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My father used to say, “Chuck doesn’t do anything in halves.” He was right: sometimes its a virtue and sometimes a curse. He and my mother taught me to cook, sometimes using cookbooks, like Julia Child's, but more frequently just winging it. This site is a roller coaster ride of recipes, articles, ingredients and anything else that involves cooking and presenting food. There is something here for everybody from beginners to experts.

Cooking Temps

Chicken breast 165, Chicken thigh 170 or more. Pork med well 145, Pork med 140, Rack of lamb med rare 131, Beef very rare 125, Beef rare 130,Beef med rare 135, Duck Breast 126, Salmon med 118, Disclaimer: USDA stds dictate much higher temps. To be super safe, cook everything until it is dry and crunchy, then toss it in the trash

What the Heck is Baking Powder?

I was confused about this for a large portion of my adult life. How does that happen? It was nagging at me for a long, long, time before I spent 2 couple of minutes to read about it.

Question: What makes batters or dough Rise?

Answer: CO2 (carbon dioxide) bubbles cause batter or dough to rise.
The bubbles can come from: a) Yeast releasing CO2. b) An acid and a base reacting together and releasing CO2.

baking soda

Baking Soda
- This is Sodium Bicarbonate. It reacts immediately with acids to create CO2. Buttermilk or sour cream are frequently the source of acid.

Baking Powder - Sodium Bicarbonate + Powdered Acid. Releases CO2 when exposed to moisture. Doesn't need an acid present like Baking Soda does since it contains the acid already.

Double Acting Baking Powder - Sounds complicated. A second Powdered Acid (Sodium Aluminum Sulfate) is added; This acid only reacts with the Sodium Bicarbonate when the temp exceeds 140°F. The first acid starts the bubbles, and then during cooking the second acid kicks and the bubbles expand. Hence "Double Acting."