Catherine McCord, FN Dish contributor and founder of Weelicious blog, is back for a second helping of recipes and menu ideas for time-strapped parents — this time with a focus on lunches. In Catherine’s new book, Weelicious Lunches, she offers 160 lunchbox ideas for kids of every age. You’ll never stare blankly at your fridge again.
What caught FN Dish’s eye? There’s a whole chapter on peanut butter and jelly. A whole chapter — 10 new takes on the classic combination that makes kids and adults smile, including Peanut Butter Pancake Sandwiches. Parents will also rejoice in the Weelicious Lunch Allergy Guide. Front and center, it organizes which recipes are gluten-, nut-, egg- and dairy-free. Don’t have kids? FN Dish believes this book is just as useful for adults. We don’t think anyone will argue against packing Catherine’s Silky Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Crouton Bites in a Thermos for work.
You can buy Catherine’s new cookbook here, or enter for a chance to win one now. To enter: Tell FN Dish what your back-to-school or work lunch strategy is in the comments. We’re giving five lucky, randomly selected winners each a copy of the book.
Read official rules before entering
What’s your favorite piece of kitchen equipment? I’m not talking about your fancy stand mixer or mega-speed blender. I’m talking about the thing that time and time again assists in the smallest of kitchen tasks. For me, hands down, it’s a spatula. But the difference in all the brands on the market can make a mega-watt difference. I’ve used spatulas that heated up to the point I could almost wipe the outside coating of plastic off after it hit something hot, like soup or a sauce, so always make sure to use ones that are heat-resistant to 500 degrees F. I’ve also tried those oversized spatulas that should be used only when trying to mix 50 gallons of cookie dough in an industrial kitchen.
And how about getting the remaining mustard or ketchup out of a jar or bottle? It says there’s 9 to 15 ounces inside, but I would guarantee you toss out a good 2 ounces each time because it’s so challenging to figure a way to get the remaining spoonfuls out.
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Do you want to get serious about cooking, but you don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing the right tools, especially when you’re on a budget? Setting up a well-rounded kitchen can be a daunting, not to mention expensive, task. Whether you’re a college student, newlywed or budding cook, these 10 cooking tools under $10 are a great start to upping your game in the kitchen.
1. Whisk: A whisk will come in handy when mixing batters or whisking eggs for breakfast.
2. Fine Grater and Zester: Zest adds instant flavor and color to any recipe. This tool does double-duty by grating hard cheeses like Parmesan too.
3. Swivel Peeler: Peel potatoes to be mashed, remove the tough outer skin of butternut squash and prepare carrots for your favorite chicken noodle soup recipe with this gadget.
Get 7 more kitchen tools under $10
Cast-iron skillets can be used everywhere, from the stovetop (to make the best pancakes you’ve ever had) to the oven (for my family’s favorite Chicken With Caramelized Lemons Olives and Tomatoes) to the grill (for those warm summer nights when nothing sounds better than grilled corn on the cob, burgers and sweet baked beans).
When a cast-iron skillet is seasoned well, it can develop an almost non-stick surface perfect for cooking omelets and other foods using less oil for cooking. An added benefit is cast iron’s ability to leach small amounts of iron into food.
A cast-iron skillet is one of the least expensive kitchen tools you’ll ever purchase and it’s the type of kitchenware that tends to get passed down through the generations. So if you didn’t inherit granny’s cast-iron skillet that always made her famous cornbread, then get one for yourself and start the tradition in your family.
You know all those cookie-cutters that are a jumble at the bottom of your kitchen drawer? Well, reach way down and grab a handful because we’re going to put them to good use.
Cookie-cutters are great for transforming ordinary rolled-out cookies into fun shapes, but their usefulness goes way beyond the obvious. I use cookie-cutters for a wide variety of kitchen duties and whenever I let my kids cut their food into fun shapes, they’ll eat just about anything.
Here are five ways you can use cookie-cutters to make cooking and eating a whole lot more fun:
1. Hole Foods — Use a heart, star or any shape you prefer to cut the center out of sliced bread and make an egg in the hole (try Ree Drummond’s recipe). Last week my daughter had Egg in the Dog!
2. Pancake Zoo — Place a greased cookie-cutter in a saute pan over low heat and fill it with pancake batter. Use tongs to remove the hot cookie-cutter and gently flip the pancake until it’s cooked through. I like making a pancake zoo, using a variety of animal shapes.
Three more ways you can use cookie-cutters