Cooks! Raise your whisks in salute. There is a new ‘kid in town’!
We no longer have to brave 75 or 121 or the Tollway to find top-of-the-line ‘le Creuset’ cookware – or fine copper pots or whisks or bowls or anything you need in the kitchen. Because… last November Karen Chandler opened Kitchenwares on the Square.
Karen hails from Seattle, WA. She relocated to Fort Hood with her husband and they fell in love with Texas and planned to retire here. Sadly, her husband, who was a war veteran, died soon after he became a fireman. Despite the tragedy, Karen wished to honor the plans they had made and decided to stay in Texas and open a fine cookware store.
Karen researched Plano and Southlake before picking McKinney. After watching the foot traffic at all three sites she settled on our town as having the most savvy cooks!
Karen has represented major housewares companies for many years and was head buyer for a gourmet catalogue, so she utilizes her contacts as excellent sources for both products and knowledge. She is one of the few stores that carries the top-of-the-line ‘le Creuset’, not to be confused with the lesser quality sets found in discount stores.
Karen buys ‘American made’ products and places cards by items, labeling from which state they came.
She is also passionate about the craft of cooking and one of her regrets is that basic skills are being lost. It is her contention that it takes less time to produce a delicious home cooked meal than going to a fast food restaurant. One is better able to control the ingredients that go into your dinner and it is a joyful bonding experience for the whole family.
Some ‘sage’ advice from Karen:
1. Everyone needs a whisk for aerating when blending.
2. Yes, sift the flour to aerate before using.
3. Sharp knives are not dangerous.
4. GRIND your pepper for the best flavor.
5. There are ways to flavor your food and not make it hot/spicy.
6. Prep ahead – makes for less stress.
Karen has personally tested every item in her store and is delighted to introduce new cooking tools to the foodies who drop in. Her philosophy is that you must be happy with your purchase because she wants you to return!
Kitchenwares on the Square is located on 213 N. Kentucky St.
Closed Mondays and sometimes Tuesdays
Open Wed, Thurs and Sat 10am – 5pm
Open Fridays 10am – 8pm
Open Sundays 1pm – 5pm
Tel: 972-400 -0348
She also has an online store….firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are two of Karen’s favorite recipes… Easy to make and delicious!
FAVORITE TOPPED DEVILED EGGS
Perfect for any party or pot luck. Topping suggestions include bacon crumbles with finely chopped green onion, finely chopped sun dried tomatoes with basil, finely chopped red peppers with cilantro, baby shrimp or crab meat with finely chopped dill.
12 hard boiled eggs
4 oz Neufchatel cheese – softened
3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1. Hard boil the eggs. [Karen’s tip: Use the Food Pod for perfect boiled easy to peel eggs.] 2. Peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise.
3. Remove yolks and place in a medium bowl.
4. Add remaining ingredients except paprika and mix well.
5. Spoon mixture into a plastic cake-decorating bag fitted with a tip and pipe filling into white halves. Sprinkle with paprika.
6. Top with any variation topping
Note: you can also use a decorating squeeze bottle to fill the egg halves perfectly.
INDIVIDUAL DOWN-HOME VELVEETA MAC AND CHEESE
[Makes everyone feel special with their own individual Mac and Cheese!]
¼ cup butter, divided use
¼ cup flour
1 cup milk
8 oz Velveeta cut into ½” cubes
2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
6 Ritz crackers
Pre heat oven to 350.
1. Melt three tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Whisk in flour, cook two minutes, stirring constantly.
2. Gradually stir in milk, bring to a boil and cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until thickened.
3. Add Velveeta, cook three minutes or until melted, stirring frequently.
4. Stir in cooked macaroni.
5. Spoon into mini baking dishes such as le Creuset mini cocottes, or Revol’s mini baking dishes.
6. Sprinkle the Cheddar cheese evenly over the top then sprinkle on the cracker crumbs.
7. Bake 20 minutes.
About the Author
McKinney resident Kyra Effren is a contributing writer for TownSquareBuzz.com’s “Food” section. She is a retired food stylist and contributing writer for the “Food” section of Dallas Morning News. In 1975, Effren opened Cours de Cuisine Cooking School in Dallas and in 1978, she was awarded The Commanderie des Cordon Bleu in France for her contributions to French cooking. She has edited multiple cookbooks and served as recipe tester for a number of cookbooks including both of the Mansion on Turtle Creek cookbooks by Dean Fearing and baking books by Nick Malgieri.
Kyra welcomes any and all reader comments and suggestions. What would you like to have for dinner?