July 4, 2013

The Last Chefwannabee Newsletter

I have been working with Your Smart Kitchen for nearly 7 years and it has been a series of learning opportunities. We started not knowing anything about running on online business or much about eBay, Amazon or Google. We didn’t even know what a blog was or how to run one. And we knew very little about creating and maintaining a web site. We have learned a lot since then.

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When we started we were looking to generate a bit of income to augment my retirement. And at the beginning, it looked like this would be achieved. But then we ran into some growth issues and the internet marketing business went through several significant changes. So what started as a part time sideline became a full time effort. And the idea of supplemental income became an increasing investment – an investment that now looks like it will have no return.

So I am going to shut down Your Smart Kitchen.

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The web site will remain operational and I will accept orders for the next several weeks just in case there may be some items of interest that you were waiting for the right time. PayPal has implemented a “lay away” payment program that lets you buy now, pay over the next several months and have delivery later such as Christmas and I will be supporting any orders that take advantage of that program. The 13% discount coupons for June have expired but I have initiated and new closing coupon for 13% below (There is no big closing sale as I do not have any inventory to dispose of except for two medium size Romertopf clay bakers).

I will be looking at new opportunities in the near future that incorporate internet and social media marketing, so any suggestions you might offer would be welcome.

And look for the Best of Your Smart Kitchen Cookbooks over the next few weeks. The topics range from soups, to pasta, to ribs, to cookies, and several more. These have been in process for the last few months and I will be finishing them for publication shortly.

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No recipes, no tips and not even any feature products for this edition. Just thank you to all who have followed the newsletter over the last four years. I will miss the continuing conversations.
Our objective has always been to make cooking easier and more fun. Everyday great tasting meals should not be a chore and should not take time away from other things. It is my hope that you enjoyed some of our recipes, put some of our tips to good use and will continue to enjoy great meals.

Use this coupon code YSK-2013 for 13% discount on our regular discount prices. It will be good until the site is discontinued. All orders will be processed and delivered through the end of this year.

All the best to you,

Terry Retter
Chefwannabee
Your Smart Kitchen

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July 3, 2013

Your SMART Kitchen is Closing — Time to Buy What You Need

It was not an easy decision, but Your Smart Kitchen, your online source for both quality cookware products and information regarding cooking and kitchens, is in the process of shutting down.

The term “Your SMART Kitchen” means more than just how and what to cook. Smart cookware, cutlery and kitchen appliances make a smart kitchen. It is the kind of kitchen where people can gather to talk, to help and to cook, or the center of the social activities for your home. Time to buy what you need.

Two sizes of frying pans. These may be stainless steel (we suggest Fissler), cast iron or non-stick ( with PFOE a free finish such as Woll Diamond’s Plus). Typically, starting with one non-stick and one stainless steel and adding others as your requirements grow is recommended.

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One Dutch oven that is able to go from the top of the stove into the oven. There is more versatility with enamel coated Dutch ovens and they will not affect soups, sauces or other long cooking dishes.

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One small and one larger stockpot for pasta, poaching chicken, and other items. While the are a number of cheaper aluminum options, stainless steel pots with a substantial base will provide better results and last a lot longer.

Sauté or sauce pans can fill these requirements for needs up to around 3 or 4 quart sizes.

A large stainless steel or non-stick roaster is useful for holidays and large family gatherings.

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One item that is not frequently thought of but is quite versatile and useful is a clay baker which can be used for a wide array of meat and fish dishes as well as vegetables, bread for even deserts.

Grab the 13% off on already discounted prices on pots and pans, cutlery, bakeware, kitchen appliances and related kitchenware specializing in FISSLER, MARIO BATALI, CHASSEUR, WOLL Nonstick, and other leading brands. Visit Your SMART Kitchen now.

Chefwannabee

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June 26, 2013

Philly’s Other (Better) Sandwich – America’s Best?

