A Guide to Celebrating the 20th Wedding Anniversary

The 20th year wedding anniversary is one of the largest milestone anniversaries, and one that is well worth celebrating not only with your spouse and loved ones, but also with anyone in your life who wants to celebrate with you. As you celebrate this truly momentous occasion, you should be taking the time to reflect on the serious commitment that has been made to a lifetime of marriage between you and your spouse. Here is a guide to the ideas and symbols that are normally associated with the twentieth wedding anniversary. Planning a 20th year wedding anniversary is an event that should be taken seriously, and it has a lot more planning involved than simply throwing a celebratory party.

20th Anniversary Traditional Gifts: China is the traditional gift for the 20th wedding anniversary, as it is meant to symbolize the beauty, elegance and delicate nature of your love for one another over a period of the past twenty years.

20th Anniversary Modern or Contemporary Gifts: Platinum is the modern or contemporary choice for a 20th year wedding anniversary gift because it is strong and enduring in many of the same ways as your twenty year old marriage.

20th Anniversary Gemstone: The emerald is the traditional gemstone for celebrating the 20th year wedding anniversary, though yellow or golden diamonds are another available option.

20th Anniversary Color: The colors traditionally associated with the 20th year wedding anniversary are both emerald green and white.

20th Anniversary Flower: The flower normally associated with the 20th year wedding anniversary is the day lily. The meaning normally associated with the day lily is that of coquetry, including playful behavior toward your spouse and flirting.

Another opportunity available to you is to give a rose that is symbolic of this momentous occasion, the twentieth year anniversary. A few of the roses that you should consider include the China Doll rose, the Chinatown rose, the Weeping China Doll rose and the Precious Platinum rose.

There are a number of different ways that you can celebrate your twentieth year wedding anniversary. For example, you may want to consider planning an anniversary party that has a Chinese theme, possibly even making use of Chinese paper lanterns as part of the decorations. If you want to continue the China theme, you may consider planning a picnic using China glasses and plates rather than paper or Styrofoam. Take things to the next level by purchasing tickets to a concert, movie, sporting event or the theater and attend with your loved one. If you want to celebrate in style, which is recommended for this truly phenomenal wedding anniversary, you may even consider vacationing with your spouse to China or Hong Kong, where traditional China gifts can be purchased.

There are a variety of different gift ideas that you can consider when treating your spouse to a gift on your twentieth year wedding anniversary. Consider giving the gift of a Wedgwood china vase containing fresh day lilies or other flowers. You may also consider giving the gift of China plates, china baskets or China cake plates that match the style and décor of your home. If China kitchenware is not your style, China figurines or Chinese style figurines may make an excellent gift for your loved one. If China is not your style, there is always the option to choose platinum jewelry, as platinum is a contemporary gift choice for this particular wedding anniversary.

If you want to create a gift for your spouse rather than purchasing one, you may consider putting a piece of platinum and emerald jewelry, a single day lily, new paper money, love coupons and a love note in a China cup or China bowl, or otherwise combining small, beautiful gifts together in a simple way to show your most special loved one how much you care about them.

The twentieth year wedding anniversary is a large one, and traditionally is the anniversary where couples finally begin to include their friends and family in their celebrations. This does not mean that you cannot celebrate with one another privately, but to have reached twenty happy years with your husband or wife is certainly cause for a grand celebration.



Source by Bennetta Elliott

How to Fix Your Cheesecake – A Troubleshooting Guide

A cheesecake should be relatively trouble free but occasionally problems do come up. Over the years, we’ve been asked the following questions.

“What’s the easiest way to make crumbs for my crust?”

Lots of folks use a food processor; we don’t bother. We use a heavy duty zipper-type plastic bag and crush the crackers or cookies with a rolling pin a few at a time. We save the plastic bag for the next crust. If we’re in a hurry, we just use packaged graham cracker crumbs rather than crushing crackers.

“I have lumps in my cheesecake. How do avoid those?”

Most likely the lumps are from globules of cream cheese in your batter. Before adding any of the other ingredients, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together until completely mixed. The sugar crystals will cut through the cream cheese breaking up the globules. In the heat of the oven, the sugar will melt further breaking up any pieces.

If your recipe calls for chocolate, either white or dark, the lumps could be chocolate. When the chocolate is mixed into the cool batter, it solidifies and creates lumps. To avoid that, make sure your melted chocolate is hot, well above the melt point. With your mixer running, drizzle the hot chocolate into the batter. With the chocolate hotter, it will disperse before setting up.

“I bake my cheesecake for the time specified in the recipe and the center is still soft. What am I doing wrong?”

