Kitchen Cutting Board Cross – Contamination Solutions

The family chef has worked very hard preparing that culinary masterpiece for loved ones or for guests at a dinner party and it would be a shame if some disaster waits because they forgot some of the basic do’s and don’ts while preparing the feast. There is a simple checklist that a health conscientious person should be aware of while cooking a meal in the kitchen to keep loved ones and guests safe from food borne illnesses. It is not enough to control cross-contamination issues by only being conscientious about keeping meat products away from ready-to-eat products that is only the beginning. Insure that meat products are stored immediately when coming home from the grocery store and never let them sit out at room temperature for long periods of time. It is also essential to clean and disinfect any meat spills or meat splatters right away that occur when preparing meat products to be stored.

Next, the cutting board or chopping block is one of the primary sources of conveying food poisoning. Raw foods like meat, poultry or fish can easily cross-contaminate with other foods prepared on the board cutting surface or even in the same vicinity where the raw foods where prepared. Food poisoning can be a very serious problem. Campylobacter and E-coli can cause diarrhea and digestive tract problems. Salmonella can cause gastroenteritis. Staphylococcus Aureus is a particularly nasty disease that eats away the integrity of the stomach lining, and can cause Pneumonia and Endocarditis. Small traces of allergens can come into contact when preparing other foods on a cutting surface and can cause allergic reactions to those with sensitivities to certain types of foods. Though some food poisoning illnesses can be quite serious the good news is that they can also be avoided.

A clean cutting board is essential in order to ensure the health and safety of your family members and guests. Bacteria can remain on cutting boards even after having been cleaned because during food preparation bacteria can find its way into tiny crevices made by knives and other implements used while cutting and chopping. A quick wash may not remove them all. Instead disinfect your cutting boards by using one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one quart of water, covering the surface of the board with the solution, and then let stand in the disinfectant for several minutes. The disinfectant may also be used to disinfect the vicinity where the raw foods were prepared.

The dishwasher is also extremely effective at disinfecting the cutting board but over time the dishwasher may also damage the cutting board by causing it to warp. A warped cutting board may make it difficult or even dangerous to use when preparing food and using sharp knifes on an unsteady surface. Avoid cross-contamination when cutting different types of foods for the same meal by owning several Kitchen Cutting boards – one for meats, one for cheeses, and one for produce. If through washing one board warps over time you still have several on hand and will still be able to curb cross-contamination problems while waiting for your replacement cutting board to arrive.

Tempered Glass cutting boards have many wonderful designs making them a great addition to your kitchen you can even find ones that match your d�cor perfectly. People may shy from glass because knives dull slightly faster. The sharp blade is still there it has simply just started to roll away from the true cutting edge and is something that a proper knife sharpener can solve. Also, tempered glass is almost indestructible, impenetrable, can be scrubbed clean, dried between uses, and keeps its hygiene qualities longer. Tempered Glass cutting boards are very resistant to heat and can double as a hot pad. The hardcore health conscious individual will appreciate that glass cutting boards are very easy to clean in the dishwasher. Cross-contamination issues are not a problem as glass cutting boards have a cut-proof surface so bacteria, stains and odors cannot be harbored as they are in other cutting boards.

Specialty Ingredients Tips – Buying and Using Saffron

When it comes to buying specialty ingredients one of the most special of all is saffron. This red coloured spice is officially the world’s most expensive spice, and evidence of its use dates back over 50,000 years, with saffron-based pigments being used in prehistoric locations across north-west Iran.

For well over 4,000 years saffron has been used to treat almost 100 different illnesses, and it has been a spice used in a wide range of ways, from cooking to perfume, from dyes to medicines, and much more. Alexander the Great used saffron to treat battle wounds, and during Henry VIII’s reign ladies of the court used to tint their hair with saffron.

The reason why saffron is such an expensive specialty ingredient is because of how difficult it is to gather. Saffron comes from the saffron crocus, each of which has only three stigmas. One single ounce of saffron is equivalent to about 14,000 of these tiny stigmas, each of which must be hand-picked from the very middle of the flower. With well over 4,500 crocuses required for each ounce of saffron, it’s evident why it is so expensive.

But the quality of saffron can vary, and when choosing this spice it will be important to consider its colour. Generally you will be looking for saffron to be a good red colour, the redder the better, although the tips will be a slightly more orange colour. Without this slight orange tint at the end of each of the threads there is a chance that what you are looking at is actually cheap saffron which has being falsely coloured to look more red, and therefore more expensive.

When buying specialty ingredients it is important to be aware of how to choose the best quality ingredients, as well as knowing how to use them most effectively. For example, when cooking with saffron it’s important not to use wooden utensils. The reason for this is because the wood tends to absorb the saffron, which significantly reduces the intensity and strength of the flavour it imparts to the food.

