Where Foodies Come To Talk

How to Properly Serve & Garnish Popular Cocktails

While wine and beer have their times and places, there are certain occasions that call for a classic cocktail. Some classic cocktails appear deceptively simple, but purists and aficionados look for the details that signify the cocktail is the real deal. 

It should come as no surprise that top-shelf liquors make for a quality cocktail. However, details like the garnish and the glassware the drinks are served in can really set them apart.

Martinis

The martini glass is probably one of the most recognizable specialty cocktail glasses. Before the martini glass came to be, there was a similar-looking glass called a cocktail glass. Many people today still confuse the two, but they do have a slightly different design. With the appearance of martini glasses in popular culture, it seems like their main function is to make the drink appear classy. 

However, they serve several functions that include keeping the drink frosty and exposing the gin to air. Over the years, there have been infinite variations of martinis to satisfy any palette, and the history of the first martini is a bit murky.

 There is still some debate as to whether a vodka martini is considered a “real” martini. A good deal of people still insist a classic martini is simply gin, vermouth, and a garnish of olive or lemon.

Hurricane

Another well-known cocktail glass is the hurricane glass. It got its name from its resemblance to a hurricane lantern. Not surprisingly, the most popular drink served in it is the hurricane. This cocktail is a mix of light rum, dark rum, passion fruit juice, lime juice, orange juice, simple syrup, grenadine, and topped with a maraschino cherry. 

It is usually garnished with an orange slice. The drink also has debatable origins, but the most well-known version is definitely from New Orleans’ famous Pat O’ Briens. This glass is often used for blended and frozen cocktails with a tropical theme where rum is the liquor of choice. 

Margarita

Anyone who has been to a chain restaurant that serves margaritas knows they are not always served in the unique margarita glass. However, there are advantages to serving a margarita in a welled margarita glass. 

In addition to holding more drink, and having more of a rim for salt or sugar, the glass is designed to be held easily. With the variety of margarita flavors and textures, it could be hard to forget the classic recipe. The simple combination of tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, ice, and salt is still as refreshing as ever. 

Moscow Mule

The Moscow Mule is a cocktail that started making a comeback in recent years. While this drink has common cocktail ingredients like lime and vodka, the ginger beer in it really provides a nice zing. The Moscow Mule mug is part of the appeal of the drink, too. There are legends surrounding the drink and the reason the copper mug was used. These days, the mugs may not be real copper, but they at least have a shiny copper appearance. 

Mint Julep

One final classic cocktail with a signature cup is the mint julep. The pewter mint julep cup is intended to be held from the top or the bottom so the cup itself can stay frosty. This cocktail is made of bourbon, sugar, water, and shaved ice. It became the official drink of the Kentucky Derby in 1938 and is still as popular as ever in the Bluegrass state.

There are some who would say as long as a cocktail has the right ingredients, what does the glass the matter? It’s true you can enjoy a drink out of any glass, but these unique cocktail glasses are designed to enhance the quality of the drink.

 It doesn’t hurt that the design of the cups helps create a certain atmosphere for the drinker. The elegant mint julep cup of the Kentucky Derby, the tropical hurricane glass – these are cocktail glasses that help create memories. 

6 Tips for Serving Alcohol Safely At a Dinner Party

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As many of us know, the one common staple in social gatherings or outing events is alcohol. It can be used as a social lubricant to break the ice in conversations, used to accommodate a meal, or anything else in between. In some cases, alcohol is a necessity at these events. However, along with serving alcohol comes responsibility. 

Worth noting, responsibility is assigned to both the drinker and the server. Without getting into details about what irresponsibility with alcohol can lead to, simply put, it’s important to establish reasonable serving rules that you can feel good about. In extreme cases, it can mean the difference between being in real trouble or not. 

That being said, understanding the importance of responsibility is not to scare you away from serving alcohol as much as it is a guide on how to do it. Especially at an event like a dinner party where there might be minors, there are several factors to address. Overall, it requires finding a balance between being fair and strict with who and when to serve. 

If done correctly, you can expect to be invited to host or join other similar events in the near future. While that might not necessarily be a goal of yours, the point of serving alcohol responsibly is to minimize liabilities and ensure a safe environment. With this in mind, let’s go over six tips for serving alcohol safely at a dinner party.

