When you're just getting started in the world of building things, you'll find it can be rather hard to develop the "best practices" to help guide you down the right path. You're busy trying to figure out what the difference between a bevel and a miter is, but what you really need is someone to say "do this, not that."
It wasn't until I took a few classes and befriended some woodworkers that i really started to learn how to not do dumb things. Here's a list of six things I wish I would have learned before I wasted money and time on early projects.
This time of year, footwear choices can be a gamble. Overthink it, and you're stuck in snow or hiking boots all day. Under-prepare, and your socks and feet stay wet, cold, and covered in road salt.
The answer, of course, is to opt for the middle, and choose a natural weather-resistant material that's stylish no matter what the season: leather.
Though it's the way most of us consume them, salsas are not just for chips. That limitation is a shame, because these Mexican table sauces can be so much more than watery blend of canned tomatoes and vinegar intended for scoping. I was born in Mexico, so fresh, bright and bold salsas are close to my heart.
So, join me on a virtual south-of-the-border trip, and learn the basic techniques of making the perfect homemade salsa.
It's that time of year when our special dinner nights are in that "in between" phase. Gone are the chili nights, the slow-cooked soups, and the long braises of winter, but it's not quite time for all day cookouts, the throwing together a plate of summer produce and bread and just embracing the simplicity of the season.
To which we say: good. Use this transitional time to nail down something technique-based, like perfecting homemade pizza.
Ce·vi·che: A Latin American dish of marinated raw fish or seafood, typically garnished and served as an appetizer, or, in my mind: the best summer dish one can make at home!
Ceviche has this rep of being a complicated dish, and it's "raw" preparation can be intimidating. Except: It's not complicated, and it's not raw, just unheated. So, follow this guide to master the basics, and you can adapt and rock it like a pro. Let's get (not) cookin'!
Some anthropologists argue that just one dominant feature separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom: we use fire and heat to cook our food. Like salt, smoking has long been a means of preserving food, and over time, we've learned that it also tastes pretty awesome as well. Those flavors are why we're still willing to use the grill and light fires when we have access to electric heating elements: the taste just can't be matched.
Many drinks and spirits come with smoky qualities - lots of teas, coffee, beer, and whiskeys. But you can also smoke entire cocktails or mixed drinks to add a whole other level of flavor and complexity. As my friend Mike remarked after trying one of my smoked Old Fashioneds, "I don't know if I can ever drink a regular one again."
A cocktail is a mixed drink that contains at least one base spirit and a modifier (liqueurs, bitters, fortified wines) mixed with something to give the cocktail a little flavor, such as another spirit, fruit juice, etc.
A highball, on the other hand, is much more basic. It's a single spirit and a non-alcoholic mixer, and rather than being built in a shaker or a mixing glass, they're typically assembled in the very vessel in which you'll drink it.
Everytime I have a layover at the airport, I like to walk around the terminal and watch people...guess where they're going, why they're traveling. And everytime, I inevitably walk by the shoe shine stand, sometimes occupied, and sometimes not, and I think to myself, "Someday, I'm gonna own a pair of shoes that deserve to be shined for $14 in the airport.
And, really, someday...I will.
You don't find too many recipes that begin with, "First a note about substituting ingredients or tools. Don't. This method has been exhaustively tested and retested for excellence and the smallest variation can result in catastrophic and unintended consequences."
Somehow, that deserves to be respected, and when the blog post is entitled "Perfect" without
Last week, the unthinkable happened: the pages of my notebook separated from the cover.
Okay, well, it's not really unthinkable...I'm pretty tough on it. It goes everywhere with me, falls off the workbench daily, gets covered in sawdust and paint, regular interacts with power tools and sharp things, and I'm pretty sure this is the one I threw across the room when I just couldn't get the math right for a project.I've had this one for nearly two years, and it's spine has been covered and reinforced by layers of duct tape for more than half its life. So, unthinkable? No, but discouraging, nonetheless. This thing still has at least 20% of its
Two years ago, I posted a basic recipe for making classic cocktail, the Old Fashioned, during ManMade's inaugural Cocktail Month festivities.
And two years ago, I was wrong. Quite wrong, in fact. I was just learning about cocktails, and was operating with the notion of the Old Fashioned I'd had in bars and restaurants,
We're nearing August, and the whole northern hemisphere is well into prime grilling season. By this point, your grilling game is at its peak - you're well seasoned, and so are you grates. You've been trying a few recipes you've never done before, learning how to better control your fire, so now it's time to revisit a classic, and perfect the burger.
If you're gonna go through the effort of making burgers at home, make them amazing. Here's how:
Unless you're Orville Redenbacher, you're more of an occasional bow tie wearer rather than a daily guy.
Or perhaps you've never worn one, and have no idea what you'd look like in a real, hand tied deal rather than that ribbon-y thing from the tuxedo rental place.
Either way - you likely don't remember exactly how to tie
There are drinks that are fairly easy to serve, such as beer and wine, as you simply need to open and pour. Many spirits can be enjoyed in nearly the same way: whiskey neat, brandy in a glass, sake warmed. There are the highballs that are fairly easy to figure out: the vodka cranberry, rum and Coke, gin and tonic. There are the drinks that are so open to interpretation, you'll likely never make them the same way twice: the Bloody Mary comes to mind, as does any number of adverturous use-what-you-have mixes.
But then, there are the classic cocktails, those time-proven combinations that have proven themselves for decades. Besides being tasty, these have emerged as the standards for a reason: they're made from typical ingredients that you can find easily, at any store, and probably should be keeping in your own home bar.
They're so essential, I'm making the claim that every man should have these recipes memorized so he can shake one up at a moment's notice. Trust me, you want to be that guy that knows how to mix drinks: at a get together, after a date, at a work function or meeting. None of these are particularly difficult to commit to memory, and once you've got 'em, you've got 'em, and they'll never go out of style.
Whether you're stuck without the appropriate tools, or just want an opportunity to show off some cool parlor tricks, there are plenty of ways to open a beer or other capped bottle without an manufactured bottle opener. Since we got such a great response for our Five Ways to Open a Wine Bottle Without a Corkscrew, we thought we'd assemble five of these beer bottle tricks.
Oh, and yes, it is possible to do this with your teeth, but please, please don't. It's not worth it, and people aren't really laughing with you...
1. With a lighter. Check out this classic simple machine principle at work from the Wired wiki. Also works with a spoon