Today's post focuses on kitchen basics. I will show you videos of different things that are involved in the cooking process. These skills will range anywhere from sharpening your knife to preparing a steak.

A lot of people don't know the proper, or easy, way to chop an onion. I really didn't know myself until I began watching the Food Network. There are many different skills and recipes on this website that help with basic kitchen techniques. However, before you can cut an onion you need a sharp knife. Really you need a sharp knife for any cutting being done in the kitchen.

In this video chef Gordon Ramsay demonstrates how to sharpen your kitchen knife. In the video he also explains why it is important.

The video can be found HERE.

As mentioned earlier, cutting an onion is an essential skill. Onions can be used in almost any dish  but not many people know how to properly cut it. 

The video about how to chop and onion is found HERE.

In the video is chef Ramsay showing an easy way for an onion to be cut to be sauteed.

Feel free to look at his other videos on YouTube. There are a lot of kitchen basics that will help you when it comes to cooking.

I know there are people out there that wish they could eat a pizza and not have to worry about ordering it and waiting. That is why today's post will be focusing on how to make your own pizza. 

Now, I try and eat healthy and pizza is notoriously known as a greasy, delicious, bad-for-you food. So I found a recipe that cuts away a majority of the calories. The recipe for the dough can be found here. Instead of regular flour I substituted wheat flour. It doesn't alter the taste too much but is slightly healthier.

NOTE: When using wheat flour you will typically need more liquid than regular flour. So you may need more milk than what it calls for in the recipe.

Step1: Mix the ingredients together. Wheat flour typically need more liquid than regular all-purpose flour. Just keep that in mind when mixing. You don't want the dough too dry.

Step2: Form a ball and let it sit for approximately 10 minutes. Make sure it is covered, even though the picture does not show that.

Step 3: Spread the dough out on a try to be cooked. A cookie pan/sheet was used for this one. Really any kind of pan works. What kind you use is your decision.

Step 4: Add whatever toppings you would like. Here I used Classico pizza sauce and store-brand mozzarella cheese. It makes a pretty basic pizza that most people can enjoy.

If you have any suggestions for pizza toppings share them with us! Ideas are always welcome.

Food Fast Fact: The largest pizza ever made was at the Norwood Pick 'n Pay Hypermarket in Johannesburg, South Africa. According to the Guinness Book of Records the pizza was 37.4 meters in diameter and was made using 500 kg of flour, 800 kg of cheese and 900 kg of tomato puree. This was accomplished on December 8, 1990, according to

This week's entry is about a dish many people may not know about. It is called hog maw. It is also known as pig stomach. Actually, it is the less fatty inner lining of the stomach. Since I began dating my fiance, Katelyn Romesberg, hog maw has become a yearly tradition for me.

Using the family recipe, that has been passed down, her grandmother takes the time to prepare this dish every year. Coming from a Pennsylvania Dutch background, she takes pride in preparing this traditional dish for her family. She told me today during the meal, "this is something my mother always made. We are Pennsylvania Dutch and this dish is a part of that."

Now, if I assume correctly, many of you reading this post are still stuck on the fact this main course is made from the stomach of a swine. I won't lie, I could not get that out of my head. What you have to know though, is that it is also stuffed with potatoes and sausage. You are not just eating the stomach lining. If you do decide to eat the lining, go for the crispy part. Otherwise you are in for a chewy treat. Not a fan. I just stick to the potatoes and sausage on the inside.

Katelyn's grandmother also mentioned that she had to actually reserve the stomach a few weeks ahead of Easter. This turned a few heads in the grocery store, since in today's society most people don't expect someone to order a pig stomach.

Continuing the family tradition Katelyn wants to learn how to cook this meal, and looks forward to learning other family recipes to continue passing down her heritage. "I want to carry on the tradition, but don't think I will ever be that good until I actually become the grandma," she said.

(Photo taken off google images.)

Food Fast Fact: A Pennsylvania German named Michael Hillegas was the first Continental Treasurer, according to the Pennsylvania German Society.

This week we are changing things up a little bit. By that, I mean instead of chicken we are moving to fish; salmon to be exact.

