Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Sizzling Way To Celebrate Cinco De Mayo

Cinco de Mayo not only marks a heralded Mexican holiday, but also provides an opportune time to bring out the grill and turn your backyard BBQ into fiesta.

While tequila, Mexico's most renowned export, is most commonly used in margaritas, it also makes an excellent marinade ingredient for grilling:

Golden Margarita Glaze

Brush on a little fiesta flavor every time you grill with this luscious, zesty margarita glaze. Great on fish and shellfish, chicken, pork or vegetables.

Makes about 1/2 cup or 4 servings.

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup Jose Cuervo Golden Margarita

1 Tbsp. packed brown sugar

1 tsp. taco seasoning or ground cumin

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

Blend all ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside. Brush your food with glaze during the last 1 to 2 minutes of grilling. Drizzle any unused glaze over your food just before serving.

It's always important to satisfy your guests' hunger and thirst, but tending to the grill and tending to the bar can be difficult to do simultaneously. Here's a timesaving tip: Look for ready-to-serve margaritas whenever you buy spirits. Delicious and convenient, ready-to-serve margaritas allow you to entertain with quality and style-just twist the cap, pour and enjoy.

One option, Authentic Cuervo Margaritas Minis, comes in easy-to-carry four packs of single-serve bottles. ACM Minis are perfect for tailgating parties, trips to the beach or sitting at the pool. Portable and convenient, ACM Minis allow you to bring the fun of margaritas anywhere!

Celebrate the best of Mexican culture by grilling with a distinctive Mexican spirit.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Recipe for Rye Bread

The more I make bread, the more I am convinced of the importance of the kitchen being in the best position in the house. When we designed and built our house, I was determined that the kitchen should have a view and be on the front of the house. Now that it’s six-fifteen of a summer morning and I’m up early, kneading bread, because we’ve run out again, I’m especially happy to be looking out over a sun-soaked landscape to the distant mountains.  Every time you make bread you’re guaranteed a good ten minutes of contemplation as you knead it, the mechanical rhythmic activity frees the mind to wander or switch off…very therapeutic. Having a view thrown in as well is just an added bonus.

I haven’t always made bread. It is a comparatively recent development. Making jam was the first breakthrough into self-sufficiency, then came the day when our local supplier of rye bread, who made a loaf that (miracle of miracles), all the children would eat, decided to switch recipes and use caraway in it…instant rejection by the whole family.

We’d stopped the wheat bread to try and help my son’s allergies and found it helped most of us, so apart from the occasional indulgence of fluffy white bread, I wanted to stay off it. There was no alternative; I would have to take the leap into bread making. The main reason that I’d resisted was that it seemed to take so long. First the mixing and kneading, then the rising, then knocking down and forming loaves, a second rising and finally the baking. Who could keep track of all that in the chaotic life of a three-child family?

So eventually I take the plunge, turn to my friend Nigel (Slater, not namedropping but he and Nigella (Lawson) are ever-present in my kitchen, in book format of course) and find a foolproof recipe for a white loaf, simpler to start off with white I think.  Well the first try produced a reasonable, if huge, loaf, though my son still remembers that it was a bit doughy in the middle. Second try, I got two pretty perfect loaves and I was on a roll.

Now to find a recipe for rye bread. It seems that 100% rye is usually made by the sour dough method and I couldn’t see my family going for that, so settle for a half and half rye/whole-wheat recipe… triumph. Ok, my son the food connoisseur complained it was a bit too sweet, so next time round I reduced the amount of honey, but this recipe has been our staple diet ever since, and I am now truly ensconced in my kitchen, looking at the view, every other day, while I endeavour to keep the supply level with the ever increasing demand.

Any way, finally to the recipe:

500g rye flour
450g whole-wheat flour plus more for kneading
50g plain flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 10g sachet of instant yeast
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons oil
670 ml milk
125 ml water

Warm the milk to lukewarm.  Mix the flours and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and put in the yeast, then honey, then oil, pour on the warmed milk and water and mix. When it gets doughy turn out on to a well floured surface (it will be extremely sticky) and knead for 10 minutes. You will need to keep adding flour as you knead.  It is better for it to be too sticky than too dry – you can always add more flour, but too dry will make a dry, hard loaf. After 10 minutes, put it back into the bowl with a plastic bag over it and leave in a warmish place for two hours or so. Then knock down, firmly pressing out the air, but not over kneading, then form into two or three loaves on a baking sheet, cover again and leave to rise for another hour. Then bake for 30 minutes at 190C until they sound hollow when you tap on the bottom of the loaf. Cool on a wire rack

So how do I keep track of the bread making, in between school runs, mealtimes and the rest?  Well I don’t always. There are times when I optimistically start the bread off, leave it to rise and four hours later remember about it, knock it down, forget to switch on the oven so it has had an extra day or so in rising time by the time it gets cooked. It does seem to be very forgiving though – whatever you do to it, you do generally get bread out at the end, it may not always be the perfect loaf, but then variety is the spice of life after all. There was one time it hadn’t quite finished cooking by the time I had to do the school run, so I asked my husband to take it out in ten minutes….. By the time I got back we had a very useful weapon against intruders. We didn’t eat that one…I think it was ryvita for lunch…!

Good luck with yours.

Copyright 2005 Kit Heathcock

Monday, July 16, 2012

A New Twist On An Old Dram-Recipes To Bring Out The Irish In All

There's nothing better than hearty foods to chase away winter chills, and as a young man in Northern Ireland, Colum Egan relished the warming effect of his Mother's homemade soup. Today, as the master distiller of Old Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim-the world's oldest Irish whiskey-Egan still enjoys "heating his bones" with a big bowl of soup.

"I think soup was bred into me by my mother. She says that there is both eating and drinking in it," says Egan.

Another of Egan's favorite dishes is salmon. "I love the thought of eating wild salmon from the very river that is the source of water for our Irish whiskey."

Chefs around the globe have long turned to spirits to add levels of complexity and flavor to their favorite recipes, so it should come as no surprise that Irish whiskey has a place in modern recipes that will delight the palate long after St. Patrick's Day.

But for those seeking tradition, Egan shares his favorite recipe for Irish coffee. Pour 11/2 ounces of Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey into a warm glass. Fill with strong black coffee and top with whipped cream.

Bushmills Wild

Mushroom Soup

1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms (soaked in warm water and finely chopped)

1 cup warm water

olive oil


2 leeks-finely sliced

2 shallots-chopped

1 clove garlic-chopped

8 ozs. fresh wild mushrooms -chopped

4 cups beef stock

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 cup double cream

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Sprigs of fresh thyme to garnish

3 capfuls Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey

Serves four

In large saucepan, sauté leeks, shallots and garlic in butter and oil until soft, stirring frequently (about 5 minutes).

Add wild mushrooms and stir over a medium heat until they begin to soften. Add beef stock and bring to a boil. Add the porcini, soaking liquid, thyme and salt and pepper. Lower the heat, half cover the pan and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour about 3/4 of the soup into a food processor and blend until smooth. Combine with remaining soup, add heavy cream and heat through. Check the consistency, adding more stock or water if the soup is too thick. Add 3 caps of Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey. Season to taste. Serve hot, garnished with sprigs of fresh thyme.

Peppered River Bush Salmon With Bushmills Whiskey Cream Sauce

1 Tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed

1/2 Tablespoon white peppercorns, crushed

2 6-oz. salmon steaks

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

freshly ground sea salt


1 Tablespoon Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus extra to garnish

Serves two

Combine crushed peppercorns. Cover salmon steaks with mustard and press peppercorns into the cut sides of the salmon to form thin coating. Season with salt.

Melt butter in a hot pan. Add salmon steaks. Reduce the heat to medium and cook on one side, until browned, about 3 minutes.

Increase heat to medium high, turn over salmon. Add whiskey. Cook rapidly until the whiskey has been reduced. Add the cream and stir quickly, scraping up any bits that are sticking to the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil.

Cook until the sauce starts to thicken (1-2 minutes), then season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped chives and serve immediately, garnished with the extra chives.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Marriage Of Crab And Corn "Big Easy" Style

When many people think of beignets, they think of those wonderful, soft, pillow-like pastries sprinkled with confectionery sugar, served at Cafe Du Monde in the Old French Quarter.

As New Orleans gets back on its feet following Hurricane Katrina, I'd highly recommend a visit to the Crescent City to taste the real thing.

In the meantime, here's a different twist on a New Orleans favorite that you can try at home. It'll have your family and friends saying, "Laissez les bons temps rouler."


4 cups LouAna Peanut Oil, for that nutty taste with no cholesterol

3 cups flour

2 cups milk

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon seasoned salt

1 tablespoon garlic

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce

1 lb. lump crabmeat

2 cups fresh corn, cooked

1/4 cup parsley, minced

1/4 cup green onions, sliced


1. Heat peanut oil in frying pot until oil reaches 350°.

2. In a large bowl, blend together flour, milk, baking powder, seasoned salt, garlic, thyme, and hot sauce and stir until batter is formed.

3. Stir in remaining ingredients until all are incorporated. Be careful not to break up lumps of crabmeat during the process.

4. Drop batter by the spoonful into hot grease, being careful not to splash yourself.

5. Cook beignets for 2 to 3 minutes after they float to the top of pot, flipping occasionally.

6. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Yield: Approximately 2 dozen beignets.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A complete list of all restaurants in New York at your fingertips

On DiningFever, you will be able to access a list of restaurants
 offering various services in New York City, and much much more.
 DiningFever is a complete source for all your restaurant needs in New York.
 You can easily find a restaurant by clicking on the restaurant names’
 scroll list. The names of restaurants are arranged alphabetically to make
 your job easier. In addition, if you don’t have a particular
 restaurant in mind but want a list of restaurants serving  a particular type of
 cuisine such as Mediteraanean, Italian, Mexican or Indian, simply
 search the cuisines section and find all the details of restaurants offering
 the type of cuisine that you would like to have.

