Kelli Foster's Recent Articles
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We Asked 6 Baking Experts Whether Pure Vanilla Is Worth It
As you ready your pantry for holiday baking, you’ve got a choice to make — splurge on fragrant, yet pricey pure vanilla extract, or stick with less expensive imitation vanilla extract. Is there really a difference between the two? And is pure vanilla really worth its higher price tag?
Dec 2, 2014
12 Pantry Items That Will Last Nearly Forever
Whether you’re preparing for a major pantry clean-out or you’re about to load up on essentials for holiday baking and entertaining, there are quite a few items where an expiration date doesn’t apply. When stored properly — in an airtight container, kept in a cool, dry place — there are a number of pantry staples that can last just about forever. We’re not talking until the end of time forever, although some of these staples just may hold up that long.
Dec 1, 2014
5 Smart Ways to Salvage an Overcooked Turkey
Like it or not, turkey is the star of Thanksgiving dinner. If you pull your bird out of the oven to find it’s overcooked, you may have the urge to shed a few tears (been there, done that), but don’t panic. You’re not the first person to overcook a turkey and you certainly won’t be the last. Unfortunately there’s no way to turn back the clock and undo what’s been done. The good news, however, is that there are a few ways to salvage your overcooked turkey.
Nov 25, 2014
Can You Actually Thicken Gravy with Stuffing?
Most recipes use flour or cornstarch to thicken gravy, but a number of years ago there was an interview on NPR with cooking guru Shirley Corriher who mentioned that her mother used to thicken their Thanksgiving gravy with uncooked stuffing. And not only that, it was also the best gravy she remembered eating. Is it really possible to use stuffing to thicken gravy? And, does it taste good? We decided to test it and find out!
Nov 24, 2014
Is It Worth It To Cook a Practice Turkey Before Hosting Your First Thanksgiving?
Do you remember how you felt the first time you hosted Thanksgiving dinner? Were you nervous? Excited? Perhaps none of the above? This year my friend Meghan is hosting her first Thanksgiving dinner. Despite hosting other holidays and dinner parties, she confided in me that she’s nervous about this one, and feeling some added pressure. Her nerves are coming from one place — the turkey.
Nov 20, 2014
5 Easy Ways to Make Pumpkin Pie Even Better
When it comes to dessert, one thing is certain: Thanksgiving isn’t complete without pumpkin pie. This year we’re on a mission to make this classic dessert a little more interesting, and even a more glamorous star of the dessert table. From a cookie crust to candied toppings to chocolate fudge, here are five easy ways to jazz up your classic pumpkin pie. Let’s skip the whipped cream topping this year!
Nov 19, 2014
7 Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking a Turkey
Turkey is certainly the masterpiece of the Thanksgiving table, presented with flourish and praise for the cook. Despite the idyllic image we’ve created of roasted turkey, it is essentially the same as roasting your Sunday chicken, albeit on a much larger scale. While there are lots of opinions about (and some sound advice for) roasting a turkey, there are just a few key steps to avoid for a terrific Thanksgiving turkey.
Nov 18, 2014
How I Freeze Unbaked Pies Now to Save Time on Thanksgiving
With just two weeks to go until Thanksgiving, I’m prepping everything — including the pies. I won’t bake them until the day of the meal, but I’m preparing and storing the unbaked pies in the freezer until then. Not only can this trick save you valuable time in the days leading up to the holiday, but your pie crust will be even better after spending time in the freezer. To be fair, this trick doesn’t work equally for all types of pie.
Nov 13, 2014
5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Making Pie for Thanksgiving
While pie is one of those desserts that’s great any time of year, holiday season is filled with constant occasions for homemade pies. Whether you’re making a classic, fruit-filled apple pie, or a custardy pumpkin pie, we want to make sure your Thanksgiving dinner ends with the most delicious slice possible. Here are five common pie-making mistakes, plus our best tips on how to avoid them.
Nov 11, 2014
Why Acorn Squash Should Be on Your Fall Menu
Acorn squash may be small (it typically weighs between one and two pounds), but it is a mighty vegetable that can play side dish or hearty main course. Here’s a guide to acorn squash, with a few tips for putting this small, delicious vegetable on your plate this week. Even if you have yet to try acorn squash, you’ve likely spotted it at the farmers market or grocery store. A member of the winter squash family, acorn squash is distinguished by its vertical ridges and acorn shape.
