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2018-04-26T07:42:28.553Z
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Slow cookers are a lifesaver in my kitchen, and it sounds like a lot of our readers enthusiastically agree with me. When using a slow cooker, delicious meals practically make themselves while we're free to tackle other tasks.

If you've decided it's time you joined the slow-cooker movement and buy your first one, or your old slow cooker needs to be replaced, here are some things to think about when shopping for one.

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Perhaps the most confusing thing about buying mozzarella at the grocery store isn't decoding the different varieties, but the fact that they're sold in a couple different areas of the store. You'll find some types of mozzarella in the dairy aisle, some near the deli, and, if your grocery store is fancy, some in a special cheese section or counter.

I'm here to answer the questions about mozzarella that have undoubtedly crossed your mind, so you can buy just the right cheese for you.

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The Costco food court is a magical place with giant hot dogs and churros as long as your arm. It's even a great place to take a first date. But it can be a little chaotic when it's crowded, and nobody seems to be able to figure out the best way to form a line.

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I have always hated to iron. So imagine my surprise when a coworker told me that the most relaxing part of his day was going home, drinking a beer or two, and doing a little ironing. As someone who deeply detests ironing, I would never have dreamed of anyone finding it relaxing. As the daughter of two strict teetotalers, I would never have dreamed of mixing drinking and household chores.

This was my first introduction to the wonderful world of buzzed (drunk?) cleaning.

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The containers we use to store food in seems like a boring topic — and yet people can get really excited about it. (Perhaps that explains why there's an entire store devoted to containers.)

Investing in a good set or two of reusable food containers is a great way to help keep your food fresher longer, organize your fridge, and get better about packing lunch.

Here are three containers that we are really excited about. Bonus: They also all happen to be on sale on Amazon.

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Among the staples in my refrigerator, a tub of yogurt ranks high. Not only do I reach for it every morning at breakfast, but I also find myself tossing it into my chicken salad for lunch, dolloping it on my soup for dinner, and most definitely incorporating it into my dessert.

Bake it into a cake or freeze it into Popsicles — however it's used, it's a winning ingredient. Here are 10 recipes that prove it.

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Are you in the mood for some comfort food? Of course you are. But now that spring is here and summer is on the horizon, you might, however, be leaning towards something with vegetables — perhaps even a vegetarian dish?

I have a proposal for you: fresh baby spinach and chickpeas, slow-cooked with ginger, garlic, and onion in a creamy coconut milk sauce, finished off with a healthy dash of lemon. But it doesn't stop there. No — this spicy, tangy dish of greens was designed to be served over a sweet potato. See? Both comforting and your daily dose of vegetables, all in one dish.

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A couple of weeks ago, when I was doing an ultra-scientific study of the best cheeses at Trader Joe's, a friend warned me not to eat too much Unexpected Cheddar or 1,000 Day Gouda before bed. When I asked why, she said "Because cheese causes nightmares" in a tone that said "You should know this, dummy."

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Last week I saw Victoria Beckham cut into a big watermelon with a candle on it and eat it like a birthday cake, and I've had an intense craving for cake ever since. I'm not talking about any sophisticated flourless chocolate cakes or elegant salted caramel tarts, either. I'm dreaming about a proper birthday cake right out of a 7-year-old's party, with white frosting and loads of sprinkles for the ultimate nostalgia factor.

As an adult, however, are you even allowed to just buy a birthday cake for no reason? I always feel like the store clerk will ask me to provide proof of children, or at least buy a package of novelty party hats to go with it.

But now I feel like Trader Joe's has my back, because they've just introduced a new grab-and-go birthday cake that serves up to 10 people for just $6.99.

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You didn't get an invitation, but your kitchen doesn't have to know that. Here are eight finds (some more outrageous than others) to deck out your kitchen for the upcoming royal wedding.

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There's a lot to consider when finding the best grocery store that works for you and your family. There's location, of course, but you also need to consider the places with the best deals and loyalty programs, and find the store that always has your favorite pint of ice cream in stock. There are big stores like Costco that also offer great deals on non-grocery items, and places like Trader Joe's which always have something new to try — if that's your jam.

