How to Avoid Wasting Food

Comedian John Oliver took to task the issue of food waste on an episode of This Week Tonight. Seemingly overnight, it's become a burning issue. Finally. I dedicated an entire chapter of my 2011 book, The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, to the issue of food waste. Here's an excerpt from "Waste Not, Want Not," courtesy Viking/Penguin Random House: "Even as they bemoan food prices, American consumers are generally unaware … [Read more...]

How to do a Tasting and Why You Should

So Bon Appetit has announced that its going to do start doing it own "seal of approval," putting its stamp on products the magazine's team of editors and recipe testers like and recommend. I'm fine with this as a way to get more exposure for good products, but here's what I recommend: get some friends over and find out what you like when it comes to cooking staples. Think of it as a wine tasting, but instead, assemble a … [Read more...]

Reader Q&A: Why Ditch Table Salt?

I was inspired by The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, but I was wondering why you're so against iodized table salt? I've heard that people need a certain amount of iodine so it is added to salt because it's impossible to get otherwise. Any clarification would be helpful! - Sally B., Madison, Wis. Kathleen says: I've had a few people ask about this, and even one person posted a comment on the site. So let me clarify. I'm … [Read more...]

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 how to cut an onion, but I think I'm doing something wrong. Do you have any photos of this process online … [Read more...]

Reader Mail: How to Outfit a Kitchen on a Budget or 14 Things Every Kitchen Needs

I get a fair amount of reader mail and I do my best to answer everyone quite quickly and thoroughly. Recently, I realized that readers often bring up great questions and so I thought I’d start answering them regularly here on the blog. Here's the first one. “In your book I like how you were able to show how people with different lifestyles were able to take on cooking successfully and even give people shopping strategies … [Read more...]

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 you've got a good chef's knife, take it in to get it sharpened ahead of the big meal. Some options: Most Sur La Table outlets, cutlery shops, good local hardware stores and even restaurant supply outlets. Don't have a decent … [Read more...]