Friday, March 30, 2012

Weekly Kitchen Insights - Recipes and Trends from Allrecipes.com

We're somewhere between St. Patrick's Day and Easter so what will be on the menu this week? How about some money and time saving dishes! Allrecipes sends out emails to millions of people every week, so it's interesting to see which, of all the recipes we feature in the emails, are the most loved. This week, we have some clear winners from our What's Cooking email yesterday featuring "Dinner In an Instant" ideas.
  • Fettuccine with Sweet Pepper Cayenne Sauce was featured and everyone loved it, making it the top performer across the board this week with the biggest increase in page views, prints and saves week over week.
  • Broiled Tilapia Parmesan saw the second biggest increase in prints and saves this week and was from the same email! This recipes is quick and budget friendly.
  • New on the menu this week is Deluxe Ham Casserole with 961 recipe box saves! It's not light, but it does sound delicious and may be a great Easter Ham leftover idea too.
  • The second most viewed recipe this week is Unbelievable Chicken - which is cooked on the grill, so perhaps spring is finally here and we can all break out our grills!


Hope you enjoy this report. Happy cooking until next week!
Posted by Matt Decuir, Business Analyst 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Weekly Kitchen Insights -- Recipes and Trends from Allrecipes.com

Anyone who needs convincing St. Patrick's Day is a sacred American holiday should check out this week's most popular recipes. With March 17 falling on Saturday, the perfect weekend day to cook something special, it’s no surprise to find Irish favorites such as Corned Beef and Irish Cream Crème Brûlée among the past week’s most popular recipes! Measured since last Sunday through this week Thursday, our site’s most popular recipes are:

Stout Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Veggies was the most popular new recipe last week. (Hey, it needs a photo. Can you add one?)

Corned Beef and Cabbage 3 had the biggest increase in page views and prints last week. The majority of traffic to this recipe came in from search, but some also came from links in the “More Recipes Like This” section on Allrecipes’ other corned beef recipe pages.

Photo by SPECK03



Irish Cream Crème Brûlée had the biggest increase in saves. Most of the traffic to this recipe came from the "6 Fun St. Patrick’s Day Desserts" article featured in the 3/15/12 What’s Cooking e-mailing to Allrecipes members.

Photo by Bellahay

Hope you enjoy this report. Happy cooking until next week!

Posted by Matt Decuir, Business Analyst

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Food Fuel for "The Hunger Games" Movie

I read the first book of The Hunger Games in two sittings. In the 16 years previous, I’d read about five books total. So, when a coworker told me about this young-adult, science fiction trilogy, I was not exactly a marketable candidate. Kids fight to the death for food? Yikes.

“But it’s so good,” she assured me.

“No, no—I believe you.” (I did not believe her.)

That is, until I kept getting a question that became impossible to ignore, “Have you read The Hunger Games? You need to read it.”

“You haven’t read it? You really need to read it.”

“I don’t understand why you haven’t read it. Read it—this time I’m not asking.”

So I did. Like a ravenous animal, I might add. And of course, I’m headed to an IMAX theater opening day, far more excited than a woman of 34 should be to go see a movie with a tween-style love triangle. But I’m not going to lie, I sort of want a T-shirt. None of that Team Gale/Team Peeta nonsense—something with flames. Gold eyeliner might also be necessary.

Seeing everything on the big screen should be a feast for the eyes (no pun intended). Because as books go, it was really packed with some intense visuals, not the least of which was the food.

Both the gluttony of the Capitol and the starvation in the 12 Districts made for some very vivid images, from squirrel jerky (not the real name, that’s just what I call it), to lavish multi-course banquets. Certainly gave me a lot to choose from in my search for just the right recipes to represent the story.

To that end, below are some Hunger Games-inspired recipes, guaranteed to fuel you up for the movie, especially if you’re heading to the midnight showing. (And to those people I’d like to say, Wow, you’re hardcore—good for you.)

Enjoy and eat up!

—Mackenzie Schieck
Editor, Allrecipes.com

Lamb Stew
Katniss, the main character, was asked in the pre-games interview to name her favorite part of the events so far. Understandably unenthused by pretty much every part—after all, she’s about to be thrown into a death match—she answered honestly, “The lamb stew.”


Bread
Bread is everywhere in The Hunger Games, but most significantly in a flashback when Katniss’s District 12 Games-mate, Peeta, “throws away” a loaf in Katniss’s direction at a much-needed time for her family.

