Copyright (c) 2017 en-us - TheFoodGeek's posts - TheFoodGeek's posts Sun, 30 Apr 2017 18:16:32 -0500 - TheFoodGeek's posts - TheFoodGeek's posts <![CDATA[The Deal with Bread Dough]]> Tue, 11 Dec 2012 15:13:48 -0500 The Deal with Bread Dough Posted by TheFoodGeek
Different types of doughs require different techniques, and sometime familiarity with one dough's method takes you down the wrong path with another type of dough. ]]>
<![CDATA[Cream of the Crop]]> Thu, 01 Nov 2012 13:09:35 -0500 Cream of the Crop Posted by TheFoodGeek
What is Culinary Cream, and is there a good substitute for adding to hot or acidic liquids? ]]>
<![CDATA[How Eggs Provide Lift]]> Fri, 28 Sep 2012 14:37:28 -0500 How Eggs Provide Lift Posted by TheFoodGeek
Adding an egg to a cake mixture will tend to cause the cake to rise more. What is it about eggs that provide lift, even without making a foam? ]]>
<![CDATA[Salt: Pasta and Water]]> Fri, 31 Aug 2012 18:17:40 -0500 Salt: Pasta and Water Posted by TheFoodGeek
We salt our pasta water because our pasta is unsalted, but why is our pasta unsalted? ]]>
<![CDATA[It's Only Mostly Cooked]]> Tue, 31 Jul 2012 08:30:00 -0500 It's Only Mostly Cooked Posted by TheFoodGeek
The techniques of blanching and parboiling seem awfully similar. Are they the same? ]]>
<![CDATA[Saucy Lumps, and How to Avoid Them]]> Fri, 29 Jun 2012 15:14:26 -0500 Saucy Lumps, and How to Avoid Them Posted by TheFoodGeek
Lumps in a sauce are the sign of a cook who isn't your grandmother, and is therefore an inferior cook. Learn to avoid the lumps, and be ready for a better comparison at holiday meals. ]]>
<![CDATA[The Why of the Wooden Spoon]]> Thu, 17 May 2012 08:30:00 -0500 The Why of the Wooden Spoon Posted by TheFoodGeek
Recipes sometimes specify using a wooden spoon. What's wrong with plastic? ]]>
<![CDATA[Slow Cooking Secrets]]> Tue, 03 Apr 2012 07:10:33 -0500 Slow Cooking Secrets Posted by TheFoodGeek
Too often the results of a night of slow cooking are a grey, gooey mess. If you're making oatmeal, that's not so bad, but for most things, it's icky. Here are some tricks to slow cooking success. ]]>
<![CDATA[A New Method for Panna Cotta]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2012 08:19:00 -0500 A New Method for Panna Cotta Posted by TheFoodGeek
A reader runs across a new method for making panna cotta, but it seems vaguely familiar in a different context. ]]>
<![CDATA[Ginger ale, ginger beer]]> Thu, 26 Jan 2012 11:06:34 -0500 Ginger ale, ginger beer Posted by TheFoodGeek
What's the difference between ginger ale and ginger beer, and is there really such a thing as a "ginger beer plant"? ]]>
<![CDATA[Mashed potato textures]]> Thu, 05 Jan 2012 08:30:00 -0500 Mashed potato textures Posted by TheFoodGeek
Potatoes processed with a ricer have a different texture than those processed with a mixer. Why? ]]>
<![CDATA[Cucumber Preservation]]> Thu, 29 Dec 2011 09:33:59 -0500 Cucumber Preservation Posted by TheFoodGeek
Though it's not the best for the environment, there are reasons to wrap cucumbers in plastic. ]]>
<![CDATA[Flattened Cookies]]> Tue, 13 Dec 2011 08:32:27 -0500 Flattened Cookies Posted by TheFoodGeek
Sometimes what should be a nice, puffed-up cookie falls flat. Literally. ]]>
<![CDATA[Less Moist: Dehydration at Home]]> Thu, 17 Nov 2011 07:29:08 -0500 Less Moist: Dehydration at Home Posted by TheFoodGeek
Sometimes you get a bounty of tasty food that you want to preserve, but you don't want to take up all that freezer space and you've canned about as much as you're going to can. Do you buy a specialty machine to do that, or are there other options? ]]>
<![CDATA[How Baby Carrots are Made]]> Thu, 10 Nov 2011 06:45:00 -0500 How Baby Carrots are Made Posted by TheFoodGeek
There are no storks, but baby carrots often have to go a ways to get to your home ]]>
<![CDATA[Why is Spicy Food Spicy?]]> Mon, 03 Oct 2011 08:00:00 -0500 Why is Spicy Food Spicy? Posted by TheFoodGeek
Some foods are a little spicy, and some are really, really spicy. What causes the spiciness and why? ]]>
<![CDATA[Steak vs. Hamburger]]> Mon, 26 Sep 2011 08:00:00 -0500 Steak vs. Hamburger Posted by TheFoodGeek
If beef is beef, why is it safe to have a rare steak, but not a rare hamburger? ]]>
<![CDATA[Chef vs. Cook]]> Fri, 09 Sep 2011 08:11:29 -0500 Chef vs. Cook Posted by TheFoodGeek
What is the difference between a chef and a cook? Should you feel bad if you are one and not the other? ]]>
