Chef's Notes Plus

Choosing Wood for your Grill or Smoker

Smoke is a key component that contributes to the flavor and texture of barbecued meat. Smoke comes from burning wood, either by placing it directly on the coals of a charcoal grill, or in a separate box or chamber in a gas grill or smoker. There is a learning curve […]

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Raise the BAR on Your Cookie Game

Bar cookies are baked in one large pan and portioned after baking. This term is used for traditional cookies like brownies and blondies, but baking cookies in this manner also creates the opportunity to layer flavors and textures, resulting in new varieties of delicious cookies. Just as with drop cookies, […]

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The Great Debate: Grits or Polenta?

People tend to be polenta people or grits people. But like most great debates, we’re a lot more similar than we think. Both polenta and grits are cereals made from stone-ground corn. When cooked, they soften and release starch into the cooking liquid, creating a soft and creamy mixture that […]

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Fruit Powders for Colorful Fruit-Flavored Desserts

You probably buy fresh fruit, and you may love the sweet and chewy dried fruits—but do you ever buy freeze-dried fruit? Unlike chewy dried cranberries and apricots, freeze-dried fruit is crisp and crunchy with an ultra-concentrated flavor. They are a great snack, but we love them for their baking and […]

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Roast Your Cabbage and Give it the Attention it Deserves

Stop and think about your top ten favorite vegetables. Does cabbage make the list? Probably not, and that is tragic, because cabbage is an all-star for so many reasons. Cabbage, specifically all-purpose green cabbage (though we love them all!), is a workhorse. It is inexpensive, abundant, and hearty. It lasts […]

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Meltaways to Celebrate your BFF!

The best part of Valentine’s Day (besides the chocolate!) is celebrating the people we love—whether that’s our parents, our brothers and sisters, girlfriends and boyfriends, or just our besties! And, sure, we think part of celebrating your BFFs is doing something fun, a special little treat can certainly help. We […]

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Saucy Chicken Wings Without a Recipe

Wings are a Big Game staple, and while take-out wings on the couch is a whole mood, there is also a whole world of homemade, customizable wings waiting for you! Making wings at home is easy, whether you want them crisp and fried or roasted and tender. Here, we break […]

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Ingredient Spotlight: Matcha

It’s been years since matcha became a buzz word, popping up around the U.S. in lattes, smoothies, ice cream, you name it. Matcha wasn’t new then (check in with Japan circa the 13th century) and certainly isn’t now, which speaks to its value as more than a passing wellness trend. […]

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Tips for Enjoying Beans

You may, for any number of reasons, be thinking that it’s time to introduce more beans into your routine. And we get it! They are vegetarian and vegan sources of protein, they are gluten-free, they are heart-healthy, and inexpensive. What’s not to love? But unless you grew up eating lots […]

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10 Drinkable Soups for Outdoor Gatherings

During these cold winter months, our gatherings are typically indoor and out of the elements. But this year is unlike others, and many of us are taking our socially-distant get-togethers outside. Eating outside can be a challenge, since your hands are cold, your face is cold, and your food gets […]

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Winter is Citrus Season

The bright, sunshiny, refreshing juice of citrus fruits screams, “Summer!” But citrus fruits generally reach their peak season during the winter months. What luck for us, since what could be better during the cold, stuck-inside season than a reminder of the sunny days to come. Citrus fruits are prized for […]

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Do You Need a Kitchen Scale?

In professional kitchens, recipes and formulas are generally measured using scales, in either ounces or grams. Though there is room for volume measures (yes, professional kitchens do use measuring cups!), measuring ingredients by weight is more accurate and generally more efficient. It also leaves you with less dirty dishes, which […]