You’re probably doing nothing wrong. Baking times in recipes are always estimates and can be affected by the temperature in your oven (calibrated temperatures are seldom right), the depth of the batter, whether the pan is light or dark (dark pans bake faster), how cold your batter is, and other factors. Don’t worry about the time and just bake it until it done. (See the next question.)

“How do I tell when my cheesecake is done?”

There are three ways. You can gently shake the cheesecake. If only the center is still jiggly, it’s done. This is not very precise but with practice, you can get good with this method.

The most common way is to stick a knife in the batter about one-inch from the center. If it’s done, it will come out clean.

The most precise way to tell when a cheesecake is done is with an insta-read thermometer. Stick the probe in the center of the cheesecake and see what it reads. A cheesecake is done when the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. That’s when the proteins in the eggs coagulate.

“How do I stop my cheesecake from cracking?”

A cheesecake top without a crack seems to be the ultimate measure of success. It shouldn’t be. A crack doesn’t affect the taste. Many cheesecakes are topped and the topping covers any cracks.

There may be a number of reasons for cracks:

– Too much air incorporated into the filling may cause cracks.

– Too much baking time will over bake the filling and is a common cause of cracks.

– Uneven baking may be a cause. If you are using light gauge, reflective pans, consider switching to heavier gauge, dark pans.

– Too high of heat may cause cracking. Consider baking at 325 degrees instead of at 350 degrees.

– It your cheesecake cools too rapidly, it may develop cracks. Don’t let your cheesecake cool in a draft.

Cheesecakes with starch in the filling are less prone to cracking.

“My crusts crumble when I try to serve my cheesecake. What am I doing wrong?”

It’s the butter that acts as the mortar holding the crumbs together. The butter needs to be well mixed with crumbs. There has to be enough butter, a minimum of four tablespoons per crust. The mixture needs to be compacted with firm pressure. We use a pastry tamper or heavy mug to compress the bottom and to press the sides.

Always cut and serve your cheesecake cold. That way the butter is a solid. If the cheesecake gets too warm, the butter melts and the crust will crumble.

Baking a crust is not necessary but it does tend to hold the crust together. The sugar melts in baking and tends to hold things in place once it cools and sets.

“I always seem to muck up my slices when I cut my cheesecake. What’s the best way to cut a cheesecake?”

Use the right knife, a sharp, thin-bladed knife. Don’t use a serrated knife as filling and crumbs tend to stick to the serrations.

Cut with a downward pressure, dragging the knife as little as possible. After each cut, wash and dry the knife so that you have a clean blade slicing through the cheesecake.

“My slices seem to stick to the base and it’s hard to remove them. Is there an easy way to neatly remove my slices?”

There is an easy way to get slices to slide of the pan base. Heat a wet kitchen towel in the microwave. Lay the towel on the counter and place the cheesecake directly on the hot towel. In a couple minutes, the heat will soften the butter against the base and slices will easily slip off.

It helps to have a springform pan with a smooth base.



Source by Dennis R Weaver

Seasoning 101 – An Exhausting Guide to Herbs and Spices

Spices and Herbs have been around for thousands of years. They give our food flavor, some of them have medicinal benefits and they are mostly very affordable. Nothing elevates humble ingredients more elegantly and in a more affordable way than spices.

A few tips: If you have the choice always buy whole seeds and grind on a per need basis – a dedicated coffee grinder does a good job. For herbs grow your own fresh plant if you can or buy fresh herbs if they are affordable – you usually do not need a whole of a fresh herb to make a big impact on flavor and you can keep the unused herb in the refrigerator or freeze it for later.

Try to buy your spices or herbs in the health food store in the bulk spice section. Make sure the store has a high turnover. Spices, especially ground ones, die very quickly. If the flavor does not hit you in the face as you open the jar – stay away – no matter how much dead spice you will add, it will never improve your dish.

Storage: glass jars are best – buy little spice at a time – store away from sunlight and heat. I will present all spices in one list whether they are seeds, barks, roots or fruits.

ALLSPICE: its aroma is a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves hence the name; it is an important ingredient in the Jamaican jerk seasoning but also works with sweet dishes.

ANISE SEED: smells and tastes like licorice; used very much like fennel, adds a fresh note

BASIL: there are many varieties, sweet basil most common; wonderful aroma notes of cinnamon,clove and anise with a citrus finish. Do not store fresh leaves in the fridge since they will turn black. Keep it in water on you kitchen counter like a bunch of flowers. add fresh basil at the end of cooking and keep the leaves almost intact.

BAY LAUREL: use fresh or dried, mild flavor, sweet, similar to nutmeg. Bay laurel is milder and more subtle than California bay – you can tell them apart by the scalloped edges that only true bay laurel leaves have.

