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haven't been our only interest over the 20+ years we've been
together. Our interest in home cooking started when we got
together. Neither of us had any idea what a food budget was and it
didn't sound appealing. What we decided to do was to buy whatever meat
was on sale and figure out what to make from it. We didn't go to
culinary school or have any pretensions of cheffiness, but we did
sign up for America's Test Kitchen's magazines. We both grew up with
really good cooks in our families, and some of their recipes are
included. Our tastes are pretty much ordinary middle American and the
recipes pretty much reflect that. We decided to put them here for
anybody who'd like them, and we hope you enjoy any you try.
-Carol and Bill, HostaLibrarians
The amounts on ingredients in our recipes are balanced for best flavor to our taste. Trying to reduce salt, sugars, fats, etc. will throw the balance off and they may not be as flavorful.. Please try them as is first. If altering keep the balance in mind, especially with sweet, sour, and salty.
Tasting and checking for doneness is an important part of getting things to come out right. The two things that make a dish come out right are proper cooking and flavor, and both are up to the taste of the person cooking.
Brining chicken and pork makes them juicier and more tender. Use 1/4 cup salt to 1qt water for 1 hour. Rinse extra salt off when done.
Cook white meat chicken to max 160F, and dark to 175F and no further. Cook pork to 150F. Using an instant - read thermometer will get meats perfectly cooked every time.
Some of our Favorite Equipment
Vacuum Sealers - A must for households with one or two people. Food frozen in these bags stays fresh for months. Never any freezer burn. We always cook more so we can save some for quick defrost dinners.
Modern Tabletop Ovens - We hardly ever use the main oven. The Breville we have does everything a big oven does and much more.
Instant Read Thermometers - No more questions about how done meat is, and great for everything else that is best cooked to a certain temperature. We recommend the Javelin from Lavatools.
Sous Vide Cooker - Allows long temperature controlled cooking. Great for roast pork and brisket. Great for getting anything cooked to a perfect temperature every time.
Spatulas - For the regular type we like the ones from DiOro. Fish spatulas are really useful too.
Oxo makes a lot of good quality products at reasonable prices. Same goes for Victorinox knives.
Some of the ingredients used above