An Underrated (& Simple!) Technique for Fancy-Feeling Eggs

I’ve been trying to spread the gospel of coddled eggs to friends, coworkers, acquaintances—really, anyone who will listen. But I keep getting a similar response along the lines of, “What on earth is that?”

I’ll give you the short answer first: A coddl…

I’ve been trying to spread the gospel of coddled eggs to friends, coworkers, acquaintances—really, anyone who will listen. But I keep getting a similar response along the lines of, “What on earth is that?”

I’ll give you the short answer first: A coddled egg is simply an egg gently cooked in a ramekin-like container (outfitted with a screw-on lid) in a pot of simmering water. Safely nestled in their individual vessels, the egg gets cooked by what is essentially a warm bath.

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Don’t Forget to Sterilize Your Canning Jars—Here’s How

We’ve officially reached the point in summer when my garden is producing way more vegetables than we could possibly eat. I’m talking 3 or 4 pounds of cucumbers per day! Because I hate to see anything go to waste, I started learning how to preserve prod…

We’ve officially reached the point in summer when my garden is producing way more vegetables than we could possibly eat. I’m talking 3 or 4 pounds of cucumbers per day! Because I hate to see anything go to waste, I started learning how to preserve produce a few years ago, and now, canning is one of my favorite summertime activities. On any given weekend, you can find me pickling cucumbers, zucchini, and beets or making jam from homegrown rhubarb and peaches.

I’ll be the first to admit that canning can be a bit intimidating, as you have to follow recipes precisely and properly sterilize your equipment to ensure the food is safe to eat down the road. There’s a lot of different information online about how to sterilize canning jars, so we turned to the experts at Ball for definitive answers on how it should be done and when it’s necessary. Here’s what they told us.

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How to Prevent Freezer Burn Once and For All

Freezers are magical appliances: They allow us to save homemade soups and sauces for months on end, keep ice cream frozen for our daily after-dinner sundaes, and store ice for cocktail parties (a must). As essential as it is to freeze leftovers and fro…

Freezers are magical appliances: They allow us to save homemade soups and sauces for months on end, keep ice cream frozen for our daily after-dinner sundaes, and store ice for cocktail parties (a must). As essential as it is to freeze leftovers and frozen pizzas for zippy suppers, freezers aren’t always our friends. In fact, they can sometimes be the foe—namely, when so-called “freezer burn” infiltrates our supply of frozen foods.

Let’s get one thing clear: Freezer-burned food is completely safe to eat. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “freezer burn is a food-quality issue, not a food safety issue.” The FDA notes that freezer burn often presents itself as “as grayish-brown leathery spots” on the food in question. So even though freezer burn doesn’t always look or taste quite right, it doesn’t mean your food is spoiled or otherwise harmful if consumed.

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The Absolute Best Way to Make Cheeseburgers

In Absolute Best Tests, Ella Quittner destroys the sanctity of her home kitchen in the name of the truth. She’s boiled dozens of eggs, mashed a concerning number of potatoes, and seared more Porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall. Today, she tackl…

In Absolute Best Tests, Ella Quittner destroys the sanctity of her home kitchen in the name of the truth. She's boiled dozens of eggs, mashed a concerning number of potatoes, and seared more Porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall. Today, she tackles cheeseburgers.


At 1500 West Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, California—an otherwise unassuming corner—if you look down at your feet, you might be surprised to find a plaque that reads as follows:

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How to Steam Carrots Without Cooking Them to Death

One of the easiest side dishes to make is steamed vegetables—like carrots—but they’re also one of the easiest to screw up. One second the vegetables are practically raw and the next they’re an overcooked mess that may as well turn into a mash. So what’…

One of the easiest side dishes to make is steamed vegetables—like carrots—but they’re also one of the easiest to screw up. One second the vegetables are practically raw and the next they’re an overcooked mess that may as well turn into a mash. So what’s the best way to steam carrots so that they’re actually appealing?

How to Steam Carrots (No Steamer Basket Necessary)

First, are you steaming baby carrots or large carrots? Will they be cooked whole, halved, or in smaller rounds? All of this will impact exactly how long to cook carrots for.

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3 Best Honing Steels for Your Sharpest Knives Ever

For a long time, I thought the best way to care for kitchen knives was with those pull-through handheld knife sharpeners that look more like a clunky office accessory than a kitchen tool. That is, until I worked as a line cook in a restaurant, and the …

For a long time, I thought the best way to care for kitchen knives was with those pull-through handheld knife sharpeners that look more like a clunky office accessory than a kitchen tool. That is, until I worked as a line cook in a restaurant, and the executive chef used a honing steel on his kitchen knives. He used it with lightning speed, swiping his German and Japanese knives up the steel at a 45-degree angle, finessing the blades to laser precision.

