Scratch That Cooking - Gain confidence in the kitchen and make great meals from scratch.

How to Make Your Rice Taste Better

Depending on where you’re from, people eat anywhere from 26-300lbs of rice a year. What?!

That means you're probably eating at least two pounds of rice a month! And if you’re going to be eating over two pounds of rice a month, why make it boring?

If you want to know how I make my rice dishes pop with flavor without adding much time, if any, to the overall process keep on reading.

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6 Tips to Save Time When You’re Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping

Like I wrote in the previous post, meal planning and writing an organized grocery list that you stick to will do the lion's share of the work if you're trying to save time grocery shopping.

But there are other nuanced parts to the preparation and shopping that can help it go even faster and more efficiently from home, to the store, and back again. 

So let's dive in! Here's six tips for getting out of the store and into the kitchen faster. 

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Three Ways To Organize Your Grocery List & Save Time

Grocery shopping is a necessary evil if you want to save money and cook great food at home. I’ve wasted a lot of time wandering around Winco, Fred Meyer, Costco, and Albertson grocery stores, and I’ve got some tips to save you time when you're hitting the isles.

Keep reading if you want to avoid multiple trips to the store per week and make this boring part of cooking more efficient.                         

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What Spices Do You Need to Start Cooking?

If you think that you need a spice rack with at least two dozen dried herbs and ground up spices in order to be a good cook you’re dead wrong. Most of the flavor you get from your dishes will come from the fresh, whole ingredients and the controlled application of heat while preparing them.

Spices help add nuanced (or obvious) layers of flavors, and in that they are important to have. So here’s what you need to stock a spice rack when you’re starting out in the kitchen.

Spices don’t make you a great cook, they just give you more options.
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How to Stock Your Home Kitchen With Staples

While you’re working to get all of your basic cookware in order, the other main focus that helps you have longterm success in the kitchen is stocking your kitchen with staples. I’ve been mulling this post over for a while because it’s hard to define a “staple” since your cooking style and tastes might be way different than mine, but the main point of this post is that you should be working towards keeping your most used ingredients in stock so you never run out when you need them. 

What Are Kitchen Staples? 

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Kitchen Basics: Cookware You Need When You Start Cooking

So I put a survey out to my email list and have been answering them on video! And to be completely honest... I'm not that great on camera (yet!) so I'm summarizing the videos here. This is breaking down this great question I got:

"I need to start cooking, presently I can fry an egg, that's it. So to get started what are the basics I need to set up my kitchen? Seasonings and non perishables, cooking utensils etc etc......"

I turned the answer into a four part video playlist, and this post will expand and supplement part three: Knives and Cookware You Need to Start Cooking.

So here goes! This post will cover the items I cover in the above video with links to the best places online to pick them up.

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How to Remove An Avocado Pit and Slice or Dice it Safely

Did you know prepping an avocado is one of the most dangerous tasks to do in the kitchen? It’s such a common healthy food, and the flesh is so soft that this might be surprising… but between people learning to pry out the pit with a knife, and to slice and dice the flesh while it’s still inside the skin, home cooks are keeping emergency rooms and hand surgeons in business.

Don’t believe me? Fine… maybe you’ll listen to Meryl Streep!

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Substandard Sous Chef: Kailee’s Blue Apron Experience

chicken chili with pita bread in a pretty blue bowl on a wood table

You might think that being married to a person who has a blog about scratch cooking that I might have picked up a few tricks here and there. Well, there are two things you need to learn about me.  1) I didn’t and 2) my college roommates could tell you I have a long history of cooking disasters.

Although I still have improved from my days of congealed solid masses of hamburger helper (still not sure how that happened) I very rarely cook. One fabulous thing about having a partner who genuinely loves cooking is I often get spoiled by getting to relax on the couch with the cats while Thomas creates in the kitchen. The bad thing is I have absolutely no knife skills (not kidding here, Thomas usually stands by me and winces while I chop) and completely from scratch recipes can be pretty intimidating. That’s why I thought I would share something that helps me get in the kitchen and feel successful. Blue Apron! Continue reading

Whole Wheat Banana Molasses Muffins

closeup photo of banana muffin tops

They’re way healthier than they look

I’m not a big muffin fan, but it’s because I got so used to thinking of muffins as these giant cupcakes the size of my head. You know the ones from Costco that taste like they’re 50% sugar?

So when Kailee and I started making muffins to have some easy and healthy breakfasts I wasn’t completely on board. But these whole wheat molasses banana muffins with some oats and pecans thrown in are definitely going to get made again.

The molasses and bananas are the only added sweeteners, and there’s only a half cup of molasses between a dozen muffins… that’s like… a half tablespoon per muffin? Someone check that for me.

Anyway, these are really really good. And they’re easy to make! So if you think all muffin mixes come from a box, or all muffins come from Costco, then you should definitely give these a try. And as always, you can go straight down to the recipe by pressing here.

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The Best Cookbook For Learning How to Cook

Front Cover of America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook

The America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook Review

In this post you’re going to dive into The America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook: Everything You Need To Know To Become a Great Cook.

I’ll be showing you exactly why this book is one of my most recommended by taking you into the unique features with photos and explanations, and I’ll also let you know if this isn’t the right book for you (but if you want to be a better home cook, it probably is).

If you’d like, you can pop open another tab and check out The ATK Cooking School Cookbook on Amazon by pressing this link.

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