Kitchen tips that can make you a better & healthier cook


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I love fun kitchen tips and trick. But the best tips, are healthy kitchen tips. Things that help me eat the way I should, easily.

We all look for ways to make life easier. And who can blame us? With hectic work schedules, family needs and trying to take care of ourselves, our days are pretty darn full to say the least! So I thought I’d share my favorite kitchen tips to help your life go just a tiny bit smoother.

7 Healthy Kitchen Tips

  1. Fresh herbs  – They last a LOT longer if kept in the fridge in a glass of water with the whole thing covered in a plastic bag. (I reuse plastic produce bags as pictured above). I’ve had a fresh batch of cilantro in the fridge for 3 weeks and it’s only just now turning bad. (You do have to change the water every few days however)
  2. Pre-cut parchment paper – It’s a little pricey up front, but the convenience pays for itself and it lasts FOREVER! Plus, it makes it so much easier when you don’t have to snip off excess parchment, or tear off extra because you didn’t get the first piece big enough. It’s already done for you! On top of that, if you need to trace on it to cut an exact fit, it’s much easier because the paper is already flat and not trying to roll up on you. Check it out here on Amazon!
  3. Food Prep – Prepping food one day a week is the ultimate time saver. A meal just comes together soooo much quicker and easier if the veggies are already chopped and the rice is already cooked (Rice freezes well!). Chop fruits and bag them up into single servings, portion out nuts and nut butters so you can enjoy them without overdoing it. Prepare a few casseroles to keep in the freezer for busy weeknights.
  4. Meal Planning – If you plan your meals a week ahead of time, it makes life all that much easier. You don’t have the eternal question, “what’s for dinner”. You already know! And if you put it up on the fridge or a kitchen chalkboard, the family will know too. They can even help plan the week’s menu so everybody is happy. Need more help than that? Check out my $5 meal plans!
  5. Popsicles for Breakfast – On a warm summer morning, let the kids think mom has lost her marbles by giving them “Monster Pops” for breakfast. They don’t have to know they are just frozen green smoothies with plenty of spinach in them. Moms can be sneaky like that.
  6.  Zest your garlic – If you mince a lot of garlic, do it quickly and easily by using a microplane/zester. But watch those fingers!
  7. Make nice with your butcher – Save time by asking your butcher to do things like cutting chicken breasts into stew meat, or preparing your fish just the way you want it. And if you are buying in bulk, ask them to package everything up in single servings so you can toss them in the freezer and thaw them as needed without defrosting too much. They are typically happy to help and can usually do it in half the time that you or I could do it at home. This way, half your work is done before you ever leave the store.

This article originally appeared on The Gracious Pantry and was syndicated by

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Geeky cookbooks for the food nerds in your life

Geeky cookbooks for the food nerds in your life

You’re a geek with a need to feed. Get creative and lean into food nerdery by making feasts in your own home, inspired by other galaxies or magical realms!

Maggie Lovitt

In J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth books like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, food is in many ways as much a part of that realm as Elves, Dwarves, and Orcs. From Tom Bombadil’s bountiful table to the Green Dragon to Lothlorien, Tolkien took great care to describe food, its importance, and its charm.

IMDB / New Line Cinema

Reading this cookbook, authored by Robert Tuesley Anderson, helps you make a Middle Earth feast using ingredients you can find in your own magical realm (your kitchen and the grocery store). Featuring beautiful illustrations and comforting fare, this is a fun cookbook for the Tolkien fan in your life.

Beyond blue milk and Yoda’s questionable Dagobah offerings, flex your galactic culinary muscles with Star Warsthemed cookbooks!

The Mandalorian / YouTube

Written by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Marc Sumerak, this cookbook is an homage to the Disney theme land Galaxy’s Edge. The volume spans a galaxy of themed recipes inspired by the journeys in the Star Wars films and shows.

Even superheroes need sustenance! Hunger pains are anyone’s Kryptonite. Find the perfect super suppers and treats with these cookbooks in both the DC and Marvel pantheons.

DC Comics

Justin Warner has put together a cookbook that fans of the Marvel universe will devour. It features 60 mouthwatering recipes inspired by the beloved comics and films, including Ant-Man’s Tiny Ice Cream Cones, Nick Fury’s Infinity Formula, and Captain America Beef Tongue Terrine.

Holy cookbooks, Batman! Matthew Mead has written a fun book packed with recipes  and even stencils for food styling, the perfect gift for your superhero cook.They’ll be treated to more 60 recipes inspired by characters in the DC universe like SupermanBatmanWonder Woman and many others. Great for all ages.

