Monday, December 10, 2018

5 Tips to making the best popcorn at home


Popcorn is a favorite family snack that has a distinct crunchy taste. It’s delicious and quite healthy with a dose of minerals, vitamins and whole grains. Also, popcorn is full of good fiber which is great for your health. It’s the perfect snack for those family movie nights or even in your child’s party. Even when you have a tight budget, it’s still possible to squeeze in the affordable homemade popcorn. Keep in mind you’d save lots of money buying a bag of kernels rather than buying the already made popcorn. 

When shopping, be sure to select a variety of popcorn flavors so you can make an assortment of flavors with a popcorn maker machine. You can also use a pan or a microwave to make the popcorns. Dress them up however you want to makes it easier for you to prepare them.

Here are 5 tips to making the best popcorn at home.

1.  Store the kernels at room temperature

First things first. Before you make the popcorns, understand how you should store the nuts. Popcorns are made of hard starch and some moisture. The corn, therefore, loses moisture as it heats up and the quality can diminish as this continues. For popcorn to maintain the right level of moisture, they need not be stored in a freezer or a refrigerator since they dry out quickly. Instead, save the kernels at room temperature in a sealed tin. It typically has a shelf life of around 18 months.

2.  Use a popcorn machine

When it comes to using a popcorn machine, the key thing is deciding which device best suits your needs. There are a few things you might want to consider such as the size, output, material, ease of cleaning the equipment and its aesthetic appeal. Using a Popcorn maker machine is one of the best ways of making popcorns since it is healthy, economical and environmentally friendly. Therefore, you might want to consider using popcorn machines when making your popcorns.

3.  Using the microwave method

Using the microwave is probably the easiest way of making popcorn without leaving a mess. All you need to do is fill the bottom of a paper bag with kernels and make sure to fold it a few times to avoid the nuts exploding in your microwave. Place the bag in your microwave for about four minutes on the popcorn setting. You need to be very careful with this method because you may end up burning all your corn. To avoid this, you need to be keen on the amount of time between pops. You will know they are ready when you hear pops that are about two to three seconds apart.

4.  The stovetop method


One of the best ways to add flavor to your popcorn is by using oil. The stovetop method soaks the kernels in the oil as they heat up. Deciding on the right fuel to use will, however, be your biggest challenge. The oil not only affects the taste of your popcorn but also its value of nutrition. Most people prefer using coconut oil because it’s supposedly the cleanest oil, has a better taste and it’s also recommended by manufactures.

5.  Add desired flavors


To do away with plain popcorns (other people may term them as boring), sweeten your popcorns by adding your best flavors. You can achieve this when using a popcorn maker, over the stove or also by microwave. There are several varieties that you could consider. These include butter, cinnamon, and chocolate. You will certainly love these delightful flavors.

These few tips will help you make the best popcorns at home.

Monday, November 26, 2018

5 delicious bread recipes

 

Perhaps one of the most rewarding experience is making a freshly baked bread. The feeling of making the dough, the smell of the bread right after it’s baked, and the satisfaction you feel when you break the bread if it is properly baked is very fulfilling. For this reason, it is easy to say that baking fresh bread is one of those things that can easily make us feel home and relaxed. And you can do it on any occasion, just for you or for your family. All you need are a few recipes and you can now have your own bread.

Here are five delicious bread recipes you can easily make.

1.    Sourdough bread

This is one of the simplest bread recipes to make out there because it just involves two ingredients: flour and water. When making a good sourdough bread, it is important that you make a good starter. It is simply a mixture of water and flour in order to activate the wild yeasts that are naturally found in flour. You don’t have to buy a commercially-made yeast. This process also means the bread can last longer as it prevents the loaf from going stale fast.

2.    Muesli loaf

For a dense and nutty loaf that is packed with coconuts, oats, nuts, and fruits, Muesli loaf is the perfect bread for you. This bread recipe makes a good breakfast staple. Muesli bread recipe requires a lot of ingredients but the end product is worth it. You are going to need some whole milk, honey, dried active yeast, spelt flour, some oats, nuts, desiccated coconuts, dried apricots, and more.

3.    Soda bread
If you want to bake a good bread for less than an hour, one of the simplest one to make is soda bread. This is very ideal when you are in a hurry as it only requires you to use 4 ingredients. It is basically just a mix of plain flour, a mix of wholemeal flour, bicarbonate of soda, and buttermilk. Once you have properly mixed the dough, just knead them briefly to form into a ball. You can make them for 30-40 minutes and you now have your soda bread.

