Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Biggest Mistake

One of the biggest mistake that all cooks (not just beginning cooks) make is not reading the recipe. This is one of the most important things that you can do. Have an idea of exactly what the recipe is telling you to do. If you have a question about a term that the recipe uses, before you start is a good time to find out what it means.

The next step is called 'mise en place'. This French term means everything in place. On all the cooking shows you will see all the ingredients ready to go in small individual dishes. You don't have to get that fancy, but make sure that you do have all the ingredients.

You will be surprised how much easier your cooking will be. :: Defining Your Blogs Worth: TopSites:

Sunday, September 9, 2007

We Welcome to our site

I am always searching for good content for our site, and I found a really good site for you. Chef Talk has the inside edge to good food.

All About Cooking.Com
How to cook chicken,salmon, lobster and more. Recipes from all around the world including Mediterranean and Asian dishes.

When you are first learning to cook, the task seems insurmountable. But there are a lot of ways to be a good cook and enjoy yourself at the same time. Cooking is a very long experiment. When you first start, you follow the recipe to the exact letter. But the more that you cook, the more you find yourself adding a dash of this and a pinch of that. Cooking a meal can be the most rewarding thing that you do all day. :: Defining Your Blogs Worth: TopSites:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Totally Awesome Cookies! :: Defining Your Blogs Worth: TopSites:

I got this recipe from All Recipes (Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies). The cookies turned out really well. But by making a few changes, it turns into an awesome cookie. It’s very rich.

When I first started to bake, I made a lot of cookie recipes on the cheap. This is not a cheap cookie to make. If the recipe called for butter, my theory was butter and margarine are about the same and margarine is cheaper. I have since learned that if a recipe calls for butter, use butter. There is a difference.

You are going to notice that the dough is very heavy, with a pound of butter in it, you’re going to get heavy too. I read somewhere that you can also gain weight, not just from eating, but also from smelling food. I’m in big trouble, I just made 22 dozen of these. My son and daughter-in-law are having a party to celebrate the finalization of Alex’s adoption. It’s a very weird feeling for six months that at any time, someone can come and take your baby away. But everything is final now and we’re celebrating!

The original recipe says that this makes 6 dozen cookies. I used a soup spoon to measure mine and I got 3 ½ dozen.

Awesome Chip Cookies

4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups butter, softened
1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 (3.4 ounce packages) INSTANT cheesecake pudding mix
4 eggs
4 Tablespoons vanilla extract
4 cups DARK CHOCOLATE/RASPBERRY baking chips
2 cups chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder, add the salt, and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Stir in the baking chips and nuts. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto a ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven. Cookie edges will be golden brown.


1. If you use vanilla pudding mix, the flavor is not as intense.
2. If you use chocolate pudding mix, the cookie seems drier. (I ran out of vanilla flavoring, so I used rum flavoring – this may be why they were drier) I really didn’t like these, so I had some fun size Snickers. I cut the Snickers in thirds and put them on top of the cookie before and after baking. They are much better before baking.
3. If you use, chocolate/caramel chips, they turn out pretty good. But there is something about the dark chocolate/raspberry chips that makes them even better.

I’m going to put this recipe on all my sites, I think it’s that good. So, you may stumble onto it again.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Kalyn's Kitchen: Cooking Tips from Kalyn and Some Favorite Herb and Spice Blends :: Defining Your Blogs Worth: TopSites:

Kalyn's Kitchen: Cooking Tips from Kalyn and Some Favorite Herb and Spice Blends

One thing that I don't go into, in much detail, is Diet Food. Kalyn likes the South Beach diet and has developed good recipes for you. I will bow to her expertise in this department. Enjoy her recipes and tips!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Buying Good Cookware :: Defining Your Blogs Worth: TopSites:

Stainless steel cookware sets and individual pots and pans purchased at the Bargain-Marts may or may not actually be bargains. Sure you will know the price you paid for the product, and how that price compares to the other Marts in town, but did you get a deal? The only way to know the value of your stainless steel cookware set purchase is to know the basics of cookware language. After you get the very basics of cookware terms, you can then make better purchasing choices. In this article we will discuss material thickness and how this improves quality. The information we will cover in this article includes stainless steel cookware, aluminum cookware and cast aluminum cookware whether purchased in sets or individual pots.

Sometimes the Marts due in fact have very good deals on quality cookware products. This may not always follow the brand name rules that at first come to mind. Most brand name products have different product lines, and these lines usually are of different level of quality. The good news is if you buy brand name products, even the low cost lines, you will be getting a product that is normally much better quality that the better or the best of the non-brand name cookware. The brand name producers do not want you to associate their name with low-quality products. If this association happens you will not be a repeat buyer of that brand. If you go into a store or even a web site and the manufacturer’s name is not readily seen or advertised, the buyer should be cautious. Manufacturers of quality products want the consumer to know their name.

