Category Archives: Cooking

Christmas Dinner Ideas

When the stockings have been filled then emptied and after Santa has made his appointed rounds families around the globe begin the preparations (or in some instances continue them) to prepare the family feast that is most often associated with Christmas Dinner. There are many traditions around the world though sadly far too few families have the opportunity to experience some of the rich traditions and delicious foods that mark the Christmas holidays in other corners of the globe, or even across each individual nation.

In certain parts of Italy, because of the Catholic tradition of abstaining from red meat on Christmas Eve day, there is a tradition of having fish for the evening meal. This is commonly referred to as a 7 fishes dinner and is a fascinating tradition for those who enjoy seafood. It’s certainly a new and refreshing dinner idea for many people if you are looking for something a little different from the ordinary. Even if fish really isn’t your food of choice there is no rule that says you can’t prepare a nice Italian feast for your Christmas dinner. The important thing is that you have friends and family gathered near and prepare the food with love. You do not have to have turkey or ham in order for the meal to qualify as Christmas and there is no reason that you have to stick with traditions that you really do not enjoy.

A traditional German Christmas dinner might be a neat tradition to try in America as well if you are looking to introduce your family to various cultures or just want to do a little something extraordinary for Christmas this year. One thing to note is that many Germans have their Christmas Dinner on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day. A traditional German Christmas dinner often consists of dishes such as stuffed Christmas Goose, Potato Dumplings, Red Cabbage, and Baked Apples for dessert. Of course you do not have to choose a traditional Christmas dinner for your Christmas German cuisine there are plenty of great German dishes that can be enjoyed if you wish to bring a German theme to your Christmas table. Do whatever tastes good and it might be best to choose foods that are relatively easy to prepare rather than those that are time consuming so that you can enjoy time with friends and family rather than cooped up in the kitchen.

If a taste of the UK is what you have in mind for your Christmas Dinner table then you might find the foods bring a flavor that is a little closer to home than you may realize. Popular Christmas dinner favorites in the UK include dishes such as roasted turkey, roasted potatoes, brussel sprouts, dressing, and pudding pie. One interesting tradition that is popular in the UK is that of Christmas crackers, which hold little gifts and goodies inside.

Another interesting choice for your Christmas table may be to include your favorite Mexican dishes for dinner. Most Americans have a soft spot for Mexican cuisine and it is definitely warming to eat on a cold winter’s day. The point is to make your Christmas dinner menu fun to eat, fun to prepare, and something that is likely to make your guests smile while building fond memories of your Christmas day.

The same may be said of most cuisines, even those from cultures that do not traditionally celebrate Christmas. Thai, Indian, Chinese foods make wonderful themes for a Christmas table if you are knowledgeable about the cuisine and willing to undertake the tasks of preparation as part of your Christmas dinner plans. The trick is really in finding dishes that are relatively simple to prepare, difficult to mess up, and can easily be skipped in the event that something does go wrong. There are tons of distractions on Christmas in most households and you do not want Christmas dinner ruined because one dish is proving difficult or impossible or (heaven forbid) gets burned, dropped on the floor, or eaten by the dog.

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Choosing a Theme for your Holiday Cooking

For some families there is constant competition from one year to the next to top the efforts of the hostess for the last season’s holiday festivities and cooking. If you are looking for a great way to do just that when it is your turn to do the holiday cooking for the family how about breaking with tradition and creating your own theme for the holiday? I know it may seem a little rebellious and some may not like it but others may find it ingenious.

You can make your holiday cooking fit any theme or situation you like. You can create the perfect picnic complete witch a checked table clothe, seating on the ground, and baskets filled with goodies for everyone to dig in when ready. The idea is to do something a little bit (okay I admit it a lot) different from what others have done in the past and give them ideas to build upon for the next holiday cooking theme. If you decide to go with the picnic theme be sure to bring wine, cheese, and plenty of finger foods that travel well. If the weather permits (and it may depending on where in the country you live) you can actually make a picnic event of your turn doing the holiday cooking.

You can set your food up and display your cooking efforts like an all you can eat buffet if that’s what you like, though I hope your cooking is much better than most of those I’ve tried. The point is to make the theme something that is new and a little bit different but also that isn’t really related to the holiday but allows the family to enjoy the benefits of the holiday, which includes the pleasure of each other’s company.

