This DIY Herb Wall Is the Most Stylish Way to Add Green to Your Kitchen — Kitchen Hang-Ups

We’re always looking for ways to bring a little life into the kitchen, which is why we’re giving this totally charming kitchen herb wall — from Tabitha Blue over at Fresh Mommy Blogtwo very green thumbs up.

Sure, we’ve all had a few potted herbs lining our sills, but Tabitha’s hanging display takes it to a whole new level.

The best part? It’s completely customizable! Tabitha’s herb wall boasts four shelves (with room for three pots in each) and runs floor-to-ceiling in her kitchen, but you can easily adapt the DIY to a smaller footprint or alternate location.

You will need a power tool (a drill!) but that’s really the most intimidating part of the whole project. You’ll also need threaded rods (available at any hardware store), slim wood planks (Tabitha used five-and-a-half-inch-wide boards from an old pallet she had already), and a few bolts. Once all the pieces are ready, you simply thread the boards onto the rod and bolt them in place (make sure they’re level first!).

Plant the herbs in cute ceramic pots or terra-cotta versions (which is what Tabitha used, after painting them white and gold). Whatever pot you choose, just make sure it has a wide lip around the top, as that will help it stay in place on the plank.

We love the idea of dedicating a shelf for each type of herb or taking it one step further and categorizing them by taste profile (i.e., Italian herbs like parsley and basil on one shelf, and Mexican-style herbs on another).

Hung in a sunny spot and regularly watered, this is bound the become the garden of your culinary dreams.

Thanks for reading Kitchen Hang-Ups! It’s a new column on the site, meant to give you all sorts of ideas for things to hang from your walls — or even the ceiling.

Find the full how-to: Custom Potted Hanging Herb Garden DIY at Fresh Mommy Blog

via The Kitchn | Inspiring cooks, nouri… http://ift.tt/2mwv6Tg

This DIY Herb Wall Is the Most Stylish Way to Add Green to Your Kitchen — Kitchen Hang-Ups

We’re always looking for ways to bring a little life into the kitchen, which is why we’re giving this totally charming kitchen herb wall — from Tabitha Blue over at Fresh Mommy Blogtwo very green thumbs up.

Sure, we’ve all had a few potted herbs lining our sills, but Tabitha’s hanging display takes it to a whole new level.

The best part? It’s completely customizable! Tabitha’s herb wall boasts four shelves (with room for three pots in each) and runs floor-to-ceiling in her kitchen, but you can easily adapt the DIY to a smaller footprint or alternate location.

You will need a power tool (a drill!) but that’s really the most intimidating part of the whole project. You’ll also need threaded rods (available at any hardware store), slim wood planks (Tabitha used five-and-a-half-inch-wide boards from an old pallet she had already), and a few bolts. Once all the pieces are ready, you simply thread the boards onto the rod and bolt them in place (make sure they’re level first!).

Plant the herbs in cute ceramic pots or terra-cotta versions (which is what Tabitha used, after painting them white and gold). Whatever pot you choose, just make sure it has a wide lip around the top, as that will help it stay in place on the plank.

We love the idea of dedicating a shelf for each type of herb or taking it one step further and categorizing them by taste profile (i.e., Italian herbs like parsley and basil on one shelf, and Mexican-style herbs on another).

Hung in a sunny spot and regularly watered, this is bound the become the garden of your culinary dreams.

Thanks for reading Kitchen Hang-Ups! It’s a new column on the site, meant to give you all sorts of ideas for things to hang from your walls — or even the ceiling.

Find the full how-to: Custom Potted Hanging Herb Garden DIY at Fresh Mommy Blog

via The Kitchn | Inspiring cooks, nouri… http://ift.tt/2mwv6Tg

Learn a new language from native speakers with Verbling for Android

Learn a new language from native speakers with Verbling for Android

Verbling connects language learners with native speakers

Many studies have shown that learning a second language can boost cognitive function, even in old age! And with technology being easily accessible to most of us, learning a language has never been easier.

Applications like Duolingo strive to become your personal smartphone-based tutor by providing students with interactive lessons and tests. However, these sort of apps are missing an important ingredient – interaction with real, live native speakers.

It’s important to be able to practice by verbally applying what you have learned or you risk forgetting it all. Well a new app for Android called Verbling aims to take care of this problem.

