Author Archives: Alex

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?

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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.

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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.

The Best Way to Cut Brownies

Brownies are delicious and can be enjoyed as a snack and as dessert. You can also enjoy brownies by yourself or with others. Enjoying brownies with others can be a problem though if you'll be the one baking them.

This is because you'll be expected to deliver brownies that won't only taste good but look good as well. Making brownies that taste good isn't a problem though, making them look good is and this is mostly due to the fact that we don't cut them properly.

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Prep your brownies

1. Brownies don't only taste great, they smell divine too. That means we may find it difficult to let them cool down properly and hot brownies crumble when cut. If you want your brownies to get cut properly, you'll have to leave the uncut brownie in the pan overnight. Also, make sure that you don't leave it near any heat source.

2. If you don't have time to let your uncut brownie cool overnight, you’ll have to let it cool for three hours.

3. Instead of pouring your batter over parchment paper or an oiled pan, spread some tin foil inside the pan. Make sure that your tin foil covers the pan’s edges too, even if you won't be making thick brownies.

Cut your brownies​

Unfortunately, the best way to cut brownies can be a little painful because an unsliced brownie gets hard when it's properly cooled. Another downside is that you won't be able to cut it correctly if it's inside the pan due to its hardness.

This means you'll have to peel back the tin foil from the pan’s edges, carefully remove the brownie and place it on a cutting board. Now, you'll need a long, sturdy and sharp knife with smooth edges.

Place the knife halfway through the length of the brownie and across its breadth. Press down the knife’s tip just over its edge so that it's positioned like an office guillotine and cut in one firm motion.

Repeat this twice so that you have four roughly equal pieces that you can further divide.

Cut your brownies, with precision

The previous method is okay if you want to enjoy your brownies with friends. However, if you will be making brownies for a larger and stranger audience, you will want to make sure that every piece is perfect.

The best way to cut brownies to perfection will require you to measure the perimeter of the brownie. The size of your uncut brownie will determine the number of brownies you'll end up having, depending on the thickness you desire.

Now, this is how you would cut your brownie if it was 10 inches by 6 inches. Assuming that you want 2 by 2-inch brownies. All you'd have to do is use that smooth knife and ruler to measure and mark every 2-inch interval. Then you'd have to use your ruler to make indentations on the brownie to connect parallel markings.

You will use these indentations as guides when you're cutting. Also, don't forget that the best way to cut brownies is dividing them at their halfway marks.

Preparing to cut brownies that aren't chilled properly

Not allowing your uncut brownies to cool properly will increase their chances of crumbling when they get cut. However, their not cooling enough has its upsides, the first one being that they're easier to cut since they're soft. The other is that some people like their brownies with a gooey texture.

Gooey brownies are delicious but cutting them can be a nightmare because they'll stick to your knife. The best way to cut brownies that are gooey is with plastic knives. Plastic knives also make it easier for you to cut your brownies without taking them out of the pan.

If you don't have access to plastic knives, a regular sharp serrated knife will be okay. If you are using a knife with a metal blade, however, you'll need to keep a bowl of warm water close by.

You will use this water to get rid of any brownie residue that your knife will be left with after each cut. Depending on how you made your brownies, you may need this water for the plastic knife too.

The best way to cut brownies that aren't chilled properly

Out of the pan

If you don't want to cut your brownies inside the pan, this is what you should do. Carefully lift the uncut brownie out of the pan using the tin foil and place it on your cutting board. Now, you're going to cut your brownie into 4 quarters, as mentioned previously.

The only thing that you won't do now is using your knife as an office guillotine. For this, you'll have to place the knife on the side of the brownie that's facing away from you.

You'll now have to cut it in half using the serrated/plastic knife as you would a saw. Continue cutting the brownies further into quarters and eighths or until you have your desired number of brownies.

If you would like to cut your brownies to specific sizes, you can just use this method with the already discussed ruler technique.

Also, if you'll be using a serrated knife, you'll have to wipe your knife with warm water before you cut. Using it cold will cause chunks of the brownie to stick to it and that won't make your brownies look good.

In the pan

Cutting your brownies in the pan will make the whole process easier because the pan will be holding them in place. This will decrease your chances of getting uneven pieces too because the brownies won't have enough space to move around and get mangled.

The problem, though, will be removing them from the pan. If you would try to lift precut brownies from using the tin foil, they'll all move towards the middle and thus squash each other.

In this situation, the best way forward would be removing the brownies individually, starting with the ones at the sides.

Substitution for Celery Root

Celery root is a common vegetable that is normally used in soups, can be roasted or even used salads. Celery root, however, is the root of a plant called celeriac and shouldn't be confused with celery.

These two vegetables taste very similar though, the difference between them being that celery root tastes nuttier, creamier and a bit more like parsley. These similarities are the reason why we've decided to get you acquainted with vegetables that can serve as a substitution for celery root.

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Parsnip has that parsley-like flavor that celery root has, it also has a more hearty flavor and it has a tinge of sweetness when it's fully ripe. Parsnip has a sharp, crunchy texture that makes it perfect for salads. It also has a lot of health benefits. One of these is that it contains potassium.

