Bar Basics: Stocking Your Liquor Cabinet

Knowing how to stock a basic bar will be good for your wallet AND impress your friends! | themillennialmenu.com

Knowing how to make solid drinks at home will save you tons of money and impress your friends and family. Today's post is brought to you by my boyfriend Matt, who is the true cocktail connoisseur in our relationship. We've organized this post into three sections: setting up your basic bar, branching out your liquor supply, and tools & equipment. We are strong believers in quality over quantity (when appropriate) and have established some of our favorite brands of liquor. Try brands out in smaller doses, see if you like them, and you too will soon buy a 1.75 L bottle of Bombay Sapphire.  I've been shocked at how delicious mixed drinks can taste at home - especially compared to whatever coke & rum cocktail was the pregame drink of choice in college. In terms of cost, we really believe it's worth it to spend a bit more on cocktails and ingredients that will make you want to have a drink at home before heading out for the night or even instead of. Perhaps most importantly, having a well stocked bar is a quick way to impress friends and family with your good taste! 

If your favorite spirit is missing, feel free to add it to your own personal list - you know what you like and don't like. This is just our recommendation for what to actually purchase if you want to be able to make mixed drinks and appeal to a wide range of guests. We were surprised when we really sat down and thought about what the basics of a wide range of drinks were, but we've been so happy with what we have stocked in our apartment and still have been able to branch out and add fun spirits that we enjoy having around as well. 


Setting Up Your Basic Bar

Gin

Gin is the (surprising) quintessential cocktail spirit and is a staple of a home bar. Did you know that gin is in more classic cocktails than any other spirit? A lot of people have a knee-jerk reaction when they hear the word gin, with overly pine-y flavors recalling bathtub concoctions of the Prohibition era. But gin can be so much more than this with a different variety for every preference. Gin is essentially flavored vodka, infused with juniper and a variety of other botanicals like rose or citrus peel depending on the distiller. Bombay Sapphire and New Amsterdam are good brands to start off because of their inoffensive flavor. But, you can branch out to brands like Tanqueray or Junipero, with their juniper-heavy flavors, and Hendricks with its unique rose petal and cucumber infusion. Our favorite is Bombay Sapphire. 

What to make: Gin is the star of a solid gin and tonic. It's also used in martinis, Tom Collins (essentially, alcoholic lemonade), a French 75, gin gimlet, and many other cocktails.

Whiskey

Whiskey is the classic American liquor. Whiskey has been stereotyped as a masculine choice, but it is so versatile and can be used in so many different ways that there is a different whiskey cocktail for everyone out there. There are several different styles of whiskey, including bourbon, rye, and scotch. To start off, we would recommend a rye because it works better in cocktails. Where bourbon is generally sweeter and richer, ryes are drier and contain more spice. This stands out nicely when mixed with other cocktail ingredients. Good entry-level brands include Rittenhouse and Bulleit Ryes.

What to make: Whiskey cocktails include Old Fashioneds, Manhattans, Whiskey sours, Mint juleps, Irish coffee, and many more.

Bitters

Bitters are the equivalent of salt and pepper for cocktails. They add depth and new dimensions to your drinks. Start with a small bottle of Angostura—you will only ever use a few drops per drink, so this will last you a while.

What to make: Old Fashioned, Manhattan, Negroni, Pisco Sour

Citrus

Fresh lemon and lime juice is extremely important to making a good cocktail. Citrus just doesn’t last that long once it’s been squeezed, so buying and squeezing your lemons and limes rather than using the bottled stuff will make a big difference in the final taste of your drink. We usually buy at least 2 lemons and 2 limes every week at the grocery store - we end up using them by the time they go bad, either in food or in our cocktails! They can really take a drink to the next level and are worth the small risk of 50 cents lost if you forget to use one before it goes bad. But if your bar is stocked like we recommend, we doubt that will happen. 

What to make: Lime: Mojitos, Moscow Mule, Margarita, Gin & Tonic // Lemon: Whiskey Sour, Tom Collins

Simple Syrup

Nearly all cocktails require some sort of sweetener in the recipe (which most people like), with most calling for simple syrup. Don’t waste your money buying this from the grocery store as it’s incredibly easy to make. Just heat up equal parts of granulated sugar and hot water on the stovetop and stir until all the sugar dissolves.  This should be stored in the fridge and can last for about a month. We store ours in a bottle that's meant to be used for homemade salad dressing - but alas, we prefer cocktails to salad.

