Best Holiday Baking Recipes and Tips
Recipes for cookies, pies, tarts, and more…plus, how-to videos on creating the cutest, most beautiful bakery-worthy holiday cookies.
Throw a Party
17 Tips for Hosting a Cookie Swap
Whether you’re the host or the guest, keep these tips in mind to ensure a sweet time is had by all.
Etiquette Questions, Answered: Cookie Exchange Party
Real Simple's Modern Manners columnist helps you navigate holiday cookie swap etiquette.
Every cook needs a well-stocked spice cabinet, regardless of culinary expertise. Here are the most commonly used herbs, spices, and seasonings, which no kitchen should be without.
- Bay leaves. These aromatic, woodsy-tasting leaves are typically sold dried. Choose those with a rich green color. Add whole bay leaves to soups, stews, and marinades; remove before serving.
- Black peppercorns. A must-have for their slight pungency. Always pick whole peppercorns over preground versions: The flavor of freshly ground or cracked pepper makes the small effort in preparation well worth it.
- Cayenne pepper. Made from a small, spicy red pepper, this is the foundation of many bottled hot sauces. Used frequently in Cajun and Indian recipes.