The two knives every chef begins with

As a starter set for her I suggest the two knives every chef begins with — a 3 1/2- to 4-inch paring or utility knife, and a 7 to 8-inch chef’s knife. With the paring knife she can slice, peel, bone and fillet. With the chef’s knife she’ll mince, chop, dice and even carve like a pro. Later you can add others.
One of the brands I’ve test-driven for a long time, and one that gets high marks from professionals for its price-quality ratio, is the Forschner by Victorinox’s Fibrox line. Their chef’s knives are in the $30 range and paring knives are as low as $7. If she’s anything like me, she’ll still be using these knives years from now. Even with those three-figure knives ready and waiting in my knife block (my profession was the excuse for the splurges), these two usually end up by the sink waiting to be washed.
Along with them, get her the perfect knife sharpener for beginners, the AccuSharp knife and tool sharpener. It uses sharpening pieces that are preset at the correct angle so you can’t ruin your blades, and costs about $15.
Find everything on Amazon and other sites.
One last thing: Caution her to never, ever put a knife in the dishwasher — it ruins the blade’s tempering. Hand wash and dry it as you go.
Here’s a recipe she can practice on to try out her knife skills. It’s a good Sunday night supper too. The list of ingredients might give you pause, but trust me, the salad comes together easily. Cook the eggs ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator. And do the same with the dressing.
Article source: Splendid Table

Splurge money on the best kitchen knife

What makes knife sets so amazing? If you were to splurge money on the best kitchen knife sets, you really have to know what you’re looking for. Ask yourself whether you want the best 8 Piece knife set or do you want to purchase a low-cost but equally amazing 19 Piece knife set. Do you want a knife block set that looks pretty on your counter or do you want a chef knife boxed set that can be stored in your kitchen cabinet? The amount of knives and the brand will determine what you get. Remember, you only want what you’re really going to use.

There are many aspects to look out for. Listed below are some of them that you should take into consideration.


Amount of Knives

You should definitely consider the amount of knives you are getting. As I mentioned above about the 8-Piece and the 19-Piece knife set, the additional knives to a knife set are usually steak knives. Don’t get a big knife set if you’re under a specific budget because not only will you waste your money, you will miss out on trying better quality knives for the same price.

My suggestion would be to buy a normal 8-Piece knife set first since you’ll be using these knives more often. The knives that come with the 8-Piece knife set are customised to meet your daily needs. As for the additional steak knives, the Wusthof Classic Steak Knives Set will be a great addition if you’ve already purchased the Wusthof Classic 8-Piece Knife Set with Block. You won’t need to purchase any more knives after buying both of this.

Box Vs Block Set

A box knife set usually comes with five to six knives. This can be classified as a chef knife set compared to a normal kitchen knife block set. Obviously, it takes up much less space than a wooden block but there is also the eye-catching tempered glass block to hold up your knives. However, not many are a fan of it since the quality of the knives aren’t as great. At the end of the day, the knives matter more than the block.
Generally, invest in a wooden block as it protects the knives better. Make sure to dry them before inserting into the block. We wouldn’t want to spoil the block as well as our knives after spending money of them. If you’re in a rush, let the knives dry completely on their own. In this case, you would want to purchase high quality stainless steel knives that would last you.

Watch What You Eat

Nowadays, there are much more vegans than before. Logically speaking, they don’t need to purchase a big set of knives. Having a utility knife and a paring knife would be beneficial in their kitchen since they will be peeling a lot of vegetables and fruits. To save kitchen counter space and money, the Wusthof Classic 3-Piece Knife Set would be the best solution for them.

Choose the Best Cookware On A Budget

While cooking is often put into the “home science” category, you cannot deny that it does carry a large measure of artistry. True artists in the kitchen, just like painters and sculptors, know that the best way to turn out true art is to have the best tools you can afford. When it comes to cooking, that means quality cookware.
Learning to create varied quality cuisine calls for a lot of trial and error, but having the best cookware on a budget to cut down your cost.

