“Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili.” -Dying words of Kit Carson, Frontiersman and Mountain Man
There are a number of tools every kitchen must have – a sturdy wood cutting board, an all-purpose paring knife, a sharp vegetable peeler and, most of all, the indispensable chef’s knife. Fear not. You needn’t be a chef to own one. In fact, picking the right chef’s knife will enhance your knife skills, speed up your prep time and do a lot of the work for you.When it comes to buying knives, we adhere to 2 rules: a la carte and quality-over-quantity. We don’t want the 14-piece set of little-used knives crowding the drawers – we use our chef’s knives 90% of the time we’re in the kitchen.Here are some knife-buying tips to consider before purchasing:THE HIGH CARBON STAINLESS STEEL BLADE
The strongest blades are made from high carbon stainless steel. This very hard metal keeps its edge longer, sharpens easily and doesn’t rust or discolor like ordinary carbon steel.
Picking the shape of your blade is a matter of personal preference – the French-style chef’s knife has a straighter blade that makes it ideal for cutting in a slicing motion, while the German chef’s knife has a more curved section along the length of the blade, allowing for more of an up-and-down, rocking motion when cutting.
THE FULL TANG
For a stronger, better-balanced and more durable knife, look to the tang, otherwise known as the steel inside the handle of the knife. The best knives have a full tang, where the steel, attached with rivets, runs from the tip of the knifepoint down through the entire length of the handle.
THE COMFORTABLE HANDLE
Grab on. For better control over the blade, the knife must feel comfortable in your hand. If the handle is too slippery or too heavy, you’ll be forced to grip it and will tire easily. As well, we recommend staying away from any untreated wood handles – these porous handles will harbor bacteria and when wet, can warp or crack.
THE BIG BOLSTER
What’s the bolster? It’s the point where the blade and handle meet, a section that balances the knife and keeps your fingers from slipping while working. The thicker the bolster, the better as its’ width indicated the thickness of the original chunk of steel the knife was made from. Don’t see a bolster? That means the knife was stamped out of a sheet of metal and not made from a single chunk of steel.
THE FINAL CUT
1. Use your knife for cooking purposes only. You’re not auditioning for a Ginsu commercial.
2. Sharp knives are good, dull knives are hazardous.
3. Don’t grab for a falling knife. Jump out of the way.
4. Point the blade away from you, never cutting towards yourself.
5. Wash your knives by hand – dishwashers ruin blades.
6. You can damage the edge of the blade by working on metal, glass or marble cutting boards.
7. Make sure your cutting board is secure by putting a damp towel underneath.
8. Walk with your knife pointed down to the ground.
9. Simon Cowell once called my fav song, “Mac the Knife,” the best song ever written.
10. Be careful.
We’re all familiar with that person in our life who has an irrational fear. No, this fear has nothing to do with tight spaces, warm temperatures, or a given animal, per se, but rather it has everything to do with food. We have probably all experienced, at one point or another, dining with a friend who insists they’re “allergic” to mushrooms to avoid any interaction with the veggie, or the friend who has to step away as a banana is being peeled. So to try and wrap our heads around the phenomena that is food phobia, we compiled a list of some of the most common fears of cuisine.
A fear of mushrooms
Often related to our knowledge that mushrooms are fungi grown in the dirty ground.
A fear of garlic
Those who avoid this pungent pest fear it’s bulb shape, strong odor, and unavoidable flavor.
A fear of peanut butter
This one gets people for they are afraid that the gooey peanut butter will permanently stick to the roof of their mouth.
A fear of fish
This fear revolves around the slimy texture and swimming nature of the fishy that once roamed the sea. Sorry Nemo.
A fear of eggs
Alfred Hitchcock was no stranger to this one! He once wrote: “I’m frightened of eggs, worse than frightened, they revolt me. That white round thing without any holes… have you ever seen anything more revolting than an egg yolk breaking and spilling its yellow liquid? Blood is jolly, red. But egg yolk is yellow, revolting. I’ve never tasted it.”
A fear of bananas
Again, here one might struggle with that “revolting” yellow, as well as with the mushy texture and need to peel the fruit.
Quite frankly, here at Bite Me More, being the true foodies that we are, we’d like to think we’d eat anything/everything in sight. But of course, no shame to those who possess any of these fears or others we failed to mention. We all have our “things” and must accept one another for our true selves – even if that means a banana-less fruit salad, egg-less breakfast sandwich, or mushroom-less stir-fry.
From crust-to-crumbs, our love affair with the greatest thing since sliced bread.
As nostalgic as Mac & Cheese and less filling than Meatloaf & Mash, toast reigns as one of our favourite comfort foods. After a day spent in the Kitchen, slicing, dicing, tasting, stirring, smelling and more tasting, Lisa and me are often left with only an appetite for toast. My crisp slices are slathered with peanut butter, banana, and honey, while Lisa, more of a purist, opts for creamy butter, atop golden wedges of Wonder Bread.
It seems that we aren’t the only ones who hold toast as a sentimental soother. We took poll and here is what we discovered;
- 84% of people said cinnamon toast (sans crusts) makes them want to watch “The Flinstones,” drink apple juice and play with their lego
- 79% of people said that they’re “never too full” for a piece of toast
- 72% of people salivate at the sound of the toaster lever popping- up
- 69% of people connect to eating toast in bed
Still not convinced toast is the greatest thing since sliced bread? How about that artist Lennie Payne earns his bread and butter by creating portraits with toast? Did you know that there are websites dedicated to immortalizing toast through art, song and haiku? Or, that there is a Toast Bible and a huge community that collects toaster memorabilia? While we wont be writing a book dedicated to toast anytime soon (good name for anyone who wants to: Toast of the Town), we will be looking into getting a new toaster!
