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13 Electric Kettles | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 18th, 2017 No comments

Dew gift guide 2017 header

See all the 2017 Gift Guide Entries


13 Electric Kettles

From Douglas…

My wife gave up coffee several years ago. She started using an old stovetop kettle we had and then we had a coffee maker with a hot water dispenser, but after visiting the UK last August, I was reminded again how useful and convenient an electric tea kettle is for morning beverages and several other reasons. Once we returned, I was finally able to convince her to pick one up at the local discount store and I am glad we did. Along with heating water for tea, the kettle is great for jump starting pasta water and other cooking and also for cleaning around the house. I especially love that it has an automatic shut-off, which guarantees we never boil a kettle dry again. 

Learn more about Tea with these books 

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** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out
!
† These books are available at the LA Public Library
 

01 Instant Pot Cooker – Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 6th, 2017 Comments off

Since so many people order their gifts online and ahead of time, I’ve decided to start my annual Gift Guide fairly early this year. This should allow you to find your favorite gifts — and perhaps recommend a few of your own wish list items to your friends and family — with enough lead time to assure they arrive in time for your holiday celebration, whichever holiday it might be!

Dew gift guide 2017 header

01 Instant Pot Cooker

It seems like everyone is talking about Instant Pots these days. This latest take on the pressure comes with a host of automation that makes cooking quick and simple, with a “set it and forget it” advantage for those of us who have trouble finding the time to cook healthy, homemade meals. — Douglas 

01 Instant Pot Cooker - Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Features

  • Duo, the number 1 selling multi-cooker, combines 7 kitchen appliances in 1, Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer, prepares dishes up to 70% faster to support your busy lifestyle
  • Features 14 Smart Programs – Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté/Simmer, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Slow Cook, Keep Warm, Yogurt, Manual, and Pressure Cook. Now, your favorite dishes are as easy as pressing a button
  • Healthy, stainless steel (18/8) inner cooking pot made from food grade 304, no chemical coating, 3-ply bottom for even heat distribution, fully sealed environment traps the flavours, nutrients and aromas within the food
  • Built with the latest 3rd generation technology, the microprocessor monitors pressure, temperature, keeps time, and adjusts heating intensity and duration to achieve your desired results every time
  • UL and ULC certified with 10 safety mechanisms to provide you with added assurance, designed to eliminate many common errors
  • Accessories include, stainless steel steam rack with handles, rice paddle, soup spoon, measuring cup, condensation collector and recipe booklet. To maximize performance of cooker only use genuine Instant Pot accessories


* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs

The Meaty, Leftovers-Filled Pasta Savored By Tuscan Cowboys via Food52

July 31st, 2017 Comments off
This meat sauce sounds delicious and different enough from our other family ragu recipes to at least give it a try. I like the use of sage and rosemary. We don’t use a lot of those herbs here although I like the flavor they bring to a dish. — Douglas
 
 

I had been living in a corner of southern Tuscany, in the Maremma, for a few months when I began noticing pasta alla buttera (translation: cowboy pasta) here and there—on countryside menus and at various sagre, outdoor food festivals that are especially good places to try regional dishes. I made a mental note to add another job-description-pasta-sauce to a quirky medley of a list that included things like spaghetti alla carbonara and pasta alla boscaiola, named after the charcoal burners and woodcutters that apparently invented and championed the dishes based on what readily available ingredients they had.

Read The Meaty, Leftovers-Filled Pasta Savored By Tuscan Cowboys via Food52



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!


An interesting link found among my daily reading

Good Morning!

May 8th, 2017 Comments off

Morning coffee

Good Morning!

A second cup of coffee this morning. 

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Learn more about coffee with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

Trader Joe’s Coffeecello, reviewed via Baking Bites

April 25th, 2017 Comments off
I love making liqueurs as much as I like drinking them, so when this appeared in my feed I instantly added it to my To Buy list. I love coffee, too, so it sort of makes this one a no-brainer. — Douglas
 
Read Trader Joe’s Coffeecello, reviewed via Baking Bites



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!


An interesting link found among my daily reading

On YouTube: Pasta Al Forno Dell’ultimo Minuto – Ricetta facile – Quick and Easy Italian Baked Pasta Recipe

April 24th, 2017 Comments off

A quick and easy recipe for baked pasta, directly from Italy and this Italian YouTube Channel. There is no narration on the video, so the language barrier is a bit less and the complete recipe, in English, is available in the video description. — Douglas

Pasta Al Forno Dell’ultimo Minuto – Ricetta facile – Quick and Easy Italian Baked Pasta Recipe

Pasta Al Forno Dell'ultimo Minuto - Ricetta facile - Quick and Easy Italian Baked Pasta Recipe

PASTA AL FORNO DELL’ULTIMO MINUTO Ricetta facile – Quick and Easy Italian Baked Pasta Recipe. Pasta al forno dell’ultimo minuto, ricetta facile, un primo piatto di pasta gratinato in forno. Sugo, salsiccia e mozzarella filante, un piatto completo, ricco e succulento, con pochi ingredienti!

