4 Tips For Pairing Chocolate With Wine

Posted by on Mar 31, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Pairing chocolate with wine is such a nice delicacy to indulge in after dinner. Wine and chocolate especially make a great gift for a special occasion. However, it only works great if you pair it correctly. Here are four tips to help you pair the right chocolate with the right wine: 1. Choose a Slightly Sweet Wine: To keep this as simple as possible, you will want to choose a wine that is only slightly sweet compared to the chocolate. This way, none of the flavors are too overpowering. When the chocolate is sweeter, it makes the wine more enjoyable to drink after each bite of the sweet chocolate. If the chocolate is not sweeter, then the wine might be indulged in too heavily compared to the chocolate when it should be the opposite.  2. Keep Richness the Same: If you are choosing a light wine, then you want to choose a light chocolate, such as milk chocolate. If you are choosing a heavy wine, such as a bold red wine, then you want to choose a heavier chocolate, such as rich, dark chocolate. Otherwise, one flavor is going to be much too heavy compared to the other.  3. Go to Tastings: There are plenty of wineries that provide wine tastings with chocolate. This way, you can see for yourself the importance of each wine and chocolate texture to ensure that they are perfect matches for one another. You can even sign up for online sites that sell wine to send you small samples of chocolate to go with wine you are ordering. This way, you know what chocolate to pick up in the full amount the next time you go to buy the same flavor wine. 4. Go Healthy for a Regular Habit: If you are going to make chocolate and wine a regular dessert of yours, the best thing to do is to go “healthy.” Dark chocolates and red wines are definitely the healthiest options since they are considered to be heart healthy foods. And how convenient is it that red wine and dark chocolate make the perfect pairing? This is also a great gift option for the health nut in your life.  When you consider these four tips, you can be sure that you more successfully pair chocolate with wine. This way, you can impress those you are gifting or hosting in your home with your ability to perfectly match these two delicacies.  For more ideas and options for buying chocolate and wine, contact wine companies, like JJ Buckley Fine...

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Menu Ideas for a Middle Eastern Themed Vegetarian Luncheon

Posted by on Mar 7, 2017 in Uncategorized |

If you are planning a luncheon, and want to serve a vegetarian friendly menu, then a great choice of food would be Middle Eastern cuisine. There are lots of delicious dishes that don’t require any animal ingredients. Some of them are even vegan, which is great if you have guests who are not just abstaining from animal flesh, but also dairy. Most of these dishes can be picked up at your local grocery, which is great if you are not the type who loves to cook. Couscous This is a very popular dish all over the Middle East, and is even found across north Africa. It’s tiny semolina balls that are similar to rice. When you go to the market, you can find it on the shelves in packages, but the deli section will also have it already cooked and prepared. The prepared couscous will often times have spices, and vegetables and other ingredients (slivered almonds, pistachios, dried fruit). This dish is great as a main course. Tabbouleh This is a popular salad in countries such as Israel and Lebanon. The salad is made with tomatoes, mint, parsley and bulgur. The salad is dressed with a simple vinaigrette made of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Different countries have slightly different recipes, so one grocer might make it slightly different than another. For example, in Lebanon, there is much more “green” in the tabbouleh, with quite a lot of parsley. In Israel, the salad has less “green”, and sometimes the Israel recipes might even call for couscous instead of bulgur. Hummus Hummus is a classic at parties, and it is definitely something you want if you’re throwing a Middle Eastern style luncheon. You can get this premade in almost any store. It’s a super healthy dip made with chickpeas, tahani, olive oil, and salt. There are even versions that use sun dried tomatoes. Israeli Salad This is another salad that is popular, particularly in Israel. Unlike tabbouleh, this salad has no bulgur (or couscous). It is a raw salad made up of tomatoes and cucumbers (with some onions). The key feature of the salad is that everything is diced super small. Also, unlike tabbouleh, which has a oil based dressing, a classical Israel salad will have yogurt as a salad dressing. If you don’t see this one for sale in the deli section, then it’s really easy to make yourself as long as you don’t mind spending the time dicing up all of the vegetables. Middle Eastern Style Flatbread: Pita and Taboon Of course you are going to want to have some bread. In the Middle East, the most popular types of bread are flatbreads. You should definitely have...

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5 Features to Look for When Purchasing a Commercial Pizza Oven

