says Narron.
Lincoln says Zinfandel is “the only wine on this list whose rise to prominence is almost entirely of the new world, California to be more specific. Zinfandel is generally a medium to very full-bodied wine with high alcohol [content] and sweet ripe berries bursting through with each sip.”
Pairs best with: Seafood/fish stew
“Zinfandel goes so well with fish stew,” says Narron. “The wine flavors accentuate the seafood textures and cover up any unnecessary fishy aromas.”
How do you choose the correct red wine?
Lincoln says that wine enhances anything from a homemade meal, an evening dining at a restaurant, an episode of your favorite show on Netflix, and something intangible like a current mood or feeling.
“For example, for a simple, fun picnic in the park on a beautiful, sunny day with friends, I might choose a fresh, tart Gamay served chilled to boost that idyllic mood of upbeat-nonchalance,” he says. “Or, on the other hand, I might choose a deep, almost foreboding bottle of Northern Rhone Syrah when drinking in a dimly-lit steakhouse, having a serious conversation about Descartes vs. Casuistry.”
You don’t have to be an ethics buff or even a philosophical thinker to enjoy a glass of Syrah, but you get the idea of the tone it can help set. Hopefully, now you can waltz into a wine shop with utmost confidence that you’ll select the red wine that best fits your outing or event. Cheers!
1. The AC Must Be Running While Doors and Windows Are Open
Florida’s Miami-Dade County will resume dine-in services next week. Capacity limits are set at 50%, but there’s another county-wide mandate that restaurants have to follow. All windows and doors are to remain open at all times, with the air conditioners running constantly. The reason behind this seemingly bizarre rule is the fact that coronavirus is airborne and more infectious in enclosed, poorly ventilated spaces. By increasing air circulation in dining rooms, patrons are less likely to infect each other.
2. Masks Must Be Worn at the Table
The same county in Florida also has some pretty strict mask-wearing rules. Not only are patrons expected to wear masks in restaurants, but they can’t remove them even once they’re seated at the table, like in most states. Masks can come off only once something is served, like a glass of water. If you’re dining in this part of Florida, keep in mind that disobeying this rule could set you back $500.
3. Masks Must Be Worn When Picking Up Takeout
A similar enforcement of stricter mask regulations is in place in Illinois. The Midwestern state is the first one to require that patrons keep their faces covered while interacting with restaurant staff in any capacity—whether placing their order at the table or picking up takeout. Governor Jay Pritzker noted that restaurants are expected to enforce this rule as much as patrons are expected to follow it.
4. Parties of Four or Less Only
Philadelphia’s dining rooms are set to reopen on September 8. Not only will the occupancy be limited to 25% of total capacity, but restaurants will not be allowed to seat more than four people at a table. The measure is intended to discourage large groups from socializing, especially if they’re from different households.