Pantry & Supermarket Tips

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...]

Turkey Dinner

The Great Firehouse Challenge: Packaged vs. Homemade Holiday Dinner Classics

For years, a relative of mine served boxed stuffing at her holiday gatherings, spiced up with cut-up pre-cooked turkey sausage. When I offered to make some homemade stuffing one year, she waved me … [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

Fearless Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving round-up: Great online resources

I had to stop into my local supermarket yesterday to pick up two bottles of Prosecco -- and a pack of new kitchen sponges as that's the kind of thrilling dichotomy that rules my life. The place was … [Read More...]

Cranberry cocktail with lemon twist

14 Ideas for Thanksgiving Leftovers

“I think leftovers are one of the best things about Thanksgiving!” - Amy Sherman of Cooking with Amy.  This was the general consensus when I asked some food writer friends what they do with their … [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

Balsamic vinaigrette

Vinaigrette Basics [video lesson]

Do you have so many bottles of vinaigrette in your fridge that when you open the door it sounds like wind chimes? Vinaigrette is one of the first things that any home cook should master for a couple of reasons. One, it’s expensive to buy and tends to be loaded with ingredients. I did a […]

roasted green beans

Recipe: Rosemary-Thyme-Lemon Oil

Adapted from a story by editor Jennifer Armentrout from Fine Cooking, this infused oil can be added to roasted vegetables before cooking or to steamed vegetables afterward. It provides a lovely complement to roasted beets, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, fennel, mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Yields enough for about one to two pounds of roasted vegetables.  […]

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 air, and thus they lose their potency more quickly. Spices vs. Herbs First, its important to know the […]

whole_chicken

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 […]