Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Allrecipes' Infographic About Grilling is Smokin'!

It’s hot! Allrecipes.com just fired up the grill and created an awesome infographic with lots fun facts and clever images. Check it out and discover what Allrecipes' grill-happy home cooks are cooking outdoors this summer. Bet it's going to make you want to light a fire!

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Weekly Kitchen Insights – Recipes and Trends from Allrecipes.com

Wow! I have to give a shout out this week to Chef John of Food Wishes video recipes! His Caramel Chicken and Banana Bread recipes were over the top for page views and prints. Allrecipes cooks know an awesome recipe when they see one! They tagged a brand-new spaghetti sauce recipe too, giving it lots of page views, prints and recipe box saves.

I can also say summer is definitely here. That’s because everyone was looking for pasta salads this week. Getting ready for Memorial Day weekend cookouts and barbecues, of course! Or a dish to take camping, maybe?

Chef John’s Caramel Chicken had the biggest increase in page views

Chef John's Caramel Chicken - Yum!
Chef John’s Banana Bread had the biggest increase in prints

Always a favorite! Chef John's Banana Bread

Mama’ Polamba’s Spaghetti Sauce was the top new recipe

Mama' Polamba's Spaghetti Sauce

• All seven of the recipes in the May 17th What’s Cooking newsletter featuring—you guessed it! – 7 Easy Pasta Salad Recipes – and were among the top performers this past week

Everyone's favorite summer salad - Pasta!

Omi’s Cucumber Salad, an easy, affordable summer salad, had the biggest increase in saves

Omi's Cucumber Salad

As a bonus this week, here are the Top 5 fastest growing search terms on the site, based on what cooks looked for once they came to Allrecipes. I see this list as another signal it’s officially summer!

1. Camping
2. Pasta salads
3. Tortellini salad
4. Cake pops
5. Summer salad

Enjoy the long weekend everyone, and eat well!

Posted by Matt Decuir, Business Analyst

Allrecipes Measuring Cup Trend Report - May 2012

Grilling in the U.S.A. - Sizzling Stats and Trends

INSIGHT 1: Grilling – A year-round cooking method for half of American families.
Grilling is no longer limited to the summer season; half of American households now grill year-round, with 92% grilling at home.* Busy families appreciate the convenience, variety, speed and healthier food options grilling offers compared with traditional stove-top or oven cooking methods.

Grilling Frequency Among American households

INSIGHT 2: Gas is the top grilling method, while charcoal/wood is the fastest growing in terms of popularity.
71% of American households use gas grills. However, charcoal/wood grills have rebounded over the past six years—up 78%, likely due to enhanced flavor and the growing interest in smoked foods. An electric indoor grill (e.g. George Foreman) is used by 15% of households.

INSIGHT 3: Steak replaces chicken as the top choice for grilling.
In 2012, the most popular food for grilling is steak—preferred by nearly four out of five households. This is a shift from just two years ago when chicken was the top choice. Other food types experiencing growth include fish, pork, hot dogs and hamburgers.

Top Foods for Grilling


Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Blue-Cheese Chive Butter

INSIGHT 4: Favorite grilling recipes around the U.S.
Regional food preferences show up fast when grilling recipes across the country are compared.

Popular Grilling Recipes Across the U.S.

INSIGHT 5: 25% of the top grilling recipes are for vegetables.
Six of the top 25 grilling recipes in 2011 were for grilled vegetables—asparagus, corn-on-the-cob and veggie burgers—while 10 featured chicken.

10. Naan

Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob
Marinated Grilled Shrimp
Scott Hibb's Amazing Whiskey-Grilled Baby Back Ribs

INSIGHT 6: Top 10 grilling search terms in 2012.
A look at grilling search terms trending upwards this year reflects consumers’ interest in varied, easy-to-prepare foods. (Source: Hitwise, 4 weeks ending 5/19/2012 compared with 5/21/2011.)

1. Grilled artichokes
2. Grilled pork chops
3. Grilled shrimp
4. Grilled corn
5. Grilled chicken
6. Grilled salmon
7. Grilled pineapple
8. Grilled mahi mahi
9. Grilled onions
10. Grilled potatoes

Grilled Salmon with Grilled Asparagus

INSIGHT 7: Why home cooks love to grill.

