Friday, 1 December 2017

Cookbook Countdown #24

It's the month of Christmas! What will you be making for the coming festive season. Cookies, cakes, desserts? Roast turkey, puddings, salads, ham, mince pies, casseroles, special stuffings, drinks and cocktails? The list is endless!   Cook or bake from any of your cookbook or magazine collection, either in print, kindle or ebook, then share with us what you have made. Link your post in the linky below.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Cookbook Countdown #23

Cook or bake from any of your cookbook or magazine collection, either in print, kindle or ebook, then share with us what you have made. Link your post in the linky below.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Cookbook Countdown #22

Looking forward to see what yummies you are making in your kitchen this month. Make any recipe  (or recipes!) from your cookbook or magazine collection, (whichever you own, either in print, kindle or ebook) and share with us. Link your post in the linky below

Friday, 1 September 2017

Cookbook Countdown #21

As usual, please share what you have baked or cook, using recipes from your cookbook selection. Link your posts in the linky below .

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Cookbook Countdown #20

Any latest cookbook addition to your cookbook shelves? Or do you still keep going back to the same book which has become your favourite? As usual, link your post to the linky below.

Kitchen Tip For The Month : Guide To Storing Fruits and Vegetables (Part 2)

The best way to store fruits :

Lemons : sealed in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator
Tomatoes : on the counter top at room temperature
Apples : store in the coolest part of the refrigerator
Grapes : store in a paper bag or perforated plastic in the refrigerator
Kiwi fruit : store unripe kiwi fruit on the kitchen counter for a few days until ripen, then store in the refrigerator if not eaten immediately
Pomegranate : store in a cool dark place, such as in a paper bag in the refrigerator
Pears : store them in the fridge
Orange : store at room temperature out of direct sunlight or in the refrigerator

The best way to store vegetables :
Carrots : Store carrots in a covered container and keep in the fridge
Eggplants : Best stored at room temperature, in a cool spot, away from direct sunlight. If keep in the fridge, best consume within 3 days
Cucumber : Sames as eggplants
Potatoes : Need not be refrigerated, and should be stored in a dark environment away from direct sunlight. 
Scallions : Place the scallions in a jar with an inch or two of water, cover with plastic and keep in the refrigerator. They will stay crisp for about a week.
Cauliflower : Put in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator
Peppers : Put in a plastic bag, unwashed, and keep in the refrigerator
Leafy greens : Place in a container with between two layers of paper towel at the base and on the top. Put the lid on, and keep in the refrigerator

source from here

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Cookbook Countdown #19

The first half of 2017 has gone. As we step into the second half of the year, let's take a minute or two to evaluate your goals and objectives, how has the first half fared for you? Are you happy with your existing diet plans or any plans for healthier meals, more greens, grains and fibres, and cut down on carbo and meat? As for me, we love greens in our house which is a plus, but we are not consuming grains and legumes as often as we should. I intend to change that, and incorporate more grains and legumes in our meals. What about you? Any special diet plans for the second half of 2017?

Let's see what you are cooking up this month (from your cookbooks), and link your post in the linky below.

Kitchen Tip For The Month : Guide To Storing Fruits and Vegetables (Part 1)

  • Do Not Store Fruits and Vegetables Together. Fruits that give off high levels of ethylene (the ripening agent) can prematurely ripen and spoil surrounding vegetables. (Think of the "one bad apple" adage.)
  • For Vegetables: Before storing, remove ties and rubber bands and trim any leafy ends. Leave an inch to keep the vegetable from drying out. Make sure the bag you store the veggies in has some holes punctured to allow for good air flow. Pack vegetables loosely in the refrigerator. The closer they are, the quicker they will rot. Leafy greens can be washed before storing by soaking them in a sink full of water, while soft herbs and mushrooms should not be washed until right before they are used.
  • For Fruits: Non-cherry stone fruits, avocados, tomatoes, mangoes, melons, apples, and pears will continue to ripen if left sitting out on a countertop, while items like bell peppers, grapes, all citrus, and berries will only deteriorate and should be refrigerated. Bananas in particular ripen very quickly, and will also speed the ripening of any nearby fruits.
  • For HerbsTreat them like a little bouquet, put them in a glass water, and put them in the fridge. Snip off stalks as you need them.
(source from here)

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Cookbook Countdown #18

As a home cook, do you select a recipe from a cookbook, then get the ingredients for the recipe? Or look for a recipe from your collection of cookbooks for the ingredients you already have at hand? Or maybe both ways work for you? Link your delicious post at the linky below.