Nov 10, 2014
The 5 Life Stages of a Roast Chicken
Roast chicken is the gift that keeps on giving. Whether you make a homemade roast chicken or turn to a store-bought rotisserie bird for a convenient weeknight dinner, there are more meals here than you might think. Most of us view roast chicken as our ticket to two, or even three meals, but there’s so much more to it. Let’s take a walk through the five life stages of a roast chicken to see how to get the very most out of a single roast bird.
Nov 7, 2014
10 Outrageous Grilled Cheese Sandwiches for Lunch (Or Dessert)
It’s time to change the way you think about grilled cheese sandwiches. Once upon a time tomato and a few slices of ham did wonders to liven up this cheesy sandwich. But we’ve gone so far past that now. We’re sharing 10 mind-blowing grilled cheese sandwiches that will forever change the way you do lunch — and maybe even dessert! These days nothing is off limits when it comes to constructing a killer grilled cheese.
Nov 6, 2014
What’s the Deal with Orange and Purple Cauliflower?
While it’s easy to get caught up with winter squash at the farmers market right now, keep moving along. There are even more exciting things happening. Like orange and purple cauliflower! Here’s what you should know about these vibrant vegetables! Colored cauliflower started popping up at farmers markets about ten years ago, and it’s become increasing popular and more widely available in the last few years. No, they’re not painted or dyed!
Nov 5, 2014
Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes When Making Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs are one of the most basic and comforting dishes, and, in fact, they were likely one of the first foods many of us learned to cook. But are you really doing it right? While everyone has their own favorite cooking method for scrambled eggs, there are a few rules that remain constant. We’re sharing five common mistakes that are made when cooking scrambled eggs, plus our best tips on how to avoid them!
Oct 30, 2014
This Candy Jar Is the Easiest (and Sweetest) Halloween Decoration
With just one week to go until Halloween, we’ve got a simple (and edible!) decoration that you’ve got to try. Whether you’re hosting a party or just hanging out at home with your family, this sweet DIY creation is perfect for adding a little holiday flair to your tabletop. Plus, who doesn’t love decorations that also make a delicious snack?! And it’s easy. Even if you’re not a DIY-er, you’ve totally got this one.
Oct 24, 2014
5 Quick Meals You Can Make with Canned Tomatoes
Look inside my pantry and you’ll find a tower of canned tomatoes at all times; they are one of my favorite pantry staples. Canned tomatoes are really versatile and work well in so many different dishes. Here are five of our favorite ways to use canned tomatoes for easy weeknight dinners. A simple can of tomatoes gives you the power to take your mid-week dinner in a lot of delicious directions.
Oct 1, 2014
A Complete Guide to All the Labels on Chicken Packaging
If you’ve ever felt totally confused when reading the label on a package of chicken, I can guarantee that you’re not alone. Not by a long shot. There are so many terms to know, and it seems like new labeling buzzwords keep popping up. It can be tricky to know what’s important versus marketing buzzwords that don’t actually carry much weight.
Sep 29, 2014
5 Reasons to Keep Whole Cinnamon Sticks in Your Spice Rack
Cinnamon sticks always make a lovely garnish and freshly grated cinnamon is a nice treat, but there are other uses for full sticks of this perfect-for-fall-spice, ones you may not have even considered. Here are five great reasons why we keep cinnamon sticks stocked in the kitchen, and why you should too! If you don’t keep cinnamon sticks in your spice cabinet, now is the perfect time to consider stocking up.
Sep 25, 2014
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Meat on the Stovetop
It took me a long time to get over feeling intimidated by cooking meat on the stovetop. For a while, I simply avoided it, and then in learning I made my share of mistakes along the way. But with the right tips to guide you, the stovetop is one of the quickest, easiest ways to cook delicious chicken, beef, and pork. Here are the five most common mistakes that are made when cooking meat, plus our best tips on how to avoid them!
Sep 23, 2014
Label the Tops of Spice Jars for Better Drawer Organization
If you do one thing for your kitchen this fall, let it be this: organize your spice drawer. We’ve got one super simple tip that will make finding spices in your drawer a breeze. If you store spices in a cupboard or on a spice rack at eye level it’s easy to see the labels on the jars. But it’s not quite as simple to see what’s what when your spices are stored in a drawer or down below.
