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.
Shrunken Apple Heads
Once these apples have dried they shrivel up
making scary Halloween shrunken heads.
Tools and utensils you will need:
Ingredients you will need:
- Apple peeler or paring knife
- Small mixing bowl
- Spoon for mixing
- Cookie sheet
- Accessories - your imagination is the limit here!
- 1 apple for each "head"
- 1/2 cup/125 ml lemon juice
- 3 tbsp/45 ml salt
If you have the time and prefer not to use your oven to dry out your apples, place them outside in a warm area but not in direct light for around 2 weeks.
- In your mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice and salt.
- Peel the apples and then dip them into the lemon juice and salt mixture. This will keep them from turning brown. Of course if you want a darker 'head', you can skip this step.
- Using a knife carve out a face with eyes and nose. Keep it simple, a hole for the eyes and triangle for the nose cause as it shrinks you will lose detail. You can stick on wobbly eyes, use doll eyes or just use a peppercorn or a whole clove. Add some teeth with some wheat or rice grains.
- Place the apples on a cookie sheet and dry them out in the oven on a low setting for around 30 minutes then move them outside for 24 hours.
- Once they are dried, you can get as creative as you like! You can even add hair to these by gluing on some craft hair or use some garden moss or dryer lint.
- This project can be used as a hang-up up or add them to a stake in the ground. Add them to a bowl full of chips for a scary surprise.
Turn regular pretzels into ghosts with candy eyes and a little bit of imagination!
Tools and utensils you will need:
Ingredients you will need to make 30 Ghosts:
- Mixing bowl
- Mixing spoon
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Cookie sheet
- Parchment paper
- 30 pretzels - the small round kind
- 6 oz/180 g (or 1 cup/125 ml) vanilla/white milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 tsp/2.5 ml coconut oil or shortening, for thinning the chocolate
- 1 (.88oz/25g) package of candy eyeballs
- Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In your glass bowl, melt the shortening and white chocolate chips. Heat the mixture on HIGH for about 15 seconds at a time, then stir. Continue to do this until it is all smooth and melted.
- As soon as you it's melted, use a fork to dip your pretzels into the mixture, one at a time, making sure that the entire pretzel gets coated. Shake off any excess chocolate so the holes in the pretzels (especially the bottom hole!) do not get closed up.
- Place the covered pretzels onto your cookie sheet - making sure they don't touch each other.
- Press candy eyes into the top two holes of your pretzel. If you need to add a little extra chocolate to get them to stick, that's okay.
- You will need to work quickly for this project - and if your chocolate gets too cool and begins to harden, you can reheat it again in the microwave the same way you did at first.
- Once all of your pretzels are coated and have their eyes in place, let your pretzels have time to harden. If you need to speed up this process, you can put the tray into the freezer for about 10 minutes.
- Once the chocolate has hardened so you can touch them without any sticking to your fingers, you can peel off your 'ghosts' and start your party!
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!