INFOGRAPHIC FUN! For more grill thrills, check out this awesome infographic recapping stats and info about grilling!
BONUS: Searches for smoked foods are up 40% YOY.
Recipe searches for smoked ribs, smoked turkey, smoked pork chops, smoked sausages and other meats are up compared with 2011, with smoked ribs and smoked turkey showing the largest increase. (Source: Hitwise, 4 rolling weeks ending 5/5/2012 compared with 5/7/2011.)

* Unless otherwise noted, data in this report is from the 2012 Grilling Trends Survey hosted on Allrecipes.com April 12-16, 2012, with participation from 743 U.S.-based respondents. No incentives were used to reward or incent participation.
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, multiplatform 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:
Judith H. Dern
Senior Communications Manager
(206) 436-7442

Friday, May 18, 2012

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

A lot of moms were served eggs Benedict on Mother’s Day! Page views for this term jumped dramatically last week compared with the previous week, based on searches both leading to and within Allrecipes.com. There are a zillion stories out there about the origin of this breakfast and brunch favorite but for sure, it’s an American original. The tale heard most often is that in the 1860s, Mr. and Mrs. Benedict , who were regulars at the famous New York resto named Delmonico’s, complained there was nothing new on the menu. The chef heard their complaint—and the result: Eggs Benedict. How’s that for consumer power?!

OK, that’s your food history lesson for today. Here’s the low-down on the week’s top recipes.
  • Pineapple Picnic Cake was the top new recipe last week. I’m definitely asking my girlfriend to make this one! Yum!
This is one luscious looking Pineapple Picnic Cake! (photo by Martha)
Dig in for a taste of Crispy Fried Chicken (photo by Bittersweet)
Fried chicken bliss x three! Triple-Dipped Fried Chicken (photo by Jadedgurl)
Garlic Chicken Fried Chicken has it all! (photo by wolfgibb)
Country Apple Dumplings are a must for every home cook (photograph by Shalaine_1)
Fluffy French Toast ready for a knife and fork (photograph by Susanne)
Enjoy! Here’s to another delicious week of home-cooked meals and treats!

Posted by Matt Decuir, Business Analyst

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hipp, Hipp, Hurra! The World’s Second Largest Parade Celebrating Norway Happens in Seattle

Some of Allrecipes’ talented staff members are passionate about other parts of the planet, so when a big holiday comes up in their favorite country, it’s the perfect time to share the love, along with special recipes! This week, it’s ‘Syttende Mai’ for the Norway lovers in the group!

Confession: A few of us at Allrecipes adore Norway’s brown goat cheese. It’s called gjetøst in Norwegian (pronounced “yiet-oast”) and it’s sold in big blocks that look like bricks. You shave off paper-thin slices using a cheese plane, a handy tool invented by clever Norwegians (who also invented the paper clip and the Evinrude outboard motor). Slightly sweet, slices can top heart-shaped waffles or crisp rye flatbread.

Heart-shaped waffles topped with Norwegian goat cheese
We’re all about Norway this week because Thursday, May 17th, is Syttende Mai, or the Seventeenth of May, Norway’s largest national holiday (after Christmas). The date commemorates the signing of Norway’s constitution in 1814, when Norway was declared an independent nation after centuries of Swedish and Danish rule. Norway officially became independent in 1905, in what is one of the world’s only peaceful transitions of power.

All over Norway on May 17th, in every town small and large, there are parades of school children and adults carrying Norway’s flag with its red, blue and white cross—along with marching bands and countless speeches by dignitaries. What is most significant about Syttende Mai (pronounced “Soot-n-duh My”) is its non-military aspect. By involving children, the holiday looks to the future while honoring the past and Norwegian history. In Oslo, the parade begins at the royal palace with Norway’s royal family waving from a balcony as throngs of marchers swirl past and walk down the city’s main street past the Parliament buildings.

