Archive for the ‘beverage’ Category

It’s Back!

January 14, 2016

Blog crashed and was only able to restore data to 2011, rest assured I’ll have new items and ideas in the very near future.  Stay tuned!

Check out some frozen drinks featured on WHAG 25 – Your4State.com

 

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June 11, 2011

If it were not for Auguste Escoffier we would be eating to get by or simply eating as a fact of life. Food takes on a different flavor when treated with skill and understanding. All too often quality food is purchased, hidden away in a bag or drawer in the fridge, pantry or cupboard and left to the demise of time.

For some they like to look over Good Housekeeping, GQ, Taste of Home and magazine of all style of food presentation offering up a variety of cooking techniques. Suffice to say Auguste went down that path before any of these modern day versions of the quick fix recipe came to print. In 1903 he published what I believe is the mother of all magazines, cookbooks, guides and articles on taking cooking seriously.

True, I like to have fun in the kitchen but when the oil hits the skillet I like to rely on basic foundation principles. So when the latest copy of Le Guide Culinaire hit the bookshelves I was more than interested in using it for classroom instruction, and was beyond excited when a good friend from John Wiley & Sons, Inc contacted me to see if I would like to use it for educational purposes.

In the next several months I will digest the recipes as Auguste had written them, then later revised a second, third and lastly in 1921 for a fourth time. I’m also looking forward to imparting some of Escoffier’s time tested culinary skills to those paths i cross during my travels.

Healthy Cooking at the Culinary Institute of America

October 3, 2010

In looking at my Blog photo you can see the Colivata restaurant at the CIA. This week I return to the campus to continue my culinary training and honing of skills. I’ll be taking Healthy Cooking class in the morning and business management class at night.

The day starts at 5:30am and then ends around 8pm. What’s nice is that my place of rest is the Journey Inn, located directly across from the Vanderbilt Estate. Journey Inn is run by two sisters, Diane and Michelle DiNapoli, who are two of the most wonderful people you would ever meet. The B&B is beautiful and the rooms are comfortable, nicely decorated and relaxing. Service is top notch and if you get the chance, have breakfast, their selections are the best way to start your day.

I did enjoy my day, and was able to get to see the Vanderbilt property, FDR’s home and Eleanor’s home after her husbands passing in April of 1945. I then went to the CIA campus and spent a few hours at the library doing some research on healthy cooking along with recipe searches.

Tomorrow starts early so I’m heading off to bed.

Borders is a one stop shop

September 2, 2010

If you have the time and you are interested spending some quality reading time at a great bookstore, then swing by your local Borders. They have loads of great books and friendly helpful staff that will assist you in finding your favorite book or eBook on their Kobo. The Kobo is an awesome little reader that once loaded allows you to carry up to 1000 books with you, and the battery charge lasts 2 weeks, giving you plenty of time to get in some serious reading! It comes loaded with 100 free books and its E Ink Technology gives you book-quality printing with no back-light, glare, or reflection on a 6-inch screen that makes reading easy and fun.

Or if you are looking for some traditional book reading then you are also in the right place. With comfortable surroundings, nice chairs to sit and relax along with loads of selections Borders is certainly a place to shop for the reader in your family. I enjoy just sitting and browsing though cookbooks until one catches my eye, giving me new ideas on menus and food trends. If I don’t find it in the book section, then I can always ask to see if it can be ordered, which has never been a problem. Don’t just take my word for it, shop on online or stop by your local Borders and check out their selections. Christmas is right around the corner and with the books, eReaders, games, videos, music, coffee, and more this can be a one stop shop for many on your nice list.

If you cant make it the store then shop online, its easy to look over your selections and you can always get a preview of your book online before you buy.

Professional Garde Manger

May 24, 2010

To manage cold food preparation in a creative fashion is what Garde Manger is all about. The basics and skills needed to handle the station can flow through into the home kitchen as well if you follow along in this book. For the professional this book will be a way to refine your skills in Catering, Banquet service and general foodservice operations. For the home cook this book will open your eyes to the wonderful world of Garde Manger and help you develop skills that will assist in your home cooking and possibly moving into a professional setting.

The book is broken down into 18 chapters, starting with the Garde Manger Profession and finishing with Buffets and Food Bars. You will learn the very basics of production and follow through with design, plating and adding condiments and decor to round out the recipe. The different levels and expectations of cold food are laid out quite well in Chapter one and certainly leave no stone unturned. If you are a novice in the kitchen you may want to study the book a bit first to pick up the terminology so you can better prepare yourself for what’s ahead.

