Cooking School 27 results

How To Boil An Egg

Hard boiled eggs are the most common at our house throughout the year, not just at Easter. I think it is because they can be made and then they can sit until everyone wakes up. They do not need to be immediately served. Technically the eggs are not boiled they are cooked. If your hard cooked eggs are rubbery and dry they were cooked too long. They should still be soft. Soft cooked eggs have a runny yolk. They are served in their shell with bread to dip in the runny yolk or they may be ...

Fun Facts About Eggs

The next section in Martha Stewart's Cooking School Cookbook is Eggs! Since we will be talking about them for a while we decided to share some interesting facts we have learned about eggs. Eggs are the most versatile protein because it can be the basis for so many dishes. Eggs should be cooked on low to medium heat. Eggs are comprised of the yolk (yellow part) and albumen (white part). Yolk = most fat and most flavor Egg whites whip up to many times its volume. Fresh egg = plump ...

Tortilla Soup

The next soup in the Martha Stewart's Cooking School Cookbook is Tortilla Soup. We were super excited after reading the recipe because our stock was already made and frozen. We had extra chicken from our chicken soup so making the tortilla soup was going to be super easy! We had a little shopping to do to pick up a few extra ingredients.  The chili puree took the longest time but it was easy. This was Little Chef D's assignment. She found it VERY interesting that both chili's began as ...

Chicken Soup

We initially thought making Chicken Soup would be easy now that we have the stock. Well...perhaps it would be, but in following the directions in the Martha Stewart's Cooking School Cookbook it wasn't that easy. We made stock again, but this time we cooked the meat in the stock. So, we did two things at once. Maybe that made it a little better? Once the chicken was cooked, shredded and the stock was strained as explained in the cookbook we refrigerated it all and went off for a few ...

How We Cut Up A Chicken

In order to make Chicken Soup (come back on Friday) we needed to learn how to cut up a chicken. We went to the grocery store and bought a whole chicken. I told my Little Chefs what we were about to do and amazingly they did not have a problem with it, in fact they were excited. They are really enjoying all the new bits of information we are learning. They each took a turn cutting off one part of the chicken as we read the instructions in the Martha Stewart's Cooking School Cookbook.  The ...

How To Make White a.k.a. Chicken Stock

White (chicken) stock is the most versatile of all stocks. The process of making a stock is to put a mirepoix into a pot, cover with water and simmer for a given time. A mirpoix is a combination of vegetables that are used to give flavor to the water which transforms into a stock. Do you remember we gave a couple tips about the mirepoix when we talked about 9 Tips For Flavorful Stocks. We wanted the experience of making chicken stock. We followed the directions in the Martha Stewart's ...

What is a stock, broth, bouillon, fond, and fume?

Have you ever wondered what the components are that make up a stock, broth, bouillon, fond and fume? Stock - Martha Stewart says a stock is "made of water simmered with bones (except vegetable stock). The meat on them provided flavor while the bones and gelatinious connective tissue between them, slowly break down and add body to the liquid." (p.39) A frugal stock can be made from the bones and carcasses of a roasted chicken with fresh vegetables. You can save the carcasses in a bag in ...

9 Tips For Flavorful Stocks

Fannie Farmer says, "It cannot be denied that the French excel all nations in the excellence of their cuisine, and to their soups and sauces belong the greatest praise.  It would be well to follow their example, and it is the duty of every housekeeper to learn the art of soup making.  How may a hearty dinner be better begun than with a thin soup?  The hot liquid, taken into an empty stomach, is easily assimilated, acts as a stimulant rather than as a nutrient (as is the popular opinion), ...

How To Freeze Citrus Zest and Juice

Citrus fruits are common in recipes to brighten it up. Rarely does a recipe call for an entire lemon. I am talking about the juice and the zest. So what do you do with the rest of it. Waste it is probably the most common thing that happens but is there a better way? I say yes! When citrus is in season and is a little cheaper it makes sense to freeze some citrus zest and juice for later. It is easy to freeze the zest and the juice. The first step is to wash your citrus fruits well to ...

How To Caramelize an Onion

Now that we know which onion is the right type to caramelize and now that we know how to slice an onion, let's put the two together. It is time to learn how to caramelize an onion! I have to admit I am not a huge onion lover. In fact up until about a year ago I tried avoiding putting onions in anything I made. If a recipe called for an onion I would only put in part of one, not the entire onion no matter what. I have since learned they are a good flavor base, when they are cooked the taste ...

How to Peel, Slice and Chop an Onion

Onions seem to be used in many, many savory recipes because they add depth of flavor. Knowing how to peel, slice and chop an onion will speed up your prep time. My Little Chefs have seen the big bag of onions just waiting for them and have asked to practice since thoroughly enjoying cutting the potatoes and cucumbers. To Slice an Onion: Onions come with a papery skin which needs to be removed. As we previously learned, cut off the bulb end (not the hairy root end). Peel off the ...

Onions Q&A

Before we learn how to peel, slice and chop onions it is important to know the different types of onions and some of their uses. My Little Chefs had so many questions we decided to find the answers to them. If a recipe calls for an onion what type do they mean? Since yellow onions are the most popular cooking onion and are used for almost all major cooking; roasting meats, flavor bases for soups, sauces, stews, carmelized onions, when a recipe calls for an onion a yellow onion is most likely ...

