Tips&Techniques

How to Steam Carrots Without Cooking Them to Death

One of the easiest side dishes to make is steamed vegetables—like carrots—but they’re also one of the easiest to screw up. One second the vegetables are practically raw and the next they’re an overcooked mess that may as well turn into a mash. So what’s the best way to steam carrots so that they’re actually appealing? From Our Shop our line! Five Two Essential Stock Pot $119

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How to Steam Carrots (No Steamer Basket Necessary) First, are you steaming baby carrots or large carrots? Will they be cooked…

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The Best Vegetables to Grow in Raised Garden Beds

You can Grow Your Own Way. All spring and summer, we’re playing in the vegetable garden; join us for step-by-step guides, highly recommended tools, backyard tours, juicy-ripe recipes, and then some. Let’s get our hands dirty. Every year during the strawberry harvest, I daydream of growing strawberries in a long, narrow raised bed (tabletop height, so I don’t have to crouch, crawl, and squat to pick the berries, which is quite tedious). But a raised bed for my sizable strawberry patch would be a considerable undertaking and expense. Plus, I would need not just one but two beds to ensure a seamless harvest. Read More >> …

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How to Make Soap at Home (Even if You Failed Chemistry)

My experimentations with homemade soap began when I became enamored with making things at home, like maintaining my own sourdough starter, painting my own kitchen cabinets, and repairing my own clothes. Even if time-consuming, I found that doing things myself, from start to finish, was immensely rewarding. It gave me a far greater appreciation for the goods that came my way, and made me a lot more conscious (in a good way) of the quality of ingredients. 
As time went by and my life got busier, my hobbies went on the backburner. However, soapmaking stuck around. It was very complicated at first, and therefore can be off-putting to some, but I’ve actually found it has one of the best effort-to-reward ratios out of all my hobbies. Much like knitting, it’s a meditative activity and a creative outlet. But unlike knitting, just a few evenings or weekends of work can reap great rewards, as well as furnish me…

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You’re Probably Buying the Wrong Light Bulb—Here’s Why

Ever swap out a light bulb at home only to realize its light appears completely different from the rest of the home? You’re not alone. When my husband and I moved into our apartment two years ago, it came with recessed lights—some of them I wanted to keep (like in our kitchen), others I wanted to convert to more attractive flush mount fixtures (hallways and bathrooms) and pendant lights (kitchen island). But once I installed all of them and added bulbs, to my horror, the light they cast just didn’t seem to match. Read More >> …

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What the Heck Are Hemp Hearts, Anyway?

We’ve teamed up with Manitoba Harvest—known for its commitment to high-quality hemp foods—to showcase a protein powerhouse: their hemp hearts. Manitoba Harvest’s hemp hearts are loaded with protein and omegas, and are free from preservatives, fillers, and artificial ingredients. Bonus: They’re grown without herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides, and have almost unlimited recipe applications. Meet the small-but-mighty shelled seeds we’re putting in and on everything, from smoothies to salads: hemp hearts. These soft, chewy seeds are a good source of protein, rich in ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) omega-3 fatty acids, and they’re a great way to add nuttiness and texture to any dish (especially when it comes to breakfast). Beyond morning meals, you can use them in just about anything—even to top something like this garlicky vegan flatbread—which we think makes them a must-have pantry staple. Read More >> …

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3 Easy-Peasy Ways to Cook Green Beans

It can be really easy to screw up cooking green beans. If you look away for just a minute, delicate beans can go from crisp-tender to over-cooked and mushy, and there’s no turning back. Plus when they’re at their peak, green beans have a vibrant green color and lovely spring flavor that shines when they’re barely cooked. Before your beans lose their brightness and a staple side dish is ruined, learn how to cook green beans three ways—boiling, steaming, and sautéing. 54 of Our Favorite Thanksgiving Vegetable Side Dishes
33 Green Bean Recipes That Go Beyond Casserole
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Wait, This Is the Best Way to Mince Garlic?

I come from a family of garlic lovers: The kind of family that fought over the cloves of garlic tucked into sautéed greens at an Italian restaurant. The kind that gifted things like a Garlic Lovers’ Cookbook, complete with a wacky, but very real, recipe for garlic ice cream (full disclosure, I have never attempted it.) Sautéeing garlic with another allium—shallots, onions, leeks, or a combination therein—builds a strong flavor foundation for any dish. It will also make your kitchen smell incredible almost instantaneously (I’ve been dreaming of a “sautéed onion” Yankee Candle for years.) Suffice it to say that I’ve minced a lot of garlic in my day. But it wasn’t until I started professionally recipe testing that I learned the ‘why’ and not just the ‘how’ behind mincing garlic. Read More >> …

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How to Store Fresh Herbs So They Last And Last

Ideally, you’d “store” fresh herbs in the garden, never snipping more than you needed. The chives on your scrambled eggs, the cilantro on your tacos, and the basil on your pizza would always be bright, fragrant, and bursting with life. Alas, the real world doesn’t work that way. To avoid wasting nature’s herbaceous gifts, we must use our ingenuity. There are multiple complex factors influencing produce’s longevity, and most of us don’t have the means, the time, or even the inclination to precisely control for all of them. Conjuring maximum herbal freshness is therefore more art than science. Rather than recommend one approach, let’s discuss the basic elements of freshness, then look at how things can go wrong so that you can respond based on what you observe in your kitchen. Read More >> …

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7 Tomato Paste Substitutes for Pantry Pasta Emergencies (& More!)

