All Posts By Catherine McCord

Catherine McCord is a food blogger and mother of two living in Los Angeles. Her recipes and tips for nutritious and easy family eating are featured daily on her blog, Weelicious.com, and in her new cookbook Weelicious: One Family. One Meal.

Wedding Gift on a Budget: Spoon Bouquet

by in Entertaining, June 4th, 2013

Wedding Gift on a Budget: Spoon BouquetWhether it’s for a bridal shower or a wedding, the perfect gift is as fulfilling for the bride as it can be for you. But as we embark on the big wedding season of the year, there’s an endless amount of items to choose from when looking for a gift you know the bride and groom will use in their kitchen.

One of my favorites to give is a spoon and spatula bouquet. Wrapped up in lots of beautiful ribbons, you can turn a really fun idea into tons of well-priced utensils the newly married couple can enjoy using to cook meal after meal for a lifetime.

Make your own now

Spatula Love — The Product Puree

by in Family, May 8th, 2013

Spatula LoveWhat’s your favorite piece of kitchen equipment? I’m not talking about your fancy stand mixer or mega-speed blender. I’m talking about the thing that time and time again assists in the smallest of kitchen tasks. For me, hands down, it’s a spatula. But the difference in all the brands on the market can make a mega-watt difference. I’ve used spatulas that heated up to the point I could almost wipe the outside coating of plastic off after it hit something hot, like soup or a sauce, so always make sure to use ones that are heat-resistant to 500 degrees F. I’ve also tried those oversized spatulas that should be used only when trying to mix 50 gallons of cookie dough in an industrial kitchen.

And how about getting the remaining mustard or ketchup out of a jar or bottle? It says there’s 9 to 15 ounces inside, but I would guarantee you toss out a good 2 ounces each time because it’s so challenging to figure a way to get the remaining spoonfuls out.

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10 Kitchen Tools Under $10 — The Product Puree

by in Family, February 27th, 2013

10 Kitchen Tools Under $10Do you want to get serious about cooking, but you don’t know where to start when it comes to choosing the right tools, especially when you’re on a budget? Setting up a well-rounded kitchen can be a daunting, not to mention expensive, task. Whether you’re a college student, newlywed or budding cook, these 10 cooking tools under $10 are a great start to upping your game in the kitchen.

1. Whisk: A whisk will come in handy when mixing batters or whisking eggs for breakfast.

2. Fine Grater and Zester: Zest adds instant flavor and color to any recipe. This tool does double-duty by grating hard cheeses like Parmesan too.

3. Swivel Peeler: Peel potatoes to be mashed, remove the tough outer skin of butternut squash and prepare carrots for your favorite chicken noodle soup recipe with this gadget.

Get 7 more kitchen tools under $10

The Versatile Cast-Iron Skillet — The Product Puree

by in How-to, February 7th, 2013

Cast-Iron SkilletCast-iron skillets can be used everywhere, from the stovetop (to make the best pancakes you’ve ever had) to the oven (for my family’s favorite Chicken With Caramelized Lemons Olives and Tomatoes) to the grill (for those warm summer nights when nothing sounds better than grilled corn on the cob, burgers and sweet baked beans).

When a cast-iron skillet is seasoned well, it can develop an almost non-stick surface perfect for cooking omelets and other foods using less oil for cooking. An added benefit is cast iron’s ability to leach small amounts of iron into food.

A cast-iron skillet is one of the least expensive kitchen tools you’ll ever purchase and it’s the type of kitchenware that tends to get passed down through the generations. So if you didn’t inherit granny’s cast-iron skillet that always made her famous cornbread, then get one for yourself and start the tradition in your family.

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Creative Holiday Cooking Gifts for Kids — The Product Puree

by in Family, Holidays, December 17th, 2012

Creative Holiday Cooking Gifts for KidsComing up with creative holiday gifts for kids can be a real challenge, but to my surprise, several kids I know have been asking their parents for cooking equipment this year. Why not? Half of the tools in my kitchen are better than toys in some respects. Just this morning my son turned my trussing string into rope for his crane to lift my favorite whisk.

If you’re looking for an out-of-the-box idea that will keep kids excited about and engaged in cooking, here are a few things I’ll be giving this year:

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Getting Creative With Cookie-Cutters, 5 Fun Uses — The Product Puree

by in Family, November 13th, 2012

New Uses for Cookie CuttersYou know all those cookie-cutters that are a jumble at the bottom of your kitchen drawer? Well, reach way down and grab a handful because we’re going to put them to good use.

Cookie-cutters are great for transforming ordinary rolled-out cookies into fun shapes, but their usefulness goes way beyond the obvious. I use cookie-cutters for a wide variety of kitchen duties and whenever I let my kids cut their food into fun shapes, they’ll eat just about anything.

Here are five ways you can use cookie-cutters to make cooking and eating a whole lot more fun:

1. Hole Foods — Use a heart, star or any shape you prefer to cut the center out of sliced bread and make an egg in the hole (try Ree Drummond’s recipe). Last week my daughter had Egg in the Dog!

2. Pancake Zoo — Place a greased cookie-cutter in a saute pan over low heat and fill it with pancake batter. Use tongs to remove the hot cookie-cutter and gently flip the pancake until it’s cooked through. I like making a pancake zoo, using a variety of animal shapes.

Three more ways you can use cookie-cutters

Beyond the Normal Duty of Kitchen Shears — The Product Puree

by in How-to, October 22nd, 2012

kitchen shearsIn this new column twice a month, Catherine McCord will be sharing a blend of kid-tested, mom-approved products and secrets to keeping sanity in the kitchen.

I am sure that it comes as no surprise that the room in my house in which I spend the most time is the kitchen. As a result, finding reliable kitchen tools which can perform double and triple duty is essential.

While some kids got cars, when I was 18 my mother gave me my first set of kitchen shears. And I was thrilled. Not just regular old scissors, kitchen shears are a cook’s best friend. Once you use a pair, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without them.

Here are just a few kitchen chores that become a breeze by using them:

  • Trimming fat off chicken and meat
  • Cutting the spine off shrimp to easily peel and devein them
  • Cutting the ends off green beans
  • Chopping herbs (especially chives) into tiny pieces
  • Cutting open food packaging

Read more for kitchen chores that become a breeze