4.    Savory garlic and cheese swirl buns


If you want to a more savory bread for a dinner party with your friends and family, making a garlic and cheese swirl buns would be the perfect recipe to follow. You will need some whole milk, dried active yeast, plain flour, egg, unsalted butter, and mozzarella cheese. For the garlic butter, you are going to need some unsalted butter, parmesan cheese, garlic, and flat-leaf parsley.

5.    Cheese and garlic pull-apart bread

One of the best bread recipes that people will surely love if you host a dinner party is a cheese and garlic pull-apart bread. It is easy to make and is great to be served whether it is warm or cold. You are just going to need some strong white flour, sprouted spelt flour, salt, active dry yeast, cold-pressed rapeseed oil, emmental cheese, and garlic.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Red Copper Pan - How Difference of Sizes Matter in Cooking

The old Latin saying goes, "A hungry man finds no fault in the cooking." Quite brilliant! Isn't it? But those who may have had to deal with those messy sauces and pastries in the kitchen sink might think again before affirming to the old adage. From the well-seasoned chef in a high-end restaurant to the regular home cook, everyone would agree to the fact that making the right choice of utensils at the onset of a cooking expedition goes a long way in making the process a lot easier and fun.

After all, no one really wants to have a torturous experience in the kitchen, no matter how appetizing and beautiful the dish becomes afterward. For this reason, kitchens are increasingly getting rid of every piece of utensils that seems to make work harder, replacing them with new models and makes that are more convenient to use.

Kitchen appliances with copper coatings are becoming increasingly popular across the globe. Topping this list, of course, is the highly lauded group of red copper pans. Various users have had different experiences with these pans consequently resulting in conflicted reviews. For those who perhaps haven't had an experience with this specific type of pan, here are some few things one may need to know before making up one's mind on whether or not to get one into his/her shelf:

First, they come in different sizes and models- This is one of the best things with these unique copper pans, especially to someone desiring a total overhaul of the kitchen gadgets. The good news is that the pans come in one set, which means that one definitely pays less than if they were to be charged on a pan to pan basis. The set includes the following:

1. The Red copper skillet

This is among the largest pans in the package. It can comfortably hold food enough to feed averagely 6-8 people. Its handle is very comfortable to hold and is user-friendly. It comes fully set with a transparent glass lid.

2. The Inch Fry Pan

This is more popular with small households because it is more compact. It is suitable for making dishes that are considered messier like sauces. It gives the cook a sense of control and limits splashes and spillage. It also comes with a functional lid.

3. The 1.5 Quart Sauce Pot

This pan is unique in that it is much deeper than the previous pans. It is ideal for sauces and soups. Its lid ensures the preservation of flavor and taste as the food simmers.

4. The 10-inch sauce pot

This is the medium size in the set and is more versatile to use. It has a rather shallow and flat bottom that makes it usable as an open pan or a soup pot, depending on one's needs.

5. 2.5 Quart Sauce Pot

This is the largest piece in the set. It is suitable for cooking large amounts of soups or sauces. The most remarkable feature it has is that it is made to endure temperatures of up to 500 degrees Celsius. This means that one can use it as an oven pan too.

6. The aluminum steamer tray

This piece is more of an accessory to the 2.5-quart sauce pot. It can be easily fitted onto the top of a cooking pot to steam vegetables. This saves one time and fuel. Apart from that, it can serve as a pasta strainer. Since it is made from aluminum, it is also quite easy to clean.

7. Red Copper Square Pan

This would be described as a Jacklyn of all trades. It has the following unique features :

  • It's very large and deep and can cook a lot of food.
  • It's very simple and easy to use.
  • Can withstand high temperatures in the oven (up to 500 degrees Celsius).
  • It has a double coat making it ideal for cooking foods with long cook time.
  • It has a nice flat bottom making it fit for fries as well.
  • It has additional accessories: a steam tray, deep frying mesh, a cookbook and a lid.

This said, most users find the cookbook to be of little use because the recipes are just too simple.

8. The 12 Inch Pan with Handle

This pan has all the advantages of the above pieces plus quite a lot more. It comes with two handles that make it easy to lift. Since it is large, it can cook a lot of food as well. Unlike the other pans in the set, it is made of a mix of ceramic and copper, which adds a sense of class to its functionality.

9. Double Coated Flip - Wich

It is the last piece of the set. It is designed in such a way that food is placed in between the two of its non-stick surfaces, locked up in there and placed in the heating source. This way, the food gets cooked evenly from both sides. It is a welcome piece of utensils for sandwich lovers.

