Author Archives: Alex

How to Make Cheese on Toast in the Halogen Oven

Cheese and toast are two fantastic ingredients. Their combination will make a perfect meal. Actually, this couple is easy to cook. Also, this is a very economical option. To make it more interesting, you can consider lots of ways.

No matter what you use a grill, a hob, or even the microwave to make it, you can get lots of options for a perfect meal. Check out this article, we will let you know how to make cheese on toast in the halogen oven. First, let’s take a look at some health benefits of cheese.

Health Benefits of Cheese

Bone health

Cheese includes full of calcium. Therefore, it can help strengthen your bones. It’s also a good solution for those who want to get enough calcium in their diets. There is a host of nutrients

found in cheese such as calcium, phosphorus, protein, vitamin A and vitamin B12, and zinc.

Stronger muscles

If you want to build muscle, you should use cheese since it contains the protein as mentioned above. It can help you along. The fact is that the protein in cheese can help to build blocks for strengthening muscles.

Lower stress

If you just experience a particularly stressful day, it’s a good idea to look for a cheese pizza. We can find tryptophan in cheese. It is an essential amino acid you need for producing serotonin. It can help calm effect since it can regulate your mood as well as anxiety levels.

As I discussed above, you can get many benefits from cheese. It is really good for you. There are also many methods to make cheese on toast. We’ve given you some popular methods in the previous parts. So, which one will work best for you? It’s up to you. Whether you make it using any of these methods, you can get a fantastic meal.

How to Make Cheese on Toast under the Grill

Well, it’s not difficult to make cheese on toast under the grill. First, you just need to prepare some toast. Then, cook it before pulling out the grill. After that, add the cheese and allow it to melt. Last, you can enjoy it. It’s so quick and easy, right?

How to Make Cheese on Toast without a Grill

We recommend you choose to grill free options since they are better in terms of safety. These options include making cheese on toast in the frying pan, in the microwave, or even in a halogen oven if you want. If you choose to make cheese on toast without a grill, you won’t have to worry about burning the house down.

Pan-Fried Cheese Toastie

It’s as easy as a toasted sandwich. However, pan-fried cheese toastie tastes better. This recipe doesn’t require you to put in the ham or the chives. However, you can add extra ingredients like onions if you want. Here are steps to make it:

  • First, you need to butter the bread. Then, arrange the ham and cheese. Put the ham over half of the slices and buttered side down
  • After sprinkling over the chives, use the remaining slices to cover. At the same time, buttered side up.
  • Heat a frying pan. Then, cook it for 4 minutes for both sides until you notice golden brown. After that, the cheese will be melted.
  • Last, you just need to cut it into triangles and enjoy.

How to Make Cheese Toasties in the Halogen Oven

Here are some ingredients you need when making cheese toasties in a halogen oven. Johnson from have reviewed some good halogen ovens:

  • Butter for spreading on the bread
  • 4 slices of thick-sliced white bread that are baked freshly
  • 4 slices of honey roast ham (you need to trim to fit the bread slice)
  • 4 slices of mature cheddar cheese (you need to slice thinly)
  • 2 tsp English mustard

First, each slice of bread needs to be buttered. Just do this for the only side from right up to the edges. Then, use a piece of parchment paper, and cut it to fit the top of the high rack. This paper needs to be placed inside the halogen oven.

You can cover the slice of bread with a slice of cheese. And then, place a slice of ham on it. Next, put the second slice of bread on the top with the buttered side up. Do this until there are 2 sandwiches with the buttered sides.

Change the halogen and adjust the temperature to 250C, and it should be 8 minutes for the timer knob. In order to activate the oven, you need to press down the handle. Next, cook until slightly brown on top.

Repeat this exercise after turning over the sandwiches, wait for 5 minutes, and cook it till golden brown. Last, you just need to cut it and enjoy it immediately.

What to Serve with Bruschetta?

Bruschetta is considered as a traditional Italian food that is usually topped with herbs, tomatoes, and olive oil. It’s believed that bruschetta is supposed to be served and eaten with day-old bread.

Some people think that the original bruschetta is made up of grilled bread with olive oil, mixed with garlic and sea salt as a topping. To have a high-quality outcome, you must use crusty bread. However, the meals and topping you serve it with vary considerably. Here are some of them.

Bruschetta recipes

Today, there have been a lot of changes in how people consider bruschetta. Bruschetta recipes are now pretty elaborate where you can just stack multiple ingredients on top of the crusty bread. Other people prefer placing a few slices of tomato and add a bit of olive oil to come up with what they call Bruschetta.

These homemade recipes are excellent as they can quickly and easily satisfy many people on the dining table. The homemade bruschetta is considered as a portable appetizer suitable for dinner parties, and any person can cook it.

Basic Italian Bruschetta

Most of the varieties of the Italian bruschetta start by toasting it with olive oil as well as sea salt, but others can become much more complex. You can broil bread and top it with garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese or you can grill bruschetta and mix it with sliced tomatoes, shallots, olive oil, torn basil leaves, and balsamic vinegar.

For the perfect outcome, grill the bread and rub it with garlic before rubbing it with tomato slices cut in half so that you can get enough juices. Then place the garlic in the oven to roast it before you utilize a spread on the grilled bread. You can spread olive oil on the grilled bread to get a delicious variety of flavors.

Serving Italian meal

Most traditional Italian foods are served with bruschetta used as a side dish or an appetizer. Therefore, you can serve it before a meal of ravioli, lasagna, or spaghetti. If you love a vegetarian meal like eggplant parmigiana dish, then bruschetta makes a great addition.

As bruschetta has its origins from Italy, it’s usually served any meal that is considered as a traditional meal. This is the reason why you need to use your creativity and imagination to create a delicious combination for your meal.

Bruschetta as a meal

The good part about bruschetta is that it has all the major food groups. Therefore, it gives you an opportunity of serving it as a complete meal on its own without using any other foods. It can be excellent for a cocktail party with bruschetta included as a meal. To make it enjoyable and more delicious, consider using any toppings that you love, such as arugula, pulled pork, or a mixture of vegetables.

