A LA PROVENCALE With garlic and usually parsley and thyme.
ACCENT A salty substance which rehances flavours, such as monosodium glutamate.
ADOBO SAUCE Its main ingredients are typically chile peppers, garlic and vinegar, though variations are common; tomatoes, onions, and a variety of herbs and spices often complete the recipe.
AGAR Or agar-agar or kanten; a gelatinous substance that usually replaces gelatin, by the same amount, in vegetarian dishes; it makes firmer jellies.

Extracted from a seaweed that is brownish-white in color with thorny projections onto its branches, it is sundried before being boiled and crystallized.

It can also be used as a stabilizer in the making of canned soups, jellies, ice creams, jams, syrups and confectioneries.

ALLSPICE - substitute Half ground clove / half ground cinnamon.

or, for 1 1/2 teaspoons [7.5 mL] allspice:

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon [2.5 mL], or 1/4 teaspoon [1 mL] ground clove

1/2 teaspoon [2.5 mL], or 1/4 teaspoon [1 mL] nutmeg

Mix together all the ingredients or, using lesser amount of ground clove and/or nutmeg.

Allspice powder is also called 'ground pimento seeds'.

ALMOND To chop : for easy chopping, start with slivered almonds.

To toast : spread almonds into a small heavy skillet.

Cook, watching carefully over medium heat stirring occasionally for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden browned and fragrant.

To brown into a microwave oven, evenly arrange 1 cup [250 mL] almonds [blanched, whole, sliced, slivered or halved] onto a plate.

Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes on 'MEDIUM-MAXIMUM', stirring every minute, until evenly browned.

Leave to rest for 2 minutes [they will darken while cooling]; stir.

Nice to have some on hand, to sprinkle over fish, vegetables and even desserts.

Chocolate-dipped almonds

For approximately 100 nuts, melt 1 ounce [28 g] semisweet chocolate into a small casserole.

Holding one end of each almond, using tweezers or tongs, dip pointed end of almond into melted chocolate; transfer onto waxed paper.

Refrigerate until firm, or longer.

Store into a covered container.

ANCHO or POBLANO CHILE Ancho chile is a deep reddish brown, flat, wrinkled, about 3 inches [7.6 cm] wide and 4 inches [10 cm] long heart shaped chile pepper with a sweet hot, relatively mild, flavor.

The ancho, the sweetest of the dried chiles, is most commonly used in authentic Mexican cooking and is a basic food in red chili and tamales.

It is referred to 'poblano' when fresh.

Store into an airtight container or freeze for up to 1 year; for most recipes, soak pepper in hot water for 30 minutes to restore, before using.

ANTS-ON-A-LOG Cut celery stalks into pieces; spread with cheese spread and top with raisins.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apple cider.
APPLE PIE with MAPLE SYRUP Instead of sugar, try adding an equal amount of maple syrup to the apple mixture.

Try pouring just a little maple syrup over the top shell, before baking.

APRICOT If apricots are too dry, cover them with boiling water for a few minutes to soften; drain well before using.
ARBORIO RICE Round medium-grain rice originated from Italy, used in risotto.

The rice grains absorb 5 times their volume while boiling, and their starch is released to give a creamy texture.

ASPARAGUS To keep fresh asparagus for an extra day, cut a thin slice at the end of stems, arrange asparagus cut end standing down into a container with just a little water; cover with a plastic bag and refrigerate for 1 more day.

To cook fresh asparagus, arrange asparagus into a casserole filled with cold salted water; quickly bring to a boil and leave to simmer slowly until tender; or cook fresh asparagus into the lower part of a double-boiler into 1 inch [2.5 cm] water, covered with the upper part of the double-boiler.

To peel fresh asparagus, use a vegetable peeler.

With quite bitter white asparagus, use high quality olive oil instead of vinegared salad dressings.

Muscat d'Alsace wine is excellent with green asparagus tips.

Tokay Pinot Gris wine is excellent with white asparagus tips.

AVOCADO Avocado is a fruit that can either be eaten as a fruit or as a vegetable. Avocado is ripe when it is still firm but yields to pressure.
BABY'S BOTTLE The milk in a baby's bottle should never be warmer than 115°F [46°C] - check it on the inside of your wrist - you should not really feel it.
BAD BREATH To get rid of bad breath after eating onion, try chewing a few parsley sprigs, mint leaves or a coffee bean.
BAKERY - storage Keep baked breads and muffins wrapped in thick aluminum foil or in two plastic bags.

Yeast bread will keep for 4 to 5 days in a cool dry environment and 2 weeks refrigerated; baking powder bread for 2 to 3 days, 1 week refrigerated.

In a hot and humid environment, which favors mold, it is recommended to refrigerate bread even though it might change its texture.

Frozen, either bread will keep for 3 months [slice bread before freezing and thaw only what is needed].

To thaw a whole bread, just leave it at room temperature for a few hours or microwave, ususally for 1 to 4 minutes, or wrap a frozen bread into aluminum foil and thaw into a preheated 400°F [200°C] oven for 15 to 25 minutes.

Note : for a crusty bread, it is essential to reheat it.

BAKING Wheh baking, use fresh baking powder and baking soda.

If it has been more than six months since you bought the baking powder and baking soda, replace them and if you do not know how long it has been, replace them anyway.

Baking powder and baking soda lose their potency quickly, and your cake will not rise properly if they are too old.

When baking, also let your ingredients sit out at room temperature for a whole hour as if they are too cold, the batter will not emulsify [it will not become smooth], and your cake will suffer.

BAKING PANS 2 [8 or 9-inch / 20 or 23-cm] layer cake pans
= 1 [9 x 13-inch / 23 x 33-cm or 3.5-L]
= 1 [10-inch / 25-cm or 12-cup / 3-L] fluted tube cake pan
= 24 cupcakes

2 [8-inch / 20-cm] layer cake pans = 1 [8 or 9-inch / 20 or 23-cm] tube pan

2 [8-inch / 20-cm] layer cake pans = 1 [8-inch / 20-cm] square cake pan

Grease or spray bottom only of a 9 x 13-inch [23 x 33-cm or 3.5-L] cake pan, bottom and sides of all other cake pans; use paper baking cups for cupcakes.

When oven temperature should be 350°F [180°C] if using shiny metal or glass cake pans, it should be 325°F [160°C] if using dark or non-stick cake pans, but add 3 to 5 minutes to baking time.

BAKING POWDER AND BAKING SODA Both baking powder and baking soda are chemical leavening agents that cause batters to rise when baked.

The leavener enlarges the bubbles which are already present in the batter, produced through creaming the ingredients.

When a recipe asks for baking powder and baking soda, the baking powder does most of the leavening while the baking soda is added to neutralize the acids in the recipe, and add tenderness and some leavening.

When using baking powder or baking soda in a recipe, make sure to sift or whisk it with the other dry ingredients before adding to the batter to ensure uniformity; otherwise, the baked good can have large holes.

Baking powder is made of baking soda, one or more acid salts such as cream of tartar and sodium aluminum sulfate, and cornstarch to absorb any moisture so that a reaction does not take place until a liquid is added to the batter.

Most baking powders used today are double-acting which means taht they react to liquid and heat which happens in two stages.
The first reaction takes place when you add the baking powder to the batter and it is moistened; one of the acid salts reacts with the baking soda and produces carbon dioxide gas.
The second reaction takes place when the batter is placed in the oven; the gas cells expand causing the batter to rise.
Because of the two stages, baking of the batter can be delayed for about 15 to 20 minutes without it losing its leavening power.

Too much baking powder can cause the batter to be bitter tasting; it can also cause the batter to rise rapidly and then collapse.

The air bubbles in the batter grow too large and break causing the batter to fall.
Cakes will have a coarse, fragile crumb with a fallen center.

Too little baking powder results in a tough cake that has poor volume and a compact crumb.

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda [alkali], is about 4 times as strong as baking powder; so, if a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon [5 mL] baking soda, you would need 4 teaspoons [20 mL] baking powder to produce the same amount of lift.
It is used in recipes that contain an acidic ingredient such as vinegar, citrus juice, sour cream, yogurt, buttermilk, chocolate, cocoa [except Dutch-processed], honey, molasses, and also brown sugar, fruits and maple syrup.
Unfortunately though, it is not that simple as baking powder is made of baking soda and the right amount of acid to react with the soda [it also includes cornstarch to keep the ingredients from prematurely reacting in the privacy of their container].
So, if a recipe already has acidic ingredients that were going to neutralize the necessary baking soda, you are adding other ingredients in the baking powder that may not react well with them.
Baking soda starts to react and release carbon dioxide gas as soon as it is added to the batter and moistened so make sure to bake the batter immediately.
Baking soda has an indefinite shelf life if stored into a sealed container into a cool dry environment.
Too much baking soda will result in a soapy taste with a coarse, opened crumb.
Baking soda causes reddening of cocoa powder when baked, hence the name Devil's Food Cake.

Baking soda and baking powder : 1 teaspoon [5 mL] = 5 grams

Leavening agents such as baking soda and baking powder generally last 6 to 12 months even though baking powder is at its best for 6 months and baking soda can be good for 2 years.

To test baking powder's effectiveness, mix 1 teaspoon [5 mL] baking powder with 1/2 cup [125 mL] hot water; the mixture should bubble immediately - if not, replace it.
Stored into a cool dry environement; it should be replaced every 6 to 12 months.

To test baking soda's effectiveness, mix 1/4 teaspoon [1 mL] baking soda with 2 teaspoons [10 mL] vinegar and the mixture should bubble immediately - if not, replace it.

It is possible to replace baking powder with baking soda, combined with an equal measure of cornstarch and twice as much cream of tartar.
Use about 1/4 the amount of baking soda as the recipe calls for baking powder; scale the cornstarch and cream of tartar accordingly.

Note: the general rule of thumb for amount of baking powder in recipes : 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 mL) baking powder leavens 1 cup [140 g] flour.
The amount will depend on the other ingredients and how they are mixed.

Substituting baking powder: 1/4 teaspoon [1 mL] baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon [2.5 mL] cream of tartar, ignoring the cornstarch, for each teaspoon [5 mL] baking powder required.

Substituting 1 teaspoon [5 mL] commercial baking powder : 1/4 teaspoon [1 mL] baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon [2.5 m] cream of tartar + 1/4 teaspoon [1 mL] cornstarch
or 1/4 teaspoon [1 mL] more baking soda + 1/2 cup [125 mL] any acidic ingredient such as buttermilk , sour milk or yogurt.

Since homemade baking powder immediately releases its carbon dioxide gas when it is added and then moistened by the batter, it is important to bake the batter right away.

Note: Cream of tartar : lining the inside of wine barrels after fermentation is a white sediment called tartaric acid.
This sediment is removed, purified and then ground to produce a fine white powder which we call cream of tartar.
Cream of tartar should be stored into a cool dry environment.

BANANA Bananas, rich in potassium, help to lower arterial tension.

1 banana = 108 calories and less than 1 g fat.

Try blending a frozen banana with 1 tablespoon [15 mL] blueberries and 1/2 cup [125 mL] apple juice [171 calories, less than 1 g of fat].

BARBECUEING When barbecueing, it is wise to always have a toy water gun filled with water nearby; it is handy to easily put out any flame that could come too high while cooking.

To maintain consistent temperature of coals while barbecueing, add 8 new pieces of coal around outer edge of ash-covered coals before barbecueing.

For perfect brochettes, thread together fodd that need the same time to cook (for ezample, never thread together bacon and chery-tomatoes).

Unless otherwise indicated, completely thaw frozen meat before barbecueing as a frozen meat will burn on the outside before the inside is done.

To prevent charring :

Brush bone-in chicken pieces with sauce only during the last 15 minutes.

Make sure to drain marinated kabobs before placing them on the grill.

When using wooden skewers, keep them from burning by soaking them in warm water for at least 1 hour before threading the food on the skewers.

Square-shaped metal skewers are better at keeping foods in place and preventing them from twisting.

Use tongs to turn the meat as when piercing with a fork, some of its juices, along with its flavor and tenderness, can be lost.

BASIL Keep fresh basil into a glass with a little water, sealed into a plastic bag in the lower part of a refrigerator.

Add fresh basil to a dish just before serving as it looses all of its fragrance when heated.

BECHAMEL or WHITE SAUCE To prevent lumps, it is better to add warm milk to the roux [mixture of butter and flour]; always warm-up roux a little before adding any liquid.
BEER BATTER The carbonation in beer helps create a light, crisp crust; ideal to fry dense white fish like cod, haddock... that will not fall apart when deep-fried.
BISQUICK* A pre-mixed baking mixture of flour, shortening, salt and baking powder once only used for making biscuits, that can be used to make a wide variety of baked goods from pizza dough to pancakes, to dumplings, to cookies.

1 cup [250 mL] mix = 1 cup [140 g] flour + 1 1/2 teaspoons [7.5 mL] baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon [2.5 mL] salt + 1 tablespoon [15 mL] oil or melted butter [15 g].

BOUQUET GARNI Two [2] bay leaves, 1 or 2 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 teaspoon [5 mL] dried thyme, 3 sprigs fresh parsley and 3 short sections celery stalk, all tied with a string or in a cottoncheese cloth if using dried thyme.


Three [3] to 4 parsley sprigs, 1 medium bay leaf, 1/4 cup [60 mL] dried thyme or 1 teaspoon [5 mL] freshly chopped thyme, leaves only of 2 or 3 celery stalks; well tie all ingredients in a cottoncheese cloth or arrange into a tea container before allowing to simmer into soups, stews, sauces...

Always remove a bouquet garni before serving.

BREAD Store baked breads and muffins wrapped in thick aluminum foil, or in two plastic bags.

Yeast bread will keep for 4 to 5 days into a cool dry environment, 2 weeks refrigerated - baking powder bread for 2 to 3 days, 1 week refrigerated.

Into a hot and humid environment, which favors mold, it is recommended to refrigerate breads, even though their texture will not be exactly the same.

Frozen, either bread will keep for 3 months [slice bread before freezing and thaw only what is needed].

To thaw a whole bread, just leave it at room temperature for a few hours, microwave, ususally for 1 to 4 minutes, or wrap a frozen bread into aluminum foil and thaw into a preheated 400°F [200°C] oven for 15 to 25 minutes.

For a crusty bread, it is essential to reheat it.

BROTH AND CONSOMME Canned broth and consomme are a good substitute to water in stews, sauces, gravies and soups.

Beef or poultry broth, made with vegetables or not, is an excellent base for soups such as leek soup, where you can simply thinly slice approximately 3 leeks before boiling those slices into 6 to 8 cups [1.5 to 2 L] hot broth until soft.

1 cube beef, poultry or vegetable broth concentrate = 1/3 ounce [10 g]

BUNDT CAKES A Bundt cake simply is the name used for a dessert cake baked into a Bundt pan, a fluted tube pan, in the middle and all around.

The difference between bundt cakes and regular cakes is not so much in the ingredients as in the shape.

Bundt cakes have pretty much the same ingredients as ordinary cakes but they are baked in special tube pans known as bundt pans; they are typically made from butter and shortening or dense rich cake recipes, such as butter or pound cake.