<![CDATA[Under Pressure]]> Fri, 19 Aug 2011 09:17:54 -0500 Under Pressure Posted by TheFoodGeek
Pressure cookers speed up cooking by increasing pressure inside the pot, thus raising the temperature of the food inside. So why are they also affected by high-altitudes? ]]>
<![CDATA[Freezer Burn]]> Fri, 12 Aug 2011 08:31:30 -0500 Freezer Burn Posted by TheFoodGeek
A surprising find in a freezer and why it's safe from dehydration ]]>
<![CDATA[Is "Cheese Food" Either?]]> Wed, 20 Jul 2011 08:45:00 -0500 Is Posted by TheFoodGeek
There are things masquerading as cheese in grocery stores all across America. Are these things cheese, especially the cheese that is named for our country? ]]>
<![CDATA[Muffin/Cupcake Taxonomy]]> Fri, 15 Jul 2011 07:21:51 -0500 Muffin/Cupcake Taxonomy Posted by TheFoodGeek
What's the difference between a muffin and a cupcake? ]]>
<![CDATA[Popping Foam Bubbles]]> Fri, 08 Jul 2011 08:05:59 -0500 Popping Foam Bubbles Posted by TheFoodGeek
Sprinkling cinnamon sugar onto a latte's foam seems to pop the bubbles more than it should. Let's explore why. ]]>
<![CDATA[Stale Irony]]> Tue, 14 Jun 2011 06:49:15 -0500 Stale Irony Posted by TheFoodGeek
The refrigerator is supposed to keep our food fresh for longer, but some claim that putting bread in the refrigerator makes it go stale faster. Read on to learn what's going on, how to prevent it, and how to fix it (sometimes). ]]>
<![CDATA[High-Rise, Fallen Cake]]> Mon, 06 Jun 2011 07:54:24 -0500 High-Rise, Fallen Cake Posted by TheFoodGeek
A promising angel food cake collapsed in the oven shortly before it was done. What could have caused this tragedy? ]]>
<![CDATA[Simmer vs. Boil 202: The Master Class]]> Mon, 23 May 2011 08:04:20 -0500 Simmer vs. Boil 202: The Master Class Posted by TheFoodGeek
Why does heating to a full boil make it hard to simmer afterwards? Why does stirring a simmering pot cause it to stop simmering? And, most importantly, why does a watched pot never boil? ]]>
<![CDATA[Bain of the Cheesecake]]> Fri, 06 May 2011 10:39:55 -0500 Bain of the Cheesecake Posted by TheFoodGeek
When making a cheesecake, is the water bath, also known as the bain-marie, the best way to go? Why do we even need to bathe a cheesecake? ]]>
<![CDATA[Baking by the Numbers]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2011 14:32:37 -0500 Baking by the Numbers Posted by TheFoodGeek
There are times when it's really useful to have know how much of one ingredient to use versus another. Bakers use formulas called Baker's Percentages to help them. Here's how they work. ]]>
<![CDATA[The Tyranny of Precision]]> Fri, 15 Apr 2011 08:13:28 -0500 The Tyranny of Precision Posted by TheFoodGeek
Precise measurements can make you feel like a small mistake will cost you too much in your recipes, but it's really not so bad. ]]>
<![CDATA[Melted Butter in Baked Goods]]> Tue, 05 Apr 2011 07:12:48 -0500 Melted Butter in Baked Goods Posted by TheFoodGeek
Many cookie recipes call for creaming sugar into soft butter, but one blogger found melted butter worked better. ]]>
<![CDATA[Oatmeal Boils Over]]> Mon, 14 Mar 2011 08:30:00 -0500 Oatmeal Boils Over Posted by TheFoodGeek
When microwaving oatmeal, why does it boil over so easily and are there any tricks that'll keep it in the bowl? ]]>
<![CDATA[Making Automatic Drip Coffee Better by Blooming]]> Mon, 07 Mar 2011 09:31:57 -0500 Making Automatic Drip Coffee Better by Blooming Posted by TheFoodGeek
Using a technique I'd never heard of before, you can make your automatic drip coffee taste much better. But at what cost? ]]>
<![CDATA[The Comfort of Soup]]> Mon, 28 Feb 2011 07:30:05 -0500 The Comfort of Soup Posted by TheFoodGeek
Soup is often recommended for sick people. Why? ]]>
<![CDATA[Like Sugar for Butter]]> Wed, 23 Feb 2011 08:30:00 -0500 Like Sugar for Butter Posted by TheFoodGeek
When canning food, such as fruit butters, for long-term storage, safety is critical. Is sugar a factor in that safety? ]]>
<![CDATA[Processing Wheat]]> Mon, 14 Feb 2011 06:55:00 -0500 Processing Wheat Posted by TheFoodGeek
How does wheat go from being a plant to being an ingredient, and how do the changes affect it? Are all of the changes good? ]]>
<![CDATA[Reheated Spaghetti Tastes So Good]]> Fri, 28 Jan 2011 10:41:01 -0500 Reheated Spaghetti Tastes So Good Posted by TheFoodGeek
Often, spaghetti that is reheated tastes even better than it did the first time around. Why is this? ]]>
