Wednesday, July 18, 2012
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
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
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.
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms (soaked in warm water and finely chopped)
1 cup warm water
2 leeks-finely sliced
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
I hope you found these <i>healthy recipe</i> tips easy as pie!
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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
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
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
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" 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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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.