Sep 16, 2014
What’s the Difference Between Bisque and Chowder?
Bisque and chowder — are they just fancy monikers for creamy soup? Is there really a difference? This question never crossed my mind until it was posed to me recently. My immediate thought was that the answer was obvious. Except, when I started to actually think about it, I really had no idea what set them apart. So, what exactly is the difference between bisque and chowder? Bisque and chowder are two very delicious and very similar types of soup.
Sep 9, 2014
5 Tips for Blissfully Sharing a Kitchen with Roommates
If you’ve ever had roommates you know that sharing kitchen space comes with its challenges. Over the years I’ve had my own share of roommate experiences, both fantastic and totally infuriating. If you’ve ever had roommates you’ll totally be able to relate to this, and if you’re about to move in with roommates for the first time, here are my five essential tips for sharing a kitchen with roommates.
Sep 4, 2014
This Mexican Cucumber Looks Exactly Like a Tiny Watermelon
Say hello to the Mexican cucumber, the most adorable fruit (or is it a vegetable?)! The other weekend when I was browsing the tables at the farmers market I came across the most interesting looking fruit. I’d never seen anything like it. This little fruit was the size of a large grape, and looked like a miniature watermelon with its oval shape and variegated green coloring. Have you ever tried one?
Aug 27, 2014
Our Readers’ 10 Favorite Timeless Cookbooks
What defines a classic, timeless cookbook? For some, it’s the indispensable recipes that have stood the test of time. For others, it’s the nostalgia of watching mothers and grandmothers cook from them, only to now turn to the well-worn pages themselves. Some books have become staples on our shelves because they’re a comprehensive reference, and others because they teach us technique. And then there are books that just give us delicious meals, over and over again.
Aug 26, 2014
10 Smart Ways to Get More Life Out of Your Stale Bread
Sometimes I buy a baguette or a loaf of sourdough, brioche, or ciabatta, and for one reason or another, it doesn’t get finished. I always have good intentions of storing the extras in the freezer for later. But all too often I forget and a day or two later I have a loaf of stale bread on my hands. If you find yourself in the same position, instead of tossing it, try these great ways to get more life out of your stale bread.
Aug 25, 2014
Everything You Need to Know About Eggplant
We’ve reached that wonderful time in August when eggplants in their many shapes and colors have taken over more than a few tables at the farmers market. While eggplant is readily available throughout the year, its peak season is right now, from August through October. From choosing the right fruit (yes, eggplant is a fruit!), to storing it and of course, eating it, we’re sharing everything you need to know about eggplant. Or, aubergines, if you prefer.
Aug 19, 2014
Use the Last Tiny Bit of Jam to Make Easy Jam Jar Salad Vinaigrettes
You know that point when you’re almost to the bottom of a jar of jam? It’s not quite empty, but it feels close enough because there’s not even enough jam to spread on a piece of toast. It might seem like what’s left is a lost cause and the easiest solution is to toss the jar. Don’t do it! This tiny amount of sweetness is the perfect beginning for a super easy jam jar vinaigrette.
Aug 4, 2014
15 Delicious Ways to Get Your Fill of Sweet Summer Corn
I’ve been waiting patiently (ok, maybe not so patiently) for this moment all summer. I’m talking about the arrival of sweet summer corn! Whether it’s boiled, grilled or even microwaved, there’s no doubt about it, corn on the cob is a total summer staple. To help you get the most out of this summer’s fresh corn haul, we’ve got 15 corn-filled recipes you’e got to try. This isn’t just any kind of corn on the cob.
Jul 31, 2014
Everything You Need to Know About Pluots
So, just what is this speckled fruit that looks like a plum and bears a similar, yet funny name? Pluots are a member of the (delicious!) stone fruit family. They are a hybrid fruit developed in the late 80s that are 75% plum and 25% apricot. They resemble plums with smooth skin, and a similar shape and texture. If you’ve never tasted a pluot you’re in for a treat! The flavor is intense, and I say that in the best way possible!
