Forget Halloween. The scariest season has begun — “the holidays”. It’s a time when stores are bustling, trees are pointy and the music that plays stick in your head for months to come. A big part of the holiday season is spending time with friends and family. It can be stressful, but it is also a chance to show your loved ones how much you appreciate them. One way to do this without spending tons of money is bypassing restaurants in favor of cooking at home. Last month Bookmans Grant hosted Chef David Solorzano who taught a class on the benefits of cooking at home. His tips hit the spot and he generously allowed us to share them with you.

David Solorzano

Cheap Cuts. Tougher cuts of meet are usually be less expensive. These include as sirloin, chuck, brisket or short rib. If you let them braise, they become tenderized and hold up better while releasing more flavor than the more expensive cuts. If you’re making stew or a roast, there is no need to splurge on an expensive cut.

Seasonal Shopping. A great way to find out what is in season is to go to a farmers market to see what they have. Most cities have a farmers market almost every day of the week in different parts of town. Generally seasonal produce will be cheaper and more plentiful. This time of year many different types of squash, beans and root vegetables are in season as well as hardly leaves such as kale and chard. A great way to get inspired to try and make new dish is to find out what’s in season and build on it.

Long Storing Foods. Foods with a long shelf life will save money and result waste less. These foods won’t spoil as quickly and therefore provide more opportunities to use them. Good long-storing fruits and vegetables include onions, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, lemons, limes, apples and oranges. Meat and dairy foods with longer shelf life include eggs, bacon and ham, butter, Parmesan, goat and ricotta cheese, sour cream and yogurt. Another great thing about buying foods that last is that you can buy more of them whenever they go on sale without worrying about whether you will be able to eat them quickly.

Reading cook books, cooking magazines and food commentary help make your trip to the grocery store less intimidating and more exciting. With our huge selection of kitchen housewares, books and magazines, Bookmans is a great place to start. This Thanksgiving let your inner chef out and show your family and friends how much they mean to you by cooking them a delicious meal.