Secrets to Super Simple Meals 


What is that and why is it in your pantry?

1 Mins read

It’s time for another game of ‘What is that and why is it in your pantry/fridge/ freezer?’ No those aren’t bugs or turds. This item is great to have in your pantry. What is it?

Vanilla sugar!

I pulsed some regular white sugar in the Magic Bullet for a few seconds to get finer grains, then stored it with a broken vanilla bean pod. After a week or two, the whole thing is incredibly fragrant and you can use it any way you’d use plain sugar. I’ve read  that one tablespoon of vanilla sugar has the flavoring power of 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

It’s great for cakes, cookies and frosting. I most often use it sprinkled on berries or in a cup of black tea. Actually, the most common thing I do is open up the container and smell it because it’s basically heaven.

Make your own by scraping vanilla beans into two cups of sugar (granulated white or caster sugar). Bury the pod in the sugar and keep in a covered container for at least a week for vanilla flavor to infuse itself. It can be stored pretty much indefinitely I think, and you can keep adding sugar as long as the vanilla pods have their fragrance.

You may also like

Risotto Three Ways

6 Mins read
Risotto had been on our list of things to make for some time, and a few months ago the slow-motion shots of a Venetian chef flipping risotto on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations finally compelled us to buy arborio rice. Since then, we’ve had three very successful risotto endeavors. Our first…

Mango Sherbet with Candied Habanero Peppers

2 Mins read
Posted by Mike at Urgaming Mango is such a rich, almost creamy fruit that works incredibly with hot chili peppers. Mango salsa, mango chutney, Trader Joe’s Chili-Spiced Dried Mangoes… I’m a big fan of all of these so pairing mangoes and habaneros in ice cream didn’t seem too crazy.

Spicy Sloppy Joes

1 Mins read
Posts have been slow for the past few weeks, I know. Michael is hiking in the Adirondacks and I recently returned from a trip with my dad to Finland and Sweden. I got back last week and started working as a mentor at a journalism workshop for high schoolers. Helping…