Sunday, January 30, 2011

What Works For You?

Food styling and cooking for human consumption are two very different activities, each requiring their own unique arsenal of tools. Go-to items in the food styling kitchen include torches, tweezers, and brushes. Pans scarred with burnt sugar and Kitchen Bouquet hang with honor on the pegboard. These are the workhorses, the unsung heroes. At home, the hardest working player is a sharp chef's knife, followed closely by a 12" stainless steel skillet. While the knife has one essential purpose, the skillet performs several different tasks, proving it's necessity on a daily basis. Working on both the stove top and in the oven, this powerhouse has endless culinary possibilities. For exactly the same reason, my dutch oven is also a favorite. Deeper, lidded and enameled, it offers an additional range of cooking options. Under the radar flies one of my favorite tools in the kitchen, the Microplane zester. It can be used for chocolate, cheese, citrus, ginger, garlic or nutmeg. Amazing finishing touches come from this humble handheld gadget. Finally, the most over-worked and under-appreciated soldiers in my kitchen are glass mason jars. Whether they are used for canning, storing ingredients or stylishly organizing miscellaneous trinkets, they are the perfect union of form and function. Consider this post an open call to assess the workhorses of your kitchen... give them their 15 minutes of fame.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Home Sweet Home

After 13 long days on location in Florida, I couldn't wait to get back to "normal" life. Not only did I miss my loved ones, but I missed the day to day details that support my overall sanity. I missed walking my dog. I missed Tosi's coffee. I missed tinkering around in the kitchen. After catching up on my sleep, I decided to fire up the oven and bake a big batch of comfort. I started with a standard lemon cookie recipe that I tweaked by changing the citrus to tangerine and adding freshly grated ginger for an extra kick. Sweet and spicy, the cookies paired perfectly with a thin layer of dark chocolate that held them all together. There's no place like home, there's no place like home.....

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year, New Donut

I start thinking about breakfast the moment I open my eyes. Not sure what that says about me, nevertheless, it is true. Today I woke up with a serious hankering for a plain cake donut and I couldn't stop wondering what it would taste like as french toast. Spoiler alert: it was delicious. Dipped in a mixture of egg and cinnamon, the buttery sweet donut crisped up to perfection. Blueberries simmered with fresh rosemary and a little sugar made a rich and flavorful topping for my quirky little breakfast. Perhaps it wasn't the healthiest way to kick off my new year, but there's always tomorrow to start on that resolution.