Cooks Dish on the Essential Ingredient Too Many People Forget

Everybody has their own unique style, and that goes double when it comes to people who create. Whether you’re a writer, an actor, an artist, or sure, a chef, you surely have that color or phrasing or ingredient that makes your end product pop.

But what if there was a simple ingredient you could keep in your kitchen at home that would wow your guests, make your dishes extra good, and maybe even encourage your kids to eat what you fix?

I don’t know about you, but I’d want to know – and these 16 cooks are dishing up their secrets.

16. You gotta listen up when someone deploys a secret weapon.

Grated Locatelli pecorino romano cheese. It replaces salt in every Italian recipes I have. It’s my secret weapon. I use it in pasta sauce, in meatballs, in the breadcrumb when I fry chicken cutlets, in the stuffing for my stuffed mushrooms, on top of pizza. My mom used to sprinkle it on salad. I use it on artichokes. In green beans.

My wife hates it. She says it smells like vomit (which it does). But I use it on everything and she gobbles it down like it’s manna from heaven.

It imparts a salty, nutty taste to everything it’s in. It gives simple chicken cutlets an irresistible depth of flavor. A back-of-the-tongue, almost umami flavor.

It is made from 100% sheep’s milk and is really expensive when compared to that dried out, sandy-feeling Kraft Parmesan cheese most people use.

15. This makes a huge difference but also it’s expensive.

Subtle, but I usually use vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract in most of my baking.

14. It seems so simple, but people do really struggle with the right amount of salt.

Fucking Kosher Salt.

Table salt, iodized salt, the Himalayan pink salt, sea salt; they all have their places as either “get your kid their iodine’ or as nice finishing salts with their own flavor, but all those recipes you cook with?

All of them are tested with Kosher Salt, usually Diamond Kosher. The flakes are the perfect size for getting a consistent level of salt in a dish.

Use it.

13. I never would have imagined.

Unsweetened chocolate in chili.

Also, I think dried chili peppers are something a lot of people are afraid of (if they didn’t grow up in a house that used them) that adds immense depth to the flavor of a dish.

12. Someone is throwing down some serious knowledge.

Seeing a lot of salt, butter, and vinegar/citrus in this thread. Those are all definitely essential, but here are some other useful ingredients:

Onion soup mix is a “chef’s secret” that’s so well-known it’s hardly a secret. But it’s fucking great. It’s super savory and super sweet.

On the subject of sweet, adding good old sugar to “non-sweet” things is why a lot of restaurant food tastes so addictively good.

A personal favorite spice of mine is smoked paprika. Smoked paprika is god. Buy it in the Mexican aisle for extra savings.

MSG also kicks ass. You don’t have to be a lunatic and order actual MSG powder online, just use MSG-heavy ingredients like tomato paste, soy sauce, or sazonador total (sazon).

11. Okay freezing it is a life-changing idea.

Fresh ginger.

I grab a decent sized piece from the grocery store , cut it into 1-2 inch pieces, throw it in the blender with about 1/4 cup of water and blend…no need to peel.

Then freeze it flat in a plastic bag and break off a piece whenever I make a sauce or marinade.

10. If you’re going for flavor, don’t count the calories.

Full fat anything – you’ll end up using less to achieve body and a fuller flavor in your dishes.

Cream, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, quality butter, quality mayo, etc.

Quality of dairy and fats is important.

9. But not the kind that gives you a rash?

Sumac. It enhances so many dishes.

Lemony. Peppery. Sumac

8. Say it with me: stock instead of water.

Maggi liquid seasoning is amazing in soup!

Also, people under use stock – anything that absorbs water as it’s boiled (rice/quinoa/bulgur) can be cooked in stock to make it not taste bland.

7. Could it really be that simple?

Do you want that yummy Chinese flavor?

Fermented black bean paste.

6. Ice cream and chocolate cake, really?

Fresh lime juice goes with EVERYTHING.

Bacon, cheese, tomato based dishes, cumin, chicken, pasta, ice-cream, chocolate cake. Everything everything.

5. Bonus, they keep forever in your fridge.

Worcestershire and oyster sauce are pretty irreplaceable flavours that I don’t think many people use all that much.

4. I’ve had those in my spice cabinet for literal years.

Bay Leaf

How did I get through this whole thread and not see the magical Bay Leaf?

3. Never forget the acid.


It adds a missing flavor to lots of dishes.

2. I never would have imagined.

Nutmeg – freshly grated.

On all cauliflower dishes, potatoes (mashed Mmmh), Sauce Béchamel, sometimes zucchini, celeriac.

1. That all sounds pretty simple.

Butter and olive oil mix, more garlic than the recipe calls for and Chinese 5 spice.

Wow, I never would have guessed some of these in a million years?

