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It’s no secret that the French take their food seriously, and nowhere is this more evident than with the French baguette. The French government has codified the baguette recipe, meaning that it is actually illegal to call any variation a baguette. The bread must contain no preservatives or other additives and, until fairly recently, French bakeries were not allowed to charge over a certain amount for a baguette. Forget everyday bread recipes: making a genuine French baguette can be complicated even for professionals, but adhering to the following techniques and using high quality restaurant equipment will produce such excellent results that your customers will think they have stepped into a Parisian café.
How to Make Poolish – Perfectly
The first step to a baguette of the perfect consistency is a fine poolish, or pre-ferment. It is essential to weigh your ingredients on a professional chef’s scale for exact proportions. If possible, use Type 55 flour, a kind of French flour with very specific ash content. As this variety of flour can be hard to obtain, you may want to speak with your flour supplier about which artisan flour comes closest to Type 55. You will need just over 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of flour and an equal amount of water. First, mix a teaspoon of dry yeast into the water. Add the flour and leave the mixture, which should be quite liquid, for 24 – 48 hours.
Ever since I watched my grandmother cooking breakfast in a cast iron skillet, I’ve associated good, hearty food with cast iron cookware. However, when I got married and set up my own home and commercial kitchens, I was seduced by bright and shiny stainless steel, and used only stainless for many years. Recently, I bought a cast iron skillet and Dutch oven, and a new world has opened up. I’m now convinced that every kitchen should have at least one piece of cast iron cookware—both in a home kitchen and as standard restaurant equipment
Cast Iron Cookware Is the Original Non-stick Cookware
Cast iron cookware is the original non-stick cookware. When seasoned properly, cast iron cookware is naturally non-stick. In fact, if your food sticks to a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, then it is not seasoned correctly. Seasoning is done by rubbing oil into the pan and then heating it. This seasoning process makes the pan non-stick and also keeps it from rusting. Much of the cast iron cookware you find in stores or sold as restaurant equipment is labeled as pre-seasoned. However, this is just a very light pre-seasoning that will keep the pan from rusting, but does not make the pan as non-stick as you will want. So, even if you buy a pre-seasoned pan, you will want to season it yourself.
Every time I bite into an apple, no matter in what form, I am reminded of and fascinated by the variety of types, tastes and applications of this one particular fruit that is available throughout the world!
On today’s menu: Apple Turnovers. They look especially attractive on a display tray with other apples miniature and will create the perfect festive look. For an even classier effect, they can be made into miniature sizes by cutting smaller dough squares and of course, use less filling in each one.
1 package 5” pastry dough squares
3 large Cortland apples
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 Tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons boiling water
9/11/01. Stop any adult on the street and they will clearly remember where they were at the time of the most ferocious attack on the United States on America. 9/11 is the day that changed the lives of thousands of Americans, if not millions. Some of us were fortunate enough to be outsiders, while others have lost everything they had on that ominous day.
Have we gained anything from that day?
Are we safer than we were 10 years ago?
Has 9/11 changed the life of Americans?
Let us take a minute to pause, remember and reflect on 9/11. Let us make a difference. Let us remember, try to understand, and thank those, such as President Bush, our troops, all emergency personal, and everyone else who risked and continue to risk their lives, every day, for our safety. Whom without we would not be. Let us honor the memory of those who lost their lives. And most of all, let us hope for a better tomorrow. God Bless America!
One of the most popular cheeses used in many summer recipes is Cheddar cheese. However, there are many proclaimed Cheddar cheeses that are actually not the real thing.
According to the European Union, only Cheddar cheeses that are produced in the British countries of Somerset, Devon, Dorset, and Cornwall can actually be called “West Country Farmhouse Cheddar.” The reason is actually quite simple- Cheddar cheese was originally made in a village called- can you guess? Cheddar!
Decades ago, there were no temperature-controlled factories, and the village of Cheddar had a great advantage over the surrounding villages that would have liked to have been part of the Cheddar cheese making process. Cheddar Gorge has scattered caves between steep cliffs that have just the right temperature that is needed for the cheese making/storing process. The farmers in the industry realized this and took great advantage of the natural temperature-controlled refrigeration system.
Pizza and Americans have become inseparable. Actually, pizza can be found in approximately 180 countries around the world. Ever wonder how pizza came to be so popular and famous? To start with, pizza originally started out as a food for poor people. Being that food couldn’t be stored for too long, the Italians had to think of ways to finish up their bread. They would top their thin bread with all different ‘leftovers’ and add spices over it. And so pizza came to be.
Although pizza has been around for ages, literally, it only started becoming famous in the 1900’s. These days, every pizza shop adds some kind of a twist to their pizza. Be it a secret ingredient in the dough or sauce, or some different kind of topping. The best part of it all is that you can get the pizza fresh out of the oven, delivered straight to your front door, still piping hot. Thanks to the pizza delivery bag, pizza has become even more popular.
