Every Monday, I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!
I am going to teach my son how to play the piano, and would like to know if you have any tips for teaching your own children, as well as beginner piano books you recommend.
I wrote about that in this Q&A post. I don’t have a whole lot to add except that when you’re teaching your own children, you’ve got to find a way to be self-motivated and consistent with your teaching and practicing, since there’s no outside accountability going on.
I personally find that we’re good at being consistent with practicing as long as I enforce the “No screen time and no going out to play with friends until your work is done.” rule. This means my kids have to get their schoolwork done and corrected, get their piano practicing done, and get their daily chores finished before they can go play.
Next time you answer questions, would you tell us what type of cookie sheets you use? My wife bought the golden colored (don’t know brand) of bread pans you recommended and raves about them pretty much every time she uses them (which is weekly). However, her cookie sheets are useless, bend when hot and she complains a lot about them. I’d like to get us some new ones but am unsure as to brand.
(P.S., lest I look like a total cad, I want to announce that she makes the bread and cookies and cakes, but I am the one who makes the dinner virtually every night because I get home first!)
Hey, I’m the sort of person who dearly loves to receive kitchen equipment as birthday and Christmas gifts, so I don’t think you’re a cad at all.
Just for everyone else’s information, the bread pans your wife loves are the Williams Sonoma Gold Touch loaf pans. I adore mine.
The cookie sheets I own are Vollrath Natural Finish Aluminum 17 x 14 Cookie Sheets. They come highly recommended by Cook’s Illustrated, and I enthusiastically second their recommendation. These baking sheets are solidly made and I think they will last a lifetime. They’re so sturdy, I can’t even imagine them warping, actually.
They’re usually around $22-$25, but they’re so worth it. Go buy a pair!
I’ve been fortunate to receive a gift card for Chapters (Canadian Amazon), and would like to purchase a cookbook. From following your blog, I’m thinking of going with the Cooks Illustrated, but wondered if I should consider one of the ATK books.
I’m looking for a comprehensive collection, nice blend of basic and ‘fancier’ recipes – I’d love your opinion.
That’s a great question! I own the large and comprehensive Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook, which has great recipes, and a lot of them (2000!). It covers pretty much all of the basic recipes one could need, and I use mine incessantly. In fact, I’m often cooking multiple recipes from it at the same time!
The one downside to it, though, is that there are no photographs-just line drawings like you’d find in a Cook’s Illustrated magazine.
I believe that the full line of America’s Test Kitchen Cookbooks has photographs, though, so if that’s really important to you, I might recommend choosing ATK over CI.
One idea is to check to see if your local library has any of these books. If they do, you could check them out, see what you like best, and then order your favorite.
Joshua’s 365 post: Minimalist