French toast is one of those things that everybody kind of knows how to make, but few people know how to do really well. And while the dish originally does hail from France (its original name, pain perdu, means lost or wasted bread), it has become a beloved American breakfast dish.
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.
Sometimes you've got a head of lettuce that you want to eat but it lacks a certain youth. In other words, it's wilted and browning at the edges. Other times, you get to the grocery store near the end of day and the only lettuce or greens available look a little on the sad side. Never fear. You're not doomed to a meal of fast food or mouthfuls of soggy salad. You can easily revive those leaves and have something crisp, green, and delicious for your next meal, so don't dump it in the trash.
Fall is the time for comfort foods—and what is more comforting than crusty bread slathered in melted cheese? Owning a fondue pot is both convenient and wonderful, but not all of us have the luxury of space for nonessential kitchen appliances. However, there are plenty of ways to make an absolutely delicious, lump-free fondue without the traditional equipment.
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.
What began as a regional specialty has turned into a national trend that looks like it's here to stay: Nasvhille hot chicken has caught on like wildfire, with hot chicken restaurants popping up across the country—not to mention the 8 hot chicken restaurants that you can find in Nashville alone! The history of this Deep South dish is fascinating, and you can read more about it here.
Even as someone with super pale skin that burns instead of tanning, I don't use sunscreen nearly as often as I should. Or, uh...ever. My skin cancer prevention routine mostly involves hiding from the sun as much as humanly possible. If you're like me and hate the greasy feeling of sunscreen, there are other ways you can protect your skin by increasing your sun tolerance. Your diet actually has a lot to do with how easily you burn, so by getting enough of a few key nutrients, you can decrease ...
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."
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.)
When I first started cooking, if I saw lemon juice or zest in a recipe, I almost always left it out. Unless it was a main component, I never thought it made much of a difference in the overall flavor of the dish, but I couldn't have been more wrong.
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.
Let's be honest, most of us buy the bottom-shelf vodka either because we're broke or because we're going to disguise the gag-inducing taste of it with juice or something fizzy. If you're cooking or baking with vodka (ice-cold vodka works wonders in pie crust), what's the point of buying Belvedere?
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.
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.
This is a familiar scenario: you light up the grill, get cooking, eat the fruits of your labor, then clean up every trace of your barbecuing once you're finished — except maybe the hot charcoal, which usually gets dumped right before the next cookout.
Things smell, and whether or not those things smell good or not is up to you. For lingering food odors on your hands, try using stainless steel or coffee grounds to remove the stench. To de-stink smelly jars, use mustard and water. For cutting boards, use lemons and salt, and use cinnamon and sugar for your funky kitchen. In your fridge, combine baking soda and a sponge, or even just orange peels and salt.
During my time living in dorm rooms and small apartments, I would find myself in need of many different appliances—a food processor for making hummus, a blender for vegetable smoothies, or even a mortar and pestle for muddling mojito-bound mint leaves. Luckily, there was one tiny, inconspicuous tool that solved all of these problems: the coffee grinder.
For the novice cook, fungi can be weird because, well, they're fungi. However, if you've been afraid to get acquainted with mushrooms, you've been missing out. Vegetarians love mushrooms and with good reason.
The lengths people will go to for a grilled cheese sandwich are amazing. They'll use irons, wafflemakers, or whatever appliance that produces enough heat to produce the perfect combination of golden, grilled bread and oozy, melting cheese. I personally favor my cast-iron skillet or the oven for making a really great grilled cheese sandwich. If I'm feeling lazy, then a toaster oven will do. But what if you're at work or in a dorm and the break room only has a toaster?
No matter which brand you buy, microwave popcorn never tastes as good as its movie theater counterpart. Even if you pop it yourself on the stovetop and drizzle it with real butter, it doesn't have the same flavor. That's because movie theaters don't use real butter—their popcorn has one secret ingredient that gives it that distinct taste.
Almost every bread recipe will tell you to look for a golden brown crust or to tap on the bottom of your loaf and listen for a hollow sound. That visual and sound technique will work most of the time, but it can still come up short, leaving you with a soft and gooey spot in the middle of your loaf.
Shrimp is one of my all-time favorite foods. It's versatile, delicious, and incredibly fun to use in the kitchen.
Look, I'm no food snob. I once dedicated an entire day to eating only deep-fried things (butter, Twinkies, Oreos, pickles) at the Minnesota State Fair. But even I draw the line at instant mashed potatoes. I mean, why bother? It's not that hard to make perfectly delicious and fluffy mashers yourself.
Hopefully you never have to deal with a grease fire, but if it happens, how you handle it is important. A grease fire isn't like a regular fire, and trying to put it out the same way can make it worse. Grease fires are caused by letting oil get too hot, so the best way to prevent them is to never leave your kitchen unattended. Oil smokes before it burns, so if you see your pan start to smoke, take it off the heat before it has a chance to catch fire. If you're outside grilling, you can add a ...
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...
Now that the Super Bowl is over, you might find that you have an econo-sized bag or two of opened potato chips slowly going stale in your pantry. After all, there are only so many bowls of Buffalo Chicken Pizza Beer Dip you can eat with 'em—and you definitely don't want them to get so old that you have to throw them out.
Want to show all your foodie friends that you're really in the know? Then it's time to master the art of making edible dirt. Chefs out there are finding ways to take various foodstuffs and dry, char, and combine them to give the appearance of actual dirt—only with a rich, savory taste.
Grilled cheese is one of my favorite foods, ever. However, there are times in my life when I haven't had access to a full kitchen, and it's pretty hard to make a good grilled cheese sandwich without one.
Great news: you don't have to give up grains if you're avoiding gluten.
There are myriad wrong ways to cut an onion, a few right ways to cut an onion (including this one)... but only one ultimate way to dice onions, and that's what I'll be sharing with you today.
There are several reasons why restaurant food tastes so good. One is that the cooks know how to make reductions, which involves cooking down large amounts of liquid until it becomes a pool of thick, glossy sauce. While this technique isn't hard to learn, it can be time-consuming.
There is and always will be a staunch anti-microwave camp, but they're a fact of life. The whole point of a microwave is convenience, right? But it's not so convenient when you pull out reheated leftovers and discover that your food is only partially warm.
Rock-hard ice cream is the bane of my culinary existence. If I try and scoop it out with a spoon, the spoon invariably bends. If I use a traditional ice cream scooper, I end up with a torqued wrist and one or two pathetic curls of ice cream for my efforts.
Tonic water, seltzer water, club soda, and mineral water: these 4 types of "bubbly water" are often, erroneously, used interchangeably. But the truth is that each possesses unique qualities and uses that set them apart from each other.
A good, sharp knife is a cook's best friend, which is why there's so much passionate debate about what kind you should get. Most enthusiastic home cooks opt for a stainless steel knife, but it turns out there's a different option that the pros favor, and that's carbon steel.
I was a vegetarian from age 6 until age 23. When I started eating meat again for the first time in 17 years, most people I knew (including me) expected me to be pretty conservative about it: chicken breasts, hot dogs, and all the other "basic" meats that everyone loves.
Turning your oven on in the summer is just asking to convert your house into a sauna. No matter how badly you want to bake cookies during a heat wave, having to deal with the boost in temperature is a deterrent at best.
When I was a senior in college, I shared a two-bedroom, one bathroom, microscopic kitchenette suite with three other girls. We all loved to bake and cook but were fully aware that we were in for a crowded year. We needed to use space efficiently, which meant carefully picking what kitchen equipment was absolutely necessary. As a full knife set was out of the question, we settled on a Shun Classic Ultimate Utility Knife whose praises my father had sung for a long time.
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.
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.