I received my first cookbook from my mom in 1974. It was the same cookbook that we used at home when I was a young girl. She wrote in the front cover, “Enjoy! Be happy in your kitchen as I am in mine, Love Mom.” For those of you wondering what cookbook it was, “Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook,” revised edition 1971. Her copy was from 1948 which was the first printing of the cookbook. As the years went by and I became a wife and mother I learned how to improve my skills by still watching my mom, plus cooking shows, and reading recipes in cookbooks. This month is the perfect time to try your hand at cooking or baking! Here are some helpful tips and the tools that you will need to be a Master Chef and Master Baker in your own kitchen.
Buy basic equipment; invest in a good set of sharp knives, sturdy pots, pans, and a set of glass baking dishes. You will also need measuring cups (dry & liquid) plus a set of measuring spoons. A food processor and an electric mixer will come in handy as you learn the ins and outs of food preparation. You will also need some wooden spoons, a wire whisk, a few spatulas, a vegetable peeler, a pastry brush, a rolling pin, a grater, a cutting board, and a strainer just to name a few. The inventory of tools and equipment are countless, but as you learn to advance in your cooking techniques you can always add to your collection.
cooking dictionary will help you learn the correct terms to use for your preparation of special dishes. Here are two more links that are full of fantastic information. http://www.foodsubs.com/ & http://whatscookingamerica.net/Glossary/A.htm
Don’t be afraid to take advantage of cooking classes being given in your neighborhood such as in schools or libraries. Look at cookbooks; sometimes they supply you with tutorials which are extremely helpful. Or don’t forget "YouTube".. they have such wonderful tutorials of cooking as well.
I also can recommend “Cooking with Nonna" which is the best site to see videos, learn recipes, and share with others the love of Italian cooking and it's traditions. Rossella Rago is the host and of course you can't have this show or site without Nonna Romana. She is fabulous not only as a cook or baker but she steals the show with her Italian ways. You can learn some wonderful ways to cook by watching “Cooking With Nonna TV” and the tutorials.
|"Cooking With Nonna Knives"|
“Cooking With Nonna” has a fabulous set of knives that I have personally have purchased and use all the time. They are extremely sharp and are a good price. If you are interested click on this link, “Cooking With Nonna Knives” and you will not be disappointed. This site celebrates the family or "famiglia" and it’s traditions which is what life is all about.
But most of all make your cooking and baking experience fun! If you make a mistake, just try again. Every inspiring cook or baker needs assistance, so ask for help from your family, friends, and even your children. Chopping, cutting, and dicing are how they learn. So put on your apron and get out your knife and start chopping to create your next flavorful meal as the master chef of your own kitchen.
“Sweet Sriracha Chicken Wings”
Yield: 12 servings
12 chicken wings (about 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup Sriracha Asian hot chili sauce
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Place chicken wings in a large bowl. Mix oil, coriander, garlic salt and pepper; add to wings and toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, 2 hours or overnight. For sauce, in a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in orange juice, chili sauce, honey and lime juice until blended. Grill wings, covered, over medium heat 15-18 minutes or until juices run clear, turning occasionally; brush with some of the sauce during the last 5 minutes of grilling. Transfer chicken to a large bowl; add remaining sauce and toss to coat. Sprinkle with Cilantro and sprinkle lightly with sesame seeds.
Makes: 4 servings, about 2 cups each
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
8 cups baby spinach
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp sliced Kalamata olives
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups steamed beet wedges, or slices
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Place spinach in a large bowl. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, olives, parsley and garlic and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 3 minutes. Add beets, vinegar, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the beets are heated through, about 1 minute more. Add the beet mixture to the spinach and toss to combine. Serve warm.
This Italian cocktail is sweet, frosty and a thirst-quenching drink! You can use the Vodka or have the drink without it. Either way this drink is delicious! Chin, Chin! or Cheers!
Ready in: 5 mins
1 bottle Prosecco
1 lime or lemon
1/ 2 cup of Vodka (optional)
2 (14 oz) containers lemon sorbet
Chill 8 champagne glasses and 1 bottle of Prosecco 3 hours before serving. Cut 1 lime or lemon in 8 thin slices. Place 2 (14 oz) containers softened lemon sorbet in a large bowl and gradually whisk in 3 cups of Prosecco and the vodka (optional) Pour the mixture in the chilled glasses and garnish with lime or lemon slices. Serve immediately.
"Please Drink Responsibly!"
Till next time……..
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