Posted by Trish | Under Saucepot
Wednesday Jul 17, 2013
Posted by Trish | Under Condiments
Friday Jul 12, 2013
Submitted by Lisa Williams
There are precious few things we all have in common and food is one of them. After all, we all have to eat, don’t we? Everyone has a passion for different foods, which could be anything from a delicious summer fruits bread pudding to a good old BLT.
However, while it makes sense to look at food as a source of energy and a necessity, there is much more to it than that. Plenty of people cite cooking as a hobby and a way of relaxing. Indeed, it is also good if you are on a budget or you want to save money. Home cooking is cheaper than eating out, a fact proven by all kinds of different surveys.
Are there other benefits to getting passionate about food too? Let’s find out. You might be surprised what you find.
You can enjoy cooking as a shared experience
Plenty of people in their forties or older will have fond memories of cooking with their parents when they were young. In fact, if you think back to your best memories of your youth, the chances are many of them could be related to food in some way. It could be family picnics, a relaxed BBQ with friends or maybe just learning how to make cakes with your mom.
Times may have changed, but there is still plenty of evidence to show that home cooking is one of the best activities families can get involved in together. It’s not just about the food or the cooking either – it’s about a shared experience, and educating kids about the importance of home cooked and healthy food.
It can help you conquer your inner demons
A good chunk of people think of cooking as a hobby rather than a chore. We saw above that it can be a great family activity too, and a very positive one at that. However cooking has a lot more to offer than simply providing you with the skills to produce a good home cooked meal. It can also provide you with a pastime you can use to improve your health – both physically and mentally. A healthy diet is great for all round good health, no matter whether you need to lose weight or not. A hobby is highly recommended for those people who are struggling with problems in their lives, such as an addiction of some kind for example. While it is always a good idea to get professional help from rehab centers including recovery.org it is also a good idea to develop a hobby that will have a positive knock-on effect in many areas in your life. It takes the focus away from trying to conquer those demons, and also gives you a skill you could use to improve your health in other ways.
It helps you discover new foods and flavors you may never have tried before
We all tend to be a little conservative when it comes to food. We have our favorite dishes and tastes and we stick to them. However, as soon as you view cooking as a hobby instead of a drag, you’ll be inspired to try new things and experiment a little more with different ingredients. Just one or two cookbooks and a determination to throw things together to see if they work are all you need to do to get the results you want.
This holds true regardless of whether you live alone or you have a family. Sure it’s nice to have some people around you to test new dishes out on, but even if you’re single you could invite a few friends round to be guinea pigs. This is the power of great food – it brings people together and creates a lot of positive feeling. If it inspires passion in you, you could find it changes your life in more ways than one. Whether you’re fighting an addiction, trying to get your kids to learn how to cook or you’re simply in search of a better diet, a love of cooking will help you achieve all these things and many more besides.
Why not dive into the pleasure of ingredients, recipes and cooking inspiration today and see what you can achieve when you do?
Posted by Trish | Under Confections, Dessert
Monday May 27, 2013
Submitted by Wares of Knutford
Special Tools Required
|Deep Pot with Lids
||Quart Preserving Jars
- Wash your lemons thoroughly & set them in a colander in the sink to drain. You will need 8-10 lemons for each 1 quart canning jar that you use.
- Place your canning mat in the bottom of a deep pot. If you don’t have a canning mat, line the bottom of the pot with a clean cloth dishtowel. This will keep the jars from bumping against each other when you sterilize them.
- Stand the quart jars in the pot with their open ends facing up.
- Fill the pot with water so that the jars are completely covered. Bring the water to a boil. Lower it to a rolling simmer & cover the pot. Let the jars sterilize for 10 minutes without disturbing them.
- Lay a folded dishtowel on the counter. Remove the jars from the water with your canning tongs & place them on the towel, open side up. Never put hot jars directly onto a cool surface like a bare counter because they may shatter.
- Drop the lids and rings into the boiling water & turn off the heat.
- Slice both ends off of each lemon & cut the lemons into 4-6 wedges each.
- Lay the wedges out on a platter or a length of waxed paper & lightly salt them with the Kosher salt.
- Fill the bottom of the jars, once they have cooled enough to touch, with ½ c. Kosher salt.
- Fish the lids & rings out of the hot water with the canning tongs & set them on the dishtowel with the jars to cool.