What to make: Almost anything, but particularly a Tom Collins, a Whiskey Sour, an Old Fashioned

Club Soda

Club Soda is the base of many cocktails and is the best adult mixer you could ever keep stocked in your cabinet. It can be hard to finish a whole bottle (for some people, maybe not for others) so I've taken to buying the mini glass club soda bottles that come in 6 packs in the soda aisle at the grocery store. The premium I pay on packaging versus buying a liter at a time is worth it because we usually only make two drinks at a time. Make sure to buy the bottles rather than the cans, because if you're only making one, you can seal it back up and use it in a few days before it goes flat. If you're a gin & tonic drinker like me, it's also a good idea to always have some tonic water on hand as well. It comes in the same mini-6 packs.

What to make: Anything, but try a Tom Collins! 

Tools and Equipment

 
The Basic tools and Equipment you need for a home bar will set you up for entertaining success. | themillennialmenu.com
 

Shaker

As the name implies, this is a necessity for any shaken drink. As a rule of thumb, any drink containing non-clear liquids—citrus, egg white, etc.—should be shaken. There are two distinct styles of shakers, the cobbler and the Boston shaker. The cobbler is the three piece shaker with a built in strainer that you often get in a bar set, whereas the Boston is the two piece tins that you see at every bar, ever. There is a reason the pros only use Boston shakers—when the cobbler shaker gets cold from the ice, the pieces can be nearly impossible to get apart, trapping your drink inside. Boston shakers are much easier to use and clean. One thing to note, however, is some shakers come with two tins, whereas some come with one and a pint glass. We would stay away from the sets that use the glass, as this has the potential of shattering when it’s in your hands. Go for this one.

Mixing Glass

Again, as the name implies, this is for mixed cocktails. A lot of times at bars you will see them use fancy looking glass beakers called “yarai” glasses. These are nice to have, but are expensive and not necessary. Save some space (and money) and just use the bottom tin of your shaker.

Strainer

After mixing or shaking your drink, you need to strain out the ice cubes. A Hawthorne strainer will fit right on top of your tin or mixing glass and do just this. You might also see julep strainers, which look like giant spoons with holes in them. These are traditionally used for stirred drinks, but are not necessary to have. A Hawthorne strainer will do the trick and is simpler to use - less spillage.

Bar Spoon

Used to mix cocktails, this is just a really long skinny spoon. It’s not a need to have, but it does make mixing drinks much easier than with a normal spoon. We use ours all the time for drinks like a Tom Collins or gin & tonic. Plus, it looks pretty impressive.

Jiggers

Jiggers help you measure precise amounts of liquid to make the perfect drink. It's essentially the grown up version of a shot glass, because you're adding more to your drink than just a shot of alcohol straight into your mouth - usually some citrus juice, or club soda...you get our point. We are fans of the Oxo mini angled measuring cup. We also use it when cooking too!

All set up and wondering where to start?

Check out The Craft of the Cocktail for a classic guide to everything shaken and stirred.

Subscribe to the blog for future posts about how to expand your bar and how to make your favorite cocktails at home.


Note: This post contains affiliate links for products I recommend. That means if you click on a product link in this post and choose to purchase the product on Amazon, I earn a commission. I only recommend products I use and love organically. This means that if you are going to purchase a product that I recommend, I encourage you to do it through the direct link from the blog so that I (and the blog) benefit. Read my full affiliate disclosure.


 

How to Get the Best Blender for Less

certified-reconditioned-vitamix

If you know me, you know I'm all about budgeting. But this is the one case where I go overboard - like really overboard. So here's my confession: I have a certified reconditioned Standard Vitamix and it cost me $249 and I have no regrets.

A Vitamix is the gold standard of blenders, known for its impressive power and high quality design. And it is so, so worth the price. I've had mine for about 4 months now and have been continually impressed by its strength and power. I use it for EVERYTHING. I make smoothies every day and the texture is perfectly smooth in seconds. This all being said, a brand new Vitamix is uber expensive, so the secret here is Vitamix's certified refurbished program. What does that mean? It's basically blenders that have been returned or were demo models in the store, meaning they were mostly likely never used - or barely used. Mine came wrapped up in plastic like new! Every blender has to pass a 17-point checklist ensured by Vitamix itself. You're getting what is essentially a new, expensive blender for less.

