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Vintage Recipes with Dorothy Dean

From 1935 to 1983, Dorothy Dean was the face of The Spokesman-Review's Home Economics department, publishing recipes, operating a test kitchen and fielding thousands of telephone calls from cooks.

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A&E >  Dining

Dining out is expensive. Here are five suggestions to make a night out easier on your wallet

The sheer convenience of eating away from home – No dishes to wash! The hope of leftovers! – helps keep restaurants busy, although uncertain economic times inevitably lead to some changed behaviors. Customers might opt to pick up food instead of having it delivered, cut back on the number of times they visit restaurants or trade down. If flush times found you at the Palm, down ones might see you at Outback Steakhouse.

A&E >  Food

With food prices still high, here are five things you can do to save money in the kitchen

UPDATED: Wed., Sept. 21, 2022

Eat at home instead of dining out. Cook from scratch rather than buying packaged foods. Those are two pieces of advice you will hear if you ask for ways to cut food costs. The issue then becomes how to balance the money you’ll save against the time you’ll sacrifice. Grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning all take time – even if you are making a 30-minute recipe from the pantry.
A&E >  Food

Prosecutors allege an inside job. The target? Rare bourbon.

UPDATED: Tue., Sept. 20, 2022

Rob Adams allegedly promised bourbon fans something most could not get: easy access to the good stuff.The nation has been on a decade-long bourbon binge, making the rarest bottles increasingly unobtainable. Aficionados drive cross-country, shell out thousands and have even traded boats for brown water."Right now my group members know exactly where Weller 107 is going to be dropping Monday and Tuesday. No one else knows this but me," Adams teased members of a bourbon group on Facebook in a message obtained by The Washington Post. "I have inside sources. . .I'm offering 100% moneyback guarantee."The price for details about which state-run liquor stores in Virginia would get the hot bottle? $20 a month, according to the Facebook post.It was, prosecutors allege, a true inside job.In an unusual criminal case unfolding outside Richmond, a former employee of the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) has admitted to working with Adams to sell distribution information that would allow bourbon fans to scoop up the limited supply of choice bottles.Adams, 45, has been charged with embezzlement and other felonies. His attorney said his client did nothing illegal. The ABC employee, Edgar Garcia, 28, pleaded guilty Monday to illegally copying government data, telling a judge he was "deeply sorry." Garcia received a suspended sentence.The alleged scheme has exposed just how frenzied the hunt has become for the rarest bourbon. Collectors say big money can be made by reselling bottles on a booming - sometimes wild - black market, where prices can reach three, five or 10 times the shelf price.Greed, scams and occasionally crime have become part of that world. Distillery employees filched more than $100,000 of the most famous name in rare bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle, to resell, a 2013 caper that has been dubbed "Pappygate." Other scofflaws are refilling empty premium bottles with cheap hooch and passing them off as the real thing.A class of profiteers, known as flippers, are buying out stocks of elusive names with no intention of consuming them. They're looking to make a quick buck - or a thousand - by illegally hawking them on private social media pages, the back alleys of the bourbon scene. Fans are hoarding, worried about when their next score might come."There's a joke that no one actually drinks the bourbon anymore. That's not quite true," said Aaron Goldfarb, an author who has chronicled bourbon's rise. But then he paused. "I did write a story this year about a guy who spent $400,000 on bourbon and he's sober."