Dandelion Salad
Just when Katniss thought she and her family would starve, she saw a dandelion and it reminded her that there was always something she could harvest or hunt, she just needed to remember where to look.

Apples
In one of Katniss’s first acts of rebellion, she shoots an arrow across the room into an apple, which just happens to be sitting in the mouth of a roasted pig the Gamemakers have been feasting on. How do you like them apples? I recommend sautéed:


Hot Chocolate
On the train to the Capitol, Katniss tries a “brown, rich cup of something” Peeta tells her is hot chocolate. She takes a small sip, then downs the entire cup before even starting on the meal.

Monday, March 19, 2012

In Ham We Trust

How is it that my husband and I were raised on opposite sides of the United States—with entirely different cultural backgrounds—yet our mothers prepared identical menus for Easter? Ham dotted with pineapple and maraschino cherries? Check! Creamy scalloped potatoes? Check! Green beans? You bet! (Okay, so his mom overcooked them and mine didn’t. But still—there they were nestled under their crispy French-fried onion crust.) It’s like our moms were reading from the same household manual. In fact, I’m pretty sure my husband’s grandmothers also served up those very same Easter dishes.

Not that there’s anything wrong with ham and all the fixings. In fact, that traditional lineup is the first thing I think of when I start pulling together recipes for the annual Allrecipes Easter feature.


Turns out I’m not alone. When I look at the recipes our home cooks search for in the weeks leading up to Easter, the clear winners are—wait for it—baked ham, creamy potatoes, and green bean casserole!


There’s more on our readers’ menus, of course, including deviled eggs, asparagus, and lamb.

And this should come as no surprise—our home cooks are also on the hunt for recipes to use up all the
yummy Easter leftovers.

And for dessert? Easter bunny cake hops in along with cheesecake, carrot cake, and coconut cake.


Lately I’ve added a new tradition to my own family’s Easter menu—sweet Easter breads.


Around my house, it disappears faster than Easter candy.


You can check out more top-rated recipes for Easter dinners, brunches, and Easter egg hunts. You’ll find a whole lot more besides ham. But if it’s ham you want—oh boy, do we have ham for you!

So, what’s on YOUR menu this Easter? Please leave a comment—we’d love to hear from you.

Have a delicious Easter,
~Vanessa Greaves
Senior Editor, Allrecipes.com

Friday, March 16, 2012

Weekly Kitchen Insights – Recipes and Trends from Allrecipes.com

Corned beef and cabbage was really big this week! Maybe because home cooks were getting into the St. Patrick’s Day groove early? Enjoy it during the week and then party on Saturday night? Meatloaf lovers will enjoy discovering this family favorite also made the hit list, with some new twists. Here's the week's list for your viewing--and cooking!--pleasure:

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage 2 was the most popular new recipe.













Corned Beef and Cabbage 3 had the biggest increase in page views.













Rempel Family Meatloaf had the biggest increase in recipe box saves. This recipe was also included in the Five Most-Loved Meatloaf Recipes article included in this week’s What’s Cooking newsletter sent to Allrecipes members. I call that really delicious news!













Wear something green tomorrow, and be sure to thank your Irish friends for sharing their holiday!

Posted by Matt Decuir, Business Analyst

10 Heart-Healthy Ingredients


As the head recipe curator for wellfedheart.com, I rely on great flavors to take the place of food culprits, especially in recipes calling for extra salt, sugar, and some fats. These herbs and spices are my heart-healthy secret ingredients for recipe success.

Especially now, with spring holidays approaching, I like to make sure I’m not going to run out of my family’s favorite dry and fresh herbs and spices, so I check the supply in our kitchen drawer and fridge. This week, I even checked the herb pots on my deck and discovered the chives made it through the winter. Very exciting! When replenishing dry herbs, I shop at a bulk section that has large turnover, ensuring the freshest supply.

I simply love it when people ask after they’ve tasted a dish, what’s that flavor?

