My choice for cutting boards, plus a tip

Here’s my pick for cutting boards… and please, if you do anything I recommend, please, please, please throw away any and all glass cutting boards. They ruin knives and speaking of using knives on glass cutting boards, that sound is somewhat reminiscent of fingernails on a chalkboard.

But back to the subject at hand: I mostly use my bamboo cutting board… but when I’m cutting proteins I use the rubber cutting board from KitchenAid.

And how did I decide which size(s) to buy? I hear this is the way to do it: Lay your largest knife on the cutting board from corner to corner, diagonal on the board. There should be at least 1/2 inch on both ends of the knife. Seems to work well for me…

I own and use two different sizes of each cutting board: 1) larger cutting boards for the bigger projects, and 2) smaller cutting boards for the quick little slice of cheese or small tomato.

But there’s a little bit of care needed for each both board.

On the rubber cutting boards, once the grooves on the board become too deep they become harbors for bacteria. And believe me, you don’t want to harbor bacteria. So, I always wash the rubber cutting board in the dishwasher (where the water gets hot enough to truly disinfect that board). And then it needs to be replaced eventually… you can’t use this board forever.

And on the wooden/bamboo cutting boards, you have to keep them moist. If you do not, the wood starts to crack and the board eventually falls apart. Here’s the process I take on my bamboo boards.

Keeping the wooden/bamboo cutting boards moist with a mineral oil is a quick process. How often you need to do this depends on how often you use and wash the board. In the picture above you see a well-oiled board (on top) and a very dry board (underneath).

These two boards are made of the same material, by the same manufacturer, etc… but one has been oiled recently while the other one is obviously dry.

So, simply using a papertowel… I move some mineral oil around the board and let it soak in. Super dry boards will use a lot of oil… and this board was hungry. So, I kept at it for a while…

More oil, more moving the oil around the board…

And then we have this … a board that looks just about brand new. And do I recommend one mineral oil over another? Not really… just find a mineral oil and run with it. This is the brand I have in the cupboard at the moment (in fact, I don’t remember where I bought it).

Any tips from anyone else?

enjoy your time in the kitchen…


how we do our ribeyes…

When we celebrate a special occasion (at home), or splurge for a date night (at home), or find a great deal on good-lookin’ ribeyes… this is how we do it…

What we look for: good “marbling” in the meat, a thick steak, and fresh looking meat.

How I prepare them: generously salt/pepper the steaks on both sides, allow them to come to room temperature for at least an hour before grilling them, and talk to them nicely… they like to be talked to.

Then I pre-heat the stove top grill… it’s a griddle pan that stretches out over 2 burners. And I set the burners to just over “medium” heat. I allow the griddle pan to warm up for about 5 minutes until it just starts to smoke. The steaks get transferred to the griddle… and grilled to our desired done-ness (in our opinion, this should only ever be “medium-rare”). (As you can tell, I didn’t include pics of the grilling steaks – I’m sure you know what that looks like…)

Tonight we were celebrating a week into a new job for my hero-of-a-hubby. So, we threw in the scallops too…

How we do scallops: tonight I cooked bacon to go with the baked potatoes, so I left about a tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan. Then I added two pats of butter and heated the griddle until nice and hot, but before the butter started to brown.

(Oh wait – it’s important to pat the scallops dry on both sides with a paper towel – this helps with the browning.)

Just slightly salt one side of the scallops and gently place into the hot saute pan (salt side down – you can salt/pepper the other side while they are cooking). And then don’t touch the scallops for at least 2 minutes… you might want to, but don’t do it. While they are cooking, but don’t touch those scallops… you’ll want to do something… so now you can slightly salt/pepper this side of the scallops. OK, ready?!

After 2 minutes, gently nudge the scallops off the bottom of the skillet with a pair of tongs – and flip over in the saute pan. (They might stick slightly – so move slow and gentle.) Since scallops cook rather quickly they don’t need much more time. After flipping them over, they only need about 1 1/2 minutes.

Oh, and for the potatoes… a couple years ago I found Alton Brown’s take on the perfect baked potato. I’ve been making them this way ever since.

Now, pardon me… we’re off to celebrate and “do our thing”… I love my life! (and I love my husband! And I’m so proud of him… )

enjoy your time in the kitchen…

RECIPE: Crock Pot Chicken

Tip from Lori: Buy a whole chicken (on sale they can be pretty C-H-E-A-P!) and get out your crock pot.

Once you’ve cleaned the chicken, put it in your crock pot with the heat setting on low. Walk away for 6-7 hours (or until the meat falls off the bones). When you return, the chicken is ready to eat!

Yes, it’s THAT easy!

Here are a few variations you can try:
1. Add a small jar of your favorite salsa (either red or green). Follow the same instructions as above. This will give a perfect flavor for tacos, enchiladas, an arroz con pollo dish, etc.

2. For a simpler flavor: only add kosher salt, pepper and paprika (you don’t even need to add any water to the crock pot). Again, follow the same heat/time instructions as above.

And for the double-duty kitchen… make your own broth!
With the plain chicken: once you’ve removed the meat, add the skin/bones and 4-5 cups of water back to the crock pot. Keep the crock pot on low overnight. And in the morning strain out the skin/bones.

Divide the broth up into containers you can label for measurement. Once the broth has cooled, transfer it to the refrigerator for a few hours. Once the broth has completely cooled the fat will have hardened on top, and at this point is very easy to remove.

Please forgive me… I can’t seem to find any pictures on this. I guess I’ll have to do that at some point…

enjoy your time in the kitchen…