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User-submitted cooking videos have changed the way I cook. If they can do it, I can do it. Nothing seems too complex or out of reach, and watching a few different people make the same dish gives me the confidence to give it a whirl and the knowledge to make it work. For instance, just last week, these woman taught me how to make dumplings (I’ve got pics/recipes if you’re interested).

The YouTube Revolution hasn’t changed one thing — I still hate cleaning. I avoid using multiple pots and pans, and I clean and reuse whatever I can to avoid stacking things up. I like to use the bags my plastic veg bags to mix dry rubs, to season and to marinate. I avoid using blenders and food processors as much as I can. Lazy? Economic? Mostly the former.

That’s part of the reason why, every week, I love watching Eric Ripert bang out delicious snacks with his toaster oven. So easy. So not-messy. Here are my favorites:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5HA50EJrNY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd9YL191AGM

Another great online cooking video resource is Gourmet’s Test Kitchen, and Jacques Pepin’s Fast Food My Way has some good ideas, too. On the local tip, Barton Seaver drops some dimes online (hopefully more to come) and Teddy Folkman demos the mussels that thrashed FlayFoodtube.Net, the aptly-named youtube of food, runs the gamut, and I’ve had just as much luck finding demonstrations on youtube itself.

Instruction notwithstanding, the celebrity-as-chef phenomenon has also yielded some online gems:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=zdysc3erRuw

Finally, you can never go wrong when Pee-Wee’s Playhouse meets Kylie Kwong:

I advise reducing Walken’s chicken to a game hen before cramming it in the toaster.

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