Week 9: The secret to heating your pan (and prevent food from sticking)

For some of you, this may not be huge news. But for me, it was a game changer in the kitchen. When you are self taught, you often miss out on these important techniques unless you take the time to learn. That’s what I’ve been focusing on for the past few years as I strive […]

Week 8: Making Maple Syrup

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Week 7: Hollandaise & Espagnole Sauces

Sauces are such an incredibly versatile thing. You could make a wide variety of meals from the same basic poultry or meat just by changing the sauce. You can make sauces to top vegetables and sides to switch things up. You can add your own personal touch and make your own family favorites.

Week 6: Veloute and Tomato Sauces

I had high hopes of being able to format the remaining mother sauces in one final post so sauces aren’t dragged on so long, but the last two sauces are rather complicated and I need a bit more time to put my thoughts on paper. so I present to you, veloute and tomato sauces. […]

Week 5: Mother Sauces – Bechamel, “White Sauce”

The Mother Sauces

I’m sure most of us have made sauces and probably have for quite some time. Sauce making is a skill, just as much as any other form of cooking. A quality sauce can bring magic to a dish, making the most basic ingredients come to life in unforgettable deliciousness. A sauce can […]

Week 4: Roux, Slurry & Buerre Manie

This weeks challenge is to make and use a roux if you have never made one – or practice making a blonde or brown roux while trying a brand new recipe. You can even make roux in bulk to have on hand. Create a meal that uses a roux and let me know what you […]

Week 3: Planning & Preparing, Mise En Place

Prep & Planning

One very basic concept that will help any of us become a better cook is practicing better preparation and planning. These go hand in hand with one another to help orchestrate a great meal that is planned and prepared ahead of time; you will have all of your ingredients (no more […]

Week Two: Cutting vegetables and fruits

Types of Cuts

Let the challenge this week be to practice knife skills and get ready to put prepared vegetables in the freezer. Even if it’s something like dicing a few onions for future meals, or cutting up some carrots for carrot stick snacks through the week. Both will last fine in the fridge […]

Week 1: Knife Skills

You know, I think we can all pick up a chefs knife and hack into vegetables. It may not be very pretty – or efficient, but we can get the job done. But just hacking around can lead to cuts and a less than stellar presentation. The presentation part may not matter to many of […]

Preparing for the Challenges II: Stocking your Pantry

If you are going to cook, there are some things you are going to need to have on hand. This post will cover what you need in your pantry. These are your non-perishable items.

You can stock your pantry in any variety of ways. I think aside from the basics (like flour, […]