Culinary Tips: Little Things I Have Learned At School - Loving life, culinary school and cooking! Blog at - 140471

Loving life, culinary school and cooking!

Culinary Tips: little things I have learned at school 
Nov. 28, 2009 12:06 pm 
Updated: Dec. 16, 2010 3:15 pm
So, after a semester at culinary school, I am proud to say  I have learned lots of little things that make a huge difference while cooking. First of all, I am muuuch more organized lol.
So: here are the tips..
- Im not sure if its the same in the states, but my grandma taught me "2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice", well, I thought  I was an awesome rice maker... although it was always kind of mushy. It was "1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups water for 1 cup of rice). Also, very important to use boiling water when you make rice.. when you do, it "seals" the rice grains, and if you use cold water they cook together making it kind of mushy.
- When you make meat on a skillet or on the grill make sure to add the salt after cooking a bit on both sides. Salt makes the meat "release" juice, so if its cooked before adding the salt you will have a much juicier piece of meat.
- When you make sauteed mushrooms, never use salted butter. Salt must be added at the end. Use oil or unsalted butter, salt will make the mushrooms loose there water and turn a very dark color.
- When making meringue, make sure to beat your egg whites very well. Sugar acts as a stabilizer so its not necessary to use cream of tarter or salt, if you use the right amount of sugar you will be fine: amounts needed: same weight egg whites, sugar and powdered sugar. The granulated sugar should be added when peaks form, and the powdered sugar should be added gently (it will give the meringue a shinier look).
- If you like to make homemade mayonnaise the most important thing is for your eggs or egg yolks to be at room temperature (same temperature as the oil)
- If you are making whipped cream and you cant get it to "whip" your cream or your bowl wasnt cold enough. (it should also have 30 grams or more fat for every 100 grams of cream)
- why is a pound cake called a pound cake? I was very surprised with this one lol, because i never thought about it : 1 pound eggs, 1 pound flour, 1 pound butter, 1 pound sugar.. this is the original recipe for pound cake :D
hmm if I think of more I will post
feel free to share your tips!!
Nov. 28, 2009 2:49 pm
Keep the tips coming Katie!
Nov. 28, 2009 3:10 pm
Thank you. I love to read things like this!
Nov. 28, 2009 3:45 pm
Hi Katie - I can't believe a whole semester has passed already. Thanks for the tips. Hope all is going well for you and your family.
Nov. 28, 2009 3:47 pm
Thank you ! It sounds as though you are doing well at school. Now you are teaching us. Mag
Nov. 28, 2009 4:30 pm
yo.mags: believe me the place I have learned the most is here at AR on the exchange.. I learned the MOST important things here.. like how to not screw up a cake, how to melt chocolate, how to cook lol! I apreciate all the things I learned here and seriously this is what makes AR so special, lots of knowledgable people, and lots of us who came here willing to say "i screwed up", I have learned so much just reading about other peoples disasters on the exchange too! so thanks everyone!
Nov. 28, 2009 4:54 pm
This was great reading!
Nov. 28, 2009 4:59 pm
thank you for your comments!! :) I feel proud I actually entertained someone with my writing, as you know I speak much more fluidly in spanish, but I think Im getting used to speaking in english because I have to teach my classmates lol :D
Nov. 28, 2009 5:42 pm
Great tips, Katie! I'm so glad you're enjoying culinary school. :)
Nov. 28, 2009 6:22 pm
Great tips! Hope to hear more!
Nov. 29, 2009 5:55 am
Thanks for sharing your great tips, Katie!
Nov. 29, 2009 8:39 am
This is fantastic! It's amazing how one little detail can make an entire dish complete...or a complete wreck!! :) Thank You for these tips! I loved reading your blog!
Nov. 29, 2009 11:50 am
Cool stuff! I want to take some culinary classes, then I can learn all these industry secrets!
Nov. 30, 2009 11:51 am
Great tips! I'm only 13 but I would love to go to culinary school one day.:-)
Nov. 30, 2009 4:02 pm
thanks to everyone!! 400luv I encourage you to do so.. It is challenging, exciting.. and I cant even explain how much you will grow as a person in culinary school, the stress and being in a competitive place will make you feel that anything is possible. I was so insecure when I started school, but having cooked and baked for so long gave me the confidence I needed to follow my dream!! good luck to you :D
Nov. 30, 2009 9:56 pm
I needed the one about the rice! Thank you!
Dec. 1, 2009 8:35 am
Now I want to make my own mayo!
