Gadgets and Gourmet Secrets

Read This >>
In 2004, frustrated New Yorker Julie Powell decided to jump-start her humdrum life by cooking all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s 1961 classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking. In one year. The chronicle of her culinary odyssey is recounted in Julie & Julia, a frank, side-splitting new release sure to amuse both home cooks and fans of Bridget Jones-style humor alike. $16.29 at Amazon.com.

<< Cool Tools
Which of these hard working utensils is right for your kitchen?

1 Silicone spatulas are heat tested from 400 to 800 degrees and come in a rainbow of colors. They won’t scratch your pots and pans.

2 Bamboo is the wonder wood. It won’t splinter in the dishwasher or warp when sitting in a sink of soapy suds. The strong, tightly grained wood won’t stain either.

3 Beech is popular in French kitchens. (The wood is abundant in France.) It’s blonde, good looking, and long lasting.

4 Olivewood spatulas are made from old olive trees past their bearing prime. Handsome and hard, this spatula is made for endurance.

All wooden tools (except for bamboo) should be hand washed. Apply mineral oil to prevent your wooden utensils from drying out and fraying. Find all these tools at Sur La Table (4527 Travis St. 214-219-4404) and Viking Culinary Arts Center (4531 McKinney Ave. 214-526-3942).


  << Munch This
Just in time for football season, Good Health’s olive oil potato chips are a sophisticated alternative to regular Ruffles. With flavors like rosemary, cracked pepper, and garlic, we’re sure your pigskin pals will find something to go with their beer of choice. $1.39-4.99 at Dallas City Market (5600 W. Lovers Ln. 214-350-8646).

 
Try This >>
What’s it called? Star Anise. What is it? A spice. Where is it from? China. What does it taste like? Slightly bitter licorice. It’s more pungent than the common anise seed. How do I use it? Grind up the seeds or whole pods and use it to flavor Asian cuisine.