7 Tips for Chocolate Factories to Get Certified

Chocolate factories are usually subjects of constant quality and hygiene testing. Some of them pass the test and are handled official certificates proving their well management. Certified factories proud themselves with this title that makes them trustworthy. To acquire these certifications, chocolate factories in the Middle East should start decreasing possibilities of future issues by going back to the beginning with a suitable infrastructure design:

Building: Minimizing the challenge of external hazards (insects, dust, soil… ) by inspecting the building for pest access, soil and dust. A lot of insects are known for being attracted by sweets. Forbidding them to reach the chocolate by closing all possible accesses keeps away microbes and bacteria. Getting rid of dust and soil repels unwelcome creatures from entering the factory.

Process Line: Controlling the movement of raw materials to avoid the combination with cleaning products. The best solution is to have two entrances far away from each other: one for the raw materials, and the other for the chemicals. This would maintain a good quality away from infections and proves an efficient manufacturing.

Ventilations and air flow: Regulating temperature and humidity that suit the chocolate. It must always remain away from humidity and on a temperature between 17C – 20C to prevent it from melting. Messing with that will result in damaged chocolate. An automatic ventilation system can conserve the perfect conditions when employees leave the factory.

Equipment: Optimizing the machines used for production to prevent residues from corrupting the coming products. Doing so, decreases the cleaning time in favor of chocolate production. In other terms, the time spent to remove the residues from the equipment, will be replaced to make chocolate instead.

Services: Managing the availability of potable water, electricity, gazes and other supplies at all time. An absence of one of these services might lead to a defection of a whole product batch. For example, an electricity cut will prevent the machines from working, and keep the chocolate under inappropriate situations that might damage the product.

Waste disposal: Keeping waste disposal areas away from edible products. Separating them will result in a low risk of chocolate contamination. It also lowers the potential of odors that attracts pests. The most appropriate idea would be having two different blocks disconnecting the edible products from the waste.

Medical screening: Testing medically all employees to warn the management of any possible infectious disease. During the hiring procedure, all candidates must be subjects of a full medical exam. All the personnel must take care of their own health, not to affect others’ and contaminate the chocolates. Any sign of trouble must be directly reported to the medical staff.

Implementing these procedures grants the chocolate factory certifications for quality, health and safety management systems. The administration should aim on obtaining these certifications as they give a good reputation for the business. The customers will be reassured that the factory is responsible and cares about their health.

Scandinavia – Home of the World’s Most Healthy Food

Why are foodies all over the world falling in love with Denmark and the Nordic cuisine?

The recent wave within the Nordic kitchen primarily originates from the kingdom of Denmark. Nevertheless, Denmark is mainly known as the country of fairytales, H.C Andersen, The Little Mermaid, and a high standard of living. However, recently Denmark has been known as home to some of the world’s best restaurants such as NOMA. It is also known as Scandinavia’s food capital and features some of the best chefs in the world in it’s more than fourteen Michelin starred restaurants.

But what is the Nordic kitchen all about? The Nordic gastronomes are first and foremost raving about exploring the history and ancestry of the authentic Nordic food aging back to the times of the Vikings; traditional dishes that has traveled through generations and made their way into the modern Nordic kitchen.

The Nordic ways of cooking are about doing research to extract some of the best and freshest ingredients available. It is about discovering new ways of mixing and matching the traditional ingredients that will yield the best taste. Nature has it’s own space in the Nordic households and to the Danish chefs, that is what the Nordic Kitchen is all about. The cooking is kept simple, seasonal and tasty. People should be able to prepare the dishes themselves in their homes and perhaps this it one of the reasons why the Danes has been known to be the happiest people in the World.

On top of that, Denmark also hosts some of the best international food sites about the Nordic kitchen, at which you can find numerous healthy dinner recipes from the Nordic countries, but the most famous ambassador for the new Nordic kitchen is Noma, which has been awarded the best restaurant in the world in 2011, 2012 and 2014. However, in recent times several new restaurants serving Nordic food have entered the stage, and now all the Nordic capitals are considered havens for gastronomes looking for a new adventure. One of the more popular dishes is the nordic carrot cake recipe based on pure organic ingredients.