- Squeeze each lemon wedge gently as you pack them snugly into the jars.
- Fill the jars with lemon juice so that the lemons are just covered. Sprinkle another layer of salt on top.
- Wipe any excess salt or lemon juice off of the mouths of the jars with a clean dishtowel. Seal the jars with the sterilized lids & rings.
- Let the jars sit at room temperature for 24 hours & then turn them upside down. Let them sit for another 24 hours, then turn them right-side up & place them in the refrigerator.
- Leave the jars in the refrigerator for three weeks, occasionally turning them upside down for a day or two.
- To use the lemons, pick one out & wash off all of the salt. Discard the seeds & pulp & grate or finely chop the lemon rind.
- Add visual interest as well as flavor by adding mint sprigs, rosemary, sage, thyme, peppercorns, whole cloves, whole coriander seeds, or cinnamon sticks to your preserved lemons when you pack them into the jars. Experiment by adding different combinations of herbs & spices.
Chef’s Note: Homemade preserved lemons make wonderful gifts, so we suggest that you check out the wide variety of useful & decorative glass storage jars available from Wares of Knutford.
Posted by Trish | Under News, Saucepot
Tuesday Nov 27, 2012
Submitted by CS Catering Equipment
|1 loaf unsliced bread
||2 c. plums
|2 c. strawberries
||2 c. blueberries
|2 c. blackberries
||½ tsp cinnamon
|¼ – ½ c. sugar
||2 tbsp orange, raspberry, or almond liqueur (optional)
- Preheat your oven to its lowest setting, no higher than 200°F.
- Slice your bread thickly. You can use white bread, challah, cinnamon bread, Hawaiian bread, brioche or any bread other than aggressively savory types such as sourdough, rye or whole wheat.
- Lay your bread slices out on a baking sheet. You may need more than one baking sheet. Place the bread in the oven & let it sit for 20 minutes. Turn the slices over & let the bread sit for another 20 minutes. This dries out the bread, allowing it to soak up the fruit juices without becoming soggy. You can also lay the bread out on sheets & let it sit on the counter overnight to air dry.
- While the bread is drying, wash all of your fruit & drain it well.
- Pull the tops off the strawberries. Slice the strawberries thickly.
- Slice the plums & discard the pits.
- Place the strawberries, plums & blueberries into a large saucepan. Add the orange, raspberry or almond liqueur for a richer dessert, if you like. Gently stir in the sugar & cinnamon. Heat the mixture to a simmer & let it cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the raspberries & remove the fruit from the heat.
- Cut the crusts off the bread.
- Line your casserole dish with cling wrap, making sure that at least 2″ overhangs the edge. You may need to lay one sheet across the width & one across the length.
- Press half of the ‘crustless’ bread slices into the bottom of the casserole dish. Arrange them with the edges overlapping so that they make a complete crust.
- Use a slotted spoon to scoop the fruit out of its bowl & into the casserole dish on top of the bread. Keep the leftover juices, because you’ll use them later.
- Arrange the other half of the bread loaf on top of the fruit. Press it down firmly.
- Cover the bread completely with cling wrap. Place a plate that fits just inside of the casseroles dish on top of the cling wrap. Weight it down with two or three small cans of soup or a large can of tomatoes. Refrigerate the pudding for 8 hours or overnight.
- Take the pudding out of the refrigerator & remove the cans and cling wrap. Turn the pudding out onto a serving plate & remove the cling wrap. Pour the reserved juices over the pudding & sprinkle just enough sugar on top to lightly coat it.
- Cut the pudding into wedges & serve it with whipped cream & fresh mint for a garnish.
Chef’s Note: The best way to ensure an absolutely perfect dessert is to use top of the line food prep machines, so we suggest that you check out the variety of reliable & economical kitchen essentials available at CS Catering Equipment.
Posted by Trish | Under News, Saucepot
Monday Nov 12, 2012
If you’re shopping around for a new stove, you’ve already noticed all the different styles and features available on today’s models. Before you get into the fine details, you’ll need to decide whether a gas or electric stove is the best option for you. Although both types get the job done, there are differences between the two you should consider before you buy. Since both types come with different considerations, you’ll also need to know the tips and tricks for cooking on each.