Are you an accomplished home or professional chef? What would you add to the list? Let us know if you think anything important has been left out!

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This is How Palm Oil Damages the Environment and Why You Should Care

It can be tiring to learn about everything we do and use on a daily basis that harms the environment. It’s a lot – sometimes it can seem like there’s nothing we can keep if we want to be responsible global citizens.

There are plenty of alternatives, though, and some problems are too big to ignore, and there are a few arguments that palm oil is one of them.

There are all kinds of vegetable oils available at the store – olive (which I guess is actually a fruit), vegetable oil, canola oil, palm oil – as well as oils from seeds.

Palm oil isn’t as popular as a cooking oil as the others, but with its high saturated fat content, and it’s complete lack of trans fats, make it popular with food manufacturers, according to a Guardian report.

“In the 1960s, scientists began to warn that butter’s high saturated fat content may increase the risk of heart disease. Food manufacturers, including the British-Dutch conglomerate Unilever, began to replace it with margarine, made with vegetable oils low in saturated fat.”

Oil palm trees are prevalent in Southeast Asia, where they were transplanted from their native West Africa in the mid-19th century.

Now, the region exports over 75% of the world’s palm oil, which is used in thousands of packaged foods and by big-name brands like Luna, Pepperidge Farm, Little Debbie, McDonald’s, and Quaker. Two-thirds of all palm oil goes into food.

Manufacturers like it because it gives foods like chocolate, cookies, and ice cream a smooth, creamy texture – there’s a good chance it’s also lurking in your sliced bread.

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Artificial beauty 🌴✨ . Palm forests held the most symmetric layout I’ve ever seen in nature, except, it wasn’t natural. These vast acres were created by cutting down the forest to create palm oil farms. There’s nothing natural about what we saw, rather, just another example of exploiting the environment and developing countries. Best way to help stop these farms from continual expansion? Be a conscious consumer and reduce your palm oil use. . Survive and Thrive my Friends 🤘🏻 . . . #keepitwild #seekthetrails #wanderlust #adventureculture #passionpassport #artofvisuals #lensbible #uniladadventure #wildernessnation #roadtrip #earthofficial #moodygrams #beautifuldestinations #earthfocus #costarica #instagood10k #palmoilfree #roadtriplife #agameof10k #natgeoyourshot #thisweekoninstagram #earthoutdoors #earthoutdoors10k #yourshotphotographer #ontheroadagain #whplookup #main_vision #palmoil #depthobsessed @sonyalpha @stayandwander @artofvisuals

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You’ll also find it in soaps and lipsticks, says The Guardian.

“Unlike other oils, it can be easily  and inexpensively ‘fractionated’ – separated into oils of different consistencies – which disposes it to multiple uses.”

The fact that it holds color, it doesn’t melt at high temperatures, and is completely tasteless doesn’t hurt, either.

It’s easy to see why businesses and consumers love palm oil, but according to the World Wildlife Fund, there are far more reasons to cut way back on its production and use.

“Palm oil grows in tropical rainforests, and the uncontrolled clearing of these forests for conventional palm oil plantations has led to widespread loss of these irreplaceable and biodiverse-rich forests.”

Between the years of 1990 and 2008, palm oil production was responsible for 8% of the world’s deforestation.

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HOW YOU CAN AID WILDLIFE CONSERVATION FROM YOUR HOME: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ♥ Be conscious of what you buy! This applies to food, fashion, beauty, physical products and more. Are they contributing to deforestation, death, pollution etc? (Make sure you think about Indigenous communities and local people too) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🦧 Avoid unsustainable Palm Oil (I have an entire blog post on this – link in my bio)! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🌼 Plant native flowers, trees and shrubbery in your backyard to help wildlife and bees thrive! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 💧On hot days, put out a shallow water dish (in a safe place) for thirsty wildlife to access. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🦆 Be cautious of what you feed birdlife — human foods can harm their stomachs and encourage bad behavior. Avoid it all together if not necessary, and DO NOT feed other animals either! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 💵 Donate to genuine organizations and programs that are working to save lives, protect endangered species and aid in intersectional conservation (if you have the ability to). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ♻ Pick up trash! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⌨ Email companies and encourage them to reconsider any harmful practices. Sign petitions, contact government officials and get loud for our furry, feathered, scaly friends who don’t share our voice. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📞 Keep a contact list of local wildlife rescuers/carers so that you can quickly contact them if you see an animal in need. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🧠 Educate yourself on any issues surrounding your local wildlife and how you might be able to help. Knowledge is power! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There are so many more, but this is already super long. Maybe a blog post is in order… 🐝🐸🦊🦘🐙🐛🐨

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Palm oil plantations also steal habitat from many endangered species, like Sumatran tigers, Sumatran rhinos, and orangutans. The tigers, in particular, have dwindled to just 400 animals in the wild.

