Books to improve cooking skills.
One of my favorites!
In my quest to improve my cooking skills, I’ve come across a few books that have helped immensely. Call me a little geeky, but I read cookbooks like they’re treasured novels. They totally romance me. :)
The following books will definitely help make you a master in the kitchen. And, they make great gifts for the person who loves to cook, or for that person, who, ehem, might need some help.
The Flavor Bible – This award winning book is a best seller on Amazon.com and for good reason. Learning to mix flavors, in an easy-to-look-up format is extremely useful. You can look up complementary flavors and combinations for a particular ingredient. For example, over 100 are listed for oranges.
Melissa’s Great Book of Produce – My family eats a lot of produce and this book helped me learn how to recognize the produce, pick the best ones, cook them, and how to store them.
Herbs and Spices – Knowing how to use herbs and spices is a smart skill for improving cooking. Herbs and spices take any simple dish and elevate it to a party in your mouth. Not only that, but by mastering herbs and spices you can create an immense variety for everything from burgers to plain pasta dishes.
The Science of Good Cooking – A popular classic that breaks down the science of cooking. This is useful because learning how and why certain cuts and varieties of meats/vegetables/etc cook the way they do, gives you confidence in approaching anything you want to cook.
How to Cook Everything (The Basics) – This is the latest book I’m reading and I love it. It’s filled with easy recipes using ingredients most of us have on hand, and is filled with 1000 useful photos. Each recipe uses two pages where the final product is shown plus small photos of the various steps. Mark Bittman smartly includes tips for variations of ingredients and also tips of what not to do in some cases. I even found use for the recipes I didn’t care to make because they included tips or variations that were useful.
I REALLY enjoy this book and damn near tabbed every page. Once you make your way through the delicious recipes you will be a much improved (and confident) cook.
Having all of the pictures for each recipe is very helpful.
Scrambled eggs – feed your brain and body.
Today, I’m sharing a post written by my friend, Joanna Steven, about eggs. Turns out she loves eggs as much as I do.
I met Joanna, online, many years ago and I simply adore her. We’ve maintained a relationship through email, Facebook, and twitter over the years though I look forward to seeing her face to face someday and having a big hug… over a plate of eggs such as the ones she’s writing about here.
Eggs might just be the most perfect food there is. Not only are they rich in protein, healthy fats, vitamin A, D, K2, and more, but they also cost less than $1.25 per serving, and can be cooked in a few minutes flat.
For all these reasons and more, eggs are a staple food in my family’s diet. We eat them on their own, in quiches, fritattas, pancakes, vegetables patties… They’re the ultimate fast food, and are so versatile you can have them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
We love them so much that we even got backyard hens, much to our children’s delight. I spent many mornings relaxing and watching my toddler throw food at them and trying to pet them!
One of my favorite ways to eat eggs is scrambled. I’m a busy mom of 2 and need a quick lunch I can make easily, eat quickly, and is sustaining enough that I can run after my boys all afternoon without dips in energy.
This recipe fits the bill, and I make it weekly. With flavorful ghee, an extra egg yolk for more taste and nutrition, and iodine rich kelp, it really ticks all the boxes!
Best French Style Scrambled Eggs
Ingredients (serves 1)
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- Pinch kelp powder
- Pinch salt
- Freshly ground pepper and fresh herbs to taste
In a bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk until homogeneous. Add one tablespoon of butter, cut into small cubes.
Heat a stainless steel pan, or your favorite pan, and add 1 tablespoon ghee. Swirl around the pan, and when hot, pour in the eggs in the center of the pan.
Lower the heat to medium low. With the tines of a fork, drag the egg mixture from the edge of the pan toward the center as it begins to set. Go back to the edge and repeat the same motion a little farther from where you started.
Keep dragging the egg mixture towards the center as it cooks, letting the uncooked egg flow freely. If your pan was hot enough, nothing should stick.
When you’ve run out of liquid egg, turn off the heat. Sprinkle the eggs with salt, pepper, kelp powder, and herbs if using.
Let the eggs stand a bit of you want them to cook more, or serve right away with buttery sourdough bread, a generous scoop of sauerkraut, and fresh berries for dessert.
Joanna Steven is an Amazon best-selling author, and the founder of The Nourished Village, a nurturing community for moms and their families. Her work as been published in Food Matters, Eco Hearth, Get Fresh!, Yum Gluten Free Magazine, and more. She regularly shares kid-friendly vegetarian recipes on her blog, and loves to interact with other moms on Facebook page and Twitter.
Organice swiss chard salad. Simple and full of flavor.
