Category Archives: Cooking

How to soften butter

Softened Butter

With just a few exceptions, most baking recipes call for butter to be softened or at room temperature. Softened butter spreads easily onto bread and toast, and it whips up into a fluffy mixture with sugar that helps produce a fine, tender crumb in baked goods. Chilled butter is too hard to cream into sugar easily and melted butter simply begins to dissolve the sugar, ... Read More »

5 Great Recipes to Beat the Heat during a Heat Wave

Grilled Pizza and Salmorejo

During a heat wave, most of us aren’t thinking about turning on our ovens and baking up a couple of batches of cookies. That prospect is not nearly as appealing as it is during the winter, when the idea of working in front of a warm oven sounds very appealing. In the summer, we want air conditioning, refreshment and, most importantly, nothing that will make ... Read More »

Can I use fat free sweetened condensed milk in place of full fat?

Fat Free and Regular Sweetened Condensed Milk

Sweetened condensed milk is evaporated milk that has a significant amount of sugar added back to it to make a very thick, sweet product that is often used in ice creams, pies and other creamy desserts. It comes in full fat, low fat and fat free varieties. Most recipes simply call for sweetened condensed milk and are usually designed to work with the full fat ... Read More »

What is cornstarch?


Cornstarch is a fine, powdery starch that is made out of corn. The cornstarch is actually made from the endosperm of the corn, which makes up most of the kernels that we eat when enjoying popcorn or corn on the cob. Cornstarch, also sometimes called cornflour, is produced by grinding, washing and drying the endosperm of the corn until it reaches that fine, powdery state. ... Read More »

How to Hard Boil Eggs

Rinsing hard boiled eggs

My grandmother was a huge fan of Deviled Eggs and made them for all kinds of holidays and family gatherings as I was growing up. I became a fan, too, so as soon as I was old enough to operate the stove safely I asked my grandmother to teach me how to make them myself. I made them with her whenever I visited, and these ... Read More »

How to pasteurize eggs at home

Eggs in a pot

When recipes call for uncooked eggs, many cooks shy away from them. There is good reason for this, of course, since there is a small chance that raw eggs contain salmonella. This is a very small risk to begin with, and few recipes call for uncooked eggs (mayonnaise and some mousses, just to name a few), but you can always pasteurize your eggs to ensure ... Read More »

What is steel cut oatmeal?

Irish Oatmeal

Steel cut oats, also known as Irish oats or pinhead oats, are whole oat groats that have been chopped into large pieces and make a minimally processed cereal with a good oat flavor and a hearty texture. They are different from regular oatmeal because of the way that the oats are processed. Most oatmeal is made by rolling the oats under heavy rollers until they ... Read More »

What is eggnog?

Homemade Eggnog

Eggnog is an ever-popular holiday beverage that hits store shelves for a few weeks around Christmas and New Year’s and is served at holiday parties across the country. Eggnog is a thick, dairy-based drink made with milk, sugar, eggs and spices, usually nutmeg and vanilla. It is often spiked with a little bit of liquour – or a lot, depending on how chilly it is ... Read More »

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