Before I invested a good chunk of change on this machine, I wanted to do more research. What really got me was every certified reconditioned Vitamix comes with a 5 year full warranty. FIVE YEARS. You can even make it an 8 year warranty for an additional $75. Part of the reason I went with Vitamix was the phenomenal customer service they have. Reviews raved about how they stand behind their products and that the warranty process is a breeze. I don't expect my wonderful machine to break anytime soon, but it's comforting knowing that my rather expensive investment is well supported. Plus, this thing is POWERFUL. Horsepower means nothing to me, but know that this machine can literally take a blender full of cold ingredients and turn them into a hot, steaming soup in 6 minutes. Wow.

If you're looking for a quality blender without splurging for the Vitamix, check out some write-ups to decide what model is best for you. Be warned, though. You do get what you pay for. I've owned various models, from $15 blenders to $40 blenders to $100 blenders, and the money I invested in my Vitamix proves the difference in quality a thousand times over. Look at it this way: if you're using a blender frequently, like I do, it can wear out in about a year (or even shorter). My Vitamix is guaranteed to last 5 years under the warranty or they'll give me a new one - that means it's only costing me $50 a year to own (or $41 per year if you extend to the 8 year warranty). If you're replacing a $50 or $40 or $30 blender each year, you might as well invest in the Vitamix for the long term and get a much more superior product that will actually do what you want without having to stick a spoon in there and move things around because the blade keeps getting stuck and hey - does it smell like burning plastic to you? No such worries with the Vitamix.

Wait, back up. Why do I need a blender?

In addition to making actual blended things, like smoothies, milkshakes, margaritas, strawberry daiquiris, piña coladas (see where I'm going here?) and more, a good blender doubles as a versatile kitchen appliance. A blender can do a lot of your food processing work for you if you're not a frequent or fancy chef. I use my blender to blend soups like red lentil soup, to make sauces smooth, for pesto, salsa, whipped cream, muffin mix, pancake mix, homemade hummus, and so much more. Vitamix's are especially impressive at getting tough jobs done - like making homemade nut butters, non-dairy milks like almond milk, and juicing - and these 52 other things. Blenders facilitate eating healthfully and cooking quickly, all on one convenient appliance. And if it's go big or go home, a (certified reconditioned) Vitamix is the answer.


Note: I am not being paid to say this. But hey, @Vitamix, I wouldn't be opposed!


12 Things To Put On Your Holiday Wish List

 
12 Things to Put On Your Holiday Wish List to stock your kitchen. Presents for everyone on your list! | themillennialmenu.com
 

The holidays are the perfect time to stock your kitchen with everything you need to cook and eat delicious food all year long. Whether you're looking for stocking stuffers or big ticket items for under the tree, there are plenty of options ranging from gadgets to appliances to pans and knives. The price range varies so there's something for every budget. Plus, this post is being listed on Black Friday, so now is the time to get the deals (Especially the Instant Pot, which is currently 47% off!)! Whether you're buying something for someone you love or adding things to your own wish list for Santa, the Millennial Menu's Holiday Wish List has anything you could need (and want). Everything on this list is something that I find either immensely helps with my efficiency, budget, or enjoyment in the kitchen. 

Stocking Stuffers

 
A list of essential stocking stuffers to stock your kitchen this holiday season. | themillennialmenu.com
 

1. Kitchen Scissors

I grew up watching my mom chop things up with kitchen scissors all the time, and I now use my own pair daily. They're strong and sturdy. I use them most often for cutting meat (whether I'm trimming chicken breasts or portioning out chicken strips for stir fry) and snipping fresh herbs. These are the most useful reasons to own kitchen scissors - but you'll find yourself reaching for them for so much more. They're great for opening packaging, breaking down bone-in meat and cutting raw bacon, and with bread (think quesadillas or croutons). For less than $15 for a quality pair, you'll be glad you put them on your list.

2. A Quality Travel Mug

You probably know that it's expensive to buy coffee every morning. It's one of my first recommendations of things to cut out of your spending to save money. Plus, I strongly believe that you can make tea & coffee at home that is just as good as what you can buy for $5 at a fancy coffee shop. The secret is actually getting yourself to a point where you prefer to drink what you make at home. The first step to doing that is having a quality travel mug that can go with you as you run out the door to class or work. Go with something that will keep your drink hot (or cold) for hours and is spillproof. Functionality is the move here. Anything from Contigo is a safe bet - like this basic 16 oz. model. It's the first step in saving yourself around $800 a year.

 

3. Garlic Press

This handy gadget saves time and hassle. The press minces garlic with a squeeze of your hand, keeping your hands from reeking of garlic for hours after you've finished dinner. I use it for anything and everything - shrimp scampi, making a sauce, roasting vegetables, and more. I grab this gadget almost every night when I cook dinner and I'm grateful for it every time.

