Want to learn How to Cook Bacon in the Oven to make for the easiest, crispiest best bacon ever? Scroll down!
How to Cook Crispy Bacon in the Oven Guide
Alright, we’re calling it: Cooking bacon in the oven is the BEST way to cook bacon. Here is why: It makes the crispiest bacon, with the least mess and with virtually no hands-on cooking time. Follow the guide below to learn just How to Cook Bacon in the Oven!
Step 1: Buy the best bacon you can get. Because you deserve good bacon!
Step 2: Pre-heat oven to 400ºF Line a 12″ x 18″ sheet pan with parchment paper. There will be a lot of bacon grease on the pan and lining it with parchment allows for an easier clean up because you can let the bacon grease cool and either save for another cooking use or discard. Don’t put bacon grease down the drain! It can clog your pipes.
Step 3: Lay out the bacon on the sheet pan. You can let the bacon touch because as it cooks it will shrink up.
Step 4: Put bacon in the middle lower rack in the preheated oven and cook for 18-22 minutes, depending on how crispy you want your bacon!
Step 5: Drain the bacon on a paper towel.
Want free bacon?
Wondering how to get free, Whole30 approved bacon? If you aren’t familiar with ButcherBox, let me introduce you! Each month, ButcherBox curates a one-of-a-kind selection of the healthiest, tastiest meats, humanely raised and free of antibiotics and hormones. Or you can customize your box and select your favorite cuts and get 20% more meat. The price works out to less than $6.00/meal and shipping is always free. You can also space it out so it’s not every 4 weeks, too!
Love fresh pineapple but not sure how to cut it? Scroll on down for a tutorial on How to Cut a Pineapple and our best tips for picking a ripe one at the grocery store.
How to Cut a Pineapple
Pineapples are SO JUICY and so naturally sweet. Pineapple makes the perfect after dinner treat. They’re also one of the least expensive and most popular additions to fruit salad. All of that is well and good, but you may be asking yourself how on earth do you cut one? If you’ve never cut a pineapple it can feel intimidating! Fear not, we’re showing you just how to do it in a few easy steps!
Step 1: On a steady surface cut off the prickly crown of the pineapple.
Step 2: Turn the pineapple around and trim off the bottom, to about 1″ inch up from the bottom.
Step 3: Put the pineapple on the flat surface to steady the fruit. This is always important with anything you are cutting up!
Step 4: Trim the green/brown sides from the pineapple. Preserve as much as the sweet yellow flesh as possible.
Step 5: Remove all of the “eyes” (which are the holes with the fibrous spike on it) on the pineapple with a small pairing knife.
Step 6: Cut out the hard woody core: Locate the core (you can see it is the middle part that looks distinctly different) and then cut right up against it through the pineapple. Repeat this four times until you’ve cut the core out and you are left with 4 large chunks of juicy pineapple.
Step 7: Lay one of the large flat surfaces of the pineapple on the cutting board and slice it into 1″ rings.
Step 8: Turn the pineapple and cut from the opposite side to make a large dice! Repeat with all of the large pieces until the pineapple is all diced up.
How to Pick a Ripe Pineapple
Pineapples are a tricky fruit to tell if it is ripe! Here are some quick ways to tell if your pineapple is ripe:
Look for a pineapple with green fresh looking leaves.
If that leaves pull off easily at the center, it’s a sign that it is ripe
Smell the bottom: if it’s smells like pineapple you are on the right path. If it smells fermented than it is overripe. If it doesn’t smell like anything then it is not ripe.
Cooked spaghetti squash is a great nutrient dense, gluten-free, lower carb alternative to pasta or rice noodles. There are two great methods how to cook spaghetti squash and we’re giving you all the details you need to know!
