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Cooking With Kids is enjoyable and brings families together!

4 kids cooking

More and more people are welcoming kids into their kitchens…not for eating, but for Cooking! I believe its never too early to get kids involved in the kitchen. At a very young age children can learn to stir things in a bowl, learn basic knife skills (using a plastic knife of course) and learn about safety and cleanliness. As kids grow older, they can start to incorporate other skills like using a sharper knife, prepping foods, basic usage of the stove and how to read and follow recipes.  Once they get to this point, their confidence is really high in the kitchen. They will start to learn more about ingredients and how they work together. They may even be brave enough to create dishes without recipes and using their own knowledge and experience to make a culinary masterpiece. There are so many reasons why getting kids into the kitchen is so important:

At some point they all will need to be in the kitchen to cook and clean. Learning HOW to cook is important – and FUN!

Cooking builds confidence. This is such a vital skill for our young ones!

Safety – This is critical for anyone in the kitchen. Not only how to handle foods, but how to be safe around the burners and oven.

FUN  – Kids enjoy cooking and it will bring joy and smiles to them every time.

Unity – if you want to bring a family or young friends together, this is a most wonderful way to do so. Each member can have a job in the cooking process and work together to create a meal! And don’t forget to EAT TOGETHER!

We have our kids in the kitchen on a daily basis – we even do cooking competitions. We laugh, smile, concentrate, create and most importantly ENJOY the art of cooking. So get your kids into your kitchen!

 

It has been a wonderful journey!

cutthroat kitchen logo

Between the restaurants, my teaching, appearances and family life, I have been incredibly busy! My apologies for neglecting my website (though I do my best to stay on top of my Facebook page – you can always find my updates there.) For those of you who do not know, I recently appeared and competed on The Food Network show – Cutthroat Kitchen. What an amazing experience. Shot over two days, the behind the scenes of what is involved is monumental. My sincerest appreciation for the teams of people who make it happen! I am so grateful that they gave me the opportunity to appear and show off some of my culinary skills…and of course it doesn’t hurt that I won! I also have an upcoming appearance on Guys Grocery Games – also on the Food Network and will be shooting another episode (of unnamed show) this fall. I guess grateful isn’t a big enough word for how I feel. This all started because I wanted to teach people how to cook. This must be part of the plan for me. What a wonderful journey and ride. I hope I do myself and my students proud!

1,000,000 ++ Thank you!

Hello,

Last weekend my Youtube channel exceeded 1 MILLION views. As I said on my Facebook page, that is a significant number for me. All I wanted to do is help people learn to cook and expand their reportoire of dishes. Who knew they’d watch my channel that much? Thank you to all my supporters, comments, requests and thoughts!

Chef Tom

 

Sushi

sushi pic for web

Sushi (すし, 寿司, 鮨, 鮓, 寿斗, 寿し, 壽司?) is a Japanese food consisting of cooked vinegared rice sushi-meshi (鮨飯, “sushi rice”) combined with other ingredients (neta [寿司ネタ]), usually raw fish or other seafood. Neta and forms of sushi presentation vary widely, but the ingredient which all sushi have in common is vinegared rice. The rice is also referred to as (shari [しゃり]) and “sumeshi” (酢飯, “vinegared rice”).

Raw meat (usually but not necessarily seafood) sliced and served by itself is sashimi. Many non-Japanese use the terms sashimi and sushi interchangeably, but the two dishes are actually distinct and separate. Sushi refers to any dish made with vinegared rice.

I have several videos on Youtube if you would like to see how to make it – it’s easier than you think!

 

How is your garden growing?

garden pic 3

We expanded our garden from two beds to 6 beds this year. Last year was a “test” year for us, as we have a lot of deer around. It did well, so we decided to make it bigger and better! It was a family experience,  as we had the kids start almost all of the garden early in the year from seed. We used our cardboard egg cartons and made a day of it. It was so much fun watching the seeds grow indoors for the weeks leading up to planting day. Planting day was also a group effort – the kids seem to take such pride in what “they” have grown. The garden has really taken off in the last few weeks, and we are on our second harvest of herbs and veggies. Tomatoes aren’t quite there yet, but there are a LOT on the plants. I see canning in our future! Hope your garden is as happy and that you are enjoying yours as much as we are enjoying ours! Happy Harvesting!

What is Tofu? How do you cook it?

TOFU:

Definition: Tofu is made from soybeans, water and a coagulant, or curdling agent. It is high in protein and calcium and well known for its ability to absorb new flavors through spices and marinades. Due to its chameleon-like qualities and nutritional value, tofu, a staple of Asian cuisines for hundreds of years, has recently become popular in Western vegetarian cooking. So popular, in fact, that it is celebrated with its own annual festival and has almost become synonymous with vegetarianism itself. Look for tofu in the produce section of your regular grocery store.

Types of tofu: There are two main kinds of tofu, silken or soft tofu, and firm or regular tofu. When cooking with firm tofu, you will usually want to drain and press the tofu first, and some recipes will tell you to freeze and thaw your tofu.

Please check out this new recipe I posted on Youtube using tofu.

How To Make Stir Fry Beef With Home Garden String Beans:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gHOXeOKsxc&feature=c4-overview&list=UULKIZE4bEFD1k52-cKF0dSA  

tofu stir fry with mixed vegetables for web

I have many other recipes on my Youtube using tofu. I hope you enjoy.

Ingredient Highlight: Chinese Cabbage

pic of bok choy

Did you know that there are over 30 kinds of Chinese Cabbage? Obviously it is a very popular ingredient in Asian cuisine. Just thought I’d share some information about this that you might not be familiar with. It is terrific in soups, salads, and stir frys (and more!) Give it a try!

Chinese cabbage - As many as 33 varieties of Chinese cabbage have been identified in Asia, and the most common varieties in the West are celery cabbage or pe-tsai, pak-choi or “bok choy”, and “choy sum”.

  • Celery cabbage or “pe-tsai” is native to China , where it hasCelery Cabbage been consumed for thousands of years. Also known as Chinese celery cabbage or Napa Cabbage, it is eaten on a daily basis in northern China . Celery cabbage resembles a Romaine lettuce. The leaves are crisp and delicate with a faint cabbage taste. Use the crinkly inner leaves for salads and the outer leaves for stir-fry. Also called Chinese cabbage.
  • Pak-choi or bok choy also known as “Chinese white cabbage”, Chinese chard, or Chinese mustard, it is a leafy vegetable similar to Swiss chard and celery. The leaves are dark green and its whitish ribs are crisp and thus frequently is used to give stir-fry dishes a crunchy texture. There are many varieties of pak-choi, some of which are short-ribbed while others have long ribs. A popular variety is baby pak choy or ” siu pak choi “, a Baby Pak Choy smaller version of pak choi. Pak-choi is available year-round in most supermarkets. Select bunches with firm, white stalks topped with crisp, green leaves and refrigerate in an airtight container for no more than three to four days.
    Another variety is called tsai shim,” choy sum ” , ” bok choy Chinese Flowering Cabbage sum ” or ” Chinese flowering cabbage “. The light green leaves, pale green stems and clusters of tiny yellow flowers on the tips of the inner shoots are edible.