The Different Ways to Cook Bacon

If you’ve only cooked bacon in pan on the stovetop, you’re missing out on some pretty amazing ways to both cook and, eventually to enjoy the great flavor of bacon. Believe it or not, you can cook bacon any numerous ways; two of the best ways to cook bacon to a perfect, savory crispness are in the oven and on the stovetop.

Cook

But if you’re feeling adventurous or in need of a quick slice of bacon, we also have some tips for cooking bacon both on the grill and in the microwave.

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Cooking Bacon in the Oven

One of the easiest ways to get crispy bacon every time is to cook in the oven. It is pretty simple.

  1. Spread out bacon evenly on a cooking tray.
  2. Turn on oven to 375°F and place bacon on the high or middle rack. No need to preheat the oven.
  3. Flip bacon after about 10 minutes.
  4. Depending on the level of crispiness you enjoy, cook for 5-10 more minutes and then remove from the oven.

You can also cook bacon in the oven by preheating to 400°F and then cooking for 15 minutes.

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Cooking Bacon in a Skillet

Cooking bacon in a skillet is one of life’s simple pleasures. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Lay bacon in a cold skillet.
  2. Add enough water to cover the bacon.
  3. Turn heat to medium-high and cook until water evaporates.
  4. Flip bacon and cook until browned.
  5. Move bacon to a paper towel to crisp.

Grilling and Microwaving Bacon

There are some great ways to cook bacon beyond the oven and stovetop.

If you’re feeling adventurous or if you’re itching for some tasty bacon to add to the burgers you’re making for a cookout, you can make bacon right on your grill. To grill bacon, lay bacon flat on grill and make sure to move the bacon around the grates to avoid burning. Flip bacon and repeat until it has that perfect level of crispness.

Crunched for time? Make bacon in the microwave.

However, one warning about this method: The levels of crispiness may not be what you’re used to in the other methods. To microwave bacon, place it on one paper towel and cover with another. Microwave for 4 minutes.

8 Tacos Recipes to make this Summer

Tacos don’t have to come in a tortilla. If you’re of a grain-free persuasion, these Instant Pot pork carnitas lettuce wraps with salsa fresca are delicious, and Whole30-friendly to boot. The Instant Pot is the ideal vessel for making carnitas whip-fast, producing crisp, fork-tender shredded pork in just one hour and 15 minutes.

Taco

And while the cook time is relatively short, the flavor is ample, thanks to a dry rub of oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper, and flavor enhancers like garlic, onion, jalapeno, and orange juice. Serve this pork wrapped in tender Bibb lettuce leaves, with a squeeze of fresh lime, some creamy avocado, and a homemade salsa fresca.

Picadillo Tacos

If you’ve cut grains out of your diet but still crave tortillas, these grain-free picadillo tacos are for you. These tacos rely on store-bought cassava tortillas to make things easy and still satisfy that warm, pliable tortilla craving.

The picadillo meat mixture is where this recipe really shines. You’ll combine ground beef with onions, green bell pepper, and a spice blend of dried oregano, cumin, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. From there, things get saucy, with tomato paste and sauce, beef broth, white wine vinegar, green olives, and raisins.

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Paleo Taco Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Did you have taco night and make too much taco filling? Transform it into a Paleo taco salad with creamy avocado dressing! This recipe uses whole foods to whip up an insanely simple taco salad – perfect for meal prepping or using up leftover taco meat. If you have leftover meat on hand, use that. If not, follow this simple taco meat recipe, which combines ground beef, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper powder, salt, and pepper.

Toss the taco meat mixture with crunchy romaine lettuce, red onion, black olives, and green onions. On top, you’ll drizzle a homemade avocado dressing, made with wholesome ingredients like ripe avocado, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, salt, and a bit of water.

Slow Cooker Pork Tacos

Don’t let beef have all the fun; slow cooker pork tacos are just as satisfying. This recipe cooks an intensely flavorful pork roast for hours, resulting in fall-apart meat with an unbeatable meld of spicy, sweet, and savory.

This is thanks to a sauce comprised of ancho chilies, pasilla chilies, garlic, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, onion, olive oil, honey, apple cider vinegar, and more. The pork roast joins this sauce in the slow cooker, along with bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. Yeah, it smells amazing as it cooks. Serve this pork wrapped in tortillas and topped with cabbage, red onions, cheese, avocado – whatever sounds good to you!

