Fresh herbs are a surefire way to enhance a dish, but buying them at the store each time you need them is costly. Luckily, growing your own herbs is a lot easier than it seems: You can even using cuttings from the herbs you already buy to start your own little herb garden.
Squiche, also known as a sweet quiche, is the newest trend to hit the brunch table. For those who are not familiar with this delectable dessert, it's a close cousin to a custard tart, but less sweet and with the density of a savory quiche. It's also really simple to make—in whatever flavor you desire.
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...
The headline above may have some spice addicts shaking their heads, but, believe it or not, there are people out there who either don't like or can't handle a ton of spice.
A fire snake, also referred to as a black snake or sugar snake, is a classic science experiment you can do right in your own kitchen using a baking soda and sugar mixture and a fuel to ignite the reaction.
Without a doubt, sushi is one of my favorite foods—dainty and delectable, while also fun to make. So let's get started with maki rolls, aka makizushi, probably the most iconic form of sushi. You know, the one filled with rice and your standard sushi ingredients, rolled up in a sheet of dried seaweed.
Many home cooks were taught never to press down on a burger as it cooks since that would ruin your all-beef patty by getting it to release the juices it needs to stay tender and moist.
You have warm toast, but your butter is chilled to a rock-solid state. Sure, you could warm a bit of that butter up in a microwave before spreading, but chances are you're just as impatient as the rest of us, so you slap that frigid butter on and hope for the best. It always ends up the same, though.
One of the best qualities about fresh bread (such as sourdough) is a thick, crispy crust—which is easy to create in a commercial oven, but can be tricky for home cooks to replicate. Luckily, the the trick to baking a professional-style crust is a simple one—just bake your loaf with steam using one of these three methods to achieve the perfect, crispy crust.
Hummus seems like it should be easy to make, but creating that ideal creamy consistency can be pretty difficult. Often it comes out too chunky, which means your hummus won't be good for dipping into. Luckily, there is one trick that will help you create the creamiest consistency and make you never want to go near store-bought hummus again: add baking soda.
Everyone talks about how great sliced bread is, but there's nothing better than the taste of a just-baked loaf of crusty French bread. Like most beautiful things in life, however, the beauty of the baguette doesn't last. The next day, it's rock-hard, and good for very little except for croutons or breadcrumbs. But there is a trick to make it like fresh again.
We like our Egg McMuffins around here, albeit homemade with our preferred ingredients: whole wheat (or homemade sourdough) English muffins, a slice of thick Tillamook cheddar cheese, a meat, perhaps, like Canadian bacon, and finally—that perfectly-fried, perfectly-shaped egg.
Cast iron is one of the best surfaces to cook on, but taking care of it is a whole 'nother story. It's not as simple as just washing it in soapy water like all of your other pans, and everyone has different ideas about how it should be done. It seems intimidating at first, but once you learn the basics, you'll be making the best steaks, homemade pizza, and fried chicken of your life.
Baking soda is a powdery miracle. Not only is it the secret ingredient to making mashed potatoes fluffy, it can help you make authentic-tasting soft pretzels at home and caramelize onions in half the time. It's actually got lots of surprising uses you might not know about, and one of them is that a pinch or two can correct sour and bitter tastes in your food.
At first glance, caviar doesn't seem overly appealing to the masses; not very many people would be willing to spend upwards of $1,000 on a tiny spoonful of salty sturgeon eggs from the Caspian Sea. Caviar truly is the ultimate symbol of luxury and fine dining.
French fries, like mashed or roast potatoes, are the type O blood of the food world—they're compatible with just about everybody. That's why it's so sad to bring home leftover frites (that's French for French fries) and have to toss them out the next day because they don't taste as good when they're reheated. Warning: Do Not Ever, Ever Use Your Microwave
A lot of people rely on the date on the packaging to tell them when food has gone bad, even with eggs, but the sell-by dates are often somewhat arbitrary and are not expiration dates. If you've been tossing your eggs based on the dates on your carton—you could be wasting perfectly good food.
Cheese is one of the most loved foods in the world, and there are hundreds of different types. Some prefer super expensive gourmet cheeses, others are fine with the cheaper processed stuff.
There are some ingredients I cook with so often I can never buy too many of them, and most of them are produce. Onions, garlic and fresh herbs are staples in a lot of dishes, and they may be inexpensive, but when you use them on a daily basis it can add up.
A flat soda tastes awful. It's almost as bad as drinking a room temperature milkshake. Of course, you can always opt to buy single-serving cans or 20 ounce bottles, but that's always going to be more expensive than 2-liters.
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.
There's an ongoing debate about whether or not it's safe or even desirable to rinse meat before you cook it. Many fall into the anti-rinsing camp, saying that it's not effective at dislodging bacteria, especially on poultry, as we've discussed before. Meanwhile, some argue that rinsing certain meats, like bacon, could be beneficial since it possibly prevents it from shrinking.
