Using a Food Dehydrator – Do's and Dont's

Before putting the food into the food dehydrator, always slice them into one-fourth inch pieces or sections. This will allow the optimal exposure of the surface to the heat and airflow of the dehydrator.

As much as possible, evenly distribute the slices of food across the dehydrator sheets. This will also facilitate the process of drying, making it very extensive and effective.

It is advisable to sporadically inspect the drying condition of the food. The items which are located near the fan of the food dehydrator will dry out faster than the other foods. This can be remedied by alternately repositioning the trays after a couple of hours.

Make sure to carefully dry out food and give them time to cool down at room temperature prior to placing them inside a container which has an airtight seal. Even if the moisture level of food removed from the dehydrator is at a low level, they can still secrete some amount of water. The moisture will be kept out of the airtight container if the food is given a cool down period right after it goes through dehydration and prior to placing them inside the airtight container.

Sporadically clean the dehydrator using tepid water particularly near the base of the dehydrator where small pieces of food may have collected.

Try out a variety of food items, recipes and the different methods of preparing food.

Never attempt to fast-track the drying process of the food by increasing the temperature of the dehydrator above the suggested temperature level that the food is supposed to be exposed to. If this is done, hardening will occur or a partial dehydration will occur and the food will have a hard surface with the inside still moist which will spoil the food items too early.

Dry out food items of the same kind together. Dry out vegetables together with other vegetables and fruits with other fruits. Do not dry out asparagus or onions together with bananas and other kinds of fruit.

Always label the containers of the dried food with the date when they were dehydrated. You will be able to monitor the age of the food items and its shelf life with this.

Do not use a microwave oven to dry out food. The best way to dehydrate is with a food dehydrator. There are many types of dehydrators available in the market for home usage. You can . Read Here Further about choosing a food dehydrator to use at home. …

A Few Basic Facts That We Ought to Learn About Sodium Hydroxide

Sodium hydroxide, a white crystalline substance, is also known in other terms such as lye, caustic soda, white caustic, soda lye, and sodium hydrate. Its chemical formula is NaOH, and it is known to be corrosive as well as soluble in water, alcohol, and glycerin.

The chemical may sound unfamiliar to you but it can be found in household products such as oven cleaners and drain cleaners. The thing about cleaners that contain the substance is that they tend to turn fats into soap, making them efficient in removing clogs from pipes which are usually a mixture of fats and grease.

Its value does not end in being found in these household products, though. It is valuable in many other ways just like its role in the paper industry where it is used to break down lignin in wood. Lignin holds together cellulose fibers in wood, and its removal is responsible for having the freed cellulose fibers form into paper. So you can now imagine how important the substance in the paper industry is.

Besides being a contributor to paper production, the substance is also of value to the food industry. It plays a vital role in chocolate and cocoa processing, caramel coloring production, chemical peeling of fruits and vegetables, and poultry scalding. The unique crust of the German pretzels also owes something to sodium hydroxide as they are poached in a cold solution of the substance first before baking. Moreover, the gelling of egg whites in Century production is caused by the substance.

The chemical is also used in manufacturing other chemicals, where it is commonly used in acid neutralization, pH control, and off-gas scrubbing. It is also used to remove acidic contaminants in the processing of oil and gas, thus making it valuable to the petroleum and natural gas industry.

It is also used in water treatment, glass making, cotton mercerizing and scouring, rubber reclamation, mining, laundering and bleaching, metal processing and cleaning, oxide coating, electroplating, and electrolytic extracting. Moreover, it is both available in solid form just like chips, sticks, and pellets, and in solutions. Other factors that contribute to its being widely used are its being cheap and being easy to detect and dispose.

You have learned the different uses of caustic soda, but it is also important to learn the first aid measures that can be taken just in case accidents relating to the storage and handling of the substance take place. If it comes into contact with the skin, the affected part of the skin must be flushed with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. If it is with the eyes, the eyes must also be flushed with water for at least 15 minutes. If someone swallows a solution of the substance, never induce vomiting. What should be done instead is to have the person rinse their mouth thoroughly with water. Also, the person must be given with 240 to 300 ml. of water to drink.

Although first aid measures can be …

How To Cook BBQ Ribs On Your Outdoor Grill

Barbeque ribs are a summertime favorite. With just the right amount of seasoning, grilling, and sauce, you will have a family hit. There are different options for grilling. The two most common are beef and pork ribs. These are varieties of rib that you will find in your local grocery store.