This compound alleviates blood pressure by stopping veins and arteries from contracting. Parsnip also has the vitamins E and C that boost your immune system. Besides being healthy, parsnips are resilient vegetables and thus easy to plant.

Parsnips can also be prepared in a number of ways. This means they can replace celery root when it comes to baking, frying, and roasting, to name a few preparation methods.

Fennel stalks

These stalks have a taste and texture that's very similar to celery, but they have a mellow anise-like flavor when cooked. Fennel stalks taste best when used as a substitution for celery root in fish dishes. Another fun fact about fennel stalks is that they're used as a flavoring in some kinds of toothpaste.


This yam-like vegetable is great for replacing celery root in salads. This is due to its slightly sweet, crisp flavor and its crunchy texture. Jicama isn't just tasty, it has a lot of health benefits too.

For one, it has a high concentration of fiber. Fiber helps your body to digest food properly, this will lessen your chances of getting constipated. This fiber will also lessen your LDL cholesterol intake, so jicama also protects your heart.

Jicama is also rich in vitamin C. If you eat two 130-gram servings of the root, you'll get 88% of this vitamin’s RDI (recommended daily intake). The root also has other antioxidants like selenium and vitamin E. This means replacing celery root with jicama will lessen your chances of getting oxidative stress-related problems like cancer and diabetes.


Raw rutabaga has a slight turnip-like bitterness, it also has a juicy and crunchy texture. Due to its bitterness, however, raw rutabaga wouldn't be the perfect substitute for celery root in salads. Once cooked through, rutabaga has a savory-sweet taste coupled with a rich golden color that resembles potato chips.

Rutabagas don't just taste good, they're also low on fat and carbohydrates. This means they're your go-to comfort food when you're on a diet.

Bok choy

This vegetable is also known as Chinese cabbage. Chinese cabbage has a white bottom that tastes a lot like celery but has a lighter flavor and more crunch. This makes it a perfect substitute for celery root in salads that need crisper ingredients.

Bok choy also doesn't take long to get ready for harvesting, its larger varieties take a maximum of 6 weeks to get ready. Smaller variations take about a month to get ready. Bok choy is rich in vitamin K and an uncooked 140-gram serving can provide adult women with over 69% of their RDI.

Water chestnuts

Despite its name, water chestnuts aren't nuts but they are vegetables that grow well underwater, in mud and in marshes. These vegetables have a crunchy texture and a slightly sweet taste when raw.

When they're cooked through, they become a bit softer and they develop a nutty taste. Using the right spices or seasoning that nutty flavor can get overpowered and that's what makes it the best substitution for celery root in recipes that need the root’s texture only.

Water chestnuts are 74% water when raw. This means you can eat a lot of them without worrying about your calorie intake.


Celery root develops a sweet taste when cooked. Carrots also get sweeter with cooking so they can be a good substitution for celery root in stews and soups.

Jerusalem artichokes

These vegetables are also known as sunchokes and they have that nutty taste that celery root has. Sunchokes also have a potato-like savory taste and can substitute for celery root in salads, regardless of whether they're cooked or raw.

If you are using them in a salad, you'll have to steam them because they get too soft when boiled. Their ability to soften quickly makes them ideal for soups as they'll get to release their flavor fully.

You'll have to be careful when dealing with this vegetable though, as it has a high concentration of inulin. Inulin is a carbohydrate that will make you feel bloated so it's not recommended that you eat sunchokes regularly.

Daikon radish

Despite its name, daikon radish doesn't have that strong peppery taste that radishes have. Instead, it has a milder crisp taste that makes it a good substitution for celery root.

Daikon radish can be consumed raw or cooked and it tastes best when it's stir-fried or used in a salad. This radish is rich in copper, a mineral that helps with connective tissue production.

Daikon radish also has a decent concentration of calcium and thus can help with slowing down the effects of osteoporosis. Despite its unique taste and health benefits, this radish is still a radish and it will give you problems if you suffer from gallstones.

Parsley roots

Parsley root looks a lot like parsnip and it also has a texture that's similar to it. Parsley roots, however, have a milder and sweeter taste when compared to parsnips.

This vegetable can substitute celery root in any fried, baked or roasted dish and it can also be used raw in a salad. Parsley root is also rich in vitamin A. This nutrient keeps your skin and eyes healthy.

What Kind Of Sauce Goes On Pizza

The most debated topics when it comes to pizza are almost always about the base or the topping. For example, memes that encourage or oppose using pineapple as a topping are going viral online. Also, people are more likely to complain about the thickness of their pizza bases in restaurants.

During all this, people don't seem to care that much about the kind of sauces that are put on their pizzas. Sauces, however, play an important role in pizzas as they're what keeps the base and the toppings together. This is why we've decided to investigate and see what kind of sauce goes on pizza the best.

Good old tomato sauce

This sauce pairs well with almost any kind of topping and the good news about it is that it's easy to make. An important fact about pizza sauce making is that it has to be thick enough to hold the toppings whilst hot. To make a tomato sauce that'll be thick, you'll need:

  • A 6 oz. tomato paste can

  • One can of 28 oz. crushed tomatoes

  • A teaspoon of basil

  • Two tablespoons of olive oil

  • Half a tablespoon of sugar

  • A clove of minced garlic

  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt

  • Half a teaspoon of dried oregano

  • Freshly cracked black pepper and a bit of crushed red pepper.

