Food Safety Savvy
- Remember the four basics:
- Clean. Wash hands and surfaces often.
- Separate. Don't cross-contaminate.
- Cook. Cook to proper temperatures.
- Chill. Refrigerate promptly.
Can't Live Without 'Em...
- Be sure to use raw eggs within 3 to 5 weeks of purchase; consume hard-cooked eggs within 1 week.
- Vent one edge of plastic wrap when covering still-warm dishes to let steam escape.
Here are the top 10 tools guaranteed to make your cooking life easier.
- Fat separator measuring cup
Why: Removes fat quickly from soups and sauces.
- Good set of tongs
Why: Doesn't pierce meat, so juices are sealed in.
- Nonskid cutting board
Why: Stays in place for efficient dicing and slicing.
- Small offset spatula
Why: Ensures a professional flair when frosting cakes.
- Kitchen shears
Why: Streamlines basic tasks like snipping herbs, trimming fat from meats, even slicing pizza.
- Silicone spatula
Why: Won't scratch nonstick pans.
- Instant-read thermometer
Why: Indicates in a flash when your food's cooked to the right temperature.
- An extra box of baking soda
Why: Puts out any small fire that flares up.
- Large skillet or saute pan with lid
Why: Lets the cook make enough for a crowd -- the 12-inch size is the most versatile.
- Serrated knife
Why: Slices bread, cake layers, and tomatoes as thin as you want them.