Stuck lids on things like maple syrup, honey, or jam can be a frustrating barrier between you and your meal. Jenny Stewart of CHOW.com shows how to prevent this with just a dab of vegetable oil.
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.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Softened vegetables, including onions and bell peppers, amped up with spices like chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne, form the base of this tortilla soup. Chicken broth and tomatoes are added, along with soft corn tortillas that meld into the liquid to make a hearty, thick meal. Finally, shredded chicken is stirred in, and everything is garnished with crunchy tortilla strips, sour cream, shredded cheese, and scallions (avocados, pickled jalapeños, and cilantro would all work too).
Sweet And Sour Sauce
This comes together in about the time it takes to order takeout, and is miles more nuanced than your average Chinese restaurant's sweet and sour sauce. Ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, and rice or cider vinegar are boiled together with water (though pineapple juice makes for a tasty tropical twist), and thickened to the perfect dipping consistency with a little cornstarch slurry. Serve this with egg rolls, wontons, rangoons, and whatever other fried foods you want to perk up. Feel free to add some heat to the sauce with minced ginger, garlic, or chiles (or all three).
Easy Roasted Acorn Squash
Roasted acorn squash couldn't be easier, or more delicious. A little butter, salt, freshly ground pepper, and a sprinkle of brown sugar to emphasize the squash's natural sweetness, plus about an hour in the oven, and you have a gorgeously caramelized side (or main dish, if you stuff the squash), with a pool of glaze in the center of each piece.
What is avocado hand? Here's how to safely cut an avocado.