Kitchen Essentials for Home Cooks and Food Lovers

Kitchen gadgets and accessories are usually high on the list of most wedding gift registries, but they’re especially in demand these days as couples spend more time preparing meals at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

We asked four experienced chefs across the country to share some of their go-to wedding gifts. Here’s a sampling.

Ms. Yeh is the host of the Food Network series “Girl Meets Farm.” She is a Juilliard-trained percussionist and the author of the cookbooks “Molly on the Range” and “Yogurt.”

Vitamix 5200; $449.95


Mr. Torres, a.k.a. Mr. Chocolate, is the founder of Jacques Torres Chocolate, which has seven retail locations in New York. He was the star of the PBS series “Dessert Circus with Jacques Torres,” the host of the Food Network series “Chocolate with Jacques Torres,” and an author of “Dessert Circus.” Most recently, he was the head judge on the Netflix baking competition, “Nailed It!”

Ms. Adams is the founder and author of the cookbook “Grandbaby Cakes,” which offers her grandmother’s generational recipes with a modern spin. She is a cast member of the Cooking Channel’s “Unique Sweets,” and is part of the Today Tastemakers on the “Today Show.”

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Solano County legalized home food popups. But 6 months later, chefs still can’t sell

When Solano County approved a new California law that would legalize home-based kitchen operations in April, it seemed like Cheska Kistner’s plans to open a restaurant in her Benicia home would finally come to fruition. The measure, California’s AB 626, allows for what are known as microenterprise food businesses, which Alameda County also made inroads toward legalizing yesterday. But no Bay Area county has yet fully implemented the 2018 law, leaving entrepreneurs like Kistner in limbo.

Under AB 626, cooks can legally sell up to 30 meals a day or 60 per week from their homes when their counties opt in and they have received a permit; their annual gross sales are capped at $50,000. The law has only been implemented in one county so far, Riverside. In Alameda County, many home kitchen operations have proliferated during the pandemic without the option to get proper permitting, leading to the health department cracking down on some.

Solano County is one of the furthest along in the Bay Area, even though the coronavirus pandemic caused officials to delay in-home inspections and permitting until shelter-at-home orders are lifted. What many people thought would be a short delay has lasted six months – and counting.

For Kistner, a personal chef and caterer on and off for nearly 30 years, that means waiting to expand her business beyond the current small number of carry-out orders she makes for family, friends and clients. She would like to recreate the model of her Philippines restaurant, Bale Ku Café, which means “my house” in her local dialect and is operated out of a home. Her Asian fusion dishes — including japchae, with sweet potato noodles and ribeye steak, and ningnang manuk, a grilled chicken and rice dish — generally cost $25 and feed two to three people.

With so many suffering financially during the pandemic, proponents say there couldn’t be a better time to launch the program.

“There are people who need to work, who want to work,” says Matthew Butler, a Vallejo cook who wants to start a home restaurant business. “This would definitely be a viable option for a lot of people.”

Home kitchen entrepreneur Cheska Kistner makes food at her home in Benicia, Calif., on Monday, October 12, 2020. Kistner is among an estimated 100 entrepreneurs waiting for Solano County to finish implementing a law that would allow them to establish legal home kitchen businesses.

Butler has spent the last 10 or so years catering parties and corporate events after working at restaurants throughout Solano and Contra Costa counties. That all came to a halt once the pandemic hit. While he has found catering work with a chef friend still servicing clients, he envisions creating his own home-based restaurant called Vondi’s, in honor of his late mother, where he would sell his Mediterranean braised beef with garlic mashed potatoes and Korean-style pork chops with bok choy. The only other food options in his neighborhood are fast food and burrito trucks, and he thinks it could represent a new revenue stream, especially with his kids at home distance learning.

To Supervisor Monica Brown, it is this type of caregiver scenario that initially seemed like a perfect fit for AB 626.

“When a constituent came and brought this forward, my first

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Brookside’s new Macho Taco: Mexican food to-go or delivery

Brookside’s Michael Forbes Bar and Grille has launched a “ghost kitchen.”

Macho Taco operates out of the Michael Forbes kitchen but is only available for carryout or delivery through DoorDash.

Macho Taco offers a combination of traditional Mexican dishes with its own house specialties. That includes queso dip, nachos with a choice of steak, chicken or taco meat, chicken wings with house-made sauce, tacos, enchiladas, burritos, fried chicken tenders salad and taco salad, and the “Best Smoked Salsa on the Planet.”

“We make it from scratch — fresh tomatoes smoked in our smoker. Fresh onions and fresh poblano peppers charred over a live grill. Then blended together with cilantro and served with fresh tortilla chips,” said Forbes Cross, owner.

Cross was a founder and partner in Michael Forbes Grill, which operated in Waldo from 1985 to 1999. He opened Michael Forbes in early 2012 at 128 W. 63rd St.

