Kitchen Basics

Lighten Up! What Do You Mean by 'Lighten Up'?

In our local newspaper recently was an article titled Italian twist lightens up classic French onion soup1. The author is a well known and respected chef, author and TV personality. The lead in says, "In my quest to slim down this French classic, I turned to Italy. I swapped out Gruyere in favour of Parmigiano-Reggiano and moved the croutons and... Read more




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


No Peeking!

I keep hearing that when you cook rice you shouldn't lift the lid to see how it is doing. Why not? - Sally The theory is that if you peek at the rice, either the pot will cool down, meaning that it will take longer to cook, or that you will lose moisture so the rice won't cook properly. So, how true are these theories? Read more




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


If It Ain't Buttermilk, What Is It?

I've heard it said that what we buy as buttermilk on the supermarkets now isn't the same as what buttermilk used to be. Can you explain the difference to me? Back in the day, as my kids would say, buttermilk was the liquid that was left behind when butter was made. Read more




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


Time to Chill

Why do pie crust recipes tell you to refrigerate the dough before rolling it out? Refrigerating the dough after mixing has two main benefits. First, it cools down the fat, making it firm again. If the fat becomes too soft, it will mix too completely with the flour. Second, the resting period allows any gluten that was formed during mixing to relax. Read more




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


"How do you measure flour after it is sifted? It would be so messy to then put it back into the measuring cup!" The easiest way to measure flour after sifting is to sift onto a piece of (waxed) paper and then use that to transfer the flour to a dry measuring cup. This is likely how your grandmother would have done it. Read more




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


Working the Odds

My husband cooked chicken breasts on the barbecue grill yesterday. We put the remaining breasts into the refrigerator soon after pulling them off of the grill, around 3:00 pm. At 4:00 am, my daughter pulled the chicken out of the fridge to make a sandwich and forgot to put the other breasts back. My husband found them at 5:30 a.m.... Read more




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


Blow-by-Blow

In a comment on your post regarding how to peel a hard-boiled egg, it says,"Another way to peel eggs to put a small hole in one end of the hard boiled egg. Cup the egg in one hand and then blow into the hole, the shell should come right off. Only use this method for eggs you are going to... Read more




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


Old Tales Die Hard

I noticed in your recipe for Salade Niçoise,that you say to put all of the dressing ingredients into a mini-blender and whiz until smooth. I thought when making a vinaigrette or mayonnaise that you had to drizzle the oil in a drop or two at a time! When making a vinaigrette or mayonnaise by hand you need to drizzle the... Read more




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


What Makes Double Acting Baking Powder Double Acting?

What Makes Double Acting Baking Powder Double Acting? Double acting baking powder is called that because it has two reactions, one at room temperature when the wet ingredients come into contact with it, and a second in the heat of the oven. To get the double acting part, two different powdered acids are typically used -- one for each reaction. Some people mistakenly think that because a batter increases in volume during cooking that this is means Read more




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward


How to Calibrate a Thermometer

I got a new quick read probe thermometer, but I'm not sure it is reading accurately. Is there an easy way to check it? -- Dan There are two temperatures that are very easy to check a thermometer for in the home kitchen -- the freezing point of water, and its boiling point. Water freezes at 32°F (0°C). If your... Read more




Due to the volume of questions received, not all can be answered, nor can we guarantee we will answer questions immediately
© Lost Hobbit Enterprises 2004 onward