<![CDATA[Weighing Ingredients]]> Mon, 17 Jan 2011 12:05:00 -0500 Weighing Ingredients Posted by TheFoodGeek
Some recipes give flour by weight, and some by volume. Why the difference, and what is better? ]]>
<![CDATA[Testing recipe variations]]> Thu, 30 Dec 2010 05:15:00 -0500 Testing recipe variations Posted by TheFoodGeek
What's the hardest part of altering recipes? In some cases, it's coming up with ideas, but in others, it's being methodical. ]]>
<![CDATA[Rise in Gluten-Free Cake]]> Mon, 13 Dec 2010 18:27:46 -0500 Rise in Gluten-Free Cake Posted by TheFoodGeek
A gluten-free wedding cake isn't getting quite enough lift. What can be done? ]]>
<![CDATA[Browning meats]]> Sat, 11 Dec 2010 08:30:00 -0500 Browning meats Posted by TheFoodGeek
When making a stew, how important is it to brown the meat? ]]>
<![CDATA[Shortening vs. Butter in Cookies]]> Fri, 10 Dec 2010 09:05:12 -0500 Shortening vs. Butter in Cookies Posted by TheFoodGeek
Butter is such a flavorful fat, and everything made with butter is better. So why use shortening? ]]>
<![CDATA[Why You Hate Tomatoes]]> Fri, 19 Nov 2010 14:59:26 -0500 Why You Hate Tomatoes Posted by TheFoodGeek
For most of my life, I hated tomatoes but really quite enjoyed tomato-based products. I was not alone, either. That's changed, and here's why. ]]>
<![CDATA[Corn Syrup vs. High Fructose Corn Syrup]]> Sat, 06 Nov 2010 07:55:19 -0500 Corn Syrup vs. High Fructose Corn Syrup Posted by TheFoodGeek
What's the difference between the corn syrup that you get for baking and high fructose corn syrup? And what's the big deal about that stuff, anyways? ]]>
<![CDATA[Storing Olive Oil]]> Fri, 29 Oct 2010 16:50:00 -0500 Storing Olive Oil Posted by TheFoodGeek
What is the proper way to store olive oil, and does it differ somehow from other oils? ]]>
<![CDATA[Bread: Delicate Crumb and Hearty Crust]]> Thu, 21 Oct 2010 13:26:53 -0500 Bread: Delicate Crumb and Hearty Crust Posted by TheFoodGeek
We've discussed gluten quite a bit, but how can we make use of that knowledge to make some artisan bread? ]]>
<![CDATA[Dried egg pasta revisited]]> Sun, 10 Oct 2010 09:35:52 -0500 Dried egg pasta revisited Posted by TheFoodGeek
Waaaay long ago, we discussed why it is okay to dry your own egg pasta. A comment from a reader encourages us to revisit the topic. ]]>
<![CDATA[Cast Iron Seasoning]]> Wed, 29 Sep 2010 09:30:09 -0500 Cast Iron Seasoning Posted by TheFoodGeek
Contradictory advice abounds on seasoning cast iron, so we look at what goes on when you season to figure out the best way to do it. ]]>
<![CDATA[Gluten: In Depth]]> Tue, 14 Sep 2010 09:54:40 -0500 Gluten: In Depth Posted by TheFoodGeek
My discussions of gluten, including those in the Kitchen Mysteries, have some handwaving and vagueness when discussing the process, which leads to not knowing why some basic things happen. Let's clear up some of that vagueness to learn why, for example, dough needs to rest. ]]>
<![CDATA[The Right Pan for the Job: Understanding Aluminum, Anodized Aluminum, and Nonstick Coatings]]> Fri, 03 Sep 2010 07:30:00 -0500 The Right Pan for the Job: Understanding Aluminum, Anodized Aluminum, and Nonstick Coatings Posted by TheFoodGeek
Choosing cookware is tricky, and knowing the differences between materials can help you figure out what is best for you. There may even be some tips related to cleaning hidden inside. ]]>
<![CDATA[Pink Chicken: Always a Menace?]]> Mon, 23 Aug 2010 10:30:00 -0500 Pink Chicken: Always a Menace? Posted by TheFoodGeek
We're told, when cooking chicken, to cook it thoroughly to make it safe. Why do we do that, and is it always necessary? ]]>
<![CDATA[What Kind of Bakeware]]> Sun, 15 Aug 2010 08:05:54 -0500 What Kind of Bakeware Posted by TheFoodGeek
It's time to buy all new bakeware. Hooray! But what kind of bakeware to get? Hmmm. ]]>
<![CDATA[Ice Cream Issues]]> Wed, 04 Aug 2010 08:30:00 -0500 Ice Cream Issues Posted by TheFoodGeek
In an effort to make ice cream that's not as bad for you, how far can you go before things go wrong? ]]>
<![CDATA[Scummy Stock]]> Fri, 30 Jul 2010 05:21:22 -0500 Scummy Stock Posted by TheFoodGeek
Making a stock or broth often has consequences in the form of a scum that forms at the top of the stock. Let's take a look at what that is and how to deal with it. ]]>
<![CDATA[Gummy Gnocchi]]> Sun, 25 Jul 2010 21:30:55 -0500 Gummy Gnocchi Posted by TheFoodGeek
How to keep your gnocchi light and fluffy rather than gummy and heavy. ]]>
