Baking recipes often call for softened butter, but if you put the butter in the microwave you risk butter soup. Leaving it out at room temp is fine if you've got lots of time. But when your butter is cold and hard and you want it to be warm and soft, just pound it with a rolling pin.
Summer is in full swing, which (hopefully) means trips to the park or the beach. If you’re taking a picnic along, you should know a few food safety rules so you can pack, transport, and eat your meal without the threat of food poisoning. Liz Weinandy