• Finding the “Best of the Best” in Coffee

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    October 2, 2020 /  Food

    There is coffee and THERE IS COFFEE! You likely know about the generic quality coffees you find at the supermarket, using the inferior Robusta beans. And, in contrast, there is the alternative: the coffee regularly termed Gourmet Coffee you buy direct from roasters around the country. Popular large volume roasters, like Starbucks as well as most of the the smaller roasters dispersed about town, essentially utilize this far better grade, high altitude, shade grown Arabica bean.

    That being said, and broadly known by all nowadays, how can you siphon out the crème de la crème of gourmet coffee beans to purchase?

    To begin with, let’s hone in specifically on taste. Nowadays, coffee has become a “drink of experts”…
    evolved into an art of reflection! We’ve begun to savor our coffee…flavor identify and define the subtle hints and nuances, as well as the qualities that identify the bean’s continent of origin. You as a coffee drinker, can begin to explore and experience the undertones of your coffee’s region, but better yet, begin to revel in the independently specific flavors of the bean defined by the specific hill and farm where it’s grown.

    Coffee Cupping: Defining Coffee by its “Underlying Flavors”

    There are, nowadays, a limited number of coffee roasters that independently test their coffee beans for taste observations and aromas. These beans are graded and assessed just like fine wine. This activity is called Coffee Cupping or Coffee Tasting. Professionals known as Master Tasters are the assessors. The procedure involves deeply sniffing a cup of brewed coffee, then loudly slurping the coffee so it draws in air, spreads to the back of the tongue, and maximizes flavor.

    These Master Tasters, much akin to wine tasters, then attempt to measure in detail, every aspect of the coffee’s taste. This assessment includes measurement of the body (the texture or mouth-feel, such as oiliness), acidity (a sharp and tangy feeling, like when biting into an orange), and balance (the innuendo and the harmony of flavors working together). Since coffee beans embody telltale flavors from their region or continent of their origin, cuppers may also attempt to predict where the coffee was grown.

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  • Coffee for Health Benefits

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    October 2, 2020 /  Food

    Talking about coffee, a lot of people who still think that coffee is bad for health. Actually it’s not entirely true. Coffee, provided that consumed wisely, it is actually beneficial to health. Whatever, not just coffee, if consumed in excess is definitely not good.

    Benefits of Coffee
    consumption of several cups of coffee a day may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the formation of kidney stones, colon cancer, Parkinson’s disease, liver damage (cirrhosis), heart disease and prevent cognitive decline in brain power. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Bad Dog Food – Is Your Pet Dog Eating Deadly Food?

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    October 2, 2020 /  Food

    With all the new and controversial pet food recalls, it is no wonder that pet owners have preferred making homemade dog food for their pet animals in lieu of commercial and, quite possibly, bad dog food and cat food considered as contaminated. So what’s all the fuss about? What unlikely result can bad contaminated dog food do to your pet dog, and more importantly, what can you do keep it from happening? Just what are in these supposedly good dog food that has got pet owners in an uproar?

    We humans are discouraged from consuming too much canned goods for various health reasons. The same holds true for dogs.

    Moist dog food is packed in cans. You can just think of all the harmful ingredients injected into the dog food package, mostly to bring a good taste, enhance palatability, and even improve appearance.

    What’s truly disconcerting is the fact that animal by-products, the main components of pet food, are already bombarded with chemicals long before they reach the processing plant. So even if the can’s label tells you otherwise, there’s really nothing like a ‘No Preservatives’ guarantee.

    Dry dog food is even worse. And because canning in itself is already a preserving process, moist dog food contains less of the contaminated materials used to prolong shelf life compared with its dry counterpart.

    Another problem is the ingredients themselves, usually meat, poultry, and grains. Any part which is not good for human consumption, such as innards, blood, and bones, make up the by-products that are ground and blended into what we know as commercial pet food. In reality, they are bad dog food.

    The thing is, it is not always slaughtered animals that make their way into these meals, but oftentimes, unhealthy meat of farm animals are included also. And the drugs and bacteria, like Salmonella and Escherichia coli, thriving in these meats do not always die during product making, which incidentally, destroys much of the nutritional content as well.