CARAWAY SEED: warm flavor with notes of anise,fennel and mint – strongly aromatic sweet but tangy; not for everyone

CARDAMON: either ground or in seed – crush seeds prior to use to release flavor warm cinnamon like flavor – less woody – pungent and intense – both for sweet and savory dishes

CAYENNE PEPPER: a type of ground chilies – little aroma but provides heat – on a scale of hotness from 1 to 10 most cayenne ranks about 8 – so use with caution!

CELERY SEED: its flavor is somewhere between grass and bitter hay – tasting – you guessed it – like celery. It is quite potent so use with caution.

CHERVIL: member of the parsley family, used similarly – less flavorful part of the french fines herbes blend

CHILI: there are more than 300 types of chili – the most common varieties are ancho, chipotle, habanero Hotness levels vary so experiment carefully! Whole dried chilies other than spicing up your level are also great in your storage jars for whole grains – put in whole chili in the jar and grain moths will think twice about ruining your precious grains. Just make sure you take the chili out before you cook your grains!

CHIVES: part of the onion family; always add at the end of cooking try to use fresh; grows wild in many areas

CILANTRO: wonderfully pungent aroma with notes if citrus, use very much like parsley and keeps equally well in the refrigerator

CINNAMON: one the most beloved spices, used often in sweet foods but is also a prominent ingredient in the Indian spice mixture garam masala; aroma is sweet, earthy and peppery.

CLOVES: one of the most intense of all spices cloves should be removed before serving a dish – since biting into one can be unpleasant; used both in sweet as well as savory dishes; flavor is very aromatic warm think gingerbread

CORIANDER: the seed of the Cilantro plant – warm, aromatic flavor with undertones of sage and lemon. Use both with sweet and savory dishes.

CUMIN: related to parsley – not to be confused with caraway seed. Dry roast before using to bring out the lightly spicy, bitter and earthy aroma.

DILL: feathery leaves of the dill plant; add at the end of cooking or use raw

DILL SEED: seed of the dill plant, gives a flavor somewhere between anise and caraway, quite potent – use cautiously

FENNEL SEED: aroma somewhere between anise, licorice and mint; quite sweet good for both savory and sweet dishes; saute seeds before use to release flavor

FENUGREEK: very pungent, somewhat bitter – flavor of maple syrup; found in most curry blends and in the African berbere spice mix – dry roasting eliminates the bitter over tones

GINGER: fresh ginger should be stored in the refrigerator; it does not have to be peeled before cooking; it comes in many forms fresh, pickled, ground, crystalized; it has a spicy, warm and sweet taste that can be quite powerful

HORSERADISH: very powerful root from the mustard family; an ingredient in cocktail sauce it is prized paradoxically for its strong irritating, some say cleansing, quality along the nose and throat; usually consumed cold

JUNIPER BERRY: main flavor component in gin it has a pine like, citrus, bittersweet taste used in sauerkraut and many Scandinavian dishes

LAVENDER: part of the mint family; sweet and floral flavor with some mint overtones; use sparingly since it is quite intense if fresh

MARJORAM: flavor very woodsy and mild with a hint of sweetness; not to be confused with oregano; blends well with dill,basil,thyme and parsley

MUSTARD SEED: the familiar condiment starts out as this seed – the flavors cannot be released until cold water has been added, it takes about 10 minutes fro the flavor to release – it is simple to make your own mustard and should be tried; mustard adds a spicy zest

NIGELLA: often confused with black sesame – nigella seeds are peppery with a hint of oregano

NUTMEG: warm aroma, slightly spicy with a sweet overtone; used for both sweet and savory dishes; add little at a time since it can bitter up a dish

OREGANO: the herb note in pizza seasoning; very fragrant, flavor can be almost spicy; use fresh when available can be added at the beginning of cooking or the end

PAPRIKA: made from ground sweet red pepper, it colors foods orange; spiciness ranges from harmless to quite hot because chilies are sometimes added in the grinding process

PARSLEY: curly or flat, should be bought fresh; it has a light, fresh aroma and is often used in breath fresheners; keeps well for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator in a plastic bag, just don’t let it get wet.

PEPPER: the most famous spice after salt; famous for its sharp and spicy aroma; different colors including black, white, green and red are available with slight variations in flavor and taste; buy whole berries and grind on demand – the difference in flavor is worth it – adds sparkle and vibrancy of flavor without too much heat

PEPPERMINT: cool favor, tastes like you guessed it ‘mint’

POPPY SEED: while opium is derived from the unripe seeds, the mature seeds used for cooking have no narcotic qualities; slightly sweet and somewhat nutty – they can be used in desserts mixed with sugar or to thicken and flavor sauces

ROSEMARY:part of the mint family; looks and tastes like pine; needs to be cooked to release flavor – so do not add last minute to your dish and crush leaves so they release their flavor.

