Some of you may be guilty of this – storing ingredients such as flour, baking soda and butter beyond their expiration dates. While you may think that these items can be stored for a long time, they too have their expiration dates.

flour baking soda

It’s about time then that you check their shelf life and label your container to make you aware when you need to throw them away. Here are useful tips you need to keep in mind.

Flour is a common kitchen ingredient that many housewives believe can last for a long time. When stored in the pantry, the maximum time you can keep your flour is six months. If you want to keep them longer for up to a year, though, the best storage space for it is the freezer or refrigerator. Just be sure to store it first in an airtight container before putting it in the fridge.

Butter is good for up to two weeks only but if you want to make it last for a month, again the freezer is where it should be stored. If you have several bars of butter, do remember to put only one of them in the fridge and the rest should be placed in the freezer.
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The young Martha Stewart

How well do you think you know Martha Stewart? Find her unusual taste in wall decor, her two alternative careers, and the awards she received that had nothing to do with cooking.

1. Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray hate each other, thanks to a heated feud that started in 2006. Rumor has it that Rachael hung a sign on her door that says: “Martha doesn’t live here.”

2. Martha collects taxidermied animals.

3. Martha set the Guiness record for most number of people with the same name in the same room, thanks to an episode in her show when she invited hundreds of “other Marthas” .

4. Though she can perfectly pair her wine with her dish, her favorite drink is a vodka martini.

5. People magazine named Martha one of “50’s Most Beautiful Women” in 1996. Not her first magazine award: she was one of Glamour’s “Best Dressed College Girls of 1961.” (She begun modeling in high school to put herself through college.) She graduated from Barnard.

6. If she didn’t start her media empire, Martha would’ve made a fortune in Wall Sreet. She was one of the first female stock brokers, getting her license in 1968.

Emeril.jpgIn the busy world we live in, eating has been done on the run. A lot of people admit that they don’t have the time or have never learned to cook for themselves. This situation is why many fast food chains so successful.

Enter the celebrity chefs. These masters of the kitchen are inspiring a whole new generation of cooks and no, they are not all women. In fact Food Network says that their demographics are 50% percent male for all their shows.

Many guys say that Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali and Bobby Flay have helped them develop their taste for gourmet food. The best part is that they can cook it for themselves at home. In fact the Food Network has more male chefs than female ones, just as the male professional chefs outnumber the female chefs.

As Rachael Ray puts it, pop culture and TV has made cooking cool and manly. She says, “You see a lot more men on TV with food, good food.”

Irregardless whichever sex we are, those of us who aren’t that great in the kitchen are thankful to have some truly great chefs to learn from.

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In this day and age, many of us do not know how to cook. Quite a few are afraid to do so because they don’t have any experience or background in it. Even if we buy a cookbook or watch these great chefs on TV, we just don’t seem to get the hang of it.

This is where Rachael Ray came in. She is not a formally trained chef. She has taken no cooking courses. She just loves food and isn’t afraid to try something new in the kitchen. Add to it her perky personality, or as she puts it goofy personality, and she had people willing to give cooking a chance.

Rachael learned to cook the old fashioned way, from watching her mom cook. Her family owned a restaurant in Cape Cod. Later her mom managed restaurants in upstate New York. At home, she enjoyed the flavors of Italy and Louisiana.

Rachael began her career at the Candy Counter in Macy’s New York. She then became the manager of the fresh foods department. After Macy’s she helped open the gourmet market place Agata and Valentina, serving as both buyer and manager.

It wasn’t unitl she moved upstate that Rachel’s destiny began to shape up. She was recruited by Cowan and Label to be their food buyer. While she was there, Rachael decided to hold some cooking classes as a way to increase the christmas sales. Her 30 Minute Meal classes became so popular they caught the attention of the media.

An Albany TV station then asked her to do a weekly 30 minute meal segment as part of the evening news. The show was nominated for 2 regional Emmy awards and Rachael’s first cookbook, a companion to the show, was released selling 10,000 copies.