Kale sautéed mixed with garlic and olive oil creates another great topping or you can use tomatoes, goat cheese, and basil. While preparing it, ensure that you have enough olive oil, bread, and toppings so that it can be a complete meal. Finally, you can serve it with wine and salads to make your day memorable.

Contemporary bruschetta

Nowadays, bruschetta has various toppings in different settings. You can use bruschetta with different types of cuisine, such as contemporary America, southwestern, Spanish, or Portuguese. Bruschetta makes a great match with seafood stew or paella because you can use the bread to soak up the broth and the liquid.

If you want to have a contemporary America dish, nothing can beat combining bruschetta with various toppings, including bone marrow or pork belly. On the other hand, southwestern bruschetta meal is ideal with toppings, such as jack cheese and jalapeno salsa. It’s important to match toppings with the meal for bruschetta to taste well.

Bruschetta favorite toppings

Most people have their toppings that they love because they are simple to do. For example, you can take a slice of oven-roasted, and sprinkle it with some salt and a lot of pepper. You can also use grated cheese to get an excellent look because it has already garlic and cheese to make it delicious.

Others enjoy having their bruschetta with bell peppers as toppings and sprinkle olive oil before grilling it for a couple of minutes. Grilling helps to melt the cheese, and you can use arugula sprigs on top of the melted cheese. Another popular traditional topping is using grilled chicken livers.

You can slice and place them on top of the bread slices. Then sprinkle the chicken livers with chives or parsley. Fried eggplant is great on the toasted base, and sliced and salted mushrooms ate great too.

How Long Can Pasta Stay in The Fridge

There is always a time when you have leftover pasta and now you have to keep it in the refrigerator. For people who hate to throw away any food, storing food is the only option. However, if you have picky children, that leftover food will languish in the fridge for a couple of weeks or more.

No one wants to see their food going bad while it’s in the fridge as it means you have to throw it away or compost it. The question is - how long can you keep pasta in the fridge? Let’s explore the details on how you can keep pasta without going bad.

How long does pasta stay in the refrigerator?

Several factors are responsible for pasta going bad. The major ones include how you store it, the type of sauce you have used, the time it stayed on the table, and the reliability of your fridge.

This makes it difficult to determine if it’s safe to eat pasta that was stored in the refrigerator. As a general rule, you can keep pasta in the fridge for less than 5 days. If it was stored for more than five days, consider taking it to the compost. Don’t taste the pasta if it looks bad, it has an odd texture, or it smells bad.

This is because you stand a chance of getting food poisoning, which can be a comfortable experience. No matter how delicious that pasta was a few days ago, when it looks and smells odd, get rid of it.

Like so many other foods, cooked pasta also has a specific shelf life. It will usually stay in perfect condition between three and five days, only if you have stored it in a fridge at 40 degrees or less F. If it’s in a frozen state, then it will be okay for one month to two months. It’s important to note that this doesn’t apply to all cases.

How to store cooked pasta in a fridge

When you cook pasta, drain off some water and run it under cold water to minimize stickiness. Take a bowl and add 3 teaspoons of oil, preferably vegetable oil and shake it around. Make sure that there is an even coating to minimize the clamping together.

Then pack the pasta in a sealable plastic bag or an airtight container. Label the container before keeping it in the refrigerator, showing the date so that you can remember its expiry date.

While some people think that pasta will spoil and no longer taste great after you freeze it, this is not the case. It’s not only easy to freeze pasta as any food that absorbs water while cooking can be frozen and still maintain its appealing taste. Consider doing the following things when freezing pasta:

  • Cook the pasta before you decide to freeze it but avoid overcooking it. This is because when you reheat it, the pasta might get spoiled.

  • Use only plastic bags or airtight containers to store pasta. It should be split into portions to ensure you only remove the pasta that you want to use until its finished. Defrosting and freezing might spoil the pasta.

  • When warming the pasta, choose the steaming option rather than using a microwave. Microwaving will always dry up your pasta while a steamer retains the food moisture.

If you decide to use a microwave, use a container and put the pasta flat inside it. Make sure the container is about half full of pasta to make sure the heat can reach all the pasta.

Specific factors that affect cooked pasta

Bacteria will not grow on uncooked pasta because it doesn’t have moisture to attract bacterial growth. On the other hand, once it’s cooked, it contains moisture, creating an ideal condition for bacteria. The most common bacteria that usually grow on aged pasta include salmonella, staphylococcus, and micrococcus. Here is what you need to do to prevent microorganisms away from your pasta:

  • Most of the time, you have about 2 hours for the pasta to be safe. This is the time you have to drain it and keep it in the fridge. The longer you keep it on the table, the less likely it’s going to be safe even if you refrigerate it.

  • The topping you use also affects the state of your pasta. Some toppings such as mayonnaise tend to spoil faster than others.

  • It’s recommended to reheat your pasta only once because reheating it doesn’t kill all microorganisms.

  • Keep your kitchen to about 40 degrees F. because a warmer kitchen that is above 70 degrees will not give you enough time to protect the pasta from going bad.

  • Use a steam table that will prolong the life of your pasta, an ideal table keeps your pasta at 140 degrees F.

Sauce to use with pasta

The sauce applied to your pasta will determine how long it can stay in the fridge without spoiling. Each sauce has its characteristics, and some will last longer in the refrigerator than others.

Cooked tomato red sauce usually stays in good condition between four and five days. This means it has a longer shelf life than that of pasta, making it suitable to use with your pasta if you want to keep it in the fridge. For pasta containing meat sauce, it will be in perfect condition in the refrigerator for about four to five days.

Fish sauce has a pretty short shelf life compared to the meat sauce and should be eaten in a day or two days to avoid it going bad. It’s essential to use it in pasta in small amounts and see if you can get it all eaten for the meal you have prepared it for.

