• Kitchen Tips & Tricks

    Vitamix: My Favorite Blender

    Over the years I have owned many different blenders all in search of finding the best blender. I have bought them from many stores including Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Best Buy and Sur La Table. Every brand claims to have the best blender at their price point. I have realized that you do really get what you pay for. When you buy an inexpensive blender you don’t know if it will blend your smoothie completely or be able to really blend hot soup. Most of the time it doesn’t work very well.  I spent some time when living in St. Louis working for Sur La Table and it was there that I…

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    Kitchen Tips & Tricks

    13 Cooking Methods Defined

    One thing recipes have in common is that they all include a cooking method. Some home chefs are confident and understand every type of cooking method. However, for some home chefs they could really use some clarification as to what each method means. Below is a list of thirteen often used cooking methods and their descriptions.  Bake Merriam-Webster Definition: to cook by dry heat especially in an oven.*  Bake is one of the most common directions in recipes. If you want to make a cake or brownies you need to bake them. You can also bake chicken or fish in the oven. The term bake can be used for regular ovens, pizza ovens, convection…

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    Kitchen Tips & Tricks

    5 Tips for Better Smoothies

    I love a good smoothie and almost always have smoothie packs in my freezer ready to go. Over the years of making smoothies I have found a few things that make smoothies better. Below you will find my five top tips for better smoothies.  1. Use Frozen Fruit instead of Fresh When I started making smoothies I tried using all fresh fruit. I instantly realized this was really expensive and hard to get the best quality fruits all year long. Once I switched to frozen fruits it became so much easier to find what I needed to make my smoothies. Plus when using frozen fruit you can use less ice in your smoothies.…

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    Kitchen Tips & Tricks

    5 Tips for Healthier Eating

    I love to cook and eat. In my personal life I try to follow the 80/20 rule of eating healthy 80% of the time and having whatever I want 20% of the time. Over the years I have learned many tips and tricks that have helped me eat healthier. Below are five of my tips for healthier eating.  1. Meal Plan One of the best ways I have found to incorporate healthier meals is to meal plan. When I have a meal plan I am less likely to order delivery or grab take out. Check out my full post about meal planning here. 2. Meal Prep A great way to ensure that you…

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    Kitchen Tips & Tricks

    5 Steps To An Organized Kitchen

    Do you want an organized kitchen? Follow my steps below to make the most of your space today. We have all seen the professionally organized kitchens on TV that look beautiful and I know I would love for mine to look like that as well. However, I have a small apartment kitchen with very limited storage (only 2 drawers – surprisingly my old kitchen in my apartment in NYC had more storage). Just because our kitchen doesn’t look like a TV kitchen doesn’t mean it can’t be organized and functional. Follow these five steps below to get your kitchen organized today.  1. Pull everything out of all kitchen cabinets and drawers. It is…

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    Kitchen Tips & Tricks

    25 Pantry Essentials

    Everyone likes to keep a stocked pantry – but what should you have? Here is a list of twenty-five items that should be in every pantry. We all want to be able to make a quick dinner or dessert without having to go to the store. I find that having the items below allow me to make a wide variety of dishes at any time.  1. All-Purpose Flour 2. Sugar 3. Vegetable Oil 4. Chicken Stock 5. Baking Powder 6. Baking Soda 7. Canned Tomatoes 8. Pasta 9. Pasta Sauce 10. White Wine 11. Olive Oil 12. White Wine Vinegar 13. Worcestershire Sauce 14. Soy Sauce 15. Brown Sugar 16. Quick Cooking Oats…

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    Kitchen Tips & Tricks

    7 Steps To Create A Meal Plan

    I have been meal planning for over ten years. Meal Planning is something that really helped me get past the “What’s For Dinner Tonight?” (Especially when I was living alone, because lets be honest cereal or nachos would be dinner if I didn’t plan ahead.) The best success I have had with meal planning is making a plan with dinners and potential breakfast/lunches. Then I add  some extra choices for dinner. Sometimes you have pork chops with mushroom rice planned for dinner but you really just want tacos.  1. Take inventory of what you have in your fridge and freezer. I do this by jotting down a quick list on a notepad of…

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    Kitchen Tips & Tricks

    10 Spices & Seasonings To Always Have on Hand

    We all have those spices and seasonings we reach for on a regular basis. What spices and seasonings are essential for a new home cook?  Kosher Salt – Kosher Salt is iodine free and tastes much better than regular table salt. It has a larger and more coarse crystal size than most other salts. Kosher Salt is great for seasoning meat and is the most common salt used for cooking in recipes. (Not great for use on the table). Sea Salt – Sea Salt has less iodine in it than traditional table salt. It is great for both cooking and seasoning at the table. I recommend getting the sea salt grinder container.  Black Pepper…

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    Kitchen Tips & Tricks

    5 Recipe Tips for Better Meals

    Worried about trying a new recipe? Wondering if it will turn out okay? Follow these five tips to make a great meal tonight! 1. Read Recipe Three Times It Is so important to read your recipe multiple times. I have been guilty of skipping this step a few times. Unfortunately, when I have done this, I have realized halfway through a recipe that I needed to do something prior to making the full dish and now won’t be able to finish making my meal. It is very frustrating when this happens – but reading the recipe three times helps you process all the steps to make sure you know what will have to…

  • Kitchen Tips & Tricks

    20 Kitchen Must Haves

    We all have those items in our kitchen that we use daily and could not live without. What about new cooks, what would I recommend for them to have in their kitchen? I have created a list of my top twenty must haves for a kitchen and an additional ten that are great to have but not necessary for every day. 20 Must Haves 1. Mixer (hand mixer or stand mixer) I love a stand mixer. My favorite is the KitchenAid. I have had one for many years and it is versatile. There are so many great attachments you can purchase to go with it making it a true power house in the…