One common characteristic of all these pans is their non- stick component. Whatever the recipe or cooking method is, one should be able to simply wipe clean the pans after use. One does not need a lot of time to clean them.

No matter what types of copper coated non - stick pan one chooses to use, it is always important to follow the manufacturer's manual. As a rule, every cook must put each pan to its specific use. A pan with copper coating must never be exposed to extreme heat above what is specified. This would weaken the coat and make it peel off too soon. Any single scratch on the copper surface may also render the pan useless because it will soon begin to stick. For this reason, they should not be scrubbed hard during cleaning. A simple wipe with clean water and soap is usually enough. Finally, a prospective buyer shouldn't believe too much in the Commercial adverts that paint red copper pans as flawless. A mere fact that a pan is coated with copper doesn't make it perfect. Before one gives out cash in exchange for any of the pans, it would be safe to conduct a proper window shopping and settle on a set from the best manufacturer in town.

Monday, October 29, 2018

5 Tips to Cooking with Chocolate


When it comes to dessert, chocolate is a perfect pleasure. Choose it and it’ll cheer you up, lifting up even the worst of moods. Take dark chocolate after dinner and the serotonin content in it can turn your bad day into a joy evening. Besides, the ingredient promises several health benefits.

Do you fall into the group of people who don’t enjoy dessert with no chocolate? Whether you’re a cake, cookie, brownie, or chocolate-dipped candy lover, Alice Medrich tips can help you prepare awesome treats at home. There’s no better individual to learn from when it comes to the sweet ingredient than the chocolate queen.

Alice has written countless books on cooking with chocolate. Her tricks and tips are more than one can count. Whatever treat you love baking, here are the things to keep in mind while working with chocolate to produce a more flavorful and better dessert.

Tip #1: Melt Chocolate Using a Water Bath

There’s no better way to melt your chocolate than to use a water bath. With this method, you can see whatever is happening. You also gain more control over the process as compared to other methods of melting. Moreover, it’s less likely that you’ll burn the chocolate as compared to when you’re using a microwave or a double boiler.

Tip #2: Know When to Melt and When to Temper

There’s a difference between melting and tempering your sweet ingredient. The two processes manipulate your chocolate in different ways. When adding the ingredient to a recipe, it’s better to stick to melting. However, when you want to use the chocolate as a coating for candies and cookies, tempering is the best bet.

Tip #3: Chop Chocolate with a Long Saw-Edged Knife

If you buy heavy bars or big chunks of your ingredient from Santa Barbara Chocolate, it can be such a task to break it down into sizes that are suitable for a recipe. It becomes even more difficult if you want to get small, even-sized slices for uniform melting. Fortunately, a long saw-edged knife can make your work easier and faster. 

Just place the chocolate on your cutting board and start from one end to cut the bars in a rocking motion with the knife. For melting, ensure that the pieces are small and even enough so they can melt evenly.

Tip #4: Get the Secret of Espresso

Are you making something chocolaty? Whether it’s chocolate mousse, crinkle cookies, fudge, or brownies, there’s a very simple trick that you can utilize to up the flavor of your recipe. The secret ingredient is espresso. A shot or two are enough to enhance the chocolate without putting in a strong coffee taste. Extra-dark coffee can also do great.

Tip #5: Don’t Use Chocolate Chips for Melting Option

Keep chocolate chips in the pantry unless your recipe specifically requires them. Instead, use the real ingredient especially when melting it. The format of chips is for holding their shape. Therefore, there are better choices when you are preparing a recipe that calls for melted chocolate.

Conclusion


Preparing high-quality chocolate dessert requires you to apply a number of tricks and tips. The best way to chop and melt your ingredient makes your work easier, faster, and efficient. Similarly, knowing when to use certain forms of your ingredient and various procedures is also key to achieving the best results.

Easy-To-Make Breakfast and Brunch Recipes

A brunch recipe is perhaps one of the most effective ways to spend a lazy weekend at your own residence. The Top Brunch Spots in the UK are crazy about brunch, and so, it will be absolutely OK for you to enjoy a brunch party in the comfort of your own abode. In the following paragraphs, we have presented a few simple-to-make breakfast and brunch recipe ideas for your entire family to enjoy this weekend.

1. Orange Dream Pull-Apart Bread

Ingredients:
  • 1 package cream cheese (8 ounces)
  • 2 tubes small refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
  • 1 cup sliced pecans
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 4 teaspoons orange zest (grated)
Preparation:

a. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. After cutting the cream cheese, so as to make 20 pieces, cut a pocket horizontally into each biscuit's side and fill each of these with one piece of the cheese. Pinch the opening so as to seal.

b. Blend the brown sugar, orange zest and pecans in a small bowl. Roll in the mixture after dipping the biscuits in the melted butter. Make the biscuits stand on their sides within a greased tube pan.

c. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or till it becomes golden brown. Invert onto a plate after cooling it for about 5 minutes. Serve while it is warm.

