Archive Category Archives for "Food Tips"

Best Cooking Butane Torch

Gone are the days when cooking torches were only for star chefs on our favorite cooking shows. Now, lots of recipes that we prepare at home call for some torching. Even the most inexperienced cooks or homemakers can make meals look like gourmet fare with this important kitchen utensil.

From torching meringue to roasting peppers, finishing off a creme brulee or caramelizing fruit, a high-quality kitchen butane torch is a must for any gourmet home chef.

Cooking Butane Torch

Butane Torch Best Uses

The presence of a cooking butane torch in a kitchen is the sign of a truly accomplished home cook. It’s a must-have for making perfect crème Brulee, but it can also be used for so much more if you think outside the box. Use it in place of a toaster oven or broiler to melt cheese or brown foods: this list should kick off your imagination.

Brulee the sugar on a crème Brulee.

Sprinkle an even layer of sugar on the top of a ramekin of chilled crème Brulee custard (one to try: Ginger-Cardamom Creme Brulee. Working back and forth the culinary torch to melt the sugar until it melts and turns pale amber. It will set in a glossy, crisp crust.

Brown the topping on mac and cheese

If you don’t have time to make macaroni and cheese in the oven, you can still fake the crispy, oven-baked crust with a culinary torch.

Try this easy recipe:

  1. Combine two parts whole milk and two parts elbow macaroni in a saucepan. 
  2. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook until the macaroni is cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat but leave on the burner and stir in 1 part grated sharp cheddar cheese and 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard per cup of cheddar cheese.
  4. Add more milk if needed to achieve a creamy consistency, and season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper.
  5. Spoon into bowls, sprinkle lightly with breadcrumbs, and brown the breadcrumbs with a cooking torch until the cheese bubbles and the breadcrumbs are lightly browned

Make a tuna melt or patty melt. If you don’t have a toaster oven and don’t want to turn on the broiler of your oven, you can still make a tuna melt or salmon melt. Assemble the melt, then use the cooking butane torch to melt the cheese on top until it bubbles. Hold it a little further away until the cheese melts, then bring it in closer to make the cheese brown and bubble.

Roast peppers. Roasting peppers is easier with a cooking torch than in a broiler or on the stovetop because you can direct the flame with more precision. 

  1. Place a pepper on an aluminum foil-lined sheet pan. 
  2. Have a large glass or metal mixing bowl and some plastic wrap ready.
  3. Beginning with one small area, work the flame of the cooking torch back and forth over the pepper until the skin blackens and blisters. Use a pair of tongs to turn the pepper to reach the other sides, working the butane torch over the surface of the skin until all of it is blackened.
  4. Immediately place the pepper in a bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap so that the pepper can steam in its own heat.
  5. After 10 to 15 minutes, when the pepper has had a chance to cool, uncover the bowl and remove the pepper.
  6. Under running water or using a paper towel, rub off the blackened skin.
  7. Cut away the stem and scrape the seeds off the inside.

Brown meringue

A cooking butane torch will perfectly caramelize the peaks of the meringue topping on lemon meringue pie or baked Alaska. When you’ve topped your dessert with the meringue, simply work the flame of a cooking butane torch lightly over the topping until it is lightly browned.

Brulee a grapefruit. For an elegant way to serve grapefruit at breakfast or brunch, cut a grapefruit in half and sprinkle it lightly with brown sugar. Use the cooking butane torch to broil the surface of the grapefruit, melting and caramelizing the sugar.

Brown meringue

Finish a gratin. Get a crisp, beautifully browned crust on a Potato Gratin with a cooking butane torch. After it is completely cooked in the oven, sprinkle the gratin lightly with finely grated parmesan cheese and perhaps a light drizzle of truffle oil. Work the cooking butane torch back and forth over the surface of the gratin until the cheese and potatoes begin to crisp and brown.