#1: Serve Interesting/Creative Non-Alcoholic Options 

If safety is your number one priority, why not consider serving non-alcoholic drinks at your dinner party? This tip can eliminate any troubles that might come as a result of over-serving alcohol. However, if you want to implement this tip, make sure to serve interesting and creative drinks. 

Not making an effort to provide your guests with fun “mocktails” can reduce the excitement associated with attending social gatherings. Serving drinks such as a virgin margarita or cold brew julep can add some creativity to your event without having to worry about alcohol responsibility.

#2: Hire a Certified Bartender

As far as proven methods to serve alcohol safely at a dinner party, it doesn’t get more responsible than hiring a certified bartender. Not only are bartenders trained to avoid over-serving, but they also have additional benefits such as spotting minors, alcoholics, and other similar hassles that might cause a disturbance in your dinner party. These are the reasons why clubs and bars use trained and proven bartenders at their events. By all accounts, they are worth every penny it takes to have them at your dinner party.

#3: Use Narrow-Based Beer & Wine Glasses 

One sneaky way to avoid over-serving alcoholic drinks at your dinner party is to use narrow-based beer and wine glasses. Doing so allows you to serve more quantity of drinks in a way that doesn’t encourage trouble. These glasses keep portions smaller without making it obvious. They are even more effective if your dinner party is serving stronger drinks that can easily cause some disturbance. In the end, these sneaky qualities will leave you with an impression as a master server.

#4: Find the Right Food Pairings

Another somewhat sneaky trick to serve alcohol safely is to serve the right foods that can counteract the effects of alcohol. For example, foods that fall in the category of carbs and proteins can be effective in staving off drunkenness. Do a little research to find foods and hors d’oeuvres that complement the drinks.

#5: If You Serve Liquor, Only Serve Singles 

As mentioned before, most of the troubles that come with alcohol can easily be avoided by serving creative non-alcoholic drinks. However, in the case your dinner party must have alcohol served; a good tip for serving alcohol safely is to serve single shots only. This mostly serves the purpose of avoiding drinkers manipulating your bartending rules as a way to get an extra drink. 

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book that surprisingly still works today. Nonetheless, also make sure that your rule on servings is clear and bold. As an overall rule, only serve one drink to whoever comes to ask for one. Never let more than one drink leave the bar. After all, people can always come back for seconds. 

#6: Only Give Refills, NOT New Glasses

Similar to serving only singles, only giving refills and not providing new glasses helps in avoiding drinkers manipulating your bar rules. In addition to that, it helps regulate your bar so that it keeps a steady workflow. This includes avoiding disadvantages such as running out of glasses or having to shut the bar down earlier than expected.

9 Benefits of an Outdoor Kitchen

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If you love enjoying the warm sun or a cool evening breeze as you cook a delicious meal, then consider the installation of an outdoor kitchen. While having an outdoor kitchen can increase the value of your property, it definitely has other benefits as well. Here are some of the best benefits of having an outdoor kitchen at your home. 

1. Enhance the Flavor of Foods

To enhance the flavors of foods, you can cook outside over wood pellets or charcoal. These grilling options will give meats and veggies a smoky flavor that adds to the overall taste of the food. So you get a better flavor without having to do much work in the kitchen. The combination of that smoky flavor with herbs and spices is irresistible. 

2. Have a Fun Place for Family Get-togethers

When you love having family get-togethers, it is essential create space for meals and other activities that they will enjoy. An outdoor kitchen is an excellent place for your relatives to congregate, cook, or to sit while playing board games. 

3. Healthy Cooking Options

Cooking outside is a healthy option because you don’t need to use a variety of oils that have no nutritional value. Grilling food doesn’t require the application of high-fat ingredients like butter or animal/plant-based frying oils. The liquefied fats from meats will drip through the metal grill to create a food that is less greasy and healthier for you to eat. 

4. Enjoying Nature While You Eat a Meal

Getting outside into nature is vital for your mental and physical well-being. With an outdoor kitchen, you can sit outside to look at the birds, listen to the breeze blow through the trees, or watch your kids/grandkids play in the grass. This is an excellent way to avoid developing a condition that is referred to as nature deficit disorder. 

