23 Nov

Key Certifications for Culinary Careers

There are several key certifications for culinary careers. The first and most important is the Culinary Arts Certificate, which serves as a stepping stone into many careers in this field. As culinary professionals continue their educational path to reach their career goals they may also decide to complete a Chef’s Certificate, Master Baker Certificate or any number of other certifications to prove their areas of specialization. Since the Culinary Arts Certificate is one of the most important key certifications for culinary careers, this article will focus on the educational programs for the CAC.

A Culinary Arts Certification program can be completed in two years or less at a technical / vocational school, community college or specialized culinary institute. There are other certificates that may follow depending on whether you want to work in a restaurant, bakery, hotel, catering company or in the management side of things. You will learn about food preparation, nutrition and sanitary practices during your culinary certification. Your courses will include subjects such as Baking and Desserts, Baking for Restaurants, Cooking Poultry/Fish/Meat, Food Service Sanitation and Nutrition for a Healthy Lifestyle.

In order to complete a CAC or any other culinary certificate program, you will need to prove that you have mastered the skills involved in that program. Basic food prep skills will not suffice. Culinary certificate programs involve much more than simply learning how to cook and keep your work station sanitary, too. You will learn how to present dishes, use all the major food preparation methods of the world, take necessary safety precautions, prepare nutritiously balanced meals and properly use all the tools of a chef’s kitchen.

After earning a Culinary Arts Certificate you will have an excellent foundation for a rewarding career in the culinary industry ranging from cook to caterer to restaurant manager to food stylist to sommelier. You will also have the foundation to complete more advanced certifications and take your career to the next level. Without any sort of education or certification, however, you will have a more difficult time climbing the steps of the professional culinary ladder.

22 Nov

Coffee for Health Benefits

Talking about coffee, a lot of people who still think that coffee is bad for health. Actually it’s not entirely true. Coffee, provided that consumed wisely, it is actually beneficial to health. Whatever, not just coffee, if consumed in excess is definitely not good.

Benefits of Coffee
consumption of several cups of coffee a day may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the formation of kidney stones, colon cancer, Parkinson’s disease, liver damage (cirrhosis), heart disease and prevent cognitive decline in brain power. Continue reading

20 Nov

The Meanings Of Different Cooking Terms

Cooking can be very satisfying, and learning about the different ways to cook and finding new; different recipes to experiment in the kitchen is exciting. This had led to a bunch of television programmes appearing and even more cookbooks arriving to offer chefs tips, advice, and recipes. However, a good starting point for many wanting to get into the kitchen and to begin putting recipes into practice is to know the different terminologies used with cooking.

Learning the different cooking terminologies is important as a dish may be prepared in a number of ways, and each of the preparation methods can result in varying flavours. Here are just a few of the terms cooking recipes may require you to perform:

Grilled

This is a more common term that many will already know, even if they dont often cook. When a recipe requires you to grill a food item, it will basically mean that you need to cook over an open flame, whether it is by gas or charcoal. Obviously the most ideal place to do food grilling is over a grill.

Frying and Deep-frying

These are terms that are often confused, but they are actually quite different. Frying can be done using a frying pan and with oil or butter, whereas deep-frying on the other hand means that the food needs to be submerged in boiling oil until it is cooked. This can often be seen in fast food chains where the food is placed in a basket and submerged into the boiling oil, often to produce french fries, tender breaded chicken, and funnel cakes.

Sauting

An alternative to frying is sauting, to produce strong flavours from your food. To saut food, cook quickly using a small amount of fat (oil or butter), and use a frying pan to receive best results when using this cooking method.

Broiled

When a recipe calls for the food to be broiled, it means that the food should be cooked by direct exposure to a flame or heat element. You may find the broil setting on many ovens, although it is important to place the food on the top rack when using this setting.

For those that cook and prepare meals regularly or just beginning to become interested in cooking, familiarize yourself with the many different preparation and cooking terms. At least learn the basic terms so that you can prepare the food in the way that the recipe intended, and also, before you start cooking a new recipe or dish, firstly read through the recipe instructions so that you know the cooking terms and exactly how to execute them. This is especially important if you are cooking to time schedule.

17 Nov

Fun, Make Your Own Bread at Home

DURING this if you want to eat bread, you usually have to buy at supermarkets and traditional markets. Now, make the bread can be done at home!

According to Herman Achmad, Chef Pane del Giorno, a key in making good bread just need some basic groceries, namely wheat flour or wheat flour, yeast or leaven, salt, and water.