2. Boozy bagel French toast with maple butter

Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp dark rum or bourbon
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 6 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • Maple butter to serve
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • tsp cinnamon
  • halved cinnamon raisin bagels
  • Butter for frying
Preparation:

a. After whisking the eggs, whole milk, caster sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and dark rum together, pour the stuff into a big baking dish such that the 6 bagel halves fit in 1 layer. After adding the bagels, turn them around in the blend. Leave it like that for about 15 minutes while turning frequently so that they are able to soak up the egg blend.

b. Add some butter after heating a big non-stick frying pan. After frying the bagels till they become golden brown as well as crisp on either side, serve the bagels with the maple butter spread generously on them.

3. Peanut butter drizzle pancakes


Ingredients:

A. Pancakes:
  • 2 eggs
  • 45 g butter
  • 80 g smooth peanut butter
  • 180 g plain flour
  • tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 20 g caster sugar
  • 380 g buttermilk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
PEANUT BUTTER DRIZZLE
  • 20 g butter
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 80 g smooth peanut butter
TO GARNISH
  • 300 g mixed berries (such as raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries)
Preparation:

a. At first, the butter has to be melted and then, whisk in the peanut butter till it becomes smooth. Place the sugar, flour, baking powder, a bit of salt and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and then stir. After adding the buttermilk and eggs, blend properly. Following this, add the peanut butter and mix properly.

b. Next, a frying pan has to be heated over medium heat and then brushed with melted butter. Pour in adequate quantities of the batter so as to prepare small pancakes, while cooking for about 3 minutes on either side or until set.

c. In the meantime, drizzle the peanut butter. Place the peanut butter, butter, as well as honey in a pot and melt over a low heat. Stir frequently for approximately 3 minutes or until it becomes smooth.

d. Lastly, drizzle the sauce on top of the pancakes, and serve after topping with fruit.

Conclusion

Besides all these 3 above-mentioned brunch recipes, you will come across many more on the Internet. Make it a point to experiment with different ingredients so as to make something really mouth-watering for your loved ones. Prepare an appetizing meal by adding meat, veggies, or fish along with added fillings to bring a smile to everyone's face at the weekend.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

7 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Your Barbecue Weekend Bonding

Nothing beats the feeling of freedom on a lazy Sunday afternoon barbecue. The sight and smell of succulent meat grilling, the kids playing catch, and the cold bottle of beer in your hands makes everything in your life worth living for.

Equipped with your outdoor flat top grill, you would think that everything will work out fine. But at times, this little party can go sour or bland if you do not prepare. Here are some tips to help you make your weekend barbecue enjoyable.

1. Prepare Something for Everyone

Despite being a barbecue party, some of your guests may be vegans. It is best to know each one’s preference before inviting your friends or relatives. With people becoming more health conscious nowadays, you want to make sure that these diet choices do not impact the experiences of your guests. Prepare meals that do not contain meat. One of the things you can do is to prepare salads. Here are some recommendations:
  • Cornbread Salad
  • Grilled Romaine
  • Macaroni and Cheese
If you want everything grilled, you can choose vegetables that will taste just as good if they were roasted. You can top these vegetables with blue cheese and complement them with wine.

2. Keep Everything Cold

There is an unwritten expectation that all drinks served with a barbecue are cold. The problem is that your refrigerator can only store enough food and beer bottles. The key here is preparation.

You need a high-quality chest that can maintain internal temperatures. The night or morning before the barbecue, fill this with all the drinks you plan to serve cold. Put in the beer, soda, the sparkling wine, and top it all with ice.

If you have a good chest, the ice should still be frozen in the afternoon. Your guests will be relieved to have drinks that are almost below zero.

3. Prepare Your Grilling Materials

The worst thing that can happen is to run out of fuel. The other thing? Your grill doesn’t work. If you are using a propane grill, make sure that it is working. Test the tubes if they fit. Turn on the grill and check if the flame is evenly spread. And most importantly, make sure that your propane tank is full. It would help if you install a meter to your propane tank which displays the content. If you do not have this, a trick is to weigh it. If you are using charcoal briquettes, then it is wise to have at least four bags. It is always better to have excess charcoal than to run out of it.

