April 2017

Cooking Tips

Cooking Tips for the Faint of Heart

Have you ever heard the phrase, now you are cooking with gas? I bet you have and have always wondered just what it meant and why anyone would use it. But if you have ever had to look at and compare stoves that use gas such as you would get from to the kind of stove that uses electric burners, you would see right away. That is because when you cook with gas you get to see exactly what it is you are doing, how much heat you are applying and you can control it second by second.

This is probably why most of the great chefs of the world prefer to cook with gas. Yes indeed, if you want a big tip to start of your cooking career, I would say that cooking with gas is one you really shouldn’t miss. But this isn’t the only great cooking tip that many great chefs like to share with each other and brag about. Looking for some sure-fire tips to improve your own cooking? We are always happy to share a few with you right here.

Measure with Care

Measurement of your ingredients is one area where so many young cooks make errors that it has become a mantra among chefs, just as with carpenters, to measure twice and cut once. What this means for cooking is to take your time to make sure that all your measurements are done precisely and with care.

All too often we look at a recipe and think we know that we need a tablespoon of an ingredient when what we really need is a teaspoon of it. That may not matter much in a stew, but when baking you want to be sure that when the recipe calls for two teaspoons that is what you use, instead of two tablespoons.

Substitute with Wisdom

We all love to leave our own mark on what we cook, and for many of us who love to get creative that can mean making a substitute in a recipe to suit our own tastes. Of course, it all depends on the recipe and what you are substituting to know the impact this can have.

When looking at dry ingredients it is important to make sure that what you substitute will not change the dry to wet ratio in your final product. You can often look up how much to substitute for simple things, such as changing the kind of flour you use when you bake. But if you are going to stray very far from the original recipe, be prepared to have your experiment fall flat from time to time. All you need to do then is note what worked or didn’t, and substitute with that knowledge the next time.

Preparation is Everything

While I am definitely the kind of cook who loves to create on the fly, that doesn’t mean I don’t prepare for what I am going to cook first. I find that I can be my most creative if I measure out my ingredients before I start, prepare my cooking pans ahead of time and read through my recipe twice before I ever start. Being prepared means you can shift gears without worrying that you have forgotten something when you pop it in the oven. Because no cook ever wants to have that sinking feeling of failure at the end of a session.


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5 Reasons Why you Should Order your Food Online

Online food has emerged into a growing industry, as a wide range of cuisine attracts many people who, for one reason or another, prefer not to cook at home. Asian cuisines are very popular, as they are well known for having nutritious value as well as taste, and if you had never considered ordering your food online, here are 5 reasons why it makes perfect sense.

  1. A Balanced Diet – Many people miss out on a balanced diet as they have little time for food preparation, and with online solutions, you can order at any time and your chosen menu will be delivered to your door, hot and ready to eat. You can either eat in a Chinese restaurant or takeway in Bristol, or order your food by phone.
  2. Busy Lifestyle – People today have things to do and places to be, and apart from the odd occasion when you dine with friends or colleagues, eating properly can be a challenge in itself. You might be at work and realise you haven’t eaten today, and with a quick call, you can order something substantial, rather than a snack.
  3. Save Money – Ordering your meals online does not require transport costs, as the meals are delivered to the customer’s preferred address, which might be your home or office, and you could even order a nice takeaway to be delivered to the local park, where you can picnic. Regular customers usually receive discounts, and with free delivery, you can dine is style without the price tag that comes with eating out.
  4. Extensive Menu – Many people would love to be able to think for a minute about what they would like to eat and then simply order it. The reality is, with a range of quality menus available online, you are never more than 30 minutes away from your delivery. Indian, Thai, Indonesian, Mexican and Italian are just some of the amazing menus on offer, and they will all deliver piping hot dishes to your door.
  5. Entertaining – On the odd occasion you have friends round, it is easy to have a selection of tasty dishes delivered at an agreed time, then all you have to do is serve. The menu could be a mixture of cuisines, that way, you can be sure to please everyone, and with a reliable service, your dinner party will go with a swing, and as a bonus, there’s hardly any washing up to do in the morning.

Modern online takeaways offer a range of attractive menus at affordable prices, and if you can’t be bothered to cook, simply login and place your order. You can use the service during the day, and eat at work, or call for an evening meal to be delivered to your home, but wherever you are, you are never far away from delicious, ready to eat meals.

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ChefsCooking Tips

Five Must Use Cooking Tips all Chefs Share

Cooking is just as much an art as it is an acquired skill. While the ability to simply cook an easy and fast meal for the family is much easier these days because of prepackaged foods, cooking from scratch is seeing a huge comeback.

But for many learning to cook all over again is a big step. There are some simple things like wondering if you should measure before starting on a recipe, and some big questions. One of them is the question of gas versus electric stoves. If you go to energy websites like you will find that many professional chefs actually prefer gas. But outside of these big changes, like changing our kitchen appliances, there are some simple tips most great cooks will be happy to share.

Ease into Cooking

If you are new to cooking, it is important to relax and enjoy it. After all, you can always eat your mistakes! Put on some music that you love, pour yourself a glass of your favorite wine and pull out that recipe (or download it) while you organize your ingredients. Relax, it is just cooking. You will find yourself ready to cook more frequently when it isn’t a rushed frantic event.

Review that Recipe

The assumption is that first of all you have read through the recipe to ensure you have all the ingredients it will need. But even if that is true, take your time to read it through again before you start. Visualize the steps and how you need to approach them so there are no surprises along the way. Check to see what the oven needs to be pre-set to for baking, and make sure you have plenty of time.

Food Preparation

I like to be prepared ahead when I cook. If the recipe calls for vegetables, I take them out of the fridge several hours ahead so they are room temperature when I cook them. They will cook not only faster, but more evenly when you do this. I also like to start by pre-measuring everything into small bowls, just like you see on those cooking shows. This way I only need to focus on the order things are prepared and doing it well.

Think Substitutions Through Carefully

If you have done this recipe before and want to vary it, substitutions might be a quick way to do this. But be aware that not all substitutions are the same, so research it first. You can often google “substitute x for y” to find out if it is a one for one substitution or not.

In baking this is even more crucial as the balance of wet to dry ingredients must be maintained. In the same way, if you live somewhere that has high elevation such as Colorado, read through the changes in your oven and think before changing the ingredients about how elevation may affect your end result.

Controlling that Mess

I don’t know about you but I get messy when I cook. This is why I control that mess by using bigger bowls then I think I need, and mixing up in the sink when things start to really fly. That way I just rinse that mess, right down the sink, quick and easy!

Take your time, enjoy what you are doing and most of all, enjoy the results. Cooking for friends and family is often its own reward when you get kudos for the latest masterpiece. Let the artist in you out with your kitchen creations, and enjoy a newly rediscovered skill.

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