Developing your skills in the kitchen can be a process but you learn so much by diving in! Starting out with simple recipes and graduating to more complex dishes takes time and a variety of pro-advice gleaned from cookbooks.

But how many times have you been elbow deep in flour only to realize that you’ve stumbled across a cooking term you’ve never heard of? No worries, we’ve compiled a list for you to hang on your fridge for next time you’re in a pinch. Here are some of the essentials:

An Italian term used to describe pasta that isn’t overly mushy. It’s cooked until it offers a little resistance when you bite into it.

BLANCH: Perfect for veggies, it’s when food is placed in boiling water and cooked slightly so it still has some bite to it.

MISE EN PLACE: Turns out this is just a fancy way to tell you to prep all of your ingredients before you start cooking. Pre-measure spices, cut up veggies, and pour liquids; it will make it easier than having to stop mid-recipe.

ROUX: A mixture of flour and fat used to thicken sauces.

CLARIFY: Commonly mentioned when talking about butter. It separates and removes solids from a liquid. Turning it clear.

Add liquid to a pan in which food has been sautéed or roasted and scrape up all little bits on the pan. The small bits of meat and juices add flavor to the liquid so you can use it as a sauce or gravy.

EMULSIFY: Combining two liquids—like oil and vinegar—that normally won’t bond together. Add in the oil slowly and whisk it with the vinegar to combine; allowing the two to combine for at least a short time.

When you cut food into small cubes that are the same size and shape.

DREDGE: To cover with flour or another flour-like substance.

Combining a fluffy food like whipped cream in with another substance without losing the lightness. Mix down to the bottom of the bowl then lift up and over until everything is combined.

Yum! An oven-baked dish on which a golden crust made of breadcrumbs, cheese, or a creamy sauce forms. Think about the top of a bubbly mac n’ cheese or scalloped potatoes to get the right idea.

A cutting technique where you slice produce into long, thin strips.

Food (typically meat) that is dredged with flour and sautéed in butter.

To secure chicken or turkey with string or skewers so it holds its shape.

CASSERBOLE: A MacKenzie-Childs original! It’s part casserole dish part rounded bowl and is 100 percent awesome.

SOUR MILK: When you add an acid like lemon juice or vinegar to milk, it can be used in place of buttermilk for some recipes.

LEVAIN: A French term for a mixture of flour and water that is colonized by yeasts and bacteria and is used in bread making.

What words would you add to the list?

Shop the Post: Courtly Check Enamel 3 Qt. Saute Pan/Courtly Check Enamel 7 Cup Measuring Cup/ Courtly Check Enamel Pinch Bowl/Courtly Check Enamel Everyday Bowl-Extra Large/ Kitchen Garden Dish Towels-Set of Three/ Molly Creamer

Since Memorial Day weekend is basically the unofficial start of the summer season, we’re sure you’ve got plenty to toast to this weekend. Warm weather, a three-day weekend, or having family by for a barbecue—no matter the occasion, if you’re searching for a drink to fill our gorgeous Blooming Wine Glasses, here’s an idea. Try our strawberry lemonade cocktail or make it a mocktail instead. The perfect drink for summer, it’s refreshing and not too sweet. Here’s how to make it yourself:


1 container of fresh strawberries
1/2 gallon of fresh lemonade
2 cups of ice
3 oz. of vodka (completely optional)
1. Start with a base of fresh lemonade. So make your grandma’s recipe or buy your favorite brand. The higher quality the lemonade, the tastier the final product. Same with the strawberries. The riper, the better!
2. Fill a blender halfway with fresh strawberries. Add in two cups of ice and the vodka. Fill the blender with lemonade so that these ingredients are completely covered.
3. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
4. Pour generous servings into the wine glasses, and garnish with a slice of lemon and a slice of strawberry.

5. Enjoy!

Cheers to the summer season! If you need us, we’ll be lounging dockside all weekend long and enjoying a nice little respite from work.

So you’ve been gifted or treated yourself to one of our gorgeous tea kettles, but now what? Obviously use it to make tea to your heart’s content, but admit it, you’re a little nervous on how to keep that stovetop stunner in tiptop shape. But really, less is more when it comes to caring for this item.

Our cleaning tips:

While the surface is strong and durable, and meets the highest US standards of food safety, your kettle isn’t quite indestructible. Take care when using or storing it, because scratches, chips, and dents can happen if you’re not careful.

