Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Small Bits & Favorites

Last week I had a visit from the Health Department, as I normally do every 2 months(or at least that seems to be the time pattern for my inspections). As you would have guessed from the picture I made a 95. The 5 points were one critical violation. That morning one of my reach in refrigerators was having trouble keeping milk at the proper temperature instead it was 44-46 Fahrenheit. Unfortunately whoever installed the thermostat prior to our purchase put it at the coldest part of the refrigerator, not the warmest, which is standard practice. Usually hot air rises so most probes are mounted/located at the top, near the front, by where the door opens. Ours was not. I received an extra form for the violation which gave me ten days to fix the problem and then they come back to sign off. Fortunately I am on good terms with the current and past inspectors. We had the refrigerator serviced (thermostat going bad) and I emailed the inspector they could come back
early and check if it was more convenient for them. They came the next day and signed off on it and thanked me for letting them know it was ready. We got it fixed in a day, then watched to make sure it "regulated" back to normal so the whole process was about 3 days.

I have ranged between 99 and 95 the past two years since opening this kitchen. The 100 seems to be elusive. I expect it though, its the sign of perfection. And who really has perfection? Its rhetorical, don't answer that. But one day...

WOW! Children's cereals, sugar by the pound! (AND ADULTS) ...I would encourage you to read this article. It will give you graphs/charts that give you the good with the bad. But in paraphrase most cereals (and granola) are over 34% of the daily allowance of sugar. How does that compare? WE, AND/OR OUR KIDS, COULD EAT ICE CREAM FOR BREAKFAST AND ONLY HIT 15%!!! Here is a link to a downloadable 27 page PDF. Do you really want to read 27 pages? Maybe not, but just by skimming the information was fascinating and the charts were great! We don't let our children eat "cereal" and most granola they eat is made at home, in our kitchen.

Get yo' summer sip on with a mason jar without a critter gettin' in it! I wanted to throw this one out there because I thought it was cool! Maybe its expensive for some straw and lids you may be able to creat yourself by cutting round discs out of flat plastic and punching a hole in it! Then go to your local Starbucks or McD's and get yourself a hand full of those big straws...its probably already a DIY project on Pinterest by somebody!

Two things that have been on my mind after reading reviews and articles from some of my "go-to" places for culinary news and science:

At Home Sous Vide Machine by Sansaire.com
Priced at $199, so yes, its still a wish list item! LOL (I got a family with two growing boys to feed and clothe, poppin' off more than $20 dollars for a kitchen tool that I can play with is a stretch at my house...but I will take donations if your offering and feeling sympathetic towards my plea!) What is Sous Vide you say? Taken from Wikipedia.com:
Sous-vide (/sˈvd/; French for "under vacuum")[1] is a method of cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags in a water bath or in a temperature-controlled steam environment for longer than normal cooking times—72 hours in some cases—at an accurately regulated temperature much lower than normally used for cooking, typically around 55 °C (131 °F) to 60 °C (140 °F) for meats and higher for vegetables. The intention is to cook the item evenly, ensuring that the inside is properly cooked without overcooking the outside, and retain moisture.
The Baking Steel & Griddle 2.0! Now this one is not actually on the market yet, it comes out in June.

Yep, this baby will probably run a hundred plus based off of looking at the other prices...click the picture for a link to the webpage. Used in place of a pizza stone, or flip it over to use it like a griddle that has a grease channel. Its heavy, and it retains heat. Unlike pizza stones I doubt it will ever crack or break on you!

[all pictures used from its original website are linked TO THAT WEBSITE. If I am in violation from using them please let me know and I will remove them.]