“Making bread can be done at home, easy way. Moreover, all food ingredients can be found anywhere,” he told Okezone, when met at the sidelines of the visit bakery Pane del Giorno, in Region Sentul, West Java.

In addition to food that is easily obtained, the process can use cooking equipment in the house.

Chef Herman is said, the first equipment is a must-have mixer or mixing machine. This machine will allow you to do a good mixing process in order to produce perfect bread dough.

“The first tool is to make bread mixer or mixing machine, its function is to stir all the ingredients of bread are used to flatten or until smooth. Actually, they can wear hand but it will take a long time in the stirring process,” he added.

The second is the mower equipment and weights. For him, the two machines have different functions in each usage. For weighing machine, serves to determine how much food is used. Because when the bread ingredients to be used is not measured, then the result will not be good for consumption. Meanwhile, the cutting machine is used to measure the thickness of the bread used, so the process of maturation of bread became more perfect.

“If it is smooth then put the bread dough in the closet, then closed. Well as at the bottom of the container should be placed bread hot water because it serves to warm up,” he explained again.

Lastly, is the toaster machine. In the process of cooking has five ways that can be used, as a means baked, steamed, smoked, fried, and in-steam. For the bread, then use the roasting process.

“If it has to do with bread baked way, ie you can use a high-temperature oven, which is 250 to 300 degrees. Levels of maturity bread became more perfect when consumed,” he concluded.

17 Nov

Home-based Cooking Classes Are Really Great!

Home-based cooking classes are really great since you can learn about cooking even at the comfort of your home using you cooking equipments at home. At home cooking classes can be classified according to the geographic area and the cuisine learned. Those who want to learn at home cooking can choose what type of cooking they need and want.

In New York, at home cooking classes basically offer private sessions on at home cooking classs right in the student’s home. Cooking students can also opt to host after the school classes a cooking party for themselves or a birthday bashes for children. For more details go to: www.delicious-sandwich-recipes.com Individuals can also opt to have professional to make the meals that they need or want. Usually, at home cooking classes take around two hours and may extend for thirty minutes. The sessions are devoted mostly in cooking the entire meal. Those who are from New Jersey, Westchester, Fairfield, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Long Island may take the course. Interested cooking students may opt to create their own classes or may choose from the available classes that they can join. The fee in engaging in these classes is pegged at $250 for two individuals and $75 for an added student. If you are already enrolled, you are expected to be ready with the ingredients and grocery items before the start of the class. Students have the option to either host a cooking party at their homes or give a cooking class as a gift to a couple as a wedding gift.

In Washington D.C., the chef professor is ready to teach individuals for at home cooking classes. Students can choose to have a personal lesson in teaching individuals a new cooking skill or teach them the cooking procedures of the food that they want. These lessons may also last for about four hours which would cost $350 especially designed for two individuals. One may also opt to have a cooking party for six persons with a fee pegged at $400. Aside from these, one can also opt to conduct the classes one in every week. For can visit to: www.july4-recipes.com one can also choose to learn the basic techniques and skills, of course which is expected why they chose to join the class. These classes also offer the background right from the introduction up to the planning techniques of having decorative food for parties. One can also learn the different cuisines of different countries.

Culinary Business is basically different on the options it offers in the at home cooking classes. Interestingly, Culinary Business helps one to teach individuals in rendering lessons to other individuals. An Entertainment Cooking Training Program is offered that can help the students in starting their own business. The students enrolled would receive their Visual Tutorial Guide, Business Manual and even a Jacket Patch for Chef.

17 Nov

A Gourmet Coffee Club Membership – What Are the Benefits?

Membership in a gourmet coffee club offers many benefits so discerning coffee drinkers can always have their favorite coffees on hand to brew and enjoy such as:

  • Large selection of specialty coffees from around the world to make coffee drinking a daily sensory experience
  • Freshly roasted to order with a choice of whole bean or ground coffee
  • Reduced costs from on line ordering without having to commute to buy ageing coffee on the shelves
  • Flexibility to make changes, special requests, hold shipments, send gifts, etc.

Gourmet coffee club membership appeals to coffee lovers who want more than the “premium” coffee choices available in the supermarket aisle or at the coffee house or specialty store. Specialty gourmet coffee clubs are very accepted and represent a growing segment of the trade. Let’s review some basics about these clubs and why you should consider joining one.

