This Princess can cook!

I love to cook! I have been cooking since I was young and would visit my Grandmothers house. I would help her can fruits and bake some of the most delicious desserts. So many of the things I cook are in my head and not written down so I wanted to start this blog to showcase some of my favorite recipes and tips. I don’t pretend to be a professional. In fact I feel I am always learning when I cook. My food is “ever evolving”. I cook with my heart and nag from my mouth, so my sons says. My family has been great test subjects. They are usually honest about my cooking. I find new recipes everywhere. I like a lot of the recipes I find in the Extra magazine that Raleys BelAir market  hands out at their registers. I get a lot of my inspiration from the Food Network channel. I also get tons of my recipes that I have been very successful with off a site formally titled “recipezaar.com” Now called “Food.com” site! I have a few of my own posted there also. http://www.recipezaar.com/member/260783

I also have some that I invented or remember from growing up. This should fun!

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Here is a list of some great copy cat type of site sites I frequent;

Topsecretrecipes

CopyKat.com

CopyCat-Recipes.net

I will be the first to admit that I will use bottled sauces and box seasonings. Here are a few of my favorites;

  • Oven Fry coating mix for chicken and pork
  • Italian salad dressing for marinating chicken and fish. I like Kraft’s Light Zesty Italian
  • Pre chopped garlic in a jar. A great time savor!
  • SoyVay Teriyaki sauces are out of this world.
  • McCormick seasonings are great!

This is my list of “Must haves” in the kitchen. Some of these things make cooking so much easier and keep it fun!

  • A digital instant read meat thermometer
  •  love my George Forman grill! Not a must have but a good one!
  • A rice cooker. Or a heavy sauce pan with a tight fitting lid. Why re-invent the wheel?
  •  I also love my electric skillet. I have the deep non stick rectangle version and I make everything from soups to sauces in it.
  •  Good pans are a must. I like the ones with the thick bottoms for better heat distribution. It’s not worth it to try to cook with cheap equipment. Invest in 1 or 2 good ones. You will be happy you did. I don’t put mine in the dishwasher. Some detergents will pit the metals.
  • I also don’t like cheap knives! I thought about what I would be cutting or chopping and invested in a few good knives. I have a small thick blade for chopping herbs and tender greens. I have a large broad one for chopping vegetables etc. I have a carving knife for meats, and a bread knife. I bought J. A. Henckle’s. They stay sharp and are made to last. Always hand wash your knives. I never put mine in the sink. I can just see myself reaching in the sink full of dishes and slicing off a finger. I also never put my knives in the dishwasher, this will make them dull.
  • Also when using Teflon cookware make sure you use wooden spoons or spatulas that wont scratch. I like the silicone spatulas. They don’t scratch OR melt. Melted plastic is not good eats! {:( I also read in the handbook with my Teflon cookware to never soak them.
  • The same goes for baking sheets. Invest in 1 or 2 good ones. I always use parchment paper or foil on them and I don’t soak them or put them in the dishwasher. I also like a glass 13×9 casserole dish. I have one with a lid, I love it! Then I like a good sturdy roasting pan. You can do so many things in a roasting pan from a turkey to a pot roast.
  • A good basic cookbook. Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook is great! Its the one with the red checks on the cover. There is lots of info in the beginning pages on cookware, how to set a table, cooking times, substitution suggestions and lots of other basic info. When I tackle a new recipe I read it all the way through once. Then I can make sure I have all the ingredients, and cooking utensils needed to complete the recipe.

I’m sure I can babble on forever, but I would rather cook. I will add info as I think of it. Check my blog often for updates and new recipes, and let me know if you liked them. Also, feel free to share yours with me.