Tomato paste is having a moment. Made by boiling down tomato juice into smooth, concentrated form, tomato paste is absolutely packed with umami. Just a tablespoon can transform a braise, stew, or soup, imbuing it with an unplaceable but vibrant richness. Knead it into bread dough for a ruby-red pop, or add it to tomato sauce to make it even more tomato-y. The opportunities are endless, but this rich, sweet vermillion substance is just the kind of thing I’m constantly forgetting on my grocery runs. So if you’re staring down a recipe that calls for some paste and need a quick tomato paste substitute, we have your back. Here are 7 tomato paste substitutes you probably have on hand: Read More >> …

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9 Cream of Tartar Substitutes You Probably Have in the Kitchen

Where would we be without grapes? Think of all the culinary marvels the fruit yields: Jelly, balsamic and red wine vinegars, and of course wine. But lofty cakes, ethereal meringues, and chewy snickerdoodles also owe their existence to another child of the grape: cream of tartar. The white powder is most often found in baked goods, where it serves as a stabilizer, a leavening agent, or a crystallization inhibitor (more on this later). If you’ve just embarked on some baking endeavor only to find your jar of cream of tartar empty, there’s no cause for alarm. There are plenty of substitutions for cream of tartar, you just have to decide which purpose that sub needs to serve. Read More >> …

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9 Very-Clever Hacks to Get the Most Out of Your Oven

We teamed up with LG Studio to share useful hacks for making your oven work smarter, not harder. Using these simple tips and tricks, your baking, roasting, and more is sure to be a success every time. We already know that our beloved ovens are the best for roasting a whole chicken to juicy-crisp perfection, baking gooey chocolate chip cookies, and making the best-ever cheesy lasagna—but what else can they do? Aside from the more obvious uses, a few simple, time-saving tricks will help you get through the busy holiday season—and beyond—without breaking a sweat (or burning something). Read More >> …

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The Simple But Clever Way I Keep My Phone Safe in the Kitchen

I worked in a bakery for years, which means I was covered in flour for years. My hair was covered in flour. My clothes were covered in flour. My shoes and notebook and purse were covered in flour. And my cell phone. That was a bit of a problem. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Why didn’t I keep my phone somewhere else, like away from where I was rolling hundreds of pie dough rounds? One very important reason: Read More >> …

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A $0 Trick to Make Your Stinky, Stubborn Jars Smell Clean Again

If there’s a glass jar in our house, there’s a good chance it’s being used to store any number of goodies: batches of minced garlic I like to whir up in my Vitamix, quick pickles, decanted gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes), a variety of dried spices, remnant soy bean or red pepper pastes. Because the contents of these jars are usually pungent, I normally don’t have any problems using them interchangeably with one another. It’s when I need to fill them with milder things like smoothies and jams that I run into trouble. Read More >> …

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De-Stink Your Onion Hands With This Trick

So, say you’re chopping a whole bunch of onions. Just a hypothetical here. The tears that accompany slicing and dicing alliums are hard enough, but to add insult to injury, the harsh onion stink clings to your hands—even after a thorough washing. If you want a much faster way of getting rid of that smell, skip the soap and rub your hands with a spoon. Read More >> …

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6 Ingredients That Are Cheaper in the Bulk Aisle—and a Surprising One That Isn’t

There are a lot of smarty-pants reasons to buy ingredients in the bulk aisle. It reduces packaging waste (“Thank you!” says Earth). You can buy exactly as much as you want (one slice of dried mango? Sure!). And it saves you money. Or does it? Read More >> …

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A New Genius Recipe for Wildly Juicy Roast Chicken—Without Preheating the Oven

My favorite roast chicken method will always be my first love, a merit badge in confident cooking. Its notoriously high oven temperature and crisp skin are the legacies of Barbara Kafka, the pioneering cooking expert who changed how we think about roasting and much more, and who sadly passed away last week at the age of 84. But I roast a lot of chickens, and Kafka never was one to take “enough” for an answer. For the first time since I latched onto her technique six years ago, I recently added another, very different roast chicken recipe to my any-old-night rotation (pre-requisites for any-old-night status: no advance prep required, an absolute minimum amount of fuss). Read More >> …

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How to Pack a Cooler Like the Tetris Master That You Are

Driving from point A to point B isn’t always easy. You have to plan for traffic, strategize bathroom breaks, and arrange suitcases and pillows so the driver can see. Add ham sandwiches, containers of hummus, and ice-cold root beer? It’s almost worth calling it a day and enduring the McDonald’s drive-thru. But packing a cooler doesn’t have to make you sweat. Whether you’re lugging a week’s worth of groceries to the lake house or simply taking a long weekend trip to the beach, we’ve thought of the best ways to transport your provisions, keeping your lettuce fresh and sandwiches un-squished. Read More >> …

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