Party Food on a Budget

Photo by missmeng

Much to every host’s dismay, the economic situation hasn’t improved much since last year. Still, this doesn’t mean we have to cancel all holiday celebrations—it simply calls for a little more creativity. As you’ll see, creative thinking and a little planning go a long way toward making it all work. Here are some tips for throwing a fabulous holiday party on a budget. (more…)

Posted by on November 24th, 2011

Halloween Candy

Photo by Juushika Redgrave

Too much Halloween candy got you feeling less than stellar? We’ve got the perfect antidote: bite-sized tidbits from the past month that’ll whet your appetite for all that’s in store for November. In October, we introduced Menuism’s new rewards system, powered by Badgeville, and our experts navigated the way by showing us all how to avoid a hangover, 10 ways to save money eating out, how to pronounce tricky French wine terms, why grass-fed beef is tops for health, and more…

Here’s a look at the treats from last month!

Menuism Updates

Eat Big or Go Home: Introducing Badgeville for Menuism by John Li

Eating & Entertaining

Southerner’s Guide to BBQ Sauce: 4 Barbecue Sauces You’ll Love by Elena Rosemond-Hoerr

10 Ways to Save Money Dining Out by Rachael White

Beyond KFC: Fried Chicken Done Right by Elena Rosemond-Hoerr

Why Grass-Fed Beef Is Better for Your Health by John Brady

The Politics of Chocolate by Kate Steffens

Wine, Spirits & Beer 101

The Bartender’s Guide to Preventing Hangovers by Duggan McDonnell

Video: How to Pronounce French Wine Terms hosted by Etty Lewensztain

Coming Up

We’re headed into the holiday season and this month we’ll be highlighting favorite holiday cocktails, classic Indian desserts, a guide to stouts, wine and dining etiquette, and tons more tasty treats that’ll get you ready for all your holiday entertaining, pre- and post-Thanksgiving. We’re ready to start working on that winter layer; what about you?

P.S. The Menuism Blog is expanding! We’re looking for a few good food experts to add to our team. Think you got what it takes? Drop us a line at editor[at]menuism[dot]com and tell us a little bit about yourself.

Editor’s Note: What sweet treats did you eat on All Hallows’ Eve? Did you stay away from the politically charged chocolate this Halloween?

Posted by on November 1st, 2011

Photo by Lane & Anne

When my husband and I first decided to move to Japan, one of my earliest concerns was how I would manage holidays away from my family. Every year at Thanksgiving, my family gets together for an identical meal; from the way the turkey is cooked to the way the fruit salad and sweet potato casserole are prepared, it never varies. Every year I have exactly half a piece each of pumpkin and apple pie. Whipped cream on the pumpkin, ice cream on the apple. Year after year it was the same glorious spread. Until 2008, I had never missed a Thanksgiving with my family in my 20-odd years of life. (more…)

Posted by on November 22nd, 2010

Chef George Llorens

Guest Post by Chef George Llorens of Stew Leonard’s

George Llorens has been Executive Chef at Stew Leonard’s Norwalk store for almost 20 years. Raised in a resort town just south of Barcelona, Chef George moved to Paris and graduated from the Paris Culinary School in 1962. Five years later, after moving to the U.S., George discovered Stew Leonard’s. It was love at first bite. His style of cooking reflects his Mediterranean and French influences, as shown in his signature seafood paella and truffle-filled beef Wellington dishes. His creativity as a chef has George in demand for all types of catering events, including celebrity parties like The View’s Elizabeth Hasselback’s baby shower. In addition to regular local and national TV appearances, George also made significant contributions to Stew Leonard’s two cookbooks: Stew Leonard’s Winning Recipes and Stew Leonard’s You Can Do It! Cookbook.

What do you expect when you are expecting guests? Cooking through the night? Missing china? Last-minute preparations? Cleaning and decorating? Hosting any holiday can be stressful, and with turkey-roasting, stuffing-baking, and cranberry-molding just the tip of the turkey on a laundry list of to-dos, Thanksgiving can frazzle even the perpetual host’s nerves. Advanced planning and preparations are key, so here are ten holiday hosting tips that will ensure your turkey day features a fabulously festive feast that leaves you and your guests to enjoy a delicious, relaxing Thanksgiving…thankfully!