Given Seattle’s Nordic immigrant history, particularly in its Ballard neighborhood, May 17th is a really big deal—and has been since 1889. The neighborhood hosts a day-long Syttende Mai Festival with a luncheon at the local Sons of Norway Lodge, kids’ activities, concerts, and at 6:00PM, the largest Syttende Mai parade outside of Norway, with more than 100 participating groups watched by 20,000+ spectators. If you have any Norwegian or Viking genes, you have to be there! We always end up going, sitting on the curb to watch the sights and grabbing a pølser (Norwegian-style hot dog) wrapped in lefse, traditional wheat or potato flatbread. (The style depends on which region of Norway the cook is from.)

Rita and Allie Spangler at Ballard's Syttende Mai parade

Some of the smallest Norwegian-Americans in the Ballard Syttende Mai parade
Allrecipes cooks have shared 252 Scandinavian recipes on the site. (Check out the top 20 here.) For a taste of Norway in May, we’re sharing some of our favorites. Try waffles with gjetøst (the Ski Queen brand in a red wrapper is sold in most major supermarkets) or topped with spoonfuls of raspberry or strawberry jam and whipped cream. Norwegians love sweets, so everyone adores treats such as pannekaken or crêpe-like pancakes, thin cookies like krumkake made using an iron. Main dishes can be from the sea or the farm. In southwest Norway, hearty lamb dishes such as farikal and caraway-seasoned cabbage testify to the country’s farming heritage. Farther north along the fjord-etched coast, cod and salmon—often salted and cured as gravlox—are favorites.

Traditional Norwegian potato lefse  
Norwegian krumkake
Gravlox served as an open-face sandwich
As they say in Norway--and Ballard--on Syttende Mai, “Gratulerer med dagen!” (Congratulations of the day!)
Rita Spangler
Judith Dern
Sonja Groset

Friday, May 11, 2012

Weekly Kitchen Insights - Recipes and Trends from Allrecipes.com

Mint juleps and margaritas were HUGE last week! Of course, that’s because of the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo. That totally cool Mexican-inspired holiday even had its own holiday page on Allrecipes. (Love the "how to" video there for making fish tacos! Take a look! It's just what I needed to try making these.) May 5th festivities also made a chicken enchilada recipe the week’s top new recipe. And let’s hear it for chili! There were 6 Championship Chili Recipes in Allrecipes’ What’s Cooking newsletter so they got extra attention. Lots of cooks must be updating their recipe boxes!

Pantry Raid Chicken Enchilada Casserole was the top new recipe last week. (It needs a photo. Hint, hint!)

Margaritas, Debdoozie’s Blue Ribbon Chili, and Mint Juleps were the week’s three most popular recipes based on week-over-week changes in page views
A classic mint julep in its traditional silver cup
A perfect Margarita to celebrate Cinco de Mayo
Debdoozie’s Blue Ribbon Chili, Boilermaker Tailgate Chili and Flatlander Chili were the top three recipes based on week-over-week change in both prints and saves

A bowl of Debdoozie's Blue Ribbon Chili
It doesn't get much better: Boilermaker Tailgate Chili
Flatlander Chili - so good, it's almost gone!
Did you make something new for Cinco de Mayo? Tell me about it! After writing this post, I'm really hungry!

Posted by Matt Decuir, Business Analyst

Friday, May 4, 2012

Weekly Kitchen Insights - Recipes and Trends from Allrecipes.com

With Cinco de Mayo celebrations being planned for the big day tomorrow, I was acutally surprised we didn't see more Mexican food on the list this week! We did see one clear standout, with Chef John's homemade Flour Tortillas as the #1 new recipe receiving thousands of page views, prints and saves! Way to go Chef John...good timing!

Also on the list are two kinds of macaroni and cheese, a simple and delicious take on cheesecake and Jamaican burgers - veggie style. Read on to see the dishes on America's tables this week!

  • Chef John's Flour Tortillas were the #1 new recipe this week . Check out the video below to discover how easy it is to make a delicious homemade tortilla with only a few ingredients! 

  • Sopapilla Cheesecake Pie by CandelB had the second largest increase in page views. An easy recipe made with a packaged crescent roll like Pillsbury Crescent Roll, this cinnamon and honey drizzled dish is perfect for a Cinco de Mayo potluck!

  • Jamaican Burgers by Hannah had the second highest increase in prints this week. A veggie burger with black beans, rice, ginger root and allspice, this dish is unique and delicious with 4 1/2 stars from Allrecipes' home cooks.

