Best way to sharpen your knife

In the past couple of months I have been experimenting a lot with new dishes, using ‘new’ ingredients and I have become more aware of when my knife is not as sharp as it should be. I used to manage and put more pressure on my knife to cut vegetables or meat not knowing that it didn’t have to be that way, until a friend mentioned that she sharpens her knife before each cooking session. “Oh wow” I thought, “maybe I should do that too” 🙂  I already owned a honing steel and whetstone, I just didn’t (know how to) use it.
How do you know when your knife is dull? Watch this video to find out how you can test your knife.

Sharpness test

So now that you know that your knife needs some fine tuning, what do you do? There are two techniques: Honing and Sharpening. Important is both cases is the 20 degree angle…
Honing is actually the first one recommended and can be done almost daily. Sharpening takes making your knife sharper a step further and is done with a whetstone or should be done by professional sharpeners (like a butcher).
As you use your knife, the blade will (almost invisibly) start to bend and honing it will bring the edge back into alignment.That’s when your honing steel comes out and is put to work. The video below shows the proper technique for honing your knife.

Honing a knife

Now, when you’ve honed and honed, but the knife is still dull, you know you have to do some ‘real’ sharpening. More choices, because you can either do it yourself with a whetstone or have a professional sharpen your knife. Personally I like to do it myself because I can quickly sharpen my knife while I’m in food prep mode, but because I’m not a professional, I have to do it more often than for example a butcher would do it. Professionally it can be done once or twice a year, while you can do it more often with your own stone. So know can you sharpen your knives properly? Here’s another video showing you how.

Stoning a knife

Researching the topic and watching these videos helped me understand how I can take better care of my knives and be happy cutting my veggies with a sharp one. I also understand now, why my Mom used to get mad when her knives were dull and Dad had to take out the whetstone 🙂

Knife sharpening tools you can get on Amazon

 

 

Bake cookies or cups with your muffin pan

M is for Muffin pans to bake muffins… or Not!
As you will see below, there are other things you can do with your muffin pan.

Want to have your cookie and the ice cream too? Here’s a great idea to have both.
Turn your muffin tin over and form the cookie dough over it. Voila! Edible ice cream cup for you!

cookiebowls

(Source: Lifehacker.com)

 

And, if you want neatly formed cookies that don’t look like mini pancakes… drop some cookie dough inside the muffin tin and it won’t be spreading out into irregular forms!

muffinpancookies(Source: Lifehacker.com)

 

Here’s my own tip to make bread bowls for mini salads. Cut the edges of sliced (white) bread and push each slice (or half) into a muffin form. Bake in a 300 degree F oven until the bread cups are completely dry without browning too much. Let the cups cool and fill with your favorite shrimp, chicken, tuna or other salad.

Get your Wilton ice cream cookie bowl too!

Bake bread in your slow cooker

slow cooker baked bread
www.artisanbreadinfive.com

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know by now that I love using kitchen tools, gadgets, instruments, whatever they’re called. I especially love those that make life easier and my crockpot is on that list too!

The reason I like the crockpot, is that you add your ingredients, turn it on, walk away, and 6-8 hours later dinner is ready! Tender and juicy, it never burns. Just be careful not to add more liquid than your recipe calls for, unless you like your dinner to be soupy!

So I put good use to my crockpot (the knob on the lid is hanging by the screws cause the plastic broke off) and ditto for the 3 cookbooks I own for it. I have used my crockpot mostly for cooking the main dish (roast beef, french chicken, pork roast, etc.), so imagine my surprise when I found this article on how to bake bread in your slow cooker. Unreal!!  First an article on baking bread in a Pressure Cooker and now the Slow Cooker?? Man, I love innovative ways of cooking!

Of course there is no substitute for baking bread in an oven, but this sounds pretty good to me. If you don’t like bread with a soft crust that’s a bit pale, just throw the loaf under the broiler 5 minutes before serving and you’ll have a nice, brown and crusty loaf.  Follow the link if you want to know how to bake bread in your slow cooker on the site of Bread in Five. They’ll teach you how to make the dough too, so go bake bread!

 And if you need a slow cooker? Check this one out! See more under Store/Recommendations page.

 

 

 

Infographics guide to kitchen knives

A good kitchen knife is one of the most essential tools for any cook. I never thought about it until a couple of years ago, I had a ‘real’ chef’s knife in my hands.  My son gave his dad a gift certificate for a kitchen store because he was tired of using the dull knives in our kitchen drawers 🙂
The most useful gift ever, because now I can’t imagine going back to those tired and dull knives, which of course we ditched as soon a possible!

If you ever wanted to know which knive to use for what purpose, you’ll find this infographics very handy!

 

Hone Your Chops: The Chef

by ShannonLattin. Browse more data visualization.

 

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