Toast marshmallows for s’mores. If campfire season is way too far away, use a cooking butane torch to make some indoor s’mores. Have graham crackers and pieces of milk chocolate bars ready. Spear a marshmallow on a metal skewer and use the butane torch to brown it evenly, beginning with the butane torch further away so that it has a chance to heat through without getting burnt, then bringing the flame closer to finish the browning. Immediately transfer the marshmallow to a chocolate-topped piece of graham cracker, using another graham cracker to scrape the marshmallow off the skewer, topping it with the cracker.

Make a perfect French onion soup

French onion soup is not complete without a gooey layer of cheese-covered crouton. And a cooking butane torch can melt and crisp the cheese much more easily than trying to navigate a sheet pan of brimming soup bowls into the broiler. Ladle soup into bowls, float a toasted piece of bread on top, and drape a slice of Gruyere cheese over the whole bowl (tradition dictates that the corners of the bread hang over the sides). Use the cooking butane torch to melt and brown the cheese on top, just before serving.

Also use it to light a candle, flambe a dessert or a drink, light a pilot light.

Newport Cooking Butane Torch

Finding the perfect cooking butane torch can be a difficult process, especially if you don’t know what to look for. You’ll probably need a minimum temperature, a butane torch that works at any angle, comfortable grips and several other features that depend on your individual needs.

Recommend Butane Torch Features

  • Safely adjustable flame.
  • Self-igniting piezo ignition
  • Built-on stand and lock button for hands-free operations.
  • checkComfort grip handle.
  • checkQuick Refill System.
  • checkMultifunction & multipurpose butane torch lighter.
  • checkJumbo fuel gauge (Up to 60 minutes flame burn time.

Butane Torch Uses

Whether you want to use your kitchen cooking butane torch for culinary purposes or something else, it’s important that you have the best butane torch. A must-have tool for every bartender, chef, and restaurant

Newport Zero Butane Torch

Newport Zero specializes in producing top-quality butane products, butane gas, and cigar accessories. Its products include torches, butane lighters and burners.

How To Properly Load A Dishwasher

Using a dishwasher to wash your dishes doesn’t only save you time and minimize the effort you need to put into this chore, but it can also help your household save water and energy. Not many people are aware of this, but a dishwasher is actually a green and energy-efficient alternative to regular hand washing. However, if you want to get the most out of your dishwasher, it’s essential that you know how to load it properly. That way, you’ll have your dishes pristine clean and minimize the puddles and possible dish damages as well.

Essential practices

Depending on what kind of dishwasher you own, you may have to prerinse some dishes in case you don’t plan to run a cycle immediately after loading. Prerinsing is not necessary if you have a top quality Maytag dishwasher or if you plan to run the cycle right away. Another essential practice when loading a dishwasher is to never stack items. For instance, plastic items may flip over and end up on the heating element of the dishwasher. What’s more, if the items are stacked on one another, the water spray won’t be able to reach them, resulting in still dirty dishes.

Start with the bottom rack

When loading your dishes in the dishwasher, it’s always better to start with the bottom rack and items that should be placed there. This will make things easier and more efficient for you. So, the bottom rack is reserved for bigger dishes such as plates, bowls, pots, pans and casseroles. When you load these items, make sure that they are placed on the side, with their dirty surface turned towards the water spray as much as possible. Of course, it would be best if there’s a tiny bit of space left between the dishes.

There are a couple of tricks when it comes to loading the bottom rack. For starters, flat pans and platters should be placed on the sides or the back of the rack. This is due to the fact that their shape and size can block the detergent in case they are placed at the front of the rack, right by the door. Moreover, when loading forks and spoons, you can use the silverware rack, but don’t forget to alternate the handles up and down in order to achieve the best cleaning results possible. As mentioned, never stack your spoons and forks! Finally, in case you own both stainless steel and silver/silver-plated flatware, make sure to separate the two materials so they don’t touch during the cycle.