Specialty coffee is the term given to the top fifteen to twenty per cent in quality of Arabica coffee grown and harvested from select regions worldwide. The term is sometimes used interchangeably with “gourmet” or “premium” coffee. However, according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, “...specialty coffee refers to coffees made from exceptional beans grown only in ideal coffee-producing climates. They tend to feature distinctive flavors, which are shaped by the unique characteristics of the soil that produces them.”

Many specialty coffee growing countries have associations of growers, companies, and agencies who deal with enhancements for cultivating, exporting, and marketing coffee. Such associations also lead efforts for rural community development (infrastructure, medical, and education), and for working in harmony with the environment. The 560,000 independent coffee grower members of the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (FNC) is an excellent example.

Nearly all, if not all, specialty gourmet coffee is made from Arabica coffee beans grown at higher altitudes. Select specialty coffee beans are roasted to perfection. The specialty coffee roast master knows the correct degree to roast the different types of beans to bring out their unique characteristics. These freshly roasted coffee beans are immediately packed and shipped to the customer to brew and enjoy.

Gourmet coffee is always prepared with select specialty coffee beans roasted fresh when ordered. The whole beans then are ground to the correct fineness or coarseness for the brewing method used, and brewed with fresh cold water heated to the correct temperature. Gourmet flavored coffees require one additional process before packing can take place.

One of the benefits of a coffee club membership is that top quality specialty coffee beans are roasted fresh after you order them on line. They are packed and shipped the same day they are roasted. Coffee clubs that feature the process of using only hot air to roast the dried, raw (or “green”) coffee beans deliver great coffee each time. The reason is this roasting method, known as convection roasting™, yields uniformly roasted beans for each batch. Master roasters are part scientist and part artist who know the appropriate amount of time to attain the desired roast level to bring out the best characteristics for that varietal or blend. The result, the club member can get the perfect cup of coffee every time.

Gourmet coffee club membership also offers such benefits as:

  • Having the coffee sent automatically each month at the time of month the member chooses
  • Ease of use – no need to enter the order information each time unless making a change
  • Convenience of having your own gourmet coffee when you want it, no more trips to the coffee house or waiting in line for the morning “premium” coffee
  • Cost savings of brewing your own gourmet coffee for about twenty-five cents per cup
  • Information on the best way to grind the coffee for the method used to prepare it
  • The recommended way to store the opened bag of roasted coffee to keep it fresh to completion.

For instance, whole bean Espresso blends should be ground to the powder-like fineness of espresso grind for preparing with an espresso machine. Conventional brewing methods yield great tasting coffee with the medium-fine grind known as automatic drip grind, while coffee prepared with a coffee press (French press) should use the coarsest grind for best results. To keep the coffee beans fresh once the bag is opened, simply press out the air while folding the bag over as many times as needed and secure with a strip of tape (packing or freezer tape). Then, place the bag in an airtight container (a freezer bag will do, if no container is available) and store at normal room temperature until the next time to brew your gourmet coffee.

Each gourmet coffee club member can tell you about other benefits to be enjoyed from the club membership. Those mentioned here should give you the motivation to find a gourmet coffee club and start enjoying your favorite gourmet coffees, freshly roasted and immediately shipped, at your convenience.

It is best to brew coffee using freshly roasted beans. Ideally speaking, use up your beans within a few weeks from receipt and get ready for your next coffee club membership shipment. You could literally look at a wall calendar and plan to drink coffee from Brazil, Jamaica, Colombia, Peru, El Salvador, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Hawaii, Mexico, Java, Sumatra, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, Kenya, and Celebes, for example, throughout the year. As a family, you could plan group activities to review basic geography, cultural traditions, music and travel information about each of the coffee producing countries. Who knows, you may really like one and decide to plan a fun vacation to that destination?

So, ready to enjoy a cup of Altura Superior specialty coffee from Mexico?

16 Nov

The History Of Coffee

Coffee – THE Drink of Choice

Did you know coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world. How did coffee get this ranking? What country first figured out coffee was safe for consumption? When was the first drink of coffee prepared? Where did the first coffee shop come in being?
There are many questions about the starting point of drinking coffee. It has been so long ago no one really knows all the facts. But, one thing is for sure, coffee is the most consumed beverage on the planet.

The Beginning of Coffee

It looks as if the first trace came out of Abyssinia and was also sporadically in the vicinity of the Red Sea around seven hundred AD. Along with these people, other Africans of the same period also have a history of using the coffee berry pulp for more than one occasion like rituals and even for health.

