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Cooking with Nature: Why You Should Start Growing your Own Herbs

As the hotter months are approaching, you may think it’s time to get your green thumb out of hiding and put it to work.  A lot of us take this time to plant beautiful flowers or even tasty fruits. However, why do we have to limit ourselves to just growing things at this time of year? 

Though many fruits and flowers depend on the hotter weather to be able to thrive, something that can be grown essentially all year round is herbs. Though in the past it was traditional to grow your own herbs, as supermarkets have made them more accessible, people tend to just buy dried herbs for convenience.  

Though it may be considered to be easier to buy herbs and spices at the store, there are a lot of benefits that come with growing your own herbs at home. Who knows, if we manage to persuade you of the benefits, then by the end of this article you may look into how to raise your own cilantro.

 

The taste is better 

If you are someone that has experience cooking with both dried and fresh herbs, then you will know that there is no comparison between the two. Fresh herbs hold a lot of taste as they have not gone through the drying process and they have not had any additional preservatives mixed with them.  

When using fresh herbs, you can pluck them from the plant and after a quick rinse with water, they are ready to be used. If you are someone that considers themselves to be somewhat of a chef, then you will be extremely appreciative of the taste difference between dry and fresh herbs. If you are eating a meal that is considered bland, adding herbs will not only add flavor but a sense of freshness too.  

 

It saves you money 

Now, herbs are not the most expensive ingredient that you pay for when you go shopping, but growing your own fresh herbs means that you won’t have to keep rebuying them. Once you have started to grow your own herbs, then you essentially have a constant supply of ingredients. 

Depending on the care that you give your herb plants, they can grow to astounding heights. If you rip leaves from the plant, they also grow back fairly quickly. This is not the case if you purchase dried herbs, as eventually you will run out and have to head back to the store to restock your supply. 

As the years go on, you will save more and more money that you can invest in other aspects of your life. Your plants will only get bigger, which means you could even provide your friends and family with a steady supply of fresh herbs, which means that they could also be saving some money in the future thanks to you.  

 

Bring some decorative features to your kitchen  

As well as being a great addition to any meal that you may make, growing your own fresh herbs makes for an amazing decorative feature within your home. We all love plants, but many of the plants that we fill our homes with unfortunately die very easily.  

Though herb plants are not immortal, they are a lot easier to care for than normal plants and require far less attention. As well as being less work, once they start to grow they also have an extremely aesthetically pleasing appearance. If you match your herb plants with a nice plant pot, then your kitchen will look as though it has been intentionally stocked with beautiful plants. 

This is something that also makes fresh herbs a brilliant gift. If you put the effort into picking out a nice pot, then you will be able to pass off just about any herb as a fun plant that can be kept at home.  The only difference between a normal plant and fresh herbs is that you can actually use the fresh herbs for something more useful. 

 

Freshen the air within your home

One of the main reasons that people buy plants and place them around their homes is because plants have air-purifying properties. This is why plants are so popular in countries that do not have the cleanest air.  

Fresh herbs have the exact same effect as they also go through a process known as photosynthesis, where they take in carbon dioxide and use it to make oxygen which is released back into the air. Not only do plants produce oxygen, but they also deal with any nasty toxins that may be within the air, which means that what they release is a lot purer than what they have previously taken in.  

 

An educational experience 

Another reason why we recommend growing your own herbs is that it is an educational experience. When we buy herbs and other grown produce in stores, we never really think about the process that it had to undergo in order to end up where it is.  

Growing your own herbs from the ground up will give you a brand new appreciation of all of the work that goes into growing the herbs that we all buy. It is easy to neglect the hard work of farmers all around the world, but if we as individuals gain further knowledge of the steps that our food has to go through before it reaches our plates, we may become much more appreciative.  

From Masterchef to Hells Kitchen: The Best Cooking Shows on TV

With 2020 being the year of lockdowns and 2021 starting to look like people will be following more lockdowns this year then many people have started to pick up some new hobbies and learn some skills. Cooking is among one of the most popular new hobbies people have. Most people always wish they are better at cooking than they are, rather than coming home to beans on toast they’d much prefer to make a fantastic dish every evening. With all the extra time people have had because of the lockdowns many people are starting to learn more about cooking.

There are so many cooking tv shows to watch, many cooking shows on TV will actually be like a tutorial and you’ll be able to see how the professionals make your favorite dish, get some great helpful tips and you’ll be able to give it a try yourself afterward. Other cooking TV shows are in the form of a game show where chefs compete under the watchful eye of a professional chef and fight to be the best.

