Sunday, January 13, 2013

My Ten Cooking Truisms

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.
They're ...well...imitations.
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.

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.


Carol said...

Great post, especially the white dishes! I love mine, bought when Sur la Table has sales.
I'm going to save your pesto recipe and give it a try.

NanaDiana said...

Great suggestions all the way around. I love white dishes, too. However, for some strange reason I cannot seem to keep ice cream in my freezer- xo Diana

Blondie's Journal said...

Wonderful tips! I have to try your pesto recipe. And I love that you have your washer and dryer in your kitchen...makes a whole lot of sense!!


vicki said...

Dearest Susan-
I have just loaded your BEAUTIFUL blog in for my Grow Your Blog party. I will look forward to your special post on the 19th. I hope you make lots and lots of new friends -- and become a friend to many!

Donna said...

Wonderful tips, and I love your kitchen!

Annabelle said...

I too live in a lovely 100 year old cottage - in London. We do not have washer/dryer in the kitchen but in a separate utility/laundry room (quite common here)off the kitchen. Your tips are just perfect and I will get a cake mix next time I shop. My dishes are the opposite of yours - by Emma Bridgewater with no two alike. She specialises in country pottery. Do check her out as they are unique.
I LOVE your blog and have joined (sis too) and am looking forward to glimpses into your world. Do visit and enter my giveaway ... and good luck. x

Dewena Callis said...

So nice to find your blog. I agree with your tenets but don't have the cake dr cookbook. Your kitchen is so pretty. And as I looked down through recent posts I see so much to attract me.

Oh, I do have to admit that my only white dishes are a a cupboard full of Buffalo China's that have a green stripe around them. I love white dishes when I see them on blogs but over the years/decades have been bitten by the Spode bug and they are anything but white. You are so right though, food looks so much better on white.

A Half-Baked Notion said...

Susan, I get excited whenever I read about folks cooking with real food, especially butter and eggs! Loved this post, though I must admit to rarely buying cake mix (when my boys were young it was their request for birthday cake LOL). I'm following based on your wonderful writing style. Found you via Vicki's blog hop.

Retired Knitter said...

Genius! Washer and dryer in the kitchen. Next house ... that is what I aim for.

Jenny said...

You have a really nice blog and one that is informative, colorful and not cutsie. I'm on your list now. xo Jenny

Jaybird said...

Right ON!!!!
email me and I will get some Mexican vanilla out to you from the mandau in our neighborhood.

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