Christine Gallary's Recent Articles
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Here’s Nearly Everything You Need to Know About Chocolate
Chocolate comes from the Aztec word “xocolatl,” which means bitter water. Luckily, the chocolate we now know and love is a far cry from the unsweetened drink the Aztecs used to imbibe. Chocolate is craveable, comforting — and confusing. All the different percentages and labels, like milk, dark, and white chocolate — what do they mean? Let’s take a deep dive into the world of chocolate production and all the kinds of chocolate out there.
Dec 10, 2014
5 Fun Ways to Spice Up Apple Cider
The scent of sweet apple cider mulled with cinnamon and other warm spices is a sure sign of fall and the winter holiday season. And while you can buy apple cider any time of year, it just seems appropriate to drink more of it after the apple harvest. Apple cider takes well to fun flavor additions and preparations — here are five ways to personalize and make it more interesting!
Dec 2, 2014
What’s the Difference Between Pork Loin and Pork Tenderloin?
Have you ever made the mistake of reading a recipe incorrectly and bringing home a pork tenderloin instead of a pork loin, or vice versa? While these two tasty cuts of pork share a few similarities, you can see from the photo above that they have a bunch of differences too. Read on to learn about these two popular cuts!
Dec 1, 2014
Here’s What You Should Do with Your Turkey Immediately After Dinner Today
Yes, that leftover Thanksgiving turkey, carcass and all, is going to be staring you in the face on Thursday night. Do you know the best way to take it apart and store it? Or do you just loosely drape some plastic wrap or foil on top, shove it into the fridge, and plan to deal with it another time? Let’s walk through the best ways to take apart and store your leftover turkey! The first thing you have to ask yourself, before you even touch the turkey, is what you plan to do with it.
Nov 25, 2014
The Best Ways to Store Leftover Pie
Deciding where to put leftover pie has always been tricky for me. On one hand, I would love to put everything in the fridge just to be on the safe side, but the leftover turkey and side dishes are usually also battling it out for space. On the other hand, I wonder if I’m ruining the texture of certain pies by refrigerating them when most people would just leave them out on the counter. So what’s the answer?
Nov 24, 2014
Here Are 4 Ways to Rescue Thanksgiving Gravy
A good gravy is really what ties all the elements on the Thanksgiving plate together. It can rescue dry turkey, liven up mashed potatoes, and perk up bland stuffing, so there’s a lot riding on the gravy turning out well. Here are four tips to help you rescue a gravy that isn’t quite perfect! Here are the four typical problems you can encounter when making turkey gravy and solutions for fixing them!
Nov 20, 2014
What Can I Make with a Big Harvest of Pomegranates?
Q: When we moved into our house last year, I was thrilled that we had a pomegranate tree in the backyard. It gave us about 15 pomegranates last year and that was exactly the right amount. This year is a different story! Thanks to some fertilizer and adequate watering, we’ve got a booming harvest of about 50 pomegranates (in my mind a good problem to have). I’ve already created two large batches of pomegranate jelly and I’m still swimming in them … I need help!
Nov 19, 2014
The Fastest Way to Cut Bread for Stuffing
As much as I love eating stuffing or dressing on Thanksgiving, I find the whole process of cutting up a big loaf of bread for it quite tedious, especially when there are so many other cooking tasks vying for my time and attention. Here’s a way I’ve found that helps speed up the process a bit! I used to cut up the loaf of bread crosswise into slices like you would for sandwiches, then cut each of the slices into little cubes.
Nov 19, 2014
The 4 Fresh Herbs That Make Thanksgiving Taste Like It Should
Want to stuff the Thanksgiving turkey with some fresh herbs or chop some up for stuffing and are not sure which ones to use? Here are the four traditional herbs you should pick up and use in your cooking to really give it that authentic Thanksgiving aroma and taste! There are two types of parsley sold in the store: Flat-leaf and curly. Choose Italian flat-leaf parsley since it has a more pronounced flavor, although many people like to decorate with the curly variety.
Nov 19, 2014
No Carving Board? Here’s a Hack to Make Any Cutting Board Better for a Turkey.
