Saturday, January 29, 2011

Some Quick Truths

- vanilla makes chocolate taste better. Add pure vanilla extract to chocolate cakes, cookies, hot cocoa, etc.

- pure vanilla extract helps teething babies...its scent calms the senses and the GI tract

- clove oil is a substitute for Ambisol

- ground dry mustard (or a tiny bit of wet yellow mustard) makes cheese dishes better (mac-n-cheese, cheese dip, grilled cheese)

- always season every component of a dish separately. It is important to salt and season each part. This will not make the dish overly salty (usually.) This is one thing that professional cooks do that home cooks do not do.

- starch counters salt...add more potatoes, rice, carrots, etc. if your dish is too salty.

- sharp knives do less damage to fingers than dull knives. You should sharpen your knives weekly (I sharpen more often.)
- using canned beans and tomatoes is okay! Life and cooking should be simple. Tomatoes are only amazing when they are grown perfectly in season (so, like two months each year.) For the rest of the year, use canned--yes, even for salsa and crostini/bruschetta. For most bean dishes, canned beans are perfect. I only slow cook beans when making slow-cooked Cuban beans. Otherwise, can opener.

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