Italian Food – An Overview

Italian food is more than a form of nourishment; it’s a way of life in a country where family, friendship and feasts are all indelibly linked. Italian food is simple, vibrant and good for you. From roasts to risotto, pasta to preserves, soups to sauces, Italian food is popular all year round. Italian food is highly famed: greatly loved and tirelessly imitated the world over, it has been a source of endless pleasure and joie-de-vivre in countries far and wide. Italian food is not just for Italians, but for everyone.

Cooking

For hundreds of years Italian cooking has followed a very simple principle: food is best when it’s cooked fresh and in season. I am a great fan of Italian cuisine, and a firm believer that cooking is an art, not a task. Most traditional Italian dishes as we know today, are on the whole derived from simple peasant cookery, for example the Pizza, which could be found a couple of centuries ago on the streets of Naples being sold by street vendors to those that had no cooking facilities of their own at home. The regional cooking depends on a number of factors, not only as to what ingredients are most abundant each region, but also historical factors. The recipes of Northern and Southern Italian dishes are quite different and use different methods of cooking. With the exception of a few areas near lakes that exert a moderating influence, Northern Italy is too cold for olive trees to grow, and as a result much of the population used butter for cooking.

Pasta

Pasta, no doubt, plays a large part in most traditional Italian food, and few cultures know how to employ a tomato the way that Italians can. Pasta and olive oil are considered the characteristics of southern Italian food, while northern food focuses on rice and butter (although today there are many exceptions). Italian food is all about combinations of delicious local flavours, a simple sauce, a sprinkling of Parmesan and of course real Italian pasta.

Ingredients

Ingredients used in Italian cooking, such as pasta, olive oil, garlic, tomatoes and red wine have proved to be contributory factors to a healthier lifestyle. Finding the right balance of ingredients is vital in creating vibrant good food. Although there are essential ingredients that every Italian kitchen should have, basil, garlic and olive oil, the most important ingredient is creativity. Italian cookery is exceptionally varied, nutritious and healthy; traditions have been handed down from one family to the next over the centuries, and are associated mainly with country life in that dishes are directly linked to what the Earth produces over the changing seasons: in other words, wholesome cooking whose goodness depends on all-natural ingredients.

Somebody once said “The trouble with eating Italian food is that 5 or 6 days later you’re hungry again”. Italian food is not just for Italians, but for everyone. Did you know that Italian food is the most popular cuisine for eating out throughout the world? …

Differences Between Fast Food Restaurants and Sit Down Restaurants

I would like to begin explaining the differences between fast food restaurants and sit down restaurants. Fast food restaurants are designed for individuals who have to get up early in the morning for work. Some people have to get up say around 5 o’clock in order to be at work at say 6:45am or 7 am.

It’s kind of hard to fix breakfast this early in the morning especially when you have to get dressed and that takes time. So in order to get to your job on time, it’s a lot quicker, and easier to just stop at a fast food restaurant such as, Mcdonald’s, or Burger king, to pick up breakfast on your way to the job. It also depends on your shift. If you have do to a second shift then most likely you would be able to fix breakfast at home and get dressed on time as well, but you may have to stop for lunch on your way in.

Some people like to wait until they go in and purchase their food at their job. Now sometimes it may be costly to buy food at McDonald’s or Burger king, but it may also be costly to buy food at your place of work so you may want to do some pricing before you decide where to purchase your food.

Now I would like to talk about sit down restaurants. Sit down restaurants are designed for a group of people such as, family, friends, co-workers, and so forth. People who work a lot may not have the option of going to a sit down restaurant as much as they do fast food restaurants because of their jobs.

Some people have to do overnight jobs and hardly ever see their families. A lot of times people who have to work quite a bit only have the option of going to fast food restaurants rather then going to places to eat where they are spending time with their family, friends, co-workers and so forth. There are advantages and disadvantages for people who have to work and for people who don’t have to work.

The advantages for people who have to work even though they may not have enough time to for recreation with their families as far as going to a sit down restaurant is they can arrange time for this with their families and even their friends when they have time off work. The disadvantages are having to spend money for bills and so forth and not having enough money to take their families out for recreation.

