A Free Cook’s Illustrated Book for your iPhone or iPod Touch

Another rockin’ app for the iPhone (or iPod Touch) has been released that will bring joy to the kitchen—Amazon’s Kindle App for the iPhone (or iPod Touch) — free!! I’ve observed the Kindle for a while, and loved it, but I don’t need to haul another electronic around with me. However, with the app, you’re able to do all the same with the iPhone or iPod Touch, as with the Kindle–including downloading books!

I got a tip about a free Cook’s Illustrated book for the Kindle. It’s the How-To Library from Cook’s Illustrated (you may be familiar with their PBS shows, “America’s Test Kitchen” and “Cook’s Country”). It is easy-as-pie to get the book, too!

  1. Acquire a Kindle or Amazon’s Kindle App (for iPod Touch of iPhone); download and install
  2. Browse over to Amazon.com to get The Cook’s Illustrated How-to-Cook Library: An illustrated step-by-step guide to Foolproof Cooking (Kindle Edition) (free!!!)
  3. If you’ve not already registered your product, you will be directed how to do so.
  4. Open Kindle (or Kindle app on iPod Touch or iPhone)
  5. Get cooking!

I’ve already spent 30-minutes just drooling over the recipes. I own a few of the hard-bound “How-to” books—but, what can beat a freebie??

MacGourmet Touch–reviewed

Recipe piles (yikes!)

Recipe piles (yikes!)

Love it! Love it!! Love it!!!

I’ve always been a “paper girl”—I would have stacks and stacks of paper of recipes that I was dying to try. However, eventually, they become a frightening mess. Despite my efforts to recycle, I saw that effort being undone by my waste of recipe printing. (note photo—yikes!)

I’ve tried many things…I believe this is the order in which they progressed:

  1. Printing recipe; storing in binder
  2. Printing recipe; storing in big piles
  3. Finding recipes; adding to Delicious
  4. Finding recipes; saving as PDFs on my computer
  5. Finding PDFs; printing and storing in big piles

Enter: MacGourmet

I spent two or three hours seeking the recipes online that I had printed once-upon-a-time. Then, those recipes that seemed as those I really wanted to make, I used the simple keyboard stokes (genius!!) to import them perfectly into my program. I could insert a photo, if I chose, assign categories, and even courses to meals. These are all customizable, of course (love it!!)

Of course, now I’ve just taken a bunch of paper and put it on my computer, which resulted keeping my laptop on the kitchen counter. Better, but not ideal.

Enter: MacGourmet Touch

Wow!! Having my recipes RIGHT in front of me, complete with photos, shopping lists, recipes notes, blah, blah, has been fantastic!! I don’t even worry about spills, as I store it under a piece of saran wrap to protect from any misguided splatters. The setting to keep the iPhone (or iPod Touch) from going to sleep keeps the recipe alert and ready when I’m ready to scroll to the next directive.

I LOVE having my recipes with me when I’m on the go. When a craving hits for a particular dish, I don’t have to curse myself for forgetting an ingredient while at the grocery store—because it’s always at my fingertips! The shopping list feature is worth the $4.99 in and of itself. With the ability to add, edit and remove items while on the go—it beats out a paper list any day!

If you’ve been holding onto your five dollars for fear of value…it’s time to let it go. As consumers, we definitely are getting a bargain!

MacGourmet Touch at iTunes Store

MacGourmet program for your Mac (you need the base program to use the App)

This year I resolve to ________ in my kitchen!

With the new year comes new resolutions, and in the spirit of recycling, I’ve decided to recycle some resolutions from last year, too–maybe I’ll actually do them this time! My list seems to be growing in my head of what I want to do, but I think they each deserve their own post, with progress checks. I’ve listed below those that will be coming soon.

What resolutions do you have? Any advice to share with me on mine?? Please do!

  1. Set-up a cooking pattern. (See, the thing is—I love to cook. A little too much, in fact. My hubby has started asking when we can have “meal xx” again, and I’m usually saying, “Are you nuts? I’ll die before I can ever get through my list of recipes TO TRY! So, this way, we can make a list of the all-time favorites, and make sure they don’t drop away forever).
  2. Five days a week, go by the cooking pattern; try two new recipes/week. (I figure I can reduce some stress about getting to the grocery store to get the new, random ingredients I need. Plus, I eliminate the problem of resolution number one).
  3. Clean out the cookbook shelf! (I’ve always thought people were nuts who have 100+ cookbooks sitting around. Oops–I’m almost there!)
  4. Use MacGourmet Deluxe with all its super powers! (I’m loving this program, and I have so much use for it, once you understand all the cool tools—ironically, just like using a Mac Computer. I intend to combine it with goal #3)
  5. Key-in “must-try recipes” to MacGourmet Deluxe. (Okay, this is kind of a cheater’s resolution, since it combines 3 & 4, but it’s such a HUGE one, it does deserve its own number! I plan to key in the well-loved recipes from books that I don’t want to keep, just for those recipes. What a waste of space! Besides, whenever someone asks for a copy of a recipe of something I’ve made—now I can email it [how cool is that!] from the program, instead of having to type it in for each requester).
  6. Clean out my pantry—for the billionth time. (Seriously. I’ve lost track how  many times I’ve done this. I keep trying new things; hopefully, this time I’ll succeed. Suggestions, please??)
  7. Organize my spices. (Okay, this is a cheater one, since I already did it—but the outcome is SO awesome, I have to make a reminder to myself to post about it!)
  8. Figure out why I have so many baking pans, and if I really want them all. (The “before photos” will frighten you. They frighten me, and I purchased them all!)
  9. More to come, I’m sure. For a KitchenNut, the work in the kitchen is never really done!

