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.
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.
Hummus seems like it should be easy to make, but creating that ideal creamy consistency can be pretty difficult. Often it comes out too chunky, which means your hummus won't be good for dipping into. Luckily, there is one trick that will help you create the creamiest consistency and make you never want to go near store-bought hummus again: add baking soda.
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.)
Baking powder and baking soda are two staples almost everyone has around that seem to last forever. But a lot of people don't know that they eventually start to lose their potency after enough time on the shelf. If you can't remember when you bought it, it's probably time for a new box.
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.
Tender is the name of the game when it comes to cooking damn delicious meat, but achieving that succulent texture isn't always easy.
Few things in life are as relaxing and enjoyable as baking. When I'm having a bad day, I make cookies. When I'm stressed out, I bake a cake. When I have a free Sunday with nothing to do but listen to music and drink coffee, I bake a tart or a batch of cupcakes.
Certain ingredients that a professional chef might work with in a restaurant-style setting may seem bizarre, dangerous, and even downright scary to a home cook, and for good reason.
Mashed potatoes are universally beloved, and for a good reason — they're cheap, tasty, and relatively easy to make. What's more, they're adaptable to just about every dietary regimen, whether you're vegan, gluten-free, or lactose-intolerant. And they're a staple for holidays such as Thanksgiving.
Desserts always taste better when they are sugar-coated—and even more so when they're coated in powdered sugar. In particular, crinkle cookies—cake-y cookies that are chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside—are famous for the powdered sugar that creates their cracked appearance.
Boxed brownie mixes advertise their convenience compared to homemade brownies—with only a few ingredients, they promise a moist, chocolatey crumb. However, these "instant" mixes still require fresh ingredients and a baking time that matches that of homemade brownies. When you're craving a chocolate fix but you're coming up short on eggs, oil, and time, don't despair: you can still make brownies using a can of soda. Two Different Methods, One Soda Required
Caramelized onions are one of those ingredients you can add that immediately makes any dish feel a little fancier. They have that delicious savory-sweet combination, they're great in almost anything, and they're surprisingly easy to pull off at home. So why don't more people make them?
If I were to write a snickerdoodle FAQ list, the top question would undoubtedly be "Do I really need to use cream of tartar in my snickerdoodle cookies?"
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.
There are countless recipes for mug cakes (and breads) on the internet, but not all of them are good. Mug cakes promise a warm, moist, and fluffy cake after a few minutes and with minimal work... but sometimes, all you end up with is a chewy, rubbery mess.
Convenience in the kitchen can be a very, very good thing. As fun as it can be to spend hours toiling over Julia Child's boeuf bourguignon, there's a reason that we have canned soup, microwave dinners, bouillon cubes, and, of course, boxed mixes.
White or light-colored dinnerware is a classic: it looks crisp, clean, and elegant. The only problem is that after you've used it for a few years, the surfaces bear a lot of grey scuff marks from forks, spoons, and knives being dragged across the surface.
A stack of light-as-air pancakes can make a weekend morning truly golden. While fluffy pancakes may not seem like rocket science, the reality is that there are many little details that can contribute to a pancake fail that's either too dense or too crumbly.
Salad greens are a staple in my house and for good reason: they're cheap, nutritious, and work as a base or an accompaniment for almost all meals. However, it's all too easy to forget about them and then pull out a bag filled with sludgy dark goo or yellow, inedible leaves.
Many recipes call for self-rising flour as a staple ingredient. Oftentimes, we find ourselves passing these recipes by because we don't have it on hand, or because we don't use it enough to actually want to buy it.
We've seen these bean-filled blondies trending on social media for a while and, with some inspiration from The Kitchn, we finally decided to grab some chickpeas and give them a go.
Onion scrubs, salt and olive oil blends, a baking soda slurry... despite the many methods already out there to clean your (old or brand-new) cast iron cookware, there's one you may not have considered: using a potato.
Cleanliness is next to godliness. My interpretation of that age-old adage means that keeping your house clean is just as un-fun and boring as being a goody two shoes. That's why they call things like laundry and doing dishes "chores," I assume. Yuck.
For those of you that prefer a soft-baked cookie that is fluffy in the middle, using cake flour instead of regular all-purpose (AP) flour is your secret baking weapon. "But I don't have cake flour," you protest. Fear not: if your kitchen is sans cake flour, you can easily whip some up by mixing together AP flour and a little bit of cornstarch for the same results.
While it's easy to make fun of water with "electrolytes," there's actually some science behind it. Despite the name, electrolyte-enhanced water isn't all that high-tech, it mostly means that it's been infused with vitamins and minerals such as potassium and sodium, which are very helpful in preventing dehydration. Unfortunately, electrolyte water isn't especially cheap, and compared to the tap, it's downright expensive. Luckily, there's a few recipes out there that can help you mix your own e...
As a species, our cells are designed to use sugar for energy. Is it any wonder that as humans evolved, we grew to love the taste of sugar?
Many of the beauty products you buy at drug and department stores are loaded with potentially toxic ingredients like parabens, while their active ingredients are made of things like glycolic, lactic, malic, and alpha hydroxy acids and retinoids, which are all derived from foods.
Food can smell great before, during, and after cooking. A pot of stew simmering away on the stove will tantalize you all afternoon, and there's nothing better than the smell of fresh-baked cookies lingering in the house for hours.
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.
When we were kids, snacks on-the-go or in our lunch box were often Kellogg's Nutri-Grain cereal bars. There were flavors like strawberry, blueberry, and our beloved apple-cinnamon.
One of the more annoying parts about cooking or baking at home is dealing with sticky ingredients. You scrape the peanut butter out of the jar and into a measuring cup to make sure you have the right amount for your recipe, then scrape the correct amount into the bowl you're cooking with.
Frozen fruit is always in season at your local grocery store, so you don't have to wait until the farmers market starts again to enjoy delicious baked fruit desserts. Peach pie, blueberry muffins, raspberry scones... all of these delicious baked goods can be just as delectable when using frozen fruit, too.
Hanukkah, also known as The Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the temple in Jerusalem in 168 BCE. (Jews and secular publications, such as academic or scientific papers, use BCE—"before common era"—rather than the Jesus-centric BC, or "before Christ.")
A few years ago I went hog-wild trying to achieve a zero-waste lifestyle. I didn't succeed, but the experiment taught me that we throw away things we could—and should—be using more.
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 ...
If you've ever stumbled through Pinterest's boards, you'd know that Pinners have quite a penchant for aesthetically beautiful desserts. You can find a whole spectrum of "huh?" recipes, from pumpkin zebra cheesecake to sorbet terrine with plum compote.
There are a few key ingredients that you always need on hand when baking cookies and other desserts, but when you run out, you run out. You either have to stop what you're doing and go to the grocery store, find a good substitute, or scrap the project entirely. Chances are, you'll never accept defeat, and why go to the store if there's a good substitute on hand?
Right now is that magical time of year when the general public decides to embrace their inner fattie and get baking in the kitchen. Hello, pies and cakes and cookies and everything carbs. Goodbye, diets—see you in the next year, when you cripple us with unbridled guilt and longing.
A perfectly-roasted artichoke is a thing of beauty, but not everyone has the time (or patience) to deal with the extra fuss. So if you want an artichoke and you want it now, look no further than your ever-convenient microwave, which lets you steam one in only 10 minutes—no steamer basket necessary.