Freezing is always a great option if you have enough sauce that you can use at a particular time. Pasta freezes better when it has sauce in it.


There is no denying that pasta is probably one of the most favorite foods because you can use various recipes to make your pasta dish. Even better, most of the dishes are easy to make.

If you find out that you have cooked more pasta than you could eat, the best option is to keep it in the fridge. To be on the safe side, keep it for a limited number of days and before eating it confirm that it’s still in good condition.

How to Keep Erythritol From Crystallizing

Erythritol is an ideal replacement for sweeteners, and you can find it in various fruits and fermented foods. Manufacturers produce it through a natural fermentation process by utilizing Moniliella pollinia, which is an organism that looks like yeast found in beehives to create a carbon sugar alcohol, also called polyol.

People use erythritol to improve the insufficiency of other sweeteners in no-sugar and low-carb foods. However, it tends to crystallize rapidly, making it challenging to use it. Let’s find out the properties of erythritol and what you can do to prevent it from crystallizing.

Use of erythritol

The use of erythritol helps you to have reduced sugar and calorie food, but it’s not entirely sugarless. This is because it’s sugar alcohol such as xylitol, mannitol, and glycerol, which are usually used as low-glycemic substitutes for sugars like sucrose.

Most people use erythritol as it’s well-absorbed in the digestive system, but it’s not metabolized to a certain extent and the kidneys safely filter it out while the kidneys excrete it.

The sweetness of erythritol is between 60 and 70% sweet compared to sucrose, yet it doesn’t have many calories that could affect your blood sugar and doesn’t cause tooth decay. The United States FDA states that it has 0.2 kilocalories per gram, which is less than sugar and most of the other carbohydrates.

Besides, erythritol doesn’t have lingering aftertaste found in most sweeteners including sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame. The best thing about erythritol is the fact that it provides a smoother mouth-feel, aqueous solutions, and reduce-calorie.

You can use erythritol if you want to get high-intensity sweetener because it provides a flavor that is similar to table sugar. Apart from high-intensity sweeteners, it’s also used with other bulky ingredients that have characteristics of sugar to imitate the texture and taste of sucrose.

Properties of erythritol

Erythritol is like other polyols, meaning it doesn’t have a reducing group to cause what is called Maillard reaction. It’s suitable for use in fondant and fudge as it crystallizes quickly and it is a low soluble product.

While its crystals melt at 121°C to form a transparent non-viscous and colorless substance, crystallization of erythritol begins at 43°C after it has melted down.

Crystallization is usually rapid when it’s under static conditions. In powder form, it has transparent white and bright looks that dissolve in water to have non-viscous, transparent, and sweet-tasting solution.

As erythritol crystallizes, it has an endothermic cooling effect normally found in confections like throat lozenges and mint chewing gums. To some extent, you can reduce this cooling effect by adding inulin or polydextrose if you don’t like the cooling effect. It also lowers the water activity of food because of its low molecular weight.

Erythritol has high osmotic pressure, leading to increased preservative results and longer product shelf life. Since it’s hygroscopic, which means it doesn’t attract moisture, it can cause the product, especially baked foods to dry out.

You need to use it with other hygroscopic ingredients in the recipe. For the frozen products, its low molecular weight enables such products to have a lower freezing point.

Polyols resist fermentation by oral bacteria; therefore, they are regarded as non-cariogenic. Studies have shown that erythritol prevents oral bacteria which is responsible for fermenting carbohydrates, ensuring that the dental enamel is not harmed.

How to keep erythritol from crystallizing

The challenging thing in using erythritol is that it won’t dissolve in water evenly without crystallizing immediately when it’s cooling. Experts recommend that you should use erythritol with distilled water which has no impurities that stimulate crystallization.

If you intend to utilize it in baking, consider buying the powder because you need to dissolve the granular form in liquid or else it will remain granular. The only thing you will see is that it wants to re-crystallize once you start baking.

It’s important to be careful when mixing it in foods that get dry such as brownies and cookies because it will crystallize while it cools. There is something you can do to prevent erythritol from crystallization in such situations.

Try to use mix 1:8 containing low carb thickener to 2 tablespoons of powdered form of erythritol and 4 tablespoons per cup for erythritol in granular form.

Products with higher liquids such as pies and icing, you should not worry about erythritol crystallizing. But, to be safe, you can grind the granular form into powder if you see that it had re-crystallized while in storage.

How to Make Keurig Coffee Taste Better? – 7 Effective Tips You Need to Know

Keurig, undoubtedly, is the modern version of the conventional coffee maker. And if you take your morning cup of coffee very seriously, then it’s not uncommon to ask the question, how to make Keurig coffee taste better?

It’s undeniable that Keurig prepares coffee of the highest quality. But does that mean your hot caffeine-infused beverage is also the most delicious consistently? If not, then here are the most effective 7 ways to make sure that happens every single time you decide to brew coffee using your precious Keurig machine.

How to Make Keurig Coffee Taste Better?​

#1 Double Up and Use Low-Ounce Settings

Keurig coffee doesn’t taste good anymore; this is a very common complaint. The best way to combat weak-tasting coffee is by opting for 2 pods instead of 1. And also by using the lowest brew size setting instead of the 8-ounce option.

When you select 8 ounces, what you’re doing is watering down the coffee. Think about it logically. After all, the quantity of grounds remains the same irrespective of how much water is being used. Am I right?

Notoriously bitter would be an apt way for describing a freshly prepared cup of coffee by Keurig. So you can mellow down your favorite drink by adding a tiny bit of salt, only a pinch though. What salt does here is gives rise to a chemical reaction that dials down the acidity of the coffee. And this paves the way for a much smoother taste.

#2 Grind Your Own Coffee Beans​

If you’re a genuine coffee lover, then this shouldn’t be the first time you’re reading that grinding your own coffee beans and using the freshly ground batch for brewing delivers the most delicious taste. This is why K-cups are so carefully sealed to preserve all the freshness and aroma and to increase the shelf-life of the coffee inside.