To make the sauce, you'll have to:

  • Cook the garlic in olive oil until it's soft and aromatic.

  • Put the remaining ingredients in, flavor with both peppers and stir until it's well mixed.

  • Close the pot and let it start simmering, gradually bring the sauce to low heat and let it simmer for 25 minutes. After this, your sauce will be ready for the pizza.

Good old white sauce

If you're still asking yourself what kind of sauce goes on pizza, we've got another classic sauce for you. Like tomato sauce, white sauce is virtually good with any topping.

White sauce also tastes best with mushrooms and meat due to its creamy texture and flavor. If you'd like to make this sauce, you'll need the following:

  • Grated Parmesan cheese (1/3 of a cup)

  • A tablespoon of butter

  • A pinch of freshly ground black pepper

  • Some salt (Kosher salt or sea salt)

  • Three tablespoons of flour

  • A teaspoon of Italian seasoning

  • A quarter cup of milk and a teaspoon of garlic powder.

To prepare the sauce, do the following:

Using low heat, melt your butter in a medium-sized saucepan, add the flour and then stir with a fork until thick and doughy.

  • Increase the heat to just under medium, gradually pour in the milk and then use a whisk to beat the mix. Make sure that lumps don't form.

  • Add the seasoning, spices, and salt. Now let your sauce simmer until it gets thick.

  • Gradually mix in the Parmesan cheese and keep stirring until the cheese melts. Continue stirring until the cheese gets integrated with the rest of the sauce. You can now add this sauce to your pizza and enjoy.

If you’d still like to know what kind of sauce goes on pizza besides these classics, you can try the basil-based pesto sauce. You could also use ranch sauce, it has a creamy taste that makes it an ideal replacement for cheese.

To add a sweeter twist to your pizzas, you can use fig jam as a substitute for the sauce. If you want to shake things up for your pizzas, you could just spread Nutella and enjoy your pizza as dessert.

Now you know that making your favorite pizza sauce is easy as pie, pick up the base and prepare a pizza with your favorite toppings and sauce.

Best Temperature For Rising Bread Dough

While everyone believes that baking is an art, we know that it's more of a science. This is especially so when it comes to bread making because you need precision to make a good quality loaf. Precision will make you careful of the ingredients you use.

Precision will also help you to determine the best temperature for rising bread dough. Most people struggle with getting their temperature right when baking due to viewing baking as an art. We'll now show you how to get it right using precise and proven methods.

The room temperature​

It's important to note that the “room temperature” you're supposed to let your dough rise in is ideally 75-90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you leave your dough to rise in a temperature below 75 degrees, it'll take longer to rise.

On the other hand, if you try to speed up the process by keeping it at a temperature higher than 90 degrees, your yeast will become inactive. So make sure that you use a kitchen thermometer with every method.

Use available equipment:

The microwave

For it to stay pliable, your dough will need to be in a moist setting whilst rising. You can make your microwave’s interior moist by placing a glass of water in it, putting it on high heat and waiting for two minutes.

When putting the dough in the microwave, make sure that it's covered and don't take the glass of water out. Your dough will take 30 minutes to rise to double its initial size. If it isn't ready after 30 minutes, you'll have to reheat the water, put back the dough and wait for 15 minutes.


When using an oven, you'll have to warm it at its lowest heat for two minutes before switching it off. After switching it off, you'll have to place a big bowl of boiling water at the oven’s back for moisture.

You'll now have to place the covered dough at the center of the oven’s middle rack, close the door and wait. The dough will take about 15 minutes to rise and if it hasn't risen to double its size, let it stay there for 15 more minutes.

Warm your dough

Another method that'll help you with keeping in line with the best temperature for rising bread dough when making bread involves taking into account all the variables that affect the dough’s temperature. These variables are:

  • Your kitchens temperature.

  • Your flour’s temperature.

  • The heat generated by friction during the mixing process.

  • Pre-ferment if you've used it.

These variables will be used to determine your dough's water temperature using the following formulas.

(4 x desired temperature) - kitchen temperature - pre-ferment temperature - flour temperature - mixing heat

(3 x desired temperature) - mixing heat - kitchen temperature - flour temperature

Now, let's say we have a kitchen that's 65 degrees cool, flour that measures at 62 degrees and possibly, pre-ferment that reads at 63 degrees. Let's also assume that we'll use a mixer for our batter that'll raise our dough’s temperature by 35 degrees.

Also, given the fact that the best temperature for rising bread dough is 75-90 degrees, let's choose to let ours rise at 80 degrees. Using these variables, let's now use this formula to see how hot our water will need to be.

(4 × 80) - 65 - 63 - 62 - 35 = 95 degrees

(3 × 80) - 35 - 65 - 62 = 78 degrees

This means that you'll have to use water that measures at these degrees of heat to mix your dough. This will allow the dough to rise at 80 degrees in a kitchen that's 65 degrees.