The recent Nordic gourmet wave is here to stay and if you are ever in Copenhagen, you will have plenty of opportunity to experience why by yourself. Here is a list of the five most well known restaurants in Copenhagen serving Nordic Food:

1) Noma – Strandgade 93, 1401 – Copenhagen

2) Amass – Refshalevej 153, 1432 – Copenhagen

3) Krog’s Fish Restaurant – Gammel Strand 38, 1202 – Copenhagen

4) H�st – N�rre Farimagsgade 41, 1364 – Copenhagen

5) Torvehallerne – Frederiksborggade 21, 1360 – Copenhagen

How To Make A Flat White Coffee

Flat White has been appearing in our coffee shops over the last couple of years and seems to be growing in popularity. So what is it exactly?

It’s an espresso-based drink from Australia (but perfected in New Zealand), currently spreading around the world and becoming particularly popular in the US. This is surprising as many Americans are used to Starbucks-style coffee which can taste harsh to the European and Australian palate, but it seems the Americans are coming round!

Flat White

There are several things about the flat white that are in sharp contrast to Starbucks coffee. First is the rich and velvety texture of the flat white, and the second being the size of the serving, typically a 5.5fl.oz cup rather than the 20oz monsters served in some outlets. However, they say sometimes it’s quality that is more important that quantity, and this is a perfect example. The massive ‘venti’ drinks can be like drinking a pint of hot coffee-flavoured milk (this is exactly what it is after all), whereas the flat white is a far more subtle balance of smooth milk and coffee blended together.

So how do I make a flat white?

You’ll need the following ingredients. Please beware of substituting any of these or skipping parts that you don’t think are important – the flat white is a subtle drink and needs to be made properly to avoid it tasting just like any other coffee.

Use good quality fresh coffee beans, not roasted too dark (unless you have a strong preference otherwise). Something like a Lavazza Super Crema or an equivalent Illy / Segafredo will be just right. Avoid using cheap beans or anything that has been sitting around for a while, it will ruin the finished drink.

Grind the coffee beans to espresso grind just before making your flat white.

Heat a 165ml ceramic coffee cup – this doesn’t have to be exact but refrain from using anything that’s very much bigger or smaller if at all possible.

Make a double shot of espresso, avoiding over extraction which wil result in a more bitter flavour. If you’re using a traditional espresso machine, make your espresso on the strong side. If you’re using a capsule or pod machine such as a Lavazza Modo Mio, then limit the amount of water dispensed slightly more than you normally would.

Whole milk. Please don’t use semi skimmed or skimmed milk, it simply won’t work! If you’re on a diet, then avoid flat whites and stick with a skinny cappuccino.

Milk. This part is arguably the most important and is what differentiates a flat white from other milky coffees. The perfect milk for a flat white should not have any of the dry foam on top of it that is typical for making a caffe latte or cappuccino. The term used for what you do to the milk is “stretching”. This is achieved by keeping the tip of the steaming wand slightly lower into the milk than usual so as not to break the surface of the milk at all. Your aim is not to introduce air into the milk. The heating of the milk and circulation of the milk in the frothing jug will result in the milk becoming stretched. The volume should more than double in size and the milk should appear somewhat glassy and shiny when done. The milk should be heated to approximately 60� C / 140� F.

If you are using a coffee machine at home that doesn’t foam milk, don’t worry. An alternative is to use a hand-held electric milk frother, though the same principle still applies – make sure you don’t break the surface of the milk, and if necessary fold the milk at the end.

If you’ve got it right first time, your milk will have no dry foam on the top. Once you’ve got your milk ready, pull your espresso. Just before pouring the milk, bang the bottom of the milk jug onto a towel or cloth on your work surface to break any large air bubbles in the milk, and swirl the jug round a couple of times. Gently and carefully pour the milk into the espresso so that the crema from the coffee sits on top of the milk.