4. Do Not Forget the Entertainment

You know your guests. Some might enjoy music while some would rather watch a sport. Surely, your barbecue party must have a theme. Take the television out and put it in the backyard. Watch UFC or boxing if that’s what the get-together is all about. If music is your theme, you do not need to prepare huge speakers. There are many small yet powerful speakers for sale online today. Most of these have the Bluetooth technology. Pair it with your smartphone and play the music. If you like Shakira but your guests want something else, let them pair their device to the speaker.

5. Prepare Nibble Foods

While waiting for the entrĂ©e, it’d be wise to serve some finger foods to keep the guests from getting restless. Some peanuts will be good. But if you want a delicious barbecue weekend, you must prepare something better than nuts and fries. Here are some suggestions:

Spicy Buffalo Wings – you can prepare this the morning before the afternoon barbecue.
Coupled with beer, this will take the attention of your guests off the main course for a while.

Green Curry Guacamole – impress everybody with this blend of avocado and green curry. Prepare it the night before and chill it. Serve with chips.

Bacon Wrapped Potato Wedges – this is easy to prepare. Slice the potatoes into wedges and boil them. Wrap with bacon and fry.

6. Put Up Some Decor

Surely, it may not be Thanksgiving or Christmas, but a few lights here and there can make your backyard more appealing. It also adds panache to the experience. Here are a couple of tips to decorate your backyard.

Light bulbs – put a series of light bulbs on a string and hang them on trees. You can also install a metal wire from your house to your fence and hang the bulbs from there.

Create a DIY fire pit – this is great if you are expecting your barbecue to last until the night. Just round up some rocks, make a circle and burn wood in the middle. Put some chairs around it and have a drink.

7. Prepare Take-Home Materials

If your guests enjoyed the meal, who can say no for a take home? Sometimes, you might overestimate how much food you need to prepare. As such, you might cook more than what is needed. Or your guests are just too well-mannered, not to eat a lot.

Prepare zip lock bags, wax papers, and cardboard food boxes where you can put food and distribute them to your guests. This will make the barbecue unforgettable and will extend the experience even after they get home.

Barbecues are fun. Despite some problems that may come along the way, you can eliminate them by being prepared to anticipate what potential problems you may have and prepare solutions for them before they even exist.

Monday, October 22, 2018

The top 5 benefits of induction cooking


Induction cooking is one of the new kitchen technologies in the market today. While it is a good way to keep your kitchen up-to-date and cook in style, there are more benefits to using induction cooking methods. Here the top five benefits;

It guarantees safety
Induction cooking is one of the safest cooking methods. The heat from the cookware is usually directly conducted to the pan. The surface only heats when cooking because of the heat transfer from the cookware to the glass. This means that the cooktop does not heat if there is no pan sitting on it when it is on. So, in case someone accidentally leaves the stove on, fire damages and accidents are minimal.

Fasts meal prep
When compared to the standard stoves, induction cooktops have a greater speed when it comes to cooking. With induction cooking, the heat is directly transferred to the cookware while traditional cooktops on the other hand first transfer the heat to the surface before heating the pan. So, it doesn’t matter if you want to boil water or make your favorite meal, induction cooking will always be faster than the traditional cooktop methods.

Enhanced designs
The technology used in making induction cooktops makes it possible to incorporate multiple enhanced designs to the appliance. Some of the unique features to expect are the touch-screen displays that help to operate the induction cooktop. You can view more details on bestkitchen.pro to see the different models and prices in the market today. Also, just like the normal cooktops, the induction cooktops come in one and multiple burner induction cooktops.

Easy to clean
It is difficult to cook without spilling your favorite sauce, or cheese or even dropping an egg on your cooktop once in a while when preparing dishes. Cleaning off the messes you make while cooking is made easy as the induction cooktop is flat. It doesn’t have to involve lifting burners and trying to get every spot in between clean. Find the right glass cooktop cleaning material and simply wipe off your mess without a struggle.

Energy efficiency
Induction cooking, according to experts, is the best cooking method that utilizes energy efficiently. When compared to other traditional stove cooktops, induction cooking utilizes at least 90% of the total energy used while gas and electricity cooktops utilize 40% and 65% of the total energy used respectively. Additionally, induction cooking uses lesser energy to cook because of the ability to cook faster, making it an efficient method of utilizing energy in the kitchen.

Bottom line

Induction cooking comes with multiple benefits tied to it. While most people shy off from new technologies for various reasons, induction cooktops are among the best appliances you can buy for your kitchen. It doesn’t matter if it is a kitchen revamp or a new kitchen, an induction cooktop is one of the things that will change your life and make the time you spend in the kitchen totally worth it.
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