Cooking in a tiny kitchen–can it be done (successfully)?

I am intrigued by the article by Mark Bittman today, of how to cook in a tiny kitchen Click here to read the awesome article!

When I first learned to cook, I did so in the best of environments (AllClad, Wolfe, Sub-zero). Truly, it was fantastic! While visiting some families home, at which there were only a few pans with mis-matched lids, warped pans, etc, did I truly learn what the talent of cooking is! It’s really not about the granite counters, Sub-Zeros and gas ranges (good thing!); it’s really about the skill and doing what you can with what you have.

Please don’t spend the Holidays, or any other time, coveting that perfect pan—-work on your skills at hand, and be amazed what you can do with what you have! You will be surprised—and impressed.

Merry Christmas, y’all!

Is craving the cake zoebakes p…

Is craving the cake zoebakes posted!

Ugh–I ate way too much! Howev…

Ugh–I ate way too much! However, it was delicious. :)

Mmmm…homemade pizza (whole w…

Mmmm…homemade pizza (whole wheat crust) with homemade marinara (see site for recipe) that I had previously “put-away.” Fantastic!

Quick and Easy Salad Dressing

This quickly rose to my absolutely favorite salad dressing! I’ve made loads of homemade recipes, but hubby still wanted store-bought Italian. Annoyed, I refused to give-up! There had to be a dressing that made salad-haters excited to eat their leafy greens. And, voila! I have found it! It is fantastic on steamed broccoli, too!

Honey-Dijon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette (dresses 4 cups mixed greens)

using good quality ingredients makes all the difference

  • 2 teaspoons good-quality cider vinegar (unfiltered)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons good quality Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic (or one tiny pinch of dehydrated, ground garlic)
  • pinch freshly-ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil*

*vegetable oil: Rice Bran Oil, Good quality EVOO, Canola oil


1. Simply toss into an empty jar with a screw-tight lid and shake with all your might. Dress greens. Serve immediately.

Enjoy. Sharing Optional!™

Ooh…I just found a recipe fo…

Ooh…I just found a recipe for pumpkin brownies! Heaven.

Substitution Chart for Pan Sizes in Baking

It’s frustrating when you don’t have the exact pan that a recipe calls for. Or, what if you want to halve the recipe, or quarter it? What size pan do you use? Well, I’ve spent so much time calculating this (repeatedly), I finally got smart and made a chart! I decided to share.

Isn’t it lovely? (clickety on the image for a larger, printable view).

Yes, you can substitute an 8 x 8 square pan for a 9″ round one; the only consequence will be the shape. If you want to do half of a recipe that calls for an 8 x 8 recipe, simply look at the row for the 8 x 8 pan, then under the header “one-half,” which says 32. In the left column, we don’t have a pan that is exactly 32, so you have a few options: 6″ round or 6 x 6 square would be your best options.

Looking for some good pan suggestions?

Calphlon Nonstick 9 x 13 pan
Calphalon Nonstick 8 x8 pan
Chicago Metallic 9 x 9 Nonstick pan
Chicago Metallic Nonstick Mini Loaf 5.75″ x 3.25″
Chicago Metallic 8″ Round Nonstick Cake Pan
Chicago Metallic 9″ Round Nonstick Cake Pan

Now-and-Later Marinara (Simple Tomato Sauce)

A few years ago, I would watch Giada de Laurentiis faithfully. When I became scathed that her show’s time changed, I bought a Tivo. In general, her recipes are hit or miss (which, I attribute to using the same ingredients that she uses), but the best one ever: her Simple Tomato Sauce. It is absolutely to die for, and I turn up my nose at all others. It is simple, unbelievably tasty, and gets better with time. For me and my family, and I always make a “now and later” batch.

There are three basic steps:

1. Prep ingredients
2. Brown veggies
3. Simmer

Really. It is that simple, but tastes complex. My photos show my OCD side, as I purchased a 13-quart dutch oven so I could make obsessively-large batches, then pressure can them to put away for later. Unfortunately, once I know that the sauce is made, it only lasts a week…after all the work of canning it, I mean. The sauce does freeze beautfully, though, and only requires a quick overnight thaw in the refrigerator.

Giada’s Simple Tomato Sauce (as taken from FoodNetwork.com, with my changes)

3-4 Tablespoons EVOO
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine (optional); I use de-alcholized wine (clickety here for information about cooking with wine, and substitutions)
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried basil

In a large casserole pot or Dutch over, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Sauté until all the vegetables are browned, about 10 minutes. Add wine or substitute (if using) Add tomatoes, bay leaves, garlic powder, and dried basil and simmer uncovered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and taste for additional seasoning.

Add 1/2 the tomato sauce into a blender. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags or Mason jars. This will freeze up to 6 months.

I just taught a group of teen-…

I just taught a group of teen-girls how to make salsa. :) I love teaching about food.

More fun with corn syrup…

As a fun addition to my previous post about the liars–er, marketers–trying to convince you that corn syrup is good for you (clickety here), my brother sent me this website from the Consumist: clickety here

Watch the commercials, then read some comments. There are lots of funny ones (and several that could use an edit button).

My results on the AOL Cereal Quiz

I can identify 18 out of20 cereals, just by site. Really. Have I ever mentioned I ate a lot of cold cereal growing up? AOL Cereal ID Quiz How did you do?

Making some broa, pulled pork,…

Making some broa, pulled pork, homemade bbq sauce (made with homemade ketchup, of course) and deciding which brownie recipe to make.

Baked From Scratch