I was watching a show featuring renowned chef, Arnaud Daguin, at his Michelin rated guest house in Basque country. As I hung onto every word and scene of beauty, I picked up a great tip for swiss chard (and promised myself that someday I would visit his place, Hegia).
This is food porn to me.
Chef Arnaud said that cooking the chard stems would degrade their gorgeous color so he set to thinly slicing them. I loved the idea and happened to have a bunch of organic swiss chard from the farmer’s market with which I was trying to decide what to do.
So, that’s what I did with my salad.
Once I thinly sliced the stems, I found myself thinly slicing the entire thing. I tossed them in a bowl with pinch of icelandic sea salt, a scoop of thinly sliced, homemade pickled cucumbers, and a quick drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. The fresh green flavor of the swiss chard was gently front and center, supported by bites of spice from my pickled cucumbers, and the olive oil smoothed everything out.
Low-Carb Cauliflower Egg Scramble
I had a head of cauliflower in the fridge begging to be eaten. I didn’t have any fish or other meat thawed, so I knew it was destined to be a vegetarian egg-meal night.
I used the following ingredients to make our meal of three servings:
- 1 head of organic cauliflower
- plenty of grass-fed butter
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 7 pasture-raised eggs
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped oregano and rosemary, combined
- heavy dollop grass-fed whole-fat Greek yogurt
- freshly grated parmesan cheese
I steamed my cauliflower, and then processed it in my food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, with salt and grass-fed butter to the texture of something between rice and mashed potatoes.
While the cauliflower was steaming, I started the eggs. I used a generous chunk of butter, which melted gloriously, after which I cracked in the eggs and started to scramble them slowly over medium-low heat. I added sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. I also added fresh oregano and rosemary.
When the eggs were mostly cooked, I I stirred in a big dollop of whole-fat, grass-fed Greek yogurt (<– amazing in eggs).
Then, I transferred the eggs and cauliflower to a bowl and stirred it together. Portioned it into bowls and topped it with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Done. Easy. Nutritious. Low-carb.
Scratch cooking can be this simple.
Turmeric Recipes Ebook!
I’m so happy to announce that I just released another Kindle ebook, Turmeric Hacks!
This one features 55 recipes to help you add more turmeric to your life.
(Just last week I published my other new ebook, Matcha Hacks.)
Why would you want more turmeric in your diet?
Because it’s good for you. :)
Turmeric is a deep orange-yellow spice that’s been used in South Asian cuisine for thousands of years. Many people consider turmeric to be a superfood due to its active compound, curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant reputed to decrease inflammation, notably for chronic inflammation, which can lead to cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, type-2 diabetes, and arthritis (it can work for acute inflammation, too!).
With the recent increase in awareness of the health benefits of curcumin, it’s no surprise that people want more ways to get more turmeric into their diet. I can help you with that.
In my own quest to have more turmeric in my family’s life, I have taken turmeric beyond its traditional role as a spice by creating these 55 recipes for adding turmeric to all kinds of foods, including smoothies, entrees, soups, sides, salads, desserts, breakfast, condiments, snacks, beverages… even toothpaste!
Start adding more turmeric to your diet today.
11 ebooks for ONLY 11 bucks!
I have great news!
I put my raw vegan ebooks on sale.
You can get your hands on over 600 raw vegan recipes with my ebooks for only $11.00.
You get the following 11 ebooks:
With this special bundle, you get ELEVEN of my EBOOKS. This is my best deal and it’s the ultimate way to have one of the world’s most complete raw food recipe libraries at your fingertips!
This bundle of PDF Ebooks is available exclusively from KristensRaw.com. There is no special bundle for print books, which are available through Amazon.com.
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016
Vibrant matcha green tea for vibrant health.
I grew up in the state of Michigan, and I was a University of Michigan fan all my life. As you might imagine, I also graduated from the University of Michigan, too. Go Blue!!
Well, we wolverines were rivals with Michigan State spartans… yes, indeed we were! Except, I liked Michigan State so long as they weren’t playing us. :)
Hey! Not cool! Grrrrrrrrr!!! Go BLUE! (image)
Well, in spite of that image above, I’m making a tea for Michigan State fans, because I thought them when I was mixing it together. It’s matcha green tea and white tea. Those are their colors: green and white. Nuff’ said.
Green n White for Michigan State (image)
By the way, speaking of matcha green tea…
do you have a copy of my Kindle ebook Matcha Hacks?
It’s only $2.99 for over 50 great recipes
featuring health boosting matcha green tea powder!