The most ideal carving situation for a Thanksgiving turkey (or any large piece of meat) is a big cutting board with wells or grooves to catch the juices that leak out when you’re carving. But you may not be able to justify the space for an oversized board like this if you only use it once or twice a year for holidays. Here’s a quick hack to make your everyday cutting board into a better setup for a large bird, roast, or piece of meat.
Nov 19, 2014
What’s a Good Warm-Weather Thanksgiving Dessert?
Q: I’m doing Thanksgiving in Southern California this year, and in addition to pumpkin pie, I’d like to make a second dessert. I’d like something a bit lighter and more suited to the climate and the end of a heavy dinner, but still, well, Thanksgiving-y. I was thinking a fruit tart of some sort, but cranberries are out (my Mom isn’t a fan). My only other thought was a pear tarte Tatin? Or something I could put a hard cider sorbet on top of?
Nov 18, 2014
Why You Don’t Need a Recipe to Make Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry sauce is the bright little gem on an otherwise rich, savory Thanksgiving menu. Even if you only eat it once a year, it’s hard to imagine a plate of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes without that dollop of sweet-tart sauce on the side. And while you can just buy and open a can of the stuff, cranberry sauce is hands-down the easiest thing to make from scratch from Thanksgiving, and you don’t even need to use a recipe. Here’s how to do it!
Nov 18, 2014
3 Reasons Why It’s Better to Make Gravy in a Frying Pan
So gravy is just another type of sauce, and sauces would logically be made in saucepans, right? Well, in the case of making gravy, a saucepan is not the ideal piece of cookware to prepare it in. Instead, I prefer to make gravy in a large frying pan or sauté pan, and here are three reasons why! Gravy-making often starts with making a roux — a cooked fat and flour mixture.
Nov 18, 2014
The Best Place to Brine Your Thanksgiving Turkey Is in Your Refrigerator Drawer
When I was at the grocery store last week, I noticed the meat department was selling plastic buckets for turkey brining that looked like the ones sold at hardware stores. They were probably about five gallons in size and two feet tall. How in the world would you fit that in your refrigerator? Unless you’re lucky enough to have a second refrigerator, the only way a bucket large enough to brine a turkey would fit in the fridge is if a lot of the shelves were removed.
Nov 17, 2014
5 Things You May Not Know About Cranberries
Whether you open up a can of cranberry sauce or make your own fancy compote, cranberries are a requisite part of the Thanksgiving menu. These tiny jewel-toned fruits actually have a rich American history that justifies its place on our tables. Here are fun facts about cranberries that you can break out at Thanksgiving dinner to impress your family and friends! Cranberries, along with blueberries and Concord grapes, are native to North America.
Nov 14, 2014
A 10-Day Thanksgiving Timeline
Hosting Thanksgiving dinner, especially if you’ve never done it before, can be a bit stressful. Making sure the house is presentable and the food is warm and tasty is no small feat, so to make sure everything gets done in time, planning is key. Even if you’re a go-with-the-flow kind of person, this is the one time of year that you might want to consider mapping out a good game plan so you can actually enjoy the big holiday!
Nov 14, 2014
Can You Freeze Pumpkin Chiffon Pie Filling?
Q: I have a great pumpkin chiffon pie recipe and I would like to put the filling in muffin tins and be able to get them out and serve them over a vanilla sauce on a dessert plate. Is there an easy way to get the filling out of the muffin tins? Also, can I freeze the filling and use for a later time? Maybe if I froze the whole thing it would be easier to take them out frozen and then serve them when they have thawed. Would they maintain their shape and consistency?
Nov 12, 2014
5 Reasons Why You Should Make Gravy Ahead of Thanksgiving
See that smooth turkey gravy above? Don’t you want to just drizzle it over sliced turkey and mashed potatoes? While I know gravy isn’t really that hard to make and is usually made from the drippings of your roast turkey at the last minute, let me convince you why it’s actually worth making ahead of time. I was testing a turkey recipe recently, so I turned the bones into turkey stock and then subsequently made gravy, which I then froze.
Nov 12, 2014
6 More Ways to Use a Microplane
If you like to cook, it’s hard to imagine life without a Microplane zester. In fact, this little gadget even made it onto our list of The Top 10 Most Useful Kitchen Gadgets! While there’s no other tool that does such a fine job of turning thin citrus skin into fluffy piles of fragrant zest, here are a few more foods that this tool can handle with great finesse. 1.