Sometimes the fluting can be very ornated, resulting in a very decorative cake.

Bundt cakes are versatile and keep well.

They need little embellishment and can be simply served with fruits, drizzled with a glaze or dusted with powdered sugar; very few are frosted or filled.

The aluminum Bundt pan was invented in 1950 at the request of members of a group interested in a pan that could be used to make kugel, a Jewish dessert.

They had old ceramic cake pans of somewhat similar desigh but wanted an aluminum one.

Dalquist created a new shape and added regular folds to make it easier to cut the cake.

The women from the society called the pans 'bund pans' because 'bund' is German for a gathering of people.

The "t" was added to the end of 'bund' and the name became a trademark.

For years, the company sold few of the pans.

Good 'keepers' cakes are pound cakes, coffee cakes, crumb cakes and bundt cakes; they all mail well too.

Then, in 1996, a Texas woman won second place in the Pillsbury Bake-Off for her 'Tunnel of Fudge Cake' baked in a Bundt pan.

The win prompted a nationwide scramble for the pan.

Pillsbury licensed the name in 1970 for a line of cake mixes.

When H. David Dalquist, inventor of the Bundt cake pan died on January 6, 2005, the company had sold more than 50 million Bundt pans.

It is the top-selling cake pan in the world.

If you really want to dress-up a Bundt cake, place it on a pedestal cake plate and make it showier with a thick glaze, made using less liquid than is called for in a recipe, that is drizzled back and forth over the cake with a spoon so you can see the design.

You want the structure of your cake to be consistent throughout, you must avoid trapping air bubbles in the batter.

This can be done by pouring the batter slowly, allowing it to fill the crevices of the bundt pan.

It is prudent to only fill the pan 3/4th of the way to allow the batter to rise.

Use a spatula to press batter into the detailed walls of the bundt pan.

Lightly wobbling the filled pan and tapping it against the counter will allow any remaining air bubbles to escape.

The cake should be baked in the middle of the oven to allow for air circulation and even cooking.

If the pan is dark colored it will absorb heat more quickly so cooking temperature should be reduced by 25°F [20°C] from what the recipe calls for.

Leave baked cake to cool in pan for 10 minutes; if you turn the cake over now and it is stuck to the pan it may break, so be sure to wobble the pan to make sure that it is loose.

The cake should move freely from side to side letting you know it is ready to turn over.

If the cake is sticking around the sides, use a butter knife to gently free the cake from the sides, turn the pan over onto a wire rack, turn cake over and allow to cool completely

As the fluting of the pan can cause a bit of a problem when unmolding cake, so it is important to prepare the pan well before filling to get the best results.

To make it easier to unmold, part of the trick is to prepare the pans in a certain way, with equal parts of shortening, oil and flour, and use a pastry brush to apply it.

The other part of the trick is to do certain things when unmolding:

1 - Just before the Bundt cake is done, place a folded bath towel in the sink and saturate it with steaming hot water; laeve the towel in the sink.

2 - When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately transfer the pan on top of the towel, and leave it there for ten seconds.

3 - Immediately invert the cake onto a wire rack; the cake will come out clean and whole without sticking.

Be careful as these cakes are very delicate when hot and can break apart easily; if the cake starts to break apart, leave it to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before trying once more to unmold it.

BUTTER - to clarify: Into a large glass measuring cup, transfer some butter into a warm 225°F [107°C] oven.

Let it stand in the oven until it melts and the milky substance settles at the bottom.

Strain the clear liquid at the top through a damp cheesecloth into a bowl.

Or simply refrigerate melted butter until hard, then scrape off the milk residue.

BUTTERMILK [1 cup / 250 mL ready to use]

Pour 1 tablespoon [15 mL] lemon juice or white vinegar into a measuring cup.

Pour in enough milk to get 1 cup [250 mL]

Leave to rest for 5 minutes.

Stir before using.

CACTUS PEAR [or BARBARY FIG] Juicy flesh similar to that of a watermelon.

Edible seeds.

Choose when firm; eat when tender.

Before peeling, scrub it with a rough cloth to eliminate the thorns.

Enjoy it plain, as a compote, in a salad or a fruit puree, as a sherbet or with yogurt.

Excellent source of vitamin A and C.

CAFE FLAMBE: [how to prepare] Moisten the rim of a glass [cafe flambe type] with a slice of lemon.

Dip the mouth of the glass in sugar, until the rim is completely coated.

Warm-up the glass.

Pour a little liquor into the warmed glass.

Ignite liquor and rotate the glass to keep the flame alive.

Gently pour some hot coffee into the glass.

Top with 2 tablespoons [30 mL] whipped cream.

Into a metal laddle, ignite a little more liquor.

Pour, still flaming, over whipped cream.

CAKE The difference between a yellow and a white butter cake.

Mixing methods aside, we find that while both batters contain butter, sugar, eggs, flour and milk, the difference is that a yellow cake contains just the egg yolks, whereas a white cake contains whole eggs.

Some cakes ask for more common 'creaming' method where the butter and sugar are creamed together first and then the eggs before adding flour and milk, while others use the 'one bowl' or 'quick method', where all the dry ingredients are first transferred into a mixing bowl and room temperature butter is then added along with a little of the milk

These ingredients are beaten together and then the egg whites, vanilla extract, and remaining milk are added.

The reason for adding the liquid 'after' the butter and flour have been combined, instead of 'with' the flour, is to reduce the gluten formation in the flour.

This can only happen if the butter has first had the chance to coat all of the flour before the milk is added which has a toughening effect.

The thing about this method is that it makes a cake that litterally seems to melt-in-your-mouth, with a very moist, dense, and velvety texture.

The only downside to this method is that you will notice that the cake layers do not have quite the volume of cakes that are made following the creaming method, but it surely is well worth sacrificing a little volume to get such outstanding taste and texture.

The most important thing to remember when making this type of cake is to have all the ingredients at room temperature and to make sure to follow the instructions on mixing.

For a lower in fat cake, when a cake asks for 3 large eggs, 1 1/4 cups [310 mL] water and 1/2 cup [125 mL] oil, use 3 large eggs, 1 cup [250 mL] water and 1/3 cup [80 mL] unsweetened applesauce.

CAKE - FILLING and FROSTING As you can fill and frost baked cake layers only once cooled, try placing the layers in the freezer for at least an hour.

This extra step, even though it may take a little planning, makes the spreading of the frosting a much easier task as a freshly baked cake is quite fragile and has a tendency to tear when you try to spread the frosting; freezing eliminates this problem.

CAPSICUM Any pod-bearing plant native to tropical America; they vary in size, color and shape.

They can be divided into two classes: sweet and hot green pepper, they vary from mildly warm to extremely hot [pimientos, chilies], sometimes fresh, most often dried [chili powder, red pepper, cayenne, parpika].

CARPETBAG STEAK Australian favorite whole beef fillet or rumpsteak, stuffed with oysters.
CASHEW To roast cashews: microwave cashews on 'HIGH' for 5 minutes, stirring after 2 1/2 minutes.
CELERY To keep celery crisp for 1 day or 2, rinse then store wet celery ribs, sprinkled with a little salt, into an airtight container.

To keep celery crisp for a longer period, rinse then remove excess water.

Wrap celery ribs into absorbant paper and keep celery fresh refrigerated for at least 2 weeks sealed into a plastic bag, changing absorbant paper every 4 to 5 days.

CHAYOTE Chayote is a fruit that can either be eaten as a fruit or, most of the time, as a vegetable.

It is also known as christophene, vegetable pear, mirliton, alligator pear in South Louisiana, choko, starpreciante, citrayota, citrayote in Ecuador and Colombia, chuchu in Brazil, chow chow in India, Sayote in the Philippines, guisquil in Guatemala and El Salvador), or pear squash and iskus in Nepal.

An edible plant that belongs to the gourd family 'cucurbitaceae' along with melons, cucumbers and squash.

Crisp and fresh taste, sweeter than most squash; ideal in various recipes.

Choose when firm and free of spots.

Wrapped in plastic wrap, it will keep for many weeks refrigerated.

Better when peeled.

The pit is edible, but may germinate if consumption is delayed.

Slice, salt and spray fruit with lemon juice.

Add to chicken, vegetable or tuna salad.

Few calories, but good source of vitamins A and C, iron, magnesium and potassium.

CHEDDAR CHEESE - at its best Cut Cheddar cheese into serving bites as soon as it is taken out of the refrigerator; leave cheese at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
CHEESECAKE Try grilling Brie cheese pieces onto hot barbecue rack until just starting to melt, just golden.

Serve, seasoned with fine herbs.

CHEESECAKE If the internal temperature of a cheesecake rises over 160°F [71°C] while baking, it is sure that it will crack.

To prevent this from happening, use an instant-read cooking thermometer to test its doneness and remove cheesecake from the oven as soon as it reaches 150°F [65.5°C] in the middle to avoid over baking.

A wonderful looking, without any crack, baked cheesecake can crack as it sits on the cooling rack because the cake shrank during cooling and clung to the sides of the springform pan.

To avoid this, leave cheesecake to cool for only a few minutes; then, using a paring knife, free it from the sides of the pan before allowing it to cool completely.

Or, to prevent a cheesecake from cracking on top, it is also said to turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake to cool in the oven, door ajar, until comletely cooled.

NOTE: Use a conventional oven rather than a convection oven to bake your cheesecake; the forced hot air from the convection oven causes too much browning and can often cause the center of the cheesecake to collapse.

If desired, just before serving, top cheesecake slices with berries or fruit pieces, garnish with chopped pecans or pecan halves, then coat with melted semi-sweet chocolate.

CHOCOLATE - so they say Nobody eats a big amount of 'GOOD CHOCLATE'!

Anyway, GOOD CHOCOLATE is not as fattening as it does not contain as much fat and sugar.

There are not as many calories in GOOD CHOCOLATE.

CHOCOLATE SQUARE - to melt Microwave chocolate squares, 2 at a time, on 'MEDIUM', for 2 to 3 minutes.

[Adjust microwaving time according to the number of squares].

Check occasionally as chocolate squares usually keep their shape, even when melted.

CHORIZO Chorizo can be a fresh sausage, which must be cooked before eating.

In Europe, it is more frequently a fermented, cured, smoked sausage, usually sliced and eaten without cooking.

CIABATTA Somewhat elongated, broad and flattish Italian white bread made of wheat flour and yeast.
COCONUT CREAM It is made from the rich liquid that rises to the surface of coconut milk; it is sold in cans at some grocery stores or Asian markets, but make sure not to confuse 'coconut cream' with 'cream of coconut'.

You can also make your own coconut cream by mixing 1 part water or milk with 4 parts freshly shredded coconut or desiccated coconut and simmering the mixture until foamy.

Once it is foamy, pour through a cheesecloth lined strainer and squeeze as much of the liquid from the coconut as possible.

COOKIES Chewy cookies : leave cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for several minutes after baking before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Crisp, crunchy cookies : leave cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for only 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Flat cookies, do some or all of the following things : use all butter, use all-purpose flour or bread flour, slightly increase sugar content, add a little liquid to the dough, and bring dough to room temperature before baking.

Light, puff cookies : use shortening or margarine cutting back on the amount of fat, add 1 egg, cut back on the sugar, use cake and pastry flour, use baking powder instead of baking soda and refrigerate dough until cold before baking.

COOLING CHAMPAGNE OR WINE in-a-hurry Refrigerate a bottle of Champagne or wine into a container filled with cold water already mixed with some coarse salt.
CORN-ON-THE-COB Grains of a freshly harvested cooked corn-on-the-cob are tender, juicy and slightly milky; if juices run clear as water, corn-on-the cob is not ripe; a too ripe corn-on-the cob will have tough and starchy kernels.

Bicolored corn-on-the-cob usually is sweeter.

Eat corn-as-on-the-cob as soon as possible [as fresh as possible]; freshly harvested, it has a sweeter taste and more nutritional values.

It is also possible to keep corn-on-the-cob, refrigerated [with the leaves] in a plastic container, for up to 2 days.

Corn-on-the-cob tends to have an unpleasant taste when frozen as is; it is therefore recommanded to remove the leaves and blanch it, whole or kernels only, before freezing.

Boiled [do not add salt that would toughen the kernels but sugar that will enhance its sweet flavour, to the water], microwaved or barbecued, it is important not to overcook the cobs as the kernels will be tougher.

Boil small ears for 4 to 5 minutes - large ears for 6 to 8 minutes, into a covered casserole filled with hot boiling water and a little sugar.

The best Canadian corn-on-the-cob harvest: August.

CORNMEAL - self-rising If you cannot find self-rising cornmeal, use regular cornmeal adding 2 teaspoons [10 mL] baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon [2.5 mL] salt per cup [250 mL] cormeal.
COULIS - fruit or vegetable A 'decorative' sauce, a strained lightly sweetened fruit puree, or a strained vegetable puree thinned with cooking liquid and lightly seasoned with salt and white pepper.

Choose a fruit or a vegetable that is of a contrasting colour. Ex: raspberry coulis with a slice of white cake or pears halves; carrot, spinach or tomato coulis with skinned, sliced poultry or white fish fillets.

Raspberry coulis: 10 1/2 ounces [300 g] frozen raspberries + 1/4 cup [60 g] sugar + 1/2 cup [125 mL] apple juice.

Puree and strain raspberries; mix in sugar and apple juice.

Also try using strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb coulis to serve a cheesecake or pie slices.

COULIBIAC The coulibiac, in French cuisine, is a fish pie made with salmon or sturgeon combined with buckwheat, hard-boiled eggs, mushrooms, green onions, wine, herbs, and spices, served in a brioche or puff pastry, as a first or main course.

It can be large or small, and is classically oval in shape.

In the dish's French manifestations, it became traditional to cook and serve coulibiac in a fish-shaped dish, with an outer wrapping of a lighter, egg-washed puff pastry.

The Russian 'kulebyka', is an oblong loaf of fish, meat or vegetables baked in a pastry shell; origin uncertain from which the French dish is derived made its way into French haute cuisine in the 19th century, around 1895 - 1900.

In Russia, it is effectively a sort of grand pirog, while a French cook of the era of the Second Empire might have recognized it as a variant of salmon en croûte.

An example of the Russian use prior to this is an 1851 letter from Gogol' to Aksakov suggesting the two friends enjoyed eating the dish together, and further that it was Aksakov's favorite birthday dish.

CREAM CHEESE Cream cheese contains 60% less fat than butter or margarine.
CREAM OF TARTAR Lining the inside of wine caskets after fermentation is a white sediment [tartaric acid].

Once this sediment is removed, purified and then ground, it becomes a fine white powder which we call cream of tartar.

Cream of tartar is added when beating egg whites to stabilize the whites and give them volume and strength.

Cream of tartar can be found in the spice section of most grocery stores and should be stored in a cool dry environment.

CREAMED CORN To get fresh creamed corn from corn-on-the-cob, cut, halfway, all the kernels from a cob with a well-sharpened knife.