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Keto Taco Cups

Keto dieters, rejoice! We’ve found a keto taco cups recipe you’re going to want to gobble up. Instead of a carb-laden tortilla, this recipe whips up high-fat but low-carb cheese taco cups with just one ingredient: Cheddar cheese. With the help of a few muffins pans and some parchment paper, you too can make these easy taco cups.

Fill the cups with a keto-friendly taco mixture, including ground beef spiced with onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Go ahead and drizzle on some sour cream and throw on avocados, tomatoes, and cilantro.

Easy 20-Minute Chicken Tacos

We haven’t forgotten about chicken tacos, and with these easy 20-minute chicken tacos, you won’t forget, either.

These spicy chicken tacos are ideal for hectic weeknights, and they’re a crowd-pleaser, for sure. Simply cook up some boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts, or tenders—whatever you have) with garlic, lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.

Top with homemade pico de gallo—a simple blend of tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, and salt and pepper—and enjoy.

Supreme Keto Taco Bowls

These supreme keto taco bowls are as close as you can get to a real taco shell on the keto diet, with taco bowls that only clock in a 2 grams net carbs per servings. You’ll whip up a flavorful ground beef filling complete with onions, black olives, and a homemade taco seasoning blend with chili powder, cumin, paprika, and more.

9 Recipes for the Perfect Brunch

Brunch. It may blur the lines of breakfast and lunch, but it always features hearty fare that tastes incredible no matter the time of day. In this compilation, we compile our favorite brunch recipes. There’s plenty of eggs, bacon, and potatoes, but you’ll also find novel recipes like the ever-underrated breakfast salad, or our favorite riffs on small bite deviled eggs.

Brunch

There’s even a dessert-like selection for those of us with sweet-tooths. Feel free to mix and match these recipes for a full brunch spread, or stick with one when you just want a breakfast that feels a little special.

Individual Frittatas

The beauty of these individual frittatas is that they’ll work just as well for brunch as they do for meal prep. Simply warm them in the morning for a weeklong, portable breakfast or in the afternoon for a snack.

These personal frittatas are just that—personal. You can work in any filling you’d like. Here are just a few of our suggestions:

  • Sausage
  • Chives
  • Bacon
  • Broccoli
  • Cheese
  • Mushrooms
  • Cherry tomatoes

Beyond fillings, all you’ll need are some eggs, salt, and pepper. With any combination, you can’t go wrong.

Shaved Asparagus And Frisee Salad With A Warm Bacon Honey Vinaigrette

Breakfast salads are so underrated. With this shaved asparagus and frisee salad, you’ll be a breakfast salad convert.

Complete with a warm bacon honey vinaigrette, this salad works well on its own for lighter fare, or makes a great accompaniment to some eggs, toast, and bacon.

Its lengthy name may sound fancy, but this salad couldn’t be easier to throw together. Simply shave your asparagus with a vegetable peeler and toss it with frisee lettuce (or any lettuce) and baby spinach.

Pro tip: Thick asparagus works best for shaving, but you can also roast thin asparagus for a similar result.

The warm bacon honey vinaigrette comes together in one pan and gets tossed with your greens immediately, meaning you’re just minutes away from an incredible breakfast salad.

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Maple Orange Bread Pudding French Toast

Okay, here’s a little more. If you’ve ever wondered how to use up a pack of croissants about to go crusty, you won’t find a better way than this epic brunch recipe. It’s so simple, and so delicious.

You’ll start by making a bread pudding, taking cubed croissants and mixing them with a homemade custard made with eggs, milk, maple syrup, orange zest, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and bake away.

If you stopped here, you’d have delicious bread pudding. But, for an-out-of-this-world brunch, save this bread pudding in the fridge for the next morning. Then, slice it and pan-fry it in butter for a French toast effect.

Waffle Maker Hash Browns

These crispy waffle maker hash browns will leave you wondering why you haven’t put potatoes in your waffle maker before.

All you’ll need is a waffle maker, some refrigerated hash brown potatoes (the store-bought stuff is fine), and some salt and pepper. Don’t forget the cooking spray to keep things from sticking.

Once your potatoes are tossed with some salt and pepper (or, get fancy with a medley of spices), you’ll load them into your waffle maker in baseball-sized mounds. You’ll close the lid and leave them be!

It’ll take about 12 to 15 minutes, and you’ll have mouthwateringly crispy hash browns for your brunch spread.