If you really want something new go with an ethnic theme for your holiday cooking. This leaves a lot of room to explore and those who have the duties of cooking for the holidays next year will have a hard act to follow if you choose a theme that you really enjoy eating and cooking and decorate well to suit the theme. Let your imagination, personal tastes, and knowledge of your family be your guide as you decide what theme to incorporate and how far you want to take it. You can even have a lot of fun by issuing a challenge from the very beginning.

One fun theme that I’ve always wanted to bring into my Christmas cooking (specifically) is a Medieval Christmas theme. I think it would be fun to require costumes for the dinner, dancing afterwards, and observance of some of the cultural ‘manners’ of the time for the celebration of Christmas. It just seems like such a fun way to spend the day with family and loved ones even if you are doing the cooking. The good news is that with a Medieval Christmas cooking theme you have a little bit of room to let your imagination run wild and it will definitely be a hard act to follow.

The downside is that skipping tradition is always a risk. If you are worried that your family might not like it, ask first, and then decide if this may or may not be the right move for your family situation. You could always do the other as a Christmas party or for your own personal Christmas with immediate family only (though arguably that would be less entertaining).

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Chinese New Year Cooking Ideas

There are few festivities that are felt around the world on quite the grand scale that the Chinese New Year is celebrated. This is an event that affects people all around the globe and the celebrations are quite exotic and a lot of fun for everyone involved. One thing that many outsiders may not realize is that many of the aspects of the Chinese New Year celebrations have a very specific purpose and meaning even the food. Whether you are Chinese are not, I know very few people in the world that couldn’t use a small degree of good fortune to make things in their worlds run a little more smoothly.

When it comes to cooking for a Chinese New Year celebration there are a few things you might want to keep in mind. The foods that are prepared each have their very own meaning and a definite reason for being prepared.

Dumplings are believed to bring wealth in the New Year to those who eat them on this special day. Of course wealth is something that many people wish to accumulate so there are many paths to doing so. Other foods that are symbolic of wealth on the Chinese New Year are bamboo shoots, black moss seaweed, egg rolls, and oranges. Wow, this is just the beginning of the symbolic nature of food for the Chinese New Year so be sure to bring your appetite if you choose to celebrate.

Longevity or long life is something else that the Chinese are quite famous for. Eternal youth is what some may call it though these days it is far less eternal than may have been the case in centuries past. The secret however, to that long life was in consuming the proper foods as part of the New Year festivities. Those foods include: noodles, Chinese garlic chives, and peanuts (circus elephants everywhere rejoice at this news).

Prosperity is attributed to foods such as lettuce, whole fish, and pomelo. IN addition to prosperity whole fish and pomelo are believed to bring abundance and togetherness (as in marriage or romance) during the coming year.

Chicken is the main course when happiness is the goal. In addition chicken is associated with marriage, particularly when served with foods such as lobster that are considered to be dragon foods).

For those planning for children in the near future you might want to add eggs, seeds (such as watermelon seeds), and pomelo-the last two especially if you want several children.

Finally, if luck is what you are most in need of try to add a tangerine or some seaweed to your plate on this special day. If your run of luck has been really bad you may want to double up on your servings of both.

The Internet is filled with wonderful recipes for to help you celebrate the Chinese New Year in as traditional a setting as possible. Foods such as Jiaozi (Chinese noodles) and egg rolls are commonly found online and will go a long way towards creating the proper atmosphere for all good things to come your way in the coming year. Add a few lettuce wraps and longevity noodles and you have a good grasp on the good things that most of us hope will come our way in the coming year.

If you can’t manage to eat all of the foods that are believed to be symbolic of good things to come in the coming year be sure to pick those you feel are most important and focus on eating those. This is, after all, quite a bit of food to take in during the course of one day unless you are barely getting a bite in of any of them and that would most likely defeat the purpose. Take time and make sure that you manage to enjoy cooking and preparing the dishes that make a Chinese New Year so special as well as you enjoy eating them.

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Beat the Summer Heat with Crock Pot Cooking

When the weather outside warms up, the kitchen can be a terrible place to be. There are many things you can do however, when it comes to cooking a nice home made meal that doesn’t require traditional stove top or oven cooking. Learn to utilize some of the lesser heat producing equipment in your kitchen, such as the crock pot, in order to truly beat the summer heat and keep your cool while preparing a nice hot meal for friends and family.

So, how does crock pot cooking really help beat the heat? Simply put, the crock pot in and of itself puts off far less heat when cooking than an oven or stove top. This is the first and possibly the best reason to utilize the crock pot in your summer meal planning. You should also consider the fact that by not heating the house by using your stove top or oven you are also preventing your air conditioning (or other cooling methods) from working overtime in order to compensate for the additional heat that other cooking methods introduce.