Nov 5, 2014
Pomegranates, the Jewels of Winter
After the bounty of summer berries and stone fruits, it may seem that fall and winter are relegated to only apples, pears, and citrus, but don’t forget pomegranates! The hidden little sweet-tart jewels inside pomegranates can brighten up any rainy or wintry day. Pomegranates are one of the world’s oldest cultivated fruits. Native to Iran and India, archaeological findings show that they were grown and harvested by the Persians as far back as 2,000 BC.
Oct 31, 2014
Meet the Soy Sauce Family and Its Cousins Tamari and Kecap Manis
It’s hard to imagine any condiment shelf without a bottle of soy sauce — this intense sauce gives instant rich flavor to stir-fries, enhances sushi, and can add a quick punch of flavor to sauces and soups. But there are so many types of soy sauce out there it can be a bit confusing. Here’s our guide to the most common types of soy sauce and other sauces that are in the same family!
Oct 28, 2014
What’s the Difference Between Club Soda, Seltzer, and Sparkling Mineral Water?
Buying water, especially fizzy, carbonated water, seems to be a bit complicated today. There are so many different labels, not to mention brands, that make the whole process a bit confusing. Here’s the scoop on the three most popular kinds of bubbly water: seltzer, club soda, and sparkling mineral water! While carbonation may occur naturally in mineral water, all other carbonated waters get effervescence from being highly charged with carbon dioxide.
Oct 21, 2014
What Can I Substitute for the Wine in Beef Bourguinon?
Q: I am making beef Bourguignon. It calls for 750ml of red Burgundy wine. I don’t like alcohol. What can I use for a substitute? Sent by Ruth Editor: Red wine is really the foundation of beef bourguinon, so we suggest making a regular beef stew instead as a non-alcoholic version. If wine is called for in a beef stew recipe, replace it with more chicken or beef stock instead.
Oct 17, 2014
What’s the Deal with Sharp Cheddar Cheese?
It’s hard to imagine life without cheddar cheese — there’s a block of it in my fridge at all times, ready to be sprinkled onto scrambled eggs, melted into grilled cheese sandwiches, or stirred into bechamel sauce for homemade macaroni and cheese. But cheddar cheeses can be confusing: some are white, some are yellow or orange, and some cheddars are labeled mild, sharp, or extra sharp. Cheddars seem to be the only cheese with that label, so what does it all mean?
Oct 17, 2014
The Best Tool for Removing Pumpkin and Squash Seeds
Whether you’re carving mini pumpkins into Jack-o-lanterns or just prepping some butternut squash, scraping out of the seeds and stringy bits around them can be an annoying task. But did you know you can use a kitchen tool you probably already have in your gadget drawer to make the whole process much, much easier? I used to haul out a regular spoon when it came time to remove seeds out of hard winter squash and pumpkins, but it never seemed to do a good job.
Oct 17, 2014
From the Spice Cupboard: Mustard Seeds and Ground Mustard
Tiny little mustard seeds are used in cuisines all around the world, flavoring curries, soups and pickles. This easy-to-find spice comes in two forms, whole seeds or ground, and forms the basis for countless varieties of the condiment we know as prepared mustard. Here’s a guide to the various forms and how to use them! Mustard seeds come from various mustard plants. The plants produce beautiful yellow flowers which then turn to pods that contain the seeds.
Oct 16, 2014
Why I Love My Electric Griddle
When I first met my husband, he lived in a small apartment with a teeny-tiny galley kitchen that could barely fit the both of us in there without some awkward dancing and shifting. While he had a good set of kitchen equipment and was careful to stay away from extraneous gadgets and appliances, he had one thing that I thought was a bit odd and random: an electric griddle. Over the past 10 years, I’ve now come to embrace this inexpensive but bulky appliance, and here’s why!
Oct 13, 2014
Our Best Guides to Cooking Meat
For those just starting to learn how to cook, all the various cuts of meat and ways to cook them can be a bit daunting. Sometimes there’s one method that brings out the best in a cut of meat, like slow-cooking a pork shoulder, but more usually a versatile meat like chicken can be poached, seared, grilled, or roasted and still come out delicious. How do you choose which method to use?
