I’ve made a lot of bread during the 3.5 years I’ve been working on this project (both for the project and outside of it), and I hear a lot of the same remarks whenever I talk about making bread: “Oh, that seems hard”, or “It’s too much work to make bread”. I used to feel the same way, and shied away from yeast recipes for a long time out of a fear of failure. In cooking (like most things in life), you have to be ready to embrace failure and learn from it–otherwise, you’ll never get past heating up Hot Pockets in the microwave.
Simply Delicious even notes in their recipe blurb that bread making is perceived as hard. It’s maybe not the easiest thing in the world, but you’ll make a lot of friends fast if you can make them fresh bread. 18-1: Basic Yeast Dough I is the first in a three-part series on bread making, where you’ll learn some tips and tricks for improving your bread baking, as well as a few basic recipes that you can use.
Doing a bit of housekeeping…here’s one that’s been sitting in my draft queue since around Christmas. 18-19: Basic Kitchen Utensils covers exactly what it says–basic tools even novice cooks should have in their kitchen. This is part of Cooking School, the back segment of Simply Delicious that covers basic techniques, ingredients, and recipes for all levels of aspiring chefs.
After the jump, I’ll show you what I’ve got in my own kitchen (similar to how I covered 18-3: Good Kitchen Knives and 18-6: Basic Pots and Pans). None of it’s super fancy, but it gets the job done.
Back with another Cooking School follow-up to 18-19: Pasta I from a few weeks ago. 18-10: Pasta II discusses proper pasta making techniques & cooking methods on its front face, as well as offering some tips on using fresh and dried varieties. On the back side, the deep dive into the myriad of pasta shapes that started with 18-9: Pasta I continues–this card covers smaller forms like penne, farfalle, and tortellini.
Most of this advice is pretty generic–here’s a basic pasta dough recipe, and pasta cooking methods are outlined pretty well here. I’ve made both plain dough as well as some with spinach and sun-dried tomato–it’s a lot of work, but the taste difference is pretty noticeable. I don’t currently have a pasta machine, but I’d love to add one to my already-too-large collection of kitchen appliances and tools.
After the jump, read about some more pasta shapes–there’s some links to a few additional pasta dishes we’ve already covered here as well.
Back again with another Cooking School entry from the back of Simply Delicious. 18-6: Basic Pots & Pans is a featured topic discussing different types of cookware that can be used, with tips on handling, usage, & storage. Pot & pan types are controversial for some cooks, and what one person stands by may be another’s no-go. 👩🍳
In this entry, I really only plan to show you what I’ve got going in my own kitchen as of the time I wrote it, and I’ll probably pepper in some links to different pieces on cookware. I can’t claim any real authority on any of this stuff besides my own personal experience and knowledge, but I can at least maybe add one more opinion out there. 🍳
Simply Delicious dedicates its last few chapters to “Cooking School“, comprised of informational cards on various techniques, ingredients, & basic recipes that any serious cook should learn to master. 18-9: Pasta I is the first in a two-part series about pasta, the second being 18-10: Pasta II. This particular card covers a few different shapes of pasta, including spaghetti, fettuccini, & lasagna. 🍽
18-9: Pasta I only begins to scratch the surface of different types of pasta–there are so many more out there. The important takeaways from this particular set of tips are the different kinds of sauce that go with the various shapes, as well as how to identify some common variances in the shapes. 18-10: Pasta II goes more into the cooking and serving of pasta, as well as listing a few more shape/sauce combinations if you’re looking for a bit more from Simply Delicious on the topic. 📚
It’s a new year, and it’s also been a long time since I’ve covered any of the Cooking School portion of the back of the Simply Delicious cookbook. One of the featured topics is 18-3: Good Kitchen Knives, essential tools for any cook. I’ve had a lot of terrible knives, and I’ve got a long way to go until I make jaws drop with my knife collection, but I’ve got a few that are not too shabby. 🔪
I’m going to try NOT to make this a “look at all my cool knives” kind-of-a-thing, because honestly, my collection isn’t all that Internet-impressive–I don’t have a ton of trendy Japanese pieces or massive cleavers, because I just don’t cook that way too often. Plus, I feel about knives like I feel about cars–give me a broken-in cheap old workhorse over a shiny speedster you’re afraid to scratch up any day of the week. 🚙
As I mentioned in the first two installments of this Cooking School mini-series (18-17: Cooking Glossary I and 18-18a: Cooking Glossary IIa), knowing how to decipher and execute what the recipe is asking you to do is an important part of being able to cook. 👩🍳
UPDATE 2/5/2017: Went back and updated a few of these–mostly adding to where I’ve done more recipes since the last time I wrote. Edited and fixed some of the pictures that didn’t transfer well from the initial Tumblr migration. Carry on.
In this final portion of the Cooking Glossary series, I’ll give you even MORE recipes that I’ve covered so far in this Simply Delicious Cookbook Project, and for those that I don’t have an example, I’ll update it just as soon as I do.
I mentioned in 18-17: Cooking Glossary I (the first installment of this mini-series) that I’ll be mixing in Cooking School entries from the last three chapters of Simply Delicious along with the regular recipe/photo entries that I usually do.
Here in 18-18: Cooking Glossary IIa, we find the second page of the glossary that I introduced to you previously. There’s one more page after this one, which you can find at 18-18b: Cooking Glossary IIb. I split the second entry to limit the amount of links/pics/content in one post.
UPDATE 1/29/2017: Went back and updated a few of these–mostly adding to where I’ve done more recipes since the last time I wrote. Edited and fixed some of the pictures that didn’t transfer well from the initial Tumblr migration. Carry on.
Follow the jump for links to recipes I’ve covered that will help you practice each and every one of these terms & techniques! If I haven’t covered the term yet in one of these recipes, I’ll be sure to update it when I do!
Here’s a new-to-you part of the book I want to start featuring. The last three chapters of Simply Delicious comprise their own section: Cooking School. These chapters detail more of the practical culinary knowledge required to execute recipes well, and teach some skills by going through some basic recipes.
I’m going to start mixing up the regular recipe entries with these Cooking School ones as well, which shouldn’t be too different. If anything, they’ll be a lot shorter–like this one.
UPDATE 1/2/2017: Went back and updated a few of these–mostly adding to where I’ve done more recipes since the last time I wrote. Edited and fixed some of the pictures that didn’t transfer well from the initial Tumblr migration. Carry on.
Chapter 18 is about Basic Techniques. I thought that 18-17: Cooking Glossary I would be a good place to start. I used this same (complete) glossary when I taught cooking to K-8 kids in an after school program a few years ago, and I inserted a copy of it into the recipe book at the restaurant I used to work at. There’s also one taped inside my spice cabinet at home for reference.