<![CDATA[Why straws make the drink better]]> Sat, 17 Jul 2010 16:00:00 -0500 Why straws make the drink better Posted by TheFoodGeek
Some drinks are better drunk through a straw. Sure, that's partially because straws are fun. There are good reasons why, though it is all in your head, it's not all imaginary. ]]>
<![CDATA[The Incredible Invisible Egg]]> Fri, 09 Jul 2010 17:45:00 -0500 The Incredible Invisible Egg Posted by TheFoodGeek
Have you ever frozen a hard-boiled egg? No, that's too easy. A hard-boiled quail egg? The white of the egg turns transparent. Do you want to know why? Of course you do. Who wouldn't? ]]>
<![CDATA[Roasting a Chicken Well]]> Fri, 02 Jul 2010 08:20:46 -0500 Roasting a Chicken Well Posted by TheFoodGeek
A few of the why's and how's of roasting a chicken and having it come out properly. ]]>
<![CDATA[Copper: Nutrient or Poison?]]> Mon, 21 Jun 2010 08:00:00 -0500 Copper: Nutrient or Poison? Posted by TheFoodGeek
We vaguely know that copper pots are lined with tin because copper can be bad for us, but some pots tend to be all copper. Is this bad for us, and why? ]]>
<![CDATA[Kosher vs. Table Salt]]> Mon, 14 Jun 2010 08:00:00 -0500 Kosher vs. Table Salt Posted by TheFoodGeek
A lot of people make a fuss about using kosher salt instead of table salt. Here is the why of it, and an in-depth look at crystals. ]]>
<![CDATA[A Sharp Decline]]> Mon, 31 May 2010 23:40:00 -0500 A Sharp Decline Posted by TheFoodGeek
In food and cooking, many artisans are making a comeback, but when was the last time you saw someone who travels around the area sharpening your knives? ]]>
<![CDATA[The Taste of Meringue]]> Mon, 24 May 2010 08:15:00 -0500 The Taste of Meringue Posted by TheFoodGeek
Sometimes we want a particular texture, but we have a difficult path to work in the flavor properly. Learn about some tasty pastries, and help The Food Geek solve a mystery. ]]>
<![CDATA[The Magic of Maple Substitution]]> Mon, 17 May 2010 00:45:55 -0500 The Magic of Maple Substitution Posted by TheFoodGeek
There must be some changes to a baking recipe using maple syrup instead of sugar, right? Indeed there are. ]]>
<![CDATA[The Perfect Pancake Powder]]> Sun, 09 May 2010 21:30:13 -0500 The Perfect Pancake Powder Posted by TheFoodGeek
The race to an ideal homemade pancake mix leads to some interesting troubles with one of the ingredients. ]]>
<![CDATA[No Need to Knead Bread]]> Sun, 02 May 2010 20:19:31 -0500 No Need to Knead Bread Posted by TheFoodGeek
Kneading is important to bread dough, but it's not vital, and sometimes can do some damage. ]]>
<![CDATA[Searing Steak]]> Sun, 25 Apr 2010 22:10:00 -0500 Searing Steak Posted by TheFoodGeek
There's some conflicting advice on searing, and some weird ideas floating around about it as well. A little knowledge about the difference between plastic and meat will set things straight. ]]>
<![CDATA[Freezing Greens]]> Sun, 18 Apr 2010 23:48:21 -0500 Freezing Greens Posted by TheFoodGeek
Herbs have finally arrived at our CSA, so how do we keep from wasting them? ]]>
<![CDATA[To Cool, or Not to Cool]]> Sun, 11 Apr 2010 19:37:26 -0500 To Cool, or Not to Cool Posted by TheFoodGeek
There is nothing better than ripping into a loaf of bread fresh from the oven. Or is there? ]]>
<![CDATA[Now we're cooking with cell phones!]]> Fri, 02 Apr 2010 17:02:10 -0500 Now we're cooking with cell phones! Posted by TheFoodGeek
Can you cook popcorn with a cell phone? ]]>
<![CDATA[The Flour Weevil]]> Sun, 28 Mar 2010 22:50:32 -0500 The Flour Weevil Posted by TheFoodGeek
The Red Flour Beetle, or the Confused Flour Beetle, are commonly called Flour Weevils. How do they get in, why, and what do we do about it? ]]>
<![CDATA[Hollowed Egg and Egg Balance]]> Sun, 21 Mar 2010 11:18:47 -0500 Hollowed Egg and Egg Balance Posted by TheFoodGeek
Easter is coming, so we have a doubly-eggy set of questions: how to hollow out an egg, and the timeliness of balancing an egg. ]]>
<![CDATA[The Food Geek's Guide to Cooking with Eggs]]> Fri, 19 Mar 2010 16:30:00 -0500 The Food Geek's Guide to Cooking with Eggs Posted by TheFoodGeek
Eggs don't have to be so mysterious. From the right way to boil and crack eggs to how to make perfect scrambled eggs, The Food Geek gathers his best advice on cooking with eggs and shares it in time for Easter. ]]>
<![CDATA[Numbing Celery]]> Sat, 13 Mar 2010 23:04:07 -0500 Numbing Celery Posted by TheFoodGeek
