How to Maximize Flavor and Create Delicious Meals, Every Time

How to maximize flavor and create delicious meals every time you cook by @cooksmarts

We’ve all experienced this not-so-great cooking situation: you spend a ton of time following a recipe, creating a meal, and the end result is bland and boring. Over the years, we’ve picked up quite a few tricks to make sure we never end up in this situation. Even if a recipe has left a lot to be desired in the taste department, there are so many simple things you can do to turn a meal from … [Read more...]

Sauteed Peas and Beans

Weeknight Meals via @CookSmarts: Sauteed Peas and Beans #recipe

One of the best things about living in California is the abundant produce found year-round. We’re all for eating seasonally, but sometimes it’s a little hard not to take advantage of what’s in the supermarket. Especially when we’re nearing the end of warm-weather season and we would do anything to hold on to the last bits of summer! So when we came across some sugar snap peas, we knew we had to … [Read more...]

Greek Salad with Herbs

Greek Salad with Herbs

I'm one of those lucky women who's married to someone who cares more about healthy living than I do. He's the vegetarian; I love a bloody rare steak. He enjoys hummus and carrots for dessert; I gorge in a pint of Ben and Jerry's next to him. We can be quite the odd couple. Luckily, we both can agree on the importance of a salad. My husband likes to start dinners with a salad because the fiber … [Read more...]

Lime Cilantro Rice a La Chipotle

Lime Cilantro Rice Recipe

Yesterday you learned that I had a bit of a Chipotle addiction. Being Chinese, I am also addicted to rice, so I clearly was going to love Chipotle's lime cilantro rice. I literally craved it like a drug addict needing a fix. Luckily it's not so hard to make at home and is a great way to repurpose day-old rice and requires just a few ingredients: some oil, lime juice, cilantro, and salt. And if … [Read more...]

Chipotle Burgers with Guacamole

Chipotle Burgers with Guacamole

Yesterday we talked how to grill burgers, and today I'm sharing my favorite burger recipe of this summer: chipotle burgers with guacamole. This magical recipe was actually inspired by a rather mundane task; I was going through my typical Sunday routine, rooting through the fridge to see what needed to be used before spoiling, and I found an open can of chipotles. I already was planning on making … [Read more...]

How to make a hand-chopped pesto

hand chopped pesto

I know that a lot of you will be firing up the grill later this week to celebrate the 4th of July. Whether you're grilling burgers, chicken, or vegetables, if you really want to up the flavor ante, you'll have to go beyond marination. Clearly a tasty marinade provides a good start, but you also need a strong finish. Today's "How-To Tuesday" shows you how to make a hand-chopped pesto that will … [Read more...]

Guacamole with Sriracha

Guacamole with Sriracha

There are recipes we make because we have to feed our bodies, and there are recipes we make because we want to feed our memories. While guacamole with Sriracha seems basic and simple, every time I make it, I think of my husband's late Uncle David, his wife Lucy, and the few days we gathered in their Los Angeles kitchen in August of 2005 to remember David. I sadly had only met David once in … [Read more...]

Mexican Meatballs with Fire-Roasted Tomato & Coconut Sauce

Mexican Meatballs Recipe by Cook Smarts

I’m super excited to share this recently-created Mexican Meatballs recipe and use it as an example of how easy it can be to create your own recipes. Even if you’re not an experienced cook, you probably are an experienced eater and that’s the only qualification you need to develop recipes. Just start paying attention to what you like, why you like it, and how different flavors and ingredients … [Read more...]

Using Pasta Water in Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Slow-Roasted Tomatoes by Cook Smarts

Pasta is probably the first dish that everyone learns to cook. Turning an orange powdered packet into mac 'n cheese or combining boxed pasta with a jar of tomato sauce is how most lose their cooking v-card. While some graduate from the boxes and jars to making homemade sauce or pasta from scratch, many prefer to stick to the basics. Regardless of what pasta-cooking level you're at, one smart way … [Read more...]

Sauteed Red Pepper, Eggplant, Tofu Tacos to Pasta with an Herb Sauce

Sauteed Red Pepper, Eggplant, Tofu Tacos | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang

This is now officially "Herb Week" on the CS blog. On Wednesday, we showed you how to best store herbs for longest shelf life, and before that we showed you how to make a quick herb sauce that can flavor-dazzle (can I trademark that phrase?) dozens and dozens of dishes. Today we're going to show you two different ways to utilize that herb sauce in your dinner menu. I realize so many of us are … [Read more...]