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Must Haves for Any At-Home Chef
With the holidays on their way soon, many people will be beefing up kitchens to handle the increased demand for 'fit for a king' meals. Not being a professional Chef shouldn't stop you from being able to cook like one. But, you'll need the right tools to create those tantalizing dishes. Read on and find out the five tools that no kitchen cook should be without.
Make sure that you have a good, quality set of mixing bowls on hand - the bigger the better! Many dishes need to be beaten, blended or mixed. You'll be glad you didn't skimp on the mixing bowls when you need to perform any of those tasks. Most professional chefs prefer to use stainless steel mixing bowls. However, there are many quality plastic sets available, like the ones made by OXO. But be aware that plastic bowls can become hard to clean over time, especially if used for heavy duty sauces, and may need to be replaced.
Cast iron skillets, pots and pans have long been a choice of the pros. But, cast iron cookware can be a little daunting. Seasoning, pre-seasoning, re-seasoning, cooking the seasonings in, oils to use, etc. to ensure your skillet is ready, is a hassle many cooks would rather not deal with. Now you don't have to. You can buy cast iron cookware galore - already seasoned - so that you have no fuss and still get the same great benefits of those using simple cast iron. Lodge is a well known maker of pre-seasoned cookware and offers many different types of cast iron cookware. Be aware -soap nor dishwashers should be used for your prized possessions.
Specialty Measuring Spoons
If you've ever seen one of grandma's old recipes refer to a pinch, smidgen or dash and have had to take a guess at the meaning (and hope you're right) then you absolutely must grab a set of pinch, smidgen or dash measuring spoons. No more guessing or testing your interpretations on your guests (as fun as that may be). This set also makes a great conversation starter - especially at family gatherings where elder members may take you on a trip down memory lane.
First out Pie Spatula
What could possibly ruin the perfect homemade Dutch crumb apple pie? Having it fall apart while you try to get that first piece out of the pie dish. Well, here is a secret of the pros - use a first out pie spatula. You bake the spatula in with the pie. When the pie comes out of the oven and cools, you make the cuts and lift that first piece out in perfect appetizing condition!
Kitchen Companion Guide
Ever wonder how long you need to steam asparagus? Not sure how to stick a thermometer in a turkey? Never butterflied a pork chop before? For all the weird, rarely used information you may need, while preparing a feast, you can turn to a kitchen guide. Look for a kitchen guide which specializes in everything and anything you may need to know while cooking any meal in any kitchen. For a complete guide that has gotten rave reviews, check out the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Companion: The A to Z Guide to Everyday Cooking, Equipment and Ingredients.
Many of the above items may not be featured at your local retail store, so you might want to find a local kitchen specialty store near you or do your shopping online. But, if you enjoy the art of cooking and want to be armed with the best tools possible, you now have a few more to add to your arsenal which will help you cook like the pros.
Mike Tinnes is a retired chef who spent most of his time as a Head Chef in New Orleans after training in France. He spends his free time cooking for family and friends, as well as serving as a contributing editor for CookingSchools101.com which offers information on Culinary Schools for those wishing to enter the trade.
Cooking Tips - Google News
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Weber Grills Reviewed: Quality that Lasts
Barbecuing has long been a favorite pastime for many and the grills people are buying have only become bigger and better as the years go by. But, with so many grills to choose from, how do consumers know which company produces the best? Well, the Weber Grill company has proven itself to be one of the greatest choices when purchasing gas, smoke and charcoal grills.
Two for One Dinners: Ham
If you find leftovers boring, uninviting or downright "yuck," then here are some ideas to put the "zing" back into mealtime. With a little creativity your home-cooked meal can easily become a delicious meal another night.
Reductions: Proving Less is More
Any liquid can be reduced just by heating it - but why would you want to do that?The answer comes back to two of our old friends, flavor and consistency (texture).By reducing any flavored liquid you intensify its flavor and at the same time thicken it.
Secret of Light and Fluffy Biscuits and Pancakes
Would you like to lose some weight -- in your baking, that is? This one secret ingredient (that you likely already have in your kitchen) is not only inexpensive and healthy, it'll also add a bit of "cloud" to your biscuits and pancakes!And that ingredient is ..
The Perfect Scone: Keys to Make Your Scone Just Right
Ah, there's nothing like a tender, steaming scone in the morning. (Pronounced "skawn" like "fawn" or "scone" like "tone" -Webster says either is okay.
Is Your Cookware Poisoning You?
For over 40 years scientists have known that the fumes from hot non-stick surfaces can kill pet birds such as canaries. So just how dangerous are they to you?Several studies have been conducted into health concerns surrounding Teflon, the coating invented and patented by DuPont.
Unique Cake Decorating With Flowers
Flowers as a Cake Decoration, unique and easy to place on every one of your cake creations.Flowers, both real and artificial are relatively simple to use.
How to cut a cake
Have you ever wondered how to cut a cake? I have had a lot of practice. When I turned 16 and requested a Spider Man sheet cake I busily honed my cake cutting skills by making concentric rectangles and then served up the master piece.
Why do We Need to Knead?
Bread dough needs to be elastic in order to capture the gases created by the yeast, stretch as bubbles form in the dough, expand, and rise. Without that elasticity, bread would not have the open texture we enjoy nor would bread be chewy.
Cooking Filet Mignon
Filet mignon is French, of course, with filet meaning "thick slice" and mignon meaning "dainty." Filet mignon comes from the small end of the tenderloin (called the short loin) which is found on the back rib cage of the animal.
The Barbecue Pit
The barbecue pit has been around since 1920,s and it was used to cook barbecue beef ribs. BBQ ribs had a far more delicious than ribs cooked in the kitchen.
Wok this Way! (Part 3 of 5) Seasoning Your New Wok
Seasoning is the most important thing you can do to your wok. Only carbon steel and iron woks need to be seasoned.
Baking Perfect Breads, Cookies, and Desserts
We're all looking for that perfect pie, or cookies, or loaf of bread. It doesn't always happen.
Digital Kitchen Timers - Never Burn Another Dish
Digital kitchen timers come in many shapes and sizes. Timers are an indispensable tool in the kitchen.
A Cookie Assembly Line: Efficient Cookie Baking for Busy Cooks
As a busy working mother, I'm short on time, especially during the holidays, but baking Christmas cookies is a family tradition I'm unwilling to give up. Over the years, I've come up with many ways to make the process of baking a large variety of cookies go much smoother and take less time out of my busy life.
Cooking With Kids--Safely!
School's out! And summer is a good time to introduce your child to chores in the kitchen!To help you along, here are some things to remember when cooking, especially with kids. Plus a couple of kid-friendly recipes!1.
Chinese Cooking Technique: Deep Fry
There are usually 2 ways of deep frying in Chinese cooking:Deep frying the ingredients directly Deep frying the ingredients with batterThe latter is the most commonly used method. Here are some pointer in how to deep fry Chinese food most effectively.
How To Eat Fresh Vegetables - Ideas for Working More Veggies Into Your Diet
Fresh, uncooked veggies are so healthy and it's important to work them into your meal plan somewhere. The majority of American's don't eat enough vegetables and most vegetables consumed in the American diet are cooked potatoes in the form of french fries.
Baking Bread in a Dutch Oven
Dutch ovens were made for baking. In the hands of a practiced baker, a Dutch oven will create beautiful breads and desserts.
If your cookies are too tough . .
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