Cooking Lessons From Sookie Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls
If you’re constantly refreshing your computer to see who is the latest character to join Netflix’s Gilmore Girls revival, you were likely thrilled to read about Melissa McCarthy’s return to Stars Hollow, where she’ll reprise her role as the beloved Sookie St. James, master chef and ultimate BFF to Lorelai Gilmore. While there was speculation as to whether or not McCarthy would return, she recently confirmed that she is excited to return to set and film her part in the remake. Gilmore fans: You can now rest easy. To celebrate our favorite Stars Hollow cook (sorry, Luke), we’ve come up with a few key lessons we can all learn from Sookie.

When in Doubt: Chocolate

Fancy food is great, but sometimes nothing is more relaxing than a Toblerone. When Sookie was pregnant with Martha, she snuck off to an empty room in the inn to watch Dark Shadows and eat Toblerones. “It was an hour all to myself,” she said. Sometimes we all deserve a break, a little trashy TV, and our favorite candy.

Cozy Up to Your Produce Provider

Sookie married hers—while you don’t necessarily need to go that far, everyone knows that high quality produce is the building block of a great recipe.

Turkeys Weren’t Meant to Be Deep-Fried

Especially expensive, organically grown turkeys. “You don’t deep fry turkey,” Sookie said. “Fillet of fish? Yes. A batch of fries? Yes. A donut? Yes. Not turkey.” But if it happens, there’s only one way to cope: margaritas.

Accidents Happen

Maybe you’ll cut yourself with a knife or catch something on (a small) fire. Maybe you’ll somehow slit the back of your shirt while cooking—hey, it’s hard to explain exactly what happened (charades help). Stuff happens and, while safety is important, don’t let it hurt your creative process. Good insurance, however, is a must.

Know Your Audience

Look—kids don’t eat vegetables. They don’t eat “green stuff.” So when preparing for a child’s birthday party, opt for plain mac and cheese and some DIY cupcakes. When you’re catering a fancier party, say, for an Emily Gilmore-esque crowd, then you bring out three soup options and a selection of white and off-white linens.

Lunch is Really Important

When the Dragonfly’s accountant suggests cutting lunch to save money, Sookie went ballistic (which eventually helped her realize she’s pregnant). She’s a stalwart advocate for the importance of lunch—she even sent Kirk out to drum up some business. And no: iced tea does not a proper lunch make.

Wine Matters

If you have a go-to delicious recipe passed down for generations, or a dish that is so good, it cures ailments (a la Sookie’s magic risotto), trust that the food will taste even better when paired with the perfect glass of wine. A subpar varietal will result in mediocre reviews (and a bit of a meltdown). And, risotto does not go with Riesling. Why not just drink battery acid?

Unlikely Combos Make the Best Dishes

So, you spilled a bit of extra cinnamon into your batter, or worse, a bit of chili pepper INSTEAD of cinnamon. You could scrap the whole batch, or you could go with the flow and end up with a deliciously spicy batch of cookies no one has ever tasted before. Take a cue from Sookie: When she and Luke teamed up in the diner after the Independence Inn caught fire, the Cajun Eggs Benedict resulted from spilling cayenne pepper into a bowl of hollandaise. Explained Sookie: “How do you think they invented the Reese’s cup and penicillin, my friend?” Have fun in the kitchen!

Don’t Second-Guess Yourself

When Sookie got nervous the night before her wedding, she started wondering if the sugared daffodils on her wedding cake were the right choice (they were!). When she follows her food instincts, she rarely goes wrong. They don’t call her “the maestro” for nothing (or at least Lorelai does).

Food Can Fix Anything

Your boyfriend’s crazy cousin needs a place to stay at your inn? Make some orange-glazed muffins to smooth things over. Not sure what to say to the diner owner’s sullen nephew who just came to town? Ask him if he likes cheese. If there’s an awkward situation, Sookie has a food or a recipe to fix it.

Make the Most of What You’ve Got

If you have your heart set on strawberry shortcake, but all you’ve got on hand is a bunch of blueberries, go with a blueberry shortcake. While recipes are helpful guides, they aren’t the law. If you’re willing to experiment, you may end up with your new favorite dessert!

Ultimately, Friends > Food

Sookie is a great chef, but she’s an even better friend. When Lorelai called off her wedding to Max, for instance, she told her not to worry about the cake she spent so much time making and served it to the staff at the Independence Inn: “You were a good cake, Clyde, I never should’ve named you,” she said.