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash noodles are probably the easiest alternative to traditional pasta there is. While it doesn’t taste exactly the same, spaghetti squash is a nutrient-dense, low carb alternative to pasta (whether gluten-free or not). If you can’t eat pasta or noodles for whatever reason, this is a pretty good substitute. It can take the place of almost any noodle dish, ranging from a classic “spaghetti” and meatballs, to a baked Italian “pasta” dish or even as a Pad Thai. Cooking spaghetti squash is so simple, being a mostly hands off cooking task. The hardest part is slicing it in half, so we are giving tips below.
How to Safely Cut It:
Your best answer to safely cutting a spaghetti squash is to have a large sharp knife, and a flat stead surface to cut it. With one hand, steady the spaghetti squash, and with the other press the knife into the squash before using your weight to leverage the knife through the squash. Once the knife is at least an inch inside the squash use your other hand to push down on the knife until it cuts through the squash entirely.
We cut the squash in two ways:
Crosswise the the middle: This is our preferred method. This way is easier because there is less squash to cut, and you don’t have to go close to the stem. This results in long strings of noodles.
Lengthwise: This method is harder to cut the squash and results in shorter noodles. Don’t try to attempt to cut through the hard stem. Once you’ve cut to that, take the knife out and use your hands to pull apart the spaghetti squash halves.
Still are afraid to cut the squash? You can always cook the squash whole, and cut after it is cooked. It’s obviously much easier to cut after it is soft, but we don’t prefer this method (see below as to why).
Can you Cook Spaghetti Squash Whole?
Yes you can, but this was not our favorite method of cooking it. If you are truly intimidated by cutting a squash, cooking it whole certainly makes it a lot easier to cut, but if you follow the tips above you should be able to safely cut a spaghetti squash. We didn’t like the result of a whole cooked spaghetti squash because it is harder to scoop out the seeds when they’re soft because you can’t easily distinguish between the inedible seeds and the edible squash strands.
Our Favorite Way to Cook It
We are fans of cooking spaghetti squash in both the oven and in the Instant Pot. There is a slight difference in taste, and an even greater difference in cook time between these two, but knowing both is useful.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven
Roasting spaghetti squash in the oven takes longer, but it results in tender caramelized squash noodles. This is definitely our preferred method if we have the time. To make it, all you do is split the spaghetti squash, scoop out the seeds and drizzle with oil, salt and pepper and roast until fork tender. More detailed directions are below in the recipe section!
How to Cook Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
Steaming spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot is by far the quickest method, and great when short on time! The squash noodles have a more straight-forward taste to them since there is no caramelization occurring. We prefer splitting the spaghetti squash and scooping out the seeds before cooking it, but you can steam it whole.
Do you Eat the Skin of the Spaghetti Squash?
No! While some squash has edible skin, this is not one of them. Simply scoop out the “noodles” and discard the skin.
How to Use it
Treat spaghetti squash noodles like pasta! It can be eaten as is with a little oil, salt and pepper and parmesan cheese or you can use it in any variety of recipes. Check out below for some of ours:
Stack the spaghetti squash on top of each other (cut-side up).
Close the lid and make sure the knob is turned to sealing.
Set to manual high-pressure for 10 minutes (longer time will be needed for bigger squash)
When the timer goes off, turn the vent on the top of the lid to venting to release the steam.
Once the venting knob has dropped, open the lid and shred the spaghetti squash with two forks to turn squash into spaghetti-like noodles!
Cooked spaghetti squash will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator.
If your spaghetti squash is a different size, you may have to adjust the cooking time, especially for the Instant Pot.
Loading nutrition data...
These Paleo Marshmallows, made with honey and maple syrup, are a surprisingly easy (and impressive) project, and also the very best tasting marshmallows you’re likely to ever eat. Below we offer so many tips on successfully making them, as well as options to flavor them!
Paleo Marshmallow Recipe
After so many of you successfully made our Homemade Marshmallow Fluff and loved it we knew it was time to get testing to make Paleo Marshmallows! It may seems a little daunting to think about making something like marshmallows, but truly it isn’t that hard. Making these marshmallows is not only a fun activity with impressive results, but seriously they are the BEST marshmallows you’ll ever have tasted–we promise.
