The Best Baking Tips We've Ever Published

It's time to polish that Best Baker on the Block trophy, because these no-fail tips will take your baking to the next level.

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Bloody Mary Recipes

Whip up an amazing Bloody Mary recipe from our wide selection of beverages featuring variations made with vodka, tequila, and even beer. Plus, we throw in ideas for unique drink garnishes, along with our best tips for hosting a cocktail party. Cheers!

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All-Time Favorite Christmas Cookies

It's simple: These very merry Christmas cookie recipes are favorites that you'll want to save, hand down, and make again and again. We've got all the classics, including sugar cookie recipes, Christmas spritz cookies, and spiced gingerbread recipes. Try one of our cookie recipes to share this Christmas!

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60-Minute (and Under) Dinner Rolls

One of the most time-consuming parts of any holiday meal: making the dinner rolls. With the time it takes to prepare the dough, wait for it to rise, and bake, traditional dinner roll recipes can be an all-day affair! Making dinner rolls doesn't have to take all day, though. Whether you make them from scratch or start with a little extra help, you can make delicious dinner rolls in just one hour. So, make preparing your holiday dinner a little easier with these eight quick dinner roll recipes that are all ready in 60 minutes or less!

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Snowman Jars You Can Make in Bulk for Christmas Gifting

Add a frosty flare to your mason jars with this holiday craft that you can make for anyone on your gift list.

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Guide to Food Safety and Storage

These guidelines will help you get the best flavor and texture from the foods you store.

Cold Enough for You?

Use appliance thermometers to make sure your freezer and refrigerator maintain proper temperatures for safe food storage. Refrigerators should maintain a temperature of 40 degrees F or below, and freezers should maintain a temperature of 0 degrees F or below.

Cool it Quickly

Hot foods bound for the refrigerator or freezer must be cooled quickly for two reasons. First, it decreases the chance for harmful bacteria to grow, keeping your food safe to eat. Second, in the case of freezing, it allows the food to freeze faster, preventing the formation of large ice crystals that may ruin the flavor and texture of foods. Here's how to cool food quickly.

  • Divide cooked foods into small portions in shallow containers. As a general rule, divide soups and stews into portions that are two to three inches deep, and stir them while cooling to speed the release of heat. Divide roasts and whole poultry into portions that are two to three inches thick. Place the small portions of hot food directly in the refrigerator. Remove stuffing from poultry and refrigerate in separate containers.
  • If the final destination is the freezer, transfer cold food from the refrigerator to the freezer. Arrange containers in a single layer in the freezer until frozen; this allows the cold air to circulate around the packages, freezing the food faster. Stack them after they are completely frozen. Note: Never let perishable foods stand at room temperature to cool before they're refrigerated or frozen.

Wraps and Containers

Follow these guidelines when purchasing storage containers and food wraps for the refrigerator or freezer.

Containers: Most airtight food storage containers with tight-fitting lids -- even disposables -- provide adequate protection in the refrigerator. When shopping for freezer-safe containers, however, look for a phrase or an icon on the label or container bottom indicating that they are designed for freezer use.

Baking dishes: When freezing, use freezer-to-oven or freezer-to-microwave dishes and cover the surface with plastic freezer wrap or heavy-duty foil (if using foil, see note below).

Glass jars with tight-fitting lids: All major brands of canning jars are acceptable for use in the refrigerator and freezer. If freezing liquid and semiliquid foods, leave headspace in the jar so the food can expand as it freezes.

Self-sealing storage bags and plastic wraps: Products are available for both refrigerator and freezer storage.

Regular or heavy-duty foil: When freezing food, use only heavy-duty foil.

Note: Do not use foil to wrap foods that contain acidic ingredients, such as tomatoes. Acid reacts with the foil, giving the food an odd flavor. To refrigerate or freeze a casserole that contains tomatoes or another acidic ingredient, first cover the food with plastic wrap, then with foil; remove the plastic wrap before reheating.

Be Label Conscious

Always take a moment to properly label food before you freeze it. Using a wax crayon or waterproof marking pen, note on the package the name of the item or recipe; the quantity, date, and number of servings; the date it was frozen; and any special information about its use. Follow recommended storage times included in recipes.

Easy Tips for Packing Your Freezer


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