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Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Frittatas

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I consider a well-made frittata the ultimate brunch food. It comes together quickly, yet its appearance reflects a dish you’ve slaved in the kitchen for hours to create. It tastes just as good as it looks, with a fluffy texture, and rich, creamy flavor. As a bonus, since it doesn’t have a flour crust, it’s suitable for even gluten-free eaters.

Sadly, frittatas are not always well made. A poorly-made frittata is typically underwhelming: it might be soggy, with a leaden texture; it might be overcooked and too dry; or, it might be under-seasoned and come out bland. If a frittata is not executed well, it will never be the star of your brunch table.

Typically, if a frittata doesn’t come out perfectly, it’s due to one of a few common errors. Luckily, these common errors are typically easy to remedy. By mastering the proper technique to making frittatas, you can ensure that your dish is a brunch superstar every time.

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The Best Banana Bread

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When I was little I used to visit my grandmother every weekend to help her clean, do grocery shopping, and take care of her chickens. In return, she taught me how to do things like sew, garden, and cook some really amazing food.

One of our favorite recipes to cook together was banana bread. Every weekend when we went grocery shopping, my grandmother would grab a large bunch of bananas. But since she lived alone, she didn’t go through all of them by the next weekend. By then they were about ready to check out.

Fifteen years later, I don’t have nearly as much time to spend at my grandmother’s house, but I still try to visit when I can. Since she is too old to cook or clean for herself anymore, certain members of my extended family (including me) bring her food and clean her house for her on our assigned day of the week.

When I go every Thursday, I bring her her favorites like chicken parmesan, the best egg salad, and the banana bread that we have been making together for over fifteen years.

I have tried a handful of banana bread recipes, but none turn out quite as good as my grandmother’s recipe. Every time I use her recipe, I get a soft, cake-like loaf with a perfectly moist crumb, and a rich, sweet (but not overly sweet) flavor. You can also achieve a very pleasant earthiness if you choose to use some whole wheat flour.

It takes just minutes from deciding to make banana bread until it’s in the oven. You can also make it wherever you are, whether you have a mixer or not; a fork can get the job done just as well! This comes in particularly handy if you babysit children. If you let them help you, it will keep them from unrolling the paper towels just to use the cardboard center as a telescope. Plus, it’s fun for them so it’s a win-win situation (and you get to eat banana bread afterwards)!

I am positive that banana bread is 50% of the reason that bananas exist. I am not lying when I say that about 80% of the bananas I buy are too soft for snacking by the time I get to them. I sort of just forget that they are hanging up there in my hanging baskets until I notice fruit flies collecting or the smell of them checking out. Yet I still buy them every week.

But it’s not a total waste, because overripe bananas are the secret to fabulously moist banana bread. They also contribute to a bolder banana flavor in the final loaf.

Other than contributing a great flavor, the banana in this recipe also provides a nutritional punch. It contains a variety of vitamins and minerals such as a good amount of dietary fiber, protein, and potassium.

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How to Roast Vegetables Correctly

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“Eat your vegetables” was a common refrain in my childhood, most often uttered by well-intentioned parents who wanted me to learn healthy eating habits. As an adult, I try to self-enforce that rule to maintain a balanced diet. But the fact is this: some vegetables are easier to eat than others.

Take, for instance, roasted vegetables. Perfectly crisp, tender, flavorful roasted vegetables, I could eat by the bowlful. But over or undercooked, weirdly textured, mushy or flavorless roasted vegetables? No thank you.

Nobody needs to be subjected to poorly made roasted vegetables. Making perfect roasted vegetables is not difficult, but there’s a distinct art to guaranteeing a perfect outcome. Here, we’ll discuss the art and science of perfectly roasted vegetables by revealing some of the common errors that occur when oven roasting vegetables–and some easy ways to fix them. These tips will help ensure that you have flavorful results every time.

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Six Common Mistakes to Avoid When Making Marinara Sauce

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Growing up, my Italian Grandma joked that her veins actually pumped marinara sauce. This is a testament to how common and revered marinara sauce is in Italian-American families. Through the years, marinara has become more than just an Italian thing, and is a regular part of meals for families of all sorts of ethnicities. It’s part of our heritage, daily meals, and our very lives.

If you’ve tasted a good marinara, you know how spectacular it can be: naturally slightly sweet from the tomatoes, yet seasoned to savory perfection with garlic and herbs. It has the power to make pasta, pizza, and meat taste amazing.

Unfortunately, marinara often misses the mark, and tastes watery, flavorless, or just generally unremarkable. There are some common errors which are usually to blame; fortunately, as you’ll learn below, marinara mistakes are often extremely easy to remedy.

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Common Mistakes When Cooking Chili

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Common Mistakes When Cooking Chili. Who doesn’t love chili? It’s a food that seemingly pleases everyone, from cowboys to kids. I count myself as both a fan and a connoisseur of chili. I love the rich, full, hearty flavor, and the way that no two batches are ever quite the same.

