Learning to Cook – Round Up 1

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Simply Recipes started three years ago as a way for me to document all that I was learning from my parents on how to cook. Since then the world of food blogs has grown exponentially; if you are interested in improving your cooking skills you can learn the most useful methods just by exploring food blogs. In the spirit of learning to cook, at whatever level, I will attempt to do regular round-ups of cooking methods and tips that I find around the food blog world, starting with this first round-up.

Starting us off is Heidi Swanson’s detailed post of The Madame’s Souffle – basic instructions on how to cook a soufflé, recently translated by Paul Aratow of Madam Evelyn Saint-Ange’s La Bonne Cuisine originally published in the 1920s. Very useful advice if you’ve ever attempted to master a soufflé.

Derrick Schneider of Obsession with Food gives us step-by-step instructions on the lost art of how to render lard.

It’s orange season and Helen Rennie of Beyond Salmon details How to Section an Orange.

Sam Breach of Becks and Posh describes a simple method for making Homemade Ricotta cheese.

Lex Culinaria Does the Mashed Potato and compares yukon golds with fingerling and blue potatoes using various recipes.

Indira of Mahanandi takes me back to my childhood when we kids used to get whole coconuts to crack with hammers with her Homemade Coconut Milk.

That’s it for this round-up. If you know of an excellent cooking method (not just recipe) food blog post that you think would make a good inclusion in future round-ups, please let me know in the comments or email me at recipes [at] elise [dot] com.

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  1. Deb

    Elise, I think this is a great idea. Should be very interesting and will introduce us to some new food blogs also.

  2. McAuliflower

    good round up. these posts are some of my favorite blog flavors- ones that remind us to take a step back and consider making the essentials. From coconut milk to lard, these all provide us an interesting insight into what mass manufactured ingredients have taken ahold of our kitchen. These recipes are a nice reminder that we can do it for ourselves. :)

  3. Abby

    I read every word of that souffle post on Heidi’s site. (I believe I found you through her.) It was just good reading! I’ve never tried a souffle – but I think I just might have to now.

    As for rendering fat – is it better to use the lard than bottled oils? I grew up in the South where bacon grease is King. Is it similar to what he does? I know so little about oils – except to use them sparingly!

  4. Sally

    I like this idea. I’ve often thought that if another depression were to happen in today’s world, my daughter would starve to death! If it doesn’t come from a grocery store, she has no clue of where to get it. I remember helping grandma kill, scald, pluck and cook two chickens every Sunday for Sunday dinner. (There were 8 of us to feed.) Gathering eggs, milking the cows, etc., etc. And, Abby, lard makes the BEST pie crusts!

    Thanks, Elise, for a great post.

  5. Gi

    Lard is the best fat, period. It’s the only thing my grandmother ever used for biscuits and I’ve never had better ones.
    Amen to Sally for pointing out that some of us were lucky enough to have farmers as parents/grandparents so we actually learned a thing or two about how to fend for ourselves.
    My dream is to one day have an organic mini-farm of my own.

  6. Indira

    Thanks Elise for featuring my post about coconut milk. Actually I felt little bit hesitant to write about it on my blog, because most of the Indians know about coconut milk making and I thought it will be regarded as silly/page filling kind of post.:)

    You didn’t include your post about avocados. That’s really a good read and very informative!

  7. Nupur

    I love this round-up…what a neat idea to focus on the basics! I just saw a great one from Maki for making mayo:

  8. Andrea

    Great post! I’ll follow this theme with interest.

  9. Nic

    This is a great idea. I think that my how to beat egg whites post might fit the bill pretty well. It was a mystery for the longest time.

  10. Magictofu

    This roundup is a great idea. Feel free to use some of my posts if needed… although I would say that all of them reflects work in progress rather than definitive acquired technique.

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