Posted by on Dec 5, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Whether you’re planning to open a full New York style pizzeria or just want to expand your current menu with a few new dishes, you need a reliable commercial pizza oven that can produce enough pies per hour to meet demand. Yet there are many more features and abilities to consider beyond just the cost and speed of a pizza oven. Look for these five features to get the very best results every time you fire up the oven. Gas Heating Want to produce crispy crusts and well-melted tops without spending a fortune on fuel? Look for a gas powered model since natural gas or propane creates a dryer heat that is perfect for baking a relatively moist dish like pizza. Gas ovens offer the most even cooking experience as well, preventing under cooked centers or overly browned crusts. Of course, you’ll need to be able to get gas hooked up at your restaurant before investing in this kind of equipment. Cooking Decks Many people opening their first pizzerias are seduced by the high output of a conveyor pizza oven. These models include a high heat conveyor belt that can cook a pizza in just a few minutes and requires little to no attention during the process. However, these ovens simply can’t produce the same quality of baking results because the pizza is constantly moving instead of roasting evenly in a small space. Unless you’re absolutely sure you need the high output of a conveyor oven, look for a model that uses cooking decks instead. These units cost about the same as a conveyor oven, produce almost as many pizzas per hour, and cook the pies much more evenly and with a crisper crust. Viewing Windows Trying to create an amazing atmosphere to justify a higher menu price than your competitors charge? Nothing sets the mood in a pizzeria, or any restaurant for that matter, like a view into the oven as it does its magic. Regardless of the cooking style or fuel type you choose, you can find practically any type of pizza oven equipped with a high heat glass pane to let diners peek in as their dinner cooks. Look for the term display oven or centerpiece oven when shopping. You’ll spend a little more on models with windows, but you won’t waste fuel as you would with a very open design brick oven that also allows for viewing. Brick Interiors Wood-fired ovens are often out of the budget for both new pizza restaurants and expanding establishments, but you can still get similar baking results by looking for a gas fired model lined with genuine brick. A brick lined model is usually a little cheaper than a...

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Gourmet Chocolate Making: Tips To Keep Melted Chocolate From Burning

Posted by on Mar 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are a cook or baker who likes to experiment in the kitchen, then you probably work with chocolate on occasion.  Chocolate can easily be added to cookies, breads, and puddings.  However, chocolate is a little bit more difficult to work with alone if you decide to make gourmet chocolates.  Burning can easily occur and ruin your concoctions.  If you want to minimize chocolate burning issues, then follow the tips below. Do Not Add Water Chocolate can be melted both on the stove and in the microwave, and either of these options can work depending on your preference.  It is wise to place the chocolate in a glass bowl so it does not have the opportunity to stick to any cooked-on debris or Teflon coatings that commonly cover metal pans.  You also need to stir the chocolate thoroughly while it melts to make sure that it does not heat up too much.  All of these things are important to keep your chocolate from burning, and so is keeping water away from your chocolate pieces. When chocolate melts, water cannot be added or the mixture will clump up and become grainy.  This happens because chocolate is considered a dispersion mixture where chocolate cocoa solids are emulsified in a variety of fat particles.  This helps to give the chocolate its smooth texture.  Milk and sugar are contained in the mix as well.  When you add water to the melting chocolate, the sugar is attracted to the fluid and it pulls away from the dispersion.  Clumps then form and the chocolate becomes difficult to stir and it will likely burn.   Dry All Utensils One of the best ways to make sure that water stays out of your melting chocolate is to dry all spatulas, bowls, measuring cups, and pans before you use them.  Also, if you decide to use a double boiler or bowl in a pot of water to melt your chocolate, keep the water from boiling.  Condensation as well as water vapor can easily mix with your chocolate and cause a problem. If water does get into your chocolate or if it becomes too thick to stir, then consider adding coconut oil to your pot.  One or two teaspoons is enough to thin out your chocolate. Do Not Rush The Process If you want to get cooking on your gourmet chocolates, then you may be tempted to turn your stove to high heat.  Unfortunately, chocolate will burn very quickly once it starts to melt, and high heats will cause your chocolate to melt in only a few seconds.  Chocolate starts to soften when it becomes exposed to temperatures around 86 degrees Fahrenheit and it melts at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  These temperatures are just above body...

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3 Reasons Wine Making Can Be A Fulfilling Hobby

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are looking for a fun and rewarding hobby to do at home, have you considered wine making? Wine making is the perfect hobby for anyone that enjoys drinking wine, but it is also a great hobby for a person that is looking for something productive and enjoyable to do at home. Here are three ways this hobby could bring more satisfaction and fulfillment to your life. It Offers a Sense of Accomplishment There are thousands of different hobbies people can have, but choosing one that produces a useful product is always a great type of hobby to have. Making wine takes time, but it is not a time-consuming hobby. It doesn’t take a lot of time to mix the ingredients together, but you do have to wait for a few months for the wine to go through the entire fermentation process. During this long waiting time, you could begin creating the labels for your new wine. You could come up with a name for your new “winery,” and you could place the name on your labels. You could also think of a good title to give to your wine, and you could design the labels as desired. When the wine is finally ready to be bottled, you will feel a sense of accomplishment because you made something. While this can be a good feeling, there are other benefits you will also receive from this hobby. You Can Host Events Once you bottle the wine and taste it, you may want to start planning some events that will allow you to share the wine with others. One great idea for this is to plan a wine and cheese party at your house. Wine is the perfect drink to have with cheese, but it also goes great with chocolate, and having an event like this is the perfect way to get your girlfriends together for a night out. Another benefit of making your own wine is that you could bring it along to parties you are invited to. Imagine what people would say if you show up with homemade wine. They would probably be impressed with this, and they would all want to try the wine you made. If you carry bottles of wine to parties, you may want to invest in some wine bags from sites like http://www.bellavitabags.com/. There are many types available, including insulated bags. An insulated bag is a great idea if you have to travel far and want to keep a bottle of wine chilled while you are driving to the party. You Have the Perfect Gift The third benefit of making your own wine is that it offers the perfect gift to give to...

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