While these shows won’t teach you how to cook they might still give you some inspiration for dishes and you can still see how meals are made and what mistakes not to make. Other cooking shows will just teach you about the history of various food if you’re interested in getting more information about what you’re eating. If after watching some cooking game shows and you want to compete, whilst you won’t be able to go on them there are also many cooking games out there. Some of the most popular cooking games include cooking mama and overcooked, some levels may be difficult so if you get stuck there’s always a level walkthrough to help you out. We’ve made a list of the best cooking shows to cure your boredom and help you to develop your new skill.

Masterchef

Masterchef is a game show-style cooking show. There are 3 different versions of it, you have the amateur version, the professional version and as it gained so much popularity there is also a celebrity Masterchef series. The show starts with 6 chefs competing in their first round, they have to do various challenges like recreating a meal, in a team cook 1 by 1 and complete a meal, etc. They get their food judged by the presenter and the chef who will provide them with helpful critiques on how to improve. It is then up to them as the judges to decide who is eliminated and who will make it through to the next round. This process repeats with 6 more chefs until only the best make it to the final.

Hell’s Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen is a game show-style cooking show. It is one of Gordon Ramsay’s shows and it gained popularity thanks to how brutal his mentoring style is. Fans will know there are many iconic Gordon Ramsay moments throughout the seasons of Hell’s Kitchen. The show has 12 chefs competing and whoever wins gets a job as head chef in one of Ramsay’s restaurants. They are split into the blue and red team, they work in these teams to secure a win. They do challenges and complete dinner service, every week 1 person from the losing team is eliminated.

The Food That Built America

This is a history channel series that has a different topic each episode including the creating of McDonald’s and the rise of Heinz. This is a great show to learn some more background information about where the food you eat originated from.

Every Cooking Gadget a BBQ Fiend Needs Right Now!

Finding the right gift for the chef in your life can be very difficult, it is important that you find something they are going to use regularly otherwise what is the point in buying it. Finding the right gift doesn’t have to be difficult and if your friend is interested in barbecuing there are plenty of options available out there.

 

BBQ Tools

New BBQ tools are a great gift for someone who is just getting started in hosting barbeques as it is something they may not have thought of getting themselves, rather than leaving them to use the random tools they find in the kitchen why not purchase them a high-quality set of tools dedicated just for use on the BBQ. As the grill can get up to a very high temperature you will need to make sure the tools that you buy are heat resistant and that they will last a long time, I’m sure the chef in your life will appreciate this kind of gift and at least it is something that you know they will use regularly.

 

Home Smoker

Another great gift a BBQ fiend should have would be their own home smoking system, whether you choose to invest in a more expensive electric model or you decide to stick to the more affordable wood burner, a smoker would make for a great gift for someone with an interest in smoking their own food. If you would like to buy your loved one a more versatile gift then you may want to consider purchasing one of the amazing grill brushes, which are currently available on the market, as grill brushes are the perfect accompaniment to smokers. An offset smoker combines the ability to smoke your own meats as well as having a classic grilling function, this would be the perfect gift for someone who doesn’t have a lot of space, or for someone who just getting started in preparing their own smoked meats.

 

Meat Thermometer

A meat thermometer is a must-have gift for someone who regularly cooks meat on the grill or BBQ, being able to check the internal temperature of the meat you are cooking allows you to be confident in your cooking as you are able to find out if the meat is cooked or not and have peace of mind that the food is safe for you and your loved ones to eat. If you want to really splash out you could even invest in a digital probe which will provide a specific temperature reading as well as having the ability to change the setting to suit the meat you are testing.

 

Drum Chimney

One of the biggest issues faced by those who use a coal BBQ would have to be being able to actually light it, all too often do we see people struggling to get the BBQ hot enough so they end up quitting and taking the food inside. This no longer has to be an issue thanks to the drum chimney, this great gift option is a real lifesaver. Simply layer coals, firefighters, and some form of kindling inside the chimney and leave it to burn for around half an hour, the compact metal tube increases the amount of heat generated and lights your coals every time without fail.

 

Branding Tool

 The final gift on this list would have to be a branding tool, nothing looks better than being able to complete your delicious steak with a personalized message thanks to this amazing gift – a BBQ branding tool. Once you have put together your desired message simply heat up the tool over the hot BBQ tools and then place it onto your meat.

The Insider Secrets to Earning a Michelin Star

If you are or even know someone that owns a restaurant, you will know that one of the main goals of setting up an establishment is earning the coveted Michelin Star. Having a Michelin star is a good indication of the quality of service and food that a restaurant offers and so it is no wonder why so many restaurant owners do all that they can in order to earn one. However, they don’t just hand out Michelin Stars to anyone that asks for them and some restaurant owners don’t even know where to start the earning process. Here are our insider secrets to earning that desired Michelin star that you may be able to implement in your business.

