Small-kitchen cooking tips from a camper-living chef

When many New York City dwellers fled to smaller towns and rural areas last year, I, like many others, was skeptical of their intentions. But the journey of one of my favorite voices in the city’s food scene, Lee Kalpakis, was one that felt inspiring (and soothing!) to follow during this time. When the pandemic hit, Kalpakis — who has worked as a recipe developer, food stylist, culinary producer, and video host—and her partner both lost their jobs; they decided to give up their Brooklyn loft and move to the Catskills, where they both grew up. But instead of another apartment, they purchased a bare-bones 1976 Fleetwood Prowler van to refurbish. Now, they’re on their own land — much more isolated than when they had started out in 2020 — but building a home all their own.

Though Kalpakis has spent most of her professional life working in restaurants

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Easy tips to make home-cooked food look incredible


Everyone is cooking more often and eating in more than ever. So why not learn how to jazz up your dishes with really easy tricks and tips to make them look great? These are simple ways to make your home cooking look better and add some wow factor to the table, with just a little extra flourish here and there.



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A lonely sprig of parsley in the center of a dish is rather sad and old-fashioned. Instead sprinkle plenty of chopped herbs over the whole dish to make it look appetizing. Keep it relevant – the herbs need to work flavor-wise with the recipe too. For example, a summery pasta with tomatoes cries out for basil or flat leaf parsley. Use finely chopped chilies

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Rachael Ray Shares COVID-19 Food Shopping Tips, Cooking Hacks

<span class="caption">Rachael Ray</span> <span class="credit">Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock</span>
Rachael Ray Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Sharing her wisdom with the rest of Us! Rachael Ray shared some “smarter and better” food shopping tips exclusively with Us Weekly and they’re bound to come in handy during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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The 51-year-old bestselling author and award-winning daytime TV show host spoke with Us on August 5, days before a fire seriously damaged a portion of her upstate New York home. Like most people in quarantine, she’s been doing plenty of online shopping, as opposed to venturing out to the grocery store. “I had no idea how many little extras you get buying seafood, produce, meats and anything else online,” she said. “You can also search for better prices than I thought were possible. I’m finding an enormous amount of bargains, quite frankly.”

The Rachael Ray host

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Scared of shrimp? Top tips for cooking this seafood perfectly every time

Shrimp is a seafood seen on many menus, but some home cooks are still intimated by the idea of making the popular shellfish.

Not only do these cost-effective crustaceans pack a serious protein punch, they’re also compatible with most cooking methods, making them a win-win for cooks with any level of expertise. Chef Guido Horst Jendrytzko, who has managed hundreds of cooks aboard Caribbean cruise ships, knows a thing or two about seafood. When they’re at sea, Jendrytzko and his team feed thousands of travelers each day — and there are lots of shrimp dishes served onboard.

He loves cooking with shrimp because it’s versatile (i.e. great for crowds) and it’s also quick. “A good steak, takes a minimum of 10-15 minutes to cook,” said Jendrytzko. “With shrimp, you can have a nice meal in just six to seven minutes.”

If you have 10 minutes to spare, and a source

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