Mad Genius Tips

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Video: The Spice Rub You Can Use on Anything

If you thought rubs were just for meat or fish, you thought wrong. Tim Love uses his “bad ass” rub (made with guajillo chile powder, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, salt, cracked pepper and Mexican oregano) for everything from margaritas to steaks to salad dressings. In this week’s episode of Mad Genius Tips, watch F&W’s Justin Chapple put Love’s rub to the test and discovered just how versatile it is.

For more smart cooking hacks, watch all of F&W’s Mad Genius Tips videos.

How to Make Chocolate-Covered Ice Cream Popsicles

I've demonstrated nearly 70 Mad Genius Tips on video, but without a doubt, my all-time favorite tip is for making perfect ice cream sandwiches by cutting pints of ice cream into slabs and putting them between two chocolate chip cookies. It's superfast and insanely easy. In the September issue of Food & Wine, I take this tip to the next level by making a colorful ice cream terrine as well as my new favorite summer dessert—chocolate-covered ice cream popsicles!

Back-to-School Tips for Making Bag Lunches More Fun

Just in time for back-to-school, I stopped by NBC's Today Show to teach Tamron Hall and Al Roker some brilliant ideas for making school lunches a little more exciting. From star-shaped sandwiches to DIY ice packs, I've got you covered with these smart tips.

1. Shape up those sandwiches.
You can transform ordinary sandwiches—think ham and cheese, almond butter and jelly, or cheese alone—into fun shapes, like stars and hearts. Just prepare the sandwiches as usual and then cut them into shapes using large cookie cutters.

How to Peel a Tomatillo in 10 Seconds

Peeling the papery skin off tangy tomatillos can be a chore or, as Andrew Zimmern puts it, “a pain in the butt.” Thankfully, he has an easy trick for loosening up the outer layers. Watch this week’s episode of Mad Genius Tips to see F&W Test Kitchen’s Justin Chapple demonstrate Zimmern’s ten-second method for peeling tomatillos.

For more smart cooking hacks, watch all of F&W’s Mad Genius Tips videos.

Giada De Laurentiis Has a Hack to Sweeten Tomatoes in 10 Seconds

In the summer, there’s nothing better or more simple than a caprese salad with juicy, ultra-ripe tomatoes, creamy fresh mozzarella and aromatic basil. Actually, we take that back. Thanks to a supersmart tip from Giada De Laurentiis, the classic Italian salad can be even more delicious.

How to Make the Easiest DIY Ice Cream Cake Ever

Mad Genius Whipped Cream Tips from Jacques Torres

Recently, chocolatier extraordinaire and ice-cream genius Jacques Torres paid a visit to the Food & Wine Test Kitchen, where he demoed how to make incredible ice-cream toppings, as well as an amazing, massive sundae for two. One of the toppings was a classic: whipped cream. Here, four whipped-cream-making tips from Torres.

Why Pigs in a Quilt Should Be Your Favorite Summer Hot Dog Recipe

I know a thing or two about making hot dogs over-the-top delicious. So naturally, when NBC's Today asked me to teach them some Mad Genius Tips for hot dogs, I obliged.

4 Must-Try Hacks for Prepping and Eating Watermelon

Nothing says summer like a juicy, refreshing watermelon—especially on National Watermelon Day! Whether you serve it in a salad or eat it straight off the rind, prepping watermelon can be messy—and it can leave you and your kitchen covered in sticky juice. Unless you know better, you'll also need a spit bucket for all those pesky seeds. Lucky for you, we've got four must-try Mad Genius Tips that will improve your experience working with watermelon, from cutting the perfect cubes, to removing the seeds, to serving it at a party.

7 Uncommon Ways to Use Your Colander

The humble colander can do more than drain pasta. Repurpose this functional kitchen stalwart! Here are seven clever things you can accomplish with a colander that you had no idea you could do.

1. Mash avocados for speedy guacamole: Press peeled and pitted avocados through the holes into a bowl. Mix with fresh lime juice, spicy chile peppers and cilantro for a super-quick and tasty guacamole.