SAFFRON: the world’s most expensive spice – although only a tiny amount is really needed to give off its sweet, earthy and spicy flavor. Saffron’s odor is a bit unpleasant – although it dissipates in the cooking process. Most famously found in the Spanish paella.

SAGE: a warm, woody fragrance and taste that enhances the flavor of otherwise bland dishes; dried sage is quite intense so add sparingly, fresh sage leaves can be quite large so you will need very few to get the full flavor; add at the beginning of your cooking with oil

SESAME SEEDS: different colored hulls produce red, yellow, brown or black sesame seeds, they are the basis for tahini, the middle eastern paste; to fully release their very mild flavor they need to be lightly toasted; add for texture more than flavor

SPEARMINT: quite fruity and less minty than peppermint; goes well with sweet and savory dishes; easy to grow in your garden

STAR ANISE: beautiful spice, one of the spices in Chinese five spice mix; has a warm, woody flavor and is very sweet

TAMARIND: a unusual sour taste that combines well with either sugar or chili; it is an ingredient in the English Worcestershire sauce.

TARRAGON: strong herby flavor, bittersweet reminiscent of anise; sometimes available fresh; one of the herbs in the French mix called “fines herbes” – the others are chives, chervil and parsley. These are the only herbs it combines with well

THYME: note of citrus and mint, very mild; should be added early on in the cooking process to release flavor

TURMERIC: dyes everything bright yellow, including your hands; important part of curry blends; earthy, mustardy taste with a hint of ginger and orange, slightly bitter

VANILLA: second most expensive spice after saffron; sweet, fruity perfumed taste with smokey overtones; the most exquisite form of vanilla is the whole bean – a long sticky strap, that has to be slit open to scrape out the seeds; if you don’t want to bother with that you can also purchase vanilla flavor. However I discourage using imitation vanilla since it is made from industrial by products and has absolutely nothing to do with the real thing; do not refrigerate vanilla beans they will mold – one inch of vanilla bean equals about one teaspoon pure vanilla extract.

SPICE AND HERB BLENDS: These are basic recipes – have fun and make your own variations! Also don’t fret over the exact amounts of each ingredient – because in each and every recipe while they more or less agree on the ingredients the ratios of one spice to the other seems to be quite arbitrary. Therefore I have listed ratios but take them with a grain of salt! ;-). Pastes have to be refrigerated dry spice mixes do not.

BERBERE:

2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds

4 each whole cloves

3/4 teaspoon whole cardamon seeds

1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon whole allspice berries

1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

10 small red chilies, dried (or less if you don’t want that much heat)

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1. Toast over mild heat: first seven ingredients, watch like a hawk, so nothing burns. The seeds will be ready when you can smell their aroma. About one to two minutes. Let the toasted seeds cool.

2. Grind the red chilies in coffee grinder. Mix the ground chilies with the cooled, toasted seeds and grind again. Mix in remaining ingredients – and fill into glass jar with tight fitting lid. Store in refrigerator. Time: about 10 minutes Yield: about 1 cup.

CAJUN:

4 teaspoons salt

4 teaspoons paprika

3 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

1 teaspoons cayenne powder or adjust to your liking

1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1. Mix all ingredients – store in glass jar away from heat or sunlight. If in season, add fresh thyme or oregano during cooking to add interesting notes.

CURRY: One of the most popular spice mixes on earth. Most people actually believe it to be a spice not a spice mix. As per usual – experiment – but here is the basic plot:

2 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon cumin, ground

2 tablespoon pepper or to taste

1 tablespoon cloves, ground

1 tablespoons turmeric

1/2 tablespoon chilies, ground or to taste

1/2 tablespoon fenugreek seeds, ground

1/2 tablespoon mustard seeds, ground or to taste

1. Put all spices in dry pan and roast over low heat until the release scent. Let cool and transfer into dry glass jar. Keeps for weeks – but make little at a time for freshness.

FINES HERBES: Classic French combination of fresh parsley, chives, chevril and tarragon.

FIVE SPICE: Chinese spice mixture: of equal parts

ground cloves

ground fennel seed

ground chili pepper – adjust hotness to taste

ground cinnamon

1 star anise

Blend and store. Keeps really well – no need to refrigerate.

