Oh Snap!

Posted by Giggs on January 19, 2015 with 2 Comments

Roasted Red Pepper Soup Recipe

Posted by Giggs on April 12, 2016 with No Comments

1 Tbsp. Butter

4 Large Red Bell Peppers

1 Large Sweet Onion, chopped

3-4 Cloves Garlic, minced

4 oz. Dry White Wine

1 1/2 cups Heavy Cream

Salt and White Pepper to taste

Optional: Cayenne Pepper to taste


Roast the red peppers over a grill or stove burner until black on all sides. Place into a plastic bag and let them sweat for 15-20 minutes. Using the back of a knife, scrape the skins off of the peppers and remove the seeds and stem. In a large soup pot, sweat chopped onion, garlic, and peppers in a little butter. When the vegetables are soft, seaon with salt and pepper, then add in the white wine. Reduce the wine until almost dry, then add in the cream. Simmer for 5 minutes, then puree with a stick blender until smooth. Check for seasonings.

Tip: Squeeze in a touch of lemon or lime juice to perk up the flavors just before serving.

Why I decided to buy a bread machine

Posted by Giggs on April 7, 2016 with No Comments

After reading more reviews of the top bread machines, I was more than convinced that I should buy one of these appliances. For starters, I was tired of the taste of store-bought bread, and I wanted to control the ingredients that I use in my bread. I also wanted to save some money because bread has become quite expensive, especially gluten-free products. Bread machines can also do more than just make bread, and there’s the dough setting that I could use for mixing, kneading and fermenting the dough without becoming messy. I could then use the dough for various purposes, either to make pie, pizza, croissants or cake.

A bread machine also has a cake setting, which I could use for making cakes. This is great because the bread maker now replaces my oven, stand mixer and hand mixer. Replacing these appliances means that I can now save more money. I also live in a small apartment and there’s not a lot of room in my kitchen. This means that my bread machine takes up little space since I don’t have to buy many different appliances. I also realized that there’s a bread machine that could also make jam.

I have Japanese neighbors and so I could now use a versatile machine to prepare for them Japanese foods such as brioche, udon, steamed bread and mocha. Once I read more bread maker reviews, I bought a good appliance that has continued to serve me well. I now enjoy waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread, and it’s the best tasting loaf of bread too. I learnt that when my bread had finished baking, I should cool it immediately so that the optimal color and texture is maintained. I also resist the temptation of slicing the bread immediately it has baked so that I can keep it moist inside but not spongy.

More: Bread maker tips and troubleshooting – Red Star Yeast

Is an Espresso Machine Good for You?

Posted by Giggs on April 2, 2016 with No Comments

Espresso machines produce highly concentrated ,dark and rich brew that are mostly found at the coffee shops. The coffee beans must be finely ground and packed to produce strong coffee which some people prefer to take as shots. Espresso machines can also be used to make milk-based beverages such as lattes and cappuccinos, where milk is heated separately using the machine’s frothing tube which blow steam into the milk whipping it to froth.

Drinking Espresso

espresso machine type

Manufacturers have gone to greater lengths in designing and building exceptional espresso makers for home use and also for commercial purposes. Basically, there are two espresso machines which are steam driven espresso machines and pump driven espresso machines. Steam-driven espresso machines worked on steam pressure where steam pressure is used to pump water through the coffee grounds to produce espresso.

I don’t recommend steam-driven espresso machines because they can’t produce enough pressure or temperatures required to produce true espresso,they are just in a position to make very strong cup of coffee.However steam-driven espresso machines are considerably cheaper than pump-driven machines therefore they can be used on the entry level if you are on an extremely tight budget. On the other hand i recommend pump-driven espresso machines which use electric pump that pumps water through the coffee grounds.These machines therefore can produce true espresso.

There are two types of pump-driven machines; Super-automatic espresso machines and semi-automatic espresso machines.The difference between these two units depends on which one better suits yours needs.Semi-automatic espresso machines are perfect for best-quality espresso though it might take a little more time and effort off your schedule. Whereas if you just want a quick cup of great tasting espresso then the super-automatic machine will suit you well since there is no extra effort applied.This machine is suitable for the people on the go or those people who prefer convenience over control.

Overall, I recommend the semi-automatic espresso machine which is all about fine tuning, precise great taste,temperature and body espresso shots that you love especially if you are a “hands on” espresso expert who doesn’t mind a little more effort to ensure high-quality espresso then this is the best option for you.

more reading – history of espresso machine

My search for the best kitchen knife

Posted by Giggs on March 5, 2016 with No Comments

I have recently taken up a part time catering course at my local adult college. I love cooking and preparing meals for my kids. I even encourage them to help me in preparing the vegetables and making the family stews. Now that they are that little bit older, I have a little extra time to myself and so therefore I thought that enrolling in a cookery course would be a fabulous idea to learn more recipes and how to prepare food correctly.

Within the first week, we were all told to purchase a good kitchen knife, so that we could practice what we learn in class at home. I do have kitchen knives but they are getting on a bit now. So I looked on the Internet and began to read up on what the culinary professionals and kitchen websites recommended as the best kitchen knives to buy. This was my starting point as it gave me the brands to look for. They included, Victorinox, Global and Wusthof. My aim was to buy one of the best kitchen knives available, but at a reasonable price.

