The first step to wine appreciation is opening the bottle. Jeff Creamer, former wine director at the now-defunct San Francisco restaurant Two, coaxes a cork from a bottle in a few easily replicable steps.
How to Open a Bottle of Champagne
The loud pop and the flying cork are not the goals.
What to Do with Half a Bottle of Red Wine
Protect your leftovers-- don't leave the bottle on the counter.
Easy Pie Crust
Homemade pie crust really elevates your desserts (and savory tarts and quiches too), and isn't as hard as you might think, especially if you use a food processor to make the dough. Even if you don't roll it out exactly evenly or press it in to your pie plate perfectly, the buttery taste and flaky texture will more than make up for any cosmetic imperfections. Give this easy pie crust recipe a try next time you bake -- and if you want to use it for a savory dish, just leave out the sugar in the recipe.
Easy Rice Pudding
A simple and supremely satisfying dessert, rice pudding is pure comfort in a bowl. It's easy to get there too! Just simmer white rice with whole milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt until the grains are tender, plump, and creamy, then stir in a little vanilla or almond extract while the pudding's still warm. Top however you like (fresh berries in season, dried fruit, toasted nuts for a crunchy contrast, a sprinkle of cinnamon, etc.) -- you really can't go wrong.
Quick Bites: Richard Blais
Check out restaurateur, Top Chef winner, and cookbook author Richard Blais's honest opinions on a variety of ingredients (like ramps, sea urchin, and bacon), see if you agree with where he sides on classic food debates like cake vs pie and milk vs dark chocolate, and find out which kitchen tool you can pick up for a lot cheaper at a pet store.