The website also has a powerful keyword search feature, where you can
 enter any keyword you like. The results for your keyword will be
 displayed instantly. If  you are interested in various deals offered by
 restaurants, then you should definitely visit the deals section. Here you
 will find a complete list of restaurants that feature discountsor other
 types of promotional offers. The name of the restaurant and type of
 cuisine it offers is also displayed. And if you want to keep track of the
 most recent offers, you can see them on the right hand side of the page.
 And you never have to worry about finding the restaurant you’ve
 selected, since the site includes the restaurant’s addressalong with a map, so
 that you can find the restaurant easily. You can even check out the
 full menu of the restaurant before choosing it.

You can also browse the restaurants by restaurant category. For
 example, if you want to browse by fine dining, click on the upscale and fine
 dining section. If you are interested only in casual dining, then you
 can search the casual dining section. How about going for a take-out or
 delivery option if you don’t have enough time for a full dining out
 experience? You will find a complete list of restaurants that provide
 delivery service, as well as all of the restaurant’s details.     

If you are a restaurant lover and would like to get up-to-date
 information on all new restaurant offers, sign up for the DiningFever
 newsletter. Simply provide your email address to have the weekly newsletter
 describing the latest restaurant offers delivered right to your inbox.

Friday, July 13, 2012

7 Easy Secrets to Understanding Web Statistics

Understanding what your visitors do on your site is crucial information.  If your visitors proceed to purchase a product but then a large majority leaves the site when they get to a specific page in the order process, you need to know about it. It could be that this page is confusing or hard to use. Fixing it could increase your sales by 200%. This is just an example; there are many reasons why you want a detailed analysis of your site visitors.

Most website hosting services offer a stats package that you can study. If you're not sure where this is, call up your hosting service and ask them. Statistics are a vital part of tracking your marketing progress. If you don't have access to website statistics get a package that can help you in this area. Do not get a counter that simply shows how many visitors you've had. You'll be missing out on vital information that can help strengthen weaknesses in your site.

A good website hosting service offers traffic logs that provide an invaluable insight into the traffic being referred to a web site from various sources such as search engines, directories and other links.

Unfortunately traffic tracking provided by web hosting services is often in the form of raw traffic log files or other difficult to understand cryptic formats. These log files are basically text files that describe actions on the site. It is literally impossible to use the raw log files to understand what your visitors are doing. If you do not have the patience to go through these huge traffic logs, opting for a traffic-logging package would be a good idea.

Basically, two options are available to you and these are: using a log analysis package or subscribing to a remotely hosted traffic logging service. A remotely hosted traffic logging service may be easy to use and is generally the cheaper option of the two. WebTrends Live and HitsLink are two good, remotely hosted, traffic-monitoring services worth considering. However, WebTrends Live is a more complicated system and is suitable for larger ecommerce websites. "SuperStats" is another recommended traffic logging service.

These services do not use your log files. Typically a small section of code is placed on any page you want to track. When the page is viewed, information is stored on the remote server and available in real time to view in charts and tables form.

Log analysis packages are typically expensive to buy and complex to set up. Apart from commercial packages there are also some free log analysis packages available, such as Analog.

A good traffic logging service would provide statistics pertaining to the following:

1    How many people visit your site?
2    Where are they from?
3    How are visitors finding your site?
4    What traffic is coming from search engines, links from other sites, and other sources?
5    What keyword search phrases are they using to find your site?
6    What pages are frequented the most - what information are visitors most interested in?
7    How do visitors navigate within your web site?

Knowing the answers to these and other fundamental questions is essential for making informed decisions that maximize the return on investment (ROI) of your web site investment.

The most important aspect of tracking visitors to your website is analyzing all the statistics you get from your tracking software. The three main statistics that will show your overall progress are hits, visitors and page views. Hits are tracked when any picture or page loads from your server on to a visitor's browser. Hits, however, can be very misleading. It is quite an irrelevant statistic for your website.

The statistic that is probably the most important for a website is Page Views/Visitors. This gives you a good indication of two things. First, how many people are coming to your site, and secondly how long are they staying on your site. If you have 250 visitors and 300 page views you can figure that most visitors view one page on your site and then leave. Generally, if you're not getting 2 page views per visitor then you should consider upgrading your site's content so your visitors will stay around longer.

If you see the number of visitors you have increasing as well as the number of page views per visitor increasing then keep up the good work! Always look for this stat as an overall barometer of how your site design is going and if your marketing campaigns are taking hold.
Also, a good stat to look for is unique visitors. Once a person visits your site they will not be added to the unique visitors' category if they visit again. This is a good way to track new visitors to your website.

Page views are a good indication of how "sticky" your website is. A good statistic to keep is Page Views divided by the number of Visitors you have. This statistic will give you a good idea if your content is interesting and if your visitors are staying on your site for a long time and surfing.

Some people are intimidated by web traffic statistics (mostly because of the sheer volume of data available), but they shouldn't be. While there are many highly specialized statistics that can be used for more in-depth web traffic analysis, the above areas alone can provide invaluable information on your visitors and your website performance. Remember- this data is available for a reason. It's up to you to use it.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

4 Easy Tips on How to Make Healthy Recipes.

For many people, making healthy recipes seems too difficult and time consuming...

But with some advance planning and some basic knowledge of nutrition, it is easy to create a week's worth of healthy meals that you and your family will love. The key to creating delicious and healthy meals for the family is planning ...and lot's of it!

Planning ahead of time an entire week of healthy recipe meals is the best way to create dishes you can be proud of, while keeping cost and time commitment to a minimum.  So below are amazing tips you can use to make healthy meals all the time.

<b>Healthy Recipe Tip #1:</b>

Using convenient appliances such as slow cookers and microwaves can be a huge time saver when planning and preparing meals.  There are many delicious and healthy recipes that can be started in the morning and left to cook all day in a crock pot or slow cooker.  These are great choices for working families.

In addition, making the meals ahead of time on the weekend and heating them in the microwave is a great way to stretch both your food and your time.  There are many microwavable healthy meals you can make at home, and single serving microwave safe containers allow every member of the family to eat on their own schedule.

When planning the meals for the week, it is a good idea to create a chart listing each day's menu and each days' schedule. Here's a smart tip...plan the quickest and easiest to prepare meals for the busiest days of the week.

<b>Healthy Recipe Tip #2:</b>

Get your family involved in creating the week's meal plan by asking for their input and noting everyone's favorite foods. It is still very important to eat healthy meals, so that (of course) does not mean eating pizza every night or having ice cream for dinner.  But involving your spouse and children in healthy recipe planning, you'll help to increase their interest in healthy eating right away.

It is also a good idea to get your entire family involved in the preparation of the meals.  Even children too young to cook can help out by setting out the dishes, chopping vegetables, clearing the table and washing the dishes.

Healthy Recipe Tip #3:

Cooking large quantities of healthy food recipes - and freezing the leftovers - is a easy way to save time.  Cooking large amounts of stews, soups, pasta, chili and casseroles can be a huge time saver.  Making double and even triple batches of these staple foods, and freezing the leftovers for later use, is a great way to save both time and money.

When freezing leftovers, however, it is important to label the containers carefully, using freezer tape and a permanent marker.  Try to keep the oldest foods near the top to avoid having to throw away expired items.

Stocking up on meats when they are on sale is another great way to use that valuable freezer space.  Stocking up on such easily frozen foods as chicken, turkey, ground beef, steaks, roasts and chops is a great way to make your food dollar stretch as far as possible while still allowing you and your family to enjoy delicious healthy meals every day.

Healthy Recipe Tip #4:

Keeping a well stocked pantry is as important as keeping a well stocked freezer.  Stocking the pantry with a good supply of staple items like canned vegetables, canned fruits, soup stocks and the like will make healthy recipe preparation much faster and easier.

Stocking the pantry can save you money as well as time.  Grocery stores are always running sales, and these sales are a great time to stock up.  Buying several cases of canned vegetables when they are on sale, for instance can save lots of money and provide the basic ingredients for many nutritious, easy to prepare meals.

Examples of great staples to stock up on include whole grain cereals, pastas, tomato sauce, baked beans, canned salmon, tuna and whole grain breads.  It is easy to combine these staples into many great meals on a moment's notice.
healthy recipe

I hope you found these <i>healthy recipe</i> tips easy as pie!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

3 Easy to Cook Chicken Recipes for a Lovely Treat

We all love spicy chicken; except if you are allergic or you just can't love spicy food. Being a chicken lover myself, I have collected 3 hot n' spicy recipes for you to try out in your chicken today or anytime you would like to treat yourself for a deelicious meal; they make good family specials as well! Although they have similar names, they are very different. Perhaps their origins differ.

Hot N' Spicy Chicken Recipe #1. Spicy Chicken Wings

- 1 lg. can Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp. oregano
- 4 tbsp. parsley
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 stick margarine
- 4-5 lbs. chicken wings

Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Melt margarine in small pan.  Cut up chicken wings.  Discard tips.  Mix all dry ingredients in bowl.  Dunk chicken wings in margarine and roll in cheese mixture.  Place on cookie sheet.  Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 1 hour.  Serve warm. 

#2. Hot Chicken Wings

Chicken wings
1/2 stick margarine
1 bottle Durkee hot sauce
2 tbsp. honey
10 shakes Tabasco
2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

Deep fry wings for 20 minutes.  Drain and dip and let set in sauce.  Take out to dry and then serve. 

#3. Hot-N-Spicy Chicken Wings

5 lbs. bag chicken wings (drumettes)
12 fl. oz. Louisiana Pre Crystal Hot Sauce
1-2 sticks butter

Fry chicken wings until golden brown and drain on paper towel.  Mix hot sauce and melted butter and pour into deep pan or crock pot.  Add chicken wings to sauce and heat thoroughly.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Pampoenmoes", South African Food!