 

 

 

4. Boston Shaker

Making high quality drinks at home is an art - and makes you feel like a real grown up when you do it right. Plus, if you're trying to save money, cutting back on the number of drinks you buy out is one of the quickest ways to reign in your budget. You'll be enjoying whiskey sours, cosmos, and margaritas on your couch in no time. A Boston shaker comes in two pieces and requires a strainer to strain your drink when you're done - but trust me, this model is much better than the 3 piece shaker-strainer contraptions that get stuck and frozen together thanks to the ice cubes. Go for this one, where both pieces are metal (as opposed to the bottom being glass, which can shatter). Wondering where to start? Add The Craft of The Cocktail cocktail book to your list as well. In the meantime, you can also check out Cocktail 101: How to Shake a Cocktail and subscribe to the blog for a post coming soon about how to stock your liquor cabinet.

5. Meat Thermometers 

The best way to cook high quality meat is to avoid over-cooking. But many cooks (including myself) tend to err on the side of caution and overcook food because we're afraid it isn't done yet. A thermometer fixes that problem with one simple purchase - you can cook your meat to a perfect safe temperature (with little effort and absolutely no guessing and crossing your fingers). I was shocked at how quickly meat actually cooks to a safe temperature and realized I'd been overcooking almost everything I ate. Now, I stick the thermometer in, set it to the correct internal temperature (depending on what I'm cooking, safe food temp info is available on the web), set the alarm to beep when it reaches that temp (I LOVE this feature. No need to worry about watching the stove and wondering if it's done!), and walk away. And, it's not just for meat - you can also use it for baked goods like cheesecakes, bread, the temperature of water for poached eggs, or a foray into homemade yogurt (with your Instant Pot). I recommend this model that beeps when your food is at the correct temperature and has a long cord so you can keep things in the oven and the reader on the counter.

6. Tupperware Containers 

Nothing will save you money like not wasting food, bringing your own lunch, and eating leftovers. Those three things are much more appealing when they're properly, cleanly, and safely packaged. My moms swears by the Tupperware brand, and although I have some leftover plastic takeout containers and such, I appreciate tupperware for its sturdiness and reliability. Opening up your lunch to leaked salad dressing everywhere is a major bummer. I tend to use Tupperware to pack my lunch, but I do keep a variety of Glad and Rubbermaid food storage containers in my cabinets for extra leftovers in the fridge. If you're looking to buy some starter Tupperware, get a few different sizes:

  • I love the 6 for $15 2 oz. Mini's set for no-leak salad dressings, peanut butter/almond butter, and ranch dip for veggies.
  • The 4 for $25 Microwave "Cereal Bowl" Set is my go-to for any leftovers - I bring my lunch in these to safely re-heat in the microwave, and even pack sandwiches in them to keep the bread from getting squished!
  • I use the Snack Cups for all of my snacks, from almonds in my purse to goldfish to hummus (4 for only $9.99 on Amazon!). 
  • Last but not least, the $9 Soup Mug makes it super easy to re-heat warm soups, stews, and chilis in the microwave and I don't have to worry about soup getting all over my lunchbox. 

7. Liquid Measuring cup

A liquid measuring cup is something that might not be on your basic kitchen outfitting list, but is actually necessary for accurate liquid measurements (versus the more-common dry goods measuring cups). It's also a useful way to check for reduction if you're making a sauce, whisk up a homemade salad dressing, or melt something in the microwave (like butter for baking). A high quality glass version will withstand many years of use.

 

 

 

Under the Tree

 
12 Things for your kitchen on this holiday wish list! | themillennialmenu.com
 

1. Instant Pot  

I've already written a whole post about why you can't live without the Instant Pot. That post is your perfect resource for in depth information about why you need to buy this appliance and how it will make your life so much easier. In short, you need it because it's a slow cooker (meaning you can walk in the door at the end of a long day at work and dinner is already sitting ready for you) and a pressure cooker (meaning you can walk in the door having forgot to think about dinner and have something delicious on the table in minutes) all in one - and so much more. I LOVE my Instant Pot a little too much, and I can promise you'll be so happy you have it. In my longer post about it, I did agree that sometimes people only need a slow cooker, but if you can get it at a price like today, it's basically the same as a slow cooker and does so much more. The DUO60 model (the newest, average-sized model) is currently on sale for Black Friday for $68.95. That's almost 50% off! Read my post The One Appliance Every Twenty-Something Can't Live Without and buy yours today.