If you’ve done this and ended up with silky milk in your cup with a crema on top, then congratulations, you’ve just made a flat white! Like most things, practice makes perfect so the more you make this, the more you will refine your technique. It won’t be long before you’re making them without thinking about it, and then you can start getting clever with latte art if you want to really show off!

If you’ve never seen latte art stencils before, ours look at our range – they’re a great investment and last pretty much forever.

What Can You Make With Yogurt

While good on its own, yogurt makes a useful ingredient in the kitchen. With the exception of a decreased sugar content and a higher acidity, yogurt may serve as a replacement for milk in many instances. Replacing milk with yogurt, allows those with lactose intolerance to enjoy foods they otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

Yogurt in Sauces around the World

The proteins in yogurt act differently than those found in milk. Pasteurizing milk, prior to making yogurt, results in proteins that do not curd and that hold water better. Both make for a smoother texture to yogurt; which makes great sauces.

A large percentage of India’s population is vegetarian, and yogurt holds an important place in Indian cuisine. In addition to lentils and beans, yogurt provides an important source of protein for the populace. India sees the use of yogurt in sauces often. Each region in India has its own way of cooking kadhi, yogurt-based curry.
Punjabi kadhi is made with ginger, garlic, coriander, turmeric, cumin, and garam masala and famously contains pakodas, fried chickpea flour dumplings.
Greek cuisine takes advantage of yogurt by combining it with cucumber and garlic to produce tzatziki. which is frequently used over gyros or as a dip for pita bread.
Turkey has an equivalent sauce called cacik.

Yogurt in Desserts

In the southern states of India, it’s not uncommon to see a mix of sweetened yogurt and rice at the end of the meal. The dish is used to cool the tongue after consuming spicy foods, and cool the body from the hot and humid climates.

In Greece, yogurt is eaten with nuts and honey for a sweet snack.

Replacing milk or cream with a yogurt alternative is oftentimes a beneficial solution for sugar-sensitive individuals. The overall flavor and creamy texture is preserved with the exchange from milk to yogurt. Frozen yogurt is a popular treat to replace ice cream.

Yogurt On-The-Go

Additionally, yogurt is often sold in single servings as a highly nutritious snack, or meal on-the-go. It contains a great number of vitamins that snacking can sometimes leave out of the diet. It also offers a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. For these reasons, yogurt makes a fine substitute for meals, as well as a bridge between them. The addition of fruits to yogurt is delicious and common, and makes for a refreshing flavor, though the need for refrigeration with fruit is greater than with plain yogurt.

Freeze Dried

Freeze-dried yogurt snacks go a step further: yogurt preserved in this manner may safely be stored without refrigeration for long periods of time. In addition, the beneficial bacterial strains they contain will persist after the freeze drying process. The probiotic effects these bacteria contain are safely retained without much effort. It is very helpful to freeze-dry yogurt, and the cultures they contain, if you are not going to consume them for a long period of time.

As you can see, yogurt can be used in a wide variety of recipes from sauces, to desserts, to wholesome snacks. It is a healthy and delicious choice that provides the nutrients and bacteria to benefit the body.

Coffee Cultures From Around The World

offee Cultures From Around The World

Here in the UK, we’ve developed a taste in recent years for cappuccinos, lattes, espressos and mochas that just a few decades ago, were completely absent from the High Street. As a result, many people assume this is how the rest of the world drink their coffee and some get a real shock when they travel abroad to find that their request for their favourite skinny caramel latte is met with a blank expression!

So how is coffee consumed in other countries around the world? We’ve taken some countries at random where coffee is taken seriously, and compared them to ourselves. Take a look and see how varied some of these coffee cultures are, and feel free to let us know about your own experiences when travelling overseas.

1. France Caf� au Lait

This famous drink (simply coffee served with hot milk in a mug or large cup) made it to the shores of the UK some time ago. This is consumed at breakfast time, and is traditionally served in a cup wide enough to allow a croissant to be dunked in. Available pretty much anywhere and about as basic as a coffee recipe can be (except for the croissant of course). They have joined the rest of the world in recent years, with the familiar Starbucks outlets in every major town.

