Tips & Techniques

The Best Ways to Use Frozen Puff Pastry, Phyllo, and Pie Doughs — Tips from The Kitchn

You know puff pastry, phyllo, and pie dough as the backbone of many a sweet dessert, but these versatile doughs are good for so much more. In fact, one of my favorite ways to use them is for savory snacks and appetizers, from puff pastry cheese sticks to fresh corn galettes. Frozen dough is my secret to no-fuss, last-minute get-togethers with friends and family.

But these doughs, while similar, are not created equal. You might think of puff pastry, phyllo, and pie dough as interchangeable, but each has distinct qualities that set it apart. Here's what you should know, including the best ways to use whatever dough you've got stashed in your freezer.

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7 Ways to Psych Yourself Up for Company When You’ve Had a Rough Week — Ready for Company

No matter how much you enjoy doing it, entertaining is hard work — especially after you've had a particularly brutal week. Some weeks, by the time Friday rolls around, all you want to do is put on soft pants and sit on the couch. But sometimes that just isn't possible, because you made plans to host a dinner party (or a holiday) weeks ago and you can't exactly cancel.

Fear not! There are ways to avoid putting the proverbial cherry on top of a total meltdown. Here's how to psych yourself up and actually enjoy yourself.

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Our Best Tips for Baking with Frozen Puff Pastry — Tips from The Kitchn

A box of frozen puff pastry is something of a miracle ingredient. If you've ever baked with it, you know exactly what I'm talking about. It puffs into delicate, buttery layers, turning even the most basic recipe into something that feels totally fancy.

It's also super easy to use — all you need to do is pull the box out of the freezer and pop the dough in the oven, right? Well, not quite, although we promise it's almost that simple. Just remember these tips and you'll be on your way to light and flaky breakfast turnovers, bite-sized apps, and savory tarts.

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You Have to Try This Ingenious Way of Cleaning Your Cheese Grater — Cleaning Tips from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Freshly grated mozzarella (or any cheese!) is an amazing addition to all kinds of foods, but the process of grating it can be a pain. And we're not just talking about the actual work of running it across the grater over and over again — without, hopefully, cutting your fingers! — but also the actual cleanup. That soft, fatty cheese can get stuck inside the grater's holes and you can tear up your sponge (or really injure yourself!) trying to get it clean.

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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Gougères — Tips from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Gougères are one of my favorite party tricks. A cheese puff made from the French pastry dough pâte à choux, these little bites are incredibly easy to eat. Mastering their preparation takes some know-how and some practice. To get you closer to puff perfection, here are five common gougères-making mistakes to avoid.

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Your 5-Step Plan for Decorating a Tiny Apartment for a Cocktail Party — Birthday Cocktail Party

A cocktail party is one of those parties you can throw in the tiniest of spaces. (We're talking a studio apartment with a murphy bed!) You don't need to fit a dozen people around a table for a seated meal. Heck, you don't even really need to have seats for everyone in attendance (although a few would be nice). And you certainly don't need to go all out with decorations.

Follow this super-easy five-step plan and your apartment will be party-ready faster than you can even ask someone to bring the ice.

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