• how to use spices and flavors
    Container Gardening,  Edible Gardening,  Pasta

    Worldly Spices and Flavors

    As home cooks and gardeners, we know plant growth and agriculture directly relate to geography and climatic conditions. For this reason, herbs and spices directly influence a region’s culinary fare. When creating delicious dishes at home, it is important home chefs familiarize themselves with the different herbs and spices.  Through experimentation and practice, you will find yourself developing a feel for seasonings that will enable you to produce more consistently good flavor in your meals. Basic Principals for Herbs and Spices There are some basic guidelines in using spices and culinary flavors. The most important principal is herbs and spices should enhance the natural flavor of food, rather than dominate…

  • green wrapped christmas gift
    Equipment,  Ingredients,  Reviews

    10 Innovative Gifts for Home Chefs

    As a foodie and lover of kitchen gadgets, I annually compose a list of my favorite gifts for a home chef. Some of these I already own, but some are even on my Christmas wish list. These suggestions are for people like me, who would rather spend money at Williams-Sonoma, than at Loft. Let me know what is on YOUR kitchen wish list by replying at the end of the post. This article contains affiliate links. If you click and purchase, I will receive a few cents for each purchase.    1.ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4 – The Mk4 takes all the accuracy and speed of the Classic Thermapen and adds a…

  • Bitters starter set
    Beverages,  Cocktails

    Cocktail Spirits Elevated by Bitters

    What are “bitters?” Historically, bitters were derived from herbs, roots, fruits, infused with wine and used medicinally during Egyptian times. During the Middle Ages, distilled alcohol was included but bitters were still used as a preventative medicine. In the 19th Century, the British incorporated Canary Wine (white fortified wine imported from mainland Spain or the Canary Islands).   Sherry and Port are fortified wines, which are wines augmented with a dose of brandy or other spirit. By the early 1800’s, Americans had developed what we now know as the “cocktail,” a mixture of  liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters. Today, they are used to flavor…

  • Equipment

    5 Essential Kitchen Shears

    Good quality kitchen shears are essential in any home chef’s sharp object arsenal. I have 7 different pairs of shears in my kitchen – all different. Each pair of scissors is designated for a specific use. I have narrowed my list to FIVE ESSENTIAL kitchen shears. Top 5 Essential Kitchen Shears Please note that I may earn a small commission from purchases made through product links in this post. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Herb Shears               These scissors are great if you like to use fresh herbs, as I do.  With one cut, a small bundle of chives is…

  • Foodie Adventures,  Ingredients,  Reviews

    Foodie Heaven at Lowes Foods

    Based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Lowes Foods  opened their first location in the Upstate of South Carolina in late September.  I finally visited a couple of weeks ago and boy, was I amazed. Visiting a Lowes Foods is not a normal trip to the grocery store, be prepared to spend most of the afternoon pursuing isles and isles of typical grocery store chain fair, but the additional amenities are what makes this supermarket stand out from the rest. Extra Amenities at Lowes Foods   I usually only cook for two people and my husband hates leftovers, which proves to be difficult when buying produce.  Many produce options at Lowes Foods…