I get asked a lot about cooking tools and while I could do anything I really needed with just five tools—my truly minimalist kitchen would have a chef’s knife, cutting board, large sauté pan, flat-edged wood spoon and a large Pyrex bowl—I’ve got lots of tools I like and a box of tools I never use down in the basement.  In a world where all kinds of companies pitch all kinds of products, I’d like to talk about the actual tools I use and love. First things first: Knives.  You don’t need a big block of knives.  You need a big knife and a little knife.  Invest in good quality knives.  I use Wusthof, have been for 20 years.  I think they’re the best.  (Here they are at Amazon.)  Find a good sharpening service near Read On »

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Over the weekend I made a recipe I tore from the recent issue of Saveur.  I don’t use many recipes but I’ve been looking for a flavorful, soft, comforting roll to make and this one enticed. Maddeningly though, it called for 5 cups of flour.  Normally when I make bread, I set the mixing bowl on the scale and pour in whatever weight I want.  But here I found myself scooping out cups, scraping off the top, flour drifting over the counter and cutting board. But more than the mess, was the variable amount: given that flour can weigh 4 ounces a cup or as much as 6 ounces, I didn’t know if I had 20 ounces of flour or 30 ounces—a 50% difference.  According to the standard bread ratio, if it were the former, Read On »

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I am determined to get my shopping done NOW—so I can concentrate on the fun stuff on the days leading up to Christmas (eg Pork Pie, Brioche, Chocolate Truffles).  I started my shopping today at my own Open Sky shop (my first time ordering, very easy and free shipping!). The following are gift ideas for the cook in your life are very cool in that they’re not easy to find, incredibly useful, and eminently affordable gifts. Want your lover to make you the above quiche?  Here’s the ring mold he or she will need for the proper depth and that voluptuous texture that made Keller refer to quiche as the sexiest pie. I love the Mag Blok magnetic wall mounted knife holder.  It’s gorgeous wood and won’t ding your knives. Especially great for tiny kitchens Read On »

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