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November 29, 2018

Top picks for the kitchen! Holiday gift ideas from our chefs.

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  With the holidays just around the corner, we put together a list of items our chefs just could not live without in their own kitchens. Here are their recommendations:
Ryan Crafts- Burr Coffee Grinder
The single most important step to take to improve your home coffee experience is using freshly roasted and freshly ground beans. I find the best beans are almost always from a local roaster (Publik, D'Bolla, and Pink Elephant are some of my Utah favorites). I weigh out the beans for my cup each morning and grind immediately prior to brewing with burr grinder.
 
Kaleb Crafts- End Grain Cutting Board
End grain boards last longer than edge grain boards. End grain boards are easier on your knives, leaving them sharper longer. They're also one of the most beautiful additions you can make to any kitchen.

Meagan Crafts- Bench Knife and Squeeze Bottle
The 2 items I use most in my home are a bench knife and squeeze bottle. I use my bench knife to cut and divide breads, desserts, and candies. It is the way it fits in your hand as opposed to a chef knife that makes it faster to use. I use squeeze bottles for everything—dressings, chocolate, sauces, etc. It makes plating and designing fun and creative!

Chef Brandon Roddy- Immersion Blender
From soups to vinaigrettes, a stick blender in your home will change a daunting task to the easiest thing to do in the kitchen.

Chef Robert Mendoza- Can Opener
I recommend a good can opener! I can make do with a lot of other things, but there is really only one way to get into a can!
 
Chef David Dexter- Vegetable Peeler
This is simply for ease. Every home has 3 or 4 vegetable peelers, but only 1 good one. Invest in a quality one and throw the other ones out!

Chef James Arnold- Cutting Board
My cutting boards are my most used items in my kitchen. I love having set cutting boards for each type of food I am cooking—poultry, red meat, vegetables, etc.

Chef Utahna Warren- Quality Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
Drop the money to buy some quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It will change the way you cook.

Chef Jaden White- Mixing Bowls
Mixing bowls are a great addition to your collection. At Culinary Crafts, we have dozens and dozens of bowls and the varying sizes makes the kitchen experience a breeze.

Chef Libby Rice- Electric Stand Mixer
My KitchenAid is my most precious possession in my kitchen. I don't know how people managed to whip cream and egg whites or hand knead dough endlessly back in the day. A good mixer can change the speed and efficiency with which you cook in the kitchen.

Chef Kayde Dexter- Cast Iron Pan
A 9-11" cast iron skillet is the most versatile pan I own. It adds a cool level to home cooking.

Chef Raquel (Rocky) Ortega- Heat Resistant Spatula
Make sure you find one that can withstand the heat, it will ease your cooking experience.

Chef Lacy Johnson- Instant Read Thermometer
The best way to revolutionize the way you cook is with and instant read thermometer. Getting your proteins to the perfect temperature instead of guessing will change the way you eat.

Chef Danielle Mahoney- Chef Knife
You cannot even begin cooking without a quality chef knife. If I was going to upgrade any item in my kitchen it would be a good knife first!

Chef Madison Oliveira- Rice Cooker
As silly as this may seem, my mother-in-law gave us a rice cooker for our wedding, and I am never going back. It is wonderful.

Chef Megan Gagne- Off-Set Spatula and Piping Bag
As a pastry chef, I love to decorate—especially for the holidays. An off-set spatula and piping bag with tips are key to decorating all those fun desserts and plates for your holiday season.

Chef Cambridge Dockendorf- Kitchen Shears
If you follow our blog, last week we showed you all the glories of spatchcocking a turkey. The magic of kitchen shears doesn't stop there. I use mine every day and I love not having a pair that has to cross over—they are just for cooking.

Chef Jocelyn Gillies- Scale
Cooking is a science, the weight of your ingredients is so important, a volume measurement is never as precise as it should be. A scale will change the quality of all your recipes.

Chef Hunter Ashton- Microplane
A microplane in your home will add a new level to your cooking. Fresh orange zest over your pork loin or fresh nutmeg shaved right into your egg nog is a beautiful addition.