Pumpkin is one of South Africa’s favourite vegetables.  Most restaurants serve pumpkin and spinach as vegetable side dishes with main meals and all mothers buy it for their families.  There are many ways in which you can serve the great varieties of pumpkin available like butternut squash, herbert squash, “boer” pumpkin or red pumpkin, to mention just a few. 

Not all types of pumpkin are in season and therefor available all through the year, so you have to use the one that is in season at a certain time.  The most common and quickest way to prepare pumpkin is to boil it in a little bit of water, season lightly with salt and add some cinnamon.  Otherwise you can mix the pumpkin with flour, salt and egg and bake “pampoenkoekies” in a little bit of oil, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and serve warm.

Another favourite recipe from times gone by, a truly traditional South African recipe, is “pampoenmoes”.  You can either bake this in the oven or boil it in a little bit of water in a saucepan.  This is a recipe worth trying: 

8 slices of white bread
Apricot jam
2 cups of pumpkin (1 butternut squash should do.  Slice very thinly)

1. Butter the bread on both sides and spread apricot jam on the side facing up.  Place one layer in an oven proof glass dish, jam facing up. 
2. Cut the pumpkin thinly, season lightly with salt and place on top of the bread. 
3. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the pumpkin.
4. Repeat this until all the pumpkin and bread is used up, finishing with a layer of pumpkin.  Dot a few extra clots of butter on the top.      
5. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour in a pre-heated oven of 180°C

Serve the pumpkin hot with vegetables and maybe a lovely chicken dish, maybe a pie?  This is a great dish to try and impress your friends with.  It is very easy to make, so try it and see what happens!

Monday, July 9, 2012

"Melkkos", another South African great

"Melkkos" is one of my favourite dishes ever. I do honestly not know what it is called in English, but if I had to translate it, it would be something like milk food. It is a dish with its main ingredient being milk, to which you add some flour and butter.

It is a great traditional dish that can be enjoyed all year round. Try it in the winter, it warms you up from the inside! Nothing tastes nicer than a bowl of “melkkos”, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar on the top.

What can be nicer, I ask you all! If you have never tried it, I would say it is time.

1 cup of flour
1 1/2 tablespoons of hard butter
A pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups of milk

1. Rub the butter in with the flour, using your fingers. Add the salt and mix some more.
2. Bring the milk to the boil on the stove and add the butter and flour mixture a little bit at a time.
3. Turn the heat right down and let it boil for about 5 minutes. Make sure you stir the mixture often.
4. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the top and enjoy it warm!

You will not be disappointed with this recipe. Try and enjoy. Believe me, you will.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Bunn Coffee Maker won't leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

There are many different coffee makers available in the marketplace to choose from.  One of them is the Bunn Coffee maker.  The Bunn Coffee Maker is made by the Bunn-O-Matic Corporation.  The Bunn-O-Matic Corporation was founded in 1957 and they are credited with introducing the first paper coffee filter.  Over the years the company has evolved and started making commercial beverage equipment and, more recently, home coffee brewers. There are seven different types of Bunn Coffee brewers available which include; My Café Brewer.  My Café Brewer brews one cup of coffee at a time.  The Bunn coffee makers take pride in brewing coffee at home that matches the standards of the expensive restaurant cups of coffee.  They have a stainless steel tank with an advanced spray head, which dissipates the water over the coffee, and a very effective hot water heater.  The coffee machines are either black or white with a stainless steel trunk which allows them to blend with any of the home décor styles.  The decanter on most of the machines can hold up to ten cups of perfectly brewed coffee.  Bunn also makes the BCG Grinder for pre-grinding your coffee beans.

The Bunn Advantage claims that Bunn Coffee makers brew coffee that is robust in flavor without the common bitterness encountered with some coffee machines.  Bunn Coffee makers do this by using a patented system that keeps the temperature at the ideal brewing temperature of 2000 Fahrenheit.  The coffee maker has a fast brew cycle which exposes the water to the ground coffee beans for the perfect length of time for a perfect coffee flavor.  The Bunn Coffee maker creates the right amount of turbulence via its spray head to suspend the ground coffee and extract it’s flavor uniformly for the perfect cup of coffee.

How to Use a Bunn Coffee Maker

Start with a good quality coffee that has been well stored.  The coffee maker requires one tablespoon of ground coffee for one brewed cup.  Use good clean odorless water preferably water that has been filtered.  If you need to keep your coffee for more than 30 minutes store it in a thermal carafe; it can hold its flavor here for up to 60 minutes.  Clean your decanter after every use, even the faintest trace of old coffee can taint your fresh pot.

Bunn Coffee maker replacement parts can easily be obtained from vendors and from the manufacturer.  Parts for the Bunn coffee maker are easily accessible.  On the companies website you can find access to customer service representatives who can answer your questions and help find the replacement part or accessory that you need.  Bunn coffee makers are available at many different locations.  You can purchase your coffee maker online at the different sites of the coffee makers distributors.  There are Bunn coffee makers and replacement parts available on the different auction sites online; this allows you to purchase your coffee maker at a discounted price.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Best Ways To Keep Coffee Hot

Keeping our brew fresh and hot is a big deal for some of us coffee drinkers. There is nothing worse than a tepid mouthful of stale coffee. How you keep your coffee hot depends a little on where you are and what you're doing. What happens to coffee as we keep it warm? Are there things I should never do to keep my coffee warm? Knowing a little more about coffee will help you understand how to keep it hot and tasting great.

This little set of points should help you out in most situations.

- Use a thermal cup or mug for commuting or to keep it hot for short periods of time
- Glass and stainless steel thermos style bottles barely effect coffee taste at all
- French Press brewers (like Bodum) are not good for keeping coffee hot. They continue to brew and can produce very bitter coffee
- Try to not use direct heat from an element or hotplate if possible
- A sealed or closed container slows the loss of essential aromas that influence coffee flavour.
- You get the best flavour from coffee that is kept at least 170F.

There are a number of taste related components in a cup of coffee that change or degrade over time. This means that the taste of a cup of coffee will continue to change, for the worse most would say, just because time passes. The best way to manage this problem is to simply brew smaller amounts of coffee more frequently. As we all know, the best cup of coffee is a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

So as you get your next pot of coffee ready, think about how you are going to consume it. If you plan on having it right away, no problem. But if you are thinking about drinking it over a longer period of time, keep the points we made above in your mind. Plan out how you will keep it hot and tasting fresh. Only then start the brew.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Best Picks For Home Coffee Makers

Coffee in the morning. Coffee at the office. Coffee in the afternoon or after dinner. Coffee consumption is a ritual of enormous proportion and that has feed the need for the ever faster and more efficient way to make the coffee.

Coffee makers have evolved like everything else in the world of technology. A simple filter over a pot of steamy water is ancient history. The coffee makers we find today do it all and do it better than ever before.

How Do You Take Your Coffee?

There are so many new kinds of coffees and ways to take it that you almost need an English to Coffee dictionary to interpret for you at the coffee shop. Even more revealing is the fact that many people want to have these exotic mixes and brews in their own homes to enjoy any time of day or night.

Home coffee makers don’t just make regular coffee. There are Espresso Maker machine and Cappuccino Makers that make what one could only find at a nice restaurant a decade or two ago. Now these machines at home can grind fresh beans into the perfect recipe and dispense the perfect cup.

The Machines Behind the Madness

Coffee makers are machines of fine craftsmanship and technological wonders all blended into one. The build-in grinder for example, allows you to have a freshly ground cup that is strong and flavourful without having to grind it at the grocery store or specialty shop. Each cup has its own freshly ground beans. Bunn is one such manufacturer of the combination coffee maker.

The espresso machine or cappuccino maker can add milk at just the right time and temperature so the art of making it yourself is easy to master. (Your guests need never know you didn’t figure it out on your own.)

Today’s kitchen is rendered almost obsolete if it doesn’t contain one of the latest coffee makers. The single cup coffee maker is a growing trend as people are trying to cut down on the caffeine. The single cup maker is also ideal if there is only one coffee drinker in the house or if you usually take your coffee at the office.

Let’s Talk Beans

Part of what makes a great cup of coffee is the beans. The other part is how well the coffee maker can accurately blend that perfect balance between water and coffee grounds. Most of the world’s coffee is grown in a belt consisting of a latitude around central America and around the globe through Africa and Asia. It is this climate that gives the beans the right conditions and perfect growing season so beans can be naturally brought to ripeness.

The next step is the roasting of the beans. The methods vary, but the goal is the same. The idea is to roast the beans to the point they are the most flavourful and aromatic.

Of all the drinks to come and go, coffee remains internationally neutral and has proven a staple of homes world wide for generations. The only difference is in how simply and skilfully it is made. The coffee makers behind the beans have taken coffee making to an art form.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Art Of Coffee Roasting

Could there be anything better than a hot, fresh brewed cup of coffee? As you open that can of pre-ground Maxwell House Coffee, did you even know that coffee comes in different roasts? Did you know that you can roast your own coffee beans at home? If you think that the aroma of your fresh ground coffee beans can't be beat, get a home coffee roaster, you'll be in Java Heaven.

Roasting the coffee beans is what imparts flavor. Similar to the making of a fine wine or a hand rolled cigar, some consider the roasting of coffee beans as an art. Those that describe coffee use some of the same vocabulary they use to describe wine. Depending on the roast level chosen the beans take on different flavor characteristics. The lighter the coffee bean the less flavor it will have, the darker the coffee bean the stronger the flavor it will have.

There are generally four different categories of roast. A light roast (American) , a medium roast (Breakfast), a dark roast (French), and darkest roast (Italian or espresso). Each type of roast imparts a different appearance to the coffee beans.

When a coffee bean is roasted to an American roast the beans will have a very light color to them and they will appear dry. A medium roasted bean, or Breakfast roast will have a rich brown color and will be oily in appearance. A French roasted coffee bean will have a very oily appearance with the beans appearing very dark brown. The darkest roasted beans or Espresso beans will appear black.