Celery is a veritable chemical weapon house, but really, what isn't? Some people get a numb tongue from eating raw celery, and we explore possible reasons why as well as some of the limits of our knowledge of food. ]]>
<![CDATA[Allons-Y, Allium!]]> Thu, 04 Mar 2010 20:10:35 -0500 Allons-Y, Allium! Posted by TheFoodGeek
There's a family of vegetables that I love which polarizes many people: the alliums. Onions, garlic, shallots, and the like. ]]>
<![CDATA[The Secret of Spooled Gyro Meat]]> Fri, 26 Feb 2010 23:27:36 -0500 The Secret of Spooled Gyro Meat Posted by TheFoodGeek
The first time experiencing a side of gyro meat can be a daunting and confusing experience. Fortunately, gyro meat is nothing but tastiness and a clever technique or two. ]]>
<![CDATA[A Thicker Bechamel]]> Fri, 19 Feb 2010 01:33:26 -0500 A Thicker Bechamel Posted by TheFoodGeek
Sometimes a standard recipe isn't quite what you need. Usually we make changes to recipes for flavor, but what do you do if you want a white sauce to be thicker than it normally is? ]]>
<![CDATA[Red Velvet Vinegar and Baking Soda]]> Fri, 12 Feb 2010 16:20:10 -0500 Red Velvet Vinegar and Baking Soda Posted by TheFoodGeek
Normally you mix baking soda in with dry goods when making a cake, but some Red Velvet Cake recipes call for mixing the baking soda with vinegar ahead of time. This seems odd. ]]>
<![CDATA[Baking Soda and Pretzels]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2010 22:57:50 -0500 Baking Soda and Pretzels Posted by TheFoodGeek
Pretzels are very similar to bagels in terms of cooking technique and ingredients. So why do pretzels have baking soda on the outside? ]]>
<![CDATA[One egg at a time]]> Fri, 29 Jan 2010 23:48:17 -0500 One egg at a time Posted by TheFoodGeek
A standard step with the creaming method of cake preparation is to add the eggs one at a time and fully incorporate before adding the next egg. But… why? ]]>
<![CDATA[A Bad Egg]]> Fri, 22 Jan 2010 08:23:20 -0500 A Bad Egg Posted by TheFoodGeek
There's quite a bit of mystery around eggs. Because of the effort to simplify when things go bad, there's some mystery about that, too. Let's see if we can't clarify things a bit. ]]>
<![CDATA[Resting Meat]]> Thu, 14 Jan 2010 15:13:03 -0500 Resting Meat Posted by TheFoodGeek
Another bit of popular cooking wisdom is that you need to rest your meat before cutting, so it will "re-absorb its juices." What does that really mean? ]]>
<![CDATA[Soaking Basmati Rice]]> Thu, 07 Jan 2010 08:30:00 -0500 Soaking Basmati Rice Posted by TheFoodGeek
It's traditional to soak basmati rice, and proponents swear by the results. ]]>
<![CDATA[The Application of Salt]]> Fri, 01 Jan 2010 12:16:19 -0500 The Application of Salt Posted by TheFoodGeek
Salt is one of the most important ingredients in all of cooking. When it is applied is often more important than how much is applied. Here is a grand tour of salt and its applications. ]]>
<![CDATA[The Hardest Cut]]> Fri, 25 Dec 2009 19:04:45 -0500 The Hardest Cut Posted by TheFoodGeek
Sweet potato fries are tasty, but they take a lot of work to cut with a knife. There must be a faster way. ]]>
<![CDATA[Not All It's Cracked up to Be]]> Fri, 18 Dec 2009 08:00:05 -0500 Not All It's Cracked up to Be Posted by TheFoodGeek
There's some cracking good advice that's going around about eggs, but is it really as good as it sounds? ]]>
<![CDATA[The Second Rise]]> Thu, 10 Dec 2009 22:17:19 -0500 The Second Rise Posted by TheFoodGeek
When baking bread, you're often asked to allow bread to rise, then punch it down and let it rise again. Why go through all that trouble? What does this "second rise" do for the bread? ]]>
<![CDATA[Suet Secrets]]> Thu, 03 Dec 2009 21:39:27 -0500 Suet Secrets Posted by TheFoodGeek
There are some ingredients we just don't use much any more. This week, we examine beef kidney fat. ]]>
<![CDATA[The Purpose of Sifting]]> Thu, 26 Nov 2009 19:31:06 -0500 The Purpose of Sifting Posted by TheFoodGeek
The whys of sifting, and a better way to accomplish sifting without using a sifter. ]]>
<![CDATA[Sweet and Sour: Opposing forces]]> Thu, 19 Nov 2009 22:45:52 -0500 Sweet and Sour: Opposing forces Posted by TheFoodGeek
A discussion of how different, basic flavors interact. ]]>
<![CDATA[The Convection Changeover]]> Thu, 12 Nov 2009 20:03:50 -0500 The Convection Changeover Posted by TheFoodGeek
There are always pitfalls when working in an unfamiliar kitchen, but how much worse to have a completely new cooking method? ]]>