Daily care: Wash using a nonabrasive dish soap and soft sponge, and then dry immediately. This will extend the life of the finish.

In case of rust: If you leave water sitting in the tea kettle, rust stains or mineral deposits can form. To remove them, fill the kettle with water, add two tablespoons of baking soda, and the juice of a half of a lemon. Boil for four to five minutes, rinse, and dry.

To remove burnt-on food or marks from silverware: Apply a paste of baking soda and water and rub gently to remove marks. For burnt-on food, loosen with the same solution, then use a nylon or wooden scraper to remove the rest.

Other tips you might find helpful:

 Never boil tea kettles dry; it can damage the finish.

Allow the kettle to cool before refilling.

Nothing says spring quite like the bright green of fresh peas. We’re growing Sugar Ann snap peas on the farm this year…if we can get the deer to leave it alone! Normally an add-in to a main dish, make this flavorful veggie a star instead. Sautéed with garlic and olive oil then spread onto a piece of bread, when you top it with meats and cheese it’s a quick, complete meal that will satisfy for lunch but can still look pretty enough for entertaining.

2 cups fresh or frozen peas
1/2 cup of water
3 garlic clove – quartered
1 T. olive oil + more for bread
pinch of table salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1 loaf fresh bread – sliced
Fresh mozzarella
Balsamic glaze

1. In a medium pan, combine garlic, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and cook the garlic until it’s softened and fragrant. Add the water and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the peas and let them simmer until peas are tender, about four minutes.

2. Strain peas, while reserving the cooking liquid. Add cooked peas to a food processor. Pulse peas adding half of the reserved liquid until a semi-smooth paste forms. Add garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.

3. Meanwhile, drizzle bread with olive oil and broil until crisp and browned around the edges. Spread smashed peas over hot, toasted bread. Add on a slice of prosciutto and fresh mozzarella or for a vegetarian option add on some heirloom tomatoes. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and lightly drizzle with a balsamic glaze.

This recipe is the perfect toast to spring! Pun intended.

Mom we love you! We owe moms all the presents and all the hugs for always being there—big and little moments are her specialty after all. So show her how much you love her by picking up something as special as she is. Just in case you’re short on time we’ve rounded-up a few of our favorite products that would make for a perfect Mother’s Day gift (or two). Spoil her on her special day!

1. Morning Glory Gardening Tool Set Plant, dig, and prune with the prettiest gear you can get. Despite their flowery disposition they’re made with stainless steel and are tough enough to get dirty in your garden. Mom will dig it!

2. Summer Scented Candle Bring the smell of beach breezes indoors. The soy-blend candle has an impressive 60 hour burn time and comes poured in a reusable Courtly Check container.

3. & 4. Flower Market Casserbole- Large/ Small Pretty enough to leave out on the stovetop—even when you’re not cooking. Cookware this attractive will encourage Mom to whip up all of her best dishes. It’s really the gift that keeps on giving.

5. Flower Market 3-Quart Tea Kettle Add a little something special to your morning routine. This bubbling beauty is one of our largest kettles so you can make tea or French pressed coffee for a crowd.

6. Portobello Tray This sturdy iron tray with a copper patina is perfect for breakfast in bed, entertaining, or as a catch-all for all kinds of accessories. You’ll find uses for it in any and every room in your home.

7. Parchment Check Bangle Watch Time for some fun when it comes to your time piece. Just because it’s practical doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty. The fresh looking color palette works all year long, but feels especially fresh in spring and summer.

8. Courtly Check Enamel Pot DIY your own bouquet and stick it in this sweet vessel. Once the flowers fade your mom can repurpose the pot for herbs or bulbs.

9. Berry Blue Tote With comfy straps and plenty of room to stash all of her essentials this bag will be her go-to on all of her adventures. The bright blue color and tassel makes it feel all the more festive. The possibilities are endless!

Bountiful beds full of flowers and lots of veggies—spring, summer, and fall on the farm are each a thing of beauty. Responsible for all of this goodness is Corinne Bowman, the estate manager at MacKenzie-Childs. Approachable and equal parts knowledgeable and self-deprecating, no one can make you feel like you can garden more than Corinne.