Electric stoves are often cheaper than gas stoves. The price differences vary by make and model and might be less than $100 or close to $200. While price shouldn’t be a primary concern, as sales and promotions may erase the difference, you may need to consider this factor if your budget and time is limited.
Gas stoves require a stove line for installation. If you live in an area where natural gas is a common energy source, your home might already have a line. Since gas leaks pose a safety hazard, the stove must be connected properly.
A newer home or home in an area where electric is more commonly used for appliances should have the necessary connections for an electric stove. If you already have an old electric stove, installing a new one usually involves following the original wiring.
Gas stoves, for safety reasons, have sealed burners. Since the burners are covered, cleaning is usually easy. If you make a mess, you can simply wipe it off the stove using a cloth and the cleaning chemical the manufacturer recommends for the stove’s materials.
With an electric stove, you may have coil burners or a sealed top with radiant heat, which is the more expensive option. Coil burners have drip pans you’ll need to remove to clean. If you don’t keep up on the cleaning, the drip pans may discolor or be difficult to properly clean when you need to. Electric stoves with closed tops are easier to clean and you can use the same method you would for a gas stove.
Some people feel a gas stove offers a quicker and more precise cooking experience than an electric stove does. With gas, you can control the cooking temperature by moving the dials or using the buttons on the front.
An electric stove isn’t always as precise with temperature as a gas stove. However, if you take note of cooking times for different items when you start using your electric stove, you can gauge the correct cooking times and temperatures to avoid cooking mistakes on future use. Keep a notebook or journal handy, so you can track the ideal heat and cooking times for foods on your electric stove.
Once you’ve decided what type of stove you want, compare the features of each. Common features include a timer, clock and alarm combination and pre-set temperature buttons. Look at popular models, such as a Rangemaster Classic Deluxe, to create a wish list of features for your new stove.
The human body requires about two liters of water each day for optimal health. This amount rises if you live in a hot or dry climate, do any amount of physical activity or have certain health conditions. Just half an hour working in the garden can cause you to need an additional 16 ounces of water. Swapping sugary or caffeine-filled drinks for glasses of water will increase your intake while lowering the amount of calories you consume. If you are having trouble drinking two to three liters of fresh water each day, you may need to try a few tricks to remember. There’s no need to sit and guzzle glasses at the end of the evening if you work new habits into your daily routine.
Add a Little Flavor
The taste of even the cleanest filtered water can be boring and bland if you are used to sweet sodas and coffee. Start by removing any undesired odors and flavors from your water by filtering it. An inexpensive pitcher can save you hundreds of dollars over bottled water each year and produces less waste. Once your water is clean, add a touch of flavor. A slice of lemon, cucumber or orange will make you excited to sip again. A single herbal tea bag will slowly increase the flavor of a cold glass of water. You don’t have to heat up the water. If you can enjoy the taste of peppermint or chamomile tea without added sugar, you will still enjoy all the benefits of drinking more fluids without the added calories.
Keep Water on Hand
You can’t remember to drink at least six ounces of water every waking hour if you have to leave something engaging just to get a fresh glass. Invest in a water bottle that holds at least half a liter and keep it within your reach at all times. You can take a sip every few minutes, keeping you evenly hydrated. Trying to drink two liters all at once at the end of the day can cause serious electrolyte imbalances. You can make marks on the water bottle to track your intake throughout the day with a washable marker.
Drink When Eating
Drinking a full eight-ounce glass of water before each meal will help with digestion. It will also ensure that you reach your water intake goals without a lot of extra effort. Many people confuse the feelings of thirst for hunger. This leads to overeating and dehydration. Insufficient hydration makes it even harder to digest your food properly. Finish a glass of water and wait 10 minutes before picking up your fork. You will likely eat less and experience less ingestion.
Try a Straw
Investing a dollar or two in a fun straw can give you a surprising boost in your water intake. Research has shown that people tend to drink more total fluid when sipping through a straw. Get a reusable straw and a small bottle brush for cleaning it. Many water bottles also feature snap-on straws that slip into the lid for easy storage.
Eat Raw Fruits and Vegetables
Don’t overlook the amount of water found in a salad or a snack. Adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet will provide a boost of fiber, vitamins and water. Some of the best foods for increasing water consumption include apples, grapes, romaine or green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. Pair a better diet with plenty of fresh water from a source like angelsprings.com and start enjoying better health.