Smoked meats are a perfect summer treat

foods on smoker

Smoking is not limited to only meats; it can be used with vegetables, fish, and cheese as well.

Have you ever indulged in the yumminess of a Montreal smoked meat sandwich?  The smoky flavour of the beef lingers, delighting your taste buds, and leaving you wanting more.

Smoking the meat is what gives it that distinct flavour; it also helps the meat to last longer. Smoking is the process of flavouring, browning, cooking, or preserving food by exposing it to the smoke from burning materials, most often wood. The list of woods used to smoke food includes, but is not limited to, alder, hickory, mesquite, oak, pecan, maple, and fruit-tree woods, such as apple and cherry.

There are lots of foods that you can smoke, from meats and fish, to cheeses, vegetables, whiskey and beer, and even spices.  But meats and fish are the most commonly smoked foods.

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Bread making baskets create beautiful artisan-style loaves

bannetonproof

Bread proofing baskets create an artisan-style bread that has a crunchy outside and a soft, delicious inside.

Do you make your own bread? There’s nothing like the aroma of bread baking in the oven, is there?  And yes, the taste of warm bread with a little butter melting into it is also right up there as one of life’s simple pleasures. Whether you are well versed in bread making or are just thinking about giving it a go, you will need to consider if you want to prepare your bread in a baking pan or in a basket.

For beginners, we recommend you start with a baking pan. Bread dough needs time to rise. It is easier to see how much your bread has risen in a bread pan than in a bread basket; once the dough reaches the top of the pan – it’s ready!  Other benefits to using a baking pan include the ease of getting the dough out of a well-greased pan and the assurance that your bread will be contained in the baking pan and so the shape is guaranteed. And, the most obvious benefit to using a baking pan? Yes, you can bake the bread right inside the pan.

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Descale your kettle to make it last

cup-mug-water-tea

Keep your kettle limescale free to prevent white flakes from entering your boiled water.

If you were stranded on an island and could choose one kitchen essential to be stranded with, what would it be? Okay, so since we don’t know if there is electricity on that island – we would suggest a kettle (and if there is electricity, we’d still choose the kettle). Rub two sticks together, start a fire, and set your water to boil. If you find some coffee beans and tomatoes, just like that you have your caffeine fix and tomato soup.

Indeed, kettles are often overlooked. Whether you have a good old-fashioned whistling kettle or an electric kettle, in today’s world a kettle is there to steep our tea, brew our coffee, and even cook our instant soups and couscous. But how do we care for our kettles? Deep, at the bottom of that kettle lurks limescale … eww! How do we remove it?

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Go from oven to table easily with ceramic cookware

ceramic chicken

Ceramic cookware is both gorgeous and better for you, and can be used to serve your dishes as well.

Ceramic cookware tends to look high end and fancy. Ever stopped to think about how long ceramic cookware has been around? You might think that your metal pots that have become blackened with age, have been around longer than ceramic cook vessels, but the truth is ceramic cookware dates back much earlier than metal pots and pans.

Metal pots came into being during the Industrial Age (from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840), while ceramic cookware dates back thousands of years to the ancient Greeks and Chinese. Of course, the ceramic the ancient Greeks and Chinese used wasn’t as attractive and table ready as the stuff you can buy today.

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Impressive cakes are easy when baking Bundts

Bundts can be decorated easily with icing sugar, or even fresh flowers and fruit for a spring celebration.

Have you ever made a Bundt cake? What makes a Bundt cake different from your run-of-the-mill white cake? Well, if you know your Bundts then you know that is a trick question. A Bundt cake isn’t special because of the recipe, or whether it is a white cake, a vanilla cake, or a chocolate cake. A Bundt cake is special because of its shape.

Introduced and trademarked by the Nordic Ware Company in the early 1950s, a Bundt cake is a type of tube cake. Since the name “Bundt” is a trademark, similar pans are often sold as “fluted tube pans,” or “bundform,” or something like that. The Bundt has a tube in the middle of the pan and today, the pan comes in all shapes, sizes, and finishes. The tube design allows more of the cake mixture to touch the surface of the pan than in a simple round or square pan; this helps provide faster and more even heat distribution during the baking process.

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What is a cake steamer?

cakesteamer copyAre you a fan of the Cake Boss? Or perhaps watching Buddy Valstro, isn’t your idea of an evening well spent; regardless, Buddy made steaming cakes an industry must do.

How do you steam a cake? Some people actually use a clothing steamer to steam the fondant on their finished cakes. Why? Steaming cakes gives a natural shine or glaze. Most fondant dries to a matte finish, but if you’re looking to add a little shine, just add some steam!

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Baked doughnuts are the healthy eaters’ new best friend

doughnut baked

A simple dusting of sugar is all it takes to make these baked doughnuts something special.

Homer Simpson was expressing a sentiment shared by many when he said, “Mmm….doughnut!”

What’s not to like? Deep fried, sugar filled, calorie laden goodness. Well, anyone who is counting calories and choosing to live a more health-conscious lifestyle definitely would not share Homer’s love of this taste bud tempter.

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Become a superhero parent with this fun way to eat veggies

Parents know that sometimes it can be a chore to get kids to eat their daily quota of fruits and vegetables. And if you are one of those parents blessed with a really picky eater, you may be guilty of offering French fries for dinner because you just want that child to eat something — anything!

spiralizer

Start using your spiralizer to get your kids eating their vegetables, and to try a new way to create beautiful dishes.

Okay go get your superhero’s cape ready. No, you aren’t a superhero for letting that ‘cherub’ have fries for dinner, but you will be a hero when you whip up a batch of spiral veggies. Kids just want to have fun and when it comes to mealtime, fun is the smartest way to go about getting them to eat healthy meals. Curly veggie fries – fun, fun, fun! So what’s your superhero “power”? A spiralizer. These nifty gadgets make it easy to create perfect ribbons and spirals of your favourite fruits and vegetables for healthier meals.

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What is the difference between a Dutch Oven and a French oven?

dutch oven copyThe Dutch tradition

Our research tells us that the Dutch oven was originally created by the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 1700s. The Dutch oven is a large pot with a tight-fighting lid. The pot is usually made of raw cast iron.  The cast iron pot develops a non-stick surface if seasoned (coating the pot with cooking oil and baking it in a 350°F oven for an hour).

The Dutch oven is heavy in weight and can be used both on the stovetop and in the oven. Generally used for braising or making soups and stews, the versatile Dutch oven can also be used for baking bread and deep frying.

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