cooking

6 cheap kitchen tools that will save your holiday cooking

My kitchen was the first room I really invested in as an adult: I bought a KitchenAid stand mixer, a dutch oven, a high-end chef’s knife and nice plates and wine glasses. But aside from the chef’s knife, a few smaller purchases have become more vital to my daily cooking and food prep routines than any of the luxury items. For just a few bucks, in some cases, these tools can change the experience of cooking, and make the elaborate prep involved in the holidays much more manageable.

Here are six tools that can seriously elevate the quality and aesthetic of the food coming out of your kitchen.

David Priest/CNET

The single best investment in my kitchen over the past four years has been a mandoline. Essentially, it’s an adjustable slicer for fruits and veggies, and it makes preparing salads a breeze. All the intricate slicing you normally have to do for good salads is so much easier with a mandoline, and prepping veggies for pickling is just as easy. Not only does this make everything you slice look uniform and beautiful, it also gives you fantastic opportunities to punch up textures in your typical dishes.

David Priest/CNET

If you cook steak with any regularity, you probably already have a cast-iron skillet. But those skillets are just as helpful for making all kinds of meat, from chicken to octopus. One of my favorite recipes I’ve been honing over the years is an octopus-lime bagna cauda — and well-seared baby octopus is one of the most important components. When it’s too cold, or I’m too lazy, to use the grill, my cast-iron skillet is perfect for searing those tiny tentacles.

David Priest/CNET

A good chef knife isn’t cheap, but it’s an investment that’ll last you years. The problem is, many of

Kitchen confidence! How these pre-teens are cooking up delights

Saachi Pasari found her life’s purpose at a friend’s birthday celebration six years ago. The 12-year-old has vivid memories of the baking competition held at the party. “The kids were split into teams, and asked to prepare a dish.” The team with the most delicious treat took home a prize. Pasari doesn’t recall winning, but the cupcakes she made convinced her of one thing. At age six, Pasari wanted to be a baker. The kitchen soon became what the doll house was to little girls. When she wasn’t doing homework or attending ballet class, the Class VI student of Hill Spring International School, would be whisking away brownie and cookie dough. The pandemic made everything more real.

When the lockdown was announced, Pasari found herself with too much time, and too little to do. Fortunately, the school announced a hobby project early on in March. Each child was given a mentor to guide them. Sensing her passion for baking, Pasari’s mentor and teacher, Kanjal Ahuja, suggested that she start a baking page on Instagram, where she could share pictures of her kitchen experiments. Bake My Day (@bake_my_day_by_saachi), soon evolved into a home delivery service, with a delectable menu comprising macarons and a variety of brownies, cakes and tarts. Every new dessert she prepares, now gets added to Pasari’s growing menu, which she enriches by researching food sites and attending online workshops. “I try multiple versions of a dish and come up with my own recipe for it,” she says. Her vegan macarons are a hot-sell (box of six for R550). “I make the macarons either using aquafaba [made of chickpeas] or potato protein. Aquafaba is a replacement for eggs, but doesn’t work well in humid conditions, because it catches moisture easily. So, when it’s humid, and I get an order,

Mason jar shortage is because of more pandemic cooking and canning

The increase in the number of people cooking and trying recipes during the pandemic has led to a surge in canning — because experienced canners are doing it more and novices want to give it a try.



a close up of food on a counter: Jars used for canning foods are in short supply this year.


© Shutterstock
Jars used for canning foods are in short supply this year.

And that surge has led to a shortage in Mason jars and lids.

“There’s so many more people canning this year than have ever canned. We have seen a big upswing in new people trying to can,” said Nellie Oehler, the coordinator for Oregon’s statewide food preservation hotline, who added she’s been answering lots of calls from around the nation about the lack of supply.

Marie Bregg, the owner of Mason Jar Merchant, a canning jar supplier, said she started seeing a huge increase in demand in the middle of August.

