The ultimate Thanksgiving recipe finder

About this time each year I come across several posts for a food site's new and/or improved holiday recipe finder. Each is organized a little differently, but the premise is the same: use your preferences, whether ingredient or nutrition or type of dish, and the magic of the "finder" will return the perfect recipe to you. This year is no… read more

Spice support: curry leaves

The first time I encountered curry leaves as an ingredient in a recipe, I wondered how they were different than the curry powder that I purchased at a spice store. I assumed that curry leaves must be one of the components of curry powder, but I later discovered that they had nothing to do with the spice blend as I… read more

The difference between shallots and onions

At first glance, a shallot seems like a slimmer, smaller version of its cousin the onion, but they have different flavor profiles and are not equal substitutes for another. As Palisa Anderson writes in The Guardian, each of these wonderful members of the allium family has uses that will best highlight its unique characteristics. While shallots resemble onions in outward… read more

Learn the difference between seltzer, club soda, and sparkling mineral water

What is fizzy, non-alcoholic, and can be found in any manner of drinks and foods? If you answered any of the three items listed above, you are correct. Despite their similarities, each of them has its own best use, and Eater is here to explain the differences between them. The most basic of the three is seltzer, which is nothing… read more

Break free from black pepper

I've always been a big fan of black pepper - it's warmth and earthiness are comforting to me. Perhaps I like it so much because almost everything I ate as a kid was liberally sprinkled with this spice. Strange as I might find it, there are plenty of people who don't like pepper or are allergic to it. So what's… read more

The whey you like it

If you have ever made homemade cheese - whether fresh cheese like ricotta or a firm cheese like cheddar - you have probably been faced with the dilemma of what to do with the whey that remains after straining the curds. Zoe Williams recently confronted this issue after she took a cheesemaking course, and she found several uses for this… read more

A guide to squash varieties

When I browse the farmers' market stands come fall, the number and variety of squash always amazes me. The colors, shapes, and textures are so varied and beautiful that I sometimes buy several types just so I can display them in my kitchen. Some of the time I don't even know what varieties I have, which can make it challenging… read more

Why you always need to scrape your bowl

For my birthday I gave myself the gift of a new stand mixer, and my mom purchased a flexible-edge beater to go along with it (thanks, Mom!). I figured that the beater's rubber edge would completely eliminate the annoying and sometimes cumbersome step of scraping the mixing bowl while making doughs and batters. I was wrong. The first cake I… read more

How to convert pan sizes in baking

It's inevitable: after searching for just the right recipe, you come to the instructions and find out that it calls for a 9-inch square tin and all you have is an 8-inch pan. Do you a) do the math to change the recipe, b) press your luck and use the smaller pan, or c) scroll down to the next recipe?… read more

The thrill of discovery

Last week I wrote about how I failed my fresh produce. You may have wondered what ever became of those two sad, tired ears of corn. The notion of making elotes had swirled around in my head, but these cobs were too far gone for that to happen. My next thought was soup. For ages, cooks have been throwing past-their-prime… read more

The difference between cornmeal, grits, and polenta

Cornmeal, grits, polenta: although I have and use all three of these corn products in my pantry, I must confess that I was not aware of the subtle differences between them. That is, until today, when I found an article on Eater that explains their distinctive traits. First things first: these are all very similar products that are made from… read more

These tools are real multi-taskers

I've got a kitchen full of tools and equipment that were specially designed for cooking. From mixers to spatulas to cake decorating tips, these tools belonged in the kitchen from the moment they were conceived. But some of the most useful kitchen items that I have came from other rooms in the house and even from the garage. The Washington… read more

Is it okay to use salted butter in baking?

I read a Twitter thread the other day in which the writer unleashed a tirade of complaints about recipe requirements, including a rant against unsalted butter, which he called "trash." It is obvious that he prefers baking with salted butter, but most bakers disagree. But does using salted butter in place of unsalted really make a difference? The answer is...maybe. … read more

Pop goes the…sorghum?

Even with my good-sized cookbook collection and the entire EYB online recipe database at my fingertips, occasionally I run out of inspiration for the somewhat embarrassing number of grains that reside in my pantry. This is especially true for some of the more obscure items - there are not many options for purple barley, for instance. That's why I immediately… read more

How to take the heat and stay in the kitchen

My kitchen is in the southwest corner of the house and has a large window that overlooks our lawn and flower garden. During the spring and fall I have a gorgeous vista to take in as I chop vegetables or mix a cake batter. In the winter, the view is not as lovely although the tons of natural light that… read more

Substitutes save the day

Has the following scenario ever happened to you? In the middle of measuring ingredients to make a cake, pie, or batch of cookies, you realize that you are out of one of the key ingredients: cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, or something else that you could have sworn you had in stock. When this happens, you can be stuck -… read more

The latest garlic peeling hack makes the rounds

Perhaps you have already seen the mesmerizing video - a pair of hands, a sharp knife, a few twists, and an entire head of garlic peeled as easy as 1-2-3. This is the latest garlic peeling trick circulating on social media, following other hacks such as the two metal bowls method, the microwave method, and the high pressure air hose… read more

Take your knife skills to the next level

I don't know about you, but I could always use a little help with my knife skills, especially on how to get them sharp and keep them that way. That is why I immediately clicked on Food52's recent post about a knife sharpening demonstration video from none other than Jacques Pépin.  The video is as much a demonstration of proper… read more

The best tool for folding isn’t a spatula

During a binge-watching session of the Canadian comedy Schitt's Creek, I found myself chuckling over a scene between Moira Rose (played by Catherine O'Hara) and her son David (Daniel Levy). In the scene, the Roses (down on their luck millionaires) were attempting to make dinner themselves for the first time in years. They were following a recipe but struggled with… read more

Troubleshooting your Instant Pot

There's nothing more satisfying than getting a new kitchen appliance and putting it through its paces. On the flip side, there are few things as frustrating as having said appliance stop working properly or quit in the middle of a critical task. One of the most popular appliances on the market, the Instant Pot, has garnered legions of fans worldwide… read more

Spice support: ras el hanout

Over the centuries, signature spice blends have been developed in regions the world over. Most of these blends started with combining herbs and spices that grew in the local area, but after the development of the spice trade routes, people began incorporating flavors from farther away into the blends. One blend that has garnered a following far outside of its… read more

Spice support: Ottolenghi’s pantry essentials

Usually in our Spice Support columns we focus on a particular spice, diving deep into its history and culinary uses. Today we are taking a broader approach, and talking about your overall spice collection. Some of us have a limited selection of pantry staples like cinnamon, black pepper, and a few assorted herbs, while others have a sprawling assortment of… read more

Avoid these roux mistakes

Roux is the backbone of many sauces, soups, gravies, and stews from bechamel to gumbo. Although its components couldn't be simpler - just fat and flour - there are many ways that roux can go all wrong. If you have had some roux disasters (I know I have), brush up on your technique with Food & Wine's tips for making… read more

Spice support: allspice

The appropriately-named flavoring agent allspice is extremely versatile in the kitchen, at once familiar and exotic. Most of us are familiar with its use in the sweet side of the kitchen as part of a melange of spices used in pumpkin pie, gingerbread, and other sweets, but allspice is at home in savory dishes too as indexed magazine Saveur explains. … read more

Nigella Lawson celebrates home cooking

It's always a delight to hear from our favorite authors, especially those as charming as Nigella Lawson. Recently she sat down with Francis Lam of The Splendid Table to discuss several topics ranging from the definition of a pudding to her life in food to her views on home cooking. Part of the reason Nigella has remained popular in over 20… read more
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