How to Whip Egg Whites for Lovely, Luscious Peaks

A French macaron without whipped egg whites would be a flat, paper-thin cookie with a gooey ganache filling. Swiss meringue frosting without the meringue would just be a regular, overly sweet buttercream. And a lemon meringue pie without the meringue w…

A French macaron without whipped egg whites would be a flat, paper-thin cookie with a gooey ganache filling. Swiss meringue frosting without the meringue would just be a regular, overly sweet buttercream. And a lemon meringue pie without the meringue would just be, well, lemon pie. Good, but not great.

Whipped egg whites are the secret to cloudlike meringues, beautiful baked goods, and sweet and savory soufflés. Soft peaks keep things light and airy, while stiff peaks bring body to meringue or frosting. But it’s easy to overwhip egg whites, resulting in a too-stiff, curd-like mess that no one wants. So what’s the trick to whipped eggs that are just right for your recipe? Ahead, we break down how much to whip the eggs based on the stiffness of the desired peaks...and a few tricks to ensure that they hold their shape.

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The Unexpected Item That Magically Cleans Hard Water Stains

Recently, I bought a house. Yes, that’s a brag. But also, it is a preface to a real question: How do people house? After a decade in a Brooklyn one-bedroom apartment, there are so many things that I have to learn about it. Like how to clean a garbage d…

Recently, I bought a house. Yes, that’s a brag. But also, it is a preface to a real question: How do people house? After a decade in a Brooklyn one-bedroom apartment, there are so many things that I have to learn about it. Like how to clean a garbage disposal, how to properly load a dishwasher, and what to do with more than one bedroom. And then there are the more pressing queries, like—how do I get this far-from-new toilet to be less gross?

In Philadelphia, where the aforementioned house is, the water is pretty hard, which means that there’s mineral build-up in the bathroom, and that the bottom of the bowl of the toilet was coated in an extremely unappealing layer of brown-yellow gunk. When my partner saw it, he assumed it meant that the family in the house before us was a big believer in if it’s yellow let it mellow. But after attempting my usual toilet scrubbing methods—Scrubbing Bubbles and a toilet brush—I found out that hard water stains are a good bit more resilient than I’d hoped.

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3 Easy-Peasy Ways to Cook Green Beans

It can be really easy to screw up cooking green beans. If you look away for just a minute, delicate beans can go from crisp-tender to over-cooked and mushy, and there’s no turning back. Plus when they’re at their peak, green beans have a vibrant green …

It can be really easy to screw up cooking green beans. If you look away for just a minute, delicate beans can go from crisp-tender to over-cooked and mushy, and there’s no turning back. Plus when they’re at their peak, green beans have a vibrant green color and lovely spring flavor that shines when they’re barely cooked. Before your beans lose their brightness and a staple side dish is ruined, learn how to cook green beans three ways—boiling, steaming, and sautéing.

How to Prep Green Beans

No matter how you cook them, it’s important to properly prep them. This means thoroughly washing and scrubbing them and then trimming the ends of any scraggly bits using kitchen shears or a paring knife. Haricots verts (aka French green beans) often come pre-trimmed, but be sure to give them a once-over to avoid eating any undesirable scraps. Discard or compost any beans that have brown or mushy spots and move forward with the rest.

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How to Peel an Apple in 3 Seconds

Apple peeling isn’t the most difficult kitchen task, but why not make it faster and easier if you can? When Thanksgiving is around the corner and you’re trying to peel apples for stuffing, pies, and even a beautiful roast turkey, it can become a …

Apple peeling isn't the most difficult kitchen task, but why not make it faster and easier if you can? When Thanksgiving is around the corner and you’re trying to peel apples for stuffing, pies, and even a beautiful roast turkey, it can become a monotonous, time-consuming task and frankly, who has the time? A few years ago, Food52 co-founder Merrill Stubbs and Creative Director of Genius Kristen Miglore shared their favorite way to peel an apple and I haven’t gotten over it. Now you can peel pounds and pounds of apples (and put them to good use in apple pie, cobblers, crisps, and sauces) in no time. 

In the romantic-comedy Sleepless in Seattle by the late, great Nora Ephron, Sam Baldwin (played by the great Tom Hanks) chats with Dr. Marcia Fieldstone about how his wife used to be able to peel an apple in one long strip. From the first time I watched the movie, I felt that being able to peel an apple was the ultimate way to be the perfect partner. I have failed to ever successfully do so, but this has stuck in mind as the ultimate food prep challenge. And when dependable y-shaped vegetable peelers and paring knives have failed, there’s always a power drill.

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How to Shop For Cheese, According to An Expert

That Cheese Plate is a column by Marissa Mullen—cookbook author, photographer, and Food52’s Resident Cheese Plater. With Marissa’s expertise in all things cheddar, comté, and crudité—plus tips for how to make it all look extra special, using stuff you …

That Cheese Plate is a column by Marissa Mullen—cookbook author, photographer, and Food52's Resident Cheese Plater. With Marissa's expertise in all things cheddar, comté, and crudité—plus tips for how to make it all look extra special, using stuff you probably have on hand—we'll be crafting our own cheesy masterpieces without a hitch. This month, Marissa is sharing how to make the most out of shopping for cheese.


Shopping for cheese can be an intimidating process. There are countless styles to choose from, wide price ranges, different milk types, and many countries of origin. In my years of cheese plating, I’ve learned to always invest in good cheese, specifically cheese from a farmstead or small-batch dairy farm. Typically at these smaller operations, the animals are treated sustainably, and the cheesemaking process isn’t completely mechanically produced. The cheese is the base of your creation, acting as the founding flavors to build pairings upon. With high-quality cheese, the sensory experience is much more impactful.