Source: Real Simple (

Basic Cooking Methods To Learn


Have you ever heard of sautéing a cake or grilling french fries? How about steaming a leg of lamb or simmering cookies? We sure haven’t — and we know we’re not alone. If these techniques sound a little odd to you, too, it’s because there are certain cooking methods that coordinate with specific foods. In order to get the desired outcome for whatever you’re making, you first have to choose the right way to cook it — and we’ll show you how. (Photo Credit: Emily Jacobs)

Choosing the correct cooking method not only impacts the final product, but also affects the texture, appearance and flav
or of the dish. It’s the slow-cooking of ribs that makes them fall-off-the-bone tender, and the hot deep-frying oil that gives donuts a crispy, golden brown exterior and soft, doughy middle. The Cook editors at The Daily Meal want to make sure that you get the most delicious final product out of your cooking, so we’ve designed a cheat sheet of the most common cooking methods and how to perfect them.

Cooking methods can be broken down into three sub-categories: dry heat, moist heat, and a combination of the two. The dry-heat method, which is a relatively quick process, adds crispness and flavor, but doesn’t tenderize. Ingredients cooked this way are small, thin, and already tender — think sautéing ground meat and roasting vegetables. The moist-heat cooking method involves cooking with water or stock , like poaching fish and steaming broccoli. The third category is a combination of the two and often uses long, slow-cooking periods to tenderize and break down tough cuts of meat, like braising pork shoulder.

Whether you’re preparing a feast far in advance or whipping up a quick dinner, once you’ve mastered these basic cooking methods, it will be easy to pair ingredients with their appropriate cooking techniques. Take a look at our how-to guide to learn about the cooking methods you need to know to prepare for your next meal.


Buying the Best Nonstick Cookware

Every fifth or sixth year, I am forced to buy new nonstick cookware because the old ones wear off by then. The time has come for me to look for some. Periodically new technologies such as nano technology, diamond crystal, and ceramic technologies have been introduced which I know were not around some 25 odd years ago, when I bought my first nonstick cookware set. It does seem as if I waste money on such cookware and every now and then when I see some negative reports on the non-stick layers, I do worry. If only the layer could be redone, I might not have spent so much on these pots and pans. But here I am, determined to buy the one of the best nonstick cookware sets, which will hopefully last for next 20 odd years.

best non stick cookware set

The non stick cookware reviews for 2016 have ranked Woll Diamond plus as the best nonstick cookware for the year. The colors and shapes of the vessels are impressive. I guess gauge and finishing would also be perfect because Germans tend to be perfectionists. The product link shows that both diamond and nano technologies have been used for making this product, which makes it scratch proof. At $500 approximately it is expensive no doubt. But the product has one flaw. The handle may not be up to mark. I’d rather buy cookware that comes with handles that are almost molded into them.

The list mentions Calphalon Contemporary. It is contemporary alright because it also has anodized aluminum and it is compatible with my induction stove. It is also heavier so this set also gets a “no” from my side. The other reason for rejecting this set is the way handle is fixed.

T-fal’s set is ranked as the third best nonstick cookware in this blog, and I just made up my mind. This is because of the way handles are attached, and I am intrigued by that thermo spot feature. At less than $100 this set definitely seems something that I would not mind replacing 10 years down the lane. The thermospot may save me some fuel.

Tips for buying the best bread maker machines!

bread maker machineFor most people, bread forms a very important part of their breakfast. We all know that bread is best when it is fresh and still hot. No wonder people are willing to wake up early and line up at the bakery so as to get that fresh bread when it is still hot. A good alternative is to have the same but homemade. That way one need not wake up early to line up at the bakery. There are several bread making machines available in the market today to make this a reality. It can end up being a taunting task making a choice out of the many brands and makes available. That is why in this article we will focus on some crucial tips to help in the purchase of the best bread maker machine.

Most important is your needs as well as the budget at hand. Depending on the properties of these machines, the prices will differ. It is important to also assess the type of bread you can create with them. It needs to be one that you desire so as to meet your needs. The versatility of the machine cannot also be ignored. It is important to note that high price does not necessarily translate into a good bread maker machine. It is more important to check the quality of the machine. If possible, try to read and research n the reviews of this product. From these reviews, you are going to see how they perform on a daily basis, what their strengths and weaknesses, and how reliable they can be.

