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Archives for Ask the Chef

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Fresh Garlic Substitutes

by Elizabeth Skipper March 31st, 2015| Ask the Chef
I don’t use garlic all that often in my cooking and was wondering about my different options. If I don’t have fresh garlic on hand, would either jarred, minced garlic or powdered garlic be an acceptable replacement? Is one of those better than the other?

Fresh is my choice for
french dish

Mirepoix vs. The Trinity

by Elizabeth Skipper March 24th, 2015| Ask the Chef
From various cooking shows and recipes I have learned the difference between a mirepoix and a trinity. Do you find them to be fairly interchangeable, or when following a recipe, do I need to stick with the noted ingredients? The reason this comes to mind is that recently I
celery (400x400)

Reviving Wilted Celery

by Elizabeth Skipper March 17th, 2015| Ask the Chef
I hate throwing out unused food. Sometimes I buy a package of celery, use a couple stalks for a recipe, and then no one remembers it until it has lost its firmness. Can I refresh it, like lettuce, by placing it in water? Is it ok to eat celery
soba noodle dish (400x400)

Substituting for Soba Noodles

by Elizabeth Skipper March 10th, 2015| Ask the Chef
I have a recipe that calls for soba noodles to be served with salmon for an Asian dish.  If I can’t find soba noodles, could I use a different sort of noodle or pasta, or would that affect the final product?

How much of a purist are you? Soba noodles
pasta (400x400)

Keeping Pasta From Sticking

by Elizabeth Skipper March 3rd, 2015| Ask the Chef
After cooking and draining my pasta, what is the best way to keep it from sticking and ready for saucing?  Is butter or olive oil (or an unknown oil) better?

The best way to keep it from sticking and ready for saucing is to not cook the pasta until the
peanut butter cookies (400x400)

Baking With All-Natural Peanut Butter

by Elizabeth Skipper February 24th, 2015| Ask the Chef
I buy all-natural peanut butter for our house. We all like it in sandwiches and on crackers.  However, I can’t imagine using it in cookies. I wonder if it is will be creamy enough and if I’ll need to use extra sugar. Do you have any advice?

You’re right to
crock pot (400x400)

Make Chili in the Crock-pot With Raw Meat?

by Elizabeth Skipper February 17th, 2015| Ask the Chef
I love using my crockpot for weeknight meals, especially stews and roasts. I want to make chili in my crock-pot, but every recipe I find says that I have to brown the meat before adding it. The point of the crock-pot (for me) is to shorten my prep time.
cupcakes (400x400)

Basic Yellow Cupcakes

by Elizabeth Skipper February 10th, 2015| Ask the Chef
The cupcake rage has been going on for a few years, and although I’m late, I have decided to try making my own cupcakes from scratch. All of the cupcakes I’ve made previously have been from a box mix.  Is there a basic recipe for a yellow cupcake you
Bar cookies

Downsizing Bar Cookies

by Elizabeth Skipper February 3rd, 2015| Ask the Chef
The nest is getting smaller, so I need to figure out a way to make recipes smaller. Some of my teen’s favorite desserts are bar cookies. However, with only one child at home, there’s no need to make a 13x9 pan of cookies. Can I cut the recipe in
appetizers (400x400)

Lighter Appetizers for Super Bowl

by Elizabeth Skipper January 27th, 2015| Ask the Chef
I am sure I will be at some sort of gathering for the Super Bowl. While I do like indulging, it can be overwhelming to have so many heavy snacks. I try to bring a healthier appetizer, but I also am bored with a veggie tray. Do you have
candy-cane (400x400)

Using Up Candy Canes

by Elizabeth Skipper January 20th, 2015| Ask the Chef
Candy canes! I have too many of them left. Is there anything I can do with them besides trying to pawn them off on every person that visits our house?  I am open to a creative recipe or idea.

Ha – once Christmas is over, things like candy canes are
frying pan (400x400)

“Oiling” a Frying Pan

by Elizabeth Skipper January 14th, 2015| Ask the Chef
What is the best ingredient to “oil” a frying pan? I put oil in quotation marks, as I realize that oil may not be the best choice.

You’re asking the wrong question. The pan doesn’t care what kind of oil or fat you put in it; the dish you’re making
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