Category Archives: How-To

How To Prep A Dinner Party A Day Ahead

April 3, 2012 | By Adam Roberts | 0 Comments

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When I first started cooking, I resented the idea of making food ahead for a dinner party. I wanted my food to be fresh! Cooked in the moment! Assembled minutes before the guests arrive!

It’s only recently, though, that I’ve started to see the virtue in prepping the food ahead. One: if you’re making a soup or a stew or a chili, that’ll only taste better after spending a night in the fridge. And two: you’ll be way less harried when your guests arrive. So here’s how to prep a dinner party a day ahead (with two dinner party examples).

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How To Turn Leftover Chicken Into A Tasty Soup

March 12, 2012 | By Adam Roberts | 1 Comment

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One benefit of making a complicated, classic dish like bouillabaisse, as I did last week, is that the process of making it becomes its own version of cooking school. You follow the steps but as you do so, you learn things. For example: making a fumet (or fish stock) may be labor-intensive but your efforts pay off later when that highly flavored broth is poured in with the tomatoes and onions and fish and takes your bouillabaisse over the moon. Why couldn’t I apply a similar strategy with leftover chicken and leftover chicken carcasses? Last week, that’s precisely what I did.

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How To Fry Chicken For A Crowd

November 7, 2011 | By Adam Roberts | 0 Comments

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When scheming of ways to dazzle your guests at a dinner party, fried chicken is often tossed aside as too difficult to pull off. And for good reason: if you fry chicken the traditional way, where you start it and finish it in a thick layer of hot oil, you can only fry a few pieces at a time and there’s a no way you can time it so that all of your guests get hot chicken at the same time. So you stick to more traditional dinner party fare–roast beef, leg of lamb–things you can throw in the oven and carve easily for your guests. But what if you COULD make fried chicken for a dinner party and have all the pieces–20 pieces in all–finish at the same time? Prepare yourself, then, gentle reader. I’m about to rock your world.

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How To Support Yourself As A Food Blogger

October 27, 2011 | By Adam Roberts | 7 Comments

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In 2006, I graduated N.Y.U.’s dramatic writing program and moved to Brooklyn with my friend Diana. At the time, I’d been food blogging for two years and had just sold a book to Bantam/Dell that came with a pretty decent advance. Before I sold the book to Bantam, I had ads on my blog—Google Ads, BlogAds—but wasn’t generating enough money to pay rent. With the book advance, things changed. When that check came, I told my parents that I wouldn’t need their financial help anymore. I’d be able to take care of things from here on out.

And, for the most part, that’s what happened. The book advance only got me so far; at a certain point, I began making enough money—from the blog itself and other food ventures—to pay the bills. Here’s how I did that and how you might do that too.

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How To Make Authentic Guacamole

May 27, 2011 | By Adam Roberts | 2 Comments

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My first experience with guacamole was the one in The Barefoot Contessa book, a flavorful guacamole that has the requisite avocados, red onion and lemon juice, but departs from the norm with fresh garlic and a few hits of Tabasco. Up until last weekend, if I were sent to the store to shop for guacamole ingredients, I probably would’ve stuck to The Barefoot Contessa formula. But then my friend Mark entered the picture.

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How To Soften Brown Sugar Without a Microwave

April 21, 2011 | By Adam Roberts | 0 Comments

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We’ve all been there. It’s 9 o’clock at night, dinner is over, and suddenly you and your loved ones are craving cookies. All eyes turn to you and you stand up–ready to do the dirty deed–and as you march into the kitchen, confident that you can churn out cookies lickety split, you grab a box of brown sugar only to discover…

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How To Always Get A Seat at a Crowded Coffee Shop

February 24, 2011 | By Adam Roberts | 0 Comments

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Every day I go to a coffee shop to work on my book. And every day I witness the same phenomenon: people poke their heads through the door, look at all the crowded tables, sigh a heavy sigh and leave.

I want to yell out: “Don’t leave! You’re giving up too easily!” But since most people can’t hear the thoughts in my head, they continue to march their lonely march away; and it’s for these people that I am writing this post. God willing, they’ll read it and realize there’s always a way to get a seat at a crowded coffee shop.

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How To Make A Good Cup of Coffee

January 17, 2011 | By Adam Roberts | 5 Comments

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This weekend on Facebook, my friend Molly wrote that she was “constitutionally incapable of making a decent cup of coffee.”

I related to this because, for the past few years, I had the same problem. The lowest moment came when, upon grinding my own beans, I overdid it, clogged my coffee maker and a black sand volcano erupted all over my countertop, ruining the machine and my self-confidence too. But now I make a great cup of coffee and my secret has more to do with ignoring, not following, the Good Coffee-Making Rules.

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