The best bread maker machine is one that fit into your lifestyle. Performance of the machine is worth checking. Do you intend to have it for small or large quantity? If you have a big family or have regular visitors, then you would need one with a larger capacity. The bread machine should also come with a guarantee. This is a sign that it is made by a reliable and reputable company. Most tend to last for about three years but if used well could even go for more years.

My Rice Cooker Review

I became a big fan of Japanese cuisine since the beginning of third millennium, when it became extremely popular not only in the US, but all over the world. And you can’t possibly imagine any Japanese course without perfectly cooked rice. In a good sushi rice should be about 36 degrees Celsius, but I found that it’s a common rule for a lot of other dishes. It can’t be too dry, nor too wet. Electric rice cookers help me tremendously with achieving all those goals at once. I’ve been using quite a few of them in the past years, and I’d like to share my rice cooker review with you. Here are my favorite models in different price ranges.
rice cooker
Let’s start with Panasonic SR-G10G, 5.5-cup (uncooked) automatic rice cooker. Around $40 at the time. It’s a middle-sized model with a reasonable price. What is remarkable about it – despite being as simple as it gets nowadays (only one button!) – it does know how to cook rice automatically and flawlessly. You just throw in some rice and water, press ON button, and enjoy up to 10 cups of restaurant-grade cooked rice. And when you get a feel of it, you can start to vary quantities and timing a bit to get different results (e.g., make rice more sticky for sushi).

Sometimes I had to use my friend’s MaxiMatic ERC-003, 3-cup (uncooked). If you want something cheap, easy-to-use and bulletproof, then this is it. Yes, it has mediocre materials and it doesn’t look particularly good, but what would you expect for such a price? If you don’t need large volumes of rice at a time and not sure you will be cooking rice frequently – this one is perfect for you.

For the final rice cooker review, behold Aroma 10-cup (uncooked) digital rice cooker and steamer ($40 on amazon). Looking cool in stainless steel design, it’s a gem of my collection. It can take care of all types of rice. Delay timer, stay warm function, fully digital control – Aroma has everything you ever dreamed of. It just can’t get any better and bigger in this price range. You can impress all your friends and family members simultaneously!

My favourite coffee frappe recipe

coffee frappe


3 cups ice cubes
1 cup strong coffee, cold
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla syrup
2 shots coffee liqueur


Whipped cream
Chocolate shavings


Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a large, tall glass. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and desired amounts of cinnamon and chocolate.

Recipe courtesy of Aaron McCargo Jr.

An incredible japanese kitchen knives

japanese kitchen knife

Mrs. Jacqueline, a friend of mine, who stays in Osaka, always said that they use some specially crafted Japanese kitchen knives, which eases her cutting work incredibly. When I had a trip to Osaka the last month and while I was on a shopping spree, my friend had introduced me to a wide range of Japanese kitchen knives set.

Several types of Japanese kitchen knives available there and I had bought only three of them. I found them quite user friendly in my kitchen. I would love to use them often because they are stylish, unique and made of superior quality. Here are my wonderful experiences with the Japanese Kitchen knives.

MAC knives: These knives help me cut my veggies, fish, poultry and lamb with much ease and all my old hardships to cut and cook no longer exists. These knives are a must have because of their razor sharp edge. Having crafted out of superior quality Japanese steel, I can simply say that this knife is the heart of my kitchen.

Shun Sora Starter knife set : These were the set of Japanese Kitchen knives I loved at my cousin’s home. I have used several knives in my kitchen and I was never satisfied with any of them. This knife is remarkable, it cuts so smooth with its razor sharp edges and did not lose sharpness even after several cutting, chopping and mincing work. As I cook daily, I found it quite smooth and quick in cutting. It has a good grip as well.

Miyabi Fusion Honesuki Boning knife: I can say one quick word on this knife, “Please don’t miss it”. This small sharp , western style handle Japanese knife is unique in its look and work. It can easily separate bone from the cooked and uncooked meat. The blade designing is unique and is crafted specially by masters in Seki, Japan. My husband loves to use it. It’s his favorite mission in my kitchen.
The Japanese kitchen knives are so unique and lovable that they automatically prompt your family members to compete in cutting your veggies. They are simply loved by all, for its stylish look, unique and elegant work.