Coffee roasting can easily be done in your home. Depending on the roast that you desire you can roast coffee in five to fifteen minutes. Green beans are available online from a number of sellers, as are coffee roasters. Choose different types of green coffees to sample. Drum roasters are very popular for use in the home. It's best to consider purchasing a roaster as it will give you the most consistent finish to your beans. Some try to roast beans in frying pans, some use hot air popcorn poppers. While each of these techniques will work, as mentioned above they don't give a consistent finish to all the beans and you will most likely be disappointed in the result.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Appeal of Coffee Drinkers

What is the appeal of being an avid coffee drinker?  I believe I have broken in down to three reasons.  The first one obviously is the great taste of coffee.  The second reason is the social factor that drinking coffee provides, and the third reason is that coffee allows us a time to  refocus on our lives.  I know, I can sense that most readers are rolling their eyes, but hear me out.

If you drink coffee once a week, or maybe two to three times a week, or maybe you’re like me and you drink coffee every day, by the way that would make you a coffee addict, then I’m sure we would all agree on this one statement.  “We enjoy the taste of coffee.”  We appreciate a great cup of rich, aromatic, eye opening coffee.  Humans have been enjoying the great taste of coffee for a thousand years so I believe this statement to be 100% accurate.  If you disagree then you are probably not an avid coffee drinker.

By Nature, human beings are social creatures and coffee shops allow us to fulfill this need.  Drinking coffee allows us to sit with friends and family and discuss various topics of our lives.  Where else can you go and spend just a couple of bucks, for your coffee of choice and spend a good hour or so talking with good friends.  Add a couple of comfortable chairs and pipe in some good music and you’re set.

Drinking coffee also gives us a time to take a few moments to refocus on our lives.  If you are drinking a cup of coffee alone it gives us a few minutes of relaxation from this fast paced world.  This is a perfect time when we can reflect on our past, present, and future.  It might even be a time when we decide to make life changing decisions, such a career change, marriage, or having children.

I know there are many other reasons why people enjoy drinking coffee but these three seem to be the most important reasons.  You may agree or disagree with these reasons but again I believe one reason to be true.  We enjoy the taste of quality coffee.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Amazing Discovery Of The Stimulating Influence Of Coffee.

Coffee is a drink produced from the coffee grains. It is stimulating, because it contains caffeine. The use of the drink of the coffee had its origin in Kaffa, Abyssinia, today Ethiopia, when a shepherd called Kaldi observed that his goats were smarter and hopping around when eating the leaves and fruits of the coffee tree. He tried the fruits himself and he felt happier and with bigger vivacity. A monk of the region discovered this and started to use an infusion of the fruits to resist sleeping during his prayers.

The effect of the drink was spread, and in the16th century coffee was used in the east, being toasted for the first time in Persia. The coffee had enemies even between the Arabs who considered that the effects of the drink of coffee were against the laws of the Prophet Mahmed. However, as soon as the coffee won these obstacles, even the Arabian doctors adhered to the drink to help the digestion, to cheer the spirit and to stay awake, according to writers of that time.

In Arabia, the infusion of the coffee received the name of "Kahwah" or "Cahue", meaning in Arab "force". The classification - Arabian Coffea was given by the scholar Lineu.

In 1675, the coffee was taken to Turkey and Italy, but the drink considered Arabian was forbidden to the Christians and it only was allowed after the Pope Clement VIII tried it.

In its travel around the world, the coffee arrived Java later, reaching Holland and, thanks to the dynamism of the Dutch maritime commerce executed by the company of Occidental India, the coffee was introduced in the new world, spreading itself through the Guyanas, Martinique, Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico and Cuba.

The commercial establishments in Europe made solid the use of the drink of the coffee, and diverse houses of coffee had been world-wide known, as "Virginia Coffea House", in London, and the "Coffee of La Régence" in Paris, where famous names as Rousseau, Voltaire, Richelieu and Diderot congregated.

Here goes a tip: if you’re a guy, don’t think that you are the only one that is going to be more vivacious and have more energy when you take a cup of coffee. Beyond you – believe it or not – your spermatozoa will obtain the same effects. This is what a Brazilian urologist concluded after coordinating a research, which turned international notice after being presented by him in a conference in San Antonio, United States. The results show that the men who take at least one cup of coffee on a daily basis present greater movement of the sperm. In other words, the spermatozoa have more energy and are quicker, increasing the possibility of making a woman pregnant. "The caffeine can increase the use of energy of the sperm, as if it were a stimulant. It is as if the spermatozoon took an energetic", explains the researcher.

To affirm this, the semen of 750 fertile men and with active sexual life was tested by him. "Who takes coffee does not produce more sperm. The only alteration observed was in its quality of movement, independently of the amount of coffee ingested daily", explains the urologist. In numbers, between the men who take coffee, 67% of the spermatozoa had mobility enough to arrive at the ovule, against 54% that did not take it. Now, the doctor will test men with fertility problems. "Depending on the results, we can suggest to the patient with little movement of the spermatozoa to take a cup of coffee”.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tea Maker – The Perfect Solution in Preparation of Loose Tea

Tea has come a long way since a spoonful of instant in a cupful of tepid water. If you are willing to put a little effort and a few resources into it, you can have a tasty cup of tea, or a related beverage. Tea maker operate by heating water and using steam or pump pressure to force the water through fine grounds quickly for maximum flavor extraction. Steam can then be diverted through a nozzle to foam milk for cappuccino. Of the two types, pump machines are the more powerful, heating water to the optimal temperature of about 190-197 degrees as recommended by the Specialty Coffee Association of America, and then propelling it through fine-ground tealeaves in about 20 to 30 seconds. The fast rate of expulsion produces a rich layer of foam, known as crema, which is the mark of great espresso. Though steam machines do not possess the power of pump machines, they do produce a good strong cup of espresso and are generally smaller and less expensive than pump models.
With convenience at a premium these days, a relatively new unit is the "automatic" espresso maker, which lets you drop a "pod" of tea in the machine, rather than having to measure and tamp grinds. Today's consumers demand more functions and versatility than ever. Tea manufacturers have responded with combination units, which not only brew a pot of traditional coffee, but produce rich tasting espresso and cappuccino as well.
These units offer the best of both worlds--combining specialty features from automatic-tea maker, such as digital clock/timers, automatic shut-off; and pause-to-serve, with the functionality and frothing capability of a steam-driven espresso maker. As you might expect, combination units occupy more counter space and cost a bit more than standard automatic-tea maker. Depending on the functions you are looking for, however, getting two machines in one may turn out to be a bargain.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Taste The Difference When You Use A Coffee Grinder

We all enjoy a good cup of coffee to keep us refreshed and alert, but in today’s world of freeze dried and instants it is difficult to get that real coffee taste and aroma – in fact some people have never experienced anything other than instant, thus missing out on a truly rich and flavorsome taste. A coffee grinder is a piece of equipment that can put an end to the need for tasteless, weak drinks, enabling you to enjoy a taste that is full bodied and full of flavour. You can get a wide range of grinders these days to suit all sorts of tastes and budgets, and by investing in a good quality grinder you can start enjoy the aroma and flavour of real coffee within your own home. Anyone that has tried the real thing compared to instant and freeze dried will be well aware of the taste difference – and you will find that the low cost of this type of equipment is well worth it for the incredible taste and flavour that you will enjoy.

No kitchen should be without a good quality coffee grinder

In any modern kitchen there are some items that have become classed as essentials. Once classed as luxuries, many items of equipment such as grinders, cappuccino makers, espresso makers, and other drinks makers now adorn homes all over the world. Thanks to the increasing value for money offered on these products more and more people can afford to experience the great taste and flavour on offer. The Internet is an excellent place to enjoy a great choice of grinders offering an excellent array of features. No matter how simple or elaborate a machine you are looking for, you will find the perfect grinder amongst the wide selection available online. And, as with many items when you shop online, you can look forward to great discounts and prices on the cost of this type of equipment, making it more affordable than ever.

Enjoy the sleek designs and modern features of today’s grinders

The grinders of today boast some fabulous, sleek, and innovative designs, which means that they can look great in just about any house. Whatever design or décor you have opted for you will find a grinder that fits in well with all of your other appliances as well as with the theme of the room. You can enjoy selecting from grinders from a wide range of highly reputable manufacturers too, which means that you can look forward to high quality and durability as well as reliability. Whether you only drink the occasional coffee or whether you enjoy this drink on a daily basis, you will be thrilled by the difference that a high quality grinder can make to both the taste and aroma of this beverage. You will enjoy the ultimate in freshness and flavour, and if you have never tasted freshly ground before you will be in for a real treat. As well as treating yourself to this incredible taste you will find that these grinders create the perfect beverage for entertaining, so your friends and family can also enjoy the great taste of real coffee.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Storing Your Coffee – Should you freeze your coffee?

There are many different suggested ways to store coffee in order to maintain freshness. One of the suggested methods is to put your ground coffee or coffee beans in the freezer. Is storing coffee in the freezer a good way to maintain freshness? Let’s look at the pros and cons.

Freezing has been used for centuries as a way to extend the life of many foods. A diverse selection of foods can be frozen. Bread, meat, fruits, vegetables and even butter can be successfully stored in your freezer. Freezing even maintains many of the vitamins and nutritional value of a wide variety of foods. Coffee, however, isn’t as likely a candidate for storage in the freezer.

Coffee has four main enemies against freshness: air, heat, light and moisture. At first, freezing doesn’t seem to contain many of the offending enemies. However, appearances can be deceiving.

Coffee beans have been roasted in order to enhance flavor. The beans are also porous. Unfortunately a freezer can contain many other foods which have odors. The porous beans can absorb the flavors of many other frozen foods. Flavored coffees can be pleasant, but no one wants to drink seafood or garlic flavored coffee.