Deviled Egg Trio

Deviled eggs are a humble, but delicious addition to brunch. Up your game with this deviled egg trio, complete with three deviled egg variations: avocado, smoked salmon, and bacon. To get started, you’ll need to make a simple deviled egg recipe. Just hard boil your eggs, let them cool, and make a filling with egg yolks, mayonnaise, dry mustard, and salt.

Here’s where the fun begins. To make a trio, you’ll mix in your preferred additions. For avocado deviled eggs, skip one tablespoon of mayo and sub in avocado. You can even top this version with some extra bacon for good measure. For smoked salmon deviled eggs, add finely minced smoked salmon and a bit of chopped dill. And for bacon deviled eggs, just add bacon! Yum.

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Leftover Turkey Hash

The best brunches transform leftovers from the night before, like this leftover turkey hash. This simple recipe combines leftover cooked turkey with bacon, sweet potatoes, and kale. It all gets topped off with a runny egg for a rich, satisfying brunch.

By the way, this hash is not limited to leftover turkey. Leftover chicken works just as well, as does leftover steak or ground meat.

Sunny Breakfast Sausage Scramble with Avocado

How about a sunny breakfast sausage scramble with avocado to wake up to in the morning? Packed with savory, delicious ingredients, this scramble is nevertheless easy to throw together.

Savory pork breakfast sausage melds perfectly with fluffy scrambled eggs, scallions, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red pepper, and plenty of melty cheese. Don’t forget some diced avocado for creamy richness.

Bacon and Swiss Quiche

This bacon and Swiss quiche was made for brunch. It’s downright delightful. The key to a quiche is a good crust, and this version opts for a grain-free one made with almond flour, sea salt, coconut oil, and an egg.

Next comes the smooth and rich filling, made with eggs, bacon, heavy cream, and Swiss cheese. Also important: The essential quiche spices, including nutmeg (which adds a deep nutty flavor) and earthy chopped sage.

Southwestern Frittata

Don’t want to slave over the dishes post-brunch? Try this one-pan Southwestern frittata, complete with cheddar cheese, sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, and spicy ground beef.

It’s the Southwestern spice blend that delivers the kick. You can use a store-bought version or make your own—most recipes feature plenty of spicy chili powder.

7 Handy Essentials for Outdoor Grilling

With summer upon us, outdoor grilling is a cornerstone of home cooking. Whether you prefer the characteristic char of a charcoal grill or the ease and convenience of a gas grill, there are some key tools you’ll need to get the most out of your grilling escapades.

Grilling

We’ve broken down the essentials, including the inexpensive basics like grill brushes, meat thermometers, and grill baskets. We also discuss the pricier investments, like a decent set of knives, and, of course, the perfect grill. Read on for the seven essentials you’ll need to man the grill safely, effectively, and deliciously.

1. Long-handled Spatula and Tongs

When it comes to manning a hot grill, it’s imperative you protect yourself and get the right tongs and spatula for the job.

You’ll want a spring-loaded, long-handled pair of tongs to pick up and rotate nimble hunks of meat without worrying you’ll burn yourself. These are also key to oiling your hot grill grates; simply roll up or fold a rag or paper towel, dip it in your preferred high-temp cooking oil, and grip it with your tongs. Pro Tip: Rubbing down the grates with olive oil so that nothing sticks is one of ButcherBox Chef Yankel’s keys to grilling anything right.

Similarly, you’ll need a wide, flat, and long-handled spatula for flipping burgers and other large hunks of meat or veggies. Ensure it’s a heat-resistant material (likely metal) and flip away.

2. A Wire Grill Brush

A sturdy grill brush with wire bristles is all you really need when it comes to regularly cleaning your grill grates—bonus points if your brush includes a scraper for cleaning off truly stuck-on gunk.

A clean grill isn’t just a nicety—it’s also a safety concern. When a grill builds up carbon deposits, it can harbor bacteria and cause the grill to heat unevenly. This both hampers your grill’s performance and can lead to long-term damage.

Use your wire brush after every grilling session to keep the buildup down, and give your grill a thorough cleaning a couple of times a year.

Oh, and if you’re of the mindset to enjoy an ice-cold beverage while you barbecue, don’t feel shy about investing in a grate cleaner with a bottle opener, you’ll thank me later.

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3. A Good Meat Thermometer

A good, instant-read meat thermometer will do you more good than just at the grill—you can use it for roasting meat and all your indoor temping needs.

An instant-read meat thermometer is the best gauge of a grilled meat’s doneness. A good one will read off your meat’s internal temperature (give or take a few degrees) within seconds.

