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8 Small Cooking Habits That Make a Big Difference. Being a good cook isn't just a matter of knowing the big, impressive skills you can show off to friends and family, like roasting a turkey or making challah bread.

8 Small Cooking Habits That Make a Big Difference

It's also about the small habits you practice daily, the ones that transform cooking into a more effortless and joyful part of your day. These 8 simple habits are easy to pick up, yet make a major difference in your cooking. 1. Make your cutting board non-slip. Putting a damp paper towel, damp kitchen towel or piece of non-slip cupboard liner under your cutting board before you start chopping will give you a stable surface to work on safely. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

What small habits make a big difference in your cooking? Related: Healthy Kitchen Habits: Cleaning Tip Roundup (Image: Chris Perez, from Jeanine & Jack's Zesty White Kitchen) Get Your Grain Ratios Right on The Eater’s Digest. If you can boil water, cooking up grains should, in theory, be pretty simple.

Get Your Grain Ratios Right on The Eater’s Digest

And yet, if you’ve ever wound up with a pot of goopy rice or quinoa the consistency of Grape-Nuts, you know that remembering the right water ratios can be a bit tricky. Enter our helpful grain infographic… our grainfographic! Print it out, post it on the fridge, and you’ll forever have a cheat sheet for grain success. Let no grain go mis-cooked! Download the pdf here. It’s worth noting that some grains have been partially cooked or prepped before you buy them, which can affect how much water you’ll need, as well as the cooking method. And, just like personal preferences, every grain is a little bit different, so always adjust water as needed so it’s to your liking.

Get your grainfographic here. 10 (More) Recipes To Know By Heart Recipes from The Kitchn. What are your recipe essentials?

10 (More) Recipes To Know By Heart Recipes from The Kitchn

This time last year we shared a dozen of the recipes that we and our readers find indispensable. So indispensable are they, in fact, that we don't lean on the printed word. These are recipes we commit to memory. But a dozen really isn't enough, and we all have our favorites, so we're revisiting our lineup, with ten more recipes that many of us truly know by heart.

Some are weeknight dinner staples like baked salmon and fried rice, and others are the most classic sort of comfort foods, like chocolate chip cookies and buttermilk quick bread. Previous image Next image TOP ROW• 1 Fried Rice (plus, Stir-Fried Chicken)Understanding how to make a quick pan of stir-fried rice with vegetables and egg (or even a bit of leftover bacon) can mean a satisfying dinner on even the busiest of weeknights. • 2 Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and CheeseThis is such a good recipe to know off the top of your head. (Images: See linked recipes for full image credits) 12 Recipes to Know By Heart. Previous image Next image We are talking about kitchen essentials this month at The Kitchn, and when I think of "essentials," I think first of my weeknight meals, the ones I can whip up without reference to a cookbook or a website.

12 Recipes to Know By Heart

We asked our readers what these recipes were for them — what sorts of recipes did they have memorized and know by heart? Here are some of the most frequent answers, along with our own versions so that you too can learn these by heart. From hearty chili to homemade salad dressing and hot yeast bread, each of these recipes can help you put a meal on the table quickly and efficiently, with the pleasure of knowing you whipped it up like a pro. Here's our list of dishes that many of our readers said they know by heart, along with a sample recipe. 12 Recipes to Know By HeartTomato Sauce - Tomato sauce is such a great recipe to have in your head. Related: Which Recipes Do You Know By Heart? (Images: See linked recipes for full image credits)

The Different Types of Pasta: What Kind is on my Plate? Holiday Appetizers: savory favorites. Apps.

Holiday Appetizers: savory favorites

It’s a semi-word thrown around quite easily these days, usually referring to smart phone applications (“apps”) like Instagram, Words with Friends, or Angry Birds (which apparently is at the top of the app popularity totem pole). But when the holidays roll around, “app” means only one thing to me: appetizer, quite possibly my favorite food group. Chips and dip, cheese and crackers, crostini and baked artichoke spread… Anything crunchy/salty/savory paired with anything rich/creamy/spreadable is a welcome break from the holiday cookies, candy, and other sweets so ubiquitous right about now.

So, without further ado, enjoy this tasty baker’s dozen of our favorite holiday appetizers. Bet you can’t make just one! Flaky Cheese Twists (pictured above) – These tender, assertively cheesy pastries are absolutely addictive. Herb and Garlic Puffs – Have you ever made cream puff shells? Spicy Garlic Nuts – Is holiday prep making you nuts? Want Perfectly Round Cookies? Use a Paper Towel Roll CHOW.

