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...]

Kathleens fridge on 6February2011

What’s in your fridge?

For The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, my friend Lisa and I spent a lot of time with other people's kitchens. There's something deeply intimate about what's lurks in the fridges, freezers and … [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...]

Thanksgiving Recipes

Stuffing

Bread Stuffing with Apples, Bacon, and Caramelized Onions

Recipe by Diane Morgan, from The Thanksgiving Table Who can resist crisp bacon, sautéed apples, and the slightly blackened edges of caramelized onions? With the addition of savory herbs, this is the … [Read More...]

Whole Homemade Thanksgiving Turkey

Fearless Thanksgiving Guide

We all know that holiday dinners should be a time to celebrate family, friends and food, but more often than not, it's a stressful holiday, with anxious hosts more worried about the turkey than about … [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...]

Cooking fundamentals

Blueberry jam

Recipe: Blueberry Jam Like My Grandpa Charles’

“Who are you?” Mike asked me last week.  “What are you talking about?” I replied. He waved his hand over the counter and dozens of jars of canned jams, jellies and preserves. “Have you become your grandmother? You’re  canning like a maniac.” “No, I am not becoming my grandmother,” I sniffed indignantly. “You read the […]

Which one tastes the best... to you? There's only one way to find out.

How to do a Comparative Tasting and Why You Should

Salt to taste. If you’ve ever read a recipe, you’ve probably seen that line. Though common, it’s also a common source of confusion for home cooks. “Whose taste?” some ask. The answer, your taste, often leads to more questioning: “What is my taste?” or “What if my taster’s no good?” Salt to taste just means salt […]

Spices collection

A “Cheat Sheet” to Flavor Profiles

What makes something taste Italian or Cajun or Moroccan? Whether crafting vinaigrette, seasoning chicken, or developing a soup, understanding the flavors of ingredients that help to define various cuisines can be deeply useful. Every cuisine has its regional variations; Basque cuisine is vastly different from the classic dishes from Provence, but they’re both French. So […]

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 […]