    Furthermore, when moldy grain is thrown in, as well as all the other synthetic and unnatural additives the numbers of which are too many to count with both hands, you then have a lethal canine cocktail. It doesn’t take a genuine nutritionist to know that this spells disaster for the end user, i.e., innocent little Fido.

    Injurious outcome of bad dog food include vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. But that’s just for starters. The more dangerous toxins, like cf1 butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and ethoxyquin, which are all permitted in small doses, can cause cancer, organ failure, and ultimately, death when ingested after sometime.

    So what can you, the dog owner, do about all this? Voice your concerns. Call pet food manufacturers and demand for better quality products so you get your money’s worth. Better yet, try making your own homemade dog food. At least then, you can be sure about what your loving dog is actually eating. If you have any doubts on the food you’re feeding your dog, consult your veterinarian immediately.

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  • Wine and Food Pairings

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    September 29, 2020 /  Food

    Pairing food and wine is an art. To create a pleasurable dining experience, there are some basic considerations to understanding how food enhances the taste of wine, and vice versa. The goal is to find balance and synergy, keeping in mind that this process is one of personal preferences. Success is achieved when you find a combination that is pleasing to your palate.

    Here are some suggestions on how to pair food and wine, so that they may accentuate the flavors in one another and as a result, taste better.

    Consider how the dish is being prepared, and if there will be a dominate seasoning, sauce or flavor. Delicate foods should be served with a delicate wine, while heavy dishes go better with heavy full bodied wine.

    Keep in mind how the wine will react with the food. For example, sweet foods will taste less sweet with a wine high in tannins. While salty foods offset the sweetness and emphasize the fruit in sweet wines.

    Bring wine and food from the same geographical region together. It is natural for these combinations to work, especially with the culinary history in certain wine-producing regions around the world.

    For wine and cheese pairings, white wines compliment softer cheeses, while red wines taste better with hard cheeses. A Chardonnay, for example, enhances the flavors in a provolone or gruyere cheese. While a Merlot pairs well with brie.

    Below are some suggestions for pairing wine and food:

    Chardonnay- salmon, shellfish, veal, grilled chicken, grilled fish, cream sauces
    Sauvignon Blanc- fruit, white or light fish, lemon based sauces
    Pinot Grigio- turkey, shrimp, veal, cream sauces
    Dry Riesling- shrimp, lobster, chicken
    Zinfandel- tomato pasta dishes, pizza, pesto, chicken with heavy sauces
    Dry Rose- salads, light spicy food, pasta salads
    Cabernet Sauvignon- red meats, roast, dark chocolate, lamb
    Syrah/Shiraz- sausage, stew, peppered red meats, spicy pizzas
    Pinot Noir- salmon, light meats, chicken, tuna, beef stroganoff
    Merlot- pasta dishes, game birds, smoked or grilled meats, chicken

    These are only starting points for wine and food pairings. Experimentation is the key to finding a combination that fits your personality and works best for you.

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  • Six Best Culinary Herbs for Cooking

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    September 29, 2020 /  Food

    Freshly picked culinary herbs add flavour to food and many are delicious additions to salads. Edible herb flowers such as pot marigold, nasturtium and rosemary can also be added to the salad bowl. Many culinary herbs are rich in vitamins and minerals and when freshly picked and eaten raw they can form part of a well-balanced diet. Raw herbs can also be used to add flavour to oils and vinegars for cooking and for salads.

    Parsley

    Parsley leaves gives a fresh flavour to sauces and salads, when added just before serving. The stems and leaves of parsley can also be used in bouquet garni. Parsley tastes particularly good with pasta dishes, omelettes, vegetables, fish and any meat or poultry.

    Parsley is one of the most widely known and used of the culinary herbs. There are two main types of parsley – curly leaf and flat leaf – and both are excellent for culinary purposes. Both of these herbs are a rich source of vitamins and minerals and they can be used to enhance the flavour of cooked dishes and green salads.

    Basil

    Basil goes with almost any dish but it has a special affinity with tomatoes and is a favourite in Italian cooking.