The Best Way to Freeze Cinnamon Rolls: Parbake & Freeze Sweet Rolls Now. Null - scottmarquardt. I'd suggest letting the filter dry whenever possible, ideally in the sun that shines on your window sill over the sink. ;-) [Yet another update: put the used filter in a small Ziploc and store it in the freezer.

null - scottmarquardt

This prolongs the life of the filter substantially. How long does a filter last? Sniff it before use. If you pick up a trace of staleness, chuck it.] Updated section (Aug '08q) OK, here's the procedure as I do it. First, I preheat the Aero. Then I pour this water through the polyester felt, which I generally store in the freezer in a small ziplock between uses. Next I add some brewing water to the Aero and add the coffee. Now I add more water, and stir. Now I cap the Aero, and press inverted through the poly. Yes, it's a bit of an isometric exercise. Next I "revert" the press over the cup, but before finishing the press I draw upwards on the plunger to suck air in the bottom of the press.

That's it. Other pages: Easy Rainbow Pasta Recipe. The rainbow recipes on Tablespoon continue today with this fun new one – Rainbow Pasta!

Easy Rainbow Pasta Recipe

Plain spaghetti was by far one of my favorite foods as a kiddo, especially being an uber picky eater. But I’m pretty sure our spaghetti never looked like THIS! In fact, if it had, I’m imagining my mom could have hidden all sorts of extra veggies and good stuff in there without us kids noticing. But regardless of what sauce, veggies, or other ingredients you might like to serve with this pasta, the fun rainbow technique will definitely make this rainbow pasta the talk of the dinner table. And to complete the “rainbow”, I’ve also included a quick tutorial for making these quick and easy little Parmesan “clouds”.

Here’s the how to… First, you begin with the main ingredient: CARBS. Cook it al dente according to the package instructions. I used six colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple), but you can use however many colors you prefer. And then serve! Just preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 3 Essential Tips for Successfully Growing Herbs Indoors. During the winter months fresh herbs aren't out of reach, but they do require a little help to really get them growing.

3 Essential Tips for Successfully Growing Herbs Indoors

Want to see if your space has what it takes? 1. Give Them Sun, Sun, Sun! Herbs need 4 to 6 hours of direct sun every day to not just survive, but to thrive indoors. Not just light, we're talking direct rays that you might acquire a sunburn in. 2. 3. Do you have any tried and true tips to add to the list? Related: Expert Advice on Planting, Pruning, and Getting the Most Out of Herbs (Image: Flickr member Jess Pac licensed for use by Creative Commons) 10 Surprising Foods You Can Make in a Slow Cooker. It's fall, which means it's time to pull out the ol' slow cooker!

10 Surprising Foods You Can Make in a Slow Cooker

We've shared a few of our favorite slow cooker recipes in the past, including tried-and-true recipes for barbacoa beef, lemon garlic chicken, and curried vegetable stew. But did you know you can also use your slow cooker to make cheesecake? Fruit butters? Even bread? Yes, indeed. • 1 Oatmeal: We love steel cut oats, and this recipe makes magic out of them. What unusual or surprising foods have you managed to make in your slow cooker?

Related: Back to Basics: How To Use a Slow Cooker (Image: Faith Durand) 20 Smoothie Tips, Hints, and Recipes. Drink Your Oats: 5 Nourishing Whole-Grain Smoothie Recipes. How to Make Perfect Pesto Every Time Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn. Previous image Next image Spread it on sandwiches, toss it with pasta, or yes, treat yourself a single happy spoonful, but definitely absolutely positively make pesto any chance you get.

How to Make Perfect Pesto Every Time Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

It's always tempting to eat pesto by the spoonful. It's so very fresh and so very green. And those flavors of basil, pine nut, parmesan, garlic, and olive oil just play so very nicely together. Besides how heavenly it tastes, the other thing I love about pesto is that it can be whatever you want it to be. But you can switch out the basil for another handy herb or leafy green, replace the (crazy expensive, if delicious) pine nuts with a different favorite nut, or swap the parm for pecorino or asiago. Bottom line: green + nuts + cheese + olive oil = awesome sauce, literally. What's your favorite way to make pesto? How to Make Pesto Makes about 1 cup What You Need Ingredients Equipment Blender or food processor Instructions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

(Images: Emma Christensen) Taco seasoning recipe. Taco seasoning is one of those convenience foods that I kept buying long after I had eliminated lots of other stuff. It's silly, really. But it was so easy to just buy a pouch of mystery dust for taco night. A couple years ago, though, I started to make my own taco seasoning. I've spent loads of time mixing and matching taco seasoning recipes I found online, and it's been getting better and better all the time.

I have declared myself the taco seasoning recipe god. This taco seasoning mix tastes better than the stuff in pouches and it's just salty and spicy enough to give it a bit of a kick. This recipe makes around 1/4 cup, and half of that will season a pound of meat, though I admit I normally add a little more. What you need: 1 tablespoon chili powder 1/2 tablespoon paprika 1/2 tablespoon cumin 1/2-1 teaspoon salt (start with 1/2 teaspoon, taste and add more if you want!) Now never eat the stuff out of pouches again! Orange Sweet Rolls: tangy twist on a favorite classic. Drip… Drip… Drip… This is definitely NOT the sound you want to hear in the middle of a dark and stormy night, with the wind howling and tugging at those old shingles on your roof – you know, the ones you meant to replace last year only you spent your income tax refund on a stand mixer and a week at the beach. This is also not the sound you want to hear when, against your better judgment, you left the dog alone in the kitchen with a pot of cooling soup barely within inquisitive nose reach on the counter.