In addition to the meat, you will need the following:

  • Store bought or homemade dry rub
  • Barbeque sauce
  • Basting brush
  • Tongs to turn meat

To parboil or not to parboil

Parboiling, or leaching as it is also called is when you partially cook a food, either by baking it in the oven or boiling it in water to help speed the cooking process up. Some people cook meat through this process first so that they do not have to keep it on the grill for a longer time, which would dry the meat out. Do this for approximately 45 minutes.

If you decide to parboil, you can add a can of beer to your water or to the pan that you bake the meat in to add flavor.


Once your meat is parboiled, you can let it cool down enough to handle them without burning yourself. Using a store bought dry rub or one that you have mixed yourself; cover your ribs generously with seasoning on both sides. A dry rub is a combination of herbs and spices that you rub into the meat of so that the flavor penetrates deeply.

Preparing the Grill

Before you begin cooking your meat on the grill, be sure to heat the grill up. If you have a temperature gauge on the grill set it to 350 degrees or watch it until it reaches 350. If you do not have a temperature gauge, you will want to get the grill hot enough so that when you spray water onto it, that it instantly sizzles and evaporates.


Although you are making barbeque, you do not want to put your sauce on at this point. Now that your grill is ready and your ribs are seasoned, you can place them onto the highest rack of the grill. Keeping it higher and further away from the heat will allow the ribs to cook evenly and slowly so that they do not dry out and become overcooked. Keep your grill lid closed and cook for 30 minutes bone side down. At that point, turn them over and cook them for another 15 minutes.

Sauce it up

Now that they are finished, move them down to the lowest rack of the grill. Here is the fun part. Add the barbeque sauce of your choice. It is best to pour some on and spread it out with a basting brush used for spreading sauce on food. Never leave the grill unattended during this time. The sauce may cause flare-ups of the flame. Cover with sauce completely and flip the ribs regularly for approximately 10 minutes. This allows the sauce to stick and become caramelized. …

Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo

Seafood Fettuccine is always a top seller in our restaurants. Any pasta alfredo recipe is easy to prepare making it a great choice for family and friends. The alfredo sauce can be made several days in advance, so when it comes time to make the meal it’s a breeze. Once you master the sauce, you can use any type of protein, vegetable or pasta you desire. Giving you and endless variety of meals for the future.

Serves 4-6

  • 16 ea Prawns (31-35 count)
  • 8 oz. Bay scallops
  • 1 cup Flour – all purpose
  • 12 oz. Fish (choice of salmon, cod, halibut) – cut into 1″ pieces
  • 8 oz. Clams
  • 6 oz. Mussels
  • 3 oz. White wine (optional)
  • 4 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. Pepper
  • 1 lb Fettuccine – dry then cooked al dente
  • ½ cup Parmesan – shredded
  • 4 Tbsp. Red bell pepper – diced
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh parsley – chopped
  • 4 cups Alfredo sauce – recipe follows

Heat oil in a large sauce or sauté pan on medium high heat until hot. Season prawns, scallops and fish with salt and pepper then dredge in flour. Add to the pan and cook until about half way done. Add clams and mussels and continue cooking until they open up.

Remove clams and mussels from pan and deglaze pan with white wine. Add fettuccine and alfredo sauce and cook until hot and sauce coats the pasta. Transfer to a serving dish and top with clams and mussels, then garnish with parmesan, diced peppers and parsley.

Note: Do not use any clams or mussels that are already open before cooking or won’t open when cooked.

Alfredo sauce

Yields 4 cup

  • 6 cups Heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ lb Butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Garlic – chopped
  • 1½ tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. White pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. White wine (optional)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese – shredded

In a sauce pot over medium heat, cook the garlic and butter until soft. Add the heavy cream, wine, salt and pepper and reduce until a thin sauce consistency is achieved. Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.

Note: Whipping cream bubbles over very easily. Keep an eye on it. If it begins to boil over, reduce the heat.…

Top Tips Make Life Easier in the Kitchen

The kitchen is often called the heart of the home but to the creative cook, it’s more like a studio where artistry takes place. Whether it’s keeping foodstuffs fresh or picking out the right gadgets for delicious cooking, a kitchen is a place where art and love combine in fabulous meals.

Here are some of the most popular kitchen tips from cooks everywhere. Some of them may be familiar, but good things always bear repeating. From “kitchen witches” to keep pots from boiling over to storing potatoes, apples and onions, every cook needs a little help now and then.