Even so, K-cups do contain oxygen to a certain degree. And that might strip away some of the freshness and quality of the coffee grounds. In that case, if you want to completely ditch using K-cups because of this reason or another like the damage they’re causing to the environment, then here’s something you can do.​

Just get a reusable K-cup filter. It allows you to work with pre-ground or freshly ground beans of your choice. Who says you can’t enjoy the same instant gratification by using your own ground coffee with your precious automatic brewing system!

Grinding your own favorite coffee beans also reduces your caffeine consumption. So this means you’re hitting not 2 but 3 birds with one stone.

#3 Use the “Strong” Button on your Keurig

Neglecting the “Strong” option in the menu of the Keurig’s digital screen is very common. Not many users give this particular button a second thought. And that’s wrong because you can use the setting to your advantage.

Keurig’s strong setting increases the strength of your coffee simply by extending the time taken for brewing. The brewing time for normal 8-ounce cups is around 43 seconds. But if you like your Keurig coffee too strong, then how about increasing the brewing time to 1 minute, 15 seconds? And there, that’s the perfect answer to, how to make Keurig carafe coffee stronger?

#4 Increase Keurig Water Temperature

Now you should know that temperature plays a crucial role when it comes to brewing coffee. Only when the water temperature is high enough can the coffee grounds get extracted thoroughly.

So to make this possible, run just a water cycle prior to brewing if your Keurig has not been in use for a few hours. It heats your machine, thus making the water slightly warmer and delivering the perfect strong cup of morning coffee your taste buds demand.

Now I won’t deny that Keurig brewing systems don’t use the accurate quantity of hot water required for preparing the most delicious coffee. In fact, this is a very common complaint among Keurig coffee maker users. So, like I already told you, run the water cycle for heating your Keurig before brewing the K-cup.

Obviously, get rid of the water and then insert your K-cup for brewing. At this point, your machine is slightly hotter than usual. That means more coffee extraction takes place, so you achieve the exact taste you’ve been looking for.

To be honest, this particular method is worth trying as it also helps in overcoming Keurig’s limitation.

#5 Clean the Coffee Maker Regularly

Debris and oil build-up in the Keurig coffee maker is inevitable as a result of frequent use. And when this is not cleaned, you can expect it to harm the taste and flavor of the coffee. So if the quality of your beverage is declining, try cleaning your machine thoroughly.

Bacteria accumulation in the brewer makes the coffee taste unpleasantly bitter. But you can get rid of all this mess simply by washing out the Keurig machine.

And here’s how to do that:

  • Fill the reservoir of the coffee maker with white vinegar. Start the brewing cycle until all this vinegar in the water rank runs out. You can also use lemon water in case you don’t wish to use vinegar.
  • After that, run 1-2 cycles with only water for flushing out the remaining vinegar and its smell. And that’s about it.

#6 Select Darker, Bolder Roasts

In case you’re using pre-ground or freshly ground coffee, go for darker, bolder roasts. When you’re not happy about the strength of your coffee, then chances are you’ve been drinking a lighter roast.

The thing about a light roast and Keurig is that the latter waters down the former. Even with medium roasts, water and the coffee come in contact with one another for just a few seconds. Unfortunately, this is the case with every Keurig machine.

So when you upgrade to dark roast or extra-bold coffee, your beverage is bound to stay away from the weak side. And not seem like you’re drinking just caffeine-flavored water.

#7 Pull Out Your Cup, Always

The final few drops are almost usually just water since the processing of the coffee is already done. More often than not, these last drops only water down your drink further. As a result of which coffee tastes watery even though it wasn’t like that just a few seconds ago. In light of the matter, how about removing the cup before those drops invade it?

Don’t wait for the machine to ruin your strong cup of coffee by watering it down further. Your Keurig features a reservoir for collecting any overflow. So just keep in mind to empty and clean the thing regularly.

The End

It doesn’t matter if you hate or love your Keurig machine. The truth of the matter is that the coffee maker offers unbeatable convenience. It meets your daily on-demand caffeine requirements. If you love the brewer, then great! But if you don’t, then I have discussed 7 different ways to prepare better coffee using your Keurig.

However, the fact remains unchanged. That coffee by Keurig can sometimes taste less flavorful and weaker than regular brewing methods. Irrespective of whether you’re using a reusable coffee filter or K-cup!

Those that have already purchased or are compelled to use a Keurig might find these tips very useful. It’s not like you’ve got yourself in a sticky situation. The methods discussed above make sure you never have to choose between convenience and flavor ever again. Both are pretty much the part of the deal if you follow the instructions.





why is my cheese sauce grainy? – How to fix grainy cheese sauce?

Holidays require fresh homemade cheesy sauces. Making home-made sauce can be quite challenging. Most of the popular and tasty cheese sauces are very difficult to make.

They have their own inherent risk. Your alfredo cannot break, gravy cannot separate or you will be left with watery and curdle filled mess instead of very creamy and velvety cheese sauce.

To make delicious and mouth-watering sauces, you must learn how to prevent the cheese from curdling. This article will help all the readers to tackle any risks associated with making cheese sauces at home. We help you to understand why certain problems arise and how to fix it.

Why do sauces break or curdle?

Sauces usually break when the oil or butter gets separated from the dairy based product. They may break for a number of reasons. It may break if the fat is added way too fast. The emulsifying agents, the egg yolks, oils or salts can overwhelm and stop the fatty molecules from binding with each other. The heat can scramble and curdle the protein molecules.

Why is my cheese sauce grainy?

Dairy mainly has three primary components. These are proteins, water, and fat. Curdling of dairy products occurs when all the proteins in a cheese sauce bind together and separated from the water. Thus it tightens up and forms curds. Usually, the egg based or dairy sauces curdle because of certain reasons. The skim milk curdles much faster and more easily than the fattier dairy items.

