I am thrilled to announce that The Cook’s Digest has been honoured for our contributions towards the Vietnamese food scene. We have recently been recognised as one of the top Vietnamese Food Blogs by the good folks at feedspot.com. And perfect timing, as this coming weekend the country celebrates National Day.
This month marks a year of The Cook’s Digest. It’s been a lot of fun, and an interesting learning experience. In this post I share some of the important events and aspects of the year.
And also eat some chocolate cake to celebrate. 🙂
I enjoy experimenting with kitchen gadgets. For Christmas, I was gifted a “Sous Vide Supreme” to add to the culinary arsenal. After a few sous vide meals, it’s clear this was a perfect present. Meat is moist and evenly cooked throughout. Vegetables taste fresh and vibrant. Every time.
One of my culinary discoveries has been the positive effect BBQ rubs can have on enhancing flavour. A real-deal meal time game changer. I’ve blogged about cooking with rubs in our Big Green Egg, simply because it’s what I normally use.
Recently rain stopped play on a planned al fresco roast chicken. A lot of rain, and high winds. So I used the oven indoors. Turns out that BBQ rubs work with everyday kitchen cooking.
Smoked cheeses, vegetables and nuts can add extra nuance and flavour to a meal. And it doesn’t need a large, dedicated piece of equipment. It’s surprisingly easy to do with a Big Green Egg, standard covered BBQ or similar device.
Find out how to do cold smoking with a low-cost smoke generator. And a paint can.
When is a blog not a blog? When it is an IT project. I recently realised that The Cook’s Digest had become too focused on making it look good rather than fulfilling what I originally wanted to do … sharing our home cooking experience.
It also transpired that from the outset of this blog, my wife was, in fact, right …
I recently added a Big Green Egg to our collection of cooking appliances. This is more than just a kitchen gadget though … partly because it is normally used outside.
A Big Green Egg is a free-standing, outdoor (mostly) charcoal-fuelled ceramic oven that can be used to cook pretty much anything. And for most dishes and meals it cooks much better than a conventional oven.
My go-to home baking book is Short and Sweet by Dan Lepard. Not just a recipe compilation it is, in Dan’s own words, a “blueprint for great home baking”, imparting much wisdom in a concise and approachable style.
The “eureka” moment was minimal knead bread-making. A slow, steady rise, interjected with 15 second kneads, it is a good fit for home baking in the maelstrom of modern life.
Dan is a master across the field of baking. His book covers cakes, biscuits, desserts, pizza and even beer-battered fish!
The book can be purchased from amazon.co.uk in either hardback or Kindle format.
In the past I made a shopping list for meals we cooked regularly, went to a supermarket and purchased what is on that list. Same meals, week after week, or takeaways.
Since discovering cooking can be a lot of fun, we try different things. This could be a dish we have seen or eaten in a restaurant or at a friend’s house, or using a new ingredient.
Mealtimes have been transformed, as we Cook a Life Less Ordinary.
Starting at the beginning is always a good idea, so with venturing into the world of cooking I did just that. Cheese on toast was already in the bag, so how about trying to make the bread for it? This is what happened …
A warm welcome to The Cook’s Digest, the adventures of an amateur cook with a creative passion for discovering all that is culinary.
For years I believed that I could not cook, mostly based on some early disastrous attempts to impress … so I gave up. Given this experience, and that my wife served up some great meals, what was the point of me trying to cook?
And then something happened that changed our lives … we went on holiday to Vietnam.
That may not sound so earth-shattering in consequence, yet it was there (and Cambodia) that I discovered not only that I could cook, but that there was a whole world of foods of all varities waiting to be explored.
So on returning home, and armed with a couple of books, a few ingredients and several years of catching up to do, I embarked on a most wonderful adventure.
Starting with the basics … baking bread.