* When the budget is tight and the milk is past its expiration date, add a pinch of salt to the milk and it will keep longer. Salt will slow the rate of bacteria growth that sours milk.

* Store brown sugar in the freezer and it won’t harden. If it already has, however, give it a brief zap in a measuring cup in the microwave. Just a few seconds should warm up the molasses in the sugar and cause it to soften. Be careful not to burn the sugar, though.

* Wild rice will keep 3 to 4 months if frozen. Stored in the refrigerator, wild rice will last only about a week.

* When a whole can of tomato paste is too much for the recipe, try this trick: Spoon the leftover paste onto a piece of waxed paper (not plastic wrap!). Top this with another sheet of waxed paper and freeze it. Once frozen, peel off the waxed paper and store in a plastic bag in the freezer. Smaller amounts of tomato paste are now available without waste. Another option is to store small amount of tomato paste in an ice tray and pop them out when needed.

* Always turn meat with tongs during grilling. Using a fork pierces the meat and allows the juices to escape, resulting in tough, dry meat.

* Spray plastic storage containers with vegetable cooking spray to keep them from being stained by spaghetti sauce, chili or any tomato-based sauce.

* A quick spritz of vegetable cooking spray on a measuring spoon also makes it easy to get honey off. If you don’t have cooking spray, a drop or two of cooking oil or a quick rub with a dab of margarine will work as well.

* Remove burned food from a skillet by covering the bottom of the pan with water and adding a drop or two of dish soap. Bring this mixture to a boil on the stove, and burned-on food should be easy to remove.

* Always clean the grill thoroughly before firing up the barbecue. Not only is a dirty grill unappetizing, it could harbor bacteria and will definitely affect food’s flavor. Use both a scraper and a grill brush to remove any burned-on food, and rinse thoroughly. To avoid having to do such heavy cleaning again, spray the grill with nonstick cooking spray before starting the barbecue. …

Ovens – Thermal Or Convection?

Many people who are looking to either replace an existing wall oven, or are shopping for a remodel or new construction have no idea the recent advances in ovens. Over the past 10 years, the appliance industry has made many exciting advances that make cooking more predictable and enjoyable. This is certainly an area where the “proof is in the pudding”!

Convection or Thermal Ovens?

I don’t assume anyone I talk to know what convection is, or the benefits. The vast majority of people have never cooked with convection – why should they know? Here is an explanation of thermal and convection ovens…

Thermal Ovens: This is the standard bake and broil oven most people are used to. Although there are differences from brand to brand, most manufacturers provide ovens that produce pretty even results. Most modern ovens will be heated evenly when the oven is preheated properly. If you’ve never had convection before, are on a tight budget, or if you’re a Swanson’s T.V. dinner person, you may never miss it.

Convection Oven: Convection has to do with air (in this case, hot air) being circulated in the oven. The movement of the air will cook the food faster and in most cases more evenly. Gas ovens naturally convect, and the byproduct of the fuel combustion is moisture. Some gas ovens will also include a convection fan, too. Electric ovens produce a dry heat and tend to dehydrate food. Introducing convection (via a fan and usually with an additional heating element around the fan and hidden behind a baffle in the back of the oven) can help to sear the outside of what you are cooking – meats being the best beneficiary. When you sear, moisture is sealed inside. Because of this, it is a great idea to get meats off of the floor of a pan with a wire rack so the heat can engulf the prime rib, turkey, etc. Baked goods benefit, too, because of a typically even heat most convection ovens produce. You may be able to cook up to 6 racks of cookies at once with even results.

Because convection cooks faster, you need to compensate for it by either adjusting the time or temperature. A pretty good rule of thumb is the 25 / 25 rule. For meats, use the same temperature you’ve used over the years in the bake oven, but shorten the time 25{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb}. So for a cooking time of 1 hour, it now becomes 45 minutes. For baking, lower the temperature 25 degrees (Fahrenheit). This is not a perfect rule, but gets you very close to the pin. Most convection ovens today – especially premium brands – offer temperature probes to take the guess work out of it. Set the cooking temperature, then the internal temperature and the oven will let you know when the food is ready!

