Archive for Kitchen Know How

Gourmet Grocery Shopping

GOURMET GROCERY

The Gourmet Grocery Shopping Experience

I always shop at the chain grocery store. They have most of what you want when you want it. They always have sales. They are open late, and if you are lucky, they are open 24/7.

But, if you are a cooking maniac, or just an eating foodie, you need to find the gourmet store to visit occasionally. Or if that is not an option in your city, find the area in town were the independent food wonders are. What’s that? The butcher. The baker. The candlestick maker. Just kidding! The cheese maker. The candy store. The local winery.

I went to the gourmet shop in my area for the first time on the Fourth of July. Boy was that a mistake! It was crazy busy. But I dealt with it. I thought the store was just another super store like Wal-Mart or Target. Was I ever so wrong about that!

The Bakery

Not only did they have cake donuts in the bakery, they have fruit tarts. Cheesecake. Tirimasu. Petit Fours. Fancy cookies. A cake decorating area for special occasions. Breads. French Bread. Baguettes. Rolls. Whatever you were looking for, they had it. It covered half the length of the store from front to back, and big enough for two aisles.

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Choosing The Right Knives

KTCHEN KNIVESChoosing the Right Knives

Knives are a confusing topic for most people who want to be a good cook. Especially for us DIY home goddesses.

  • What brand of knives should we get?
  • What type of knives do we need?
  • How much should we spend on knives?
  • Where do we get them, to get the biggest bang for our buck?

That is a lot of questions to be asking, and hopefully this goddess can help her fellow goddesses in making an informed choice. Let’s start by talking about the chef’s knife (or the Santoku equivalent). That is the most important knife for any cook to own, because most of your cutting skills will be performed with this on most of the food in your now fabulous kitchen.

knives

Knife storage. Chef, Santoku, paring and steak knives.

Questions to Ask Yourself

The whole thing about knives is based primarily on your personal preferences. You need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I want a hefty or heavy knife (european) or a lighter knife (asian)?
  • Does it matter whether it is forged (metal is pounded into the shape) or stamped (shape is cut out of a sheet of metal)?
  • Do I want a chef’s knife, that has a curvy to the tip blade, or a santoku knife that has more of a straight edge?
  • Do I want wood, steel, or plastic handles?
  • Do I want Carbon Steel or Stainless Steel?
  • What size do I want to start with?

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Cook Steaks the Right Way

COOK STEAKS

Cook Steaks the Right Way

Steaks for a goddess. This is one post I really need to have out there. I love steak more than just about any other food.

I know there are all kinds of steaks, all kinds of prices, and all kinds of ways to cook the steak. But how is a goddess supposed to make a decision on what kind of steak to eat at Outback Steakhouse? It seems like all steaks should take the same, and be cooked the same. Right?

Wrong answer! Where the meat comes from will determine the tenderness of the steak, which in turn determines how to prepare it for the grill. Then of course, depending on how the steak is prepared will determine the price you have to pay in a restaurant.

So let’s get some knowledge, and you will not only be more knowledgeable on the variety of steaks on the menu, but may also give you the gumption on cooking the steak at home, to eat in your castle.

Steak Type

Standard types of steaks (attempting to put them in order on a cow frame):

steaks

Here are the main cuts of beef

  1. Top Blade (more commonly known as flat iron) – shoulders.
  2. Rib Eye – obviously the rib area, without the bones.
  3. Hanger – next to the rib.
  4. Filet Mignon – the edge of the tenderloin, appears to be smack dab in the middle of the cow.
  5. Porterhouse (or T-bone) – basically the lower back, is one of the most expensive pieces. Read more

20 Essential Spices

ESSENTIAL SPICES

20 Essential Spices

Essential Spices? Seriously? Oh come on! Do I really need to?

Even if you don’t do a lot of cooking, you can still spend a little bit of money on spices to make it look like you cook all the time.

There are spices and herbs that are considered mandatory for any kitchen, even if you do nothing more than throw things into the microwave or a pot on the stove.

Quick Tips

  • You can add a little bit of dried basil to your can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup to give it a more sophisticated taste.
  • Do you boil any kind of noodles at all? Then you need salt.
  • Garlic Powder and Onion Powder are much easier to deal with than cloves and bulbs.
Essential Spices

The piece de resistance. This is a piece of work all right!

What spices to I need, you may be asking. Well, let me tell you. I have a list of spices/herbs/ingredients I always keep in my kitchen. Welcome to my divadom! Read more