With the other side of the knife, well grate the cob removing the remaining of the kernels.

Covered, simmer together kernel halves and grated kernels and a little boiling salted water [or a little milk and butter] until tender, for 5 to 8 minutes.

If desired, pack seal and freeze creamed corn.

CUPCAKE Not enough cupcake pans?

Fill paper cupcake cups with remaining batter.

Arrange paper cups in a pie plate; refrigerate until ready to bake.

CURRY POWDER Curry powder is not a single spice but a blend of spices.

Curries are used around the world, in Thailand they are combined with sweet coconut mild and served with meats, poultry, fish and seafood.

Curry powders are also used extensively in the Middle East, often served over couscous.

Curry powder is not a single spice but a blend of many spices which will vary according to the type of curry powder.

Indian curry powder is mild and Madras curry powder is hot.

Curry powder is golden yellow to yellow-brown in color.

Use sparingly at first; may be used to enhance the flavor of food as well as to dominate, has an exotic aroma, is one the oldest spice blends, originated in India where the Indians mixed their own spices to taste, and probably varied from time to time or meal to meal.

Curry in India is usually very hot.

The classic Indian curry often combines the following spices, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, cloves, ginger, red and black pepper as well as other spices.

One popular variety of curry in the Middle East is called “Garam Masala”.

Make your own curry powder blend to add flavor and heat to any recipe.

Most curry powder blends contain cumin, coriander, ginger, red/black pepper, dill seed, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric and cloves.

Some blends can have up to 30 different spices or herbs.

Create your own special blend by combining any of the above ground spices and use as a rub for poultry, meat or fish before cooking.

When cooking with curry powder, if desired, heat it first into a little fat or brown it stirring for a few seconds into a dry frypan to enhance its flavor.

ENDIVES Endives should be white or they will have a bitter taste.

Remove the base of the cone shell; it is the heart that is bitter.

Boil endives in hot boiling water or chicken broth until tender; make sure to darin them well, pressing out any juices or the juices will thin any sauce that will be served with the endives.

EGG An egg that is no longer edible will float or will point towards the top when submerged, with its shell, into water.

If the shell is cracked but the white and the yolk still 'stick' together, the egg still is very fresh.

The older an egg is, the more the yolk will be 'flat' and the more the white will be runny.

EGG WHITE When egg yolks only are needed, freeze unbeaten egg whites into an ice cube trays [until there are enough for a meringue, an angel food cake...].

Egg whites will fluff more easily if thawed to room temperature before beating; when out of time to thaw egg whites, simply thaw egg whites, in container, in a bowl filled with hot water.

To beat egg whites, at room temperature, always use a clean, dry bowl and clean, dry beaters: 1 beaten egg white = approximately 1/2 cup [125 mL].

EGG YOLK Egg yolks should always be heated with very little of the hot liquid in which they will be poured, before being added to all of the hot mixture.

Do not boil a sauce in which egg yolks have been mixed in, except if it already has been thickened with flour, it would curdle.

EGGS - to separate Always separate eggs as soon as you remove them from the refrigerator; this makes them easier to separate.

Have 2 bowls ready, crack the egg over the side of the larger bowl, trying to break it roughly in half.

Hold the larger half of the broken egg over the bowl and very carefully pour the white into the bowl being careful not to break the yolk as any yolk in the white will ruin the meringue!

When you have transfered as much of the white as possible into the bowl, put the egg yolk in the other bowl.

Another technique is to break the egg and pour it whole into your hand, then slowly and carefully allow the egg white to strain through your fingers keeping the egg yolk intact.

For a meringue, to get best results, it is best to leave the egg whites at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

EGGS - to tint hard-boiled eggs For each colour, into a small container, combine 3/4 cup [190 mL] hot tap water, 1 teaspoon [5 mL] white vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon [1 mL] food colouring.

Dip hard-boiled eggs in solution [eggs must be completely covered].

When eggs are of desired colour, after 2 to 5 minutes, remove eggs, air dry and refrigerate tinted eggs until ready to serve.

ENGLISH MUFFIN Do no use a knife but a fork to half an English muffin, working from all around the muffin towards the center.
EVAPORATED MILK - to whip Freeze evaporated milk in a shallow pan until crystals start to appear all around.

Whip milk until firm peaks form and the volume has tripled.

Sugar to taste.

FANCY ICE CUBES 1 - To decorate drinks, freeze strawberries, a raspberries, blueberries or edible flowers into ice cubes.

2 - Make colourful ice cubes by adding a few drops of food colouring to the water before freezing.

FARINE DE MONTIGNAC Whole wheat flour ground on a stone, from Montignac, France.
FAT Lard is pork fat as swet is solid white fat from the loin and kidneys region of meat animals; beef swet is most often used.

1 cup [140 g] lard = 1 cup shortening

1 cup margarine or butter = 1 cup shortening + 2 tablespoons [30 mL] water

FETA CHEESE A semi-soft white cheese traditionally made from ewes'milk that is now also made from cow's milk.

It is cut in slices or cubes and packed in brine.

It is mostly used in salad and Greek dishes.

FISH SAUCE Some fish sauces [extracts] are made from raw fish, others from dried fish, some from only a single species; others from whatever is dredged up in the net, including some shellfish; some from whole fish, others from only the blood or viscera.

Some fish sauces contain only fish and salt, others add a variety of herbs and spices.

Fish sauce that has been only briefly fermented has a pronounced fishy taste, while extended fermentation reduces this and gives the product a nuttier, cheesier flavor

You can substitute with soy sauce, although the flavor will not be as robust.

FLOUR Always measure flour in special 1/4, 1/2... 1 cup measures; level perfectly with a knife.

Out of cake and pastry or all-purpose flour?

1 cup [140 g] sifted cake and pastry flour [nothing added] = 1 cup - 2 tablespoons [122.5 g] sifted all-purpose flour.

FLOUR - how to make cake flour out of all-purpose flour Cake Flour Mix 1

Transfer 2 tablespoons [30 mL] cornstarch into a measuring cup.

Add 1/2 teaspoon [2.5 mL] baking powder.

Fill rest of cup with all -purpose flour and sift 12 times.

Cake Flour Mix 2

Transfer 2 tablespoons [30 mL] cornstarch into a measuring cup.

Spoon in enough all-purpose flour to fill the cup.

Sift together 3 times.

For 4 cups [560 g] cake flour

Combine 3 1/2 cups [490 g] unsifted flour with 1/2 cup [125 mL] cornstarch.

Sift 4 or 5 times and use in any recipe calling for cake flour.

Homemade Cake Flour

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons [262.5 g] all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons [10 mL] baking powder

2 tablespoons [30 mL] cornstarch

Sift all ingredients together, and this turns all-purpose flour into cake flour.

Cake flour

Cake flour is made from a low protein, 6 to 8%, fine-textured soft wheat so the flour contains a high amount of starch and less gluten resulting in lighter, less dense textures or a more 'tender, fine crumb' for various cake and pastry items.


1 pound [454 g] = 4 3/4 to 5 cups [sifted]

Ingredient Substitutions

Best substitute for 1 cup cake flour use 7/8 cup [122.5 g] all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons [30 mL] cornstarch.

Or substitute 7/8 cup [122.5 g] all-purpose flour for one cup [140 g] cake flour but product will be a bit more dense.

FLOUR - how to make self-rising flour out of all-purpose flour To make self-rising flour that you can use in any recipe calling for self-rising flour, if you do not have any on hand; you can even use this self-rising flour in yeast bread recipes, but you will need to omit the salt.

If you use self-rising flour as a substitute for all-purpose flour in a quick bread recipe, omit the salt and the baking powder.

To get 1 cup [140 g] self-rinsing flour, you need :

1 cup [140 g] all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon [2.5 mL] salt

1 1/2 teaspoons [7.5 mL] baking powder

Measure flour into a bowl.

Mix in salt and baking powder.

Store into a tightly covered can or jar.

FLOUR - to brown Sprinkle a little all-purpose flour into an iron-cast [black] frypan.

Brown flour over medium heat, stirring constantly, until just light golden brown.

FLOUR - to flour To flour chops - or any small pieces of meat - simply shake chops, 1 at a time, in a plastic bag with a little flour, seasoned or not with salt and pepper, until well coated.
FLOUR - types and more Cake flour is made using a wheat variety called rosella, the grain is stone milled and the bran and germ are sieved off.

Cake flour has a lower protein level and the least amount of gluten of all wheat flours, so delivers a delicate and tender crumb and crust.

It is ideal when making sponge cakes, genoise, and some cookie batters.

Cake flour has a creamy colour and should be refrigerated or frozen to retain freshness.

Alternately, if you cannot find cake flour and a recipe calls for it, substitute plain [all-purpose flour, simply subtract 2 level tablespoons [17.5 g] of flour for each cup [140 g] flour used in the recipe.

FOOD COLORING - Homemade Use fruits, vegetables and spices for natural food colorings.

Choose a produce that is dark and concentrated in color; for example, choose dark kale as opposed to light kale, dark-skinned grapes as opposed to light-skinned/translucent grapes.

The bright beautiful colors will come from the rich pigments in the produce skin and flesh.

You want to choose fruits and vegetables that are known for staining; think of all the clothes and hand stains you have had from produce such as grape juice, tomato sauce, beet juice stained hands.

Those 'staining' fruits and vegetables are perfect for this purpose!

Surprisingly, these small hints of food 'dye' do not change the flavor of a large batch of batter all that much.

A 'kale' stained batter does have a slight savory-grassy hint to it, but it was nothing to change the true flavor of my cake.

A 'pink' batter using whole red currants does have a slight sweet-tart flavor, but it could be different if using juiced red currants.

If your extracts are concentrated enough, you will only need a tiny bit, and the flavor impact will be minimal.

A little beet or kale juice in a colorful cake never hurt anyone anyways

A juicer is the easiest way of extract a thin juice color, but you can also boil your ingredients in very shallow water and use the strained colored water, or you can smash soft fruits and/orveggies and strain the juice away from the pulp.

To color cake batter green, use kale juice extracted from a juicer to get a very rich pastel green color [just a few teaspoons of green kale juice is enough to pastel-green dye a bowl of batter].

To color cake batter pink, take a handful of red currents and blend them in a blender with the white batter; the batter will turn pastel pink and it will give the batter a sweet tart hint of flavor.

You can also blend berries directly into the batter being sure to account for them in the recipe and make alterations if needed.

To get green, use juiced kale, parsley, spinach, romaine, cucumber, green bell pepper, watercress....

Boiled green vegetables and the water/juice will give a much lighter green color.

To get a green shade, boil spinach and add the filtered liquid to the item, or mash a bit of avocado into the food making sure to add some citrus juice as well to keep the avocado from browning.

To get pink, red or magenta, use juiced berries, cranberries, beets, red bell pepper or dark red tomato, juiced or boiled rhubarb, juiced pomegranate juice, chile powder or paprika powder.

To get purple or blue, use juiced, or boiled for about 30 minutes then mashed with a fork blueberries,blackberries or raspberries allowing mashed berries to soak in the hot water for 5 to 10 minutes, then strain out the pulp and seeds., juiced or boiled red cabbage, juiced radicchio or eggplant skin, frozen, fresh or juiced blackberries, acai juice or juiced or smashed and strained black or purple grapes.

To get yellow and orange, boil yellow onions or chopped carrots, then straining the juice; stale turmeric can also be added to dishes to dye them yellow.

To get yellow and orange, use juiced yellow beets, yellow bell pepper, boiled yellow beets for a lighter color, juiced pineapple or carrots, tumeric powder or warm-water soaked bloomed saffron.

To get brown, use coffee powder and cocoa powder.

Some natural food coloring recipes call for adding vinegar to your recipe; you can just use the juice as is, but you can experiment with what works best for you and your specific recipe.

Quite a few are vegetarians or flexitarians and may still be into Easter Egg dying; well you can probably choose these all natural colors in place of the fake stuff.

Many people are shying away from commercial food dyes in favor of more natural alternatives.

It is simple to make homemade food coloring in your own kitchen from vibrantly colored foods and spices.

Homemade food coloring is not always flavor-neutral, but with a little forethought it can be a wonderful addition to a dish.

The key to making homemade food coloring is finding natural sources of dye.

For example, red or pink food coloring can be made by boiling beets, then adding the dyed water to food.

To minimize food flavor, before making food coloring, consider the type of dish it will be added to.

Obviously, homemade food coloring will add new flavors to items, and you have to be careful.

For example, you likely do not want to dye cupcake icing with onions or spinach.

Stale turmeric is actually fairly neutral, and therefore can be a good mate for baked goods.

Carrots will be slightly sweet, but will not clash with sugary items.

Avocados are creamy but mesh well with most flavors.

Of course, berries can give sweets a pleasant fruity note.

Food coloring made from stronger-tasting vegetables are best left to savory dishes.

Homemade food coloring can change the consistency of items in a way that commercial food dyes do not because homemade food coloring generally is not as vibrant or effective as store-bought coloring.

You wil need to add more to the food to get similar results.

The best way to dye items with homemade food coloring is to cut back on the liquid called for in the recipe, then, add the food coloring to the dish a tablespoon or two at a time until it reaches the desired shade.

After the food is dyed, you can add more of the liquid ingredients until the item contains the prescribed amount.

FOOd PRESERVATION As bacterias develop fast between 40°F and 140°F [4°C and 60°C], it is really important to avoid storing perishable foods between this area at risk.
FREEZING IN JARS Tapered jars [wide mouth pint, wide mouth half pint or regular half pint] are especially convenient for home freezing.

Be certain jars of food are cool before placing in freezer.

Make sure to follow headspace directions:

Fruits or vegetables packed in juice, syrup or water: 2 inches [5 cm] - pints / 2 cups or quarts / 4 cups [500 mL or 1 L].

Juice, soups, sauces: 2 inches [5 cm] - pints; 2 1/2 inches [6.3 cm] - quarts [1 L].

Fruits or vegetables packed without liquid: 1 inch [2.5 cm] - pints / 2 cups or quarts / 4 cups [500 mL or 1L].

FROSTINGS and ICINGS Frosting is a thick topping for cakes, usually spread on, while icing is a thinner topping that is drizzled or poured on things like pastries or donuts.

Royal icing is a pure white icing that dries to a smooth, hard, matte finish; besides its lovely finish it also colors beautifully which makes it a favorite of professionals who use it not only for frosting cakes and cookies, but also for intricate piping of decorations such as flowers, borders, and lettering.

It is simply a mixture of powdered [icing or confectioners] sugar, lemon juice, and raw egg whites.

Buttercream icing is an easy to make egg-free frosting that works great for decorating cookies for holidays, birthdays and parties.

When you need to add coloring to icing, use color paste; if you use liquid coloring, you may need to add more confectioner's sugar.

FRUCTOSE Did you know that fructose sweetens more than sugar?

Every once in a while, to lower the calories in a recipe, try adding less fructose instead of sugar.

GALANGAL / GALANGA Galangal, also called galanga, a rhizome of plants of the genus Alpinia or Kaempferia in the ginger family Zingiberaceae, is sold at Asian grocery stores.
GANACHE Chocolate and cream.