For 5 years, we’ve been hard at work, changing the way digital language learning has traditionally been done. The last few years of app technology has transformed language learning and made it more accessible than ever, but its foundational model is broken. Almost nobody actually learns a foreign language without a strong emphasis on human speaking practice.

Jake Jolis, CEO of Verbling

Verbling was previously available as a web based application, but now owners of Android (and iOS) smartphones will be able to install the app on their phones and get lessons on the go. What makes Verbling special is that it connects the learner with a qualified language (native) teacher. The Android app can deliver live lessons in up to 38 languages including Spanish, French or Japanese.

Getting started with Verbling is quite easy: all you need to do is decide which language you want to start learning and then start browsing available teacher profiles and introductory videos so you can select the best teacher for you. Students can purchase as many lessons with a particular teacher as they want. Schedules can be arranged based on the availability of the students.

While engaged in a lesson, students can see their teachers face to face, but unlike standard video calling apps like Skype, Verbling’s video conferences features a workspace section where teachers can easily share documents, flashcards and other educative material.

Learning a new language can turn into a tedious and frustrating affair, but luckily startups like Verbling are leveraging advances in mobile technology to make the process much more enjoyable. Are you ready to start learning a new language today?

via AndroidGuys http://ift.tt/2lknYYZ

Learn a new language from native speakers with Verbling for Android

Learn a new language from native speakers with Verbling for Android

Verbling connects language learners with native speakers

Many studies have shown that learning a second language can boost cognitive function, even in old age! And with technology being easily accessible to most of us, learning a language has never been easier.

Applications like Duolingo strive to become your personal smartphone-based tutor by providing students with interactive lessons and tests. However, these sort of apps are missing an important ingredient – interaction with real, live native speakers.

It’s important to be able to practice by verbally applying what you have learned or you risk forgetting it all. Well a new app for Android called Verbling aims to take care of this problem.

For 5 years, we’ve been hard at work, changing the way digital language learning has traditionally been done. The last few years of app technology has transformed language learning and made it more accessible than ever, but its foundational model is broken. Almost nobody actually learns a foreign language without a strong emphasis on human speaking practice.

Jake Jolis, CEO of Verbling

Verbling was previously available as a web based application, but now owners of Android (and iOS) smartphones will be able to install the app on their phones and get lessons on the go. What makes Verbling special is that it connects the learner with a qualified language (native) teacher. The Android app can deliver live lessons in up to 38 languages including Spanish, French or Japanese.

Getting started with Verbling is quite easy: all you need to do is decide which language you want to start learning and then start browsing available teacher profiles and introductory videos so you can select the best teacher for you. Students can purchase as many lessons with a particular teacher as they want. Schedules can be arranged based on the availability of the students.

While engaged in a lesson, students can see their teachers face to face, but unlike standard video calling apps like Skype, Verbling’s video conferences features a workspace section where teachers can easily share documents, flashcards and other educative material.

Learning a new language can turn into a tedious and frustrating affair, but luckily startups like Verbling are leveraging advances in mobile technology to make the process much more enjoyable. Are you ready to start learning a new language today?

via AndroidGuys http://ift.tt/2lknYYZ

Learn a new language from native speakers with Verbling for Android

Learn a new language from native speakers with Verbling for Android

Verbling connects language learners with native speakers

Many studies have shown that learning a second language can boost cognitive function, even in old age! And with technology being easily accessible to most of us, learning a language has never been easier.

Applications like Duolingo strive to become your personal smartphone-based tutor by providing students with interactive lessons and tests. However, these sort of apps are missing an important ingredient – interaction with real, live native speakers.

It’s important to be able to practice by verbally applying what you have learned or you risk forgetting it all. Well a new app for Android called Verbling aims to take care of this problem.

For 5 years, we’ve been hard at work, changing the way digital language learning has traditionally been done. The last few years of app technology has transformed language learning and made it more accessible than ever, but its foundational model is broken. Almost nobody actually learns a foreign language without a strong emphasis on human speaking practice.

Jake Jolis, CEO of Verbling

Verbling was previously available as a web based application, but now owners of Android (and iOS) smartphones will be able to install the app on their phones and get lessons on the go. What makes Verbling special is that it connects the learner with a qualified language (native) teacher. The Android app can deliver live lessons in up to 38 languages including Spanish, French or Japanese.