The best cookware for sauces is made of copper. Copper reacts quickly to temperature changes, so when the stovetop temperature is reduced, the pan will cool quickly to avoid scorching or burning the sauce. Copper also cooks more evenly than other metals used for cookware.
Cookware for sauteing also can be made of copper or alternatively of anodized aluminum. That’s because the saute process fries food quickly on high heat, so the right pan is one that keeps heat and responds well to temperature changes. Stainless steel that has a layer of aluminum or copper sandwiched between layers of steel is the best cookware. Nonstick cookware can be used, but the layer of material that keeps food from sticking doesn’t retain heat very well, so sauteing can prove chancy with this type of cookware.
When it comes to stir frying, most cooks agree that the Chinese pan with steeply angled sides known as a wok is the best quality. Woks come in different sizes and materials, but in two main shapes: flat or round-bottomed, the traditional version. Flat-bottomed woks are the best cookware for electric stoves, while the round-bottomed version works for gas ranges. A wok must conduct heat well, since stir frying needs high hear. Carbon steel, cast iron or aluminum are the most popular metal choices for woks that make the best cookware.
Roasting pans are another staple of cookware to which chefs pay close attention. The cooking method of roasting requires even conduction of heat, so the best metals for this purpose (again!) are copper and aluminum. Roasting pans made of copper, anodized aluminum or stainless steel lined with aluminum or copper are the preferred choices. In addition, the chef can choose whether to use a roasting rack. Some cooks like the roast to cook in its own juices for flavor, and for providing the basis of a sauce or gravy. Others prefer to raise the roast out of its juices so that the fat drips away and more air circulates around the meat. Cook’s choice.
Whether you want to specialize in sauces, sauteing, stir-frying or roasting, always purchase the very best cookware you can afford. No cook has ever gone wrong investing in the best cookware enough to last a lifetime of delicious meals.

Kitchen Knife Sets Reviews

No kitchen is complete without a good knife set and if cooking is your hobby then you rather look for the best one that can perform to your expectations. Finding kitchen knife sets reviews online is not hard but you need to make sure you are approaching the right place to learn how to choose your knife set.


There are many forums that offer advice and recommendations from professional chefs and industry masters. But before you even try and look out for the reviews, you need to think about your budget and whether your need is very basic or professional chef like.
If you are looking for a low cost and budget knife sets then you need search for best affordable knife sets.

Budget Matters !

This will give you the list of sets available for a lower price to suit most people’s budget and some know brands. Always look for a set that includes knives that can cut all types of ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, meat and dry fruits. You will be surprised to know there are knives designed for different types of fruits, meat, and vegetables. This is something that professionals use at their kitchen but you do not want to go that for unless you are training to become a chef yourself.

Get Accustomed With Knife Reviews

Kitchen knife sets reviews usually comes with the rating from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 and users rate them on various aspects such as the durability, quality of cutting, easy of use, the grip of the handles, cost, etc. While going with the highest rating knife set is a smart move, it requires your own knowledge how to choose one to suit your requirement too. There are chances the one with top rating will not have a specific type or size of knife you want in a set.

How To Pick Kitchen Knives?

So first, list down your requirements and then start searching for reviews and you can even have a look at some knives at stores near you and look for review what people have to say about them. It is always good if you know the make and model of knife set that would be easier to find reviews on.

Why Cook?

Cooking may be tiring or time consuming but you have to admit it is relaxing. I love cooking when I have the time for it. I love to carefully pick, craft and create my dishes so I enjoy the finished product to the fullest.

I notice that if I rush myself, the dishes do not taste as good. Which is why I honestly feel that cooking is an act that should be experienced and not forced. By pouring your heart and soul into your dishes, you muster up something that transcends the physical world.

If you don’t believe me, try cooking the exact same dish two separate times. You should be in a hurry and unenthusiastic when you cook the dish the first time. Take your time and be gentle the second time you cook your dish.

Ask a family member to try both dishes before you taste it yourself. You’ll be surprised by the difference. Don’t waste your ingredients on half hearted attempts of cooking. Enjoy the process. If you don’t have the time to make a fancy dish, make a simple one.

As long as you pour out your heart into your cooking, it will taste great to anyone who tries it.

Spice Up Your Dishes!


A sprinkle of this or that turns an everyday food into something with tasty international flair.

No, it isn’t hard to be an international chef―even if you rarely travel beyond your local grocery store. By simply adding a few herbs and spices to your kitchen collection, you can prepare dishes from all over the world. In Chicago, for example, Patty Erd, co-owner of the Spice House, has created seasoning blends inspired by, and named after, that city’s ethnic enclaves. Here, Erd reveals the ingredients that make each cuisine come alive.

