Archive for cooking tips

The top 10 reasons to host a Chef’s Toolbox cooking party

Posted in The Chef's Toolbox with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2009 by lickthebowlcomau

Imagine calling a few friends together, cooking up a couple of delicious recipes, heartily devouring them and then scoring lots of free stuff and half price, top quality cookware!  That’s a Chef’s Toolbox cooking party for ya!

Cook up paella at your cooking party!

Cook up paella at your cooking party!

Why hold a Chef’s Toolbox cooking party?

  1. You get to try before you buy.
  2. Revive your enthusiasm for cooking.
  3. Share cooking tips with friends and family.
  4. Learn a couple of easy, delicious new recipes.
  5. Treat yourself to some top quality cookware.
  6. Start building your collection, piece by piece.
  7. Receive free cookware.
  8. Do some half price shopping.
  9. Introduce your friends/family to something new.
  10. Have a heap of fun, with very little effort!

The Chef’s Toolbox mantra is “cooking is fun”.  Whenever I say that, I see a few raised eyebrows in the room, but hey, you have to do it so you might as well enjoy it, right?  Frankly, there’s nothing fun about a sink full of baked-on, greasy, daggy looking pots and pans.  At a Chef’s Toolbox cooking party, you’ll be introduced to our gorgeous, practical cookware that enables you to cook more healthfully, and not tax your time with endless washing up.

“People always feel obliged to buy at these parties” …… not with Chef’s Toolbox!
Since the range is almost unheard of in Queensland – and we aim to change that – the very name is enough to intrigue your guests to come along.  And once they attend your cooking party, they will get to see what we’re all about.  Most people fall in love with it when they see how easy it is to use and clean, and they snap up a few pieces on the spot.  Others prefer to get to know it by buying one or two small items and consider holding their own party to build upon what they’ve bought.  That’s fine by us!  If we were into pressure, we’d be selling pressure cookers!

“I don’t have time to hold parties” ……
To host a Chef’s Toolbox cooking party, all you need to do is invite your friends and buy a few inexpensive ingredients.  We do the rest at your party!  We cook two simple recipes and eat them afterwards.  No dips, nibbles and munchies to put out.  Just a pot of tea or a bottle of wine and it’s all done.  This is meant to be fun, not work!

“My husband doesn’t like these ladies’ parties” …..
Who said cooking was just for the ladies?  Tell him to hang around and see how “the toolbox” will even get him to enjoy getting into the kitchen.  And since men are so practical, wouldn’t it be far better to be able to try something in your own kitchen, on your own stove, before you fork out for it?

“There’s no room in my kitchen” …..
We don’t need a kitchen!  How about a patio, the verandah, the garage or your living room?  With my handy dandy portable electric cooker, I can cook up a stove top pizza in a laundry as long as there’s a power point!

Look, whatever your sensitivity, no one wants to pressure you into holding a cooking party.  Just remember, there’s plenty to be gained – fun, new recipes, new cooking tips, free and half price cookware – and nothing to be lost.  Contact me if I can help :).

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10 Ways To Find Meal Time Inspiration

Posted in Articles with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2008 by lickthebowlcomau

The afternoon chaos of kids arriving home from school ransacking the pantry and fridge for snacks can be overwhelming.  If you don’t already know what you’re going to make for dinner, your entire evening can be thrown out of whack as you contemplate cleaning up the kitchen from the various morsels of toast, yoghurt and other tasty treats scoffed down by your offspring!

If you can manage to think in advance, you’ll know what to cook and have a plan.  Whether ‘in advance’ means that morning, an hour before the kids get home or the previous evening after washing up, whenever you do it, you’ll be glad you did.

Here’s where you can find that important meal-time inspiration …

  1. Hold a Chef’s Toolbox home cooking workshop – Let me show you how to rustle up quick, easy meals that won’t tax your energy too much, and will taste superb!
  2. Cooking shows on TV – The Lifestyle Channel, Lifestyle Food, daytime TV and even magazine format shows that feature a cooking segment.
  3. Magazines – Flip through magazines while you enjoy a cup of tea, ride the bus to work, wait for an appointment or sit outside the school before pick-up.  You’ll gather a wealth of ideas and even if you don’t cook the recipe as shown, you might have an idea of something you can prepare using the two main ingredients or a new product you’ve spotted in an ad.
  4. Ask others – While you’re waiting for the 3pm bell to ring, ask other parents in the school grounds what they made for dinner last night.  Make conversation with someone in the supermarket who is buying something you might like to use in a recipe and ask them what they do with it.  Ring your mother, brother, sister, cousin, best friend or someone else you like and ask them what they last cooked that the family enjoyed.  Ask people at work, at the gym, at your children’s training sessions or after church.
  5. Rely on food retailers – Your butcher doesn’t just cut meat into palatable portions; he’s often a reliable source of clever recipe tips!  Quiz yours for ideas on how to get the best out of the cut of meat you’re buying.  Ask your greengrocer what’s in season and what has the best flavour and he/she will likely tell you a great way to prepare it.  Keep an eye out for recipe cards at the bakery, butcher’s and supermarket or anywhere else where you buy your food.
  6. The Internet – If you can’t find inspiration on the Internet, then you’re not looking hard enough!  There are gazillions of sites that specialise in recipes and cooking ideas.  Some focus on particular health issues (e.g. lactose intolerance, cholesterol and food allergies), others are the place to go for lifestyle choices such as vegetarians and vegans.  Bookmark your favourite sites and save recipes you’d like to try in a folder that you can look at when you’re stuck for ideas.
  7. Product serving suggestions – Look through your pantry and check out the product labels.  Most food items will have serving suggestions on the pack, and many will have recipes.
  8. Recipe books – Some recipe books are like ‘food porn’ and your mouth will water just looking at the cover!  These one are also likely very expensive.  If your budget extends that far, then buy whatever takes your fancy, but consider also borrowing from your local library.  Cruise ebay for book bargains, go to book fairs or swap with friends.
  9. Browse the menu – In some dining precincts, the restaurants are lined up along the street one after the other, and each has a menu on display on the footpath.  Stroll by and take a look at what’s on offer and you’d be surprised at the ideas you can glean from what the chefs are producing.
  10. Join someone in the kitchen – If you know someone who’s an amazing cook, ask if they wouldn’t mind you tagging along as their temporary apprentice for a day!  Your Italian mother-in-law might love the chance to show you how to make fresh pasta.  Your best friend’s husband might be a dab hand with the barbecue tongs.  Your cousin might make the best lamb korma you’ve ever tasted.  By sharing the enjoyment of cooking, you will not only have fun, but you’ll also discover some new ways of doing things.