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Stacy Fraser's Blog

November 23, 2016 - 9:56am

Most of the time, either type of pan will give you good results. But there are slight differences because of the way each conducts heat. Here's how they affect brownies.

Related: Do You Really Need to Preheat Your Oven?

If you like fudgy brownies, a glass pan is best. It heats more slowly, so the batter takes a while to heat. Once it gets hot, glass holds in the heat, cooking the brownies around the edges faster while the middle stays fudgy. The heat continues to build in the pan the longer it's in the oven—keep a close eye toward the end of baking to prevent overdone (or even burned) edges.

If you like less-fudgy brownies with crispy edges, go for a dark metal pan. Metal heats up quickly and is noninsulating, so the...

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November 4, 2016 - 9:51am

Most people worry about the food safety of thawing and refreezing, but as long as it's done right, it's perfectly safe. The only risk you'll take is ruin­ing the taste and texture of the food.

Related: Our Top Picks for Healthier Frozen-Food Dinners

Air exposure is the enemy when food is in the deep chill. Air trapped in the package or that seeps in from the freezer causes the moisture in the food to evaporate—making the food overly dry. Freezer air can also impart off-tasting flavors. Pack foods in airtight containers that are just a bit bigger than what you're freezing (leaving a little room for expansion as the foods freeze) or pack in freezer bags, squeezing out as much air as possible. Meat in plastic-wrapped...

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June 17, 2016 - 9:22am

Fresh berries are the most delicious during the summer, so haul in the bounty! They're one of the most perishable fruits, so it pays to know how to store them.

Related: 21 Easy Summer Berry Dessert Recipes

Remove fresh berries from their container and sort them as soon as you can. Eat any gently bruised ones right away—they're super-ripe and the tastiest. Compost any that show signs of mold.

Skip washing until you're ready to use them. Washed too soon and berries absorb the moisture and start to rot.

Then, decide how long you want to store them, so you can pick where to store them.

Don't Miss: ...

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June 17, 2016 - 9:21am

When enjoying meals outdoors, here’s what you need to know to about food safety:

Related: Our Top 50 Recipes for Summer

Keep It Cold

While it’s OK to let picnic foods sit out for a little bit while serving, it’s safer for foods that are meant to be eaten cold—potato salads, coleslaw and even fresh fruit—to be kept cold (40°F or below) to prevent bacterial growth. Instead of letting food sit out on a table, serve it from an ice-filled cooler or from bowls submerged in a deep tray (or small inflatable pool) filled with ice. Cold foods can be held on ice for up to 2 hours; if temps are above 90°F, 1 hour is the limit.

Keep It Hot

Foods like burgers and chicken need to be cooked to a...

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June 17, 2016 - 9:15am

Since both can measure ingredients from as little as 1/4 cup to 1 cup (or more), many people wonder if they really need both types—especially when they have limited space.

Related: Can I Use Wax Paper Instead of Parchment Paper?

Let’s back up a touch and clarify the two types: liquid measures are glass or plastic with a pour spout and graduated measuring marks on the side. They come in 1-, 2-, 4- and even 8-cup sizes. Dry measures look like straight-sided cups with handles and usually come in a set (typically 1/4-, 1/3-, 1/2- and 1-cup sizes).

In our Test Kitchen, we religiously use liquid and dry measures for their intended purpose, depending on what we’re measuring. Anything completely pourable (e.g.,...

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