Now let get started on some cookware terms and the very basic knowledge you will need to know. As I mentioned above, we will begin with thickness of a pot or pan and the terms used. Metal thickness can be stated in inches (thousandths), millimeters, or gauge. Since many manufactures are now in Europe, they sell to Europe as well to the USA; those brands will be rated in MM or millimeters. Do not let metric measurements scare you; 1.0 MM is 0.0394 inches thick, a 0.5 MM is one half that thick or 0.0197 inches thick and 2.0 MM is twice that thickness or 0.0787 inches thick. The higher the MM rating the thicker the utensil will be. The next term for thickness is called gauge. Gauge can be hard to understand. The measurement in gauge works the reverse of normal thinking. The larger the number of gauge the resulting material will be thinner. A 16 gauge material is 1.3 MM thick, an 8 gauge material is 3.25 MM thick and a 4 gauge material is 5.18 MM thick.

We have now talked about all three measurement systems, inches thick in thousandths, millimeters and in gauge we will see where these units are used. If you are buying aluminum cookware or cast aluminum cookware the thickness will be in gauge. Most stamped aluminum cookware in the mass market is 10 gauge on fry pans and a thinner 12 gauge on saucepans. Better quality aluminum cookware would use a heavier 8 gauge on fry pans and 10 gauge on other pieces. Cast aluminum cookware is equivalent to 6 gauge. Consumers are moving up to more durable fry pans in recent years - either 6 gauge or a very heavy 4 gauge. Bargain basement lightweight fry pans with "generic" non-stick coatings are usually 12 gauge or 14 gauge. This is too thin to provide any length of time in service. The first time the heat is high under these fry pans the bottoms could warp, the contents burn or both. If you are buying stainless steel cookware the measurement of thickness will be in millimeters, (if the manufacturer is in the USA it may be listed in thousandths of an inch). The standard for top of range stainless steel cookware is 0.6 MM. Premium department store brands will have stainless steel cookware in the range of 0.7 MM to 1.0 MM thick. Low end stainless steel cookware is generally 0.5 MM thick. If you have the choice between two pots one is 2.59 MM thick (0.102 inches or 10 gauge) and the second is 5.18 MM thick (0.204 inches or 4 gauge) the best pot for even heat distribution is the 5.18 MM pot.

If you look at the bottom of your stainless steel cookware or your aluminum cookware and you see discolored, almost black shaded areas on the surface. If the pot does not set flat due to being warped, the likely cause is the utensil has had too much heat applied for its’ thickness. Once the utensil is warped it will never be able to transfer heat uniformly.

Dale Crouse is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt; he has been dealing with facts and data for the past 6 years in his work. Linda, his wife started a website selling quality cookware and she wanted to know how the products she sold compared to other “quality cookware”. Dale will be writing additional articles showing how to make the best choices in purchasing cookware from his research. Visit Linda’s website for quality cookware and accessories at

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Cooking Has Changed A Lot!

I have a cookbook from my Grandmother dated 1940. If you think cooking is difficult now, just wait for these recipes. These recipes assume a lot. For example:


4 cups water
16 cups flour
1 cake yeast
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon shortening
1 rounded tablespoon salt

That’s it. No mixing instructions. No baking instructions.

How about Fried Carrots?

Boil until tender, and peel the carrots cut lengthwise in thin slices, dip in egg and roll in cracker crumbs, and fry until crisp.

Last one:


2 eggs
1 cup cream
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon lard (I guess that they didn’t have a problem with cholesterol back then)
Flour to stiffen.

Again no cooking instructions.

In 1938, this is how they made Hollandaise sauce.

This is called Never-Fail Hollandaise Sauce

½ cup water
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons butter
2 egg yolks
juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
little onion

Cook water and cornstarch together until clear. Add butter and eggs and stir. Finally add lemon juice and season with salt, pepper and onion.

Here is a look at today’s recipe.

1 cup butter, unsalted
3 egg yolks, large
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon salt
1-2 dashes cayenne or hot pepper sauce

Notice how even the ingredients have changed. There is no water in today’s recipe, but the butter has increased from 4 tablespoons to 16 tablespoons. Cornstarch is not used as the thickener, and the egg yolks increase form 2 to 3. Vinegar and lime are added in the more modern recipe. The first recipe is a little more bland.

