Stephanie Vermillion

Contributing Writer

Stephanie Vermillion is a freelance writer and photographer from Cincinnati, Ohio. She covers food, beer, wildlife and travel for HowStuffWorks. When she's not writing, Stephanie spends her free time playing with her rescue pup, Harry, or sampling new craft beers — in the name of research, of course. Find her online at

Recent Contributions

What's the Difference Between Butter and Shortening?

Both are essential fats for baking, but they bring different flavors, textures and even appearances to the end product. So is one better than the other?

Must-have Bar Essentials to Make Killer Cocktails at Home

You don't have to go out to have a killer cocktail if you have a killer bar setup at home. We'll tell you exactly what you need to make it happen.

Don't Toss Those Cheese Rinds! 4 Ways You Can Totally Use Them

Those leftover cheese rinds can be valuable ingredients that you can harness into new recipes. We'll show you simple ways to use them as flavor enhancers.

Butter 101: From Sweet Cream to Cultured

All butters are not created equal. We take five different butters, including "plant-based butter" and explain what makes them different.

Plankton Is Earth's Tiniest Unsung Hero

A single-celled algae, barely visible to the eye, plankton contributes to some of the world's most important resources and is essential to the food chain that supports all life.

Dogs Are Being Trained to Sniff Out Coronavirus in Humans

We know dogs have been trained to sniff out everything from burglars to bombs. Now a group of researchers is hoping some savvy canines can help detect coronavirus, too.

Sign Language Interpreters Steal the Show During COVID-19 News Conferences

Sign language interpreters provide critical lifelines to the deaf community, especially during crises. So who exactly are these superhero signers?

Ohio Residents Fight to Give Lake Erie Legal Rights

A growing network of global activists is taking an alternative approach to saving the environment: Pushing to recognize natural ecosystems as having legal rights like humans.

How to Make a Sourdough Starter From Scratch

No yeast to bake bread? No problem. You can start baking sourdough bread in about a week once you've made your own sourdough starter. We'll tell you how.

The Right Glass Could Make Your Wine Taste Better

How much does the shape of your wineglass really affect the taste of your favorite pinot noir? Probably more than you realize.

How Will Food Pantries Meet the Demand of Coronavirus?

Food banks normally help feed people during times of need. But the coronavirus pandemic could send that need in the United States soaring to unprecedented levels.

How Chopsticks Became the Staple Utensil of Asia

Chopsticks have been in use since 1200 B.C.E. And today more than 20 percent of the world's population uses chopsticks as its primary utensil.

Get Over It! Boxed Wine Is Better Than Bottled

Boxed wines have a stigma, and we're here to tell you there's just no need for it. They taste as good, last way longer and are more eco-friendly than bottled.

What Are Single-use Plastics and Should They Be Banned?

China has joined the more than 120 countries outlawing certain types of single-use plastics, those convenient but controversial plastics we've all become so used to. What exactly are they, though, and is banning them really necessary?

Is Dry January a Recipe for February Binge?

During 'Dry January,' you give up alcohol for the month in order to detox and start the new year off right. But does it typically lead to binge drinking in February?

What Is Foie Gras, and Why Is It Being Banned?

Cities around the world are banning foie gras, the French delicacy of fattened duck liver because the labor-intensive force-feeding process is considered unethical.

Spread Holiday Cheer With a Good Mulled Beer

Forget mulled wine. This year stay warm with the spicy flavor of mulled beer!

The Art and Science of Aging Beer

We know wine collectors age their wine. But what about beer? There's a movement of beer enthusiasts dabbling in aging beer, too. Do the same rules apply?

Is That Animal Sanctuary You Want to Visit Legit?

A true animal sanctuary should provided excellent and humane care to animals for the rest of their lives. However, many operate under that guise and instead exploit the animals for profit. So how do you know if one is legit?

Is Cold-Shocking Your Body After a Sauna a Good Idea?

The Finnish people tout the therapeutic benefits of a hot sauna, followed by a cold plunge into a lake. And they would know. They're credited with starting the practice and have been doing it for centuries.