What makes this gelatin marshmallow recipe different?
Our recipe is a little different than a lot of marshmallows out there. Aside from being made without any corn syrup and using only unrefined sugars to sweeten the marshmallows, our recipe is different because it includes egg whites, which is a classic French style. The addition of egg whites makes for a fluffier marshmallow that is easier to handle while you are making them. But don’t worry, the egg whites are cooked by the hot sugar syrup to a safe temperature. These fluffy marshmallows are melt-in-your-mouth delicious and are worth the (small) effort to make homemade.
Here are the Tools You Need for Homemade Marshmallows
Essentials: 1 Medium to Large Heavy Bottomed Pot, spatulas and small bowl
The first thing you need to know about making marshmallows is that you are making candy! You’ll be cooking up a very hot sugary syrup and then pouring it into beaten egg whites and softened gelatin and whipping them up until the whole mixture has transformed into a glossy stiff peaks. Then you place it in a starch dusted container and let it set before cutting.
The size of the pan you use to make the square marshmallows depends on how big you would like your square marshmallows. For a smaller marshmallow squares use a half sheet pan, or a 9×13 pan. For larger marshmallows use an 8″x8″ or a 9″x9″ pan. Or alternatively you can make cylindrical marshmallows, which will need a sheet pan to hold the piped mixture.
Prep your containers that you will be setting the marshmallows in ahead of time. You want to line them with parchment and vigorously dust with arrowroot or a combination of arrowroot/ powdered sugar. Don’t worry you won’t be eating all of this but it is merely to coat the sticky part of the marshmallow and you shake off any excess starch.
The bowl and whisk attachment of your electric mixer must be cleaned well because if there is any grease in it, it will prevent the egg whites from whipping up properly.
Use a mild flavored honey. A strong flavored honey, or raw honey will shine through more with a honey flavor (of course). We use a mixture of honey and maple syrup so that one flavor isn’t more dominate and the two together works more as a sweetener as opposed to be a flavor component.
The added water in the sugar mixture helps the sugar come to a boil without burning. Put the water in the pot first, then the other two sweeteners. Do not stir the pot. Do not move the pot. You run the risk of crystallizing the sugar, especially because we aren’t using corn syrup.
Make sure you handle the gelatin properly. You’ll want to let it bloom, or hydrate properly as the instructions indicate. The hot sugar syrup acts as the means to melt it so that it can fully incorporate in the marshmallow cream. It will set up after the mixture cools.
You want your sugar mixture to reach the “soft ball” stage or 235ºF-240ºF. This stage gets it’s name from the fact that if you put a droplet of cold water into the boiling sugar, it will turn into a soft ball. This hot sugar mixture is what cooks the egg whites and turns it into marshmallows. If you didn’t have a thermometer you could theoretically test the doneness of the sugar by dropping it in water and watching the reaction, as described above.
Troubleshooting Tips for Paleo Marshmallows
There are lumps in the bloomed gelatin: It wasn’t bloomed properly. You can try to remove the lumps of the gelatin, or if there are too many you should start over with the gelatin process.
If the egg white mixture hasn’t thickened up: Either the sugar syrup was not the proper temperature, or you haven’t whipped the egg whites long enough, or possibly the bowl had some grease in it. So If it isn’t looking thick and glossy, try whipping longer. And of course use a thermometer to make sure the sweetener has boiled enough! U
The marshmallows are too sticky to work with: Use more starch! Marshmallows are super sticky and you need to coat them in enough starch in order to handle them. You can always dust off the starch after you have finished cutting them, but know that if there isn’t enough starch on them before you go to store them they could end up a sticky mess, so go heavy handed with the starch.
The marshmallows are very wet: The batter was likely under whipped.
How to Store Paleo Marshmallows Made with Egg Whites?