    Sweet basil with its soft green leaves and creamy white or purple tinted flowers is the most popular type of basil. This culinary herb can be used in sauces and salads and to enhance the flavour of cooked dishes such as soups and stews. Perhaps the greatest basil dish is pesto sauce, eaten with spaghetti. This combination makes a wonderfully delicious meal.

    There are many other types of basil. Purple ruffle, dark opal and Greek basil are three of the other more unusual varieties, all with differing flavours.

    Mint

    Spearmint and peppermint are two members of the mint family most widely known and used as culinary herbs. There are many varieties of mint, some with distinct scents and flavours and some can be used for a variety of culinary purposes, such as in sweet and savoury dishes, in salads and for herb tea.

    Spearmint is a favourite for mint sauce to accompany lamb and tastes particularly good with dishes such as soups, stews, plain meats, fish and lemon-based deserts.

    Peppermint is also popular as a culinary herb flavouring. This herb is most commonly used as flavouring for sweets and chocolates etc. and is also used to flavour cordials. Fresh peppermint leaves can be used to make peppermint tea and the leaves can be added to fresh green salads.

    Thyme

    Thyme can be used to improve the flavour of most dishes. Both the fresh and dried leaves of this herb are used for cooking. Fresh thyme leaves are useful in many savoury dishes.

    Thyme has a rich flavour which makes it an ideal accompaniment to roast meats and tastes good in slowly cooked dishes such as stews and soups. The finely chopped fresh leaves may be added to new potatoes or salad.

    Thyme is regarded as one of the great culinary herbs and is widely used in European cooking. This herb is an evergreen perennial it is recognisable by its mauve flowers and small leaves.
    Warning: Avoid using Thyme if you are pregnant.

    Rosemary

    This lovely culinary herb has a strong but pleasant flavour. It enhances the flavour of many dishes such as strong tasting fish and some meat dishes but goes especially well with lamb and also tastes good with strong flavoured vegetables.

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  • Macaroni Schotel for the little guy

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    September 28, 2020 /  Food

    So that your child does not get bored with the menu that it was just, it is time we serve a delicious special menu for the little guy. Schotel macaroni can be served to infants aged 9 months to 2 years of age.

    In addition, vitamins and protein in macaroni schotel proven to be consumed by the baby. Let’s peep the recipe.

    ingredients:

    -200 Grams of macaroni, boiled until soft porridge or can use basic macaroni
    – Half btr onion, finely chopped
    – 1 clove garlic, grated
    – 1 pc small carrot, grated
    – 1 pc small size potato, grated
    – 1 tablespoon butter for sauteing
    – 2 eggs
    – 1/2 cup milk formula
    – 100 grams of minced chicken / beef mince

    How to Make:

    1. Sauté onions and garlic in butter until fragrant. Enter the grated carrots and potatoes, stirring frequently. Then enter the liquid milk, chicken / beef mince, lift.
    2. Add the eggs to the material he had been beaten off. Then pour in a heat-resistant dish. Steam until cooked. Remove and let cool.

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  • Tips on Choosing and Storing Avocados

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    September 27, 2020 /  Food

    Avocado, fruit is sometimes avoided because of the fat content. Though the fat in avocados is unsaturated fat that is actually healthy for the body. By also taking notes is not excessive, so that the levels are maintained.

    Well, this avocado as well as olive oil, which can increase levels of HDL or the good cholesterol called. HDL can help protect the body from free radical attack, so it can regulate triglyceride levels and prevent diabetes.

    In addition, there are many other benefits of avocados, including: karotenoidnya protein content and are also good for the body. While, vitamin C and E in avocados can help keep the skin moist. Wow a lot of it also benefits avocado. Now, we will help you select and store fresh avocado to keep it when they want to consume. Consider the following tips yes.

    Tip 1:

    The ripe avocado tree is the best quality, but usually the most frequently encountered in the store or market is not yet ripe. Well, if you have this you should choose avocados that are heavy, dark green skin color and no blemishes on the fruit skin.