An instant-read meat thermometer consists of a stainless steel stem that works as a temperature probe, with an analog or digital reader. This is different from the kind of meat thermometer that’s left in the meat as it cooks.

Always insert your thermometer into the thickest portion of the meat, and be sure to cook it to safe recommended temperatures. Sanitize it between uses to avoid cross-contamination.

Bonus Tip: A reliable digital meat thermometer might set you back a bit of money, but it is worth it if you really spend a lot of time cooking meat, whether on the grill or indoors. ButcherBox Chef Emilie and Chef Yankel both love the Thermapen instant-read thermometer.

4. Grill Basket

Grills are wonderful for roasts, chicken breasts, pork chops, and all kinds of hearty cuts of meat. But that’s not all their good for—you can get an unbeatable char and smoky grill flavor on even the smallest of veggies with a grill basket. Plus, grill baskets let you cook your whole meal on the grill and maximize space.

To grill up some veggies, cut them into uniform pieces. Toss your veggies with a bit of olive oil and your favorite herbs and seasonings. Preheat your grill basket, along with your grill, before adding your veggies.

5. A Decent Knife

All good cooks need a sharp, well-made knife—the same remains true for outdoor grillmasters.

In reality, you need a few different knives to accomplish most of your grilling needs. A chef’s knife will perform the brunt of the work—chopping, dicing, peeling, and smashing. A paring knife allows you to cut through hard-to-reach places—especially when breaking down a hunk of meat—while a slicing knife is key for cutting through roasts.

Look for a knife made with a durable metal that’s well-sharpened (you should pick up a whetstone to re-sharpen your knives when the time comes). If you’ll be working with your knives a lot, make sure they’re well-balanced and comfortable to hold.

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6. A Large Wooden Cutting Board

Why should you opt for wooden cutting boards? They’re durable, for one, but they also prove more anti-microbial and resistant to bacteria than their plastic counterparts. A plastic cutting board requires vigilant cleaning to ensure there are no bacteria hiding in the knife-made grooves. Meanwhile, wood doesn’t hold onto bacteria in the same way.

While both are considered safe, a wood cutting board will prove more durable in the long run, meaning you’ll get more longevity out of your board before it needs to be replaced.

7. The Perfect Grill

Charcoal Grills

There’s nothing like the characteristic flavor of food cooked on a charcoal grill, though they can be considerably fussier than their gas counterparts. They’re more portable, often more inexpensive, and won’t flare up in flames like a gas grill.

Plus, charcoal burns hotter than gas, and you can create direct and indirect heat areas pretty easily. Still, charcoal grills can be a touch messy and ashy.

Gas

Convenient and easy to clean, gas grills make easy work of a grilled meal. Gas is a cheaper fuel than charcoal, and if you’d like a built-in grill, you can hook it up to a gas line. They are usually the more expensive option, and they’re less portable.

5 Simple Steps to Building a Better Sandwich

Bread plus fillings; maybe a toasting. The sandwich seems to be a simple food. But when you look closer at the equation—and when you think about your favorite sandwiches and how good they are next to those not so great—the complexity comes into focus.

Sandwich

When making a sandwich, there are so many opportunities to make it better—whether it’s a hoagiesubreubenburger, or breakfast sandwich—in terms of flavor, texture, and how the two meld. If you heed a few simple tips, a great sandwich won’t ever be much more than two bread slices away.

Use Better Bread.

In most sandwiches, bread is the component that takes up the most physical space. For this reason, you should start with good bread. Investing in a $5 loaf (or baking one yourself) and slicing it right before you make the sandwich gives you a huge flavor and freshness boost relative to pre-sliced bread or a low-quality loaf. Keeping that bread kept out of the fridge and sealed will prolong the life of its flavor and bite for as long as possible. On top of using good fresh bread, think about how much bread you’ll have compared to the filling. You’ll want to ensure that your filling has components—like lettuce, tomato, or a spread—that will add moisture to counter bread’s dryness. Especially if you’re packing away a sandwich to be eaten later in the day.

Acidity Can Brighten.

An overlooked trick in the sandwich toolbox is harnessing the powers of acidic ingredients. This tool, though, has been right in front of your eyes the whole time: think about pickles on a cheeseburger, how their zing can lighten the heft of the meat and lend a nice counterpoint to the ooze of the cheese. Calling on acidic foods can lift sandwiches, especially those like banh mi, chicken cutlet, or any sandwich that leans on fatty or meaty components. Pickled vegetables can do a great job here, whether simply red onions or heirloom cauliflower in a fancier giardiniera. A sprinkling of vinegar can go a long way, too.