 

Stand Out

As previously stated, they aren’t just handing out Michelin stars to anyone who desires one. Due to the sheer overpopulation of the restaurant industry, it would be impossible for them to check out every single restaurant that is operating right now and so your business really needs to stand out.  Make sure that you are doing something that nobody in your area is. If your local area is well known Italian food and you are deciding to open an Italian restaurant, you may easily be lost among the crowd. Because of this, you need to find some sort of USP that makes you stand out from the rest, like a signature dish or special cooking technique. Be sure to do some market research and even go eat at some of your competitors so that you can get an idea of what you need to do to stand out.

 

Atmosphere

Receiving a Michelin star demands excellence in several areas, one of these areas being the atmosphere that you offer your customers. You want to make sure that the decor that you have within your restaurant perfectly complements the food that you have on offer. This is something that people are quick to overlook and so miss out on Michelin stars, even when they have excellent food on offer.  The atmosphere doesn’t just apply to the inside of your restaurant, you also have to make sure the area surrounding your restaurant is up to scratch. This may seem a bit overkill, but it really is that much of a strict process. Make sure that the entrance of your restaurant is presentable and clean, but also make sure that other areas- like where you keep your bins, are also clean and tidy. This will not only impress the people deciding whether or not you earn your star, but it will also lead to more positive pest control results in your monthly review as vermin will be less attracted to your restaurant.

 

Service

Another aspect of your restaurant that is penalized when taking part in the Michelin star process is your service. People aren’t going to want to attend a restaurant that offers poor service and so it is crucial that all of your staff are trained to adhere to the high standards that are kept by other Michelin star restaurants. If you are unsure of how to do this, then it may be worth visiting a restaurant that has already earned a Michelin star as they will be a good example of the right way to interact with customers. If you don’t feel up for the job of training your staff yourself, there are also specialist services available that will do that part for you.

 

No matter what you decide to do, make sure that you are fully prepared for the process of gaining a star as you won’t have many chances.

Ways to Make Ice Cream Work For You

Ice cream can be defined as a cold sweet food usually eaten as a dessert or a snack. It is made from a mixture of some or all of these food items: milk, cream, butterfat, eggs, sugar, and flavoring.

If you are interested in knowing the best kitchen tools used in making ice cream, visit FoodPlusIce website.

Ice cream has various meanings to different people as it comes in varying types. These types all have sweet tastes but are made of different ingredients

The common types of ice cream are:

  • Gelato: This type of ice cream was created by the Italians. It is made of whole milk, without the addition of cream. There is usually also the absence of eggs and stabilizers. This would result in a thick texture with a low percentage of milk fat.
  • Frozen Yogurt: This is a common and well-loved type of ice cream. It is made using a similar recipe as the traditional ice cream, however with less fat which is replaced by yogurt.
  • Sorbet: This type of ice cream is much lighter in texture and flavor than the others. It is made with no dairy, rather egg whites are used to keep the mixture together.
  • Sherbet: This type of ice cream must not contain above 3% and below 1% of milk fat. It is made with a mixture of milk, egg whites, fruit juice, etc. Read its history here.
  • Ice Cream: This is the traditional type of ice cream most people are accustomed to. Its mixture must contain above 10% milk fat.

It is a known fact that adults and children love ice cream. There is always this caution to eating ice cream as it can increase body fat and blood sugar.

However, ice cream does have some benefits. 

Through the benefits, you can find ways through which ice cream works for you.

1. Health Benefits: While consuming ice cream, be aware of its health benefits. These health benefits include that it provides the body with vitamins such as A, B-6, B-12, C, and D. It also supplies minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. Calcium helps to maintain the bones and teeth, as well as reduce the risk of breast cancer. It also produces instant energy. Ice cream helps to boost the immune system because it is made of fermented dairy that protects from different respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.

2. Makes One Happier: Are you aware that the consumption of ice cream can make a person happier? This is because it produces a hormone called serotonin. This Hormone makes us feel happier and less stressed. Ice cream can be made to work for you when you experience low moments.

3. Increases Libido: Ice cream can also be used to improve sexual intimacy between couples. Ice cream contains phosphorus which maintains the level of testosterone and male libido.

4. Maintains Weight: It is often believed that the consumption of ice cream can lead to weight gain. This may be true, especially if it is consumed in excess quantities. However, low – fat ice cream can also be used to control body weight. When you think about food, you take a scoop of low-fat ice cream, and the calcium it contains would do the rest of the work.