- - -The hunt for rare bourbon had reached a fever pitch in Virginia.One fan described camping out for nearly 24 hours outside a liquor store for a shot at a bottle of George T. Stagg bourbon last November. The man and his friends set up tents and chairs and wrapped the entire camp with plastic to ward off a 15-degree chill.Others said they hired bourbon "mules" to stand in line before stores opened, or followed delivery trucks from store to store to get the first shot at whatever was inside.It was in this world that prosecutors allege Adams and Garcia made their plan last fall. At the time, the ABC, which has the sole authority to sell liquor in Virginia, used an internal list that laid out which stores would get which rare bottles. It was essentially a road map to the best stuff.David Stock, an assistant Commonwealth's Attorney in Henrico County who is handling the case, alleged in an interview Garcia and Adams met in social media bourbon groups.The investigation concluded Adams learned that Garcia was an employee at the ABC, Stock said. As a retail specialist making $16.53 an hour, Stock said Garcia had access to the internal list guiding the distribution of Angel's Envy Cask Strength, Old Fitzgerald 17-year Bottled in Bond, WhistlePig 18-year Double Malt Rye and other sought-after bottles."They said, 'Why don't we make a little money on the side,' " Stock alleged in an interview.Stock said during Monday's hearing that Adams paid Garcia $600 for access to the list and promised him bottles of alcohol.Adams set up a private Facebook page, where he is accused of distributing the list for a fee, Stock said in an interview. The price for access varied, but Stock alleged it hovered around $300.Bourbon fans said Adams aggressively marketed the exclusive information, posting about it in a number of Facebook groups where bottles are bought and resold.Stock said he found 25 members who joined the group, but Adams claimed to have 96, who were paying $400 each for access to the list at one point just months after the enterprise launched, according to a screenshot of a social media post by Adams obtained by The Post. If accurate, that would add up to nearly $40,000.Vaughan Jones, an attorney for Adams, said his client did distribute the list, but did not commit a crime because he had no legal obligation to keep the information secret."My client was never an employee of ABC," Jones said. "He never accessed the information. He was just giving it out."Adams appeared unconcerned about getting caught.He claimed he had an "insider" at the ABC - on the ABC's own Facebook page - and wrote in another Facebook message he was "untouchable.""There is absolutely nothing abc or anyone can do to me for selling the info," Adams wrote in a third Facebook message obtained by The Post. "My insider won't get caught either."That brazenness would come back to haunt him.- - -The frothy market that allowed the alleged scheme to thrive had been building for more than 10 years, as bourbon shed its stodgy reputation as a tipple for granddad.Experts point to a host of factors driving what some are calling the "bourbon boom," from the rise of craft food and drink culture and a renewed interest in cocktails to the influences of "Mad Men" and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who declared his love for Pappy on a show in 2012."If God made bourbon, this is what he'd make," Bourdain gushed.U.S. whiskey sales have nearly doubled since 2010, according to the Distilled Spirits Council. Since 2016, top-of-the-line brands have seen their profits surge by nearly 130 percent, according to the council. Distillers' revenue is approaching $5 billion a year.But rabid fans have a problem. Premium bourbons take years or even decades to age, meaning producers can't simply pump out more to meet the rocketing demand. One collector recently lamented: "Quite simply, the world is nearly out of old whiskey."From that dynamic, a robust black market grew.Enter Owen Powell.In 2014, Powell was hanging out with a friend who had bought a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 12-year for $35, he said. Powell recalled his friend casually mentioning he could resell it online for $100. Powell was intrigued and soon jumped into the black market with both feet.It's illegal to sell liquor without a license in most places, but authorities initially paid little attention to bourbon resales on Facebook. Powell created a group called BSM (Bourbon Secondary Market) and began a meteoric rise to become the Warren Buffett of the bourbon black market.BSM had more than 55,000 members and had become a freewheeling hub for trading and reselling