Oct 6, 2014
Here Is the Correct Way to Serve Grapes
I always gravitate toward the cheese platter at buffets or cocktail parties. Who doesn’t like cheese, sweet grapes, and maybe a few slices of prosciutto or salami? While there’s zero cooking involved in a putting together a cheese platter, here’s one tiny tip about the best way to serve that big cluster of grapes that makes a big difference.
Oct 3, 2014
Can I Still Use a Chipped Enamel Pot?
Q: I have big enamel pot and it is chipped on the inside. Can I still use it if the enamel is off and the black product is showing? Please advise me. I am afraid to use it. Sent by Carol Editor: Readers, do you think the pot is still usable?
Oct 1, 2014
5 Ways to Eat Apple Pie All Day (Without Actually Baking a Pie)
A lofty double-crusted apple pie is one of my favorite all-American desserts — it’s the perfect blend of buttery pastry, tart-sweet apples, fruit syrup, and warm spices. Sadly, with a busy work and home life, making one of these beauties isn’t at the top of my to-do list. But the classic combination of flavors in an apple pie can easily be enjoyed in other foods, making it possible to eat apple pie all day long.
Oct 1, 2014
What’s the Best Alcohol for Making Vanilla Extract?
Q: What’s the best alcohol (variety and brand) for making homemade vanilla extract? Sent by Cathy Editor: Vodka has the most neutral flavor, but you can also use bourbon, brandy, or even rum. → Read more: How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract Readers, what alcohol and brand do you like to use in your homemade vanilla extract?
Sep 24, 2014
The Best Apples for Cooking
As much as we love baking with apples, they’re just as tasty when turned into comforting applesauce or used to punch up savory soups. But not every apple will cook up into a silky smooth texture, so here are the best ones that you should use for your apple butters and sauces! When choosing apples to turn into applesauce or soup, you want ones that will break down and soften quickly, not baking apples which should retain their shape when cooked.
Sep 24, 2014
Why Does My Food Processor Blade Keep Breaking?
Q: Why does my food processor blade keep breaking? And what model would readers recommend as a replacement? I have had my Cuisinart food processor (I think it’s 11-cup) for a few years, and I use it several times a week. I love it except that every 3 months or so, the blade cracks and a small piece of metal breaks off and ends up in my food. I use it mainly for baby food and dips/spreads such as hummus.
Sep 23, 2014
Where Can I Buy Milk with No Additives?
Q: Is there anywhere in the United States where I can get milk which is just milk? I am originally from the UK and our milk is just milk, whereas here, it’s Vitamin A, palmitate, and Vitamin D3. I can’t taste the difference, but there is a recipe I use from Home Made with milk, and it doesn’t seem to work when using the US milk — that’s what I am blaming! I am curious to know what these added ingredients do, and why they are not added in the UK?
Sep 22, 2014
Why You Should Grate the Butter the Next Time You Bake
A box grater makes quick work of shredding cheese or vegetables, but did you know you can break it out for your next baking project too? A stick of frozen butter can be quickly grated into fluffy shreds, and here are two reasons why you should use this technique next time you bake with butter. I always have a few boxes of butter around since I buy it at the club store and butter freezes well.
Sep 22, 2014
5 Things to Roast a Chicken in Other than a Roasting Pan
While I do own a roasting pan, it usually sits underneath the oven at the bottom of a drawer. Piled on top of it are other baking pans, Silpats, and roasting racks, so to be honest, pulling it out is a pain. Its large size also makes it unwieldy to clean in a small sink, so I only use when it when absolutely necessary, usually for Thanksgiving turkey.
Sep 18, 2014
The Best Apples for Baking
Apples are one of our favorite fruits to bake with — they’re inexpensive, easy to find, available year round, and last a long time. Whether they’re baked into a pie, grated into muffins, or shingled into a beautiful tart, this fruit can do it all. But not all apples are designed for baking, so here’s what you need to know! When baking with apples, you need to keep in mind that texture is really important.