5. Reduction in the Cost of Utilities 

The cost of cooking outside in a special kitchen is less than cooking inside your home. You can have propane gas tanks for a grill or a stove, but there are also cooking devices for outdoor kitchens that use electricity or charcoal. If you want to save money while cooking, then you can install a larger stove that has multiple burners, making it possible to cook several types of foods at one time. 

6. Keep Cooking Odors Outside Your Home 

To avoid the smell from foods like fish and seafood inside your home, you can cook in your outdoor kitchen. This can keep odors from seeping into a home’s carpet fibers or draperies. The cool breezes that are outside will blow away the foul odors so that your home’s interior still smells fresh. 

7. More Space for Parties 

If you have a small home, chances are, you don’t have enough space for parties with many friends. With an outdoor kitchen, you can increase your available space for guests. An outdoor kitchen is a suitable area for a child’s birthday party or for your teenager to have a cookout with schoolmates. 

With the party outside your home, you won’t need to worry as much about having dirt carried into your home on your guests’ shoes, and in addition, your guests will feel more comfortable mingling in an open space.

8. Easy to Keep Clean

When you are cooking inside your home, grease and other food debris can filter onto the cabinets, walls, floors and countertops, which could require a major cleaning process. An outdoor kitchen is simple to keep clean each day. 

In some cases, you can use a garden hose to wash the floor of the space, and also, you can splash water on the plastic tables and chairs. Most outdoor kitchen builders use high-density polyethylene (HDPE) for the cabinets in the space. This HDPE material resists the damages caused by snow and rain, so you can keep the cabinets cleaner without worrying about the exposure to moisture. 

9. Boosting Your Mood

Going outside to cook a meal in an outdoor kitchen will lead to additional exposure to natural light. This helps your body to manufacture vitamin D, which can help you to feel better mentally. Lack of sunlight can cause fatigue and grumpiness, so it is essential to go outside several times a week to increase the vitamin D levels in your body. 

How Can You Learn to Cook Outside? 

When you want to learn more about cooking outside, you can find cookbooks and DVDs at your local public library that can teach you more about the process. When all else fails, there’s always plenty of information about grilling, brining, dry rubs, perfect temperatures to grill at, and what kinds of wood chips or charcoal to use. 

Best Gifts for the Grill Master in Your Life

Barbecuing is an art. And for many people, a passion they bring to life every summer. “Grillmasters,” as they’re often called, take pride in the food they’ve prepared on the grill. They take time to ensure their meats are perfectly tenderized, seasoned, and grilled, and use the best tools and equipment to aid in that task. 

When there is a grillmaster in your life, holidays are much simpler for you than for many others who find the daunting task of choosing gifts terrifying. Because a grill master has a heart for BBQ, there are many amazing gift items that are sure to hit him right in the feels.  Whoever you’re shopping for is sure to love one of the gift ideas below.

Grill Light

When the final weeks of summer wind down, it limits the amount of sunlight available in the day. Thus, it limits the amount of time that can be spent preparing food on the grill. A grill light resolves that problem. 

This easy-to-use device attaches to the grill hood, where it provides the perfect amount of lighting for any grill cook. Several versions of the grill light make it easy to find the product most suited for a grillmaster’s needs.

BBQ Tool Set

BBQ tool sets contain all of the items that a grill cook needs to prepare BBQ foods with ease. Choose a quality BBQ tool set to surprise that special grillmaster in your life. Bear in mind that most grillmasters are particular about the products they use, so it’s a good idea to learn the brands/styles they most prefer before purchase. A BBQ tool set is a great gift that any grillmaster is sure to value.

Meat Tenderizer

Although many people think that a grill meat tenderizer looks more like a self-defense tool than an item for food, it is indeed designed to soften the fibers of the meat (making it easier to chew and digest) before placing it on the grill. 

Every good grill cook understands the importance of using a meat tenderizer before preparing their food. This gift will get plenty of use once it is unwrapped. This is an affordable, yet priceless, gift item that every grillmaster on your list is sure to love.

Personalized Apron

Every grill master needs a bona fide apron that has plenty of pockets to keep his grilling tools at hand. As an added bonus, personalize the apron with the grillmaster’s name and other fun details, to make their grilling experience more fun. When you need an awesome gift that is practical as well as personal, a monogrammed apron is definitely the way to go. 

