Chef's Notes Plus

Desserts for Your Passover Table

Baking for Passover involves its own unique set of challenges, as during the Passover period, observers do not consume items that are chametz—that is, any product made from wheat, barley, rye, oats, or spelt that has come into contact with water and allowed to “rise.” Just about anything made from […]

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6 Recipes to Celebrate the Best of Spring

Spring is a reason to celebrate! New life, the return of sunshine, and some of the year’s very best ingredients. It may happen more slowly in some parts of the country, but as your market begin to fill up with asparagus, green onions, and sweet strawberries, look to these recipes […]

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Making Cheesecake

Deliciously dense cheesecake is a cross between custard, pie, and cake. It can seem troublesome—from cracking tops to dry crusts—but with a great recipe (we happen to like ours quite a bit!) and some patience, you can make a perfect cheesecake each time. 1. Making a crumb crust Crumb crusts […]

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A Taste of Beaujolais

Beaujolais and its wines are easy to understand, easy to buy, and easy to love. With few exceptions, they are juicy, bubble-gum reds produced in a light style for easy drinking. A huge amount of red Beaujolais is produced, all of it made solely from the Gamay grape. A small […]

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The Blending Mixing Method

The blending method, sometimes called the straight method, is the most basic and straight-forward mixing method, used for mixing quick breads and simple cakes. The blending method consists of making two mixtures, one with the wet ingredients and one with the dry, then combining (or blending!) the two together. 1. […]

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Basic Method for Puréed Soups

Hearty, robust puréed soups are made from filling foods that are easy to keep on hand in cupboards all year-round: beans, dried peas, lentils, potatoes, and other root vegetables. Like all soups, you can build flavor into them every step of the way. Cooking onions and garlic in a little […]

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Go-To Convenience Foods for the Busiest Days

“From-scratch” might be what you expect at a great restaurant, or maybe for a special occasion. But for the great majority of home cooks, cooking from scratch three meals a day, every single day is an unrealistic goal, and one that so often leaves us with feelings of guilt and […]

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Homemade Chocolates for Your Sweetheart

Sure, you could buy a box of chocolates for a Valentine’s Day gift. But here at the CIA, we know that the best way to infuse your gifts with love is to make it yourself! Chocolates and candies aren’t all easy to make at home, but we’ve rounded up our […]

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5 Game Day Dinners for Hungry Fans

When it comes to the big game, snacks are all well and good. But for those of us who like to eat a proper dinner at half-time, pigs-in-a-blanket might not fit the bill. If your crowd likes a well-rounded dinner-time meal, try some of these game day-ready dinners that can […]

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Making Limoncello to Preserve the Best of the Winter Season

The Amalfi Coast, rising high above the crystal blue Mediterranean Sea, is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in Italy. This stunning landscape has been the inspiration of musicians, writers, and poets for hundreds of years. Just the mention of the towns of Amalfi, Positano, Sorrento, Vietri, […]

Chef's Notes Plus

Knife Skills: The Foundation of Good Cooking

The room is quiet except for the rhythmic tapping of chef’s knives touching softly on maple cutting boards as they glide smoothly through firm carrots. The chef paces up and down the rows looking over the shoulders of his students, watching their efforts in creating the perfect julienne. “Remember,” he […]