Since there are egg whites in this recipes, this marshmallows cannot be stored indefinitely like marshmallows made with only sugar / corn syrup. Before storing, let the cut marshmallows “dry out” for at least 6 hours, or overnight. Store the well dusted marshmallows in an airtight bag / container for up to 1 week at room temperature. We doubt they will last that long anyways! If you find that the marshmallows have started to let out some moisture (which can happen naturally with homemade marshmallows, or sometimes the cause is under whipping the batter) take the marshmallows out of the bag and sift again with arrowroot and powdered sugar mixture and let dry before placing in another clean, dry container.
Options for Flavored Marshmallows
The possibilities are endless as to what you can add to the marshmallow cream mixture before you set, or even what you coat the marshmallows in at the end to flavor them. We tried out a few different add-in’s to flavor the marshmallows. Choose your add-in and fold them after the egg whites have thickened up. You can also divide the marshmallow mixture and make multiple flavors with one batch of marshmallows. You have to work quickly though because ones the marshmallow cream cools down it will set.
Freeze Dried Fruit: We tried strawberries but bet any freeze dried fruit will work well here. Start with 1/4 cup crushed freeze dried fruit.
Matcha Powder: About 1-2 tablespoons
Espresso Powder: Start with a teaspoon and add more if needed
Cinnamon: Start with 2 teaspoons and add more if needed)
Cocoa: Add about 1-2 tablespoons
Dried Ginger or Turmeric: Start with a 2 teaspoons for a batch
Mint Extract (a few drops) and Chocolate Chips
Instead of coating with arrowroot, try coating with:
If you like this HOW TO recipe, check out these others:
To make square marshmallows: prepare a container for the marshmallows (see note). Lightly spray the container and then line it with two strips of parchment that fit the container to create a sling. Generously dust the container with arrowroot (or combo arrowroot and powdered sugar). Alternatively, to make traditional cylindrical marshmallows: line a sheet tray with parchment and generously dust with arrowroot. Set aside.
In a clean mixing bowl for an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, add egg whites.
In a large pot add ⅓ cup water, honey and maple syrup, in that order, being careful not to get any of the mixture on the sides of the pot. Turn the heat to medium and let the sugar mixture cook undisturbed.
Meanwhile prepare gelatin: Add ½ cup water to a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over the water and mix to moisten the gelatin. Let bloom (or hydrate) for at least 5 minutes. Once bloomed, add to the egg white mixture and briefly whip until the mixture is homogenized and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
When the the sugar syrup has reached 240°F, remove from the heat and let cool slightly, or until it has stopped bubbling, about 1 minute.
Then very slowly and carefully pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites bowl, hitting the side of the bowl if possible, in a thin, steady stream.
Once all of the syrup is in, increase the speed and continue to whip for 10-12 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and glossy and the mixing bowl is mostly cooled.
Add in vanilla extract and whip for one one more minute. If you are adding in any optional add-ins, add them now.
For square marshmallows: Working quickly pour mixture into the prepared container and smooth over. Dust generously with more arrowroot and let set for at least 4 hours until cutting. To cut remove from the container and cut with a pizza cutter that is greased with coconut oil. Dust again all the cut sides with more arrowroot, shaking off excess. For cylindrical marshmallows: Fill a piping bag with a large circular tip (or simply cut a piping bag) with the marshmallow mixture and pipe it in lines the length of the sheet tray until all the mixture is gone. Dust generously with arrowroot. Let set for 4 hours at room temperature. Cut with a pizza cutter that is greased with coconut oil into cyridrical shapes. Dust more with arrowroot, shaking off the excess before storing.
Let the cut marshmallows dry out for at least 6 hours before storing in an air tight container or bag. Store for up to 1 week.
The size of the pan you use to make the square marshmallows depends on how big you would like your square marshmallows. For a smaller marshmallow squares use a half sheet pan, or a 9x13 pan. For larger marshmallows use an 8"x8" or a 9"x9" pan.
