Archive for May, 2010
Even the most inept cook has the capability to make pasta. In its most basic form, all the process entails is simply boiling a pot of water and adding pasta. But as anyone with any culinary prowess will tell you, cooking a top-tier plate of pasta is a well-refined art.
First, always use your Cilio salt mill to season the water liberally, as this is your only opportunity to add flavor to the pasta itself. If the water looks like it may boil over during the cooking process, add a little oil to the pot in order to raise the boiling point. Many people overcook their pasta because they neglect to realize that the pasta will continue to cook even after it is removed from the water. You want the pasta to have a little bite to it, known as al dente, so that it won’t become squishy as it continues to cook.
We’ve all heard the old adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and while people may think it is cliché—and it is to a certain extent—there is truth to the saying. However, few people take the time for a morning meal. Some think they will save calories by skipping breakfast, while others claim they simply don’t have the time.
When we sleep, our bodies are essentially fasting, which slows down the metabolism. By taking time to eat something in the morning, you are actually rousing your metabolism from a dormant state. If you don’t think you have time for breakfast in the morning, plan the meal the night before. You can even program Saeco espresso machines to have a piping hot cup of coffee waiting for your when you come downstairs. Not only will the coffee help you wake up, but the caffeine will boost your metabolism as well.
Around this time every year graduation ceremonies for seniors around the country commence. While in a few months time they will either be moving on to college or the “real world,” most typically take a few months off to unwind. Nearly all graduation gifts come in the form of cash, which is more than appreciated by graduates who are looking to relax for a few months.
If you don’t want the recent grad in your life to become a spendthrift with your commencement gift, go with something more personal than cash. A high-end pen is a classic graduation gift, particularly for writers and business graduates. For those who will be living on their own for the first time, small appliances like a coffee maker or toaster oven will undoubtedly be put to good use.
Most people agree that coffee is an acquired taste; after all, few people go head over heels for the bitter, acidic beverage on their first try. After choking down coffee for a couple of months to keep me awake during the graveyard shift I worked in college, I’ve become a lifelong coffee addict. My husband, however, never had a necessity for caffeine, and as such, he has yet to develop a coffee habit.
Enjoying a cup of coffee is always better with a companion, so I recently endeavored to convert him to the ranks of coffee devotees. Like most people, he expressed a disdain for a simple black coffee, so I decided to purchase a cappuccino maker. This allowed me to create concoctions with chocolate, cream and other tasty add-ins, which made the coffee much more palatable for him.
Due to its strong, distinctive flavor and high concentration of caffeine, espresso is one of the most popular coffee beverages and serves as the base for many gourmet variants. While many of us think that espresso has a rich, storied tradition, it is actually a relatively new invention. In fact, the first espresso coffee maker was patented until the 20th century.
In 1901, Luigi Bezzera, an Italian inventor, patented the first machine to use steam pressure to brew coffee. And while the invention is over 100 years old, the same basic design is still utilized in conventional machines. The design was improved on in 1948 with the development of a spring-piston machine that could brew coffee with more pressure, and once again in 1960 with the introduction of the electric pump.
Anyone who has taken a basic chemistry class can tell you the simple molecular structure of salt: NaCl. And while it may not seem like there is much room for differentiation, there are a variety of salts found in salt mills around the globe. Here are some of the most common:
Table Salt: Likely the most widely used salt in America, table salt is refined and then has other chemicals added. In addition, the salt often goes through iodization, which creates iodized salt.
Kosher Salt: This salt is made from evaporated brine, and to truly be kosher, it must meet specific guidelines set forth in the Orthodox Jewish religion.
Sea Salt: One of the most expensive salts, sea salt is made from evaporated seawater. It is prized for its depth of natural flavor and coarseness, which makes it ideal for savory dishes.
For the last eight years I’ve woken up at 5am every morning in order to get to the local coffee shop in time to beat the crowd. It may sound ridiculous to sacrifice sleep in the name of caffeine, but I simply can’t function in the morning without at least a couple cups of Joe in me. After subjecting myself to this time-consuming ritual for nearly a decade, I’ve finally decided that it’s time to make a change.
Not only does my daily trip to the coffee shop cost me valuable time each morning, but it also is quite expensive—I figured out that I spend nearly $2,000 each year on coffee. Last weekend I decided to break the cycle and purchase a Solis espresso machine. Having the automated settings will certainly save me time in the morning, and the machine should pay for itself within the first year.
A few months ago I walked in to the kitchen of my apartment and began to seek out something for dinner. After scouring the freezer, fridge and pantry, I found there was not a prepared morsel to be had; I realized that if I wanted something to eat, I was going to have to cook. After utilizing microwave ovens and automatic espresso machines my entire life, it struck me that I couldn’t even boil a pot of water.
The next day I went down to the local community center and enrolled in some basic cooking lessons. Now I can prepare a number of staple dishes, and I am not overcome by fear at the prospect of cooking. II even learned how to prepare mochas, lattes and a few other specialty coffee beverages.
~8 oz. uncooked linguine pasta
~3 tbsp. melted butter
~3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
~1 tbsp. ground pepper
~2 tbsp. sea salt
~8 oz. smoked salmon
First, you will want to cut your smoked salmon into bite-sized chunks. Over medium-high heat, cook your linguine pasta until it is soft, then drain and return to the pan to keep it warm. Add the butter and olive oil, and toss your pasta; season with pepper and a few cracks from one of your salt mills. Then add the salmon chunks and toss again. Plate the pasta and serve with pepper and salt as desired.
For many Americans, the morning shower and that first cup of coffee are indispensible components of the morning routine. More than just cleansing and refreshing, the shower spurs our bodies into action and gets us mentally prepared to approach the day, and we all know how coffee can give you that needed jolt in the morning. There is a nasty culprit, however, who can put a snag in these two daily rituals simultaneously: hard water.
If you’re having difficulty working up a lather in the shower or experiencing mineral buildup in your coffee machine, you’ve most likely fallen victim to overly abundant calcium deposits. To test your water for hardness, consider the benefits of a water test kit. These kits measure hardness in terms of “parts per million.” Hard water could be loosely described as containing 70 or more parts of minerals per million parts of water. If you have already fallen victim to the detrimental effects of hard water, you can utilize a descaler to help reverse the impact.