There's no better time to enjoy artichokes than now; the Spring vegetable is at its peak from March through July. While fancy preparations are fun, I think the artichoke is best at its simplest. They're something so wonderful about peeling off the leaves and scraping the delicious flesh into your mouth. The easiest way to cook artichokes is by steaming. It takes about 45 minutes but requires hardly any work. Serve with herb mayonnaise or butter as an appetizer or side dish. Check out the uncomplicated recipe now.
Springtime is the perfect season to master an angel food cake. The light, airy, and spongy dessert is wonderfully versatile. It can be served with strawberries and whipped cream for an upscale take on classic strawberry shortcake. Or offer it with coconut ice cream and mango sauce for a tropical-inspired treat. Or plate it with chocolate sauce and raspberries for a decadent dish. Or . . . see, the possibilities for angel food cake are endless! It's simple to make: it's basically a bunch of whipped egg whites sprinkled with a little flour and sugar. The key is to fold the dry ingredients in very gently and carefully. To check out the recipe, keep reading.
Although there are supermarket aisles filled with hundreds of different jars of tomato sauce, every now and then, it's rewarding to make your own. The thick sauce simmering on the stove warms the kitchen and fills the house with a delectable aroma.
This wonderful recipe makes a huge batch of sauce, so you can use some now and freeze the rest for later. The base of the sauce is a classic mirepoix, plus garlic and tons of fresh herbs. The resulting sauce is rich, slightly sweet, and one of the best tomato sauces I've ever tasted.
It's delicious simply tossed with spaghetti, but it's also great in dishes like lasagna, pizza, and eggs in purgatory. To check out the recipe, which comes from chef Marco Canora's cookbook, keep reading.
I used to think that baking cakes from scratch was a very scary thing. However, like any skill, practice makes perfect, and once I got over my fear of cakes, I learned they're actually quite simple to make!
There's an easy three-part technique that applies to most cakes. You start by blending sugar with butter, then you add eggs, and finally some liquid and some flour. You put it in the oven, wait, and then you have a cake. See? When written in its most basic form, a cake recipe is totally uncomplicated!
This recipe for an amazingly dense and delicious chocolate cake is one that you should master. It's moist, rich, and everything you could want in a chocolate cake. To give it a try, get the method now.
If you're taking the time to make your own hummus, why not go the extra mile and serve it with homemade pita chips? They're so easy to make, you practically don't even need a recipe! The best thing about baking pita until it's toasted and crunchy is that you control the seasonings. Depending on what you serve it with (spinach artichoke dip, Greek salsa, etc.), adjust the spices to mimic the flavors in the dip. I offered these chips with red pepper hummus packed with lots of garlic, so before baking, I dusted the triangles of pita with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Get the uncomplicated method now.
Although it may seem like an intermediate dish, there's a fool-proof technique to making a perfect frittata, and every beginning home cook should master it. A frittata is basically a crust-less quiche; it's an egg-based dish that can be filled with any vegetables, meats, or cheese.
The veggies are cooked before an egg mixture is added to the pan. The key is to use a saute pan that is oven safe. Once the frittata is set, stick the whole thing in the oven for it to finish cooking, then brown the top under the broiler.
This way you avoid having to flip the frittata — a step that's resulted in an eggy mess all over my floor more than once. To get the uncomplicated method to this adaptable dish, which can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, keep reading.
Even if time or money (or both) are tight this holiday season, you can still indulge food-loving friends in a major way. Make your own homemade hot fudge sauce, then package it nicely in a recycled glass jar and gift it to all the chocoholics you know. The key to this recipe is to use high-quality chocolate; I melted down leftover Guittard blocks I had in the pantry. Once you've got the basic proportions down, you can really start experimenting with variations: Use milk chocolate in place of dark or add cayenne for kick. Want the extremely fast recipe? Then read more.
If simple syrup's a very regular part of your bar repertoire, then you might want to consider adding honey syrup into the mix.
Honey lends a grassy, floral flavor to drinks, but it doesn't pour well and can crystallize. Honey syrup offers the same flavors but makes the nectar much easier to use: it pours smoothly, incorporates well, even in ice-cold drinks, and stores for up to a month.
Use the basic recipe to sweeten everything from tea to sorbet to mojitos, or infuse it with different herbs if you're in the mood to go crazy. For the no-recipe recipe, read on.
Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it's time to turn our attention to the remaining Winter holidays! A recipe that you'll want to have on hand is this one for classic gingerbread cookies. These crowd-pleasing cookies are chewy, moist, and delicious. Thanks to freshly grated ginger, they have a rich and intense ginger flavor.
The simplest way to make them is to shape the dough into balls, dunk in sugar, and bake. However, feel free to roll the batter out, cut it into festive shapes, and decorate after baking. My favorite use of these cookies is to turn them into an ice cream sandwich with vanilla ice cream — or for a Christmasy twist, egg nog ice cream. To enjoy these cookies, get the recipe.
Homemade whipped cream is one of those dishes that I've made so many times that I don't consider it a recipe. Once you know the basic proportions, you can get creative and flavor the whipped cream with everything from extracts to liqueurs to spices. Experimenting with different kinds of sugar will also result in varied texture and flavor. The most important thing to remember when whipping cream is to use very cold heavy cream. If you have time, place the mixing bowl and mixers in the freezer before whipping, this will ensure that the cream forms even stiff peaks. Don't overmix, the whipped cream will become grainy, or worse, turn into butter. Learn an easy method you'll use over and over again here.