Normally, to make a ganache, you pour boiling cream over chopped chocolate and stir until smooth.

Then, once the ganache has cooled to room temperature, you simply pour it over the cake.

Ganache can also be cooled until slightly firm, and then beaten until it becomes light and creamy.

Same great taste but it has a slightly different texture which is perfect for some cakes.

GARAM MASALA Indian term for a mixture of spices [cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamon, chili pepper, fennel, mace, nutmeg, peppercorns and mustard] mixed in any permutation of quantities producing several hundred types of masala.

That is why Indian cooks rarely reproduce twice the same flavor in their own standard recipes; the temptation to experiment and the lack of accurate measurement cause huge variation in the taste and pungency.

Commercial brands of masal are consistent.

GARLIC - to roast 1 - Preheat oven to 400°F [200°C].

2 - Pull off excess papery outside skin from garlic heads, without separating the cloves.

3 - Slice 1/2 inch [1.3 cm] off the top of each head; wrap individually in al foil.

4 - Roast in preheated oven for 40 minutes, until garlic is very soft.

5 - Unwrap garlic heads; cool slightly.

6 - Separate the cloves; peel or just squish pulp out by squeezing.

GOUDA CHEESE Gouda is the most popular cheese in the Netherlands.

Made in Gouda, Holland, it is sold as a round cheese and has a fat rate if around 51%.

A young Gouda cheese is excellent served along with a light fruitful red wine such as a Beaujolais or a Chinon while a Bordeaux or a Beaujolais wine with enhance the taste of an older Gouda.

GRAHAM CRACKER 1 - Spread cream cheese over 1 graham cracker.

Cover cream cheese with jam or tiny fruit pieces.

    2 - Spread fruit flavored cream cheese over graham crackers.

GRAPEFRUIT The grapefruit is a relatively new fruit, not yet 200 years old. It is thought to have arisen either through a natural cross between two other citrus spicies or through mutation.
GRAVLAX Marinated salmon.
GREMOLATA A chopped herb condiment typically made of lemon rind, garlic, and parsley.
GRIBENES The Jewish name for the crisp craklings remaining after the fat of poultry, or meat, has been rendered.
HARISSA SAUCE Harissa sauce is a really spicy moroccan sauce made of chili pepper, garlic and spices.
HERB-TEA Use 1 pouch herb-tea for every 8 ounces [250 mL] hot water.

Pour hot boiling water over herb-tea pouch.

Leave to infuse for 4 to 6 minutes.

If desired, add a little honey or to taste.

HERB-TEA - said to soothe coughing Holly, besides its decorative aspect, is said to have interesting propieties, even though its red currants are highly toxic.

An herb-tea said to soothe persistent cough:

Boil 1 tablespoon [15 mL] finely cut holly leaves into 4 cups [1 L] water; infuse for 15 minutes.

Well sweeten with honey, as holly leaves are quite bitter.

HERBES DE PROVENCE A mixture of rosemary, thyme, basil, marjoram and savory.

Use to sprinkle red or white meat, fish and seafood before cooking in the oven or on the barbecue.

Try adding a pinch of 'herbes de Provence' and just a little vermouth to a sauce or a marinade, mild or spicy.

'Herbes de Provence' also are appreciated with tomatoes, mushrooms, sweet peppers, onions, garlic, olive oil...

HOISIN SAUCE Hoisin sauce is a delicious Chinese sauce that is made up of a combination of fermented soy beans, vinegar, garlic, chili peppers and sugar.

It normally has a deep dark brown color and is semi thick in consistency.

This sauce, which imparts the wonderful flavors of sweet, salt and spice all balanced to create an amazing taste, has many uses.

It is found in stir-fries, dipping sauces, and stews.

Hoisin sauce is also known as Chinese barbeque sauce and is scrumptious on Peking duck, barbequed chicken and ribs.

Hoisin sauce can be purchased in the ethnic section of your local grocery store, or at an Oriental market.

There are many different brands of this sauce, each with a slightly different flavor; try several different brands and find the one that most suites your tastes.

You may find that one type of Hoisin sauce is great for dipping, while another brand may be better in stir-fries.

Hoisin sauce can also be homemade from scratch using several different ingredients.

As with store-bought sauces, there are various different recipes, each using about the same ingredients with slight variations.

HOLLANDAISE SAUCE To 'correct' a curdled Hollandaise sauce, whip in 1 to 2 teaspoons [5 to 10 mL] boiling water, one drop at a time; if this is not enough, into a small bowl, beat 1 egg yolk then really slowly mix it in until the sauce is smooth.
HORS D'OEUVRE BITES 1 - Spread a little cream cheese over crackers; top with crushed chili peppers.

2 - Slice tomatoes and stoned ripe olives; arrange on French bread slices; add a little grated Mozzarella cheese; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

HORSERADISH AND HOT MUSTARD Both, horseradish and hot mustard can add some zest to a dish, without adding to one's waist! [2 tablespoons / 30 mL = approximately 7 calories].
HOT PEPPER Rubber cloves are recommanded for handling fresh hot peppers.
ICE CREAM To keep ice cream from sticking when scooping, dip spoon into water.

To get the best head on a float, pour soda into the glass first, then top with ice cream.

ICE CREAM PARLOR FLAVORED PUDDINGS Children will be overjoyed - great lunchbox ideas.


Add toasted coconut and drained canned fruits to vanilla pudding.

Butter Pecan:

Add chopped toasted pecans to butterscotch pudding.

Rocky Road:

Add toasted nuts, miniature chocolate chips and miniature marshmallows to chocolate pudding.

ICE CREAM SODA Legend has it that the ice cream soda was invented in Denver in 1871 by Otto Baur.

His frothy concoction became an immediate favorite among children and teens, although many adults failed to see the drink's appeal.

Soon, there were soda fountains and ice cream parlors scattered throughout the United States.

Ice cream sodas are often thought of as a classic American delicacy, but it is interesting to note that this concoction is enjoyed by people throughout the world.

In Australia and New Zealand, however, an ice cream soda is often called a spider.

In Japan, children often order a cream soda drink that essentially consists of melon-flavored soda and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The ice cream soda, float [United Kingdom, Canada, United States and East Asia], spider [Australia], brown cow [Hong Kong] or black cow [Brazil, El Salvador], is a beverage that consists of one or more scoops of ice cream in either a soft drink such as cream soda or a mixture of flavored syrup and carbonated water.

In the United Kingdom, it got its name comes from the fact that cream soda was traditionally served with a dollop of ice cream floating in it making ice cream soda.

The tiny bubbles of air present in the soda cause the ice cream to float and are nucleation sites for the formation of large bubbles of carbon dioxide; this gives the beverage a 'foamy head' similar to a beer head.

When making an ice cream soda, do not be afraid to get creative with your drink concoction.

Whipped cream and cherries are very popular add-ons to ice cream sodas.

Coffee lovers often add a hint of instant coffee to their ice cream floats.

Chocolate sprinkles may also be a good choice.

Although the recipe for an ice cream soda is quite simple, there is a trick to creating the perfect drink.

Plain soda foams because it releases carbon dioxide gas, but ice cream is actually a foamy mixture of liquid, ice crystals, and air pockets. Therefore, if you want to make an ice cream soda with a lot of foam, put the ice cream in the glass before pouring the soda. If you want to make a treat with a minimal amount of foam, add the ice cream after the soda has been poured.

While ice cream sodas are certainly delicious, they are not particularly healthy. If you are worried about excess calories, try using diet soda in your favorite ice cream float recipe. You can also try making a low-fat drink by combining your favorite flavor of sherbet with sparkling soda water.

As you are enjoying your ice cream soda, take time to reflect upon the history of your treat.

JAM / JELLY To be successful in making jams or jellies, it is essential to follow instrutions on needed fruit, pectin, acid and sugar quantities.

ALWAYS add suggested sugar quantity as it helps to preserve jam or jelly.


There is pectin in the peel and the core of quite a few fruits; more or less depending on each fruit - that is why you should not replace a fruit by an other one in a given recipe.

Generally speaking, slightly underripe fruit contains more natural pectin than ripe fruit and ripe fruit is naturally higher in sugar and more developed in flavor.

This means that, ideally, you want to have a mix of some underripe and some ripe fruit for your jam.

To prevent contamination, only use wooden, plastic or stainless-steel utensils.

Buy adding a walnut-size of butter while cooking, you will not have to skim any foam.

The golden rule therefore is: always literally follow the recipe to the letter, respecting all hygiene, sterilisation and vacuum-packing rules.


These remedies work for cooked or uncooked jellies and jams.

If you have ever been faced with a runny batch of jam or jelly, you will want to save these helpful techniques.

If your jam or jelly does not hold its shape, there are several remedies to the problem depending on the method and ingredients used in making your jam or jelly.

Cook a trial batch using 1 cup [250 mL] of the jam or jelly; do not re-cook more than 8 cups [2 L] at a time.

Cooked jelly without added pectin; add 1 1/2 teaspoons [7.5 mL] lemon juice per cup [250 mL] of jelly before boiling if the fruit juice was not acid enough.

Cooked jam or jelly with powdered pectin; measure 2 tablespoons [30 g] sugar, 1 tablespoon [15 mL] water and 1 1/2 teaspoons [7.5 mL] powdered pectin for each cup [250 mL] of jam or jelly.

Mix the pectin and water and bring to a boil; add sugar to the jam or jelly, stir thoroughly, bring to a rolling boil and boil hard for 1/2 minute.

Cooked jam or jelly with liquid pectin; measure 3 tablespoons [45 g] sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons [7.5 mL] lemon juice.

For jelly use 1/2 tablespoon [7.5 mL] of liquid fruit pectin and for each cup [250 mL] of jam measure 1 1/2 teaspoons [7.5 mL] of liquid fruit pectin.

Bring the jelly to a boil then all at once add sugar, citric acid or lemon juice and liquid pectin; boil hard for 1 minute.

Bring the jam to a boil then all at once add sugar and citric acid; boil for 1 minute, remove from heat and at once stir in the liquid pectin.

Remove the jam or jelly from the heat, skim and pour immediately into sterilized hot jars; seal and process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes or the time specified in the recipe.

Uncooked jam or jelly with liquid pectin; add 3 tablespoons sugar [45 g] and 1 1/2 teaspoons [7.5 mL] lemon juice to each cup [250 mL] of jam or jelly.

Stir well, then add 11/2 teaspoons [7.5 mL] liquid pectin per cup [250 mL] and stir well until blended.

Uncooked jam or jelly with powdered pectin; add 2 tablespoons [30 g] sugar for each cup [250 mL] of jam or jelly.

Measure 1 tablespoon [15 mL] water and 1 1/2 teaspoons [7.5 mL] powdered pectin for each cup [250 mL] of jam or jelly.

Cook over low heat until pectin is dissolved, then add to the sugar and fruit mixture until thoroughly blended.

After remaking uncooked jam or jelly, pour mixture into clean containers, tightly cover with lids and leave jars to stand in the refrigerator until set; keep refrigerated or freeze.

JARS Using jars as bakeware might be a shattering experience.

Jars are commonly made of annealed glass.

When annealed glass fractures, it will shatter into irregular, very sharp pieces and miniature shards.

This can cause you minor injury if you're holding it at the time, or it can crack small fragments of glass into your food.

You should discard any food or drinks contained in a glass in which a crack has formed.

When you use mason jars for canning, you should never pour hot food into a cool jar.

If you have used a jar to store foods in the freezer, you should also be careful about defrosting them too quickly by putting them under a hot tap or into a pot of hot water.

Ovens are an exceptionally bad place to put jars as the temperatures can fluctuate up and down rapidly enough to put repeated thermal stress on the jar.

This can happen simply when the oven's heating element cycles itself on and off, as it does once it has reached its set temperature.

Opening the oven door and removing them from the oven is another high-stress situation for the jars, as is transferring them to a rack where they can cool down.

It is also recommended that all foods cooked to a temperature over 90°F [32°C] be refrigerated within an hour, which means that you may run the risk of shattering a hot jar by transferring it to the cool environment of the fridge.

The worst risks, however, are not simply cracking the glass.

Some recipes recommend baking it with the lid on or instructing you to close the jar shortly after removing it from the oven [such as oven-canning].

In both situations, steam under pressure coupled with thermal shock can be explosive, causing burns and sending very sharp pieces of glass flying.

And even worse, your risks of cultivating food borne illnesses from this method of preservation are very high.

An oven is not likely to get the center of your jar hot enough for long enough to eliminate microorganisms for long-term storage on the shelf or in the fridge.

Many of these recipes are unlikely to have the correct PH balance to hinder harmful bacteria such as botulism from proliferating, and botulism can kill.

If you see 'oven-canning' mentioned anywhere on the recipe? Run the other way!

Reconsider using glass in high-stress situations!

JELLY POWDER - quick set method Dissolve 1 [3-ounce / 85-g] pack jelly powder into 1 cup [250 mL] boiling water.

Stir in 2 cups [500 mL] ice cubes until jelly thickens.

Remove unmelted ice.

Pour into in individual dishes; refrigerate for approximately 10 minutes, to set.

JELLY ROLL or SWISS ROLL A jelly roll or Swiss roll is a type of sponge cake roll.

The thin cake is made of eggs, flour and sugar and baked in a very shallow rectangular baking tray, called a sheet pan.

The cake is removed from the pan and spread with jam or butter cream, rolled up, and served in circular slices.

KEY LIME Usually smaller than ordinary limes and distinct at flavor.

When available, use ordinary limes.

LAMB Lamb loves to soak in wine, olive oil or yogurt and to frolic with garlic, cashews, almonds, raisins, carrots, eggplant, lemon, artichokes, okra, olives, saffron, mint, coriander, oregano, basil, rosemary, chili peppers and soy sauce.

It can be cooked whole or in parts, in cubes, shredded or ground, pink or well done.

It is a versatile meat for all seasons.

LAMB - hints Ground lamb is delicious in a spaghetti sauce; cook ground lamb, drain all fat and add hot meat to your favorite hot spaghetti sauce, just before pouring it over your favorite cooked pasta.

Just reheat, do not cook again, already roasted lamb, in a microwave for best results; lamb can also be stir-fried in a minimum of oil, Chinese style.

Ask your butcher to cut the lamb into needed portions.

LEEKS Choose firm flesh, perfect, unbruised leeks with dark green leaves.

Carefully clean leeks before using:

Cut each leek, in the center, lengthwise and crosswise, up to approximately 1 inch [2.5 cm] from its root.

To clean leeks: vigourously shake them in cold, salted water.

Leeks can be eaten raw: with mayonnaise or salad dressing; or cooked: added to soups, boiled, added to quiches...

LEMONGRASS Flavoring often used in Vietnamese or Thaï cuisine.
LETTUCE To keep lettuce crisp for 1 day or 2, rinse then store wet lettuce leaves into tight container sprinkled with a little salt.

To keep lettuce crisp for a longer period, rinse then well dry lettuce leaves.