There are several convection modes available. Be careful when comparing brand to brand / feature to feature. Not all brands will call their …

How to Cook a Whole Chicken on a Campfire

The art of cooking on a camp fire is simple and very rewarding.  There is nothing better than the taste of fire cooked food.  To prepare and cook a whole chicken on a camp fire is easier than one might imagine.  The best way to cook a whole chicken in camp is basically in a fire pit.  The first thing needed is a good fire pit surrounded by stones; the stones should be approximately 1 to 3 inches in diameter.  Most organised campsite will have a contained fire pit which is ready to go. In this case all you have to do is find some stones, enough to pile alongside the fire pit but not directly into the fire.  If you have to build your own fire pit, dig out a hole about 3 to 5 feet in diameter, 12 to 24 inches deep, and line the base with gravel or sand.  You then take the larger stones and surround the pit with them, the more stones you have the better your containment wall will be. 

Once your fire pit is ready, using your woodsman skills, start a fire using clean wood. Avoid at all cost using wood contaminated with paint or chemicals; this is harmful to the environment and is very toxic.  Let the fire burn until a good coal base is present and your fire has heated up the stones around the fire pit. The stones can be tested by throwing a bit of water on them. If they are hot, steam will be ready seen coming from the stones. You are then ready to cook the chicken. You will need one whole chicken, butter or oil, some spices (salt and pepper for starters), aluminum foil, and some vegetables like onions, carrots, and garlic if so desired.

To prepare the whole chicken, you first rinse the chicken with clean water, grease the chicken up with oil or butter. Spice the chicken to your liking, rosemary, salt, and pepper is usually good. Assure that you do not leave the bagged giblet inside the chicken. Butchers will usually leave the inner chicken parts in a bag inside the whole chicken. You can remove the giblets from the bag and reinsert them inside the chicken. This is not for everybody since they are a delicacy to only a few individuals. You can also add your favourite vegetables like onions, carrots, and garlic to the chicken. The veggies can be stuff inside with or without the giblets; this will give the chicken some flavour. Once the chicken is prepared, double wrap it inside the aluminum foil. Assure that the foil is tightly wrapped and that there are no holes puncture through the foil. This is important because you do not want any grease or heat to escape the wrapping, as well as any dirt or outside contaminants in. Depending on the thickness of the aluminum foil, more than a double wrap might be needed; this is a judgment call.

Take the foil wrapped chicken and place it on the stones that are piled up around the fire pit. The …

Outdoor Cooking – Safe Practices

Outdoor cooking is meant to be a fun and festive event so a little careful planning and awareness can ensure that your next barbecue is fun, safe, enjoyable and tasty. Not only should you be careful when setting up a barbecue but ensuring that safe food handling and cooking practices are used is critical to your next outdoor event’s success.

Grill Safety

When cooking on a barbecue, hibachi, or a barbecue pit make sure that you and your guests are safe. Hot coals, hot surfaces or grease flare ups can create a dangerous situation. Whether using coals or a gas grill you should be aware of fire safety at all times. Some critical items to consider:

  • Make sure any outside games and traffic paths are away from your grill so that someone doesn’t accidentally push over it over or gets burned on a hot surface. Also, be aware of pets getting too close.
  • Be sure to use proper utensils that are long enough and capable of handling the weight of what you are cooking.
  • Follow all correct lighting procedures weather using gas or coals. Turn the gas on only when you are ready to light and never throw lighter fluid on already lit coals or flames.

Food Safety

Perhaps one of the biggest dangers that people overlook is proper food safety. While setting up a barbecue safely is more obvious because the dangers are more readily seen, food born illness can create an uncomfortable and even dangerous situation if proper food handling and cooking procedures are not done correctly. The challenges of refrigeration and improper cooking can create unsafe food for consumption very quickly and spoil your outdoor event. It begins with shopping and doesn’t end until the last leftover is eaten.

When shopping, be sure to purchase your meats last. Utilize the plastic bags at the store for the raw meats and make sure they are all bagged separate from other perishables such as fruits and vegetables. Drive directly home from the store and refrigerate within two hours and certainly sooner (less than 1 hour) if the outside temperature is above 90 degrees. Freeze ground meats and poultry if they’re not going to be used within 2 days and other meats within 4 to 5 days.

When transporting to a picnic or even outside, make sure that the meats remain in an ice chest below 40 degrees and keep cool until you’re ready to cook. Keep the cooler out of direct sunlight to avoid any warm spots. Also, make sure that any beverages are in a separate cooler so that raw meats don’t contaminate drink containers. Be sure to use different utensils and plates when handling uncooked meats versus handling cooked items for serving. Always wash your hands thoroughly after putting on the meats to cook and prior to handling the finished product.

