We've reached the light at the end of the Winter tunnel! It's March and that means Spring is just around the corner. With it comes longer days, green vegetables, and fun celebrations like St. Patrick's Day. It's also a time for cleaning out the old and bringing in the new. To help you make the most of the next 31 days, we've rounded up our five favorite things. Here are our must haves!
"I just bought my first cast iron pan and can't wait to start using it! How should I go about seasoning it? And after I use it, how do you clean it? I would love to have this pan for years to come but want to make sure I care for it properly. Any tips?"
To season a cast iron pan, coat the bottom in cooking oil, then bake for an hour in a 350 degrees F oven. When cool enough to handle, dry with paper towels. As for cleaning, be sure to wash the pan with hot water immediately after cooking. Do not let it sit and soak. Do you have a cast iron skillet? How do you care for it?
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Although it's still incredibly cold out, there's a light at the end of the Winter tunnel. It's the first day of March, and that means Spring is just around the corner! From St. Patrick's Day to the arrival of asparagus, this month is a celebration of being green. To help you make the most of it, we've rounded up the items we are currently obsessing about. Here are our must haves for March.
I've never used a pot rack before, but my stack of pots and pans has been so unruly lately, I'm considering it — especially in light of January's home organizing focus. There's not really any way to store them in a cabinet that's not out of hand. If I make the change I'll have to come to terms with having my supplies out in the open; I'm more of a "behind closed doors" girl. Do you use a pot rack?
Source: Flickr User Trebz
Last week, PetSugar came to me with a good question: is it possible to bake brownies in a glass pan instead of metal? The short answer is yes. It is possible to bake brownies or other cookie bars with a glass pan — but this comes with a few caveats.
According to Lauren Chattman, author of The Baking Answer Book, clear glass, much like dark metal, absorbs heat, making it ideal for crisp-crusted pies but much less so for bar cookies, quick breads, and fruit crisps, which can easily become burnt.
Aluminum and nonstick pans are generally best for brownies, although ceramic, which is slower to absorb heat, will work, too, but will produce a lighter-colored product at the end. If you must use glass, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees and bake for the same duration of time to achieve desirable results.
Source: Flickr User kim siciliano salem
Ever since I saw this muffin top pan ($19.95) on Serious Eats the other day, I can't seem to get it out of my head. The author of the story, a self-professed muffin-bottom lover, employs the pan to make other things, like individual quiches, gratins, and tarts. I, too, have never really understood the allure of the muffin top, but after reading the descriptive uses for the pan, I kind of want one. What do you think of it?
While I love lasagna as much as the next avid home cook, I'm not sure how I feel about this lasagna trio pan ($79.95). Sure, it's great for picky eaters — you can make three different kinds of lasagna for your family! — but I prefer a slice of lasagna's soft center over the crusty side pieces. What do you think about it? Is this lasagna pan practically perfect or simply stupid?
Short on storage space in the kitchen? Hanging your pots and pans from the ceiling or high on the wall from chains and hooks is an easy way to free up your cabinets, and it makes an artful display. Just screw some hooks into a narrow strip of wood and then fasten the wood into the wall. Use varying lengths of chain to keep your cookware from banging together, as well as to add more visual interest. Just make sure to keep the look clean, otherwise you'll have an eyesore on your hands. And it always helps to have eye-catching cookware like Le Creuset.