Knives are another of those subjective items. Especially with knives it is extremely important to go for what feels good and is easy for you to use. I have some Cutco knives that I love, but can't afford (mine were a gift) to add on to as a set. I also have some of the older Pampered Chef knives that I love, but their newer ones are just not the same quality. I have a couple from the restaurant that my dad and grandfather ran when I was a baby and I also have some old Wilkinson knives from my maternal grandmother that I love! I have a lot of knives, like cutting boards I use a clean one with the change in food and use.
I prefer a French, German or Brazilian made knife, but that too is a personal preference.
I think that there are a few essentials that will get you by in any kitchen:
- SANTOKU - I like this over a traditional chef's knife because it is a bit shorter with a thinner and broader blade. The indentations on the side make it easier to cut through food by creating air pockets that reduce the friction to make for a smoother cut.
- UTILITY - this knife will become your best friend - it's the ALL PURPOSE knife that does everything that the specialty knives don't.
- PARING - great for coring, peeling and trimming vegetables especially. I have several of these.
- CLEAVER - This one doesn't get used much, but is essential if you need to cut through bones.
- BONING - The long, narrow, thin blade of this knife works to get into tight places when you're trimming fat and tendons away.
- BREAD - scalloped teeth of a serrated edge is great for cutting through bread and softer foods.
- SLICER - a long thin bladed knife that is ideal for slicing roast beef.
- POULTRY SHEARS - these are essential if you want to cut up your own chickens. Many times I can save a ton of money by buying the whole bird and cutting it apart myself for fried chicken.
- MANDOLINE - okay I know it really isn't a knife, but it has a sharp metal edge so I include it in this category. Don't skimp on this, get a good quality.
I recommend that you keep your knives sharpened. A good quality sharpener is as easy to use as your most comfortable knife.
CHOCOLATE CHIP OATMEAL RAISIN PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES aka KITCHEN SINK COOKIES
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup maple sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Jumbo eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cups minced walnuts
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup golden raisins
- Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and espresso powder.
- Cream butter and peanut butter together.
- Add the sugars and cream again.
- Add the vanilla and eggs and cream until smooth.
- Gradually add flour mixture until well blended.
- Add oatmeal until well blended.
- Add nuts and combine well.
- Add chocolate chips and combine again.
- Add raisins and mix well.
- Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet.
- Press down slightly.
- Bake 12-15 minutes.