Loading nutrition data...
There are so many options out there for natural Easter egg dye using ingredients you have already in your kitchen and we’re showing you some of the options we loved with tips, tricks, and more!
Natural Easter Egg Dye
Did you know that it is so easy to naturally dye Easter eggs with food ingredients you likely already have in your pantry? It will be no surprise if you’ve been on this website for a while that we love to switch out artificial colors and unnecessary chemical additions to foods as much as we can, like these Naturally Colored Buttercream and these plant based decorated Sugar Cookies. If we wouldn’t eat a product with a long list of ingredients we can’t recognize why would we add chemicals in the form of artificial dyes to the food we make at home?
Some might say that you are just dyeing the outside of the egg: but anybody who has ever colored eggs know more often than not that color seeps in through the shell and colors the egg. So making festive colored eggs with actual FOOD coloring is a no-brainer. And honestly, it’s so simple and so FUN to experiment. You can create unique looking eggs that even will change color over time, the longer they sit. Kids and adults alike will find this holiday craft turned science experiment so fun!
How to Dye Easter Eggs Naturally
Take a look in your pantry! We used white eggs, but you can experiment with brown eggs as they will have a different effect. All the eggs you see in these photos were dyed with these four foods:
Beets (red/pink/brown): 1 large beet, diced + 2 cups water
Red Cabbage (blue): 1/2 red cabbage, sliced + 2 cups water
Red Onion Skins (deep orange/brown): Skins from 4 large onions + 2 cups water
Fresh or Dried Turmeric (yellow): 1/4 cup sliced fresh turmeric or 2 tablespoons dried + 2 cups water
Other natural color suggestions:
Blueberries (grey/blue): 2 cups frozen blueberries + 2 cups water (don’t boil this, just let it steep)
Carrots (orange/yellow): 3 large carrots, sliced + 2 cups water
Spinach or Parsley (green): 2 cups spinach or 1 bunch parsley + 2 cups water
Yellow Onion Skins (orange): Skins from 4 large onions + 2 cups water
Coffee (brown): 2 cups strong brewed coffee
Here is what you need to know to naturally dye eggs:
Make the boiled eggs. We recommend using the water boiling or steaming method. Check out this post here. We normally love the Instant Pot for steaming eggs, but not here. We don’t recommend using the Instant Pot for colored eggs because they are more likely to crack in the food coloring. Let the eggs cool completely before coloring.
Bring the food item in 2 cups of water up to a boil, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and let cool. Once cool add 2 teaspoons of vinegar.
Gently drop the white eggs in the color. They must be completely submerged.
The longer the eggs sit in the color, the more brilliant the color will be. Letting the eggs soak overnight yielded the best color for us.
When you are ready to take the eggs out of the color, place a clean kitchen towel down and gently pull out the eggs and place on the towel, or you could place them on a wire rack to prevent and the towel from wiping off any of the color. Let it air dry, do not rub it. If you’d like to dip the egg again to get a darker hue do that once it has dried. In addition, if you want to combine colors to make different hues (think coloring an egg first yellow, then blue=green) now is the time to do it.
Once completely dry you can gently rub it with oil to help prevent the color from changing. We found that some of the eggs changed colors over a few days time (especially the beet one). Do them the day before Easter if you’d like them to be as close to the color as you want as possible.
How to Make Green Naturally Dyed Eggs:
To make green we first dyed the egg with turmeric (yellow) and then dyed it with red cabbage (blue) to make the egg green!
Do you have to use vinegar to dye eggs?
Yes! Without going into all the science behind it, the short answer is that the added acid from the white vinegar brings it to the correct pH level needed for the dye to adhere to the egg shell. The approximate amount of vinegar needed is about 1 teaspoon per 1 cup of dye. We experimented by adding more vinegar to some of our dyes and we got a cool spotted effect.
