Sunday, 13 June 2010

It's a Secret, but Pass it On!

Napoleon once said secrets travel fast in Paris.  I think they are traveling even faster in London now that Tana Ramsay's new book, Tana's Kitchen Secrets has hit the shelves.

 published by Mitchell Beazley, 2010, £19.99

If the name sounds familiar, that's because she is married to Gordon Ramsay.  He's the chef, but she's the cook.  Her book is expressly aimed at the home cook and this, her latest book, is popping with good recipes and secrets for success in the kitchen.  These are the kind of secrets worth sharing.

For example, meat should be taken out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before cooking rather than being cooked straight from the refrigerator.  This prevents overcooking the outside before the center is cooked.   

The recipes are for good basic food and are not overly complicated or fussy.  I can see that these recipes are aimed to help the home cook bolster their self-confidence in the kitchen while feeling a sense of accomplishment upon completion.   

Each recipe is accompanied by a mouthwatering photo and a helpful secret.  You get inspiration and education rolled into one cookbook.  Smashing!

Here is a brief video clip of the author to introduce you to her and the book:

Now that I've divulged Tana's Kitchen Secrets to you,  I'm really going to give you something to shout about.  I'm giving away one copy of this cookbook.  That's right!  One copy of Tana's Kitchen Secrets will be sent to one lucky winner anywhere Royal Mail delivers (which is pretty much anywhere on this planet).  All you have to do is post a comment with one of your favorite kitchen secrets (e-mails to me won't count for the competition).  Any kitchen secret will do, as long as it's not X-rated.  My mother reads this blog, after all.  

For those of you unsure of how to leave a comment, here's how.  Make sure you are viewing the blog post from the web address: At the bottom of this post, click on the link next to the date where it says "comments."  A comment box will pop up for you to write your comment.  Once you're happy with your comment, you can click the box that says "post comment."  Easy peasy. 

But you have to be quick about this because the competition ends on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 8 p.m. (British Summer Time)  A random number generator will select the winning entry.  Feel free to let anyone else in on the secret about this giveaway.  Good luck!

#3, Muriel, you are the winner...congratulations!!


  1. after browning hamburger for chili be sure and rinse it off with cool water. will get the last of the grease of the meat. this is a good idea for any sloppy joes

  2. How exciting, I've seen this book in Waterstones and have been coveting it! Thanks for the giveaway :)

    My secret little trick is for baking muffins. No matter what the recipe says, pre-heat the oven to about 230ºC. Then when you put the muffins in, immediately turn it down to 200 or 180 or whatever the recipe says. That initial burst of heat will make the muffins rise beautifully!

  3. What a great thing to do :O) Thanks.
    Here's my "secret" :Before adding toppings to a pizza crust, brush the dough with a light brushing of olive oil. This barrier helps prevent sogginess.(I like the muffins secret...)

  4. for really good mash, never boil potatoes - steam and then press through a ricer. Add as much butter as your conscience will allow!

  5. Hello

    Little Flea says if you need to get rid of unpleasant 'Whiffy' smells in your sink ( and it aids cleaning the drain too, from your sink, that is) sprinkle some salt around and down the sink.

    Works wonders !!

    Take care and Happy Monday

  6. Pancakes! I like to mix it up with a few different things:
    Add yoghurt to my pancake batter as a substitute for some of the milk - the come out more dense and are nice with wholemeal pancakes.
    Combine a little milk with the baking soda and vinegar - makes them light and fluffy.
    Lemonade as a substitute for some of the milk - again light and fluffy.

  7. My kitchen secret is to add a small pat of butter to the center of a hamburger pattie before grilling or pan frying it. The butter adds flavor and makes the meat nice and moist!

  8. I always buy the largest Chicken I can find to create a few meals; a fantastic Sunday roast and then a recipe that uses leftover chicken a day later. I usually find I have enough for a chicken sandwich too, but maybe that's too much of a good thing! Finally, I use the carcass and some leftover veg to make a great homemade stock. The trick is to reduce it as much as possible, to concentrate the flavour. Once you've done this pour the stock into an ice cube tray and you have home-made iced stock cubes!

  9. Seems like, Tana Ramsay would be an interesting book not just for amateurs but also for ones who claim to move around smoothly around pots and pans. Each ones personal kitchen is a territory that has hidden secrets waiting to be explored and books like that work as a guide to begin with.

    A secret to perfectly cooked Rice – This is smoothing I picked up from my mom who taught me to cook the most perfect rice. Healthier option as I drain all the water out once the Rice is 75% cooked and let the steam in it cook the remaining 25%.

  10. Thank you so much !! I am so happy and even more so because today it's my birthday !! Couldn't have been a better way to end my day xx