Branding Iron

If you think he loves grilling now, just wait until he’s the proud owner of a branding iron. This toy is a favorite for a grillmaster who wants to stamp his signature on his finger lickin’ food. With all-aluminum letters of the alphabet included, creating a customizable message for the branding iron (and foods) is simple and fun. The best part is, he can easily change the message at any time. This is one grill master gift that is sure to win him over.

The Last Word

Choosing a great gift for a special occasion can be very challenging. With this list of great grill master gifts, you’re ready for Father’s Day, Christmas, anniversaries, or any special occasion. Now all you have to do is research the best brand and hit “BUY NOW.” Your favorite grillmaster is in for a treat!

Fruit Chocked Full of Delicious Health Benefits: How to Eat Soursop

From kale to berries to green tea, turmeric, and more, which superfoods do you eat the most?

If your diet already consists of superfoods, great. But there’s one more you might be forgetting: the delicious and nutritious soursop or Graviola.

Rich in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and other nutrients, this low-calorie fruit has tons of health benefits. And for sure, you’ll love all the different ways you can eat it.

That said, let’s talk about how to eat soursop, as well as its awesome health benefits and where you can get it.

How to Eat Soursop: The Best Ways to Enjoy Graviola

Soursop is native to Central and South America. But it’s now cultivated around the world.

It grows best in warm climates with high humidity. So if you live in a tropical region, you have better chances of getting it locally. 

As for its taste, you may be surprised to know that despite the name, soursop isn’t that sour. Others have described it as having a similar flavor profile to that of pineapple or strawberry and even an apple with a citrus twist.

You can eat Graviola raw, blend it into a smoothie, or use it as a dessert ingredient. Now, if you’ve already bought soursop or someone gave you some, here are some ways to enjoy it before it starts to spoil. (Note: Ripe soursops last for about 2 days when stored in the fridge).

Eat It Raw

After washing your soursop, remove the skin with a knife. It’s easier to peel off if you make X-shaped cuts at the end. Doing it this way will allow you to peel your soursop like a banana.

You can then cut the milky flesh lengthwise, then remove the seeds. Keep in mind that the seeds are mildly toxic. It’s best to remove them and dispose of them the right way, especially if you have pets.

With your soursop ready to eat, just grab a spoon and dig into the soft pulp. 

Make a Smoothie

You can blend soursop with a bit of water or coconut milk, then drink that. Or you can mix it with other fruits.

If you prefer the latter, there are different soursop smoothie recipes online. But if you don’t want to experiment with fruit combinations in case the results turn out not so great, you can use try this recipe, which calls for 2 soursops, fresh cubed pineapples and coconut, 4 leaves of kale or any leafy greens, and 1 small piece of fresh ginger.

Blend everything together and make sure to share your delicious Graviola smoothie with others.

Prepare a Soursop Sorbet

Are you craving a cold treat? This soursop sorbet is quite simple to prepare if you have an ice cream machine.

All you need to do is combine the soursop pulp with water and some sugar. You can also add some lime juice and salt, then transfer everything into an airtight container.

Let it cool overnight or if you don’t have time, do it for at least 2 hours. Pour your cooled soursop mixture into an ice cream machine and churn. After 20 to 25 minutes, you should have a thick soursop sorbet.

Don’t eat it yet though. It’s best to eat after it’s been in the freezer for 3 to 4 hours.

Why Add Soursop to Your Diet?

Sure, soursop isn’t the easiest fruit to find in your local grocery. You may need to get your supply from Soursop Store Canada or you may have to visit different supermarkets to get fresh soursop.

But all your efforts are going to be worth it not just because soursop is delicious. As mentioned earlier, it’s chock-full of health benefits. Here are some of them.

Reduces Inflammation

You probably know that inflammation is the body’s response to things that injure it. For example, infections, injuries, and so on. 

But too much of it, aka chronic inflammation, is also harmful to the body. In fact, it’s been linked to serious health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

The great thing about soursop is it contains anti-inflammatory compounds such as alkaloids, phenols, and acetogenins. By consuming Graviola, as well as other inflammation-fighting foods, you’ll be helping your body manage its constant inflammatory response.

Has Antibacterial Properties

Though further studies are needed to prove Graviola benefits, in particular, its antibacterial properties, there is preliminary research that shows its potency in killing off multiple types of bacteria.

For example, one study looked into its efficacy against S. mutans, C. albicans, and P. intermedia. The results showed that soursop is effective against these strains because of its antimicrobial and fungicidal properties.

