In the past 10 years I have gone from starving-student-cook to married-with-child chef extraordinaire (okay, I won’t take it that far, but I have come a long way from the Campbell’s Soup days)! I’m starting to get more an more adventurous in the kitchen, and with that comes some interesting discoveries. To help save you some time and some big mistakes (see point number 4!) I thought I would share these with you:
1. when proofing yeast, always add a pinch of sugar, even if the recipe doesn’t call for it. yeast looooves sugar. i guess it is kind of like me… eat sugar and grow!
2. red spatulas are superior to all other spatulas. and the calories in the batter that you lick off of a red spatula do not count.
3. honey never expires. it may crystalize, but just warm it up a bit and the crystals will go away.
4. scones and pastries always get cold cubed butter. i’m not claiming to be a pastry expert, but i’ve made different pastries with warm, soft butter and it always tasted like poopy (i’ve been hanging out with Olive a lot)!
5. a messy kitchen is a happy kitchen. this uses the same principle of a messy dog is a happy dog… although my mom was kitchen neat freak and i’m afraid that has rubbed off on me… so i am still not great at this rule.
6. things you should keep in the freezer: sesame seeds, nuts, and ginger. they’ll last longer.
7. salt every layer of a dish. salt the pasta water, liberally. salt the vegetables before they get cooked. salt the salad. salt and strain fresh tomatoes before you use them. salt eggs when they’re done cooking, otherwise they’ll dry out. salt and taste, salt and taste… Oi… so much salt.
8. scramble eggs very slowly over very low heat. and turn the heat off before they’re done cooking because the heat from the pan will continue to cook them. they’ll be fluffy and dog slobbery, just like scrambled eggs should be.
9. cold brew coffee is stupid. just brew strong coffee and pour it over a heaping glass of ice. and then always drink it from a straw so that your teeth don’t get stained.
10. don’t ever use anything plastic in the kitchen. it’s just not classy. (tupperware for storage is exempt.)
11. if guests are coming over, make sure whatever you’re cooking has a good and overpowering smell so that guests are hit with it as soon as they enter the door. if it doesn’t smell strong enough, sauté an onion.
12. always keep a bowl of risotto or sesame noodles (or something else) in the fridge in case you find yourself wandering through the kitchen with an empty fork and in need of a nosh (especially when pregnant).
13. nothing gets put on the table in its original package unless the original package is cute. ramekins, ramekins, ramekins.
I hope this helps your kitchen woes!