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Showing posts from April, 2012

Good Things in April

I was glad that the month of April was a good one in so many ways and that I was able to share some of my favorites with you.  Those chocolate chip cookies were a big hit with a lot of you readers here in this country and abroad.  It's exciting for me to hear from someone in another part of the globe who is not only reading the blog, but is also having success with a recipe or two.  Getting a nice note or email from a cookbook author I happen to look up to and admire is such an honor for me and it's a good feeling knowing that what I'm attempting to create & present on this blog is considered good; I'm humbled.  Thank You! Every month is cookie month for me, so this past month I just had to share with you my new favorite roll out cookie dough.  The brown sugar cookie recipe that I use for sandwich cookies got reworked and altered; a few things were subtracted & other things were multiplied.  They turned out so well using a few of my collectible cookie cutter

Kitchen Knives

Having the right tool for the task goes a long way toward making your life a lot easier.  When it comes to setting your mise en place of ingredients before cooking a meal, using the correct knife will undoubtedly facilitate food preparation and will give you the results you want.  Ask any restaurant chef and they will tell you that knives are probably the most important tool for the kitchen.  They carry their own wherever they cook. Owning a good set of kitchen knives should be at the top of your list if you like to cook & eat well.  Although there are many choices available to the home cook, not all knives are created equal.  In order to chop, dice, slice & mince with ease, a knife must be razor sharp, have good balance, be solidly constructed and above all else, it must fit in your hand like a glove.  When you hold a knife over a cutting board it should feel like an extension of your arm, not at all anything cumbersome or clumsy.  Sold in sets or as individual blades, i

Chicken Stock

I need to have homemade chicken stock in the freezer at all times, because it adds a lot of flavor to so many dishes.  It's one of the easiest things to make and requires little effort, so there is no excuse to be caught without some.  After I've roasted a chicken, so long as the seasonings aren't too strong, and have picked the bones clean, I drop the carcass into a freezer bag if I'm not going to use it right away.  This is something I like to do on the weekends early in the morning, because the minimum preparation that goes into making stock can be completed while the coffee brews.  You will need a good stockpot (with an 8qt. capacity or bigger), a fine mesh strainer, a large bowl to strain the stock, some cheesecloth, a ladle & some freezer containers.  The stock can be frozen in 1-2 cup portions or it can be frozen as ice cubes if you prefer to use stock by the tablespoon.    The Ingredients   1 large yellow onion (skin intact) quartered 2 l

Lemon Sugar

Lemon sugar is one of those essential, must-have pantry items for any baker.  Having a jar of it at your fingertips enables you to enhance a number of desserts, from cakes & muffins to cookies & pies.  I love substituting some or all of the granulated sugar in my sugar cookies with this delicious ingredient if I'm making them for a lemon aficionado.  The  Blueberry Cookies with Lemon Icing  I enjoy eating would benefit from such a substitution.  A few tablespoons sprinkled into some juicy berries for a summer pie always adds a layer of flavor that is unexpectedly good.  I encourage you to change that blueberry muffin recipe you do so love by using some lemon sugar in it; you may never make them plain again!  If you like making pancakes from scratch for your family on the weekends, use this sugar in the batter and serve the lemon pancakes with some fresh fruit and perhaps some local honey for pouring.  It is also good sprinkled over crepes. Lemon sugar is so easy to mak