Blog Posts by YumSugar

  • 10 Multipurpose Kitchen Items that Will Make Your Life Easier

    YumSugarSource: 10 Multipurpose Kitchen Items That Will Make Your Life Easier

    The kitchen can either come with great amounts of pleasure or great amounts of stress. Luckily, with a few great kitchen tools that have multiple purposes, you'll be able to fret less and whip up many more delicious meals. These 10 affordable tools are essentials in any kitchen, and you probably have several of them in your own. Read on to find out the many uses for each tool and share your tips in the comments!

    • Silicone Spatulas: Silicone spatulas come in pretty colors that brighten up your kitchen, and they come in very handy while baking, but I like to use mine for frying or scrambling eggs. They're delicate on the egg and help keep things from sticking to the pan too much.
    • Pastry Scraper: Typically, pastry scrapers are used for handling pastry dough. This handy tool is also incredibly useful when it comes to transferring chopped vegetables from your cutting board to your pan.
    • Microplane
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  • Crash Course Culinary School: Tips to Make You a Better Cook

    Source: Crash Course Culinary School: Tips to Make You a Better Cook

    We'd like to dedicate this roundup of killer culinary tips to those whose M.O. in 2013 is to work smarter, not harder. Often it's the smallest changes that have the greatest end result, particularly in the kitchen. We suspect that if you even adopt just one new tip, you'll notice a significant difference in the quality of your cookery, and really, who wouldn't like that? Keep reading for 12 tips that will kick your kitchen experiments into high gear.

    • Rethink How You Season Food : If you find yourself reaching for the pepper grinder on reflex, it's time to rethink your strategy. Pepper, while delicious in many applications, should be treated as a spice rather than as a go-to seasoning, as it simply adds a layer of flavor rather than enhancing the dish as a whole. To perk up a flat-tasting dish, taste it first, then adjust in small increments with salt and a splash of an acidic ingredient like citrus juice until
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  • 10 Affordable, Essential Cooking Tools

    YumSugarSource: 10 Affordable, Essential Cooking Tools

    If you've just moved to a new city or are learning to cook for the first time, it can be hard to nail down new recipes, let alone all those kitchen tools. Just ask Eunice, who recently wrote in with this request:

    "I've just landed my first real job, am moving across the country, and out of my parents' house for the first time. What are some kitchen essentials I should get? Can you direct me toward some companies that produce quality products [that won't] blow my whole budget? I'd like a good set of knives."

    Eunice: we're here to help you - and anyone else looking for a complete set of cooking tools. Here are 10 pieces of kitchen equipment that are sure to be put to good use.

    • Knife set: The average quality knife set costs several hundred dollars, and some get even more expensive than that, but Victorinox makes a wildly priced three-piece set for only $70. Don't have that much to spend? Just the 8-inch chef's knife will do, too.
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  • 5 Ways to Streamline Your Cooking

    Source: 5 Ways to Streamline Your Cooking

    Good restaurant chefs run highly efficient kitchens: food is so time- and temperature-sensitive that even two minutes of neglect can mean a pot boiled over or a beautiful fillet of fish scorched beyond repair. If you're new to cooking or looking for ways to take your kitchen skills to the next level, you'll appreciate these five ways to streamline your cooking.

    • Wear the appropriate clothing: It may sound silly, but just like wearing business attire makes you sharper and more professional at work, the same can be said for the kitchen. Pull back your hair, tie on the apron, and wear comfortable shoes that cover your toes. You'll be appreciative if a knife or something very hot or heavy falls near (or on) your feet.
    • Read the recipe, then reread it again: Familiarize yourself with the recipe including the list of ingredients, tools, and techniques. It helps to be confident about the next step in the cooking process, so you may only
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  • 5 Fast and Easy Meals, 1 Shopping List

    YumSugarSource: 5 Fast and Easy Meals, 1 Shopping List

    If your New Year's resolution is to become more organized in the kitchen, you've come to the right place. As part of a new feature, we're packaging recipes as a manageable meal plan (here we're focusing on dinner for two, though recipes can be scaled up or down) that has a ratio of low effort to high reward, and even includes a handy-dandy grocery list to get you started. Click through and cook along with us for five nights: each day's recipe will either set you up for days down the line or will make good use of previously prepared ingredients, so you'll be more efficient in the kitchen.