<![CDATA[The Cake Bump]]> Thu, 05 Nov 2009 23:07:13 -0500 The Cake Bump Posted by TheFoodGeek
An uneven surface at the top of the cake is not uncommon. Here we take a look at ways to mitigate, prevent, and/or fix the problem. ]]>
<![CDATA[Converting Measurements]]> Sat, 31 Oct 2009 13:27:40 -0500 Converting Measurements Posted by TheFoodGeek
How many teaspoons are in a tablespoon? Will this be a one-word answer? ]]>
<![CDATA[Baking Soda and Baking Powder]]> Wed, 28 Oct 2009 12:55:00 -0500 Baking Soda and Baking Powder Posted by TheFoodGeek
How these two leaveners get a rise out of baked goods. ]]>
<![CDATA[Cast Iron Nutrition]]> Thu, 22 Oct 2009 21:04:15 -0500 Cast Iron Nutrition Posted by TheFoodGeek
Iron is good for a diet, but will a cast-iron pan add iron to the diet? ]]>
<![CDATA[Lifting a Choux]]> Thu, 15 Oct 2009 22:56:45 -0500 Lifting a Choux Posted by TheFoodGeek
Pâte à choux is useful in many culinary circumstances, and it's relatively easy to make. Still, sometimes things go wrong for no apparent reason. Let's see some of the pitfalls of this dish and how to fix them. ]]>
<![CDATA[Tomato Sauce. . .Or Soup?]]> Thu, 08 Oct 2009 22:40:16 -0500 Tomato Sauce. . .Or Soup? Posted by TheFoodGeek
Why does what should be a tasty tomato sauce turn into something closer to soup? ]]>
<![CDATA[What does it mean to win?]]> Thu, 01 Oct 2009 22:02:02 -0500 What does it mean to win? Posted by TheFoodGeek
Sometimes it's not enough to make great food. Sometimes you have to judge food formally. And sometimes you have to make up the rules by which things are judged. A look inside the process of making competition rules. ]]>
<![CDATA[Too Hot for Hollandaise]]> Thu, 24 Sep 2009 18:53:13 -0500 Too Hot for Hollandaise Posted by TheFoodGeek
How temperature, ingredients, and technique interact in distinguishing a hollandaise from a mess of scrambled eggs, butter, and lemon. ]]>
<![CDATA[Mystery Tools from Another Land]]> Thu, 17 Sep 2009 23:46:08 -0500 Mystery Tools from Another Land Posted by TheFoodGeek
Getting a box of assorted kitchen implements will give you a mixed bag of tools at the best of times. But what if the set is from a company that is not only exclusively kitchen-related, but is also based out of a foreign country? ]]>
<![CDATA[Splitting the Egg]]> Thu, 10 Sep 2009 17:06:32 -0500 Splitting the Egg Posted by TheFoodGeek
Exploring the division of the indivisible: a single egg. ]]>
<![CDATA[Ingredient Temperatures]]> Thu, 03 Sep 2009 12:26:47 -0500 Ingredient Temperatures Posted by TheFoodGeek
Think it doesn’t matter if your butter and eggs are room temperature or right out of the fridge? Think again. ]]>
<![CDATA[Dried Egg Pasta: Hidden Danger or Perfectly Safe?]]> Thu, 03 Sep 2009 08:15:54 -0500 Dried Egg Pasta: Hidden Danger or Perfectly Safe? Posted by TheFoodGeek
When someone at home makes some fresh pasta, it's generally made with egg. Why is this okay to dry and store? ]]>
<![CDATA[The Flavor Difference: Cooked vs. Raw]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2009 22:04:12 -0500 The Flavor Difference: Cooked vs. Raw Posted by TheFoodGeek
Why does a cooked hamburger taste different from a raw hamburger? ]]>
<![CDATA[Cheesecake or Cheesepie?]]> Thu, 20 Aug 2009 21:18:32 -0500 Cheesecake or Cheesepie? Posted by TheFoodGeek
It's shaped like a cake, and it's called a cake, but cheesecake might be something even more delicious. ]]>
<![CDATA[The Problem with Science]]> Thu, 13 Aug 2009 08:45:00 -0500 The Problem with Science Posted by TheFoodGeek
A rhetorical question from the web leads to thinking about the good and the bad of food science. ]]>
<![CDATA[Egg sizes and substitutions]]> Thu, 06 Aug 2009 10:00:00 -0500 Egg sizes and substitutions Posted by TheFoodGeek
How can we merge the world of farmer's markets and precision recipes to ensure that we use the proper amount of farm-fresh, un-graded eggs in our baked goods? ]]>
<![CDATA[Talk the Wok]]> Thu, 30 Jul 2009 10:00:00 -0500 Talk the Wok Posted by TheFoodGeek
Wok: Just a big frying pan, or something more? ]]>
<![CDATA[The Best Scrambled Eggs]]> Thu, 23 Jul 2009 16:38:23 -0500 The Best Scrambled Eggs Posted by TheFoodGeek
It is often said that the true test of a chef is how well they cook eggs. The Food Geek is not a chef, but he does have some advice on scrambling eggs. ]]>
<![CDATA[Double or Nothing Jam]]> Thu, 16 Jul 2009 23:07:51 -0500 Double or Nothing Jam Posted by TheFoodGeek