What’s the point of honing and sharpening your knives anyway? Over time, knives get duller. We know this. But how does honing your knives help? Do an experiment with me: place your palms together, with your fingers pointing upwards. Now, interlock your fingers and separate your palms, creating a triangle formation. See how your fingertips extend outwards? Think of that like dull metal. When knives show wear and tear, the blade becomes uneven, with microscopic changes to its shape that you can’t really see to the naked eye. When you run the blade against a honing steel, it’s essentially straightening those jagged edges (yes, in this case, your fingertips) to create a clean, straight line on both sides of the blade.

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The Best Vegetables to Grow in Raised Garden Beds

You can Grow Your Own Way. All spring and summer, we’re playing in the vegetable garden; join us for step-by-step guides, highly recommended tools, backyard tours, juicy-ripe recipes, and then some. Let’s get our hands dirty.

Every year during the s…

You can Grow Your Own Way. All spring and summer, we’re playing in the vegetable garden; join us for step-by-step guides, highly recommended tools, backyard tours, juicy-ripe recipes, and then some. Let’s get our hands dirty.


Every year during the strawberry harvest, I daydream of growing strawberries in a long, narrow raised bed (tabletop height, so I don’t have to crouch, crawl, and squat to pick the berries, which is quite tedious). But a raised bed for my sizable strawberry patch would be a considerable undertaking and expense. Plus, I would need not just one but two beds to ensure a seamless harvest.

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11 Expert Tricks for Making a Small Room Look Bigger

No Space Too Small is a column by Laura Fenton that celebrates the idea that you can live well in a small home. Each month, Laura will share her practical findings from years of observing how people live in tight spaces, and her own everyday experience…

No Space Too Small is a column by Laura Fenton that celebrates the idea that you can live well in a small home. Each month, Laura will share her practical findings from years of observing how people live in tight spaces, and her own everyday experiences of living small—from the hunt for the perfect tiny desk and managing everyday clutter to how to smooth the frustrations out of cooking in a galley kitchen.


When I published my book about small-space living two years ago, one of the most common questions that came up was: “How do I make a small room look bigger?” At first I was confused by this query; in all my years of living small, I had never consciously strived to make a room look bigger. My design goals had been how to live more comfortably or to sneak more storage into a tiny space. However, as the question came up again and again, I realized what people were asking was: How do you make a small space feel more spacious? Or, even more likely: Help! I’m overwhelmed by my small space.

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The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to a Clean Stove

Even if you’re not a huge home cook, it’s likely that your stove sees quite a bit of action in the way of Stuck. On. Crud. Even something as simple as boiling pasta water often leaves streaks and marks (you know those salty little droplets that dry whi…

Even if you’re not a huge home cook, it’s likely that your stove sees quite a bit of action in the way of Stuck. On. Crud. Even something as simple as boiling pasta water often leaves streaks and marks (you know those salty little droplets that dry white?), and heating up a pot of pre-made soup is sure to leave a couple splatters.

And if you’re actually often in the kitchen? Well, your stove top is really in for it. A splotch of tomato sauce from Monday, charred spinach from Tuesday, burnt bits of rice from Wednesday—before you know it, your burners, stove top, and knobs are slick with grease and coated with crumbs. Not only is this unappealing, but it can become a hazard when leftover bits find their way over to the flame or electric coal,

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This Is the Secret to Removing Your Peskiest Stain

Treating stains is an art. Magazine and website articles offer recipes for exactly how to treat each type of stain (I’ve written some myself) and whole books have been written on the subject of laundry. Meanwhile, a photo of Martha Stewart’s laundry ro…

Treating stains is an art. Magazine and website articles offer recipes for exactly how to treat each type of stain (I’ve written some myself) and whole books have been written on the subject of laundry. Meanwhile, a photo of Martha Stewart’s laundry room reveals ten (!) supplementary stain-removing solutions—and that is not counting her main detergent. But all those careful instructions and specialty products are all for naught if you do not employ what I believe is the most important thing: patience.

Most people give up on stains too quickly! Patience and persistence are the true secrets to laundry success. In our fast-paced lives, it’s easy to think that to treat a stain is you just spritz some stain treater on the spot and then toss the garment in the wash. But the enzymes and other active ingredients in stain treatments and detergents need time to do their work. In fact, if you read the labels, most will tell you they need at least 15 minutes to sit on the stain before laundering to be effective. However, that recommended time on the label is a fraction of the time it may actually take to properly tackle a tough stain.

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