sous vide carnitas soy sauce braised wild mushroom noodles technique: sous vide tempering chocolate raspberry syrup & raspberry pink cadillac margaritas


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archive for kitchen

kitchen tour: no special effects/tartelette

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Well, we have come to it at last… the final segment of our kitchen tour. I hope that these past several weeks have inspired some of you, be it from the beautiful, dreamy kitchens some bloggers have created to the bloggers who are “making due” and in fact, doing it incredibly well. You’ve gotta love the photography setups and nifty kitchen or entertaining tips – these bloggers know their way around a kitchen, know their way around food. It’s all about sharing and learning (and laughing, oh the laughing…)! Our last two blogger kitchens are half a world apart and yet these two people could not be dearer friends to me. Enjoy.

blog: No Special Effects
blogger: Mark, or Manggy, which is a shortened version of my surname.
location: Quezon City, Philippines
house: I live in my parents’ house, which I feel particularly defensive about since I’m already much older than many of you probably were by the time you’ve moved out! Think of the Philippines as the Italy of Asia, I guess (being a perpetual student didn’t help matters). Anyway, the house is 9 years old, and I love it as my dad designed it and oversaw the construction.
kitchen footprint: 10 sq. meters
photos: all photos of the No Special Effects kitchen are courtesy of Mark

Oh boy. It’s hot… and humid! Here we are in the Philippines visiting with Mark of No Special Effects. Er, that’s Dr. Mark to you :) Not only is he Dr. Mark (of the MD persuasion), but if you have ever visited his blog, you know that he is a talented cook and baker. Mark kids around with everyone, but at the core he is incredibly thoughtful and kind… and dorky – all qualities I cherish about him. After spending a few months in the States interviewing, he returned home just in the nick of time to partake in this tour despite battling jetlag. I’m certainly glad to have him here. Let’s have a look at the kitchen, shall we?

I think the most important change that happened to the kitchen when I decided to pick up the whisk is that it actually got used! Curiously in some Filipino homes– and that includes most of the Filipino homes I’ve seen– there is what we call the “dirty kitchen.” And it doesn’t mean half the time we don’t care about food safety; it only refers to a separate kitchen where you can really mess up (oil splatters, spills) on a daily basis while the other kitchen, the “clean” one, is for show. Obviously I don’t like this system as the clean kitchen becomes a waste– soulless. While I’m not the one who cooks meals on a daily basis, when I do cook, I make it a point to use the kitchen for what it was built. As a result, my pans and little knick-knacks invade most every crevice.


the main kitchen



[This is] where all the non-magic happens. All the utensils are on display. My lone saucepan and dutch oven are stashed in the cabinets underneath, as is an ass-ton of sugar. My mom is on a juicing kick right now and uses the machine every day no matter what a chore it is to clean.

clean kitchen : “dirty” kitchen



**Jump for more butter**

kitchen tour: dessert first/culinary concoctions by peabody

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

We’ve been at this food blogger kitchen tour for a month now and honestly, I’m amazed at how many people are as excited about snooping around other kitchens as I am. I love seeing brilliant ideas implemented by my peeps. More than anything, I like how this series emphasizes that a food blog is great because of the effort, the creativity, and the personal style of each blogger. It’s not the kitchen that makes the blog, it’s the heart of the blogger(s). [Does this sound like my standard rant that a good camera does not a good photographer make? Just replace camera with kitchen and photographer with cook or food blogger.]

