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Sunday
Feb262017

My Favorite Kitchen Hints

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

When I was a child, I loved reading about cooking tips, even if I didn’t cook. I think we all like to learn to do things faster or better.

Here are some timesavers and helpful hints I’ve discovered over the years. I hope you’ll share with us your own favorite kitchen tips and tricks.

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Monday
Feb202017

A Speedy Company Dinner

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

We had company for dinner last night. And since I’m in the middle of getting my house ready for a reunion of former coworkers on Friday, I didn’t have a lot of time to pull this meal together.

When I need a no-fuss main dish, I rely on Spicy Grilled Shrimp. The shrimp are grilled in their shells after marinating for just 30 minutes. And clean-up is a breeze when there are no pots and pans to wash afterwards.

Another go-to choice when I am time-pressed is Herbed Rice, an easy side dish I developed over the years. Simply cook rice in canned chicken broth and water, then toss with a mixture of minced onion, butter and herbs. If you own a rice cooker, this one is as easy as it gets. This rice will go with shrimp, fish or chicken—and plays well with any meats.

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Monday
Feb132017

What’s for Breakfast? No Need to Waffle Around!

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Is it just me, or are waffles really superior to pancakes? It’s pretty much the same batter, yet the one with the crisp walls and deep crevices to capture puddles of melted butter and maple syrup, seems more special—and more delicious.

Steve is the breakfast maker in our house, and it’s not unusual for him to be in the kitchen early on a Sunday morning, whipping up biscuits, muffins, pancakes or waffles, as he did yesterday. Of all the breakfast breads, my favorite is waffles—especially Orange Waffles, bright with citrus accents from orange juice and orange zest.

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Monday
Feb062017

Quick Chocolate Hearts for Valentine’s Day

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Recently, my go-to cookie has been a simple, chocolate spritz cookie. It’s surprising because my cookie press had been gathering dust in a remote cabinet for years.

I rediscovered this helpful baking tool when I wanted to make cookies in a hurry. By using a cookie press, you can press out shapes without having to go through the lengthier process of chilling the dough, rolling it, cutting out cookies and rerolling the scraps to recut more.

These are crisp, chocolaty cookies that aren’t too sweet. They’re tiny, so you don’t have to worry about overindulging.

So, for Valentine’s Day my granddaughter and I made some chocolate spritz cookies after preschool. We’re going to package small handfuls in cellophane bags, tie each bag with a bow, and give them as gifts, along with a homemade Valentine card.

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Monday
Jan302017

A No-Fuss Nod to Chinese New Year

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

The first Chinese dish I learned to make was Hoisin Spare Ribs. I was a newlywed, right out of college, living in New York City. Steve’s friend Richard came to visit us from Yale, where he was a med student.

I remember making curried shrimp for dinner and being surprised when my budget-wise shrimp shrank, becoming miniscule nuggets of pink, floating in a sea of curry sauce.

So, Richard took it upon himself to teach me to cook a few things, including Hoisin Spare Ribs, and I discovered the deliciousness of hoisin sauce for the first time. This recipe requires just six ingredients and about 15 minutes to prep.

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