How too's

Sometimes even I get confused with food terms. Chop, dice, mince, saute, bake, broil etc. I thought I would post some photos and definitions. Obviously chop is my favorite because IT IS IRREGULAR. I don't love having to cut stuff into uniform pieces although some recipes do need to be cubed or diced so they can cook at the same speed. Every time I cut stuff in odd sizes or not uniform my husband tells me that "insert important chef name here" would have my head. I always reply, "baby it's rustic." I hope the terms below are helpful to you. I will do my best to use appropriate terms and tell you when something NEEDS to be cut uniformly.

Cooking terms

Sauté, Pan Fry, or Stir Fry

To cook food quickly (for just a few minutes), in a small amount of fat (oil, butter, etc.), in a sauté pan or wok over direct heat. Foods that are commonly sautéed include meats, poultry, and vegetables.

To heat a liquid until bubbles break the surface (212 °F at sea level, lower at altitude). Boiling is a common way to cook foods such as pasta, sauces, and vegetables.

To cook food gently in liquid at a temperature that is just below the boiling point so that tiny bubbles just begin to break the surface. Foods are typically brought to boil over high heat, and then the heat is reduced to simmer with a lid on the pan/pot to finish the cooking. Foods that are commonly simmered are sauces, rice and some other grains, and dried beans.

To cook for a short period of time over high heat at the beginning or end of cooking, often to enhance flavor and texture, and create a nice cooked look. Browning is usually done on the stovetop, but also may be achieved in a broiler. Foods that are typically browned include meats, casseroles, and anything that needs quick melting and crisping on top.

To cook food in an oven, thereby surrounding it with dry heat. To ensure an accurate cooking temperature, it can be helpful to use an oven thermometer. Many ovens bake either hotter or cooler than their gauges read. Foods that are commonly baked include seafood, meats, casseroles, vegetables, and baked goods (breads, cakes, pies, etc.).

To cook food directly under or above a very hot heat source (~500 °F). Food can be broiled in an oven, directly under the gas or electric heat source, or on a barbecue grill (known as "char-broiling") directly over charcoal or gas heat. Foods that are typically broiled include meats, poultry, and seafood.

To cook directly over a heat source on metal racks or rods or on a special grill pan. Meats, poultry, seafood, vegetables, and even some fruits grill beautifully.

Taken from National Heart Lung Blood Institute

How to....cutting terms and photos

Photograph of chopped food.

Photograph of cubed food.

Photograph of diced food.


To cut food with a knife or food processor into fine, medium, or coarse, irregular pieces.


To cut food into uniform pieces, usually ½ inch on all sides.


To cut food into smaller uniform pieces, usually ⅛ to ¼ inch on all sides.

Photograph of minced food. Photograph of sliced food. Photograph of julienned food.


To chop food into tiny, irregular pieces.


To cut food into flat, usually thin slices from larger pieces.


To cut food into thin slices about ⅛ inch thick and about 2 inches long.

Taken from the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute

Broccoli chicken casseorle

This is the cheapest, easiest, most lazy meal ever, and somehow EVERYONE LOVED IT! It's one of those things where I was at the store, threw 6 things in the basket and prayed.

1 Store bought roasted chicken shredded
2 cups uncooked small shell pasta
2 cups mild shredded cheese shredded
1/2 cup frozen broccoli pieces
1 can cream of mushroom chicken
1 can cream of celery chicken

Preheat oven to 450. Boil pasta. While pasta is boiling mix everything else in a bowl reserving 1/2 cup of cheese. Combine pasta in with remaining ingredients and place in an oven safe baking dish. Cover with remaining cheese and bake for 20 minutes. Serve.

Literally that is it. I told you...cheap, easy LAZY. But really good.


Parmesan sour cream mashies (with lumps please)

8 Medium size red potatoes (not peeled) sliced up
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk

Boil potatoes until soft. Drain then return to pan over low heat and cook for about 1 minute to cook out all excess water. Add in milk & sour cream and begin mashing. Add it Parmesan, mash a little more and serve. Leave in some lumps. These aren't meant to be creamy. Try and share.

Note. I do not salt these because of the cheese. If you want to get UBER indulgent and just wildly blow your mind add in 1/3 cup of cream cheese. Then die and go to Heaven and send me a message thanking me!


Must have meatballs

1 pound extra lean ground beef
1/4 cup Italian croutons mashed to pieces
1 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 eggs
2 tbsp milk
1 slice white bread ripped up no crust
3 cloves garlic smashed and pasted
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Place meatballs in pan and brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels.

Tonight while cooking this I Googled meatballs and most of the recipes told me to put them in the sauce to finish cooking them. I did this and it made the sauce "different." I make a really good spaghetti sauce and it just changed it all having the the meatballs cooked in it. After discussing it with Rob we decided the proper method of cooking would be to stop after you drain them and just put them on top of the spaghetti sauce after it was cooked and on the pasta! The flavor was excellent though.