Some of the reasons and solutions are discussed below.

High temperature :

The very high temperature like making a sauce can often cause sauces grainy and curdle.

Solutions :

While making sauces, it is best to opt for slow and low cooking. The temperature must be kept at very low degrees. One should make sure that any dairy-based cheesy sauce must not boil. If you are cooking a sauce with eggs, you want to cook it over double boilers for further safety. You also need to let the bechamel cool off before adding any cheese.

Additional acid :

Additional acids in dairy sauces make it curdle. Acids can turn any creamy sauce sour and watery.

Solutions : It is better to avoid any additional acids while making sauces. Stirring at low temperatures does all the trick.

Adding the eggs:

Adding any dairy item or egg yolks rapidly can turn the sauce watery and grainy.

Solutions : You must add these items very gradually at last. You can whisk the mixture previously before pouring on the pan.


Salts can make dairy products curdle. Often people avoid using salts in sauces for this reason.

Solutions : The only solution to stop the sauce from curdling is to wait until the sauce is seasoned. Once that is done, you can add it at the last minute.

Making roux solutions

If you are not confident about making sauces, you can consider adding any starchy agents such as roux solutions. Adding any starchy and thickening agent to the sauce, help it to retain its quality.

Solutions : One can go wrong easily while dissolving some corn starch in the water or making roux solutions. It is better to not use any types of oil at all, during this process to avoid curdling.

How to fix grainy cheese sauce?

Once any cheesy sauce gets curdled, it is nearly difficult to prevent it from getting spoilt. The proteins in dairy products are impossible to be returned to their previous states. It is completely safe to consume sauces which have been curdled, but it is not tasty at all. Grainy sauces are not appetizing and cannot be served to guests also. There are many cooking strategies which can help you to combat curdling. If you want to cook sauces, it is advisable to know how to fix grainy cheese sauces. Some of the tips are discussed below.

  • If any dairy-based or egg-based sauce curdles, you should at once stop the process of cooking. First, you must take the cooking pan off the blazing heat or it can burn. Then it should be placed in a very cold ice bath. It is recommended that you should add ice cubes to the sauces to ensure faster cooling process.

  • If the curdles or clumps in the cheese sauces are much less, it is easier to remedy it. You can first pour the curdled sauce to another bowl through a perforated sieve. Then once separated from the clumps, you can whisk the sauce which is strained.

  • Proteins can bond together easily if any kinds of slight problem occur. It causes curdling. If you see the sauce getting curdled, you start whisking it at low temperature to prevent the clumps from increasing.

Is it possible to fix a grainy and curdled sauce?

Once you see the sauce to curdle or break, you can try to fix it. When you notice any little droplets of fat at the edges of the pan, you should understand that your sauce is being curdled. In that case, you should whisk the sauce fast and reduce the temperature. Adding a few scoops of heavy cream often help the process and stabilize the item. Refrigerating it also helps often.

Though it is not impossible to fix a grainy sauce, it is very difficult to do so. Only experts or professionals manage to fix a sauce getting curdled. Nevertheless, if such a situation arises, you must take the necessary steps to fix it.

Making any sauce at home is very hard. It is impossible to make a perfect sauce at your very first attempt. It takes, time, skills, patience and practice. This article provides you with most of the necessary strategies to make sauces for the holidays. The reasons for a sauce getting curdled and solutions are also mentioned here. If it still does not work, you have to start over. Nothing else can be done. We try to make your quest to master the art of making perfect sauces easier and simpler. With the right recipes, instructions, guidance and patience even an amateur can make the most delicious cheesy sauces with minimum effort and within time period.

Substitute Dried basil for Fresh – The Great Nutrient Herb

Basil is among the herbs that has been an issue for many centuries. Basil is a useful aromatic herb. The aroma is because of the volatile and essential oils present in the oil glands of leaves. Basil leaves are used in a variety of dishes including pasta, salads, fish, and sauces. In case you don't have freshly plucked basil leaves, you can use dried basil leaves, which is indeed the best substitute. In such cases, it's important to substitute dried basil for fresh to ensure the aromatic freshness. We'll discuss here the various aspects of this issue.

Dried herbs are widely used in recipes to ensure freshness. As fresh herbs are delicate, you need to add the herbs at the end of the cooking. On the other hand, dried herbs need more time to cook. Therefore, dry herbs are added at an early stage of cooking.

For example, for uncooked and short cooked fresh herbs are used. Dishes that entail long cooking, sauces (winter foods) need to be cooked with dried herbs. You can add the herbs during the start of the cooking and this will bring a distinct taste. Fresh bais imparts excess brightness and fresh note that is not in sync with the cooking process.

Why is basil so important?

Basil is an important herb thanks to its flavor, which is a unique and distinct from other herbs. Its flavor is different in fresh and dry states. Dried basil could have a higher potency and flavor. Further, it also has distinct sweetness when compared to fresh basil.

Often, you may not get the fresh herb. Therefore, it is convenient to convert the leaves into a quality dry bit that might prove to be a little hard.

In such a case, it is recommended that you chose to use four to eight fresh basil leaves. This is equivalent to one tablespoon of dried basil. However, two tablespoons of dried basil are equivalent to using 12 fresh leaves.​

Dried basil to fresh basil leaves conversion

When you use different drives in cooking there is a common rule that comes to the and that determines the ratio of fresh leaves to the dry leaves.

This is because the dried herbs are more effective and are concentrated than fresh herbs. when you use dried leaves you will and need here of them then when you use fresh herbs. Thus, when a recipe is to be made from 1 teaspoon of fresh oregano you need just one tablespoon up dried have. this is because the one teaspoon of dry of the dried leaves is 3 tbsp shop oregano of the herb.

Therefore, it is better to buy fresh herbs and store them so that they become dry and now you can use them as and when. For this, you need to get freshly collected leaves and wrapped them in a paper towel and store them in resealable plastic bags. Then, you need to put them into the refrigerator dried hands story that right hand out of away from light and in a dry and cool place. Make sure to watch other time for which the herbs have been in the open. Be aware that if you keep them in the open for a longer time than desired, they lose the aromas and taste less-flavored.