Aim for Contrasting Textures.

Some sandwiches thrive on pure softness, like pulled pork, but most can benefit from having several distinct textures. Adding textures brings complexity, like the crave-worthy combinations of crisp-soft or melty-toasty. Think about the kind of crunch that onion rings add to a sandwich, or the subtle pop of seeds. There are all kinds of ways you can build contrasting textures. A common way is to toast bread separate from the fillings, creating a thin crisp sheath around the outside. You can also incorporate fried egg, snappy vegetables like carrots, thick cuts of cheese, crisp lettuce, creamy aioli, and so on. Even small variations between textures can make a huge difference.

Jarred Products Are Your Best Friend.

When it comes to layering a great sandwich, the pantry is a gold mine. How easy is it to twist open a jar of roasted peppers, marinated artichokes, or spicy relish and jazz your sandwich in just a few spoonfuls? A whole host of jarred goods has the potential to add dimension to sandwiches, and with almost no added work. Sundried tomatoes, sauces like sambal, kimchi, even jarred pesto. Keeping a well-stocked pantry, or even a pantry with a handful of helpful items, is foundational to good eating. It’s even more important to good eating in a pinch.

Get Creative With Toppings.

Speaking of sambal, one of the best things you can do when making sandwiches is to experiment with creative toppings. Sambal, for instance, is great on an egg sandwich. Jalapeno pepper jelly lends a coolness, sweetness, and spice to a brisket sandwich. A smear of ricotta or mascarpone dusted with black pepper can go a long way, and so can a high-quality olive oil, chile oil, or oil infused with garlic and herbs. Even herbs alone! Though not highly creative, a quick tearing of basil or oregano can provide that kind of accent that, together with a few other thoughtful moves, will make for a better sandwich.

7 Tricks for Perfecting Your Holiday Roast

One of the most impressive centerpieces you can serve at a holiday dinner is a beef roast. And for good reason: perfecting this main dish is no easy undertaking. While I’m certain none of us will ever forget the holiday we dished out an overcooked, under-salted roast to a house full of hungry guests (or forced the entire family to mill around for hours on end while the meat finished up in the oven), there are plenty of paths to redemption.

Roast

Whether you’re a standing rib roast fan or have a lifelong love for tenderloin, here are the top seven dos and don’ts to get that perfect medium-rare roast every time, according to Chef Yankel Polak of ButcherBox.

1. Season the meat a day before.

Don’t wait until the last minute. Instead, load your roast up with salt and spices, wrap it up tight, and let the salt work its magic overnight. On the day you want to cook, leave

2. Cook your meat ahead of time, too.

For big roasts, there’s no better guarantee of nailing that gorgeous red center and perfectly juicy texture than the reverse sear method. And it’s so easy. Preheat your oven to 250ºF, then place the roast in the oven and cook until it registers 120ºF in the center. Let it cool uncovered at room temperature for at least an hour, then stick it in the fridge (this can be done the day before). If you’re close enough to dinner, you can simply leave it at room temperature up to one more hour.

When you’re ready, brush the meat with a bit of butter or olive oil, and put it into a 425ºF oven for about 20 minutes or until the inside registers 120ºF again. (It will actually have reached 130ºF from resting after the first cook, but reheating to that point again may cause it to overcook.) This method will give you a crispy outside and a perfectly cooked inside every single time.

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3. Let your meat rest.

For a roast over three pounds, you’ll want to let it rest after cooking at least 30 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute into the meat instead of onto the cutting board. If you follow the reverse sear method, most of the resting happens earlier—but when you reheat the roast for the final time, allow at least 10 additional minutes of resting time. This time, give it a foil tent to keep the surface nice and hot.

4. Don’t crowd the pan.

Roasts have plenty of surface area and you want to make the most of it. The more area open to the hot oven air, the better the roast will taste and smell. Chef Polak recommends cooking it on a wire rack on a baking sheet if possible and turning it around once or twice during the cooking process, since most ovens are typically hottest towards the back.

5. Don’t under-season.

When you’re mixing up your favorite spice combo to rub all over the meat, whatever you do, Do. Not. Neglect. The. Salt. “Salt is to meat like color is to television,” says Chef Polak. “You get the general idea without it, but once you add it in, you can’t imagine life without it.” Use a nice big handful, sprinkled from about eight inches above the roast to give you an even spread—and be sure to season all sides including the ends.

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6. Don’t forget to cut off the string before carving your roast.

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but believe me, it’s worth the reminder. Butchers typically will truss a large roast with some cotton string: this helps the roast maintain its shape and ensures it will cook more evenly. But the string tends to blend in with the meat as everything browns up. Cut it off gently so you don’t disturb your nice crust, and then carve away.

7. Don’t get rid of the pan drippings.

“I typically pour off excess fat, then scrape the drippings into a sauce pot,” Chef says. Add a cup of wine, simmer until the wine is nearly gone, then add a little beef stock and reduce by half. The best beef gravy ever.

The Best Fast Food Meal Kits

Life has changed in many ways the last few months and that includes taking a trip to dine at your favorite fast-food restaurant when the craving hits, for now at least. If you’ve been left wondering when you’ll be able to eat from some of your favorite fast-food spots again, you’re in for a little surprise. See, you can enjoy some of those beloved fast-food meals in your own kitchen, thanks to meal kits.

Meal

That’s right, fast-food restaurants are offering up bundles that will feed the entire family, and—for some added fun—you can even order the ingredients so you can DIY the meals. You can still enjoy these fast-food staples, and some will even be delivered right to your door!

Here’s a breakdown of the best fast food meal kits you can order right now.

1. Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A has been offering up meal bundle options called “Family Meals” since April. These meals are meant to a group of about four people and you get to choose an entree (either 30 nuggets, 4 chicken sandwiches, or 4 spicy chicken sandwiches), a side, and a drink. And don’t worry, you can also order the beloved Chick-fil-A sauces, too. And in case you were ever wondering, this is why Chick-fil-A’s chicken tastes so good.

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2. Dunkin’

If you’re in the mood to get creative with a classic sweet treat, then this meal kit is for you. Dunkin’ is offering up a DIY donut decorating kit at participating locations. You can even call ahead to place your order so you can just grab and go with your order, and get home to start decorating. And eating, of course!

3. Taco Bell

Coming in at $25 is Taco Bell‘s “At-Home Taco Kits,” which consists of eight flour tortillas, 12 crunchy taco shells, seasoned beef, nacho chips, nacho cheese sauce, and all the toppings. This kit feeds up to six people and if you’re not sure what kind of taco you want to make, Taco Bell’s Blog has handy recipe cards. Taco Tuesday is about to be transformed!

4. Auntie Anne’s

Oh, how we miss taking a stroll through the mall food court and getting a whiff of these beloved Auntie Anne’s pretzels. Well, now you can have that lovely aroma wafting through your own kitchen, as you can order a DIY At-Home Pretzel Kit. Each kit comes packed with all of the ingredients and a recipe to make 10 Auntie Anne’s Original or Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels. What a gift.

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5. Tim Hortons

ike Dunkin’, Tim Hortons also has a DIY donut kit that comes with six donuts, two fondant cups, and two toppings. You can place a takeout order through their app or by calling your local Tim Hortons, or by using any of their delivery partners.

6. Shake Shack

Sometimes, you just want to bite into a burger, and Shake Shack is here to save the day. This meal kit comes with a steeper price tag, as it’s $49, but you get enough to serve eight people their own ShackBurger. The kit serves up eight patties, slices of American cheese, the signature ShackSauce, and Martin’s Potato Rolls, so you can add anything else you might have in your kitchen to them to make the dish your own.

7. Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s

For Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s fans, the chains are offering breakfast and lunch/dinner family bundles that will feed up to a family of four. For breakfast, you can choose from burritos with either biscuits or French toast sticks and for lunch/dinner, you can order either burgers or chicken tenders with fries. And did we mention it’s only $15? Can’t beat that!

10 Worst Food Mistakes You’re Making

Mistakes Although you rarely think of your kitchen as a playground for dangerous foodborne germs and illnesses, there are common food safety mistakes that can make it just that. Bacteria like E. coli, salmonella, and botulism toxins can appear anywhere, anytime, even when there isn’t a known outbreak going on.
Mistakes

This is why it’s extra important to always practice good hygiene in the kitchen and build habits for safe food handling, cooking, and storing. Here are ten most dangerous food safety mistakes that can make you and your family sick, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition to avoiding them, make sure you’re cleaning the germiest parts of your kitchen regularly.

