Kitchen Favorites: Mortar and Pestle

 Testing mortars and pestles revealed not only the best ones for various tasks but also my favorite. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
As I’ve taught spice workshops and ground spices into custom mixes at home, I’ve used a range of tools: coffee grinders, nutmeg grinders and graters, salt mills and pepper grinders, hand-cranked spice mills. But it wasn’t until earlier this year, when I tested seven mortar and pestle sets for The Spruce Eats, that I became enamored of this traditional grinding tool.

As I spent weeks using various mortars and pestles, I not only learned how to choose and use the best ones for various tasks but also found my favorite: the IKEA Adelsten Mortar and Pestle. In my latest piece for The Spruce Eats, I tell the tale of my prior poor choices in mortars and pestles that never made them my go-to grinding tool and why I’ve made room for IKEA’s set in my small kitchen.
Learn about choosing and using a mortar and pestle set

Advertisement

Spiced and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

You can spice pumpkin seeds with so many seasonings and can even roast the seeds of other winter squash in the same way. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Roasted pumpkin seeds feature among my favorite homegrown, homemade snacks, not just because they’re delicious but also because they’re easy. You can spice them with so many seasonings and can even roast the seeds of other winter squash in the same way, as I explain this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon.

The hardest part of roasting pumpkin and other winter squash seeds is getting the stringy mess out of the squash—which you need to do anyway when you want to use the flesh. As you scrape out the seeds and soft center of the squash, pull off any large pieces of membrane, dump everything else in a bowl of warm water, and let it sit for a couple of minutes. I’ve found it easiest to clean the seeds by plunging my hands into the bowl, rubbing the seeds free of the warmed stringy bits, and then plopping the seeds into a large-holed colander to drain.
Learn to make Spiced and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Kitchen Favorites: Cereal Bowls

The humble cereal bowl can hold many meals in many settings. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
In the introduction of Consider the Fork, which examines the history of everyday kitchen tools, Bee Wilson starts by considering the wooden spoon, “a quiet ensemble player in so many meals that we take it for granted.” She could have just as easily opened her book with the humble “cereal” bowl, so named for one of its primary uses that immediately gives a sense of size, even though capacity still varies widely. Rather than being a dedicated vessel for one food, the cereal bowl can hold many meals in many settings, as I describe in my latest piece for The Spruce Eats.

Although I have numerous bowls in my kitchen, and even several types that fit the cereal-appropriate category, I found a perfect fit in Duoluv Unbreakable Bowls. The size, shape, texture, and price all fit my needs even before I realized I really did need them. They mainly consist of wheat straw fiber, so they’re more environmentally friendly than 100% plastic bowls.
Learn about choosing and using bowls

Shrimp and Green Vegetable Risotto

Risotto often appears daunting but is actually just a 30-minute, one-pot meal. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Cool weather always puts me in the mood for risotto. The dish can be as warming as soup but is also hearty and filling. It’s a fabulous way to use up the last vegetables pulled from the garden before frost hits, but risotto can be made year-round: in winter with frozen and dry-stored ingredients, in spring with the first vegetables and herbs of the season, and throughout summer with the freshest treats from the garden.

As I explain this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, risotto often appears daunting but is actually just a 30-minute, one-pot meal. Starting with the right rice and adjusting your cooking technique are key: Instead of covering a pot of short-grain rice and water with a lid, buy medium-grain Arborio rice and cook it in an open pot. Add a little hot liquid at a time, stirring often and letting the rice absorb it before pouring in more. I also create the best risotto when I use homemade stock.
Learn to make Shrimp and Green Vegetable Risotto