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Cooking (English Topic)

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Cooking can be a hobby, profession, or a chore, depending on who you ask. Recently
in the United States, cooking has become even more popular, and several new reality
television shows based on cooking can be seen on any given night. Have you ever heard of
or seen shows such as 'Top Chef' – 'Iron Chef' – 'Hell's Kitchen'? Are cooking shows popular
in Russia? What do you think of them?
How often do you cook? Do you use recipes, or do you create your own dishes?
Beginners usually start off by following recipes to a “t”
, but once they get the hang of it
they often start to experiment by trying new spices and using new methods to cook. Just by
incorporating new herbs and spices, the taste of any dish can be radically changed. You can
try out your new creations on family and friends to perfect your signature
dish, and then
when it comes time for you to host a dinner party, all your guests will be impressed with your
meal. Have you ever been the host of a dinner party or attended a dinner
party? Do you like them? Why or why not?
Anybody can be a cook, but what does it take to become a chef? Technically, the
definition of a chef is someone whose job is to cook food in a restaurant. However, the title is
commonly used colloquially to describe anyone who cooks complicated dishes or is
particularly skilled at cooking. True chefs should be able to make a variety of dishes from
different types of cuisine. There is actually a lot of training and practice involved with
becoming a chef, and in order to work at a quality restaurant, one must get advanced training
and a degree from a culinary school. At the beginning, a cook will start off by peeling
potatoes and dicing
onions, but after a few years of practice, he or she will be creating
unique dishes and will be referred to as 'chef'.
There are several things to remember when cooking that can save you time and
energy. Before you start, get out all the ingredients and necessary utensils, and have your
recipe on hand to refer to. Make sure that you have all the ingredients necessary before you
start cooking, so that you don't have to substitute
anything that might affect your dish's
success! Also, check the clock and make sure you have enough time to complete the meal.
If you are expecting guests, you need to figure out
what time you should start cooking
beforehand, so that you won't keep your guests waiting.
If you are interested in learning how to cook, there are often cooking clubs and classes
available at local community centers or even online. The Internet is also an excellent source
for finding recipes.
Describe a typical meal that you often cook for yourself and/or guests. What types of dishes
do you prefer to prepare? Are certain types of cuisine more difficult to prepare than others?
What is your favorite restaurant?
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= An ordinary, boring, or unpleasant job that must be done. [When I was young, my mother didn't allow
me to go outside and play until I completed all of my chores and did all my homework.]
To a “t” = (To do something) exactly or properly. [Richard is a true professional. He follows all rules and
regulations, and he completes all paperwork to a t.]
To get the hang of (something) = To learn how to do something and become relatively comfortable doing it.
first, I had difficulty typing on a Russian keyboard. However, after about a month I got the hang of it, and now I
can type much faster.]
= [ADJECTIVE] Here: Something that has come to be identified specifically and uniquely to the object
being described. [Red Square is Moscow's signature attraction – it is world-renown and a must-see for all
= Really delicious and tasty. [I can't wait to go back to Chili's next Friday – their Baby Back Ribs
are mouth-watering!]
To dice
= To cut food into small, square pieces. [I hate dicing tomatoes – the juice gets everywhere, and I can
never manage to dice them evenly.]
To substitute
= To use something new or different instead of what is normally used; To remove one thing and
put something else in its place. [Hmmm, well, I don't have any lemons on hand, so I guess I'll just substitute
limes. No one will ever know the difference!]
To figure out = To solve a problem or come to understand something; To think about something and come to a
conclusion about how to properly handle the situation. [Hmmm, my flight leaves Pulkovo Airport at 0300, but the
bridges in St. Petersburg will raised. I'll have to figure out a way to get off of Vasilievsky Island before then.]
(What do you think this is a recipe for?)
Ingredients (US)
1 cup butter flavored shortening
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips
Ingredients (Metric)
205 g butter flavored shortening
150 g white sugar
110 g brown sugar
2 eggs
10 ml vanilla extract
280 g all-purpose flour
5 g baking soda
6 g salt
335 g milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease baking sheets.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter flavored shortening, brown sugar and white sugar
until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in
the vanilla .Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture.
Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until light brown. Allow cookies to cool on
baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Match the meanings to each verb: [They are NOT appropriately matched below]
Barbeque 5.
Bake 1.
to cook food using steam
- to make food by submerging it in hot
oil or fat 3.
- to heat a liquid or something primarily
liquid, very slowly at a temperature
that is nearly, but not quite 100
C 4.
- to cook something slowly in a liquid 5.
to prepare food in an oven. (Bread,
Cakes, Cookies) 6.
to make food by putting it in water and
heating it to above 100
C 7.
to make food outside directly over a
fire or on top of a metal frame 8.
to cook food by using heat (general
term) 9.
to make food by direct heat, usually by
a very hot surface under the food. 10.
to prepare food in an oven. (Meat,
* To “broil” something is an additional American term equivalent to the verb 'to grill'.
“Too many cooks spoil the broth.”
“Now you're cooking!”
“It's so hot, you could fry eggs on the sidewalk!”
“To cook the books” - [I hope you haven't been cooking the books – we have an audit coming up next week!]
“Hunger is the best sauce.” -Cervantes
Copyrights ©2009 English
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: I'm starving
! What did you make me for dinner?
: Excuse me?
: I hope you didn't forget that it's your turn to cook dinner.
: Oh yeah......well, I'll just whip something up
real quick, then.....
: Uggh. I hope you're not just going to fry some corn dogs again.....
: I like corn dogs. What's the problem?
: The problem is that I always make decent, healthy foods when it's my turn to cook. When it's your turn to
cook, you just slack off
and make something plain and unhealthy.
: Oh, I didn't realize that you were training to become an Olympian.
: Enough with the sarcasm! Just let me know when dinner is ready.
(5 Minutes Later)
: Vadim! Supper is ready!
: Already? Wow, that was fast! Umm.....what is that?
: Where's the rest of the meal?
: Well, I wanted to make sure you had a healthy meal, so this is what you get.
: Don't be a smart alec
: Enjoy your meal! And don't forget to wash the dishes when you're done. Don't forget – the cook doesn't
= Literally, this means to be so hungry that you are dying because your body isn't getting enough
food/nutrients. Colloquially, this is used to express extreme hunger. [I can't wait to get home and have
something to eat. I only ate breakfast this morning, so I'm starving!]
To whip something up
= Here: To quickly prepare something to eat [Even though I really want to eat Chicken
Kiev tonight, I don't have time to prepare it, so I'll just whip something else up instead.] ALSO: This phrasal verb
can mean to create/encourage strong emotions/sentiment in people. [The President's speech whipped up
feelings of pride in the nation.]
To slack off
= To become lazy at something; To put less effort into something; To become less productive at
something. [At the beginning of the school year, Jane studied 3 hours after school every day. However, after
she passed her exam, she started to slack off and only studied 1 hour after school.]
Smart alec
= Name for a person who is seen as obnoxious and overly self-assertive. [I can't stand working with
John. He knows perfectly well what I mean, but if I so much as make one minor mistake, he becomes a smart
alec and teases me about it all day.]
Just Speak!
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