What you might not have considered, however, is that the month you were born also should have some sway in where you shop. Yes, that's right — there's a perfect grocery store match out there based on your star sign. Read on to find out where you should really be shopping.

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As I flipped with no small pleasure through the pages of Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbooks, considering recipes for this week's lunch feature, I was looking for recipes that went beyond the obvious: the salads, the soups, the plain sandwiches that characterize my all-too-frequent lunch ruts. But what else is out there? Come on — give me a new idea.

And unsurprisingly, Ottolenghi came through, with this recipe for a cauliflower cake that is good fresh, cold, at room temperature, for breakfast, lunch, or really any time at all.

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Welcome to Kitchn's Food Budget Diaries series, where we show you how people around the country spend money on what they eat and drink. Each post will follow one person for one week and will chronicle everything that person consumed and how much it costs them.

Name: Abigail
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Age: 24
Number of people in family: 2 (my husband and me)
Occupation: I am a high school teacher and freelancer and my husband works for a cabinet company.
Household income: $40,000
Weekly food budget: $75 ($50 for groceries and $25 for eating out)

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Aldi is one of our favorite grocery stores here at Kitchn. The chain offers food, wine, and other goods at prices that are much, much lower than their counterparts — without sacrificing quality, our editors have found. And our readers love it too!

In fact, there are a few things you guys head to Aldi for again and again. We recently asked readers on Facebook to tell us about their favorite Aldi finds. We heard a few picks multiple times: the take-and-bake pizzas, dark chocolate sea salt caramels, Clancy potato chips and … scallops!

See the Facebook poll here.

Get out your shopping lists and keep reading for more ideas. Here are the best things at Aldi, according to our readers.

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What is warm-weather cooking, to you? For me, it means keeping things as simple as possible. In the spring and summertime I want meals that come together in one big pot — easy to cook and easy to reheat later. I want meals that taste like the garden, fragrant with herbs and bright flavors. I want hands-off meals, so I can retire to the back porch with a cucumber gimlet while my supper cooks.

Well, this braised chicken dish fits all those requirements beautifully.

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Dish soap: Not just for dishes! It's time to start thinking outside of the box (soap dispenser?) when it comes to tackling household grime. This super degreaser has the power to remove soil from all kinds of surfaces, including hard ones like metal or glass, and soft ones like fabric and upholstery.

Check out these non-dish-related things you can do with dish soap.

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Mustard is one of those condiments that can add a lot of easy flavor to your cooking. And two kinds of mustard (grainy and smooth)? Now you're talking about a flavor powerhouse.

This braised chicken dish puts the classic French combination of mustard, white wine, shallots, and cream to work in a slow cooker to create tender, saucy chicken ready to be served with some good bread to drag through the last drops of sauce on your plate.

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It's finally, finally starting to feel like spring out there, and that means it's almost outdoor-dining season. Or maybe we should call it Nigella Lawson season, because her new show, At My Table, features one of the most gorgeous alfresco dining setups I've ever seen, with a walled garden full of twinkly lights and a heavy wooden table big enough to seat 20 if they squeezed in. (OK, it's a TV studio, but so is the White House on Scandal, and you can't convince me Olivia Pope isn't real.)

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RX Bars are the meal replacement bar of the moment. Thanks to a streamlined ingredient list that just so happens to be compliant with a certain month-long eating program, these bars are an easy solution when you need to fill up on the go.

These high-protein, chocolatey date- and nut-based bars are sprinkled with sea salt, satisfying that craving for sweetness. And if you're wondering what they taste like, imagine the chewy edge of a chilled brownie — they're that decadent and now you can make them at home.

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When we shared a menu from Ina Garten's new book, Make It Ahead, we pulled a few of our favorite recipes and chatted with Ina herself about ways to put them together into a delicious and satisfying vegetarian dinner party — one that, yes, you can make ahead.

The star of the show is this roasted vegetable lasagna — always a hit! Here's what Ina says about this dish, with a few smart tips for making it great.

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