• The Chopping Blog

Acid and Fat: The Yin and Yang of Cooking

Understanding how acids and fats affect the flavor and texture of our food can be an ace card in your cooking game.

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The Simple Way to Cook a Simple Steak

One of our more popular classes at The Chopping Block is Steakhouse DIY. Many of our students sign up for this class for the simple reason that cooking a steak at home can be a terrifying experience. ...

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The One Chef Everyone Should Know

                              It is impossible to begin to teach people how to cook without referencing something or someone from the past, whether it be a technique, a recipe or enlightened culinary ...

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The Dish to De-Stress: Homemade Pasta

  I have three great loves in my life:  my husband, my puppy and making homemade pasta. Okay, okay… maybe there are a few more things and loved ones that rank above making homemade pasta, but it is ...

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Impress Your Guests with This Easy and Elegant Appetizer

Because this is the time of year when a lot of us are hosting holiday parties, I'm inspired to share a very simple and impressive recipe for your next party that your guests are sure to love.

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A Holiday Horn Of Plenty: The Cornucopia

The cornucopia, a symbol of abundance and nourishment used to grace many a Thanksgiving table but seems to have fallen on hard times these days. Be it made of bread, woven wicker or something a ...

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Bao Down to Yummy Steamed Buns

  I recently taught one of The Chopping Block's more popular classes, Dim Sum and Then Some. One of the recipes in this class is Bao, which is a steamed bun filled with chicken, pork, vegetables or ...

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For the Love of Pasta

  Flour + Water + Eggs + Salt + a pinch of magic = True love!  I absolutely love making pasta from scratch.  How can something so simple be so delicious?!  I find it remarkable that you can make one ...

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Your New Favorite Fried Chicken

  I am an absolute fiend for using leftovers. In fact, my mania for using every last bit of EVERYTHING in the kitchen has been known to make a few eyes roll around the house. But when I looked into ...

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Building Confidence with a Late Summer Harvest

  One of the best parts about being a member of The Chopping Block team is that when you work for a place that is so passionate about education, you end up learning quite a bit along the way! So when ...

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Spatchcock and Roll

Ya’ll like chicken? Of course you do, it's like the official bird of America (Editor’s Note: No, it isn’t)! Chicken is so good that we will tell people that whatever exotic food is on their plate ...

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Quesadilla to the Lunch Rescue

 What are you eating for lunch today? If the answer is "I have no idea!" then how about a quesadilla?  

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Facing a Fear of Cooking Braciole

  Braciole is an Italian dish that has always had a very soft spot in my heart. This is a dish of meat worthiness for those who aren’t aware. It’s a thin slice of top round, flank steak or even pork ...

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How to Make a Pan Sauce

What's not to love about a pan sauce? It looks (and tastes) fancy but takes virtually no effort, can be made with pantry staples (especially if wine is considered a pantry staple), and is made in the ...

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Honey Mustard Roasted Chicken

My husband and I love honey mustard. When given the opportunity, we will slather it on just about anything and everything. So it should be no surprise that it’s the centerpiece of one of our favorite ...

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Use the Right Oil for the Job

Since I started teaching cooking classes at The Chopping Block, one of the most common questions I get from students is why we use two different types of oil to cook with. So I decided to take a ...

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The Endless Variations of Homemade Vinaigrettes

  Making food from scratch versus buying prepared products has so many advantages: not only do you have more appreciation for the finished product but you'll enjoy the process of creating it. You can ...

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How to Make Fresh Pasta without Eggs

I was recently craving fresh pasta for dinner, but my oldest son has developed a problem with digesting eggs. I did some research and found a number of eggless pasta dough recipes that I liked parts ...

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Braciole: Ultimate Italian Comfort Food

Braciole, pronounced bra'zhul, is a soul-satisfying dish that hails from Italy. It consists of a thin piece of meat, breadcrumbs, prosciutto, cheese and sometimes, but not always, hard-boiled eggs, ...

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Cheese Making at Home Part 3: Labneh "Yogurt Cream Cheese"

I will be honest. I had never actually heard of Labneh prior to my cheese making classes at the Ploughshare Institute in Waco, Texas. I was not only intrigued about the cheese making process but also ...

