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2018-01-22T06:19:08.191Z
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Many of us are accustomed to throwing a few inexpensive packets of dried ramen soup into our grocery cart to save our weary weeknight cooking in a pinch. But making the best restaurant-quality ramen at home begins at the Asian market. Most of the ingredients are long-lasting pantry ingredients that make keeping a ramen-ready kitchen almost as easy as cooking up a cup of noodles.

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I am an absolute sucker for a fancy-looking oven. I know, I know, ovens are tools and what really matters is how well they perform, not what they look like. But I can't help myself; I just adore a beautiful range. Give me brass knobs, bars on the doors, and a range of colors that include options like "Provence blue."

Basically, give me Ina Garten's kitchen, complete with her brand-new French range from Lacanche.

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A happiness ritual that has rippled through my own personal meal planning is love lists. It seems silly, but making a list of specific things you love — whether it's a list of books or chocolate bars — boosts happiness and becomes a compass when you're bored, blue, or stuck in a cooking rut. That's how we want you to think of this recipe cheat sheet; it's a recipe love list for when the cooking gets tough.

The concept is incredibly simple in its brilliance: Write down recipes you love on this one sheet and keep it where you can use it. When you work out a weekly meal plan, you won't be starting from scratch each time. Remember that chickpea pasta you had last month that you loved? Yes, add that to this week's meal plan!

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Meghan Markle secretly dated Prince Harry for over a year, but now that they are engaged and making public appearances together, she can start receiving official gifts like the rest of the royal family. She was recently given her very first official royal gift, and it's an apron.

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When I first became a vegetarian, I quickly realized that if I wanted to eat well and feel well, I needed to find some smart recipes to keep in my back pocket. Sure, plain pasta with marinara or a simple romaine salad are technically vegetarian, but those meals don't give me energy or keep me feeling full for very long.

A good vegetarian recipe, in my opinion, has some form of plant-based protein, a serving of vegetables, some whole grains, and lots of fresh herbs and fun sauces to keep things interesting.

Here are five vegetarian recipes that fit my criteria and have a recurring spot on my meal plan. Whether you're a vegetarian or just want to incorporate more plant-based meals into your routine, you can't go wrong with any of these.

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When you get a homemade dinner on the table in a timely manner and all your children actually eat it? That's the holy grail of meal planning, right there.

If your children are anything like mine, they are constantly changing what they're willing to eat, but these 12 recipes are ones that are (almost) always a hit at our dinner table.

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Remember those sun-dried tomatoes lurking in the back of your pantry? Isn't there a hunk of goat cheese somewhere in the fridge? Now's the time to grab both of those ingredients because together they make this creamy, dreamy weeknight pasta that's proudly all frills and no fuss.

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When it comes to cleaning supplies, it's easy for the average shopper to get sucked in by the latest and greatest promise. Whether it's a multi-purpose spray that will supposedly replace all your other cleaners, or a new kind of bottle that's somehow more efficient and ergonomic, there's always something to get us excited.

Professional house cleaners? Well, they know better.

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Who says you need a grill to cook good ribs? The lack of outdoor space for a grill at my apartment led me to pass up a good many recipes for barbecued ribs over the years.

Now I'll be making up for lost time. I do believe I've cracked the code to making perfectly tender and mouth-watering barbecued ribs in the oven.

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This whole time I've been using a plain old scrubby sponge and broom to do my housework. Silly me! A quick tour through Amazon has revealed that cleaning my kitchen could be easier, quicker, more efficient, and fun.

Check out a few of the most brilliant cleaning tools you can buy on Amazon.

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I think we can agree that crispy, smoky bacon is one of life's greatest pleasures. However, standing over a hot stove dodging sputtering bacon grease is not. Here is how we can have the best of both worlds: a hands-free, hassle-free method for cooking perfect bacon, all in the oven.

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I'll skip the thick, flat, dense eggs, thank you very much. Instead my favorite scrambled eggs involve a plate piled high with large, soft yellow curds that spring back with the lightest touch and practically melt in my mouth; the kind of eggs that are fluffy and almost cloud-like.