Chef Kyle Castillo- Non-Stick Skillet
A good non-stick skillet is a great addition to any kitchen. You cannot have too many of these!

Chef Dardree McClellan- Serrated Knife
I bake bread in my home all the time and having a great serrated knife makes my life easier.

Chef Calli Kassel- Hallow Ground Santoku Knife
A quality chef knife is important but an Asian chef knife is super cool. Because the blade is ground at a 20 degree angle it is crazy sharp and makes cutting anything like cutting though butter.

Chef Allison Parker- Knife Sharpener
I recommend a knife sharpener, not a honing steel (although that is a great piece as well), so you can keep your blades crazy sharp. Being able to do this at your home instead of taking it to a shop makes keeping your knifes sharp easy and convenient. Having this addition to your kitchen will surprise you by how dull your knives can get.

Chef Megann Brimhall- Bacon Grease
I couldn't think of a tool, but I certainly use bacon grease often! Don't be grossed out—I use it to grease pans, fry pancakes and eggs, and sauté vegetables—yummm. A great Christmas gift for me would be a pound of bacon and a wide mouth mason jar specifically for keeping my grease. Make sure to buy a little strainer specifically to get out the little bits of bacon, though, so it doesn't go rancid.

Chef Adam Park- Large Flake Salt and a Salt Cellar
Most home cooks under season. One of the best ways to finish a dish is with some beautiful seasoning salt. A salt cellar will help you keep your finishing salt separate. Also, salting by hand is more balanced than using a shaker. The salt cellar lets you measure your salt in your palm.

September 17, 2018

September Recipe of the Month: The Perfect Dipping Caramel

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Candy making can seem daunting especially if you’ve tried and failed in the past. Whether this is your first time making caramel apples or if you’re ready to try again, you’ll love Meagan Crafts-Price’s tips and tricks to making the perfect caramel apple this fall season!
Caramel Apples
INGREDIENTS
2 cups light corn syrup 1/2 cup water 2 cups sugar pinch of baking soda 1/2 cup butter- cut into 1" cubes 1 12oz. can evaporated milk
Directions, Tips & Techniques
Having your thermometer correctly calibrated is more important than the  particular candy thermometer you use because having your caramel at the perfect temperature for dipping is the key to success. 
Calibrating your candy thermometer
Start by boiling a cup of water in a 1 quart sauce pan. Clip your candy thermometer to the side. If your thermometer reads 212ºF when the   water starts to boil, congratulations that was pretty easy! If it doesn’t, don’t despair. The reading could be off because you aren’t at sea level or your thermometer isn’t calibrated - or probably a bit of both. Here are two ways you can compensate for any discrepancy in the  calibration. My favorite way is to slide the glass tube up or down accordingly until it reads 212ºF in boiling water. If you can’t figure out how to move the glass tube, you can make the adjustment mathematically. To account for the discrepancy in your temperature reading when the water started boiling, simply calculate a new goal temperature in your recipe. For example, if you need to cook your candy to 242ºF, and your thermometer read 210ºF when the water boiled, you know your calibration is off by 2 degrees. So lower the goal temperature in the instructions by 2 degrees, from 242º to 240ºF.
 
