Kitchen equipment and cooking techniques that make food preparation easier.

dulce-de-leche

Technique: Make Dulce de Leche In The Microwave

Most recipes for making dulce de leche require slaving over a stovetop. Here’s how to beat that heat and whip it up quick.

 dulce-de-leche

 

EASY LIKE THIS | When friends of ours returned from a holiday in Argentina a while back, they brought us a jar of the country’s finest dulce de leche. Dulce de leche is a traditional Argentinean dessert made by caramelizing sugar in milk. It is not to be confused with North American caramel sauce, which made by caramelizing sugar in water. Dulce de leche is more subtly sweet than ordinary caramel sauce is; it’s also infinitely creamier, making it perfect on top of ice cream or inside treats like brownies and cheesecake. Read more

Bacon - iStock

Technique: Make Perfect, Crisp Bacon In The Oven

Nothing says lovin’ like bacon from the oven; it’s no fuss, no mess and quick.

Bacon - iStock

 

EASY & DELISH | The holidays are all about group meals like big breakfast spreads and brunches. Both of these multiplate affairs are always improved when sizzling strips of bacon are on the menu, though slaving over a sputtering frying pan to cook up a temperamental batch is a task fewer and fewer of us choose to tackle. But what if you could cook perfect bacon for a crowd while sitting in the living room balancing a Buck’s fizz in one hand and a cheesy blintz in the other? You can if you bake your bacon instead of frying it.

Read more

Ice Cream Sliders

An Appetite for Easy: Sweet Ice Cream Sliders

Could there be anything easier than making tiny ice cream sandwiches for dessert?

Ice Cream Sliders

 

 

EASY & DELISH | Most of us have snacked on hamburger sliders before, those meat filled mini burgers on tiny buns that are gone in two bites flat, but have you ever had an ice cream slider? I have. At a dinner party recently, our hostess brought out bowls filled with different flavours of ice cream and a sampler of cookies and invited us to build our own ice cream sliders for dessert. What a great idea! Read more

Sea Salt caramels- mymansbelly

How To Make Perfect Caramels In The Microwave

Yes, it really is possible to make super yummy sea salt caramels in the microwave.

Sea Salt caramels- mymansbelly

 

EASY & DELISH | When my daughter got married last May, she asked her aunt and me to make chocolate bark and fleur de sel caramels for the wedding reception. The bark was no problem; I’d made it before, and nothing could be easier (CLICK HERE for our recipes). The caramels made me nervous. There’s kitchen science involved in producing caramels that are both soft and chewy.

So we put off making these paper-wrapped sweets until a few days before the wedding—then muddled through using a recipe we found on Epicurious.com (CLICK HERE to get it). Only after the big day did I learn that we could have saved ourselves both time and concern by making our candy in the microwave. Read more

Pomegranate cut in half
TECHNIQUE: Deseed A Pomegranate Lightening Quick

Pomegranate cut in half

SAVE TIME | Pomegranates are everywhere in supermarkets right now, and maybe you’ve been eyeing them with reluctance because you hate the thought of picking and plucking at the hundreds of juice-wrapped kernels (anywhere from 200 to 1,400 per pomegranate) nestled inside the fruit’s fleshy membrane housed in a rosy-red case.

Fret not. Here’s a little tip on how to deseed a pomegranate in fewer than two minutes. We picked up it from a friend who picked it up from a chef at Rambagh Palace, “the jewel of Jaipur,” in western India—how exotic is that! Read more

Eurow Microfiber Kitchen Towels

Finally, Attractive Microfiber Dishtowels

These microfiber dishtowels look stylish in the way that linen ones do—and function superbly, too.

Eurow Microfiber Kitchen Towels

 

GET THIS | I can’t help but think that if for some mysterious reason Fog Linen Work, a Japanese company that produces an exquisite line of linen products coveted by design devotees everywhere, were to suddenly go rogue and use microfiber rather than Lithuanian linen to make their kitchen towels, they might make a waffle-weave product like the one pictured here from the American company Eurow & O’Reilly. “Yes, aren’t these towels awesome,” my designer friend Margo concurred when I enthused about how attractive and effective hers were as we stood hand-drying dishes after dinner at her place awhile back. Read more

Black Bananas - C. Rule

How To Ripen Fresh Bananas In 15 Minutes

Who knew that if you needed to, you could ripen bananas this quickly.

Yellow Bananas-  shutterstock

 

EASY & DELISH | Several weeks ago, I was invited to a dinner party and asked to supply dessert. I wanted to take along Caren McSherry’s no-brainer five-minute banana ice cream (CLICK HERE for the recipe) but did not have overripe bananas on hand, could not find any at the grocery store and lacked the (several days) time it takes to force-ripen fresh bananas in a brown bag.

I was explaining this predicament to my foodie friend Anne when she suggested I speed-ripen my bananas by popping them the oven. “This trick is so easy,” she told me. “And oven-ripened bananas taste just as sweet as ones that have been left to over ripen on their own. I love they way they look, too. Their transformation is so radical it makes me think of magic.”

Here’s how Anne ripens bananas, and what yellow bananas look like after they’ve been in the oven. Read more

Green Drink- Shutterstock

The Nutribullet: An All-Time Favourite Kitchen Product

Why the Nutribullet is our current favourite kitchen product.

Green Drink- Shutterstock

 

PRODUCTS WE LOVE | In 2010 it was the Sodastream; in 2011 it was the pizza stone; in 2012 it was the TopChip microwave potato chip maker—and, in 2014, the Nutribullet was the kitchen product of our dreams.  Read more

Popcron in a wooden bowl.

Make 100% Healthy Microwave Popcorn

How to make 100% healthy microwave popcorn in minutes for pennies a pop.

Popcorn - iStock

 

EASY & DELISH | While I love the convenience of microwave popcorn, I stopped buying this product several years ago because of worrisome news about the potential health risks to humans posed by exposure to chemicals found both in the fake butter flavoring on microwave popcorn kernels and on the lining of microwave popping bags.

I also stopped buying commercial brand microwave popcorn because a friend showed me how to make a cheaper, healthier, equally quick alternative. Read more

kale+chips

It’s Easy To Make Crispy Krispy Chips

Why would you ever buy prepared kale chips when you can easily bake up a batch of this tasty snack in your own kitchen?

kale+chips

 

EASY & DELISH | Kale chips are the currently cool snack among the super health conscious (kale is a seriously high in beta carotene and vitamins A and K). Snack manufacturers such as Rhythm Superfoods and Kaia Foods (both sold at Whole Foods) have jumped on board to churn out very small packages of very pricey dehydrated kale chips that are, in my estimation, so overseasoned with flavours like mustard, cheese and chocolate that you’d think their producers were trying to disguise the true taste of this big leafy green.

The best kale chips are only lightly seasoned so the subtle yet distinct flavour of the vegetable is equally present as any seasoning. The best kale chips are the ones you bake yourself, which you can easily do in fewer than 15 minutes.

Here’s how. Read more