Tabbouleh Salad with fresh mint
My favorite spice mixture















Here are 10 of my favorites, in no particular order. Each one links to a recipe using the spice or herb.
  1. Mint – the secret ingredient in any salad, grain or green.
  2. Smoked Paprika – the depth of flavor makes me think of my Southern roots, especially in stews with fish or shellfish.
  3. Garam Masala – a blend of the most aromatic spices of Northern India. Go the extra mile and make your own to effect the taste you want. 
  4. Curry – seems like a big mystery, but it’s the easiest spice to use to make your dish far from bland. 
  5. Nutmeg – not just for coffee drinks, a sprinkle gives a lift to anything with spinach.
  6.  Red Chili Flakes – sprinkling a little on green vegetables, such as broccoli, creates a whole new taste.
  7. Cayenne – provides heat when salt won’t be used.
  8. Cumin – complements many Mexican and Indian dishes with gentle, but not hot heat.
  9. Ginger –provides a lively warm flavor without harshness.
  10. Garlic – begin any recipe with minced garlic and you’re on your way to a successful dish.
An easy-to-remember tip: The ratio for fresh to dried herbs is 3 to 1. For example, when a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon dried herbs and you want to substitute fresh, you’ll use 3 teaspoons fresh.

Waste nothing! I keep a closed jar in my herb drawer that contains leftovers from filling the jars—such as basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary. This becomes the daily go-to salad mix for my family’s all-purpose house dressing. Add a liberal pinch, and it’s good to go.

I’ve even been known to bottle and label the herb mixture in assorted containers, and then wrap them for party favors.

What are your favorite secret weapons that provide interest and intrigue to your dishes? Go ahead—you can share and we won’t tell!

Contributed by Susan Levy

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Allrecipes Measuring Cup Trend Report - March 2012

Egg-stra! Egg-stra! One-third of Allrecipes’ home cooks choose recipes with eggs for Easter entertaining.

INSIGHT 1: Cooks in the West are most likely to choose Easter recipes using eggs, while for Southern cooks, Easter entertaining is all about desserts.
Of the 25 most popular Easter recipes for Western home cooks, 12 featured an eggstravagance of eggs, including quiche, strata, Eggs Benedict, and of course, deviled eggs. Seven of the 25 most popular Easter recipes used by Midwestern and Eastern cooks also include lots of eggs, but just four recipes with eggs were popular with Southern cooks. Instead, desserts rule the South, with Sour Cream Pound Cake, Dirt Cake, and Strawberry Pie among the region’s top 10 Easter recipes.


Click city name to see the complete recipe:
Atlanta
Boston, Philadelphia
Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Denver
Houston
Kansas City
Los Angeles
Miami/Ft. Lauderdale
New York
Phoenix
Portland
San Francisco
Seattle
Washington, D.C.

INSIGHT 2: Denver home cooks use more egg-centric recipes for Easter entertaining than any other city in the country.
Of the 25 most popular Easter recipes for Denver, 16 use five or more eggs, and nine of these recipes are for deviled eggs. Runner-up is Phoenix with 11 "eggstra delicious" Easter recipes.

Denver’s Top 10 favorite deviled egg recipes
1. Mother-in-Law Deviled Eggs
2. Easy Creamy Deviled Eggs
3. Deviled Eggs II
4. The Devil’s Own Deviled Eggs
5. Perfect Deviled Eggs
6. Di’s Delicious Deviled Eggs
7. Special Deviled Eggs
8. Pen’s Deviled Eggs
9. Deviled Eggs I
10. Bacon-Cheddar Deviled Eggs

INSIGHT 3: Classic Easter dishes are favorites for Allrecipes’ home cooks around the world.
Ham is most sought after for main dish recipes in the United States, while favorite Easter baked goods fill out the remaining spots. But who guessed BBQ Chicken Pizza would be #9? Home cooks in the United Kingdom and Ireland are--almost--all about sweets for Easter. Australia’s home cooks prefer roast leg of pork or roast chicken for their Easter main dish, as do cooks in France.

Allrecipes.com (U.S.)
1. Honey Glazed Ham
2. Carrot Cake III
3. Braided Easter Egg Bread
4. Peanut Butter Easter Eggs
5. Hot Cross Buns I
6. Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken
7. Easy Slow Cooker Ham
8. Slow Cooker Ham
9. BBQ Chicken Pizza II
10. Cinnamon Rolls III

Allrecipes.co.uk (UK/Ireland)
1. No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake
2. Hot Cross Buns
3. Slow-Cooked Whole Leg of Lamb
4. Fairy Cakes
5. Aunt Mary’s Carrot Cake
6. Easter Biscuits
7. Traditional Hot Cross Buns
8. Easter Fairy Cakes
9. Easter Chocolate Nest Cake
10. Lemon Sponge Cake