Complete recipe in the video description



* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!

Noted: How to Make an All-Ikea Cheese Plate

March 28th, 2017 Comments off

The Spice Companion: A Guide to the World of Spices by Lior Lev Sercarz

March 19th, 2017 Comments off

The Spice Companion: A Guide to the World of Spices by Lior Lev Sercarz

There comes a time in every cook’s life when you start to move beyond simply following recipes and begin to experiment more and more within those recipes. After that, more advanced cooks will reach for the next level — the graduate level, if you will. It is books like The Spice Companion that become part of your graduate food studies. Instead of dealing in the generalities of a specific cuisine or specific dishes, you go into the details of specific ingredients in your food. You dive deeper into more and more detailed levels of knowledge, so that, at the end, you emerge with a deeper understanding of how those ingredients come together in a recipe. With this deep knowledge, you can begin to create our own unique recipes.

The Spice Companion begins with some extensive and excellent information on the author’s personal spice philosophy, the history and origin of various spices, and how to source, blend and store spices. At its heart, though, The Spice Companion is an amazing reference book for spices of all types. A few random flips through the largest part of the book turned up spices I knew — like cinnamon and cloves — spices I had heard of but never used — like za’atar and wasabi — and spices entirely unknown to me — like Urda chiles and Sansho.

The detailed spice sections are amazing in their depth and include a photo and/or drawing of each spice, a description of its flavor and aroma, it’s geographic origin, its harvest season, which parts of the plant are used — like leaves, stems, seed pods, etc –, and an extensive About section that provides even more information about typical uses and dishes that can be made with the spice.

The author then uses a graphical icon-based system to show which dishes might use this spice, other spices that can be paired with it, recipes for spice blends with this ingredient and finally, a recipe that uses this spice blend. Wow! It is almost overwhelming.

There is so much information to be found within the pages of The Spice Companion. I can foresee reading in a random fashion, jumping from one spice to another, but also then revisiting it later for a full cover-to-cover read to deeply enhance my spice, blends and overall food knowledge. This is a book that should find a place alongside your regular collection of cookbooks to offer more specific information on spices while also giving your great ideas on how recipes might be “dressed up” or enhanced by the use of alternative spices

This is a book that should find a place alongside your regular collection of cookbooks to offer more specific information on spices while also giving your great ideas on how recipes might be “dressed up” or enhanced by the use of alternative spices. It is the equivalent of a writer having a great dictionary or encyclopedia at hand when they work. There are times when you simply NEED to look something up and The Spice Companion would be a great place to turn.

Categories: Books, Cooking, Food, In the kitchen Tags:

Small Victories: Recipes, Advice + Hundreds of Ideas for Home-Cooking Triumphs by Julia Turshen [Book]

March 13th, 2017 Comments off

Small Victories
Recipes, Advice + Hundreds of Ideas for Home-Cooking Triumphs
Julia Turshen

When reading a cookbook I don’t tend to make grand proclamations that this book is good and that book is bad. Cookbooks are all about what you take away from the book and one person’s favorite is another’s failure. For me, my like or dislike of a cookbook directly relates to how well it works for me. Does its message resonate? Are the recipes actually something I would consider making? Can I put my new found knowledge to immediate use? With those criteria in mind, Small Victories certainly worked for me on a variety of levels.

First, even though I am a bit of a fussy eater, I found many recipes I want to try out as soon as possible. Each recipe is well described and also includes several variations you might want to try. Turshen includes old standards like her take on biscuits (Everything Biscuits), roast chicken (Roast Chicken with Fennel, Rosemary + Lemon) and desserts (Berry + Buttermilk Cobbler) while also exploring further afield with Roasted Salmon with Maple + Soy, Jennie’s Chicken Pelau, and Crisply Hominy + Cheddar Fritters.

In Small Victories, you’ll find sections dedicated to Breakfast, Soups + Salads, Vegetables, (maybe even a few that I would eat) (LAUGH), Grains, Beans + Pasta, Meat + Poultry, Shellfish + Fish, Desserts, A Few Drinks + Some Things To Keep On Hand and Seven Lists — which gives some great ideas on small bites to serve with drinks, 7 Things To Do With Pizza Dough, Leftover Roast Chicken and more.

Another reason I found Small Victories so enjoyable are the excellent stories attached to each recipe. Even when I wasn’t particularly interested in a recipe, I still made a point of reading each of these descriptions almost like I would read a regular book. These descriptions also contain the “Small Victories” which are the namesake of the book. These are small tips and hints are a great addition to the cookbook and provide yet another level of value.

As Turshen writes, “Think of small victories as the corners of the puzzle, the pieces that help us become inspired, relax cooks who know how to fill in the rest.

I found my copy of Small Victories at my local library and you might find it there, too. It’s always a great place to start when looking for new books in your life. However you get your hands on Small Victories, I highly recommend you do. I think you’ll find some interesting recipes, tips and maybe even the next step in your cooking adventures.

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

On YouTube: How To Make Bread | Jamie Oliver – AD

March 5th, 2017 Comments off
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