Dec. 1, 2009 9:54 am
Katie,thank you so much for your tips!I will use all of them. Especially the rice and mushrooms.
Dec. 1, 2009 11:51 am
Great tips! ONE of these days I'll conquer rice-cooking and hopefully your tip will help!
Dec. 1, 2009 12:36 pm
Thank you for sharing these tips with us. :)
Dec. 1, 2009 12:42 pm
Thank you so much for these tips!! This was my first time reading your blog but now I will be coming back regularly. I have one question about the rice. Do you mean one should boil the water, and THEN put the rice in? Do you then cover the pan right away? Thanks!! I love white rice but it never comes out perfect. : ( I think this will help.
Dec. 1, 2009 2:57 pm
Thanks for the tips--I especially appreciate the ones about the rice and the unsalted butter/mushrooms. Although, I have the same question as Austin Girl (boil water and THEN a rice?). Thanks again.
Dec. 1, 2009 2:58 pm
Ideally you sautee some chopped onion (and garlic if you like it), then add the rice. when the rice is too hot for you to grab it with your fingers you pour in the boiling water.. stir it a bit so that the grains separate and then lower the heat and cover. 20 minutes later it will be done :D
Dec. 1, 2009 2:59 pm
by the way, sautee the onion in some oil x)
Dec. 1, 2009 6:23 pm
Have just discovered your blog. Saw the beagle. We had two - a male and a female. Unfortunately Flynn - the male - passed away early this year on his 11th birthday. We were devastated. We still have Molly - she is fat and beautiful.
Dec. 2, 2009 4:39 am
Thanks so much for the tips. Good Luck in school, I wish I had gone to culinary school when I was younger. I will have to live through you guys. Anyway, best of luck and thanks again.
Dec. 2, 2009 6:28 am
hmm, nice article, thanks for the tips. I wonder how many eggs make up one pound though?!
Dec. 2, 2009 8:07 am
Thanks for the tips, keep them comming I have found that knowing how certain ingredients behave and how elements react with each other has helped my cooking more than any recipe ever could.
Dec. 2, 2009 9:45 am
No matter what we think we know about being a good cook there is always room to learn something new or different from what we do. Many thanks Katie and best of luck in your culinary adventures.
Dec. 2, 2009 12:14 pm
No wonder my rice is always sticky no matter what I try! I always add cold water. I'm going to try the boiling water tip next time I make rice as well as reducing the amount of water per cup of rice. Thanks Katie!! Also, thanks for the tip about salting meat AFTER cooking it. I always season my meat before cooking, but I'll do it the opposite way from now on.
Dec. 2, 2009 12:38 pm
Thanks so much for your wonderful tips. Culinary school isn't an option for all of us, so it is very kind and generous of you to pass along some of your new knowledge!!
Dec. 2, 2009 1:19 pm
Never knew that about the fat content of whipping cream! Maybe that is why sometimes I can whip it to form peaks, and sometimes I can't!
Dec. 2, 2009 1:32 pm
I'd be interested to know how many eggs make a pound also. Thanks for the tips and please keep 'em coming!
Dec. 2, 2009 1:42 pm
Thanks for the tips, little things like that really make a difference in an efficient kitchen, so I really appreciate them, keep em comming!!!
Dec. 2, 2009 2:06 pm
Thanks for the wonderful tips, but more importantly continue to follow your dreams. God Bless
Dec. 2, 2009 2:37 pm
I just know you are making both of your moms proud!
Dec. 2, 2009 2:51 pm
1 pound of eggs: about 9 large eggs. One large egg is about 50 grams (without shell) :D
Dec. 2, 2009 3:04 pm
Thanks for all the comments, I really apreciate them. For all who were asking about the eggs in the pound cake (it would be 9 eggs), cream your butter and sugar VERY WELL!, beat in the eggs one at a time, then incorporate the flour gently, this will make a nice dense and soft pound cake. You can add whatever you want. We added a mashed banana and some orange extract to it in class it was delicious. We also made one with almonds, blueberrys, raspberry-lemon :D
Dec. 2, 2009 8:39 pm
I agree with the other posts~ please keep the tips coming! I wish you well in culinary school! :~)
Dec. 3, 2009 8:28 am
Thanks for the blog, I will have to try the rice top next time I make it as my rice always comes out mushy. Enjoy culinary school, my dream is to go after my daughter finishes college. It will be a second career and one I will enjoy.
