Archive for December, 2008

My Favorite Things: Bench Knife

December 22, 2008

In My Favorite Things I report on my favorite cooking accessories.  The first installment is bench knives.

It goes by many names:  bench knife, dough scraper and pastry cutter, just to name a few.  I originally bought a bench knife to assist in turning and portioning dough, but I use it transfer chopped veggies and meat from the cutting board to the pan almost every time I cook.  It is also great for smashing garlic – and much safer than smashing with the flat of a sharp knife. 

So how much will a bench knife set you back?  This is the best part.  I picked mine up at Ikea years ago for just a couple bucks.  It is stainless steel and has weathered countless trips through the dishwasher without rusting.  You should be able to find one at any cooking store. 

Bench Knife


Coulis and Beef Stock Episodes Up

December 12, 2008

I’m so excited that we are finally having our official website launch!  Building Blocks Show has been in the works for a very long time.  Who are the brains behind BBS?  Technical director and Co-producer Malissa Grunke and I run the show with much help from Graphic Designer Louise Derksen, Photographer Ben Constable, and the support of our friends and families.  Special thanks to our little helpers Audrey and Anna!

We have episodes Making Coulis and Making Beef Stock up which include some of my favorite recipes, like meat pie and strawberry lemonade.  We have already shot our next episode, a lesson on Italian red sauce “Sunday gravy” with guest cook Vinny Pasceri.  Look for that late next month.  

Looking for a way to keep in the loop with new episodes and products?  Put our RSS feed in your reader or send me an e-mail at kim[at]buildingblocksshow[dot]com to receive alerts via e-mail.  Expect only one or two e-mails a month and of course we will not share your information with anyone.

 Thanks for taking the time to check out the new blog.  I look forward to cooking with you!

Recipe Report: Biggest Loser Style Thai Turkey Wraps

December 12, 2008

In the Recipe Report, Malissa or I (Kim) review a recipe from TV, the internet, or our cookbook collection.  The first installment is Thai Turkey Wraps from the Biggest Loser TV show. 

One of my favorite things to do on a Tuesday evening is to grab a bag of cookies and dig in while watching the contestants of Biggest Loser battle it out.  This week the last remaining male contestant and resident chef, Ed, cooked some tasty looking Thai Turkey Wraps.  They are basically ground turkey mixed with diced raw veggies, lime juice, and cilantro wrapped in lettuce leaves and sprinkled with cashews.  I figured by the conspicuous product placement that the recipe would be on the Jennie-O website and so I looked it up and cooked it up. 

I really enjoyed the tangy flavor of limes mixed with lots of crunchy fresh veggies.  Since I shop at a small food cooperative, I wasn’t able to get Jennie-O ground turkey and had to “settle” for ground free range chicken.  For some reason the 350 people who rated the recipe on the Jennie-O website only averaged two out of five stars, but I’d give it a four. 

Overall, it was a very healthy meal, easy to prepare (although lots of chopping), and yummy.  My only critiques are that peanuts would go better than cashews and that the recipe was not as specific as it should be.  “1/2 bunch cilantro” should be more like ¼ cup of chopped cilantro.  Also, I added a little chicken stock to the chicken as it cooked to give it a more flavor and keep it moist.  (Look for How to Make Chicken Stock in a future episode of Building Blocks Show.)

Have you made this recipe?  What did you think?  Leave a comment below.