Tips & Techniques

What’s the Difference Between Bleached and Unbleached Parchment Paper? — What’s the Difference

Whether we're lining baking sheets and cake pans, folding tidy cooking pouches, or trying to make cooking projects just a little less messy, you'll find us reaching for parchment paper on a very regular basis. When it comes to buying this convenient kitchen paper, you've got a choice to make: Do you go with the bleached or the unbleached parchment? There's a difference between the two.

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The Best Grocery Store Buys for No-Guilt Lunch Box Shortcuts — Tips from The Kitchn

First, let's agree that anything that makes feeding our kids easier, faster, or smarter should automatically get a pass on guilty feelings. Lunch box shortcuts help us make the make the most of lunch packing so that we can be less stressed and actually spend more time with our kids. Having packed over 1,200 hundred lunches from preschool to now kindergarten, I have tried almost every hack, shortcut, and tip for packing lunches, and these are the products worth the cost for getting lunches packed more quickly — while still making them wholesome and delicious.

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One Thing You Need to Clean More Often than You Think — Lunch Box Bootcamp

Now that my oldest is in school, we have discovered the joys of packing her lunch. Beyond the list of banned foods we need to be careful about (last year it included peanut butter, strawberries, and shellfish — as if I would ever send her to school with shrimp cocktail!), there are her ever-evolving and contradictory preferences we had to remember and adjust to. But you know, you do it. Five days a week.

We try to be eco-conscious, so each element goes into a perfectly sized reusable container in her lunch box. And every night we pull out all those containers, dump out the crumbs, hand-wash everything, and set them out to dry to start all over again the next day. And we think we're doing all right.

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You’ll Never Guess the Secret Ingredient to My No-Cook Tomato Sauce — Tips from The Kitchn

Before I get to that secret ingredient (or even to the no-cook tomato sauce that will change your life, I promise you), let me set something straight, for the record: This isn't actually my no-cook tomato sauce. It belongs to my friend's mom Peg, or Mrs. Schultz, as I still call her some 30 years later.

Amelia and I were friends and so were our moms, something I never quite understood. It was an unlikely pairing. Mrs. Schultz was everything my German mom was not. She had short, spiky hair and butterfly glasses, wore Birkenstocks and crazy patterned running tights — outside the house. (Mind you, this was in the '80s and well before the advent of Lululemon and the era of Athleisure. It was long before Birkenstocks were cool the first time around.)

She also told us if we smelled, let us take baths with Howard the dog, and didn't get upset if we made a big mess in the kitchen. My mom's kitchen, as far as I could tell, miraculously produced meals with not a splatter nor a spill. For this reason — and because Mrs. Schultz worked as a caterer — it was at the Schultz' home beneath a bright blue neon sign that said "Let's Eat" that I learned to cook.

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This Aluminum Foil Fact Is a Game-Changer — Storage Smarts

Aluminum foil is a pretty cool kitchen tool. It can be molded to any shape and can completely block moisture and air if you fold the edges properly. And you can use it more than once. That's right — more than once!

We're not just talking about the fact that you can usually recycle it with the rest of your empty cans and jars. We're talking about the fact that you can recycle the same piece over and over again in your own kitchen.

Related: Stop Throwing Out Your Aluminum Foil

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What You Need to Know to Pick the Best Melon at the Market — Tips from The Kitchn

Unlike stone fruits and berries, which greet you with their sweet fragrance and have easy-to-examine flesh, buying a watermelon can feel like a leap of faith when you don't know what to look for. Instead of just picking up the melon at the top of the pile, here are five things to check for to ensure you bring home a juicy, flavorful watermelon.

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