This makes crock pot cooking a win-win situation as the costs involved in operating a crock pot are far less than the costs involved in operating a stove or oven in general. Whether electric or gas, your stove and oven are often serious energy hogs. Add to that the fact that you are not raising the temperature in your home by traditional means of cooking and you are using even less electricity.

Unfortunately for most, the general consensus has been that crock pots were meant for comfort foods and hearty winter meals. The truth is that the crock pot should be one of your best loved and most often utilized cooking methods if you can manage it. When it comes to cooking with a crock pot, the options are almost limitless. Almost anything that can be baked can be made in the crock pot and many, many more wonderful and enticing meals and treats as well.

Benefits of Crock Pot Cooking

In addition to the cost benefits mentioned above when it comes to crock pot cooking there are many other benefits that are well worth mentioning. First of all, the bulk of the work involved in crock pot cooking takes place early in the day when you are refreshed rather than at the end of a hectic work or play day. This means that you are less likely to forget an ingredient or make other mistakes that often occur as we hurriedly prepare a dinner when we are exhausted from the activities of our day.

Second, many great crock pot recipes include the vegetables that insure we are getting the nutrients we need. So often, when preparing a meal at the last minute, vegetables and other side dishes are left out in favor of expedience. Crock pot cooking in many instances is a meal in one dish.

Another great reason to use a crock pot for your summertime cooking is the ease of clean up. Unlike pots and pans, most crock pot meals are made in one dish. This means that there will not be mountains of dishes to be either hand washed or loaded into the dishwasher (or if you are like me-both) afterwards. You can spend less time cleaning just as you spent less time slaving over a hot stove. Oh wait! Make that no time slaving over a hot stove. Once clean up is complete you can get back to enjoying the sun set, chasing the lightening bugs with your little ones, or waiting for the first star.

While there will never be a one size fits all best cooking method, crock pot cooking comes very close. If you have a crock pot collecting dust somewhere in the back of your pantry it is time to get it out, dust if off, and dig up some great summertime crock pot cooking recipes.

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Back to Beginning for President’s Day Cooking

Most people forget to honor President’s Day, a day that has been set aside each year to honor those who have held the office of the President of the United States of America. In fact, very few do manage to celebrate this special day at all other than hitting the local malls in anticipation of a few great sales. If you have decided that you would like to make the most of this great day and celebrate the great nation that America is and those who have been responsible leaders of this nature you might be wondering what you should be cooking.

How about going back to the beginnings of this great nation and going for a Colonial theme with your President’s Day menu? There are many great dishes that can be traced back over the centuries. You can find many great resources online that highlight the cooking of Colonial America. You might even find a few bonus recipes if you browse websites about Williamsburg, VA or other cities that were of import during the colonial days and those years when we were a fledgling nation.

If you search carefully you can find many resources that may give you even more ideas about cooking and serving a colonial style feast fit for a President’s Day celebration. You will find many books relating to etiquette of the day and expectations along with a few that were devoted to food preparation and some books that were published much later and contained recipes that have been passed down from one generation to the next with a gold mine of recipes that were often used during colonial times.

If the idea of a colonial feast isn’t your idea of a great way to celebrate American Presidents then there are other options available. One great cooking idea for Presidents day is the good old American Barbecue. There are those among us who feel that there is never a time of year in which a barbecue can’t take place. It doesn’t matter if there has been a foot of snow overnight there are many of us who are perfectly comfortable digging out the grill and throwing a few steaks and potatoes on for the sake of an honest excuse to celebrate and what better way than to honor those men who have led our country throughout history?

Even when using the grill and barbecuing for President’s Day you are not limited to foods that are typically barbecued. If you are of the mind you should consider doing something you may not try every day on your grill. Some popular firsts for many people include food items such as a whole pork tenderloin. This goes great with grilled or broiled vegetables, rice, and bread and feels like a very American thing to eat. Of course, hamburgers are quite nice and very American too.

Of course you could go the route of honoring the President’s fitness award on President’s day by electing to go the healthy route with your cooking and eating. Great ideas would be broiled fish or chicken, chicken noodle soup (soup is good for the soul after all and it is in February), steamed veggies, and a side of long grain and wild rice. Though there are some that find President’s Day the perfect excuse to go after some comfort food. Beef stew, vegetable soup, chicken and dumplings, and good old Virginia ham with all the trimmings might make an excellent choice for those seeking comfort and warmth on this, sometimes, cold winter President’s day.

