Hard-boiled (also known as hard-cooked) eggs are notoriously easy to mess up. We've all ended up with tough, rubbery egg whites and overcooked yolks that have that unappetizing gray-green ring around the edge. An ideal hard-cooked egg has a firm yet tender white, while the yolk is creamy and well-done without being mealy.
It's a basic law of cooking: whenever you're really craving something, you don't have it. All you want is a glass of wine? Chances are you finished the bottle while braising meat last night. Want nothing more than a sandwich right now? Yep, you finished the bread with breakfast. You'd kill for a steak? They're all in the freezer, and you don't want to wait while they thaw; you want your steak now.
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
Homemade ice cream is so good and you can make it with just a few ingredients and no special equipment. Most cookbooks and magazine recipes expect you to have an ice cream maker at home, but you can imitate the churning effect of an ice cream maker by shaking or tossing around the ingredients inside a tightly sealed ziplock bag.
Can you cook a steak or salmon filet that's straight out of the freezer and get good results? Ordinarily, I would say no. Usually your steak ends up a sad grey mass fit only for the family dog and the fish is burned on the outside with an icy, undercooked center.
Most recipes don't specify what type they mean when they call for onions. While using whatever kind you already have won't necessarily ruin a dish, using the best one for what you're cooking will definitely make your food taste better.
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:
Microwave popcorn promises so much—a tasty, relatively healthy snack that's ready in minutes—yet it rarely delivers. Most of the time you'll end up with a scorched bagful or a bunch of stubborn un-popped kernels, but it doesn't have to be that way. With a few simple tricks, it's easy to get perfectly fluffy, tender-crisp popcorn every time.
Unless you like boxed wine, your wine bottles are going to either be sealed with a cork or a screw cap, the latter of which should not be frowned upon, especially if it's white wine. However, most wineries still prefer corks over screw caps, and that means you'll need a corkscrew.
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 rather arbitrary, and do not correlate to expiration dates. If you've been tossing away your eggs based on the dates on your carton—you're wrong.
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...
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.
Alcohol isn't exactly considered a healthy lifestyle choice; more often than not, it's associated with empty calories and bad decisions. But that doesn't mean there aren't a few benefits to drinking in moderation. In fact, gin is a liquor with a wealth of potential benefits to offer. So read on, and discover ten ways in which gin might actually be a good drink for you.
Yes, I know it's autumn and the trees are losing their leaves, but the seasons do not decide when I can or cannot enjoy ice cream. No matter how warm or cold is is outside right now, I will remain completely fascinated by rolled ice cream. Yes, rolled.
Using spaghetti squash "noodles" for a healthy, low-carb meal seems like such a great idea, but as many of us know, turning this vegetable into a decent pasta facsimile usually has less-than-satisfying results. The usual method is to cut the squash lengthwise and roast, microwave, or steam it. Often, it comes out overcooked and underwhelming.
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.
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.
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.
A friend of mine is a classically trained chef, and she often invites me over to her house to eat whatever goodies she has concocted. A few years ago I asked her the cliché question that every chef is sick of answering: "What's your favorite food?"
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.
Even though I often end the workday exhausted and just want to wrap rotisserie chicken parts in a store-bought tortilla and shove it in my eating hole, I generally try and take a couple of minutes to warm up said tortillas before I begin my meal. But if you're starving, do you really need to take the time? Do warm tortillas really make that much of a difference?
You've probably noticed artichokes at the front and center of your local grocery store or farmer's market recently, as spring is artichoke season; They may look like strange, complicated vegetables if you've never cooked them before.
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.
When the baking soda gets hot, it makes carbon dioxide gas. The pressure from this gas pushes the carbonate from the burning sugar out of the sand, producing the "black snakes."
Once upon a time in America, there was coffee and there was decaf. That's it. No capuccinos. No espressos. And certainly no Starbucks. Coffee was just coffee, something that you bought at a gas station or donut shop. If you made it at home, it was either in a metal pot or instant coffee.
It's always the snack you're most looking forward to that ends up being moldy when you open the fridge to grab it. That slice of leftover pizza or chunk of cheese you've been thinking about all day. We've all been there. What separates us is how we choose to deal with it. Personally, I toss anything that has even the slightest hint of mold, but not everyone errs on the side of caution. Some people don't mind the risk and just cut off the green or fuzzy parts and eat the rest.
Boxed brownie mixes advertise their convenience compared to homemade brownies—with only a few ingredients, they promise a moist, chocolatey crumb. However, these "instant" mixes still require fresh ingredients and a baking time that matches that of homemade brownies. When you're craving a chocolate fix but you're coming up short on eggs, oil, and time, don't despair: you can still make brownies using a can of soda. Two Different Methods, One Soda Required
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.
Beef aficionados love a medium-rare burger, but many people are wary of meat that's on the pink or red side, since it might contain bacteria. Is it possible to enjoy a burger that's perfectly juicy and yet also cooked thoroughly enough to destroy all traces of salmonella, e. coli, et al.? Absolutely! You just need to know a trick (or three).
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.
Protein powder is a fad in the same way that Justin Bieber's music is: you either love it, or you hate it. Everyone I know has a strong opinion about protein powder, ranging from "daily necessity" to "utterly useless."
I'm not a big fan of single-use tools, especially ones that don't get used particularly often. And I'm especially not a big fan of seldom used single-use tools that take up a large amount of space.
Fresh loaves of bread from the bakery are both delicious and often free of the preservatives that come with buying sliced, bagged bread off the supermarket shelves. However, these same loaves of bread tend to become stale much more quickly when sliced. It's quite the dilemma, especially for those who want to avoid throwing away and wasting stale bread (or are tired of turning said stale pieces into breadcrumbs or croutons).
Making your own alcohol at home sounds like fun, but it's a long, complicated, and sometimes expensive process. You need all sorts of equipment, and by the time you're finished, it's been a few weeks—even months.
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.
Though you may scrub every inch of your kitchen, there are plenty of trouble areas that are nearly impossible to get clean: gunked-up tile grout, rust in the sink, and caked-on burners and grates on the stove. As far as burners and grates go, you're in luck, because there's a simple solution to returning even the grossest ones back to their original shine. The Key Is Ammonia
Letting wine "breathe" isn't just something that happens in restaurants in '80s teen comedies with snooty maître d's. It's really a thing, and you should learn how to do it at home, because it'll make just about any wine—including Two-Buck Chuck—taste much, much better. It's also astonishingly easy, and despite what the Home Shopping Network may tell you, does not require buying extra gadgets.
A trip to any grocery store's produce section will quickly reveal that bananas are often picked from the tree well before their prime—which is necessary for them to arrive at our local store without going bad. In fact, bananas are refrigerated en route to our supermarkets in order to stave off the ripening process... which makes sense, since they travel quite the distance (from the Tropics around South America or Africa to our proverbial doorstep).
I love making everything from scratch, but some things are just easier to buy. So there are times when you have to find a creative way to split the difference. For me, the easiest dish to buy without compromising on flavor is cornbread mix.
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.