Now, she hosts 4 shows on the food network: 30 Minute Meals, $40 a Day, Inside Dish and Rachael Ray’s Tasty Travels. She has also signed a contract with Oprah Winfrey and King World Productions to launch her own syndicated talk show, Rachael Ray, beginning September 18, 2006.

She has authored several cookbooks following her 30 minute meal concept and has her own magazine, Everyday with Rachael Ray. She has also developed her own line of cookware and cutlery.

Celebrity chefs have huge pantries at their disposal—but what’s the one ingredient they can’t live without? Six of them share their secret.

Clarissa Dickson-Wright: Heinz tomato soup. She also depends on chicken stock, but prefers to make her own. For regular blokes, she says, “”There’s a place for the stock cube in every kitchen.”

Richard Corrigan: Organic Swiss vegetable bouillon. This is something he only uses at home, since he makes his own stock from scratch in the kitchen.

Antony Worrall Thompson: ketchup, worcester sauce and anchovy essence

Delia Smith: Sainsbury’s fresh bolognese and freshly made gnocchi. “This is a total cheat – but utterly gorgeous”

James Martin: Supermarket’s own-brand fresh stock. “It’s my favourite thing at the moment. It makes a great sauce”

Sam Stern: Marmite. “The best shortcut for stock is having the real thing around in your freezer whenever you want it”

A celebrity chef is called a celebrity chef often because they cook and have great personality on camera. They are able to draw people to the kitchens. They give people confidence to try cooking for themselves. This is why though they are not true chefs, people like Rachael Ray have their spot in front of the camera.

TV has a hundred and one tricks to make cooking look really fast and easy. This includes making some of the dishes before the show starts or having the make up of the celebrity chefs constantly retouched so that they don’t look like they sweat while they cook – like the cooks truly do.

This is why the shows of Bobby Flay and Rachael Ray are so popular. Almost all the dishes that they feature on their shows really are prepared within the time allotted by the network. Add that the food really comes out delicious, as well as beautiful to look at, is it any wonder that their fan base keep growing?

Here’s an easy recipe from Chef Bobby Flay (Throwdown With Bobby Flay) that is really great. Try this Philly Cheese Steak for yourself:

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Ingredients:

  • 2 to 2 1/2 pound strip loin, trimmed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Soft hoagie rolls, split 3/4 open
  • Provolone Sauce, recipe follows
  • Sauteed Mushrooms, recipe follows
  • Caramelized Onions, recipe follows
  • Sauteed Peppers, recipe follows

Directions:

Place steak in freezer for 30 to 45 minutes; this makes it easier to slice the meat. Remove the meat from the freezer and slice very thinly.

Heat griddle or grill pan over high heat. Brush steak slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 45 to 60 seconds per side.

Place several slices of the meat on the bottom half of the roll, spoon some of the cheese sauce over the meat, and top with the mushrooms, onions, and peppers.

Provolone Sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, heated
1 cup grated aged provolone cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the warm milk, and cook, whisking constantly until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the provolone and Parmesan until combined; season with the salt and pepper.

Sauteed Mushrooms:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms (cremini and shiitake), coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil and butter in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are golden brown. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Caramelized Onions:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoons canola oil
3 large Spanish onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook slowly until golden brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

Sauteed Peppers:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 poblano peppers, thinly sliced
2 Cubano peppers, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in medium saute pan over high heat. Add the peppers and cook until soft. Season with salt and pepper.

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There is nothing as important as feeding our children. Yet food for kids isn’t exactly something that you see on TV everyday. In fact there are only a few people writing about it.

Enter Annabel Karmel. She is a household name in the UK. She is an inspirig person. She is not just a cook, she is also a mother which is why each of her recipes have been carefully tested against the best possible guage: her own kids.

Annabel Karmel studied at the Cordon Bleu school. It was the loss of her first child, Natasha, that she began to write. She believes that the one element that any parent can control that will help determine their health is what they eat. She began to create recipes that her son would enjoy eating yet still meet his dietary needs. The result: her first published book in 1991 titled The Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner.

