How To Use Dry Ice In Your Home Economics Class

Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Cooking is a combination of art, math and science. The art part is making the food items look presentable, attractive and mouthwatering. There are elements of math involved–measuring, doubling a recipe, halving a recipe and calculating the correct amount of time and temperature to produce results. The science part is knowing how to heat, cool and combine different ingredients to produce edible and tasty products. All of these skills are addressed in a home economics class.  If you need to add more science and math to your home economics class, involve dry ice in the following candy making method. Cracking Candy Start with a purchase of dry ice in the form of blocks. Plan on teaching a hard candy class the day your dry ice arrives. With some dry ice providers, you can schedule the exact day and time to deliver the ice. You may want to take advantage of this scheduling service as dry ice will begin to evaporate the minute it is exposed to the air in your classroom. Next, decide if your students will practice making brickle, toffee or hard candies. You may even offer them the choice. Show them how to handle the dry ice so they don’t “freezer burn” their flesh off. It should only be handled with special gloves and the blocks need to remain covered in cloth to prevent accidental contact until it is time to use their freezing properties. Have them boil the water needed or create and boil their candy base. Non-stick aluminum foil should replace the cloth over the top of the dry ice and lay nice and flat. The candy bases for brickle and toffee are then spooned over the aluminum foil, which should be sufficiently chilled by the dry ice underneath to cause the candy to freeze, crackle and crack almost instantly. Instruct your students to carefully remove the aluminum foil, with gloved hands/properly protected skin. Set the dry ice out of the way where no one can accidentally touch it. Then sample your students’ cracked candies for taste and effective execution. Wrap up the Class By Explaining How Dry Ice Works By teaching your home economics class how dry ice works, what it is (a frozen gas), and how they can use it to speed up the freezing and hardening steps of many desserts and dishes, they can try using it at home for special occasions. You may even provide them with a handout on the properties of dry ice, how it is used by famous chefs and where they can purchase small amounts of dry ice on their own. Chef specialty and restaurant supply stores ship dry ice on demand, but it should be used within forty-eight...

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Buffet-Style Reception? How To Keep Your Catered Food Safe for Consumption

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Buffets have long been a favorite choice for wedding receptions. However, they have their pitfalls. Not only is there a risk of your guests getting sick from cross-contamination, you have to maintain the buffet throughout the night by switching out food and cleaning up messes. If you hire a wedding catering company to stay with you throughout the event, they will take care of all of the necessary work for you. If you only hire them to drop off the food and leave, you will have to appoint someone to take care of the food for you. With this in mind, following are a few ways you can keep your catered food safe for consumption.  Use Small Serving Dishes Instead of having your catering company deliver large containers of food, have them divide each dish into several smaller containers. This will allow you to keep extra food in the oven or fridge until it’s needed. If they do deliver large containers, separate the food into small ones and store for later. Hot items should be kept in an oven set at 200 to 250 degrees. Cold items should be stored in a fridge.  Keep Food Fresh and Safe Do not allow food to sit at room temperature. Keep hot food in warming trays and cold food on ice. In most cases, the catering company you’re using will loan you the necessary serving equipment to keep your food safe. Hot food should maintain an internal temperature of 135 degrees or greater, whereas cold food must stay at 41 degrees or cooler. To make sure your food is within the desired range, check it with an internal thermometer frequently.  When adding new food to the buffet, do not pour the new food on top of the old food. Instead, remove the container of old food and replace it completely with the new container. At a buffet, food quickly becomes contaminated with bacteria from people’s hands. So it’s a good idea to change food out frequently. Pay Attention to Time It’s easy for time to get away from you, especially at a wedding reception. However, your buffet attendant has to pay attention to the clock. Instruct them to not allow leftovers or perishable foods to sit out for longer than 2 hours unless it’s being kept hot or cold.  Food safety is a serious matter, especially where buffets are concerned. If you take the time to follow safe food-handling instructions, however, you will keep your guests healthy and...

