Olive oil, Extra Virgin or PureWritten by Shauna Hanus
Olives and olive oil have a long history. It has been suggested that olives and olive oil have been around as long a 6000 years. The Bible even references olive branches in story of Noah’s Ark. It is unknown as to when people started to eat olives and their oil but its origins of use suggest that initially it was used in lamps as fuel as well as for cooking.
There are two main types of olive oils, extra virgin olive oil and olive oil. The term extra virgin denotes oil that contains less than 1% acidity and has no treatment using heat or chemicals. Extra virgin also signifies oil is from “first press” or “cold press”. The tastes can range from a domestic mild or slightly rustic flavor to a peppery classic from Tuscany.
Olive oil is often labeled as “pure olive oil”; this oil is refined with chemicals and steam. The oil is then blended with a higher quality oil to give an improved flavor and aroma. Often times this less expensive choice is used in recipes and for sautéing. If you desire a purer flavor stick with extra virgin varieties.
How to cut a cakeWritten by Shauna Hanus
Have you ever wondered how to cut a cake? I have had a lot of practice. When I turned 16 and requested a Spider Man sheet cake I busily honed my cake cutting skills by making concentric rectangles and then served up master piece. My family all refused to eat stating lack of presentation skills. Since that time my skills have, thankfully, been refined. Here are tips to cutting a round layer cake.
First select a knife you are comfortable holding. A long slender knife works best. Begin first cut about two inches from edge. Cut along entire edge of cake keeping knife in about two inches. Your cake will now have an outer ring two inches wide.