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Archives for Ask the Chef

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
minestrone (400x399)

Freezing Soup

by Elizabeth Skipper January 7th, 2015| Ask the Chef
I have frozen leftover homemade soup, such as chicken noodle and vegetable beef. When I reheat it, the veggies always seem mushy. Is there any way to freeze and reheat soup and avoid this, or do I just need to make the right amount to be eaten without freezing?

chopping board (400x400)

Home Cook Resolution for 2015

by Elizabeth Skipper December 30th, 2014| Ask the Chef
If a home cook wanted to make one cooking resolution for the New Year, what would you recommend? We understand that this is a broad question, but is there one thing that most people should be doing but aren’t?

Wow, that’s a very broad question. So much depends on the
crackers and brie (400x400)

Impromptu Snacks & Appetizers

by Elizabeth Skipper December 24th, 2014| Ask the Chef
During the holiday season, there seem to be more impromptu get-togethers, whether at my house or someone else’s. I try to keep a block of good cheese and box of nice crackers on hand for occasions such as this. Are there other easy to make snacks, which have slow
knife (400x400)

Knife Sharpening

by Elizabeth Skipper December 17th, 2014| Ask the Chef
I was thinking about buying this handheld knife sharpener. You put the blade of the knife in the device and simply pull it through to sharpen it.  Is a device like this useful, or should I just stick with having my knives professionally sharpened?

You ask as if getting your
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