Hamburger with Caramelized Onions, mushrooms, Provolone Cheese and a side of Brussel Sprouts

Last night’s dinner was a hamburger prepared by Yes! Chef!  Of course, since he prepared it, it was not an ordinary hamburger.  It was perfectly cooked, with a thin layer of Provolone Cheese, caramelized sliced mushrooms and wonderfully caramelized onions.  And since he loves Brussel Sprouts, we had them roasted and lightly oiled and seasoned. I don’t know if my photos do this simple dinner justice, but it was mighty tasty. I love the simplicity of this rustic food.  Add a great glass of French Bordeaux and it was a memorable dinner. Read More

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Stupid Kitchen Tools

Courtesy of WhiteonRiceCouple

I must admit that Yes! Chef! has an egg separator and a few wooden spoons, but no banana slicer.

Finished Cupcakes (deceptively good looking)

I would love to be able to say that I made cupcakes yesterday and they turned out adorably.  I would love to post some photos that would make you swoon.  Alas, this is not exactly what happened.  It all started out innocently enough but something went wrong about the time that I added the flour while the mixer was in motion and flour flew everywhere.  All I needed was a long, long trailer and you could call me “Lucy” as in Lucille Ball in the movie, The Long, Long Trailer.  If you haven’t seen the movie, which came out in 1953 (I saw it much later), you really should.  It’s a laugh out loud funny movie.  Lucille Ball had perfect timing for comedy.

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Mini Sweet Peppers ready to go into the oven

I saw these colorful mini sweet peppers at the store the other day and I wanted to photograph them but I had to come up with some sort of recipe so that Yes! Chef! would make them for me and then I could photograph them. Lo and behold there was a perfectly great recipe right on the back of the bag.  I brought them home and waved them in front of Yes! Chef!  He said something like, “Yes, they are pretty”.  He knows my propensity for Crow Photography (photographing any pretty, shiny or colorful thing that I see), so he wasn’t culinarily very interested.  Then I showed him the recipe on the back of the bag and I said things like, “Mmmmm.  This looks great” and “I sure do love capers, olives and peppers” and finally, “Could you please make this for me and we could put it on steaks tonight.”  That did it.

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“Taste Test As You Cook” from Cooking Light

Taste, taste, taste

Here’s an article on the Most Common Cooking Mistakes made by home cooks.  This one is particularly common, in my humble opinion.  I think it’s been ingrained in our psyche that it’s bad to taste the food while you are cooking it because that’s where those “extra” calories hide. My advice:  Don’t ever put food on the table that you haven’t tasted before it went on the plate.  Less embarrassing that way.

Mistake Number One!

1. You don’t taste as you go.

Result: The flavors or textures of an otherwise excellent dish are out of balance or unappealing.

For most cooks, tasting is automatic, but when it’s not, the price can be high. Recipes don’t always call for the “right” amount of seasoning, cooking times are estimates, and results vary depending on your ingredients, your stove, altitude…and a million other factors. Your palate is the control factor.

Think that experienced cooks don’t forget this most basic rule? Cooking Light Associate Food Editor Tim Cebula was sous chef in a notable restaurant when he served up “caramelized” pineapple that somehow refused to brown. Turns out Tim had coated the fruit in salt, not sugar. “That’s why it wouldn’t caramelize.”  Taste Test As You Cook < Cooking Tips and Cooking Questions Answered – Cooking Light.

Yes! Chef! tasting (and enjoying) his meatloaf
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