Now that you have a calibrated thermometer, keep your pot of boiling water on the stove; you will use it later on. 
In a heavy 4 quart sauce pan combine corn syrup, water and sugar over medium heat. Stirring occasionally with a spatula until mixture comes to a boil. Add in the pinch of soda. The mixture will start to bubble rapidly. This will leave bits of  crystalized sugar on the side of the pan. Take a pastry brush and dip it into your pan of boiling water and wash down the sides of the pan so you don’t get gritty caramel. Clip your calibrated thermometer to your pan of caramel, add butter and stir   until incorporated. Then stir constantly while adding the evaporated milk. You will want to keep the mixture moving so the caramel doesn’t scorch. Continue stirring until your mixture reaches 242ºF (or the adjusted temp for your thermometer). 
Remove from heat and cool until the mixture is 220ºF. This is a key step for dipping! If your caramel is too hot it will just slide off your apples. If it is too cold you won’t be able to get your apples completely coated because the caramel is too thick. While the caramel is cooling, wash 8 apples and insert wooden skewer or popsicle stick about 2” into the apple. Tilt the pan to give you a nice pool of caramel to start dipping. Dip apples into your caramel and turn to coat thoroughly. Drag across the lip of your pan to get off excess caramel, then turn upside down and hold it upside down for about 30 seconds. This helps minimize the foot of caramel that appears at the bottom of the apple when cooling. Place on a piece of parchment paper to cool. You can then dip your apples in chocolate and roll in nuts or candy pieces as desired!
Once you have gotten your 8 apples dipped you might notice there is still caramel in your pan sticking to the sides and such. Don't scrap down your pan with a spatula and continue dipping. The caramel that is sticking to the sides of your pan have still been cooking quite a bit as you have dipped and will be a different consistency than the caramel in the mass. This extra caramel is great to scrap right onto your counter and eat as a snack while you are waiting for your delicious apples to be done!!

March 29, 2018

April: Recipe of the Month Easter Orange Roll Nest

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Orange Roll Dough 2 C water- lukewarm 1 TBSP active dry yeast 1/2 c Orange Juice 2 oranges zested 1/2 c sugar 1/4 lbs butter- melted 1/4 lbs sour cream 2 large eggs 2.5 lbs flour 1/2 TBSP salt Decoration 1 c coconut food coloring 1/4 c milk 2 c powder sugar Equipment: Mixer with Dough Hook 10" round pan- preferably a spring form pan cooling rack Dough: In your mixer bowl, attach your dough hook, then add lukewarm water- 99-102 degrees- add yeast, sugar and orange zest. Let rest until bubbles appear. Meanwhile melt butter, add sour cream and Orange Juice. stir till mixed completely. Add eggs to butter mixture, then slowly pour butter mixture to your yeast mixture. Add flour and salt to mixing bowl and beat until mixture comes together and begins to pull away from the walls of your bowl. Shaping and Baking: Remove from bowl and divide into 5 equal pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for an hour or till doubled in size. Lightly flour your surface, Using a rolling pin and keeping the dough as round as possible, roll the first piece of dough to be about 12" in diameter. Spray your 10" round cake pan and place the the 12" piece of dough in the bottom of your pan. Should come ups the sides a bit. Take the next piece of dough and using your hands roll into a snake like strand that is about 36" long. This will be very skinny. Repeat with 2 more pieces of dough. Once you have your 3 pieces of dough all to 36" in length you are going to braid them together. Just like braiding hair. Pinch the ends together, then lay the braid into your 10" round pan around the edge of the pan. This will be your nest. Cover your 10" pan with plastic wrap and let rest for an hour or until doubled in size. Place in oven at 325 degrees for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on the top.  Meanwhile, What about that last piece of dough?? take the last piece of dough and cut it into 8-10 pieces. These will be your eggs for the center of the nest. Each piece should be about 2oz. Roll them on the counter to smooth out the top and place them on a sheet pan and back at 325 for 12-16 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and let cool.  Assembly and decoration: take your 1 cups of coconut and add green food coloring to it- 3-10 drops depending on how dark you want it. Mix until evenly coated.  In 3 small bowls mix 1/2c of powdered sugar and 1TBSP of milk. This should be very runny, like a glaze. Add more milk or powdered sugar to achieve this. Dye each bowl a different color- your favorite easter colors! I usually do pink, yellow and blue, using 3-5 drops of dye for each bowl. Once your eggs have cooled, place on cooling rack and drip the colored glaze over the top and let it evenly coat the eggs. Let dry while you finish your nest. Once your nest is out of the oven, let cool for about 10 minutes and the pop it out of its pan. Place on cake stand or serving platter. then use about 1/2c of green coconut in the bottom of the ring, then take your eggs and nestle them in to your ring. You will be able to fit about 3 in the nest at a time. Take your remaining coconut and sprinkle over the top of the whole nest to make it look really festive! 