Allrecipes.com.au (Australia/NZ)
1. Roast Leg of Pork with Apple Sauce
2. Hot Cross Buns
3. Roast Chicken with Herb Stuffing
4. Roast Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary
5. Chocolate Coconut Balls
6. Kristy’s Moist Carrot Cake
7. Easter Bunny Cupcakes
8. Bread Machine Hot Cross Buns
9. Plain Chocolate Easter Eggs
10. Balsamic Glazed Salmon Fillets

Allrecipes.fr (France)
1. Gigot d’Agneu au Four (Roast Leg of Lamb)
2. Le Nid de Paques Moelleux (Easter Nest Cake)
3. Gigot d’Agneu Facile au Four (Easy Roast Leg of Lamb)
4. Carnard l’Orange Super Facile (Extra Easy Duck à l’Orange)
5. Gigot d’Agneu aux Flageolets (Roast Lamb with Beans)
6. Gigot d’Agneu en Cocotte (Roast Lamb Casserole)
7. Babka Gateau Polonais au Chocolate (Chocolate Polish Babka Cake)
8. Nid de Paques au Yaourt et la Noisette (Chocolate-Hazelnut Easter Nest Cake)
9. Mini-Choux Salés Fourrés (Savory Filled Mini-Cabbages)
10. Haroset de Dattes (Haroset with Dried Fruit)

About Allrecipes.com
Allrecipes, the world’s largest digital food brand, receives 750 million annual visits from home cooks around the world who discover and share food experiences through recipes, reviews, photos, profiles, and blog posts. For 15 years, the Seattle-based site has served as a dynamic, indispensable resource for cooks of all skill levels seeking trusted recipes, entertaining ideas, everyday and holiday meal solutions and practical cooking tips. Allrecipes’ global, multi-platform brand provides insights into the kitchens and cooking passions of home cooks everywhere with 17 websites, 9 mobile apps, and 13 eBooks serving cooks in 23 countries and 11 languages. Allrecipes is part of Meredith Corporation, the leading media and marketing company serving American women. For additional information regarding Meredith, please visit meredith.com. For additional information about Allrecipes, please visit allrecipes.com.


Please Contact: Stephanie Robinett - Director, Communications 206-708-9271

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Shameless Self-Promotion! Vote for Allrecipes in the People’s Choice Telly Awards!

OK, we confess. We’re not shy. We think we’ve produced some really cool cooking videos this year, so we’re calling on our Allrecipes’ fans to show their love—or “likes,” in this case. You be the judge. Help us win an award! Click below on Allrecipes’ entries for the annual People’s Choice Telly Awards!

Yep, these awards are a big deal. Sort of like the Oscars for the online and TV world. In official language, the Telly Awards honor the very best film and video productions, groundbreaking online video content, and outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs. The People’s Telly Award is strictly awarded by the number of “likes” on YouTube. Entries pour in from all 50 states and five continents. There are multiple rating periods, and the first period is closing March 23rd, so we need your vote now! You need to be a registered YouTube® user (It’s free to sign up!) to be able to view and rate Allrecipes’ videos, but that’s it! Just do it, and we’ll thank you forever!

Click on the links below to watch the videos, and then vote with the ‘thumbs up’ icon below the window. Have fun and enjoy the show!

Behind the Recipe – Fresh Pasta with Bolognese Sauce
Firehouse Cooking
Food Wishes – Asparagus Soufflé
Mastered in 99 Seconds – How to Thaw, Brine, and Cook a Turkey
Kitchen Gizmos & Gadgets – Silicone Baking Sheets
What’s Cooking? Tender Pork Spare Ribs

 Michael Ketchum, General Manager, Video

Monday, March 12, 2012

Making St. Paddy’s Day Authentic: Tips from an Allrecipes’ Irish Insider

From time to time, the Fresh Bites blog likes to showcase Allrecipes’ staff who have personal interests or stories that enrich our site’s content—or just are really fascinating, talented people! This post is from Ita Mac Airt, Allrecipes’ Regional Manager, International Content. If you guessed she’s from Ireland, you’re right!

Nearly seven years ago now, we moved to Seattle from County Antrim, Ireland, when my hubby landed himself a job in a famous aircraft company near Seattle. I started looking for jobs online, and to this day I still can't believe what I stumbled upon... Allrecipes.com was looking for someone with experience in recipes and cooking from the UK or Ireland! I had to pinch myself. After years of recipe product development for food companies in Ireland, could this be my perfect job?

