Cooking like heaven with my new knife set

Anyone who is married to their kitchen like I am knows that for any self respecting cook, a good set of knives is indispensable. Knives are that one tool that you cannot just select from a distance. There is a particular feel that comes with getting that perfect knife…how it feels in the hand. Get a good knife and cooking feels like heaven. Get a good set of knives, and you’ll feel like you’ve just hit the jackpot.

In my kitchen, I can compromise on other tools, but only the best knives will do. This is where I spare no costs to get the best quality working for me. For that reason, I have been a fan of Shun knives for as long as I remember. The high end workmanship involved in crafting their knives, from the handles, to the blades, to the bamboo blocks used to hold the knives in place, these knives speak sheer perfection.

Since I work with a variety of ingredients, my pick for best set would definitely be the classic 7-piece essential block set. Many reasons come to mind. First of all, these are Shun knives! The handle has a great feel in my hands, the blades are sharp and sturdy enough for the job required of them and the overall look is great. Secondly, the pieces included in the 7-piece essential perfectly cover the needs for a basic home kitchen. The obvious pieces required in any kitchen- the Chef’s knife, a good paring knife, a utility knife- come with the package. Additionally, there is a bread knife for those days when I need to fill my home with the aromas of home baking as well as herb shears, which I use when I need to add a touch of fresh parsley or coriander to finish off a meal. To keep all the knives sharp, the classic essentials set includes a honing steel, and everything is kept in place in a bamboo block.

Shun knife

One of my favorite things about the Shun classic 7-piece essentials block set is their implicit acknowledgement that a kitchen needs to start from somewhere and grow. They do this elegantly by including a block with several extra slots- knowing that at one time or other, I will definitely need to add a specialty knife or 5 to the initial set, without the added inconvenience of requiring another knife block. That, right there, is a stroke of genius, and is the main reason why I would gladly recommend the Shun classic 7-piece essentials block set to anyone starting out their kitchen. Or just anyone not very impressed with the current knives residing there.

Banoffee roll

Banoffee Roll

INGREDIENTS

  • 70g butter, at room temperature
  • 120g (2/3 cup) dark brown sugar, lightly packed, plus 2 tbs extra
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 75g (1/2 cup) plain flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tablespoons water, boiling
  • 600ml thickened cream, whipped to firm peaks
  • 3 large bananas
  • 300g jar salted caramel dessert sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons caster sugar

METHOD

  • Step 1
    Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan forced. Grease a 3cm-deep, 24.5 x 37cm (base measurement) rectangular cake pan and line with baking paper.
  • Step 2
    Use electric beaters to beat the butter and sugar in a small bowl until pale and creamy. Add the vanilla bean paste and egg yolks and beat until the sugar almost dissolves. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Step 3
    Use electric beaters to whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Use a large metal spoon to fold the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the egg whites until just combined. Combine the bicarb and water in a jug and fold into mixture until just smooth. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and gently spread to the edges. Bake for 15 minutes or until the surface springs back when lightly touched. 4
  • Step 4
    Place a piece of baking paper on a tea towel. Sprinkle with the extra brown sugar. Turn the warm cake onto the paper. Remove and discard the top sheet of paper.
  • Step 5
    Starting from the short side closest to you and using the paper as a guide, gently roll up the cake. Set aside for 2-3 minutes. Gently unroll the cake by about two-thirds. Set aside to cool completely.
  • Step 6
    Reserve 1/3 cup cream. Completely unroll the cooled cake and spread with remaining cream. Thinly slice 1 of the bananas and arrange over cream. Spoon over 1⁄2 cup of the caramel sauce. Carefully roll up the cake and transfer to a serving platter.
  • Step 7
    Line a baking tray with foil. Lightly grease. Cut the remaining bananas into 5mm-thick long diagonal slices. Place on the prepared tray. Sprinkle liberally with the caster sugar. Use a kitchen blowtorch to melt the sugar until it caramelises.
  • Step 8
    Microwave the remaining sauce in a heatproof bowl on High for 1 minute or until warmed. Allow bubbles to subside. Top cake with reserved cream and caramelised banana. Drizzle with sauce.

