Cooking Tips

Shallots vs Onions – What is the Difference? and How to Use Them

onions, garlic and shallots

There are many onion varieties so it’s easy to get confused about them. A common question that I get asked is “are shallots and onions the same?” This guide to shallots vs onions will answer not only this question but will also show how shallots are different from other onion types. This post may contain affiliate links.…

Vegetable Steaming Times – 4 Ways to Steam Veggies

steamed vegetables in a pot

A steamer basket is a great way to cook a single vegetable or several of them at once by cooking them over boiling water. But to do this correctly, you need to have a good idea of vegetable steaming times. One of the joys of summer is cooking fresh vegetables from my vegetable garden.  The…

Uses for Parchment Paper- 30 Creative Ideas

Using parchment paper in creative ways in the oven, kitchen and around the home.

We all know that parchment paper is great for easy clean up after kitchen but it has so many more uses.  These creative uses for parchment paper may give you some ideas you hadn’t thought of. I love anything that makes my life easier in the kitchen or around the home.  I’m always on the…

Tips for Making Perfect Fudge Every Time

Fudge making tips

How are your fudge making skills?  Do you end up with beautifully set fudge that forms nice little parcels, or do you find it a challenge?  These cooking tips for making perfect fudge will have you getting wonderful results every time from now on. It’s hard to believe, after a summer of gardening, that the beginning…

15 Tested Tips for Using, Storing and Growing Shallots

Red shallots have a milder flavor than onions and are smaller in size

Shallots are starting to be seen in grocery stores more and often lately. What are shallots? Like onions and garlic, shallots are a member of the allium family. Their flavor is richer and sweeter and they are very versatile in recipes. This guide will show you how to use, store and grow shallots at home.…

Antipasto Platter Tips – 14 Ideas for the Perfect Antipasti Platter

Antipasto Platter with specialty meats and cheeses

  An antipasto platter is a delicious combination of cheeses, vegetables and meats, usually served with good wines.  It’s a great way to start an evening with friends and is very easy to put together. Antipasto, (the plural is called antipasti)  when translated, means “before the meal.” Antipasti platters are meant to stimulate your guest’s appetite before…

Silicone Baking Mat Uses – Tips for Using Silpat Baking Mats

Creative ways to use silicone baking mats

A silicone baking mat can take high heat and replace parchment paper for baking & food preparation. I like to use them in lots of unusual ways in my kitchen. You can use them for cookies, of course, but there are lots of other creative Silpat baking mat uses, as well. With a silicone baking…

Healthy Kitchen Swaps – Food Swaps for Weight Loss Success

Healthy Kitchen Swaps

For many of us, the New Year means making a resolution to lose a few extra pounds that seem to magically appear during the holiday season.  But losing some weight does not necessarily mean that you have to just eat lettuce and vegetables. There are many healthy kitchen swaps that you can use all year…

50+ Tried and Tested Uses for Vinegar

vinegar uses

Vinegar is a versatile and effective household product that is more useful than just for making salad dressing. There are dozens of vinegar uses in the home. From soaking your sponges to keeping your counters free of ants, this product is a must have. I recently had to deal with ants in my kitchen and tested some…

16 Gluten Free Replacements and Substitutes

15 Gluten Free Replacement and Substitutes

One of the latest trends in the diet industry is a gluten free diet.  And for many of those people a gluten free diet is not necessary at all. The Diet was designed primarily for those who suffer from Celiac Disease. If you are someone who follows this diet, either to lose weight or for…

100+ Recipe Substitutions – Replacements

1-1+ recipe substitutes.

Are there times when you are missing just one ingredient and can’t make a recipe?  Perhaps you are following a meal plan or trying to lose weight and you can’t have certain foods. If so, you will find these recipe substitutes and replacements a big help in getting your meals on the table in no time at…

Spice Rub Mix – Great for Steaks, Roasts and more

BBQ spice Rub

This is hands down my favorite spice rub mix.  I use it almost every time we grill steaks.  It is a wonderful blend of some of my favorite spices.  It keeps well and goes quickly. It is the perfect rub to use on all sorts meats for the grill.  It’s barbecue time! Make your own…

Why do Onions Make you Cry?

Why do onions make you cry? The answer may surprise you, and it starts in the soil.

Peeling onions is something that many cooks do on a daily basis but the job brings along tears. Do you know why onions make you cry?   There are many types of this versatile vegetable and most will make you cry when you chop them. Find out about the onion varieties here. For years, I wore gas…

11 Food and Drink Substitutes for Weight Loss and Health

There are lots of small changes that you can make to add up to big losses for weight loss. These 11 substitutes will help lose weight and gain better health. #Trop50FreshStart #ad

I had a scare late last year that had me in the hospital for a few weeks worrying about my heart and my health.  In the end, untreated high blood pressure was the culprit. I am managing it now with medication and diet, but it was a big wake up call for me.  All of…

My 10 Most Popular Posts of 2016

See what made the list of the most famous posts of 2016 for The Gardening Cook. This year, household tips, gardening tips and one great recipe made the top 10!

Each year, at the end of December, I take stock of what worked (and what didn’t!) on my blog.  Sometimes, I am surprised when a blog post makes my top 10 list for the past year when I wasn’t expecting it.  Other times, I think “not you again” when a tried and true favorite post…

Easy Holiday Party Ideas

These 15 holiday party ideas will make sure that your gathering is stress free and much more fun. #ad #sharisberries

Entertaining this time of the year is so much fun.  I love to celebrate with our friends and family during the holidays.  Everyone is always in such a good mood, and it gives me a chance to try out new recipes and decorating ideas.  Setting up a pretty festive table does not have to be…

How to Season Cast Iron Cookware

Seasoning Cast iron cookware is easy with these steps

Cast iron cookware is my new best friend.  My daughter has raved about the benefits of cooking with it for years and I only started using it recently.  It is important to season cast iron cookware before using it, though.  It’s also important to season it if the cookware gets rusty and loses it’s non…

Cooking in Parchment Paper to make Fish en Papillote

Cooking fish in parchment paper is a great way to make flavorul, low calorie meals in very little time. thegardeningcook.com

Cooking in parchment paper is a method of cooking fish, chicken or other proteins in their own cooking bags. It is also called “en papillote” (French for “in parchment”) or “al cartoccio” (Italian for baked in foil or aluminum.)  Typically, folded parchment paper is used but al foil, paper bags or other materials can also…

50+ Uses for Coconut Oil

50 creative uses for Coconut oil

50+ Everyday Uses for Coconut Oil There are few things that are more talked about right now than coconut oil.  It seems as though every time I open a magazine or browse my timeline on Facebook, I am reading about it.  I first started using Coconut oil when I decided to try a Paleo Diet. …

Paleo Hazelnut Butter – AKA Nutella – 12 Ways to Use it.

13 Ways to use Nut Butter - AKA Paleo Nutella - thegardeningcook.com

Paleo Hazelnut Butter is a wonderful substitute for Nutella. Did you know that February 5 is considered Nutella day?  If you love chocolate and hazelnuts, you have likely tried Nutella.  But what happens in you wish to follow a Paleo diet?  Is Nutella a thing of the past for you? Thankfully, that is not the case.…

Today’s Kitchen Tip – How to Hull Strawberries with a Straw

  Hull Strawberries with a Straw to save waste. Today’s kitchen tip shows how to hull your strawberries with a drinking straw to save the waste that comes with cutting the top off, or the time that it takes to use a knife to hull each one properly.Our family eats strawberries year round.  They are…