You can find 1000+ of my kitchen-tested recipes using the Recipes tab, watch nearly 100 of my Kitchen Encounters/WHVL-TV segments using the TV Videos tab, join the discussion about all of my creations using the Facebook tab, or Email your questions and comments directly to me--none go unanswered. Have fun!


~ Culinary Q&A & Kitchen Therapy Too (9/06/13) ~

Culinary Q & A #2The Labor Day holiday is over and another busy Summer is in the past. If you live in a part of the United States that celebrates four seasons, near the end of August or the beginning of September, a day comes when you walk outside and say, "Fall is in the air"!  That happened this week here in Happy Valley, Central PA.  Tomorrow, Penn State plays its first home game in Beaver Stadium, and, there are mumblings/grumblings about 'frost on the pumpkins' tonight!

IMG_2124 IMG_2313It's time to get out the sweaters and fall back to comfort food recipes for chilly weather.  For our first tailgate meal, I'm going to serve some perfectly-cooked roast beef sandwiches and steaming hot potato soup.  By clicking on the Related Article links below, you can get the recipes I posted over the past few days:

~ Eye-of-Round Roast = Back-to-School Sandwiches ~ 


 ~ Fall's Coming:  Potato Chowder w/Caraway Cheese ~

I love this time of year as much as I love receiving and answering questions from readers, and, bright and early this morning I received a really good one about purchasing knives:

IMG_1646Q.  Bethanie says and asks: Melanie, I came upon your blog because I am in the market to invest in some knives.  I enjoyed what you had to say about the Kyocera ceramic knives, and, I will probably buy one or two.  I also want to purchase some good metal knives.  Can you elaborate a bit about the difference between carbon and stainless steel knives? PS:  I love your blog, and, do you do your own photography too?

PICT2277A.  Kitchen Encounters:  What a great question (and compliment) Bethanie -- "yes, I do my own photography and I have come to learn what an important component it is to a well-written blog".  I feel strongly about step-by-step photos instead of just "one picture and a list of ingredients" type of blogs!

Carbon Steel vs. Stainless Steel

While both knives have steel blades, the biggest difference is carbon steel knives have a larger carbon content while stainless steel contains more chromium and often nickel.  A knife made with carbon steel is unequaled in its ability to take on an extremely sharp edge.  Professional chefs almost always prefer carbon over stainless.  With a little bit of practice, restoring a razor sharp edge to carbon steel is quite simple, and, busy cooks are constantly sharpening their knives.  Restoring even a sharp edge to a dull stainless steel edge is almost impossible, and don't be swayed by manufacturer's who promise a lifetime edge.  What they should tell you is: their product really cannot be resharpened to its original edge.  The only drawback to carbon steel (and I do not consider it a drawback, I consider it a matter of maintenence) is that carbon steel is vulnerable to acids in food. If the knife is not wiped dry after each use, it can and will rust!


Enjoy your weekend everyone, and once again:  To leave a comment or ask a question, simply click on the blue title of any post, scroll to the end of it and type away... or e-mail me directly!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2013)  


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