The Magical Shelf Organizer That Found Space Where There Was None

For someone who lives in a household of just two, my husband and I have a surprisingly large amount of dinnerware. Most of the pieces are leftovers from our first apartment, some are “new home” purchases we decided to invest in, and others are generous…

For someone who lives in a household of just two, my husband and I have a surprisingly large amount of dinnerware. Most of the pieces are leftovers from our first apartment, some are “new home” purchases we decided to invest in, and others are generous gifts from family and friends. Maybe it’s because I work in the food and kitchen space, but dinner plates, ice cream bowls, and more have just piled up to the point where I worry they’ll shatter under their own weight.

Normally, this wouldn’t bother me—I could rearrange the height of my cabinet shelves and organize the dinnerware better, and I could hide the stacks behind closed cabinet doors. If I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist, right? Well, joke’s on me because I have glass fronts on my cabinets and no matter how much rearranging I did, I still wouldn’t have enough shelves to fit everything.

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How to Get Rid of Ants in the Kitchen—Once & for All

My log cabin in upstate New York has been the retreat from the city that my parents, friends, and family have flocked to since I was two years old. For the past 29 years (go ahead, do the math), we’ve spent countless holidays, long weekends, and what f…

My log cabin in upstate New York has been the retreat from the city that my parents, friends, and family have flocked to since I was two years old. For the past 29 years (go ahead, do the math), we’ve spent countless holidays, long weekends, and what felt like endless stretches of hot summer days and cool firepit nights enjoying both the cabin and the dense forest surrounding it. But with the country, of course, come the critters, and while I’ve become used to them, it’s always a bit of a riot to see who will scream over a spider (we all always marvel at the deer). The one insect I can’t get used to indoors, however, are the ants that invariably manage to find their way into the kitchen.

Ants aren’t a rural phenomenon, as anyone (myself included) who has ever left a crumb behind on their counter will tell you. It always seems as if ants find a way to get in and then tell all their relatives about it, and before you know it, there’s a line of them stemming from god-knows-where to your countertops—and into your pantry.

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A Bakery Hack for Sky-High Muffins

There’s an infinite number of ways to achieve a perfectly perky muffin, from not overmixing batter to using jumbo molds or fancy industrial ovens. But as a former professional baker, I’m here to share one more trick that helps muffins rise to the occas…

There’s an infinite number of ways to achieve a perfectly perky muffin, from not overmixing batter to using jumbo molds or fancy industrial ovens. But as a former professional baker, I’m here to share one more trick that helps muffins rise to the occasion. And it all has to do with how you fill—scratch that—how you don’t fill the muffin tin.

I learned this clever practice when I worked at Levain Bakery in New York City. Instead of filling every cavity, like most recipes tell you to, use every other cavity. At the bakery, we’d generously spray the pans with Pam, add fat plops of batter, and be rewarded with super-domed muffins. Kind of like an Alice in Wonderland toadstool, only made of tender cake and studded with jammy blueberries.

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Don’t Toss That Burnt Pan! Here’s How to Clean It

I’ve burned a few pans in my life (who hasn’t?), but my mom definitely takes the cake for “Biggest Mess.” I got a text from her that said: “Lovely start to my day. Ruined my favorite pan and burned the porch.” This was the photo that came along with it…

I’ve burned a few pans in my life (who hasn’t?), but my mom definitely takes the cake for “Biggest Mess.” I got a text from her that said: “Lovely start to my day. Ruined my favorite pan and burned the porch.” This was the photo that came along with it:

A kitchen nightmare Photo by Camryn Rabideau

Apparently she walked away while making hummingbird food—which is essentially just sugar water—and somehow turned it into this volcanic rock-looking monstrosity. When she smelled the burning, she grabbed the pot off the stove and put it outside on the porch, not thinking that hot pan + wooden flooring = more burning. Oops.

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The 30-Second Nightly Cleaning Routine I Never Skip

Years ago, when doing research for an article on cleaning the kitchen, I watched a video of Melissa Maker, of Clean My Space, deep cleaning a sink, and one thing in particular that she said has stuck with me every single day since. She mentioned that o…

Years ago, when doing research for an article on cleaning the kitchen, I watched a video of Melissa Maker, of Clean My Space, deep cleaning a sink, and one thing in particular that she said has stuck with me every single day since. She mentioned that once you maintain the habit of keeping your own sink clean, you’ll start to notice when sinks are dirty in other people’s homes.