2. Italy Cappuccino, Latte, Mocha, Ristretto, Macchiato

It’s fair to say that the Italians know a bit about coffee, and are responsible for many of the Italian-sounding concoctions you’ll see in any branch of Costa. Not that you’ll find a branch of Costa in Italy though, they don’t do chains of coffee shops, preferring family run bars and cafes instead. They don’t actually drink latte (which literally just means ‘milk’) and rarely add syrups, whipped cream and other such flavourings, preferring instead to drink mostly espressos.

Most of the best known brands of coffee beans are Italian, such as Lavazza, Segafredo and Illy.

And don’t order a cappuccino after midday unless you want the barista to roll his eyes or just point-blank refuse – it’s considered to be something only drunk at breakfast time, usually with a sweet croissant or pastry. After midday, it’s espresso or macchiato unless you’re a tourist.

3. Turkey

Turkish coffee is rarely seen in the UK, mainly because it’s so far removed from what we here would call a cup of coffee. It’s usually served from a long-handled copperpot in small cups about the size of an espresso, and is thick, black and extremely sweet. Turkish citizens who come here to live or work in the UK won’t find any coffee widely available that will remind them of home, and so they often drink espresso or ristretto with lots of sugar, or simply make traditional Turkish coffee themselves at home.

4. Cuba

Another nation that prefers its coffee thick and strong is Cuba. Here though, it’s very much a social event consumed in a similar way to alcoholic shots, but in no way limited to the evenings. Many Cubans enjoy their coffee first thing in the morning, throughout the day and particularly after meals. It’s not quite as strong as the Turkish brew however, and is quite acceptable to Europeans palates.

5. Ethiopia

The Ethiopians should know a bit about coffee – their country is the birthplace of the stuff. They do take it pretty seriously too, with the traditional brewing process of ‘Buna’ as it’s known, taking anything up to 2 hours. It’s a social thing here, drunk with guests and friends and served with salt or butter instead of milk (which isn’t always available).

Many other countries drink their coffee in forms that would seem strange to us here in the UK. In Japan for instance, coffee in cans is extremely popular and has been for decades. It’s available from vending machines in both hot and cold forms, allowing busy commuters the chance to grab one on the go.

In Saudi Arabia and other Arabic cultures, coffee ceremonies follow many rules of etiquette, including always serving the elders first. It is also a common custom to serve this a cardamom-spiced coffee with dried fruit such as dates, partly to compensate for the bitterness of the coffee.

In Mexico, Caf� de olla is a spiced coffee brewed with cinnamon sticks in earthenware pots. Not to everyone’s taste, the Mexicans say it brings out the taste of the coffee. Each to their own of course!

In Vietnam, they have been drinking iced coffee for years. Unlike us, however, they like theirs made with very dark roasted beans and sweetened using condensed milk.

Australia. Ever since an influx of Italian immigrants after World War 2, Australians have been drinking coffee like the Italians and enjoying a real caf� culture of their own. The now world famous flat white originated here (see our article on how to make one), though don’t mention this if you are visiting New Zealand – they also claim to have invented it!

Last but not least, our cousins in the US are prolific coffee drinkers thanks to chains such as Starbucks. While the menu in a US branch of Starbucks is little different to one here, they do like filter coffee more than we do, and take their frappes and iced drinks with far more cream, sugar and chocolate sauce than many European countries.

It seems that no two countries have exactly the same taste when it comes to coffee, and this should be considered a good thing. We have absorbed a wide variety coffee drinks from Italy, France, Australia and the USA, and if we hadn’t, we might still all be drinking instant!

Coffee Makes the World Go Round

Have you ever thought about why there are different kinds of coffee in the world and why coffee in different places taste differently? For example, an Original, well-blended coffee mixture is smooth and tastes just right, as it is perfect for the Filipino tongue, but what about other kinds of coffee in the world?