Some might ask, Why salmon? This is easy enough to answer. It is, in my opinion, one of the best tasting fish. According to world's healthiest foods, Salmon contains a lot of vitamins essential to the body that other fish doesn't contain.

Here is more information about the health benefits.

Now, onto the recipe.

We won't be straying from the main ingredients mentioned in the first entry, in fact, the only thing changing is the salmon.

First buy yourself some frozen salmon. I got mine at Wegman's. It came in a pack of approximately 10-12 filets for about $15. Not a bad deal if you ask me.
Step 1:
Start the rice. It's easy enough just follow the direction and measurements on the back of the box.

Step 2:
Thaw out the salmon.
(This is one serving size according to the package)

Step 3:
Create the marinade for the salmon from the ingredients.
1 Tablespoon of Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Cumin
2 Tablespoons Honey
5 packets Soy Sauce
A pinch of salt and pepper
*Add a SMALL amount of sriracha for some heat, if you want.
(these are approximations. Add of subtract what you would like and taste along the way.)

The marinade should look something like this:
(Notice the marinade is thick but at the same time runny)

Step 4:
Add the salmon to the marinade, after is is completely thawed. I recommend doing this about an hour before. Any longer and the fish could start to go bad since it won't be on ice.

Step 5:
Cook the salmon, just as the rice is finishing up. You don't cook the salmon the whole way through so it will only take about 5-7 minutes to cook. Make sure you cook both sides.

Step 6: 
Shred the salmon in the pan, into small pieces and combine with rice. It doesn't hurt to add the remaining marinade with the rice and salmon to get some extra flavor.

Turn the burner to HIGH heat and constantly stir the rice and salmon mix for about 5 more minutes. Just to make sure everything is cooked through.

Step 7:
Plate the dish and enjoy!
(This is only one serving. I could barely finish the plate and I am the kind of person who enjoys eating. So, hopefully, it should be able to fill you as well.)

This is the recipe for the day, if there are any questions about it comment and I will answer them for you!

Food Fast Fact: Chinook Salmon are the largest salmon in the Pacific. Some can grow to be over 100 pounds. However, it is rare, and most weigh around 30-40 pounds, according to the national wildlife federation.

Lunch on the Run

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Ever have class at that awkward time? You know the one, where it begins right around lunch but still to early to actually eat one. Then it goes past a point where if you wait you will too hungry.

Well there is a simple solution to that problem. Let's face it, almost very college student has these two essential lunch items in their kitchen. They are peanut butter and bread. I prefer a whole wheat bread or a multigrain. Not only are they more filling but they also are light enough to count as a whole meal. 

As for the peanut butter I prefer the creamy over chunky. Just a personal preference.

Since you are on the run and can eat after your classes too, just make a half sandwich. Yes, half. Just fold it in half once the peanut butter is spread onto whatever kind of bread you want. 

Now here comes the twist! If you are a bigger person like myself, half a sandwich is not going to do a damn thing, to hold you over. So what I do is add either bananas or honey. Heck you can even add both if you want.

Bananas are not only healthy but they are very beneficial to your health. Along with bananas, honey also have proven to be healthy for you, as you will note from the link in my first blog entry. With the energy you get from all the carbs you are ingesting, it should be able to hold you over for two or more hours. 

Have food related questions? Leave a comment and it will be answered in the next entry!

Food Fast Fact: Peanuts are used in manufacturing dynamite.
First I am going to start by giving the recipe that you will be making. Below I have listed the ingredients. You will notice that I have a list for a marinade and a list of "other ingredients". The need to be prepared a few hours before you cook the meal so the chicken is able to absorb the flavors.

It is important that the chicken is thawed out before marinading it. You can defrost it in the microwave or sit in the fridge the night before.

Marinade: (Let chicken soak for at least 3 hours.)
- 8 Soy Sauce Packets
- 5 Cloves of garlic
- 2 T. Honey
- 1/2 T. Sriracha 
- 1 T. Cumin
- 1 T. Onion Powder
- 1/2 T. Cinnamon
- 3 - 4 Chicken Breasts

Other Ingredients:
- 1 Bell Pepper (Green, Red, Orange or Yellow. The choice is yours.)
- 2 Cloves Garlic
- 1 T. Oil (Canola or Olive work the best)
- 1 T. Cumin
- Pinch Salt
- Pinch Pepper

Now that all the ingredients are together let's starts the cooking process. For the actual cooking you will need two skillets (one large and one small) as well as a saucepan (Only if you are including rice).

