Do you have a whole plateful of salad woes? If you find that your homemade salads just aren't as good as those in restaurants, perhaps the problem rests in the prep of the salad, the choice of ingredients, or the dressing itself. Integrate these 10 tricks into your salad-making routine, and we promise, you'll toss better homemade salads in no time.
If you follow the cooking instructions scribed across the box or bag of quinoa, then chances are you're doing it wrong. Though nutty, toothsome, and all-around lovely when steamed properly, cooked quinoa can often fall short, resulting in a mushy, mealy, or even unpalatably bitter mess. Avoid these problems with a few easy steps.
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, thoroughly rinse the quinoa. Most quinoa sold is "prerinsed" but could use some extra help to ensure that all of the naturally occurring, bitter, soapy-tasting coating present on all unprocessed quinoa is washed away. Add the uncooked quinoa to a fine mesh strainer, and rinse it under cool water until all the kernels are dampened.
- Add the rinsed quinoa to the boiling water and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the quinoa is just barely al dente. Strain it using a fine-mesh strainer.
- Add an inch of water to the quinoa pot, set the fine-mesh strainer (with the cooked quinoa still in it) inside the pot; make sure the quinoa doesn't touch the water. Cover with a dish towel and the pot's lid, turn the heat up to high, and steam for 3-5 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and no longer waterlogged.
- Turn the quinoa out into a bowl, fluff it up with a fork, and use as desired in any recipe.
With warmer temperatures becoming the norm, we're craving something refreshing. Thank goodness for the Waldorf salad, a lighter take on a salad that's chock-full of cold-weather produce like Gala apples and celery root.
We turned to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, home of the original salad, to learn how to make the perfect rendition of this salad. Keep reading for step-by-step directions.
Leeks may look (and taste) lovely, but all it takes is one bite of tragically sandy potato leek soup to realize that there's a surprising amount of gritty soil lurking between their many layers. Over the years we've tried a few methods to deal with this unglamorous task — some more successful than others — and have since then settled on a quick and dirty method that'll help you speed through meal prep. Keep reading for our step-by-step tutorial.
Are you guilty of skipping the common recipe directive to freshly grind spices like nutmeg, coriander, and the subject at hand: cardamom? Sure, it tacks on time to your recipe prep, but the results are more than worth the minimal time and effort. As soon as spices are ground (often months earlier, if buying preground spices), aroma and flavor begins to dissipate; wait a year to use your spice stash, and you'll be working with what's essentially lightly scented dust. Instead, make the extra effort; trust us, you'll be a freshly ground convert once you taste the difference.
Although it's hard to beat fresh flowers, there's something to be said about their paper counterparts. While they've had our attention for some time (largely due to the creative visions of Zoe Bradley), their versatility have made them quite the star of weddings, parties, and tabletops lately. Looking for any and all excuses to put them to good use, we found nine creative ways to give your space a floral touch — no green thumb necessary.
Silver, while a gorgeous addition to the table, has a reputation for being finicky to maintain. Luckily there's an easy solution to tackling tarnish — no trip to the store to procure supplies needed. All you'll need is a large pot, tinfoil, baking soda, water, a pair of silicone-tipped tongs and a soft dishcloth — really, that's it.
The Low-Fuss Procedure
- Line the pot with tinfoil. Add a quart of water and 2 tablespoons baking soda to the pot, and bring the solution to a boil.
- Working with a few pieces at a time (to minimize scratching) gently lower the tarnished silver into the baking soda solution, let sit for 10-30 seconds, or until the tarnish dissolves. Remove the silver with the tongs; set aside.
- Once all of the silver is tarnish-free, rinse each piece with soapy water, and dry with a soft dishcloth.
Burgers — a beloved backyard, picnic, and barbecue staple — aren't the easiest food to transport, but it can be done. If you're planning on packing patties to grill at a remote location, here's how to pull off the stunt with ease.
- Several hours or the night before, prep any condiments for the burger. Slice toppings that won't spoil quickly, like tomatoes or lettuce leaves.
- Shape ground meat into patties and place on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap.
- Cut parchment paper into squares slightly larger than your burger (4 inches by 5 inches should do the trick for most). The number of squares you'll need, of course, depends on how many patties you make, so allot need one less square than the number of patties patties (for example, if you're grilling 16 patties, then cut 15 parchment paper squares).
- Spread a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil on a work surface.
Keep reading to see our tricks for packing burger patties perfectly.
Cooking ground beef on the stove top seems simple enough, but so much can go wrong. Have you ever crowded the pan too much, and found yourself with rubbery, steamed ground beef? Does your beef seep out a ton of liquid, or do you struggle to chop the meat up into bite-size pieces, resulting in "meat rocks" (as one editor's boyfriend hilariously dubs it)? If cooking perfectly ground beef eludes you, have no fear. These pictures will show you how to properly brown ground beef — or any ground meat, for that matter — so that your tacos, tomato sauce, and sloppy joes turn out tasty every time.
If you love poached eggs, but you've written them off as something to be ordered in restaurants, it's time to reconsider the possibility of making them on your own at home — and given that today's National Eggs Benedict Day, there's no moment like the present. To master this basic kitchen technique, all you need are three pantry staples. Watch the two-minute tutorial to learn the key to perfectly poached eggs, every time.