GARAM MASALA: A lovely spice mixture added towards the end of the cooking. Hotness as always depends on individual taste.

cardamon

cloves

black pepper

cumin

cinnamon

nutmeg

Use all the spices in whichever form you have them and blend to your hearts content. There are endless variations and you should really experiment with the ratios. Blend in a blender and keep in a glass jar – no need to refrigerate.

HARISSA:

1 cup olive oil

1/2 cup mild chili powder

1 tablespoon mint dried or fresh, finely chopped

1 tablespoon dried garlic powder or 3 cloves finely minced

1/2 tablespoon ground caraway

1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 tablespoon ground coriander

1/2 tablespoon salt

1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.

2. Pour half a cup of olive oil in blender and add wet ingredients (garlic and/or mint). Blend thoroughly.

3. Add dry ingredients and blend slowly. Scrap sides of blender so nothing gets stuck and slowly add rest of olive oil.

4. Transfer to a clean glass jar. Put a layer of olive oil on top. Keeps up to 2 months in fridge: Yield: 2 cups Time:10 minutes

HERBES DE PROVENCE: French Mediterranean spice mixture of equal parts dried: marjoram, rosemary, thyme with light touch of lavender and/or fennel seed.

JERK SEASONING:

2 tablespoons coconut oil

4 garlic cloves, crushed or more to taste

1 red chili or more to taste

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to taste

4 tablespoons sugar, agave nectar, maple syrup or other sweetener

1 tablespoon allspice

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon thyme

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup lemon or lime juice

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1. Heat oil – saute first seven ingredients up to and including cinnamon. Add one ingredient at a time until you have a paste. Careful that it doesn’t stick! Let cool.

2. Transfer paste to blender and add other ingredients. Blend and transfer to clean glass jar. Keeps in refrigerator for up to a month. Time:10 minutes Yield: 1 cup



Source by Moni Schifler

Guide to Standardized Recipe

Standardized Recipe Ideology

A standardized recipe refers to a particular standard-of-use of certain metrics in cooking – Standard sizes, time, temperature, amount, etc. Abiding by this rule creates uniformity in kitchen produce, whether or not it is tangible or intangible.

The idea of a standardized recipe is definitely not alien to many of us anymore. In fact, it has been very widely used around the globe and there are certain metrics to a standardized recipe that we must follow. In the kitchen, a standardized recipe is a crucial part of standardizing dishes, ingredients and elements in a restaurant that might lead to gain or loss during operational hours. Certain restaurants benchmark standardized recipes in their kitchen, some do not. There are pros and cons of using standardized recipes.

Benefits of having a Standardized Recipe

  1. Creates an absolute standard in kitchen produce and cooking activities.
  2. Allows smooth transition between different kitchen staffs.
  3. Maintains food quality and food standards during kitchen operational hours.
  4. Guiding tool for newcomers to the kitchen.
  5. Refresh minds of kitchen staff after some time. (Eliminating guesswork)
  6. Referral material should there be any disputes.
  7. Base for costing when kitchen costs are calculated.
  8. Be a great guide to implementing a new menu should there be any need.
  9. Planning and costing purposes when a particular event needs accounting/kitchen control auditing.
  10. Prevents raw food leftovers (with good Kitchen Control)

Cons of having a Standardized Recipe

  1. Inconvenient – This can be from the Head Chef keeping the list of standardized recipe in his room and had it locked or having three big books of standardized recipe and need kitchen staff to flip over one by one to get everything done. Inconvenience is the number ONE factor that led to kitchen staff not using standardized recipes.
  2. Time consuming – This is also one of the reasons why standardized recipe are not followed. During peak hours, a kitchen do not have time to waste, and every second counts.
  3. Better variations – Some Chefs prefer to follow their centric of taste, some are just worship their own believes. This could cause a problem when there is no proper training provided and Kitchen Control.
  4. Rules are meant to be broken – There are always different people/consumers around your restaurant. What’s important, the customers. When standardized recipes are not tested regularly on the restaurant, inaccurate information may be provided in the standardized recipe. Solution: Leave room or space for food/cooking variation. This usually happen when the Head Chef is not properly organized or trained well for his position.
  5. A secret no more – Some restaurateurs or Chefs frown on making a book of standardized recipe because they want to protect their food knowledge. This is a classic perception: Someone comes by, takes all the recipe and leave the restaurant after a month.
  6. When it’s gone, it’s really gone – At certain times in a restaurant, a piece of recipe sheet can get lost. When it’s lost, there will be a slight havoc in understanding as the Head Chef needs to take action immediately. On another situation, it can also be ‘stolen’ or ‘retrieved’ as management of the restaurant changes, and/or someone steals the particular information, or the restaurant faces mishaps like kitchen on fire.