Nutmeg is a main ingredient in Caribbean cooking―for good reason: “It’s grown there,” says Erd. “They also use a lot of allspice and ginger.”
Try: In the Spice House’s recipe for Jamaican Red Bean Soup

“French cooking uses virtually no spices but plenty of herbs,” says Erd, “because the herbs grow in many French backyards.” That means rosemary, thyme, tarragon, and marjoram, to name a few―all of which can show up in the classic blend herbes de Provence, which you can make by combining an assortment of those herbs (fresh or dried) in your kitchen. Just chop up the components and mix them to taste, or look online for one of the many recipes for this blend, which sometimes includes basil, savory, cracked fennel, or lavender.

Nutmeg and mace (another part of the nutmeg plant) are at the top of the list in German cooking. “Mace and nutmeg are not indigenous to Germany, ” Erd notes, “but they go in a lot of sausages.”

Contrary to popular belief, there is no one spice called curry. Curry powder is actually a mix of any number of pungent spices, and the recipe for that blend can vary from cook to cook. “It’s very personal to you and what your family likes,” says Erd. Cumin and turmeric are staples, though. Other possibilities include―but aren’t limited to―coriander, ginger, black pepper, red pepper, cloves, white pepper, nutmeg, fennel, cinnamon, saffron, and mace.

Ireland isn’t exactly known for its spices, so Erd’s shop came up with its Bridgeport Seasoning (named after a predominantly Irish neighborhood in Chicago), a mix that pairs well with potatoes, the Irish staple. “We used some of the things that are indigenous to Ireland that are not technically spices,” says Erd. The mix includes red bell peppers, onion, cayenne, toasted onion, Romano cheese, thyme, rosemary, and basil.

Many of Italian cuisine’s characteristic flavors don’t come from spices, “but a lot of the things we call spices―like garlic and onion―get used a lot in Italian cooking,” says Erd. For her shop’s Italian-inspired blend, Taylor Street Cheese Sprinkle (named after a predominantly Italian neighborhood in Chicago), she uses garlic, Italian parsley, salt, powdered green peppercorns, scallions, and powdered Romano cheese. The Spice House’s seasonings all use dried ingredients, but Erd says, “If you don’t have the seasoning, you can certainly use fresh ingredients.”

“Cumin is used in pretty much all Hispanic cooking,” Erd says. She also recommends keeping onions, garlic, and Mexican oregano (available at finer grocery stores or from the Spice House) on hand. “Mexican oregano tends to be more bitter and earthy than the oregano you use for Italian cooking,” she says. “It holds its own better among the other strong spices because it’s not as delicate and sweet.”

Cardamom is used to flavor coffee in the Middle East, but it plays a role in Scandinavian cooking, too, particularly in desserts. “It’s a little green pod that has a very distinctive taste that’s almost like eucalyptus,” says Erd. “I have a couple of customers who put it under their children’s pillows when they are congested.”


Thanks Real Simple : for their awesome tips.

Baking Chocolate Chip Cookies

Becoming A Great Chef

great-chefThe process of cooking is a simple one. You just work with raw ingredients and heat. The best part about cooking is that you’re free to experiment and try out as many techniques that you’d like. But I’ve seen many cooks gradually lose passion. It’s a saddening but real occurrence.

What many of you don’t understand is that being a chef is a state of mind. It’s part of understanding your place in the universe. As human beings you’re presented with countless opportunities and resources that will all go to waste unless you try and utilize it to the fullest.

This website has an article titled the 10 Top Qualities That A Chef Needs to have which I really agree with. It’s brief and it makes sense. It’s a practical approach for anyone who want’s to climb the ranks of culinary world fast.

The second article you should read is What Makes A Successful Chef . This piece tells it as it is. Being a chef has its perks but it is an undeniably stressful job. You’ll have to understand how to be a team player who knows when to chip in and when to butt out.

This last piece is for anyone who is considering culinary school. Before you actually send in all your applications, you really should get a feel of what working at a restaurant is like. I’d recommend that you get a job at a diner or a restaurant just to see if you’re really cut out to be part of the intense culinary world.

Good luck to everyone out there. Don’t lose hope and make sure you chase your dreams. You only have one life to live.