The advantages for people who don’t have to work is they have enough time to spend with their families and friends for recreation and so forth. The disadvantages are they are limited on how much they can spend for recreation with their families and friends. A lot of people have limited incomes and the restaurants are a bit expensive these days. Restaurants such as, Burger king, McDonald’s, and so forth …

Removing Tape From White Board

A white board is a glossy white surface where one can write with non permanent markers. It is also a good type of communication with other people in school, office, hospital, clinics or even at home. There are times that people post announcements on white boards. Most of the time people just tape the printed post on it so that it cannot be erased and if a not so good quality tape is used, the sticky part of it is left on the board in removing the tape. These stick part of the tape that is left on the board makes it dirty. Whenever you are to erase the writings on the surface, the black ink sticks to that part which makes it dirty.

There is a proper way of removing these sticky things that is left on the white boards. You cannot just wipe it all away just like in erasing or cleaning the surface. If you do not follow the proper step, you will just end up ruining the board itself. First you have to do in removing the tape is you have to remove it slowly with a pair of tweezers. This is to lessen the sticky part that will be left on the white board. After that, wipe the surface with a dry clean cloth or a soft tidy towel. You have to clean the writing area first so that the next steps will not leave a mess.

Now, after cleaning the white board, you can now apply the cooking spray on the areas where there are sticky part of the tapes are left. The cooking spray is a type of oil that is used to lubricate the tapes from the white boards. After applying the cooking spray, just leave it for a few minutes, usually one to two minutes. This is to let the lubricant adapt itself to the tape so that it can be easily removed. After leaving it for a few minutes, you can now wipe the sticky part away from the surface by using a cloth or towel soaked on warm water.

White boards also need maintenance. You have to keep it clean to make it more useful and functional. If there are cases like you have to post a printed announcement on the white board and you are not good in cleaning the tapes off of it, then it would be better if you use a good quality tape that does not leave a sticky mark. In this way, you only not keep it clean but you also saved yourself up from the maintenance of it. But in other cases, keep these steps a reminder for it may be useful in the future. You can also teach this to other people to keep them informed on what to do in situations like these. It is better to share something you know to someone who does not know anything about it because it makes improvement to them and also to you as …

The Top Seven Free Birthday Indulgences in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles lifestyle can get pretty pricey, so when given the opportunity, it’s nice to get something for free. There are 7 popular destinations that will reward you for getting another year older! It’s almost worth getting older.

One of the more popular spots for sweets is the coveted Susie Cakes, a bakery offering from-scratch desserts, including cookies, pies & custom layer cakes. Come in on your birthday and enjoy a free cupcake. In addition to seasonal favorites, cupcakes include Vanilla with Pastel Vanilla Frosting, Fluffy Coconut, Luscious Lemon, Strawberry, Mocha, Peanut Butter, Red Velvet, & Chocolate Mint. Sign up for their mailing list and get a free birthday cupcake every year

Then there are restaurants that will give you a free meal, not just the dessert. If you like bar food, Hennessey’s Tavern, in the South Bay, is the place to go for a free dinner entrĂ©e. Irish Nachos, Prime Rib Sliders and Spicy Buffalo Chicken Wings are just a few of the selections.

You can enjoy slightly different food at Truxton’s American Bistro located in Santa Monica and Westchester. Truxton’s offers a selection including burgers, pastas and burritos; their sandwiches are superb. On your birthday, enjoy a free entre valued up to $20, plus a free dessert of your choosing when you sign up for their online mailing list. They have 4 stars on Yelp with hundreds of reviews.

Feeling more like having pizza? Not to worry. Big Mama’s and Pap’s Pizzeria is just the right place. They have over 15 locations, and the pizza is awesome. Just sign up on their website, and they’ll send you a code. Order your pizza online, and it’s pickup only… and worth it.

Got beer? You’ll have a great time at the Wirtshaus German Restaurant on No. La Brea Avenue in the Miracle Mile. Bring a group of 10 or more during your birthday month, (ID required) then you will receive a free 2 liter Birthday Boot filled with your favorite draft beer.

Feel like enjoying fresh veggies? Go to the Veggie Grill. It has several locations throughout Los Angeles, and here, the vegetables are the rock stars. Their dishes are fresh, gluten-free and seasonal; dishes may include Veggie Burgers, Hashed Yams or Golden Beet Salad. To redeem your gift, just fill out a comment card to join their mailing list and they’ll send you a coupon for a free birthday meal. Given the quality and specialty nature of the food, this is one of the best deals in the city.