This was truly enough to keep me up at night. The thought of people coming into my home and noticing anything dirty is one of my biggest fears, so ever since then, I’ve been fastidious in my sink cleaning. Until then, I’d been the type to let dishes linger for a day or two (I know, I know), and even when the dishes were done, I wouldn’t necessarily leave extra time for the sink itself. This is a surefire way to let your sink get out of hand in a hurry, and considering how much food and yuckiness ends up in the sink, it’s not a good scene.

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How to Peel and Cut Butternut Squash Without Losing a Finger

Even if it’s not the dead of winter, I’m still cooking with tons of butternut squash year-round.

From butternut squash soup to cheesy Instant Pot butternut squash Alfredo to caramelized butternut squash wedges, I’ll keep this bright orange, cold-weath…

Even if it's not the dead of winter, I'm still cooking with tons of butternut squash year-round.

From butternut squash soup to cheesy Instant Pot butternut squash Alfredo to caramelized butternut squash wedges, I'll keep this bright orange, cold-weather staple in rotation for weeks on end—and probably until below-freezing temperatures and the Polar Vortex feel like a dark and distant dream.

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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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The Best Cornstarch Substitutes for Cooking & Baking

The Food52 Hotline has been around for nearly a decade, so it’s no surprise that some of the most common cooking questions have come up again and again. How to substitute cornstarch is one of them. Our community has been quick to share their favorite s…

The Food52 Hotline has been around for nearly a decade, so it’s no surprise that some of the most common cooking questions have come up again and again. How to substitute cornstarch is one of them. Our community has been quick to share their favorite substitutes for cornstarch). Tapioca flour and arrowroot powder are fan favorites, but user Ophelia notes that tapioca flour and powder are more expensive products and have a tendency to clump quite easily. Other users have pointed out that all-purpose flour can work as a thickening agent like cornstarch. For a gluten-free substitute for cornstarch, our savvy community members recommend potato or rice starch. With so many suggestions, we wanted to find out once and for all what is the best substitute for cornstarch.

It should come as no surprise that the particular cornstarch substitute you choose should depend on what you’re cooking or baking. The type of ingredient needed for a coating on something that you’ll be deep-frying may be different from what is best for thickening a sauce or soup

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I Owe My Apartment’s Tidiness to These $25 Organizer Drawers

Living in a small space will teach you how to take one great idea and utilize it in as many ways —and in as many rooms—as possible. This is especially true for renters who have limited options for what we can do to our homes since, technically, they belong to someone else. Would I love to blow out the wall between my kitchen and living room to make one big, cohesive space? Of course I do. But how can I justify spending major cash on making a space more beautiful and functional if I’m going to move out in a few years? That’s why I rely on $25 SimpleHuman cabinet organizers in my 450-square-foot Manhattan apartment—five, to be exact.

After moving into my current apartment five years ago and combining all of our things, my now-fiancé and I quickly filled all five upper kitchen cabinets with glasses, dishes, frequently used pots and pans, and all of our pantry items. We had one cabinet underneath the sink that could house our bakeware and cleaning products, but it was so deep that it felt like a cavernous crawl space from which our possessions could be stored but never retrieved.

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Living in a small space will teach you how to take one great idea and utilize it in as many ways —and in as many rooms—as possible. This is especially true for renters who have limited options for what we can do to our homes since, technically, they belong to someone else. Would I love to blow out the wall between my kitchen and living room to make one big, cohesive space? Of course I do. But how can I justify spending major cash on making a space more beautiful and functional if I’m going to move out in a few years? That’s why I rely on $25 SimpleHuman cabinet organizers in my 450-square-foot Manhattan apartment—five, to be exact.

After moving into my current apartment five years ago and combining all of our things, my now-fiancé and I quickly filled all five upper kitchen cabinets with glasses, dishes, frequently used pots and pans, and all of our pantry items. We had one cabinet underneath the sink that could house our bakeware and cleaning products, but it was so deep that it felt like a cavernous crawl space from which our possessions could be stored but never retrieved.

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11 Ingenious Kitchen Tools That’ll Simplify Your Life

Some kitchen gadgets are fun novelties, while others surprise you with their ingenuity and effectiveness. These 11 handy tools fall squarely into the latter.

As a team of experts who practically live in the kitchen, we’ve used every tool and gadget im…

Some kitchen gadgets are fun novelties, while others surprise you with their ingenuity and effectiveness. These 11 handy tools fall squarely into the latter.

As a team of experts who practically live in the kitchen, we’ve used every tool and gadget imaginable to help us cook smarter, find clever storage solutions, cut down on single-use plastic, and more, so we don’t take the term “ingenious” lightly. Exhibit A: Super-handy kitchen shears that does 90% of what a knife can do, but way easier and faster. Exhibit B: A pizza cutting wheel for perfectly cut pies without burning hands.

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