How much dried basil equals fresh?

Now the moot question is about the right quantity of dried basil that is equivalent in bringing the good benefits of fresh.

The commonly made substation m is one teaspoon (crumbled or chopped) take the place of one tablespoon of fresh basil. In other words, you need to use one-third of dried basil to bring the same effect that happens when three cups fresh basil.

The best answer is two teaspoons of fresh is equivalent to one teaspoon dried. The explanation goes thus: if the original recipe needs two teaspoons of finely chopped fresh basil, substitute the number of leaves of the herb with one teaspoon of when substituting dried basil. This is because of it’s going to enhance the flavor.

When you substitute dried basil for the fresh leaves in the recipe, be aware that the conversion ratios should only be used as a general rule. This is thanks to the flavor losing tendency.

It's important to note that when converting fresh basil to dried basil, you need to use the right conversion ratio. The common view of experts' opinion is that you should use twice as much fresh as you use dried basil.

How much dried basil equals 1/2 cup fresh?

As we already mentioned, one cup fresh basil is equal to half-teaspoon of fresh is equal one teaspoon dried basil if you're planning to make standard recipe. Two tablespoons of chopped fresh basil, you can substitute the quantity with one tablespoon of dried basil leaves.

How to do it?

Before you start seasoning your dish, crush the died in yr plans of the hand or between fingers. Once they become powder, check out the smell. If the aroma has a strong flavor, it indicates that it has a strong aromatic effect.

On the other hand, if the aroma is a light, it indicates that at your dry basil. Under the circumstances, you may want to judge indicated in the original recipe.

You can also determine the basil potency is by evaluating it by its color. If it looks good and green, odds are more that it has great strength.


The dried basil is rich in nutrients. Yet we often use fresh basis. Dried basil is a great source of vitamin K and contains nutrients that are antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and other properties. Studies show that it causes a healthy effect on the respiratory system and can be consumed as herbal and other forms of tea. Basil tea is good effect in problems such as nausea, dysentery and stomach ache. Therefore, it is likely to benefit if you use basil on a regular basis. Ensure you substitute dried basil for fresh. This will bring you the desired results. It enhances the flavor and has a positive impact on health.

Best Way to Clean a Flat Top Grill

Grills are one of the most important cooking appliances you can have in the household. They are used for various activities such as cooking during family gatherings so that people can enjoy the taste of grilled food. But, the flat top grill is hard to clean and that’s because it’s exposed to extreme heat.

Another issue is that different ingredients and grease used on it hardens over time to make it difficult to clean it properly. There are several ways to clean a grill and this post will reveal the best way to clean a flat top grill.

The easy and quick ways to clean a flat top grill

Cleaning a flat top grill with lemon juice

Some of the common food ingredients that are prepared on a flat top grill include eggs, vegetables, eggs, and meats. For seasoning, most people use soy sauce, salt, herbs, and spices, and a lot of oil for frying the food.

The oil that is used for cooking food becomes thick as time goes by because it mixes with the food debris leading to grease build up.

The major concern is that the food debris and grease accumulation become hard and sticks to your flat top grill, making it hard to clean. Here are four steps of how you can use lemon juice to clean a flat top grill.

  • Heat the grill so that the hardened debris on the grill should soften.
  • Scrape off the grease and residue by using a grill scraper. The scraper has to be a heavy duty that is triangular in shape to allow it to get to the corners of the grill.
  • Spray the grill with a mix of lemon juice and soda water and wait for about 5 minutes for the water-lemon juice to seep into the char and food debris.
  • It should be easier now to remove the food residue and grease which have to soften up. Scrub in a circular movement the flat top grill with a scouring pad. You can use a heat-resistant grill squeegee to remove any remaining food debris into the grease catcher. Use a rag to wipe the grill surface.

Check out these grill scrapers that you can use for scraping off food residue and grease on your flat top grill:

Cuisinart CCB-500 Griddle Scraper

The Cuisinart CCB-500 Griddle Scraper is great for removing char and food debris on a flat top grill. With its ergonomic design that is easy to grip, you can scrape all the grill corners with ease.

The handle gives you better leverage and it has a knob grip that you can hold using the other hand. It will give you more control and pressure as you are scraping. The splash guard prevents grease and food debris from getting to your hands and the scrapper is of high-quality made up of stainless steel blade for durability.

OXO Press Brush

The OXO Good Grips Electric Grill and Panini Press Brush feature thin and flexible bristles designed to get into ridges. This is suitable for cleaning a flat top grill to remove greasy food debris.

It has a soft non-slip handle to make it comfortable holding it even when your hands are wet. The Silicone wiper blade scraps off food debris and grease without causing damage to the delicate parts of the grill.

Cleaning a flat top grill with vinegar

Whether you’re a professional chef or you just want to cook for your family and friends, it’s necessary to clean your flat top grill. The best part about this kitchen appliance is the fact that you just have to clean and maintain it after each use.

If you have the right tools and you give the flat top grill proper care, it will last longer. It means you don’t have to spend tons of money on a new one very soon. Vinegar can be used to prevent rusting to your grill while you can use oil for seasoning the metal. Here are five ways to clean a flat top grill:

  • Mix water and vinegar, and pour 50% of it into a spray bucket. You can pour the other half into a small bucket.

  • Spray the surface of the grill with the mixture. Then wait for about 5 minutes for the water-vinegar mixture to soak the char and food debris. Scrub the grill surface with a grill brush to get rid of them.

  • Take a rag and dip it into the bucket with the water-vinegar mixture. Wring it out and wipe clean the inside of the grill. Make sure to replace the rags weekly so that the grill is not contaminated with dirt.