With such a wide variety of pizza bags to choose from, and a large price range, how do you know which pizza delivery bag is right for you?
Thermal bags are the cheapest and most commonly used delivery bags. They simply retain the heat from the pizza. No gizmos or gadgets. Thermal bags are constructed of either vinyl or nylon.
Running late. Again. On days like these, there is nothing more comforting than knowing that all you’ve got to do in order to have supper up and running when you get home is open the freezer, pull out some leftovers and stick them into the oven. The worst feeling is when everybody is ready to bet their most valuable possessions that this supper is, once again, coming from "you know where." No need to fret, we’ve got 4 tips for you that will make your frozen foods last longer and taste just as if it just came out of the oven.
- In order to guaranteed that your leftover turkey or roast tastes just as good and fresh the second time around, pour enough gravy over the leftover meat, making sure to cover it completely, before freezing it in an airtight storage container. The gravy will act as an extra protection, allowing you to store the leftovers for a longer period of time. In addition, when you re-warm it, the gravy will keep the turkey or roast moist.
- If you buy meat and/or chicken and plan on storing it in the freezer for a little while, there is absolutely no reason for you to repackage it. Planning on keeping it stored in the freezer for a longer period of time? In that case, you are best off adding an additional layer of wrapping protection to prevent it from freezer burn. If you are looking for the easy way out, simply wrap the original packaging in a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Anyone who has ever hosted a Thanksgiving, Christmas, and/or New Year’s meal can attest to the fact that by the time it came to the actual meal, they were too stressed out and tired to benefit from all the time and effort they put into getting everything ready. The preparations do tend to be somewhat stressful and draining with all the running around “like a chicken without a head” in our attempt to make sure that everything gets done and no detail is left out. How does preparing for the big bash without all the stress sound to you? Think it’s impossible? Think again.
- Probably the most important and de-stressing step you can take in order to have a stress-less preparation stage is planning ahead of time. Anything that can, should be bought (and made) ahead of time. There is no reason for you to wait until the week of the holiday to buy your accessories and supplies you need to create your centerpieces.
- Any dish that will taste just the same whether it is made the day of or defrosted the day of should be prepared in advance. Most soups freeze very well, not to mention desserts. These courses can be prepared well ahead of time, even as much as two weeks beforehand. Just about everything else can be made a day or two ahead of time, stored tightly in proper containers, and refrigerated. The only foods that need to be made the day of are foods that are perishable, i.e. salads. Even those foods can be prepared in advance – just leave the dressing for the last minute!
- If anybody offers to make something, never turn them down. Pride aside, no matter how capable you may be one dish off your list will spare you some precious time, whether it may be 10 minutes or an hour. Every minute makes a difference.
Unfortunately, there are still many people who,when asked to differentiate between Veterans Day and Memorial Day, will give you a blank stare. Although we remember those who died while serving for their country on Veterans Day, in reality this day was marked down as a day to thank all who served in the military in times of either peace or war. On the other hand, Memorial Day was set aside as a day to show respect and honor to those who died from wounds while serving their country.
If truth be told, Veterans Day was also set aside as a day to thank and honor the living veterans for their loyalty toward our country by putting their lives on the line for us.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the Germans signed the Armistice that put an end to World War I. Armistice Day was set as a legal holiday to honor World War I veterans. However, in 1954, Congress changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day to include all veterans from both World War’s as well as the Korean War.
Yummm…. Nothing like waking up to a fresh cup of coffee. The aroma, the warmth, and of course, the flavor. Caffeine aside, that cup of java has a lot to offer.
Legend has it that in the 800’s, a young goatherd in Ethiopia, found that his goats looked very energized after nibbling on a berry shrub. He tasted the berries himself and found that they did actually give him an extra boost.
Although there are 66 known coffee plants, only two are commonly used. Grown primarily in the mountains of Central and Southern America, Arabica beans account for 3/4 of the world’s coffee production. They actually have a better aroma, and are more flavorful, in addition to being more costly, than the Robusta beans. Robusta beans, as its name implies, are more robust and account for the remaining ¼ of coffee production. They are used in most canned coffee blends because they are cheaper, as well as in espresso blends, since they create an enhanced cap on the drink.
If you are a true coffee aficionado, opt for the freshly ground beans so that you can brew your own coffee. Buy the freshest beans available, given that coffee tends to go stale once it has been roasted. Ground coffee should always be stored in an airtight, opaque container to keep it fresh. Keeping coffee in the refrigerator will dampen it and since moisture is coffee’s enemy you can say bye-bye. The freezer, however, does an excellent job in a pinch, if you have coffee that you can’t use up in a reasonable amount of time.