Standardized recipes do not necessarily have certain standards that you need to follow. There are many ways to actually personalize your standardized recipe, keep them into your book and use them for referrals in the future. Alternatively, you can also save them into your computer, and organize them well. Whatever it is, standardized recipes serve good purposes in a kitchen – Take the time to actually follow the steps, and you might just get happier guests/customers.

There are three (3) common ways of writing a recipe:

  1. Paragraph-style recipes
  2. List-style recipes
  3. Action-style recipes

Paragraph Style Recipes This way of writing a recipe is classic – And they serve their own purpose in writing that way. There are many pros and cons to this kind of writing style, and we’d like to leave it up to you to figure it out. Anyway, here’s an example of a paragraph-style written recipe:

Put your skillet on the pan and turn on the heat to low. Now take a bowl, crack 2 fresh eggs inside and add in some salt and pepper. Next, grab a whisk and start beating it until it’s mixed or quite fluffy. When your skillet is hot enough, add in 1 tbsp of oil, and swirl the oil around. You’ll notice the oil runs faster on hot pans. When your pan and oil is hot enough, turn on the heat to high and pour in your eggs. Leave the heat on high until your eggs (at the side of the pan) forms a solid texture. At this time, reduce your heat to low. When your egg is cooked enough, flip it over and top it off with some ikan kering! Voilá!

Paragraph-style recipes can work at certain extent. Be sure to choose your methods of writing well.

List-style Recipes The list-style writing of recipes is one of the easiest, practical and most common ways of writing a recipe. This method consist of two sections – The header, and footer. Header consist of different elements such as recipe title, temperature, yield, time, etc, while the footer contains methods to use these ingredients. An example of list-style recipes:

-Eggs with Ikan Kering 2 no Eggs

-1 tbsp Oil

-Ikan kering

  1. Heat up your pan in low heat, crack two eggs into a bowl and add seasoning. Whisk well.
  2. When your pan is hot enough, add in your oil and wait until it’s hot.
  3. Pour it in and turn your heat to high, until you see the sides of your eggs are actually solid in texture.
  4. Reduce your heat to low, and cook the eggs well. Flip over.
  5. Top it off with some crumbled ikan kering and voilá!

Action-style recipes Action style recipes has been known as the killer way of listing recipes, amount, methods and ingredients in a very organized and well-mannered. The first step will usually contain ingredients and methods limited to only a particular food preparation, and the list continues and combines with step two and three. Here’s an example:

Action-style recipes can be very directive and you can add in more information to your liking. Choose which is best for you and your audience, then pick the right one and give them value.

Standard Elements in a Standardized Recipe Although we may see certain standard recipe metrics in a standardized recipe that may be both relevant and irrelevant to you, there are certain practical usage to it, and customizing your standardized recipe a good way to go when you need to emphasize certain recipe metrics in a recipe sheet. In a way, always think of your end-users rather than yourself.

Common Recipe Elements in a Standardized Recipe

  1. Ingredients
  2. Temperature
  3. Equipments & Utensils Needed
  4. Amount
  5. Method
  6. Media (Picture/Video)

These metrics are the basics – But what makes a better Standardized Recipe is to actually explain in detail what is the outcome, what should you avoid, what should you do and not do, etc. While these may be too long to squeeze into your methods area or the miscellaneous box in the action style recipe, you should include a section to it.

Recommended Standard Recipe Elements to Add These recommended standard recipe elements are absolutely optional and should only be included at selected times. Note that most recipes require only the simplest of steps to take, and portrayal of information should be as concise, clear and to the point as possible.

  1. Taste – At what degree should this dish taste like, and how you can stretch its seasoning properties from there.
  2. Precautions and Warnings – Precautions while handling these food mix or cooking methods.
  3. Tips & Advice – Best way to beef up preparation methods and cook well without the need for practical training.
  4. What to do while waiting – Important steps or methods to follow or take while waiting cooking or preparing a food ingredient or food ingredient mixes, etc.
  5. Alternatives – Alternatives to this cooking method, or that food ingredient which might not be available in certain areas of the world. Should there be any alternative ways to do it, it should be pointed out.
  6. Halal status – Halal status is very important. Certain foods are pre-packed in a non-halal manner, or foods containing pork-based materials used in preparation or alcohol usage. For example, rum flavoring. Comes in halal and non-halal.
  7. Garnishing recommendations – This should be included and portrayed after recipe methods.
  8. Miscellaneous information – This information should be portrayed at the very bottom of the recipe, stating ways on how to prepare and cut this meat, or measure the intensity of cooking in the meat. This could also serve as a section where you throw in a combination of Taste (No. 1) and Tips & Advice (No. 3).