Seasonings

Seasonings are spices kept in your pantry. It is recommended to replace all your spices each year or two. The strength of the spice diminishes as time goes by. My reality is I buy new ones as I run out. I do not label mine when I open them. (Though that is a great idea to keep track of the time it has been in your pantry.) If the flavor doesn't come through I add more. I should throw out and replace, but I have a hard time wasting food or money. Black Peppercorns "The dried dark ...

Herbs

Herbs are a great way to add flavor to your food. They can be used fresh or dry. Herbs are divided into two categories, tender and robust. We will learn about 8 common herbs. When I was teaching my Little Chefs about these herbs, we got to the bay leaf and they said remembered when we were eating with Grandma, Grandpa and Great Grandma and we had the stew and Great Grandma found the leaf. She took it out because we don't eat that. Now they know it is called a bay leaf and they know from ...

Knife Skills

Now that we have learned about knives we are ready to practice our knife skills by learning how to chop, dice and mince. We started out with a cucumber because even though it has a tough exterior it has a soft interior. Bananas are too soft and they stick to the knife which is distracting and makes them touch the blade too much trying to get the stuck banana off. I started by giving my Little Chefs a cucumber only 4" long. The first thing they do is cut lengthwise a thin slice off the ...

Knives

Knives are most precious to chefs. They are the most commonly used tool. Using the right knife makes the job easier and faster.  A knife should be razor sharp. When knives are used properly dull knives are more dangerous then sharp. Knives should cut through the food not bruise and smash the food. Knives should always be manually washed, carefully, as soon as you are done using them. When cooking with kids they are intimidated by the large knives. I always start my Little Chefs out with ...

Cooking Tools

In my search for information to teach my children about cooking, I located a book originally printed in 1896 called The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Farmer, now reprinted by Dover Publications. It is interesting to note that the original book was updated and revised through 1990, the thirteenth edition!  Fannie Farmer wrote the original edition teaching the reader cooking methods and techniques and sharing over 1200 recipes.  (Is Martha Stewart our modern Fannie Farmer?).  I ...

Cooking Equipment

If you walk through the cooking section of any store you are overwhelmed with many many different options. One item can come in different sizes and different colors. Some items are advertised to make a kitchen task easier. We have a variety of tools, but we have discovered less is more when beginning to learn to cook with kids. While we use some of the variety of choices, these are the pieces of equipment we use the most. Saucepan (variety of sizes) Variety of sizes, one non-stick ...

Do’s In The Kitchen

Before we start cooking we need to learn a few things we should DO to help the cooking process go a little smoother. Following these 7 Do's will also help you have a better experience. 7 Do's in the Kitchen DO read the recipe all the way through before getting out any equipment or food. Here you will discover the steps to the recipe. You will get a general idea how complicated the recipe is and how long it will take to prepare. Beginners add 2-3 times the estimated prep time. DO ...

Martha Stewart Cooking School

We started in 2011 with the goal to cook recipes we found from chefs we liked. In 2012 we did some cooking and some crafting. I was always looking for some guideline to teach my Little Chefs the basics. One day I was flipping through the tv guide and discovered the Martha Stewart Cooking School episodes on PBS. I loved watching each episode because it was the basics of cooking. I have never learned the basics so it kept my attention and I enjoyed learning so many new things. I was excited to ...

How To Select, Store and Freeze Broccoli

How To Select Broccoli The florets should be tightly closed. Broccoli should have a deep green color all over. Stalks should be firm and slender. Do NOT select those with yellow spots or yellow flowers. How To Store Broccoli Do not wash the broccoli. Raw broccoli needs air circulation. Place broccoli in an open plastic bag. Place in the fridge in crisper drawer. It is best to use in 3-5 days but may last a week. Wash only before use. How To Freeze Broccoli Use ...

How To Select and Store Summer Squash

We are doing something a little different around here. Instead of random recipes we are going to give you one meal a week. Monday will be a teaching tool or tip relating to some part of the menu. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be three different components to the menu. Thursday will still be our Fantastic Thursday Linky party. Friday will be a craft or activity relating to the theme of the menu. What is summer squash? Zucchini, yellow crook neck squash and yellow straight neck are the ...

How To Measure Liquid Ingredients – From My Little Chefs To Yours

Earlier this week Little Chef A showed you how to measure dry ingredients with a short video. Since that was so much fun today Little Chef A is back to show you how to measure liquid ingredients. This time she had an even better time making the video. She is so proud of her improvement and becoming more confident. I am also so proud of her! Click to watch! Now that you know how to measure dry and liquid ingredients you are ready to start cooking...if you haven't already!  Let your ...

How To Measure Dry Ingredients

We thought it would be fun to create a few how to videos from the viewpoint of my Little Chefs. We did a few last year and wanted to try it again. Some of our friends thought it was a lot of fun watching my Little Chefs crack an egg and shape a roll. My kids do love to cook and they really do love to create. This is the first video, How To Measure Dry Ingredients. It will be a great chance to see them in action and to get to know them a little more. Some of these videos may not be the ...