Cooking Tips

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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How to Cook Broccoflower

Maybe you’ve been lured in by some of the fabulous seasonal produce at a farmers market. Maybe you’ve joined a CSA. Maybe you’ve heard good things about broccoflower, or tried them at a restaurant and you’d like to introduce them into the home meal rotation. And maybe you don’t know exactly how to cook (or shop for or store or prepare) some of the vegetables and fruit you bought home.  Like broccoflower. So highly fixable! Let’s go! What Is Broccoflower? Broccoli and cauliflower are cousins in the cruciferous family, Brassica oleracea, which includes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale.   It is …

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How to Blind Bake a Pie Crust

Blind baking is the term used for baking a pie crust on its own, so that it can be fully cooked and wonderfully flaky before you start piling in a filling that doesn’t need to be cooked, like a chocolate mousse pie, or all kinds of icebox pies. It’s a great technique to know. Sometimes a crust is partially baked when the filling only requires a short time in the oven, which is known as partial blind baking, but we’ll leave that for the next pie. What this entails is fitting the pie dough (homemade or from a package, your …

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How Long Do I Marinate That?

Why Marinades are So Great Marinades are brilliant because essentially you can take any kind of meat or fish or seafood you like, give it a dunk in the mixture and you’ve turned a plain something into a great dinner. The more delicate the protein, the less you want to marinate it, especially if it contains citrus juices which can start to “cook” the food and change its texture (eg, make it mushy). Some Guidelines for Marinating Success The thinner the food, and the less dense the food, the less time it needs in the marinade. The more acid (citrus …

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10 Essential Cooking Methods Everyone Should Know

As the New Year begins, many of us are vowing to cook more, eat better, get more homemade dinners on the table.  We start digging into healthy recipes, load up on some good whole food ingredients, and set those resolutions.  But maybe not all of the terminology is as familiar as it could be.  Here’s a quick outline of some of the cooking terms you’ll see in recipes, and what they all mean. I wrote this because a while ago I was traveling, and my husband was on his own. We were on the phone, and he said, “Uh, what …

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How to Make a Perfect Baked Potato

I have to say, I love what I do, I really, really do. I like writing, I like cooking, and I like talking about writing and cooking (and just talking in general).  But sometimes I find myself in a slightly strange moment, often having to do with a particular article or project, where I am cooking and writing about one particular thing, and lots of it. My kids usually start off very enthusiastically, and then as the same food group presents itself over…and over….and over again, they start to wilt, and protest. One of the most extreme versions of this …

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