OK, you don’t really want to be eating brains when the world ends, do you? Wait, don’t answer that. If you’re a biter, take it out on some good chow and learn some survival tips while you’re at it with these apocalyptic cookbooks.


Inspired by the AMC television series The Walking Dead, Lauren Wilson and Yunhee Kim have come up with a cookbook that includes survival tips as well. Don’t settle for brains! Use this book as your guide through the apocalypse, and be safe in the kitchen.

Want to create some hot dishes? Fallout: The Vault Dweller’s Official Cookbook by Victoria Rosenthal is the ticket for you. Who needs a microwave when you’re irradiated? Still, it might come in handy with this Fallout-inspired cookbook with recipes inspired by Falloutfoods.

Wander into Wonderland, Oz, the TARDIS, or Westeros … just make sure you have the right meals for all those fantastical adventures. These cookbooks are full of wonder and sumptuous recipes.


This lush, classic cookbook for Game of Thrones fans makes the perfect gift. Endorsed by A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin, this sumptuous cookbook from Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer features over 100 recipes inspired by the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. And you don’t even need dragons to cook them!

Wouldn’t you love to go backward and forward in time, to when there’s always good food on the table? Here’s the next best thing: two time-traveling cookbooks for when your stomach is bigger on the inside.

For the Whovian whose appetite is bigger on the inside like the TARDIS, this lovely Doctor Who cookbook, written by Joanna Farrow, is based on the show and features several endearing dishes. Bake a Gingerbread TARDIS, Cassandra Pizza, or some Ood Bread and win over at least two hearts.

With this Outlander-centric cookbook, penned by Theresa Carle-Sanders, you’ll never feel out of place and time when it comes to delicious food! Inspired by the Outlander novels, this gorgeous cookbook features dozens of recipes for all courses of a meal.

Make it Halloween year-round with these spooky-themed cookbooks! No tricks, only treats!

fortyforks / iStock

Zach Neil has written something special for the lover of spooky stories and great food, and it’s a cookbook inspired by such movies as The Nightmare Before ChristmasBeetlejuice, and The Evil Dead. This is the official cookbook of delightfully creepy Beetle House Restaurant, with over 60 recipes that make it Halloween all year.

Summon an elder god, or even your family and friends, to a tasty dinner with this fun Lovecraftian cookbook written by Mike Slater. It’s splendidly crafted and satisfyingly dark, with gorgeous illustrations and annotations. Cthulhu would be pleased to devour all of it.

So, we don’t have replicators…yet. But you have the next best thing with these Star Trekthemed cookbooks!

Public Domain / WikimediaCommons

For the Star Treklover in your life, buy this cookbook at warp speed. Patricia Baker shows you how to replicate recipes inspired by the Star TrekshowsThe Next GenerationDeep Space NineVoyager, and Enterprise

Patricia Baker

If you’ve ever wanted to beam up a tall glass of Romulan ale, or have an Earl Grey Martini (not hot!), this is the cocktail cookbook for you. Inspired by the beverages, characters, and more in Star Trek, Glenn Dakin’s fun read will help you go boldly go into a new sector of libations.

Gather round the galaxy where everyone knows your name: your own home bar! There’s a lot to love about these geeky-themed cookbooks and cocktail books.

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Sure to appeal to the sci-fi and fantasy fans, this cookbook from Jeff Cioletti is part encyclopedia and part cocktail book. With several pop culture nods to sci-fi, comics, B-movies, Tiki culture, and more.

Curated by The Geeky Chef (aka Cassandra Reader), this drink cookbook offers over 70 recipes inspired by sci-fi and fantasy favorites in TV, film, and gaming. Vividly designed and with options for non-alcoholic drinks, this makes a perfect gift.

Never be bored with snacks on board game night, and keep your side quests for food local with these gaming cookbooks!

bernardbodo / iStock

Cynthia Nims has written a wonderful cookbook full of delectable snack ideas for board game night, book clubs, card games, etc. Get ready to settle into Settlers of Catan and savor everything from cakes to finger foods to pitchers of fizzy drinks!

For Minecraft kids and kids at heart, Tara Theoharis’ cookbook offers over 40 Minecraft-themed treats for young gamers. Filled with photos of the foods and illustrations of Minecraft characters and scenes, it’s a great way to introduce cooking to a younger audience. 


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