I love these wine sippy cups by Vin2Go no spill all fun.
Any experienced cook or chef will tell you that there are really only a few essential knives required to master most types of cooking. While many will also say that they themselves own an expansive “master” set of different knives, they will also encourage a novice cook to invest in the most utilitarian knives before upgrading to an entire set.
What are the most frequently recommended knives? Generally, the chef’s knife or the “cook’s knife”, the paring knife, and the serrated knife will be the most frequently used by someone who has just begun to learn how to cook or who has just acquired their first kitchen. In addition to these knives, it is usually recommended that the cook acquire a honing steel to keep their knives sharp, and to begin noting the times when their three essential knives fail to give them the results they want. This usually means that a smaller cook’s knife, or something like a cleaver or carving knife is going to eventually be required.
Let’s begin by looking at the cook’s knives. These can come as six, eight, nine or ten inch blades. The best are made from high carbon steel in order to retain their sharpness, and are usually weighted and balanced too. There is a great deal of debate about the best handles for knives, but usually all that matters is that the handle is ergonomically designed and made from easily maintained and durable materials. Some handles are formed at the same time as the blade and wrapped in a composite material, and other knives will have riveted handles attached to a portion of the blade as well. Both options will work well, and it is essential just to be sure that the knives are described as “balanced” or “ergonomic” to know that you are headed in the right direction. This is the knife that will be used for chopping, slicing, and even carving and is going to usually be the one put to the most work.
The next busiest knife in any kitchen is the paring knife, and this is a small knife (usually around three and one-half inches in length) which is used to do everything from peeling and trimming to other finer details. Again, the same materials and design criteria as the cook’s knife should be used in the selection of the paring knife.
Lastly, the serrated knife, which can also be described as a “slicer” or a “bread” knife is going to provide much more service than simply slicing a variety of doughy breads. In fact, these are usually excellent knives for slicing ham, delicate fish and even tomatoes. They are also great for cutting into things that have a resistant skin or outer crust too.
The honing or sharpening steel should be weighted and balanced, and it is actually a good idea to purchase the knives and honing steel from the same manufacturer to get the best results. This means it is also a good time to consider a pre-designed “set” of knives because they tend to come with things like steak knives and a handy storage block too.
While getting ready for your holiday entertaining, don’t forget to include the amazing Corkcicle–a handy gadget designed by true vinophiles–is a cork and wine cooler all in one. Just pop the Corkcicle in your freezer (its made of BPA-free plastic) until ready to use, open a bottle of wine, slip it in and voila! your bottle of wine – be it white, red or a yummy champagne – will remain at its optimum drinking temperature until the bottle is empty. What could be more practical? We also love that your table will be free of bulky, ice-filled buckets that take up so much room! And for the ultra-hip gift-giver, the Corkcicle makes a great hostess gift (since we know you’re already booked for a zillion parties).
Imagine you’re shopping for a new set of cookware. You need everything, from basic stock pots to omelet pans. How do you know where to start looking?
To make the right decision about cookware, you have to consider your personal situation. How often do you cook? How much are you willing to spend? Is convenience more important than excellent results? Your answers to these questions will point you to your ideal style of cookware. Actually choosing the brand you like is another story. Cookware is also a great gift ideas, especially for newlyweds.
Read over the descriptions of classic cookware materials below to find out what type most suits you.
Classic stainless steel cookware is a good choice for serious chefs who want versatile pots and pans. Stainless is beautiful and functional. It’s lightweight, so carrying your cookware around the kitchen won’t be a chore. Stainless conducts heat quickly and evenly. You can also put stainless steel cookware in the dishwasher, which makes it easy to clean.
Stainless steel is completely recyclable, and it has a life expectancy of more than 100 years. As far as price goes, stainless steel won’t be easy on your wallet. Expect to pay about $400 for a mid-grade, 10-piece set. You can find some brands for less money, but they might not be pure stainless steel.
Hard aluminum cookware is great for occasional chefs on a budget. The material is easy to use, lightweight, and dishwasher safe. Anodized aluminum is also the least expensive material you’ll find by far. A 10-piece set will cost about $150 on average.
Aluminum can cook food unevenly, and it tends to wear out quicker than other materials. These factors make is less than ideal for serious cooks. However, if you don’t cook regularly and just want basic pots and pans, anodized aluminum cookware could be perfect for you.
Sturdy cast iron will last for generations if cared for properly. It can go from the stove top to the oven to the freezer without any problems. The thick pots are also excellent heat conductors, perfect for slow cooking.
Cast iron is not dishwasher safe and it is very heavy, which are two of its biggest drawbacks. Also, some brands of cast iron cookware are extremely expensive. An average set of six pots will cost about $500.
For cooks who are most concerned with convenience, nothing beats nonstick cookware. Pans of this variety are coated with a slick layer of nonstick substance. You’ll never have to worry about stubborn eggs stuck to your pans again. Most nonstick lines are lightweight and dishwasher safe. You might have to be careful in your cleaning methods, however, to avoid dislodging the nonstick material.
Nonstick cookware isn’t the best for even heat distribution, so it doesn’t make a good choice for serious chefs looking to create culinary masterpieces. However, it will do just fine for preparing everyday meals. we have to mention a product we just found letterpress cookie cutters, just imagine the fun you can have with these. They are sold by Givesimple.com.