If you are cooking rice with your meal it is important to start that about 10 minutes before everything else. This way it will have enough time to cook properly. Just follow the instructions on the back of the box.

Steps: (Everything used is from the "other ingredients" section above)
1. As instructed earlier get the rice started and put on the stove.

2. Grab the large skillet and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Turn the stove on, to a medium heat to get the oil to start heating.

3. Peel the skin off the onion and cloves of garlic. The skin cannot be digested so this step is important. You also need to clean the pepper.

4. After the skin is peeled and pepper cleaned you need to dice the vegetables. Make sure the sizes of the dice are the same so that it will cook evenly.

5. Make sure your pan is hot. Drip some water into the pan, it should sizzle and move around frantically before dissolving. Then dump all the vegetables into the pan.

6. Make sure to stir the vegetables constantly so that the heat gets distributed among them evenly. Cook them as long as you feel necessary. I like mine really soft, but a lot of people enjoy the vegetables still crispy.

7. Next you will heat up the small pan on a medium heat. Grab ONE (unless cooking for more than one person) chicken breast and start cooking the breast. If it doesn't sizzle when it is placed on the pan, the pan is not hot enough. Allow more time for the pan to get hot, if this happens.

8. Cook the chicken on one side until the marinade on the outside begins to caramelize. Once it has a dark caramel color flip it over and do the same to the other side.

9. Finally, grab a plate. The food can be served however you want it to be. Be creative with it and impress your friends with you culinary expertise!

Note: Chicken needs to be cook the whole way through. If you start to eat it and there is pink in the middle put in back on the stove until it is cook through.

Make sure to comment and give any ideas of things you would like to see cooked!
A student's budget in college stereotypically is not the greatest. Whether or not there is truth to that statement is not the focus of this blog. The focus is to educate people how to cook with what would be found in a typical college apartment. 

Just a side note: The first time you go shopping for these meals you will spend more money than usual. This is due to the fact that you will be buying spices and seasonings that will be used on more than one occasion/recipe. 

The main ingredients that will be used are as followed:
- Chicken
- Brown Rice
- Garlic Cloves
- Cumin
- Salt
- Pepper
- Honey
- Soy Sauce

These ingredients are what many recipes will be focusing around. Next, this blog will give a brief overview of how these ingredients will be purchased and used.

Chicken: Buy it frozen. It will save you money and the bags come, typically, with 10 - 11 breasts. That's more than enough food for a single person for over a week.

Brown Rice: Uncle Ben's Brown Rice offers a healthy substitute for white rice. Make sure to buy the rice that isn't instant. It will take about 30 minutes to cook, but is worth the wait.

Garlic: This is entirely up to the chef as to what to buy. You can get a head of garlic, or garlic powder. The head of garlic gives a fresher stronger taste and the powder requires more per recipe but lasts slightly longer.

Cumin: This is probably the most diverse seasoning that will be used in these recipes. It has an earthy tastes that works with almost every meal out there.

Salt/Pepper: These ingredients are used in almost every meal ever created by anyone. They are the simplest to use and add a nice layer of flavor to any meal, especially involving meats.

Honey: A natural Sweetener to take place of using sugar. It is much healthier and usually doesn't take as much honey as it would sugar to add the sweetness that is desired.

Soy Sauce: This will be used in a lot of the marinades that will be talked about. If you have never had soy sauce before it is very salty, but it acts great as a meat tenderizer if you are looking for a melt-in-your-mouth kind of texture. An easy way to save money on this is to just collect it from those times you get Chinese food. Even ask friends and family to save some packets for you.

These are just some of the key ingredients used in these recipes. More will come depending on the recipe.

Keep an eye out for the newest recipe and learn how to cook like a college pro! The first recipe will have all the above mentioned ingredients, so be ready.

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