March 15, 2018

March Recipe of the Month: Guinness Braised Short Ribs

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Guinness Braised Short Ribs Serves 4 to 6 people depending on the number of ribs you make.
Ingredients
4 to 6 bone-in short ribs (about an 8 ounce piece, trimming fat if necessary) Salt (kosher) and fresh cracked black pepper to taste 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 large onion, diced 4 cloves garlic, crushed 2 medium carrots, chopped 4 thyme sprigs 1 rosemary sprig 1 bottle Guinness Extra Stout (or your own favorite dark & malty Irish Beer) 1 1/2 cup beef stock (or 1 cup beef stock and ½ cup brewed coffee)
Method 1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. 2. Season all sides of the short rib with salt and pepper. 3. Heat a heavy, oven safe pan over high heat. Add olive oil to pan and let it heat for a moment. Sear all sides of the short rib about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside. 4. Add onion and carrot, saute 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1-2  minutes more. 5. Deglaze with beer, scraping up bits from bottom of pan. Bring to boil. 6. Return short ribs to pan. Add beef stock, thyme and rosemary. 7. Cover pan and bake for 2.5 to 3 hours, until meat is tender. 8. Separate the fat from the drippings, and use the remaining drippings (thickening with a roux or by reduction if desired) as a sauce at service.

February 12, 2018

February Recipe of the Month: White Chocolate Panna Cotta

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December 7, 2017

Culinary Crafts’s Annual NYE Pop Up Preview: The Cocktails!

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Today, we are going to be showing you a little preview of some of the AMAZING things you can expect from Culinary Crafts's New Years's Eve Pop Up!  Every year, we make sure to showcase unforgettable eats and drinks to ring in a New Year and create a one-of-a-kind celebration for all of our guests - and this year is no exception.  Ryan Crafts has been creating this stellar menu for months (yes, months) and it incorporates quite a few specially aged elements.  One such offering?  The cocktails!  Check it out! The cocktail menu consists of a Barrel-Aged Blood Orange High West Old Fashioned, a Barrel-Aged Key Lime Beehive Gimlet, and a non-alcoholic Barrel-Aged Meyer Lemon and Cherry Soda.  Who else is intrigued?  I know I am! We LOVE our local distilleries and High West's American Prairie Bourbon was a perfect addition to Barrel-Aged Blood Orange High West Old Fashioned.  The proprietary blend of bourbons are aged from 2 to 13 years, creating a complex taste - which really added something special. Another interesting element?  Ryan Crafts decided to incorporate oak chips to every drink! Another fantastic local distillery is Beehive Distilling and we were so THRILLED to use it in the Barrel-Aged Key Lime Beehive Gimlet.  They use a blend of 7 botanicals that create a really unique profile.  Couple that with Key Lime?  A whole lotta awesome going on. Bing Cherries will serve as one of the garnishes and adds a touch of sweetness that is just perfect - especially for winter cocktails! As you can see, something really amazing is being put together for our NYE menu!  We hope you will join us for this extraordinary event - but hurry quick!  Tickets are going fast!  (Get them here.)  Happy dreaming, everyone! Check our more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

November 10, 2017

Friday Instagram of the Week!

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Today's Instagram of the Week comes from our friends at Studio 5 who we had the pleasure of joining this week to share our tips and tricks to a perfect Thanksgiving holiday!  (Don't worry for all of you who missed it, we are putting it ALLLL together in a post next week or you can see the video here!)  We absolutely LOVE this holiday and were so thankful to be able to share our love for Thanksgiving on the show!  Thank you for sharing, Studio 5!  Also, remember, for your chance to be next week's pick, tag us at @culinarycrafts or add the hashtag #culinarycrafts to your post and see who is chosen next!  Happy weekend, everyone! Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!

