Tips & Guides
I love to cook, but I am the first one to tell you that I’m no expert. Fortunately, I know where to go for expert advice, tips and tricks. Here you’ll find some of the best cook books and cooking magazines available. If you want a peek into the life of a professional chef, check out my Chef Interviews. Not only will you learn a bit about what it’s like to work in a restaurant, most of the chefs I’ve interviewed have generously offered some pro tips that home cooks will find useful.
If you’re going to be a good cook, it helps to know the language. To that end, you’ll find a good glossary of culinary terms and techniques along with information on measurement conversions, ingredient substitutions, photography tips for the budding blogger (I’m still learning, too) and helpful cooking videos.
Here’s where you will find a collection of cooking tips and fun food facts I’ve been posting over the years. I think you will find them both informative and useful and of course, I always like to hear from you with your tips.
Like most home cooks I know, I am fascinated with professional chefs. Where and how did they learn to cook? Where does their passion come from? What’s it like to work on the line? I am so interested that I interview lots of chefs to learn what it is that makes them tick and maybe learn some of the tricks of the trade to use in our home kitchens. Find all of these interviews here.
Many of you send me questions about your own cooking at home and although I try to answer what I can, I often have to refer to one of my chef friends for a better answer. This page will highlight some of the questions I get from you and the anwers I receive from the chefs. Here are some of the questions and answers I’ve received.
As more people search the ever-growing body of recipes on the Internet, not only do we need the standard teaspoons to tablespoons conversions, but we are more in need of Celsius to Fahrenheit and grams to ounces conversions as well. Find that and more in this section, including a section on converting the volume of dried beans to cooked.
This is a roundup of all the terms I think a novice home cook should know, but might not. From ingredient components like bouquet garnis and gremolata to cooking techniques such as resting and mise en place, learn the terms–and their meanings–so you can hold your own both in the kitchen and at your next foodie gathering.
If a picture is worth 1000 words, a video is worth 100,000. When I need to learn how to perform a cooking technique, I spend a lot of time reading about it, but if I find a video, I find that any questions I might have during my reading are answered just by watching. Here is a collection of videos that I have found particularly useful in learning cooking techniques. I’ll be adding to them as I find more. I hope you find them useful.
The more I write about cooking, and the more cookbooks, cooking magazines and food blogs I read, the more I realize that good photographs really can make or break a recipe or recipe post. We really do eat with our eyes first, so it pays to take the best pictures that I can. As I learn more about photography, I’ll post it here so that all the information is in one place.
I don’t write about many restaurants and when I do, I only write about restaurants I enjoy. I’m hoping now that the kids are getting older, Meg & I will be able to get out more often to try new restaurants here in Philadelphia and the suburbs. Over time, I expect this section of the site to grow substantially.