Pantry & Supermarket Tips

green beans canned

Challenge: Green Beans canned vs. fresh

Green beans are a classic side dish for any holiday. I debated an update on green bean casserole, but decided instead to serve fresh green beans and canned green beans, each were lightly sauteed in … [Read More...]

Making gravy

Firehouse Holiday Dinner Challenge: Gravy

At its heart, gravy is a sauce. Sauces flummox home cooks. I interviewed a woman at a supermarket who told me, "I've burned gravy, I've made greasy gravy, I've made lumpy gravy, I've made bland gravy. … [Read More...]

Carrots on counter

Reader Q&A: What the heck is a SUPER FOOD?

  I keep hearing about "superfoods." What the heck are they and should I care? - Danielle, a reader from Milwaukee   Superfood. You may have seen this mysterious moniker planted on grocery … [Read More...]

Thanksgiving Recipes

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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...]

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...]

Whole Homemade Thanksgiving Turkey

Fearless Holidays: Turkey FAQ

That's me, age four, stuffing a turkey. I've been doing this holiday dinner thing a long time. So much information exists on the humble turkey, a curiously popular bird. Here are simple answers to … [Read More...]

Cooking fundamentals

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Cooking in Parchment (video lesson)

Cooking en papillote (French for “parchment”) is a wildly overlooked method of cooking in America. It’s an easy method for a quick weeknight dinner that’s also elegant enough for guests. The smell that escapes when the package is reason enough to try it. This works well for salmon and mild-flavored white fish such as snapper, cod and so […]

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 […]

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 […]

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.  […]