Category Archives: kitchen

I can’t believe I survived Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving proper, we were invited to a friend’s for lunch and then over to family’s for dinner, so, no cooking my own turkey. Instead, I offered 2 side dishes, plucked from Real Simple magazine. For some reason, I felt like I was cheating. Here I am, Zuzy, from Cooking for the Clueless, preaching to all novice cooks that they can “do it,” they can cook, “it’s easy.” Yet, here I was not even making my own turkey? Ahh, the pressure we put on ourselves! So, I decided to cook my own Thanksgiving tonight, Tuesday, the day after Cyber Monday as they call it. How did it go? Well, I won’t lie, it was stressful! Before I get into the stress, here was my menu:

My Turkey!

The Oyster & Bacon Stuffing was a huge huge hit (I used smoked oysters) and I was happy with the rest of the menu too. But, I have to tell you that the damn turkey almost gave me a heart attack! They only had frozen turkeys when I went to the supermarket late the night before and I was stressed about defrosting it. Then, when roasting, I had a leak in the cheapie pan that I used and the oven started smoking. Next, I was worried about opening and closing the oven too many times while cooking the side dishes. Finally, after about 4 hours, it started to look like a cooked turkey. But like most new cooks, I still stressed over possibly poisoning my family and neighbor with an undercooked bird, so I dug into the drawer for my 2 fancy meat thermometers – all this while I cleaned the kitchen, vacuumed, and set the table with fancy things. Our only guest this evening, my lovely neighbor, arrived punctually and after a few minutes of watching me try to put a battery into the fancy meat thermometer, she offered some help. She set the thermometer aside and grabbed a fork. With a couple of pokes, she says, “oh, it’s done!” in her New York Italian accent. She had 79 years of cooking wisdom behind her, so I took her word for it! Thankfully, it turned out pretty good and with good wine and great conversation, I’ll call it a hit!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays!

 

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Filed under clueless, cooking, cooking 101, Cooking for dummies, frustration, homemade food, kitchen, newlywed, recipes for beginners, starting to cook, Thanksgiving, tips for new cooks

Challah with Irving Greisman!

Thanks again to Irving Greisman of Irving’s Premium Foods. He’s known to make the best Challah bread in the San Francisco Bay Area and it really was amazing. I was asked to co-host a challah-making class with him only to discover that he was so charming and such a great teacher that I wanted to adopt him as my grandpa.  The class was hosted by the Young Adult Division (YAD) of the Jewish Community Federation in benefit of the Chicken Soupers. I braided and baked my challah dough as soon as I got home – mostly so that I wouldn’t forget what I learned. Check out my challah below.

For Irving’s Challah French Toast recipe (with a very unexpected ingredient), click here.

Freshly baked 4-braid Challah bread.

Irving’s challah is available in markets throughout the Bay Area.

 

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Glorious Pumpkins

What is it about these magical vegetables that makes them so awesome? Is it their color, their size, their weird shapes? Maybe its our memories associated them? I could sit and write a poem about pumpkins right now, I’m so in love with them. Then again, I just came from yoga class, so I am definitely in a creative and calm mood :0). Here’s a great recipe from one of our favorite Cooking for the Clueless Facebook Fans, Lynnee Bedard Jimenez of Chica Circle:

Great Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie – Perfect blend of spices & not too sweet

  • 2 cups pumpkin
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice

Beat all ingredients together 2 minutes. Bake @ 475 for 15 min and then @ 400 until done (can cover crust edge with foil to stop the burn). That’s it!!

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Filed under cooking 101, Cooking for dummies, food, holiday cookies, homemade food, kitchen, tips for new cooks

Winning the Tasty & Cooking on Live TV

What a great birthday week! As many of you know, we WON the 2010 Tasty Award for “Best DVD or Subscription Series!” A big “Thank You!” to all our fans and those who voted for us. It was so exciting (and unexpected) to win. The award show will air on Hulu.com come February. I’ll keep you posted on when it airs so you can see our first acceptance speech at an award show ever! We met a lot of great foodie celebs and fun people at the show. Here are some of our favorite pics:

Janelle Wang (View From The Bay) & Zuzy Martin Lynch

The following day, I was lucky enough to prove that I’m learning how to cook on LIVE TV!

Thanks to View From the Bay for having me on their show and to Chef Preston Dishman for teaching me how to make a pan-seared salmon with a fancy tomato-herb cream reduction.

So how did I do on my first live segment? It was so much fun and it felt good, but I was definitely stumped on the lactose-intolerant question! Look for an expert article on the matter in the next couple of weeks :0). Check out the live segment by clicking here and thanks again.

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Red carpets, French Sauces & Birthdays!

This is a big week! Three big things are happening.

  1. The Tasty Awards: On Thursday, Jan 14th, we’ll be walking down the red carpet at the awesome Kabuki Sundance Theater as nominees for “Best DVD or Subscription Series!” So cool! Check out our 30-sec trailer for the show.
  2. View From the Bay: On Friday, Jan 15th, I’ll be on ABC’s View From the Bay featuring one of the recipes from the Cooking for the Clueless DVD and proving on live television that I’m not clueless anymore! I promise, there is hope for the clueless out there. I’ll be making a Pan-Seared Salmon with a Tomato-herb cream sauce…a reduction no less. This is a delicious recipe that cooks in less that 15 minutes. Thanks Chef Preston! Check out the recipe.
  3. My birthday! Saturday, Jan 16th, I’m having a big and exciting birthday. With the pressure off, we’re heading to wine country for good wine and delicious fun. Starting at Schramsberg for some bubbly. Gotta have bubbles on your birthday!

Thanks to everyone for the good vibes this week and throughout the process! Stay tuned for posts during the Tastys! Be sure to follow us on Twitter for the latest and greatest.

Biggest question surrounding the show: Will Anthony Bourdain be there?

I hope so. Everyone loves a jaded New Yorker that’s oddly sexy because of his dark side.

:0)

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Roots of a Clueless Cook

Roots of a Clueless Cook

I want to hear from all my fellow clueless friends out there. Is your kitchen the least used room in your house or apartment? Are you finally getting tired of eating out or microwaving dinner almost every night? Are you feeling the pinch of eating out but the idea of cooking a meal exhausts you because you just don’t get the kitchen?

Tell me your story. I want to know why you don’t cook. Here’s mine:

I was raised by my grandmas, who are still amazing cooks. Problem is, they spoiled me and thought they were doing me a favor by serving me delicious food, cleaning up after me and not letting me in the kitchen. Mom was proud to admit that she burned popcorn. Working all the time – cooking was something she didn’t “do.” With this background and living near NYC, I became obsessed with restaurants in my teens – a restauranteur Greek boyfriend may have helped that passion along. Quickly growing into NYC-bred work-aholism, eating out became the norm. Flash-forward 15 years and I’m in my 30’s, newlywed, who knows about all the great restaurants – but exhausted of eating out and burning food at home. I am on a mission to help put a dent in this epidemic!

My theory is that people like me, who don’t cook, don’t do “it” because we don’t know where to begin, don’t know “how” to do “it.” I bet if we knew the basics, like basic French or Spanish, per se, we’d speak and cook a little more often – maybe travel more.

Anyway – not to get off track: Are You Clueless in The Kitchen? Please tell me about it and examine the root.

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