Last week, we ventured about sunny Southern California. This week, I’m taking you north near the heart of San Francisco. Have you ever been? I love it there, but I’ve always been a mere visitor. Today, we’re a guest of my favorite resident of the city!

blog: Dessert First
blogger: Anita
location: San Francisco, California
house: 1920s-ish apartment
kitchen footprint: 80 sq. ft.
photos: all photos of the Dessert First kitchen are courtesy of Anita

When I first became aware of the food blogosphere, one of my regular sources of inspiration was Dessert First. Anita is talented. She creates gorgeous food, teaches baking courses, and is working on her second cookbook right now. All of this from an engineer! Let’s hear it for gear heads! I had the pleasure of being the first stop on her virtual book tour when Field Guide to Cookies came out last year. The woman is not only a class act, but has a heart of gold. You are going to be amazed at what Anita accomplishes in this kitchen.


the entire kitchen of dessert first



I have a new found respect for you, my dear. It’s one thing to create those lovely pastries at all, but it is a whole new level of OMG now that I see the space you work in.

The kitchen in the apartment is about 80 to 90 square feet in an approximately 650 square foot place. Yes, it’s getting quite cramped and my boyfriend and I are looking for a new bigger place! But we’ve managed to make things work pretty well here. In the photo you can see the kitchen from the living room. It’s basically a rectangle, one side lined with cabinets/sink/counters, one side with the stove and refrigerator, one side with windows and a storage rack for my baking equipment, and the fourth side has a table/workspace that divides the kitchen from the living room. There’s not a lot of counter space, and much of it is taken up by appliances. You can see the microwave, my Kitchenaid, food processor, toaster oven, rice cooker. It means I do most of my prep work on the kitchen table.


the stove is nestled between the refrigerator and counter



**Jump for more butter**

kitchen tour: alosha’s kitchen/white on rice couple

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Are you ready for your weekly dose of blogger kitchens? We are now entering week 4 of the tour and both of the kitchens featured this week are located in sunny, Southern California. While I don’t really miss the kitchens I had in So Cal, I certainly miss all of the fine produce and access to awesome ethnic foods, and that weather (as long as it didn’t get too hot)… ANYTHING grows in that weather! In contrast, I had a little victory of my own this week when I planted some mint in my window sill. Did I mentioned we’re supposed to get 3-7 inches of snow today?

blog: Alosha’s Kitchen
blogger: Melissa
location: Orange County, California
house: apartment, 35 years old
kitchen footprint: 12′x12′ (estimate)
photos: all photos of Alosha’s Kitchen are courtesy of Melissa

Our first stop is Alosha’s Kitchen where Melissa chronicles her culinary journeys from her apartment kitchen. I first became aware of her blog when she was picked on by the giant machinery that is Cooks Illustrated (America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Country) and the food blogging community rallied behind Melissa. [Personally, I am rather underwhelmed by their Chinese recipes.] What I love about Melissa’s cooking is that she is learning and exploring and sharing with others – it’s what makes cooking so fun. What I love about Melissa is that she has a lot of heart.

Tell me, what is your motivation for cooking?

Two reasons. One is that it’s a challenge for me. Cooking doesn’t come easily for me and until a year and a half ago when I started my blog, I knew very, very little. So it keeps my brain busy because I get to learn new things and expand my horizons almost every day. The second reason is for our health. Eating out every day or getting fast food just isn’t an option. I won’t put that junk into our bodies. So cooking means I am taking care of us.


enter the kitchen



How much time do you spend in your kitchen?

An hour or two per night usually, whether that’s making dinner or making lunches for the next workday. On the weekends, I’ve been trying to make more time-intensive meals. So that can mean 3 or 4 hours in the kitchen, making a soup in addition to a more complicated recipe for dinner. That’s if I’m lucky though. I work a lot, including overtime on the weekends, and I don’t spend as much time in there as I would like because of that.

Melissa had expressed some nervousness about showcasing her kitchen. Afterall, she told me, it’s a tiny apartment kitchen. But I reassured her that there are so many apartment kitchen cooks out there – and I had my fair share of apartment kitchen cooking until I was 34! When I got her pictures, I nearly fell out of my chair – I would have loved such a nice space when I was living in apartments. She is pragmatic about her kitchen and also keeps things incredibly tidy, another big plus in my book.


the range



**Jump for more butter**