Kitchen survival

To budding chefs, cooking shows like Chopped, Iron Chef, The Barefoot Contessa and Everyday Italian are a source of inspiration and excitement. Who wouldn’t want to have the culinary acumen to turn sea urchins, rhubarb and cough drops into a delicious, restaurant-quality dessert?

But as much as they would like to transfer what they learn from those TV shows into their own kitchens, these hopeful cooks can be stymied by the dizzying array of kitchen gadgets and doo-dads those TV chefs always seem to have at hand.

I mean, seriously, a soft serve ice cream maker? Not exactly something you’ll find in every home. But before you start shopping for a liquid nitrogen vendor, consider these more moderate kitchen gadgets that can make your dishes easier, tastier and more fun to create:  Continue reading »

cook using laptop

People have a lot to be thankful for particularly with regards to the advancement of mobile technology. The cooks, whether the newbies or the veterans, are among those benefiting from many of today’s smart mobile devices.

The most important role that smartphones and tablets play is providing information on recipes to people who love to cook for their loved ones and friends. With so many websites and apps that feature recipes and tips, it’s fairly easy to prepare and cook dishes with the help of a mobile gadget.

A 2013 survey on the global food trends done by Allrecipes.com showed that a growing number of people are using a mobile device to search for recipes and food inspiration. The survey covered more than 7,000 cooks with many of them cooking for their families as the top users of mobile gadgets.

So what are the top uses of smartphones and tablets for these cooks?

The study found that searching for recipes is the most popular activity with 63 percent of them doing this with their gadgets. Very understandable because with just a few swipes, they can easily find recipes without exerting much effort. Continue reading »

Do you often buy small kitchen appliances that serve a specific purpose? Does your urge to buy them stem from your frequent watching of TV shows that introduce new kitchen products in the market?

If you are and if you’ve currently found a lot of them unused in your kitchen, then maybe it’s time to get rid of some of them. It’s the end of the year and decluttering is good for you and your home.

The experts say we only need a few basic appliances, pots and utensils in the kitchen. In reality, though, homemakers have so many with some of them rarely used. Continue reading »


Martha Stewart has always proclaimed her love for cookies. If you’ve followed her shows on TV, you would know the different types of cookies she’s made that are truly delicious and attractive to look at. Most are easy to prepare.

The good news is that Martha now has a cookies app for both the iPhone and iPad. Through this new app, those who love baking can find a wide assortment of cookie recipes. This new and advanced tool features a beautiful design and more than 90 recipes. It also contains how-to videos, baking tips, ideas for packaging, kitchen times, shopping lists, sharing options and search features. It’s a great resource to use particularly for those new in baking and the new moms or wives who like to try their skills in this field.

For additional recipes other than those already available in the app, you can download from iTunes App store at itunes.apple.com.
Continue reading »

Still haven’t perfected the art of boiling eggs? You’re not alone.

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Boiling eggs are really tricky, especially if you’re cooking for a group of people who like their eggs in varying stages of “hardness”. Add to the fact that the rate at which eggs cook depend not just on the amount of time it takes to cook them, but also the temperature at which they were stored, and also the size of the eggs. With so many factors to consider, it is no wonder that sleepy cooks end up with “wrongly” cooked eggs.

The good news is that you don’t have to be a chef to be consistent in turning out perfectly boiled eggs that will suit everyone’s tastes. All you need is to get yourself a BeepEgg, and you

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can relax, maybe even sing with it as you make breakfast.

The BeepEgg is an egg timer that you put in the pan with your eggs as you boil them and will tell you whether the eggs are already cooked. Fish out the eggs for the people who like their soft boiled when you hear the egg sing “Killing Me Soft

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ly” and leave the rest until you hear it start to sing “I Wish I

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Was a Hen”, at which point you can fish out the eggs for those who like it medium. You’ll know that the remaining eggs are already hard boiled when you the classical tune from Carmina Burana coming out of the plastic egg.


How to use the BeepEgg

While it all sounds really silly, the BeepEgg works perfectly so that you don’t even have to worry about getting your eggs to room temperature before your boil them. Just make sure that you also store the BeepEgg along with the real eggs because it works by calculating the inner temperature of the eggs based on the temperature it was stored and the boiling water.

Oh, and if you’re getting irritated with all that singing, just dunk the Beep Egg in cold water.

Image via Firebox

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Have you ever wanted to become like one of the celebrity chefs you religiously follow on TV (and elsewhere you can find them)? I know I would give an arm and a leg to be like Nigella Lawson – for more reasons than her cooking, obviously. I’d also sell my most precious gadget to be like Jamie Oliver. Or, rather, be with Jamie Oliver – but that’s a totally different story.