Wrap lettuce leaves into absorbant paper and keep lettuce fresh refrigerated for at least 2 weeks sealed into a plastic bag, changing absorbant paper every 4 to 5 days.

LOBSTER Fresh lobsters should be refrigerated, between 32°F to 40°F [0°C to 4°C].

Cooked lobsters should be drained of excess liquid, airtight sealed and eaten within 12 to 24 hours.

Live lobsters should be refrigerated in the vegetable drawer lined with a clean, damp cloth and cooked within 6 to 8 hours.

Frozen bought lobster should be stored into the freezer at 0°F [-18°C] in an airtight container as soon as possible.

It is possible to reheat a whole boiled lobster, into a preheated 400°F [200°C] oven, for approximately 3 minutes.

Thaw a frozen lobster on its back for a less dry meat.

LOBSTER BUTTER Lobster butter is a compound butter made by heating ground lobster shells with butter before adding cooked lobster meat and coral if desired; strain the mixture into ice water to harden.

It is used in sauces, soups, and as a spread.

LUNCH BOX IDEAS [say goodbye to sliced bread] 1 - Fill a crescent with slice of ham and a slice of cheese - a tomato, green onion and salad dressing [your choice] - fresh grapes for dessert or as a snack.

2 - Garnish a dried tomato roll with many slices of salami and of unpeeled cucumber slices; sprinkle with salt and pepper; garnish with parsley - green salad - vegetable juice - dessert.

3 - Fill a pita bread with cooked chicken or turkey; add some mayonnaise mixed with a little mustard, celery dices and minced green onion - grated carrot salad - apple juice - yogurt.

4 - Half a bagel; spread each half with cream cheese; add prosciutto [Italian ham] and cantaloup slices - raw vegetables - fruit juice - dessert.

5 - Garnish an Italian bread with mustard, sliced smoked meat, sliced Swiss cheese and lettuce - mineral water - apple.

Pita breads are better suited to hold beef and bean mixtures than taco shells, which tend to break into pieces when you bite into them.

For fresher sandwiches at lunch time, garnish a bread, still frozen, the morning just before it will be eaten; wrap it in al foil.

MAIZENA Gluten-free cornstarch
MANGO Like a peach, flesh is tender, sometimes fibrous.

Choose ripe, supple to the touch, with a distinct perfume.

A ripe mango should yield slightly when squeezed and parts of its outer peel should be turning to a yellowish-gold color.

Peel and cut in quarters, avoing the pit.

Enjoy plain, in a fruit or chicken salad, with yogurt, as a sherbet, puree, with some lemon juice, in a pie or sliced with cold ham.

Nutritious fruit, rich in vitamins B, C and A.

MARASCHINO A colorless liqueur, almost free of any scent, made of tiny, pitted acid black cherries, together with the crushed almonds from their pits; to get its well appreciated sweet-bitter taste, both fruits and almonds are allowed to ferment together with honey and sugar.

Even though it was first made in Yugoslavia, it is now also made in Italy.

MARINADE - instant for kabobs An instant marinade that will liven up the taste of pork, beef and chicken kabobs, even if you forget to marinate them ahead of time.

Leave meat cubes to marinate for 5 minutes into an aromatic mixture made of :

1 cup [250 mL] extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup [250 mL] lemon juice

1 tablespoon [15 mL] freshly chopped thyme
1 teaspoon [5 mL] dried rosemary

Salt and pepper, to taste

MAYONNAISE To 'correct' a curdled mayonnaise, whip in, one drop at a time, 1 to 2 teaspoons [5 to 10 mL] boiling water; if this is not enough, in a small bowl, beat 1 egg yolk and very slowly mix it in until the mayonnaise is smooth.
MEASURES For best results, when preparing a recipe use all imperial or all metric measures - not a combination.
MEAT - inside temperature A meat thermometer surely is more precise than anything else.

Always insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, without touching any bone.

Beef: into the thickest part of the meat, not touching any bone

Rare 130°F [54°C]

Medium 160°F [71°C]

Well done 180°F [82°C]

Lamb: into the thickest part of the meat, not touching any bone

Pink 140°F [60°C]

Medium-rare 145°F [63°C]

Well done 165°F [74°F]

Pork and Veal: into the thickest part of the meat, not touching any bone

Done 160°F [71°C]

MELON 1 cup [250 mL] cubed melon = more beta-carotene and vitamins 'C' than 1/2 cup [125 mL] orange juice [only 60 calories and less than 1 g of fat].
MERINGUE The secret to great meringues is in the bowl that you use as it really does make a difference.

Whatever type of bowl you use, it must be very clean as any trace of oil or grease will make it impossible to get the most volume from the egg white, but the material of the bowl is also important.

Never use a plastic bowl; you can use a glass bowl but the best way is to use a copper or stainless steel bowl as copper reacts with the egg whites to produce great results.

As meringues do not like moisture, either in the bowl or in the air, do not boil a kettle in the kitchen and avoid making meringues on a humid day if you can.

Adding cream of tartar or lemon juice can also help with better results as the addition of this acidic base to the egg white will produce more voluminous meringue with stiffer peaks.

The quickest and easiest way to make meringue for any recipe is to use a standing mixer with a stainless steel bowl and which, of course, whisks much faster than any human can!

MISO A thick paste used for sauces and spreads, a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and the fungus 'kojikin', the most typical miso being made with soy.
MOLASSES There are two types of molasses generally used in baking, light and dark; dark molasses is used for a more robust flavor.

Light molasses comes from the first boiling of the sugar syrup and is lighter in flavor and color than the dark molasses which comes from the second boiling.

Molasses is usually labeled as 'sulphured' or 'unsulphured, depending on whether sulphur was used in the processing.

Some prefer the unsulphured molasses which is lighter in color and tends to have a nicer flavor.

Molasses is used in baked goods, not only for flavor, but also for color and moistness.

Also, because molasses does stick to your measuring cup, it is a good idea to lightly spray your measuring cup with a nonstick vegetable spray before pouring in the molasses.

MUFFINS Freeze muffin dough into paper cups into muffin baking pans, plastic if possible.

If using metal baking pans, transfer frozen muffins into plastic bags.

To bake, preheat oven to 400°F [200°C].

Transfer as many muffins as needed, into paper cups, into a muffin baking pan.

Bake into preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes, until a wooden pick comes out clean from the center. Leave muffins to cool in pan onto a wire rack for 6 minutes before unmolding and serving.

MUFFINS - tricks to add more nutritional value 1 - Bake homemade muffins, from scratch or a muffin mix.

2 - 1/4 cup [90 mL] fat is enough for 12 muffins.

3 - Use milk instead of water.

4 - Add nuts or dried fruits.

5 - Add grated cheese to cornmeal or whole wheat muffin mix.

6 - Add 1 [10 1/2-ounce / 300 g] pack frozen blueberries to your favorite muffin mix.

MUFFINS - surprising Excellent filling for blueberry muffins, served lukewarm.

Mix together:

Muffin dough

1/2 cup [125 mL] Quark cheese

1 tablespoon [15 mL] lemon juice

1 tablespoon [15 mL] icing sugar

Lemon zest

Mix together cheese, lemon juice, icing sugar and lemon zest.

Fill muffin tins with half of dough.

Spoon 1 teaspoon [5 mL] of mixture in the center of each muffin.

Cover with remaining dough.

Bake as usual.

MUSSELS Fresh mussels should be refrigerated, between 32°F to 40°F [0°C to 4°C] in the vegetable drawer lined with a clean, damp cloth, no more than 12 to 24 hours.

To freeze: cooked and shelled, mussels should immediately be frozen at 0°F [-18°C] in an airtight container.

Bought frozen, mussels should be eaten within 2 to 4 months for more freshness.

Always clean, scrub and debeard mussels before serving.

Throw away unopened cooked mussels.

When serving mussels as a main course, a good rule of thumb is to buy approximately 1 pound [454 g] per person or about 20 to 25 average-size Blue mussels, 10 to 15 larger Mediterranean mussels.

MUSTARD To prepare mustard from dry mustard: gradually mix together a little dry mustard and cold water, until creamy, but thick, free of lump; leave to rest for 10 minutes to enhance its flavor.
NUTS Eating nuts, hazelnuts or almonds all day long surely is not the right way to avoid calories - 100 g = 650 calories.

On the other hand, it is said that nuts help to control the cholesterol level in one's blood and to prevent from heart attacks [5 handfuls of nuts per week would be enough].

Nuts contain lots of fibers, proteins and Vitamin 'E'; almonds would also be a good source of calcium.

To roast nuts : preheat oven to 350°F [180°C] and arrange nuts apart onto a cookie sheet; roast into preheated oven for 3 to 5 minutes.

OAT FLOUR To get 1 cup [250 mL] oat flour, into a blender or a food processor, blend 1 1/4 cups [310 mL] uncooked quick oats or old-fashioned oats for approximately 1 minute, stopping to stir occasionally.

To add whole grain nutrients to baked goods, substitute ground oat flour for up to 1/3 the amount of all purpose flour.

Ground oat flour may be used as a substitute for the same amount of all purpose flour when thickening soups and sauces, or when coating fish or chicken before baking or frying.

To make larger amounts of ground oat flour, repeat above directions to produce amount needed.

Ground oat flour can be made ahead and stored in tightly covered container and stored in cool, dry place up to 6 months.

ORZO From Latin 'hordeum', sometimes called Italian rice, 'orzo' is Italian and means 'barley', from which orzo was originally made.

However, in common usage in the United States, orzo is understood to mean rice-shaped pasta, slightly smaller than a pine nut; it is frequently used in soups and baked casseroles.

Despite its rice shape, orzo is made not of rice but of hard wheat semolina; it is also known as 'risone' in Italian, 'manéstra' or 'kritharáki' [little barley] in Greek, and 'sehriye' in Turkish.

OYSTERS As an old connoisseur, also known as J C used to say, if they have to wait for a little while before being opened to be served, sprinkle refrigerated raw oysters with some rolled oats so they can feed themselves!
PANCAKE - five steps to perfection 1 - For lighter pancakes, mix the batter until just moistened; a few lumps do not matter.

2 - For best results, cook pancakes in a non-stick skillet, lightly greased with vegetable oil; if possible, use an electric skillet already heated to 350°F [180°C].

3 - When the edges start to brown and bubbles appear on the surface, turn the pancake over, allowing slightly less cooking time for the other side.

4 - Pancakes are best served as soon as the are cooked, but if you have to keep them warm for a little time, arrange pancakes in a single layer on a wire rack set on a cookie sheet [to prevent them from becoming soggy], in a warm oven.

5 - Any leftover pancakes can be frozen up to 2 weeks; stack the pancakes, interleaved with wax paper, well wrapped; thaw before heating in a toaster.

PANCETTA Pancetta is Italian bacon, typically salt cured and seasoned with such spices as nutmeg, fennel, peppercorns, dried ground hot peppers and garlic, then dried for at least three months.
PAPAYA Soft pulp iwth light taste, somewhat sweet and perfumed, with a texture reminiscent of cantaloup.

Ripen before refrigerating.

Serve with ham or in a mixed salad.

Cooks like a vegetable; fry, simmer or brown in butter.

Rich in vitamin C.

PARSLEY For parsley to stay tasty and keep its beautiful color while drying, it must be cleaned as soon as it is picked up, without any water [shaking it ususally is enough] so that it does not loose its essential oils and part of its taste; finely minced parsley with a knife, spread it onto a paper towel and leave it in a dark environment, away from draft and dust.

It will be ready within 2 to 3 days; longer than in a microwave, but you will be sure that it will not loose any of its taste.

PASTA SAUCE - in-a-hurry 1 - Melt tomato paste in hot olive oil, along with crushed garlic clove, thyme and bay leaf; mix in a little tapenade, just before mixing in cooked pasta.

2 - Add a little chili powder to boiling cooking water, before adding pasta; stir mild salsa and grated Cheddar cheese into hot pasta.

PASTRY DOUGH DECORATIONS Roses, leaves + 3 ornamental borders:

Roses: cut slits, 1 inch [2.5 cm] apart, on a strip of dough; roll dough on itself, pressing on the uncut side; with your fingers, take apart cut dough sections, creating petals.

Leaves: cut leftover dough into 1-inch [2.5 cm] wide strips; cut sideways, creating diamonds; with the tip of a knife, imitate veins.

Ornamental borders:

1 - Cut short slits all around the edge; fold outer ends of each cut towards the inner edge of the next cut, creating triangles.

2 - With your left hand, delicately pinch dough while cutting, with a sharp knife, very small slits, approximately 1 inch [2.5 cm] apart, all around the border, creating 'curves'.

3 - Press one of your thumbs on the inner part of border; with your thumb and forefinger from your other hand, pinch dough all around the outside of the border, creating 'waves'.

PASTRY EDGE When a pastry edge starts to burn too quickly, cover it with strips of aluminum foil.
PEELING Blanching makes it easier to peel.


a - Tomatoes for 1 minute

b - Almonds for 1 minute

c - Potatoes for 2 minutes

d - Peaches for less than 1 minute

into boiling water before peeling them.

PEAR Eaten fresh with the skin, pears are a good source of fibers.

Poached in wine, pears are a simple and delicious dessert.

1 medium-size pear = 98 calories, less than 1 g of fat.

PERFECT GRILLING - tips Steaks, at least 1-inch [2.5 cm] thick, are best.

Trim excess fat from meat to avoid flare-ups.

Cook beef over medium heat to ensure even cooking.

Direct grilling can be done with the grill covered or open; foods cooked in a covered grill usually cook faster.

Use long-handled tongs for turning steaks, spatulas for burgers. Do not use a fork as it pierces beef which allows juices to escape.

To test for doneness: make a small slit near the bone and check the color; for boneless cuts, slit near the center; for thicker cuts, use a quick-recovery meat thermometer.

PICNICS For a well planned picnic, do not forget to bring:

a - Plastic bottled water or juice that have been frozen overnight; they will thaw slowly, keeping food cool.

b - Plastic throw-away plates, utensils and glasses, wet wipes, paper towels, a woolen blanket [if desired], a bottle and/or a can-opener, insect repellent, sun-screen lotion, hats, a camera, outdoor games and a garbage bag.

c - To eat [ideas]: pasta salad, raw vegetables and dip, cold soup, bagels, cold cuts, mustard, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, seasonal fruits [cherries, melon, strawberries...], cooled rose wine or cider

PINEAPPLE Flesh is perfumed and slightly spicy.

Choose according to weight and odout: when it's heavy in your hand with a distinct, yet discreet perfume.

Preserve at room temperature for a few days.

When the center leaves are easily detached, enjoy plain, as a juice, salad, sherbet, with ham, shrimp or chicken.

Contains bromelin, to help digestion.

Rich in fibres.

Not too sweet.

Excellent source of potassium and vitamin C.

PIZZA Pizza in-a-hurry

Spread Mexican style cheese spread on a medium-size tortilla, almost to the edge; if desired, top with your faovrite pizza toppings.

Place tortillas on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 400°F [200°C] oven for 7 minutes; cool slightly before cutting into wedges.

To bake a frozen pizza:

Preheat oven 425°F [220°C].

