Pantry & Supermarket Tips

White ceramic mortar and pestle with rosemary

Spices & Herbs: A Quick Lesson

As this terrific video by Consumer Reports shows, you don't need to spend a lot of money on fancy spices. However, the key element is when spices get old. Ground herbs and spices are more exposed to … [Read More...]

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Reader Q&A: What do you consider essential pantry items?

Do you have a shopping list of what the essentials are when stocking a pantry? I’m exactly the kind of person you wrote for: not a terribly bad cook, but unsure and insecure in the kitchen. I loved … [Read More...]

Holiday napkin ring 1

How to Build a Holiday Dinner Menu

Ah, that annual stressful event known as holiday dinner planning. If you're a novice cook, it can seem deeply conflicted.  But then, remember the math. Most classic holiday dinner menus include a … [Read More...]

Thanksgiving Recipes

Gumbo with white rice

How to Make Gumbo Out of (Almost) Anything

By Kathleen Flinn For most people, the word "gumbo" traditionally inspires the image of the classic New Orleans version studded with spicy sausage and shrimp. But Chuck Taggart of the GumboPages … [Read More...]

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Fearless Thanksgiving: Tips from the Pros

                       Holiday meals can cause even confident cooks anxiety. I asked some of my food writer friends for their best … [Read More...]

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How to Plan for a Big Holiday Meal

Holiday meals can cause even confident cooks a great deal of performance anxiety. Here are a few Le Cordon Bleu-style tips for making the whole thing go easier: Get your chef's knife sharpened. If … [Read More...]

Cooking fundamentals

Chopped onion

How to Cut an Onion [video lesson]

My book club read The Sharper Your Knife and we all loved it. So I got a copy of The Kitchen Counter Cooking School and I was so inspired, I went ahead and got the chef’s knife from block set we received as a wedding gift 11 years ago sharpened for the first time! I’ve read through your description on […]

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Recipes & Fundamentals: Using a Whole Chicken

On Wednesday I bought a chicken on sale for 99 cents a pound, and cut it up, shaving off the breasts to reserve the back for stock. It left two hearty chicken breasts nearly 14 ounces each, or about eight servings in all. I cut up the back, roasted it to a dark brown, then added it with […]

Omelet

How to Make an Omelet (video lesson)

One of my chefs at Le Cordon Bleu once said, “If you can make an omelet, you’ll never be hungry.” So true. An omelet is inexpensive, versatile and amazingly quick to prepare. While it’s typically thought of as a breakfast dish, British food writer Elizabeth David wrote about an omelet with a glass of wine […]

veg stock after cooking

Recipe: How to Make Vegetable Stock

Despite the name of this recipe, there’s actually not such a thing as vegetable stock. By definition, stock is made from simmering bones in water. No bones? Then it’s broth. So, let us commence with vegetable broth. In my own kitchen, I collect and save the trimmings from the likes of carrots, celery, onions, the […]