Ready to Mince
Sick of garlic's thick skin? Try microwaving your cloves for 10 seconds -- the skin will slip right off. Or use a teaspoon to scrape the skin off.
Rach prepares garlic to use in her newest 30-Minute Meals.
Rach adds salt to her pasta water.
Question: What's the one ingredient you couldn't live without? -Zachary Luker, Baton Rouge, LA
Rach: EVOO, of course!
Rachael chops up fresh basil for her 30-Minute Meal. Learn how to cook with 12 of our favorite herbs and you'll never go back to dried.
Rachael always keeps a salt cellar near the stove so she can easily add a pinch.
Just a Pinch
Rachael always has salt on hand for cooking -- and to toss over her shoulder! As she says, "I'm a very superstitious girl -- with a very salty kitchen rug."
Crack your eggs on the counter, rather than the side of your bowl, to keep shells from falling into your ingredients.
Rice and Easy
Whether you love chicken, pork, fish, beef or veggie dishes -- there's a 30-Minute Meal with rice for you.
Wash cherry tomatoes in a colander to get them clean, then use them in Rachael's delicious 30-Minute Meals.
A watched pot never boils, right? That's why Rach looks the other way as she warms up her French-Onion-and-Wild-Mushroom-Soup.
What's better than pasta? Pasta with freshly grated parmesan cheese! Freeze leftover rinds, then toss into soups and stews for extra flavor.
Ring My Bell
There are dozens of ways to use red peppers in your recipes: stuff 'em with pasta, turn 'em into a sauce, throw 'em into a soup...
Rachael takes a bite of her Cod-and-Shrimp Stoup with Salt-and-Vinegar Mashed Potatoes. Delish!
Use kitchen scissors to snip delicate herbs like chives and tarragon. Finding yourself with leftovers? Toss those extras into a food processor with olive oil, salt and nuts for an easy pesto sauce. Or freeze any leftover chopped fresh herbs and water in an ice cube tray, to flavor soups and sauces.
Just a Slice
For easy garlic bread, melt butter with chopped garlic and spread on crusty Italian bread. Broil until golden. You can also make it your own by sprinkling on chili powder.
Wash and bag your produce as soon as you come home from the store or the market to make it easier (and faster!) to get dinner on the table.
When you make burgers, indent the center with your thumb -- the patty will stay flat as it cooks.
Rach says, "It's not what you put on a burger, it's what you put in it. If you stuff ingredients like veggies and herbs inside, then they create moisture for the meat. That's the key."
Rach certainly wouldn't call herself a star: "I'm just a burger flipper and a Chatty Cathy!"
Kitchen time is fun time, and always has been. Rach says, "I was always in the kitchen with my family, even as a baby, and I helped out from the time I could hold a spoon."
Turn it Up
When Rachael's in the kitchen, you can bet there's music playing. Rach says, "I have eclectic tastes. It could be anything from John Coltrane to the Foo Fighters."
Skip fancy seafood restaurants and serve steak-like fish, such as swordfish or tuna, to your carnivore friends. Try Tuna Steaks Provençale, shown here.
Slice and Dice
Rach says, "I love the comfy grips on the handle Santoku-style knife that I designed with Füri. And of course, it's orange!" Brush up your basic chop with our Basic Knife Skills video.
"I've never thought about chopping -- I just hack away! Everyone just has to find a rhythm," says Rach.
Store tomatoes at room temperature, not in the refrigerator. To core a tomato, slide the tip of a paring knife 1/4 inch into the top, then carve out the core.
One turn of the pan of EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil) is approximately one tablespoon. Rach says, "I go with EVOO for most everything. But vegetable oil is great when food has to be screaming hot, like stir-fry."
To prevent steam from hitting your face while draining pasta, tilt the pot away from you when you pour off the boiling water.
Wine (and beer) can make a great meal more special. Need a cheat sheet? We'll help you figure out what you like in our Non-Snobby Wine Guide.
Mix and Match
Rach says, "I love adding bitter chocolate or coffee to chili, and cooking rice, grains or pasta in wine, then mixing in fresh grapes. Any mix of savory and sweet -- like a savory waffle with spicy syrup -- is good, too. Bottom line: Opposites attract!"
Set the Table
Even at the last minute, you can set a festive table with stuff you probably having lying around the house or the backyard.
Behind the Scenes
Get closer! Take a private tour of Rachael's show kitchen and magazine test kitchen in our exclusive Behind the Scenes tours.