Tools (and tips) to suit your recipe, your grip, and your budget.
By Elisa Huang
Justin BernhautBox Graters
Good for: Shredding soft cheeses (for tacos or mac-and-Jack) and harder foods (say, potatoes for hash browns); use the side with the large holes. The medium-size holes make smaller shreds of hard foods. The tiny holes turn out fine, crumblike Parmesan. The single horizontal sharp edge is for shaving thin slices of hard foods, such as carrots―it's great if you're slicing just one, but for a dozen consider a mandoline.
Related: The Best Chopping Gadgets
Look for: A comfortable handle; rubber at the bottom to prevent sliding across a counter.
Tip: Lightly coat the outside of the grater plate with cooking spray so the food glides more easily (this also makes cleanup easier). When you reach the end of a piece of hard cheese, put it in your palm and rub your hand flat against the grater to prevent knuckle scrapes.
Related: Choosing a Cheese for Your Pasta
Handheld Graters (Rasps)Justin Bernhaut
Blog Posts by Real Simple Magazine
Tools (and tips) to suit your recipe, your grip, and your budget.Read More »from The Best Graters and How to Use Them
- Real Simple Magazine | Work + Money – Fri, Jul 16, 2010 5:24 PM EDT
Natural disasters--such as a flood, hurricane, or blizzard--often come without warning. Stocking non-perishable food items ahead of time (and choosing wisely what you include) will help you weather the storm with less stress.
By: Vanessa DiMaggio
Fueling your body during an emergency is very different from your everyday diet. Because you'll probably expend more energy than you normally would, you should eat high-energy, high-protein foods. And because you have a limited supply, the higher-quality foods you eat--and the less of them--the better. "In a disaster or an emergency you want those calories," says Barry Swanson, a food scientist at Washington State University . "You want some nutrients and some fiber-something to keep your diet normal."
Related: 24 Delicious and Tasty Snacks
But that doesn't mean you have to eat like a pauper. "In an emergency, generally you tend to think of meeting more basic needs than preferences and flavors," says ElizabethRead More »from The top foods you should keep in case of an emergency
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Serves 4 Hands-On Time: 15m Total Time: 25m
- 1 1/2 pounds beefsteak tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 small sweet onion, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces bocconcini (small balls of fresh mozzarella), quartered, or fresh mozzarella, cubed
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 pound dried fettuccine
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, torn
- In a large bowl, gently combine the tomatoes, onion, oil, bocconcini, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside and let marinate at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Add the drained pasta and basil to the marinated tomatoes and toss to
Shake up your dinner routine with a salad dressed to thrill. These eight zesty winners make it easy to turn over a new leaf.Read More »from Taste test: The best salad dressings
Maple Grove Farms Sesame Ginger
The "big and bold aromatic flavors" in this dressing put one taster in a creative mood: "I'd pair it with greens, chicken, and mandarin oranges," she said. Another loved the delicate crunch of the sesame seeds. It's so good that one fan was moved to beg, "More salad, please!"
Related: The Best Potato Chips
To buy: $4.50 for 12 ounces.
Briannas Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette
"Thick and delicious" was the general consensus on this lush blend of honey, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and Dijon mustard. "There's just the right level of acidity and a nice, surprising sweetness," noted a volunteer. Said a second, "The Mediterranean taste would be great on a Greek salad."
Related: The Best Marinades
To buy: $4.70 for 12 ounces.
Best Blue Cheese
Kraft Blue Cheese Dressing and Dip
"This is the real deal,"
Mark LundRead More »from Ketchup Bottle as Pancake Batter Dispenser
A clever way to repurpose an everyday item.
Original purpose: Flavoring Mom's meat loaf. Aha! use: Portioning pancake batter with precision―and without the usual mess of transferring batter from the bowl. Squeeze out baby-size or plate-size rounds, or add Mickey Mouse ears to a batch of silver dollars. Reward: Restaurant-worthy flapjacks.
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Follow these easy tips to make the words "Have a nice trip" a reality.Read More »from 5 secrets to a better family vacation
Family vacationing on the beach
Rent a house or condo with another family
Sharing a house or condominium can keep costs down. Not only will you have more room to spread out compared with a hotel, you'll also be able to keep restaurant expenses down by using the kitchen where you're staying. And taking a vacation with another family means you'll have built-in entertainment in the form of other kids and even Uncle Jimmy. Find out where to look for vacation rentals.