Coffee began to get more attention when the Arabs began cultivating it in their peninsulas around eleven hundred AD. It is speculated that trade ships brought the coffee their way. The Arabs started making a drink that became quite popular called gahwa— meaning to prevent sleep. Roasting and boiling the bean was how they made this drink. It became so popular among the Arabs that they made it their signature Arabian wine and it was used a lot during rituals.

After the coffee bean was found to be a great wine and a medicine, someone discovered in Arabia that you could also make a different dark, delicious drink out of the beans, this happened somewhere around twelve hundred AD. After that it didn’t take long and everyone in Arabia was drinking coffee. Everywhere these people traveled the coffee went with them. It made its way around to India, North Africa, the eastern Mediterranean, and was then cultivated to a great extent in Yemen around fourteen hundred AD.

Other countries would have gladly welcomed these beans if only the Arabs had let them. The Arabs killed the seed-germ making sure no one else could grow the coffee if taken elsewhere. Heavily guarding their plants, Yemen is where the main source of coffee stayed for several hundred years. Even with their efforts, the beans were eventually smuggled out by pilgrims and travelers.

Coffee Shops Appear

Around 1475 the first coffee shop opens in Constantinople called Kiv Han two years after coffee was introduced to Turkey, in 1554 two coffee houses open there. People came pouring in to socialize, listen to music, play games and of course drink coffee. Some often called these places in Turkey the “school of the wise”, because you could learn so much by just visiting the coffee house and listening to conversations.
In the sixteen hundreds coffee enters Europe through the port of Venice. The Turkish warriors also brought the drink to Balkans, Spain, and North Africa. Not too much later the first coffee house opens in Italy.

There were plenty of people also trying to ban coffee. Such as Khair Beg a governor of Mecca who was executed and Grand Vizir of the Ottoman Empire who successfully closed down many coffee houses in Turkey. Thankfully not everyone thought this way.

Coffee Tips Arrive

In the early sixteen hundreds coffee is presented to the New World by man named John Smith. Later in that century, the first coffee house opens in England. Coffee houses or “penny universities” charged a penny for admission and for a cup of coffee. The word “TIPS” (for service) has it’s origin from an English coffee house.

Early in the 17th century, Edward Lloyd’s coffee house opens in England. The Dutch became the first to commercially transport coffee. The first Parisian cafĂ© opens in 1713 and King Louis XIV is presented with a lovely coffee tree. Sugar is first used as an addition to coffee in his court.

The America’s Have Coffee

Coffee plants were introduced in the Americas for development. By close to the end of the seventeen hundreds, 1,920 million plants are grown on the island.

Evidently the eighteen hundreds were spent trying to find better methods to make coffee.

The Coffee “Brew” in the 20th Century

New methods to help brewing coffee start popping up everywhere. The first commercial espresso machine is developed in Italy. Melitta Bentz makes a filter using blotting paper. Dr. Ernest Lily manufactures the first automatic espresso machine. The Nestle Company invents Nescafe instant coffee. Achilles Gaggia perfects the espresso machine.
Hills Bros. begins packing roasted coffee in vacuum tins eventually ending local roasting shops and coffee mills. A Japanese-American chemist named Satori Kato from Chicago invents the first soluble “instant” coffee.

German coffee importer Ludwig Roselius turns some ruined coffee beans over to researchers, who perfected the process of removing caffeine from the beans without destroying the flavor. He sells it under the name Sanka. Sanka is introduced in the United States in 1923.

George Constant Washington an English chemist living in Guatemala, is interested in a powdery condensation forming on the spout of his silver coffee flask. After checking into it, he creates the first mass-produced instant coffee which is his brand name called Red E Coffee.

Prohibition goes into effect in United States. Coffee sales suddenly increase.
Brazil asked Nestle to help find a solution to their coffee surpluses so the Nestle Company comes up with freeze-dried coffee. Nestle also made Nescafe and introduced it to Switzerland.

Other Interesting Coffee Tidbits

Today the US imports 70 percent of the world’s coffee crop.
During W.W.II, American soldiers were issued instant Maxwell House coffee in their ration kits.

In Italy, Achilles Gaggia perfects his espresso machine. The name Cappuccino comes from the resemblance of its color to the robes of the monks of the Capuchin order.

One week before Woodstock, the Manson family murders coffee heiress Abigail Folger as she visits with her friend Sharon Tate in the home of filmmaker Roman Polanski.

