5 Questions I Ask My Kids Before Packing Their Lunch — Tips from The Kitchn

Depending on where you are in the country, the new school year is either underway or fast approaching. My own first grader is headed back to school next week. It has been a whole year since I’ve regularly packed her lunch box (she had half-day kindergarten last year), so getting back into our school lunch groove has involved dusting off the lunch bags, shopping for a few new supplies, and talking about school lunch.

These are the five questions that I ask my daughter before the school year begins and that we use throughout the school year to get her excited about school lunch and to prepare her for packing her own lunches one day.


Popcorn Chicken-Fried Steak Is a Game-Changer — Delicious Links

Kitchn’s Delicious Links column highlights recipes we’re excited about from the bloggers we love. Follow along every weekday as we post our favorites.

Chicken-fried steak has the crispy coating of fried chicken on the outside and then (surprise!) tender steak on the inside. The combination is a beloved Southern classic simply because it’s the best of both worlds.

Using that very same logic, this popcorn chicken-fried steak recipe from The Candid Appetite is the best of THREE worlds. It’s got the bite-sized appeal of popcorn chicken, the crispiness of fried chicken, and the absolute satisfaction of perfectly cooked steak. Any indecisive hungry people in the house? This dinner’s for them.


5 Cheesemongers Tell Us Their Favorite Grocery Store Cheeses — Shopping

Grocery stores don’t exactly have the best reputation when it comes to yummy, interesting cheeses. There’s the deli counter and the dairy aisle, and if you’re lucky, a cooler filled with a a few bricks of “special” cheddar.

So when it comes time to assemble the finest cheese board your book club has ever seen, you probably think that your best bet is to head to the closest specialty store, where you have to shell out the big bucks for their finest cheese. To that, we say think again! We asked a few cheese experts, who definitely know their way around the block, to give us their grocery store cheese recommendations. You might be surprised at their picks!


The $10 Kitchen Tool Alex Guarnaschelli Can’t Live Without — Shopping

You could spend as much money as you wanted on knives. Somewhere out there, a person is probably selling a six-figure gold paring knife with diamonds in the handle and a proprietary smartphone app that tells you how thin you’re slicing, and beeps to let you know whenever Mercury is retrograde.

But sometimes the expensive tools aren’t the best ones, and Food Network star Alex Guarnaschelli says that her most favorite kitchen tool is actually a cheap paring knife.


10 Fast & Practical Hot Lunch Ideas — Recipes from The Kitchn

When given the choice, I will always choose a hot lunch over a cold one. It’s so hard to beat the satisfying, nourishing feeling that takes over your body when you dig into a hot meal in the middle of the day. It might surprise you that making a hot lunch doesn’t need to take a lot of time or effort, and the payoff feels like treat — like you’re doing something nice for yourself.

Because time is short and our days are busy, here are 10 quick and easy recipes for a hot lunch.


These Are the Grocery Store Cookies Ina Swears By — Shopping

When Ina Garten says to do something, you do it. For example, if Ina suggests buying a certain type of good vanilla extract, off to Williams Sonoma you go! If Ina Instagrams her method of effortlessly arranging flowers before entertaining a swath of Hamptons neighbors, you run to the florist. If Ina recommends using a very specific brand of canned San Marzano tomatoes, you use them — and don’t ask too many questions.

Let me put it this way: If we all had to hunker down and make roast chicken and drink whiskey sours every Friday night for the rest of eternity, in hopes of becoming just a little bit more like Ina, would that really be so bad? Especially if that meant we all had to save a little room for dessert.


Stone Fox Bride (AKA Instagram’s Most Honest Mom) Gets Real About Feeding Her Kids — How I Feed My Kids

Molly Rosen Guy isn’t known for slapping the perfect Instagram filter on her posts about life, love, and parenting and making it appear as if everything’s coming up roses. In fact, the Brooklyn-based creative director of Stone Fox Bride, book author, contributing editor at Vogue and Domino, and mom to daughters Sunny and Coco (6 and 3), takes the exact opposite approach. We’d go as far to say that she’s one of the most brutally honest parents on social media.


What Exactly Is Teflon? And Do I Need to Worry About It? — No-Nonsense Nonstick

Nonstick cookware is a great convenience — besides being able to use less oil for cooking, it makes cleanup a breeze. Perfect eggs, every time, with virtually no scrubbing? I’ll take it! But in recent years, nonstick coatings like Teflon have come under fire, to the point where many people have abandoned their nonstick cookware.

Are those fears still founded? Were they ever? We did some research to find out.


This Is the Most Popular School Lunch Recipe on Pinterest — Popular on Pinterest

Brown-bag lunches have come a long way since I was a kid. My school lunches were always plain sandwiches, served in order: turkey, tuna, ham, peanut butter and jelly, then back to turkey and the rotation started over again. Now kids’ lunches are way fancier — carrots are julienned, sandwiches come in adorable cartoon shapes, there are probably grapes in the chicken salad. Kids’ school lunches are getting seriously gourmet, and Pinterest probably has something to do with it.