Weekend Reading: Hot Buttered Rum and Cider, Top 100 Wines, and More

A look at what we're reading, cooking, and clicking this week

Joy The Baker

• My mom has always loved hot buttered rum, while I'm more of a mulled cider gal. But I recently found the perfect compromise in this recipe for hot buttered rum and cider from Joy the Baker. I can't wait to test it out when I'm at my parents' house this Christmas—it looks so great in the picture! —Cory Baldwin

• I've been methodically making my way through Jon Bonne's Top 100 Wines in The San Francisco Chronicle, in which he concludes that "now is the best time in many years to be drinking American wine". Two hopes: 1) I'll find new delicious bottles and 2) I'll expand my wine-tasting vocabulary beyond "winey." (Note to self when drinking bubbly during the holidays: use "brioche", "bay leaf," "huckleberry pie" and "green apple kick" when the spirit moves me.) —Sophie Brickman

• It takes a lot to get me interested in eating dessert, but I love making it: the science of sweet stuff is endlessly fascinating to me. So I love the idea of taking the chemistry-experiment aspect that extra bit deeper with the Modernist Cuisine teams' 5 slightly oddball tips for making your desserts better--like brushing a pie crust with cocoa butter, or sprinkling a cake with freeze-dried raspberry powder. —Helen Rosner

• Membrillo is essential on just about every cheese plate served in my house, but I've always used the store-bought stuff before. With quince in the markets and this easy to follow recipe with step-by-step photos from Alexandra Stafford over on Food52, this weekend seems like the perfect time to make it myself. —Anna Stockwell

• I have never been seduced by the trend of "mini" foods; eating a one-inch slider makes me feel like a hulking giant while also leaving me woefully unsatisfied. But _ The Wall Street Journal's_ piece on classic cocktails served in mini portions, which keeps the drink cool and allows you to taste several without fear of imminent intoxication, sounds like the perfect holiday entertaining plan. —Maria Yagoda

• Why do we eat three square meals a day, categorized as breakfast, lunch, and dinner? BBC explains why with an eye-opening history lesson. —Anna Stockwell

• I grew up in New Hampshire, so I've got a deeply ingrained love for maple products. But for come reason, it never occurred to me that maple cream (a thick maple spread sometimes called maple butter) was something I could easily produce in my own kitchen. This video and step-by-step photo tutorial from America's Test Kitchen has me excited to try it out. —Cory Baldwin