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A spiralizer turns carrots, beets, and squash into noodles (or "zoodles" when using zucchini). The steps below the recipe work with all these vegetables. For best results, use smaller zucchini, which have thinner skins and fewer seeds. The blade on a spiralizer is very sharp, so make sure to do this with an adult.

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Take your ham and cheese sandwich to the next level by turning it into a slider. Fluffy potato dinner rolls are just the right size for a few bites. Heating these small sandwiches in the oven makes the rolls nice and crisp and the cheese melty and gooey. You can also make these sliders in a toaster oven if you have one. To make a whole bunch of sliders for a party, double or triple this recipe (to make 8 or 12 sliders) and heat them all on one rimmed baking sheet in the oven. Follow this recipe with your kids.

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Macaroni and cheese has always been on my "must-explore" list. It's just eaten too often in this country for us to ignore it. Kids in particular say yes to macaroni and cheese when they turn up their noses at everything else. Unfortunately, it's the boxed version, complete with orange cheese powder, that's made most often.

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Chicken Florentine is a buffet-line favorite featuring chicken breast and spinach in a mild cream-and-Parmesan sauce - sometimes stuffed inside, sometimes stacked on top. All of these components are good, but this dish can often be stodgy (think old-fashioned casserole) or fussy (involving dredging chicken in flour and sauteeing).

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Microwave popcorn is a great idea -in theory. But most packaged options have a long list of unnatural ingredients and don't taste very good. This fun recipe turns a plain old brown paper bag -the kind you might use to hold your lunch -into a microwave-safe package for popping corn kernels.

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The people of Tuscany are known as mangiafagioli, or "bean eaters," a nod to the prominent role beans play in their cuisine. Cannellini (white kidney) beans are the region's most famous legume, and Tuscan cooks go to extremes to ensure these beans are cooked perfectly, from simmering them in rainwater to slow-cooking them overnight in a wine bottle in a fire's dying embers.

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Cooking salmon can be intimidating since it overcooks and dries out so easily. But the multicooker makes the process foolproof: The consistent moisture level and temperature, as well as the precise timing safeguards against overcooking, produce evenly cooked salmon each and every time.

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The center-cut tenderloin — often called chateaubriand — comes from the middle of the whole tenderloin, which sits beneath the spine of the cow and gets no exercise at all, making it the most tender piece of beef you can buy. We knew that a simple preparation would let the exceptional texture shine.

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One of the best ways to serve banana bread is with toasted nuts. Toasting nuts in the oven makes them taste better. Spread the nuts out on a rimmed baking sheet and heat the nuts in a 350 F oven until you can smell them, which takes about 5 minutes. Once the nuts cool, chop and stir them into the batter for any cake, cookie, muffin or quick bread. Follow this recipe with your kids.

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Low and slow is the way to go when it comes to making this yummy fish dish. A low-temperature oven (set to just 300 F) ensures that the fish cooks slowly, without drying out. Crispy, buttery, garlicky panko bread crumbs get a head start in a skillet so they're golden brown when the fish comes out of the oven. Finally, a mayonnaise and egg yolk "glue" adds rich flavor and helps the crumb topping stay put. Even kids who don't usually like fish will like this dish!

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Delicately flavored spaghetti squash makes for a fun and interesting vegetarian main, but often the squash must be roasted in the oven while a separate sauce is made on the stove. In the multicooker, however, we could make a simple fresh tomato sauce and cook a large 4-pound spaghetti squash together in one pot.