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3 Food And Drink Pairings That Go Well With Gourmet Chocolates

Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Whether it is a loved one’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or Christmas, you can’t go wrong buying them gourmet chocolates as a gift. Not only is it a sweet gesture, chocolate has a number of health benefits, including antioxidants, plenty of fiber and brain support. If you really want to go for a winning gift, you should consider a nice pairing to go with the gourmet chocolate. In that regard, read this guide to help you understand some of the best items to pair with high-quality, gourmet chocolate.  #1: A Gourmet Cheese Tray When you present your box of chocolate, consider adding a gourmet cheese tray to go with it. If you’re purchasing quality gourmet chocolates, it’s important to also purchase the best cheeses to go along with it. Cheeses like bleu cheese, Gouda and Monterey jack are excellent choices to think about when putting together your cheese tray. The savory, somewhat salty flavor that comes with these cheeses will add a nice element to the chocolate. Nuts also pair well with cheese, so consider purchasing some gourmet chocolate pieces that contain nuts like almonds or peanuts.  #2: A Nice Bottle Of Wine If you are putting together a gift basket with your chocolates, make sure that you select a bottle of wine that goes well with the type of chocolate that you are purchasing. For instance, a light red or dessert wine will pair well with any milk chocolate combination. If you are giving them dark chocolate, you would do well to pair it with a wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz wine. If you are purchasing a gourmet chocolate piece with chile or other spices, red wines like Port are excellent to balance out the hint of spice in the chocolate. #3: A Meat Recipe Since you’re celebrating a special occasion, it calls for an early dessert. Your gourmet chocolate selection will pair well with the saltiness of meats, such as pork or braised beef. There are recipes for barbecue ribs that even include chocolate in the recipe. The sweetness of the chocolate provides an impeccable balance to the savory flavor of the meat, and allows you to whip up a delicious dinner that celebrates the occasion.  Consider these combinations as you shop around for your gourmet chocolate. If you have any further questions about proper pairings, don’t hesitate to ask your gourmet chocolate...

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Three Ways To Reduce Your Meat Budget

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are a family that enjoys your premium cuts of meat for steaks, burgers, and barbecue chicken, you may find that it also gets expensive. When you are trying to cut back on your food budget, cutting your meat budget is usually the first thing you think about. Keep in mind that just because you need to stick to a stricter budget, does not mean you need to become a vegetarian. Here are some easy ways for reducing how much you spend on meat: Don’t Buy Pre-Ground Meat A good rule of thumb is that the more convenient something seems, the more expensive it is going to be. When you buy meat in your grocery store that is already ground up, such as ground chuck, it is going to cost more than chuck that is not ground up. You can either grind it yourself at home if you have a meat grinder, or have the butcher do it for you. Make a habit of buying certain meats at your local butcher, and when you purchase it, have them ground it up. This will end up costing you less money overall than if you bought the ground meat packages in the grocery store. Choose Your Cuts Carefully The cuts of meat you buy also make a big difference in how much they cost. Start by choosing cheaper cuts. Instead of getting a prime cuts every time you make a steak, get a flank or chuck steak. These are cheaper cuts, but as long as you tenderize and marinate them right, they will taste just as delicious as the prime cuts. Another way to save money based on your cuts of meat is by purchasing leaner cuts. You are going to save money by getting meat with a lower percentage of fat, plus when the fat cooks away, you end up with a good amount of meat. Stock Up at the Right Times There are certain times of the year when meat goes on sale, giving you the option to stock up. Get a freezer to keep in your garage so you can store extra cuts of meat to be used later. The holidays are a great time to stock up, as your local butcher and grocery stores will put items like chicken, hams, and turkeys on sale. Consider how many meals you can make with a few turkeys, and you will see how beneficial this is. For food like hamburgers and steaks, buy your meat in bulk during special occasions when barbecuing is prevalent, such as just before the Super Bowl, or near the 4th of July. Grocery stores often have big sales before these special occasions. To learn...