Factors that affect the way coffee tastes

The way it is grown actually has a big impact on its taste. It is said that the best tasting coffee in the world are those that are grown in locations with high altitude. Those countries that are close to the equator, such as the Philippines, are the best places to grow coffee. Aside from that, other factors include:

The kind or variety of the bean
The type of soil on which the plant has grown
The kind of weather where the plant is, in particular, the amount of sunshine and rain. This is why tropical countries are great for growing the plant’s beans because there is a balanced amount of sun and rain.

And that’s why the United States does not produce Coffee. In fact, Hawaii is the only state that is able to grow it because of its tropical weather! And that’s why this addictive drink ingredient is considered as sort of a delicacy in Hawaii.

Here, there and everywhere

Here are some interesting facts about coffee from different parts of the world:

Brazilian Coffee is known for being mild and warm-bodied and come from the biggest coffee farms in the world.
Hawaiian Coffee grows around the Mount Loa Volcano in Kona, the largest island in Hawaii. It is full of aroma and very delicious.
Mexico is also known as one of the biggest producers of coffee in the world. Mexican coffee is often sharp and very strong-smelling.
Coffee in Puerto Rico is known for being fruity. Now, that really says something about the colorful life in the Caribbean!
Guatemalan beans is perfect for Chocolate lovers. Why? Because it has a distinct, rich chocolatey taste that those with sweet tooth will certainly love.
Yemeni beans tastes particularly like Mocha. This is because it has been combined with coffee grown in the island of Java. And yep, that’s where the name Coffee Java came from.
Indonesian Coffee is smooth but full-bodied, which is a result of their damp and warm climate.

No Escaping from Coffee

The fact that there are different varieties of coffee in the world proves that there’s a big world of coffee out there-and that you should at least try these different types of coffee at least once in your life. It’ll be an experience worth making.

Banana Squash, What Is It

Banana squashes are native to South America, specifically Peru, and made its way to the United States in 1893. They require over half a year to cultivate and only yield one crop. This makes them less desirable for farmers, which makes the squash less available in produce stores.

A banana squash is a winter squash. It is yellow/orange in color (when ripe, it is salmon colored) and is about 2 to 3 feet long. It smells like a cucumber, the meat looks similar to a pumpkin, but it has its own flavor. It can weigh up to 35lbs but is generally around 10lbs.

They are fat free, cholesterol free, sodium free, and an excellent source of vitamin A and C. They can be stored up to six months if in a dark, low humid environment and can be used in the same way as any other winter squash. It makes great stews, soups, and salad toppings. It pairs great with butter, cheese, lamb, pork belly and truffles. The best herbs/spices to use are the ones we love for winter: thyme, bay, sage, rosemary, cumin, curry, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.

I had no idea what to do with a banana squash when I purchased it. The following recipes were my first attempt at using a banana squash and were followed with rave reviews from family and friends. I hope you enjoy!

Banana Squash Pie

First, wash the squash and then cut the ends off. Use a serrated knife to keep from slicing your hand. Cut into pieces and scoop out the seeds. Keeping the pieces as big as you can, put them in a microwaveable bowl. You may have to do this several times in order to get all of them done. Put two inches of water in the bowl and then put the lid on. Now place in the microwave for approximately 12 minutes (until the squash is soft).

Take the squash out and scoop out the meat. It is OK to let it cool before scooping. The squash will yield more than enough, so you don’t have to be overly precise. Blend the squash (I used a food processor but you can also use a blender).

Now your squash is ready for the recipe.

3 cups squash puree

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp all spice

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 can evaporated milk

2 graham cracker pie crusts

Mix it all together and put in pie crusts. The mixture is very liquid, that is OK.

Bake at 425F for 15 minutes. Then turn temp to 350F and cook around 60 minutes. You test done-ness by inserting butter knife or toothpick and it coming out clean.

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Banana Squash-Raisin-Walnut Bread

I had left over squash. So I made some bread.

Rest of squash

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp all spice

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 can evaporated milk

3 cups Bisquick

Chopped walnuts

Raisins

Mix together and put in bread pans. Cook at 350F for 40 minutes.