All kidding aside, I think that every home cook has this inner desire to meet the standards of their celebrity chef of choice. That is perhaps one of the biggest reasons that this obsession about celebrity chefs (and everything associated with them) has taken a stronghold in society. While not all of us may be as talented as Gordon Ramsey, I do believe that a little ingenuity and sense of adventure can take our cooking to a whole new level. All that we need is a push and some help. Continue reading »

Celebrity chefs may be in their element in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean that they venture out into the unknown as well. Not that Apple (the tech company, not the fruit associated with Newton) and its plethora of gadgets and applications can be considered unknown. After all, it has revolutionized consumer electronics in the past decade or so.

Anyhow, it seems that celebrity chefs are taking the battle to the mobile scene. In the past year, various chefs have been releasing their own iPhone apps in an effort to stay current. Jamie Oliver (of course he’s going to be mentioned) released his cookery app late last year and gained the distinction of being the top-grossing app in the UK within days of the release! Up till now, it has remained in the top 5.

Recently, Nigella Lawson has decided to join the Apple fray. She released her own app last week, dubbed Quick Collection. Within hours, the app became the top selling lifestyle app in the UK. Now how impressive is that?

As for what’s going on in that pretty head of hers, this is what she had to say:

I am iPhone-obsessed and app-addicted anyway, so feel particularly excited about my own ‘Nigellapp’.

This really feels like an application that is comfortable to use, either to inspire after a long day, or give general and specific cooking tips. I am very proud of this gorgeous little greed-gadget.

Nigellapp – now that’s funny! If you’re okay with spending ₤4.99 for 70 recipes and 40 minutes of video, you should download this app now.

Giada De Laurentiis is certainly one of the hottest celebrity chefs around. While I may not agree with the physical perception of many, there is no denying that she is one of the most popular chefs today. Retail giant Target seems to recognize that as well as they have partnered up with her to sell a line of cookware and food products.

Dubbed Giada De Laurentiis for Target, the cookware and food products selection is touted to be exclusive and yet affordable. According to Kathy Tesija, executive vice president of Target’s merchandising, their customers “want kitchen gear that makes their daily cooking easier and more enjoyable, and Giada’s collection delivers.” She also says that they “combined design expertise with Giada’s culinary background to create a product collection that pairs utility with great design and affordability.”

What exactly are they selling? Pots and pans, ceramic containers for baking, pasta sauces, flavored coffee, and other kitchen tools. Also available are different varieties of pasta and dressings. One set that I find particularly interesting is the Tri Ply Clad cookset. The inclusions in the set:

• 2 saute pans, one is 8 inches and the other is 9.5 inches; both are open
• 3 sauce pans: 1 quart, 2 quarts, and 3 quarts; all have lids
• 1 Dutch oven with lid: 5 quarts

For $199.99, I think that it’s a pretty good deal.

The idea behind the line is to impart Giada’s cooking expertise and family traditions while at the same time to provide customers with Target quality.

Would you buy these products?

anthony_worrell_thompson_gallery_01-gt_full_width_landscapeYou would think so! After all, these celebrity chefs are excellent in their field and anything that they would endorse should be up to par with their standards, right? Apparently not!

Which?, a consumer magazine, recently conducted a test on various kitchen tools and gadgets that celebrity chefs endorse. And what did they find out? Many of these gadgets do not measure up to the reputation of their celebrity chef endorsers!

The Herald ran a story on this and named some of the high profile chefs and their kitchen appliances and tools. While many of them did not really exceed the performance of non-celebrity chef gadgets, not all of them were “fails.” In fact, there was only one that was marked as a “Don’t Buy” – Rosemary Conley’s EnerGi HG6 Health Grill. This scored a mere 34 out of 100. The reason for this pitiful mark? The grill heated slowly, produced “awful vegetables and pallid chicken” and was difficult to set up and clean.

Other celebrity chefs whose products were scrutinized include:

-Worrall Thompson, said to be the most licensed celebrity chef in Europe, with sales of £60m in 2008 from products ranging from barbeque cleaners to cookers. Note: the judges said that his products were more of a hit and miss thing.

– James Martin, host of BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, were awarded the highest ratings. His hand-mixer and mini-chopper (68% and 67%) triumphed over those of his rivals, but neither rated in the Best Buy category.

So should you buy celebrity chef-endorsed products? Up to you!

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Ming Tsai teaches you everything from how to fillet a salmon to opening a bottle of wine in his free podcasts. While many of the tips are geared towards beginners, even the experienced kitchen diva will enjoy the show. Why? Because… he’s kinda cute.