Ask the Cook

Q: Are lemons supposed to implode on themselves like a dying star when you cook them whole? A: Yes

Q: How do I know what yeast to use? A: Read this yeast lesson.

Q: I noticed you don’t cook with gas. Is that a preference? A: No. But I rented my apartment with appliances. I don’t love the electric range, but I’ve gotten used to it. It is really easy to clean and there aren’t that many things that make it truly problematic but I definitely would pick gas if I could.


Ask the Cook — 6 Comments

  1. Hi Chef!
    One of my favorite healthy lunch places makes a version of chicken parmesan that I want to replicate at home. It’s basically chicken parm served on a bed of quinoa. Can you help me find a way to make this dish more exciting? Specifically, the tomato sauce part. Is there a fresher alternative to jarred tomato sauce or sauce made from canned tomatoes? Also, while you’re at it, any tips on making quinoa? Mine was pretty mushy…

  2. Hi Chef!

    Do you have any party-on-a-dime ideas? My daughter’s first birthday bash is coming up in two weeks, and the guest list is quite long! I want to throw a fun party without breaking the bank. Any suggestions? I plan to serve snack foods and adult beverages.

    • Sorry I’m so slow to respond! Yes, definitely. I love these missions. I will definitely keep this in mind for a future post, this is a great idea.

      I like to pick a theme to help me narrow things down and then do one signature cocktail. You can always tell people what you’re serving so they know to byo if they want something specific.

      Margaritas with guac, chips and salsa is always an easy crowd pleaser. But add a watermelon salad with chili oil, lime, and cotija cheese to make your day stand out. And here’s an easy and cheap recipe for margaritas for a crowd:

      1 can minutemaid limeade
      Instead of 4 1/3 cans water, use 1 1/3 cans tequila (or more if you want the party to get wild)
      2 cans water or seltzer
      lots of ice

      Another theme that’s more kid oriented and less about the food? Circus!
      Pop corn in dollar store popcorn boxes, my dangerous cocktail nuts and Shirly Tipsy and Dirty Cherry Cokes round out the event. And yellow and white mums or white hydrangeas in a popcorn box as super cute centerpieces. You can even put your cute daughter in a lion onesie.

      Shirley Tipsy and Dirty Cherry Coke:
      Vanilla Vodka
      Cherry Seven Up or Coke
      a cherry

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