However you choose to honor all the past Presidents with your cooking be sure to take a moment out of your cooking schedule to send positive thoughts and hopes toward the current leadership whether you approve or not. This is a position that very few of us could fill and still maintain some degree of sanity. For this reason we should be grateful for those who do.

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Trouble Free Cooking?

Believe it or not, trouble free cooking is a common desire around the world. Even those among us who love cooking and eating almost equally will be the first to confess that being able to cook without the worry of creating a mess, spilling, or burning would be a blessing. Truthfully speaking there really is no such thing as trouble free cooking though there are things you can do that will take a good deal of trouble out of your cooking.

Most of the tips here will be beneficial to novice or beginners in the culinary arts however, there are some great refresher tips for those who are more experienced when it comes to cooking as well. Hopefully you will learn some things through the next few paragraphs or at least remember some things you had forgotten.

First of all, cleaning as you go will take a lot of the trouble out of what comes after the cooking. When asked the least favorite thing about cooking a wide margin of women proclaim without a second of hesitation that the clean up by far is the worst thing about cooking. To make things easier, clean as you go. Keep a sink of hot sudsy water ready to go the entire time you are cooking and wipe up any spills that occur immediately to avoid sticky messes that are much more difficult to clean afterwards. You should also note that if you transfer your food to serving dishes and immediately wash your pots and pans they will be much easier to clean than if the food is allowed to sit in them while your family dines.

My best friend is constantly burning her dinners. The reason? She believes in high or low when it comes to cooking and there is nothing in between. Very few meals should be cooked on high truth be told. You are much better off to begin the food preparation at a medium or medium high temperature and to adjust accordingly.

Make sure your oven is preheated. The temperature of the oven does indeed make a difference in the cooking process. While there are those that believe preheating is a simple waste of electricity it is what is required in order to achieve the optimal results when cooking. Most modern electric ovens will signal when the proper temperature has been achieved.

Select recipes that fall within your comfort zone in order to avoid making mistakes or becoming too stressed about the cooking process. Once you’ve decided on your recipe read it through a couple of times in order to be certain that you not only understand all the steps involved but also have all the necessary ingredients before beginning.

Wash your hands thoroughly and wash your hands often. Remember the sink of sudsy water I mentioned above? You’ll want to use it quite frequently in order to wash any surface, cutting board, plate, or utensil that has come into contact with raw meat in order to avoid cross contamination. The same holds true for your hands.

While to some degree these tips may seem a bit simplistic, when it comes to trouble free cooking there really is no such thing. The more you do to make the cooking process seem as effortless as possible the more trouble free your cooking will really be.

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Traditional Christmas Cooking

Christmas is a time of year when different families around the world will get together and observe traditions that are the same for them year after year and yet vastly different from those that other families share around the block. There are very few universal Christmas traditions any more and there is nothing wrong with that. In America however, there are some items that many people consider traditional holiday cooking and there is little that will be done to dissuade these opinions. The truth is that many of these traditional holiday foods are largely traditional in specific regions rather than the United States having one nations wide traditional Christmas dinner.

Turkey or ham? For some families the answer is both while others answer quite quickly that it is neither. One of the best all-American Christmas cooking ideas I’ve ever seen was lasagna. It was a Christmas Eve tradition but a delicious tradition just the same. There are no right or wrong traditions only those traditions that work well for you and your family. If you feel the need to change a long-standing tradition for a large extended family by all means discuss it with everyone involved. Otherwise it is your tradition and you should feel free to make it your own.

At the same time, there is something comforting and reminiscent of home to have those traditions to come home to year after year. I can’t help but think of the movie Christmas with the Kranks. The entire movie was spent in an attempt to break with the traditional Christmas trappings and trimmings only to make a mad dash to return to them in the end. That is often the way things go when attempting to break with tradition. If you are considering this for the first time this Christmas be sure to hang on to some of your old traditions in case you find that it just doesn’t feel like Christmas without them. You certainly don’t want it to be too late and miss out on the spirit of Christmas in your home.

Other great traditional favorites for many Americans as far as Christmas cooking goes are: sweet potato casseroles, devilled eggs, dressing or stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, apple pie, mince meat pie, and pecan pie. Of course there are regional favorites that are often highly dependent upon where you live such as key lime pie, lemon icebox pie, oyster dressing, deep fried turkey. If one of these is a Christmas tradition for you, no matter where you are in the world you will think of home or Christmas whenever you come across them. It’s really amazing how that happens and quite nice too when family and friends seem far away to have something as simple as a dish of food make them seem that much closer.