Freezing Option

It is possible to retain some of the Banana Squash meat in the freezer, but not for too long. Take the meat out of the skin and put in a vacuum seal bag. Don’t have a vacuum sealer? No problem! Put it in a ziploc bag. Place a straw in the bag and seal it up (straw will be poking out). Suck out the air, pull the straw out and seal the bag. This isn’t as good as vacuum sealing, but works pretty well!

Laura is an author, writer, consultant, photographer, homeschool mom, Mary Kay consultant and Army wife. Her passions in writing are in food/health, Christian persecution and children’s curriculum. Laura loves to travel, volunteer, photograph, cook, and learn as much as she can about everything! Connect with her at http://www.LDMurray.com.

Because of health issues and special diets in her family, Laura has learned how to eat healthy while keeping the expense down and the taste elevated. She strives to reach out to those that have special diet requirements, are looking for alternative solutions to medicine, and/or just trying to be healthy with a budget.

Southwestern Cheese and Chile Omelets

Fillings for omelets are virtually endless-from simple folded eggs with a little seasoning to hefty mounds stuffed with meats, vegetables, and cheeses. For this recipe, I went vegetarian with a little southwestern flair. Hot chiles, mild pepper, onion, garlic, and cheddar cheese combine for spicy, savory Tex-Mex flavors, and fresh avocado adds a cool, creamy finish.

Serves 2 (easily doubled)

Ingredients

1 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 habanero or serrano chile, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 small red or orange bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small white or yellow onion, chopped
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground cumin
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 small avocado
toasted English muffins, for serving (optional)

Preparation

Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the jalapeno, habanero or serrano, garlic, bell pepper, onion, oregano, and cumin and season with salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5-6 minutes. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a plate and wipe out the skillet.
Whisk 2 eggs in a small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the same skillet and swirl to coat. Pour the whisked eggs into the skillet and gently tilt it back and forth for even spreading. Season with salt and pepper. While the eggs begin to set, whisk the remaining 2 eggs in the same small bowl.
Continue to tilt the skillet until the bottom of the eggs begin to set, with the top still a bit runny, about 1 minute.
Spread half the vegetable mixture over one half of the eggs. Sprinkle one half of the cheese on top of the vegetables.
Carefully slide a spatula underneath the opposite side of the eggs and fold over. Press gently with the spatula to help melt the cheese and finish setting the eggs.
Slide the omelet onto a plate and keep warm. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil to the skillet and repeat with the remaining eggs, vegetables, and cheese.
Meanwhile, slice the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Remove the peel and chop the flesh into a small dice.

To serve, place 1 omelet on each of 2 plates. Scatter diced avocado on top and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve toasted muffins alongside, if desired.

Garden Crisp Salad and the Secret Formula to Create Your Own Homemade Salad Recipes

Salads are universal. Asia, Europe, America… just about anywhere you go, salads are part of the menu. Perhaps because they’re simple to prepare. Toss in some greens into a bowl, add your favorite fruits, and voila! Your homemade salad is ready to serve.

However, salad preparation isn’t just about throwing in all sorts of vegetables and fruits into a dish. Ever noticed buffet diners dumping just about every ingredient at the salad bar unto their plate? It’s not a very pretty picture. You wouldn’t want to be serving a heap of whatnot to your guests, would you?

Fret not. Creating your own homemade salad recipe is actually effortless and fun. Here is a secret formula to salad-making dubbed as The Three T’s. And what better way to talk about it than to prepare a straightforward salad recipe.

Garden Crisp Salad

Main ingredients:

1 cucumber (sliced thinly)

1 carrot (sliced into thin strips)

Optional ingredients:

1/4 lettuce

1/4 grapefruit (chopped)

1/2 turnip (sliced into thin strips)

1 hardboiled egg (sliced thinly)

Thai pat sauce or your choice of dressing

Recipe 1: Mix main ingredients into a bowl. Top with your favorite dressing.

Recipe 2: Mix all the ingredients, excluding lettuce and sauce/dressing. Set aside. Arrange leaves of lettuce on a salad dish. Place the mixed ingredients on top of the lettuce. Top with sauce or dressing.