    Tip 2:

    In order to quickly cook avocado, does not need to be washed after purchase. Wrap in use newspaper and keep it away from sunlight. Within 2-3 days, avocados will ripen, the skin is more tender and soft.

    Tip 3:

    Sometimes, it’s not a large alupkat eaten alone. As a result after the split, part of which half should be stored. But the color will turn black and it seems to be less fresh.

    Overcome this, you can use lemon juice. Squeeze the lemon juice over the avocado meat, avocado enter into the plastic and wrap tightly. With avocado this way will stay fresh at least up to 2 days. Tips can also be used for avocado chopped or blended, add a little lemon juice so that the color does not change blackish.

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  • Finding the “Best of the Best” in Coffee

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    September 26, 2020 /  Food

    Tips for Finding Perfect Premium Coffee…

    There is coffee and THERE IS COFFEE! You likely know about the generic quality coffees you find at the supermarket, using the inferior Robusta beans. And, in contrast, there is the alternative: the coffee regularly termed Gourmet Coffee you buy direct from roasters around the country. Popular large volume roasters, like Starbucks as well as most of the the smaller roasters dispersed about town, essentially utilize this far better grade, high altitude, shade grown Arabica bean.

    That being said, and broadly known by all nowadays, how can you siphon out the crème de la crème of gourmet coffee beans to purchase?

    To begin with, let’s hone in specifically on taste. Nowadays, coffee has become a “drink of experts”…
    evolved into an art of reflection! We’ve begun to savor our coffee…flavor identify and define the subtle hints and nuances, as well as the qualities that identify the bean’s continent of origin. You as a coffee drinker, can begin to explore and experience the undertones of your coffee’s region, but better yet, begin to revel in the independently specific flavors of the bean defined by the specific hill and farm where it’s grown.

    Coffee Cupping: Defining Coffee by its “Underlying Flavors”

    There are, nowadays, a limited number of coffee roasters that independently test their coffee beans for taste observations and aromas. These beans are graded and assessed just like fine wine. This activity is called Coffee Cupping or Coffee Tasting. Professionals known as Master Tasters are the assessors. The procedure involves deeply sniffing a cup of brewed coffee, then loudly slurping the coffee so it draws in air, spreads to the back of the tongue, and maximizes flavor.

    These Master Tasters, much akin to wine tasters, then attempt to measure in detail, every aspect of the coffee’s taste. This assessment includes measurement of the body (the texture or mouth-feel, such as oiliness), acidity (a sharp and tangy feeling, like when biting into an orange), and balance (the innuendo and the harmony of flavors working together). Since coffee beans embody telltale flavors from their region or continent of their origin, cuppers may also attempt to predict where the coffee was grown.

    There is an infinite range of vocabulary that is used to describe the tastes found in coffee. Descriptors range from the familiar (chocolaty, sweet, fruity, woody) to the conceptual (clean, vibrant, sturdy) to the wildly esoteric (summery, racy, gentlemanly).

    Following are a few key characteristics as defined by Coffee Geek. (http://coffeegeek.com/guides/beginnercupping/tastenotes)

    Key Characteristics

    Acidity:

    The brightness or sharpness of coffee: It is through the acidity that many of the most intriguing fruit and floral flavors are delivered, and is usually the most scrutinized characteristic of the coffee. Acidity can be intense or mild, round or edgy, elegant or wild, and everything in between. Usually the acidity is best evaluated once the coffee has cooled slightly to a warm/lukewarm temperature. Tasting a coffee from Sumatra next to one from Kenya is a good way to begin to understand acidity.

    Body:

    This is sometimes referred to as “mouthfeel”. The body is the sense of weight or heaviness that the coffee exerts in the mouth, and can be very difficult for beginning cuppers to identify. It is useful to think about the viscosity or thickness of the coffee, and concentrate on degree to which the coffee has a physical presence. Cupping a Sulawesi versus a Mexican coffee can illustrate the range of body quite clearly.