Men’s Journal contests the notion that Philly’s culinary claim to fame is the cheesesteak sandwich. But if you are slightly repulsed by the idea of Cheez Whiz running down your chin, consider the contender for Philly’s best sandwich: the Roast Pork Sandwich. The pork is slow-cooked in its own juices and topped with provolone and broccoli rabe or spinach. Take a ride on the Reading Terminal Market and head to Tommy Dinic’s for his version that Travel Channel raved it is the best sandwich in America?!

Read the full article here:
Philly’s Other (Better) Sandwich

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June 16, 2013

Steaming Vegetables

How do you enjoy fresh, steamed vegetables prepared in a bamboo steamer? Each time, a vibrant, satisfying reminder of just how good vegetables can be when prepared simply with care and intent. A bamboo steamer is inexpensive, easy to use, and steams vegetables quickly. There is always an easy recipe at the end that can be made with a variety of vegetables which uses the bamboo steamer.

[Editor’s Note: Another green steamer/cookware alternative is a Pro Multi-Use Pot that can steam, simmer, stew, boils and blanch vegetables.]

Read the full article here:
Steaming Vegetables

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June 13, 2013

Savory Rolled Rib Roast – Try It Nicely Browned

Preparing a rib roast for ordinary days sounds like time-spending, but not for the kitchen adventurer. In fact, there are home cooks who prefer it slow roasted. Perhaps you have heard of this Savory Rolled Rib Roast Recipe for a million times, but have you ever tried preparing one that’s nicely browned, or seared?

When rib roast has been boned, rolled, and tied up, we call it rolled rib roast. Roasting can be excellent for a large, tender cut of beef, such as rib or rump, rolled-rump, sirloin tip, eye-of-round, when it is arranged in a roasting pan with the rib right-side down and fat-side up. So the difference could be on how it is arranged, cooking time per pound and basting.

Rolled rib roast is very flavorful and you want to create your own perfect rolled rib roast recipe. Try it now with the same recipe.

01 Savory Rolled Rib Roast (Beef and Veal)

Ingredients

3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried leaf marjoram
1/4 cup flour
5 to 6 lb rolled beef roast of beef
2 onions, chopped
6 slices bacon
1 cup dry red table wine or consomme
6 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
3 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley
salt and pepper

Directions

Heat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degree C). Have roasting pan ready. Combine garlic, 2 tsp (10 ml) salt, 1 tsp (5 ml) pepper, marjoram and flour. Rub into meat on all sides. Put roast in roasting pan and bring in hot oven. Turn heat down to 325 degree F (160 C) and cook until roast is brown on all sides. Remove roast from oven.

Sprinkle onions over roast. Lay strips of bacon over onions on top of roast and pour wine or consomme over all. Return to oven and roast 25 to 30 minutes per pounds for medium rare. To be sure, use a thermometer:

Rare 140 F (60 degree C), medium 160 F (70 C), well-done 176 F (76 C). Baste often during roasting.

Here is guide for slow roasting roast beef with a crust. Click here.

Add potatoes, tomatoes, and parsley to roasting pan about 1 hour before roast should be done. Sprinkle vegetables with salt and pepper. Lift meat and potatoes out onto a hot platter when they are done. Strain dripping left in pan, pressing through as much of he potato pulp as possible. Return to roasting pan and heat on top of stove, scraping up all browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add wine or boiling water to make about 3 cups (750 ml) liquid in pan. Thicken by stirring in a little flour and water mixed together. Taste and season and serve as gravy with roast and potatoes. Don’t forget that a good roasting pan is one that is easy to use when oven-roasting meat, poultry, potatoes and vegetables, then transfer it to the stovetop for creating savory gravies or pan sauces from drippings.

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June 8, 2013

Baby Kale and Steak Salad

Weekends can involve late nights with big greasy pizzas. After indulging in a few drinks even a substandard dish can seem to satisfy. There are other dishes that can be healthier and better tasting. There is a Baby Kale and Steak Salad that is fit for a chef. It has a dressing that includes fish sauce, lime juice and vinegar. This dish has multiple vegetables along with the steak.

