Where do you store your (natural) peanut butter? The back of the package says to store it in the fridge, but mine always ends up rock solid. Store in the pantry, stirring every so often to evenly incorporate the oils. Still need to soften it? Add a little heat (if the container is glass), whether in the microwave or set in a warm bowl of water.

Although this may be counterintuitive, allow your baked goods to rest. Flavor develops as it cools. More than once I’ve nearly thrown out a baked treat after trying it straight out of the oven only to fall in love with it hours after the cool.

Salt as you go. This may be the simplest of tips, but it will vastly improve your meals. I used to think salting at the end would flavor an entire dish, but it did just the opposite, leaving my meals either extremely under or over salted. I guess you could say—a little salt along the way, goes a long way. Have you tried cooking with freshly ground sea salt? Even better.

As always, taste as you go.

When making a big salad that will be consumed in one sitting, mix together the dressing in the same bowl you’ll be serving the salad in to cut down on dirty bowls. Add salad fixings to the bowl just before serving to avoid soggy lettuce.

Recipes that only call for a small amount of buttermilk can be frustrating since it is only sold in quart sized containers.  To save buttermilk, simply measure out 1 cup amounts and pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, store in freezer bags until needed. Then, thaw in the refrigerator or microwave and blend to reconstitute.

—Izzi, Vegetarian Epicurean

During the first year of marriage, our pretty new dishes were breaking far too easily. We tried to return them and get our money back. They obliged on trading out the broken dishes but told us to change our dishwasher settings moving forward. We took their advice and turned off the heat dry setting. Problem solved. Lesson learned.

Save your dishes, and turn off heated dry.

 
 
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