How about enjoying a sail on your birthday? Check out Catalina Express and get your free round trip sail to Catalina Island, which could be worth $75. Catalina Express is the year-round boat services to Catalina Island, with up to 30 round trip daily departures, and the trip is about an hour. Departures are from Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point to the ports of Avalon and Two Harbors. To ride for free, on your birthday, you must …

How to Get Rid of Onion Smell

Depending on the variety, an onion can be sharp, spicy, tangy, pungent, mild or sweet. They are commonly used as a base for curries, or made into a paste and eaten as a main course or as a side dish. Unfortunately, after chopping onions, you may notice that you still have the odor of them on your hands for many hours after. As delicious as onions are, walking around smelling like them is another story.

Onion smell is pervasive and irritating long after the delicious meal is over. It clings to the fingers and nail region with ferocity. It even affects your breath! Indeed, onions have a very potent smell, because onion oil contains 1-propenyl sulfenic acid, which is thought to be the lacrimator in onions. The lacrimator is something that makes your eyes water and gives the onions such a distinct smell.

Bizarrely enough, this stinging, tangy chemical is also the cause for a lot of the great flavor in onions, as well as the satisfying fragrance when you fry the vegetable. You’ll also get sulfenic acids by cutting up garlic, chives and leeks, but they don’t form the same irritating gas, just a strong smell.

Who has the cure? Must fingers smell onion-like after chopping? Must breath smell so strong after eating this malodorous vegetable? This article may have all the answers you’re looking for.

Onion Smell Removal

* Wear gloves. That’ll keep the onion smell off of your hands.

* Peeling the onion and then chilling it in the refrigerator before you slice will minimize the release of gas somewhat, because the change in temperature alters the compounds in the onion. Cooking an onion before you slice it will also work for the same reason. Another easy solution is to cut the onion underwater or run the tap over it as you slice.

* Rub your hands against stainless steel metal (a kitchen sink works well) under cold running water for about a minute; rubbing with a large metal spoon works, too. It is also possible to purchase vegetable-shaped or oval-shaped stainless steel “soaps” that can sit permanently at your kitchen sink. They don’t cost much and they really work. Look in the kitchen supplies section of a local store.

The science behind this phenomenon lies in the theory that the sulfuric odor from the onion would be attracted to and bind with one or more of the metals in stainless steel. Formation of such compounds is what makes stainless steel stainless, after all.

Onions and garlic contain amino acid sulfoxides, which form sulfenic acids, which then form a volatile gas (propanethiol S-oxide), which forms sulfuric acid upon exposure to water. These sulfuric compounds are responsible for onions burning your eyes while cutting them and also for garlic’s characteristic scent.

* If you don’t have steel handy, you can make a paste of baking soda, (bicarbonate of soda) and water and rub it over your hands, then wash off. The odor will disappear with the soda.

* …

How Safe Is Your Cookware Set – Health And Safety Features

With the wide range of pots and pans to choose from, buying one is no simple task. Comparing aesthetics, durability, maintenance as well as value-for-money and your budget, is not enough nowadays. With everyone being very health conscious and more knowledgeable about health matters, modern cooks would like to know what type of materials their cookware is made of and whether it will affect their health. How safe are stainless steel cookware, cast-iron or the non-stick cookware, or even the hard-anodized non-stick cookware? Will the materials leach into the food while cooking and affect our health?

Aluminum is lightweight, a good conductor of heat and is not expensive. However the disadvantage is that, heat as well as acid. will react with the metal and you might find traces of aluminum leached into your food, especially during slow simmering of food. If you possess aluminum pots, then just make sure not to use them to cook highly acidic or salty food, such as tomatoes or sauerkraut, for long periods at a time. Storing cooked food in aluminum pots, especially worn or pitted ones, is also not encouraged as aluminum can still leach into the food. However, according to the United States Department of Health And Human Service, very little aluminum is actually absorbed into your body from aluminum cooking utensils.

Aluminum cookware which has been treated, resulting in a layer of aluminum oxide on its surface, is popularly known as hard-anodized cookware. This type of cookware is durable, non-stick, resistance to scratches, and will not react with food during cooking. It conducts heat well and is even more durable than stainless steel cookware, but it can be expensive.

Copper is a good conductor of heat and can easily adapt to temperature changes. Meals that need precise temperature control, cook best in copper cookware. Copper cookware comes with a thin layer of tin or stainless steel coating on its surface, to prevent copper leaching into the food. Nickel is sometimes used as a coating material and can cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to this metal. Copper taken in large amounts can be dangerous to our health.

The stainless steel lining can last the lifetime of the cookware but the tin lining will need to be renewed regularly, as it can be worn away through prolonged usage and high heat. Acidic food stored for long periods of time in copper cookware, may result in traces of the lining metal leaching into the food. This may cause nausea and diarrhea. Besides being difficult to use due to its heavy weight, they are also costly and need to be polished regularly, not only to maintain its glowing surface, but also to remove toxic verdigris deposits on its surface. Scouring will cause scratches.

Cast iron cookware is best used for slow cooking of food as it cooks slowly and evenly. Maintenance is not easy as it is heavy and rust easily, if not properly and thoroughly dried after using. Iron leaches into food during cooking, …

The Essential Introduction to Restaurant Equipment

They say, there’s no business like show business. I beg to differ. I’d rather say, there’s no business like food business. The food service industry is brimming with excitement and prospect like never before. And a large part of its popularity is due to the availability of a wide range of high quality restaurant equipment.

The world of restaurant equipment has never looked busier or better stocked. There’s a piece of machinery for virtually every kind of purpose. The modern day restaurateur is likely to feel spoiled for choices. Gone are the days of a naive freezer in the kitchen, a cooler beside the bar and the odd pieces of cooking equipment. A modern food service establishment houses many different pieces of equipment, one for every aspect of its operation. It’s one area that definitely calls for a better understanding, because your success depends on it.

Choosing the right restaurant equipment helps save time and effort for everybody involved. It also helps streamline processes and can result in improved efficiency. What all this boils down to is better customer satisfaction and of course, higher sales.

As any serious restaurateur would agree, installing the right restaurant equipment in the establishment is the key to its success. This ‘right’ choice depends on understanding the specific nature of the service that one is in. For example, if you are serving pizzas, you’d be needing specialized pizza making equipment at your disposal. You’d also need freezers to store the dough, an oven to prepare the pizza, a soft drink or soda dispenser for those side-orders and probably a dishwasher too to take care of all those soiled dishes.

Making the right choice, indeed, can sometimes be pretty confusing. When you take upon yourself the task of selecting restaurant equipment, you need to choose from a wide range of cooking equipment, cooking supplies, char broilers, convection ovens, gas fryers, freezers and coolers, ware-washing equipment, griddles, ranges and so much more. Take your time and choose wisely. Remember, the success of your business depends on it as much as it does on how your food tastes or how pretty your waitresses look.

Another word of advice for all those planning to buy restaurant equipment. The average restaurant-owner is not likely to know about all the available options or what the best equipment for his or her business is. So a little professional guidance is always helpful. When you buy from a reputed dealer, you stand a better chance of getting genuine assistance in helping you make the right choice. It sure beats buying from somebody who’s only interested in making a sale rather than trying to understand you needs first.…

Planning a Halloween Party That Elementary School Kids Will Love

Every family celebrates Halloween differently. Some parents are too busy to prepare a grand party and simply carve out a pumpkin face, put a candle inside and position the scary pumpkin in a window facing the street. However, if your child is attending a school Halloween party and you’re going to participate, you have to think of more Halloween ideas to contribute. Here are some suggestions:

“Scary Face” Painting

If you have a week or so before the party, you can learn the basics of face painting and use your skills to make Halloween more fun and memorable to the kids attending your Halloween party.

If you’re not the artistic type, you can hire two face painting artists for the day and put up a stall in the venue for face painting. Some kids will be lacking in the costume department, and face art will make up for what they lack. Divide the kids into two and line them up to have their face painted. Let the kids choose the designs by giving out flyers with a list of the images they can ask the artist to paint.

Create Your Painted Pumpkin Family

You can use paper mache pumpkins or real ones for pumpkin painting. The objective is to give younger kids something to do with Halloween pumpkins without exposing them to sharp edges, knives and the other dangers associated with jack-o-lantern carving.

If you’re ordering pumpkins, ask the supplier to pick out large, medium and small sized pumpkins to represent each member of the child’s family.

For school events, however, the kids can have one pumpkin to paint and bring home after the party. Prepare supplies like glues, acrylic paints, permanent markers, colored paper, old newspapers, eye-drawing cut outs, ribbons, colorful stickers and party hats. Let the kids paint funny faces on their pumpkins and decorate them using the supplies you provided.

Freeze Dancing

One of the best activities that a group of elementary kids can participate in at a Halloween party is Freeze Dancing. Choose a lively Halloween CD and let the kids dance for a while before stopping the music. Each child has to “freeze” when the music stops. You can designate two or three teachers or parents to supervise the game and eliminate kids who move even a little while the music is not playing. The last child standing is declared the winner.

Snacks

You can turn any snack (cookies, rice pudding and ice cream) into a creepy, crawly Halloween treat just by using green or orange food coloring and serving with candy corns.…

How to Clean Your Commercial Fridge Units

Commercial Refrigeration Units make up an integral part of any food and beverage establishments. Being the main storage equipment that they are, without these refrigeration items any food and drink business would end up spending more by buying ingredients on a daily basis, or worse, per hour basis.

This is why each commercial refrigeration unit must be properly maintained and taken care of. One way of maintaining your commercial fridge is by cleaning it. Keeping your commercial fridge clean will not just prolong its life, but it will also promote health and food safety for your customers, the ones who actually keep your business alive.

Danger of Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew are those annoying fungi, microscopic organisms that live and multiply in moist places, in this case the deep-seated corners of your commercial fridge. Keep in mind that what you are keeping in these fridges are food and beverage – something people ingest. Therefore, to cut the story short, storing food in a fungi-infested fridge will pose a dangerous threat to both your business and to the health of your customers. Get rid of those mold and mildew, or better yet, prevent it from building up.

Here are the steps on how to clean your Commercial Refrigeration Units:

Commercial Fridge Cleaning Step 1: Clear out its contents.

When clearing out the contents of your commercial Refrigerator, you need to inspect each food and drink items carefully, and check if any of them has gone bad. If there’s any, then you need to throw them out right aware. If you have another fridge, you can store perishable items there first while cleaning the other one.

Commercial Fridge Cleaning Step 2: Use a mold and mildew remover, or just make your own.

It’s easy, really. Just prepare a spray bottle, white wine vinegar, and warm water. Simply mix 1 cup of white wine vinegar to 2 cups of warm water, then shake it in a spray bottle. Just spray the mixture on the mold and mildew then leave for a few minutes.

Commercial Fridge Cleaning Step 3: Clean your commercial chiller completely.

Afterwards, thoroughly rinse away the mold and mildew as well as the vinegar mixture and the whole fridge interior using a non-abrasive wash cloth or a sponge. Use the same dry materials to dry the cleaned commercial chiller,. Then put back all food and drink items as previously stored.

Commercial Fridge Cleaning Step 4: Keep those mold and mildew from building up.

Now, it’s time to do the regular cleaning and maintenance of your commercial refrigeration items by doing the vinegar mixture cleansing at least once a month, then monitoring the quality of your food and beverage items. Throw them away once spoiled.…

What Is a Bratt Pan?

A Bratt Pan is very versatile piece of kitchen equipment that can be commonly used for eight different methods of cooking, although some have limited functionality. These methods of cooking are: Steaming, Poaching, Deep-fat frying, Stewing, Boiling, Braising, Roasting and Shallow frying. Some versions have limited functionality.

Bratt pans have deep rectangular cooking pots and pull down lids and can be heated by either gas or electricity. They are most useful for multi method cooking of one particular dish or food substance such as browning cubed steak with the lid open and on a high temperature setting, followed by then closing the lid, adding liquid and turning the heat down to then braise the browned meat. This method could also be used for creating soups and stocks.

Bratt pans get their names from the German word ‘brat’ which means ‘fry’, although in Germany they are actually called ‘Kippentopf’ which means ’tilting pan’. This name relates to the tilting feature that Bratt pans have than can either be electric or manual.

The tilting feature is used for both cooking and cleaning. When cooking, the lid of the pan can be closed and the pan tilted, enabling liquid and other food stuffs to be poured into the pan through a v-cut opening, ensuring that there is little risk of being burnt or scalded.

When cleaning the tilt mechanism can be used to aid rinsing by swirling water around the pan. Some pans even come with the added function of being able to be connected to the mains water supply so that water can be directly piped to the pan for cleaning or cooking.

There is also a version of pressurised Bratt pan that works much the same as typical pressure cookers. Because the lid can be clamped so tightly, water temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius can be reached and so cooking times are reduced.

Bratt pans are typically used for producing large volumes of food and so are almost always present in large hotels, restaurants, hospitals and universities. They are rarely if ever used for domestic purposes as their size and nature of use do not lend themselves to home cooking.

Because these items are essentially industrial or commercial equipment they are designed to last for some years. They do still however require continual maintenance and especially need daily cleaning to keep them working efficiently and to maintain health and safety standards.…