bourbon in just a few years. Powell said the page was averaging 100 transactions a day with an average price of $200 per bottle. Prices kept climbing.Powell said some traded guns for bourbon (a practice he said he quickly banned), while others closed deals with boats. He said he was blown away by a $50,000 transaction for a bourbon collection, until he saw another go for $100,000."I had a guy message me to tell me he needed to have his wife kicked out of the group because he was getting ready to get a divorce and wanted to unload his bottles for cash," Powell said. "He didn't want his wife to know how much his collection was worth."Craziness followed the cash.Adam Herz, a bourbon fan and Hollywood screenwriter who penned the "American Pie" script, said he noticed something curious around 2016. Empty Pappy Van Winkle bottles were going for big money on eBay."Literal pieces of garbage would sell for $200," Herz said.Each bottle was individually numbered, so Herz jotted a bunch down one day and then surfed over to Facebook pages where bourbon was being resold. Within five minutes, he said he found one of the numbered empty bottles. It had been refilled, resealed and was being sold as new.Herz stumbled upon a counterfeiter and alerted fans in the bourbon community. Hunting refillers would become a second job for Herz. By day he was a Hollywood player, but in his spare time he searched the web for counterfeiters, documenting his investigations in forensic detail on Facebook.Facebook shut down BSM and a host of other pages where bourbon was being resold in 2019, saying they violated bans on alcohol sales. Powell went on to open a bourbon bar and bottle shop in Kentucky.Facebook's move came shortly before 46 attorneys general asked Facebook, eBay and Craigslist to stop alcohol sales on their sites in October 2019, saying underage drinkers were buying liquor on them and counterfeit bottles were being sold.The move chilled the bourbon black market for a time, but new resale groups soon began to pop up on Facebook again, including the ones where Adams was flogging his alleged scheme to sell access to the ABC list.- - -Something strange was going on at Virginia's liquor stores earlier this year. Stock said people were walking into stores and telling employees exactly which bottles their location was getting."People were wondering: How did they get that?" Stock said in an interview.At the same time, the ABC had been monitoring some Facebook bourbon groups and became concerned that someone was leaking privileged ABC information, Stock said. The ABC also said in a statement it received tips from the public about the alleged scheme.ABC agents launched an investigation, Stock said, creating fake Facebook profiles and using $300 in state funds to join Adams's group to collect evidence this spring, roughly six months after the alleged scheme launched. Adams and Garcia were indicted in June.Adams is scheduled for a jury trial in December.Dawn Eischen, a spokeswoman for the ABC, said in a statement the ABC did away with its list and moved to a system of randomly distributing rare bottles to stores and announcing the drops on Facebook to "ensure that every customer has a fair chance at acquiring highly sought-after products."The chase continues.Fans say under the new system the best bottles sometimes sell out five or 10 minutes after hitting the shelves in some of the state's roughly 400 liquor stores. Many take to the state ABC page on Facebook to celebrate triumphs or vent about their inability to score.One described the dash to stores when bottles drop as "Cannonball Run," referring to the '80s movie about a madcap car race. Another said a fistfight erupted outside a store and a third described how a car hit a concrete barrier as the driver rushed to make a buy."I've seen people squealing tires into the parking lot and running into the stores," said Clint Spivey, a bourbon fan from Virginia Beach. "It's like a swarm."Few think a couple of arrests in the state will put much of a dent in the black market for bourbon. Blake Riber, who runs the popular blog Bourbonr, said bourbon fans have grown to accept its existence as long as demand outstrips supply for the best bottles. Bourbon has become another asset like bitcoin, pork bellies or NFTs."It's a beast that won't be tamed anytime soon," Riber said of the black market.
A&E >  Food

