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Try these surprising ways to make your favorite recipes taste better, using everyday pantry items.

Make guacamole better with …yogurt

Yogurt and sour cream can add so much zing to guacamole! Line the bottom of a strainer with cheesecloth, a coffee filter, or paper towels and set over a medium bowl. Spoon in 1/2 cup plain yogurt, cover, and chill 8 hours or overnight until yogurt ‘cheese’ is thick and creamy. Mix up all your favorite guacamole ingredients in a large bowl. Then fold in the yogurt cheese and 1/2 cup sour cream to make an amazing dip. Check out these secrets food manufactureres won’t tell you.

Squeeze lemon over pasta

Skip the salt when you boil the pasta, instead squeeze in half a lemon. You’ll give your pasta some zip, and cut down on your sodium intake.

Perk up your steak with …coffee

Mix fine coffee grounds into a spice rub for a rich, aromatic flavor. For an especially good combination, mix together ground espresso or other coffee, paprika, chili powder (or pure ancho chile powder,) cumin, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Add a touch of sugar. This is the secret ingredient behind the addictive flavor of McDonald’s fries.

Amp up your eggs with …cream cheese

Once you try this dish, you may never want your eggs any other way. Cream cheese gives the eggs a smooth texture that is irresistible. Melt 2 tbsp. butter and 1/4 cup cream cheese in a skillet before adding the beaten egg mixture. Cook over medium-low heat until the eggs are just firm yet moist.

Thicken gazpacho with …bread

Most soups are enriched with cream or a mixture of butter and flour. Give your gazpacho body with a different thickener: bread. Just puree 1 slice of bread, torn into pieces, right along with the vegetables (as per your usual gazpacho recipe) for a delightful texture and refreshing taste. Check out these cooking tricks that are only taught in culinary school.

Wake up potato salad with …horseradish

Potato salads tend to be mild and creamy from mayonnaise or sharp and puckery from vinegar. But for a truly amazing potato salad, prepare your usual potato salad recipe, and simply stir in a teaspoon or two of prepared horseradish.

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