From Start - To Finish
Every good cook has a set of rules to follow in the kitchen to make sure that they don't miss a step or leave a big mess... but most importantly to make sure that their recipe turns out 'just right' every time and their family and friends will always want to come back for seconds! Here are a few of the rules that will make you be the best chef that you can be:
- Read through the entire recipe and its directions BEFORE you start to prepare anything.
- Check with your adult assistant concerning anything you are not sure of and for any permission you may need to use certain things in the kitchen - especially knives or the oven.
- Wash your hands (some people also like wearing aprons). Using a damp cloth, wipe the counter or table where you will be working.
- Take out the ingredients and equipment you will need. Use measuring cups and measuring spoons for the exact amounts.
- Follow the recipe exactly. Many containers and kitchen utensils come in different sizes. Use the exact measurement the recipes call for. Measure the ingredients so they are even with the top of the cup or spoon.
- Put away the things you have used when you have finished or while something is baking. Put back any packages; wash dirty dishes; wipe off the counter or table; sweep the floor; set the table to serve what you are making.
- Turn off the burners or the oven as soon as you are finished using them!!!
- Stand back and be ready for compliments!
Useful Cooking Terms
Here are some cooking terms and what they mean:
- Bake - To cook by dry heat in the oven.
- Beat - To mix ingredients over and over again with a spoon until all ingredients are incorporated. This can also be accomplished with an electric mixer or blender.
- Broil - To cook by direct overhead heat. This can be done by placing food on a rack under the oven broiler or by using a toaster oven.
- Drizzle - To pour slowly in a thin stream. Usually this is done with a liquid which you want to apply lightly, such as syrup or salad dressing. A pitcher or other container with a spout (like a glass measuring cup) will make it easier to drizzle.
- Fold - To gently combine a delicate mixture with a heavier one. A whisk or rubber spatula is usually used in an over-and-under motion.
- Roast - To cook meat or poultry with hot, dry air in the oven or on a grill.
- Scant - In cooking, scant refers to an amount that's just barely reaching; in other words, not packed tightly. When a recipe calls for a scant cup or scant teaspoon of something, don't fill the measuring cup or spoon to the top. Instead, use slightly less than the required amount.
- Stirring and Mixing - To combine ingredients evenly in a circular motion, using a fork, spoon or rubber spatula.
- Toss - To mix ingredients lightly with a lifting motion. Salads and pastas are usually tossed. A fork or tongs may be used.
- Whisk - To use a wire whisk to bet air into your mixture. You whip in a circular motion, very hard and quickly.
Delight Fruit Dip
Bring a little taste of summertime to your snacks! Perfect as an after-school snack or in your lunch box!
Here are the ingredients you will need:
- 8 oz/225 g cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup/80 ml sugar
- 1 tsp/5 ml Watkins Clear Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp/5 ml Watkins Raspberry Extract or Watkins Strawberry Extract
You can add a few drops of Food Coloring if you would like to have strawberry coloured dip.
- Blend all of the ingredients together using an electric mixer.
- Dip strawberries, sliced bananas, or sliced pears or apples.
This recipe is adapted from The Happier Homemaker
Ingredients you will need:
Substitute candy and sprinkles with toppings of your choice to customize. You can top with nuts, raisins, sea salt chunks, crushed candy canes, or anything that would add a little crunch and/or sweetness.
- About 40 Saltine crackers
- 1 cup/250 ml butter (2 sticks)
- 1 cup/250 ml light brown sugar
- 1-1/2 cups/375 ml milk chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup/160 ml "M & M's"
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Fill tray with a single layer of crackers, placed tight together.
- In a small saucepan over medium high heat melt butter.
- Add brown sugar and heat to a boil, stirring continuously. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes.
- Pour mixture over crackers and spread evenly. Place in oven and cook for 5 minutes. This will make a toffee base.
- Immediately after removing from oven pour chocolate chips over toffee. Allow to sit two minutes then use a spatula to spread.
- Sprinkle with candy and sprinkles while chocolate is still hot.
- Chill to set.
- Once it's cooled, you can then crack it into cookie-size pieces!
Nutrition Tips and Information
Here are some nutrition terms and what they mean:
- Calories - are the energy value of food. Think of them as fuel for your body. If you take in more calories than you use, you will gain weight. One way to burn more calories is by exercising.
- Protein - makes up three-fourths of your body tissue. It is one of the most important elements for the maintenance, growth and development of all body tissue. Each gram of protein supplies 4 calories. Protein is found in meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and dairy products.
- Carbohydrates - are the main source of energy. At least 55 percent of our calories should come from carbohydrates. Each gram supplies four calories. Good sources of carbohydrates are rice, bread, cereal, pasta, fruit and most vegetables.
- Fat - is the most concentrated source of food energy. No more than 30 percent of calories should come from fat. Each gram of fat supplies nine calories. You need to eat less of the foods high in fat so you don't take in more calories than you can use. Fat can be found in potato chips, French fries, hamburgers, ice cream, butter and margarine.
- Cholesterol - is a fat-like substance found in meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and egg yolks. Because our bodies manufacture cholesterol, we should limit the quantity of high-cholesterol foods we eat.
- Sodium - is an essential mineral that occurs naturally in some foods and is added to many other foods and beverages. Most of the sodium in our diets comes from table salt. One teaspoon of salt contains 2,000 milligrams of sodium. The amount you need varies on how active you are and how much water you drink, but the rule of thumb is that you should try to stay under 2,000 milligrams a day. Using Watkins Extracts and Gourmet Spices is a delicious low-sodium way to add flavour to your food!