In And Out of The Kitchen

How to Meal Prep Your Week

What if you had a prep cook in your kitchen? A sous chef who made sure that all of the slicing and dicing and mincing and zesting was done for you, so that when it came time to make dinner, all you had to do was wash your hands and start cooking? Most of us aren’t going to get this in our lifetimes…. but what if we took an hour on Sunday evening to be our own prep cooks, and make life easier all week long? Yes, you can buy many of these items pre-cut – but since they’ve been …

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How to Cook Zucchini and Summer Squash

So, these vegetables aren’t necessarily unfamiliar, like kohlrabi or rutabegas….but when zucchinis come into season they hit like a vegetal tsunami, bursting from the garden by the dozen (“wait, there were only about 6 of those when I went to bed last night!”), piled at the farmers’ market, practically free at the supermarket, omnipresent in your CSA at the end of the summer. How to use it all, and not feel like zucchini bread is coming out of your ears (not that there’s anything wrong with a plentitude of zucchini bread—and you probably have neighbors!). What Are Summer Squash and …

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10 Essential Cooking Methods Everyone Should Know

The other night, I was traveling, and my husband was on his own. We were on the phone, and he said, “Uh, what do I do for dinner?” We will pause to acknowledge that I have clearly enabled my people to a sad degree, when it comes to feeding themselves. I said, well, if you’re at a total loss, make some pasta and open up a jar of sauce. We have no sauce, says Gary. So I said, well, sauté up a chopped onion and add a can of crushed tomatoes and some basil and oregano. “Will do…What does sauté …

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How to Safely Thaw Frozen Chicken

Getting chicken safely from a rock-hard frozen state to a thawed ready-to-cook state raises a lot of questions.  Here are the answers. First, chicken should never be thawed on the counter at room temperature or in a bowl of hot water. The following methods should allow you to thaw chicken and keep it out of the “danger zone” (40 to 140°F), which is the temperature zone that allows bacteria to grow. In general, larger cuts of chicken, especially a whole chicken, should be thawed in the refrigerator, as the chicken will start to cook on the outside if it is …

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Eat Smartly and Carry a Small Stick … of 100% Grass-fed Beef

What does a teenage football-playing boy and an American Pygmy Shrew have in common?  They both eat 3 times their body weight every day in food. Okay, that is NOT true (well, it’s true about the American Pygmy Shrew), but if you are the person who is feeding one or more teenage boys then you might feel like that statement is believable.  All I know is that starting in late August and heading into November my guys are in full-on football mode, working hard and eating like there isn’t a bottom in sight. And I’m cooking as fast (and as …

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Last Minute Gifts (Rolling Down the Highway)

So, you’re driving down the highway, heading to your mom’s, or your aunt’s or your cousins’ for the holidays.  You’ve managed to get the car packed with your luggage, the wrapped presents, the Raspberry Streusel Coffee Cake you promised to bake and bring, and everyone is accounted for, even the dog (who REALLY IS COMPLETELY HYPOALLERGENIC, despite the fact that Aunt Myra starts to wheeze every time she sees him). You’re feeling pretty good; you’ve got this holiday thing under control.  Your significant other cheerfully calls your host to say you are 30 minutes away (right on schedule!).  Then you …

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