There’s no doubt that fresh is best, but no one likes to waste leftover food. These days, I’m learning and testing a new recipe on a daily basis. So we have a lot of leftover food throughout the week. Indian food tastes great when fresh, but it can be even better when the leftovers are freshened up with a little trick I learned from my mother-in-law. To add fresh flavor back into day-old dishes, heat up some oil or ghee and fry a bit of cumin seeds and onions. Add the leftovers to the pan and you’ve got fresh tasting food. This process of frying whole spices and and aromatics in oil (such as onions) is called tadka and it’s a quick way to add great flavor.Read More
When it comes to groceries these days, I tend not to think twice. If there is a recipe I want to cook I walk out the front door and buy whatever ingredients I need. But wait, aren’t we budget conscious? Hubby has indeed been trying to encourage me to ponder the price tag a bit more carefully and as a result I’ve discovered that my carefree shopping habits are a result of the confidence I have in the stores I choose to shop at. For my food needs, I have two options when I walk out the front door. I can turn right and walk the half block over to Safeway and buy my broccoli at $2.50 a pound…$2.00 when it’s on sale! Or, I can turn left and trek the two blocks over to our local Asian market, where broccoli costs 59¢ a pound…all year long.Read More
I’ve still got chocolate mousse on my mind. It’s because chocolate mousse is a great “skills” recipe. It includes so many of the basic techniques a baker needs to be successful in the kitchen. Knowing how to melt chocolate will lead you into truffles, patisserie, cakes and cookies. Simple syrups are the building blocks of caramels and cocktails. Learning to whip eggs and cream to the perfect ribbon-stage will give you the foundation for tiramisu, génoise cake, crème brûlée and opera cake. Knowing how to fold ingredients together correctly is a skill that is used in so many recipes, baking and cooking alike, that it’s almost as useful as knowing how to use a knife.Read More
For Valentine’s Day I decided to treat ourselves to some homemade chocolate mousse. Not just any chocolate mousse, but really rich chocolate mousse. The kind where you can only have a few bites worth because it’s so intense. This recipe is decadent, but the mousse is airy and light enough that it immediately melts in your mouth.
This wasn’t my first time making chocolate mousse, but it was the first time making it without my electric Kitchen Aid mixer. If you’re looking for a great shoulder workout, whip egg yolks and cream by hand. I’m missing my mixer a lot these days.Read More
Friday nights are my weekly cooking quizzes for myself where I test out a dinner party menu and see if I can successfully make at least three items from memory. This is what I call the “dinner party drill”. I’ve found it much more relaxing to cook up a menu for guests after I’ve had a few opportunities to practice it. However, at times it’s just Hubby as the only guest and I have a feeling he doesn’t mind a five course meal.
If it’s just Hubby for dinner, most of these practice runs are accompanied by a Friday night movie. Hubby and I don’t own a television so we pick up DVDs from the library next door and watchRead More
I love the excitement of reading through a new cookbook. Flipping through the glossy pages, admiring the photographs of each finished dish and wondering what new discoveries will be made. At the beginning of many cookbooks is a section that is often ignored. Usually titled “How to Use This Book”. This introduction is an opportunity for the author to explain how they have organized their recipes. It’s also a fun insiders look at how they approach cooking. Every cook is different but all great cooks have a confidence about themselves in their kitchen. In my own kitchen, I can whip up handmade breads and complicated curries from memory but put me in another person’s kitchen and I freeze. I experience this quite a bitRead More
Yesterday, I was strolling through Target searching for some new Tupperware. Along the way I spotted the kitchen gadget aisle and couldn’t resist taking a look. Normally, I never buy kitchen supplies at Target. I prefer to go across the street to a large restaurant supply store the size of Costco but I figured since I was passing by the kitchen gadget aisle, it wouldn’t hurt to browse. That’s when I spotted an egg slicer and read the description:
” Slices hard-boiled eggs with ease…perfect for strawberries, kiwis, mushrooms and soft cheese. “
With a feeling of impulsive excitement, I realized I could use thisRead More