How to Find the Best Green Onion Substitute

The green onions are a common food ingredient in many cuisines across the world because of their specific and refreshing taste which adds up to the flavor of many traditional dishes. However, there are many equally delicious substitutes for the green onions which are interesting for people who like to add some exotic ingredients to make their meals unforgettable.

Also, some people don’t like the taste of green onions, or they’re allergic to some of its natural traits. Therefore, a green onion substitute might be the right solution for all those people who want their meals to have that delicious final touch with a taste of onion that is well-mixed with other ingredients.

Each green onion substitute that we will mention here features a unique onion taste which can expand your palette of tastes and become your all-time favorite later on.

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What are the green onions?

Sometimes called scallions and spring onions, the green onions are standardly used in Asian cuisines, but many other world cuisines are known for frequent use of green onions in meals. The green onions have a distinct taste that features a sharp flavor with the white part of the onion having the strongest taste.

Because of the strong taste, the opinions are divided when it comes to the frequent use of green onions in meals. Some people find this sharp onion taste attractive, but others find it too strong and thus reluctantly include the green onions while cooking.

Therefore, a green onion substitute won’t feature such a strong taste as it’s more versatile which means that it can be used in a variety of different meals and significantly add up to their flavor.

How to Use Green Onions in Meals?

Some people find themselves puzzled about which parts of the green onions are best used for cooking. Also, some of the most common problems with the preparation of green onions is a question whether all of the green onion parts are edible.

In most recipes which list the green onions among the ingredients, you’ll only need the white root and the pale green portion which is just above the root. Also, the green leaves have a purpose as they can be thinly sliced and used as a delicious garnish for a big number of meals.

It is also important that you know how to choose the quality onions as you may encounter a big difference in taste between the lower and higher quality onions. So, before you decide to buy a few green onions, make sure that you’ve checked these things first:

  • Generally, the green onions feature long, straight green leaves and straight bases, rather than bulbous-shaped. Look for the green onions with the straight bases as such a trait means that the onions were harvested when they were still young before they had time to develop into a large, rounded mature onion that features a notably different taste.

  • It’s also important that you choose green onions with fresh-looking green tops and clean white ends because these traits provide you with instant insight into the freshness of the vegetables.

  • When buying green onions for a recipe, it’s good to keep in mind that 1 medium green onion is the same as 2 tablespoons sliced green onions concerning the taste intensity.

There are useful tips for green onion preparation to help you get the best of this vegetable:

  • The onions are best rinsed under cool tap water and also it’s important that you remove any wilted or damaged tops on the white parts.

  • When it comes to cutting the onions, it’s recommended that you lay several onions on a cutting surface and trim off the stringy root ends using a chef’s knife.

Substitutes for green onions

As it was already mentioned, some people would rather try a recipe with a green onion substitute as they don’t like the taste of the green onions, or they just want to include some exotic choices in their meals.

Therefore, the following list of green onion substitutes should help you make a good decision while considering the alternatives. Each green onion substitute features a unique taste and may inspire you to make your own original recipes which include them.


Chives are best used for garnishes and raw dishes as they feature a distinct taste that is not too sharp but leaves a unique and pleasant feeling on your taste buds. The chives are not as crunchy as green onions, but among all of the green onion substitutes, they taste the most similar to green onions.


Leeks feature a look that is quite similar to green onions but with the much wider stalks that are more leaf-like. The leeks feature a strong taste, similar to fully-grown onions, so make sure that you don’t overuse them in the recipe. This green onion substitute is recommended to be used only in a cooked dish where the flavors mellow differently.


Ramps are foraged in the spring and present a sort of wild leeks which grow throughout Europe, Asia, Canada, and the Eastern United States. The ramps have an interesting flavor which is somewhere in between the onion and garlic flavors. The ramps are not appropriate as a garnish, so use them in a cooked recipe or sauce.


This is the sweetest green onion substitute as it features a mild and sweet flavor which adds up to the overall deliciousness of your dish. The shallots should be used in small amounts and only as a substitution in cooked dishes.


White or yellow onions are listed among the green onion substitutes as they can add up to the flavor balance if finely minced and used with discretion. Also, you can use red onions as they are sweeter and mellower. The red onions are best used for preparing a garnish on tacos or in salsa.

Tips on how to use the green onion substitutes in recipes

All of the mentioned substitutes have specific recipes in which their full flavor potential can be emphasized. We will show you a few ways to prepare each green onion substitute and enjoy its full taste.

  • The chives are best prepared if snipped with scissors instead of chopping them. Also, it’s important that you don’t subject them to much cooking as they will lose their delicate taste. Purple blue chive flowers can also be eaten and used as a garnish.

    One of the recipes which may introduce you the best to the taste of the chives is mushroom and asparagus risotto recipe.

  • The leeks are easy to prepare as you only have to trim off the roots and the coarse dark green part of the tops, then cut the leeks in lengthways, wash them under a running tap and drain thoroughly afterward.

    Remember not to throw away the roots and dark green parts of the tops. If you want to feel the full taste of the leeks, check the creamy one-pot spaghetti with leeks recipe.

  • One of the best ways to use the ramps in the recipe is to make a pizza with ramps, morels, and eggs. Also, if you like the taste of the ramps, you can pickle them and by doing so, preserve their taste.