Remove from packaing and transfer frozen pizza onto a pizza baking sheet or middle oven rack.

Bake pizza for approximately 10 to 12 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown, being careful not to overbake the pizza.

To barbecue a frozen pizza:

Preheat barbecue to medium heat, approximately 400°F [200°C].

Remove from packaing and transfer frozen pizza onto a baking sheet.

Place baking sheet onto barbecue grill.

Close barbecue lid and cook pizza for approximately 12 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet frequently, until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown, being careful not to overbake the pizza.

POTATO Red Potato:

It is usually served boiled, mashed or even cold in a salad.

Typically, this small potato is quite sweet-tasting.

Unpeeled, it adds color to a traditional potato salad.

Russet Potato:

This brown potato with a white flesh is extremely popular.

An all-purpose potato, it can be used in any recipe; it can be baked, mashed, roasted...

Yukon Gold Potato:

These potatoes are characterized by their creamy flesh and sweet, succulent taste.

They are excellent boiled, mashed, roasted or fried.

POULTRY - to truss With poultry on its back, legs towards you:

1 - Wind a 3 to 4-inch [7.5 to 10 cm] long string around its rump

2 - Crisscross string on top of rump

3 - Wind ends of string around leg ends, criscross string once more around rump before thightening

4 - Take ends of string towards wings, between thighs and breast

5 - Turn bird on its breast

6 - Bring string all over wings - holding wings as near as possible to the bodie

7 - Tie string on the back of the bird - cut off exceeding string.

POUND CAKES Pound cakes were the cakes made by our mothers, our grandmothers, and our great-grandmothers.

The name 'pound' was given to this cake because the original recipes contained 1 pound [454 g] each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour.

Today, we may have altered these proportions, but it is still a wonderfully rich and buttery cake with a lovely golden brown crust.

As in the past, it is important to have the butter and eggs at room temperature so the maximum amount of air can be beaten into the batter.

There is a tendency for the batter to curdle when adding the eggs but having the eggs at room temperature and adding each egg separately will help to prevent this.

But do not worry if there is curdling as once the flour is added the batter will smooth out.

Whether you enjoy a slice of this cake plain with just a dusting of powdered sugar or with whipped cream or ice cream, it is truly a king among cakes.

You might also like to try toasting a slice or, an even better idea, is to make grilled pound cake; beat an egg with 2 tablespoons [30 mL] each of milk and Grand Marnier, and then dip each slice of cake into this mixture, as you would French Toast.

Place slices of cake on the grill and browning each side; serve for dessert along with fresh berries and whipped cream - absolutely delicious.

Pound cake recipes can be converted to be made with a cake mix: take one 2-layer any-flavored cake mix, add 1 3/4-ounce [50-g] package of instant pudding in a coordinating flavor, use 4 eggs, 1 cup [250 mL] of total liquid and 1/2 cup [125 mL] of oil or melted butter [115 g]; baking times may vary according to the cake additives, such as coconuts, chips...., in your original recipe.

Pound cakes have many versatile uses: they are used as the base of many desserts; all trifles have some type of cake in them and it usually is a pound cake; pound cake slices can be used in French toast and bread pudding and they certainly are excellent lightly toasted and warm served with ice cream.

They can be frozen for up to 1 year in airtight wrap and it is always good to have one on hand for that last minute dessert.

POULTRY SEASONING Poultry seasoning = 1/2 savory + 1/2 sage
PROSCIUTTO Italian air-dried cured ham that does not need further cooking; the dried, salted, well-prepared meat is pressed, then sliced.

Usually used as an antipasto or appetizer served cold with melons or figs, it also makes delicious sandwiches.

PUMPKIN SPICES 3 teaspoons [15 mL] pumpkin spices =

2 teaspoons [10 mL] ground cinnamon +

1/2 teaspoon [2.5 mL] ginger +

1/4 teaspoon [1 mL] allspice +

1/4 teaspoon [1 mL] nutmeg.

QUARK CHEESE Quark is a European fresh soft cheese with a mild flavor and similar in texture to whipped butter or ricotta cheese.

Fresh cream cheese made by coagulating heated milk with lemon juice; it can be used for cheecakes.

RAW VEGETABLE Try serving raw vegetable bites with spreadable cheese as a dip.
RED ONION Red onion is mostly eaten raw; it is a nutritional treasure, rich in vitamin 'C', minerals and oligo elements.
RICE Long grain converted rice will approximately triple in volume.

Boil minute rice in juice instead of water.

Boil regular rice in chicken broth or beef consomme, but do not add any butter or salt.

Basmati, a light long-grain rice with a delicious nutty flavor, comes from North of India and Pakistan.

RISOTTO Risotto is a neo-traditional Italian rice dish and is one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy.

It's origins are in North Italy, specifically Eastern Piedmont, Western Lombardy, and the Veneto, where rice patties are abundant; iIt is one of the pillars of Milanese cuisine.

To be correctly described as a risotto dish, it needs to be made following an established process; otherwise the dish is a rice dish.

The main feature of a risotto dish is the maintenance of starch at the end of cooking that binds the grains together as a cream.

ROOT PARSLEY The Hamburg root parsley is a type of parsley grown as a root vegetable.

This type of parsley produces much thicker roots than types cultivated for their leaves.

Although little used in Britain and the United States, root parsley is very common in central and eastern European cuisine, used in soups and stews.

Though it looks similar to a parsnip, it tastes quite different.

SAFFRON Saffron is considered the 'queen of spices' as it the most expensive one.

Its price does not stop connoisseurs from buying it when they need it to cook.

Buy saffron strands and not powder as it is often falsified.

SAKE Sake is a Japanese liqueur which is made from fermented steamed washed rice.

Quite mild, it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

Japanese usually serve 'sake' lukewarm, in tiny cups.

SALMON Fresh, smoked, canned or frozen, salmon always is a good source of Omega3.
SAMBAL OLEK SAUCE Sambal olek sauce resembles an Indonesian chili paste.
SAMBUSAK Dough wrapped around a sweet [usually] filling.
SCALLOP Fresh scallops should be refrigerated, drained of excess liquid, between 32°F to 40°F [0°C to 4°C], in airtight containers; they should be eaten within 1 to 2 days.

Frozen bought scallops should be store into the freezer at 0°F [-18°C] in an airtight container as soon as possible and should be eaten within 2 to 4 months.

Bought frozen, mussels should be eaten within 2 to 4 months for more freshness.

SEMOLINA The gritty coarse particles of wheat left after the finer flour has passed through a bolting machine, used for pasta.

(Cookery) the large hard grains of wheat left after flour has been bolted, used for puddings, soups, etc. [from Italian semolino, diminutive of semola bran, from Latin simila very fine wheat flour] milled product of durum wheat (or other hard wheat) used in pasta hard particles of wheat used eg in milk pudding.

SHRIMP There is more cholesterol in shrimps than in almost any other shellfish; on the other hand, there is little saturated fat and there are omega - 3 fat acids, excellent for the heart [3 ounces / 85 g boiled, broiled or barbecued shrimps = 84 calories, 1 g of fat].
SIMPLE SYRUP Simple (or sugar) syrup is, as the name implies, very simple to make and is an essential item to stock in any bar; you will find it in many mixed drinks.

This sweetener is primarily used as a substitute for raw sugar and adds rich volume, but can be made in a variety of ways.

Making your own simple syrup is also more economical than buying it at the store.

You can make as small or as large a batch as you wish and store it in the refrigerator in a well sealed bottle for about 6 months.

Bring 2 parts sugar and 1 part water to a boil.

Stirring, dissolve the sugar into the boiling water.

Once the sugar is dissolved completely, remove the pan from the heat.

Do not allow the syrup to boil for too long or the syrup will be too thick.

Allow to cool completely and thicken, then bottle.

Bar Simple Syrup : the easiest way to make simple syrup does not require a stove and can be made in minutes.

Simply combine equal parts sugar and water in a bottle and shake it until the sugar is completely dissolved.

The result is a syrup that is thinner than rich simple syrup.

SLOW COOKER - Converting conventional dish recipes into slow cooker recipes It is difficult to give exact conversion information on translating traditional oven recipes to the slow cooker.

Here are some general guidelines for converting your favorite recipes to the slow cooker.

Since slow cookers vary, you should consult your owner's manual for instructions.

In most cases, all ingredients can go into your slow cooker in the beginning and can cook all day [recipes that will not adapt well are cold soups, salads and those that require broiling or deep frying].

Many preparatory steps are unnecessary when using the slow cooker; for example, you do NOT need to brown or saute vegetables.

If you feel unsure about a step, go ahead and follow the recipe's directions as written.

Slow cooker should be at least 1/2 full to 3/4 full for best results.

Slow cookers may vary but generally, the 'LOW' setting is about 200°F [93°C] and the 'HIGH' setting is about 300°F [150°F].

One hour on 'HIGH' is approximately equal to 2 to 2 1/2 hours on 'LOW'.

Most slow cooker recipes recommend cooking 8 to 10 hours on 'LOW'.

Some recipes recommend the 'HIGH' setting based on the nature and texture of the food; you will have to judge your recipe accordingly.

For example, beef cuts will be better cooked on 'LOW' for 8 to 10 hours to get a more tender texture, where chicken can be cooked on 'HIGH' 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Reduce the amount of liquid used in most oven recipes when using the LOW setting, since the slow cooker retains all moisture that usually evaporates when cooking in the oven.

Add liquids for sauces about an hour before done as you will normally end up with more liquid at the end of cooking times, not less; a general rule is to reduce liquids by half, unless rice or pasta is in the dish.

Spices may need to be reduced or increased; whole herbs and spices increase their flavoring power in slow cooker cooking while ground spices may have lost some flavor.

Add ground spices during the last hour of cooking; whole leaf and herbs will probably need to be reduced by half.

Rice, noodles, macaroni, seafood, Chinese vegetables and milk do not hold up well when cooked 8 to 10 hours; add these to sauces or liquid about 2 hours before serving when using 'LOW' setting, or 1 hour on 'HIGH'.

If you want to use milk in an 8 to 10 to hour recipe, use evaporated milk.

Browning meats before cooking is a personal choice; it is not necessary but it will reduce the fat content of some meats if you brown it before cooking.

Sauteing vegetables, such as onions.., is not necessary, except for eggplant which should be parboiled or sauteed prior due to its strong flavor.

Just add them to the pot with everything else.

You may wish to reduce quantities of stronger vegetables since they will permeate the other foods in the slow cooker with their full flavor.

Dry beans can be cooked overnight on 'LOW' as an alternative to soaking.

Cover with water and add 1 teaspoon [5 mL] baking soda; drain and combine with other ingredients making sure that beans are softened before adding to any sugar or tomato mixture.

For best results, use long-grain parboiled converted raw rice in recipes, and use standard liquid amounts instead of reducing the liquid.

For mixed recipes requiring pasta, it is best to cook the pasta separately until 'al dente' and add just before serving.

For soups, add water only to cover the ingredients; if thinner soup is desired, more liquid can be added at the end of the cooking time.

General Oven to slow cooker Cooking Time Conversions

15 to 30 minutes in oven = 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours on 'HIGH' or 4 to 6 hours on 'LOW'

35 to 45 minutes in oven = 2 to 3 hours on 'HIGH' or 6 to 8 hours on 'LOW'

50 minutes to 3 hours in oven = 4 to 5 hours on 'HIGH' or 8 to 18 hours on 'LOW'

Note: Most uncooked meat and vegetable combinations will require at least 8 hours on 'LOW'.

General slow cooker Cooking Times for Specific Foods

Artichoke : 6 to 8 hours on 'LOW or 2 1/2 to 4 hours on 'HIGH' [with water]

Baked potato : 8 to 10 hours on 'LOW'

Brisket : 10 to 12 hours on 'LOW'

Casserole : 4 to 9 hours on 'LOW or 2 to 4 hours on 'HIGH', stirring occasionally

Chicken : 7 to 10 hours on 'LOW or 3 to 4 hours on 'HIGH'

Corned beef and cabbage : 6 to 10 hours on 'LOW or 4 to 5 hours on 'HIGH'

Dried beans : 1 to 2 hours on 'HIGH plus 8 to 9 hours on 'LOW'

Meatloaf : 8 to 9 hours on 'LOW'

Pot roast : 8 to 12 hours on 'LOW' or 4 to 5 hours on 'HIGH'

Ribs : 6 to 8 hours on 'LOW'

Rice : 5 to 9 hours on 'LOW or 2 to 3 hours on 'HIGH'

Soup : 6 to 12 hours on 'LOW or 2 to 6 hours on 'HIGH'

Stew : 10 to 12 hours on 'LOW' or 4 to 5 hours on 'HIGH'

Stuffed peppers : 6 to 8 hours on' LOW or 3 to 4 hours on 'HIGH'

Swiss steak : 8 to 10 hours on 'LOW'

Vegetables : 2 to 4 hours on 'LOW' [with liquid added]

Note: Remember to check the owner's manual for your particular slow cooker for full instructions on usage; the above cooking times are only VERY general guidelines.

A few hints to remember:

*Allow sufficient cooking time on 'LOW' setting.

*Do not add as much water as some recipes indicate as liquids do not boil away as in conventional cooking; usually you will have more liquid at the end of cooking instead of less.

*Cook with cover on, except to 'brown off' liquids after cooking.

*It is 'one-step' cooking : many steps in the recipes may be deleted [simply add ingredients to the slow cooker at one time and cook for 8 to 10 hours, adding any liquid last.

*Vegetables : do not overcook as they do when boiled in your oven or on your range.

*Exceptions : milk, sour cream or cream should be added during the last hour.

*Browning meats is seldom necessary, except to remove excess fat; just wipe well and pat dry.

Fats will not bake off in the slow cooker as they do in your oven; pork, lamb, bacon... should be browned and drained before adding to the slow cooker.

Use less liquid in slow cooker cooking, usually about half the recommended amount [1 cup / 250 mL liquid is enough for any recipe unless it contains rice or pasta].

Sauteing vegetables is never necessary; stir in chopped or sliced vegetables with other ingredients [only exception: eggplant should be parboiled or sauteed, due to its strong flavor].

Since vegetables develop their full flavor potential with slow cooker cooking, expect delicious results even when you reduce quantities; for example, if a recipe calls for 2 pounds [900 g] sliced onions you may use only 1 pound [454 g] and because vegetables take longer to cook than meat, slice or chop them when possible.

Note: sliced fresh mushrooms, frozen peas or corn should be added during the last hour, if convenient, for better color but if this does not bother you, then toss them in at the beginning.

Time guide, ''HIGH' being 300°F [150°C] and 'LOW' 200°F [93°C]:

If the oven recipe says 15 to 30 minutes, cook in slow cooker for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours on ''HIGH', or 4 to 8 hours on 'LOW' .

If the oven recipe says 35 to 45 minutes, cook in slow cooker for 3 to 4 hours on ''HIGH', or 6 to 10 hours on 'LOW' .

If the oven recipe says 50 minutes to 3 hours, cook in slow cooker for 4 to 6 hrs on ''HIGH' or 8 to18 hrs on 'LOW' .

