Don't let the fancy names or the impressive chopping speed of master chefs intimidate you when it comes to learning basic knife skills. With a little practice, cutting techniques are rather simple and easy to perfect. Knowing how to properly cut fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruit will make recipes and preparation easier, while taking your dishes to the next level in terms of aesthetics and texture. For mastering everything from mincing garlic to cutting a chiffonade, turn to these six step-by-step tutorials.
When was the last time you cleaned out your pantry?
The folks at Cook's Illustrated really know their way around a kitchen. Not only do they have great recipes and fantastic ideas, but they've got an assortment of kitchen tips too. In fact they've got 834 of them and lucky for us they've put them in their book 834 Kitchen Quick Tips. The tips are laid out alphabetically and cover everything from almond paste (how to soften) to zucchini (how to seed). The hints inside (like spraying your knife with nonstick cooking spray before chopping sticky dried fruit) are quite clever and a book like this will be a great reference in your kitchen. I personally found the tips fun to read, and think it's going to become the gift I give at housewarmings!