Jeanne Love to the Kitchen Cooking Tips

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I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say they don’t like Italian food. Italian restaurants are popular. Unfortunately, there are some that are not all that terrific; because some of the meals they prepare don’t even come close to those you would enjoy had they been created in an authentic Italian kitchen.

If the truth is known; many ethnic restaurants, such as Italian, Chinese, etc. feature food preparations that are often adapted to American taste buds, and these bear little resemblance to what is created in an actual kitchen of any particular culinary ethnicity.

For some this is fine. There’s nothing wrong with the food, and if you haven’t been brought up in a particular culture with several great cooks in your immediate family, you won’t notice a difference, because you have no prior experience to measure the restaurant meal against.

My family’s roots originate in Northern Italy, and this is the type of food I grew up with. There are many regions in Italy, and each has its own method of food preparation. There are certain basic ingredients that hold true for real Northern Italian cooking, and for many of the other regions as well:

Garlic, onion, basil, grated Reggiano Parmegiano cheese, pure Italian olive oil. Olive oil is expensive, but it’s also good for you. I’ve read that it eats cholesterol. It certainly doesn’t add to it, and it has an excellent flavor that will complement the main meals you are creating, not to mention your salads.

In the end, each of us will make our own choices as to what we consider to be best for us. Beyond this, we often tend to gravitate toward those tastes we have grown up with. The oil, the herbs, the spices you use in your cooking should create a seamless blend that will enhance the flavor of your meals.

Nothing should really stand out, jarring the flavor of the whole preparation. You want to achieve the full-bodied taste that will draw your family and guests to the table in pleasant anticipation of what is to come.

There are many picky children out there, but they do tend to follow what they see their parents and older siblings do. If you influence children, at an early age, to eat nutritiously, and show them early on that good nutrition can taste good;

I believe you can start a generational trend that will lead your children to do the same for their own children, and their children’s children, and so on through generations to come. So again, welcome; I hope you enjoy and can utilize the tips and recipes I’ve posted here for your viewing, and future cooking adventures! Tips:

• If you see a bottle/can labeled olive oil in your supermarket that has a low price compared to other olive oil labels on the shelf, read the ingredients, and compare prices.

If the bottle you’re looking at is a lot less expensive than its neighbors on the shelf you will discover when you read the ingredients that it’s not pure olive oil, but a blend of different oils, some of which are not healthy choices.

• Butter versus margarine: Fat is fat…but butter is a natural product whereas margarine is trans fat.

• Taste two cookies; one whose ingredients include butter, and one that’s been made with margarine.

Your taste buds should discover a huge difference if you compare the cookie made with butter, with the cookie made with margarine. Years ago we were all told that margarine was better for us than butter. That never made sense to me: saying a processed food product is better for your health than a natural one.

With time, those so-called experts, who said that margarine was better for you than butter, admitted they had been wrong. Yes, butter is still fat, but if you use it sparingly, you will enhance the flavor of your food. And…we all need a little bit of fat in our diet. It would be unhealthy to cut fat out altogether. So, feel free to browse the pages within this site.

Try some of the recipes and see what you and your family and friends think of them. Don’t be afraid to change an ingredient, and replace it with one that you think you might like better. Even if you’re already an expert cook, it’s always great to try new things. If you’re a novice cook, try recipes that sound good to you.

As time passes, don’t be afraid to add, or substitute an ingredient in any given recipe. We tend to enjoy doing things we feel accomplished. The more you cook, the more you experiment in your cooking, the more you will gain confidence in your food preparation abilities.

At that point, even if you previously felt cooking wasn’t really your thing, you’ll discover that your new-found confidence in cooking will add to your enjoyment of doing so. My hope is that you enjoy browsing this site, enjoy the discovery of cooking well, from scratch, and serving more nutritious, as well as tasty, recipes to serve your family and friends!

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