In 2003, the World Wildlife fund established a group called the “Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil” with the goal of encouraging the industry to work together to find ways to stop the production from damaging important ecosystems. The European Union joined the fight in 2013, changing their labeling laws so that concerned consumers can easily choose products that don’t contain palm oil.

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How to identify palm oil in the products you buy? . Palm oil can be found in nearly 50% of the packaged goods we eat from cookies, peanut butter, breakfast cereal to cleaning products, laundry detergent, lipstick, and body lotion. . However, you won't always find the words "palm oil" in the ingredients. Palm oil or its derivatives can be hidden under many different terms. . To make things even more confusing, ingredients like “vegetable oil,” are likely to contain palm oil, although it's not always the case. . Why is it important to avoid palm oil? . Palm oil is NOT bad in itself, but because it is used in so many products, the demand is huge and it drives deforestation because huge areas of tropical forests and other ecosystems are being stripped to plant palms. . Avoid products with palm oil. There are plenty of other options, or look for sustainably grown palm oil through labels like RSPO. . For more ideas on how to be more eco-friendly, visit our profile and find hundreds of easy eco tips🌿🌿 . . . #easyecotips #recycled #tips #ecofriendly #ecotips #greentips #ecology #savetheplanet #zerowaste #zerowasteliving #zerowastelifestyle #zerowastelife #greenliving #sustainableliving #climatechange #globalwarming #reuse #reducereuserecycle #zerowastetips #savetheplanet #savethebees #savetheearth #ecofriendlyproducts #ecofriendlyliving #environment #environmentallyfriendly #food #palmoilfree #palmoil #foodporn #deforestation

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If you’re moved to do the same, there are consumer sites like Products Without Palm Oil that can help you make good choices on the products you buy, from food and coffee to personal are items. There are plenty of companies who make delicious products without using palm oil, thank goodness, and I was personally most relieved to see Ben & Jerry’s on that list.

A world without Half Baked is not a world I want to see, although I suppose I could have done it for the tigers.

Carole Baskin would be so proud.

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Pancake Cereal is The Latest Viral TikTok Recipe You Might Want to Make

You know about pancakes, one of the most utterly delicious breakfast and brunch foods around. And you’ve heard of cereal, which is similarly tasty and doesn’t require any prep work.

Prepare to have your mind blown. Combine pancakes and cereal to make something totally new and different: Pancake cereal.

TikTokers have been making lots of pancake cereal lately. And it sure seems easy to make.

All you need is some pancake batter, a hot pan and a plastic bag. You’ll fill the plastic bag with the batter, then snip a tiny hole in one corner (so you can use it like a baker’s piping bag).

Simply pipe little blobs of pancake on your pan, cook and voila. You’re all set!

Just pout these miniature pancakes into a bowl, top with butter and syrup and eat with a spoon.

Here’s how it works.



♬ original sound – koochey

And here’s an inferior version of the process, but we just like the look on this girl’s face at the end. Ha!


Making pancake “cereal” 🤤

♬ Classical Music – Classical Music

Of course, there are all sorts of recipe variations, but we’re only going to show you three today because you could go down this rabbit hole for a MINUTE if you’re not careful.

Here’s one for pink funfetti, which is SUPER cute, btw.


How to make pink funfetti pancake cereal.. what do you think? 🥞💖 #pancakecereal #alwayslearning #learnfromme #minitutorials

♬ original sound – teresalauracaruso

Here’s one for rainbow pancakes. Because who doesn’t need more color in their life?


Pancake cereal trend but make it extra #keepingactive #spacethings #pancakecereal #trend #food #breakfast #rainbow #soextra #neverfitin #boojie #fyp

♬ original sound – sulheejessica

And here’s a tye-dye version. For all you hippies out there!


#cerealpancakes #tiedye #foodfam #learnfromme Cred: @sfeher 😍

♬ Yummy – Justin Bieber

Some TikTokers are skipping the plastic bag and using a squeeze bottle instead, which makes it easier to control your batter. But if you don’t happen to have an empty squeeze bottle laying around, a plastic baggie will work just fine.

Would you ever try making pancake cereal at home? What do you think of this idea?

Let us know in the comments!

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Italian law forbids school…

Italian law forbids school cafeterias from serving deep-fried foods such as potato chips, french fries, and even fried chicken. Italian school lunches have to include a starchy dish (alternating rice, pasta and soup), a main course (based on meat, fish, eggs or cheese), two or more vegetable side dishes and plenty of fresh fruit. Nutritional […]

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How Are We Coping with 2020? With Food, Obviously.

