Kitchen Confessional
Where chefs of all shapes and sizes share their cooking secrets

Ten Tips to Stretch Your Cooking Dollar

There’s no doubt that the price of food is constantly on the rise, but that doesn’t mean that your family’s diet has to suffer. Use these ten tips to stretch your food budget to keep you eating healthy and still have some money in your pocket.

1. Plan ahead. Check out specials online before you go and plan around them.

2. Try to shop alone. If you bring kids, you are more likely to cave into buying something not on the list.

3. Find local produce. Not only is this a more responsible, but usually cheaper!

4. Read the rest of this entry »

Breakfast Change-Ups: Pan-Fried Oatmeal

Steel-cut oats are heartier, less processed and loaded with protein, fiber, and nutrients. The downside is that they can take a long time to cook, and on busy mornings are not always feasible. To save time make a large batch once a week then warm up as needed. Even with changing the flavor and add-ins to your oatmeal, after a few days it can get boring. So change it up, try pan-fried oatmeal, either savory or sweet.

Cooking on Electric Burners VS Gas Burners

All manner of cooking, whether it is for the home or in the fanciest of restaurants, can be accomplished on electric burners and gas burners with successful results. There are differences in their use, however. It is important to be aware of these differences, especially when required to cook on a different burner than the type to which you have become accustomed.

First and foremost is safety. If you have always cooked using a gas burner and are suddenly faced with an electric burner, keep in mind that the burner may be hot Read the rest of this entry »

Tips for Tackling Thanksgiving Turkey

After finding some inspiration to remodel my kitchen at, I had a brand-new oven installed just in time for the holidays last year. While I was anxious to take my new oven for a test drive and start cooking Thanksgiving dinner a week ahead of time, I wanted to make sure I had the tastiest, juiciest, most tender turkey possible. After doing some research and trial-and-error cooking, I have finally mastered the art of cooking the perfect Thanksgiving turkey. The following tips well help you do the same:

1. Make sure you buy a fresh, never-frozen turkey. They taste much better than frozen birds.

2. Turkeys can vary greatly in size (typically anywhere between 6 to 30 pounds). When choosing how big of a turkey you want to buy, the common rule of thumb is that you should buy one pound of meat for each person you’re serving.

3. Truss (tie up the wings and legs of) your turkey to make sure it roasts evenly.

4. If you do buy a fresh, non-frozen turkey, it should take around 10 to 15 minutes per pound to cook at 350 degree heat. A frozen turkey will take about 20 minutes per pound.

5. Make sure you have an instant-read thermometer. This way, you can be sure that your turkey has the ideal internal temperature without relying on a clock or a roasting chart. The turkey should be done when the deepest point between the leg and breast is cooked to 180 degrees.

Using Your Favorite Salad Dressing as a Marinade

Marinades can turn certain proteins and even vegetables into succulent, juicy dishes. Marinades can be made using a few ingredients that be found in most kitchens like vinegar and lemon juice or they can be pre-purchased in various flavors. However, if you do not have either of these things you can use something that almost all households have in their refrigerators and that is salad dressings. Salad dressings not only double as a delicious topping for your salads but also as a marinade that can be tenderizing and flavorful.

Most of the more commercial dressings like Italian have Read the rest of this entry »

The Benefits of Using Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron cookware has been around for hundreds of years and is still in common use today for good reasons. It’s basic, no-frills design and durability combined with its ability to handle and maintain extremely high temperatures make it an ideal cookware for many applications.

Beginning with grandmother frying chicken, many people’s exposure to this classic cookware is at an early age. Cast iron becomes many cook’s favorite cookware, especially for those foods requiring high Read the rest of this entry »

Techniques for Making Your Own Sourdough Bread Starter

These are the ingredients you will need to make your starter. 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons granulated sugar is optional, 1 packet or 2 1/4 teaspoons of dry yeast, 2 cups warm water 105 to 115 degrees.

Begin by mixing the sugar, yeast and flour in a clean glass container or a crock. This is what is going to hold your starter. It should hold no more than 2 quarts. Stir in the water gradually and mix. A thick paste will form and most likely will have a few lumps, but they will disappear. Cover the mixture with a dish cloth Read the rest of this entry »

Slow Cooker Recipes: Chicken Curry

Spicy, creamy and sophisticated, this Indian-style recipe for Chicken Curry is too easy to keep as a company meal only, although its complex, intense flavors make it perfect for special occasions.

What you need:

1 large onion, chopped

2 tablespoons butter

2 cans cream of mushroom soup (condensed)

2 cans cream of chicken soup (condensed)

2 cans coconut milk (14-ounce size)

2 packets dry onion soup mix

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup curry powder, or to taste

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper

6 large boneless chicken breast halves cut into bite size pieces

2 Read the rest of this entry »

Baking Bacon: Crispy Bacon Without the Hassle

For many people, bacon is its own food group. It’s great as a side dish at breakfast, as a part of the main course at lunch or dinner and as a garnish any time of the day. However, making bacon can be a huge pain, both literally and figuratively, as it dirties up pans with grease that pops and makes a mess all over the stove – and the cook!

Avoid the hassle of standing over the stove and cleaning up an extensive post-meal mess by making Read the rest of this entry »

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