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  • The Chopping Blog

Culinary Siphons are Not Only for Whipped Cream

  I used to love when my mom would buy Reddi-Whip when I was a kid; it was such a fun treat to eat right out of the can. It wasn’t until I grew up and went to culinary school that I started to whip ...

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Cooking Oyster Mushrooms

  When I first started my adventures in mushroom cultivation, I buried my head in every book on mycology and watched every video YouYube could provide me on mushroom growing. I was able to pick up ...

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Three Easy Soups in Less than 15 Minutes

I’m generally not a fan of cold weather. It’s uncomfortable and managing the layers of clothing is a nuisance.  However, I have four decades of successfully coping with Midwest winter, and I’m not ...

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In a Pickle with a Peck of Peppers

I don’t think there is a season I look forward to more than summer. After a long cold winter, us Midwesterners long for warm weather and sunshine like a dog loves a bone. Without fail, by the time I ...

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Layer the Vegetables Up

  It’s the end of Summer, and those vegetables and herbs we’ve been patiently waiting to reach their peak all season have finally done so - I love it! Our little balcony garden is literally ...

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Deep Frying 101

  When I think of fried foods I am immediately transported to when I was a kid. The nostalgia of carnivals and fairground funnel cakes, deep fried Twinkies, anything deep fried on a stick really ...

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Cooking from the Farmers Market

    I love farmers markets. Not only do you get access to the best tasting, seasonal produce picked at its peak of flavor, but it has traveled just a short time between the farm and market to get to ...

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Oklahoma Style Fried Chicken

  I started cooking in restaurants when I was fourteen. My mom was able to land me a job at MP’s Chicken where the only items on the menu were fried chicken, coleslaw, French fries and honey buns. ...

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How to Work with Phyllo Dough

  Frozen phyllo dough is a great time saver: you can create appetizers, pastries and desserts without having to make the dough. Traditionally, phyllo dough is made by stretching a flour-and-water ...

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Stuffed Pork Tenderloin 101

  When I went shopping last weekend, pork tenderloin was on sale so I decided to pick up a couple. I had no idea what I was going to do with them at the time, but after some serious brainstorming, I ...

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Methods for Cooking Rice

    I graduated from culinary school in 1986, and one of the essential cooking skills I learned was how to cook rice. Cooking rice was formula driven which made it incredibly simple to understand and ...

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Saying I Do to Cooking Together Forever

Over the 24 years The Chopping Block has been open, we've seen a lot of people find love in our kitchens. I know of several couples who met during a cooking class who are still together today. Former ...

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Sous Vide 101

  I am so excited to announce that The Chopping Block is finally offering a sous vide cooking class! It never really made sense for us in the past to offer this type of class in person due to the ...

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Building Blocks: Past and Present

When I first started working at The Chopping Block nineteen years ago, I was an assistant to our chefs (aka dishwasher) for cooking classes at our original location in Lincoln Park, Chicago. Some of ...

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Candied Orange Slices

  For those of you who don’t know, we announce a cooking challenge each week in The Chopping Block's private Facebook group. If you aren't already a member, it’s a great way to connect with others ...

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Perfect Popcorn Every Time

  Before I write a blog, I like to see what videos, recipes and overall content is available online. I was surprised to find how little information there is on popping popcorn, especially since I ...

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How to Roast Garlic

  I absolutely love moderating our virtual classes. It’s been so much fun for me to see The Chopping Block's virtual business evolve over the past year. What I love most about our virtual classes is ...

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Risotto Rules for an Impressive Dish

Risotto is always a popular dish in our cooking classes, and I love making it for dinner parties and giving tips to my friends. Knowing how to make a good risotto is something I think every home cook ...

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