Source by Von Cook

Using Claypots For Healthy Cooking – A Beginner’s Guide

If you are looking for a healthy new way of cooking, why not try claypot cooking Asian-style?

Claypot cooking is an ancient technique in many cultures from the Romans, Etruscans, Chinese, Indian, Mexican and Moroccans. In Asia, claypots have been widely used as a cooking style for centuries. From China, Vietnam, Thailand, South East Asia to the Indian subcontinent, claypots are an essential utensil in any well-equipped kitchen. In fact, food is often served in claypots to tell people about the way it is cooked.

Claypots are used for boiling soups, noodles and porridge, making stews, and steaming meats and vegetables. With the claypot uncovered, claypots can also be used for frying and grilling meats, vegetables, tofu, rice and noodles. Many dishes are aptly named after this unique cooking style – claypot rice, claypot chicken, and so on.

The porous quality of clay as a cooking utensil creates a moist and sealed environment. When the claypot is soaked in water and heated in an oven, it is ideal for cooking healthier foods with less oil without losing the nutrients. In today’s health-conscious world, the use of claypots for cooking is a wonderful way to reduce the fat content but yet retaining the natural food flavours.

Claypots are placed in direct contact with the heat source, be it a stove, electric hot plate, charcoal, microwave oven or grill. Claypots distribute the heat evenly and much quicker, thus bringing out the natural food flavours and with less energy. Juices released by the food cannot escape and is thus sealed into the claypot. There is no need to add extra oils or fats and the food does not dry out.

How To Start

The careful selection and choice of a good quality claypot is important. Claypots come in various diameters and volume. Select a size that fits your purpose and intended number of servings. Brown and black are the typical claypot colours. There are stockpots, casseroles and all kinds of claypot accessories such as food warmers and teapots.

To begin, it is wise to spend some time to identify a supplier of a good range of high quality authentic claypots. There are certain handling instructions related to the washing of a claypot. Generally speaking, there is no need to soak a good quality claypot.

Next, one should learn how to properly cook using a claypot by attending a claypot cooking class near where you live, or by watching a demonstration by an experienced chef, or by following a recipe cook book. Combining the right amount of ingredients and water in a claypot is crucial to the cooking process. This Is best learned from an expert.

Finally, a little maintenance is required. Claypots need to be handled with care to preserve its unique material for its next use.

Claypot cooking can be an enjoyable cooking experience, not to mention its health benefits. Once you get started, a whole new world of claypot recipes opens up to you.



Source by Wilson P. H. Tan

How to Fix Your Cheesecake – A Troubleshooting Guide

A cheesecake should be relatively trouble free but occasionally problems do come up. Over the years, we’ve been asked the following questions.

“What’s the easiest way to make crumbs for my crust?”

Lots of folks use a food processor; we don’t bother. We use a heavy duty zipper-type plastic bag and crush the crackers or cookies with a rolling pin a few at a time. We save the plastic bag for the next crust. If we’re in a hurry, we just use packaged graham cracker crumbs rather than crushing crackers.

“I have lumps in my cheesecake. How do avoid those?”

Most likely the lumps are from globules of cream cheese in your batter. Before adding any of the other ingredients, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together until completely mixed. The sugar crystals will cut through the cream cheese breaking up the globules. In the heat of the oven, the sugar will melt further breaking up any pieces.

If your recipe calls for chocolate, either white or dark, the lumps could be chocolate. When the chocolate is mixed into the cool batter, it solidifies and creates lumps. To avoid that, make sure your melted chocolate is hot, well above the melt point. With your mixer running, drizzle the hot chocolate into the batter. With the chocolate hotter, it will disperse before setting up.

“I bake my cheesecake for the time specified in the recipe and the center is still soft. What am I doing wrong?”

You’re probably doing nothing wrong. Baking times in recipes are always estimates and can be affected by the temperature in your oven (calibrated temperatures are seldom right), the depth of the batter, whether the pan is light or dark (dark pans bake faster), how cold your batter is, and other factors. Don’t worry about the time and just bake it until it done. (See the next question.)

“How do I tell when my cheesecake is done?”

There are three ways. You can gently shake the cheesecake. If only the center is still jiggly, it’s done. This is not very precise but with practice, you can get good with this method.

The most common way is to stick a knife in the batter about one-inch from the center. If it’s done, it will come out clean.

The most precise way to tell when a cheesecake is done is with an insta-read thermometer. Stick the probe in the center of the cheesecake and see what it reads. A cheesecake is done when the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. That’s when the proteins in the eggs coagulate.