Superfoods for a super you

egg yolks

Egg yolks are home to tons of essential but hard-to-get nutrients, including choline, which is linked to lower rates of breast cancer (one yolk supplies 25% of your daily need) and antioxidants that may help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Though many of us have shunned whole eggs because of their link to heart disease risk, there’s actually substantial evidence that for most of us, eggs are not harmful but healthy. People with heart disease should limit egg yolks to two a week, but the rest of us can have one whole egg daily; research shows it won’t raise your risk of heart attack or stroke. Make omelets with one whole egg and two whites, and watch cholesterol at other meals.

yogurt recipe
Greek yogurt

Yogurt is a great way to get calcium, and it’s also rich in immune-boosting bacteria. But next time you hit the yogurt aisle, pick up the Greek kind—compared with regular yogurt, it has twice the protein (and 25% of women over 40 don’t get enough). Look for fat-free varieties like Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt (90 calories and 15 g of protein per 5.3-ounce serving).

Fat-free organic milk

Yes, it does a body good: Studies show that calcium isn’t just a bone booster but a fat fighter too. Recent research from the University of Tennessee found that obese people who went on a low-calorie, calcium-rich diet lost 70% more weight than those who ate the least. Vitamin D not only allows your body to absorb calcium, it’s also a super nutrient in its own right. Research shows that adequate D levels can reduce heart disease risk, ward off certain types of cancer, relieve back pain, and even help prevent depression, but most of us don’t get nearly enough of the 1,000+ IU daily that most experts recommend. A splash of milk in your morning coffee isn’t enough to provide the calcium and vitamin D you need. Use milk instead of water to make your oatmeal, have a glass with breakfast, or stir some chocolate syrup into it for an after-dinner treat.


Salmon is a rich source of vitamin D and one of the best sources of omega-3s you can find. These essential fatty acids have a wide range of impressive health benefits—from preventing heart disease to smoothing your skin and aiding weight loss to boosting your mood and minimizing the effects of arthritis. Unfortunately, many Americans aren’t reaping these perks because we’re deficient, which some experts believe may be at the root of many of the big health problems today, like obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Omega-3s also slow the rate of digestion, which makes you feel fuller longer, so you eat fewer calories throughout the day.

Lean beef

Lean beef is one of the best-absorbed sources of iron there is. (Too-little iron can cause anemia.) Adding as little as 1 ounce of beef per day can make a big difference in the body’s ability to absorb iron from other sources, says Mary J. Kretsch, PhD, a researcher at the USDA-ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, CA. Beef also packs plenty of zinc (even minor deficiencies may impair memory) and B vitamins, which help your body turn food into energy.

If you can, splurge on grass-fed. Compared with grain-fed beef, it has twice the concentration of vitamin E, a powerful brain-boosting antioxidant. It’s also high in omega-3 fatty acids. Because this type of beef tends to be lower in overall fat, it can be tough—so marinate it, and use a meat thermometer to avoid overcooking.


It’s hard to imagine a more perfect food than beans. One cooked cupful can provide as much as 17 g fiber. They’re also loaded with protein and dozens of key nutrients, including a few most women fall short on—calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Studies tie beans to a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and breast and colon cancers. The latest dietary guidelines recommend consuming at least 3 cups of beans a week—3 times the measly 1 cup we usually get. Keep your cupboards stocked with all kinds: black, white, kidney, fat-free refried, etc. Use them in salads, stuffed baked potatoes, and veggie chili or pureed for sandwich spreads.


In a nutshell: USDA researchers say that eating 1½ ounces of tree nuts daily can reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Walnuts are rich in omega-3s. Hazelnuts contain arginine, an amino acid that may lower blood pressure. An ounce of almonds has as many heart-healthy polyphenols as a cup of green tea and 1/2 cup of steamed broccoli combined; they may help lower LDL cholesterol as well. The key is moderation, since nuts are high in calories. Keep a jar of chopped nuts in your fridge, and sprinkle a tablespoon on cereal, salads, stir-fries, or yogurt. Or have an ounce as a snack most days of the week.

Information from Prevention: 50 healthiest foods for women


How I Fell In Love with My Juicer


All my life I have always been a foodie but there is something about fresh citrus juice that got me hooked for life. The foundation to any good citrus juice is the perfect citrus juicer or blender and I must admit it took me so long to realize this. Today I have perfected about ten or fifteen recipes and am having the best smoothies of my life.

