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Yummy food for your brood
Jun 22, 2012
10:36 AM

Cooking Tips for Absolute Beginners

Klutz in the kitchen? Never fear! Our savvy foodie mom breaks down the bare bones basics for nervous parents (and kids) with simple tips.

(page 3 of 7)

Chopping Vegetables

It's time to break out the knives! Place a large cutting board on a sturdy surface. Wash and dry the vegetables you will be chopping, like carrots or celery. Your non-dominant hand will hold the vegetable while your dominant hand (for me, my right) holds the knife. Note: For hard vegetables, you want to use a knife with a clean edge – not a serrated one (the blade looks like it has teeth). Serrated knives usually are not as sharp and are better for breads.

Place the vegetable – lets say a carrot – onto the cutting board and position your fingers so that they're curved, with your nails touching the vegetable and holding it in place. What you're trying to avoid here is having your fingers flat against the vegetable: If the knife were to slip, your fingers would be right where the blade would be.

With your dominant hand, grip the knife with your index finger on the top, non-blade side, thumb on one side of the handle and middle, ring and pinky fingers on the other. Slice into the vegetable using a downward motion (so the knife doesn't slice going down flat, but at a slight angle). Remember to use your non-dominant hand to move the vegetable into place for cutting. Do not use the knife to reposition the vegetables.

Tip: For chopped vegetables in a flash, buy them in bags in the freezer section of your grocery store or visit the salad bar to get what you need.

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