Slicing a bagel evenly and safely is a challenge. For a technique that allows you to do both, lay the bagel flat on the work surface and cut through the center to make two pieces. Place each piece, cut-side down, on the work surface to safely slice in half.
When you need a schmear of room-temperature cream cheese but don’t have time to wait, speed things up by submerging the foil-wrapped package in a bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes, or until softened.
Locating and removing the pinbones from a side of salmon, or even a couple of fillets, can be tricky. Running your fingers along the flesh is one way to locate them, but we’ve discovered an even better method. Invert a size-appropriate mixing bowl on a work surface and drape the salmon over it, flesh-side up. The curvature of the bowl forces the pinbones to stick up and out, so they are easier to spot, grasp with pliers, and remove. It’s now pinbone-free and ready be cooked (or cured—homemade gravlax, anybody?). Like these? See more quick tips at Cook's Illustrated.