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Mistakes you should avoid when cooking potatoes

Potato problems? Potatoes may seem basic, but there are a lot of ways to mess them up. Whether they come out partly raw, mushy, or generally flavorless, the good news is there is usually a simple solution. Read on and see what you might do differently next time to achieve those perfectly tender, flavorful spuds you salivate over. You don’t choose the right potato for the job. You’ll come across more than a dozen different kinds of potatoes at the grocery store, so how do you know which will work best for your recipe? Well, a good rule of thumb is to use russet potatoes for baking or steaming, and use red or gold potatoes for roasting or sautéing. Russets and yellow potatoes are best for mashing. Round red potatoes and fingerling potatoes are best for boiling. Not sure what to use? Those round white potatoes that you see at…

Why you shouldn’t stuff your turkey the traditional way

The idea of a juicy, stuffed turkey serving as the centerpiece to Thanksgiving feast can get just about any of us drooling. So I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But cooking your stuffing inside the bird might not be the best idea. It sure is delicious, but you could end up with dry meat or worse — foodborne illness that will definitely leave your holiday less than merry. Here’s what the experts say, as well as a few alternatives for stuffing that bird: Why you shouldn’t cook stuffing inside a turkey The most important rule to follow when cooking a turkey is that the bird — and anything inside — reach a safe temperature. The USDA has instructed that both bird and stuffing need to reach 165ºF or your meal poses the risk of carrying harmful bacterial like salmonella or E. coli. Of course, you might just…

Does pumpkin pie have to be refrigerated?

If you only eat pumpkin pie in the fall, it’s easy to forget the rules of safely storing them. You may wonder if pumpkin and other custard-style pies can be left on the counter overnight or if you need to clear space in your fridge. And now that we’re on the topic, can pumpkin pie be frozen? Here are the answers to all your pumpkin pie problems: How to store pumpkin pie from a store This time of year you’re likely to see pumpkin pies at the grocery store sitting out on a table, rather than stacked in the fridge or freezer sections. Store-bought pumpkin pies are loaded with enough shelf-stable preservatives that they can sit out. Rule of thumb: if you purchased a pie that’s been sitting out, it can continue to sit out on your kitchen counter for a few days (or until its expiration date, if it…

The very best way to reheat leftover pizza

Pizza is amazing. But you already knew that. What you might not know is the best way to bring back that crispy, cheesy, melty goodness once you’ve stowed it in the fridge overnight (or on the counter — no judgement here.) There are those, of course, who believe leftover pizza is best eaten cold. Yes, cold pizza can be a delicious option. But sometimes you want a warm meal to feed your soul. You want to resurrect the hot and greasy pizza and its gooey cheese you have such fond memories of from the night before. So what’s the best way to bring your pizza back to life? Well, anyone that’s ever been burnt by molten lava cheese can immediately rule out the microwave. Our go-to warmer of so many foods certainly fails the pizza test. You’ll walk away with a rubbery, wet sort of mess. But you do have…

10 creative ways to use your blender besides smoothies

Your blender is your best friend when it comes to mixing killer morning smoothies. But blenders are way more versatile than pureeing fruits and veggies. Try these ten hacks and you’ll be getting lots more use out of your blender in no time. 1. Make sorbet High-powered blenders can crush through ice with no problem, so it stands to reason they do the same with frozen fruit. Try tossing in some frozen mangos, strawberries (or really just about any fruit) in your blender with a drizzle of honey. You blender will whip up a tasty frozen sorbet in no time. 2. Grind spices Blenders can grind spices with complete ease. Store leftovers in an airtight jar and use within three to four weeks for best flavor. 3. Make frozen cocktails Add alcohol and frozen fruit to your blender and make a boozy slushy in no time. 4. Make nut butters…

Why you should photograph your stove dials before a trip

After weeks of planning, days of packing and hours of travel, you’re finally relaxing on vacation — swearing you’re not going to worry about life back home. But inevitably, one thought creeps into your mind: “Did I leave the stove on?” Maybe it’s the hair straightener, or leaving the garage door open, or even locking the front door. Whatever plagues your peacefulness, Lifehacker shares this genius tip: Use your smartphone to snap a shot of your stove dials (or whatever it is you worry about most) before you head out the door. Make it a part of your usual pre-travel routine. That’s it. It’s so simple, but such a small step can save you from feeling stressed ever again when you’re away from home. If you’re lounging on the beach and anxiety about the little things back home start to pop up, whip out your smart phone and put your mind at…

8 Mistakes you’re making when cooking fish

Fish on the menu tonight? If you’re guilty of doing any of these 8 things, you should adapt your style before you take to the stove tonight. 1. You choose the wrong pan Most people instinctively reach for the non-stick cookware pan, but the secret to cooking fish is a hot pan. Stainless steel or cast iron help you reach the right temperature so you can create that perfectly seared salmon. The only want to achieve that delicious crust is with a high dose of heat. Plus, a lot of recipes call for a quick turn in the oven to finish off the dish, so an oven-proof pan is the only way to go. 2. You don’t dry the fish off To make sure your fish gets a crispy outer layer, dry it off first with a paper towel. This also helps seasonings, salt, or marinade stick to it. Starting…

You might be storing your ice cream all wrong

It’s extra hot outside, but that doesn’t have to bother you — mostly because it’s the perfect excuse to enjoy an extra scoop of ice cream. (Is there really anything better than ice cream on a hot summer day?) But before you go and load your freezer full of pints of your favorite flavors, you may want to consider how you’re handling that frozen treat. Ice cream is a perishable product, and it needs to be treated with care. Whether ice cream lasts in your house a few days or a few months (who are these people?), you should pay attention to how you’re storing and handling it. Of course the easiest way to deal with ice cream is buying it and eating it in one sitting. (You may take this as your permission to do so — after all, food waste is a huge concern nowadays.) But, if you’re…

How to freeze asparagus

Asparagus is one of the first official signs of spring and a promise that more homegrown produce is right on its heels. All winter long we wait for those green spears to show in the garden, but just like that, warm weather hits and the season is over. If you’re getting into June and you still have an abundance of asparagus in the ground, don’t fret. Freezing it means you’ll have asparagus spears available for the whole year to come. 1. Go homegrown Only bother freezing locally grown asparagus while it’s in season for your area. Asparagus that has been shipped from other states, or even internationally, will almost always be less tender and have less flavor — not a good place to start. 2. Size matters The spears you select for freezing should be at least as thick as a pencil. Thinner spears don’t hold up very well in…

12 easy, healthy snacks for your road trip

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the U.S. summer travel season. Nearly 43 million Americans will use the long weekend to travel — about 37.6 million of those by car, according to automobile association AAA. While you can’t avoid the inevitable dirty gas station bathrooms and frustrating traffic jams, you can pack some snacks to make sure that you don’t get hangry and reach for unhealthy fast food. I know, I know. “Road trip food is half the fun,” you say. But is it? Do you arrive to your destination feeling satisfied and refreshed, or do you skid in sideways with a greasy chicken sandwich upset stomach ready for a 12-hour nap? The food options on the road are quite bad, but without something to satiate us, we’ll tell ourselves, “what other options are there?” Well, there are tons of options! Stop yourself from spiraling down the dark rabbit…