Getting started with Verbling is quite easy: all you need to do is decide which language you want to start learning and then start browsing available teacher profiles and introductory videos so you can select the best teacher for you. Students can purchase as many lessons with a particular teacher as they want. Schedules can be arranged based on the availability of the students.

While engaged in a lesson, students can see their teachers face to face, but unlike standard video calling apps like Skype, Verbling’s video conferences features a workspace section where teachers can easily share documents, flashcards and other educative material.

Learning a new language can turn into a tedious and frustrating affair, but luckily startups like Verbling are leveraging advances in mobile technology to make the process much more enjoyable. Are you ready to start learning a new language today?

via AndroidGuys http://ift.tt/2lknYYZ

Learn a new language from native speakers with Verbling for Android

Learn a new language from native speakers with Verbling for Android

Verbling connects language learners with native speakers

Many studies have shown that learning a second language can boost cognitive function, even in old age! And with technology being easily accessible to most of us, learning a language has never been easier.

Applications like Duolingo strive to become your personal smartphone-based tutor by providing students with interactive lessons and tests. However, these sort of apps are missing an important ingredient – interaction with real, live native speakers.

It’s important to be able to practice by verbally applying what you have learned or you risk forgetting it all. Well a new app for Android called Verbling aims to take care of this problem.

For 5 years, we’ve been hard at work, changing the way digital language learning has traditionally been done. The last few years of app technology has transformed language learning and made it more accessible than ever, but its foundational model is broken. Almost nobody actually learns a foreign language without a strong emphasis on human speaking practice.

Jake Jolis, CEO of Verbling

Verbling was previously available as a web based application, but now owners of Android (and iOS) smartphones will be able to install the app on their phones and get lessons on the go. What makes Verbling special is that it connects the learner with a qualified language (native) teacher. The Android app can deliver live lessons in up to 38 languages including Spanish, French or Japanese.

Getting started with Verbling is quite easy: all you need to do is decide which language you want to start learning and then start browsing available teacher profiles and introductory videos so you can select the best teacher for you. Students can purchase as many lessons with a particular teacher as they want. Schedules can be arranged based on the availability of the students.

While engaged in a lesson, students can see their teachers face to face, but unlike standard video calling apps like Skype, Verbling’s video conferences features a workspace section where teachers can easily share documents, flashcards and other educative material.

Learning a new language can turn into a tedious and frustrating affair, but luckily startups like Verbling are leveraging advances in mobile technology to make the process much more enjoyable. Are you ready to start learning a new language today?

via AndroidGuys http://ift.tt/2lknYYZ

SpeakTribe: A great way of learning the beautiful Spanish language (review)

Learning languages is, in my opinion, one of the most fulfilling things you can do. This is especially true when you are in a country where they speak a different language than yours. The feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction you get after slowly starting to get what it is written on the streets or finally being able of going to the grocery shop without pulling your phone to use Google Translate is extremely rewarding.

Being a native Spanish speaker, I’ve had the luck of learning English, German and Estonian, so I know how hard can it be to learn a new language (especially Estonian, which is very different from Spanish). Thanks to technology and our mobile-centric world, things are a bit easier now, and services such as Duolingo and Babbel have gained popularity, while companies like Rosetta Stone have had to adapt in order to also offer mobile solutions. Developer Edushire doesn’t want to get behind, and has released SpeakTribe, an app which will help you to get started on the beautiful world of the Spanish language.

Developer: Edushire

Price: Free

Setup

The app asks for some basic info and then dives right into the content.
The app asks for some basic info and then dives right into the content.

The app lets you select between five different levels to begin your journey. Even though it is my native tongue, I chose the beginner level in order to experience the app right from the start, and because there is a chance that most people who are adventuring into the language will choose this level as well.

After that, and some other background information questions, the exercises start right away. There’s no waiting, no choosing, no scrolling, nothing. You are immediately thrown into the exercises. I like this very direct approach: makes things uncomplicated and to the point.

Overview

Through the use of both written and spoken exercises, SpeakTribe aims at slowly introducing you to words and small sentence constructs.

When you speak in your native language, you tend to just take things for granted, but now that I’ve seen how a non-native speaker has to learn the language, I can say that SpeakTribe does a good job in explaining small nuances that Spanish has.