Jul 25, 2014
5 Reasons You’ll Want to Buy Husk Cherries at the Farmers Market
So, you’ve tracked down a pint of husk cherries. Congratulations, this can be a feat in itself. Husk cherries can be tricky to find; they aren’t exactly grocery store material. You’re most likely to find them at farmers markets, or perhaps if you’re lucky they’ll show up in your CSA box. And if you’re really lucky, you have some growing around your property. But once you find husk cherries, what an earth do you do with them?
Jul 24, 2014
You Can Make This 10-Layer Ice Cream Cake in 5 Minutes
This ice cream cake looks elaborate (and delicious), right? Not only does this cake involve 10 sweet layers of pure bliss, but it relies on a shortcut so you can make it far more quickly than you might expect. Ready to go to ice cream cake heaven? Follow me, I’m more than happy to lead the way! You won’t believe how easy it is to build this 10-layer ice cream cake.
Jul 21, 2014
5 Tips for Picking a Perfect Melon
If picking a ripe melon feels like a completely daunting task, I can assure you that you’re not alone. Sometimes this choice feels more like a leap of faith, where you cross your fingers and hope for the best. But there are ways to discover the sweetest, ripest, juiciest melons, and to pluck them from the heap. Picking a good melon comes with challenges. It’s not like selecting berries where you can see green hints of unripeness.
Jul 16, 2014
It’s Cherry Season! Here’s What You Need to Know
Ah, cherry season! It’s a short, yet deliciously sweet blip on the calendar, and one I look forward to every summer. I could barely contain my excitement when these sweet, red jewels began to trickle in to the farmers market and grocery stores here in New York. The window for cherry season is short! Like, just around one month short. Six weeks if you’re lucky. Timing varies around the country, with the west coast receiving their bounty as early as May.
Jul 15, 2014
4 Essential Tips for Making a Better Turkey Burger
I love a good burger any time of year, but there’s something about summer that makes them even better. Lately I’ve been changing things up with lean, flavor-packed turkey burgers. Creating a good turkey burger can be tricky because ground turkey, while leaner than the beef in traditional burgers, needs a little extra loving care. Here are four tips for a juicy, satisfying turkey burger.
Jul 10, 2014
7 Swanky Toppings for Restaurant-Style Burgers at Home
This summer I’m determined to step up my burger game. It’s time to branch out from my standard piece of Swiss (or sometimes cheddar), slice of tomato, onion and pickles. Not that those aren’t great toppings. They are, they’re classics. They’re just lacking in the creativity department. Here are seven toppings that get a little more creative, a little more fancy — like a burger you’d find gracing the menu at a swanky (but still legit) burger joint.
Jul 3, 2014
Brighten Up Summer Drinks with Melon Ball Ice Cubes
At one time or another we’ve all added something tasty to give our plan ‘ol glass of water or fizzy seltzer a little boost. A squeeze of lemon or lime, a few slices of cucumber, perhaps a few sprigs of mint. This summer try something a little different. Cool off your drinks and add a hint of fresh flavor with melon ball ice cubes. I stumbled across this genius tip on Pinterest recently, and it was too good not to share with you!
Jul 2, 2014
5 Fresh Herbs to Try This Summer
I don’t know about you, but during the summer I find myself mixing fresh herbs into just about everything. They’re more or less available year around, but there’s something about using them in the summertime that just feels, well, right. They make meals feel fresher, lighter and all around tastier. This summer, go beyond basil and mint and branch out into some herbs that perhaps aren’t used as often. Here are my five favorites.
Jun 27, 2014
Keep the Oven Off! 15 Great Meals to Cook on the Grill
If the thought of turning on your oven this summer makes you cringe, head outside and fire up the grill instead. From salad to seafood, must-have juicy burgers and rotisserie chicken, even pizza and dessert, here’s 15 delicious dinners (and desserts!) you’ve got to try this summer.
Jun 26, 2014
Go Beyond Kabobs with More Uses for Your Wooden (and Metal) Skewers!
Somehow I’ve managed to accumulate no less than 100 wooden skewers. Or, perhaps the count is closer to 200. Either way there’s a lot. And that’s in addition to my collection of metal skewers. Every summer I seem to forget I’m well stocked in this area, and pick up a new package of skewers the very second grilling season begins. If you, like me, are well-stocked with skewers, here are some creative ideas for putting them to use this summer.