The Three T’s

Tint. Cuisine is a creative endeavor. Enticing your guests to try out your personal recipe highly depends on the aesthetic appeal of the final product. Salads don’t really carry an aroma, so you will have to do with visuals to whet their appetite. Imagine yourself as a painter and your ingredients as your palette of colors or art materials.

Garden Crisp Salad Recipe 1 is a simple, yet ideal example, of using tint when selecting ingredients. In contrast, Garden Crisp Salad Recipe 2 is a feast of pastel colors. Nevertheless, the varying shades are well-balanced and pleasing to the eye.

Texture. Apart from color, texture adds to the palatable experience. It tells a lot about the freshness of ingredients-something you cannot disguise. Although texture appeals mostly to the sense of touch, it also makes your dish visually interesting.

Both recipes balance out the crisp and tenderness of each ingredient. Balancing isn’t a must. In fact, you can serve a bowl of mangoes and peaches, which are tender, and it would still be great. Feel free to experiment until you find just the right touch for your homemade recipe.

Taste. So you’ve enticed your guests with their sense of sight. It’s time to hit the spot right where it matters. Behind all the fancy aesthetics, food is really about flavor. No matter how attractive a dish is, you have to get the taste right. It is the make it or break it point.

Both recipes are pretty safe when it comes to taste. It gets tricky with the sauce and dressing. Some overwhelm their salads with thick, rich dressings. Others just want a hint of spice and tang.

For the sample recipes above, the Garden Crisp Salad is meant to be easy to the senses. Ideally, a small amount of sauce will do the trick.

With The Three T’s formula, you can have fun exploring the many homemade salad recipes you can create. It will be a great way to surprise your family, neighbors, or coworkers on the next celebration!

My Tips For Making The Perfect Pizzelle

If you’re not already familiar with pizzelle they’re a delicious treat that are simple to make, requiring nothing more than a few basic ingredients. Typically pizzelle are round and flat and come embossed with a distinctive snowflake pattern. They originate from Italy and are traditionally flavored with anise (although today they come in many different flavors).

I won’t bother listing a pizzelle recipe here since there are already so many published online. A quick search should give you a basic recipe in no time. But what I will do is list my own personal ‘success list’ for making, what I consider, the perfect pizzelle. After all you can’t beat a bit of home cooking and pizzelle are a great place for beginners to start because of their simplicity.

One of the most basic things that catches most people out (myself included) is simply using your pizzelle maker correctly. You need to make sure it is fully heated. So before you even begin making your pizzelle batter, switch your maker on and allow it to heat fully. If you don’t you’re going to end up with a sticky mess that runs out of the mold when you close it. And it’s a real bugger to clean off.

Speaky of sticky messes I’d recommend putting a non-stick spray or lightly rubbing a small amount of vegetable oil into your pizzelle maker before using it to help season it – especially if its new. Do this even if your maker states its non stick because my pizzelle still sometimes stick in my non-stick maker – go figure!

Also play around with your temperature controller if your maker has one. I like my pizzelle a light golden brown. But you may prefer yours a darker golden color. Your temperature controller will allow you to do this. So make a few batches varying different times and temperatures and you’ll come up with a combination that makes your perfect pizzelle. My maker doesn’t have a temperature control, which I think would be handy, but I know that one minute is the ‘optimum’ time for me. (If you’re in the market for a pizzelle maker I picked my one up at this site).

You could also get a few forms for your baked pizzelle. You see, when pizzelle are warm, they can be shaped around a mold to make cones or cylinders which harden when they set. To form something like a sugar cone. You can then fill them with ice cream or custard and cr�me – whatever you want really. I like this because I do prefer my pizzelle warm and fresh – actually when I’m making anything I always prefer it fresh from the oven. So this is a good way to make some really nice stuff to snack on later – that’s just as delectable as the fresh pizzelle.

Well, there you have it. My round up of tips for making a decent pizzelle. The tips sound basic, and I suppose they are, but it is so surprising just how easy you forget the basics when you’re making something new so it’s handy to have a little crib sheet to guide you through