Michigan State Matcha Green Tea
Recipe: Michigan State Matcha Green Tea
In a small pot, heat the water to 180 degrees F on your stove.
Using a French press, put the hot water along with the white tea leaves in it. Let them steep for 4 minutes. (If you have another way to brew loose tea leaves, then by all means do it how you like.)
While it’s steeping, sift the matcha green tea powder into a mug. Pour the now-brewed white tea into the mug and manually whisk (or use an electric whisk) until frothy.
My Newest Recipe eBook: Matcha Hacks!
I’m excited to share my newest Kindle ebook, Matcha Hacks, 55 Clever Recipes for Adding Matcha to Your Life for Energy, Health & Longevity.
As you know, I love matcha green tea powder.
We drink it because matcha green tea powder gives us a luscious energy and makes us feel so good. It makes us mentally alert, while feeling calm and chill at the same time. So good. It also has a powerful punch of nutritional benefits from being anti-viral to anti-cancer to being an overall kickin’ superfood. It gives that extra edge.
In my quest to inject more matcha into my life, I have taken matcha beyond its traditional role as merely a tea by creating these 55 recipes for adding matcha as an ingredient to all kinds of foods, including smoothies, soups, sides, salads, desserts, breakfast, snacks, condiments, beverages (tea and non-tea), and even beauty mask recipes!
To grab your copy, for only $2.99, visit Amazon here.
Vibrant matcha green tea for vibrant health.
Sourdough pancakes. Yes, please.
In my last post, I shared that my family is not always gluten-free lately.
We’re experimenting with homemade sourdough bread (and, today, using sourdough in other recipes like pancakes and homemade crackers).
Remember my sourdough starter, Bertha? Here she is on day 4 shortly after feeding. As I type this, she’s in my oven, with the light on and the door cracked, to get a perfect temperature to grow.
Sourdough Starter beginning Day 4. Just fed.
As I shared in my last post, when you create a sourdough starter you throw away a lot of it before feeding it. Ken Forkish, bread expert, says to think of this as “spent fuel” and don’t feel guilty about throwing it away. It’s part of the sourdough making process.
However, there are some things you can make with sourdough starter, instead of throwing it away:
Read More »
Cultured veggies, scrambled eggs and radishes, orange.
Today, I cooked radishes for the first time. Have you ever cooked radishes? I think I prefer them this way now. Very tasty.
How did I come to cook radishes?
I followed a principle I learned in cooking school where Chef Pascal liked to talk about cooking in the moment. Look at what you have and let it serve to inspire you. It’s a beautiful and relaxing way to address cooking. I find that some of my best meals are when I follow this idea.
Well, today my fridge was a bit bare, but I had organic radishes, eggs, an orange from mom’s citrus orchard, and cultured veggies so I set to making Greg and myself a fun and nourishing lunch (pictured above). I had heard of people cooking radishes so I thought today was a great time to try it with my scrambled eggs.
Here’s what I did…
I put a generous amount of grass-fed butter into my skillet. After it warmed up nicely, I threw in a few roughly chopped radishes. After letting them cook for about five minutes or so, I cracked the eggs right into the skillet and stirred to scramble them over medium-low heat. I also add some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (I love pepper on eggs). While the eggs gently cooked I peeled and cut an orange. Once the eggs were done I put them in serving bowls alongside the orange, the cultured veggies, and some freshly grated parmesan cheese. All of the flavors came together wonderfully. Yum!
And then there’s this…
My first sourdough starter in the making. #notglutenfree
What else did I do today?
- I harvested the bone broth I cooked yesterday. I portioned it into FoodSaver bags and put them in the freezer.
- I went on a long walk with Greg to Starbucks (more on walking in another post).
- I cleaned a bit, including my coffee pots.
- I drank matcha green tea. Twice. (Learn about matcha here.)
- I worked on my next ebook, coming out soon!
- And… I did something very exciting. I started my very first sourdough starter. You’re probably surprised to hear that I’m going to try to bake my own bread when I don’t eat gluten. Well, over the past year I’ve experimented with adding true sourdough (organic) bread to our diet from the local baker who makes bread the right way. It’s fermented so it’s easier to digest. It’s pure. Plus, slather a thick portion of grass-fed butter on top, and, well, it’s actually quite nutritious me thinks. My family does well on it and, frankly, we love it. I’m now ready and excited to try my hand at making my own and I’ve been studying the process for the past month. That’s all I’ll say for now as I expect to have a more lengthy post about it later. For today, though, I started my starter. Wish me luck!