“How do I stop my cheesecake from cracking?”

A cheesecake top without a crack seems to be the ultimate measure of success. It shouldn’t be. A crack doesn’t affect the taste. Many cheesecakes are topped and the topping covers any cracks.

There may be a number of reasons for cracks:

– Too much air incorporated into the filling may cause cracks.

– Too much baking time will over bake the filling and is a common cause of cracks.

– Uneven baking may be a cause. If you are using light gauge, reflective pans, consider switching to heavier gauge, dark pans.

– Too high of heat may cause cracking. Consider baking at 325 degrees instead of at 350 degrees.

– It your cheesecake cools too rapidly, it may develop cracks. Don’t let your cheesecake cool in a draft.

Cheesecakes with starch in the filling are less prone to cracking.

“My crusts crumble when I try to serve my cheesecake. What am I doing wrong?”

It’s the butter that acts as the mortar holding the crumbs together. The butter needs to be well mixed with crumbs. There has to be enough butter, a minimum of four tablespoons per crust. The mixture needs to be compacted with firm pressure. We use a pastry tamper or heavy mug to compress the bottom and to press the sides.

Always cut and serve your cheesecake cold. That way the butter is a solid. If the cheesecake gets too warm, the butter melts and the crust will crumble.

Baking a crust is not necessary but it does tend to hold the crust together. The sugar melts in baking and tends to hold things in place once it cools and sets.

“I always seem to muck up my slices when I cut my cheesecake. What’s the best way to cut a cheesecake?”

Use the right knife, a sharp, thin-bladed knife. Don’t use a serrated knife as filling and crumbs tend to stick to the serrations.

Cut with a downward pressure, dragging the knife as little as possible. After each cut, wash and dry the knife so that you have a clean blade slicing through the cheesecake.

“My slices seem to stick to the base and it’s hard to remove them. Is there an easy way to neatly remove my slices?”

There is an easy way to get slices to slide of the pan base. Heat a wet kitchen towel in the microwave. Lay the towel on the counter and place the cheesecake directly on the hot towel. In a couple minutes, the heat will soften the butter against the base and slices will easily slip off.

It helps to have a springform pan with a smooth base.



Source by Dennis R Weaver

The Benefits And Guide To Using A Pizza Stone

A pizza stone is a simple kitchen utensil that is used and known for baking pizzas that come out of the oven with a more crispy crust. Pizza stones are also known for producing pizzas that are less fattening. These baking devices work by stimulating the extreme and even heat of an oven, especially the ones that use wood fire. These stones can also be used commercially in the restaurants of big hotels for instance, to make the perfect pizza for the customers. They can also be used in home ovens or on a grill giving the pizza a crispier and healthier crust. These special stones are quite easy to use as well as maintain.

Why Use a Stone?

There are a number of benefits of using a pizza stone, which include the following;

• Easy to clean. The stone is quite easy to clean, whereby, you will just wipe it off using a sponge and some water. There will be no need for scrubbing it.

• It balances the heat. The stone will also spread the heat evenly on the food being cooked. As a result, the food comes out evenly cooked.

• It gives the pizza a crispy crust. The stone is specifically meant to bake your pizza with a crispy crust, different from ones baked using an oven tray.

• Bakes faster and perfectly. Compared to the aluminum pan, a stone will bake much faster, but it will be well-baked. This helps to save you time.

• Easier to remove food when it is finished baking. When the food is ready, it will be easier to remove, since it will not stick to the stone.

Generally, the pizza stone is not just a stone, but more of a cooking companion, which will make baking easier.

How To Use a Pizza Stone

First things first, before you begin, you must have a pizza peel or paddle, which is used to put the pizza on the stone and into the oven. When that is done, you will need to do the following steps;

• Place the stone in the oven for preheating.

• Spread cornmeal or flour on the peel, prior to putting the dough on it.

• Place the dough over the peel, then add your toppings to the pizza.

• When the pizza is still in the oven, use a long spoon to spread the cornmeal on it.

• Use the peel to insert the pizza that is already on the stone into the oven and set your oven timer.

The baking time and instructions will depend on the type of pizza that you are baking.

Removing the Pizza

When your pizza is done baking, always know that the stone will be very hot at that time. If you want to remove it, never use a kitchen towel or the normal oven mitt. Conversely, you should use the same items you used to place the stone in the oven. Like you will need to use the peel to remove the pizza, before removing the entire pizza stone if that is what you want to do. Many people prefer to just leave their stones inside the oven until they will bake with it again. After you have already removed the pizza, you can remove the stone later when it has cooled down.



Source by Victor Alba