Dec. 3, 2009 11:55 am
Thanks so much for those tips, Katie. The one about whipped cream really caught my attention. I just learned that you can make whipped cream with powdered dry milk and ice water, and the main thing with it is to make sure your bowl and beaters are very cold.~~Best wishes for your continued success!!
Apr. 1, 2010 6:35 am
Thanks for your tips. I have a really dumb question - on the chicken and red pepper receipe. You mentioned to put it in a food processor. I only have a blender, do I really need a food processor??
Apr. 1, 2010 11:52 am
Cool, i feel like I'm going to Culinary School for free..LOL. BTW, love your blog, and most of all LOVE CHILE. Visited there a few years ago w/ a friend and fell in love with it. Food, people, cities. You're very lucky. Can't wait to visit again.
Apr. 24, 2010 7:37 pm
Katie, we miss you on the exchange!!! Hope you are okay, hope to hear from you soon :)
May 8, 2010 8:40 am
Yes, Katie, think of you often! Please tell us how you are doing. I just loved this Blog you wrote and all your culinary tips! As students, do you all cook for each other, then critique one another's food? (For example, do you try different "flavors" in cakes... or different ingredients in something like soups or stew? What is your favorite things to make? Side dishes, desserts, seafood? ~ How many teachers do you have? Do you have a favorite cooking Instructor? How long will your cooking schooling last? Have you tried any recipes for your family to 'sample'? Do you have to follow "their" recipes, or can you create a few on your own? (like your AR personal White Cake recipe). COULD YOU PLEASE TAKE A COUPLE PHOTOS OF YOU IN YOUR COOKING SCHOOL ATTIRE? (Do you wear ALL WHITE? HAT? APRON? A photo would be just great!). We would love another Blog soon! Take good care! :]
May 14, 2010 9:12 am
Hi Katie! Hope you and the family are well. You are missed on the RE, hope school is going well.
Dec. 12, 2010 10:34 am
hey, Katie, I was just thinking of you the other day. Hope you are doing well! Pop into the Recipe Exchange (or the Buzz as it's now called if you get a chance
Dec. 16, 2010 3:15 pm
I second Janet! Would love to hear from you :)
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About Me
I am 24 years old and found a passion in cooking since I was just a little girl, but actually thought of making a future of it 2 years ago. There were years where I just wouldnt cook because I hated making a mess, but I love cooking and baking so much I really dont even care now if I make a mess LOL. I live in Santiago Chile and for the first 11 years of my life lived in the US. I am in culinary school now, making my dream come true :)
My favorite things to cook
All kind of cookies, muffins, cakes, breads anything sweet! Also japanese, mexican and italian food. And of course chilean food! I love to make everything from scratch! If I could make my own chocolate I would! I just love baking!!!, but am getting into cooking different kinds of food.. i also sell cookies and muffins, its kind of slow because its summer but maybe in winter it will be better :) Sweet stuff is my speciality
My favorite family cooking traditions
My interest in cooking began thanks to my mom. She has worked her whole life, even traveling 4 hours a day for years just to be able to give us a good education/feed us when we were kids. Now that she is spending more time home, she is cooking more! she is a great cook when it comes to home cooked meals.. I enjoy her meals and she enjoys mine.:D, a bit stubborn when it comes to our cooking methods and we are always questioning one another LOL!
My cooking triumphs
I must say i am getting better and better at cooking thanks to AR. i have made some cool things like sushi, alfredo lasagna roll ups with chicken and red bell pepper, some great cakes, brownies, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, homemade puddings, chili... im trying to make more impressive things.. but my oven doesnt help at all.. but as soon as i move out im going to buy a new oven! Also, I am the worse cake decorator! I am going to have to practice..
My cooking tragedies
I made a cupcakes from this site that didnt turn out at all :( My family said they were great but I could tell they werent when I saw they had only eaten 5 of the 40 cupcakes in one day.. normally things disappear in my house! Also, not knowing the first thing about melting chocolate, i did.. in the microwave, and it was very good, but i had to mess it up.. because I wanted more.. so I said, why not add a little butter? Not having butter, i took the cold "diet" type margarine out of the frige and put a tablespoon on it. mixed, and of course it seized.. it became as hard as a piece of taffy, so i started adding cold milk.. haha big mistake, it separated! finally i put it in a saucepan over low heat and heated it with a little bit more of milk. it was a good frosting! however, not very good for my peanut butter cups. the low part was hard like chocolate and the upper part was soft and fudgy, still good.. but funny i have a lot more, because i am very impacient in the kitchen! LOL
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