May Help Kill Certain Types of Cancer Cells

Fun fact: In Africa and South America, people use all parts of Graviola for medicinal purposes. That includes the leaves, bark, root, and fruits. 

They use various parts of soursop to help treat everything from infections to depression to rheumatism and more including cancer.  

Researchers are also studying Graviola’s anti-cancer effects. In certain laboratory studies, extracts of soursop are able to kill some types of breast and liver cancer cells. 

You should note that these cancer cell types do not respond to the usual chemotherapy drugs. It would be wonderful if further studies can help prove this claim. And if pharmaceutical companies can come up with a safe, soursop-based medicine that doesn’t have a lot of side-effects.

Want to Know More About Soursop or Graviola?

Now that you’ve learned about how to eat soursop, plus some of its health benefits, don’t hesitate to research more.

Look for Graviola studies online and even how to grow soursop if you live in a place with warm weather. You can also talk to your doctor to know more about its health effects or if there are precautions you need to take if you plan to take Graviola supplements.

For more tips, advice, and info on healthy foods, feel free to browse the rest of the blog. There are also delicious recipes you can try, plus articles on diets, healthy living, and cooking techniques.

More Marinara, Please! A Brief History on the Classic Sicilian Marinara Sauce

What you learned in school is most likely wrong. Sure, Marco Polo brought many things back from China, but pasta wasn’t one of them. It’s more likely that the Italians learned to make pasta from the Arabs. 

So it’s the 10th-century invasion of Southern Italy that we have to thank for the delicious dish of spaghetti and Sicilian marinara sauce that we know and love today. 

But it isn’t just the pasta that has a rich history, so does the marinara sauce that goes with it. Keep reading to learn about the history of this delicious sauce that is loved throughout the world. 

What Is Marinara? 

Despite the many variations, you’ll find, there’s only one true marinara. Purists will tell you that an authentic marinara is simple and pure ingredients.

There’s just tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and herbs. You may also find some onion added in certain recipes. 

Origins 

During the 16th century, tomatoes made their way to Europe. We have the Spanish explorers to thank for that. It was after this that in either Naples or Sicily, people began to put a tomato-based sauce on their noodles. 

Naming 

The Italian word for sailors is marinai, which is what the term marinara derived from. The first theory behind this naming is that the tomato sauce traveled well and quickly became popular among sailors. 

The ingredients in marinara sauce don’t spoil easily. You could quickly, easily, and affordably assemble the ingredients to create a meal. So sailors could make the sauce while their noodles cooked. 

A popular and more romantic explanation involves the sailor’s wives. They would hurriedly make the sauce so their beloved sailor husbands could have a hot meal ready and waiting when they walk in the door. 

Spreading Italian Culture 

As Italians emigrated to the United States and other countries, they brought this food staple with them. The early 1900s saw the largest migrations of people. 

This movement of people and the sharing of cultures helped make this sauce a staple in American culture today. 

Marinara Sauce Today 

Today this celebrated piece of Italian culture is enjoyed throughout the world. We even build upon it and turn it into more complex tomato sauces. Then we package it up and create premade meals out of it for those on the go. 

People across the world have adopted this tomato-based sauce as their own. They dedicate recipes, videos, pictures, infographics, and all kinds of content to how they incorporate it into their daily lives. 

Try Your Hand at Sicilian Marinara Sauce

So how do you enjoy your marinara sauce? Do you go classic and pour some on spaghetti? Or maybe you enjoy dipping your pizza crust or cheese sticks in it? 

No matter how you eat Sicilian marinara sauce, we have the Italians to thank for perfecting it. 

Check out our other articles for more food and restaurant-related information and advice. 

Top 5 Foods for Healthy Skin

What you put into your body fuels everything from your energy levels to the health of your skin. When you are intentional about the food you eat, it can visibly show up on your face and other parts of your body. If your diet includes lots of sugar and fried foods but lacks essential vitamins and minerals, your metabolism will slow down and you will most likely gain weight. You may also have problems with other vital organs or see visible changes in your skin, like rapid aging. Common Cents Mom points out, “Include the foods below in your regular diet for great looking and healthy skin.”