Her best advice? “You’ve just got to jump in and do it. This wasn’t my college major, but it was my summer job when I was sixteen, and I’ve been here ever since,” says Corinne. “Each year you learn new things and trust me, there will be trial and error, but you’ve got to celebrate the wins too!” Here are her low-key and smart tips to set you up for success this planting season.

Pay attention to your packets. Your seed packet that is. They will tell you so much about what you’re getting ready to plant. Some terms to be on the lookout for?
Direct sow: you’re going to plant your seeds right into the ground.
Transplant: you’ll start seedlings indoors first and then transplant them into the ground, place two seeds in each cell.
Zones: Check what zone you live in, even if you’re an experienced gardener. They could have changed over the years because of the climate variations we’re seeing now.

More isn’t always better. For direct seeds or even seedlings, you’re going to have to choose the strongest plant and get rid of the weaklings. We know, not easy, since you may just be happy to see growth. If you don’t thin out the seedlings though, you run the risk of losing them all!

1, 2, or 3 seeds? How do you know? You’re typically going to want to go with two or three but always check your seed packet because it varies plant to plant.

Prep work makes it happen. By starting with prepped soil you’re setting yourself up for gardening success. Just don’t skip weeding! At Mackenzie-Childs we don’t fertilize our gardens, but we do mix in a mushroom compost at the beginning before planting.

Watch those weeds. Stay on top of your weeds and don’t ever let them go to seed; they’ll multiple quicker than you can say veggies.

Earthworms are a good omen. Know your soil. Is there clay in it? You can tell because it will stick together. Or is your soil a darker, richer color? Earthworms are a great way to tell if the soil is nutrient dense and if it will be ideal for your plants. We bet you’ve never been this excited to see bugs.

Get your hands dirty! Yikes! Who knew too much of a good thing would be bad, in this case too much water. Many times you can’t bring a plant back from overwatering. So instead of just sticking to schedule, check your soil by sticking your finger into it. If it feels moist down deep near the roots, then there is no need to water.

Clever container tips. Don’t forget to provide drainage in your potted plants. Either check that they have a hole in the bottom for water to escape or place small rocks in the bottom of the container to keep the roots from being soaked in water. And while you might love the look of oversized containers, here’s a trick to make them lighter. Place a smaller pot upside down inside of your planter to take up space, then put dirt and your plants on top. That way it doesn’t need to be completely filled with dirt, which can take some muscle to move around.

We hope you’re feeling a little more knowledgeable now. Get out there and get your hands dirty!

Shop the Post: Courtly Check Herb Pots / Courtly Check Enamel Pot / Flower Market Flower Pot-Large /  Flower Market Pot-White / Morning Glory Gardening Tool Set

Did you know that we’ve partnered with fellow upstate New York brand Beekman 1802? “Wonderful things happen when neighbors get together,” says Rebecca Proctor, our creative director. “We’re huge fans of what the Beekman Boys are doing.” The Beekman Boys developed two recipes to make in the Courtly Check enamelware container that accompanies our first collaboration with their brand, the Flower Market Hand Soap & Lotion Set, when you’re finished with the hand wash and lotion.


SERVES 4 • portion size for Beekman 1802/MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check container from the Flower Market Hand Soap & Lotion Set
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lavender buds
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons poppyseed
  • 1 small pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 tablespoon unsalted
  • butter, melted & cooled
  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk

Empty and clean the Courtly Check container from the Beekman 1802/MacKenzie-Childs Soap & Lotion Set. Butter bottom and sides of container.

Grind sugar and lavender in spice/coffee grinder or small food processor until well combined.

Combine flour, baking powder, poppyseed, salt and sugar/lavender mixture in small mixing bowl.

Whisk together oil, melted butter, egg, vanilla and whole milk in small mixing bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until combined. Pour batter into Courtly Check container.

Place on middle rack of oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake pulls out cleanly.


SERVES 2 • portion size for Beekman 1802/MacKenzie-Childs Courtly Check container from the Flower Market Hand Soap & Lotion Set
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • small pinch salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons rose water

Preheat oven to 300°F with rack in lower third of oven. Boil a medium pot of water on stove. Empty and clean the Courtly Check container from the soap & lotion set, and set it inside an 8″ × 8″ baking dish.

Combine 1/2 cup of the cream in small saucepan with 2 tablespoons sugar and a pinch of salt. Gently bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking often. Remove and let cool. Whisk egg yolks, vanilla, rose water, and remaining cream in small bowl until smooth. Slowly add cooled cream mixture and whisk to combine.