Fill up the top rack

If bigger dishes go into the bottom rack, the top rack is reserved for the smaller ones. This is where you want to load your smaller plates and bowls, as well as cups and glasses. Glasses and cups should always be placed between the tines, with just enough space between them to prevent damage. This is especially important for wine glasses and similar items. Just like you angle the bigger dishes in the bottom rack, don’t forget to properly angle the glasses and cups as well, so that the detergent and water spray can reach them and wash them effectively.

There are things you should remember when using your dishwasher on a regular basis. Most importantly, the detergent has to be fresh; otherwise it won’t really do much. Keep the detergent somewhere dry and cool. Also, there are certain dishes you should never load in a dishwasher. Don’t forget – wooden, pewter, brass and bronze items, china and crystal, as well as cast iron, tin, gold-plated items and knives of any kind are not dishwasher-safe!

Top 5 Places To Order An Affordable Cake For Your Party

Top 5 Places To Order

Any birthday party can be one of the most memorable experiences of their one’s life, but that doesn't mean you have to break the bank to make it unique. Plenty of supermarket bakeries across the country offer affordable birthday cakes that can be customized to your
taste. Here's a peek at the top five places to get affordable cakes.

1. Walmart Bakery

Your local Walmart bakery produces a wide variety of cakes and designs for any type of party. You can browse their cake catalog online to get a better idea of what they can produce. You can also check the Walmart bakery cake prices to get an idea of what they can offer for a certain fee.  Once you find the cake you're happy with, you can print out and fill out the Cake Order Form on their website and take it to your local Walmart bakery to have the cake made. 

 

2. Safeway Bakery

Safeway is another popular choice for parents who need to order an affordable cake for their child's parties. Safeway employs cake decorators that lovingly decorate their cakes by hand according to your wishes for your party. They have a variety of blank cakes available for off-the-cuff parties, or you can order your custom cake and pick it up on your special day. 


3. Baskin & Robbins

For something a little bit different but still quite affordable, you might want to consider a Baskin & Robbins ice cream cake. These cakes combine the delicious flavor of Baskin & Robbins' ice cream with a layer of cake that can be customized for any party. Baskin & Robbins ice cream cakes are currently available on the website, so you can place your order anytime. You can also choose to have a custom cake created for your party. Customer’s favorites include the Baseball Cake, Fang-Tastic Monster Cake, and the Polar Bear Cake. 

4. Kroger Bakery

The Kroger bakery is another excellent choice for ordering an affordable cake for your child's birthday. They have the most extensive collection of licensed cakes available of any of the supermarkets on this list, so make sure you try the Kroger deli. 

5. Whole Foods Bakery

For something a little extra special when the price isn't a factor, you might want to consider your local Whole Foods bakery. They have a variety of custom and premium cakes that you won't find at a traditional supermarket like Walmart or Kroger. These special edition cakes include things like a strawberry chiffon cake, vegan chocolate mousse cake, and even a berry chantilly cake for special occasions.
Regardless of which one of these options you choose to order, whether is a licensed cake or something a little bit more professional, supermarket bakeries are professional and design your cake with an eye for detail. Their cake artists are required to have professional training in cake decorating and cursive writing, so you get a cake that's readable and suits your occasion to a tee.

Walmart, Kroger, and Safeway bakeries all offer licensed cakes with favorite cartoon characters like Elsa, Ariel, Marvel superheroes, and more. Be sure to stop by your local bakery and ask to see the cake catalog or browse it online before ordering for your party. Some local bakeries even offer photo cakes, in which you can bring in a favored photograph and have it laid on top of a cake. 

The prices will vary according to the cake customization you want, so consider shopping around and getting quotes from multiple bakeries in your hometown to get the best price for your custom party cake.

Image source: Deposit Photos

5 Best Wine Aerators That Boost Its Flavor

A meal à la carte requires that you pay attention to every detail, from meal flavor to plating and cutlery arrangement. You work so much at meal preparation that you might forget some essential details that impress guests and enhance the dinner’s taste. Besides working on the meal, you will need to research and find the best wine aerators to complete the meal’s taste.

