I can deal with a lousy oven. I can use crummy cookware. And I’ll admit that I can bake a cake in a flimsy pan. But I refuse to use a dull knife. It’s not only that they’re hard to use, but a bad knife is downright unsafe. Some people are terrified of sharp knives when in fact, when used properly, they’re actually safer: Most people cut themselves when a knife slides off something they’re slicing rather than when it makes a clean cut right through it.
Professional cooks bring their own knifes to work and take care of them themselves. It’s something I still do to this day. And when I go away for a weekend to someone’s house in the country, if I plan to do any cooking (which I usually do), I bring along at least one knife of my own so I know I’ll have a good, sharp knife to cook with.
When I got the opportunity to re-release my first two books, which had gone out of print, my publisher and I decided that they should be combined into one brand-new volume, Ready for Dessert, with new photos and more than a dozen new recipes added. So I made a master list of all the recipes, then chose my absolute favorites: the ones I’d found myself making over and over again during the years invariably rose to the top.
I had to choose le top du top, as they say in France. Then I sent the list to my editor, who worked for many years at a food magazine known for their exactitude and trying a recipe over and over and over again with every variation (a bit crazy, like me), and we went back and forth for a while, until we agreed on the ones for the final book.
I originally imagined I would sit down and cut and paste recipes, putting them in order, and maybe adding a few notes here and there. But as I scrolled through the recipes, many of which I hadn’t made in over a decade, I started reading through them more carefully. And soon I realized that I was not just making mental notes, but I was jumping up from my desk chair and heading to the kitchen, taking butter out of the refrigerator to soften, and running to the market to buy eggs by the flat.
One of my favorite online shopping sites, Rue La La, frequently offers great deals on everything from All Clad pots & pans, Cuisinart and KitchenAid appliances, German and Japanese cutlery, Staub, Le Creuset, and Mauviel copper cookware – all at amazing prices! (They also have fine linens, designer clothing, tableware, and wine accessories.)
You never know what you might find and the specials happen daily – but the good stuff goes fast, so be prepared.
Over the years, a number of people have asked if it was possible to bring a KitchenAid mixer from the United States to Europe, and use it here. I certainly couldn’t live without my 5-quart mixer, and since they’re less-expensive in America than they are abroad (because of the electrical modifications and shipping), many folks, naturally, want to know if they can bring their mixer with them.
Several readers kindly chimed in with comments and suggestions (thanks, Sunny!), noting that theirs worked fine with a voltage transformer.
For a number of years, this forum has been a place to ask questions about ice cream making. However after hundreds of questions, everything that could be asked and answered about ice cream making has been said. So comments have been closed and if you have a question, you can use the search feature on your browser to scan the comments.
I’ve learned a lot listening to you about ice cream making and am thrilled that so many of you have taken up the task of churning up ice cream and sorbets at home. Thanks for participating in this forum!
Here’s a list of links to various places on the site where you can find more information and tips about how to make ice cream.
However because to the number of inquiries, please keep in mind…
-If you have questions regarding a specific machine, I suggest contacting the manufacturer as they’re best equipped to give advice on your particular model.
-If you have questions about other people’s recipes, it’s advisable to contact the chef or author of that recipe.
-If you wish to try to recreate a favorite flavor you’ve had in a restaurant or ice cream shop, I suggest contacting the source of the inspiration, such as the company or chef, for guidance.
-While I appreciate those who are on special or restricted diets, there are a number of books out there which address ice cream recipes that are specifically tailored for those seeking recipes on that nature and it’s best to check those sources for recipes and for making modifications.
-Due to the number of comments and questions, yours might have already been answered. You can do a search using your browser for keywords in your question, to find is there is already a response.
As an avid baker, the one kitchen tool I rely on more than anything else is my KitchenAid mixer. And now you can have one in your kitchen too as part of Menu For Hope IV, raising money for the UN Food Programme in Lesotho.
Through the generosity of KitchenAid, here’s your chance to win a brand-new KitchenAid Artisan® Series Stand Mixer. With the included beater, whip and dough hook, this powerful appliance can whip up anything, from a loaf of crusty bread, a buttery cake batter…or a batch of feather-light meringues in minutes.
If you’ve been dreaming about owning the world’s best mixer—bid now!
I was fortunate enough to visit KitchenAid and you can see how these quality mixers are made, which was the thrill of a lifetime. And you’ll be just as thrilled since you can customize your very own mixer by choosing from over a dozen colors.
There’s lots of options to consider when buying an ice cream maker, and there’s certainly one that’ll fit within any budget. I’ve had several readers inquiring about ice cream makers and although there’s extensive information in my book, The Perfect Scoop, here’s additional information about the various kinds that are available to help you out:
I’ve been using the Cuisinart ICE-50BC with excellent results for the past few years and could not live without it at this point. Not only is the machine very efficient, the price is extraordinary for a self-refrigerating machine. Although for a novice, it does fall into the ‘investment’ category.
I’ve never seen a better self-refrigerating machine at this price and was skeptical, but my ice cream maker has been a real powerhouse and I consider it an indispensable part of my batterie de cuisine nowadays. Some people find the noise bothersome, but frankly—it is a machine and machines make noise. I keep mine in another room when in use.
I do recommend if you buy this machine to purchase a separate plastic churning arm. Mine lasted several years but eventually snapped and it’s nice to have a spare on hand.
UPDATE: Cuisinart has released a newer model of this machine, the ICE-100, which boasts a sleeker design.
A lower-priced option is a machine such as the Cuisinart ICE-21. This machine is a excellent value, and you’ll need to pre-freeze the canister for 24 hours—no cheating!, before you plan to freeze your ice cream or sorbet. These machines make great ice cream and are extremely affordable.
Like everything they make, the ice cream attachment did a great job of churning up the various ice creams that I ran through it. Note: If you live outside the United States, European KitchenAid mixers are different and the ice cream attachment made for US-models will not work with them.
You can also find more of my recommendations for machines and ice cream making equipment at Let’s Make Ice Cream!