All of Chatelaine’s triple-tested recipes trace their roots back to the Test Kitchen. Our team of recipe developers and editors spends each and every workday cooking, baking and, yes, tasting all sorts of seasonally inspired dishes that eventually make their way to our magazine and website. To show you where the magic happens, we asked Food Editor Irene Ngo to open up our cupboards, fridges and drawers in the latest episode of Kitchen Crashers. Here are some tried-and-true tips we picked up along the way.
Keep your grocery list handy
The Chatelaine Test Kitchen has a giant chalkboard wall that, along with displaying the team’s love for cookies, acts as a communal grocery list for recipe developers and testers. That way, no one will forget to pick up an essential ingredient or two if they’re out and about. If a floor-to-ceiling chalkboard isn’t in the cards for you, invest in small whiteboard for your home kitchen (you can find them at Dollarama for a toonie).
The best way to avoid burning yourself on a hot pan
Oven mitts are a kitchen essential, but they’re just as useful once you’ve taken a hot pan out of the oven. Irene says she’ll always place a mitt on top of whatever dish is cooling on the stove or countertop to remind others that it’s still hot. Once that mitt is gone, team members can taste away!
Use a scale to up your baking game
Measuring cups and spoons are fine, but to really fine-tune your baking skills, consider using a kitchen scale to more accurately measure ingredients. After all, baking is a science. Digital scales are fairly inexpensive and you can find them at most kitchenware stores.
Bust out that label-maker
You don’t need to organize your spices in alphabetical order like the Test Kitchen does (it’s seriously impressive), but consider using a label maker to find order in your pantry. Be sure to always transfer those items you buy in bulk (like flour, beans and other types of grain) into reusable containers and label them so your always know what you have (and how long you’ve had it). You can also label your cupboards to ensure everything’s where it’s supposed to be.
You can never have too many spatulas and wooden spoons
Spatulas and wooden spoons are the real workhorses in any kitchen. Both of these tools come in various shapes and sizes and can help with myriad tasks, from mixing batter to breaking up ground meat in a hot pan. Keep yours on the counter in a pretty jar so they’re always with reach.
Links to recipes and stories mentioned in the video
• Chatelaine’s Instant Pot no-knead bread recipe
• Irene’s article about the wonders of coconut sauce
• Chatelaine’s strawberry-rhubarb sangria (our latest cocktail recipe)
• Why you should start cooking with celeriac