For example, if you want to say “I am Ecuadorian” in Spanish, you would need to say “Soy ecuatoriano.” However, if you would like to say “I am busy,” then it would be “Estoy ocupado” and not “Soy ocupado” as logic would dictate. Even Estonian would say “Ma olen equadorlane” and “Ma olen hõivatud.” God knows why we don’t. And let’s not get started with other aspects, such as age, in which we literally say “I have 25 years” (Tengo 25 años) instead of “I am 25 years old.” It’s a mess.

Interface could be a bit nicer but it gets the job done.
Interface could be a bit nicer but it gets the job done.

This kind of stuff is well explained throughout your exercises, although I’m pretty sure that it would take a bit of practice to get a grasp on it. Unfortunately, there’s no way of going through all of these tips after seeing them on your exercises, so if you can’t remember it, then tough luck. This is a really bad aspect of the app and one that should be addressed immediately.

Normally, exercises consist of sentences in Spanish accompanied with a highlighted phrase and choices in English. Your job is to choose the correct translation. Sometimes the app will give you hints, sometimes you’re on your own.

Each correct task will give you points, which will all add up in order to unlock the following labels. In between levels, you will have tasks that deal with having to infer stuff after reading a text. These texts normally have a vague investigation aspect to them. They normally use a lot of new words and are an interesting way of practicing the language in a different way than the regular exercises.

Voice

The app will speak to you in Spanish in whichever speed you like.
The app will speak to you in Spanish in whichever speed you like.

A big part of SpeakTribe, and a huge part of learning a new language, is speaking and listening. For this, SpeakTribe has added support through Google Text-to-speech engine. It is responsible for talking to you in a nice Spanish from Spain, not from Latin America. For the most part, it works fine.

I haven’t had instances in which the engine didn’t recognize what I said (although that might have something to do with my proficiency with Spanish, but I deliberately pronounced stuff in a weird way and it worked as well). Also, it does a good job in reading stuff on the screen for you, so you can hear how things should come out of your mouth.

In my opinion, the voice tends to pronounce the last syllabes in a weirdly long way. For example, some exercises talk about a friend of yours coming from India, and it emphasizes the “a” a lot. Like “Indiaaaa.” This is not a problem with the app but with Google’s engine, but it is unfortunate since people learning could think that this is the way of pronouncing stuff.

If you think the voice is talking too fast for you, then in each section where there is a possibility of hearing a phrase, there is also a slider which you can move left or right in order to adjust the speed of the voice. I’m sure that this will be an extremely convenient option for a lot of people.

Price

Prices range from $11 to $22.
Prices range from $11 to $22.

Normally price is not a category on its own, but it is something to pay close attention to in this case. SpeakTribe is free until a certain level (four, to be precise). After that, you will have to pay. There’s a total of 25 levels you can buy, divided into intermediate levels ($11.00) and advanced levels ($18.26). You can also buy them together at a discount ($22.86).

Now, that is expensive for your usual in-app purchase, but actually it is not that much if you consider how much private lessons cost, but then, it is like comparing manzanas to naranjas. If you compare it to Rosetta Stone, then it is also cheaper, but Rosetta Stone includes stuff such as sessions with other students, phone calls with native speakers and much more content. Then if you compare it with Duolingo, which has a lot more content, gamification and better interface, SpeakTribe doesn’t fare well. Babbel has a similar system, but SpeakTribe’s one-time fee vs Babbel’s recurring subscription gives SpeakTribe a little edge, at least price-wise.

Options

The most important option available is the enabling or disabling of daily words. This feature sends you a notification with a new word in Spanish every day. I think it is worth it to keep it on, since you will learn a new word every day without you lifting a finger.

You are also able to backup your data to the server through your Google account. That way, you can progress through the course on different devices.

Other options available are not as noteworthy, such as toggling sound and vibration and speech recognition strictness.

Conclusion

Overall, I think that you could end up catching some words and understanding some structures with this app. Mastering a language is hard, and you will probably need some kind of interaction with someone else.

The interface is a little on the bland side (especially after using Duolingo), but it gets the work done. The word of the day notification is very useful to create a habit of practicing every day. If you are serious into learning Spanish, then you could definitely start with SpeakTribe. If it works for you, then $22 is not that expensive to continue your lessons. Just don’t expect to understand everything Alejandro Sanz sings in his melodies.

Download and install SpeakTribe from the Google Play Store.