That, of course, is the great, and almost perfect things about Christmas traditions. We pass them along to our children who one day will find that they are a little less alone because someone in an airport is eating a slice of key lime pie or having a dish or macaroni and cheese. If you don’t have Christmas traditions it is time to develop a few just so that you can share something special and almost sacred with your friends and family.

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Cooking On the Grill

Summertime is rapidly approaching. This means it is time to begin preparing meals without heating the house whenever possible. If you haven’t considered the value of cooking on the grill in the past, perhaps now is a great time to adjust your way of thinking.

Cooking on the grill is a great way to keep the heat of cooking outside your home as well as to bring the family together for the entire cooking process. Moms read: this is a great way to get dad to help out with meal preparation. While this is said somewhat in jest, there is some truth to the fact that men are much more inclined to slave away over a hot grill than a hot stove. More importantly, most of the mess of cooking on the grill remains outside your kitchen. I don’t know about you, but that is a huge bonus for me, when it comes to cooking.

Cooking on the grill is also a great way to get the kids involved in the meal preparation and clean up process. We like to use disposable plates when grill cooking and keep the dining al fresco. If you are hoping for instant family unity over the picnic table you might want to think again but there isn’t anything quite like it when it comes to not worrying about spills or dropped food as you can rest fairly certain that the animals will take care of anything that gets left behind.

Even small children can help when cooking on the grill by bringing utensils to the grill, holding plates, and ‘setting’ the picnic table for your dining experience. If you intend to do a good deal of cooking on the grill you may want to invest in some portable and ‘kid friendly’ containers for things such as condiments, napkins, plastic ware, and tablecloth holders. Be sure to find containers that can handle a decent gust of wind without flying off too. These may be a little heavier for your little ones to hold but they won’t be nearly as difficult to chase when blowing across the lawn.

Cooking on the grill is a great way to enjoy nature after a long day of work. Be careful that you do not reserve this as a weekend event as you will find you miss out on some of the relaxing qualities it can bring to your midweek slump. One thing that can definitely be said about grill cooking is that the selections are almost as limitless as they are when cooking on the stove. You must use your imagination for maximum effect though very few meats and vegetables are truly off limits when it comes to cooking on the grill.

In addition to cooking meats on the grill, it is important to keep in mind that you can also cook all kinds of fresh fruit and vegetables on the grill as well. You should also keep in mind the awesome side dishes that go great with grilled foods such as baked beans, potato salad, and nice cool deserts and pies.

Cooking on the grill is a great way to bring family and friends together. The next time you plan to have a get together why not make it a night of cooking on the grill? You can have the best of all worlds with no muss, no fuss clean up and great food with good friends. Cooking on the grill is certainly a great way to get the neighbors out and about. There’s nothing on earth that can quite compare to the aroma of meat, fruit, and vegetables grilling over hot charcoal. If you don’t remember and your mouth isn’t watering just reading about, it’s been far too long since your last barbecue experience.

The most important thing to remember about cooking on the grill is that it should be an experience rather than a chore. Most of us truly enjoy the thought of having a good dinner under the sun or stars (whichever applies in your case). If you haven’t tried this in a while, it’s time to dust off the grill and refresh your memory and your taste buds.

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Excellent Menu for a Great Fourth Outdoors

The Fourth of July is America’s Independence Day. It is a special day in the minds and hearts of patriotic citizens of this country and there are many ways we celebrate that patriotism. If you are looking for a little something extra to add to your Independence Day menu try some of the ideas below. Remember that the red, white, and blue of the American flag can be excellent color additions to your fabulous fourth menu and make it definitely firework worthy.

It is fairly safe to say that for most of the country the weather on the fourth of July is going to be a little bit on the warm side. While there are exceptions to every rule this is the general rule of thumb. For this reason you should prepare your menu according to that and avoid foods that are going to melt quickly or will not look as appealing in warm weather. You should also take proper precautions for storage and keeping things from spoiling by leaving them out in the elements too long. Store as much of the food as possible until it is time to serve.

This may somewhat limit your offerings but opens the door to other offerings. Rather than have chilled pies for dessert choose cake that can be stored at room temperature. There are sure to be a few chilled recipes or dishes that are best served and/or stored chilled. Be sure to have plenty of cold gel packs or ice on hand and plenty of ice chests and other appropriate containers, especially if you are going to be camping or cooking out away from home, on hand to take care of at least the amount of food you are contributing that needs cold storage.

