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TIP OF THE DAY & VIDEO: How To Make Good Espresso


It’s National Espresso Day, so trade your regular cup of java* for an espresso.

Some people are intimidated by an espresso machine. This video shows how easy it is to use one.

Espresso can only be made in an espresso machine, which exerts a specific amount of pressure on the ground coffee beans. The beans need to be an espresso roast, the darkest roast of coffee beans. The objective is a strong, pleasantly bitter shot of coffee.

You can get an espresso machine with a small footprint that will pay for itself in two weeks, assuming you purchase one espresso daily. With your own machine, you can enjoy a shot—or a double or triple shot—as often as you like, for pennies.

The Capresso espresso machine shown in the video is less than $60.00. Take a closer look at it on

What if you don’t want to buy an espresso machine? The closest cup of strong, bitter coffee is a brewed Italian roast, made in a regular coffee maker.

Find everything you want to know about espresso in our Espresso Glossary.
See all of the national food holidays.



*The Dutch began to cultivate coffee trees on Java, a large island in the Dutch East Indies, in the 17th century; hence the nickname “java” for a cup of coffee.

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It’s easy to follow a recipe and bake a delicious cake. Icing it beautifully is the challenge.

Pastry chefs practice long and hard until they perfect an absolutely smooth icing. And they learn some tricks along the way.

You can use the holiday season to practice, practice, practice. The people upon whom you bestow your homemade cakes will be thrilled, not critical.

A rotating cake stand and an angled spatula will be your two best friends.

Here’s a video demonstration on how to ice a cake from Clarice Lam of The Baking Bean, an online pastry business that delivers delicious desserts straight to your door.


The difference between frosting and icing is in the sugar:

Icing is made with confectioners’ sugar (also called icing sugar), frosting is made with granulated sugar (table sugar). The two words are often used interchangeably, but that doesn’t make it correct!



More on how to frost a cake.

Find our favorite cakes and cake recipes in our Gourmet Cakes Section.

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COOKING VIDEO: How To Make Beef Jerky


Sales of jerky and beef sticks more than quadrupled between 1995 and 2006. We don’t have statistics on homemade jerky, but given how easy it is to make, we’re surprised that more people don’t make their own—especially when there‘s a good sale on beef.

Making jerky is a great way to preserve meat when you have more than you can immediately eat. That’s why our ancestors learned to make jerky thousands of years ago! Today we’re blessed with freezers; but instead of freezing that extra meat, make jerky.

All you need are the meat, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, black pepper, red pepper flakes, onion powder, liquid smoke and honey. The equipment: just two resealable plastic bags, a cooking rack, tin foil and an oven or food dehydrator.

After you’ve made the basic recipe in this video, you can get creative with flavoring. And remember: The more tender the cut of meat you use, the more tender the jerky will be.

If you love your jerky, your friends and family will love it too. It might become your signature gift.



Find more of our favorite beef recipes.

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COOKING VIDEO: How To Make Homemade Chocolate Truffles


We just reviewed delicious honey-sweetened truffles (honey-sweetened chocolate) from Catskill Provisions as a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.

If you’d like to make your own honey truffles, Chef Alex Guaranaschelli shows you how easy it is in this video.

You may enjoy truffle making so much that you’ll have solved your year-round gift giving challenge.



The History Of Chocolate Truffles.

The Truffle Confusion: Why Other Types Of Chocolates Are Also Called Truffles.

Truffles Versus Pralines

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FOOD HOLIDAY: National Angel Food Cake Day


Calling all cake lovers: October 10th is National Angel Food Cake.

An angel food cake is a light, flourless affair made with sugar, a dozen or so egg whites, cream of tartar (which increases the heat tolerance and volume of the egg whites) plus vanilla or almond extract and salt.

It is also a gluten-free cake.

Angel food cake is generally made in a tube pan and served with berries and whipped cream. But Martha Stewart makes a much more elaborate creation, perhaps the best angel food cake recipe concept.

Watch her prepare it in this video: a two-layer angel food cake filled and iced with whipped cream and berries.

For a variation, you can substitute banana slices or pineapple for the berries. For a lemony angel food cake, substitute lemon extract for the vanilla/almond extract and add lemon zest to the whipped cream.



Find more of our favorite cakes and recipes.

See all the different cake types in our Cake Glossary.

Try this recipe for grilled angel food cake.

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