My Incredible Chef’s Knife Experience

You know what I thought when I saw that my husband had given me a Wusthof Classic Chef Knife for my birthday? I was so mad and happy at the same time as I knew how much it had cost for him to get me one but I’ve always wanted to get one of the best chef knives since I was 18 years old. After 10 long years, I finally go it.

chef knife

My Incredible Chef’s Knife Experience

Holding the Wusthof chef’s knife gave me a new perspective towards cooking itself. The handle fits perfectly in my hands. I was a bit shocked as I have small hands. This knife doesn’t feel off-balance or weird. It has the right weight for you to enjoy slicing through ingredients. I tested the edge with just gliding it through a carrot and as expected, it split into half. I even enjoy slicing through tomatoes now. (Check out this)

What I think make this knife perfect is the forged full tang blade that runs all the way to the end of the knife and the handle is secured to it with three rivets. It actually gives you more control compared to chef’s knives that come with a plastic handle. Not only that, it looks classy as well. Most of my family members love using my Wusthof whenever they come over for parties. My mum had even purchase one for herself. To maintain this knife, I usually dry my chef’s knife after washing them. I also take it to the local knife sharpening service as I’m afraid I might damage the knife.

A Great Deal

I would have thrown a fit if this knife didn’t come with a lifetime warranty. I really recommend you to get a Wusthof Chef’s Knife for yourself as I find myself spending my free time cooking more meals for my family. This will really be a great asset in your kitchen.

Easy recipes for kids to make all by themselves

Do your kids like to work in the kitchen? Since we spend so much time preparing healthy food, it only made sense for me to train my 4 boys early on to help out. Part of their training has involved learning lots of easy recipes for kids.

Teaching kids to be independent in the kitchen has multiple benefits:

  • First of all, it’s a big help for you. If a child can get himself a snack, that’s one less thing for mom or dad to do.
  • In addition, cooking is fun for kids. It makes them feel important and grown up.
  • Also, cooking teaches important life skills.
  • Cooking (and cleaning up) increases their self-confidence because cooking may be somewhat of a mystery to kids until they start doing it themselves. Something as simple as making their own scrambled eggs can be a big deal!
  • It’s very satisfying for kids to be able to cook something and serve it to others since not all children can do so.
  • Being involved in the cooking encourages kids to try new foods, which is most noteworthy!
  • Cooking together with your kids is fun, and, as a result, it’s a great way to spend quality time together!

Here are 20 easy recipes for kids to make all by themselves

  1. Toast and scrambled eggs
  2. Easy cinnamon coffeecake muffins
  3. Grilled cheese sandwiches
  4. Smoothies
  5. English muffin pizzas
  6. Oven-roasted potatoes
  7. Stove-popped popcorn (a weekly staple in our home, made by my 14-year-old)
  8. Chocolate chip cookies
  9. Walking tacos (especially if you have the ground beef already cooked)
  10. Homemade applesauce (made extra exciting if you use a spiral peeler!)
  11. Tomato soup
  12. Quesadillas
  13. 2-ingredient banana pudding
  14. Hot cocoa
  15. Easy herbal tea
  16. Easy homemade wheat bread (a little advanced, but such an accomplishment!)
  17. Hummus (let your kids customize with their favorite spices)
  18. Veggie plate with homemade ranch dressing for dipping
  19. Fruit with creamy lemon dip
  20. Homemade whipped cream (so fancy!)

Reference: http://thehumbledhomemaker.com

Why Everyone Needs A Knife Set

After living at my parent’s house I finally moved to start life on my own and as you’d have guessed, I was really excited. That was until I stepped into my small kitchen and got jolted to my senses. I had ‘stolen’ one knife from my mum’s kitchen and it wasn’t enough to handle all the cutting, chopping, slicing and dicing.

Everyone Needs A Knife Set

To chop like a pro, you need one of the best knives set. In fact, experts recommend that you should have a paring knife (commonly referred to as a vegetable knife), a cook’s knife, a bread knife as well as an all-purpose serrated one. When I went shopping, I made a point of checking that the knife set I chose had these blades. Of course, I couldn’t afford to forget the santoku and filleting knife. I love meat and the filleting knife is my darling.

Battle of the titans: stainless vs. Carbon steel

Stainless steel knives come cheap. However, there is a price you have to pay – they tend to go blunt fast and it takes time to sharpen them for that smooth cutting edge. Carbon steel on the hard is more expensive, keeps its cutting edge for long. The only con is that it tends to rust. Let me let you into a secret: I was lucky enough to get q discount on a ceramic set. The blades in this set are 10 times harder than than carbon steel ones plus they don’t rust.

It All Comes Down To Your Preference

I enjoyed my shopping experience but at the end of the day, I noticed that the beet knife set is one which you actually like. Other than the brand and type of blade, the weight of the blades and design must be factored in. Get a feel of the handle. If its ergonomic then you’ve hit the bullseye.