Photo of a Kitchen
  • Spotlight
  • Culinary Terms
  • Cookware

Culinary Art

Cooking can be fun and easy with the help of a few simple rules.

Plan Ahead: Before grocery shopping plan meals you want to fix and buy the items you'll need to fix them. Keep a list of your meal ideas where it will be easy to find.

Cooking Variety: Check the Internet for cooking ideas that are easy and nutritious. You may find some quick and easy recipes that you enjoy from sites like 52 Healthy Meals in 12 minutes or less. If you have time, visit the local public library for cookbooks of your favorite dishes or use their free online magazine service to scan a variety of cooking magazines.

Safety Tips: Learn how to use a stove and oven correctly before attempting to fix a meal and make sure to keep your work area clean. UK Dining Services offers quick classes in food handling safety and other information for working safely in a kitchen.

Remember: You may purchase a Big Blue Community Plan or another Dining Plan of your choice if you decide cooking is something you'd rather leave to the chefs.


baste - to spoon or brush liquid fat, drippings or other liquid over a food as it cooks in order to keep it moist.

beat - to stir rapidly in a circular motion.

blanch - to plunge fruit or vegetables into boiling water briefly, then into cold water to stop the cooking; used to heighten color in vegetables, or loosen skin for peeling as in peaches.

blend - to mix any two or more ingredients together fully.

boil - to cook food in a boiling liquid; a full-rolling boil is one that can't be disturbed by stirring.

braise - to quickly brown a food then cook it, tightly-covered, slowly in a small amount of liquid at a low temperature.

chop - to cut food into bite-sized or smaller pieces.

cream - to beat an ingredient or combination of ingredients together until smooth, soft and creamy, often in cookie or cake recipes with butter and sugar.

dice - to cut food into small cubes, about ¼ inches square.

dredge - to lightly coat food in a dry mixture such as flour or bread crumbs before frying.

fold - to gently combine a light, fluffy mixture (e.g. beaten egg whites) with a heavier one (e.g. cake batter) through a series of rotated strokes with a spatula; often accomplished in a series of additions.

glaze - to coat food with a thin, liquid mixture that will be smooth and shiny after setting; often brushed onto the food.

julienne - to cut food into matchstick-sized strips, often seen with carrots or ginger.

knead - technique used to form dough into a cohesive, pliable mass; consists of a pressing-folding-turning action with the heels of the hands that activates flour's gluten; well-kneaded dough should be smooth and elastic.

macerate - to soak a food (usually fruit) in a liquid to render it softer and to infuse it with the liquid's flavor; liquid is often a liquor.

marinate - to soak a food (usually meat, fish or vegetable) in a seasoned liquid mixture to flavor the food and tenderize it; marinades often contain acid ingredients as vinegar or citrus juices.

mince - to cut food into tiny pieces, often seen with garlic.

reduce - to boil a liquid rapidly until its volume is reduced through evaporation, thickening the consistency and intensifying flavor; often designated with a volume e.g. "reduce by half."

sauté - to cook food quickly in a small amount of oil or other fat in a pan over direct heat.

sear - to brown meat quickly at a high temperature, often in a skillet, with the object of sealing in the meat's juices.

shuck - to remove the husk and silk from corn-on-the-cob.

simmer - to cook food in liquid at a temperature so that small bubbles just break the surface.

zest - the outermost, colored layer of a citrus fruit, e.g. the "twist" in a cocktail with a twist; also, to remove this layer with a zester, peeler or grater.

Information reproduced with permission from Harvard University.

cookware, equipment, gadgets

Bare Minimum:Photograph of wooden spoons.

  • Chef's knife
  • Paring knife
  • Cutting board
  • Silicone spatula
  • Turner spatula
  • Tongs
  • Wooden spoon
  • 1 frying pan - at least 8-inch, non-stick
  • 1 pot - 3-quart, for things like pasta
  • 9 x 13 glass baking dish
  • 2 oven mitts/pot holdersPhotograph of oven mitts.
  • Strainer/sieve
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 2 mixing bowls
  • Can opener
  • Corkscrew/bottle opener
  • Blender
  • Microwave
  • Plastic storage containers

More than Minimum:Photograph of coffee being poured into a mug.

  • 9 x 9 square baking pan
  • Containers for flour and sugar
  • Coffee maker
  • George Foreman grill
  • Hand-held mixer
  • Pepper grinder
  • Toaster-oven


plates, silverware, etc.

Bare Minimum:Photograph of salt & pepper shakers.

  • Bowls - big or small portions of soup, salad, ice cream or other foods
  • Dinner forks
  • Dinner plates
  • Glasses - pint glasses are cheap and the right size
  • Mugs
  • Pepper grinder/salt shaker
  • Soup spoons
  • Table knives
  • Teaspoons

More than Minimum:Photograph of wine glasses.

  • Salad/dessert forks
  • Serving spoon, fork, dishes
  • Small plates
  • Wine glasses


healthy kitchen

Basic Inventory - Whole Grains:Photograph of brown rice.

  • 9-Grain Cereal
  • Brown rice (long or short grain)
  • Bulgur Rolled oats
  • Millet
  • Oat bran
  • Quinoa
  • Steel-cut oats
  • Wheat bran
  • Whole grain or high-quality pastas

Basic Inventory - Dried and/or Canned Beans:Photograph of dried beans.

  • Dried lentils (red, brown, and/or French)
  • Split peas
  • Black beans
  • Chick peas
  • Pinto beans
  • Kidney beans
  • White beans
  • Soy beans

Basic Inventory - Nuts and Seeds:Photograph of pistachios.

  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pistachios
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • (Nut or seed butters made from any of the above)

Basic Inventory - Oils:Photograph of olive oil.

  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Nut oils

Basic Inventory - Odds and Ends:Photograph of dried fruit.

  • Dried fruit of all kinds
  • Vinegars (cider, wine, sherry, rice, raspberry, balsamic)
  • Lemons and limes
  • Jars and cans of high-quality tomato products - plus a few esoteric, fancy imported items
  • Several boxes of vegetable broth
  • Dried herbs - variety (not too old - buy them frequently!)
  • Fresh herbs stored in water, like bouquets (or planted in flower pots)

Basic Inventory - Larder:Photograph of onions.
Note: Keep onions and potatoes separate! When stored together, they cause mutual rot.

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Potatoes

Basic Inventory - Refrigerator:Photograph of pickles.

  • Milk
  • A few really good cheeses
  • Plain whole milk yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Unsalted butter
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Fresh, in-season fruit and vegetables (as many as will fit!)
  • Olives
  • Pickles, and marinated vegetables (preferably unsweetened)

Basic Inventory - Freezer:Photograph of frozen peas.

  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Chopped spinach
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Unsweetened berries
  • Homemade Granola


Information reproduced with permission from Harvard University.

Refund Request | Staff Pages

The Department of Dining Services strives to be a responsible campus partner.
As a partner, we: provide a healthy, fresh and attractive dining service that is responsive to the changing desires of students, staff, faculty, and guests; encourage community development and campus involvement through communication, creative programming, and relevant facilities; operate in a fiscally viable manner while providing affordably priced food; educate the community in regards to nutrition, sustainability, and Kentucky Proud® products; create partnerships between dining services and academic programs; provide a flexible catering program that meets the needs of both student groups and campus groups; and provide services convenient to the campus community.