I'm a firm believer that the kitchen is the heart of the home.
I also believe that if your kitchen
works well for you,
you're that much ahead of the game.
Buttermilk Cottage is almost 100 years old.
So, my kitchen here is a little quirky.
(Yes, I've gone "European" and have the
washer and dryer in my kitchen.
I plan to be here for a while
and the thought of dragging laundry
up and down the basement stairs
had no appeal when I "did" the kitchen.)
But, I'm getting off my subject.
In spite of it's quirks, my kitchen works
for me because of ten personal "cooking rules"
to which I adhere.
(No particular order of importance...
They're ALL important.)
1. You can do a LOT with a cake mix.
I always have a chocolate, white, yellow and spice mix
in my pantry.
THE CAKE DOCTOR is a wonderful inspiration.
She'll tell you how to make cakes, cookies, fruit pizza,
and lots more.
(Note to my brother Rick,
she EVEN has a recipe for
"Easy Tiramisu" )
2. ALWAYS have pesto in your refrigerator or better yet,
in your freezer .
(Here's my recipe.)
If I could have only one seasoning in my kitchen,
this is the one I'd choose.
You can flavor main dishes, pasta, soups or
use it as a base for a dipping oil for bread.
3. There must ALWAYS be ice cream in the freezer.
No more needs to be said here.
4. Sharp knives are essential.
Once you've used sharp knives
in your kitchen, you cannot
tolerate dull ones.
5. You could make a different chicken dish
every day of the year,
and still not run out of new recipes.
6. If you have eggs in your refrigerator,
you have breakfast (scrambled),
lunch (egg salad sandwich) and
dinner (an omelet).
Not to mention dessert (a custard).
7. Keep a GOOD vanilla on your shelf.
DO NOT bother with those "imitation" things.
If you can get your hands on vanilla from Mexico,
do it., and call me....please.
It's like no other.
I've just used the last of what I had
during the holidays
and need to start seriously looking for more.
8. Homemade bread is the staff of life.
I have a wonderfully easy recipe
that makes four loaves at a time.
When baked, I slice and freeze them
and then always have "just baked" bread available.
9. Use REAL butter.
If I had to eat margarine,
I would go without.
It also makes the world of difference in cooking.
10. Several different types of dried pasta in the pantry
will always be your best friend when you don't know
what else to cook for dinner.
Remember the #2 Pesto rule?
You can cook some pasta and add one or
two cubes of frozen pesto
and you'll think you're in a gourmet restaurant.
So, there you have it...
my ten cooking tenets that keep
my kitchen operating smoothly.
Here a bonus one:
White dishes are the best.
You can change your linens whenever the mood strikes you,
and white dishes will always work.
Plus, food just seems to look
better plated on white.
better plated on white.
In thinking about these ten things
it's only made me realize,
there are really lots, and lots more
that could be added.
I'll bet you have a few of your own.
I'd love to hear them.