Things You Should Know By Now- Cooking! The top ten things you need to know how to make!

I spent last weekend in Tahoe with friends of Hubby's from way back. It was gorgeous, as you can see! Landon had a ball kayaking, boating and playing with all the kids. We stayed in this cabin on Lake Cascade.

While there, my friend Sarah really opened my eyes to something. Homemaking, when given attention and love, is an art. There's a finesse, a style, that true homemakers possess. Sarah cooked fabulous meals with ease, everything was just gorgeous. She took care of her three kids (her nanny was there too, lucky I know!) and was the perfect hostess. It made me start thinking about my life. Most of the time I avoid housework, let alone try to think of it as an art. Then I realized I do like to cook. I can make a few recipes that are pretty good, even though hubby is the true chef.

It made me think, I need to know a little bit more about the art of cooking before I turn 40! I mean there are a few basics everyone should know right?

Here are ten "art of cooking" tricks I found that I think everyone should have up their sleeves!

1) Thirst Quencher- Ice water with lemon, mint and cucumber. Delicious! Makes you feel like you're at a spa!

2) Quick 3 Ingredient Pasta Sauce:

Pour contents of a 28oz can of whole peeled tomatoes into a large skillet. Squish tomatoes with your fingers, discarding stems. Add half a stick of butter and a medium onion peeled and halved (cut side down). Bring mixture to a boil (no lid); lower heat and stir occasionally until sauce thickens, 30 minutes or so. Discard onion and use sauce immediately, or store in fridge for up to 5 days.

3) Blender Hollandaise:

2 large egg yolks
1 tbsp lemon juice
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Pulse first three ingredients in blender. Heat butter until just melted., with blender running, slowly add butter until frothy. If too thick, blend in 1 tsp luke warm water. Season with salt and serve.

4)The perfect grilled steak
Sprinkle kosher salt on a good cut of meat (like rib eye). Toss onto a super hot grill. avoid pushing down on steak. while grilling (loses flavor). For medium rare, cook a 1 inch ribeye about 2 or 3 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes.

5) Basic Guacamole-

2 ripe avocados
juice of one lime
1/4 cup finely chopped red or vidalia onion
1 jalapeno seeded and finely chopped (optional)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
salt to taste
tortilla chips for serving

Scoop avocados from shell. Cover with lime juice and mash. Stir in onion, jalapeno and cilantro, season with salt to taste. Eat immediately or cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole so it doesn't discolor.

6) Brown Butter Sauce- aka make anything taste better sauce-
Melt a stick of butter in a pan. When it browns, add juice of 1 lemon and 8 sage leaves, Toss with pasta or drizzle over fish. Garnish with lemon zest.

7) Chicken Soup!
1 pound carrots sliced into 1/2 inch coins
5 stalks celery chopped 1/2 inch thick
1 large onion chopped
1 5 pound chicken
2 tbsp. chopped parsley

1. In large pot, place carrots, celery, onion, and chicken (backbone side up). Add water to cover.

2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer, and cook partially covered until chicken is done, about an hour. Skim off foam and discard.

3. Remove chicken from pot, and let stand until cool. Remove meat from bones, shred into bite size pieces and return to pot. Cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

8) Perfect roasted veggies-
chop 4 cups of your veggies of choice (cauliflower, zucchini, peppers etc), toss on cookie sheet with two tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper, and a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme. Pop into a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes (flip veggies half way through).

Cookie Secret-
Use the recipe of the Toll House bag (it's the best!), and add your own touches! Coconut, cranberries, raisins etc!

and last, and most important...

10) Your signature drink:

Start with a basic martini
3 parts vodka to 1 part dry vermouth
then customize:
add whatever flavored liqueur you like ( poire william for pear, chambord for raspberry, grand marnier for orange etc!!)

Is this some good information or what!!!??
xoxoo The Mrs.


Jessi said...

Love #9...I always get compliments on my cookies and its just the Toll House recipe and sometimes a little something extra!!
(I also use Crisco instead of butter, I know, not great for you, but it makes them softer!!)
Love this series of posts!

suburban prep said...

Thanks for the info.
I am not the best cook hopefully your hints will help.

Anonymous said...

Great tips! I always feel like an adult when I can pull off a dinner party - good food, served at the right temperature, with time to mingle with guests is the trifecta I strive for. I don't always get it right but when it all comes together - it's fabulous!

Let Them Eat Cake said...

These are great tips.

Muffy said...

This is such a super fab post! I love it! So useful. As an aside, OMG! You saw Annie Potts?!?

mrsb said...

Great list!

And forget Annie Potts...

You just saw John Corbett??


Clare said...

i love your list of helpful hints, thanks for sharing!

mommy2davin said...

Great post. I so agree about the cookies!

Pink in a sea of blue said...

Great post! I have a great balsamic brown butter sauce I make for grilled asparagus. It is so yummy. Also, gotta use real butter in the tollhouse cookies. They are the best!

nanny said...

Good stuff there!!!!

Life, Love And Lola said...

Great tips!

Headbands and Hand Bags said...

My mouth is watering! These were all great tips!

AMY said...

I can't wait to try these recipes. I totally agree with you that homemaking is an art. I think it is a gift the Lord blesses us with so we can bless our families. If I get over my bad attitude about picking up dirty socks and underwear and remember that these humble jobs I do are a blessing to the people I love the most, I enjoy homemaking all the more. If I do it with a joyful heart I might even be a good example to my kids...still working on that sometimes ;-)

The Shabby Princess said...

Yum, bronw butter sauce really does make everything taste better.

Thanks for the tips!

Eloise said...

That is one great post!! After I get back home I plan to print it so that I can try each of your suggestions.

I loved hearing your description of your friend. That would be my dream come true to have a friend like you describe me that way!