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How to program Google Home to talk to you

If I could talk to the gadgets in my life, just imagine it. "Okay, Google, what will today be like?"

Thankfully, I don’t have to imagine it — this is actually my life. When IFTTT announced integration with Google Assistant, I logged on and started setting up a few tricks of my own. My initial inclination was to have Google Home recite me my daily mantras, sort of as a way to remember them for each day of the week. But from there, I realized I could program Google Home to simply have an entire conversation with me using a few key phrases.

I’ve also programmed Google Home to broadcast our WiFi password to our house guests. The best part of the feature is that I don’t have to be the one to ask it. Google Home will immediately respond to anyone shouting out "Okay, Google," which makes it easy for me to focus on getting drinks for my guests while they furiously log on to save their cellular data.

If you’re curious about setting this feature up yourself, read on.

Start with IFTTT

IFTTT already has a wide range of available applets for Google Assistant, which works with the Pixel and Google Home. The nice thing about some of these formulas is that you can use them even if you’re out and about as long as you have a compatible phone on you.

To start, select the option to make a New Applet. Search for Google Assistant as the service (you can simply search for "Assistant" to bring it up) and select "Say a simple phrase." This is where you’ll program Google Assistant to reply to certain phrases.

Make it dynamic

Before we move on, I want you to take a second to visualize how you’d want artificial intelligence to reply to you. Do you like a smarmy tone or would you rather have a robot sound like a robot? You can program Google Home just as you like it by choosing the right diction.

Okay. Now think about what you’d want to say to Google Home to trigger the formula. Make the phrase easy to say and as few words as possible, for your own sake, though do take advantage of the option to add two other ways of triggering the formula. I’d also suggest avoiding using punctuation, sine that’s not the way Assistant will parse your question. Once you’ve figured out what to say, you can instruct Google Home on how to respond.

Then that

The only bummer with IFTTT is that you have to program a then that for the formula to work. This is great news if you’re a Tech Head and your house is filled to the brim with services that integrate into IFTTT, but it’s sort of useless when you’re simply trying to talk to Google Home.

So, here’s what I do. I set up Google Home to send me a notification every time I pull this trick out of the hat. To do so, simply search for "notifications" as the "then that" formula of the applet. Once it’s set up, the IFTTT applet will push a dismissible notification to your smartphone. You could also use this to your advantage: For instance, I programmed IFTTT so that when one of my guests asks for the WiFi password, I’m notified on my smartphone.

How do you talk to Google Home?

Tell us in the comments! What have you programmed Google Home to say?

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The Feynman Technique Helps You Study Faster and Retain More Information

You can read something and hope that it’ll all be beamed into your brain for future application. Or you can read it and write down what you just learned, as if you were teaching someone else, and actually retain it. This is called the Feynman Technique.

In other words, implement a more “active” way of learning, which obviously takes a lot more work than it sounds. Ideally, when you write down your learnings, you’d also repeat what you wrote aloud, like a teacher instructing a class. With this method, you discover all the areas that need improvement and can go back to focus on those weak points. Repeat this until you can explain the topic or idea in full and simple details. “Once you can explain an idea in simple language, you have deeply understood it, and will remember it for a long time,” the video explains.

We’re aware this isn’t earth-shatteringly novel or exactly news, but it’s simply a good reminder that you are truly knowledgeable about a subject when you can teach something to someone else and have them understand it.

The Feynman Technique | Sprouts

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Five Surprising Meals You Didn’t Know You Could Make in a Single Pan

Moving into an apartment with no dishwasher has taught me the importance of using as few dishes as possible. Anything I can make in a single cooking vessel highly prized, but there’s more to one-pan cooking than dumping everything in a casserole dish.

Luckily, Cook’s Country’s One-Pan Wonders (available for pre-order now, out on December 27th) is a stunning collection of whole meals that can be prepared in a single skillet, baking sheet, casserole dish, roasting pan, or Dutch oven. Beyond recipes, the book features a few words of wisdom on how to make one-pan meals that let the distinct flavors of the various ingredients shine through.

There’s a lot of good stuff in there, but two tips stuck out to me as truly helpful:

  • “Bloom” Your Flavors: Seasoning your food with herbs and spices is a no-brainer, but to truly bring those tasty additions to life, you need to do a little more than simply sprinkle them in. Cook’s Country recommends heating the spices in a little oil, butter, or rendered juices before incorporating them into your meal. (This can be done on the stove or in the microwave.
  • Cook in Stages: Just because you’re cooking everything in the same dish doesn’t mean everyone has to show up to the party at the same time. Fish and potatoes cook at very different rates, so add delicate, easily-overcooked ingredients later to avoid overcooked filets and undercooked spuds.