    The garlic-like flavor of the ramps is well-combined with vinegar as the vinegar enhances the taste of the ramps, making them taste sharper. The ramps are also great when grilled in combination with white cheddar grits. This recipe brings the bright, onion-like ramps and introduces the springtime.

  • As mentioned, the shallots have a milder, sweeter flavor than onions. The shallots are very versatile as they can be used in everything from pies and tarts to pickles, sauces, etc.

    If you want to taste the shallots at their finest, then you should check the shallot and red wine sauce which presents a magical flavor addition to rib-eye steaks. This recipe allows for the shallots to express their sweetness to the maximum and perfectly merge with the rest of the ingredients to form one of the best steak sauces out there.

  • The white onions are known to have a very strong flavor, but in certain recipes, if prepared properly, they can be a slight, but noticeable addition to the overall flavor of the meal. One of the best ways to see how the white onions can make a discrete addition to the taste is to prepare them in a quick veggie risotto recipe.

    The red onions feature a specific preparation method which allows for their full taste. If you want to prepare the best red onions, you should slice them as thin as possible by using a mandolin. Then, stuff the onions in the jar and combine them with apple cider vinegar, salt, sugar, and warm water.

What is the Right Substitute for Velveeta Cheese?

It takes a delicious meal to mark an occasion and the right ingredients to make it special. The recipe has to cater to all tastes for everyone to enjoy the meal in your home.

However, a well-planned cooking adventure can be ruined if the Velveeta cheese is not included. This can cause unnecessary stress for yourself because it would be difficult to accomplish your goals.

The big challenge comes in to find the right substitute for Velveeta cheese. This cheese is versatile and tasty, but there are very few substitutes for it. It can be confusing not to find one in your local supermarket, which is why you must read this article to help you make the process of finding the right alternative a little easier.

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>>> Read More: Best Cheese Making Kit

What is Velveeta cheese?

Are you tired of the same old cheese variety? The Velveeta cheese is perfect for all occasions. This cheese is loved by most people because it melts nicely, unlike most of the other cheeses which normally break apart.

Velveeta might have a lot of real cheese elements, but it’s not real cheese. Velveeta cheese is an unmatched pasteurized processed cheese which has taken its rightful place in most people's hearts.

Velveeta comes in a variety of products. So, don’t be surprised to see other products which have Velveeta in it such as shells and cheese, Mexican Velveeta, bacon-flavored shells, and Velveeta cheese slices.

How to use Velveeta cheese?

Velveeta cheese was invented in the 20th century by combining the leftover cheese pieces with whey. The cheese was marketed not as an individual product but as a sauce or dip ingredient because it melts better than the other cheeses.

Now you are wondering how it is used? The answer is simple and it might surprise you. This cheese is used in several foods including the ones listed below.

Cheesy scalloped potatoes

This meal has been a favorite one on many dinner tables. It features sliced potatoes, dusted with flour, salt, and pepper. Dried minced onion and thinly sliced Velveeta is also added. To complete the preparation, you can pour some milk around the edges of the meal and cover it with foil. Bake it until potatoes are soft. Lastly, remove the foil and continue baking until you see the top turning into spots of gold and dark brown.


Nachos are kid-friendly and they can be made with Velveeta. You only need to add avocado, sour cream, cilantro, and Velveeta.

Breakfast burritos

If you are having a picnic, you can make cold baked beans and Velveeta cheese sandwiches. Another popular dish widely loved, and for you to have some memorable moments around a campfire is by having the Velveeta mac ‘n’ cheese.

Queso Fundido

You can use Velveeta to make a queso fundido using a variety of cheeses. Velveeta has an easy melting quality which is not found in the other cheeses. So, you can’t get several types of cheeses that have different melting points to attain a silky texture.

Buffalo chicken party dip

This is an ideal dish for the parties and you can use Velveeta and Rotel chiles to make a delicious meal such as a queso base.

Substitute for Velveeta cheese

There are many homemade alternatives of the Velveeta cheese, which are easy to make and they have real cheese without the undesired preservatives. The ingredients include mild cheddar cheese, water, milk, gelatin, and cream cheese. Depending on how you want the finished substitute to look like, you can use either white or orange cheese.

With Velveeta cheese, you’re assured of having tastier food, but if it’s not available, you can use these substitutes to have an excellent alternative. They are just as exciting as the Velveeta, and they would give your cheese the same processed texture.

Cheez Whiz is a popular substitute for Velveeta cheese. It’s a soft mixture that is warmed and placed in hot macaroni, creamy soups, or vegetables. This processed cheese melts nicely and is a close substitute for Velveeta cheese. It’s perfect for sandwiches, dips, and snacks.

If you are keen on making your own substitute for Velveeta that melts readily, use sodium citrate. You can add it to water or milk and make a solution. Then melt the cheese into the solution. The sodium citrate will ensure the emulsion is intact in the same way sodium alginate does it in Velveeta.

Another great alternative would be to use gelatin to make the sheets and milk. You can heat the liquid which is either milk or water with sodium citrate to dissolve it. Then blend in grated cheese ensuring it melts. With a lot of whisking, you can get a perfect substitute for Velveeta cheese.

