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Using the right knife for each kitchen task helps you prepare ingredients more efficiently, gives your food the appropriate texture and lets you work more safely.

These are the basic types of kitchen knives home cooks should have on hand:

* Chef - An essential knife for every kitchen. Chop, slice and dice all fruits, vegetables and meat.

* Utility - An all-purpose, mid-size knife for chopping and cutting larger fruits and vegetables. A serrated edge is ideal for tomatoes.

* Slicer - Cut clean, even slices of meat with the long blade and pointed tip.

* Bread - The serrated, scalloped edge is perfect for cutting loaves of bread with hard crusts.

* Boning/Filet - Used to trim and carve meats.

* Parer - A small knife that gives you control to trim and slice small fruits and vegetables.

-- Chicago Cutlery/ Family Features

Tip of the Week: Buying eggplant

The eggplant is available from July to October. It is the cousin of the tomato, pepper and potato. It got its name from the first varieties, which was white and looked like an egg. When buying, look for firm eggplants that feel heavy for their size. Choose the ones with smooth, shiny skins and bright green stems.

-- CookingLight.com

Easy recipe: Montasio Cheese Thumbprint Biscuits

1 package store bought ready-made biscuit dough

1 cup coarsely grated Montasio cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Separate biscuits onto a parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheet. With your thumb, press into center of each biscuit to form a small well. Fill each well with 2 tablespoons of the grated Montasio. Bake until tops are golden, about 8 minutes. Serve immediately.

-- Family Features

Did You Know?

Candling is the process of using light to help determine the quality of an egg. – FoodSafety.gov

Food Quiz

Brown eggs are better for you than white ones.

A. True

B. False

-- funtrivia.com

Answer is at bottom of column

Wise to the Word

Parboil: To partially cook food by boiling it briefly in water. This timesaving technique is used in particular for dense foods such as carrots. If parboiled, they can be added at the last minute with quick-cooking ingredients (such as bean sprouts and celery) in preparations such as stir-fries. The parboiling insures that all the ingredients will complete cooking at the same time.

-- epicurious.com

Number to Know

770: The Nachos BellGrande from Taco Bell is 770 calories.

 -- calorieking.com

The Dish On …

"True Blood: Eats, Drinks and Bites from Bon Temps" by Gianna Sobol and Alan Ball

"True Blood," HBO's blockbuster paranormal drama, enthralls a diverse audience of 13 million viewers (and counting). Menus at the now-famous Fangtasia and Merlotte's Bar and Grill play a key role in the series, providing sustenance for its human characters and evoking memories of a bygone life for its vampires. It's no wonder so many fans revel in at-home parties inspired by the food on the series! With recipes from unforgettable scenes, these 85 authentic bayou country recipes give fans a big taste of Bon Temps.

-- Chronicle Books LLC

Food Quiz Answer

B. False

GateHouse News Service