1. Not washing your hands

Washing your hands is the number one golden rule of food safety and good hygiene in general. Your hands move from potentially contaminated surfaces to your face and mouth thousands of times a day—you sneeze into them, touch others, and prepare food. All with the same pair of hands! The potential for cross-contamination is huge, which is why it’s paramount to keep your hands clean by washing them with soap and water regularly. Here are the most critical times when hands need to be washed while you’re in the kitchen:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

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2. Washing raw meat or eggs

Let’s put this one to rest once and for all. If you’re having debates with your family members about whether you should be washing raw meat, the answer is no, no, no. The same goes for eggs. Although you may think you’re doing the right thing by washing these germ-prone foods, you’re actually helping spread those germs all over your sink and countertops. The best way to kill food germs is by cooking your food properly.

3. Not washing fruits and veggies

Fruits and vegetables, however, you’ll definitely want to wash, even if it’s something you’re peeling. The germs on the skin of fruits and vegetables can contaminate the parts that you’re actually eating, so rinsing them under running water is a must. It’s also good to have a designated vegetable brush on hand, which you can use to brush firm fruits and vegetables like melons or avocado.

4. Using the same plate for raw and cooked meat

Please don’t ever reuse the plate or bowl where you kept raw meat during the same cooking session. Anything the raw meat has touched should be washed with dish soap immediately, and that goes for cutting boards, too. It may seem like a good idea to use fewer dishes when you’re cooking so you don’t have a lot of cleaning up to do on a full belly, but this is not the place to skimp—raw meat germs will most definitely contaminate the cooked meat you’re about to eat. Same goes for fish and shellfish, too.

5. Not cooking meat, seafood, or eggs thoroughly

The best way to kill the germs on your food is by cooking it thoroughly, and the temperature should be high enough to actually do the job. Use a food thermometer to make sure you’ve achieved the following internal temperatures that will prevent germ-spreading:

  • 145°F for whole cuts of beef, pork, veal, and lamb
  • 160°F for ground meats, such as beef and pork
  • 165°F for all poultry, including ground chicken and turkey
  • 165°F for leftovers and casseroles
  • 145°F for raw ham
  • 145°F for seafood, or cook until flesh is opaque

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6. Eating raw or uncooked foods that contain eggs or flour

We’re looking at you, cookie dough–lovers. Uncooked flour and eggs can contain an array of harmful germs, the most well-known being E. coli. Our dessert preferences aside, the best way to prevent food poisoning is to avoid the following high-risk foods altogether: runny or undercooked eggs, homemade mayo, homemade hollandaise sauce, homemade eggnog, and uncooked dough or batter of any kind. This is especially important for those who are immunocompromised—why take any chances?

7. Tasting food to see if it’s bad

If you have a suspicion something in your fridge has gone bad, tasting it to make sure is a bad idea. First of all, you’ll rarely be able to taste or smell the germs that may be present on the food. Second of all, if you think a small piece of spoiled food can’t possibly cause much harm, you’re wrong. You can get seriously sick from a very small amount of spoiled food. Get our tips on how to store food properly so it doesn’t go bad. And here is a list of foods that don’t need refrigerating.

8. Thawing or marinating meat on the counter

The CDC warns that harmful germs can multiply quickly at room temperature, so it’s advisable not to thaw meat on your kitchen counter. The safest ways to thaw food is in the fridge, in cold water, or in the microwave. Same goes with marinades—always keep your marinating meat in the fridge instead of out at room temperature. Get our tips on how to safely thaw chicken.

Exactly How to Cook a Filet Mignon

There’s something inherently satisfying about eating a really well cooked piece of meat, especially the iconic filet mignon. Technically a cut from the end of the tenderloin, the filet mignon is an uber-tender, very popular cut. While some leave cooking steak to the pros and only consume it when eating out, there’s no need to limit your enjoyment to an expensive meal at a stuffy restaurant.

Filet

It can be a little intimidating to buy a filet mignon if you’re not totally confident in the cooking process—after all, it’s not the cheapest cut of meat. However, just follow these simple steps and you’ll be happily eating a perfectly cooked, beautifully seared, picture perfect filet mignon before you know it. It turns out, the one trick to a perfect filet-mignon is all in the butter and herbs you use to cook the steak.

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What should you look for when shopping for filet mignon?

“Filet mignon is the most expensive cut of steak you can buy, so you have to make sure that you’re spending your money wisely,” says Yumna Jawad of Feel Good Foodie. “Because it’s more tender than other cuts of steak, look for a brightly red color on the steak with light marbling. You don’t want to see any silver skin or large pieces of fat on the steak.”

Should you season filet mignon before cooking it?