*Most uncooked meat and vegetable combinations will require at least 8 hours on 'LOW' .

slow cooker cooks so gently that you do not need to worry for a few extra hours; any recipe can be cooked on 'HIGH' the first two hours to reduce cooking time, and then turned to 'LOW' .

Many recipes say 'bring to boil, then turn down to simmer' but in a slow cooker this is not necessary; simply set the slow cooker to low and forget it [in some recipes the taste might be slightly different, but not enough to truly worry about it].

The quantity of meat, poultry and vegetables may be reduced without affecting the flavor, especially vegetables; if in doubt, cut the recipe in half.

Casserole recipes often suggest a specific size of baking dish; most recipes will fit into any size slow cooker, except maybe the tiny dip ones [recipes for a 4-quart [4-L].

Dutch oven will fit the 3 1/2 and 4 1/2-quarts [3 1/2 to 4 1/2-L]. slow cookers; for 6-quart [6-L] recipes, cut them in half.

If a recipe calls for cooked pasta noodles or macaroni at the beginning of a recipe, add towards the end of the cooking time, not at the beginning not to overcook and get just slightly tender pasta noodles.

If cooked rice is called for, stir in with other ingredients, add 1 cup [250 mL] extra liquid per cup [250 mL] of raw rice; use long grain converted rice for best results in all-day cooking.

When a crisp topping of crumbs, bacon bits, tomato wedges or grated cheese is called for, add just before serving.

Dumplings may be cooked in broth or gravy on 'HIGH'; the 3 1/2-quart [3 1/2-L] size limits servings to 3 or 4; drop by spoonfuls on simmering stew or liquid, and cook covered for about 30 minutes.

Biscuit, pie crust, or instant mashed potato toppings require baking; transfer to a baking dish and follow recipe.

Processed cheeses or cheese spreads, such as American or Velveeta, are usually more satisfactory than Cheddar cheese.

Leaf herbs and whole spices are preferred, but their flavor power may increase, so use only half the recommended amount; if you use ground herbs and spices, add during the last hour of cooking.

Do not precook seafood or frozen vegetables; just rinse and drain thoroughly before adding to other ingredients but as these foods cook quickly, it is best to add during the last hour of cooking.

To thicken gravies before serving, remove 1/2 cup [125 mL] of liquid from the slow cooker and stir in recommended amount of cornstarch; return to slow cooker and simmer on 'HIGH' for 15 minutes or stir in 1/4 cup [60 mL] quick cooking tapioca at start of cooking and gravy will thicken as it cooks.

As milk, sour cream and cheese tend to break down during extended cooking, add during last hour of cooking when possible; condensed soups may be substituted for milk.., and can cook for an extended period of time.

Some soup recipes call for 2 to 3 quarts [2 to 3 L] of water; add other soup ingredients to slow cooker, then add water only to cover [if thinner soup is desired, add more liquid 1 hour before serving time].

If milk based recipes have no other liquid for initial cooking, add 1 or 2 cups [250 or 500 mL] of water, then stir in milk or cream as called for, and heat before serving.

Instead of soaking beans overnight, cook them overnight on 'LOW' with water and 1 teaspoon [5 mL] baking soda added, or parboil [especially important in hard-water areas to properly soften beans]; drain and combine with other ingredients then cook according to time guide being sure beans are softened before you add any sugar or tomato to mixture.

Brown and drain stew meat if fat is visible; fat or oil for browning may be omitted.

Do not use large quantities of water for stews; usually 1 cup [250 mL] of liquid is enough [you may wish to add 1 tablespoon [15 mL] liquid beef-flavored concentrate at the end of cooking.

SMOKED SALMON -How it's Made There are two steps in the preparation of smoked salmon: brining and cold-smoking.

Brining consist in soaking salmon meat in a saline solution called brine, that will help salmon meat to keep its moisture while being smoked.

Once salted, salmon is transfered into a smoker where it will be exposed to smoke coming from burning beech, birch or oak.

Smoker temperature must be between 77 to 86°F [25 and 30°C°F at all times, for 1 day to 3 weeks.

SNACK Give those snacks an extra special touch by using hollowed-out zucchini cups for your stuffed vegetable bites:

Drag a fork firmly down sides of zucchini; slice into 3/4 inch [2 cm] pieces and scoop out center of slices to form a cup; stuff.

SOOTHING DRINK Microwave 1 cup [250 mL] milk for approximately 2 minutes - do not boil.

Add 1 teaspoon [5 mL] instant coffee and a little sugar.

Stir and enjoy!

SOUP Broth or cream soups with rice: in a medium saucepan, bring 1 can [any type] broth, vegetable or cream soup and 1 can water to a boil.

Stir in 1/2 can minute rice.

Cover - remove from heat - let stand for 5 minutes.

SOUR MILK To sour milk, simply pour 1 tablespoon [15 mL] lemon juice or white vinegar according to the specific dish, intoa measuring cup and fill to 1 cup [250 mL] with sweet milk.

Leave to rest until mixture is at room temperature, for 10 to 15 minutes.

SPICES Make sure you periodically check your ground spices to see if they are still fresh, as stale spices will definitely make food 'flat' tasting.
SPINACH Microwave spinach for just a few minutes [the water that sticks to the leaves after washing is enough].

Saute a couple of cloves of minced garlic in light olive oil; pour the oil over the spinach with just a little soy sauce.

SPONGE CAKES When a sponge cake is baked in a sheet pan and then rolled around a filling, it is called a Roulade for the French, a Jelly Roll for the Americans and a Swiss Roll for the English.

All three of these sponge cakes have a beautiful pinwheel design and a dusting of confectioners [powdered or icing] sugar is all the garnish it needs.

Sponge cakes are light and airy cakes made without a solid fat and contain more eggs and less flour than butter cakes.

The leavening comes mainly from the air whipped into the eggs, although some American sponge recipes do contain a small amount of baking powder.

Oftentimes cornstarch [corn flour] replaces some of the flour to make a sponge with a more delicate texture, finer crumb and tighter grain.

Egg yolks and egg whites are often beaten separately; this method produces a flexible sponge cake that does not crack when rolled.

Immediately upon removing the sponge from the oven it is rolled up with a towel and left to cool.

This sets the shape of the roll and also helps to prevent cracking.

Once the sponge cake has cooled it is unrolled, a filling is spread over the cake, and it is rolled up again.

The assembled cake can be eaten right away, the cake is at its best when refrigerated for a few hours, or even overnight, to set the filling and make cutting the cake easier.

STARFRUIT Fleshy and juicy pulp with a slightly acid taste; wazy skin.

Choose when firm and with few spots.

Keep refrigerated.

Eat when its sides start browning.

Enjoy plain, as a juice, in a fruit salad, with fish, to decorate a glass or to leave floating in a punch.

33 calories per l00 g - Rich in vitamin A can C.

STOCK - to clarify 8 cups [2 L] cold strained stock

3 egg whites

Mix 2 cups [500 mL] of the stock with beaten egg whites; beat well.

Bring remaining 6 cups [1.5 L] stock to a boil.

Slowly pour in stock/egg whites mixture, whisking constantly.

Heat over medium-low heat, whisking slowly until a simmer is reached

Slowly pour into a colander lined with a clean cloth [not cheesecloth].

STRAWBERRY Strawberries' taste, fibers, potassium and vitamin 'C' have something to please almost everybody.

1 cup [250 mL] fresh strawberries = 43 calories, less than 1 gof fat.

A large strwberry dipped in melted chocolate = 18 calories, less than 1 g of fat.

STRAWBERRY WHIPPED MILK In a blender, whip together 1 cup [250 mL] milk, 1/2 cup [125 mL] frozen strawberries and maple syrup, to taste.
STUFFING 1 - A bird should be stuffed just before going into the oven.

2 - It takes approximately 1 1/3 cups [330 mL] stuffing for each pound [454 g] of poultry.

[Ex : 9 cups / 2.25 L stuffing for a 12-pound / 5.5 kg bird] .

3 - It takes approximately 30 minutes longer to roast a stuffed bird.

4 - Do not refrigerate a stuffed bird; refrigerate poultry meat and stuffing separately.

5 - Try mixing some boiled wild rice, sesame seeds, chopped almonds or chopped nuts into bread stuffing.

6 - And/or mix in chopped vegetables, fresh fruit pieces or dried fruits.

7 - And/or mix in fine herbs, spices, garlic and /or onion pieces.

8 - Too much stuffing for the bird?

Simply bake remaining stuffing in a buttered, oven-proof dish, besides the bird, sprinkling mixture with cooking juices from time to time.

Bake it covered for a moist stuffing that will be just like the stuffing baked inside the bird, or uncover for the last 30 minutes, approximately, for a dryer stuffing, crunchy on top.

Do not forget that vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, onions, zucchini and mushrooms are all delicious when baked stuffed and there is a number of stuffings that can be used to stuff such vegetables.


STUFFING/DRESSING Stuffing is cooked inside the meat while dressing is cooked on-the-side.
SUGAR The most common kind of sugar surely is the one called table, white or granulated sugar.

Selecting the right sugar for the job will affect the texture of baked goods.

Sugar: beautiful crystals with smooth faces and crisp angles.

Sugar cane or sugar beets: sucrose [chemical name for common sugar].

Granulated: used in baking, it affects tenderness and volume; in breads, it provides nourishment for growing yeast cells.

Very fine sugar crystals: superfine [also called fruit, berry or castor sugar]; to make very fine sugar, pulverize granulated sugar in a blender to desired fineness.

Confectioner's sugar: sugar ground to powder [also called powdered sugar or icing sugar]; cornstarch is added to keep it from caking in moist air. It is used when smooth texture - no grain - is desired, as in cake frostings.

1 pound powdered sugar = 3 1/2 cups unsifted or 4 cups [1 L] sifted.

Brown sugar: crystallized directly from cane syrup. The darker the colour, the more molasses it contains. Baked goods will have a coarse texture, as it does not dissolve quickly - it is not appropriate for fine cakes or baking when the texture must be smooth [in wholesome quick breads and some cookies, differences in crumbs and texture are appealing]. Brown sugar also contributes extra moisture and flavor of molasses to baking; its flavor enhances spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.

SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK Always store in a cool dry environment; refrigerate after opening.

Well shake a can and the milk inside will turn caramel colour, without loosing any of its quality.

Sweetened condensed milk can naturally thickens and turns caramel colour with age, without affecting its performance.

For safety reasons, if heating the unopened can, an old cooking method, can[s] must be completely covered with simmering water at all times.

Remove label[s] and clean can[s].

Transfer cans, into enough boiling water to cover; leave to simmer slowly for 1 1/2 hours on each side turning cans delicately using tongs.

Hint : if boiling more that one can, stand can[s] on the same end; it is easier to know which onehas been turned over.

Leave to cool completely, refrigerate until really cold before opening and serving.

Oven Method

Preheat oven to 425°F [220°C].

Pour a 14-ounce [398-mL] can sweetened condensed [not evaporated] milk into a 9-inch [23-cm] pie plate.

Cover with aluminum foil and place in a larger shallow pan.

Fill larger pan with hot water.

Bake into preheated oven for approximately 1 hour, until thick and caramel-colored; beat until smooth.

Serve hot as a sauce, or refrigerate until set then enjoy!

Stovetop Method

Pour a 14-ounce [398-mL] can sweetened condensed [not evaporated] milk into the top part of a double boiler.

Place over boiling water

Leave to simmer over low heat fot 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until thick and caramel-colored, stirring occasionally; beat until smooth.

Serve hot as a sauce, or refrigerate until set then enjoy!

Microwave Method

Pour a 14-ounce [398-mL] can sweetened condensed [not evaporated] milk into a 2-quart [2-L] glass bowl.

Microwave on MEDIUM [50%] for 4 minutes, stirring briskly every 2 minutes until smooth.

Microwave on MEDIUM-LOW [30%] for 20 to 25 minutes more, until very thick and caramel-colored, stirring briskly every 4 minutes during the first 16 minutes and every 2 minutes during the last 4 to 10 minutes.

Serve hot as a sauce, or refrigerate until set then enjoy this caramel-like dessert!

SWISS ROLL A Swiss roll or jelly roll is a type of sponge cake roll.

The thin cake is made of eggs, flour and sugar and baked in a very shallow rectangular baking tray, called a sheet pan.

The cake is removed from the pan and spread with jam or butter cream, rolled up, and served in circular slices.

The origins of the term 'Swiss' roll are unclear and the cake originated in Central Europe and not Switzerland.

It is a traditional German, Hungarian and probably Austrian type of cake.

The shape of the Swiss roll has inspired usage of the term as a descriptive term in other fields, such as in optics.

The origin of this pastry is likely from the U.K., and, since Hong Kong was a British colony from the 19th to late 20th century, you can find this cake in Hong Kong.

The cake is never packaged, as it is sold fresh daily in the Chinese bakeries.

Overall, this cake has been sold next to other Chinese pastries well before the popularising of western-style bakeries.

There are several popular variations :

The first is the 'Swiss Roll' version : the roll is made of a standard sponge cake recipe, and a whipped cream filling is standard.

The second is the 'Chocolate Swiss Roll' version : the roll is made of egg in combination with chocolate flavouring, and it also has a whipped cream filling.

Some bakeries offer their own variations, such as layers of egg and chocolate swirl as other variations include strawberry, coffee and orange fillings.

Another flavor popular in Hong Kong is the mango flavour, which has a mango flavoured roll with a whipped cream filling.

Most U.S. Chinatown bakeries sell the basic Hong Kong Egg Roll version; it essentially looks and taste identical to the one sold in Hong Kong.

In India, Swiss rolls are called jam rolls and the tiny village Kanjirapally in the south Indian state of Kerala is the best known place for jam rolls; a special type of swiss roll with pineapple jelly filling was developed by a cake shop started in 1931 where they use only organic raw materials and rolls are baked in wood-fired traditional oven.

In Indonesia, the Swiss roll cake is called Bolu Gulung; most bakeries sell Swiss Rolls daily, and they are filled with butter cream, cheese or fruit jam; it is also very common for the Swiss rolls to be sold by the slice.

Japan has green tea powder versions, such as matcha; it is also referred to as roll cake.

Varieties produced in Malaysia include coconut [kaya], pandan [fruit resembling pineapple], blueberry, strawberry and vanilla

In Sweden, it is called rulltärta [roll-cake]; it is a popular accompaniment among older people when drinking coffee; the filling often consists of butter cream and strawberry jam.
A chocolate version, made of a part potato flour and most part flour wheat flour, is also available and filled with butter cream; it is called Drömrulltärta [dream roll-cake].
In a bakery, you can find it 'kicked up' as a log-cake; with for example; whipped cream and a whole banana rolled in the middle, thinly covered with marzipan, that looks like a birch-tree wood log.

Oddly, the Swiss roll is not widely eaten in Switzerland, where they are called Biscuitrolle or Roulade in German Swiss; it is called 'gateau roule' in French and 'Biscotto Arrotolato' in Italian.