He said about half his customers are dining on the patio, the other half want carry-out. And Mexican, pizza and barbecue seem to be the top choices to take home.

“We already had a lot of good Mexican items on our menu so we expanded it,” Cross said. “Restaurants run on a pretty thin margin and we are doing about half the sales during the pandemic. We’re trying to get some traffic to stay afloat.”

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Joyce Smith has covered restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the brand Cityscape. She appreciates news tips.

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Rice-Plant Shaped Bamboo Decor And The Food Culture In Tripura

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims

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The Naadan Kitchen delivers Kerala food in Delhi-NCR

Two entrepreneurial lads have brought us the joy of Kerala food to Delhi, with coconut, chillies, and more than a whiff of home

A photograph of a food-laden table — gleefully forwarded by the partaker of the meal — kept me busy for a few hours last week. The food, I was told, had come from a new Kerala delivery service called The Naadan Kitchen, based in Ghaziabad. I asked for the number (7042255534, 81530384084, 0120-4348258), called them up — and was happy with the first information report: They had various kinds of Kerala dishes, including all kinds of meat; and they were willing to deliver to my neighbourhood.

I was happier still with the food — which I had over two glorious days. We asked for some Malabari parottas, pothu fry, duck curry, and a vegetable thhali, which consisted of red rice, aviyal, thoran, sambar, moru curry, pickle and payasam. I paid a total of ₹1,300 for all this.

The next day, Nadaan’s founder, a young man called Elvin Joseph, insisted that I try out a small portion of his fried pork and chicken biryani.

But let me start at the beginning. The Naadan Kitchen (thenaadankitchen.com) emerged out of a conversation that two friends were having one day, a couple of months ago. One of them was a chef, who had come to Delhi before the lockdown to visit his family, and then stayed back, as his restaurant in Bengaluru shut shop. The other was a marketing executive. They talked about food, and then suddenly thought: Hey, why not start delivering food?

So they created a logo — a picturesque image of a Kerala boat and a coconut tree — and then drew up the menu. They started the service on August 15. Elvin looks after marketing while Bejoi Chemparathy takes care of the kitchen. The food has the authentic flavours of Kerala cuisine, so much so that a young man we know said he was reminded of his childhood in Kerala when he had the food.

Duck curry at The Naadan Kitchen

Thankfully, it didn’t remind me of my childhood in Muzaffarnagar, but it gave me great joy. The pothu – buffalo meat (₹500 for half a kilo) – had been fried with peppercorns, curry leaves, and a few spices and garnished with fried coconut. I enjoyed it immensely for the meat had soaked in all the flavours of the spices, but wasn’t red chilli hot. The parotta (₹15 for one) was soft, warm and flaky.

I enjoyed the thhali — especially the aviyal, a combination of juicy vegetables in southern spices, and the fragrant sambar, which I had with the red rice. Best of all was the payasam, the ada pradhaman, which was creamy and had been cooked with rice flakes. We shared this with friends who had come for lunch and quietly kept the duck for dinner.

The duck mappas (₹500 for a quarter) was divine. It had been cooked with small onions, ginger, garlic,

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Vegan Kitchen: Support Black-owned food businesses

Shanna-Kay Wright uses simple ingredients to make the vegan dishes at Yardie Ting in Portland. The owner of the Jamaican restaurant in the Public Market House, Wright says the menu’s many vegan choices reflect the influence of Ital food on the island.

Ital food, eaten by members of the Rastafari religion and movement, is usually vegetarian and always minimally processed. However, Wright points out that Yardie Ting’s vegan dishes don’t qualify as Ital, since to suit local tastes she uses non-Ital ingredients such as salt and garlic powder.

“All my years growing up in Jamaica, you would not use any all-purpose seasoning,” explained Wright, who has run a catering business in Portland since 2013. “Ital means food that is from the earth. No powder seasonings. No salt. All organic. All natural.”

The jerk tofu at Yardie Ting in the Portland Public Market House comes with black beans and a kick of spice. Photo courtesy of Yardie Ting

Ital or not, the Yardie Ting vegan dishes, including jerk tofu, coconut curry, the Mon Hungry sandwich, spinach patties, and the fried plantains, taste great and sell well.

But Wright reports foot traffic at the Public Market House remains slow, with many of the surrounding office buildings still empty. Even so, the brand new restaurant is “staying afloat.”

I’d like to see Yardie Ting doing better. And it’s not just because I like the food.

It’s also because Wright is Black, and I want to take action to promote equity and demonstrate that Black Lives Matter. As a white ally in one of the whitest states in the nation, one of the simplest actions I can take is to spend my money at Black-owned businesses, such as Yardie Ting.