    • Day One: Lemony Roast Chicken: Regardless of whether you're single, hitched, or somewhere in between, this "engagement chicken" - watch the video for the story behind the name and the recipe - is an excellent example of how a few simple ingredients can create a meal greater than the sum of its parts.
      For this meal plan: roast the
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  • Add-Ins to Take Your Grilled Cheese from Good to Great

    YumSugarSource: Add-Ins to Take Your Grilled Cheese From Good to Great

    Making homemade manicotti or mixing up your own molé is noble and all, but with all due respect to from-scratch cooking, sometimes you just want to get dinner done - and in those moments, nothing fits the bill better than an elemental grilled cheese sandwich. While a basic grilled cheese is just about the greatest thing since, well, sliced bread, there are a few additions that are guaranteed to take your sandwich to the next level. Click through for our top 10 suggestions.

    • Mac and Cheese: Mac and cheese inside a grilled cheese? The notion of putting a cheese dish inside another cheese dish might sound meta, but trust us: it works.
    • Potato Chips: Even Thomas Keller believes that potato chips add value to a grilled cheese sandwich. Experiment with different flavors like barbecue or sour cream and onion, and for maximum crunch, add the chips just before you plan on digging in.
    • Honey and Truffle Salt:
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  • Treat Yourself to 8 Chocolate Trends

    YumSugarSource: Treat Yourself to 8 Chocolate Trends

    What's chocolate looking like as we enter 2013? Imagine nut-butter fillings, tea-infused ganaches, and bean-to-bar chocolates - to name a few delicious decadences. Get ready to feast your eyes on the most captivating bars, bonbons, and truffles. What are you waiting for? It's time to treat yourself to eight chocolate trends!

    • Puffed Grains: Brown rice and quinoa, whether toasted or puffed, has made its way into chocolate bars - giving chocolates a toasted flavor and a Nestlé Crunch-like consistency. One of our favorites? Alter Eco Dark Quinoa ($4) is 60 percent dark chocolate and studded with fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth quinoa puffs.
    • Bacon : When Vosges released its bacon and chocolate bar a few years back, it shocked and offended vegetarians and serious confectioners alike. Yet finally, the world has embraced the amazing smoky/sweet combination, as many (if not most!) chocolatiers have created their own versions of something
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  • A Little Love Goes a Long Way: Basic French Macarons

    Source: A Little Love Goes a Long Way: Basic French Macarons

    Perhaps it's the rainbow of cheerful hues, the adorable two-bite size, or - most likely - the perfect crisp-chewy texture, but I just can't get enough of French macarons. Even when I'm stuffed to the gills, I can always make room for these tiny, delicate pastries.

    True, macarons can be temperamental (meringue is the capricious culprit), but they do respond wonderfully to patience, encouragement, and a loving touch. So before you dismiss the idea of making these little lovelies at home, we've found a basic recipe that breaks down the uncooperative veneer of the elusive macaron.

    Although part of the same happy pastry family, the French macaron should not be confused with the coconut macaroon. They are similar in concept, but differ greatly in execution: while both entail adding dry ingredients to a delicate egg white meringue, the one "o" macaron uses finely ground almonds as its base and requires much more

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  • Learn the Starbucks Fundamentals to Home Coffee Brewing

    Source: Learn the Starbucks Fundamentals to Home Coffee Brewing

    Are you a Starbucks regular who's vowed to start saving money and making your own coffee at home instead? If so, there are still a number of ways you can ensure you've made the perfect cup of coffee, even by Starbucks standards. I enlisted the help of Certified Starbucks Coffee Master Zach Mercer, who outlined the company's fundamentals for home brewing. According to Zach, all you've got to do is keep in mind that there are four important factors that affect the quality of your home brew. Find out what they are, and keep reading to see his recommendations for making coffee at home.

    • Water. Source the best H20 you can find. At any given Starbucks, water goes through a triple filtration process as a baseline; use filtered water whenever possible.
    • Proportion. The general guideline is 10 grams of coffee (about two good tablespoons) to six ounces of water. Zach's done the math: this equals about 0.12 pounds of
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  • 9 Inventive Recipes for the Kale-Curious

    YumSugarSource: 9 Inventive Recipes For the Kale-Curious

    We've all heard about the bounty of benefits a heaping helping of kale has to offer our stomachs and taste buds, but actually putting the dark, leafy green on your plate is a whole different story. Most of the time people are curious about kale, but they're just not sure how to cook it up. We've taken the hassle and heartache out of the process, and here is our delicious offering: nine yummy recipes that incorporate some kale into your next culinary endeavor.

    • Pomegranate-Hazelnut Winter Greens Salad: Swiss chard and lacinato kale make for quite the dynamic duo in a pomegranate-hazelnut Winter greens salad, perfectly fit for the season.
    • Kale Chips: Grab a bundle of Tuscan kale and bake up these simple and savory kale chips. But beware - you'll be craving this crunchy snack constantly!
    • Lemony Kale Salad with Feta: We're not sure what's better about this pine nut and feta-topped kale salad from Fresh Tart: its
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