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--- Chef Linda Weiss ---
Posted November 26, 2009 ---

Knife-For a chef, there are certain items that make life much easier in the kitchen. The first one is a good Chef's knife. That was an essential on the list of things for my first day at Le Cordon Bleu. I chose a Henckel but since then there have been many good brands of knives to hit the kitchen markets. So, when you are ready to shop for a good knife, make sure it's at a good store, such as a Williams-Sonoma, where the salespeople's training helps you choose the knife that fits your hand and the weight that is right for you. Knives are available at good kitchen stores and at knife shops. Cost anywhere from $100-400.00

Channel Knife –Another thing I love and don't want to live without- a channel knife. This knife does not look like a knife, but a handle with a hole at the end and what appears to be a piece pulled out of the hole that has been bent. Basically, that is what it really is! The reason, so that when you are pulling it though the peel of an orange, lemon or lime, it makes a channel. This is what gives you those great citrus strips so that you can twist them, tie them, candy them. $12.00 at most kitchen stores.

Microplane Zester-I have a zester that has been the BEST thing I've ever purchased. I think I read that it was originally a blacksmith tool called a hasp and has tiny holes in it. I use it for hard cheeses and for citrus zest. I can turn it over and measure the citrus while I zest. If I misplaced it, I wouldn't be able to sleep. It cost a mere $14.00 when I bought it about 10 years ago, but it has been worth a $1,000. Available at and Williams-Sonoma.

Ice Cream Scoops- I have these in several different sizes. They are good for dipping ice cream, measuring cookies by the size of the scoop for the cookie tray so that you get a uniform size. Measuring muffins by just scooping the batter and placing the batter into the muffin tins. Also used for scooping out the size meatballs you want for baking or putting into bubbling spaghetti sauce.

Marble- A large slab of marble is wonderful to have on your kitchen counter. It helps cool down anything that needs to be cooled quickly. It keeps dough cold when you are making piecrust or biscuits. And, it doesn't stick and is nice to look at!

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Turkey Medallions Dog Treat


By Ron Harrison, Ph.D., Entomologist and Orkin Technical Services Director Photographs courtesy of Orkin

Fall is in full swing, and we’re all starting to feel the excitement that comes along with the holiday season. Many popular traditions involve living greenery such as Christmas trees, wreaths, poinsettias, Christmas cacti, holly and mistletoe. And though festive, holiday plants can actually play host to numerous pests. Before you start bringing holiday decorations and plants into your home, beware of the potential pests that may be trying to hitch a ride. Read more...

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