Read the full article here:
Baby Kale and Steak Salad

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June 3, 2013

Crispy California Avocado Tacos Recipe

This version is a signature of Border Grill Truck for an Avocado Taco, and considered to be another perfect idea for the home cook. Featuring creamy avocado with a crispy, seeded crust. These tacos make a delicious and satisfying vegetarian meal, especially when accompanied by rice and beans.

Created by Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, BorderGrill.com

Ingredients

4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh corn kernels
Sea salt and ground black pepper , to taste
1 red bell pepper , cored, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 green onions , white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 canned chipotle chili , seeded, if desired, and minced
1/2 bunch cilantro , chopped
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 1/2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour or rice flour
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup quinoa
1/3 cup poppy seeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds
All-purpose flour or rice flour , for dusting
ripe, firm, fresh California avocado* , seeded, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
Salt , to taste
Vegetable oil , for frying
8 (4-inch) corn tortillas , warmed
4 leaves romaine lettuce , torn in half
1 cup Corn salsa** (see make-ahead recipe below)
8 sprigs cilantro , for garnish

Preparation

For corn salsa:
Heat half of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; for quick cooking you can use a nonstick wok. Sauté corn with salt and pepper, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and let sit 5 minutes to blend the flavors.

For tacos:
Combine flour, 1/3 cup water, cumin, salt and pepper to make a batter. In a separate bowl, combine quinoa, poppy seeds and sesame seeds. Place flour for dusting into a third bowl.

Season avocado liberally with salt. To coat avocado, dust wedges with flour, shaking off all excess. Dip floured wedges into batter to coat lightly and then roll each wedge in the seed mixture, pressing gently to form a complete crust.

Heat 1 to 2 inches of vegetable oil to 375° in a small pot. In batches, fry the coated avocado wedges in the hot oil until seeds are golden and crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes, and then transfer to a rack to drain.

To assemble the tacos, place a piece of lettuce in the center of each warm tortilla and top with a crispy avocado wedge, a generous spoonful of Corn Salsa and a cilantro sprig. Serve immediately.

Tips:

* Large avocados are recommended for these recipes. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados, adjust the quantity accordingly.

** Don’t have time to make your own corn salsa? Use your favorite store-bought salsa and make it special by stirring in a little freshly squeezed lime juice, some chipotle chilies and a dollop of sour cream.

Copyright (c) 2010, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, BorderGrill.com.

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May 26, 2013

Classic Creamy Oyster Stew

Taking the easy way out gives you the best of the best. Oyster stew is that occasional luxury you can pull off on your holidays. A handful of ingredients, a pint of shucked oysters, plus a hint of your favorite herb (if you want) and you have one of the great dishes of winter, spring, and summer.

The secret is to cook the oysters for just a minute or until their edges begin to curl, you want them very tender. Tabasco can be substituted with vinegar and ground red pepper. Find the stew recipe, here.

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May 22, 2013

Cranberry Roast

A cranberry roast can be a delicious meal, and can easily be created in just a few easy steps. The ingredients for a cranberry roast should include roast (suggested is pork), sugar, cranberry juice, dry mustard, and ground cloves. The roast should also be cooked in a slow cooker for six to eight hours, or at least until the meat is tender.

Read the full article here:
Cranberry Roast

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May 19, 2013

A Home Cook’s Take on Mozza’s Orecchiette with Fennel Sausage and Swiss Chard

Mozza’s Orecchiette with Fennel Sausage and Swiss Chard is an Italian pasta recipe. Sounds healthy with chard but its a big wonder why it was not considered a healthy meal. But what is great about the Mozza cookbook is how detailed it is. Nancy Silverton is an absolute perfectionist and if you follow this recipe to the letter, you’d be spending all day making orecchiette from scratch, as well as your own fennel sausage, your own chicken stock, and your own bread crumbs.

Read Full Article Here:
A Home Cook’s Take on Mozza’s Orecchiette with Fennel Sausage and Swiss Chard

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