  • Pour oil on a rag and wipe it on the grill surface. The oil will prevent food debris and grease from building up over time. If you season your flat top grill surface with oil once in a while, it will also make cleaning pretty easy.

The best way to clean a flat top grill is to use the right and proper materials. This is the only way to make your cooking and cleaning up experience a memorable one. Take a look at this flat top grill tool kit:

Blackstone Signature Griddle Accessories

Blackstone Signature Griddle Accessories has various high-quality tools that are perfect for cooking and cleaning up a flat top grill. The set has five tools which are made up of stainless steel for long-lasting.

It includes 2 stainless steel spatulas suitable for grill applications such as flipping burgers and pancakes. There is also a scraper that can be used to scrape the surface of the grill clean. Besides, the set comes with 2 fine tip bottles and liquids such as oil and water. They are also dishwater safe, meaning it will be easy and quick for you to clean them up after use.

This is a great set because it has a cookbook that has several recipes to help you prepare mouthwatering foods for your family and friends. It’s also a suitable tool kit for restaurants which are focused on cooking delicious meals for their guests.

Cleaning a flat top grill with a grill brick

Grill bricks make it easy for you to remove grease and food debris that is left behind on your flat top grill. While a grill brick removes grease, it doesn’t absorb the grease or the odor, making it easy to clean too.

It can be used to remove even the small food particles from the surface of a flat top grill. A grill brick is the best way to clean a flat top grill and it can be used on its own or you can have a handle feature.

There are various cleaning methods which may differ from one person to another, but here are directions that you can use.

  • While the grill is still hot, pour onto the surface about 1 cup of olive oil.

  • Scrub the surface with a grill brick by making concentric circles until it’s clean.

  • Scrape the olive oil into the grease trough and get rid of it.

  • Pour 1 cup of soda water onto the still-hot grill to soften and lift the hardened grease.

  • Scrub the grill surface with the grill brick by making the concentric circles and pour the remaining liquid into the grease trough.

  • Pour 1/2 cup of either lemon juice and soda water mixture or vinegar and water onto the grill surface.

  • Rub the grill surface with a clean rag until it’s clean and looks polished.

If you are wondering where to get the best grill brick, check the products below:

Avant Grub Grill Cleaning Brick

Avant Grub Grill Cleaning Brick is made of pumice stone, meaning that it doesn’t leave scratches on the surface of your flat top grill. You just need to apply light pressure as you are cleaning and it will remove grease and food residues.

The brick can be used on a hot grill tops and you can use either a rag or a grill brick holder when applying light pressure. It’s a reusable stone and it doesn’t absorb grease or odor to make it easy for you to clean it after each use.

Scotch-Brite 746 Quick Clean Heavy Duty Griddle Pad

The Scotch-Brite 746 Quick Clean Pad is suitable for cleaning the surface of either a grill or griddle. It has a thick and open design for easy cleaning. The pad has evenly distributed mineral particles for effective and consistent performance.

It has high-quality material to resist the heat from water and grill surfaces, this makes it last for long. Its heavy-duty design helps you to clean it fast and it can also resist clogging.

The Verdict

It’s necessary to clean your flat top grill so that it can last long as expected by its manufacturer. The only way to accomplish this goal is by cleaning it on a daily basis after use.

Scraping the food remains and grease from the grill surface will prolong the life of this precious kitchen appliance. If you are using a grill in your restaurant or grill business, an extended lifespan means more savings and profits.

Seasoning is an important procedure that you have to apply on your grill. It prevents the grill from rusting and it will make cleaning easy for you. The main idea for seasoning is to prevent grease buildup and food debris from getting on the grill surface. The products mentioned above are valuable as they will keep your flat top grill clean.

What to Do with Salmon Scraps

Saving money doesn’t have to be tedious and boring. With many of us feeling the pinch these days, it’s useful to find ways of using up every little piece of what you buy. It’s less wasteful, which is something the world certainly needs a lot more of, and it also makes life a little more sustainable.

When it comes to food shopping, we obviously need to shop around to find the best prices. And healthy eating is becoming a concern of many people, with rising rates of obesity and associated diseases.

One of the healthier food choices recommended by experts is salmon. It’s high in Omega fatty acids, which are essential for optimal bodily functioning, and a good source of protein. But have you ever wondered what to do with salmon scraps?

Waste Not, Want Not​

When I was a child, I could not understand this saying. Now I know exactly what is meant: if you don’t waste things, you shall not be in want. Using every piece of salmon, including the off-cuts, is in line with this principle.

We need to start considering what we throw ‘away,’ not only to save money, but in relation to saving the planet. When we buy salmon and other fish, there are scraps left over after you’ve trimmed it.

These trimmings can be turned into a myriad delicious meal, making sure you don’t waste any part of the fish. Some retailers also sell salmon trimmings themselves at a very good price. We’ve put together some great ideas about what to do with salmon scraps.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

How about using up those salmon trimmings the next time you make scrambled eggs for breakfast? Salmon works perfectly with creamy scrambled eggs after being lightly sautéed in a little butter or olive oil.

Otherwise, these salmon fish cakes are delicious at any meal, or as a healthy snack.

Zesty salmon fishcakes with peas and green onions

  • 550 g potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes

  • 45 g frozen peas

  • 3 green onions, finely chopped

  • 400g salmon scraps, lightly-poached in a little water, and chopped

  • 1 lemon, zested

  • 1 tablespoon or more wheat flour

  • 1 egg

  • olive oil for frying

Boil diced potatoes for 8 minutes. Add peas and cook until potatoes are tender (10 minutes). Drain and place in a large bowl. Mash potatoes and peas together. Add to the mash finely-chopped green onions and lemon zest.

Chop salmon scraps finely, and add to mixture. Add beaten egg and combine thoroughly. Divide mixture into 8 and form each portion into a fish cake with your flour-dusted hands. Place each cake on a floured plate and dust the top with a little extra flour.

