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.
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.
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'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.
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.
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.
I'm constantly searching for a homemade pizza dough that tastes good but isn't too challenging to execute. In other words, a recipe that doesn't require any arcane "dough whispering" skills. However, my hunt may be coming to an end thanks to one celebrity chef's concept.
Fish are delicate, flaky, and can be damn tricky to cook; more often than not, you end up with a hard, dry block of flesh that makes your taste buds sad. And the best ways to cook fish that you know of—c'mon, who doesn't love a fried fish—take way too much effort for you to bother with on a weeknight. Or maybe you're looking for a healthier way to enjoy fish that doesn't require batter or frying at all.
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 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.
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.
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...
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.
Unlike wine, you can't re-cork or stopper leftover bubbly after you've opened it, but all is not lost even if you haven't managed to finish every last drop. You can use your leftover champagne to make light-as-air crêpes or pancakes, to create a detox face mask, to cook seafood and rice, or to make dips and salad dressings.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Taco Bell's in the news for umpteenth time, and today the controversy is over their infamous beef taco meat. Gizmodo leaked a picture of Taco Bell's "Taco Meat Filling" and surprise, surprise— it's missing a lot of the "meat" that it claims in its advertisements. Taco Meat Filling Ingredients
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.
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.
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.
Hard as it is to imagine, there are people out there who loathe garlic and onions. Some might have allergies or medical conditions like IBS, or are supertasters (i.e. people who carry a certain gene that makes them extremely sensitive to how certain foods taste). Others might just be picky eaters.
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?"
Pies and soufflés: these are two dishes that can try even the most experienced cook. Berry pies can be especially challenging, since the high water content of cherries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries often leads to a big, leaky mess once you cut into your beautiful pie.
Aluminum foil is one of those things that every cook, experienced or just starting out, has in their kitchen. And while we may think we know how useful this handy material can be, there are hundreds of ways we could be utilizing tinfoil to make our lives a whole lot easier.
There's something primal about the smell of smoking food. Somewhere deep in the recesses of our souls, we remember a time when humans only ate by the fire. Or perhaps that's just something I tell myself. Either way, it's hard to smell smoke and food and not feel like you should be eating. And, as chef Edi Frauneder said in a recent Saveur article, "Grilling is convivial. There's something about this act of coming together over an open flame that just says vacation."
I used a plastic water filter for years. Who wouldn't? It cuts down on buying bottled water, which, as it turns out, is pretty much the same as unfiltered tap water. Plus, bottled water is terrible for the environment and your wallet, too. Water that costs only pennies a day and actually was purified as opposed to just saying it was? That's a no-brainer.
The microwave oven is a monumental technological achievement that's saved college students and single people from starvation for decades. Almost 97% of all American households have one, which makes it the most-owned kitchen appliance in US homes right after the refrigerator.
Meat tenderizers are absolutely necessary when dealing with leaner, tougher cuts like flank or skirt steaks. And while fruit like papaya, kiwi, and pineapple contain enzymes that can tenderize meat, the results can be hit-or-miss, and impart a fruity flavor that you may not always want.
Mother Nature is one creative entity, especially when it comes to fruit. Let's face it: most major supermarkets stock only the most common fruits like apples, pears, and grapes, but they're so basic. Why not explore other options, from the stinky-yet delicious durian to the captivating citrus caviar that is finger limes?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 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...