Pour boiling water into the baking dish until it’s halfway up the side of the the Courtly Check container, and pour the custard mixture into the container. Carefully place baking dish inside oven. Bake for 25 minutes or until the sides are set, but middle is slightly wobbly. Carefully remove custard dish from water (use spatula and/or hot pads) and allow to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or up to 3 days.

To serve: remove from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature for 30 minutes. Blot any condensation. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly across the surface. With a kitchen blowtorch, move the flame across the surface of the custard.

Do you feel that warmth in the air? Spring is here and with it comes the possibility and renewal that always accompanies a brand new season. In that spirit of change, we’d like to introduce you to our blog: From the Farm.

It’s a peek behind the scenes of our beautiful Aurora campus as well as what’s going on in our kitchens, homes, minds, and hearts each week. We’re excited to talk about food and recipes, different ways to use your favorite MacKenzie-Childs products, entertaining, home decor, gift giving, and gardening. We can’t wait to offer you smart tips along with gorgeous images that you can’t wait to look at too. Then it’s up to you to try them out, and don’t forget to share! Pin, tweet, Facebook or Instagram your favorites.

But really this is all about you! Yes, you! We want to hear your feedback and make sure we’re giving you everything (and more) that you’re looking for. So if you have questions you’d like for us to address, topics you want to see covered, or any suggestions at all, please reach out to us at and let us know. We can’t wait to hear from you. Check back in next week for our first post. Spoiler alert: It will set you up for gardening success this summer!

And if you want to be the first to know when we publish new posts? Sign up for email updates!


Jessica, the blogger and cookbook author behind How Sweet Eats, has created three mouth-watering one-pot recipes especially for MacKenzie-Childs lovers! Enjoy these wonderful dishes and show them off in our cookware. Please share your photos of Jessica’s recipes along with your MacKenzie-Childs cookware photos on Instagram and tag @MacKenzieChilds, #MCcookware, and #MCxHowSweetEats.


SERVES 4 • we recommend using our 3 quart saute pan
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lb chopped asparagus, ends removed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4-5 cups low-sodium chicken stock, warmed
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil, plus extra for topping
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, plus extra for topping
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • lemon wedges for serving

Heat the olive oil in the saute pan over medium heat. Add the asparagus pieces and cook until they are slightly softened, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove the asparagus with a slotted spoon and place it in a bowl off to the side.

With the saute pan still over medium heat, add the butter. Add the rice and toast until it’s somewhat translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the white wine—stirring constantly, or at least every minute or so—until the rice absorbs the wine. Once the wine is absorbed, add in 1 1/2 cups of the stock, stirring until the rice absorbs the liquid like it did with the wine. Repeat this 2 to 3 more times, until all stock has been added and the rice is al dente. The rice should appear “hydrated,” and you want there to be some liquid left when serving. This process should take about 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir in the parmesan cheese. Stir in the asparagus, lemon zest, basil, and parsley. Taste and season the rice, adding more salt and pepper if needed. This will differ depending on the salt level in your stock, so don’t be afraid to add more. Serve immediately with extra chopped herbs on top and lemon wedges on the side.


SERVES 4 • we recommend using our 3 quart saute pan
  • 1 lb. whole wheat fettuccine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 lb. raw peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Bring salted water to a boil for the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package.

Heat the olive oil and butter in the saute pan over medium heat. Once melted, add in the shallot with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring often, until the shallots are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the shrimp in one single layer. Cook until the shrimp is pink and opaque, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Pour in the white wine and stir. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, add the pasta into the skillet and toss well to coat the noodles with the white sauce. Stir in the parmesan cheese. Reduce the heat to low.

Stir in the corn and top with the crumbled bacon. Add some chopped basil on top. Serve immediately.


SERVES 4 • we recommend using our 7 quart stockpot
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 tomatillos, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 (4 oz.) cans diced green chiles
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 4 (4-inch) corn tortillas, cut into pieces
  • 4 oz. monterey jack cheese, freshly grated
  • 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 8 oz. cooked chicken breast

Heat olive oil in the stock pot over medium-low heat. Stir in the onion, tomatillos, garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook until the onions soften, about 5 to 6 minutes. Pour in the diced green chiles and chicken stock, and add the tortilla pieces. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Carefully transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the soup back into the pot and heat it over low heat. Stir in the cheese, one handful at a time, until melted. Stir in the chicken. Cook on low until the soup is heated through. Taste and add seasoning if needed.


fresh cilantro, extra cheese, avocado, thinly sliced radish, fresh lime, tortilla strips

Serve in bowls and top with avocado, radish, tortilla strips, and cilantro.