Fish

Fatty fish like salmon and herring contain omega 3s and a variety of other powerful vitamins that help fight inflammation, keep your skin strong and resilient, and even help with faster healing of wounds. In other words, eating plenty of fish will keep your skin moisturized and soft, and reduce redness, acne, and sensitivity to the sun.

Avocados

Like fish, avocados contain healthy fats and are packed with vitamins that help with great looking, healthy skin. Avocados contain Vitamins E and C, which contribute to skin elasticity and collagen production. In other words, they help prevent wrinkles. As an added bonus, eating avocados regularly can help protect your skin from sun damage, which is another cause of dry and aging skin.

Seeds and Nuts

Snacking on foods like walnuts and sunflower seeds, or throwing them on top of a salad, can help you get more omega 3s and 6s in your diet, as well as Vitamins E and C, and selenium. These are all essential for regulating inflammation, helping wounds heal, and fighting bacteria.

Eat Colorful Foods

Get a variety of fruits and vegetables, particularly bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. Including lots of different colors in your diet ensures that you get enough Vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, and zinc. These foods help fight cancer, protect against sun damage, and also encourage collagen production. They give your skin a warm glow and help retain plenty of moisture.

Dark Chocolate

Eating dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa and contains high amounts of antioxidants can reduce roughness from dry skin, improve blood flow to bring nutrients to the skin, and increase resistance to UV damage. 
In addition to a great diet, your environment and the products you use on a regular basis will affect the condition of your skin. Remember to always wear sunscreen and use a gentle, ultra-hydrating moisturizer. Look for information from credible sources for health tips and other advice on how to have healthy skin. Having healthy skin is a process and as you continue working on eating healthy an taking care of your skin, your whole body will react positively to it.     

Tips On How To Prepare Hasselback-Style Potatoes

Would you enjoy presenting a show-stealing side that looked like it took you hours to make, but instead it only involved a few minutes of preparation time? Then saged Hasselback potatoes should be on your list of go-to’s. This dish involves potatoes that feature a sequence of dramatic vertical slits, came about from the Hotel Hasselbacken in the 1950s in Stockholm Sweden. It is one of those attractive side dishes that tastes and looks filling and hearty. The time to prepare the potatoes only involves a few minutes of your time, but your family and guests will be begging you for your top-secret recipe. Allow us to show the right way to prepare this fantastic dish, along with a cool hack to assist you along the way. 

If you love Hasselback-style potatoes, we are sure you will enjoy our recipes for Crispy Roasted Potatoes with Thyme and our Hasselback Sweet Potatoes served with Parmesan, Pecans, and Thyme.

1. Choose Your Potato

You can prepare your Hasselback dish with russet potatoes, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, or any other type of potato that you fancy. But we are sure you will enjoy this dish thoroughly that you may end up experimenting with every type. This technique also works well with small new or fingerling potatoes, which may become a child’s favorite in your home. Regardless of your choice in potatoes, always scrub and wash them using a vegetable brush. Allow the skin to dry out before you start cutting into them. 

2. Line Them Up

Use a solid pair of warp-free and new wooden chopsticks which will be your slicing guide rails for the potatoes. When you are finished the chopsticks will probably be ready for the trash heap. You can also use 2 wooden-spoon handles if you don’t have chopsticks lying around.

The handles or chopsticks serve the purpose of stopping your potatoes from rolling around, and they also stop you from accidentally cutting right the way through. You might need a bit of practice on 1 or 2 potatoes, but when you use a sharp knife and you get a feel on how far you can go before you hit the chopsticks, it will become 2nd nature in no time. 

• Choose A Slice

Experiment with the slice sizes that you prefer to make. Different thicknesses will create different designs once the potatoes are cooked. Once you have chosen your preferred width, use a sharp chef’s knife to make a series of parallel cuts down to your chopsticks. 

This is an optional step that helps to create a shape that is more fanned for each potato. After slicing each of your potatoes rinse each one under cold running water. The water will wash away a bit of the starch that may prevent the potatoes from making a fanned shape. Dry your potatoes very well before you season them. Gently shake out the water and wipe the outer skins down. 

• Season Well

Before baking your potatoes preheat the oven to 400ºF and drizzle a thin layer of olive oil over the top parts of the potatoes which will allow the oil to run down into each slice. Generously season with ground pepper and salt. As your potatoes start fanning out more you will be able to add in more seasoning. 