I don't know about you, but I'll be topping off my Cinco de Mayo dinner with a delicious Margarita so it should be a good weekend! Olé!

Posted by Matt Decuir, Business Analyst 

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta (With Margaritas!)

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I’m planning a party—regardless of whether I’m going big or small—I always enjoy myself a little more when I’ve had an entire day to gear up, and another day to wind down. So, with Cinco de Mayo landing on a Saturday this year, it’s the perfect time to plan a fiesta.

And big or small, sit-down dinner or mix ‘n’ mingle, we’ve got you covered. Check out our Cinco de Mayo page for cheesy small bites like nachos and quesadillas (that go great with margaritas) as well as crowd-pleasing one-dish dinners like enchiladas and burritos (which, incidentally, also go great with margaritas). Oh, and we’ve also got recipes for those margaritas I mentioned.

Get all of our best Cinco de Mayo recipes now for a delicious fiesta! (And don’t be surprised if I show up on your doorstep, expecting a margarita.)

--Mackenzie Schieck, Editor, Allrecipes.com

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Computers and Cellos: Barb Antonio Composes Her Life

Allrecipes.com is a community of amazingly talented people, from the thousands of home cooks who visit the site everyday and share their cooking passions, to the staff who keeps the website vibrant and active. A key person on the behind-the-screen team is Barb Antonio, Allrecipes’ vice president of technology. Along with keeping the IT group functioning seamlessly to make the site look good and operate flawlessly, after hours she’s a cellist with a career spanning two continents. And she’s really, really good! 

Music has always been part of my life. Growing up in Cincinnati, I played classical piano from age five to twenty, and started learning the cello when I was nine. I majored in classical cello performance for one year in college, but at that time I decided to change direction and get a degree in English Literature instead, quitting music completely for a few years. I did a brief stint in grad school for English and then worked in book retail for several years.

One night I went to hear Nigel Kennedy, the British classical violinist, perform with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. His performance, which brought a punk rock spirit to his classical music, was a real inspiration and really made me miss playing music. That very same night I went to the local Laundromat-bar called Sudsy Malone’s to see a popular band play their “farewell” show. I talked to the lead singer after the show and mentioned that I used to play the cello. He said he was starting a new band and that cello was one of his favorite instruments, and he had always wanted to try working a cello into a rock band. Lightning struck, and thus was the beginning of our band Roundhead, a rocking indie band with experimental progressive overtones. We had a decade-long career, releasing two full-length albums and opening for all kinds of acts, from the likes of Matchbox 20 and Howard Jones to that of Marilyn Manson and Joan Jett. Playing rock cello was a really different musical endeavor for me – as a classical musician, you’re generally playing what someone else wrote….usually someone long dead that you can’t talk to! In this new realm I had to come up with my own parts and really listen to what everyone else was playing. Both kinds of playing are valuable and inspiring, and both have become a tremendous creative outlet in my life.

After my second gig (again at the Laundromat-bar!), I met Martin Atkins, an early collaborator with Sex Pistol’s front-man Johnny Rotten in the band Public Image Ltd., who was at that time leading and touring with the industrial rock “super group” called Pigface. He saw me play and asked me to get on their tour bus the very next morning to play a show in Cleveland. And so I took that leap, hopped on that bus, learned a few songs at sound check and played to a sold-out audience that night. Over the next couple of years I played on two of their albums and did a full eight-week tour with them in 1992. As it turns out, TWO current Allrecipes employees actually saw me play in Seattle that year! After that I had the privilege of playing on three albums with the Afghan Whigs (including their fabulous 1993 major label debut Gentlemen), and in 1996-7 I got to spend the year touring with them in support of their album Black Love, getting amazing gigs such as opening Neil Young in Madison Square Garden and appearing on the David Letterman Show.

Barb Antonio playing with Cobirds Unite

Along the way in Cincinnati, I got into corporate management for bookstores, but stopped doing that and started taking computer classes. I was hired as a programmer and loved it, mostly learning on the job. When 2000 rolled around, I played my last concert of the year and moved to Seattle the next day. Music had originally brought me to Seattle for performing and recording, which started my love affair with this city, and the tech boom gave me the opportunity to make it my home. The Internet frenzy was in full swing, and I signed on as web developer for Rocky Mountain Internet. I joined Allrecipes later in 2000 as a web developer, and within a few years I was heading up the software development team. It’s been the perfect place to work because my other passion is cooking—and eating! On the site I’m called “Always Cooking Up Something,” and you can find several of my recipes, including Salmon Rosemary Burgers, zesty Fiesta Slaw, and another for a quick bread using spiced-wine soaked raisins and almonds, leftovers from Norwegian glögg.