“Our sales basically went up 600% that week and haven’t dropped since,” she said.

Most of the demand is for the two-part lids necessary for canning, because they are single-use, whereas the glass jars can be used over and over. The lids have a disc that sits on the mouth of the jar with a ring that screws on around it, but after one use, the seal around the disc breaks down and can’t safely be used again.

The reasons behind the shortage

Bregg and Oehler said they attribute the demand to the amount of extra time people had at home since the pandemic started. And people who haven’t canned very much, or at all, are getting in on the trend.

“I call it ‘Sourdough 2.0’ — it was the next craze of what people are doing in the kitchen because they have extra time,” Bregg said. Back in the spring, baking sourdough bread was all the rage

Ina Garten gives a tour of her kitchen, shares design tips for optimal cooking

It’s the perfect time of year to cozy up with some comfort food, and Ina Garten has some tips to make your fall and winter cooking as easy as possible.

The Barefoot Contessa, as she’s known in her popular Food Network show, stopped by TODAY’s fourth hour on Tuesday to show co-hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager around her East Hampton kitchen and offer some design advice.

“When I’m designing a kitchen … I think of setting the stove, the sink and refrigerator in a triangle so you can move around really well,” she explained, adding that in her own kitchen, these three appliances are “really close together, but they also have a lot of workspace in between.”

“I always like the sink to have a really nice view,” Garten, 72, continued. Her kitchen sink points to her beloved garden where she grows fresh produce and hosts outdoor dinner parties.

The “Modern Comfort Food” author also showed how she leaves her everyday items out on the counter but arranged “in a neat way.”

“I’ve got all the utensils … I have silver spoons for tasting and stirring, and whatever ingredients can just sit out, and knives,” she said.

But her design genius doesn’t stop there: The former White House budget analyst also provided some know-how on putting together a stunning cheese board — with the ingredients she had on hand.

Ina Garten’s Cheddar and Chutney Grilled Cheese by Ina Garten

“You can go into your pantry and see what you have,” Garten said. “I always like something right in the middle as a block, and then I put things around, colorful things like apricots. I’ve got two different cheeses, one creamy, one blue.”

“I think very often people put apricots everywhere and then they put figs everywhere, but you

Six by Nico: Bombay Kitchen to showcase Indian-style cooking

Six by Nico’s latest menu will showcase India’s diverse regions in ‘The Bombay Kitchen’.

Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 3:13 pm

Mumbai in India is known for its incredible diversity found in its culture and geography.

Inspired by the bustling metropolis of Mumbai, Chef Nico Simeone and his team have created a menu packed with an amalgamation of Indian food styles – recreating local dishes and reinterpreting age-old Indian traditions, to create an experience that toasts the old times and celebrates the new at restaurants this Autumn.

The new six course Bombay Kitchen tasting menu includes, Aloo Sabzi, described as a chickpea and paneer dahl, a spiced lamb dish of Salli Boti, Corn Bhutta which features pressed chicken thigh, Roasted Cod and a flavoursome Makhani.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

In India, sweets form a major part of celebrations and guests at the restaurants will end their Bombay Kitchen food experience with a Mango Lassi – Yoghurt Creme, Alphonso Mango, Toasted Fennel, Cumin seed Tuile.

Chef Nico Simeone said: “India is famous for its diverse cuisine. There is an amalgamation of food styles, some are authentic, some are inspired and some are discovered accidentally. Our Bombay Kitchen menu blends the diverse cooking styles of modern India while revamping classic dishes in a whimsical array of textures and flavours”.

Diners can book a table now for ‘Bombay Kitchen’. Open from midday, Monday through to Sunday, each six-course menu will be available from noon.

The menu will be priced from £29 per person with the option to enjoy an expertly selected wine pairing for an additional £26 at each restaurant.

‘Bombay Kitchen’ will run from Monday October 19 to Sunday November 29.

Source Article