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Stacy Fraser's Blog

January 3, 2014 - 1:41pm

For most purposes, an 8- to 10-inch chef’s knife is the perfect tool. Because the blade is wider at the base, it’s strong enough to cut through a winter squash and the tapered point makes it just the right shape for the rocking motion used to mince, slice and dice. When shopping for a new knife, there are three things to consider: how it feels, what the blade is made of and the way it’s constructed. Spend some time in a kitchen store and try a few out. The material the handle is made from does not necessarily indicate quality—so find one that fits comfortably in your hand. For a long-lasting, durable knife, opt for a high-carbon stainless-steel blade. And finally, look for a knife with a “full tang” blade, meaning it’s one piece of metal that extends from blade through the handle—the continuous piece offers the best stability when chopping and makes the knife...

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November 18, 2013 - 3:33pm

This holiday, skip sugary treats or high-calorie indulgences and give the food lovers on your list one of these stand-out gifts:

For the Cook For the Cook:
As versatile as they are gorgeous, unique French Paddle boards are each one of a kind and built to last a lifetime. Use as a cutting board, serving board or both. Select from 3 sizes and 4 types of wood. Starting at $63: vermontfarmtable.com



...

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August 21, 2013 - 2:30pm

It's easy to make dried apples and their crispier cousins, apple chips, at home in your oven without a food dehydrator.


Here’s how to do it in a home oven:

1. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 200°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Combine 4 cups water and 1/2 cup lemon juice in a medium bowl. (The lemon juice helps prevent browning.)



3. Using a sharp knife or a mandoline (if you have one), slice 2 large apples as thin as possible, about 1/8 inch thick. (We skip peeling and coring because we like the look of the dried skins and the pretty pattern the core makes in the center.) Soak the slices in the lemon water for 30 minutes. Drain and pat the slices as dry as possible...

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February 19, 2013 - 9:30am

To me, cookies aren’t just for special occasions; I can find a reason for a cookie (or two) anytime. Before I had children, my cookie jar was always stocked with a fresh, homemade batch. Fast-forward 10 years: my time is limited and my cookie jar often bare. Some might resort to packaged cookies or store-bought dough, but being a baker and health-conscious mom, I try to steer clear of processed treats in favor of homemade.

That’s why I love this speedy, vanilla-infused cookie dough that can be rolled into a log, stashed in the freezer and pulled out whenever I want to bake cookies (see recipe below). With a roll of this cookie dough in the freezer, I’m just 10 minutes away from a low-calorie, natural homemade treat. Plus, with this master recipe, you’re not limited to just sugar cookies: you can transform the dough into four...

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January 25, 2013 - 11:46am

In the EatingWell Test Kitchen, we use cooking spray because it’s a fast, no-mess way to make a tiny bit of oil go a long way so we can keep calories in check. Calorie for calorie, cooking spray is similar to other oils: spraying for 1 second (enough to coat a large skillet) is about 9 calories; 1/4 teaspoon canola oil is 10 calories and would be just enough to very thinly coat a skillet.

In addition to using cooking spray to quickly coat a pan with a little oil, we also use it to coat breaded foods like chicken and fish for “oven-frying.” The oiled breading gives a deep-fried crunch with a fraction of the ­calories and fat compared to deep-frying.

Cooking sprays do contain propellants to push the oil out of the can, but the propellants are on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS) list and...

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