Roasting Peppers

 I use not one but four techniques to roast peppers of all colors, sizes, and heat levels. Learn more at
In one of my recent pieces for Taste of Home, I had a chance to share techniques for one of my favorite vegetable upgrades: roasting. I mainly roast homegrown peppers, so it’s an easy seasonal choice to char them on the grill. But if you’re buying peppers out of season or keeping an eye on a simmering pot in the kitchen, indoor techniques may make more sense. So I share not one but four ways to roast peppers of all colors, sizes, and heat levels.

Once glance at the price on a jar of roasted peppers in the store makes clear a key advantage to roasting your own. Other reasons include the ability to get them just the right softness to use in chunks in fresh dishes—jarred roasted peppers tend to be soft and slippery. I don’t just roast the standard red bell peppers, either: green bells, Gypsy peppers, Poblanos, and chilies all carry a smoky note when their charred.
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Best Gifts for Foodies

Foodie gift ideas range from kitchen tools to spice blends, infused oils, and edible subscriptions and gift packs. Learn more at
When I was asked to come up with some categories of gifts for foodies—and ideas to fill them—I didn’t hesitate in saying yes. My work for The Spruce Eats has given me many chances to suggest kitchen-focused gift ideas based on the tools I use every day in my own kitchen. This product roundup let me explore further ideas for specific types of foodies, from cocktail geeks to gardeners.

The piece has just gone live, in time for your last-minute holiday shopping or to keep in mind for upcoming birthdays and graduations. The ideas go beyond tools for the kitchen to include spice blends, infused syrups and oils, lunch kits, and food and beverage subscriptions and gift packs.
Learn choosing gifts for foodies

Kitchen Favorites: Grill Mats

People are drawn not just to what I’m grilling on a copper mat but to the thin, flexible mat itself. Learn more at
Over the last couple of summers, I’ve been questioned often about one of my favorite cooking tools—one that I use not in my kitchen but on the grill. When I pull out a Yoshi copper grill mat, people are drawn not just to what I’m preparing on it but to the thin, flexible mat itself. So I was excited to share how I use grill mats in my latest piece for The Spruce Eats.

As I explain in my post, which joins my recent story about my favorite immersion blender in the website’s new “This Is Fire” series, my grill mats come in handy on a range of grills. At home, we use them on an old charcoal Weber kettle grill, which we restore to functionality every time a handle or wheel comes off. We also use Yoshi copper mats on public grills so that Grilled Fish Skewers don’t pick up the flavor of the prior griller’s burgers. We even use them aboard the Blue Mule on a small portable gas grill, setting it up in the sailboat’s cockpit to cook locally caught fish and—in a pinch—scrambled eggs.
Learn about choosing and using grill mats

Onion Lover’s Dip

Caramelizing onions on the grill makes a great primer for grilling vegetables and a flavor-packed dip. Learn more at
I’m not sure there’s a vegetable that changes as much in texture and flavor when you apply heat as an onion. Caramelized onions taste completely different from raw ones, whether you cook them low and slow on the stovetop or let them pick up char and a slightly smoky flavor on the grill.

As with the three forms of ginger I use in Triple Gingersnaps, combining caramelized onions with other fresh and cooked alliums builds layers of flavor. I share one of my favorite combinations—grilled onions and garlic with fresh onion greens, whether the tops of bulb onions, chives, scallions, or walking onions—this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon. While you can oven-roast or sauté the onions and garlic for a similar effect, I fire up the grill while it’s still so hot into the evening. The recipe in my column outlines my grilling process, making this dip a great primer for grilling vegetables.
Learn to grill onions and make Onion Lover’s Dip