    Sweetness:

    One of the most important elements in coffee, sweetness often separates the great from the good. Even the most intensely acidic coffees are lush and refreshing when there is enough sweetness to provide balance and ease the finish. Think of lemonade…starting with just water and lemon juice, one can add sugar until the level of sweetness achieves harmony with the tart citric flavor. It is the same with coffee, the sweetness is critical to allowing the other tastes to flourish and be appreciated.

    Finish:

    While first impressions are powerful, it is often the last impression that has the most impact. With coffee the finish (or aftertaste) is of great importance to the overall quality of the tasting experience, as it will linger long after the coffee has been swallowed. Like a great story, a great cup of coffee needs a purposeful resolution. The ideal finish to me is one that is clean (free of distraction), sweet, and refreshing with enough endurance to carry the flavor for 10-15 seconds after swallowing. A champion finish will affirm with great clarity the principal flavor of the coffee, holding it aloft with grace and confidence like a singer carries the final note of a song and then trailing off into a serene silence.

    Coffee Buying Caveat

    Buying coffee simply by name instead of by taste from your favorite roaster (in other words buying the same Columbian Supreme from the same “Joe’s Cuppa Joe Roaster”) definitely has its pitfall! According to Coffee Review, “Next year’s Clever-Name-Coffee Company’s house blend may be radically different from this year’s blend, despite bearing the same name and label. The particularly skillful coffee buyer or roaster who helped create the coffee you and I liked so much may have gotten hired elsewhere. Rain may have spoiled the crop of a key coffee in the blend. The exporter or importer of that key coffee may have gone out of business or gotten careless. And even if everyone (plus the weather) did exactly the same thing they (and it) did the year before, the retailer this time around may have spoiled everything by letting the coffee go stale before you got to it. Or you may have messed things up this year by keeping the coffee around too long, brewing it carelessly, or allowing a friend to pour hazelnut syrup into it.”

    Your savvy coffee-buying alternative is to look for roasters who buy their beans in Micro-Lots- smaller (sometimes tiny) lots of subtly distinctive specialty coffees. According to Coffee Review, “These coffee buyers buy small quantities of coffee from a single crop and single place, often a single hillside, and are sold not on the basis of consistency or brand, but as an opportunity to experience the flavor associated with a unique moment in time and space and the dedication of a single farmer or group of farmers.”

    Coffee Review: Coffee Ratings

    And finally, look out for the very small community coffee roasters that will submit their coffees to be 3rd-party evaluated by Coffee Review and other competitions for independent analysis and rating. Coffee Review regularly conducts blind, expert cuppings of coffees and then reports the findings in the form of 100-point reviews to coffee buyers. These valuable Overall Ratings can provide you with a summary assessment of the reviewed coffees. They are based on a scale of 50 to 100.

    Bottom line for a certain premium purchase: To find the coffee that will ascertain most flavor satisfaction, seek out beans that been independently reviewed and rated. This approach will, without a doubt offer you the advantage of being able to choose the flavor profile suits you best in a bean. What’s more, it gains you certainty in quality due to its superior rating. The higher the rating, the better the flavor. True premium coffees start from the upper 80’s. By finding a roaster that consistently rates within the 90’s will ultimately buy you the best java for your buck!

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  • How to Brew a Great Cup of Coffee Every Time

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    September 25, 2020 /  Food

    Coffee is truly one of the pleasures of life. Not only can it pick you up in the afternoon, but the taste can be pure enjoyment. First, though, you need to know a few things in order to brew a great cup of coffee in your own home.

    Beans

    Great-tasting coffee starts with the best beans and a good coffee grinder. The burr type of grinder is the best. It can operate at slower speeds so your coffee beans are not subject to heat buildup as they are being ground.

    With good coffee beans, a burr grinder, and an above average coffee maker, you can make a great cup of coffee at home that equals anything bought at a coffee house. The only other expense you will experience is any syrups or creamers you choose to put in. You’ll still be saving a lot of money by making your coffee at home.

    What are the best beans to buy? What’s the difference between arabica and robusta, the two basic coffee species?

    Arabica

    There are two basic coffee variants: one is the traditional arabica, and the other is robusta coffee.