We recently partnered with Chef Ryan Pfeiffer of Blackbird Restaurant in Chicago. Using our new cookware, he developed two exclusive recipes for you to create as you gather with family and friends. We would love to see how you enjoy the dishes and our cookware. Please share your MacKenzie-Childs cookware photos on Instagram and tag @mackenziechilds, #MCcookware, and #MCxChefRyan.


  • 1 pork tenderloin (2 pounds)
  • 2 cups bacon, diced small
  • 2 cups onion, diced small
  • 5 large artichokes, diced medium
  • 4 cups sunflower seeds
  • 2.5 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • salt
  • 5 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 5 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup sport peppers (giardiniera or pickles can be substituted)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • raw artichoke for garnish
  • limes for garnish
  • sunflower sprouts (chives or green onions can be substituted)
  • olive oil
  • 12 roasted artichokes
  • onion flowers (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. On the stovetop, sear the pork on every side until nice and browned, then put tenderloin in oven. The cooking time will range based on the size and shape of the loin, so the best thing to do is check the internal temperature of the meat once every 20 minutes until it reaches around 130°-140°F depending on your desired doneness (keep in mind you will be cooking it a little more once you add the glaze).


Render bacon in pot until crispy. Add onions and artichokes; cook until tender and glazed with bacon fat. Add sunflower seeds, vinegar, and brown sugar. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to resemble chili. Add water if needed to loosen mixture; season with salt.


Blend Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, honey, sport peppers, water, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, and vegetable oil in a blender until smooth. Reserve in refrigerator.


Preheat oven to 400°F. Spoon sport pepper glaze evenly over the cooked tenderloin. Place glazed loin in oven to heat up, and once the glaze is lightly caramelized, remove from oven and rest. For the garnish: Slice limes in half and char on a grill on the cut side; squeeze limes and reserve juice. Slice raw artichokes as thin as possible, using a mandoline or slicer, then toss sliced artichokes with sunflower sprouts, olive oil, and burnt lime juice; season with salt. Spoon the hot sunflower seed chili in a straight line across your serving plate. Slice the tenderloin to your desired thickness and organically lay the slices across the chili. Drizzle a little of the leftover glaze across the pork; place roasted artichokes parallel to the slices of pork. Garnish the dish with salad, also in a straight line. At Blackbird, we use onion flowers to garnish and add a nice visual aesthetic to the final dish. Enjoy!


  • 1 whole branzino (1–1.5 pounds)
  • kosher salt
  • 1-2 cups rice flour
  • butter
  • 5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp tarragon, chopped
  • 10-12 marble or new potatoes
  • 1 cup canola/vegetable oil
  • 1 quart canola oil for frying
  • 4 cups mizuna (arugula can be substituted)
  • 10-12 sungold or cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 lemons, juiced
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Ask your fishmonger to clean and debone the fish you have picked out, keeping the fish whole if possible for presentation, head and all. Keep fish in refrigerator on ice until ready to cook.

To cook the fish: Season with kosher salt and dredge the fish in rice flour. Pat off any extra starch before adding to pan. Heat oil in a sauté pan until it begins to just barely smoke. Slowly add fish to pan, being careful of the hot oil, and crisp up the skin on both sides. Add a small amount of butter and baste both sides of the fish until it is completely cooked, trying to keep the fish whole. Remove from pan and pat dry with a towel.


Mix vinegar, soy sauce, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, sugar, and tarragon in mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in 1 cup canola or vegetable oil, and mix until emulsified, then fry the potatoes in canola oil at 350°F until tender. Drain fried potatoes on a towel to remove excess oil, then transfer fried and drained potatoes to the vinaigrette and let cool in the refrigerator.


Start by making a salad with the mizuna leaves, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season with salt and reserve. Place fish in middle of the serving plate. Garnish the fish with the tomato and mizuna salad, and scatter the potatoes escabeche around the fish. Enjoy!

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