2. FoodSaver

If this appliance is important enough that I wrote a whole post arguing Why Every Millennial Needs a FoodSaver, then you should definitely put a FoodSaver on your list. A FoodSaver is a vacuum sealer that will keep your food fresh for longer. I love it for so many reasons, including sealing fancy cheese, but it's most useful for freezing meat. I buy meat on sale in bulk and freeze all my meat in single portions. It makes my life so much easier and saves me so much money. There are a ton of fancier models, but the one I have that's linked here works just fine and is small enough to fit in your kitchen. This FoodSaver model is only $60 and is simple and intuitive to use.


3. Good Blender

If you know me, you know I'm all about budget but this is the one case where I really go overboard. I have a certified refurbished Standard Vitamix and it cost me $249 and I have no regrets. Vitamix is the gold standard of blenders, known for their impressive power and high quality design. I make smoothies every day and the texture is perfectly smooth in seconds. This all being said, a brand new Vitamix is uber expensive, so I really recommend Vitamix's certified refurbished program. Mine came like new, and it comes with a 5 year full warranty!

In addition to making actual blended things, like smoothies, you can also use it as a food processor. Blenders facilitate eating healthfully and cooking quickly, all on one convenient appliance. Subscribe to the blog for a future post all about my Vitamix and why it's worth your investment!

If you're looking for a quality blender without splurging for the Vitamix, check out some write-ups to decide what model is best for you.


4. Carbon Steel Pan

A good pan will take all of your cooking to the next level, almost easier than learning technique or perfecting a recipe will. You need one quality pan in your kitchen cabinets, and carbon steel is the way to go. It's what's used most in restaurants to cook the food you love paying for so much, replaces heavy and unwieldy cast iron, and is beautifully and naturally non-stick. They also heat evenly, unlike many pre-coated non-stick pans, meaning you can get a wonderful sear on meat or seafood. Carbon steel pans are also oven safe, so they're great for finishing off a dish in the oven. To get the full scoop, check out the trusted Cooks Illustrated review or their demo video testing out the various pans hereSubscribe to the blog to get more info about the Carbon Steel Pan and why I love it in a future post.


5. Good Knives

A good knife makes cooking so much easier. I didn't believe it until I saw it myself - food is actually easier to prepare with a sharper, higher quality knife like this budget-conscious option will meet the majority of your needs. You can buy a cheaper set of different, multi-purpose knives but having a high quality chef's knife is worth it because you'll reach for that knife the most. America's Test Kitchen has consistently rated this knife as the best frugal choice if you'd like a lot of bang for your buck. If you're looking to branch out or splurge a bit, check out this guide from Serious Eats.


Note: This post contains affiliate links for products I recommend. That means if you click on a product link in this post and choose to purchase the product on Amazon, I earn a commission. I only recommend products I use and love organically. This means that if you are going to purchase a product that I recommend, I encourage you to do it through the direct link from the blog so that I (and the blog) benefit. The rest of the products I own and love. I do not earn anything from the items on Vitamix or the Tupperware websites. Read my full affiliate disclosure

Millennial Cooking Hack: The Paprika App

So much of the reason why I feel successful and in control of my kitchen is due to one amazing app: Paprika. Paprika is primarily a recipe management app, but I use it to integrate my recipes, my weekly meal plan, and my grocery list. Within one app, I can scroll through my favorite recipes I've saved from the internet or from my Pinterest board, choose what I want to make for dinner that week, and add the ingredients for each recipe to my grocery list. I take the mobile app version of Paprika with me on my phone and use it constantly as I wander up and down the aisles of the grocery store every Sunday. 

While I love having somewhere to keep all my recipes that's easy to use and cook from (which you'll learn more about later in post), the best part of Paprika is using it for meal planning & your grocery list. Meal planning is one of the easiest things you can do to save money on groceries. You'll know what you're making ahead of time and won't be tempted to eat out. It also saves you money through the grocery list feature, because it helps you to stick to your list and avoid impulse buys that can rack up a big bill at the checkout counter.

I spent a weird amount of time researching various grocery list apps and eventually landed on Paprika, which does so much more than just list what you need to grab at the store. I couldn't be happier and now can't imagine how I would function without it.

Paprika is an app available for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows, Android, Kindle Fire, and Nook Color. I have both the iPhone app ($4.99) and the Mac app ($19.99) and I find having both super useful and well worth the price. I manage my recipes and meal plan on my laptop and take my grocery list with me on my phone. While I balked at the prices at first, it's worth it to spend $25 once to stay organized, eat healthfully, and save much more than the $25 you spent on the apps in the long run. 