However, you can avoid making your own substitute for Velveeta cheese by using other types of processed cheeses. A great option includes extra sharp cheddar and Swiss sharp cheddar. Or else use different varieties of young and soft cheeses such as Gouda. This melts well and you don’t need to add any other ingredient.

Homemade Cheez-Whiz

If you can’t find Cheez-Whiz anywhere in the supermarkets to use it as a substitute for Velveeta cheese, there is no need to worry because you can also make it at home. The steps below will show you how to make this great substitute for Velveeta.

  • Pour the evaporated milk into a saucepan and simmer it.

  • Use a blender to mix the cheese, cream cheese, dry mustard, and salt. Pour the simmering evaporated milk and process it until it’s smooth. It can then be poured into a jar and use it as quickly as possible.

  • To get a thinner mixture, top up with some more hot milk or cream.

  • It can be stored in the refrigerator but use it within a week.

Tips for making Cheez-Whiz

  • When the shredded cheese is opened, keep it close-by so that you can add it instantly. This is because the mixture doesn’t take long to thicken.

  • If you are using a blender that is not suitable for making thick mixtures, use a food processor instead.

Best Cheese Making Kit: Homesteaders Supply, Rickis Basic

Cheese has always held a special place in people’s history, and it’s not a coincidence that it’s one of life’s great luxuries. So many varieties and all with their own taste, it’s just mind-blowing. The delight is great when the cheese is made perfectly to suit your taste.

The comfort of home is the perfect setting to sit down to a family meal which has a homemade blend of cheese flavors. If you are passionate about cooking, it’s time to indulge, guilt-free in making your own cheese, which is easier than you might have imagined.

Making your own cheese should not be a chore when you are using the best cheese making kit. When you have got all the tools set on the scene, all you need is just to go ahead and make that favorite homemade cheese to satiate your taste buds. Let’s explore the best cheese making kits to have an informed decision before purchasing them online.

Getting to know your cheese making kit

A winning combination of design and simplicity should put the best cheese making kit on the global market. The cheese making kits evolution has been a natural progression which has resulted in modern design with high-quality tools.

By making your own homemade cheese, you are getting a better taste that suits you. Your cheese making kit should have everything you might need for making any particular type of cheese. Besides, it also needs to have all the necessary equipment. The best kit has everything in it to start and complete the process of cheese-making.

Why you want the best cheese making kit?​

The kits are affordable and will provide you with excellent service for many years to come. Any cheese connoisseur or a beginner who just wants to have some experience making homemade cheese, there is a large number of cheese making kits that you can choose from.​

There are many highly reputed brands on the market. However, these kits come with unique accessories like cheesecloth, gloves, and ingredients. This might look like a difficult choice but these kitchen inventories will help you select the right cheese making kit.

A big pot​

A high-quality pot such as one with stainless steel or a heavy enamel is needed. This has a heavy bottom which helps in dispersing heat evenly without scorching the milk. It allows a steady and slow rise in temperature. The bottom-line is to have a pot that is non-reactive to bacteria or inorganic chemicals like aluminum or copper. You should look for pots that have a glass lid for easy peeking inside the pot.

Since there are a variety of kits from manufacturers, some of them don’t include the pots in their packages. This means you have to buy them separately from any local supermarket.

Measuring cups​

Cheese making kits come with different accessories and having an assortment of measuring cups and spoons will make the process easier. These items will help you to have accurate measurements for a perfect cheese that suits your taste.

A dairy thermometer​

A dairy thermometer has a distinct design as it has a small range that reaches 220 degrees. Cheese making involves cooking and cooling, so a smaller range ensures that there is no room for error. It gives accurate readings which are crucial when you are handling cultures that are heat-sensitive. The texture and taste of your cheese can be affected with a sudden slight change in temperature.

You should ensure that the thermometer you have is made of good quality. Analog thermometers are not a good idea in cheese making as they don’t give accurate readings. The better quality the item, the tastier the cheese will be.

A perforated ladle​

The size and design of the perforated ladle will determine the quality of your cheese. This tool can be used for scooping curds from whey. The cheese making process involves a lot of stirring, so you need it.

Just like the pots used to make the cheese, a perforated ladle needs to be of high quality as well. You should get a spoon which is not reactive, so stainless steel is the best option. Once the spoon becomes reactive with the acidifiers such as bacteria, the cheese making process will be ruined.


Now that you have separated curds from whey, you will need cheesecloth to drain the whey from the curds. The cheesecloth should do this faster and evenly. However, avoid the cheesecloth that is too thin and open as this will let the solid curd slip through. Cheesecloth is reusable and can be washed by hand or machine.

Even better, you can use a butter muslin which has a better performance than the ordinary cheesecloth. Both items can be used interchangeably, but they have particular uses. Butter muslin is more suited to soft cheeses. If the cheese making kit doesn’t have either cheesecloth or a butter muslin, you can get one from a supermarket. However, add some pieces at various angles to reduce curd loss.

Cheese press​

This tool is designed to press on fresh curds to get the milk out and let the curds bond to form cheese. If you decide to make a hard cheese, you will need a cheese press.

They are extremely simple to use while having a superb homemade cheese. There is no doubt that you will need a cheese press if you are making hard cheese.

