Category Archives: Techniques

How to Stuff Burgers: Bacon and Blue Cheese

A few weeks ago we had an impromptu grilling party with friends, and these were the burgers we made.  They were such a hit, I figured you guys might like to see how to make them!  This is a quick technique that can be used to spice up any type of burger…  but in this […]

Pizza Dough

We’re taking a couple of days off for the holidays, so we’re running a few old posts from when we first launched back in February! -ed For Christmas my Mom gave me a book called Kneadlesly Simple (by Nancy Baggett).  The following is her recipe for Neapolitan Pizza Dough.  It’s really good and really easy, […]

How to Fry Eggplant

It seems most people have a love-hate relationship with vegetables, but my love of eggplant started early with this fabulous side dish.  While not the healthiest dish  (it is fried), it’s quite tasty and a kid-friendly way to introduce these lovely vegetables. This isn’t something I make often, but I do love it as an […]

How to put together a cheese party tray for your next wine and cheese party
How to Prepare a Cheese Tray

Welcome again to Jennifer Locklin of Jane Deere!  For the third in her “Techniques” series (although I’d say this qualifies for “Entertaining” as well!), she has brought us a great writeup on making your own cheese board.  I must admit all those cheeses available can be quite overwhelming, and I love how she’s broken it […]

How to Make Temarizushi (ball-shaped sushi)

Foodwhirl fave La Fuji Mama has a how-to on making temarizushi (ball-shaped sushi). I’ve never tried this, but it looks like a great appetizer idea! I made temakizushi (cone-shaped hand rolls) to order and salmon temarizushi (ball-shaped sushi). I love temarizushi. Not only are they fun and easy to make (especially with my handy-dandy little […]

Hard-Cooked Eggs: Eggs with a firm white and a solid cooked yolk
How to Cook Perfectly Boiled Eggs

Please welcome Jennifer Locklin of Jane Deere! We love her blog (we featured her Chicken Tikka Masala the other day), and this is the first in a series of “Techniques” posts from her.. so stay tuned!  See the whole series. Looking for the perfect hard, medium, or soft-cooked egg? It’s really very simple…just follow along […]

Whole-wheat Sandwich Bread

Of course you can buy your sandwich bread, and most of the time I do.  Occasionally though (and more often now that I’m beginning to realize what sorts of additives and preservatives they use to increase shelf-life) I like to make mine at home.  Besides, it’s so simple and there’s really nothing better than the […]

Using Agave Nectar in Recipes

by Rawls Agave Nectar is a natural sweetener made from the Agave plant (Agave plants also give us Tequila). It is similar to honey, though many prefer the taste of agave.  It is sweeter than sugar, yet has a low glycemic index so is a sweetner that can be used (in moderation) by diabetics and those […]

Place in a labeled freezer bag.
How to (effectively) freeze ground beef

Dot’s Note: I had to add the word ‘effectively’ to the title of this post because the nosy husband was reading over my shoulder, mocking me that freezing ground beef should just require putting it in the freezer. Sigh. Men. We’re all looking for ways to stretch our food dollar these days, and also–if you’re […]

How to pre-cook and freeze meatballs

I love the convenience of reaching into the freezer and grabbing a few handfuls of meatballs for something like a quick spaghetti dinner.  When my child was a toddler, meatballs were a great alternative to whatever meat the adults were having (like steak!), so I’d pull out a few frozen meatballs, and quickly have a […]

Marinate your tofu for several hours, in the marinade of your choice.
How to prepare Really GOOD Tofu, I swear!

My husband is not a big fan of tofu.  I mean, he’ll eat it, but it’s not something he really cares for.  When we go out for Pad Thai, he’ll usually get chicken, and I’ll usually get tofu for me and the picky 5 year old (who IS a big fan of tofu, much more […]

How to Cook Fava Beans

I must confess, I don’t know that I’ve ever had fava beans…My first though when I hear the phrase tends to also go to “a nice chianti”!  I’m pretty sure they aren’t common here in the South, but I’m inspired to go look for them after watching Diane’s videoblog: CraftyPod Video Blog #5: Let’s Cook […]

Technique: Make Marshmallow Fondant

My son’s 5th birthday was this past weekend, and this is the first in a series of posts with some how-to’s from his birthday brunch!  I baked his birthday cake (Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb) and also Clone Wars clonetrooper cupcakes.  For both of these, I used marshmallow fondant.  (Tutorials: Clone Wars Cupcakes […]

Poured Sugar Icing

I ran across these adorable cookies the other day at the decorated cookie.  Cute, huh?  I love the little birds.  But I also love that she shares the technique for decorating the cookies with Poured Sugar Icing… which I think I just might have to try! These birdies are the result of my experimenting with […]

How to Make French Toast

French toast is one of my favorite weekend breakfasts.  It’s quite easy to make, requires few ingredients, and is infinitely customizable.  Following is a basic technique for making your french toast, which is quite good with just some maple syrup or powdered sugar.  But once you have the basics down, you can start making it […]

How to boil an egg (so the shell peels off easily)

Anyone who has ever tried to peel an egg shell easily (and unsuccessfully)  knows that this isn’t as intuitive as one may think. 1. Place eggs in deep pot. 2. Cover eggs with cold water.  Cover pot with lid. 3. Place on stovetop over high heat.  Bring to boil. 4. Immediately at boiling, move pot […]

Decorate your sweets with Tootsie-Roses!

I saw a guest chef do this on TV a couple of weeks ago and thought…how easy is that. Great way to fancy up a homemade cake when you don’t know how to make cake roses. How to Make Tootsie-Roses See instructions below the photos. Click on a photo to see larger. Start with Multi-color […]

How to Slice a Bell Pepper

There are many ways to slice or chop up a bell pepper, but this method will give you nice, neat slices or lovely little square cubes. For a dish where neatness and presentation count, I’d use the neat slices of pepper, and save the ‘less neat’ pieces to throw into an omelet or salad later.

Here’s a quick little picture tutorial to show you what to do!

Making homemade pasta

Although dried pasta is quite inexpensive and extremely convenient, there is something to be said for knowing exactly what is going into the food that you’re consuming.  There is also something to be said for de-stressing while enjoying a nice glass of wine and vigorously kneading an elastic ball of pasta dough.  Not to mention […]

How to Steam Asparagus

Asparagus is a favorite vegatable around our house, and although I love it grilled, roasted, sauteed, stirfried—you get the idea—it’s a quick and wonderfully healthy side dish when just simply steamed. The picky 4 year old is even a fan… If served without an sauce I allow him to eat it with his fingers, which […]

How to Chop an Onion

This is one of those technique that seams obvious in retrospect, but never occurred to me until someone showed me. So I figured there might be some others out there who could benefit from it! This is a great technique to use to get nice, even squares of chopped onion. See the descriptions below each […]

Mushroom Tomato Sauce

One of my husband’s favorite foods is spaghetti with marinara sauce.  For him that always meant popping open a can of Ragu’s mushroom tomato sauce.  Needless to say, I’m not so into the canned stuff.  Here’s my homemade version of mushroom tomato sauce.  I make a large batch about twice a month and freeze individual […]

Overnight roast pork: cook while you sleep!

This is a recipe I rely on a LOT.  It is so easy and versatile and it requires little or no attention once you’ve got it prepped.  I mean, it cooks while you SLEEP – who can’t work that into their schedule? The inspiration for this recipe comes straight from my Granddaddy Gene.  He was […]