If you are going to be camping out or enjoying the great outdoors on the fourth consider foods that can be prepared with a Dutch oven. There are many great recipes and these foods can pretty well cook for the prescribed length of time and served immediately if you plan properly. These ovens are quite useful and can prepare everything from cakes and muffins to stews, chili, and roast beef with vegetables. In other words, a Dutch oven opens doors that may not be widely available to the average camper on a cookout.

Foil packet meals are also excellent choices for your Fourth of July cookouts. These leave little mess, little fuss, and more often than not taste great. Dishes such as Hobo Stew and Creek Bank Potatoes are very popular and quite savory for the average cook out. They are also rather simple to prepare with few ingredients. This makes them an excellent choice for cooking on a grill or even in a Dutch oven if you have one at your disposal, which I highly recommend not only for Fourth of July meal preparations but also any time you are cooking in the great outdoors. You might find that you love it so much you don’t want to do without it.

Another great tip when cooking away from home on the Fourth of July is to keep things simple. You do not want to lug around stacks of condiments, dishes, bowls, trays, etc. Keep things as simple as possible and try to use dishes that require few ingredients yet still taste great. The more simple things are when dining in the great outdoors the more you can appreciate the simplicity of being in the great outdoors.

Don’t forget the appeal of simple hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats as great Fourth of July meal ideas. These foods are easy to prepare, easy to clean up, and go great with chips. No muss, no fuss, remember? The less time you spend on meal preparations, the more time you have available to get around to enjoying your time in our great countryside. I can’t think of many better ways to celebrate our independence as a nation than by enjoying it.

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The Wonderful Tools of Cooking

Far too often people overlook the importance of using the proper tools when cooking fine meals. While there is nothing in the world that can quite compare to cooking with the finest and freshest of ingredients, these things can only be enhanced by making use of the perfect tools for the job at hand.

When it comes to pots and pans and skillets you should keep in mind that conductivity is of extreme importance. You should also select pots and pans that are made of a heavier gauge. This allows your pans to heat evenly avoiding hot spots, which can lead to food that may ‘stick’ to your pan or scorch during the cooking process. This means that simply stopping in at your local mass market retailer and purchasing any old set of pots and pans is probably not the best course of action for the best possible quality in your kitchen.

Kitchen knives are also important ingredients in the kitchens of today. If you plan to prepare many meals in your kitchen, then the quality of your knives is of the utmost importance. Your knives are an investment you shouldn’t have to make too often in your lifetime. For this reason, select a really good set and be prepared to make a sizeable investment in your knives. You will never understand, unless you’ve tried to prepare foods with knives of inferior quality, just how important it is to purchase good quality and well-balanced knives for your kitchen. You should also try the handles in your hand to see how comfortable they feel before purchasing a set of knives. If you do a lot of chopping and cutting during your meal preparation and cooking you will want to make sure that the knives you are using feel comfortable in your hands.

If you are like me and plan on cooking a great deal of meat then you should also invest in a jacquard. This useful tool helps not only when it comes to tenderizing rather rough and tumble cuts of meat but also pierces the surface so that rubs and marinades can penetrate for a more flavorful experience. This is by far one of my favorite kitchen gadgets and it isn’t a sizeable investment for the added value it provides to meals.

A good quality grater is another tool that no kitchen should be complete without. There are many who feel that with all the pre shredded cheese products on the market today this tool is obsolete but nothing could be further from the truth. First of all, pre grated and pre packaged cheese simply doesn’t touch the quality of flavor that freshly grated cheese provides. Second, cheese isn’t the only thing that these graters are useful for grating. Graters are excellent tools for grating citrus fruits, spices, garlic, chocolate, and even onions. If you do a good deal of baking in addition to your cooking you should not overlook the value of having a quality grater in your kitchen.

Of course there are many more cooking tools than I could possibly mention here. Those mentioned above simply happen to be among my personal favorites. There are all kinds of appliances that in my humble opinion no kitchen is truly complete without. In addition to these great appliances there are many tools that are simple matters of preference. Do you peel enough potatoes to warrant a special device for doing so or do you simply opt to purchase an ergonomically designed potato peeler and peel them by hand? There are no one size fits all answers when it comes to kitchen tools and many of us are often limited by serious budget constraints and restrictions. My best advice if this is the situation for you is to purchase the best possible quality you can afford and build from there. Even if it means replacing one pot or knife at a time until you can manage a complete set of superior quality cooking tools you will find it well worth the price you’ve paid in the long run.

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