Sep 17, 2014
8 Tips for Setting Up a Tailgate
All your tailgating food is prepped and packed away. You’ve double-checked you have the game tickets and you’re dressed appropriately in your team colors. After you’ve pulled into the parking lot, it’s time to unpack and set up for the tailgate, so here are a few tips to help you set up and maximize your space appropriately! The first thing you need to do is mark off your space. Park the car so that the trunk end is where you’ll be tailgating (thus the name!
Sep 16, 2014
Why Day-Old Rice Makes the Best Fried Rice
Fried rice is the ultimate easy one-pot meal: starch, veggies, and proteins all thrown together and cooked in a matter of mere minutes. It’s economical and I love to watch the transformation of a handful of seemingly random leftovers or ingredients into something very satisfying. Making fried rice isn’t an exact science: you can throw in a lot of veggies or keep it to mostly rice instead. The most important thing that you need to keep in mind when making fried rice though?
Sep 11, 2014
The Best Way to Choose, Store, and Ripen Pears
We’re heading into fall fruit season, and while I’m not much of an apple person, I welcome pears with open arms. I’m not too picky about which varieties either — any and all, including those delicate Asian pears, are absolutely delicious to me. I grew up believing that the best pears came in gift boxes around the holidays, and while those expensive pears are amazing, I learned that I can pick good ones out at the store myself instead.
Sep 9, 2014
8 Tips for Packing for a Tailgate
Unlike my husband’s sports-obsessed family, I didn’t really participate in sports as a kid or even care much about organized sports until college. Caught up in the excitement of football season, I started to appreciate that the season signaled fall, (mostly) friendly rivalry, and an excuse to hang out and party.
Sep 9, 2014
Help Me Find a Non-Tomato Italian Sauce
Q: I have always made a great, simple tomato sauce based on roasting tomatoes, hot peppers, onion and garlic in the oven at 350°F for an hour, and then simmering the puree of the roasted veggies with a teabag full of Italian spices and a cup of chicken stock. It’s rich and savory and very spicy and a little sweet and I love it.
Aug 28, 2014
6 Tips for Making the Best Meatballs
Meatballs are an inexpensive blank canvas — take ground meat, add some seasonings, form into cute little balls, and cook! Whether you like them crispy, glazed, or simmered in sauce, they’re super versatile and delicious. Here are a few tips on putting them together and cooking them to guarantee tasty meatballs every time you make them!
Aug 28, 2014
Should I Throw Out My Rice Cooker Now That the Nonstick Lining is Scratched?
Q: I have a question about heavily-trashed Teflon, although this time not about a frying pan but about a rice cooker insert. I have this years-old but pretty well-working rice cooker with a nonstick (presumably Teflon-coated) inner pan, which now looks very scratched. I know that people have tons of alternative suggestions when it comes to frying pans, but what about this one? If it was up to me, I would stop using the machine as I am completely capable of cooking rice in a normal pan.
Aug 25, 2014
What’s the Difference Between Mexican and Spanish Chorizo?
Whenever I see chorizo in a recipe, my first thought is, “Yum!” But then my second thought is always, “Wait, what kind? Spanish or Mexican?” While they’re both delicious sausages, they’re both actually quite different, so here’s what you need to know! How it’s made and sold: Mexican chorizo is a spicy ground meat sausage that is most commonly sold fresh and uncooked, either loose or in a casing, although dried versions do exist.
Aug 25, 2014
19 Important Tips for Truly Tremendous Salads
Salad making can be divided into three basic parts: prepping the ingredients, making the dressing, and tossing it all together. Simple, right? While each part isn’t that hard, there are little tricks and tips that can help you go from making just an okay salad to a great one. From the best ways to wash and dry lettuce to easy ways to make homemade croutons, we’ve put together our best salad-making tips together here.
Aug 25, 2014
Do You Need to Dimple Burger Patties So They Stay Flat?
When forming hamburger patties, I was always told that you had to make a shallow indentation or dimple in the middle of each patty — this would keep the center from bulging up as it cooked so that the patty would stay flat and even. I never questioned that technique until I came across even more methods on how to do this, so I just had to test them out myself! The basic theory is that as meat cooks, the proteins contract so that the whole patty shrinks and puffs up in the middle.
Aug 22, 2014