1. Pick a Color, Any Color

When hosting a holiday happening at your home, choosing a color theme for the evening is a fun, creative way to bring the evening together. Use your color palette for décor, flowers, table settings and even food garnishes. For Thanksgiving, think warm, inviting colors like chocolate browns, burnt oranges and hunter greens. (more…)

Posted by on November 17th, 2010

Turducken photo by jules:stonesoup

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and over here at Menuism HQ, we’re already working up our appetites, swapping favorite family recipes and talking serious turkey.  And guess what? We’re giving away something delicious in honor of the flat-out, hands-down best holiday for eating. We love Thanksgiving, we love food, and we love you, dear readers. So this year we’re giving away a free turducken from Cajun Grocer (this or a comparable one) to say thanks. That’s right, three birds for the price of none. What are you waiting for? Enter to win our Free Turducken giveaway!

It’s free and easy. Here’s the scoop on how to enter the drawing.

Via Twitter (1 entry per day):

  • Follow @Menuism and tweet:

    Follow @menuism & RT to win a #free #turducken

Via Facebook (1 entry total):

  • “Like” us on Facebook
  • Share this blog post on Facebook, then leave a comment on our Facebook page

Via Blog (1 entry per blog):

  • Blog about our free turducken contest and link to this post, then leave a comment below with a link to your post

The fine print:

  • Contest ends November 19, 2010 at 6pm PST.
  • You must have a US address to be eligible.
  • Winner will be notified by email, Facebook or Twitter by November 20, 2010 at 12pm PST.
  • Winner must claim prize by November 22 at 5pm PST by responding with a valid US address.

Good luck!

Posted by on November 14th, 2010

Photo by *clairity*

In a way, Thanksgiving is a wine lover’s nightmare. With a laundry list of dishes packed with contrasting flavors and textures (some unctuous and sweet, others savory, crisp, vegetal or earthy), the Thanksgiving table could easily demand up to ten different wines. There’s an ongoing debate amongst the wine elite as to whether bubbly, whites or reds make the best match for Thanksgiving fare, and within these categories there’s an infinite number of contenders—off-dry German riesling or mineral Chablis for the whites, patriotic American zinfandel or spicy northern Rhône syrah for the reds. Now who has the energy to sift through all of that when you’re trying to avoid poisoning your guests with an undercooked turkey, struggling to figure out how to cram eight side dishes into a single oven, all the while turning your kitchen into a disaster zone in search of your grandma’s antique gravy boat? (more…)

Posted by on November 10th, 2010

Photo by Cory Pavitt

I’ve been a fan of Louisa Shafia’s since I first began reading her blog, Lucid Food. With a focus on health, both for people and the planet, Louisa’s cooking philosophy is as fresh and as authentic as it gets. After the first interview we did with Louisa, I couldn’t wait to sit down with her again. (This time we talked turkey!)

A cook, educator, and author of Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life, Louisa attended The Natural Gourmet Institute, and has cooked at restaurants in New York and San Francisco, including Aquavit, Pure Food and Wine, Millennium, and Roxanne’s. She has also cooked for The Colbert Report, Isabella Rossellini, Marcia Gay Harden, Glamour, Domino, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Diesel, Converse, and the Sundance Channel. When she isn’t preparing fresh, local cuisine, Louisa enjoys exploring the five boroughs on her bike. She lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Watch Louisa’s cooking videos and read the Lucid Food blog at

Tell us about some of your favorite fall ingredients, and how you like to use them.

There are so many wonderful ingredients around right now; when I go to the farmers’ market, I come home with my shopping bags bursting because everything looks so pretty.

My top 5 favorite fall ingredients: (more…)

Posted by on November 5th, 2010

Photo by johnrudolphmueller

Halloween’s come and gone, and if you’re anything like us, that probably means you’ve spent a week solid stuffing your face with sugar in all its glorious forms. So–just for you–we’ve rounded up our most mouth-watering posts from the past month, and guess what? They’re all zero-calorie, 100% guilt-free goodness. So go nuts! (more…)

Posted by on November 4th, 2010

Dave Jensen

Dave Jensen
Craft Beer

David R. Chan

David R. Chan
Chinese Restaurant

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich
Fast Food

Justin Chen

Justin Chen
Menuism Co-Founder

John Li

John Li
Menuism Co-Founder

Kim Kohatsu

Kim Kohatsu
Managing Editor