The recipes and methods for preparation are easy to follow and include step by step instructions with pictures and diagrams. If you take the time to look over the recipe before you begin then you have mastered the first rule of the kitchen. Read everything and set your station or area up with the needed ingredients and kitchen tools to get the job done. Once you work through the first selected recipes you will gain a measure of satisfaction and accomplishment that will carry your through the book.

I’ve enjoyed reading through the book and have utilized several recipes in my professional kitchen as well as adapting them a bit to my home kitchen. I look forward to utilizing these recipes to enhance my cold food preparation skills and as well as giving me some new ideas in cold food production. This book certainly deserves a nice spot on my culinary shelf and I’m sure you will enjoy it as well.

Keurig Beverage System Review

April 6, 2010

The Keurig Platinum Brewer arrived on my doorstep two months ago from MS&L Group North America for demo purposes regardless of my reviews, and it has been performing perfectly since I set it up. Right out of the box it was easy to set up and took only 15 minutes to clean, fill with water and get it ready for my first cup of coffee. One really cool feature you noticed right away was the blue lighting under the water reservoir and the blue display LCD Control Panel.

The LCD panel is the brains of the operation, you can decide what cup size to brew, small cup, small mug, large mug, travel mug or iced beverage setting. Each one brews to a specific amount of fluid so you can tweak your desired strength of beverage to your personal taste. Now, you become the barista and decide how you want your coffee, and without the wait or hassle! If you wake up dragging your feet perhaps you need a small cup of espresso or maybe you the sun is shining and birds are singing and you are looking for a light, full-bodied large mug of Morning Roast coffee. In either case with a simple touch of a button, adding your special K-cup blend and pressing the handle brings you a fresh cup of coffee your way!

The cleaning of the unit is also very straightforward. The drip tray holds 12oz of overflow and is easy to remove, rinse and replace. The K-Cup holder Assembly simply snaps out and back in and can either be hand washed or placed onto the top shelf of a dishwasher. Once in a while you may need to clean the Funnel or Exit needle but a simple clog due to grinds can be expressed with a small paperclip pushed up into the needle to loosen the clog. If you live in a heavy lime area instructions to handle De-scaling are included and require you to use white vinegar run through a few brewing cycles and the machine will be good as new.

Enough on the setup and procedures, the real reason this review is being written is to discuss the wonderful beverage selections possible with the Keurig beverage System. There are over 200 varieties of K-Cups so you will never tire of the same old coffee or tea day after day. I prefer to experiment with the blends and actually create some flavor profiles of my own. For instance I like to mix a small brew of Green Mountain Mocha Nut Fudge with Caribou Coffee Caribou Blend. The flavors blend well together and give you almost a liquid snickers bar taste. The blends I’ve found most flavorful were from Caribou Coffee, Green Mountain Coffee, Timothy’s, Tully’s and Gloria Jeans. They do make a reusable coffee filter but with so man choices why bother unless you crave that special blend needed to get you through the day.

That’s not to say that the other blends out there are not superb in their own way, I just prefer the medium and light roasts of the blends previously mentioned. Once in a while I’ll build up to an Extra Bold or Dark Roast for that extra kick in the pants, but not too often. There are also some really wonderful teas in the K-Cup line and I’d be remiss if I didn’t discuss the subtle flavors that emanate from the freshly steeped tea. Twinings, Bigelow, Gloria Jeans, Timothy’s and Celestial Seasonings all have some really nice tea profiles.

I will say that I’ve been sadly disappointed with the Hot chocolate blends and honestly disgusted with Timothy’s White Hot Chocolate. The box states ”…decadent white chocolate infused with hints of cream and vanilla…” but that is far from the truth. Imagine an overly sweetened cup of warm milk with a white chocolate Easter bunny left to melt in the cup, and that’s being nice! The flavor was way too sweet, and looked like skim milk as it was being brewed. The Green mountain Hot Cocoa certainly wasn’t this bad but it too was very sweet and lacked any depth of chocolate flavor. My suggestion is to stick with packets of your favorite hot cocoa and brew hot water into your cup from the Keurig and then add the cocoa and stir.

To sum up the entire review and testing of this machine I would say that it earns 10 whisks out of 10 on Chef’s Scott’s demo rating system. The machine is easy to setup, and clean, wonderful to operate and maintain and allows you to create individual flavor profiles without the large brewing mess. Now each guest can have his or her specific blend without brewing pot after pot coffee or tea. You will not be disappointed with your purchase of this machine and I look forward to coming back in a few months with an additional review to let you know how it’s been performing. Until then – happy brewing!