French cuisine

Balsamic vinaigrette

Vinaigrette Basics [video lesson]

Do you have so many bottles of vinaigrette in your fridge that when you open the door it sounds like wind chimes? Vinaigrette is one of the first things that any home cook should master for a couple … [Read More...]

Upcoming Events

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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

SONY DSC

Cooking in Parchment (video lesson)

Cooking en papillote (French for “parchment”) is a wildly overlooked method of cooking in America. It’s an easy method for a quick weeknight dinner that’s also elegant enough for guests. The smell that escapes when the package is reason enough to try it. This works well for salmon and mild-flavored white fish such as snapper, cod and so […]

Chopped onion

How to Cut an Onion [video lesson]

My book club read The Sharper Your Knife and we all loved it. So I got a copy of The Kitchen Counter Cooking School and I was so inspired, I went ahead and got the chef’s knife from block set we received as a wedding gift 11 years ago sharpened for the first time! I’ve read through your description on […]

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 […]

roasted green beans

Recipe: Rosemary-Thyme-Lemon Oil

Adapted from a story by editor Jennifer Armentrout from Fine Cooking, this infused oil can be added to roasted vegetables before cooking or to steamed vegetables afterward. It provides a lovely complement to roasted beets, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, fennel, mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Yields enough for about one to two pounds of roasted vegetables.  […]

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 […]