If you would like to cover every sliced area, combine melted butter or olive oil with pepper and salt in a bowl and brush your mixture across your potatoes.  

Bake your potatoes for around 1 and half hours until they are soft inside and crispy and golden brown on the exterior. Garnish your potatoes with parsley or chives to add a bit of color and to enhance the flavor. 

Make Them Into The Main Dish

If you would like to take this recipe to the next level, you can make Hasselback potatoes into a main dish by making a potato-bar and using different condiment bowls. Follow the steps mentioned above and then offer toppings such as chives and bacon, sour cream, crumbled bacon and cheddar cheese, minced broccoli, cheese, salsa, and black beans. Whatever you enjoy as a topping on a baked potato will work well with this Hasselback potato recipe.

Advantages / Disadvantages of a Gas Grill

Approximately 80% of American households own a grill. This data shows how far the American population is ready to embrace developments in the kitchen and cooking department. As far as outdoor cooking is concerned, gas and charcoal grills are the two prominent types of grills.

The continued conservation campaigns have reduced the number of charcoal grills in our homes since they are associated with deforestation. Gas grills make use of a natural resource that is readily available. However, gas grills have mixed fortunes.

Below are some insights into the advantages and disadvantages of a gas grill.

Begin by Getting the Right Grill

One of the significant problems associated with this equipment is the high probability of becoming faulty. This is primarily brought about by individual tendencies of buying substandard equipment.

There are set standards for gas grills that you have to check before taking it home. Be sure that your pick is equal to the task to avoid future inconveniences. At the same time, be sure that you can use it efficiently when no one else is around.

If you are not familiar with it, take time and go through the menu. If doing so doesn’t help, talk to the technician, and get assistance where necessary. Don’t buy it because you only have a limited amount of funds.

Advantages

Food Cooks Faster

It becomes hard to compare gas grills with other cooking equipment. These grills consume less time in cooking which saves you much for other activities. They only take a fraction of the time consumed by other cooking methods.

It also saves you cash that you would have used to rush to a hotel to get some bites. Grills allow the accumulation of heat, thus the rapid cooking process. It has a quicker ignition and heating rate as compared to the rest.

It Is Cheap

When it comes to the cost, gas grills may have a high initial cost. However, you will get to realize that it was the cheapest option in town. Other forms of the grill are characterized by low prices which later become a problem due to the high cost of fuel.

On the flip side, gas grills will be cheap in the long run since gas has low prices. You will generally have enough cash to get more grilling foods for the family.

Easy Control of Temperature

While grilling, it will reach a point where either the heat is too low or too much. In the case of gas grills, it becomes easy to regulate the temperature which is done through the adjustment of a specified knob.

Charcoal grills are directly the opposite in that controlling the temperature requires sufficient airflow. While this may be not difficult, you cannot compare it to the convenience of a knob.

Temperature is a critical component of your grilling experience. Ensure the knobs are functioning even before you take the griller home. In case they fail after a short time, use the warranty policy to get another machine.

Gas Grills are Safe

Unlike charcoal grills, gas rarely emits fumes of carbon that may end up bringing instances of breathing complications. It also lacks wastes, like ash, that may be blown by winds to other apartments.

While there isn’t as much waste, gas grills do demand your attention just in case of a technical hitch.

Are Comfortable to Use

Charcoal grills come in with a series of labor demands beginning with the purchasing of fuel igniting it. Interestingly, most of the population, especially the younger generation, has not interacted with the charcoal system.

It, therefore, becomes difficult to convince such people on the essence of such grills. However much pressure you get from others, go for makes that are comfortable with you and avoid carbon at all costs.

Don’t be fooled by a cheap price that may end up costing you a fortune in the long run. After all, gas grills are convenient, easy, and comfortable to operate. You don’t have to do it from the outside like in the case of charcoal grillers.

Gas Grills Cook Almost Everything

The secret to effective cooking is regulating heat and temperature. This is something that gas grills have meaning it is more than possible to cook every meal to personal tastes.

In charcoal grills, it takes effort to lower the temperature, which may lead to the burning of some foods. The wide range of temperatures gives room for slow cooking which leads to better meals.

Grilling Has Health Benefits

Foods prepared on gas grillers are said to be low in calories and fat. Unlike grilled foods, fried food poses several health risks among them obesity and cardiovascular disorders. Interestingly, even foods that have low-fat content tend to rise when fried.

