How to Be the Hero of Making Dinner at Home


Did you know that if you use cooking spray inside a measuring cup before you pour honey (or Melissa’s organic blue agave syrup) into it, you could prevent your measurement from sticking to the container? Another kitchen hack you might not know about; grate your Melissa’s fresh peeled garlic, so it dissolves into the recipe vs. not and ending up with burnt or charred bits of garlic on top of your dish.

Another tip — you probably have too many pots and pans in your kitchen, and it might be time to edit. Recipe developers Marge Perry and David Bonom prove to us with their newest cookbook, “Hero Dinners: Complete One-Pan Meals That Save the Day,” that it only takes two pieces of cookware; the sheet pan and the skillet, to be the hero of your dinners at home. This New Jersey-based powerhouse couple has been a part of over seventy cookbooks, so we feel pretty confident in rethinking those extra pots and pans in our cupboards.

Marge Perry and David Bonom are food writers and recipe developers whose work appears regularly in major magazines like “Rachael Ray Every Day,” “Cooking Light,” and “Better Homes and Gardens” among others. In addition to editorial work, they are also chef-instructors at the Institute of Culinary Education.

Our Top 5 Favorite Kitchen Tips You’ll Find in

“Hero Dinners: Complete One-Pan Meals That Save the Day”

Did you know that the USDA has lowered the recommended temp for cooked pork? Cook to 145˚F for a juicy, tender chop.

Melissa’s suggested produce pairing: A P P L E S

Before you cook your burger patties, stick your thumb in the top of your burger. As the center puffs up when it cooks, that divot won’t become higher than the rest of the burger.

Melissa’s suggested produce pairing: D Y P ®

Not sure what size shrimp to buy? Go by their count per pound. 16/20 per pound is an excellent general rule of thumb, which will get you the larger ones that are perfect for entrees.

Melissa’s suggested produce pairing: G A R L I C

Do you know the difference between wet and dry scallops? Buy dry — if you want to know why read about it in this cookbook on pg. 203.

Melissa’s suggested produce pairing: L E M O N S

For every one tablespoon of fresh herbs, use one teaspoon dried — 3:1 ratio.

Melissa’s suggested produce pairing: R O O T S

If you want the ultimate recipe for success in the kitchen, you’ll have to pick up a copy of their book, where you’ll find plenty of other tips and tricks to get the job done. With this cookbook, you can be the hero when it comes to making dinner at home.

Photography excerpted with permission from “Hero Dinners: Complete One-Pan Meals That Save the Day,” by Marge Perry and David Bonom, published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.