cooking tips

10 Must-Have Pantry Ingredients

A question that is often asked of cooks, food writers and people whose lives revolve around their kitchens: what is your favorite ingredient? My answer is pretty much always a combo of two, olive oil and salt.  But that is just the beginning.  Here are some of the everyday pantry staples that make cooking a pleasure, food delicious, and weeknight meals easy.  Plus some ideas for how to put them to good use. 1. Olive Oil, Pure and/or Extra Virgin Olive Oil In a perfect world, you’ll have both kinds on hand, more if you are interested in a variety …

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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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10 Things To Make With Leftover Shredded Chicken

What to Do with Leftover Chicken: What do to with those leftover chicken breasts?  Those leftover chicken thighs?  Shred them!  Leftover cooked shredded chicken is one of the most perpetually useful things to have in your fridge.  Whether it’s from a store-bought rotisserie chicken, or just extra chicken from a dinner earlier in the week, whether the chicken has been poached, grilled, roasted, baked  or steamed, it’s a goldmine of future recipes and meals waiting to happen.  (Psst….anything on this list also works with leftover shredded turkey!  Which many of us will have in our fridges right after Thanksgiving.) If you’re super …

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10 Essential Cooking Methods Everyone Should Know

s 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.  What does saute mean?  What does braise mean?  Excellent and fair questions.  Here’s are some quick definitions of some of the cooking terms you’ll see in recipes. I wrote this because a while ago I was traveling, and my husband was on his own. We …

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