A colander​

If you are homemaking cheese, you will need to get a colander. It’s not used a lot during the process but it will make your life a lot easier. You can pour the curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander, and hang the cheesecloth.

However, if you are pressing the curds, then the best option is using the cheesecloth or butter muslin. The colander can still be used before pressing to drain the excess whey from the curds.

The best cheese making kits in the world today​

While making cheese, you have to consider the type and quality of the cheese you want to have. There are several tools in the kit that are needed to make the process easier and successful. It becomes clear why most knowledgeable people find pleasure in using the best cheese making kits.

Most of cheese making kits perform the same functions, making it difficult to choose the perfect one for your requirements. Make sure that you select the best cheese making kit on this list for you to have a delicious homemade cheese.​

Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheese Making Kit

This is a well-designed kit which comes with everything except milk. The Mozzarella and Ricotta Cheese Making Kit features 8-oz citric acid, cheese salt, 10 vegetable rennet tablets, a thermometer, a yard butter muslin, and a recipe booklet. All these are just enough to make your favorite cheese at home.

The kit can be easily used to make your favorite cheese in about 30 minutes. It has enough ingredients and the booklet gives you instructions on how to make Mozzarella and Ricotta cheese. If you want to make enough cheese, this is the right kit for you as it can make about 30 pounds of cheese.​


  • It’s a great kit to make cheese.
  • It comes with plenty of ingredients to make many batches.
  • It’s easy to make Mozzarella and Ricotta cheese using the kit.
  • You can make a huge 30 batches with it.


  • Lack of clear instructions.
  • It doesn’t include gloves and pots

Rickis Basic Cheese Making Kit

There is sheer diversity in the variety of cheeses you can make with Rickis Basic Cheese Making Kit. You can make 10-pound batches of different cheeses including Farmhouse Cheddar, Feta, Gouda, and Monterey Jack.

This kit has a generous offer of accessories included such as a Basket Mold, Rennet tables, Mesophilic culture, and Thermophilic culture. The two types of culture are a huge benefit as it means a high quality of cheese. What’s more, it has a thermometer, an once of Calcium Chloride, a cheesecloth, and instructions. All these can help you make cheese.​


  • It has enough ingredients and tools to make cheese.
  • It comes with simple instructions.
  • It’s easy and fun to use the kit.
  • Cheap kit and comes with basic accessories.​


  • Cheese mold is small.
  • It doesn’t come with clear instructions.
  • It doesn’t have all the items to use in cheese making.​

Hard Cheese Making Kit

This cheese making kit has an abundance of accessories including a cheese press which is made up of Maple hardwood. It also comes with two food safe PVC hoops, Mesophilic and Thermophilic cultures.

The Hard Cheese Making Kit also features the Calcium Chloride which is perfect for use with pasteurized milk. In addition, it comes with other quality extras like a 90 count two yards of cheesecloth, a thermometer, and instructions. This means getting this kit will make homemade cheese making an unforgettable experience.​


  • It’s a high-quality kit.
  • It comes with plenty of accessories.
  • It’s durable as it’s made from hardwood.
  • Much better value for money and It’s easy to use.​


  • The cheese press needs the patience to get familiar with it.​

Homesteaders Supply Best Basic Cheese Making Kit

Homesteader's Supply Best Basic Cheese Making Kit found sure footing here as it provides all that you need to make a piece of delicious cheese. It comes with about a gallon of milk, Mesophilic and Thermophilic cultures, rennet, cheesecloth, a thermometer, a press, and instructions.

The cultures are enough for making almost 24 pounds of cheese. This kit is ideal if you’re learning how to make cheese and even professionals can also use it. It will make a lovely one pound wheel at a time.​


  • It’s a great basic kit.
  • It has easy and straight-forward instructions.
  • It comes with quality ingredients.
  • It performs well according to its functions.​


  • It’s quite pricey for a basic kit.
  • It comes with an analog thermometer which is hard to get accurate readings.​

Standing Stone Farms Basic Beginner Cheese Making Kit

The Standing Stone Farms Basic Beginner Cheese Making Kit blows most of the kits out of the water. It has enough ingredients to make an awesome cheese such as Mozzarella, Goat Cheese, Queso Fresco, and Ricotta. It features cheese salt, citric acid, drain cloth, and disposable gloves. Making cheese means you have to withstand the heat on your hands, so the gloves come in handy.

The kit has a solid reputation for making cheese in just 20 minutes. However, it doesn’t come with milk, so you have to use your own milk. The ingredients can handle 25 gallons of either raw or pasteurized milk. Plus, there is an instruction book that has detailed recipes, and a soft curd waste bag for disposal. This is without a doubt a great option if you intend to purchase a cheese making kit.​


  • It’s a great beginner’s kit with clear instructions.
  • It comes in lovely packaging
  • Comes with gloves.
  • It has a variety of recipes providing great options.​


  • It’s not suitable for advanced cheese making.
  • It’s quite expensive.​

So, the detailed review of the best cheese making kits must have kept you busy and you must have zeroed in some of the best options from the list. After all, the very idea of preparing cheese is so tempting.

