Archive for August, 2010

Cuisinart ICE-30BC 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker

August 6, 2010

This machine has been really neat to use. It’s has a very small counter foot print, everything stores within itself, and it’s very easy to use and clean. The quality of ice cream, yogurt, sorbet or mixed drink is dependent upon what you place into the freeze bowl before you switch it on. I’ve made ice cream, ice milk, frozen yogurt, frozen drinks and everything mixed up quite well and were very flavorful. The more fat in the mix the better the consistency and flavor. The ice milk did freeze up nice but after going into the deep freeze it hardened up too much. My recommendation is to stick with the full flavor varieties of ice cream and yogurt.

However, sugar free drinks did not freeze well at all in the machine. They tended to cause the machine to run hard and stop when the ice built up on the sides. That nice slushy granular ice texture never formed and I had to stop the machine and pour warm water into the bowl to remove the ice. You need the sugar to combine with the ice to get he granulated texture so I suggest to sticking to the real thing and use sugar.

Cleanup is fast and simple and took just 2 to 3 minutes and every component was cleaned and the freeze bowl was back in the freezer ready for the next mixed drink or luscious creamy dessert. You need to be careful with the freeze bowl and make sure that you refreeze the bowl upside down so any water can run out of it while it’s drying and freezing.

You won’t be disappointed when you purchase this machine, and you will have loads of fun creating a plethora of frozen delights.

The Cheeses of Wisconsin: a culinary travel guide

August 5, 2010

This book is a great read even though it’s not a real in depth study of cheese. It was never meant to be an in depth study but more so a road-map on how to get to a variety of really great Cheese Makers that are spread across the state of Wisconsin. You get information on the cheese and cheesemakers and what styles of cheese they create along with their website, phone number and address.

It’s an excellent culinary travel guide and one that is certainly worth purchasing. To round out the book you are given Day trips to Cheesemakers, a Wisconsin map of the Cheesemakers, how to shop for Wisconsin cheese, resources if you are interested in cheesemaking, beverage pairing with cheese, how to serve cheese in “flights”, and finally recipes using Wisconsin cheese and suggestions for cooking with cheese. You simply can’t go wrong if you are heading to Wisconsin or are interested in Wisconsin cheese. California may have Happy Cows, but Wisconsin has Happy Cows and Happy Customers.

The Great Big Cheese Cookbook

August 5, 2010

As a newly appointed Chef Ambassador to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board I’ve been working overtime incorporating a variety of Wisconsin cheeses into my menus. It’s been great to have this collection at my fingertips to go through and see what has already been created utilizing the wonderful flavors and varieties of Wisconsin Cheese.

This inspired collection of recipes are every bit as good as their pictures and descriptions. I’ve made several recipes, most notably the Chocolate Moussecarpone Tarts which were well received at our last Catering function. The simply addition of rich creamy mascarpone cheese to melt chocolate gave a velvety richness to the tart as well as a beautiful presentation platform atop the chocolate tart shell. That’s just one of over 300 classic and modern recipes presented within the cookbook from celebrated chefs across the country. Classics such as fondue, or Wisconsin Cheese Straws blend well with Steak and Gorgonzola Thyme Crust followed up with Wisconsin Cheddar Peach Shortcakes.

Cooking with cheese comes easy if you follow the opening pages of the cookbook. It walks you through choosing, handling, storing, freezing and cutting and trimming the cheese. You are also given a “Perfect Pairing” guide at the end to help with pairing cheese with suggested wines and beer. There is even a Cheese substitutions guide to assist if you are in a bind. If you don’t have Brick then try Havarti or Muenster and if your Pasta dish is lacking in Parmesan then try grating on some Asiago.

Where cheese comes from truly matters, and unless you have quality milk you can’t produce quality cheese. No matter how happy the cows are in California; the difference is that Wisconsin has Happy Cows AND Happy Customers.
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Canon EOS Rebel T2i

August 5, 2010

I’m by no means a professional photographer, but I do take a good bit of semi professional shots of food, landscapes and assorted images for my online reviews and publications. I was previously doing all that with a Canon 40D but it became to cumbersome and awkward and downright heavy when I had to go from location to location to shoot food images and landscape shots.

So, when the Canon T2i came out I looked over the material and decided it was time to sell the Canon 40D and look into a smaller more feature oriented camera, and I’ve never looked back. The setup was straightforward out of the box and I was up and running after a quick charge of the battery. The buttons are well placed and the manual certainly laid out the specifics of what I needed to select if I desired manual, semi auto or automatic settings. I attached hte body strap and was off shooting pictures.

The first images taken of my daughter were right on the money and I’ve been using a Canon 60mm Macro lens along with a Sigma 10-20mm wide angle and the kit lens that came with the camera. I’ve also purchased a SanDisk Extreme card that allows for rapid firing of pictures with a quick read/right capability and picked up a new sdhc external card adapter to use for downloading onto to my Macbook.

The software including is very easy to install and assisted in setting up my files to get my pictures from my SD card to my external Hard Drive. I can go on and on with the specifics of the camera or the details of the electronics but others have done so, and I don’t want to fill your time with extra words. Suffice to say that this camera is certainly worth every penny. It’s lighter, more user friendly and gives you the ability to take high quality video, something the 40D never offered. I’m looking forward to putting this camera through it’s paces at the next food test kitchen and family vacation.

If you decide to purchase this camera you will not be disappointed.