Spices, Rubs & Marinades

Macro cayenne pepper isolated on white

How to make Cajun seasoning

I generally don't add salt to my seasoning mixes; instead I add it separately when cooking. A recipe that specifies a commercial blend assumes it has salt, so adjust accordingly. Be sure to use garlic … [Read More...]

Mixing herbs

How Make Salt-Free Poultry Seasoning

Simply combine the ingredients and grind together with a mortar or pestle or a small food grinder. I set aside a coffee grinder for milling whole spices or mixes. If you want to use a coffee grinder … [Read More...]

Upcoming Events

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Devour! Seattle Food Film Event June 4th

Local chef John Sundstrom of Lark fame and I have partnered with Devour! The Food Film Fest, the world’s largest food film festival, to bring a feast for the senses to Seattle on June 4th. It's … [Read More...]

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Michigan Notable Books Tour

I'm delighted to announce that The Library of Michigan named Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good a 2015 Michigan Notable Book earlier this year. The program has generously agreed to support a two-week … [Read More...]

Cooking fundamentals

veg stock after cooking

Recipe: How to Make Vegetable Stock

Despite the name of this recipe, there’s actually not such a thing as vegetable stock. By definition, stock is made from simmering bones in water. No bones? Then it’s broth. So, let us commence with vegetable broth. In my own kitchen, I collect and save the trimmings from the likes of carrots, celery, onions, the […]

Which one tastes the best... to you? There's only one way to find out.

How to do a Comparative Tasting and Why You Should

Salt to taste. If you’ve ever read a recipe, you’ve probably seen that line. Though common, it’s also a common source of confusion for home cooks. “Whose taste?” some ask. The answer, your taste, often leads to more questioning: “What is my taste?” or “What if my taster’s no good?” Salt to taste just means salt […]

White ceramic mortar and pestle with rosemary

Spices & Herbs: A Quick Lesson

As this terrific video by Consumer Reports shows, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy spices. However, the key element is when spices get old. Ground herbs and spices are more exposed to air, and thus they lose their potency more quickly. Spices vs. Herbs First, its important to know the […]

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Recipes & Fundamentals: Using a Whole Chicken

On Wednesday I bought a chicken on sale for 99 cents a pound, and cut it up, shaving off the breasts to reserve the back for stock. It left two hearty chicken breasts nearly 14 ounces each, or about eight servings in all. I cut up the back, roasted it to a dark brown, then added it with […]

knife anatomy

Knife Skills – The Basics [video lesson]

I’ve interviewed dozens of home cooks and hands down (pun intended), the most valuable thing a home cook can do is to get a decent chef’s knife and learn how to use it. Below, you’ll find a quick video lesson. After that, you’ll find basics on buying and caring for a chef’s knife. A good […]