In Maine, we’re blessed to have the new directory blackownedmaine.com, which allows users to search by business category and region of Maine. When the site launched in June, it confirmed what I suspected. Portland is home to many Black-owned restaurants, and most offer robust vegan choices.

One of the longest-running vegan-friendly, Black-owned restaurants in Portland is Asmara on Oak Street, which owner Asmeret Teklu opened in 2004. The Eritrean restaurant was shuttered for many months because of the pandemic before it reopened in June and it remains takeout only.

All of Asmara’s vegetarian dishes are vegan, and Teklu told me she sells more vegetarian than non-vegetarian dishes these days.

“We’re doing well, so far,” said Teklu, who grew up in Eritrea and moved to Maine in 1988. “It’s not like it used to be, but it’s good for this time.”

She said the vegetarian sampler plate, which is made to feed a family of four and costs $49.95, is a strong seller right now. Asmara’s sampler plate “has a little bit of all the vegetarian options,” such as steamed greens, stewed lentils, ground and roasted chickpeas, and spicy stewed okra and potatoes. All the meals come with either rice or traditional injera, a flatbread made from a fermented dough of ground teff grains.

Asmara,

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Hurry up and get 20% off food storage containers for your kitchen



a group of items on display: Food Storage Amazon Deals


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Food Storage Amazon Deals

  • Get ready for Prime Day by enjoying some quick deals in the week leading up to it.
  • It’s only six days away, as October 13-14 is Prime Day 2020.

You better have your kitchen in order as the holidays are approaching. If you’re going to be having family over (in small quantities we’re sure because of the state of the world currently), you’re still going to want to be prepared. Whether you’re baking pies or cakes, planning on putting together large platters of turkey or pasta, or are just going to go crazy on appetizers, organization is going to be key.

Amazon is helping you get ready for the holidays, and also prepare for one of its biggest holidays as well. Prime Day 2020 is right around the corner, as it’s only six days away. But leading up to the big day, Amazon is throwing out some fantastic deals to reward its loyal customers.

Right now, you can get large food storage containers for a fraction of the cost! Thanks to a coupon for the Vtopmart Large Food Storage Containers, you can enjoy the four-pack for only $22.39! These are perfect for baking supplies, dried goods, cereals, arts and crafts, and more.

Click here to read the full article.

This set comes in multiple sizes, but the one we are highlighting holds 5.2L or 4.7 quarts. These are made from high-grade plastic and come with four measuring cups and 24 labels, so you’ll be able to tell each one of them apart. But they are also transparent, making it simple to see through.

Here is the product information from the Amazon page:

Vtopmart Large Food Storage Containers

  • Make a Huge Difference in Pantry Organization —- If you already got tired of messy flour and sugar bags, then don’t hesitate to choose our large food storage containers. These flour containers will make everything looks neat and in order. Come with 4 premium food storage canisters, 4 measuring cups, 24 chalkboard Labels, this container set will also be an ideal gift for any family.
  • Perfect for Storing Dry Food —- The size of each container is 7.5 x 7.5 x 9.1 inch ( 5.2L / 176 oz) , with the large capacity, these kitchen storage containers are perfect for many kinds of dry food and baking supplies, such as flour, sugar, rice, grain, chips, cereals, nuts, beans, snacks, pasta, coffee and tea. Plus wide enough openings to reach in with measuring cup.
  • Made from High-Grade Plastic —- These pantry storage containers are made from high-grade BPA free plastic, which has decent quality. Containers are fairly sturdy and nice looking, which are worth every cent you paid for them. The clear plastic let you see what is in the container, you can get what you want easily without opening every container.
  • Seal Securely —- Vtopmart airtight food storage containers come with Side-locking lids that ensure maximum freshness and prolonged food storage by sealing tightly. They
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Big Freedia’s weekly Garden Cookout in City Park is more about Freedia than food | Keith Spera

The focus of Big Freedia’s Garden Cookout is, in descending order of priority, Big Freedia, the garden and the actual cookout.

Since July, Freedia, the multiplatform Queen Diva of Bounce, has presided over a weekly cooking-themed webcast at the New Orleans Botanical Garden in City Park’s Kitchen in the Garden pavilion. The Friday night events are livestreamed on Freedia’s social media outlets.

The Garden Cookout expands on Freedia’s popular Sunday morning at-home cooking webcast and replaces some touring income lost to the coronavirus pandemic. Forty spectators seated at socially distanced tables each pay $90, or $120 to sit at one of the front tables. Tickets must be purchased through EventBrite in blocks of at least two, to fill tables with self-contained groups.

Freedia’s cottage industry, built from the ground up after years of toil on the New Orleans club circuit, encompasses recording, touring, an autobiography, branded bubbly and aprons, collaborations with the likes of Beyoncé and six seasons of a Fuse network reality show, alternately titled “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce” and “Big Freedia Bounces Back,” from 2013 to 2017.