The quality of all fresh juices depends on how they are made. For me it takes a lot to perfect a juice recipe but I know one thing for sure, if I want to enjoy tasty, healthy and mind-blowing citrus juice, I need the best citrus juicer. I remember spending about three weeks online researching different juicers and while most really looked like they had a lot to offer, it took me a lot of time reading through the juicers reviews and ratings and comparing different products.

Finally I got my juicer and believe me, the amazing taste of all my fifteen smoothie recipes would not be the same without this juicer. I actually think that the quality of the juicer and the end product it produced was the main reason why I fell in love with citrus. Citrus juice is healthy and really amazing. It doesn’t matter how you want to twist the flavor, personally I do this all the time, the authentic taste of real citrus juiced to perfection is what really matters.

I was never a fan of citrus in my life, now I can’t go a day without it. I honestly think it will be nice if you can also try out the fresh juice. You can get some basic flavor twists online but always remember the authentic taste and texture of citrus juice will really get you going. In that case, I would invest on a good citrus juicer if I were you and pick it up from there.

My First Stress-Free Morning with Espresso

I’ve never been a morning person, so it doesn’t help that I always have to be in a rush when I wake up. Fortunately, there’s a nice coffee shop around the corner from where I live, but unfortunately it means that to enjoy a nice strong brew, I need to be up even earlier. Now, you may be wondering why I don’t just buy coffee and make it at home. Well, it’s because my drink of choice for the mornings is espresso and quite simply put, it always tastes better at the cafe. At least that’s what I thought.
Imagine, if you will, not being able to sleep until past midnight and having to wake up a little past four in the morning. I’d barely be able to stumble through the morning rituals, have to grab a quick breakfast (this consisted of cereal and toast), get everything I’d need for work, and head out the door. I’d walk out the door, greet the neighbors (how they can smile at this time is beyond me) and walk to the next street, turn left and enter our little neighborhood cafe. I’d sit down, the barista would give me my espresso without my even needing to order, I’d read the newspaper a bit while I drank my espresso and my hectic day would officially begin. After I left the cafe, I’d go to work, have a small break for lunch, bring my work home and work again until past midnight.

Well, readers, I am pleased to tell you all that FINALLY I’ve found a solution – or rather someone else gave me the solution. The other day my friend – let’s call him John – and I were talking about our mornings and he ended up telling me about the best rated espresso makers. Now, I guess not all espresso makers are good, but if you are willing to spend a little extra money to get one of the best espresso makers, then believe when I say you will not regret it.

Just this morning, I slept till a little past five in the morning. I read the newspaper in my pajamas while leisurely having my breakfast (of course with espresso to wash down the toast). I even had time to kick back on the armchair and catch a few segments of the morning news. Since my morning was stress-free, I was more focused at work and only had to bring home a little to do at home (which I’ve already finished). Well, it’s only eight in the evening here, so I think I’ll watch a movie and get to sleep early for once.

Buying An Espresso Maker

espressoA good shot of espresso coffee every morning really makes my day. It helps me to stay awake and alert, especially that my day job starts at 7am. However, most of the time, I am in a hurry because time flies so fast and so, I’m not able to prepare my espresso.

I considered getting an automatic espresso maker to save up time in preparing coffee and still enjoy a very good espresso in the earliest time of the day. Before I made my purchase, I also did research and asked around about it. I wanted to use well my hard earned money. I wasn’t sure which brand and features are good, and which ones work well for espresso lovers.

And so, I went to the internet and looked for automatic espresso maker reviews. I was glad I did. I found out that there are thousands of sites that at least discuss about this type of product. There were articles and videos, store sites and consumer report sites. Fantastic, just what I want. The information I got was really helpful. Not only I’ve read about automatic espresso makers, but also, I’ve learned which features can satisfy me the most. Yes, I liked it that automatic espresso makers are easy and convenient to use. I don’t need to wait and watch as it pours the liquid to my coffee cup. And yet, I still have the control on how fine I can grind my coffee beans and how strong I can make my coffee flavor. Perfect.

I did buy one and it was a great choice. It was exactly what I needed. Thanks to this review. They helped me decide the espresso machine that’s fit for my preferences without spending too much. My well-spent money has gone a long way. My family and friends appreciate the great coffee I prepare for them whenever they visit me. I really love the fact that my automatic so-called barista produces the exact coffee flavor that I like, consistently. It never made a mistake. That’s good enough to keep me at my best each sunrise.