A quick splash of milk or cream certainly makes for tender eggs, and might even give them some fluff, but there's another ingredient that does the job even better.

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While fried rice is Asian in its history, at its core it's an easy technique that turns a handful of leftover ingredients into something comforting and fresh-tasting. There are no hard-and-fast rules — all you need is some cooked rice and some imagination. That's where this breakfast-inspired fried rice comes in. Some of our favorite breakfast ingredients — breakfast sausage, eggs, and, yes, cheese — make their way into this rich and hearty fried rice that you can have any time of day.

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I keep meaning to write a cookbook PSA about the library, but this will have to suffice until then: Did you know that your library has a large cookbook selection? You can request new cookbooks, borrow them, try them out before you buy them. I started doing this last fall as a way to both keep my cookbook shelves tidier and to try out cookbooks before buying or gifting them for the holidays. Borrowing cookbooks from the library is now one of my favorite things.

This week's meal plan is inspired by cookbook recipes I'm trying out this week. Since the recipes aren't always available on the web, I'm linking here to similar recipes, but including a link to the cookbook I borrowed for inspiration.

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Let's be honest — picking out recipes is the most fun part of meal planning. Part of making my meal planning ritual enjoyable and repeatable is making time at the end of each week to flip through magazines, browse Kitchn's recipe page, and select meals for the following week. It doesn't hurt that I like to do this with a cocktail or a soothing cup of tea in hand, either.

On the flip side, the biggest mistake I see new meal planners make is in the recipe selection. Either they are being too narrow in their recipe selection or skipping a key step (or two) before they even select recipes. There are a few better ways to select the right recipes for your meal plan — here are five of the most common.

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Rachel Yang, the James Beard Award-nominated chef behind Seattle's Joule, Revel, and Trove restaurants, and Portland, Oregon's Revelry, is a force. Her food— undeniably Korean at its roots, unabashedly creative in practice — combines noodles, dumplings, barbecue, and hot pots with flavors from all over the globe. But after cooking with her week after week during the process of writing her cookbook, My Rice Bowl: Korean Cooking Outside the Lines, I've learned her food is always one thing: Even though it's restaurant food, it's always comforting.

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While you can certainly make cabbage rolls after you get home on a weeknight, cabbage rolls can also be simmered until deliciously tender in the slow cooker all day long and welcome you home with their enticing aroma. With a no-cook beef-and-rice filling and no-cook tomato sauce, these cabbage rolls are easy to throw together in the morning so that dinner's cooking away while you're at work.

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When my first child was born, my husband's coworker gave us a wooden step stool as a baby gift. It was a beautiful wooden one, about 12 inches tall, white with lavender treads and our daughter's name carved in it in a sweet font. That's nice, I thought, but why would anyone ever gift an apartment-dweller such a large gift?

Well, obviously she was an experienced mom!

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In the world of nostalgic foods, there are a few standouts: hot chocolate (with mini marshmallows, of course), macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, and the diner classic, the tuna melt. Just the thought of a homemade melt takes us back to sick days, snow days, and pretty much any other day that Mom was responsible for a hot lunch.

The times, they are a changin', though, and as we considered the tuna melt recently, we wondered about canned tuna. Knowing what we do now about sustainability and the many threats facing our oceans, how can we be smart consumers of the ingredient that's all too necessary for a classic tuna melt? What brands of canned tuna are both delicious and safe for the environment?

We reached out to fishmongers across the country to find out, and the consensus was resounding.

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It's obvious I love to cook, given my day job, but I also happen to be a Registered Dietitian, which means even though I bake all the things, occasionally use butter with reckless abandon, and look for excuses to make a fancy steak dinner, I also am constantly thinking about how I can make whatever I happen to be cooking just a bit more wholesome. It's actually a whole lot easier than you might think and it can be done without sacrificing all the indulgent things. Here are seven simple tricks to keep in mind when you're in the kitchen.

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