Another tip worth knowing is that if cooking food which will be kept for another day, the saffron will be stronger on the second day. For this reason you may wish to use a little less than you might otherwise.

Another piece of advice worth knowing with this specialty ingredient is that saffron requires heat in order to release its flavour, and it needs to be soaked in hot water, or other warm liquid before it is added to the food. Not only does this ensure the flavour is imparted properly, but this soaking of saffron before being added to the food helps to ensure that its colour disperses throughout.

Flavor From The Far East-how To Add Asian Flare To Your Cooking

Asian countries have a long and rich culinary tradition. Throughout the vast continent, it is possible to see all manner of ingredients and tastes. There is something unmistakably delicious about certain foods and flavors that capture the imagination of any cook. Dishes from Asian countries often satisfy the appetite without an uncomfortable feeling of fullness that one often finds in Western cuisine.

Every country in the continent has its own unique perspective on Asian cooking. Though the customs from different regions can seem quite different, their commonality is unmistakable. Those who would like to add some of this exquisite experience to their own dining can start by incorporating some of the most important ingredients from Asian cooking into their own kitchen.

Asian Staples

There are a few elements found repeatedly in Asian cooking that are essential to capturing the essence of the cuisine.

Most dishes include rice, because it is the main crop of many Asian countries and is used in almost every capacity. Not only steamed rice, but rice paper and noodles can be included in a meal.

Tofu is often used in vegetarian meals, because it is high in protein. It is used heavily in regions with a tradition of Buddhism.

Sauces are important to flavor rice and stir-fry. Soy sauce, oyster sauce, black bean sauce, and fish sauces are easy to keep on hand.

Tea is not only good for the body; it is the perfect accompaniment to Asian cuisine.

Japanese Cooking

The island nation of Japan has an illustrious tradition. Their cuisine is full of fish and other consumables from the sea. Japanese cooking utilizes noodles made of wheat and other materials much more than other Asian dishes.

In order to add some Japanese flavor to meal, try using soy sauce or wasabi. Also, Japanese dishes are characterized by their ordered appearance. Sauces, rice, and main courses are all served in their own individual bowls. This can be seen in popular Japanese foods like sushi and tempura.

The Tastes of China

Traditional Chinese food can be quite different than what is labeled as Chinese in the United States. Many recipes contain large amounts of vegetables like corn, bean sprouts, and shitake mushrooms. Peanuts are also found in many Chinese foods.

The most distinct part of Chinese dining is the serving style. Food should be pre-cut into small pieces. Every diner should get a rice bowl, but other foods should be communal so that the diners may pick what they wish to sample with their chopsticks.

Southeast Asian Dining

Though they are often grouped together, the Southeast Asian countries include Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, and Vietnam among others. These countries all have their own strong dishes and techniques to bring to the kitchen, but have many similarities.

Cooks who want to capture the flavor of this region should look to fish sauces, lemon grass, and spices like turmeric and garlic. These elements are used all over this region because of the high concentration of fishing communities. Most dishes are served with fresh herbs, vegetables and dipping sauces.

Indian Cuisine

Indian food and culture is very distinct from the rest of Asia. India�s long history and stint as a British colony has effected their culture in numerous ways. Many different regional cooking styles fall under the umbrella term of Indian, but they are all characterized by an expert use of spices. Most Indian food is vegetarian, but some dishes to employ chicken, lamb, and fish. In keeping with Hindu and Muslim practices, no beef or pork is used.

Those who wish to capture the intense flavors of Indian cuisine should stock their pantry with plenty of spices. Spices like coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, fennel, turmeric, and various peppers are used in all kinds of dishes. The most iconic Indian dish is curry, a wet meat and sauce combination served with rice. There are hundreds of recipes for this type of meal, and one can even buy curry powder that contains most of the spices mentioned above.

Be Creative with Asian Flavors

Most Asian cooking is reliant on achieving a balance between different flavors. Though the food can be very rich, it is also meant to highlight and enhance subtle ingredients like rice and bean sprouts. The tenets of Asian dining give a chef so much to work with that creating a tasty meal should not be difficult.

Those that create Asian dishes regularly should look into investing into a rice cooker and wok. Also, it would be a good idea to keep plenty of fresh vegetables on hand just in case the urge to add some Asian flare to dinner strikes.

Have A Wonderful Bbq Party

Barbeques are popular for events such as the 4th of July, birthday parties, receptions, and going away parties. No matter why you have decided to plan a barbeque party, the memories that will come from it are sure to stick with your guests for many years to come, provided that you plan ahead. Planning the perfect BBQ party is not difficult, as long as you follow a few simple steps.

