Hot Food Hacks Posts

How To: Ripen an Avocado in 10 Minutes or Less

Summer cookouts and barbecues come with a lot of delicious foods, but to me, there's nothing better than dishes heaped with avocados. From guacamole to simply eating an avocado right out of its skin, I devour this fruit constantly—but it's one that can be tricky to find perfectly ripe.

How To: The Perfect Formula for Making Any Cocktail

Like many others, I like a good cocktail every now and then, and I've always been impressed when my cocktail enthusiast friends would come up with a new drink or even just remember how to concoct a Clover Club (FYI, it's made with gin, raspberry syrup, lemon, and egg white). There's a secret bartenders and craft cocktail aficionados know, though: It's all about math, the simplest and most intoxicating math. Pythagoras would be so proud.

How To: Make Pizza Dough with Only Two Ingredients & Why It Works

Any pizza lover knows that a quality crust is crucial to the whole experience. Good pizza crust should be delicious on its own, for once you get to the edge, it will be without any toppings, sauce, or cheese to disguise a bad character. It should be redolent of fresh, good wheat and taste full-bodied, rather than flat, flabby, or metallic, the way so many big chain and frozen pizza crusts do. The exterior should be crisp, while the interior contains an airy crumb as well as having a tender, s...

How To: 8 Tricks That Make Boxed Cake Mix Taste Like Homemade

Ask ten different people how they feel about boxed cake mixes, and you'll likely get ten different answers. Some baking purists will berate them and throw them in the same category as garlic presses and knife sets sold on infomercials. Many people will say that they prefer not to use mixes, but keep one in the pantry just in case. And I dare you to find a college student that doesn't sing their praises.

Weird Ingredient Wednesday: The Banana Flower

Flowers may be beautiful, but they're not usually appetizing. Sure, nasturtiums are hip in fancy restaurants, but they're primarily used as a garnish. Granted, fried squash blossoms are incredible, but the point remains: flowers are usually reserved for looking at, not masticating.

How To: Use Up Lettuce & Other Greens Before They Go Bad (Without Making Any Salads)

I love me some salad, but I'm also kind of a big baby when it comes to eating them. The greens have to be perfectly crisp and fresh, which is why I'm such a nut about storing them properly, including rethinking how I use my refrigerator, using a paper towel or dry cloth to wrap them, or even puffing a little CO2 into the plastic bag to keep them fresh. I've even developed an arsenal of tricks to restore life to soggy greens.

How To: 10 Reasons You Need to Add Cinnamon to Your Coffee

Creamer, milk (whole or skim), sugar, or even butter—you've probably added at least one of these to your coffee to improve its taste at some point. If you're looking for something different, though, try a new twist with a dash of cinnamon. This sweet, sharp spice can do so much more than improve coffee's taste, and I've got 10 examples for you to consider.

How To: What to Do When You Don't Have a Mortar & Pestle

We're all familiar with the sinking feeling that happens when you cruise through a recipe, only to arrive at an instruction that calls for a tool you don't have. Some of the best food hacks (and my personal favorites) exist to combat that problem. Why spend money on a kitchen tool—or worse, avoid a recipe altogether—when you could find a new way to achieve the same result?

How To: 10 Easy Tricks to Make Store-Bought Pasta Sauce Taste Homemade

There's nothing better than real, homemade tomato sauce, but to really develop the flavors, it usually has to simmer for a few hours. And while it's totally worth doing if you have the time, some nights it's just not an option. That's where the pre-made stuff comes in. Jarred pasta sauce certainly doesn't taste the same, but it's really easy to dress up when you need something quick. If you don't want anyone to know your "secret recipe," here are 10 ways to make store-bought spaghetti or mari...

How To: Dehydrate Food Without a Dehydrator

I grew up in a rural town, and that meant that we dehydrated a lot of food. Even with a hungry family of five, there was no way that we could eat all of the season's tomatoes before they molded, or all of the orchard's apples before they grew soft, or all of the wild mushrooms that we picked. And so our dehydrator was always getting a good workout.

How To: Why Does a Wooden Spoon Stop Pasta from Boiling Over?

You've undoubtedly seen this trick on the internet or from your beloved Italian nonna: balance a wooden spoon across a pot of cooking pasta to prevent the water from boiling over and creating an unsightly, sticky mess all over your stovetop. It's almost magical, that's how easy it is. The most popularly held belief is that the wooden spoon prevents heat from building up too much at the center of the pot, thus preventing the liquid from boiling too high—but this is not true.

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