Category Archives: Ingredients

How to Toast Pumpkin Seeds

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

The first time that I had toasted pumpkin seeds was in elementary school. I specifically remember my 1st grade teacher having us bring in seeds and toasting them – by which I mean watching her toast them – in the school’s kitchen. I don’t remember how they turned out, but it sure was fun. These days, I’m not even sure if you’re allowed to celebrated Halloween ... Read More »

What is self-rising flour?

Self-rising flour has an almost magical sound to it. And if you look at recipes that call for it, you’ll see that they do not call for the addition of salt or leavening agents, though biscuits, cakes and breads made with seem to rise up just fine. The reason for this is that self-rising flour is actually nothing of the sort. It is flour that ... Read More »

How to keep brown sugar soft

sugar discs

Brown sugar can be a bit problematic because, when left unattended, the moist sugar can quickly transform into a rock-like state. This happens because the sugar dries out and the molasses used to keep it brown (most brown sugars are white sugars, with molasses added back) hardens and sticks it together like glue. There are several ways to avoid this problem. The easiest is by storing the ... Read More »

How to make Vanilla Sugar

vanilla sugar

One of the tastiest things you can keep in your kitchen is vanilla sugar. With the sweetness of sugar and the flavor of vanilla, it is good on oatmeal, on fruit and is delicious in tea. It is even better when substituted for plain sugar in baked goods, because almost every single one – with the possible exception of some savory items – can benefit ... Read More »

How to Beat Egg Whites

Egg whites, beaten

I have decided that we need to talk about egg whites. Their chief purpose, in baking, is to lend structure to baked goods. They also add liquid to a recipe, but I’m not going to deal with that right now. Because of the unique properties of egg whites, they alone can be used to leaven things like cakes without the aid of yeast or chemical ... Read More »

Homemade Butter

butter

What could be more enjoyable than creamy butter spread onto a nice piece of good bread? Homemade butter made from the best cream you can possibly find spread onto a nice piece of good bread. This morning was devoted to butter making. And by “devoted to” I mean to say that I poured some heavy cream into my stand mixer, put on the whisk attachment ... Read More »

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