July 15, 2013

10 Food Rules Worth Breaking

Some food rules are worth breaking says Adam Roberts, a chef and cookbook author. For example, you no longer have to rinse chicken before cooking it as the heat kills germs and rinsing just makes it soggy. Even better, he discusses the rules on using wine in cooking in a common sense way: the wine should be something slightly “less good that the one you’d want to drink with dinner, but certainly better than Two Buck Chuck”. The same logic applies to chocolate. Roberts showcases 10 food rules cooks no longer have to follow including photos and links to recipes.

Read the full article here:
10 Food Rules Worth Breaking

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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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June 24, 2013

Portobello Summer Soup

Allow this recipe for creamy Portobello Summer Soup without cream to stir your taste buds . The body of the soup comes from potatoes added to the base of carrots and celery. Karen’s ramblings show in the hint of pan-Asian flavors. She adds Sake instead of wine and turmeric for color (and because it’s good for you, she says). Fresh garden herbs and a drizzle of white balsamic vinegar bring yet another layer of complexity.

Read the full article here:
Portobello Summer Soup

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June 21, 2013

A Grilling Refresher

As the summer season begins so does the grilling season. Remember some of these tips to make the most of your grilling season. The right tools are key; from tongs to smokers you need the right tool for the job. Find something you like to eat and perfect it. There’s more than meat to be made on the grill, vegetables and fruits have a place there too.

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A Grilling Refresher

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June 19, 2013

High-End, Classic Chili

There are some 500 chili competitions held every year across the world. Add to that the large selection of questionable chili powders and low quality meats, and this classic American dish has developed an identity crisis. In an attempt to bring back the original chili dish, three chefs with chili expertise are interviewed.

Read the full article here:
High-End, Classic Chili

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June 17, 2013

Penne with Sausage, Tomatoes and Potatoes and Zucchini Flowers

There are cooks making use of good fortune considering plants from a garden. Living in Phoenix, it is hard to grow vegetables in a garden. Luckily, Giangi’s neighbors successfully grew zucchini, squash and herbs and were nice enough to allow her to use some in a penne recipe. What is this all about?

Read the full article here:
Penne with Sausage, Tomatoes and Potatoes and Zucchini Flowers

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June 14, 2013

Easy Party Appetizers – What to Serve

Last weekend, my wife hosted a Bunko party for seven of her girlfriends. She knew that the focus was on fun and the dice. But, who can play on an empty stomach?

What should she serve? A few bottles of wine were a definite, but what appetizers go with Bunko? Anyone could display a cheese platter with some colorful fruit and call it a day. Or fill some bowls with assorted nuts. But not her. She wanted a spread that was easy and would impress. Because our kitchen is storage challenged, we have basic cutlery (carving, pairing, filleting, larding and boning knives, graters and mandolines), a few stainless steel pots, a copper sauté pan, and a couple of cookie sheets. So, she couldn’t be too elaborate.

Puff Pastry Squares with assorted toppings. Parmesan Crisps with Pesto. The ideas started flowing, and the shopping list began to grow. The three focuses were: pretty food, bite size portions, and repeating ingredients.

Appetizer 1: Bruschetta

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Slice French bread baguette into ½” slices. Place on stainless steel cookie sheet, brush with olive oil and bake at 350 until golden brown about 15 minutes.

Topping suggestions:
Cream Cheese, basil leaf and sliced tomato, Cream Cheese and Caramelized onions, Sprinkled Parmesan cheese, Olive tapenade mixed with cream cheese, melted Chocolate Chips chips spread on toasted bread sprinkled with chopped walnuts, or Cream Cheese spread with walnuts and honey drizzle.

Appetizer 2: Parmesan Crisps with Basil Pesto

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1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or thyme or ½ teas. Dried, 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper. Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients together. You can use Terracotta rectangular baker for this recipe, or place on a baking sheet coated lightly with cooking spray. Place tablespoonfuls of the mixture with a couple inches between each, and spread them out into ovals about four inches long and two wide. (You should have about 12 crisps.) Bake in the oven until they turn golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool crisps flat on a metal rack.

Topping suggestion:
Store bought basil pesto

Tip: Stainless Steel tri-ply or Copper Skillets work best when you caramelize.

Appetizer 3: Puff Pastry Squares

brushetta

Thaw puff pastry and cut in to 2″x2″ squares. Brush with egg wash (1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water) and bake at 350* until golden ~20 minutes.

Topping suggestions:
Basil Pesto and Olive Tepanade from Trader Joe’s, Cream Cheese and Caramelized Walnuts (see recipe), Grated Parmesan Cheese and Caramelized Onions (see recipe).

Caramelized Walnut Ingredients: 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup water, 2 cups walnut halves, Cooking spray or silicone sheets

Preheat oven to 325°. Combine sugar and water in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add nuts to pan, and cook 22 minutes or until sugar mixture thickens and coats nuts, stirring occasionally, watch carefully. Immediately spread nut mixture in a single layer on a edged cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes. Separate nuts with 2 forks. Cool completely.

Caramelized Onions Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds onions, peeled, halved, and thinly slivered, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon olive oil, Salt and pepper

Tip: Here’s how to caramelize onions nice and perfect.

In a 3- to 4-quart pan over medium-high heat, frequently stir onions and garlic in oil until onions start to become limp; reduce heat to medium-low and stir frequently until onions are very soft and browned, 40 to 45 minutes. If onions start to stick to the pan, reduce heat further and stir in 2 tablespoons water. Add salt and pepper to taste.

All of these dishes were delicious and beautifully plated. But most importantly, they left for her time to socialize with her girlfriends. Food always makes a party better. So she kept it good and simple and all were impressed with the edible easy treats.

June 12, 2013

Quick and Easy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

This Roasted Red Pepper recipe is all about a very quick and easy to prepare pasta dish. If you have the time to roast the red peppers yourself on the stove top, do so. If not, you can by jarred roasted red peppers and they work fine as well. For the recipe itself, start with the pasta, add diced onion garlic, red peppers and butter, add them all up and blend.

Read the full article here:
Quick and Easy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

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June 10, 2013

Potatoes and Salmon Cakes

Giangi has created a new recipe by combining salmon into her potato cakes. She prepared mashed potatoes and skinless salmon fillets separately and then added with scallions, lemon juice, parmesan, panko, marjoram, and bread crumbs. While baking them in the oven at 350 degrees, she prepared a lemon mayonnaise sauce to use as a dip. .

Read the full article here:
Potatoes and Salmon Cakes

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June 1, 2013

Five Cooking Mistakes to Avoid in the Kitchen

In many instances, the urge to get cooking leads people to start preparing a dish without a clear sense of the exact steps they should take. Hot pans or a grill, for example, the heat from the pan or grill is transferred to the food through direct contact or touching. The food has to reach a certain temperature (depending on what you’re cooking) in order to reach doneness.

Hot pans are cool, unless your recipe gives you specific instruction to do otherwise, give your pan (and any oil you’ve added) a little time to heat up before adding any food. There’s a simple solution for the many mistakes .

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