We have compiled a list of the best wine aerators for both wine enthusiasts and newbies. As their name states, wine aerators allow red wine to breathe before being consumed. By mixing with oxygen, wine separates from its sediment content and, therefore, it enriches its flavor. This process takes up to three hours, so aerators are useful especially if you have more bottles of wine. This is a countdown of the best wine aerators you can add to your table for maximum effects.

Vintorio Wine Aerator Pourer

This premium aerator could be the next best wine aerator because it’s easy-to-use and an online bestseller. The aerating chamber is large to ensure the optimal amount of oxygen. The wine aerator comes with a lifetime manufacturer guarantee based on client satisfaction.

Vintorio Wine Aerator Pourer

We have chosen to begin our countdown with the Vintorio wine aerator because it’s versatile and manufactured with FDA approved materials. It makes your wine taste finer and completes the table design with an elegant product. The wine aerator is also equipped with a rubber stopper to protect from leaking on the table cloth.

Vinturi V1010 Essential Wine Aerator

This acrylic aerator is among the consumer’s preferences as it is easy to use and acrylic. The compact product has a 6-inches height and 2-inches wideness. The Vinturi wine aerator is suitable for newbies in wine drinking and customers who enjoy easy cleaning and easy storage. It has a patent-pending design which speeds up the wine breathing process.

Vinturi V1010 Essential Wine Aerator

You can easily use the aerator by holding it over the glass and pouring through it. The process is instant and time-saving if you plan a quick dinner. As some customers claim, there is a taste improvement in the wine after using this product.

Bacchus Break Portable Red Wine Aerator

The Bacchus wine aerator could be the favorite product of those who prefer being dinner guests rather than hosts. The portable product goes on your wine bottle’s neck and has a long and narrow protective spout. You can use it with one hand to accurately pour wine in your glass.

Bacchus Break Portable Red Wine Aerator

The best wine aerator for travel use is made of a BPA-free material and features an accessible price. Customers appreciate its ability to keep drinking away from stains or spoiled wine.

Aervana One-Touch Luxury Wine Aerator

This electric wine aerator may be a bit costly. It’s also easy to use, quick, requires no lifting and you don’t need to wait. It’s be best wine aerator in its class and speeds up the oxidation process. The aerator softens tannins and other components of wine to provide with an improved taste.

Aervana One-Touch Luxury Wine Aerator

The wine aerator is the only one which keeps the sediment at the bottom of the bottle, according to its manufacturers. If you’re meal involves a premium product, then Aervana will impress guests.  

Platinum Utensils Wine Aerator Set

The best wine aerator is available in a kit for a delicious meal accompanied by a tasty red wine. The product is made of durable and reliable plastic and comes wrapped in an elegant gift box. It contains a bottle stopper and a wine decanter which provides the drink will full oxidation.

Platinum Utensils Wine Aerator Set

You can use the wine aerator for yourself or purchase it as a gift. Manufacturers ensure wine connoisseurs with lifetime guarantee based on customer satisfaction. Such a product turns wine drinking into an elegant experience which boosts the taste of your favorite variety.

Last, but not Least

As you might have noticed, the best wine aerators above are designed for red wine. Wine aerators have different purposes than wine decanters and can only be used for red varieties. Since it lacks tannin, white wine doesn’t need aerating.

You can pour white wine in a decanter. However, it doesn’t need an aeration process to have a rich and complete taste.

Wrapping Up

The best wine aerators work for elegant dinners, family events and even weekend evenings when you feel like drinking a glass of wine. You will notice the taste difference immediately, especially if you have a favorite wine. You might spend around $15 - $100 for one of the wine aerators we’ve presented above. However, the countdown includes both premium products for customers who enjoy high-end dinners and accessible ones for those who see price as a quality of the product.