I then looked on Amazon to compare prices and customer reviews. The Victorinox kitchen knife I found was an 8 inch chef’s knife that was priced just under $40, this had fantastic customer reviews and was rated as a best seller. The Global knife that I found was also 8 inches but this was priced much higher at $100, but again had wonderful customer feedback. The final knife I found was the 6 inch Gourmet Chef’s knife priced at just under $70. This also came highly recommended.

To be honest after having read all of the top 10 knives reviews and recommendations I felt that any of these kitchen knives could perform the job that I needed them to do. Therefore I decided to choose the cheapest and bought the Victorinox chef’s knife.

I’ve been using this knife for several weeks now and it does the job perfectly. It’s incredibly versatile when in the kitchen. My advice to you is to find out what kitchen knives are available, choose those knives that are recommended by professionals and then shop around for the best price. I’m glad I did.

Smart Electric Rice Cookers

Posted by Giggs on January 12, 2016 with No Comments

No matter if you eat white or brown rice, long or short grain, it is not easy to get it right when cooked traditionally in a pot. Thanks to the electric rice cooker, cooking rice is a piece of cake – set it at the right settings and leave it to cook. Not only can it cook rice, you can easily cook porridge, stew and oatmeal in a pot.

Electric rice cookers these days are smart that it can determine and adjust the cooking time and temperature for cooking the fluffiest rice. They are able to do so with sensors that have the ability to detect the amount of rice and water in the pot.

There are many best rated rice cooker reviews but here are some tips to make your decision easier:

  1. Budget

The first thing you should do is figure out how much you’re willing to spend on your rice cooker. Regardless of its price, the best rice cooker should be able to cook your rice to perfection. Just remember that the more expensive the appliance is, the more extensive the extra super powers it has. Personally, I think you should not buy an electric rice cooker just because of its extra functions but not ever use them to your advantage.

  1. Capacity/Size

Rice will taste better when you cook in a cooker at its intended capacity. If you are only cooking for yourself and maybe your partner, a 3-cup electric rice cooker will be more than enough to cook for a meal. A 10-cup cooker will only be ideal only if you frequently cook for your extended family or you’re in the catering business.

Also, look for an electric rice cooker that has a steaming tray to cook your vegetable. As the water boils off to cook the rice, the released steam will cook the vegetables. Not only is this a healthy way to cook your rice but it also saves energy and time.

  1. Material

Do consider the material of the cooking pot when choosing your cooker. A non-stick aluminum or stainless steel is preferred by most people since it’s easy to clean. Some people prefer pots that are made from charcoal or clay which are natural materials that have non-stick properties. However, some of these pans do produce rice with a slight burnt taste thanks to these natural materials – some people do enjoy this difference in taste.

  1. Bells & Whistles

As I mentioned earlier, pricier models have features that would elevate the user’s experience when using the electric rice cooker. Things like measuring lines inside the cooking pot and see-through lid will allow you to easily measure the water used and monitor the cooking process. If your cooker has a warming function, it would be great to keep your rice warm until you’re ready to eat your meal.

  1. Multi-tasking Abilities

I believe that if you’re already paying so much for an appliance, it should work more than its main intended use. Other than rice, your electric rice cooker should be able to cook congee, oatmeal and crock pot style meals.

Related Posts:
Small rice cookers for small families
Top recommended brand – Zojirushi rice cookers
More rice cooker brands

French Onion Soup Recipe

Posted by Giggs on May 12, 2015 (Comments Closed)

2 ½ pounds yellow onions, halved, and sliced ¼-inch thick (8 cups)

¼ pound unsalted butter

1 bay leaf

½ cup medium-dry sherry

½ cup brandy or Cognac

1 ½ cups good dry white wine

4 cups beef stock

4 cups veal stock

1 tablespoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Freshly Grated Parmesan

In a large stockpot on medium-high heat, sauté the onions with the butter and bay leaf for 20 minutes, until the onions turn a rich golden brown color. Deglaze the pan with the sherry and brandy and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the white wine and simmer uncovered for 15 more minutes. Add the beef and veal stocks plus salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, taste for salt and pepper, and serve hot with grated Parmesan.

Good Cookware Set Make All the Difference

Posted by Giggs on January 15, 2015 with No Comments

Are you tired of using an old set of cookware that even don’t heat evenly? Are you thinking of buying a new set of cookware? If yes, then you must think about Calphalon cookware set. But before purchasing one, you should read the best cookware set reviews. They will help you to make a better choice.

Though Calphalon Cookware were initially designed for use at home, the technology behind it is simply innovative. Cooking with this set is simply an unforgettable experience and you will be able to maintain the high quality and durability that most of the chefs demand in a professional cookware. (Go to the official website)

The company has equipped all their latest cookwares with two new shining surfaces which help you to bring out the expert chef. Its completely new and revolutionary non sticky surface will not allow the food items to stick on it and releases the meal without any trouble. These cookwares are the best for cooking delicious omelette and sauces.

Have you ever tried to cook salmon or even tuna on a traditional cookware? Simply impossible, you see. However, this specific set of cookware offer unique and additionally textured Sear non sticky area which does not allow the fish to stick to pan while at the same time keep the taste of the fillet intact.

Each of its surface is particularly meant for different cooking purposes. Now it is very easy to cook multi flavored moist braised meat, mouth watering salmon dishes along with delicious veggies. Another benefit of Calphalon cookware is that it takes very little or simply no oil, fat or butter to cook food. It comes with life time warranty and is absolutely dishwasher safe. Its grip remains surprisingly cool even on the hot stove and will give you the feeling of a professional chef. It is the right time to upgrade your conventional pots and pans to the best quality and cook delicious food for your family.