Think about child care
If you're not traveling with another family and you'd like to spend at least some time alone with your spouse, plan ahead to make sure you'll have someone to watch the kids. Check with your hotel to see if they have a list of qualified sitters. If they refer you to an agency, call to ask for references from other travelers, and request to speak to the sitter who will be watching your children before you arrive. Explore other options for child care while
Ready-made supermarket staples are the keys to fast and delicious dishes.Read More »from 6 Ingenious Shortcut Meals
Frozen Creamed Spinach
RS pick: Birds Eye, $2.30 for a 9-ounce package.
Use it to make Cheesy Baked Pasta with Spinach and Artichokes.
Canned Corn Chowder
RS pick: Wolfgang Puck Organic, $3 for a 14.5-ounce can.
Use it to make Creamy Chicken and Corn Pot Pie.
Shortcut Ingredient: Frozen Chicken Nuggets
RS pick: Bell & Evans, $7 for a 12-ounce box.
Use it to make Sweet and Sour Chicken with Cashews.
Frozen Shredded Hash Browns
RS pick: Ore-Ida Country Style, $3.50 for a 30-ounce bag.
Use it to make Potato-Crusted Salmon with Watercress Salad.
RS pick: Fresh Express Old Fashioned, $1.70 for a 16-ounce bag.
Use it to make Sausage with Tangy Caraway Cabbage.
Jarred Salsa RS pick: Green Mountain Gringo Mild, $4.30 for a 16-ounce jar.
Use it to make Mexican Meatball Soup.
Pancakes are just the beginning―syrup is a sweet addition to a variety of dishes (savory, too). Try using it in these ways.Read More »from 6 New Ways to Use Syrup
By Lygeia Grace
As a glaze:
Brush on fish, chicken, or pork before baking.
Related: 5 New Uses for New(ish) Things
Spread toasted bread rounds with blue cheese, then drizzle with syrup.
Blend 1 tablespoon syrup with 1 stick softened butter. Use on baked carrots, muffins, and toast.
Related: 101 New Uses for Everyday Things
In a shake:
Blend 1 cup vanilla ice cream with 1/4 cup milk and 2 tablespoons syrup.
Drizzle with syrup just before serving.
Related: 50 All-Time Favorite New Uses for Old Things
Toss 1 pound carrot sticks with 2 tablespoons syrup, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/3 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast at 400º F for 15 minutes.
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Images By: Sang An
By Lindsay FunstonRead More »from The Best Potato Chips
Crunch time! Our testers dug into 233 bags of chips and found 21 worth their salt.
Lay's Kettle Cooked Original
Thick-cut and extra crunchy, these picnic must-haves are basic but not boring.
To buy: $3.30 for 8.5 ounces.
Related: 24 Nutritious and Tasty Snacks
It's no surprise that this iconic, dip-gripping favorite has been the life of the party since 1958.
To buy: $4 for 10 ounces.
Related: The Best Hot Dogs
Lay's Kettle Cooked Mesquite BBQ
Not too smoky, not too sweet, this winner comes alive with paprika, garlic, and sugar.
To buy: $3.30 for 8.5 ounces.
Related: The Best Barbeque Sauces
Best Salt and Vinegar
Dirty Sea Salt & Vinegar
Pucker up: These intensely tangy snacks pack a powerful kick that lingers.
To buy: $2.50 for 5.5 ounces.
Related: The Best Brownie Mixes
Best Salt and Pepper
Dirty Cracked Pepper & Sea Salt
A crisp texture and a piquant flavor make these rounds a
By Lindsay FunstonRead More »from 6 Zesty, Mmm-Mmm Barbecue Sauces to Buy
Sauces with tang-but no high-fructose corn syrup-make BBQ (yep) even better.
Bone Suckin' SauceBone Suckin' Sauce
Honey gives this classic topper a pleasant sweetness, while horseradish adds zing.
To buy: $7 for 16 ounces, buybonesuckin.com.
Related: The Best Potato Chips
Daddy Sam's Original Bar-B-Que Sawce
A Texas family recipe, passed down for generations, combines strong molasses notes with a mellow mesquite flavor. The finish: a spicy kick.
To buy: $5.50 for 19 ounces, daddysams.com.
Related: The 5 Tastiest Warehouse-Club Buys
Katchkie Farm Bob-B-Que Sauce
Not your average syrupy, long-simmered sauce, this find has an unbelievably fresh, gazpacho-like flavor, thanks to the bounty of tomatoes, apples, bell peppers, and onions that goes into each bottle.
To buy: $6 for 10 ounces, katchkiefarm.foodzie.com.
Related: The Best Chicken Fingers
The Barbecue Source
Ole Ray's Apple-Cinnamon Barbeque Sauce
It may sound sweet as pie, but this award-winning blend is a rich and savory partner for all