Make sure you equip your meal with the best wine aerator, to always enjoy quality products and a delicious meal!

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How To Select The Best Coffee For Latte

I like a good cup of coffee as much as the next person, but what I truly enjoy in is a delicate foamy latte. And I like making latte at home for my guests and myself, but I learned the hard way that stiff foam on the top of a flawless latte and fantastic flavor don’t happen by accident.

They are the result of three things: your skill, the quality of the milk and the choice of the coffee. 

While the first requirement is a matter of effort and experience, the second and the third depend on how well-informed you are. In this article, I’ll show you how to choose the best coffee for latte, but also give you a few hints on choosing the milk and making a fabulous latte, so keep on reading.

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How To Find the Best Milk For Lattes

Coffee and milk have always been friends, and one of the most famous children of these two drinks is certainly the latte. Since their invention up to now, lattes have become wildly popular all over the globe. The mix of energizing coffee and warm, creamy milk creates a delicious combination that’s hard not to enjoy.

These days you can find lattes on every corner as well as millions of people running to get their fix from early morning until evening hours. They also come in different flavors and sizes, so they’ve evolved far beyond your boring milk/coffee blend.

As with many things in life, there is a right and a wrong way to prepare a latte. Of course, tastes differ so not everyone will prefer the same thing, but according to industry standards, a proper latte requires adequate skill and ingredients to make.

One of the biggest factors for whipping up a good cup is the milk. Not all milks are made equal, and in this article, we will discuss and uncover what is the best milk for a latte. Bear with us as we dive further into the topic.

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Are Pickles Paleo? (The Answer Will Surprise You!)

Dieting has been an undying trend for many years. You may have tried a couple of diet plans and will still be trying one in the future once you find something that you feel will work for you. One of the most talked about diet plans currently is Paleo. It is essentially based on the diet of people during the Paleolithic era which is whole, unprocessed and nature-based.

Of course, like all diet plans, there is food that you are allowed and not allowed to consume. With Paleo, there had been several food items that sparked discussions if they could be eaten or not. Pickles came as a recent, interesting question. And so, are pickles Paleo? Before we delve into that deeper, let us first know a thing or two about pickles.

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Paleo Diet 101: A Guide To The Best Paleo Fast Foods

Most of us already know what fast foods are - yes, they are foods that we can order and buy on-the-go and no, they do not run away from us. On a more serious note, fast foods are known to be food that is ready-made, can easily be mass produced, and can be served as quick as possible for hungry and excited customers. But pair ‘fast food’ up with the word ‘Paleo’, and we have a new meaning for it altogether.

Paleo diet is a meal plan believed to improve our health by boosting metabolism and strengthening our bodies by going back to eating fresh, real, and whole, unprocessed foods that are more healthy than harmful to our bodies.

With this in mind, I do not think Paleo foods and fast foods could be in real good terms together too much as the first focuses on fresh and unprocessed foods while the latter can be considered a heaven for processed meals.

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What Is The Ideal Bagel Bites Cook Time? Know It Here

Would you love to try to make some bagel bites but don’t know how long you should cook them in the oven, toaster, or microwave? Then you’re in for a treat as I’ll share with you the ideal bagel bites cook time for each cooking method.

This is a family favorite and we have been making it for years. Here are some true and tested methods you should try to make your own bagel bites at home.

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How Long Can Yogurt Sit Out? This Basic Knowledge You Need To Know

Some natural foods aficionados believe that yogurt can stay safe at room temperature for several hours. Although this may be true, how long can yogurt sit out exactly? You should know the answer so you don’t end up eating a bad yogurt, which can be dangerous to your health.

I love eating yogurt but sometimes I forget to return the leftovers back in the refrigerator after opening it. One would reckon that since this is a dairy product, it can go bad quickly. Here are things you should know to help you figure out how long you can allow your yogurt to sit out without spoiling.

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