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Your Wedding Venue: A Checklist For Your Initial Visit

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When looking at potential wedding venues, it can be easy to get carried away with beautiful locations or romantic architecture. But there are certain practicalities that must be kept in mind to make your special day as easy for you and as comfortable for guests as possible. Read on for a checklist of things to think about when you make that first visit to a venue. Parking The first thing you need to assess is parking. Make sure there is enough parking space for the number of guests you intend to invite. If parking is some distance from the venue, you may want to think about valet parking, at least for older guests and VIPs. You also want to make sure there is an easy place for the bridal party to enter and a place for the honeymoon car when you make your grand exit. Ceremony If you are holding your ceremony in the same place as the reception, consider how you will make use of the venue space–where guests will be seated, where you will walk down the aisle, where you will take your vows, etc. You can’t count on great weather, so make sure you have enough indoor space, or space for tents, if Mother Nature doesn’t comply. If you’re looking at a rustic setting, like a barn, will it be warm enough? Will an old mansion have air conditioning if the temperatures soar? Also, you may want to have a prep area on-site for dressing, doing hair, etc., if you are not doing all that at home first. If you get dressed at the venue, you don’t have to worry about your dress, clothing, or hair getting mussed in a car on the way to the wedding. Photos You will be taking photos at your wedding that you want to last a lifetime. They will be framed and maybe even enlarged many times. Is the venue photographic enough for beautiful photos? Places by the sea or with lush gardens are great, but what if it rains? Is there a large staircase or foyer that would suffice for photo taking? In Between If you are completing your vows and holding your reception in the same spot, what will guests do in between? Do they need to go somewhere while a large room is transformed from one purpose to another? Will you be stopping for photos in between events? Will you have a receiving line? Think about spaces at the venue where your guests can go, regardless of weather, in between the ceremony and reception, no matter what you are doing. If you want to park them in the garden with passed champagne and munchies, can you put...

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5 Great Gifts For Dads

Posted by on Jan 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Fathers can be the most difficult member of the family to buy gifts for. Some fathers have pricey tastes while others seem to already own everything they could possibly want. Dads also aren’t always vocal about what they want when it comes to gifts. Luckily, there are a few great gift ideas that will always make Dad smile. Here are five of the best: Themed T-Shirts On the weekends, every father likes to relax with a favorite T-shirt and a pair of jeans. Pick up a couple shirts that you know he’ll like. Go for shirts that show a bit of personality. For instance, any sports fan will appreciate a T-shirt depicting his favorite sports team. Likewise, a science fiction/fantasy dad will love any shirt that depicts his favorite TV show or movie. Membership/Gift Cards Gift cards are always a fantastic gift for fathers. You have a myriad of options here. One idea is to pick up a gift card for his favorite restaurant, book store, movie theater, sporting goods store, or electronic store. Another idea is to purchase a membership card for his favorite sports club/gym. Fathers aren’t always great about spending money on themselves, so sometimes it’s a good idea to pamper them with something you know they’ve always wanted. Movies What dad doesn’t enjoy movies? Find out his favorite movie genre and browse his movie collection to see what he already has. Pick out some titles that he doesn’t have or that he’s talked about. TV series on DVD/Blu-ray are also a great idea. Every father has a favorite TV show or two they’d love to own. Office/Room Accessories Most fathers love collecting accessories and memorabilia depicting their favorite hobbies. If that special father in your life is a hockey fan, for example, you can pick out a hockey jersey wall hanging, a statue of his favorite player, or a desktop photo showcasing the victory of a big game. Summer Sausage Gift Sets If there’s one thing that always warms the heart of any dad, it’s food. Food gifts are always a great idea for any man in your life, but one food gift that’s especially perfect is a gift set with beef summer sausages, various types of cheeses, and crackers. Some of these sets include other goodies like candies, pastries, and even homemade mustard sauces. These gift sets are generally fairly inexpensive and are a feast fit for a king. When coming up with gift ideas for that special father, it’s always smart to think about his favorite hobbies and past times. Choose from the above gift ideas or use them to brainstorm for other ideas of your own. With a little creative thinking you’re...

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