But look at the difference is instructions. Today’s recipe:

1. Heat the butter in a heavy saucepan until hot and foamy, but not browned.
2. Ladle off the clear butter and place in a container.
3. In a small stainless steel bowl, whisk or beat the egg yolks with the vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, salt and cayenne until foamy.
4. Place the bowl over a pan of low-simmering water and whisk quickly to thicken the egg yolks. Do not let the mixture get too hot, as the eggs will scramble.
5. When the yolks start to thicken, remove the bowl from the heat and slowly whisk in the clear butter.
6. Return the bowl to the saucepan and heat over very low heat until the mixture is slightly thickened. Adjust the seasoning with salt and hot sauce if desired. Serve immediately or let stand over warm heat.

Why the difference? This is just my opinion. In the 30’s and 40’s, women played a different role in society. You went to school, got married and raised a family. You learned how to cook as a matter of course, while you were growing up. Families lived in close proximity to each other. Mom and Grandma were close enough to run over to their house for information.

Today, you may live across the country or the world. You are expected to, as the commercial used to say, “Bring home the bacon and cook it up in a pan”. A lot of women don’t learn to cook in their childhood. Women are expected to work outside the home, raise a family, feed the family, wash the clothes and in her spare time to volunteer for a worthy cause. More and more frequently, you will see more prepared food in the market, frozen entrees, quick and easy this and that.

But, cooking is truly a skill. After working eight hours outside the home, it’s hard to come home and create a masterpiece. But on the weekends, the wonderful weekends, cooking is your time to relax, be creative, be in control of what your family digests. The sense of satisfaction when you put that dish on the table and everyone starts to ooh and ah, and then to say mmmm and yum that feeling is hard to beat.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cooking Substitutes

Cooking Substitutes

· 1 cup sifted all purpose flour = 1 cup unsifted all purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons or = 1 1/4 cups sifted cake and pastry flour.

· 1 cup cake and pastry flour = 1 cup minus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour.

· 1 cup sifted self-rising flour = 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour plus 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt.

· 1 tbsp cornstarch (for thickening) = 2 tbsp flour or = 2 tsp quick cooking tapioca.

· 1 tsp baking powder = 1/4 tsp baking soda plus 3/4 tsp cream of tartar.

· 1 tsp double-acting baking powder = 1 1/2 tsp phosphate baking powder or = 2 tsp tartrate baking powder.

· 1 cup butter = 1 cup margarine (hard/brick type) or = 1 cup shortening.

· 1 cup liquid honey = 1 1/4 cups sugar plus 1/4 cup liquid.

· 1 cup corn syrup = 1 cup sugar plus 1/4 cup liquid.

· 1 cup granulated sugar = 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed or = 1 1/3 cups brown sugar.

· 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk = 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar in a 1 cup measure plus add milk to make the 1 cup. Let stand 5 minutes.

· 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup plain yogurt.

· 1 cup sour cream = 1 cup plain yogurt.

· 1 cup milk = 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water.

· 1 cup skim milk = 3 tbsp skim milk powder plus 1 cup water.

· 1 cup cream = 3/4 cup milk plus 1/4 cup butter.

· 1/2 cup oil = 1/2 cup melted butter or = 1/2 cup solid shortening, melted.

· 1 ounce chocolate (1 square) = 3 tbsp cocoa plus 1 tbsp butter or shortening.

· 1 package active dry yeast = 1 tbsp active dry yeast or = 1 cake of compressed yeast.

· 1 whole egg (approximately 1/4 cup) = 2 egg yolks plus 1 tbsp water. Omit the water for custards and similarly textured food.

· 1 cup meat stock (eg. beef broth) = 1 cup consomme or canned meat broth.

· 1 cup meat stock = 1 bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup hot water or = 1 tsp instant bouillon.

· 4 cups chicken stock = 1 4 to 5 pound chicken, boiled for stock or = 4 cups canned broth or = 4 tsp instant chicken bouillon. Another cooking substitution would be 4 instant bouillon cubes plus 4 cups of water.

· 1 cup tomato juice = 1/2 cup tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup water.

· 1 cup tomato sauce = 1/2 cup tomato paste plus 1/2 cup water.

· 1 cup ketchup = 1 cup tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup sugar plus 2 tbsp vinegar.

· 1 clove garlic = 1/8 tsp garlic powder or 1/2 tsp garlic salt.

· 2 tbsp fresh chopped green or red pepper = 1 tbsp dried pepper flakes.

· 1 tsp dry mustard = 1 tbsp prepared mustard.

· 1 small onion = 1/4 cup chopped or = 1 tbsp dehydrated minced onion or = 1 tbsp onion salt.

· 1 tbsp fresh herbs (eg. parsley or basil) = 1 tsp dried.

· Juice of 1 lemon = 3 to 4 tbsp bottled lemon juice.

· 1/3 cup rum = 1 tbsp rum flavoring.