And in fact, this is not the sound you hear at all when you drizzle vanilla glaze on a sweet roll. No, that process is entirely silent – unless you count your own barely audible sigh of bliss as you watch that glaze drip… drip… drip down the side of a warm bun. Carly Simon said it best: Anticipation… Are you a fan of cinnamon rolls? Then you absolutely need to make these Orange Sweet Rolls. Anticipation is about to turn into action. “So, this person is talking about cinnamon rolls,” you say. Bake Your Day Spinach Salad Pizza. Monday, August 13, 2012 Spinach Salad Pizza We are still going strong – but only a few weeks left of our #TomatoLove recipe exchange, in conjunction with IJM’s Recipe for Change. It’s never been more important to speak out – advocate for tomato farmers by speaking out. Sign a petition, send a letter to your local supermarkets, and share the campaign with others. Ali and are so excited about the enthusiasm that this campaign is receiving.

I have been waiting for PIZZA week since this campaign began. Of course – I had been eating them all my life – in spaghetti sauces, chili and pizza sauce. The idea for this pizza came from my favorite salad at a local pizza place, Spin Pizza. PrintSave Spinach Salad Pizza Recipe Yield: 4 6-inch pizzasTotal Time: 30 minutes Traditional spinach salad meets pizza for a fun summer meal: mushrooms, pancetta, roasted tomatoes, vinaigrette and pecans atop a thin crust. This is a truly amazing set of pizza making equipment. This giveaway is now closed. Peach pie muffins with brown butter glaze. I am in love. With a fluffy, light, cinnamon-sugary, fruity, buttery muffin remiscent of my favorite pie EVER. Peach pie, nothing comes close to you. Hot, tiny apartment kitchen 1 dozen freshly baked peach pie muffins? Hmmm. I succombed to the heat last weekend and baked up muffins quite similiar to the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Muffins I recently shared.

Each bite of these muffins was slowly savored and any bead of sweat shed in the baking process was surely worth it. And when I mention moist, I really mean it. Thanks to the entire Tablespoon of baking powder and a few of my muffin tricks , these muffins rose up to be bakery size. Oh, and the drizzle of brown butter glaze helps too. I was going to top these peach pie muffins with an ordinary glaze or leave them completely naked, but considering I’m channeling my favorite type of pie here, I had to up the ante, no? Be sure to glaze them right before serving, as the glaze may leave the exterior soggy if stored that way. 1/2 tsp salt 1 egg.

25 Time-Saving Freezer Tips. DIY Project: How to Make Homemade Candy Buttons. Remember these? Oh, how I loved these as a kid. Sure, I probably ate as much paper as candy, but I adored the things. As I was brainstorming ideas for the butterfly party, I remembered these favorite childhood treats, and thought of the idea of making my own in my party colors.

To make this project, you will need: One batch royal icing food coloring icing bags (I prefer the disposable KopyKake brand) and round tips (optional) Freezer Paper Graph Paper Pretzel bags Scrapbook paper stapler and glue 1) First, make up a batch of royal icing. 2) Color your icing (I prefer Americolor brand gel food coloring) and thin it out. 3) Print out graph paper to create your template. 4) Set the freezer paper, dull side UP, on top of the grid. 5) Pipe the dots in whatever color pattern you like on the paper, following the grid to keep the lines straight. 6) Let dry overnight and cut apart. 7) To package the candy buttons and make them look truly professional, slip each strip of buttons into a pretzel bag. Random Thoughts - Sliding during pool time. (Photo by somewhiteguy)

Infographic: The level of mercury in fish. How to Make Homemade Mozzarella Cooking Lessons from the Kitchn. How To Peel, Cut, Core, and Dice: 20 Tips & Techniques for Fruit and Vegetable Prep. Weight Conversions For Flour, Sugar, and Other Common Baking Ingredients. How to cook onions: Why recipe writers lie and lie about how long they take to caramelize. Homemade Wine Jelly. 100 Greatest Cooking Tips (of all time!) : Chefs. Making Hard-Cooked Eggs? Don't Boil Them. Bake Them! Appetizers. Copycat Recipe: DIY Nutri-Grain Fruit and Nut Bars. Simply Recipes Food and Cooking Blog. The Spontaneous Invitation: 3 Tips for Last-Minute Hospitality.

The Do-Not-Freeze-These-Foods List Freezer Friendly. Dollar Store Mom - Frugal Fun - Crafts for Kids. Recipes.

Diets

Dessert. Dinner. Lunch. Breakfast. Baking. Savory.