In 1906, prolific author E.V. Lucas wrote that “…the noise from good toast should reverberate in the head like the thunder of July.” Over a century later, his words still ring true. Crunch on, our friends, crunch on.
Peanut Butter Brownies
Fred and Ginger. Frick and Frack. Peanut butter and chocolate. All classic combinations, but only one makes us drool. Feast your eyes (and mouths) on these unbelievably delicious Peanut Butter Brownies. Not only does a creamy peanut butter layer sit atop a fudgy chocolate brownie, but it’s also drizzled with a chocolate ganache. It doesn’t get better than this!
¼ cup fresh raspberries
3 fresh mint leaves, torn
1oz Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum
½ oz Triple Sec
½ oz simple syrup
1 tbsp lime juice
7UP or Sprite, to top up
Fresh raspberries, for garnish
Lime slice, for garnish
Using a tall glass, muddle raspberries and torn mint leaves. Fill the glass halfway with ice cubes and stir in Bacardi dragon berry, triple sec, simple syrup and lime juice. Top up glass with 7-up or Sprite. Stir well and garnish with raspberries and lime slice.
For more crafty cocktail recipes click here
You know that effortless, elusive “Je ne sais quoi” that follows Parisians about? Ever wish you could capture a wisp of it? A beret isn’t the answer. No, what you need is the key to all of our fantasies français: the ultimate French Onion Soup. Spoon after spoon of rich beef broth, sweet caramelized onions, gooey Gruyère and crusty bread, and you too will ditch your chic chapeau in favor of this magnifique bistro classic.
Dying to try this at home!? Click here for the recipe
Poor bespectacled Jan Brady. She used lemon juice to lighten her freckles and get more boyfriends like the porcelain-skinned, man-magnet, Marcia. Seemed crazy but turns out, the kid was on to something.
After doing a little “research” (nb: In the event you thought we are, we’re not medical or aesthetics professionals) online, we’ve discovered the greatest beauty secrets are nestled between the crackers and Lucky Charms.
Here are some tips, treatments and tricks you can put to the test:
*Fades discolored elbows, lightens age spots and whitens fingernails.
*Mix juice of 1/2 lemon with 1 tsp honey to relieve a sore throat.
*Cut a lime in 1/2 and rub against forehead to stop a throbbing headache.
*Stop the snorer by having him/her sip a bit of olive oil before sleep.
*Use olive oil in place of shaving cream for a close, moisturizing shave.
*Dab a little olive oil under your eyes to remove eye makeup rinse off with a washcloth.
*To stop bleeding from a small cut, dampen a plain tea bag in cold water, wring it out and then press against the cut to slow the blood flow.
*Puffy eyes? Soak 2 tea bags, place in freezer for a few minutes and then place on eyes.
*Zap zits with a mixture of 3 tbsp honey and 1 tsp cinnamon apply paste before bedtime and wash next morning with warm water.
*Dust underarms with baking soda in place of deodorant (nb: try this in the safety of your own home, not at the gym).
*Stir 1/2 tsp baking soda into 1/2 cup water and drink as an antacid.
*Make a baking soda and water paste to brush and whiten your teeth.
*Spritz vodka on your body (and in your mouth) as an insect repellant.
*Add 3 tbsp of vodka to a 12oz bottle of shampoo for healthier hair.
*After shampooing, pour a bottle of beer on your hair and briefly rinse with water.
*Use 2 beaten yolks as a hair conditioner – massage into hair, wrap head in shower cap and warm towel, wait 30 minutes and then rinse and shampoo.
*For oily skin, mix 2 egg whites with a touch of lemon juice and honey for a face mask.
*Mix egg whites and oatmeal as an exfoliating mask.
*For a hair conditioning treatment, apply 1/2 cup warm mayonnaise to your hair, wrap head in a shower cap and warm towel, wait 15 minutes and then rinse and shampoo.
*To lighten circles under your eyes, wrap raw, grated potato in cheesecloth. Apply to area beneath eyes for 15 minutes and then wipe away residue.
*To make your skin glow, mash 1/4 banana until it’s creamy. Apply to face as a mask for 20 minutes and rinse using warm water.
This Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich is one very mouthwatering reason to get fired up about BBQ season. A soaring, sky-high sandwich, toasted rye bread is slathered in homemade Russian dressing and layered with juicy, lime-marinated grilled chicken, creamy avocado, ripe tomatoes and crispy bacon.
½ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lime zest
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Creamy Russian Dressing
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sweet green relish
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
18 slices rye bread
12 romaine lettuce leaves
12 avocado slices
12 crispy cooked bacon slices
12 vine-ripened tomato slices
Salt and pepper, to taste
1) For the marinade, in a large bowl, whisk lime juice, parsley, Dijon, olive oil, lime zest, salt and pepper. Place chicken breasts between two sheets of wax paper and pound to even thickness, about ½-inch thick. Add to marinade, cover and refrigerate 2-6 hours.
2) Preheat grill to medium-high heat and oil the grill grate. Discard marinade and grill chicken 5-6 minutes per side or until cooked through. Set aside until ready to assemble sandwiches.
3) For the dressing, whisk mayonnaise, ketchup, vinegar, sugar, relish, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
Toast the rye bread slices on both sides. For all the toasted slices, spread dressing over one side of each. Place a lettuce leaf on top of the first bread slice, top with 2 avocado slices. Place grilled chicken breast over avocado and season with salt and pepper. Place a second bread slice on top of the chicken and place another lettuce leaf on top, followed by 2 slices bacon. Top with 2 tomato slices and season with salt and pepper. Cover with the third bread slice, dressing side facing down. Using 2 long toothpicks, place one on either side of the sandwich to hold it together. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the sandwich in half. Repeat with remaining 5 sandwiches.
Yield: 6 triple decker sandwiches