The good thing with gas grillers is that they suck excess fat, especially when slow-cooking. This eventually leads to lower calories, thus manageable weight.

Drawbacks

Takes Away the Flavor

Gas grilling is good, but when it comes to the original flavor, it is beaten by charcoal grills. This is brought about by the lack of much-needed smoke that adds a natural flavor.

There is hardly any smoke in a gas grill, and once you notice it, it is a red flag.

Health Risks

Grilled foods are suitable for the body, but the interaction between the food and heat may be dangerous. In most cases, meals that are grilled are proteins. High heat reacts with protein bonds, forming heterocyclic amines which are known carcinogens.

Additionally, it produces glycation products which in the long run cause conditions such as diabetes.

There is Limited Mobility

When families are grilling using charcoal, you will find them chat around the grill. This case doesn’t play out in gas grills since they do not generate enough heat for them.

Gas grills are, in most cases, fixed in one position meaning the grilling activities cannot be transferred outdoors. Gas is dangerous to deal with and will require minimal exposure.

Grilling is one of the cooking approaches that society is adopting at a high rate. Charcoal grills are no longer as common as they were initially and are being replaced by gas grills. Even as you use these gas grills, be cautious to avoid cases of fire and explosion.

Resources – The Spruce, Huffington Post, Hunker

Tips and Tricks for Feeding Large Groups of People

While it may sound like fun to invite enough people to fill a house, there are many elements involved in the planning of such an event. Not everyone is aware enough to acknowledge all of the logistics of entertaining a crowd, here is a useful list of things to consider. Keep reading as the experts at Food Service Company explain more. 

Acknowledge Your Strengths

Unless you are willing to stress yourself out with preparing a second entree, only cook dishes that you know and are confident you can make without a problem. Save the innovative eatery for appetizers and dessert.

Know Your Audience

Unless you can easily accommodate the individual dietary requirements of each of your guests, focus on foods that you know your guests already like.

Stick to Foods that Keep Well

Do not stress yourself with cooking everything on the day of the event. A smart host will prepare batches of the party food in advance, preferring dishes that can be put into storage and easily be reheated hours before the time on the invitations rolls around.

Make Sure You Make Enough

While it can be hard to figure out the exact amount of food per person, there are some basics to this calculation.

  • Entrees: half a pound of protein or 5 ounces of pasta.
  • Side Dishes: 4 ounces of vegetables and 1.5 ounces of grains.
  • Dessert: Two cookies or brownies.

It’s Okay to Cheat a Bit

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There is nothing wrong with picking up a premade food item, like a crudité or charcuterie platter. This extends to buying a time-demanding side dish instead of spending the time and effort to make it yourself. The less you have to exert yourself, the better your mood will be for entertaining guests.

Consider Going Buffet-Style

While plated meals are normal for a formal dinner, they also demand you be in host most for the entire time. Since buffets are self-serving affairs, you can spend less time worrying about keeping your guests fed and more time entertaining and being a good host, only intervening when a particular item runs low or goes away. Consider desserts that require little effort to prepare, like handheld baked goods.

Get Organized

Make a list of every task and every step toward completing that task. Once your guest list is confirmed, ensure that you will have enough dishes and cutlery for those guests for the entire night, plus a few extra in case of accidents or surprise company. If your fridge has sufficient space, consider storing dishes in clusters themed around the course they will be served for.

Your Oven Only Holds So Much

While you might be tempted to insert multiple dishes, each with their own goal temperature, into an oven and averaging out the temperature to save yourself some time, this can lead to unevenly cooked meals. Furthermore, recipes tend to be written with the one dish having exclusive use of the oven-adding multiple dishes actually requires even higher temperatures for the oven to properly do its job of cooking two or more dishes simultaneously. Limit your baking and feel free to include some dishes that can be prepared on other appliances like a cooktop or even a toaster oven.

Remember Food Safety

Use a separate chopping board for your meat than you use for vegetables and bread. Know the safe temperatures for each type of protein.

  • Pork and red meat: 145ºF.
  • Ground meat: 160ºF.
  • Poultry and anything reheated: 165ºF.

Food should be tossed once it has remained at room temperature for over two hours; track this amount of time by abstaining from refilling half-empty platters.