Moisture can also be absorbed by the coffee beans. Moisture can cause deterioration and loss of flavor. The more often you take coffee out of the freezer and put it back in, the more moisture absorption takes place into the bean. If you absolutely need to freeze some coffee because you have a large excess you’d like to keep, only freeze it once. The more you take it in and out of the freezer, the more damage you do.

Freezing also breaks down the oils in the beans. The oils contribute to the flavor of the coffee. Breaking down the oils means taking away flavor, and let’s face it, a large part of a good cup of coffee is the flavor.

When it comes down to it, freezing is not the best way to store your coffee. Keep coffee stored in a cool, dry, airtight container away from light. Freezing coffee is possible, and is best if you only freeze it once. The resulting loss of flavor and quality from repetitive freezing makes it a method of storage to stay away from. Your best bet is to purchase only enough beans or ground coffee to supply you for 1-2 weeks. Enjoy the coffee at its freshest!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Steaming in with espresso machine tips.

So what exactly is espresso coffee?  An espresso coffee is sold at the café in a small cup and is an extremely strong cup of coffee.  Espresso is used in making café latte, cappuccino and café mocha.  Espresso is made in the espresso machine by forcing about two ounces of hot water through tightly packed finely ground espresso coffee.  The resulting liquid is a deep brown color with a slight froth on top.  Espresso makers differ in the water temperatures, the fineness of the espresso coffee, the pressure with which the water is pressed through the coffee and how tightly the coffee grinds are packed in the machine.

There are many different types of espresso machines available in the market place today in different sizes, styles and abilities.  Just like any other appliance it is important to do your homework before venturing out on your shopping excursion.  Start by asking yourself how often will you use your espresso machine, what will you be using your machine for, how much are your willing to spend and are you willing to trade quality for price.

If you rarely partake in the espresso ritual and prefer an occasional cappuccino or latte, then don’t spend too much money on your machine.  If you are a coffee enthusiast and have acquired a preference for espresso taste then a high end espresso machine is worth the investment.  An espresso coffee machine doubles as both a coffee maker and espresso maker.  If you have limited counter space and like the best of both worlds this machine gives you that option.  Diligently compare espresso machines and find one with features that suit your particular need.

Do your homework before heading out.  Make sure to read espresso machine reviews.  These unbiased consumer reviews give valuable consumer insights.  There are many places to purchase your home style espresso machine; kitchen supply stores, department store home sections, catalogues and online vendors.  Make sure you purchase a machine that matches your level of expertise.  Making espressos is considered an art with a professional espresso maker being referred to as a Barista.  Being an espresso barista in some countries is considered a serious occupation requiring occupational training.  Baristas learn and practice making a consistently high quality shot of espresso.  They learn how to grind the perfect espresso coffee, how to pack the coffee right and how to operate the commercial espresso maker.  Being a home espresso maker however does not require that you take Barista training.  Home style espresso machines are simplified versions of the more complex café style espresso maker. 

Once you have purchased your espresso machine remember to purchase the accessories that make the espresso/cappuccino experience more enjoyable.  There are special espresso cups and spoons and espresso machine cleaning brushes and detergents that can be purchased from different vendors online.  It is important to care for your espresso machine as recommended by the manufacturer for the machine to last longer producing delicious tasting espresso each time.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Some People Like To Make Coffee One Cup At A Time

Have you ever tried a single cup coffee maker? These are a great addition to any coffee-drinking household. When I look at my parents, it's hard not to notice their love for coffee. Since they're in their 60s, they prefer a coffee pot drip beverage, over a caramel macchiato.

In fact, they will brew a pot of coffee two or three times on any given day. This is probably common in most households. The only problem with this system is it doesn't make much sense. I can't help but notice what they're wasting. Many times they will brew an entire pot of coffee simply to drink a single cup. That's not efficient.

Well, this is why they invented the single cup coffee maker. The minute I spotted this cool innovation, I purchased one for my parents. With a single cup coffee maker, you don't have to brew that full pot every time.

This machine actually makes a single, fresh cup of coffee with no mess or waste. How cool is that? This is perfect for those who live alone, or merely want a single cup of coffee at a time. Not everyone drinks four or five cups straight like my father.

Isn't it time for that morning cup of java? This seems to be the trend in American households. We all want to wake up to that fresh aroma of quality coffee beans. In fact, many cultures have adopted the same regime.

It's been around forever. The old caffeine buzz is imperative to start our day off right. The big question these days concerns your coffee source or coffee machine. Where do you turn for your morning fix? Do you have a new-age espresso machine, or possibly stick with the old-school drip coffee pots? Either can make a great cup of coffee.

It just depends on your taste. Another cool addition to the world of coffee innovations these days is the single cup coffee maker. Ah, things just keep getting easier; don't they?

If you are in search of a single cup coffee maker, a great place to begin your browsing is online. The World-Wide-Web has a variety of single cup coffee makers to choose from. You can sort through customer reviews and find out what others have experienced before buying one in particular.

With a number of websites at your fingertips, you can surely pinpoint the least expensive single cup coffee maker that's right for you. That morning cup of java is no longer a hassle. You can have your cup at the push of a button these days.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Some of the Valuable Reasons to Drink Oolong Tea

Oolong tea has been expressed as "Yu Xiang Hui Wei " as it goes through so many diversified manufacturing steps in order to produce a good flavor and fragrance. The tea consists of more than a few dozens of leaves that have special flavors and aromas due to differences in the leaves, the production area, and the harvest time. Among them, Tie Guan Yin, Shui Xian, and Oolong are well known, and many renowned oolong teas are produced in Fujian Province. Oolong tea produced in the Province is sold overseas throughout the world as the tea that is delegate of China, the home of tea.
Oolong tea from Taiwan is also known as Imperial Formosa Oolong. The first Europeans to visit Taiwan were Portuguese sailors, who were so impressed by the beauty of Taiwan that they called it Isla Formosa. This translates as "Beautiful Island" and although Taiwan is now a bustling modern country, the tea growing areas of the island are prime examples of its natural beauty. Most of the oolong tea produced in Taiwan is for local consumption. The Taiwanese are discriminating tea drinkers who demand the best.
There are many valuable reasons to drink oolong tea. First and chief one is the wonderful taste. Tea specialist the world over value Taiwan tea for its sweetness and density. The preparation and serving of Oolong tea is also a pleasant pastime that can be shared with friends and family. In Taiwan and elsewhere, drinking oolong tea is a social affair that solidifies relationships.
The best oolong tea from Taiwan is grown in the sky-scraping mountains. All the oolong tea sold here is high-mountain oolong that is handpicked and hand processed. These are artisan teas that have been produced with high concern. They are highly deserving of the name 'Imperial Formosa Oolong'.
Producing Taiwan oolong tea is an exacting and time-consuming process. The quality of the final product depends as much on the finishing as on the raw tealeaves. But make no mistake about the tealeaves - they are the heart and soul of oolong tea and the reason it is so valued. Taiwan tea farmers are increasingly adopting organic growing practices because of the higher quality tea these methods produce.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Simple Gourmet Coffee

There are a number of countries that produce coffee and new regions are converting their crops to the mighty bean as our demand for different tasting coffee increases. We are also adding more exotic flavourings to our coffee. It comes as no surprise that the number of coffee shops and stores that sell coffee beans and all the associated paraphernalia to be able to make our own perfect coffee at home.

Coffee houses are a great place for us to go and relax with friends and family over an expertly made cup of coffee. We often ignore how much effort has been put into our drink by the coffee maker that roasts the beans, grinds them up and then uses the exact quantity required to brew a satisfying cup of coffee for us. There are a number of techniques involved in making a cup of coffee and a lot of us are happy to leave someone else to make it for us. The equipment used is only part of the story; you also need to practice with various quantities of coffee and water until it reaches your optimum strength.

We are almost overwhelmed by the huge variety of types of coffee that are available. Not only does the coffee taste different depending on the country and region that the beans were grown in but also from year to year. This is due to the changes in weather from one coffee growing season to another.

If you go to a specialist coffee shop you are likely to be confronted with a huge selection of flavourings that you can add to your coffee to make it even more to your liking.

The strength and bitterness of the coffee can be adjusted by using different quantities of water and coffee, adding sweeteners and milk as well as adding milk. One tip for lowering the bitterness level is to never use boiling water as this scalds the coffee and gives it a bitter taste. Always use water that is just below boiling temperature when making your coffee.

Everyone has their own opinion about what makes the perfect cup of coffee but you will find your own technique through trial and error.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Quoi de neuf dans le monde du café

Actuellement, le café est la boisson la plus consommée en France, juste après l’eau !C’est dire si ce breuvage ne peut-être ignoré au petit déjeuner ou tout au long de la journée.Mais du café soluble à l’expresso, il y a un monde !En effet il existe de nombreuses variétés de cafés : arabica, robusta…En fait, il n’existe pas un, mais plusieurs cafés, et ça selon leurs origines.
Les grains de café ne rendent pas tous le même goût ou la même intensité, cela est dû en partie à leur torréfaction.En effet pour faire un bon café, il faut une bonne torréfaction car c’est celle-ci qui déterminera le goût du produit fini.Un café peut avoir un goût très différent d’un autre, tout dépend du type de torréfaction qu’il a subi.
     Par ailleurs, dans le but d’aider les petits producteurs de café pour la plupart venant d’Afrique noire et d’Amérique du Sud ainsi que du Viêt Nam, Nous avons vu arriver dans le courant des années 60 le développement  d’un commerce équitable afin de permettre aux pays du Sud de bénéficier d’avantage du fruit de leur culture de café en la vendant aux commerces des pays du Nord disposant d’un label « commerce équitable » diminuant ainsi les intermédiaires. En effet ce dernier est un ensemble de réseaux de distribution de produits de consommation de pays du Sud qui obéit à des conditions considérées comme pouvant améliorer, si possible durablement, la situation des producteurs qui y adhèrent.
    Saviez-vous qu’il n’y a pas que grand-mère qui sait faire du bon café ? Récemment un site de café vendu en ligne a été crée par un jeune entrepreneur : Matthias est un site spécialisé dans la vente de café torréfiés de manière artisanale. Vous y trouverez des cafés rares, bio et issus du commerce équitable encore méconnus du grand public.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Percolators - Some Of The Basic Problems With Percolator Cofee

The word "percolator" has come to mean that special coffee pot that used to sit on Grandma's stove and bubble away like mad all morning long. Typically they consist of a heat proof pot that holds the water, a long tube (like a straw) that holds a filter basket at the top. This filter is normally made of metal and holds the coffee grounds apart from the water in the main pot. Usually fairly oarsely ground coffee is used and a perforated lid is placed over the filter in order to distribute the water evenly over the grounds.