Once you have a handle on how to cook up a big ol’ pot of awesome, there is virtually no limit to the dishes you can create. Here are a few of my favorites to get you going.

Easy, Breezy Breakfast

Usually, I think of breakfast as a bunch of separate components, such as poached eggs, fried bacon, and toast, but there a multitude of morning meals that can be assembled in a single cooking vessel.

Shrimp and Grits

Among some of the winners from One-Pan Wonders was a recipe for Spicy Shrimp Skewers with Cheesy Grits. It’s not surprising that grits can be cooked in a single dish, but the shrimp kind of threw me. Simply letting the shrimp simmer in a pool of grits and cheese won’t do, and the key getting perfectly cooked, not-soggy shrimp lies in the clever use of skewers.

To begin, Cook’s Country combines grits, chicken broth, milk, scallion whites, and garlic in a prepared casserole dish, then covers and bakes it all at 350℉ until the grits are tender (around an hour). Then, seasoned, deveined shrimp are threaded onto 12-inch skewers, alternating heads and tails, until each skewer has six to eight shrimp. Once all the shrimp are skewered, remove the grits from the oven, stir in the cheese (adding it earlier will result in a greasy, clumpy mess), and lay the skewers lengthwise across the casserole dish so the shrimp are suspended over their cheesey fate. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes or so, until the shrimp are opaque.

Breakfast Pizza

Pizza is one of the ultimate one-pan meals, and there’s no reason dinner should have all the doughy fun. In my humble opinion, any pizza can be breakfast pizza as long as you crack an egg on there, and there are a couple of ways you can go about it. You can make a quick, super crispy with a tortilla and a cast iron pan, or you can use a traditional dough and a sheet pan.

For the tortilla pizza, heat a little oil in your skillet until it starts to shimmer, then wipe it out with a paper towel. Place a flour tortilla in there and add your toppings. For breakfast pizza, I like a little ricotta or cottage cheese, some crumbled bacon or sausage, cheddar cheese and a whole egg, cracked right on top. (If you’re incorporating a breakfast meat, keep it all in one pan by cooking your bacon or sausage in the cast iron and using the resulting rendered fat in place of oil.) Place the whole thing under the broiler until the crust is crisp and the egg is set, about three to five minutes.

If you’re using traditional dough, bake some bacon in a sheet pan until crispy, set it aside, and drain the bacon grease off. Once the pan has cooled a bit, brush some of the bacon fat back on to coat, then press some pizza dough (store-bought or homemade) in the pan to cover the sheet. Bake the dough for about five minutes at 400℉, then top with your favorite breakfast pizza toppings, crowning your masterpiece with several whole eggs. Pop the whole thing back in the oven and bake until cheese is melted and eggs are set.

Tasty Tacos and Fajitas

Both tacos and fajitas have a lot of components, but that doesn’t mean those components can’t cook in one pan in harmony.

Fajitas

To make a whole pan a fajita-y goodness, you’re going to want to combine one pound of sliced chicken with three bell peppers (get one of each color), an onion, and a whole bunch of tasty spices like cumin, chili pepper, garlic powder and chili flakes (see this recipe from Laughing Spatula for exact measurements). Toss it all together with a quarter cup of olive oil and cook in a 400-degree oven for half an hour or so, until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are browned. Serve with your favorite fajita accoutrements, such as limes, cheese, sour cream, and fresh cilantro.

Tacos

Tacos are even easier, and can be made with almost any protein, but something that can be seared quickly like flank steak or thinly-pounded chicken breasts work especially well. In terms of vegetables, Cook’s Country uses frozen corn in their recipe, but fresh is fine, and any vegetable that tastes good slightly undercooked (like onions and bell peppers) are also good candidates. Add some oil to a skillet and heat until it starts to smoke. Sear your meat on high and cook through, then tent with foil and set aside while your prepare the veggies.

