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Cayenne and Salted-Chocolate Popcorn

By | October 25, 2016

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It’s been a while since I last blogged, so I’ll reintroduce you to David, who turned two last week. He likes to sneak into the kitchen and crack eggs, is drawn to the knife drawer and plays with spatulas. He also loves dinosaurs and Elmo, and has become an expert in self-defense, due to unwanted hugging.

David is playing with popcorn because last week some very nice people from The James, a swanky hotel in Chicago, visited my work to promote their property and they brought the best popcorn I have ever eaten. I’m not normally a fan of messing with things that aren’t broken but in this case I’ve decided that someone at The James is a genius. The popcorn was spicy, salty, sweet and crunchy all at the same time AND there were chunks of chocolate at the bottom of my tin.

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I don’t know exactly how they make their super-fancy popcorn at the James, but this is how I made it at home.

Cayenne and Salted Chocolate Popcorn

2 Cups unpopped popcorn

1 cup chocolate (I used chocolate chips)

1 cup white chocolate chips

1/3 cup salt

2 teaspoons cayenne peppper (more or less to taste)

Pop the corn and spread it in a thin layer on cookie sheets. Melt the chocolate and use a fork to drizzle (or in my case splatter) the chocolate across the popcorn.  Finely chop the white chocolate chips and sprinkle the chocolate on top of the popcorn. Let the popcorn sit on the cookie sheets until the chocolate hardens, but shake the popcorn around every once in a while to separate the chocolate lumps. Once the chocolate has hardened, mix the salt and cayenne and sprinkle over the popcorn and chocolate. It’s surprisingly delicious.

If you’re in Chicago and stay at The James you can have a bottomless bowl of popcorn, but I think an airline ticket and a hotel room is too much to pay for a bowl of popcorn.

Kitchen knife sets I have fallen in love with!

By | July 10, 2017

I love cooking. My kitchen is my most favorite spot whenever I am home. Due to my love and passion in cooking, I clearly understand that knives are one of the most important tools in any kitchen. I believe you can never do great cooking without a set of super-quality kitchen knives.

I have a strong passion for cooking. Believe me when I say, I have never been a good cook. My mother taught me everything she knew about the art. I learnt everything from how to pick a kitchen knife set to how to fry the perfect egg. Not only did she teach me the skills of the craft, she taught me that patience was a virtue and you must have to become a true home chef.

best knife set

My Mom The Splendid Chef

She taught me how to bake banana bread from scratch . By the time I was 12, I could chop and slice like any expert. To prepare any almost any recipe all you need is a good quality chef knives set. I read a lot of user experience before getting one for my cooking task.

The Importance Of A Good Knife Set

With a good set of knives, a chef has no limitations. Very few at least. For me, it is like if you were to set brushes and paint in front on an artist. I consider myself an artist. Just of a different sort. However, each time I have a knife in my hand, my plate is my canvas.

How My Culinary Journey Began

My mom bought me my first set of kitchen knives and cookware. I still use them. I think they are both not going anywhere anytime soon. The best part of my chef knife set is how sharp it is. Dull blade are difficult to cut with. There is such beauty in the wood grain handle. I adore my knives, and there a few models that I have in mind for my next purchase, just to add more of my knife collection!

Baking Takes Some Skill, But It IS WORTH IT

I think I enjoy baking the most. There is so much anticipation in waiting for the final result. I have to admit I have even cried over a cake that has dropped. A sunken in cake makes you feel so defeated. Especially, when you think you are so good at such a craft. The exciting part is when people ask me to bake birthday cakes for their children. How much more exciting can it be to form something like a car. Just by cutting cake and forming it together until out comes a shape.

Having inferior knives has been a disappointment to me in the past. This is the reason why I always go for the best. Which characteristics do I look for in my review before purchasing a set of kitchen knives? Well, I don’t mind sharing knives that have worked best for me.

The following are the best set of kitchen knives I have fallen in love with;

1. The Zwilling J.A Henckels Twin signature 19-piece Knife Set

This is undoubtedly my best set of knives. It features a whopping 19 pieces all of outstanding quality and exceptional design. I always look out for durability, comfort and sharpness when purchasing kitchen knives and this set worked best for me based on these characteristics. The set comes with a lifetime product warranty hence reducing the maintenance cost. This set is made from high carbon hence it is the most durable set I have used so far.

2. The Wusthof Gourmet 12 piece Knife Set

Based on the fact that this set is produced by a reputable company; Wusthof Gourmet, I never worry about quality. I am assured of it. All the 12 pieces included in the set take care of my chopping, slicing and dicing just perfectly. Interestingly for this set, it features a high quality sharpening steel that ensures all my 12 pieces always remain sharp and highly effective.