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How to Keep Your Scrambled Eggs From Getting Rubbery

We’ve teamed up with Eggland’s Best to share egg-cooking mistakes we’ve probably all made before—plus, what to do instead so a good egg never goes to waste again. Speaking of good eggs, we’re fans of Eggland’s Best Classic Eggs. These farm-fresh eggs n…

We’ve teamed up with Eggland’s Best to share egg-cooking mistakes we’ve probably all made before—plus, what to do instead so a good egg never goes to waste again. Speaking of good eggs, we’re fans of Eggland’s Best Classic Eggs. These farm-fresh eggs not only taste great, but are an excellent source of vitamins E, D, B2, B5, and B12, as well as lutein and omega-3 fatty acids. Even better, they stay fresher for longer compared to ordinary eggs, making them one of our go-to fridge staples.


Eggs were one of the first things I ever learned to cook, and they’ve been a go-to staple ever since—for a quick breakfast, baked good, custardy dessert, appetizer, and more. Though making eggs may seem like an easy task, there's been more than one occasion where I’ve accidentally let a perfectly good egg end up in the trash can.

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Everything You Should Know About Agar-Agar—& How to Cook With It

Gelatin is not vegetarian. This is not a surprise to you. The good news is that there is a vegan substitute for gelatin called agar-agar, which is a product derived from algae. Agar-agar looks and acts similar to gelatin, but it’s made without any anim…

Gelatin is not vegetarian. This is not a surprise to you. The good news is that there is a vegan substitute for gelatin called agar-agar, which is a product derived from algae. Agar-agar looks and acts similar to gelatin, but it's made without any animal products at all, making it just right for any home cook or baker. What might be a surprise—especially if you're not vegetarian, vegan, or avoiding pork for any reason—is just how many things include gelatin as an ingredient. Marshmallows, many chewy candies, panna cotta. Jell-O. All of them owe their texture to gelatin, in all its swingy, bouncy, jiggly, chewy glory. I've been crossing my fingers, as a vegetarian, for a gelatin substitute that would replicate that texture perfectly. But alas, even the staunchest of vegans would admit that nothing can match gelatin's elastic, jolly properties. However, there is one product that may come close—the algae-derived agar-agar, aka agar. Ahead, find out exactly what agar is and how to use it in place of gelatin.


What Is Agar?

Agar, which you can buy in health food or Asian specialty food stores (usually in either powder or flake form), is a thickening and gelling agent, and most use it to make a firm, Jell-O-like food. You use it the same way you would gelatin, too: Dissolve and hydrate the agar in warm liquid and let set. Agar is one of those ingredients—like wheatgrass, hummus, and sprouted bread—that sounded like the punchline in a health-conscious parent's kid's lunch box, until it became cool: Although agar-agar has been used for centuries in Asian cooking (it was discovered in Japan in the 17th century), it has been seeing popularity elsewhere, especially in vegan cooking (see: the raindrop cake's debut at Brooklyn food festival Smorgasburg, where it goes for a cool $8 a pop). You may also recognize agar-agar from your chem lab days: The stuff folks cook with is the same stuff that's poured into Petri dishes for culturing bacteria.

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Every Question You Should Ask Before Signing a Lease

Rent Like You Mean It is a series all about giving our rental spaces a new lease. We’ve rounded up a whole host of refreshing spruce-ups (and cover-ups), impactful DIYs (plus how to get them back to square one when you leave), and peeks at real-life re…

Rent Like You Mean It is a series all about giving our rental spaces a new lease. We’ve rounded up a whole host of refreshing spruce-ups (and cover-ups), impactful DIYs (plus how to get them back to square one when you leave), and peeks at real-life rental transformations. Because a lease should never stop you from having a space that feels like yours—even if it’s only for a year.


I learned so much from a decade spent living in New York City, but one of the biggest things was just how hard it is to find an apartment that’s right for you. We’re talking literally a full time job searching for your next dwelling, only to find out it’s the size of a closet/is a fifth floor walk-up/is off an out-of-commission subway line/has already been rented/insert New York City real estate tragedy here.

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Yes, You Should Be Cleaning Your Air Conditioner—Here’s How

The first heatwave of the year hit New England this week, bringing several days of 90-degree temperatures and leaving my boyfriend and I scrambling to install window air conditioners throughout our house. Of course, our ACs were stashed in the basement…

The first heatwave of the year hit New England this week, bringing several days of 90-degree temperatures and leaving my boyfriend and I scrambling to install window air conditioners throughout our house. Of course, our ACs were stashed in the basement over the winter, which meant they were covered in dust, cobwebs, and the occasional spider, and we had to clean them thoroughly before popping them in the windows.

If you’re in a similar situation, there are several steps you’ll want to take to clean your air conditioners before installation. Luckily, the whole process should only take an hour or so, meaning you’ll be able to enjoy cool, refreshing breezes before the day is over.

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The 4 Basque-Pyrenees Pantry Essentials in My Kitchen

Welcome to Asha Loupy’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we’re exploring four Basque-Pyrenees staples in Asha’s kitchen.

As a longtime home cook,…

Welcome to Asha Loupy’s Pantry! In each installment of this series, a recipe developer will share with us the pantry items essential to their cooking. This month, we're exploring four Basque-Pyrenees staples in Asha’s kitchen.

As a longtime home cook, former grocery buyer for a specialty food shop, and now recipe developer, my pantry remains much more well-traveled than I am—from Malaysian sambal and shrimp paste to Pragati turmeric from Andhra Pradesh, to Spanish extra-virgin olive oil and Basque peppers. The euphoria I was filled with at the first thought of sharing my pantry was quickly replaced by stomach-dropping dread—what region or country was I actually qualified to write about?

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