Garlic—it stinks so good! It's one of nature's most wondrous foods, being both delicious and incredibly healthy. What's not to love? Well, it is kind of a pain to prep, whether you're peeling a couple of cloves for a sauce or a whole head and trying to mince it finely. One way to get around the whole peeling and mincing issue every time you want garlic in a dish is by buying pre-made garlic-infused olive oil, except that stuff is pretty pricey. Learn to make it at home and you'll get all the ...
I love making stock. It's thrifty because you get extra use out of poultry bones and vegetable peelings, plus having homemade stock on hand makes so many things taste better, from soup to stews to pasta sauces. If you deglaze a pan, homemade turkey stock, booze of some kind, and butter will create an eye-rollingly good sauce in mere moments. One task I do not love? Figuring out how to skim the damn fat off the stock (or soup) after I've made it. It's necessary to skim the fat as you boil down...
Living on a budget often means compromising what you want for what you need—or at least, for what's affordable. But that doesn't necessarily mean you have to compromise on flavor, especially if you know the right tips and tricks to make something spectacular out of the ordinary.
You're in the middle of cooking and a car alarm, cute kitten, or neighborhood brawl made you step away from the stove for a few minutes longer that you should have. It happens to almost every home cook. Most of the time, nothing dramatic happens, but every now and then, you end up with something like this:
One of my favorite things about American Chinese food is how easy it is to eat: the pieces are bite-sized, the flavors are addictive, and the meat is always tender and easy to chew. But if you've ever tried to replicate any of your favorite takeout in the kitchen, you've likely noticed that the high heat required for most recipes thoroughly dries out the meat that you're trying to cook.
Dried fruit makes a great snack or salad topping, but after a while, they tend to become fossilized, rock-hard versions of their former selves. At this point, most folks probably just toss them out, as they're unpleasant to chew on when eaten raw and even more unpleasant to eat in bread or cooked with other ingredients.
I've been a fan of potatoes ever since I can remember... but mainly because they weren't a big part of my daily diet (which usually consisted of rice). And because my experience with potatoes was so limited, I only knew of two varieties growing up: big, brown Russets and sinewy sweet potatoes. As for cooking with potatoes—well, I'm embarrassed to admit that the only time I cooked potatoes when I was a kid was with the instant kind.
I own two aprons—a cute one for company, and another for the hard-core cooking duties, like cutting up chicken and making stock. The sad truth is that I almost never remember to wear either of them. So, much of my clothing ends up spattered with grease, liquid, and bits of fruit and vegetable. While stain-removing sprays, sticks, and pens are all effective to a certain extent, they have two drawbacks—they're expensive and sometimes I need to use them in large quantity, like when a piece of eg...
Foodies and big-time chefs like Thomas Keller go crazy for fleur de sel. This finishing salt appears in fancy eateries and cookbooks the world over, and in the early 2000s, it was not uncommon to see diners in a high-end restaurant sprinkle a pinch of fleur de sel on their plates from their own personal stash.
How To: Brita Filters Costing You a Fortune? Use These DIY Methods to Clean Your Water for Half the Price
No matter what the clean freaks out there try to tell me, I still drink my Los Angeles tap water without a care in the world. I figure that I've already consumed much more heinous things in my lifetime. Street vendor "steak" burritos comes to mind.
"Does bottled barbecue sauce even taste that bad?" a friend of mine asked. Well, truthfully, no. But it also doesn't taste that good, especially if you've had truly great barbecue or even your crazy uncle's homemade sauce at a holiday cookout.
Finding the formula to the perfect cup of coffee for your taste can take a while. I finally got around to buying a French press a few weeks ago and I'm still tweaking the right ratio and brewing time to get it just right (though I am drinking it at the right times each day).
For those of you that prefer a soft-baked cookie that is fluffy in the middle, using cake flour instead of regular all-purpose (AP) flour is your secret baking weapon. "But I don't have cake flour," you protest. Fear not: if your kitchen is sans cake flour, you can easily whip some up by mixing together AP flour and a little bit of cornstarch for the same results.
I have a theory that chocolate chip cookies are the gateway drug to cooking. The recipe is easy, no special equipment is required, and at the end, you get warm, fresh-from-the-oven cookies that are simply irresistible. It's how I got hooked on baking and cooking, and anecdotal evidence (i.e. me asking my other kitchen-obsessed friends and a few culinary students) supports me.
Summer is the season to enjoy stone fruit: peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots are all kissed by the sun and bursting with juicy flavor—which is all well and good when you're eating them as is.
Contrary to popular belief, sushi is not the raw fish that one gets at Japanese restaurants, but the rice that comes with it. It's hard to tell whether this popular misconception led to or came about because of the primary flavors that we think of in sushi are the fish. We often say a sushi restaurant has great fish, but almost never that it has great rice.
Caramelized onions are one of those ingredients you can add that immediately makes any dish feel a little fancier. They have that delicious savory-sweet combination, they're great in almost anything, and they're surprisingly easy to pull off at home. So why don't more people make them?
Simmering or poaching food is a total pain sometimes. The problems are numerous: a layer exposed to air often dries out and creates a gross skin that can ruin the texture of the sauce, the poaching liquid evaporates too quickly and causes the poached protein to burn, and so on.