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By Chef Todd

You’ll Never Trust Another Recipe Again
When You Know This Secret To Great Meals

Home cooks learn to cook all wrong. They’re told to focus on the wrong things and must re-learn cooking every time they step into the kitchen.

It’s no wonder cooking is dreaded, feared or ignored by most people. If you learn to cook all wrong, it creates stress. Stress devours your confidence, and lack of confidence makes people want to avoid things.

If you are stressed by cooking, it’s not your fault.

I blame recipes and cookbook authors for making cooking seem so difficult when it really isn’t.

Recipes have inherent flaws and variables that make them difficult to recreate. If you follow the recipe exactly and your dish doesn’t look like the photo, you feel like a failure.

But you're not a failure. It’s the recipe that has set you up for failure. Recipes don’t understand your uniqueness, your kitchen’s uniqueness, even the different ingredients you use.

Written instructions for cooking always concentrate on the long list of ingredients. You need “one onion, chopped”. How big is this “one” onion?

Recipes always skip the most important part, HOW you cook that list of ingredients. “Cook under medium heat”. What exactly is “medium”?

Recipes assume every stove is the exact same temperature when they’re all different. “Cook for 3 to 5 minutes”. That can be raw or burned depending on the particular kitchen.

Now that you no longer trust a recipe to guide you toward a greater variety of interesting and healthy meals at home,

How will you learn to cook better?

Keep in mind there is a difference between following a recipe and feeding yourself for one meal, versus learning HOW to cook so you can create endless original meals.

Culinary college students are taught to cook MUCH differently than home cooks. We don’t focus on recipes in culinary school, we go a different route to add confidence, creativity and variety to our professionally cooked meals.

I reveal these differences in my Webinar Workshop, "The 5 Skills Only Taught In Culinary School That Are Essential In All Of Cooking" and you can view it for FREE.

During this FREE online class, I’ll share the 5 most important skills taught in culinary school that you can put into use in your home kitchen immediately to start cooking ANYTHING you want HOW you like it cooked.

Discover the difference between how professionals and home cooks are taught in my next
FREE Webinar Workshop

Claim your FREE Spot for the next webinar session by CLICKING HERE

By Chef Todd

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution IS The War On Drugs

I’m not sure why Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution has returned to television. Does the former Naked Chef want to cure obesity? Does he want to reduce diabetes? Does he want to remove additives from our food? Is it fat? Is it sugar? Is it children? Is it adults? Is it a war on drugs?

Why would anyone want to stop doing drugs if they’re hooked? If it feels good, tastes good, releases endorphins, or gives you a buzz, logic will not motivate you to stop.

He may consider himself a “food activist”, but he’s forgotten to answer the single most important question people ask themselves when confronted with change. “What’s in it for me?” is the American credo that the Brit ignores repeatedly.

There’s no singular goal stated in the premier episode of the second season, just the angst that Jamie feels from being able to motivate no one. The School Board doesn’t care to be host to a reality TV show, and even the twenty or so people that show up for his food stunts don’t seem moved past their desire to be caught by TV cameras with a celebrity chef in a plaid shirt.

Banned by the Los Angeles School Board from filming in any schools, he attends a public hearing, waits 3 hours to be heard and simply says “I want you to reconsider”. “Um….,” said the school board, “NO”. He made no plea to the potential health benefits, cost savings, ease of production, economic impact, or whiter teeth that his proposals would effect. “Oh, pleeeeease” is all he said. The British accent isn’t compelling enough on its own, Jamie.

Okay, so he can’t take on the entire school board, he can’t change parents and their children, let’s re-focus. What would be the next best thing for the food revolution? Jamie decides on a multi-generational family owned nostalgia-themed hamburger joint. He wants to compel the owner to change the menu that has supported his family for 40 years. “What’s in it for me?”

Again, Jamie has no compelling argument for the business owner. His changes won’t increase sales, they won’t lower costs or simplify labor, and they won’t give the paying public what they demand. This is evidenced by the yogurt smoothie that he insists on calling a milkshake. I should switch from a 1950’s style milkshake, in my 1950’s theme restaurant, to a smoothie? “What’s in it for me?”

Jamie is pretending he doesn’t know what it takes to run a successful restaurant, or change people’s opinions for that matter. Very simply, the demand drives the supply. If people don’t place a value on what your offering, if it doesn’t become important to THEM, hamburger or activist cause, they won’t buy it.

Successful activist movements educate and build demand. Successful businesses fill the demand of the marketplace. What the rest of the world does isn’t important to Americans. We really don’t care that flavored milk was banned in the UK, it tastes good here. The real problem is that Americans think ALL food comes sweetened, pre-prepared and wrapped in PVC plastics.

His best tactic was assembling parents and shocking them into outrage over the food their children are being fed. With a live cow, a dead cow, and a butcher, Chef Oliver performs a disgusting demonstration of what comprises the cheap food that Americans eat. But, again, “What’s in it for me?” WHY should insisting on better food be important to these people? Is it because ABC has a television show to produce? That’s not a good enough reason to motivate people to storm the School Board.

