8 Cooking Tips that Work

Make cooking easier with these simple and effective cooking tips fit for both beginners and cooking enthusiasts alike.

Cooking tip 1: Learn from the French with “mise en place”

Literally, it means ‘put in place’. In professional kitchens, it is important to have everything you need in place and to set up your work stations before you begin cooking. Ingredients for the recipes are also already prepared, measured, chopped, grated, and so on. Mise en place will save you a lot of time and will make cooking more fun and almost effortless for you.

Cooking tip 2: Practice the clean-as-you-go method

We have been there before: cooking and ending up with too many dishes to wash at the end of the day. Instead of letting your dishes pile up, take time after every cooking session to wash them and to clean up after your mess. Collect scattered tools and garbage all over the countertops, disinfect kitchen appliances, put back into place the pots and pans. Cleaning up is part of the whole process.

Cooking tip 3: A good set of kitchen knives goes a long way

Investing in a good set of kitchen knives will make chopping more precise, faster, and safer (dull knives are more prone to slip which may result to cut injuries). Maintain your kitchen knives by regularly sharpening it or, if you want to go the extra mile, by having it sharpened by a professional.

Cooking tip 4: Read the whole recipe before cooking then re-read it again

There is no such thing as re-reading a recipe too much. Re-reading the recipes will guarantee that you will understand it better and that you will not miss anything crucial in the ingredients and the steps. Plus, you may even memorize it so by the time you start cooking, you do not have to keep glancing at the recipe and so you can truly enjoy and be present in the moment of cooking the dish.

Cooking tip 5: Annotate the recipe

There are times when the recipe needs a bit of adjusting according to your taste. After trying out a recipe, assess the final dish and take note of what else can be improved. Make sure to write these notes into the recipe so that the next time you cook it, you will know what needs to be done better.

Cooking tip 6: Trust your own senses

Sometimes, it is best to use your sense of sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing when you are cooking than following the recipe to the letter. For example, your chicken is not yet fully baked but then the recipe only says fifteen minutes, what shall you do? Trust your instincts and follow what you think may be better for the dish.

Cooking tip 7: All about that seasoning

Make the most of your spices by toasting them before seasoning them into a dish; toasting will enhance the flavors and will make it stronger. Also, check on your spices regularly and make sure they are not yet expired. Smell them and taste them – if your spices are already scentless or flavorless, it is time to toss them out. Do not also be shy in seasoning your food. Season as much as you can. Make a habit of seasoning then tasting your food at every stage of cooking to make sure you are doing it well.

Cooking tip 8: Choose the right cooking oil

Selecting the right cooking oil can make or break a dish. Cooking oils have different smoke points, which is the temperature most suitable for the oil. Going beyond the oil’s smoke point means burning and smoking, which will cause an unpleasant burnt flavor to your food. Butter and nut oils are low-heat oils and will burn at medium or high temperature. Canola, grapeseed, or almond oils are high-heat oils so it is okay to use when cooking at low or high temperatures.

Local Networking Event Barbecue

From time to time, we like to host a neighborhood barbecue for the local businesses to come enjoy.  It’s something we like to put on each year, and we actually look forward it a lot.  Instead of renting a space, we kick everyone out of the parking lot and shut it down on a Saturday afternoon.  This last barbecue, we invited about 17 Albany businesses to come hang out with their family and friends – whoever else they wanted to invite.  As the barbecue experts, we of course, provided the burgers, hot dogs, Italian sausages, and the other essentials.  But, we did tell everyone that they could bring food if they’d like as well.  In addition, we hired a band that plays in the Capital Region to come entertain everyone and play some 90’s music for a few hours.  The barbecue lasted from 12 PM – 4 PM, which was just enough time to meet everyone and get some relaxation time in.  We invited 17 people, and I think around 13 showed up with their families.  We had quite the all-star line-up in attendance.  There was a jeweler, a couple attorneys, a guy who did remodeling of some sort, and a bunch more.  I spoke with a local paving contractor for a little bit.  He was telling me how his company just opened their new office in downtown Albany.  He was a nice guy, definitely smart.  They were doing some commercial asphalt job on I-87 though, so he had to leave early.  Apparently, they do a lot of commercial work for Albany County.  Anyways, the cook-out was a hit, as usual, and we’ll certainly be holding one again sometime in the very near future.  I look at as a community building activity that also helps with networking.  If we know the other business owners nearby, it’s easy to refer people.

Incredibly Useful Tips on Planning an Awesome Barbeque

Whether you are planning a small BBQ party in your backyard or an al fresco dining, these simple prep tips can help you avoid the last minute hiccups. From the food to the drinks and the games, make sure you have a checklist that comes in handy while preparing for your barbecue party outside of the kitchen.

Food being grilled in a barbecue outside the kitchen

Use Apps to calculate the amount of food and the budget

Some amazing party organizing apps such as BBQ Planner, WagJAg, and The Pit Pall help you decide the amount of food required for grilling, the number of pounds of meat needed per person, and how much would the party cost. This way you can delight your guests with a sumptuous meal while staying within the budget.

Keep the Menu Simple and Yet Classy

Decide in advance whether you are going to have hotdogs, beef briskets, steaks, ribs, or hamburgers. Add an element of surprise by skipping some items from the traditional barbeque menu and opting for some unique items such as grilled lamb kofta, Tahini Sauce, and Spring Chickpea salad to wow your guests.

Also, it is a good idea to keep things simple while planning the menu. Ensure that only two dishes require elaborate preparations so that you get to spend some time with your guests.  The rest of the dishes such as salads and desserts can be made beforehand or bought from the store (in case you feel exhausted with all the preparations!)

Once you zero in on your favorite meats and marinades, add them to the shopping list. Remember to make a detailed list of ingredients for every dish and cocktail, and double-check before shopping so that you don’t miss out on anything.

Go for a Self-Serve Drink Station

self-Serve Drink Station

If you prefer socializing with your guests rather than standing behind the counter, make sure that you have a self-serve drink station. From cocktails to iced tea coolers, ensure that everything is put in pitchers so that your guests can serve easy. Go for plastic or Mason jar glasses with handles, but make sure that they are not heavy. Also, keep a cooler for ice and a bottle opener handy before serving.

Make Sure there is Enough Seating

Keep enough outdoor chairs and patio seating ready so that everyone finds a place to sit and enjoy your lovely BBQ party.  Have a couple of tables or stands near the seating area so that everything your guests need is right across the table. Also, it is good to keep a space inside the house ready just in case the weather plays spoilsport.

Dress Up the Décor

Use a bright tablecloth and put some vibrant flowers to brighten up the surroundings. Add some banners, fabrics, or other casual décor to make the place look beautiful. Keep some extra lighting such as candles and lanterns as your guests might want to stick around till the evening.

Don’t Forget the Games

Fun games are a great way to bring everyone together and keep the party going. Whether you are planning to play Yard Yahtzee, Giant Jenga, or a potato sack race make sure that there is something for all the ages. While the kids would prefer hopping around, some people might prefer light games on full bellies.

Keep the Grill and Table Items Ready

All said and done, check your BBQ in advance and ensure that it is clean and ready for the big day before you take it out of the kitchen. Gather all your grilling equipment such as spatulas, forks tongs, and oven mitts. Don’t miss out on serving platters, plates, bowls, cups, toothpicks, table cloth, napkins, and a cutting board. Also, make sure you have adequate fuel to get the party going.

So gear up to have some fun at your BBQ party with scrumptious food, lovely drinks, and breezy outdoor games!

 

Top Barbecue Recipes You Should Know About

Top Barbecue Recipes You Should Know About

Are you a food lover? Treat your family with the best-ever family dinner with help from some of the most delicious barbecue recipes out there. Barbecue is known to be one of the oldest, traditional methods of cooking. The modern barbecue has come a long way from the conventional pit barbecue that evolved in the Caribbean to the world-famous Indian Tandoor. The various cultures across the world have adopted the BBQ cooking recipe with a tinge of their own exquisite flavors.

Barbecues are not just about preparing a great meal based on the meat recipes. There are plenty of vegetarian options as well. Right from the chicken gyros to meaty medleys, veggie barbecued potato recipes, and so more –there is much more to the famous Barbecue recipes that your family is simply going to love.

Here are some for you to know about:

  • BBQ Chicken Recipe: If you are counting calories with every bite you intake, the particular guilt-free BBQ chicken recipe is a must-try. This low-calorie barbecue recipe involves an easy-to-follow preparatory process in which the chicken is marinated in the homemade barbecue sauce, and then grilled.

 

  • Barbecue Chorizo Potato Salad: Spice up the homemade potato salad along with some fresh slices of BBQ Chorizo. The intense, smoky flavors of paprika from the sausage are made to balance perfectly with the help of the cool, creamy dressing of the salad.

 

  • Crispy Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Yogurt and Chickpeas: If you are a veggie-lover, then every barbecue requires the main dish to be balanced perfectly in terms of the overall flavors that every meat eater might get jealous of. The BBQ crispy potatoes with chickpeas & Tahini yogurt along with the sweet, tangy flavors of pomegranate seeds turn out to be the perfect combination that your family will love. You can also try trying out citrus dressing for an ultimate taste.

 

  • Beef & Red Pepper Burgers: Pack up some non-vegetarian flavors into your dish with the help of the exclusive Beef & Red Pepper Burgers in the given BBQ menu. The recipe containing roasted red pepper and carrot would add special flavors to the dish ensuring additional nutritional benefits to the amazingly, kid-friendly treats. If you are looking for something extra crunchy, then you can add some fresh, crisp potato wedges to the BBQ recipe as well.

 

Make the most delicious meals with the help of these BBQ recipes.