Starbuck’s Hits the Coffee World

Starbucks opens its first store in Seattle’s Pike Place public market in 1971. This creates madness over fresh-roasted whole bean coffee.
Coffee finally becomes the world’s most popular beverage. More than 450 billion cups are sold each year by 1995.

The Current Coffee Trends

Now in the 21st century we have many different styles, grinds, and flavors of coffee. We have really come a long way even with our coffee making machines. There’s no sign of coffee consumption decreasing. Researchers are even finding many health benefits to drinking coffee. Drink and enjoy!

15 Nov

Six Best Culinary Herbs for Cooking

Freshly picked culinary herbs add flavour to food and many are delicious additions to salads. Edible herb flowers such as pot marigold, nasturtium and rosemary can also be added to the salad bowl. Many culinary herbs are rich in vitamins and minerals and when freshly picked and eaten raw they can form part of a well-balanced diet. Raw herbs can also be used to add flavour to oils and vinegars for cooking and for salads.

Parsley

Parsley leaves gives a fresh flavour to sauces and salads, when added just before serving. The stems and leaves of parsley can also be used in bouquet garni. Parsley tastes particularly good with pasta dishes, omelettes, vegetables, fish and any meat or poultry.

Parsley is one of the most widely known and used of the culinary herbs. There are two main types of parsley – curly leaf and flat leaf – and both are excellent for culinary purposes. Both of these herbs are a rich source of vitamins and minerals and they can be used to enhance the flavour of cooked dishes and green salads.

Basil

Basil goes with almost any dish but it has a special affinity with tomatoes and is a favourite in Italian cooking.

Sweet basil with its soft green leaves and creamy white or purple tinted flowers is the most popular type of basil. This culinary herb can be used in sauces and salads and to enhance the flavour of cooked dishes such as soups and stews. Perhaps the greatest basil dish is pesto sauce, eaten with spaghetti. This combination makes a wonderfully delicious meal.

There are many other types of basil. Purple ruffle, dark opal and Greek basil are three of the other more unusual varieties, all with differing flavours.

Mint

Spearmint and peppermint are two members of the mint family most widely known and used as culinary herbs. There are many varieties of mint, some with distinct scents and flavours and some can be used for a variety of culinary purposes, such as in sweet and savoury dishes, in salads and for herb tea.

Spearmint is a favourite for mint sauce to accompany lamb and tastes particularly good with dishes such as soups, stews, plain meats, fish and lemon-based deserts.

Peppermint is also popular as a culinary herb flavouring. This herb is most commonly used as flavouring for sweets and chocolates etc. and is also used to flavour cordials. Fresh peppermint leaves can be used to make peppermint tea and the leaves can be added to fresh green salads.

Thyme

Thyme can be used to improve the flavour of most dishes. Both the fresh and dried leaves of this herb are used for cooking. Fresh thyme leaves are useful in many savoury dishes.

Thyme has a rich flavour which makes it an ideal accompaniment to roast meats and tastes good in slowly cooked dishes such as stews and soups. The finely chopped fresh leaves may be added to new potatoes or salad.

Thyme is regarded as one of the great culinary herbs and is widely used in European cooking. This herb is an evergreen perennial it is recognisable by its mauve flowers and small leaves.

15 Nov

It is Easy to Follow Simple Pear and Chocolate Tart Recipe

Baking used to be something which was popular and almost every girl was taught how to bake and cook. These days it seems that the art of baking is fading away and many people find it difficult to manage even the simplest cooking. This is why I was glad to see my nephew trying out some baking in the holidays and he produced some amazing results by following an easy clotted cream recipe along with a homemade toffee apples recipe. This is the simplest pear and Pear and Chocolate Tart Recipe which he perfected. Continue reading

14 Nov

Individual Food Plan and Exercise

I did a personal food plan and exercise program that combined all of the individual actions that worked from each of the best weight loss plans I had used over the decades. I shopped at a health food store, so I ate no white flour or white sugar (both of which are chemically processed and create food cravings!). I ate protein, vegetables, and a minimum of whole grain breads at each meal. And I power walked 4.15 miles every day.

I have always been overweight, I have spent a lifetime searching for the best weight loss plan for me. I have done–starting in my pre-adolescent years–yogurt and granola, skim milk and banana, cabbage soup, Weight Watchers (three times), Jenny Craig, Dr. Atkins, The Zone, the Hilton Head, the Suzanne Somers, and numerous other plans. I went with low fat, low-carb, went with the body-type diet, and onto the grey sheet of the 12-step program, Overeater’s Anonymous. Continue reading