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The Basics of Creating a Restaurant-Quality Meal (at Home)

Written by Danielle Travali.

Everyone wants to know how to cook like a professional chef. But you don't need to go to culinary school to whip up a tasty, fresh meal like you'd order at a swanky restaurant. All you need is a little bit of cash and a lot of common sense.

Buy fresh, local produce instead of canned or jarred foods. Fresh is the key word here. Don't use canned fruits or vegetables, because they'll be unpleasantly discolored from the canning process and much too high in sodium. For maximum taste and health, you want to be able to control the amount of salt in each meal you prepare. Always go fresh. If you have to, frozen veggies (especially spinach), is an option. But fresh is always recommended.

Top Tips for Hosting a Dinner Party at Home

Written by Amanda Sullivan.

Hosting a dinner party doesn't have to be a huge and intimidating undertaking. With the right preparation and attitude, even the least experienced cook can host a fantastic event. Here are a few tips that will help give you confidence to pull off a fun dinner party with gusto!

Figure out your budget

Nearly all of your decisions surrounding the dinner party will come back to how much you are willing to spend. So, figure that out first. Then set a budget and stick to it. It’s very easy to let your costs spin out of control if you don’t pay attention. A tablecloth here, a cut of meat there all adds up!