Place a large skillet on medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat. Once the oil is hot, place the fishcakes into the pan, cooking for about 4 minutes per side. The fishcakes should be golden brown and crisp on the outside. Be careful not to break them up when turning over.

For serving, slice the lemon into six pieces, one for each plate, and serve fishcakes with green vegetables in season, or a crispy salad.

Some other cool options​

But that’s just one way you can solve the dilemma of what to do with salmon scraps. Try using them in a stir-fry with seasonal vegetables. Or try your hand at a chowder or a delicious, hearty salmon risotto.

Sauté or poach salmon scraps and turn into a moreish sandwich filling. Add chopped hard-boiled egg, chives, and mayonnaise and voila! In fact, the sky’s the limit with salmon trimmings.

Best Sugar For Creme Brulee

The signature of a Creme Brulee is the caramelized crust. You sprinkle sugar over the top of the delicate custard and caramelize it with the flame of a kitchen torch. The type of sugar you use is very important.

If it is too thin, it does not caramelize into a decent crisp crust. If the sugar is too coarse, it may not caramelize quickly enough and you may melt the custard. Cracking into a perfectly torched sugar crust is a delightful experience and the following three sugar types are the best for creating it. This will help you in shortlisting the best sugar for Creme Brulee.

Turbinado sugar

Turbinado sugar, or sugar ‘in the raw,’ gets its name from the technique used to make it. The raw sugar is spun in a centrifuge or turbine. Refined sugar products go through much more processing after this stage.

Turbinado looks somewhat like brown sugar but the crystals are harder, paler and larger. It is slightly finer and less sticky than Demerara sugar. Turbinado sugar makes a crisp crust that is not too thin with a delicious, complex flavor due to the molasses content.

Turbinado Cane Sugar (6 lb. bag)

Turbinado Sugar by Sugar In The Raw is made using 100% natural pure cane sugar.

You can reclose the bag so you keep the sugar fresh. This 6-lb. “baker’s bag” is perfect for baking.

Bulk Raw Cane Sugar (10 lb. bag )

Kauffman’s Fruit Farm, sellers of this product, buy large quantities of raw sugar and repackage it into more practical sizes for your baking needs. They offer these bags at a reasonable price.

As their bulk foods are packaged in random weight measures you will receive at least as much as you ordered, or even slightly more. Buying in bulk quantities helps you to save.

Raw Sugar Natural Cane Turbinado Packets

If you would rather buy your raw sugar in packets, try out this pack containing 500 packets from Sugar In The Raw. It is easy to store the box in the pantry and use the packets as you need them. You may prefer the convenience of using packets and they help to prevent spillage and waste.

Crystal sugar

Crystal sugar goes through various chemical reactions as a part of the juice purification process. The sugar cane or sugar beets are crushed and the juice is purified and boiled to produce thick syrup. The raw sugar crystals are extracted from the syrup, usually with the use of a centrifuge. The liquid left behind is the dark, sticky molasses.

If you have a large-grained crystal sugar that you like using, try using your food processor to break down some of the crystals before putting it on your Creme Brulee.

Crystal sugar is free of contaminants and melts clean and easily. The white crystals give a great visual cue when making the crust. As they are torched, the white sugar turns a golden brown so it’s easy to monitor when the crust reaches perfection and you won’t end up going too far and burning the sugar which makes it taste bitter.

Pure Cane Sugar Granulated white - 2 lb boxes (6 Pack)

C&H® Granulated Sugar is a well-known brand and its use in Creme Brulees is well documented. Get a 6-pack of 2 lb boxes of this pure cane granulated white sugar for easy and convenient use.

Canned Granulated White Sugar (1 half case)

This Future Essentials canned white sugar is ready to use and one of its biggest advantages is that it has a long shelf life. The six 25oz cans have a total net weight of 9.375 lbs.

White Sugar/Granulated Sugar - 500gm

Mother Organic white granulated sugar is cultivated in India and contains no pesticides, chemicals or fertilizers. It has no additives and no polish. The company uses the latest organic farming technology to improve the quality and nutritional standard of its products.

Demerara sugar

So, next on our list of best sugar for Creme Brulee is Demerara. Some people erroneously assume that Demerara sugar is just brown sugar. Unlike brown sugar which is just white sugar lightly bathed in molasses, Demerara sugar is a large grained, rather crunchy sugar that’s partially refined.

Demerara sugar used to be manufactured and shipped from the port of Demerara, in British Guyana but is now grown in other places too. The light brown sugar has a caramel-like flavor that lends complexity and depth to baking.

The crunchy, large crystals make it perfect for the crust of a Creme Brulee and it’s not too moist and clumpy like brown sugar.

Demerara Sugar, 10 Pound Box

This Demerara Sugar by D'allesandro's has a smooth, natural molasses flavor. The large, light brown crystals make it great in baked desserts. It is gluten-free, Kosher Parve Certified and Non-GMO.

Fairtrade Demerara Sugar - 1kg (2.2lbs)

This Demerara sugar by Tate & Lyle has large amber crystals that deliver a distinctive textural crunch. This sugar is traded in compliance with Fairtrade standards.

Demerara Sugar (Mauritius) 3 Lb Tub

This product sold by ChefShop is imported from the island of Mauritius. It is made from cane sugar grown in rich, volcanic soil. Pale, delicate and large-grained, it’s perfect for use in desserts, especially as a crust for a Creme Brulee. The more you buy, the less it costs to ship.


A Creme Brulee may not be as easy to make as cookies but using the best sugar for Creme Brulee can go a long way to helping you produce the perfect crust.

Some chefs prefer to use Turbinado or Demerara sugar for the rich, complex taste and the fact that they create a crust that’s not too thin. Others prefer using crystal sugar because it is free of contaminants and melts so easily and cleanly. It also gives them more control over the color of the crust.

It’s up to you to experiment and find out what works best for you. Time is of the essence as too much heat for too long heats up the custard. With a bit of practice, your Creme Brulee will have that delicious, crunchy crust you’re looking for.

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