Turn the heat down to medium and add a little more oil if your skillet is starting to look dry, making sure to leave all of those tasty, meaty brown bits in there. Add your vegetables of choice and saute until they are softened but have some color on them. Remove them from the pan, and heat up a few tortillas using the last bit of oil. Wrap the warmed tortillas in a clean dish towel, slice your protein up nice and thin, and assemble it all into delicious tacos.

Complete Dinners That Are Real Winners

There’s something extremely comforting about a meal composed of a well-prepared protein and a few hearty, complimentary vegetables and starches, but not all “side” dishes have to be prepared “on the side.”

Chicken With Mushrooms and Kale

The above video can show you how to whip up this rustic and warm chicken dinner, but this meal owes its speedy cooking time to a little process known as spatchcocking (or butterflying). By removing the bird’s backbone and flattening it out, you get a chicken that cooks more quickly and evenly. Tasting Table coats theirs inside and out with a tasty mixture of porcini powder, cayenne, and salt and pepper, then sets it on a bed of sliced lemons and fresh herbs before surrounding it with over six cups of various mushrooms, garlic, and fresno chilis before popping it in the oven for half an hour at 475℉. A quarter cup of kale (tossed in olive oil) is then added to the mix, and the whole thing goes back in the oven for another five minutes.

Meat and Potatoes

A complete steak dinner may not seem achievable in a single sheet pan, but this recipe from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen shows you how to make a meal of steak, potatoes, and something green using a single sheet pan and a wire rack. As with so many of these one-pan wonders, the key lies in cooking in stages.

Click the link above for more detailed instructions, but you’ll want to start out by marinating a couple of flank steaks with a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper. Chuck it all in a resealable plastic bag and let it hang out for an hour or so. While your meat is marinating, halve some tiny potatoes, toss them with some olive oil, and get them in the oven at 450℉ until the edges begin to brown. Add some chopped broccoli drizzled with a little more olive oil, place a wire rack over the vegetables, and lay the steaks on the rack. Return the pan to the oven, and cook until the internal temperature of the meat registers at 125℉ on an instant read thermometer (about 30 minutes).

Lotsa Pastas

In terms of one-pot pastas, you really needn’t look further than the above iconic recipe from Martha Stewart. Let Queen Martha walk you through the whole process, but all you’ll need is some dried spaghetti, sliced onions, halved cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, some olive oil, and basic seasonings like salt, pepper, and red chili flakes. Add it all to a straight-sided saute pan and let simmer until the tomatoes have burst and the pasta is done. Top with freshly grated parm and enjoy.

If you want to make your one-dish pasta a little meatier, try America’s Test Kitchen’s Hands-Off Spaghetti and Meatballs, which uses a casserole dish rather than a pot or pan. Just break 12 ounces of dried spaghetti noodles in half, place in a casserole dish, and toss with a jar of your favorite pasta sauce and two cups of water. Then, combine 1 pound 90 percent lean ground beef, ¾ cup panko bread crumbs, ⅓ cup prepared basil pesto, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and roll into 1-inch meatballs. Scatter the meatballs on top of the spaghetti, cover tightly with foil, and bake for half an hour at 475℉. Remove foil and cook for another five minutes or so, until sauce has thickened. Serve with fresh basil.

One-Pot Pies

So okay, “pot pie” probably isn’t that surprising in terms of “things you can make in one pot,” but it’s a classic worth mentioning. There’s nothing wrong with a classic pastry crust, but I’m a big fan of a biscuit-topped version, like this one from Community Table. You can follow their recipe exactly, but once you’ve mastered the base, you can experiment with different vegetable combinations. To make a delicious foundation on which to build your pie, simply cook one pound of chicken (cut into bite-size pieces) with three tablespoons of butter in an oven-safe skillet until browned. Whisk in ¼ cup of flour and cook until golden, then gradually stir in three cups of chicken stock and cook until you have a nice, gravy-like sauce. Stir in your vegetables of choice—maybe a couple of ounces of Parmesan—and top with biscuits (either store-bought or homemade). Pop the whole thing in the oven at 375℉ until the biscuits are golden brown and the filling is hot and bubbly.

After you’ve finished consuming your very satisfying, one-pan meal, it’s time to time to clean. Luckily, due to your very wise decision to choose something that can be prepared in a single pot or pan, this task is much less daunting than usual, and the person in charge of dishes will not only thank you for cooking, but for making their life that much easier.

Illustration by Sam Woolley. Photos by Joy, Jeffrey Hsu, and Jeffrey W.

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