As the water in the pot reached the boil, it is forced up the tube and repeatedly spilled over the grounds in the filter basket. In this way both water and the freshly brewed coffee drips back down into the hot water and over the grounds. Gradually the coffee becomes stronger as the water/coffee continues to drip over the grounds. This process continues as long as the pot is kept at the boiling point.

Evn though we may hold special memories of percolaters, they are not a particularly good way to make a great cup of coffee. In fact many people rank percolator coffee right beside coffee boiled directly in the water! When it is made in a percolater a number of things happen that produce a less than perfect cup of coffee.

For starters, the water is overheated. Boiling water simply extracts too many of the unwanted bitter flavours in the coffee and should be avioded if possible (which isn't possible with a percolator). Also the coffee grounds become overextracted by repeatedly passing already brewed coffee back over the grounds. Finally the boiling/percolating action of the liquid tends to release many of the desirable flavours and compounds into the air. While this does produce a wonderful aroma of fresh coffee in the house, it can often lead to flat tasting coffee.

In the end, it is often best to avoid percolators if you can. There are other affordable ways of brewing great coffee, even if it may mean turning your back on wonderful aromatic memories.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Organization Helps Change The World With Coffee

You can make a difference in the world every day, simply by purchasing coffee.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters of Vermont is introducing Heifer Hope Blend, a new organic coffee whose sales will help improve the lives of small-scale coffee farmers in Guatemala. Forty cents of every bag purchased will be given to Heifer International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting hunger worldwide.

The partnership between Heifer and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters will bring needed assistance to impoverished farmers of the La Voz area in San Juan la Laguna and other communities in Guatemala.

Coffee prices today are so low that many small-scale farmers are unable to make a living growing coffee. With Heifer's help, the farmers at La Voz will learn to grow certified organic, shade-grown premium coffee. Green Mountain Coffee then will buy the coffee from the farmers at fair-trade prices - a guaranteed wage that is higher than what the farmers would get on the conventional market - and roast and package it as Heifer Hope Blend.

The farmers will earn a premium price and Heifer will extend its work to more poor families.

With the money earned by Heifer Hope Blend, Heifer also will help coffee-growing families diversify their sources of income by giving them livestock - cows, goats and other income-producing farm animals. This extra income means better nutrition, housing, health care and education.

Since 1944, Heifer has helped millions of impoverished families move toward self-reliance by

providing them with livestock and earth-friendly agricultural training. Heifer then asks the families to "pass on the gift" by donating their animals' offspring to others, thereby helping to lift entire communities out of poverty.

Green Mountain Coffee has made a commitment to social responsibility and the environment

as well, annually setting aside 5 percent of its pre-tax profits to support charitable causes.

"We are truly excited about partnering with socially and environmentally responsible corporations such as Green Mountain Coffee," said Cynthia Hester, Heifer's director of corporate partnerships. "It's important that nonprofits find new ways of encouraging companies to extend their values into the nonprofit world."

Friday, June 22, 2012

Okay, I've Made My Espresso, Now What Do I Do With the Milk?

I did all of the right things to make espresso at home.  I bought myself a good espresso machine.  I learned which espresso beans have the best taste and how to grind them to the correct fineness.  I managed to insert the gadget with the grinds, known as a portafilter, into the espresso machine, lock it into place, turn on the machine and let her rip.  Great espresso!

But I wanted a cappuccino.  Sue wanted a latte.  Time to figure out how to steam the milk. 

Sue is always dieting, so she wants nonfat milk.  I found out that low fat and nonfat milk foam really easily.  Whole milk takes more practice. Same thing with half and half if you want a breve.

Some espresso machines have a built in steam nozzle and some don't.  You may need to buy a separate steamer.  I recommend getting an espresso machine with one built in.  Saves space. 

The first thing to do is to put that stainless steel pitcher and milk into the refrigerator to get cold.  Always start with them cold.  And then my next learning curve came with remembering to fill the pitcher about a third to a half full.  Milk expands really well when it's steamed.  It takes only once for it to foam up, overflow and hit the floor to remember to start with a pitcher no more than half full.

Start by putting the nozzle on the surface of the milk and turning the steam on full.  The milk is going to begin to foam, so keep lowering the pitcher so that the nozzle is just under the surface of the milk.  About a half inch will do fine.  You can turn down the pressure when the foam really begins to rise, or just take the pitcher away.  Now the milk is just about at the boiling point.

Now here is something important.  Don't let it boil.  This is another way to get the milk to overflow the pitcher.  Or even worse, it will taste burnt.  Ugh.  Nasty. 

Your steamed milk should have little bubbles all the way through it, and there should be a light foam on the top.  There you are.  That's it.  Now you go make whatever espresso drink you want.  Next up, you can start learning how to make all those fancy designs in the top.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Making A Great Cup Of Coffee

Today, I will propose to you how to make a great cup of coffee. You can do it. There are a few secrets to the process. I will share these with you.

Start with the bean and pick your roast. Quality coffee can only come from a quality coffee bean that is properly roasted. The process of roasting a coffee bean is complex and can result in a given bean tasting very different depending on how it is roasted. If you desire a strong intense flavor to your coffee, choose a dark roast (ex: French Roast). If you like to a light flavor, less intense, choose a lighter roast.

Never use pre-ground coffee. Pre-ground coffee will lose its flavor and essence within a short period of time. Grinding before you brew will assure you that no flavor is lost due to time.

Always use cold filtered water when brewing your coffee. The water you use represents 98% of your cup of coffee. Filtering the water will remove impurities that could affect the taste. Poor quality water can come from a variety of sources. Example, older house will have older pipes. Theses pipes tend to give the water an off flavor. You will want to remove this by filtering. The basic rule is the better the water, the better the coffee.

Skip the paper filters and go for the gold. Yes, these are 23k Gold plated stainless steel filters. Paper filters will influence the flavor of the coffee in a negative manner. The Gold plated filters influence the flavor by allowing natural oils to infiltrate into your brew, adding a level of flavor and aroma you wont find with paper coffee filters. Another plus is that these filters can be reused over and over, and will last a very long time. Not only will your coffee be better, but you will be helping the environment by saving on waste.

Never over do it on the add-ins. Cut down on the sugar, cream, and other flavor add-ins to really enjoy the true essence of the brew. If we disguise the coffee to much; we will never know the true taste.

Part of what makes a great cup of coffee is how and when we enjoy it. We all have our favorite time and rituals. For me, nothing beats enjoying a great cup of coffee on a Sunday morning and reading the paper.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Making A Good Espresso

Drinking espresso has become a way of life for most people, particularly those who have heavy schedules and who take time out to relax with a cup of freshly brewed espresso or coffee.

Coffee is so popular it is believed that it comes next to water as a popular drink. The whole world loves a good cup of coffee that annual consumption can reach to as high as 400 billion coffee cups all over the world.

Most avid coffee or espresso drinkers can have a cup of espresso a day or even more, without knowing where this rousing beverage came from. That heavenly brew comes from coffee beans that are sourced from evergreen trees that are grown all over the world. The evergreen tree is widely grown in Latin America, Indonesia, Hawaii, Southeast Asia and in Africa.

While the word espresso may have come from an Italian word meaning express or fast, it really is a misnomer since espresso or brewed coffee have to undergo a process before one can enjoy its freshly brewed taste. To make a good espresso, one has to start with a good coffee variety that must have undergone proper grinding. A good espresso maker handled by a capable barista can yield an espresso that can taste heavenly. The goodness of an espresso can be determined even from its aroma alone.

Coffee drinkers who are serious about making good espresso should invest in a good espresso machine. Good espresso machines come in a variety of brands, sizes and prices. You need not spend more to get a good espresso machine because there are good espresso makers that are reason ably priced. When making the espresso, always remember to turn on the espresso machine and allow it to heat properly. Establishments that have fast espresso orders do not really put off their machines to make sure it is properly heated for every espresso order.

When buying coffee beans, it is better to grind them as you use them because keeping them even in a tight container after grinding can result to a loss of aroma. Attention should also be placed on the type of grinder being used, with conical burr grinders preferred than flat burr grinders. The grinder with a conical burr is preferred because it can grind the beans without heating them and lessening their aroma in the process.

While the kind of coffee beans used for the espresso must be chosen well, baristas should also make sure that only filtered water is used for the espresso as the water’s mineral content can affect the taste of the espresso.

When one finds a good coffee blend, the tendency is to buy more for storage. When you do this, do not commit the mistake of keeping coffee in the freezer or refrigerator. It is best to store them in a container that is foolproof and clean and place them in a dark and cool area.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Latte Frothing Basics - How to Make Delicious Frothed Milk

Few coffee drinkers fully appreciate the fact that frothed milk is what makes a cappuccino or latte. Without the milk and foam, it is just plain espresso. Like anything worth learning, it takes a bit of practice, even the most capable baristas have a hard time at first. Let us take a look at the frothing process.

