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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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?
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.
When I became serious about cooking, nearly every cookbook and guide I picked up emphasized the importance of using fresh stock, whether it was chicken, beef, or vegetable. When I didn't have time to make my own, I bought the highest quality boxed or canned stock I could find at the market.
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.
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
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:
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...
Cold brewing tea and coffee are all the rage, and for good reason: they're idiot-proof. I, personally, am a total dunce at brewing coffee. It either ends up strong enough to peel paint from a car or so weak that you can see through it. Meanwhile, I have friends who inevitably brew green tea to the point where it's painful to drink it.
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.
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.
Frosting, for many, is the best part of the cake. There's not much to dislike about it, after all—there's a type of frosting for every person. Whipped frostings for those who like it light, dense buttercream for indulgent sugar fans, cream cheese frosting for the tangy crowd... and so on. But I'll bet you've never made or tried frosting made with Jell-O packages before! Infusing your frosting with the sweetness and bright color of Jell-O changes both its taste and appearance, and using Jell-O...
Poor chickens. Bacon fat is revered (and justifiably so), and duck fat is a staple at most fine grocers. Marbles of fat make a steak divine, and goose fat is the holy grail of fatty goodness. Yet chicken fat is usually thrown away.
You don't always plan on getting drunk, it usually just sort of happens, right? You finish one beer, move on to the next, and all of a sudden you're a six-pack in and feelin' it. And when you're drinking in places you're not supposed to, it can get ugly.
When you know how to cook it, tofu is a delicious dish in and of itself—truly. Too many people have been subjected to poor quality or badly cooked tofu and told to eat it because it's a "healthy alternative" to meat. Usually what they bite into is a bland, rubbery mess coated with a random array of flavors.
Every now and then, you'll bite into the end piece of a perfectly good cucumber only to get an unwelcome bitter and acrid taste. This happened to me for years, no matter how carefully I selected my cukes, although I generally had better luck with ones I got from local growers and the farmer's market.
One booze hack that's been making the rounds for years is that inserting a spoon by the handle in a champagne bottle's neck will preserve its carbonation. This is one of those tips that I wish were true. Champagne is a great thing to have around on a special occasion, and it seems a shame to pour any leftovers down the drain once its lost its fizz. While there's lots of anecdotal evidence surrounding this trick, Harold McGee and Stanford University chemist Richard Zare debunked this myth as d...
Fifty-four percent of Americans 18 and older drink coffee every day, and why not? With 100 milligrams of caffeine per six ounces of drip coffee, it's just the morning beverage to wake you up and kickstart your day. You can feel the caffeine surge through your body like the Holy Ghost, making you aware, focused, and ready for action.
In my opinion (and I suspect in the opinion of the masses), there is no greater snack food than potato chips. They're crunchy, they're salty, they're fried, and they're bite size; what's not to love? But I believe that, like almost all foods, potato chips can get even better. Especially if they're the most basic garden variety type of chip: sea salt.
Soup can be one of the most finicky dishes to make. While seemingly innocuous at first, the texture of this meal can change in an instant. For example, adding too many vegetables can result in soup that's too watery, such as tomatoes, which contain a lot of liquid.
Americans consume over 1.2 billion pounds of potato chips each year, making it one of the most popular snack foods in the United States.
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.
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
As exciting as it can be to crack open a beer, there's nothing fun about wandering around a party and asking other partygoers for a bottle opener.
Hey, coffee drinkers—your morning cup of joe is killing your metabolism.
A new coat of paint is an easy, cheap way to make your home look instantly better, but dealing with paint fumes for days afterward isn't so fun, especially if you have kids or pets.
It's easy to grab a box of pre-prepared microwave popcorn at the grocery store. Yet with so much salt, butter, and other unpronounceable ingredients, microwave popcorn can go from a healthy snack to a complicated one.
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.
Contrary to popular belief, sushi is not the raw fish that one gets at Japanese restaurants, but the rice that comes with it. It's hard to tell whether this popular misconception led to or came about because of the primary flavors that we think of in sushi are the fish. We often say a sushi restaurant has great fish, but almost never that it has great rice.
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?"
Valentine's Day is right around the corner... which is the perfect excuse to ignite your inner cupid and bake a heart-shaped cake. If you have a heart-shaped cake or springform pan, you're all set. If not, don't worry—you don't need one! With a little ingenuity, you'll have a beautiful heart cake using the pans you already own.
It's that time of the year, y'all—when the air becomes crisp, the nights grow long, and people crave hearty, warm soups and stews. And of all the season's offerings, my hands-down favorite has to be chili: It's versatile, meaty, and above all else, it's damn easy to make. (Thank you, Lord, for the slow cooker. Amen.)
Few things in life are as exciting and magical as fire. And setting things on fire while cooking? Well, now you're speaking my language. I'm not talking about grilling, though I do love some outdoor cooking. No, I'm talking about the most badass trick in any cook's arsenal: the flambé.
Please read the following in Rod Serling's voice. Picture, if you will, a mother. She comes home after a long day at the office, relieved that she took some chicken breasts out to thaw and will be able to make a quick and easy dinner for her family. She opens her refrigerator to get the chicken, but to her horror she does not see it… she forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer after all. What will she make for dinner now? How will she feed her family? She has entered…the Panic Zone.
One of my least favorite tasks is crouching in front of the kitchen oven or gas heater, and burning my fingers as I try to restart the pilot light with regular matches. I end up cursing the fact that I don't own extra-long matches or a stove lighter, but then I never go out and buy them, even though I know this issue will come up again. What can I say? I'm cheap. Now, instead of risking life, limb, and burned fingertips to reignite your pilot light or to kindle the wick on hard-to-reach candl...