In the United Kingdom, the collapsed Swiss roll is a popular variety of this sponge dessert; jam is used to fill the roll and sugar covers it on the outside.
The chocolate Swiss roll is made in Great Britain in a similar way to the United States.

In the United States, a Swiss roll is referred to as a jelly roll, even when it does not contain jelly; the most common method of making a Swiss roll is to use a basic sponge cake recipe.
Chocolate Swiss rolls, called 'Ho Hos', are made in the same way, but cocoa powder is substituted for some of the flour, and the cake is filled with either whipped cream or with butter cream, and sometimes flavoured with vanilla, chocolate, or a chocolate-flavoured liqueur.
A chocolate Swiss roll is sometimes called a chocolate log.

TAPENADE A Provencal paste of ripe olives, capers and anchovy fillets [sold in jars] which is spread on canapes or toasted French bread.
TZATZIKI SAUCE A Indian mixture made of yogurt, cucumber and garlic.
TEMPEH Nut-like taste; replaces meat in vegetarian cuisine.

It is made from whole, cooked soybeans infused in a culture to form a dense, chewy cake.

THICKENING AGENT It takes half less cornstarch or arrowroot than flour to thicken.
TOMATO SAUCE - EXPRESS Melt together tomato paste, a crushed garlic clove and a little thyme; add a small piece of bay leaf and a little tapenade [see tapenade] before mixing in cooked pasta.
TOMATO Those who treat themselves to tomato base dishes more than 10 times a week, could see their risk of getting prostate cancer diminished by 45% as opposed to those who only eat tomatoes twice a week; 20% for those who eat tomatoes 4 to 7 times a week.

Eating raw tomatoes more than 3 times a week could significantly diminish the risk of getting stomach and rectum cancers.

Tomatoes are filled with an antioxidant that is said to stop the cancer degeneration of cells.

The benefits coming from tomatoes can be multiplied by cooking; while cooking, tomatoes 'explode' so that cells release even more of their antioxidant.

Even better - cooking tomatoes in olive oil increases the capability of our organism to assimilate the antioxidant.

TURKEY - to thaw Thaw a frozen turkey for 24 hours per 5-pound [2.27 kg] in the refrigerator, or for 30 minutes per pound [454 g] covered with cold water changing water every 30 minutes.
UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE Also known as baking, plain or bitter chocolate, this is chocolate in its rawest form and is known by professionals as 'chocolate liqueur' which means that unsweetened chocolate is just ground cocoa nibs that have been refined and contain between 50 to 55% cocoa butter [cocao fat)].

It contains no sugar so it has a strong, bitter taste that is used in cooking and baking but is never eaten out of hand.

When choosing any chocolate, always look for one that has a lovely shiny finish, a sign that the chocolate was cooked at the right temperature for the right amount of time, and one that has that wonderful 'snap' when you break it into pieces.

It should also have a pleasant 'chocolately' smell.

Unsweetened [natural] cocoa powder [not Dutch processed] is made from chocolate liqueur that has been pressed to remove 3/4th of its cocoa butter.

The remaining cocoa solids are processed to make fine unsweetened cocoa powder; it has an intense bitter flavor that makes it well suited for use in chocolate cakes.

When adding the cocoa powder to the cake batter, you first needs to dissolve it in boiling water and this is done to bring out its full flavor.

Recipes often also contains a little extra leavening, baking powder and soda, to counteract the drying and strengthening affect cocoa powder has when used in batters.

A little lemon juice [or vinegar] can also be added to the batter, which causes a reaction between the cocoa powder and the lemon juice giving the baked cake a red tinge, reminiscent of a red velvet cake.

VANILLA SUGAR 1 package = 2 1/2 ounces [70 g]
VANILLA SUGAR - How to Make Split 1 whole vanilla bean pod in half lengthwise.

Scrape seeds out with the tip of a paring knife; reserve seeds to flavor sauces, icings...

Bury empty pod in 2 to 3 cups [500 to 750 mL] of sugar, either powdered or granulated.

Store covered at room temperature for 1 week before first use of sugar.

VEGGIE BURGER Add garlic, onion, chili powder, salt and oil to pureed pinto beans; shape into patties, cook and serve into hamburger buns, garnished to taste.
VIDALIA ONION Sweet, sweet Vidalia onion comes from Georgia, USA and is said to be the sweetest onion in the whole wide world.

Its unique sweet taste comes from both the soil and the climate of the 20 Georgia counties where it is produced.

Amazingly, the same seeding grown in other parts of the United States gives a strong onion, irritating to the eyes.

Vidalia onion is easy to find from the beginning of May to the middle of July; in December, it comes from warehouses; at any other time of the year, it is not easy to find.

Choose it dry, firm and shiny, with a thin peel; fresh, the peel is light-gold and the flesh is white; its base is round and its stem is flat, with a narrow 'collar'.

Contrary to a regular onion, a Vidalia onion contains more water than sugar and therefore are easily bruised; keep Vidalia onions separately, in a cool dry environment or store them in a clean old pantyhose, a knot between each of them; just cut on top of a knot to get a sweet onion!

To keep Vidalia onions for a longer period, wrap each onion in al foil and refrigerate for up to 6 months.

One [1] medium-size Vidalia onion = 57 calories, 17% aqr vitamin 'C', 13% aqr folate, 2.4 g fibers, 5 mg sodium, 236 mg potassium and almost no irritating oils, so no more tears.

Sliced or chopped, it can be used in any recipe asking for onion.

Its most delicate taste, even raw, surely is a plus in sandwiches, hamburgers, hot-dogs and with grilled foods; it adds a little zest to relish, salsa, salads, cold cut plates and pizza.

WHIPPED CREAM Always refrigerate whipping cream before even trying to whip it; 1 cup [250 mL] whipping cream should yield 2 cups [500 mL] whipped cream.

To whip cream easily, as too warm instruments prevent cream from raising, refrigerate your bowl and whip or beaters until really cold before starting to whip the cream.

A small dollop of whipped cream surely make jelly and cream desserts more appealing [unsweetened: only 8 calories + 1 g of fat for each tablespoon / 15 mL].

WHITE CHOCOLATE The term 'white chocolate' is a misnomer, as chocolate refers to the brown chocolate liqueur found when processing the cocoa beans.

White confectionery products with cocoa butter as an ingredient are usually referred to as white chocolate.

Look for cocoa butter listed as the first ingredient on the package, as the higher the ratio of cocoa butter in the product, the finer the confection.

If cocoa butter is not listed as an ingredient, the product is a white compound or confectioner's coating.

White chocolate should be handled carefully.

It should not be over heated as if the chocolate gets too warm, it may 'seize' and refuse to melt.

WINE Unexpected guests and the wine is warm?

Pour wine into a zip-lock bag; lower bag into a sink filled with cold water - wine will cool within a few minutes.

Unfortunately, wines too often are not paired with the right food; a specific wine is not necessarily good with any food.

Try not to serve any wine with salads, soups, chocolates, coffees, ice creams and any acid or vinegar dishes.

Wine almost never is part of a meal served with rice.

Serve dry white wine or light red wine with poultry, giblets, fish and seafood.

Serve a full-bodied dry red wine with red meats, game birds and game animals.

Liqueur, sweet wines and sparkling wines are perfect with sweet desserts

WINE - PAIRING Cabernet Sauvignon: medium to very full bodied and dry; there are many complex flavors in different Cabernets, from cherry to chocolate.

Serve with: hearty, substantial dishes; good with mint flavors and strong, tomato-based dishes.

Chardonnay: dry with a full range from light and fruity to rich and oaky; often has creamy or buttery accents.

Serve with: pasta dishes [white or light sauce], soft cheeses, mild asian dishes and sweet corn.

Fume Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc: dry, crisp, medium in substance. Can have a smoky, herbal or light fruity notes.

Serve with: pasta, eggplant, asparagus, broccoli, sweet bell peppers, greens and lemony flavors.

Gewurztraminer: somewhat sweet and spicy; medium body with fruit and honey flavors.

Serve with: rich and spicy foods, Asian foods and cream sauces; may overwhelm bland dishes.

Merlot: dry, crisp, medium in substance. Can have a smoky, herbal or light fruity notes. Serve with: pasta, eggplant, asparagus, broccoli, sweet bell peppers, greens and lemony flavors.

Pinot Noir: light to medium bodied; earthy flavors with hints of fruit.

Serve with: mushroom dishes, beets, soft cheeses, roasted and grilled foods.

Riesling: dry, smooth, 'soft' red; medium bodied red with herbal and cherry notes.

Serve with: grilled or roasted vegetables, pizza.

Zinfandel: full bodied and hearty; sweeter than Cabernet and Merlot; contains 'zippy' flavors with strong spice or berry notes.

Serve with: peppery spices, gumbo, jambalaya, veggie burgers, tomato dishes and galicky pasta.

Wine resume:

Always respect taste, flavor and scent of wines versus dishes.

Do not offer red wine to guests who prefer white wine.

A more tasteful meat calls for a full-bodied tasteful wine.

YEAST Yeast and/or baking powder should be dissolved in warm, not boiling water [no more than 105°F / 40°C].

Yeast is a tiny plant-like microorganism that exists all around us, in soil, on plants and even in the air.

It has existed for so long, it is referred to as ‘the oldest plant cultivated by man.'

The main purpose of yeast is to serve as a catalyst in the process of fermentation, which is essential in the making of bread.

The purpose of any leavener is to produce the gas that makes bread rise.

Yeast does this by feeding on the sugars in flour, and expelling carbon dioxide in the process.

As the yeast feeds on the sugar, it produces carbon dioxide.

With no place to go but up, this gas slowly fills the balloon.

A very similar process happens as bread rises; carbon dioxide from yeast fills thousands of balloon-like bubbles in the dough.

Once the bread has baked, this is what gives the loaf its airy texture.

There are two types of dry yeast used in bread making: regular active dry and instant yeast, also known as fast-rising, rapid-rise, quick rise and/or bread machine yeast. The two types of dry yeast can be used interchangeably.

The advantage of the rapid-rise is the rising time is half that of the active dry and it only needs one rising.

You can speed up standard yeast bread recipes by changing the yeast in the recipe.

Substitute one package instant or fast-acting yeast for one package regular active dry yeast as instant yeast is more finely ground and thus absorbs moisture faster, rapidly converting starch and sugars to carbon dioxide, the tiny bubbles that make the dough expand and stretch.

Active Dry, Cake or Compressed Yeast :

1 package active dry yeast = about 2 1/4 teaspoons [11 mL] = 1/4 ounce [7 g]

1 [4-ounce / 113-g] jar active dry yeast = 14 tablespoons [210 mL]

1 [6-ounce / 170-g] cube or cake compressed yeast, also known as fresh yeast = 1 package of active dry yeast

Active dry yeast has a larger particle size than instant active dry yeast, making it necessary to proof, usually water, before using.

Recommended water temperatures will vary by manufacturer between 100 to 115°F [38 to 46°C] as measured with an instant read thermometer.

Stored at room temperature, active dry yeast will keep well beyond its expiration date printed on the package for one [1] year if unopened.

It will keep longer if frozen, placed directly in the freezer in its vacuum sealed container; if frozen, you can use it directly without thawing.

If opened, active dry yeast will keep 6 months in the refrigerator and 12 months in the freezer.

Keep yeast in its original container with the opened flap folded closed in a resealable plastic bag.

Stored at room temperature and opened without a protective outer container, it loses its power at about 10% per month.

Instant, Fast, Rapid, Quick and/or Bread Machine Yeast :

1 envelope or packet of instant yeast = 2 1/4 teaspoons [11 mL] = 1/4 ounce [7 g]

1 [6-ounce / 170-g] cube or cake of compressed yeast = 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons [7.5 to 10 mL] instant yeast.

Hints :

To substitute instant or bread machine yeast for active dry yeast, use 25% less instant yeast than active dry.

Instant or rapid rise yeast does not require warm liquid to be activated as this type of yeast has been genetically engineered from different strains of yeast to produce breads.

Rapid rise yeast is also more finely granulated than active dry yeast, so it does not need to be dissolved in water first; it can be added directly to the dry ingredients, making it a popular choice for use with bread machines.

Instant active or rapid rise yeast is added to the dry ingredients, then, the liquid portion of the recipe's ingredients, warmed to 120 to 130°F [49 to 54°C], as measured with an instant read thermometer, are added to make a dough.

When using instant active dry yeast, the bread recipe only needs one [1] rise.

The first rise is replaced by a 10 minute rest, and you do not need to 'punch the dough down' afterwards.

The second rise takes place after the dough has been shaped into a loaf.

It will take approximately 1 hour in a warm place, longer in the refrigerator as a slow rise, until the dough is just about doubled in bulk.

Storage :

Instant yeast will keep a year at room temperature if unopened. vIf opened, it will keep 6 months in the refrigerator and 12 months in the freezer.

Keep yeast in its original container with the opened flap folded closed in a resealable plastic bag.

Sourdough Starter :

Sourdoughs were originally produced by wild yeasts.

The wild yeasts in the San Francisco area produce a unique flavor in breads.

Some sourdoughs are over a hundred years old.

The starter, sometimes called a sponge, is a flour and water mixture that contains the yeast used to rise the bread [you can buy dried versions and then activate them or you can make your own, catching the wild yeasts indigenous to your area].

Conversion Measurements for using Different Yeasts in Recipes :

Multiply the amount of instant yeast by 3 for the equivalent amount of fresh yeast.

Multiply the amount of active dry yeast by 2 1/2 for the equivalent amount of fresh yeast.

Multiply the amount of instant yeast by 1 1/4 for the equivalent of active dry yeast.

Expiration Date and Testing Yeast :

Expiration date printed on the yeast's package : Yeast does expire; it will last longer than the date printed on the packet if it is kept in the refrigerator an it will last even longer in the freezer, for up to 1 year.

Testing yeast : sugar is used in testing yeast; to test yeast, add 1/2 teaspoon [2.4 g] sugar to the yeast when stirring it into the water to dissolve.

If it foams and bubbles within 10 minutes, you know the yeast is alive and active.

Measuring Yeast :

You do not need to be exact in measuring yeast; simply remember that it is going to multiply like crazy anyway.

A little less is fine; the dough will rise more slowly and may taste better.

Note that too much yeast will give an unpleasantly yeasty flavor and aroma.

Homemade Yeast Starter :

Take equal parts of flour and water and leave the mixture in a warm location.

Leave it along for a couple of days and the starter should be a frothy mixture [you will see how the flour and water have developed; there should be some smelly water on top and, in general, you will have a starter of wild yeast.

YOGURT CHEESE Six [6] cups [1.5 L] yogurt should yield approximately 3 cups [750 mL] yogurt cheese.

Line a sieve with several layers of cheesecloth; place over a deep bowl.

Pour 1% or skim milk yogurt into the sieve; cover with plastic wrap.

Let sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Discard the liquid.

Store yogurt cheese in an airtight container, in the refrigerator.

ZUCCHINI A 'slim' solution for pastries, as it contains 94% water and takes more space than most of any more fattening ingredients.

A cake made with zucchini is very light and freezes well, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 3 months.