Most experts agree that it is best to begin with a stainless steel pitcher, some cold milk and an espresso machine with a steaming wand. Past that, there are as many differing ideas about the frothing process as there are blends of espresso.

Stainless steel is preferred for its easy maneuverability, but any non-plastic container will work as long as it will not melt or crack with heat. The kind of milk you start with depends on the texture of foam you want to achieve. The higher the fat content, the more dense and more difficult to froth the milk with be. Skim milk produces light, airy foam, and is probably the easiest for beginners to practice with.

To determine how much milk is needed, fill the cups you plan to drink from with half the milk the drink requires. For example, a cappuccino is half espresso and half steamed milk, so you would fill the cup one-fourth full will cold milk because steaming will cause the milk to roughly double in volume. Pour the milk in the pitcher.

It is important that the tip of the steam wand is consistently held just below the surface of the milk. If it is too held too deep, the milk with scorch or boil before it froths. If it is not deep enough, it will blow the milk out of the pitcher and make a mess. Keep the palm of your free hand flush with the bottom of the pitcher. This will help you monitor the temperature of the milk without interrupting the process.

Slide the pitcher away from the machine as to keep the tip of the wand just under the surface as the milk expands. At this point, if the milk is about the same temperature as the palm of you hand, plunge the wand deeper into the milk to warm it up. If the pitcher feels too hot, turn off the steam and tap the pitcher against the work surface. This lets large bubbles to escape and helps cool the milk. It is important to never let the milk boil.

Using a long-handled spoon to carefully hold the froth back, add the milk to the drink. Be careful to pour in one continuous stream. A spoon may be used to add the desired amount of froth on top of the drink, but if the frothing is done well, the result is a fine micro foam that can be poured directly from the pitcher. Cinnamon, nutmeg or grated chocolate is a nice addition to any drink.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Jazz Up Your Java at Home

According to 2005 National Coffee Drinking Trends, published by the National Coffee Association of U.S.A. Inc., more than 53 percent of consumers age 18 and older drink coffee on a daily basis, up from 49 percent in 2004. That translates into 7.7 million new coffee drinkers.

With consumers enjoying a wider range of coffee drinks in offices, corner cafes and restaurants, they are also demanding better-tasting coffee at home. Here are a few ideas for a better brew:

* Pressure-brewed is best. In blind tests, more people prefer the taste of coffee that is high-pressure brewed, versus any other method. High-pressure-brewed coffee requires the use of pump-pressure coffee machines, like espresso machines.

* All pressure-coffee machines are not equal. There are several types of these machines. Steam-driven espresso machines create pressure in a closed boiler, then force the hot water through the coffee. Most can make up to 10 ounces of coffee at a time. A pump espresso machine pumps hot water through ground coffee faster than a steam machine, creating more pressure with better flavor and aroma.

Automatic coffee centers, like those from Jura-Capresso, provide maximum flavor and aroma because they grind the beans just before the high-pressure brewing process. These machines control all aspects of high-pressure brewing, resulting in a better quality beverage, regardless of whether you choose an espresso, cappuccino, latte or just a large cup of pressure-brewed coffee.

* Look for crema. Crema is thick frothy foam that sits on top of pressure-brewed coffee or espresso, trapping all the flavor and aroma underneath.

* A high-pressure-brewed coffee should always be the base for your cappuccino or latte. If you prefer cappuccinos or lattes, experiment with the amount of milk to suit your taste. Remember, coffee does not have calories, but milk does.

* Determine your price range. Take a look at your coffee-drinking habits. If you purchase two cappuccinos a day, you may be spending about $1,900 a year on gourmet coffee. For less than this, you can purchase an automatic coffee center from Jura-Capresso that produces the same quality found in the coffeehouses.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cleaning Trout - How To Clean a Trout Fish

Cleaning trout. Does that bring back memories! I think I was about 9 years old when I first learned how to clean trout. It is really pretty easy. A little practice and you will soon be cleaning trout with ease. If at all possible, use clean, running water to rinse the trout as you clean.

Scaling the trout.

For this step, you will need a fish-board with a clip to hold the tail or you can hold the tail with your hand. You will also need a fish scaler or use the unsharpened side of a good sturdy knife (short blade is best). With the trout held firmly by the tail, scrape very firmly from the tail to the gills several times on both sides. This will remove the scales so you don’t have to deal with them later. No one wants to find them in a bite of grilled fish!

Gutting the trout.

To properly gut the trout without tearing into the stomach or intestines, you will need a sharp, short bladed knife. The short blade gives you better control. The first cut you want to make is just at gill level from the belly side. This results in a cut between the jawbone and the tongue. Do not cut through the spine. Next, place 1 or 2 fingers inside the trout’s mouth with the palm of your hand pressed firmly on the top of its head and your thumb in the gill to hold it solid. Then, carefully, begin to slit the trout’s belly starting at the anus and working your way up to the cut under the gills. You need to be careful not to cut into the guts themselves, as this will foul the flesh, making it inedible. Keep your knife just under the skin. To pull the guts out, hold the trout firmly with your thumb under the jaw and your index finger in the mouth. Then get a firm grip on the guts and pull them out. All that is left to do is to scrape your thumb along the spine in the gut cavity to clean out the bloodline.

To behead or not to behead.

This last step can be a matter of personal preference. Removing the head of the trout. Some people like it left on, but, personally, I don’t like my food looking back at me.
To do this, you need a good sturdy knife. The same one you used to cut the belly open will work. Just be sure to rinse it good first. To cut the head off, grasp the trout firmly in the middle with your thumb in the gut cavity and the rest of your hand wrapped around it. Hold the trout so that the head is pushed down on your cutting surface. With your knife, make a firm slicing motion through the spine at gill level, preferablywith the gut cavity up. Once this is complete, rinse the trout and you are ready to proceed with the rest of your trout cleaning.

Of course, you could use my favorite method to clean a trout. Filet it!

How To Select A Coffee Bean Grinder

If you’re currently wondering how to select a coffee bean grinder to suit you and your kitchen then you probably already know that there are various options open to you. In simple terms most coffee grinders will be spilt into two camps – blade grinders and burr grinders. So how do you choose between the two?

First, it’s worth noting that you can buy both types of grinder as both electric and manual options if you wish. It’s becoming more popular for people to buy electric machines on the whole as there is a big added convenience here so, for the purposes of this guide, we’ll be focusing on electrical options rather than manual ones.

In simple terms the final decision you make when it comes to working out how to select a coffee bean grinder will, in most cases, come down to budget and to how seriously you think about coffee so this is worth bearing in mind as you read through this article.

So, let’s take a look some of the pros and cons of the two types of grinder. If you want, you can learn more about coffee gridners here:

Blade Grinders

Blade grinders – as the name suggests – use a blade to chop up your coffee beans until they are ground. Most of these machines work on a simple principle – the longer the machine grinds, the finer the grind will be.


- Generally cheaper than burr grinders.

- Do an effective job of grinding your coffee beans.


-Can’t give a completely consistent or even grind (this can have an adverse effect on the taste and quality of the coffee you drink).

-The blades on some models may overheat – especially if they are left on longer for a finer grind – which can again alter the actual taste of your coffee.

Burr Grinders

A burr grinder – often also referred to in some circles as a mill – works on a different principle to a blade grinder. Here the beans are crushed between the machine’s moving wheel and its static surface. You decide on the level of grind by using pre-specified settings on the burr. Models vary between doser and doserless for coffee bean storage in the actual grinder.


- A burr grinder will give you a consistently even grind with no problems.

- These grinders and their grinding pres-sets are easy to use.


- A burr grinder will generally cost you more than a blade grinder.

- Some models clog easily and can be harder to clean.

So, when you’re deciding how to select a coffee grinder – as you can see – you need to consider how important the quality of your grind and the resulting taste of your coffee is to you as an individual to a certain extent. This is what will dictate whether you opt for a blade grinder or a burr grinder at the end of the day.

Most blade grinders users will simply like a regular cup of coffee that has been ground at home for optimum freshness. If you simply like grinding your own beans for basic coffee drinking use then there’s no real reason why you should waste money on a burr grinder when a blade grinder will suit your needs just as well.

It’s very important to remember here that a blade grinder may give a more uneven grind but it still does an effective job. But you may not get the best grind – and therefore the best tasting cup of coffee – from the beans you buy in this case. One good tip that many blade grinder fans give is to give the grinding machine a little gentle shake every now and then as this will help distribute the bits of cut beans more evenly which may help your grind’s consistency.

If, however, your cup of coffee is real important to you and you want consistent brewing results each and every time you grind your beans, then you will probably be better off looking at buying some sort of burr grinder to meet your needs. These grinders are adored by coffee aficionados simply because they treat your coffee beans and the grinding process consistently and will therefore bring out the best taste for every cup by making sure that each grind is even across every single coffee bean.

It’s real simple to source and buy each kind of grinder – both in stores or over the Internet. Major coffee maker manufacturers such as Braun, Capresso, Alpina, Mr. Coffee, DeLonghi, Russell Hobbs, KitchenAid, Krups and Solis will all have a grinder line of some sort to choose from.

You may find – if you shop around a little – that you may be able to afford to buy a more expensive grinder for your budget as there are often great bargains and discounts to be had all year round. For this reason it’s certainly worth while not rushing out and buying the first grinder you see but doing some price comparisons first to see what savings can be made.

It’s equally important to read reviews to find out how specific models have worked for other people in the past. The Internet is a great source for these kinds of user reviews so once you’ve identified a few models you can log on and see how these machines have worked for others in their homes rather than just relying on manufacturer’s ‘blurb’. This will give you a real useful idea of how well a model/models may actually work in your own home rather than having to wait to find out once you’ve purchased a grinder.