When chili is made well, it’s a food that is comforting, restorative, and filling. The rich, slow cooked flavor is perfect with a handful of tortilla chips or homemade cornbread, and it has a way of making you feel warm from the inside out.

When chili is poorly made, though, it’s a different story. Lackluster, bland, watery chili doesn’t fill or satisfy: it just makes you run, not walk, to a different main dish. Luckily, it’s easy to avoid this fate with a little know-how as to the ways of making perfect chili.

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The Art and Science of Ceviche Marinade

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The Art and Science of Ceviche Marinade. The first time I tried ceviche, a marinated seafood delicacy, I loved it. It tasted of the sea, but bright, too, with a refreshingly acidic, citrusy zing.

And then I found out what it was: raw seafood. Immediately I became nervous: was I going to get food poisoning? Was this a safe food? Luckily, a knowledgeable waiter assuaged my fears by explaining that the marinade actually “cooked” the meat, so that even though it was raw, it was safe for consumption. I wasn’t quite sure how it worked, but I was delighted and kept on eating the delicious seafood mixture.

What is ceviche? Technically, ceviche is raw seafood. But no, it’s not just an uncooked slab of fish. Pronounced “seh-vee-chay” in your best Spanish accent, this is a Latin American recipe for finely cut fish or other seafood which is marinated in citrus juice. The acidic mixture effectively “cures” the meat, making it safer for consumption.

While key aspects of ceviche (fish, citrus) remain constant, there are several versions of the dish. It often depends on market availability of fish, and can vary regionally or depending on who makes it. It can be made with shrimp, octopus, scallops, snapper, or even squid. Often, ceviche will be seasoned with finely chopped tomato, onions, cilantro, or other additions. In my mind, it almost makes it like a seafood salsa–a delicious and refreshing yet protein-packed appetizer.

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The World’s Weirdest Herbs & Spices

There are over 300 types of herbs and spices in the world, creating endless possibilities for unique and distinct flavors in your food. Yet often we find the same few ingredients repeated and various combinations in our meals. Try any of these 9 unusual herbs and spices from around the world to create a unique new dish. You may not find them at your typical supermarket but the flavors will be well worth the extra effort.

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7 Common Grilled Chicken Mistakes and How to Fix Them

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7 Common Grilled Chicken Mistakes and How to Fix Them. Have you ever tried a really great version of grilled chicken? I remember the first time I ever tried a perfectly grilled specimen: fully cooked, juicy chicken with a slightly smoky flavor from the grill. Served with a side of corn on the cob and homemade potato salad, it was a simple but highly memorable meal.

Unfortunately, I’ve also experienced the flip side of the equation, which sadly seems more common: poorly prepared grilled chicken. It might look perfect on the outside, but then when you bite into it, it’s still pink and uncooked on the inside. Or maybe the inside is cooked, but the outside is charred beyond taste recognition. Or perhaps the chicken is delivered flavorless, dry, and stringy.

So what makes some grilled chicken great, but the rest so deeply underwhelming? The proper technique. Grilling chicken is different from grilling steak and burgers, and shouldn’t be treated exactly the same. Grilling chicken can be fraught with inconsistency if you try to grill it the same way you would other meat.

To help amp up your summer grilling, here is a roundup of some of the common things that go wrong with grilling chicken–and how to fix them.

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The Six Most Common Mistakes People Make When Cooking Quinoa

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The Six Most Common Mistakes People Make When Cooking Quinoa. Do you regularly eat quinoa? I do. I became an instant convert when I tried a particularly delicious quinoa porridge at a popular breakfast joint. Made with almond milk, honey, and nuts, it really brought out the flavor of the quinoa.

However, when it came to re-creating that taste experience at home, cooking quinoa proved surprisingly difficult to get just right. It came out either hard, watery, or bitter. What was I doing wrong?

Turns out, I simply hadn’t been educated on the proper method of cooking quinoa. I was treating it like a grain, which, as it turns out, quinoa is not.

It’s not difficult to make quinoa, but there are some specific methods that will help guarantee success. Here, we will outline some of the common errors when cooking quinoa–and how to remedy them so that you can make a perfect batch every single time.

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The Seven Most Common Mistakes People Make When Lighting a Charcoal Grill

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The Seven Most Common Mistakes People Make When Lighting a Charcoal Grill. When I was young, lighting a charcoal grill was a non-issue. That’s because it was always someone else’s job: my father or some other adult. I had little interest in the grill beyond it being a vessel that produced delicious goods: hot dogs, hamburgers, and if someone was feeling adventurous, perhaps even grilled fruit or pound cake.

As I got older, I didn’t lose a taste for grilled food, but suddenly it seemed that nobody was ready and willing to accept grill master duties. So I did the hard thing: I learned how to light and operate a charcoal grill. Learning to grill is a valuable skill to have in life; if you master it, you’ll be a valued BBQ guest for life. But how do you master the art of lighting a charcoal grill?

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