Hot Food Hacks Posts

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: Turn Spaghetti into Ramen

Ramen has always been a go-to meal for frugal foodies, college students, and anyone else who loves a soothing, cheap, and easy meal. And while instant ramen is delicious (and can easily be improved), making a simple homemade ramen is even better, and nearly as easy.

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: Make Copycat Trader Joe's Spices at Home

The spice selection at Trader Joe's is both inexpensive and truly top-notch. According to their site, they deal with some of the highest-quality spice manufacturers in the world and, in working with them directly, they eliminate hidden costs spent on promotions, brand-building, and advertising. This allows the customer to experiment with new flavors and build up their spice rack—without the usual limiting factor of high cost. If you don't have access to a Trader's in your culinary neck of the...

How To: The Ultimate Potato Cheat Sheet: Which Potato Goes Best with What?

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.

How To: You've Been Unwrapping Hershey Kisses Wrong Your Entire Life

Removing the thin aluminum foil wrapping from a Hershey Kiss isn't necessarily a difficult thing, but even the easiest of things can be annoying sometimes. For instance, getting chocolate under your fingernail when you're trying to peel the wrapper off, or making a wrapper mess. To make this first-world problem go away, simply grab a Hershey Kiss in-between your index finger and thumb, then pull on the paper plume to yank the chocolate straight out of the wrapper. The plume was originally des...

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: Easily Separate Fat from Stock, Soup, or Meat Drippings

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...

Velveting Meat: The Best-Kept Chinese Restaurant Secret

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.

How To: 10 Key Things Everyone Should Know About Seasoning, Cleaning, & Maintaining Cast Iron Pans

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.

How To: 10 Reasons Why Drinking Gin Can Actually Be Good for You

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.

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