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How to Pickle a Peck of Peppers

One of my favorite things about working with food and cooking is that there is always something new to learn. There are so many ingredients, styles and techniques that we have virtually endless ...

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No Ice Cream Maker? The No Churn Ice Cream Trend is For You

I've noticed a lot of articles about no churn ice cream lately. From the Huffington Post to Martha Stewart, food writers proclaimed their love of these ridiculously easy-to-make recipes that require ...

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Cheese Making at Home Part 2: Cream Cheese and Yogurt

I must say I was a little embarrassed that I didn’t know that cream cheese was made from sour cream when I arrived at my two-day cheese making class at the Ploughshare Institute in Waco, Texas. ...

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The Amazing Roasted Red Pepper

"That's my favorite smell, and I want it in a candle!"

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Kale Chips Reinvented

I am often inspired by the students who take cooking classes at the Chopping Block. Let me give you an example.

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Papa's Hot Peppers: No Canning Required

As much as I hate that summer is coming to an end, this time of year does bring back a fond childhood memory. No, not back to school… but my Papa’s Hot Peppers.

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Easy Canning at Home: Making Savory Pepper Jelly

Our Summer Canning and Preserving class, which features a new menu, is coming up in a few weeks! Because it’s a new menu, I went ahead and tested a couple of the recipes to ensure they worked well, ...

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Cheese Making at Home Part 1: Butter, Buttermilk and Sour Cream

I just got back from a two-day cheese making class at the Ploughshare Institute in Waco, Texas. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the class. When I take classes, I am always looking for ways to ...

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How I Became Brave Enough to Cook Fish

I am a forgetful person. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to overcome it. No matter how many post it notes I make or how many ‘reminder’ apps I download for my phone, I will forget something.

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The Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg

I recently bought LeCreuset Egg Cups. Why? Because they are so cute! Then I had to figure out how to make the perfect soft or hard-boiled eggs so that I could use them.

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The Dangers of Lacto-Fermented Foods on Your Nasal Passages

I am a preserver by nature. I pickle, I can, I cure. But what most people don’t realize is that vinegar is not the only way to preserve vegetables. You can also make lacto-fermented foods, which is a ...

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A Pretty Pickle: How to Pickle Grapes

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Gone Fishing: How to Grill and Fry Fish

When I was a little girl, my father would often take my siblings and I fishing during the summer. We usually would go to my Uncle Paul’s pond in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Uncle Paul had a catfish bait ...

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Professional Chefs Make Mistakes Too

When I talk to home cooks, many share with me that they are afraid of trying things in the kitchen because they will make a mistake. They are worried they will create a “disaster” of some sort and ...

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You Can Teach an Old Dog New Kitchen Tricks

I’ve been cooking and barbequing for 40 years and have tons of experience. So even as a new member of The Chopping Block’s team, I was skeptical that I might learn something new in a recent hands-on ...

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Gifting and Using Moroccan Tagines

Instead of using a traditional registry for their recent wedding, my friends advised their friends and family to give used kitchen supplies as gifts. While scouring the kitchen in search of a ...

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Dough by Hand

If you're in a cooking class or private party that I happen to be assisting at The Chopping Block, you will more than likely hear me say, "The best tools in the kitchen are your hands!"

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Let’s Get Herbal: Creative Ways to Use Herbs

Do your attempts at home gardening look like mine?

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Texturally Inappropriate

When people are learning to cook, they learn about flavors. What goes together, what does not. How different cooking techniques can lend different flavors to the same ingredient. The more advanced ...

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Back to Basics Part 2: Espagnole Sauce

In the first part of this Back to Basics series, I walked you through making a rich beef stock using the bones from a standing rib roast. Now I'm going to take that wonderful stock and take it to the ...

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Most Recent Posts

Fall in Love with Le Creuset

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Acid and Fat: The Yin and Yang of Cooking

Understanding how acids and fats affect the flavor and texture of our food can be an ace card in...Read more

The Power of Polenta

  Polenta is an ingredient that may sound exotic and unapproachable, but it is in fact, easy...Read more

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  The classic Italian dish of Maiale al latte (milk-braised pork) is one of my favorite...Read more

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