How to Make Different Effects on Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs
Add more vinegar: When we added more vinegar to the dye it created a bubbly effect which created the dots you see on our eggs.
Dip for different lengths of time: You can try dipping the eggs for shorter periods of time. For our pink spotted eggs seen above we just briefly dipped the eggs in the beets for like 10 seconds and then let it dry.
Double dipping eggs, depending on the different colors can create different effects. Honestly we had different results each time, so have fun experimenting.
To create an ombre effect you can start dying a batch of eggs, and then every few hours take one of the eggs out of the dye.
Should eggs be cold or at room temperature for coloring?
You want both the boiled eggs and the natural dye to be cool during the dye process, so that not only do the eggs not overcook in the natural dye, but also for safety. Leave the eggs in the dye in the refrigerator overnight.
Don’t want to make your own dye but want to try naturally coloring eggs?
There are also a few different products on the market. Try these good brands:
Homemade popcorn is a thousand times better than any alternative and is really simple to make. We’re talking all about the magic of how to make stovetop popcorn at home (without any fancy equipment) that you can customize to your taste.
How to Make Stovetop Popcorn
If you’ve never made popcorn at home before, it may feel a little intimidating. Sure it’s easy to buy it premade, or even use packets you make in the microwave but I’m sure you can already guess what we’re going to say about that: it doesn’t taste even a fraction as delicious as homemade, it likely contains ingredients that aren’t that healthy and it’s expensive!
Making it at home is so economical (even the organic heirloom popcorn is inexpensive) and OF COURSE it tastes infinitely better–plus you can customize it at home to suit your tastes with different flavoring. We also talk about how to make Maple Kettle Corn over in this post, so be sure to check that one out too. Careful though, once you learn to make it once you might find it happening everyday!
A word on what popcorn to buy:
We don’t always recommend buying organic everything, but corn crops in this country are often sprayed with harmful chemicals. With that said, we recommend buying an organic (and non-GMO) brand of popcorn, and there are many, and if possible choosing an heirloom variety. These are available in a lot of stores, and also on Amazon. We like the brand Tiny but Mighty or Arrowhead Mills.
There are a few key factors to making sure you are successful at making homemade popcorn:
Use a heavy bottom pan. A heavy pan conducts heat evenly and will ensure all the kernels will pop and that you won’t burn any popcorn.
Don’t skimp on the oil! This recipe calls for 3 tablespoons coconut oil. It make seem like a lot but it is needed in order to create enough steam and heat in the pot to pop all the popcorn.
Give the pan a good shake once the kernels have started rapidly popping. This ensures all the kernel pops.
If at any point you see smoke–not steam, immediately turn down the heat. While this never happened during testing for us, if you accidentally cook it too high and the oil burns you’ll want to start over. This will flavor the the whole batch of popcorn like burnt.
Keep the pan covered until the popping starts to slow down. Then you want to leave a small space to let the steam escape so you don’t get soggy popcorn.
Season the popcorn after it’s cooked! Place it in a large bowl and immediately add the seasoning to the popcorn while it’s still hot.
Heat a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the oil and two popcorn kernels and cover the pot.
Once the popcorn has popped the oil is ready. Add the remaining popcorn kernels and return the cover. Remove the pot from the heat for 30 seconds. This ensures the oil doesn't overheat.
Return the pan to heat. Give the pan a shake every few seconds as you wait for the popcorn to start popping. Once it starts to pop rapidly give the pan a good shake to make sure the kernels pop evenly.
Once the popping has slowed down, and let the steam vent by moving the cover on the pan slightly.
Once all the popping has stopped, pour into a large bowl.
Add toppings while hot and toss until it coats the popcorn evenly.
You can use another oil such as avocado oil.
If at any point you smell smoke, or you see smoke (not steam) shut off the heat. You will have to start over as the oil and kernels have burned and the smell will permeate the popcorn.
Loading nutrition data...