Cultured dairy products are great for topping chilis and soups, stirring into dips, and adding tanginess to breads and pancakes. They're extremely versatile and often interchangeable, and they contain probiotics that offer a long list of health benefits. They're also super easy to make at home with just a few basic ingredients. Here's how to make your own buttermilk, sour cream and crème fraîche.
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...
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
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.
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.
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.
Love or hate 'em, you've got to admit that cupcakes really had their moment. They started rising in popularity back in 2003 with the opening of Crumbs Bake Shop in Manhattan, and quickly became one of the most annoyingly ubiquitous food trends to date. Seriously. Type "cupcake" into Google. While I wouldn't turn it down if you put one in front of me (red velvet, please), I can't say that I was particularly disappointed to hear that the cupcake trend is coming to an end. I'm more of a cheeseca...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
It's a small but very real frustration: you want a chilled drink, but you open the freezer only to see nothing but empty ice trays. Fortunately, there's a simple way to make ice cubes quickly—use hot water. Yup, you read that correctly. Hot water freezes more rapidly than cold.
Sometimes, figuring out what to cook for dinner takes longer than actually cooking it. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten excited about a recipe, then realized that it requires marinating for twelve hours. When it's already 6 p.m., that just isn't going to work.
If you're a fan of Thai food, I'm sure you're familiar with sticky rice. There is something so special about its chewy texture and sweet flavor. If you have a desire to make it in your own kitchen but don't have the proper tools such as a traditional bamboo basket or stackable steamer, there are several other methods that work just as well. Once you try these alternative methods, I'm sure you'll be "sticking" to them for a while. What Makes Sticky Rice So Sticky?
The Holy Grail of chicken has just been found by an unsuspecting reporter of the Chicago Tribune. Yes, that's right: The secret 11 herbs and spices in Colonel Sanders' Original Recipe chicken has finally been revealed, and it looks legit as hell.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bacon isn't hard to cook on the stovetop, but every cook who's been hit by splattering fat knows it's not the most pleasant kitchen task to tackle. If you're cooking bacon for a lot of people, you can avoid this by cooking it in the oven on a roasting rack, DIY or otherwise.
There's no shortage of ice cream recipes out there, but one ice cream shop in London has found a unique recipe to sell to its customers, and of course it's controversial—breast milk ice cream.
Smelly foods are what make my culinary world "go 'round," so to speak. I grew up with fish sauce, learned to cook with and love fermented beans and veggies, and am one of the biggest garlic advocates I know... other than my husband, who thankfully shares the same smelly food sensibilities. (Let's put it this way: anyone that can stomach stinky tofu can handle anything I could possibly cook up.)
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.
I'm as adventurous an eater as just about anyone, but some foodie trends leave me scratching my head and wanting nothing more than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But sometimes the trends become trends because they're, well, brilliant.
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."
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.
Cold pizza is the holy grail of leftovers. That's a statement that elicits a slew of impassioned feelings. Either you love the idea of biting into soft crust and cold, fatty cheese, or scowl at the idea of pizza that isn't hot, crisp, and melty. Yet if we were to stand by the former sentiment, how would we argue on its behalf? Food Science Explains Why Cold Pizza Rules
What would you say if I told you it was entirely possible—even desirable—to cook anything from a simple dinner to a great loaf of bread without using measuring cups, spoons, or a scale?
Dried fruit makes a great, healthy snack by itself, and it's a nice addition to both sweet and savory dishes. Most people assume you have to have a dehydrator to make it at home, but you don't really need one unless you plan on drying fruit pretty frequently. Your oven does the job just fine. Drying fruit in an oven is a pretty simple process: just bake it at a low temperature for a long time. It's usually cheaper than buying dried fruit from the grocery store, and a great way to use extra fr...
Tequila is a hard liquor that's often been misunderstood. Produced from the agave plant, this aged spirit has complex flavors that bloom the longer it's aged and can rival the finest scotch.
It's common knowledge that certain foods foster brain development, health, and memory. Fish almost always makes the list, as do any foods that are loaded with antioxidants like blueberries, nuts, whole grains, green tea, and dark chocolate. Spices like turmeric are being studied for their ability to prevent Alzheimer's, among other things.
The idea of a no-churn ice cream seems like the ultimate dessert hack. But, in fact, this concept has been around for at least the past 100 years in what Italians call semifreddo.
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).
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).
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.