Kitchen Tip For The Month : When To Use Glass Bakeware and When To Use Metal 
(source from The Kitchn)

When to Use Glass Bakeware

Glass is a poor conductor of heat, but it also distributes heat more evenly. What that means is that glass doesn't pick up heat quickly, but once a glass pan is hot, it will stay warm much longer outside of the oven. This can be a great feature if you are serving casseroles or braises that you would like to stay warm for as long as possible once out of the oven and set on the table. This goes for ceramic dishes, too.
Glass pans aren’t recommended when you want to broil foods because they may shatter. In fact, glass pans should never be used in direct high-heat cooking situations, like on the stovetop (unless otherwise specified from the manufacturer). So if you are roasting a meat and want to make a pan gravy on the stove after, stick to a metal roasting pan, not a glass pan, or else you will have to transfer everything to a pot first before making your sauce. 
  • Glass Bakeware YES: Casseroles and braised dishes that will be served directly to the table.
  • Glass Bakeware NO: When broiling or shifting from oven to stovetop.

When to Use Metal Bakeware

Metals, especially aluminum, are generally better at conducting heat: they pick up that heat but can lose it again quickly.
Grab metal baking pans when you want foods to heat up quickly and if you want them to brown, like when you are roasting potato wedges.
And because metal baking pans are better heat conductors, they will also cool more quickly once retrieved from the oven. If you are investing in aluminum baking sheets, opt for a thicker grade of aluminum so they can also serve for baking cookies without causing them to burn too quickly.
Avoid using metal bakeware, especially iron and aluminum pans, with reactive foods (foods that are acidic or basic), because these foods will react with the metal, discoloring the pan, leaving a grayish tinge on the layer of food in contact with the surface of the pan, and often adding an unwanted metallic flavor to those foods. Examples of things not to bake in aluminum or cast iron pans are fruit crumbles and savory cobblers 
  • Metal Bakeware YES: Quick-roasting foods and when you want browning
  • Metal Bakeware NO: Reactive foods such as fruit; foods that you want to keep warm for a period of time before serving.

A Note on Insulated Bakeware

Some baking sheets are actually two layers of metal with a layer of air in between. Air conducts heat poorly and therefore acts as an insulator to significantly slow down the transfer of heat and help even out the heat on the surface of the sheet. Insulated baking sheets are a great weapon in the battle against burned cookies.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Cookbook Countdown #17

Which cookbooks shall be your choice for May? Link your post in the linky below.

Kitchen Tips For This Month : How To Clean The Oven
(source from thekitchn)
What you need : Oven, Baking soda, Water, Rubber gloves, Damp dish cloth, Plastic or silicone spatula, Spray bottle and White vinegar.

Instructions :
  1. Remove the oven racks : Remove your oven racks, pizza stone, oven thermometer, and anything else you have inside the oven. Set aside.
  2. Make a baking soda paste : In a small bowl, mix a 1/2 cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water. Adjust the ratio of both as needed until you have a spreadable paste.
  3. Coat your oven : Spread the paste all over the interior surfaces of your oven, steering clear of the heating elements. Use a pair of gloves to protect your nails from the grimes and grease. The baking soda will turn a brownish colour as you rub it in; it also might be chunkier in some places than others. That is fine. Just try to coat the whole oven to the best of your abilities, paying attention to any particularly greasy areas.
  4. Let it sit overnight : Allow the baking soda mixture to rest for at least 12 hours, or overnight.
  5. Clean your oven racks : Meanwhile, clean your oven racks. See the full cleaning tutorial here.
  6. Wipe out the oven : After 12 hours or overnight, take a damp dish cloth and wipe out as much of the dried baking soda paste as you can. Use a plastic or silicone spatula to help scrape off the paste as needed. 
  7. Spray a little vinegar : Put a little vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz everywhere you still see baking soda residue in your oven. The vinegar will react with the baking soda and gently foam.
  8. Do a final wipe down : Take your damp cloth and wipe out the remaining foamy vinegar-baking-soda mixture. Repeat until all the baking soda residue is gone. Add more water or vinegar to your cloth as needed while wiping to really get the oven clean and shiny.
  9. Replace your oven racks : Replace the oven racks and anything else you keep in your oven, and you're done!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Cookbook Countdown #16

The first quarter of  2017 has gone by in a flash! How many cookbooks have you used so far? Which cookbooks will you be sharing this month? Looking forward to your delicious treats! Leave your links at the linky below.