Jun 19, 2014
Holy Guacamole! 5 Fun Ways to Jazz Up Your Guacamole This Summer
I think we can all agree that it doesn’t take a lot to make a great guacamole. Just a simple blend of mashed avocado, plenty of chopped fresh cilantro, red onion, fresh lime juice, salt and pepper. Add the chips, and perhaps a cold beer or margarita and you’re all set. This summer, I propose breaking out of your purist shell and expanding your horizons to consider one of these 5 fun add-ins to jazz up your next batch of guac! If you love a good sweet-savory blend, this is for you!
Jun 12, 2014
Can You Really Make Whipped Cream with Just a Mason Jar?
Can it really be possible to make homemade whipped cream with just a mason jar? No tired arm from whisking. No lugging the stand mixer out just to make a few dollops of whipped cream. No beaters to wash, or immersion blender to clean. Instead, there’s a method as simple as pouring whipping cream in a jar, sealing the lid nice & tight and giving it a good shake. Kind of sounds too good to be true, right?! I first read this tip, written by Chris Scheuer, in Parade Magazine.
Jun 10, 2014
Dorie Greenspan’s Tips for Perfect Strawberry Shortcake Every Time
This coming Saturday, June 14, is a national food holiday, paying homage to one of summer’s quintessential desserts — strawberry shortcake. So, what better time than now to talk to expert baker (and one of our favorites!), Dorie Greenspan, about her tips for preparing the perfect strawberry shortcake, complete with tender, mile-high biscuits, every time! Is shortcake a project that any baker can take on? Shortcake is such a great project for newbie bakers and pros, alike!
Jun 9, 2014
Go Beyond Kale with These 5 Greens
Right now farmers markets are teeming with tables of leafy greens. There’s everything from large, sturdy collards to delicate microgreens and painful sounding stinging nettles. Whether you’re a die-hard kale lover, or the sight of it makes you cringe, there’s no better time than right now to get a little adventurous and give these five greens a try! I keep hearing that collards are gearing up to be the new kale.
Jun 5, 2014
You Don’t Need a Grill to Cook a Great Steak!
For years I was convinced that the only way to cook a great steak, and well, most types of meat, was on the grill. And since there was no way to have a grill in my small New York City apartment, I restricted my meat eating to restaurants and weekends visiting my parents (and their grill!) in the suburbs. A few years ago, I experimented with cooking a steak in my cast iron skillet. Despite my initial skepticism, this forever changed the way I cook meat!
Jun 3, 2014
Why I Freeze Fresh Fruit Instead of Buying It Frozen
Adding frozen fruit to smoothies is nothing short of amazing. And, pretty much mandatory in my book. It’s a great way to add flavor and sweetness, and best of all, I love the icy, refreshing consistency it brings to my drink. There’s no question that buying frozen fruit is easy and convenient, but it also gets a little pricey…especially if you drink smoothies as often as I do! While it takes a little time and some prep work, consider freezing fresh fruit instead.
Jun 3, 2014
5 Ways to Use Leftover Coconut Milk
I’ve been cooking with coconut milk a lot lately, and I seem to have a knack for picking recipes that never quite use the entire can. It feels wasteful to to get rid of the leftovers, so whether it’s just a few tablespoons or a cup, I always save what’s left. To prevent your leftover coconut milk from getting lost and forgotten in the back of the fridge, here are five great ways to use up that open can.
Jun 2, 2014
Will Stinging Nettles Really Sting You?
I was wary of stinging nettles for quite a while. Until just the other week, in fact. There was always something about the sign marked ‘DANGER’, perched in front of the bin of nettles at the farmers market, that kept me away. Not to mention their painful-sounding name. I mean, stinging nettles…not exactly the most friendly-sounding name. So, will stinging nettles really sting you? Yes, and no.
May 30, 2014
Store Natural Nut Butter Upside Down to Keep it from Separating
Love natural nut butter, but can’t stand when it separates? You’re not alone! There are a few different methods to blend, and re-blend, separated nut butter, and I have a tried and true, super-easy method that works every time. I don’t know about you, but nearly all of my attempts to stir separated nut butter result with me spilling oil everywhere, including on myself. Thankfully there’s an easier (and less messy!) way to get the job done.
May 28, 2014