It certainly has turned out to be more than I ever dreamt of. We launched Allrecipes UK and Ireland in May 2008—check out the site here—and since then have launched 15 other international sites all around the world. Currently, I manage the European editors, and Allrecipes remains as exciting as ever to watch the sites grow as we build a community of home cooks around the world. My cook’s profile is even on both the U.S. and the UK sites so I enjoy the best recipes of each! As you’d expect, I’ve added quite a few of my favorite Irish recipes to both sites.

With St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday, maybe you’d like to learn how the holiday is celebrated in Ireland? Check out these articles I wrote a few years ago about how people celebrate and what we eat in Ireland for our March 17th feast—it’s different from the U.S.! I’ve also shared tips in a “How to” article about traditional Irish Soda Bread. (My advice for soda bread: Eat it warm from the oven slathered with butter and jam!)


Here are some of my family’s favorite recipes from home. You’ll find a real Irish Stew, Irish Bacon and Cabbage Soup that’s always terrific on cold March nights, a fast and easy griddle-cooked version of Irish soda bread called Irish Soda Farls, and Irish Barm Brack, a dark, moist bread packed with raisins soaked in black tea.

 
Happy St Patrick’s Day!

If you can't go to heaven, may you at least die in Ireland!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Weekly Kitchen Insights – Recipes & Trends from Allrecipes.com

“Busy” is the operative word this week for the BI team, so this will be a quick update! It was a week where once again, “chicken” proved its popularity with home cooks. A year-round favorite, yummy chix also received top billing in Allrecipes’ weekly newsletter with 8 Tasty Takes on Chicken Parmesan. March 17th isn’t far off now, so St. Patty’s Day recipes are also showing up in the mix.

Chicken and Asparagus with Penne Pasta was the top new recipe. So new in fact, it hasn’t even got photos yet. Want to add one this weekend?

A lot of home cooks loved what they saw in Allrecipes’ weekly newsletter and made Tomato Chicken Parmesan the top recipe of the week.















Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken had the second biggest increase in recipe box saves.















St. Patrick’s Day is coming! Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage had the biggest increase in page views and prints week over week. Check out more St. Patrick’s Day faves here.















Posted by Matt Decuir, Business Analyst

Thursday, March 8, 2012

How Irish Soda Bread Saved My Reputation

Here’s what happens when you work at the #1 food site in the known universe—people just assume you must be a really good cook. The truth is I can make some things moderately well, but my love of eating good food by far outweighs my ability to cook it myself. So when a genuinely talented cook invited me to a St. Patrick’s Day potluck, I got a little worried. I mean, what could I bring that would keep the illusion alive a little longer but be easy enough for me to not totally screw up?

Irish Soda Bread to the rescue.


Talk about the luck o’ the Irish. (And I’m not Irish.) This recipe was simple and foolproof—and best of all, it impressed my host so much he said it was better than one he made. He even asked me for the recipe. Seriously.

So thanks to Irish Soda Bread, my cooking cred remains intact—for the time being.

 How about you? Want to wow ‘em on St. Patrick’s Day? Take a look at some of our favorite tried-and-true recipes. You’ll find everything from good old Irish-American corned beef and cabbage to authentic Irish stew.


You could whip up hearty Irish side dishes like colcannon:
 

And I-promise-to-be-good-tomorrow desserts like chocolate cheesecake laced with Irish cream:


Let’s face it—you might have a wee drop of something on St. Patrick’s Day. Might I suggest an Irish coffee? It will perk you up and mellow you out at the same time.


And should you need some recovery food the next day, an Irish-style breakfast will help you rise and shine like happy little leprechaun.


“Here’s that we may always have a clean shirt, a clean conscience, and a guinea in our pocket.”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

~Vanessa Greaves
Senior Editor, Allrecipes.com

Friday, March 2, 2012

Weekly Kitchen Insights - Recipes and Trends from Allrecipes.com

Hello! Allrecipes' data ninjas have been at it again. Here's our report outlining what's been sizzling and simmering this week in American kitchens. Raise hands if you guessed Oscar night nibbles and appetizers walked the red carpet! And the approach of St. Patrick's Day is already inspiring green sweets.

St. Patrick's Day Chocolate & Mint Cheesecake Bars, created and shared by Mis7Up, ranked number one as the most popular new recipes.

'

Bacon-Wrapped Barbecue Shrimp earned the largest increase in prints and saves for the past week.


 

The recipe with the largest increase for printed copies was Delicious Ham and Potato Soup.


The recipe with the largest increase for saves to recipe boxes was earned by Stuffed Jalapeño Firecrackers.

Posted by Matt Decuir, Business Analyst