August 4, 2017

Step-by-Step with Mary Crafts: Mom’s Perfect Pie Crust

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Pie is the truly iconic American dessert, but very few people know how to do it well. The novice baker may spend most of their time perfecting the pie filling and spend little time and attention on the crust. However, a true pie maker and connoisseur knows the greatest pie joys lie within a well-made crust. Remember, there is no such thing as a good frozen pie crust from the grocers freezer. But, practice makes perfect and soon you can become an excellent pie maker! For a single pie crust (for 8 or 9 inch pie) you will need the following: 1 cup all purpose flour 1/2 tsp salt 4 tbsp lard* (room temperature) 2 tbsp butter (room temperature) 1/4 cup ice water (approximately) Click here for a printable version. *IN PRAISE OF LARD: No other fat can compare to real lard in a pie crust. If you need to substitute Crisco for the lard, don’t add the butter, just use straight Crisco. The crust will still be flaky but without the buttery flavor. If you plan on making a two crust pie (crust on top and on bottom) simply double the above recipe. Or, if you'd prefer, my mother always made a "French Apple" pie which replaces the top crust with a crumb mixture of 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup butter mixed until crumbly. Increase baking time 10 minutes. Okay, let's get started! Blend the lard and butter together to create the perfect fat. Chill until cold (you'll want to chill your butter and lard mixture between every step. Your flaky and delicious crust depends on your fats staying cold.) Cut the lard/butter mixture into small pieces. In mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Using your fingers, pastry blender, or two knives, work quickly to cut the butter into the flour until it resembles small grains of rice. You can use a food processor but you have to be super careful to not over mix. Chill until cold. Once your mixture is cold, sprinkle the cold (ice cold) water over the flour mixture, one tablespoon at at time, and lightly toss with a fork after each addition. The dough should come together as dough but it should NOT be wet. Just make sure there isn't any loose flour at the bottom of your bowl. Do not over mix. Form the dough into a flat disc (if you've doubled the recipe for a two crust pie, split the dough in half and make two flat discs). Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 30 minutes before rolling. Flour your surface. I like to use a pastry cloth for my floured surfaces, this decreases the amount of flour needed to ensure my dough doesn't stick. Roll dough into a circle approximately 2 inches larger than your pie plate. Crust should be approximately 1/8 inch thick. Place the upside down pie pan in the center of the dough. Cut out the circle with a knife or pizza wheel to be an inch larger around the pan. (If you've made a second crust, repeat this process and set your rolled and sized dough aside.) Fold circle into fourths and place in pie pan, unfold to cover pan.  Lightly press crust into pan. Fold excess dough under on the rim of the pie plate. Crimp edges with fork or pinch between thumb and forefinger to form an edge that is higher then the plate to catch any juices that begin to bubble. Chill until cold. Your crust is now ready for filling and either a double crust or crumb topping. Fill your cold crust with you filling and top with your choice topping. If you chose the crumb topping, skip the next two steps. For the double crust pie, you will want to tuck the top crust between the bottom crust and your pie dish. Place some pressure on the two crusts to secure. After your crust is tucked and secured, pinch or crimp the edges of your crust to seal completely. With a pastry or pairing knife cut a large "S" in the middle of the pie along with a few other slits around the top for steam to escape. Sprinkle generously with sugar.   Place pie on the lowest rack and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and continue baking 35 more minutes or until juice is bubbling out of the center vent which indicates the juice has thickened. Five minutes before it is finished baking, brush the top crust with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Tip for a crisp bottom crust: bake on a pie stone and always cool on a rack and not the counter. Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, or cheese! For printable instructions, click here. I've included the filling recipe for my mom's prize-winning apple pie! Love, Mary.

August 1, 2017

Mom’s Prize-Winning Pie!

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June 19, 2017

The Ice Cream Sandwich of Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Looking for the best homemade ice cream sandwich cookies? Look no further. These gelato panini's with molasses cookies are what you're searching for!

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15x Best of State Caterer

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