If the Naked Chef returned to his roots and taught people HOW to cook, the “what’s in it for me?” question would be answered. When you learn to cook, you gain power over your food choices. You have to use whole foods to cook, not plastic-wrapped Danish. When you learn to cook, you can eat a greater variety of food, you can use healthier foods which give you more energy, can improve your test scores and athletic ability, help you run faster and grow taller, and clear up your acne. When you learn to cook, you gain confidence in a new skill, you’re more social as you can reunite your family over dinner or host great parties. You get more dates when you can cook a great meal. Cooking as a hobby brings you into a loving community of people who share ideas, ingredients, and recipes. When you learn to cook, you’re growing by constantly learning about global ingredients and new methods of preparation. When you learn to cook, you can save money on take-out and restaurant foods. When you learn to cook, your sex life is better. That’s what’s in it for you.

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution IS the war on drugs because he’s making the same mistakes. He’s concentrating on the supply and not the demand. To change individual habits, you have to change individual mindsets. If my favorite fatty hamburger joint starts serving tofu, I’ll just find another “dealer”. Not until I’m motivated toward something better than hamburger or drugs will I WANT to change, and even begin to hear the new message. Otherwise, Americans will want to know “what’s in it for me?”

What's in it for YOU? What would Jamie have to say to you to motivate you to eat better food? Please leave your comment below:

By Chef Todd

Apple Squash Soup Even YOU Can Make Right Now!

An Apple Squash Soup is very easy to create, even without a recipe, if you know a few basic cooking methods. It can be difficult to identify some of those colorful squash at the market. If you don’t know what type of squash you’ve bought, it’s really tough to find a recipe for the unidentified object.

Everyone knows by now that I encourage people to “Burn Your Recipes”, empowering them to cook with basic methods and the ingredients they desire. In other words, don’t take someone else’s opinion of how your Fall soup should taste. Create your own new recipe for your tastes.

Thus, does it really matter what type of squash you’ve purchased if you have an idea of the METHOD you’ll be using to cook it? An apple squash soup will be just as delicious as a butternut squash soup or carnival squash soup. The only difference is the type of squash. They can be cooked exactly the same.

You have two cooking methods to choose from when creating your apple squash soup. Dry heat or moist heat. In a moist heat method, you’d remove the skin and seeds from your squash then cut it into cubes. Treat the apple the same way. The squash and apple cubes are simmered in a flavorful liquid until VERY soft and crush under the weight of a fork.

The advantage of a moist cooking method is that your squash will have more liquid, and you can add an additional flavor through the simmering liquid.

A dry heat cooking method is a bit easier because you don’t have to remove the tough skin from the squash. Peel and cube an apple, then just add it to a halved squash cavity where you’ve removed the seeds. The squash and apple can be roasted together in the oven, then scooped out of the flesh when it’s done.

Whichever method you choose for creating Apple Squash Soup, dry or moist, all that’s left to do is puree the ingredients, adjust the texture with some cream or broth, and add seasonings that you desire. Then, you have an easy soup the is full of Fall flavors.

What’s your favorite combination of Squash and Apples for a soup? Be sure to leave your comment below:

Apple Squash Soup is just the beginning. Discover more with my cooking DVDs

By Chef Todd

Grilling Rub Adds FlavorEven For the Worst Cooks!

Creating your own grilling rub is a great way to add unique flavor to meals, regardless of the cooking method you choose, or your cooking skill level.

Healthy cooking calls for less fats and salts. Many commercially available seasoning mixes for the grill contain a large proportion of salt. Salt is inexpensive and heavy. It’s easy for a manufacturer to weigh-down and thin-out a pre-made grill seasoning mix with salt.

Also, salt has an osmotic effect, it PULLS moisture from food. It's best to avoid putting salt on protein products until just before cooking, otherwise they're more likely to dry out.

Why pay someone else to mix your spices for you?
A few simple combinations of dry seasonings can have you creating your own grilling rub without the addition of salt and fillers.

Start by reviewing your spice rack and arranging spices into “ethnicities”. As I've said before, Ethnic Profiling Is The Key To Cooking With Spices. Simply smell each spice and think what it reminds you of. For example, oregano and basil will certainly remind you of Italian food or tomato sauce. You can create an Italian grilling rub with garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and basil.

You can now create an endless number of unique dry seasoning combinations. Curry powder, turmeric, celery seed and onion powder will remind you of Indian food, and can add this particular flavor profile to your seasoned ingredient. Cumin, coriander, thyme, and chipotle pepper will combine for a Mexican or Latin-American flavor.

Avoid one of the 5 biggest grilling mistakes most people make without even knowing it and always apply your grilling rub to a DRY product. Your steak or chicken breast should be totally dry before applying the seasoning. Let the item rest at least an hour to allow the seasoning to penetrate the meat.

The real advantage of this type of seasoning is that the cooking method doesn’t really matter. Once you’ve created your favorite dry seasoning mix, you can apply it to something sautéed, grilled, roasted, or even braised!

You can add great flavors to any healthy cooking recipe, no matter HOW it's cooked, with a grilling rub. It will give you pronounced flavor without having to add fats and salts to your diet.

Do you have a combination of dry seasonings that always produces amazing results?
If it’s not a generational family secret, please share it with a comment below: