In Search of the Best Coffee Makers

Coffee may be the most popular beverage in the world. Recent statistics indicate that over 50% of the American population are coffee drinkers and this number would more than likely hold true in many other countries as well. This more than any thing else helps to explain why there is such a wide range of coffee makers available for purchase today.

With such a diverse range of coffee machines, there is more choice for the coffee drinking public than ever before. Main stream popular styles include the Automatic and Manual Drip, Pod, Automatic Espresso, French Press, Percolator, Stovetop Espresso and the Vacuum. Each one of these styles has some unique characteristic that are sure to appeal to a certain segment of the coffee drinking public.

Automatic and Manual Drip Coffee Machines

The most popular style of coffee maker continues to be the automatic drip coffee maker. The basic design is very simple and efficient. Add fresh water to the built-in reservoir, insert a filter in to the handy filter holder, measure your favorite coffee grounds and pour into the filter and then press the start button. Within minutes your senses are excited by the smell of freshly brewed hot coffee! Most models also have a built-in timer and a pot warmer included so that you can set your coffee to brew and be ready at any hour of the day or night, and kept constantly warm as well.

Manual drip coffee brewers do take a bit more work since you need to boil the water using another heat source, but after that it is basically the same coffee making process of putting coffee grounds in the filter and pouring the hot water through the filter so that the coffee liquid is collected in the pot or container below. One great advantage of the manual drip coffee machine is that is can go most any where with you as it is not dependent upon having electricity to operate so it is great for camping and other outdoor activities.

Pod Coffee Machines

These are becoming very trendy and popular in recent years. Working similar to the automatic drip machines, they feature the ability to use pre-packaged containers or pods of specialty coffees to brew great tasting coffee. With many reputable coffee chains such as Starbucks now selling their most popular coffee blends in the pod format, consumers can get the same tasting cup of specialty coffee at home that they had to go out and purchase before at a much higher price.

Automatic Espresso Coffee Brewer

Espresso coffee makers have become much more affordable in recent years and because of this, they are gaining in popularity amongst serious coffee drinkers wanting something more than just a normal cup of coffee. There are currently three types of espresso coffee brewers to choose from, namely semi automatic, fully automatic, and super automatic. As a rule, the more automatic the espresso maker is, the less you need to do to brew your coffee, but unfortunately the more expensive it is to purchase. For example, where a semi-automatic model will tamp the coffee grounds, brew the coffee, fill your cup and eject the old grounds, an entirely automatic model will also grind the coffee for you as well, and the super automatic espresso coffee maker will do all of the above plus having additional features such as built-in water filters and self-cleaning.

Stovetop Espresso Coffee Maker

The stovetop espresso coffee brewers are basically a manual method for preparing espresso coffee when you do not have access to an automatic version or an electrical source of energy. This makes it an ideal coffee maker for taking outdoors on camping or fishing trips if you feel the need to make an espresso cup of coffee. First water is placed inside the underside boiler and then a cone filter is situated inside the boiler and filled with coffee grounds. Next the top is lightly tightened and the brewer is place over the heat source. After a few minutes, once the top of the boiler is filled with the freshly brewed coffee it is removed from the heat supply and the coffee is ready to be served. Here again, the absence of any warming feature means the coffee has to be served immediately.

French Press Coffee Maker

Also known as “press pots” or “plunger pots”, the French Press coffee makers are not as common as they once were. Preparing coffee is more work than it would be using any of the coffee makers already discussed as it is a manual coffee machine. The pot is actually a glass or porcelain tube consisted of a stainless, mesh plunger that acts like a filter. To make the coffee you must first measure the coffee grounds into the pot, then pour in almost boiling water. After allowing the coffee mixture to steep for a few minutes, the plunger is then pushed downwards and the liquid beverage is forced into the waiting cup or container. As there is no built-in heating plate or element beneath the coffee container, you must serve the coffee beverage immediately or place it into an insulated container to keep it hot for later.

Percolator Coffee Maker

At one time percolator coffee makers were the standard type of coffee brewers in most households, a role now held by the automatic drip machines. Although not as popular today, they still have their place when a coffee maker is required that can brew large volumes of coffee rather than the 10-14 cup limit or less in most other popular coffee machines sold these days. Modern percolators are available as stove top models and electric and can be programmed like other automatic coffee machines. The coffee making process is based on running water continuously over the coffee grounds, held within a metal filter, as the water is boiled. One drawback of this method is that the coffee often gets stronger and more bitter tasting the longer it goes through the brewing cycle.

Vacuum Coffee Maker

Perhaps the strangest looking type of coffee machine is the vacuum coffee maker. Looking like something from a science fiction movie, the apparatus is made up of two overlapping containers connect by a siphon tube. The filter is located in the bottom section of the upper container. To brew coffee, the user first adds coffee grounds to the upper container, then pours water into the lower container. Next the brewer is placed on top of a stove where the water is then boiled and the resulting steam is passed along through the siphon tube into the upper container. After about 3 minutes the container is removed from the heat source and the steam condenses back into liquid water which is forced through the filter and back into the lower unit. Your fresh pot of coffee is now sitting in the lower unit. An interesting way to brew a cup or pot of coffee!

Needless to say, coffee lovers can select from a wide variety of coffee makers. From cheap stove top coffee pots to high end super automatic coffee machines, there is a coffee machine for every inclination as well as for every budget. Fantastic news! Now here is the unpleasant news. With all the many coffee machines to choose from today, even knowing the style you favor is not enough. Within each of the coffee maker styles noted above there are numerous different brand names and models to choose from.

Fortunately the Internet gives you a quick and really helpful way to unearth what’s presently accessible at what price. With a bit of time and investigating it’s also possible to weed out the junk from the best coffee makers. Merely go online and visit some coffee maker review websites. Please keep in mind that all coffee brewer review websites usually are not created equal, so you must take what you read with caution. For myself I’d look for coffee review sites where the reviewers include independent test data together with buyer feedback to provide unbiased and truthful information about the coffee makers being reviewed and rated.

Clean and Conscious Dining With Halal Foods

The process of preparing halal foods can be said to be multidisciplinary. The foods should not only be from good sources but they should also taste good. For example, the true taste of chicken biriani cannot be compromised. The spices must be in the right proportions and prepared at the right temperature. Presentation is also important especially for gourmet food and specialty food. Zabihah halal food distributors do justice to the ingredients they work with bringing out the true flavor.

Considerations must be made whether to have fully cooked or precooked meals. This is important with regards to frozen food which must be reheated. Some dishes go especially well with specific sauces. For obvious reasons, they are packed separately but they should be served in one dish. Some of the halal food like chicken nuggets can be taken as snacks. Others are the variety of gourmet food and so are served as appetizing entrees.

Frozen food is convenient for individuals and also for parties. You don’t have to be worried that guests will reject the food at the event you are hosting. The halal food is enjoyed both by vegetarians and beef eaters. The logistics of preparing food en masse is beaten hands down by the availability of frozen food. Call it modern convenience; you can now be the perfect host without having a clue on culinary matters. The makers of frozen food have explored the intricacies of world cuisine. They have the knack of producing the family meal that can bring a sense of nostalgia to many people.

Apart from the gastronomic experience, halal food is a health plus and a credit to the reduction of green house gases. This comes about due to the fact that halal food originates from farms that run on sustainable energy. Taking the entire subject of conservation and social responsibility to another level, bio-digestors and other sustainable energy sources are used. The source farms are a haven for clean energy. The animals themselves can be considered clean because they are never given antibiotics. The animals are of a natural size since they don’t have growth enhancers such as hormones. The goal is to culture food sources which are less fattening or pegged with risk indicators to cancers and other health issues. For the same reason, the sauces have no preservatives as they come from fresh produce which is not processed.

It is worth mentioning that meat from halal food is from animals that were not abused neither did they face animal cruelty. It thus gives consumers a clean conscious when choosing halal food from the frozen food section. The livestock such as lamb, cow and chicken are well treated and their animal rights are respected. The farms that are certified for halal food are currently small farms. However with the endorsement of conscious consumers they are growing larger and larger. For the health freaks or for persons who are ill, specialty food is also available. Many have seen the benefits of specialty food when they are ill and have continued taking it after full recovery.

A Good Coffee Mug Makes Your Day

We all have a fetish for our favorite coffee mug, and you are no exception to it. Your cup exudes warmth. If some one dares to use it, you are sad, angry or disappointed.

What are the ideal features of a good mug? Well each one of us has a different take on it. However there are tons in varied colors and styles to choose from. (more…)

A Legacy of Food and Family Online

Have you secretly longed to be recognized for your daily hard work in the kitchen? Do you imagine yourself a gifted cook a la Martha Stewart (without the ankle bracelet)? Well, guess what? There is a quick and easy way to showcase your culinary skills and display your special recipes. (more…)

The Food Cooking Show Fascination

The premise is simple. Take a chef, put him or her into the kitchen and watch them prepare their signature dishes. You might think that this would be boring after a bit but the public has proven this wrong.

Food cooking shows are the “in” thing right now. We love the idea of making food and combine it with reality television and suddenly we come back week after week to see what happens next.

Fox Network has uncovered a phenomenon with the cursing antics of Chef Gordon Ramsey. We cringe at his explosive attitude yet are somehow sympathetic at his attempts to turn would-be chefs into professionals.

We might not want to put ourselves on the line of fire but we love watching other contestants wither under his furious stare and tirades. Our kitchens may not be stocked with fois gras but we still take something away from each episode.

Food Network has a reality show titled “Who Wants to Be the Next Food Network Star” where amateur and professional cooks alike are given tasks to perform that somehow weed out the would-be television chefs from the rest.

We root for our favorite contestants as the season progresses until only one contestant remains. He or she is then given a food cooking show of their very own.

What is the fascination with meal preparation shows? Perhaps it is the ease at which dishes are prepared. It might be the professional cookware and charming personality of the hosts.

Some of the most popular meal preparation show hosts is not formally educated at cooking schools. Thus they give us hope that anyone can prepare delectable dishes from the comfort of their own home.

Whatever the reason behind our fascination, these shows has become an integral part of television viewing. As great chefs from the past such as Julia Child pass on, a new generation of friendly, knowledgeable faces comes to the forefront of culinary society.

Perhaps it is the grand showmanship of Emeril LaGasse yelling out “BAM” or Rachel Ray’s cute acronyms such as EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil); we are drawn to our television sets and the expanding culinary world.

As other television networks air cooking shows, especially ones where competition and cut throat antics by the participants are involved, we will continue to avidly watch food cooking shows.

Four Days Maximum Limit Store Meat

STORAGE good the meat will prolong the life of the flesh owned. When stored properly the flavor of the meat will stay fresh when eaten.

Here are five steps that can help you keep the meat properly in order to get the optimal freshness of meat, as reported by eHow, Thursday (01/24/2013):

Buy fresh meat
The more fresh meat is purchased it will be a long time aged meat is stored, check the meat on a label on the packaging so unknown expired meat. If you buy at the market, do not hesitate to smell and taste the meat because meat is sometimes a lot of sellers that fool you.

cook meat
After buying meat, meat could save time. However, you have to be prepared when eating meat will feel uncomfortable even though at first glance it still looks fresh flesh of the meat was juicy but dry.

Although it can be stored in the freezer for weeks or years but still it was not good to eat meat. Storage of meat just two to four days. To get the freshness of the meat, then simply save the roast beef one to two days, for three days only steaks, stew meat just two days, while poultry can last up to three days.

Wrap in plastic bag
Meats that have not been cooked, can be placed in the refrigerator with the way the meat is wrapped in clear plastic. Make sure there is no air in because it will burn the meat and absorb existing juicy meat quickly. If so, the plastic seal with tape.

Do not mix with other food ingredients
Meat can be stored in the freezer, but do not mash the meat with other food ingredients and do not forget to clean your freezer first place. If meat is not unified with the other then aged meat could last longer.

Process the remaining Bread

Before the expiration date, if the rest of the bread immediately, so as not to be wasted. Even if almost expired, delicious leftover bread made ​​what are ya?

crusty bread
Cut bread with 2 cm thick, rub with butter and sprinkle sugar. Tata on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 100 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. Do not forget to be inverted so that dry bread evenly.

Strik bread
Cut bread as crusty bread, spread with butter, then sprinkle the parmesan cheese. Bake in a preheated oven at 100 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.

Pee bread
Stir pieces of white bread with thick coconut milk with sugar to taste. Degan be added coconut or banana slices dredged horn. Spoon the mixture into the banana leaves with a stick pin. Steam until cooked and serve when cool.

bread pudding
This pudding is made from pieces of white bread plus milk, and sugar to taste. The batter is poured into a heat resistant dish. To garnish sprinkle sliced ​​almonds or raisins. Ddalam bake oven until cooked.

Well, now you can snack and a variety of delicious dessert that can be enjoyed with loved ones. Good luck.

Coffee Brewing Methods: Is Your Coffee Brewer Just a Drip?

For most of us, brewing up our morning cup of coffee is more than just a necessity, it is a matter of convenience. Each night, millions of us coffee lovers pile heaping tablespoons of our favorite gourmet coffees into those paper filters, fill the tank of our coffee makers with water and set the timer so that our coffee is ready and waiting first thing in the morning.

So if you are like me and you enjoy the finest gourmet and specialty coffees available, then you must also believe that they deserve the best and most reliable coffee brewing equipment available.

Here is a quick list of the most popular coffee brewing methods & equipment starting from the best:

French Press
The French press coffee maker (or press pot) is universally recognized as the best brewing method, allowing for the truest coffee taste and aroma. This method actually brews the coffee in the hot water (as opposed to drip machines which only pass the water through the coffee and a filter). After a few minutes of brewing, a metal filter is pressed through the brew catching the coffee grinds and then trapping them at the bottom of the carafe. What is left over is full-bodied coffee with all its aroma and essences.

One of the main advantages to using a French press, other than great coffee taste, is the amount of control you have. You can control the water temperature (which incidentally should be around 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature that drip makers do not achieve), you can control the amount of coffee you want to add, and you can control the brew time. Four minutes of brew time and 30 seconds of “plunging” time is considered best.

Another great feature about the French press is that it is extremely portable and only requires hot water. You can take it camping or use it in places with limited kitchen space, like a boat or an RV. Some press pots can also be used to brew loose leaf teas in the same manner.

As an aside, you shouldn’t leave your brewed coffee in the press-pot with the grounds after you brew it! Either consume it or transfer it to a carafe, preferably a thermal carafe.

Vacuum Brewer
Vacuum brewers aren’t very common, but they make coffee just about as well as a French press since the coffee and water are brewing together. A vacuum brewer has an upper and a lower chamber connected by a tube with a small filter inside. Coffee grounds are placed in the upper chamber, and water is placed in the lower chamber. As the lower chamber is heated, the water rises up to meet the coffee in the upper chamber where the brewing begins. After brewing, the water (now coffee) cools and seeps back down into the lower chamber leaving the used coffee grinds behind in the upper chamber. Ideally, the upper chamber is removed and the lower chamber is used as a decanter for the finished coffee.

Vacuum brewers can be electric, stovetop, or even used over a sterno can for dramatic tabletop brewing!

The Toddy Maker
The toddy maker or Cold-Brew Coffee Maker uses an unusual cold-brewing method that creates a coffee concentrate. This concentrate is then mixed with hot water to make coffee. The concentrate can be stored in a refrigerator and used to make one cup at a time if you so desire. This method produces a low-acid coffee, which is doctor recommended for coffee drinkers with stomach conditions.

Although this method of coffee brewing is sounds a bit odd, the result in taste is pleasantly surprising. One drawback is the amount of time it takes to brew. A good idea is to brew the coffee overnight. Once brewed, the concentrate can produce more than just one pot of coffee, so it’s not a nightly event for a great cup of morning coffee!

Drip Grind Coffee Makers
Drip Grind coffee makers are the most common and usual coffee brewing method that we are familiar with.

In this method, water is dripped over and passes through the coffee grinds and a filter and is caught by the coffee pot below. Despite being the most common brew method it also happens to be the one which produces a coffee brew with the least amount of flavor and aroma.

There are generally 2 filter options for the drip grind coffee makers.

Permanent filters: are just what they say, permanent. They are usually gold-plated so they don’t add any unwanted metallic taste to your coffee, resistant to corrosion so they are dishwasher safe and economical because they don’t need replacing. Permanent filters are preferred because they allow for better coffee taste as opposed to the second filter option, paper filters.< are the most common filter choice for the drip grind coffee makers. Unfortunately, paper filters can filter out more than just coffee grinds. Flavorful oils can be left behind in the filter and not make it to the finished coffee brew resulting in less coffee flavor and aroma. Since permanent filters allow for more liquid to pass through, the end result is a more flavorful cup.

As you can see, the most common brew method happens to be the one which produces the least amount of coffee flavor and aroma. Since, mornings usually need to be made quick and simple, most people have never had their coffee brewed any other way. If you are one of these people, don’t just splurge on gourmet coffee’s, get a small French press maker, start experimenting and experience the truest coffee flavor & aroma in each cup.

4 Tricks to Make Healthy & Delicious Banana Bread

IF you are already ripe bananas, then one way to avoid wasted process is to make banana bread. To taste more delicious and healthy recipes change with healthy cooking tricks.

4 Tricks to Make Healthy & Delicious Banana BreadHere are the best tricks to create healthy and delicious banana bread, as reviewed EatingWell:

Use brown sugar
Try using sugar as little as possible for your banana bread. As a result, the sweetness of the bread will feel natural and soft bananas. So, the recipe asked for two medium-sized banana, three banana change with use. As a result, the banana bread is softer and more strongly flavored banana and toast do not worry because you will be fine.

Should select brown sugar. This sugar will add a sense of deeper and more caramel for you than sugar bread where it is less nuanced.

Use whole wheat flour
Replace white flour with whole wheat flour. Generally, at least half of the composition of the flour called for in the recipe can be replaced with whole wheat flour. However, you can also substitute whole wheat flour with whole wheat flour.

In addition to healthier, more nutty taste if using whole wheat flour. The fiber content of whole wheat flour four times higher than regular wheat flour, contains potassium, magnesium and zinc.

Add Healthy Fruits and Nuts
In addition to increasing the number of banana bread in the recipe, you can also mix different kinds of fruits and nuts in your banana bread recipe. The result, texture, taste and health benefits of growing anyway.

If you want to add fruit, you should select with a sour taste, like blueberries. Add approximately 1 1/2 cups of blueberries to your banana bread, add after the wet and dry ingredients are well blended.

As for the beans, use 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts that have been rough. Mix into the dough before baking to add a nutty flavor and crunchy taste on your toast. Nuts contain omega-3 good fats, which can help lower “bad” cholesterol LDL. Walnuts contain monounsaturated fats are healthy.

Cut butter and buttermilk multiply
Buttermilk gives a sense of the fantastic banana bread. By using a mixture of non-fat buttermilk 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil, you can make banana bread contains almost no butter. You only need 2 tablespoons, a very little amount. In addition to sharp and unpleasant taste, buttermilk helps keep the bread moist during the roasting process.

Candles Make No More Crying Onion Peel

PEELING onions like annoying, when you peel it then guaranteed to be dripping with spicy hot because the air that comes from the onions are very sharp. Now, there are ways to overcome them!

Well, do not let your eyes sore when peeling onions so it’s good to pay attention to the following four so while peeling onions became more enjoy:

candle
Light a candle near the cutting board while peeling onions, because of the heat of the candle will attract sulfur compounds of garlic so that it will stay away from your eyes

fan
With large wind power it will make the heat from the onion will disappear and your eyes while peeling onions will no longer sore.

running water
With peeling or cutting onions under running water or in a water bath it will make your eyes sore so no, this is because the water will dissolve the sulfur compounds contained in onions before finally making you shed tears. So, while peeling onions will do lah frequently dipping your knife into the water.

Freeze first
Before peeling the onion so it’s good to first cool the onions for 30 minutes before being cut or peeled, or freeze for 10 to 15 minutes all depends on the size of onions are used. This will make the cells of the onion will react more slowly because of the cold air coming into the onions when cut.