Monday, January 12, 2009

5 Cooking Tips the Pros Don’t Want You to Know

Cooking can be a lot of fun. You can make beautiful masterpieces at home, that look just like the pros. There are a lot of professional cooks who do not want you to learn the secrets, because you now can make beautiful and wonderful tasting dishes from the comforts of your own home, and save yourself a lot of money on food.

1. You do not need to cook with expensive wine just to make a dish fancy. The most important thing to know about cooking with wine is that you need to cook down the wine by simmering it so that you do not have the rough alcohol taste, yet just the flavor of the wine.

2. A simple way to give your recipe a little zip is to add a small amount of lemon juice, or even a little lemon zest. A little can go a long way, so do not add too much. This can make your boring recipes a lot more flavorful. It is always nice to have a couple of lemons handy at all times when you are cooking.

3. Wait to season your sauté mushrooms at the end of baking them. The salt in most seasonings will take out any liquid of the mushroom and they will only boil in their own liquid. If you want to keep the flavor in your sauté mushrooms, wait for the seasoning till the end.

4. Serve your family the fruit that is in season. This is important because you will get such a better quality than when they are not in season. Select recipes that include the fruit in season. You will also get a better deal on them at the grocery store because they have so much more of them.

5. Do not be afraid to make a mistake. What is going to make you a better cook is trial and error. We are all going to make mistakes, but learning from your mistakes will only make you a better cook. Adjust recipes accordingly and even create your own recipes. This will make you one of the pros.

There are a lot of secrets from the pros that you can learn to be a better cook. It is going to take some time, and you can even take cooking classes locally to make yourself a better cook.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Importance of Using Quality Ingredients While Cooking

Cooking in the home can be a lot of fun. You can also learn a lot by cooking for your family and friends. It is a skill that a lot of us would like to master, and with a little practice, you can be cooking like the pros. The choice of ingredients you choose to use in your recipe can make that little bit of difference to put your food above the rest.

While you may just be trying to save a little money at the grocery store, it is important to use quality ingredients when you are cooking something. Even if the ingredients in the generic products you purchase are the same, they can often be diluted and not even have the same flavor as the original.

You also want to purchase your ingredients fresh. After they sit in your cupboard for awhile and are still sealed, they still may become stale. Purchase your groceries from a local grocery store that you can trust. This way you are know the freshest ingredients available.

Use the right ingredients according to the recipe. Some recipes taste so good for a reason, and using anything other than the ones instructions will jeopardize the flavor. Make sure that you are using the ingredients you should be to get the best recipe possible.

It is also important to use those high quality ingredients at the correct temperature that the recipe calls them for. If your recipes asks for eggs, make sure they are large, and let them warm up to room temperature for about 15 minutes before adding them into your recipe.

You want to impress others with your recipes. Cooking food at home can be a lot of fun, as well as you can allow others to see your creativity with food. You are able to show off your skills to others. You can make this happen by using high quality ingredients in all of your recipes.

Some of the basic things you need to remember is to keep your ingredients fresh, do not buy generic brands in your grocery store, and to shop for a store that you can trust the quality from. All this tips can help you be a better cook with better quality and tasting food.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes

Todd’s at it again – ‘clone chef’ Todd Wilbur is best known for providing his Top Secret recipe books, letting us all know the secrets to making some of our favorite restaurant and fast food yummies. However, learning how to make an exact replica of a Big Mac or Wendy’s Frosty may not be that attractive to someone who is dieting or watching their caloric intake. Well, he’s jumped in and saved the day for all of us who are watching what we eat – with ‘Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes.’

This book lets readers learn how to create some of the best low-fat foods available, such as:

- Gardenburgers
- Nabisco Honey-Maid Graham Crackers
- Reduced Fat Oreo Cookies
- Entenmann’s Light Low-Fat Cinnamon Rolls
- And more!

However, the greatest thing about this book is that Todd shows us how to take some very delicious but fattening foods and create a low-fat clone. In fact, most of the low-fat recipes come within a hair of tasting exactly the same – while some come out better than their originals.

This is a great book for people who must keep track of their diets and still want to enjoy the delicious fast foods they love. Learn how to make great foods like the McDonald’s Egg McMuffin, Wendy’s Chicken Caesar Fresh Stuffed Pita and Bennigan’s Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. This would make a great gift for anyone who loves to cook and would like to make their own low-fat versions of popular foods.

Note: While most of Todd’s recipes are known for how little work is involved, there are a few extra steps to some of the recipes in this book. For instance, you must use colored paste and extras to create the perfect looking oreo! However, it’s worth the little bit of extra work to create these great treats. Complete with information regarding each recipe and nutrition facts – this one is a must-have!

Photo: Simon Howden

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Starbucks Copycat Recipe

If you love the delicious treats available at your local Starbuck’s and would like to learn how to create them at home, here’s a great start. Taken from Gourmet Sleuth, this Caramel Scone recipe is absolutely delicious! Make this for yourself or share with friends and family!

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted or salted butter (or margerine)
3/4 cup half and half or light whipping cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (if unsalted butter is used)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk (for best results use whole milk)
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup butterscotch baking chips
1/3 cup butterscotch baking chips, fine chopped (use food processor)
1 egg white, slightly beaten
Confectioner's (powdered) sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place flour and butter in a medium mixing bowl, combine with your fingers to a coarse meal consistency. Add sugar, baking powder and salt (if used) combine well. Stir in cream, vanilla and egg, blending well to form a soft dough.

Scoop mixture onto baking sheet. Brush tops with beaten egg white; sprinkle ground butterscotch chips over top. Bake until browned - 16-18 minutes. Dust with confectioner's sugar when cool.
Consider making this for the next special occasion and watch family and friends go crazy for it. It’s very close to the real thing and you’re sure to enjoy it!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Top Secret Recipes: Creating Kitchen Clones of America's Favorite Brand-Name Foods

One of the latest books from clone chef Todd Wilbur, this book contains some of America’s favorite foods – and tells you exactly how to make them in your own kitchen. This one contains 41 favorites that can be easily created with the ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. This book is really perfect if you have a love of fast foods and would like to create them in your home.

Just some of the things you will learn how to make in your own kitchen with this book include:
• McDonald’s Big Mac
• Wendy’s Frosty
• Reese’s Cups
• Twinkies
• Orange Julius
• Dairy Queen Blizzard
• And so much more!

This book is a great one to add to any cookbook collection – imagine presenting your friends and family with a round of Big Macs you created right in your own kitchen. In fact, you can make an Orange Julius in just a couple of minutes flat. One of the greatest things I’ve found about this book is that you have the ability to ‘health up’ these recipes if you want.

For instance, rather than using ground meat for your Big Mac, you can use a vegetarian replacement which is just as delicious. I love the fact that you can build on the recipes Todd Wilbur has included here. In my own opinion, I feel that this is a great book to invest in and that it can provide a lot of great family time whipping up these easy recipes.

Top Secret Recipe Books Here!