By no means though is she a homely, matronly looking mom. She may have 3 kids but she has kept physically active. She is a fun person who enjoys skiing, tennis and roller blading. She is also a musician and singer. In fact she has performed with Liberace, Denis Waterman, Queen Elizabeth and Boy George. The instrument she has performed on is the harp, though she also plays violin. She has also had a recording career.

To date she has several books under her belt. Her recipes are all kid friendly and are fun to make. If you have a fussy eater, try some of her recipes.

She has also been seen on TV as the Foodie Godmother on the Richard and Judy Show, BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen and BBC2’s Working Lunch.

First of all, I simply cannot imagine celebrity chef Jamie Oliver speechless. This guy is definitely physically appealing but part of his attractiveness stems from the way he talks – which to me seems non-stop! Anyhow, remember his foray into the wild American eating culture? Apparently, he tried the drink which has been dubbed as the unhealthiest drink in the country and was left, well, speechless.

So what’s in this drink?

Here’s what you need:

• LOTS of chocolate ice cream
• LOTS of peanut butter
• Heavy cream (LOTS, preferably)

Put these ingredients together and then blend. Yup, the mixture blends, and it blends well!

So what’s the problem with the drink? Think about it – you don’t need to be Sheldon Cooper to realize just how many calories are in this drink. To be exact, the drink has more than 12 percent butter-fat content. The total number of calories equals the amount that the average person needs in one day: 2,010!

If the numbers do not impress you, think about it more. The drink is equivalent to 68 rashers of bacon. If it’s sweet stuff that you like, think about 30 chocolate chip cookies. Baad but good!

So where can you get this drink? Head on over to a Cold Stone Creamery branch – you’ll be sure to find one of the 400 branches scattered all over the United States. Ask for the PB&C – just make sure you don’t eat anything else during the day. One drink is all you need to complete three meals.

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Bam! Kick it up a notch and Pork fat Rules! are just a few of the catch phrases of Emeril Lagasse. His light and fun style of hosting his TV shows has made him a very popular chef/host. He began with then new cable station, Food Network, in 1993 with the show “How to Boil Water”. Now he has two shows, “The Essence of Emeril” and “Emeril Live!” plus he is the food correspondent of “Good Morning America”.
Emeril Lagasse received a full scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music but his heart was in a different medium – Food. Not surprising since he began learning about cooking at a very young age from his mother. In his teens he worked in a Portuguese bakery till he went off to College at the Johnson and Wales University to earn his degree in the culinary arts. He was later awarded an honorary doctorate degree by his alma matter.

Emeril Lagasse traveled to France and polished his skills in French cuisine before coming home. He worked in fine restaurants in New York, Boston and Philadelphia before he moved to New Orleans to become the executive chef of the Commander’s Palace for eight years.

In 1990 he opened his first restaurant, Emeril’s, in New Orleans. The following year he was awarded the James Beard Award for Best Southeast chef. In 19920 he opened his second restaurant, Nola. He currently has nine restaurants in the United States situated in New Orleans, Miami, Orlando and Atlanta.

Aside from being a chef, restaurateur and TV personality and host Emeril Lagasse has authored 11 Cookbooks. The first was “New” New Orleans Cooking and the latest is Emerils Delmonico.

He also has a line of high quality stoneware with Wedgweood, a line of seasonal produce, lettuces and herbs with Pride fo San Juan and a line of clogs with Sanita clogs of Denmark.

He also established the Emeril Lagasse Foundation in 2002. Its mission is “inspire, mentor and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive and creative individuals” . It is another dream fulfilled for him since he has always wanted to enrich children’s lives. Truly he kicks things up more than a notch.

food tube

Do you want to be a celebrity chef? Or at least pretend to be one? Have your 30 seconds of fame on Foodtube.net. Here, you can upload (or watch) videos of people who think they can cook… but then again, how much different is it from what Rachael Ray does?