There are certain things to look out for in these kinds of user reviews. For example, you should be looking to discover if other grinder users have found that their grinder:

- Gets clogged or blocked easily.
- Gets beans stuck in its mechanism.
- Overheats and leaves a bitter taste on the coffee.
- Is easy to clean and maintain.
- Gives a really even grind consistently.
- Is excessively noisy.
- Has a problem with static electricity.
- Gives you an easy way to pour out your ground coffee.
- Is well made and won’t fall apart after a couple of uses.

If you can get the right kinds of answers to these questions then the chances are you’ll find the kind of grinder – either burr or blade – that’s right for you.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Chop Till You Drop

You use it everyday in the Kitchen. If not looked after it can make you sick – And yet you probably never give it a second thought.

The Chopping Board is a large board you use in the kitchen for chopping, cutting and preparing food on.

When purchasing a new board, there are heaps of options to choose from – timber, glass, marble, plastic. And it can be a confusing choice.

Glass and Marble type cutting boards may look good but they play havoc on your knives. The hard surface will quickly blunt your knife and damage it’s edge.

So, keep your glass and marble boards for serving food only.

When it comes to wooden and plastic boards, even the experts are divided as to which is best. It comes down to personal preference. And mine is…. wooden.

Wooden boards are generally heavier and less inclined to slip. They are also more attractive and can be used to serve food at the table.

Where as plastic boards are lighter, come in various colors and are dishwasher safe.

Whichever type you choose, it is imperative you clean it well. Harmful bacteria can breed on your board and cause dreadful food poisoning.

So …  be sure to scrub your board well after each use, with hot water and detergent. Then allow it to stand and drip dry. Your board should be completely dry before using again.

It’s a good idea to have more than one board, to avoid cross contamination. Have one for raw meat and one for other foods.

Or take it to the extreme and do what the professionals do.  Use 5 different colored boards:-

     Red – Raw Meats
     Yellow – Poultry
     Blue – Seafood
     Green – Fruit and Vegetables
     White – General

So, if you board is starting to look a bit worse for wear, then it is probably time for a new one. And now you will be well informed to choose the right one for you.

Happy Cooking
Lisa "The Crock Cook"

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Title: Choosing The Perfect Charcoal Grill Word Count: 532 Summary: Everyone loves good, old fashioned charcoal grilling. Aside from being cheaper than other grilling methods, it adds a raw, distinctive taste to your sausages, burgers, ribs, and other grilled items. Some people prefer charcoal grills over gas grills because they are easier to transport and are safer to use than gas. While there are differences in opinion and preference among grillers, it still remains that charcoal grills are here to stay. So be it an picnic, or an outdoor gr... Keywords: weber charcoal grill,portable charcoal grill,gas charcoal grill,how to light a charcoal grill,charcoal grill parts Article Body: Everyone loves good, old fashioned charcoal grilling. Aside from being cheaper than other grilling methods, it adds a raw, distinctive taste to your sausages, burgers, ribs, and other grilled items. Some people prefer charcoal grills over gas grills because they are easier to transport and are safer to use than gas. While there are differences in opinion and preference among grillers, it still remains that charcoal grills are here to stay. So be it an picnic, or an outdoor grill, charcoal grills will more that make up their worth in usefulness and reliability. When choosing charcoal grills, however, it pays to know what your needs are and to know the pros and cons of having such a grill over the other available grills around. 1. Cooking Space First of all, you have to determine how much space you need for grilling. If you are grilling for a small family of three, you will do well enough with a 75 square-inch grill. You will have to consider larger grills if you are cooking for more people. It doesn’t make sense if you bring a puny sub-75 inch grill to a large picnic. Remember that the size of your grill increases the amount of items you can grill exponentially. Just looking at the grill won’t give you a clear idea on how big the grilling area is. Some grills have a warming rack that increases the perceived size of your grill. 2. Portability - Get grills that have wheels - Try choosing grills whose parts are ergonomic and efficient - Lessen the risk of damaging your grill when transporting - Your grill also has to withstand the rigors of outdoor use - It does not pay to purchase a flimsy looking grill - go for those that are durable and lasting 3. Convenience Some charcoal grills come with their own igniters. Try choosing grills that have this option. Other grills need lighter fluid to fire up. With the built-in igniter, you will not need lighter fluid anymore. On the other hand, you may want to avoid lighter fluid altogether. Some people dislike the taste and smell this fluid adds to the grill. If you must, use alcohol instead. It burns odorless and does not ruin the flavor of your food. Choose grills that allow you to easily access the ash pan. This makes cleaning the grill a lot easier. It also lessens the amount of ash flakes that may settle in your food. Also, lids are a very important part of the grill. Choose a grill that has a lid to keep the heat trapped within the grill. This allows for faster and smokeless grilling. 4. Quality The materials used in making the grill are also very important. Some grills are made of material that easily corrodes or does not stand up well against the elements. Stainless steel grills hold up remarkably well to both the weather and the heat of the grill. Try avoiding painted grills as the paint may easily flake of. Although lightweight, durable materials are hard to come by among grills, you would do best to look for such. Remember, though, that first and foremost, the most important built characteristic you are looking for in a grill is durability.

Everyone loves good, old fashioned charcoal grilling. Aside from being cheaper than other grilling methods, it adds a raw, distinctive taste to your sausages, burgers, ribs, and other grilled items. Some people prefer charcoal grills over gas grills because they are easier to transport and are safer to use than gas. While there are differences in opinion and preference among grillers, it still remains that charcoal grills are here to stay. So be it an picnic, or an outdoor grill, charcoal grills will more that make up their worth in usefulness and reliability. When choosing charcoal grills, however, it pays to know what your needs are and to know the pros and cons of having such a grill over the other available grills around.

1. Cooking Space

First of all, you have to determine how much space you need for grilling. If you are grilling for a small family of three, you will do well enough with a 75 square-inch grill. You will have to consider larger grills if you are cooking for more people. It doesn’t make sense if you bring a puny sub-75 inch grill to a large picnic. Remember that the size of your grill increases the amount of items you can grill exponentially. Just looking at the grill won’t give you a clear idea on how big the grilling area is. Some grills have a warming rack that increases the perceived size of your grill.

2. Portability

- Get grills that have wheels
- Try choosing grills whose parts are ergonomic and efficient
- Lessen the risk of damaging your grill when transporting
- Your grill also has to withstand the rigors of outdoor use
- It does not pay to purchase a flimsy looking grill - go for those that are durable and lasting

3. Convenience

Some charcoal grills come with their own igniters. Try choosing grills that have this option. Other grills need lighter fluid to fire up. With the built-in igniter, you will not need lighter fluid anymore. On the other hand, you may want to avoid lighter fluid altogether. Some people dislike the taste and smell this fluid adds to the grill. If you must, use alcohol instead. It burns odorless and does not ruin the flavor of your food. Choose grills that allow you to easily access the ash pan. This makes cleaning the grill a lot easier. It also lessens the amount of ash flakes that may settle in your food. Also, lids are a very important part of the grill. Choose a grill that has a lid to keep the heat trapped within the grill. This allows for faster and smokeless grilling.

4. Quality

The materials used in making the grill are also very important. Some grills are made of material that easily corrodes or does not stand up well against the elements. Stainless steel grills hold up remarkably well to both the weather and the heat of the grill. Try avoiding painted grills as the paint may easily flake of. Although lightweight, durable materials are hard to come by among grills, you would do best to look for such. Remember, though, that first and foremost, the most important built characteristic you are looking for in a grill is durability.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Choosing A Quality Cookware Set

The role of a good cook ware in the preparation of a sumptuous meal cannot be overemphasized. When one consider purchasing a good cookware the first point that comes to the mind is the budget. Buying a standard cookware within one’s budget and at the same time obtaining all the pieces and features one has in mind is no simple task. If you belong to the category of people who take cooking a bit seriously you need spend some more time to look into the various aspects of a good cookware from the material from which it is made, to the number of pieces, features and the quality.

The first factor to be considered is the material in which the cookware is made. The first option is the stainless steel that is most popular, durable and convenient. It is also the most popular cookware material in North America being highly resistant against wear and tear and at the same time less expensive. It is also subject to criticism as the metals like iron, nickel, and chromium used in this alloy is said to create health hazards.

The other option for the home maker is the ceramic pottery, enamel or glass cookware. All these materials can be easily cleaned and are also heat resistant. The latest addition to this category is the plastic ware used for both cooking and storing. It has the advantage of being light weight, unbreakable and also being used in Micro wave ovens where other metals are not suitable. Cast iron cookware is normally pre coated with unsalted fat and heated to avoid rusting in the absence of porcelain coating.

The stainless cookware is to be washed in soapy water or warm ammonia with water solution. The cookware is to be rinsed and dried to obviate water spots in the cookware. Never one need use chlorine or alcohol instead only some mild cleaners. The copper cookware are to be cleaned by a commercial cleaner or a home made mixture of salt, flour citric acid, and ammonia if applied before washing would also serve the purpose. While copper cookware is highly expensive the stainless cookware with copper bottom is lesser costly. The copper bottom cookware does not spread the heat evenly and the bottom of the food gets heated faster and there are chances that the food at the bottom may get burned.

One need to buy a cookware that is less expensive, durable, and that distribute the heat evenly. Cooking pans with hot spots cooks at various speed at different spots and make cooking most unpleasant... The cookware made of cast iron, copper and aluminum may result in the food cooked to absorb the metal taste and sometimes even the metal content to get transferred to food. The fact remaining so, copper bowls are immensely useful in beating egg whites. Though aluminum is the least expensive it may cause reaction with certain type of food. If one chooses the Aluminum cookware the anodized is the best choice.

One need to remember that no cookware can be considered as the perfect and the most suitable for cooking on all occasions or for cooking of all types of foods. The ideal cookware depends on your budget, your cooking preferences and the food habits. However cookware made of stainless steel could be recommended as an ideal choice considering its price, economic life, easy cleaning, and less or no reaction with the food. No wonder it is also the most popular and sought after cookware in North America.