Kitchen Tips For This Month : Eggs

How to test the freshness of eggs : Place an egg in a bowl of water. If the egg lay on its side at the bottom, it is still quite fresh. If the egg stands upright on the bottom, it is still fine to eat, but should be eaten very soon or hard-boiled. If the egg floats to the top, its past it's prime, and not good for eating. (source from here)

How to store eggs : Eggs should not be stored on the refrigerator door, but in the main body of the refrigerator to ensure that they keep a consistent and cool temperature. Eggs should always be stored with the large ends up, the same way they are packaged in the carton. This helps the yolk remain centred.
Leftover raw egg whites and yolks should be put in airtight containers and stored in the refrigerator immediately. To prevent yolks from drying out, cover them with a little cold water. Drain the water before using.
When storing hard-cooked eggs, you may notice a "gassy" odour in your refrigerator. The odour is caused by hydrogen sulphide, which forms when eggs are cooked. It's harmless and usually dissipates in a few hours.
(source from here)

Separating eggs safely : Use an egg separator, an inexpensive gadget found in cookware stores. Separating eggs by passing the yolk back and forth between pieces of egg shell or your hands can expose eggs to bacteria. (source from here)

Bringing an egg to room temperature :  Either set it on the counter for 15 minutes or submerge it (in the shell) in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot!) water for 5 minutes. (source from here)

Leave your links!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Cookbook Countdown #15

Which cookbooks will be making their rounds in your kitchen this month? Looking forward to see what you will be cooking this month!

We will be adding a new monthly feature ; Kitchen Tips. For this month we'll start with an important kitchen item that we cannot do without, Cutting Boards!

Kitchen Tips Of The Month : How To Clean A Cutting Board
(source from : here)
  1. Using water and dishwashing detergent can weaken surface wood fibers on cutting boards and butcher block countertops. To disinfect and clean your wooden surfaces, wipe them instead with full-strength white vinegar after each use. The acetic acid in the vinegar is a good disinfectant, effective against such harmful bugs as E. coliSalmonella, and Staphylococcus. When your wooden cutting surface needs deodorizing as well as disinfecting, spread some baking soda over it and then spray on undiluted white vinegar. Let it foam and bubble for five to ten minutes, then rinse with a cloth dipped in clean cold water.
  2. If your cutting board smells after you chop onions, crush garlic, cut raw and cooked meat and chicken, or prepare fish, get rid of the odor and help sanitize the cutting board by rubbing it all over with the cut side of half a lemon. You can also wash your cutting board in undiluted lemon juice from a bottle.
  3. Keep your wooden or plastic cutting board cleaner by occasionally scrubbing it with a paste made from 1 tablespoon each baking soda, salt, and water. Rinse thoroughly with hot water.
  4. If you clean cutting boards and breadboards with soap and water, rub them afterwards with a damp cloth dipped in salt. The boards will be lighter and brighter in color. You can also create a paste of salt and lemon juice, and use it to deep clean your cutting board as needed.
  5. Consider using one cutting board only for foods that will be cooked, such as raw fish, and another only for ready-to-eat foods, such as bread, fresh fruit, and cooked fish.

Leave your links!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Cookbook Countdown #14

Love is in the air! It is the month of Valentine 💕! The month to show your love and appreciation in the most delicious way, through food!  Are you inspired to try the recipes from your cookbooks to prepare that special meal or bake a cake for that someone who is close to your heart? Share with us!

And we would love to see which books that you will be "cooking" in your kitchen this month!

Leave your link !

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Cookbook Countdown #13

Happy New Year everyone! 

Thank you for the delicious support in 2016! For another delicious year in 2017, Cookbook Countdown will be doing things a little differently. We are letting YOU decide how you want your cookbooks countdown to be. Starting from this month, you may cook/bake from one selected cookbook each month, or you may select multiple cookbooks to use in that month, the choice is yours. We understand that not everyone has the same definition of cookbook countdown. You decide with what works for you! Looking forward to your delicious posts in 2017!