Cook meats to their proper temperatures to ensure correct cooking. Use a quality meat thermometer and check thick portions and never near a bone, fat, or …

Top 5 Most Expensive Las Vegas Wedding Packages

Known as “The Marriage Capital of the World” for good reason, most people know that tying the knot in Vegas is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to get married. What most people don’t know, is that Vegas is where you’ll also find some of the most luxurious, extravagant and expensive wedding packages around.

With packages ranging from $39 for a “Desk Wedding” at A Las Vegas Wedding Chapel (the minister literally sits at his desk and marries you!) all the way to the $23,090 Elegant Affair Ceremony package at the Wynn Hotel & Casino, there are literally hundreds of different Vegas wedding packages to choose from.

In case you were wondering what casinos offer the most expensive wedding packages in Vegas, here they are:

1. $23,090 – The Elegant Affair Ceremony at the Wynn Hotel & Casino

When you book the most expensive wedding package in Vegas, you expect to be pampered. The Elegant Affair Ceremony package at the Wynn Hotel & Casino does not disappoint.

After being picked up at the airport by your private chauffeur who will take you to the courthouse to get your marriage license, you’ll be checked in to your extraordinary 2,490 sq ft Wynn Fairway Villa (which features a stunning views of the golf course, a private patio and private massage treatment room) where you’ll stay for two nights.

Getting ready for the big day includes pampering for both the bride and groom. While the groom is enjoying not one, but two rounds of golf with a private caddy, the bride is treated to a pre-wedding day visit to The Salon for an up-do and make-up application and a Spa manicure and pedicure with a paraffin treatment (the Bride returns the next day to The Salon for her wedding day up-do and make-up application). Lest the groom feel left out, the package also includes a hot lather shave and classic manicure from The Salon’s Barbershop for him.

For the actual wedding, couples will enjoy an extravagant floral packages (customized bouquet and boutonniere, as well as eight custom-designed pew arrangements and an aisle runner generously covered in a pathway of delicate rose petals) and two hours in the private bridal salon. An extensive photography and video package rounds out the ceremony highlights.

Other indulgences include a Good Luck Ritual Massage, customized for two in your villa, followed by peppermint foot treatments, moisturizing hand therapies and aromatic scalp treatments.

Additional treats include a lavish “morning tasting” for two served in bed – complete with Italian mimosas, Dinner for two at Alex, plus two glasses of Tete de Cuvee Champagne from Alex’s champagne cart, and Fondue for two in your villa paired with a special bottle of dessert wine. During your stay you’ll also receive two VIP indulgence package tickets to Le Reve.

The extravagant goodie bag includes one bottle of Veuve Clicquot, “La Grande Dame” Rose Champagne, a bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte Premier Cru Brut Champagne and a special wedding gift, two glasses of …

The Worst Time to Come to Bali

Around Christmas and New Year holiday Bali is full. Hotels are fully booked and so as private villas, the high-end of accommodation options which cost to way beyond a thousand dollar a night. Car rental companies close their doors to new interests and most tables in popular fine dining restaurants are reserved way in advance. In anything related to tourism, there is practically no chances for last minutes.

It is always interesting on how Bali gets flooded by visitors during the period, especially knowing that what makes Bali popular are its tropical beaches. Between December and January Bali is normally in the peak of rainy season. The months where continuous rain for days is obvious. Even when the rain stops, normally it is rare to find clear blue sky with shinning sun. Most days are wet and dull even when rain stops falling for a while.

More than tropical beaches Bali has a lot other things to offer. But most of them are no fun without clear sunny day. Visiting temples, watching art performances, taking adventure activities, beach-side water-sport, even having fine dining, all are only perfect in clear sunny day, something we rarely get during the period.

The situation is worsened by the soaring price. High demand makes availability scarce. Many people are prepared to pay any price to secure the last availability. It applies in anything, from accommodation to restaurant reservation. “If we have a hundred more villas available for the period we can sell it in a day, unfortunately that is not the fact”, Wisna Wedhana, Managing Director of a villa rental agency complained. “Price are 30 to 40 percent higher and people just take it without any question”, she continued.

Implication of demand on price is not only affecting the higher-end of the market where private villa rental is classified. Other tourism-related products such as transportation and food as well as in lower-end market such as budget accommodation shows similar tendency. “It even worse actually, when luxurious Bali villas increase their price tag at 30 to 40 percent, cheap hotels for backpackers even double their prices”, a domestic travel agent exposes.…