November 29, 2018
Top picks for the kitchen! Holiday gift ideas from our chefs.
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.
June 15, 2016
How To Make A Simple Chantilly Cream (Only 3 Ingredients!)
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- Ground pistachios
- Black berries
- Petite key lime pies
- Piping bag
- Stand mixer with whip attachment
June 1, 2016
How to make a potato rose wrapped in bacon
- Apple smoked bacon
- Vegetable peeler
- Chefs knife
- Mandaline slicer
- Cutting board
December 29, 2015
Top 10 Reasons To Join Culinary Crafts On New Year’s Eve!
Check out more Salt Lake City, Park City, and Utah County catering at www.culinarycrafts.com!
November 9, 2011
Wednesday Wisdom: Top 10 Holiday Party Planning Tips
Hi all! Today I am thrilled to announce our guest blogger, Mara Marian-Harwood, who you may know as the creative tour de force behind Events by LMG. I always love the events and styling tips that Mara has and what she has shared with us today is no exception! Each tip is excellent and will definitely help any hostess or host with their holiday party! Take a look!
Top 10 Holiday Party Planning Tips | Mara Marian-Harwood, Events by LMG
1. Steer Clear of Your Kitchen I love to cook and bake, preparing food for my friends and family is something I truly enjoy. I almost never give up my kitchen to anyone else, except when I am entertaining a large group in my home. It’s an entirely different challenge to prepare dinner and hors d’oeuvres for a few guests than to prepare food and hors d’oeuvres for a large group. It’s impossible to act the part of a gracious hostess if you’re busy watching platters and refilling confections. Allow a catering team to handle the food for you, so you can enjoy the food- and the party! Don’t forget that hostess is your role at your holiday party, to greet and entertain guests.
2. How to be a Hostess The part of a great hostess begins before the party starts. Balance your guest list with couples and single folks. Don’t make a big deal of the single guests, going out of your way to introduce every single person who crosses your path to another makes for particularly awkward exchanges. Single adults will find one another, without your assistance. Be sure to create a fun and comfortable environment that promotes mingling and the rest will take care of itself.
3. No Wallflower Zone The right music, décor and lighting paired with great food and drinks will make for a fun and festive environment. Don’t make the mistake of putting the food right next to the bar. Be sure to split these areas up to keep guests moving. If your home is large enough, multiple bars and food stations are ideal.
4. Some Like it Hot! Be sure to offer a variety of beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. A hot beverage bar is a great interactive-entertainment option for guests, separate from a traditional cocktail bar. Hot spiced-cider, warm cocoa and hot toddies can all be dressed by guests. Be sure to work with your caterer to get a great selection of colored sugars, cinnamon sticks, marshmallows and peppermint sticks for your guests to add to their drinks. Specialty glassware and mugs can be rented locally to make each of these beverages feel special.
5. Use Candles Sans-Scent Avoid the urge to stock up on and burn scented holiday candles. Solid in abundance at this time of year, cinnamon, peppermint and pine-scented candles can be a tempting choice. Remember that your guests will all arrive wearing perfume and cologne. In addition to your delicious menu, there is no room for more scents. Allow the aroma of the food and beverages to set the mood rather than an artificial candle. (Don’t skip candles altogether though! Just be sure not to place candles in areas where clothes or hair could catch fire, up and out of the way is best).
6. Channel Your Inner Supermodel Since you won’t be busy slaving away in your hot kitchen, be sure to spend time getting festive with your ensemble. The holidays are the time to add a little sparkle. Whether it’s a sequined frock or a pearly eyeliner, get into the holiday sprit.
7. Get Glass Be sure to have lots of bottled water on hand for your party. For any formal engagement, I suggest glass bottles. A glass water bottle feels upscale and pretty. My favorites are Pellegrino for a fizzy option, and Aqua Pana for water sans bubbles. Having the water readily available around the party will keep it accessible for your drinking guests who will thank you tomorrow.
8. Bathroom and Boudoir Your guests will inevitably use your restrooms and poke around your home. Decorate with fresh florals in every space, bathrooms included. Work with a florist to offer beautiful seasonal-appropriate arrangements other than the standard grocery-store poinsettia.
9. Coat Check Simply planning to stack coats in a bedroom isn’t a good coat-check plan. Some guests will uncomfortable with this and will carry their belongings around all night, not conducive to a fun party. If you’re not working with a professional planner, ask your caterer for recommendations on staffing for this service. Your caterer may even offer the service.
10. Parking Predicament Consider where your guests will park based on the number of cars you’re expecting to need to accommodate. If your neighborhood has lots of street parking options, it’s a nice gesture to let neighbors know that you’ll be having a party so they can expect the increase in cars on your street that evening. It’s amazing how a simple heads up will make your otherwise easily irritated neighbor feel like they were a part of the decision. Problem solved! A professional valet-service is also a surprisingly cost-effective solution to parking dilemmas.
Thank you so much Mara! These ideas are FABULOUS! I hope they make all of your holiday party planning a breeze - and if you'd like the professional planning services of Mara and her team, go to www.eventsbylmg.com! Happy planning!
Check out our website at www.culinarycrafts.com!