Emeril's Guide to Basic Cooking for Kids

Cracking and separating eggs
To crack an egg, hold it firmly in one hand while you hit the middle part (not too hard!) against the rim of a bowl. Then take both hands and grasp the cracked edges and pull apart. It's always a good idea to crack an egg into a separate bowl before adding it to a recipe so that you can see if any bits of shell fell into the egg. (If so, remove them before adding the egg to the recipe!) Sometimes a recipe will call for just egg yolks or egg whites. To separate eggs and use either the yolk or white only, crack the egg lightly and pull the halves apart, carefully letting the white drip into a cup. Keep the yolk in the eggshell. Gently move the yolk from one eggshell half to the other, letting the white drip into the cup until only the yolk is left in the shell. Be careful not to break the yolk so that it bleeds into the egg white.

 

Cutting chickens
If a recipe calls for a whole chicken cut into pieces, please don't try to cut one up yourself. This is really hard and very dangerous. Either have your parents do it for you or buy a cut-up chicken at the grocery store.

Removing sausage from casing
Sometimes sausage comes stuffed in "casing," which keeps it together. To remove the sausage from the casing, simply use the point of a sharp knife to cut the tip off of one end of the sausage link and squeeze from the bottom up to force the meat mixture out.

Measuring
It's best to use individual 1/4-, 1/3-, 1/2-, and 1-cup measuring cups when you can -- it's the easiest and most accurate way to measure things. When measuring dry ingredients such as flour, sugar, or rice, use a metal or plastic measuring cup like that shown above. Dip the appropriate size measuring cup into the ingredient that is to be measured, then use a knife or your hand to level off the top.

When measuring liquids, use glass or plastic measuring cups that you can see through. Fill until the liquid comes to the appropriate line on the cup, checking at eye level to make sure you've measured the correct amount.

Measuring spoons are easy to use. For dry foods, just dip the spoons into whatever you're measuring, then level off the top. For liquids, such as oil or vanilla extract, hold the spoon in one hand and pour with the other. Make sure to hold the spoon level, and always fill it all the way to the top!

Determining container capacity

If you're not sure of the size of a saucepan, baking dish, or other container, simply use a measuring cup to fill it with water. Count the number of cups it takes to fill the container and then figure out its size by referring to the equivalents listed below.

Mixing
Just another term for combining things, usually with a "mixer," which has beaters instead of spoons. Lock the beaters into the mixer, lower the beaters into the mixing bowl, then turn the power on slowly. As the mixture becomes more blended, you can increase the speed.

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