1) First, no barbeque would be complete without guests. Plan ahead of time, checking with your potential guest for scheduling conflicts and issues. Finding a date and time that is suitable for everyone should not be to far as long as you everyone enough advanced notice. Remember that not everyone will be able to come, no matter how much notice you give them, so do not get discouraged if you do not get as many RSVPs as your originally hoped for.

2) Be sure to check the weather for that type of year. If you live in a climate that cannot be predicted, then you may want to have a backup plan just incase unusual weather comes. You cannot predict things like rain and thunderstorms ahead of time, but you can make sure that you hold you barbeque during the time of year that will be pleasant to your guests. A barbeque in cold weather may hold more negative memories of trying to keep warm rather then good memories of family and friends.

3) Purchase the type of meat that you will be serving at your party. You will want to have a least a couple of different kinds of meats, as everyone attending may not like a certain kind. It is usually safe to go with pork, sausage, hamburgers, and chicken. If smaller children are going to be in attendance, you should consider child friendly foods such as smaller hamburgers and hot dogs.

4) Once you have the meat purchased, you will then want to consider what type of sides dished you will serve. If you want a completely tradition barbeque, you may want to stick with traditions sides. Traditional barbeque sides include potatoes, potato salad, baked beans, and coleslaw. Your traditional condiment bar should include pickles, relish, and onions. These foods are typically severed at barbeques because they are easy to prepare and store until the event happens. You may want to cook other items, but any barbeque is complete with just the items listed above. Once again, if children will be present, you may want to consider sides for them as well.

The simplest approach to side dishes is chips and dip. Chips and dip do not require any cooking on your part, and will still be loved by the majority of your guests.

5) Depending on the theme of your party, you may or may not want to purchase decorations. Festive decorations can be found at any local party or general store. You may also consider purchasing decorations that can be stored and reused at a different time, such as reusable tablecloths and Tiki torches.

6) The day before you party, you will want to make sure to thaw, prepare, and marinate the meat you will be cooking. Store the meat stored away, soaking up the marinate until it is time for it to go on the grill. Prepare any side dishes that you can ahead of time.

7) The day of the party, get up early and start preparing for it. You do not want your guest arriving while you are still cooking or hanging decorations. It should only take you a few hours at most to prepare the area in which you will be having the party, but the reactions from your guest will probably seem as if you have been planning this for weeks. Try to have the grill already going by time the guests get there as well, because the smell coming from the grill is sure to get everyone in the mood.

Why Make a Custom Cookbook?

Cookbooks can have a special meaning for a lot of people. Having a custom cookbook can also be important for some people. They can treasure the recipes that they have put together themselves or been given.

For some people, having the opportunity to get all the family recipes into one cookbook can be an important task. Family is an important part of peoples lives and food is a solid family bond. Most people can recall getting together around the dinner table for Christmas dinner or a celebratory meal. Food is a common theme in family life.

Every family has recipes they can remember eating that were passed on from generation to generation. The chance to gather all these family recipes together, all in one place, can be a satisfying emotion for some. A custom cookbook is one way to achieve this.

A big advantage of making your own cookbook is that you can individualise it to suit yourself. Add the recipes that you want, add pictures as well. These could be of the food in the recipe, the region the food comes from or they could just be pictures of family that you would like to have within the cookbook.

You could add comments to the recipes too. These comments could be about cooking the dish or they could be tips that you have picked up over time. You might just want to add some light hearted words to amuse the reader. It is all up to you.

As you put together the custom cookbook you can get recipes from anywhere you like. This could be from family, friends, newspapers, magazines or online. You can arrange them in the cookbook in a layout of your own choice and you can select a cover that suits to make it appealing.

You could use a theme for the custom cookbook. It could be a book of breakfast recipes or a book of dessert recipes. You could make it a style of cooking, say a book of barbecue recipes or slow cooker recipes. There are a lot of Asian recipes out there so it could be based on that type of theme as well.

A cookbook could also be used by a business for promotion purposes. It could be given out to customers or staff and could be made up with recipes related to the business or it’s products. People always enjoy a good cookbook.

Getting recipes together in a custom cookbook is also a fundraising method that is very popular. This has been even more so with the Internet and online publishers. The theme and style of the book can be determined by the organisation making it.

A cookbook can be organised to observe an event such as a wedding or anniversary. It could be made up for a business function or a training event. The opportunities can be many as the cookbook is custom made to suit the event.

A custom cookbook will organise the messy pile of recipes that are rarely used but well liked. It will provide a great collection of favourite recipes that are easy and quick to find. This will allow you to enjoy more variety in your meals than you may otherwise have.