Cookie Baking TipsWritten by Michael Paetzold
Making better cookies is a lot easier if you understand difference between average commercial bakery and home kitchen. These tips should allow you to make better cookies at home whether it be for a special party or your annual Christmas cookie baking session.
There are 4 major things that are done commercially that are overlooked by average home baker.
Number 1 is that average home baker does not have a stone oven. Most commercial bakeries have stone shelves and that disperses heat to pan in a much more even manner. Obviously, buying a commercial oven for this alone is not feasible for most of us. (I have considered putting a commercial pizza oven in my laundry room but my better half vetoed that idea :-(. Thus I settled for going out and buying an oven stone for our regular electric oven. This serves same purpose with no loss of space in our laundry room and at a huge savings versus price of a commercial pizza oven (even used one I wanted).
The second thing is thickness and quality of cookie sheet. The average commercial facility uses a sheet pan or half sheet pan which is probably 2 to 3 times as heavy as ones used by average home baker. This like oven stone disperses heat much better and makes it much easier for cookies to bake evenly. I definitely recommend checking out your local restaurant supply house to get some half sheet pans which will definitely be better than cookie sheet available at your local supermarket or Walmart.
Understanding the Basics of Wine Tasting Written by Nerello Glasure
The wine taster's ritual of peering into a glass, swirling it around and sniffing suspiciously at it, before taking a mouthful only to spit it out again looks highly mysterious and technical. However, as you try more and more wines, your awareness of flavors and your personal preferences will develop. It is however a sequence of events that can enhance enjoyment of good wine. Once learned, they become almost second nature to even novice taster.
Wines Appearance Pour your wine into a wine glass so that it is about 40% full, you will need room for swirling. Have a good look at wine. Is it clear, opaque, or cloudy? Does it contain sediments or other solid matter? Tilt glass away from you at a 45-degree angle against a white background so you can enjoy range of colors in wine from center to rim. Wine changes color with age. Whites are at its palest state during their youth, gradually adding stronger color. Red wine, on other hand, has more vivid color in its youth, slowly fading to brick red.
Smell Wine Give your glass a vigorous swirl to help release aromas. Swirling takes a bit of practice. This technique can be learned by leaving wine glass on table, holding it by stem, and rotating it in small circles. The object is to get wine to move up to around 70% of sides of glass.
Stick your nose right into glass and inhale steadily and gently, as if you were smelling a flower. These vital seconds of inhalation will reveal all kinds of familiar and unfamiliar smells. Try to detect smell of fruity or floral notes. Decide what they remind you of if possible. Note presence of spices, such as pepper, cinnamon, vanilla, tea or possibly nuts. Finally, note presence of other aromas, such as cedar, oak, moist earth, herbs, chocolate, tobacco, toast, or smoke. Always interpret them in terms that mean something to you.