Interested in making cooking for yourself easier and cheaper? Keep reading...

How I Use Paprika on my laptop:

Meal Planning & Recipe Management

On my laptop, I use Paprika to keep track of all my recipes from various places on the internet, from Pinterest to my favorite blogs. I also use it to scan through these recipes and plan out what I'm making each week in the calendar feature. Other awesome things about Paprika on my laptop:

  • They have a friendly bookmarklet that scans a webpage you're on and downloads the recipe on the page to the app - there's no tedious input of ingredients or steps. You can also browse the web within the app and just hit the save recipe button.
  • I have my recipes organized by tags like dinner, chicken, salads, etc. 
  • You can easily scale up or scale down recipes and the app will adjust the ingredient amounts accordingly. Perfect for when you're only cooking for one!
  • You can add the ingredients of a recipe straight to your grocery list - no tedious input there, either!
  • Finally, you can drag and drop recipes into the calendar function. I do this every single week to plan out what I'm going to make for dinner, then export the ingredient list to my grocery list and boom, I'm ready for a quick and inherently less expensive trip to the grocery store.
  • When cooking, you can cross items off the recipe as you add them - never forget to add the eggs or add double the salt again!

How I Use Paprika on my phone:

Grocery List

ther than when I need to look at my calendar meal plan or a recipe on my phone (features that are both seamlessly integrated into the mobile app), I find the Paprika mobile app most useful for on-the-go grocery shopping. I pull it up when I'm at the grocery store and can see my entire list at once, or simply my "To Buy" column. I check off what I buy as I go, so I know what else I still need to get.

 
 

Whether you use Paprika for everything food related like I do, or just for your grocery list, there is definitely a way to make cooking and grocery shopping for yourself easier - and Paprika is it. Half the time, it's figuring out what to make and buying the ingredients that are the biggest barriers to healthy, home cooked meals.  Once you commit to Paprika, dinner will be that much easier.

See it live...watch a video demonstration!


This is not a sponsored post - I just really like this app and find it so useful!


The Secret to Easy Clean Up

Non-stick foil makes cooking and clean up a breeze! | themillennialmenu.com

Dishes are my least favorite part of cooking - but my secret to easy clean up is so simple: non-stick foil. Yes, this is a blog post about aluminum foil. I'm owning that. BUT, it's important, and you'll be happy it exists once you learn my secret. All credit goes out to my mom on this one, who introduced me to the wonderful world of Reynold's Wrap Non-Stick Foil

Why you need it: The end result of cooking should be satisfyingly delicious, but clean up is almost always a drag. Non-stick foil makes clean up super easy by ensuring that nothing sticks to your pans - no burnt olive oil, no crispy roasted vegetables, and no more prying your baked chicken off of the bottom of the baking sheet. It's #science. How many times have you had to scrub a baking sheet, sloshing water all over the place (including onto you)? I use baking sheets all the time when I cook - to roast vegetables, to cook salmon, bake chicken, bake bacon (baking bacon in the oven is awesome. You should be doing it.) Every single time I make sure to put a sheet of non-stick foil down first. My food slides right off when I'm done cooking, and clean-up is a breeze. Half the time no food even touches the pan itself - a quick rinse and it's clean! 

Where to get it: I have actually purchased this item from Amazon because I couldn't find it anywhere near where I went to school in middle of nowhere New Hampshire. I checked everywhere and I needed it...so I caved and spent double on it and had it shipped two my house in 2 days (Thank you, Amazon Prime). It actually makes your life that much easier that double the price is worth it. BUT you don't need to do that - because if you have a car or don't live in the middle of nowhere, you can find non-stick foil just about anywhere: Walmart, Target, your local grocery store, CVS, etc. It's more expensive than regular aluminum foil but trust me, it's worth it. Just make sure to only use it when it's going under food - when you're placing food on top of it. You'll maximize it's non-stick function this way. I just use regular old store-brand aluminum foil for covering dishes if they need to be covered in the oven or while on the stovetop/anything else I need it for.

In summary, you're much more likely to want to cook if clean up is easier, and non-stick foil does just that. I've been surprised at how many people don't know about it, and it's 100% worth the bit of extra money (especially if you buy regular, store-brand aluminum foil for your other, non-non-stick needs. Is that a word?). Now, time for some bacon.


Note: This is not a sponsored post. Reynold's Wrap has not paid me to say nice things about them, I just actually really appreciate less mess and less cleanup.