Why does the label on the pectin box warn against making a double-batch of jam, and is there anything that can be done to remedy the situation? ]]>
<![CDATA[Proper use of basil as a stuffing]]> Fri, 10 Jul 2009 09:35:40 -0500 Proper use of basil as a stuffing Posted by TheFoodGeek
Basil is the King of Herbs, and it's the right time to use it in foods. This week, we explore what it goes well with, and how to maximize its flavor. ]]>
<![CDATA[Keeping Fresh Greens Fresh]]> Wed, 08 Jul 2009 16:10:20 -0500 Keeping Fresh Greens Fresh Posted by TheFoodGeek
The science of cell structure helps explain why good lettuce goes bad. ]]>
<![CDATA[Stainless steel... or is it?]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2009 08:30:00 -0500 Stainless steel... or is it? Posted by TheFoodGeek
Sometimes while going through some known territory, I run across some new tidbits. What started out as a simple look at boiling revealed hidden dangers to your pots. ]]>
<![CDATA[Saving Garlic from Sprouts]]> Thu, 25 Jun 2009 22:25:22 -0500 Saving Garlic from Sprouts Posted by TheFoodGeek
Garlic is a wonderful addition to many foods, but it seems like it's a lot easier to find bad garlic than good garlic. Find out what causes garlic to lose its wonderfulness and how to prevent that from happening. ]]>
<![CDATA[Degrees of Boiling]]> Thu, 18 Jun 2009 09:45:00 -0500 Degrees of Boiling Posted by TheFoodGeek
Sometimes recipe authors like to add a little pizzazz to their descriptions, and sometimes what's written means something important. This week, we explore the possibilities of different kinds of boiling, bringing back a metaphor from articles past. ]]>
<![CDATA[Essence of Coffee]]> Thu, 11 Jun 2009 22:44:18 -0500 Essence of Coffee Posted by TheFoodGeek
What are the secrets to great coffee, both the ones we know and the ones we have yet to find? ]]>
<![CDATA[Cracking the Boiled Egg Mystery]]> Thu, 04 Jun 2009 12:19:25 -0500 Cracking the Boiled Egg Mystery Posted by TheFoodGeek
Is a boiled egg hard to peel because I don't know how the proper technique, or is it because I don't make the egg properly in the first place? ]]>
<![CDATA[Competition Pies]]> Thu, 28 May 2009 21:28:35 -0500 Competition Pies Posted by TheFoodGeek
If you're gearing up for your first pie competition, what sort of things can you do to prepare, and what do you do when it all goes wrong? ]]>
<![CDATA[How hot is the oven?]]> Thu, 21 May 2009 20:49:46 -0500 How hot is the oven? Posted by TheFoodGeek
Ovens are notorious liars when it comes to reporting their operating temperatures. Sure, you could buy a thermometer to verify what your oven tells you, but how much do you trust your thermometer? ]]>
<![CDATA[The components of Pie Crust]]> Thu, 14 May 2009 22:37:28 -0500 The components of Pie Crust Posted by TheFoodGeek
When thinking of baking pie, people tend not to fear the filling; after all, filling is a relatively simple creature, mostly concerned with flavor and binding up the liquid in some sort of saucy structure. The crust, though; the crust inspires wonder and caution. This inspired me to look into what makes up a good pie crust. ]]>
<![CDATA[Cooking Eggs with Sugar Alone]]> Thu, 07 May 2009 08:17:59 -0500 Cooking Eggs with Sugar Alone Posted by TheFoodGeek
Occasionally vague and/or strange cooking advice lurks around every corner. Can you cook an egg with sugar alone? And not hot, candy-making sugar, but normal, room temperature sugar? Could be. ]]>
<![CDATA[Soy Milk vs. Instant Pudding: Who will win?]]> Thu, 30 Apr 2009 21:11:55 -0500 Soy Milk vs. Instant Pudding: Who will win? Posted by TheFoodGeek
Soy milk doesn't play well with instant pudding. Try to make soy milk instant pudding, and you'll have a pudding-flavored glass of milk. There is a reason why, and it all has to do with the differences between soy and cow milks. ]]>
<![CDATA[Baking soda *and* baking powder: too much of a good thing?]]> Thu, 23 Apr 2009 21:45:00 -0500 Baking soda *and* baking powder: too much of a good thing? Posted by TheFoodGeek
Seriously, how much leavening does one recipe need? Let's find out if baking powder and baking soda are needed for some recipes, or if we could get by with one or the other. ]]>
<![CDATA[How is sugar wet?]]> Thu, 16 Apr 2009 09:19:03 -0500 How is sugar wet? Posted by TheFoodGeek
Follow enough baking recipes, and you'll see the instructions that sugar is to be treated as a wet ingredient. Clearly, if you were dropped into a big pile of sugar, you would not be covered in liquid. Learn why it's considered a wet ingredient. ]]>
