It’s the early 2000s, I had a candy bar cell phone, still printed maps before driving, and two beautiful towers still stood in New York City. It was a simpler time compared to the woes of our current ecosystem. It was a time of bunny ears on your tv, written checks, and the world’s best infomercials at 3am.
If you were up at 3am, you’d have the pleasure of seeing Cleo the psychic, Suzanne Somers with her ThighMaster, SoloFlex, and my personal favorite, Chef Tony and the Miracle Blade kitchen knife wondershow (ok, maybe I made that last bit up…).
I never called Cleo or her friends, but I do believe my mother bought a ThighMaster and let me tell you, that contraption will pull your groin muscle out before it ever tightens your thighs. We can’t all be Suzanne.
But Chef Tony was a man of his own making, the world’s best salesman and watching him do anything made you want it. Purposefully I would watch his show Sunday mornings, running to the kitchen to try and slice bread with my knife. I’d simultaneously be disappointed with my own useless blade and wowed by his.
He could throw pineapples in the air and slice them in half (a feat I've never been able to replicate), then cut an exhaust pipe from a car, and after wiping off the blade, smoothly cut a tomato or sliced bread.
I was hooked and too broke to actually call the 1-800 number and order myself a set. But I watched every weekend like an old lady watches her soap opera shows. Maybe it was because I was a cook at the time, maybe it was the enthusiasm of Chef Tony’s cutting, slicing, and dicing skills. Whatever the reason, I fantasized about owning my own set of Miracle Blades. Oh, all the things I would cut, slice and dice…I’d have to start buying more pineapple and uncut bread. But wait, if I acted now, I could get a genuine wooden knife holder perfect for displaying these gleaming sharp beauties.
So I know you’re asking yourself, if I’m this excited about those knives nearly 20 years later, then I surely must of bought them, right?
No, my dearest reader, I did not. Some things are just better left as fantasies, like staying in Disney’s castle, owning your own pony, or yes, slicing pineapples in half like a ninja.
Alas, the days of spray on hair, Encyclopedia Britannica, and Chef Tony’s knives are past, as are my dreams of owning my own Pony named Bubblegum (what? I named her!).
So since we can’t sit down at 7am on a Sunday and be wowed by a man cutting a leather shoe in half....
Here are the 3 knives everyone needs in their kitchen
8-inch Chef Knife
Smaller knife used to peel, trim and/or slice smaller produce or score meat.
Tip: Create a flat surface so your food (or your fingers) don’t get away from you.
It does what it says it does.
Tip: A bread knife is also good for cutting thin skinned produce like tomatoes or eggplant.
Even if you’ll never get to experience the glory of sawing an exhaust pipe in half, if you have these three knives- you’ll be a pro in the kitchen in no time.
Just like Chef Tony, make sure you have an organized work space and clean as you go (but don’t throw all the cut produce in the sink, why’d he do that?).
Never put your knives in the dishwasher, and instead, wash right after use and dry them! If you take care of them, your knives can last a lifetime, even if it’s not a lifetime guarantee by the Miracle Blade Master himself.
Besides the boxed dinners and jars of pickled beets, what’s in your pantry?
Most of us have some canola oil, salt, a bag of sugar and maybe a spray can of Pam. But right when you feel enthused about starting a recipe or trying to eat better, you realize that your pantry is woefully unprepared for your cooking expedition.
This article is going to cover the basics, while also teaching some old dogs as new tricks in the kitchen.
You need more than just Canola to get through. Everyone should have at least 2 types of oils on hand for various recipes.
High Heat Oil
Smoking point is when the temperature reaches it’s hottest levels and literally begins to smoke. When this happens, the oil releases toxic free radicals into your food, kills the taste, and kills whatever nutritional value there was in it.
All oils will get bitter as they age so toss out the old dusty bottles that’ve been there for over a year.
Salt & Spices
Sugars you should keep around
Nuts & Seeds
Some grains to try:
Arborio Rice (for Risotta)
Barley (not for those with food sensitivities) Great in soups, beer, and meats, but not everyone’s body likes barley, so use with awareness.
Quinoa (Technically a fruit, but we eat it as a grain)
Basmati Rice (More flavorful and colorful)
Whole Steel-cut oats
Like everything we do at Eat2Live2Love, I encourage you to start small, start where you are, and try new things the next time you’re at the store!