Pantry & Supermarket Tips

mashed potatoes

Challenge: Real mashed potatoes vs. Instant

I can understand the lure of instant mashed potatoes. You want comfort, you want it now. According to Wisegeek.com, a Canadian scientist developed instant mashed back in 1962. Nutritionally … [Read More...]

cranberry fixings

Firehouse Challenge: Cranberry sauce

Growing up, I assumed that cranberries grew in the shape of a can. I am not alone.  When I was nine, my Aunt Judy made cranberry relish from whole berries and nothing was the same again. Of all the … [Read More...]

Fancy turkey

Challenge: Supermarket turkey vs. Organic Bird

A turkey may seem like a humble, if popular, bird but it's yielding increasing discussion in the food world. One study found that generic turkeys contained high levels of bacteria; researchers pointed … [Read More...]

Thanksgiving Recipes

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...]

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...]

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...]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]