Montiel, Jawad, and Executive Chef Oscar Cabezas of Telefèric Barcelona agree: Filet mignon should be seasoned before it hits the pan.

“To avoid possible bleeding, the filet mignon should be well-tempered before cooking,” Cabezas says. “Spaniards are generous with salt throughout the cooking and reserve freshly ground black pepper for the end. A little olive oil provides some great fat.”

Whether you choose to cook your steak in butter or olive oil, seasoning it ahead of time will make all the difference.

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How should you cook a filet mignon?

Here’s Montiel’s step-by-step method for the perfect steak at home:

  • Bring the filet mignon to room temperature approximately 45 minutes to an hour prior to cooking. (This ensures an evenly cooked steak!)
  • Generously coat the filet with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. This is not a time to skimp on seasoning. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • A cast iron skillet is ideal, but an oven-safe sauté pan also works. Heat the pan over medium/medium-high. Wait until the pan is super hot to add a few tablespoons of butter, smashed garlic cloves, and fresh thyme. Make sure to stir everything around to prevent burning. Once the butter is melted and foamy, add the steaks to the pan.
  • As the steak sears, carefully use a spoon to baste the filet with the garlic and thyme-infused melted butter. Do this until the steak is completely seared, about five minutes on each side.
  • Transfer the steak to the preheated oven to finish the cooking process; it shouldn’t take more than three to five minutes for a rare to medium-rare steak. Let the steak sit for five minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

This is a fool-proof method to ensure a perfectly cooked steak that will knock your socks off. Filet mignon isn’t just for restaurants—with these tricks, you can master this steak dish right at home.

7 COVID-19 Food Mistakes

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused all of us to rethink how we go about our normal day, from taking a walk outside to how we socialize. Another thing we’ve had to get creative with is how we buy, cook, and eat food in safe ways.

Food

You may be keeping your distance from people at grocery stores and those who work for food delivery services, but that’s only one part of reducing your chances of contracting COVID-19. There are several other mindless mistakes you’re likely making on a regular basis that could potentially be putting you at a higher risk of exposure.

You’re touching your face while grocery shopping.

When you’re at the grocery store, the absolute last thing you want to do is touch your face or your phone. Since it’s still unclear whether the virus is transmissible through objects, it’s best to play it safe and act as though it does in order to minimize any chances of exposure. We do know that the virus can survive on plastic surfaces for up to three days, so again, it’s not totally out of line to think that it could still be infectious.

You’re not cleaning and sanitizing your kitchen counter correctly.

It’s possible that you’re not properly disinfecting your kitchen countertops, which could invite bacteria and traces of the virus into your food or even directly onto your hands. Again, it’s not yet clear whether or not we can contract COVID-19 from surfaces, objects, or food, however, it’s still important to both clean and sanitize your countertops for food safety reasons in general.

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You’re eating food without washing your hands first.

We get it, those tacos you ordered from your favorite local restaurant are just too good not to dive into the second they arrive at your door. However, we strongly urge you to wash your hands after touching the delivery bag and the box they were enclosed in. Why? Extra precautions should be taken without any hesitation during this time.

You’re sharing food with the people you’re in quarantine with.

As much as you may want to devour the rest of your roommate’s homemade molten chocolate cake that they left on their plate, it’s best to resist temptations. The virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets and eating something that another person’s fork had repeatedly poked around in could likely be passed to you. Even if they aren’t exhibiting symptoms, they could be asymptomatic and a carrier, and who knows how it could affect you.

You’re not wearing a mask to pick up your takeout order.

This mistake is perhaps the most important one of them all to fix because not only could you be risking yourself of exposure but you could also be endangering the person who is behind the counter, as well as those who are in line. Make sure to wear your mask when you go to pick up food for takeaway or even to order something at the window.

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You’re eating heavily processed foods—often.

This is not a direct link to COVID-19 by any means, however, eating heavily processed foods regularly can suppress your immune system by causing what’s called an inflammatory response. In another Eat This, Not That! article, Syndey Greene, MS, RD explained just how junk food can hinder your immunity.

You’re dropping off food to a friend and sticking around to chat.

There are a few ways you can safely deliver food to your friends during the pandemic, but dropping food off and then staying for a while to chat with your friend is not one of them. Be sure to drop off your home-cooked meal or takeout order on their doorstep and retreat back to your car, bike, or just walk down the street before they open the door. Current research is suggesting that the coronavirus may be transmissible through aerosols in the air, so the farther you stand away from someone, the better.