Oh, boy…

So, 2020 has been completely insane and none of us have known what to do with ourselves. That’s a well-established fact. That will be the subheading to the chapter about this year in history books, or history…holograms, or whatever the hell we have in the future. One of my all-time favorite expressions of what this has been like came from @KevinFarzard on Twitter who said:

Kevin’s theory was bolstered by a whole lot of replies to a thread started later by Franklin Leonard, in which he asked what purchases had been making a difference in people’s lives recently.

There were lots of answers; home improvement stuff, comforts, entertainment, pet adoption, and, oh yeah, food. What do you do when you’re stuck at home bored and anxious? You eat. And you find new, interesting methods of eating that maybe you haven’t tried before. That’s just the American way.

10. Fry me to the moon

Two words so beautiful have rarely been paired.

9. Let’s get this bread

Unsliced bread is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

8. Mixin’ it up

Weird hill to die on, but OK.

7. We all scream

Anything can be alcohol if you try hard enough.

6. Stock up

“Rice is great if you’re really hungry and want to eat two thousand of something.” – Mitch Hedberg

5. Eggcellent idea

Live that farm to table life.

4. Good old fashioned booze

I’m deservin’ a bourbon.

3. Lettuce feast

I’m a little disappointed to learn that an “AeroGarden” isn’t like, flowers in the sky.

2. Sugar and spice and everything nice

I’ll put this on my list of things to try to salvage my mental health.

1. Grill baby grill

OK but the real question is, which one of those stove burners is your favorite?

Personally I’ve been trying out a lot of this great culinary tradition called “ordering delivery.” What it lacks in nutritional value, it makes up for in being overpriced.
I…may need to rethink this strategy.

Have you been trying out any new cooking adventures?

Tell us about them in the comments.

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Funny Reasons Why Kids Didn’t Want Their Food

Children. You can’t live with them and you CERTAINLY can’t live without them. It’s the law!

Well, until they’re like 18 or something. And even then they might stick around.

So… can we be honest. Kids are more spoiled today than they’ve ever been, and these Instagram posts prove it. Because there’s NO way my kid (who doesn’t exist) would ever be able to act like this.

But hey, let’s judge these parents! That’s fun!

1. Like, seriously, just untwist them.

It’s not even that hard.

2. OK, we can see how this would be confusing.

Totally makes sense.

3. Eggs must be uniform.

From now on. Get to work chickens!

4. She’s got a point.

I mean, just look at that devious smirk.—v0Ed/

5. Million-dollar idea right here.

Spicy grapes!

6. Look, Ma, it just tastes better this way OK?

I’m not surprised you don’t understand.

7. You’re an animal!

Who puts lotion on carrots?!

8. We can see the resemblance.

It’s uncanny now that you mention it.

9. This makes perfect sense.

I wouldn’t want to eat kitty cats, either, Mom.

10. Get this kid some LSAT prep books, baby!

We’ve got some serious logic going on here.

11. Hmm. Who’s gonna tell her?

Not me!

12. This kid might be onto something.

Christmas, upgraded!

13. Circles = far superior to squares.

Everyone knows that, Dad.

Okay, I actually feel a little bit bad about judging those parents. Because how you can deal with these small little people who are so unreasonably dumb?

People say kids are just highly creative? No, they’re not. They’re ignorant and quite stupid.

Get a job, kids! And buy your own food!

What do you think? Should kids have to get jobs when they’re 5 and buy their own food? Let us know in the comments!

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Woman’s Life-Changing Cereal Box Storage Trick Is Very Handy

Sometimes, you discover something that makes you say, ‘Huh, why didn’t I know about that sooner?’”

Prepare to have your mind blow, because that’s exactly what’s about to happen with this life-changing cereal storage trick.

Becky Holden McGhee discovered after 40 years that she’s been closing her cereal boxes all wrong (and apparently all of us have?).

Luckily, she shared her new-found knowledge with the internet with some helpful photos and a video. Just check it out yourself:

Had to share this!!!It's only taken me 40 years, but I now know the correct way to close a cereal box.Genius. It takes…

Posted by Becky Holden McGhee on Sunday, 10 May 2020

Here’s exactly how to pull this off at home:

Posted by Becky Holden McGhee on Sunday, 10 May 2020

Um, OK, that’s freaking genius. She’s totally right — it’s super annoying when the cereal boxes just won’t close. Then you inevitably end up with stale cereal down the road.

This trick seems to solve both problems at once!

If you think cereal boxes are bad, don’t even get us started on fitted sheets. Luckily, someone’s figured out how to fold these neatly, too:

And how to properly fold a shirt in just a few seconds:

Or how to fold jeans to save space:

Dang, some people are seriously so creative. How do their brains come up with this stuff? Is it just inherent? A lot of trail and error?

Either way, we’re just glad they share their little tips and tricks with the rest of the world. Thanks, internet!

What’s your biggest storage pet peeve? A cluttered pantry? A mishmash linen closet? A mess under the bed?

Let us know in the comments!

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