Basic Cooking Skills
Recommended Appliances & Utensils
Kitchen Organization Tips
- Put your spices close to your stove in an upper cupboard or on the counter.
- Pots and pans in the lower cupboard.
- Have your cooking utensils either on the counter in a container or in a drawer close by the stove.
- Things like dishes and silverware can be the furthest thing from the stove since these aren’t typically used when cooking.”
- The first thing you should do before starting a recipe is to read the entire recipe. You want to make sure you don’t start a recipe and then read in the directions something that you thought would take 20 minutes actually will take an hour. Then you need to gather your appliances and utensils.
Recommended Appliances & Utensils
pots with lids and pans
stock pot and lid
saucepan and lid
non-stick sauté pan
blenders (Ninja blender with double and triple blades)
cutting boards (see below)
Knives: Knives are the most important tools in your kitchen. Make sure they are always sharp. You should sharpen them after each use to maintain the quality. Knives also should never go in the dishwasher as this will dull them; you should always wash your knives by hand with soap and water and dry them right away.
- 8-10 inch French/Chef knife-used for carving, slicing, dicing, and chopping. If you choose to have only one knife in your kitchen this is the one to choose because it is very versatile and can accomplish any cutting task.
- Paring knife: Is a mini French knife but is used very differently for peeling fruits/vegetables, controlled slicing of shallots or garlic, or designs and patterns on the surface of food. Some other great examples is cutting sections of an orange or deveining shrimp.
- Boning knife: Used for trimming fat from meat.
Cutting Boards: I like the plastic food grade cutting boards. It’s nice if you can have at least two cutting boards one for meat and one for fruits and veggies. This will not only allow for multitasking when prepping a meal but will avoid cross- contamination. An example of using both cutting boards at the same time is to be cutting up your vegetables for a salad while giving your chicken that’s just off the grill a minute to set prior to slicing. Just a note that wooden cutting boards are very absorbent and can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Meat cutting board
- Fruit/vegetable cutting board
Cooking Shears: Another great tool in the kitchen is cooking shears. These are great for quickly cutting herbs, some vegetables, or cubing meat.
Measuring cups/spoons: Pretty straight forward use these when following a recipe to accomplish the most accurate measurements for a great product.
Peeler: Used for peeling carrots, potatoes-I prefer a paring knife for potatoes I think it’s faster and easier to get all the peel off but whatever you feel comfortable with.
Crockpot: Great for one pot meals that are quick to prep
Garlic press: Fresh garlic is a better choice of ingredient but you can use pre-minced garlic for a time saver. If you use fresh garlic remember to let it sit for about 5-10 minutes before cooking. This gives a compound call allicin and an intracellular enzyme time to interact and promote more health benefits.
Blender: Great for smoothies. Just pile your choice of goodies in with some liquid and press the button. There is also a blender bottle for protein shakes using a protein powder that you mix with water or the milk of your choice and this small wire ball inside blends the powder so you don’t have any unmixed chunks.
Small food chopper: The small food chopper is quick and easy clean up when you need to grind nuts or make a quick pesto.
Big food processor: The big food processor is great for quickly slicing potatoes for scalloped potatoes or shredding for homemade hash browns or shredding veggies (not your knuckles). It’s also great for blending tomatoes, onions, garlic, and fresh herbs to make a quick fresh spaghetti sauce.
Pots and pans: prefer to use stainless steel pots and pans because they offer good heat distribution, which helps for more even cooking. Non stick pans can be good for cooking things like eggs but if these pans are scratched or the Teflon starts to wear they have been linked to some health issues.
Baking dishes: Baking dishes with a cover are great for casseroles and such. Essentials are a baking dish with a cover, a 9x13 inch baking pan, and a 9x9 inch baking pan. You can use glass, metal, or stone.
Bread maker: You can make your own yummy gluten-free bread at home using a recipe or a prepackaged bread mix. Pretty easy to use put in your liquids first, then on top put in your dry ingredients, make a pit in the dry ingredients for the yeast and start the machine per instructions.
How to Slice, Dice and Saute'
How to Prepare Chicken Broth
Chicken Broth Ingredients
Chicken carcass, (no meat left on it)
4-5 C. Water (fill pot or crock pot)
3-4 Celery stalks, cut in 1/4s
4 Carrots, cut in 1/4s
1 Onion, skinned and quartered
1 Tbsp. Garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp. Salt
1 tsp. Pepper, black
½ tsp. Rosemary
Place all ingredients in pot and simmer for 2 hours or put in crock-pot and cook on low for 4-5 hours. The longer the broth is cooked, the more flavorful.
Strain the soup by pouring it through a colander and into a bowl or mason jar and refrigerate or freeze till needed.