<![CDATA[Martian blood oranges]]> Thu, 09 Apr 2009 07:55:00 -0500 Martian blood oranges Posted by TheFoodGeek
Why would a perfectly respectable blood orange turn green? There's only one real answer, and it has nothing to do with aliens. ]]>
<![CDATA[Gelatin Dangers]]> Wed, 01 Apr 2009 00:15:00 -0500 Gelatin Dangers Posted by TheFoodGeek
Sometimes the kitchen can be a perilous place. Knives, flames, and making suggestions for how to "improve" the cook's dish. But gelatin? Is that really all that dangerous? ]]>
<![CDATA[Sunken Sourdough Sadness]]> Thu, 26 Mar 2009 21:20:16 -0500 Sunken Sourdough Sadness Posted by TheFoodGeek
Is there a special touch needed to make sourdough bread rise? Is there perhaps some special music or proper colored light that will convince the yeast to make their magic? Probably not, but there are ways to encourage bread to rise properly. ]]>
<![CDATA[Which Flour Is Best for Pasta?]]> Thu, 19 Mar 2009 08:50:25 -0500 Which Flour Is Best for Pasta? Posted by TheFoodGeek
Conflicting advice can lead you to doubt your favorite recipes, even for something as simple as fresh pasta. Do you listen to your heart, or listen to what others tell you? ]]>
<![CDATA[Bloomin' Spices]]> Fri, 13 Mar 2009 13:42:15 -0500 Bloomin' Spices Posted by TheFoodGeek
Blooming with spices doesn't mean that you're planning on growing them as plants. Instead, it's a way of opening up the flavor and making it more effective in your cooking. This is how, and why, it works, and what it can do for your food. ]]>
<![CDATA[For Butter or Worse]]> Wed, 11 Mar 2009 09:20:00 -0500 For Butter or Worse Posted by TheFoodGeek
Clarifying how to make butter a more versatile player in the kitchen. ]]>
<![CDATA[Like syrup for candy]]> Thu, 05 Mar 2009 21:26:40 -0500 Like syrup for candy Posted by TheFoodGeek
Is a syrup a syrup for candy-making, or does the origin of the sweet liquid make a difference? ]]>
<![CDATA[Cooking beans in salt water]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2009 18:19:22 -0500 Cooking beans in salt water Posted by TheFoodGeek
A traditional bit of advice in cookbooks is to avoid putting salt in the cooking water for beans. Will this toughen the beans, or is that advice not entirely correct? ]]>
<![CDATA[Reducing Complexity]]> Thu, 19 Feb 2009 11:35:00 -0500 Reducing Complexity Posted by TheFoodGeek
Some of the most basic advice in cooking can be an opportunity to learn about important fundamentals. In examining the basic reduction sauce, we can also learn how temperature control is vital to cooking well. On the way, we can answer the question, "what is temperature?" ]]>
<![CDATA[The Party That Is Egg Foam]]> Thu, 12 Feb 2009 17:15:00 -0500 The Party That Is Egg Foam Posted by TheFoodGeek
As with a party, the success of an egg foam relies on getting all of the guests to mingle properly. In this follow up to last week's article, we explore how to keep water, proteins, and air mixing it up to ensure your foam is stable. ]]>
<![CDATA[Whipped Cream: Stability and Celebrity]]> Thu, 05 Feb 2009 08:30:24 -0500 Whipped Cream: Stability and Celebrity Posted by TheFoodGeek
Whipped cream is an ephemeral treat that, sometimes, needs to be a little more treat and a little less ephemeral. What can we do to overcome the time limits on whipped cream, and what makes whipped cream so famous, anyways? ]]>
<![CDATA[Sous Vide or Bust]]> Thu, 29 Jan 2009 12:00:00 -0500 Sous Vide or Bust Posted by TheFoodGeek
Some cooking methods require merely a knife, a bit of fire, and a little know-how. Sous vide cooking typically asks for some specialized equipment. Is it all necessary? ]]>
<![CDATA[The Buttercream Nemesis]]> Thu, 22 Jan 2009 12:30:00 -0500 The Buttercream Nemesis Posted by TheFoodGeek
What, precisely, is buttercream frosting, why is it hard to make, and is there something that can be done to make it more easily? ]]>
<![CDATA[Vegetable stock? Really?]]> Thu, 15 Jan 2009 08:30:00 -0500 Vegetable stock? Really? Posted by TheFoodGeek
Just what is the difference between stock and broth, and is it really possible to have a vegetable stock? ]]>
<![CDATA[Toffee Troubles]]> Thu, 08 Jan 2009 12:05:00 -0500 Toffee Troubles Posted by TheFoodGeek
What sorts of things can go wrong with toffee making? Will humidity doom a toffee to failure, or could there be something more sinister at work? ]]>