It’s evident that all the kits scored high points in most of the fields and they are all high-quality products. However, there can only be one kit that comes on top, and this one was Standing Stone Farms Basic Beginner Cheese Making Kit. Being a kit that provided most of the basic ingredients and extra tools, this cheese making kit prevailed over the other kits by a minor margin.

The disposable gloves, drain cloth, enough ingredients for 25 gallons of milk, along with the different types of cheeses you can make give it the edge over the other kits.

Can You Freeze Mascarpone?

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Whether preparing a meal for yourself, or a lavish dinner for your family, mascarpone cheese makes the occasion special if you use it as an ingredient. In such situations, you might end up with some leftovers of the cheese from the recipe.

Mascarpone cheese is relatively easier to make than the other cheeses, but it requires a lot of time. For that reason, most people think they would rather make a large batch and freeze it for a couple of days.

The problem is can you freeze mascarpone cheese that can be used later during the year? Some people insist that freezing it could ruin the cheese. This can take a big toll on those who love the soft cheese as to what to do with it. Keep reading to find out the truth on whether freezing mascarpone cheese is the only option for you or not.

Table of Contents

What is mascarpone cheese?

Mascarpone cheese has its origins from Northern Italy. There are a lot of theories about how the name came into existence, but one thing remains clear, this cheese was first made during the Renaissance period.

You can make mascarpone cheese from only two ingredients which are whole cream and citric or even tartaric acid. Since it’s quite simple to make, most people prefer making it at home, and it can be stored in an open container for a few days.

A well-made Mascarpone cheese should be smooth without lumps. It has a milky, sweet, and tanginess flavor. Its buttery flavor comes from the high content of butter. However, people who have tried to make this cheese admit that it tends to go bad quickly.

This cheese doesn’t have rennet, so it’s loved by most vegetarians. While rennet is commonly used to cuddle different varieties of cheeses, Mascarpone cheese uses an acid which you can get from either the fruits such as a lemon juice or you can use tartaric acid.

You can use mascarpone cheese in most of the desserts including tiramisu. It is a suitable replacement of cream cheese for those looking for a lighter and fluffier result.

Cooking with Mascarpone cheese

This is versatile cheese which was developed over many years ago to be used as an ingredient in the Italian dessert called tiramisu. No caterer, chef, housewife, or restaurant should be without it. It’s one of the most loved cheese you can ever find.

Apart from tiramisu, you can use mascarpone cheese on sweet and savory meals, leaving you to enjoy the cheese on all your favorite dishes. With its creamy element, it’s a suitable addition to pasta. You should use it alone or together with a sauce.

Now, a meal you can be proud of is only moments away when you use mascarpone cheese. If you want, you can also use the cheese as a replacement of cream in a lot of pasta dishes.

With mascarpone cheese, you can’t go wrong as you can make your dishes such as lasagna, baked rigatoni, and macaroni rich and creamy. If you enjoy thick soup, you can use this cheese to have a creamy dip.

Leaving space for dessert becomes mandatory when you consider this delicious cheese. One of the perfect ways to enjoy eating the cheese as a sweet dessert is by decorating on top of it with cocoa powder and chocolate shavings.

Can you freeze mascarpone?

Mascarpone cheese is so appetizing and full of flavor that most people wouldn’t stomach seeing it going to waste. While the cheese is not considered as the best item for freezing, there is a way you can preserve it.

So, everything boils down to can you freeze mascarpone that has been leftover? If you can’t resist a delicious meal with this cheese, freeze it. Since this is a soft cheese, the liquid and the solids separate from each other. However, you can whip the frozen mascarpone to restore its texture.

There are few kinds of soft cheese that you can successfully store in a freezer and mascarpone is one of them. Still, you will need to take some precautions when freezing it such as sealing the cheese in an airtight container.

Freezing mascarpone cheese

The mascarpone cheese which is open can be sealed tightly in its original container. Nevertheless, that’s not all as you need to pack it inside a plastic freezer bag to reduce the risks of it getting the freezer burn.

By now, it shouldn’t bother your mind to the question can you freeze mascarpone cheese which has been leftover? But, you need to consider the following steps.

  • If the mascarpone cheese is not open, leave it in its original package. However, if they are the leftovers that you are freezing, place the cheese into the freezer bag.

  • Squeeze out the air inside the plastic freezer bag before sealing it tightly. The air is the culprit for causing freezer burn.

  • Label the freezer bag with the date and name of the contents. The expiration date should also be indicated which is about three months after storing it in the freezer.

  • If you want to remove the mascarpone cheese, let it thaw in the refrigerator. After six to eight hours before you can take it out.

  • Pour it into a mixing bowl while it’s still cold. You can whip the cheese with the electric mixer to recreate its original structure. The whipping process should be done for one or two minutes until it appears thick and creamy once again.

Best practices for mascarpone cheese

The idea is to use mascarpone cheese which is almost in a perfect condition. Before using it, remove the cheese at least 8-12 hours earlier. Once it has thawed thoroughly, use a spoon to put it in a bowl.

At this point, the cheese should have separated and some grainy texture might be present. So, use a whisk to whip it until it separates and gets back to its original texture which is light and fluffy. Now, you are ready to use the mascarpone cheese as a recipe.