Tools & Utensils

The One Tool You Need for Cooking & Serving Pasta — Shopping

(Image credit: Peden + Munk)

Pasta is the great equalizer. Whether you're trying to get dinner on the table for your family on a hectic weeknight or you've invited your boss over for a fancy dinner party, you can always count on this fast and filling pantry staple to satisfy everyone.

If you preach the pasta gospel, you'll love Colu Henry's debut cookbook, Back Pocket Pasta. The #backpocketpasta idea was conceived originally as a way to document the on-the-fly pasta concoctions Colu would "cobble together" after long, tiring work days. Thankfully for all of us, the project eventually morphed into this collection of inspired, deeply personal recipes. The pastas range from classics passed down through her Italian family (like Mama's Marinara and Nonni's Tuna-Clam Sauce) to dishes influenced by her travels and home in New York (like Moroccan Lamb Ragu and Creamy Saffron Risotto-Style Fregola). Most recipes have short ingredient lists, so you can easily whip them up at a moment's notice, and there's also a side dish and cocktail section to round out the meal if you're entertaining.

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The One Kitchen Unitasker I Can Actually Get Behind — One Good Thing

I see a lot of so-called innovative products for my job. Someone recently pitched me a tool specifically designed for breaking up cauliflower. I've seen all the yolk separators in the world. (Yes, I see that it's shaped like a robot. No, I'm still not impressed!) And if one more company shows me an avocado tool, I might scream.

All of that is to say that I'm always skeptical of products that claim to make life easier, better, or faster — especially ones that are total unitaskers. So imagine my surprise when I saw one that actually made my jaw drop. I had to have one.

What was it? The Lékué Citrus Sprayer. Allow me to explain.

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5 Ways Kitchen Shears Make Cooking Chicken Easier — Tips from The Kitchn

You're probably used to reaching for your trusted chef's knife, or maybe even a boning knife, when it comes time to prep chicken. That was certainly my go-to for a long time. But it turns out there's an even better tool for nearly any job involving chicken: kitchen shears.

Here is how they make prepping and cooking whole chicken and individual pieces even easier.

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How To Clean and Disinfect a Dish Brush — Cleaning Lessons from The Kitchn

There's an age-old argument about the best option for cleaning dishes: dish cloths, sponges, or dish brushes. My friend still defends her grandma's crocheted cloths — you know the ones I'm talking about? — but dish brushes, hands-down, are the most hygienic option. Unlike dish cloths (basically petri dishes for bacteria) or even sponges, which have pockets where bacteria can grow, the synthetic bristles of dish brushes shed moisture so they don't harbor bacteria or develop any offensive odors.

Plus, they're easy to clean — here's how.

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Use a Pegboard as Gadget Keeper — The Great Kitchen Pegboard

Some kitchens have very limited drawer space. If you're lucky, you have two drawers: one for your flatware and one for your zip-top baggies, aluminum foil, and the like. Then where do all your gadgets go? You can only have so many crocks on your countertop. The best solution is to hang everything on a pegboard and get it up and out of the way, while still keeping it all 100 percent accessible.

Build your basic pegboard

How To Build & Hang a Kitchen Pegboard

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Why My Stand Mixer Will Never Replace My Hand Mixer — Appliance Love

Despite my excitement about bringing home the cherry-red stand mixer I coveted for so long, the strangest thing happened: I couldn't seem to part ways with my hand mixer. By all accounts it should have been time to toss it; it had definitely seen better days. That little mixer was on its last leg, and it was a wonder it was still functioning. But I held onto it, and tucked it away in the closet "just in case."

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