Entertaining is a breeze when you learn the basics. Check out our handy Wine Guide for serving suggestions, toasts & more, then consult our Stress-free Dinner Party page for time-saving tips. And finally, Add Some Spice to your Life with flavorful cooking ideas.
Always keep fresh lemons in the fridge. A squeeze or two adds great flavor to grilled or broiled fish, and homemade salad dressings. If you’re entertaining, thinly slice them and float in a pitcher of water for your guests to enjoy.
Replace vegetable oil with healthier, more flavorful olive oil. Olive oil is full of healthy monounsaturated fats that can help reduce/lower your risk of heart disease. There are different types of olive oils, but Extra Virgin is the best. Use it in salad dressings and sauces, to flavor vegetable dishes, or as a dipping sauce for crusty breads.
Canned chicken broth adds delicious low-fat flavor to foods. Use it instead of water when cooking vegetables, as a homey addition to your mashed potatoes, or to cook up a pot of warm polenta.
Skip the white vinegar, and instead opt for balsamic or flavored vinegars. A few drops of raspberry- or tarragon-flavored vinegar turn an everyday salad into an extraordinary salad!
Sundried tomatoes are great to keep on hand. Add a handful to your favorite pasta dish, or slice them and add them to salads for a burst of flavor.
Fresh herbs really do make foods taste better! Herbs like basil, tarragon, chives, rosemary, and marjoram pack a flavor punch. Chop and sprinkle over salads, pizza, pasta dishes, or omelets.
Don't forget the garlic! Garlic is most often associated with Italian cooking, but try adding it to your liquid when steaming vegetables, to your homemade salad dressings, to flavor soups and stew. Always look for heads that are firm with plenty of dry, papery covering.
Canned tomatoes are great in a pinch. Sauté some garlic in olive oil, add some canned, crushed tomatoes and a few pinches of salt, pepper and some fresh or dried Italian herbs, and you have a delicious pasta sauce.
The great, grated cheese. Parmigiano-Reggiano is the cream of the crop when it comes to Italian cheeses. It packs a powerful punch, and adds incomparable flavor to pizza, pasta and salads.