The story behind the wine created by Mariners pitcher Marco Gonzales and his wife

Seattle Mariners pitcher Marco Gonzales and his wife, Monica, are getting into the wine business – for a good cause. The couple unveiled a new venture during a news conference at T-Mobile Park last week – a limited edition wine they created in honor of Gonzales’s mother-in-law, Linda Zender, who died last year from multiple system atrophy.
A&E >  Food

‘Pumpkin spice,’ ‘banh mi’ among food words added to Merriam-Webster

UPDATED: Thu., Sept. 8, 2022

Pumpkin spice has officially arrived. As grocery shelves were filling with orange-hued packages bearing all sorts of products featuring the flavor, we wrote last week that the category had matured well past flash-in-the-baking-pan to cultural phenomenon to . . . just another food flavor, alongside the likes of stalwarts such as strawberry and vanilla.Now, there's further confirmation: Merriam-Webster on Wednesday added the phrase, along with 369 others, to its dictionary, marking pumpkin spice's full assimilation into the language. It's defined as "a mixture of usually cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and often allspice that is commonly used in pumpkin pie," per the entry, for those who somehow have avoided grocery shopping or coffee shops for the past decade.Pumpkin spice is among a list of food-related words added to the dictionary this year, alongside zeitgeisty ones such as "side hustle" and "supply chain" and slang like "sus" and "lewk." The newly inaugurated terms speak to broader trends in the way we eat. There's "oat milk" and "plant-based," revealing a collective interest in foods that don't rely on animal products. "Sessionable" is a word we've heard a lot recently, with people seeking out lower-alcohol beers, wines and other drinks that let imbibers sip all afternoon without crashing. And an increasing familiarity with the foods of varied cultures means that "omakase," "birria," "ras el hanout," "mojo" and "banh mi" made the list.Some of these might seem to a reader to be everyday words that long ago should have been recognized as such. But Merriam-Webster editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski notes that not everyone gets exposed to the same words at the same time. "Banh mi might seem so familiar to you, and there will be people who will be saying that you'd have to have been living under a rock not to know what it is, but there will be others who might encounter it for the first time on our list," he says.And for people who shop at Whole Foods or who are familiar with vegan culture, he notes, "plant-based" might be old hat - but that's not everyone. Now that the phrase is being widely used in commercial products, he says, it belongs in the dictionary: "We're seeing it on labels - and talk about a mass audience for text, for words."Labels are just one place the editors look to see what words are being used. They monitor social media and user-generated text, but they pay close attention to "sites and publications with wide national readership," according to an explainer of how words are chosen."Every word has to grow into itself," Sokolowski says. Some words can almost instantly become part of our vocabulary - think of "covid" and "coronavirus" - while others take longer (the first documented use of "pumpkin spice," for example, is 1931; "ras el hanout" was seen in English publication as far back as 1875.)Another example of a food becoming more widespread is birria: As our colleague Tim Carman noted last year, the rich, chile-heated Mexican stew was once little-known in the Washington area. But it "became an instant celebrity during the pandemic as our phones and Instagram accounts served as lifelines to the outside world," he wrote. Now you can find it on menus - in tacos, burritos and even ramen - across the city and surrounding area.Sokolowski notes that food terms are one of the biggest sources of the English language "borrowing" from other languages. And in modern times, it's more likely that a word will retain its original spelling and pronunciation, whereas in the last century, there was a tendency for those words to be Anglicized. "The English language has an amazing capacity to absorb words just like the culture incorporates different foods," he says.
A&E >  Food

5 meals you could cook in a college dorm

Sometimes, after a long day, when the energy I have left for cooking only extends to hitting a few buttons and waiting, I think back to my college days. But, alas, humans cannot live on ramen alone. So, in the spirit of low-effort dining and quick meals for busy college students, here are five meals you could make with a few ingredients in a dorm room microwave or toaster.
A&E >  Cooking

Snow skin mooncakes make my Mid-Autumn Festival celebration sweeter

I never considered myself a picky eater, but when traditional Chinese holidays rolled around, I wanted little to do with the customary foods. Zong zi with peanuts for the Dragon Boat Festival? Only a nibble to appease Grandma. Mooncakes for the Mid-Autumn Festival? No way. I’d rather have mochi ice cream!
A&E >  Food

Frozen yogurt bark with fruit is a refreshing, no-cook treat

When the viral videos for frozen yogurt bark started popping up on my TikTok and Instagram feeds, I was intrigued but skeptical. Could this idea really be as easy and tasty as it looked in the 15-second clips? Too often I’ve found such trendy recipes to have a hiccup that makes them problematic.
A&E >  Food

His medium, salted butter. His craft, sublime.

In August 2020, the pandemic left the Minnesota State Fair’s veteran butter sculptor, Linda Christensen, stranded at her home in California. The fair that summer had been canceled, but the dairy chiseling would go on. After decades sculpting the fair’s dairy princesses, she knew of only one artist who could take her place: her apprentice, Gerry Kulzer.