All posts in How To

How to Quickly Age a Cutting Board into a Rustic, Vintage Treasure

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Scan Old Negatives with Your Smartphone

lomogLomography, a company started by two Austrian students dedicated to keeping “creative analogue photography available and accessible to everyone” has just released the most amazing new product: a handheld converter that allows you to scan your old negatives directly into your smartphone. Read more…

How to Cook with “The Pizza Herb”

Aside from tons of vitamins and nutrients, oregano also has more concentrated antioxidants than blueberries, has antibacterial properties that will help keep your entire system healthy (even protecting you from other germs on other foods), and actually counts as a dietary fiber.
Worried about all the crazy infections that are now resistant to antibiotics, like MRSA? Me too! Well, here’s some good news for Italian-food lovers: in 2008, scientists discovered that the oil from oregano actually kills the MRSA bacteria better than eighteen other antibiotics! Just another reason why home cooking with your own herbs can help your family’s health. Read more…

The Definitive Guide to Buying Olive Oil

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All About Rosemary: How to Plant it, Pick it & Cook with it

roesmaryThe evergreen needle does more than just smell amazing and make food delicious. It has numerous anti-inflammatory properties that also help the immune system, improve blood flow, and aid in digestion.
Researchers believe rosemary also helps improve concentration, and could help asthma sufferers. Read more…

Using a Pastry Blender

Am I the only one who had no idea how to use a pastry blender when she first started baking? The number of ways I tried and failed and ended up with flour all over my counter and myself… I rocked it back-and-forth like a little see-saw (in my defense, it is shaped that way!), I used it like a saw sliding it horizontally, I swirled it in a circle, I did some fancy dig movements (ok, now I’m just embarrassing myself).

Turns out the trick is straight down, quarter turn, repeat. 

And to make your life infinitely easier, cut the butter into chunks before you add it to the bowl. Trying to blend a giant chunk, especially cold as it’s required for most pastry, is kind of a nightmare.

To spare you the aggravation of sitting through a 2-minute You Tube video
laden with ads like I did back in the day, I made a tiny Vine for you. My
very first. It almost killed me (there are no redos?!?), but with the help of my 12-year-old camera girl, I’m feeling a wee bit more tech-savvy. (Just don’t turn on the sound. We didn’t know there was sound…)

How to Measure Dry Pasta

drypastaIf you’re measuring out dried pasta into the pot and don’t know how much you need, consider the average girl eats about one cup of cooked pasta. You’ll need half that much of the dried pasta, so pour in a half cup. Measure out half of that for kids, and double for big boys.

You can’t pour spaghetti into a cup, so here’s a trick my grandma Read more…

Make Your Own Food Backdrop Boards

paintbackdropEven if your home is filled with gorgeous antique tables, at some point you’re going to want to shoot your food on a surface you don’t have. And if you live in a state where you have to chase the sun for natural light, a portable food backdrop board is essential.

While I am a devoted dumpster diver when it comes to finding beautiful, weathered planks of wood, when I wanted to photograph strawberries on a bright blue table, I had to make one. Read more…

Fear of Frying

“Fried food” just sounds unhealthy, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re using a heart-healthy oil like olive oil, and cooking at a high enough temperature, there’s no reason to be afraid of getting out your skillet. Read more…

What Exactly Is a “Canola”? (Hint: It’s not a vegetable…)

Canola oil is often advertised as being as good as, or even healthier than, olive oil, but I’m not buying it (seriously, I’m not buying it). Olive oil is cleanly pressed. Canola oil, like all the other “vegetable” oils, is extremely chemically processed.
But my biggest question is: what’s a canola? I never heard of a vegetable called canola. Or a grain either. Turns out that’s because there isn’t one. It’s a made-up word!

Canola is, no joke, the combination of the words “Canada” and “oil.” Can + oil = Canola. Great, but what the heck is Canada oil? Read more…

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