    The shrubs that produce arabica coffee beans were said to have been planted by the descendants of the Queen of Sheba, who came from Ethiopia, where Coffea arabica originates. Arabica beans tend to have less caffeine and milder flavor than robusta. In fact robusta coffee beans have twice the caffeine.

    Arabica coffee beans are considered to be superior in quality than robusta. All gourmet coffee beans are created from selected Arabic coffee beans.

    Robusta

    Robusta is used as an inexpensive substitute for arabica in commercial coffee blends and in almost all instant coffee products. Robusta of finer quality are used in espresso blends for a foamy effect and for better affordability.

    High quality robusta is also used to blend espresso for more bite, and to lower costs. Robusta can be grown in climates and environments were arabica would not be profitable.

    Not all robusta coffee is less expensive. Some robusta blends include the very popular Jamaican Blue Mountain and the Hawaiian Kona coffees which are so much in demand that they command a higher price.

    Most Italian coffee is brewed very strong from the lower quality robusta bean, which might suggest why Italy gave us such innovations as cappuccino (coffee with steamed milk) and flavored coffees

    Conclusion

    There’s more to enjoying a good cup of coffee than grinding some beans, throwing them into a coffee maker, and drinking the result. To be able to truly enjoy a cup of coffee, start with a burr coffee grinder, an above-average coffee maker, and experiment with different flavors and blends of the best gourmet coffee.

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  • Buy Best Quality Charcoal for Your Barbecue

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    September 22, 2020 /  Food

    Buy charcoal than there are several vendors on the web these days that are involved in the selling of quality charcoal and other such elements that help you enjoy a beautiful meal after all the hard work and efforts that have been made by you. Charcoal is easily available in the e-stores as well as in the physical stores at cost-effective rates. They are usually stocked in a pyramid fashion. Spread out the heated charcoal evenly all around the grill to enjoy the best barbecued food ever.

    If you enjoy an outdoor barbecue then, there is nothing best than the charcoal barbecue. Charcoal is the most commonly used fuel for grilling and barbecuing. Food lovers often love to have their barbecue cooked over a charcoal flame as it is what induces that peculiar and authentic taste to the food being cooked. Nothing beats the aroma of the food that is cooked over a charcoal or wooden barbecue not even the so called modern gas grills. The quality of charcoal too plays a very important role in the barbecue apart from the quality of meat, ingredients used and arrangement of the grills. To enjoy a good meal one should always buy best quality charcoal for cooking.

    There are specifically made barbecue grills are available in the market that makes use of the charcoal as the main source of heat generation in order to cook the meat thoroughly from inside out. The form, pattern and size of the grills may vary from place to place. Thus depending upon your requirement you can pick up a size that cat cater to your family needs. To ensure that the meat is well cooked and has that peculiar aroma, it must be cooked on low heat over supreme quality charcoals. Following the step by step guide of the barbecue meat helps you bring forth onto the table something amazing not only in looks but at the same time in taste too.

    Also while, barbecuing makes sure that you do not add the charcoal lighter fluid to the already heated charcoals as they can further strengthen the heat which in turn might result into the fire that might be hazardous. This should be avoided in all situations as they can lead to unwanted and unnecessary burns and rashes. If a little care and attention is paid, one can easily cook food without getting oneself hurt or injured. Soak the charcoals beforehand only in the charcoal liquid for about 10mins to get absorbed.

    Care should also be taken while igniting your barbecue grill to make sure that the meat being cooked is not burnt and is well cooked from inside out, leaving no raw corners. Place the meat only when the charcoal is well heated and appears to be white hot and ashy. Further you can serve the meal thus cooked with freshly chopped veggies or a salad. The dishes that are prepared in the similar fashion are simply mouthwatering and lend an exceptional taste in the mouth.

    If what you are seeking is a place to buy charcoal than there are several vendors on the web these days that are involved in the selling of quality charcoal and other such elements that help you enjoy a beautiful meal after all the hard work and efforts that have been made by you. Charcoal is easily available in the e-stores as well as in the physical stores at cost-effective rates. They are usually stocked in a pyramid fashion. Spread out the heated charcoal evenly all around the grill to enjoy the best barbecued food ever.

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