3. The Victorinox Swiss Classic 15-piece Knife Set

When we talk of exceptional quality and unique comfort, this set complete my top 3. All the 15 pieces are of Swiss quality and feature sharp blades that have never let me down. The stainless steel in all the pieces will ensure durability hence long-term service.

The best kitchen knives set will always ensure sharpness, durability and comfort. Always go for the best and soon, you might become a kitchen lover, just as I am. Good luck!

The Super Automatic Espresso Machine That Anyone Can Own

By | May 25, 2017

If you thought getting an espresso machine that will do everything for you from grinding, tamping, frothing, and eventually brewing at the touch of a button is expensive, I can assure you that you are absolutely wrong. As a socially constructed term, expensive is merely a word just like any other. For many years I have been in the kitchen, I have come to learn that getting the most expensive kitchen equipment does not make you a better cook, it only gives you a little sense of what they call “social class”.

Automatic Espresso Machine

This is also the case with the best automatic espresso machines. I can tell you for free that a $100 super-automatic maker can make better espresso than a $1000 one. The end product depends on the user, how good are you? What is your level of expertise? What is your kitchen personality? Therefore, which is the best cheap super-automatic espresso machine?

The Saeco Xsmall Super-Automatic Espresso Machine

Owning a super-automatic espresso machine under $450 seemed impossible until I met this iconic Saeco espresso machine. The most interesting thing is that you can place it anywhere thanks to its small footprint. Whether in my small office or in my modern home kitchen, this is a machine assures me of sweet and flavor-rich espresso whenever I go.

Big Design For An Affordably Priced Espresso Machine

Its big front dial and dual customizable shots dispenses hot water, steams and brews for me hence enabling me to make the perfect espresso I always desire.

Made of stainless steel, this is the perfect machine that will make quality coffee for the children of my children’s children thus my kitchen legacy will remain intact for a long time.

Elegant Features

This machine features an inbuilt ceramic burr grinder that saves me a great fortune since I don’t have to invest in an external one. It grinds my beans and ensures I enjoy the most delicious espresso at my own convenient. Its reliable milk frother ensures I am taken care of whenever I am in dire need of specialty drinks such as Americanos and lattes.
With this cheap but elegant super-automatic espresso machine, I always begin my day with joy, and end it with happiness.

Extra Features that Make the Best Automatic Espresso Maker

By | March 5, 2017

We all have an espresso brewing personality. I know that sounds crazy, right? However, the truth of the matter is that everyone has a different attitude towards automatic espresso machines. For some, they buy them because others have and they need to keep up with the trends hence fit in this highly competitive world. These kind of people don’t brew because they want to, they do it because they have to. On the other hand, other people like myself acquire them because making quality espresso is part of them. I love them because they make the quality I need just by a click of a button. With one, I don’t have to personally get involved in the brewing process. The machine does majority, if not all the work for me.

Super Automatic Espresso Machine 2017

However, selecting the best automatic espresso machines is not a walk in the park. For me, it is one shopping activity that requires a lot of logistical planning. Do you know the additional features that make the best automatic espresso machines? If you don’t, let me diligently inform you; A built-in coffee grinder Having freshly ground coffee has always made a big difference in the flavor of my espresso. It makes my espresso rich, aromatic, and highly nutritious therefore making my many clients want more. This has made me realize the need of having an espresso machine with an in-built coffee grinder. Not only does it bring ultimate convenience, but also saves me time and money. As an expert in this field, I believe this is one extra feature that makes an automatic espresso machine standout from its competitors.

A Cup Warmer

There is nothing as sweet as having a warm cup of espresso when you need it the most. An automatic espresso maker that comes with a cup warmer helps me keep my espresso warm all the time which is a wonderful feature that anyone looking for the best should consider.

A Water Filter

Many things affect the quality of an espresso shot from the onset. One of the major determinants of how the end product of your brewing will look, and taste like is the quality of water you use. By having an automatic espresso machine with a built-in water filter, I am assured that any extra flavor contained in the water, such as chlorine have a zero chance of affecting the quality of my remarkable brews.

Programmable Settings

I love an automatic espresso machine that I can customize default settings to my own settings that will suit my future long-term espresso needs. For this reason, I believe one that comes with programmable settings is way ahead of the competition hence it has always been my number one consideration. The best automatic espresso machine is that which can programmed for multiple individuals hence enabling every member of my family, or every member of my staff make a perfect shot in his/her own convenient manner. With many automatic espresso machines hitting the market, the above are the features that have enabled me distinguish between the good, the better, the best, and even the worst.

Be wise, never go for anything short of the best! Only the features will tell.