Allrecipes kept me busy, and I didn’t play the cello again until 2006, when I decided to get back into music. I started looking for people to play with – both rock and classical – and pretty much said “yes” to every opportunity that came my way. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends ever since!

For the most part, I feel like I’ve gotten to have my cake and eat it, too. Now after work days at Allrecipes I play with one of the handful of groups I’m in, including The Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra, Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands, Half Light (three of whose members work at Allrecipes), Rusty Willoughby/Cobirds Unite, Visqueen, or Whiting Tennis. In 2009, I took a sabbatical and traveled to Florence, Italy, and Provence, playing chamber music with groups I’d researched in advance, and having my first cello lesson in 20 years from an L.A.-based teacher who just happened to be doing a seminar in a tiny hilltop town near Florence. This spring, I’m headed across the Atlantic again for a series of concerts with Maggie Bjorklund, a Danish musician who plays the pedal steel guitar. Can’t wait! And if that isn’t enough, I’ve just taken up electric bass, which I play in the band Gibraltar.

Barb Antonio in concert with Maggie Borklund
My advice: “If you want to do something like this, get used to getting through your day without a lot of sleep!”

5/9 De Unie, Rotterdam, Netherlands, with Maggie Bjorklund
5/11 Botanique, Brussels, Belgium, with Maggie Bjorklund
5/12 De Zwerver, Ostend, Belgium, with Maggie Bjorklund
5/13 Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands, with Maggie Bjorklund
5/20 Meany Hall, Seattle with Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra
6/2 Tractor Tavern, Seattle, with Cobirds Unite
6/6 Sunset Tavern, Seattle, with Whiting Tennis
6/7 Comet Tavern, Seattle, with Gibraltar
6/8 Mars Bar, Seattle, with Half Light
6/28 Rat and Raven, Seattle, with Half Light

-- Barb Antonio

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Making Mom’s Day

One Mother’s Day long ago, I wanted to surprise my mom by baking homemade pecan rolls for breakfast. The recipe called for eight refrigerator biscuits, but the package held ten. So my mom asked me what I did with the other two biscuits—judging from the look on her face, “I threw them away” wasn’t the right answer.

Now I’m the mom, and I can tell you firsthand that I appreciate the simple things on Mother’s Day. Homemade cards, quiet time in my garden, and meals I don’t have to cook myself. (Hint, hint!) And if things go a little sideways in the kitchen, just hide the evidence.

For all the kids and spouses and friends who want to spoil the moms, here are some easy recipes you can make for Mother’s Day.

You’ll find ideas for breakfast in bed, springtime brunches, and special dinners. (Seriously—fighting restaurant crowds on Mother’s Day is not a recipe for relaxation.)

We’ve pulled together easy-to-make, classic Mother’s Day favorites like Old-Fashioned Pancakes. (Bonus: The recipe comes with must-see video giving you great tips for the fluffiest pancakes.)

For the littlest cooks, here’s a super simple Yogurt Parfait they can spoon together for mom. And it’s healthy!

Feeling a bit more ambitious? Try this wow-worthy brunch dish: Savory Bacon & Crab Bread Pudding Benedict. Yes, it looks totally impressive, but this video shows you how easy it is to make.

Mother’s Day dinner doesn’t have to be fancy. Maybe steaks on the grill, or quick, easy, and colorful Pork Chops with Fresh Tomato, Onion, Garlic, and Feta.

For dessert? You could take advantage of all the fresh strawberries in season right now and whip up this beautiful Strawberry Cheesecake.

And who doesn’t love cookies? These rolled sugar cookies make a great homemade gift from the kids:

You’ll find more recipes, menus, videos, and inspiration in our special Mother’s Day feature.

Wishing you all a very happy Mother’s Day!

Vanessa Greaves
Senior Editor