If the Oct. 2 Garden Cookout was typical, chatting and cutting up take precedence over actual cooking.



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Fans “wiggle” to Big Freedia’s music during Big Freedia’s Garden Cookout at the New Orleans Botanical Garden in City Park, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020.




Early arrivals, wearing mandatory face masks, were escorted through the lovely Botanical Garden — it’s even more enchanting at night — to the brightly lit Kitchen in the Garden. Completed last fall, the open-air kitchen pavilion hosts culinary-themed educational and social events.

From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., attendees patronized a cash bar while DJ Juane Jordan spun music. Freedia appeared in a sequined facemask, glittering purple pants and a custom chef’s coat bearing the image of his late, beloved mother, Vera, going quickly from table to table to pose for pictures.

And then it was show time. As cameras streamed the action on Facebook Live, Freedia, whose charisma translates well to the small screen, held court from behind the stove. A trio of friends, including longtime sidekick and dancer Tootie Tootz, provided running commentary from a corner of the countertop.



Big Freedia on her City Park cooking series and live-streaming from the kitchen

Big Freedia’s “Garden Cookout” series continues on Thursdays at City Park through August. The Queen Diva also live-streams the cooking demonstration on social media.

Freedia’s sister, Crystal, was in attendance with her young daughter. The Oct. 2 show celebrated the 60th birthday of Vera, who died of cancer in 2014, as well as the birthday of Devon, Freedia’s boyfriend.

(Freedia, who is fine with both masculine and feminine pronouns, recently wrote in the online magazine The Root, “I was born male and remain male — physically, hormonally and mentally. But I am a gay male. Some folks insist I have to be trans, but I don’t agree. I’m gender nonconforming, fluid, nonbinary. If I had known the ‘queen’ in Queen Diva would cause so much confusion, I might have called myself

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‘Dark kitchen’ chain works with local restaurants to sell over food delivery apps

The coronavirus has left many restaurants struggling as the pandemic forced them to temporarily close their doors and still has many operating at a lower capacity than normal.

Owners are looking for ways to bring in more revenue. Fast-casual Asian chain Wow Bao has one idea: open their restaurant inside an existing restaurant as a delivery-only “dark kitchen” eatery.

Wow Bao, which serves up steamed bao, potstickers, dumplings, rice and noodle bowls, announced on Wednesday that it has added 100 locations in just six months by partnering with other restaurants. Its food is offered via third-party delivery services like UberEats, Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates and Caviar.

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NYC’S ICONIC CENTRAL PARK BOATHOUSE RESTAURANT SHUTTERS AFTER 66 YEARS UNTIL 2021

Geoff Alexander, president and CEO of Wow Bao, said the company came up with the partnership plan last November.

“Although we didn’t envision this initiative as a response to the COVID-19 crisis, we are proud to say our dark kitchen platform is assisting operators to help pay rent and employ staff in order to survive this difficult time,” Alexander said in a press release.

163 PIZZA HUT RESTAURANTS UP FOR SALE AFTER FRANCHISEE FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY

Wow Bao isn’t the only “virtual restaurant” to take advantage of the proliferation of meal delivery services during the pandemic. Chuck E. Cheese has been selling pizza under the name Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings on Grubhub. An increasing number of eateries operate “ghost kitchens,” renting out kitchen space to other restaurants or adding other restaurant brands to its offerings for takeout and delivery only. And there are also “cloud kitchens,” which work exclusively with delivery brands.

These kinds of deals aren’t just good for restaurants seeing a slump in business. The brands they work with can use them to test out their products in new markets. The California-based Lemonade Restaurants recently opened its first ghost kitchen in Long Beach, allowing it to expand to the city “in record time and with a very low investment,” co-CEO Anthony Pigliacampo told QSR Magazine.

“In just three months, we moved from site identification to delivering food to guests,” Pigliacampo told QSR. “This would have been impossible with a brick and mortar site.”

Wow Bao said its partnership is different from ghost kitchens because it ships frozen items to its partner restaurants to be prepared by their kitchen staff.

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Edmund Woo, the owner of the Saskatoon Lodge in Greenville, S.C., and a Wow Bao partner, said in a written statement that the process of integrating Wow Bao into his kitchen was “seamless.”

“I have trained existing employees to handle the production at virtually no incremental cost,” he said. “The ability to not only continue operating during such a vulnerable time, but to help increase margins, is instrumental to help maintain

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The 10 Best Food Storage Containers for Every Kitchen’s Needs, According to Reviews

The 10 Best Food Storage Containers for Every Kitchen’s Needs, According to Reviews

Including top-rated options from brands like Pyrex and Rubbermaid.

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Whether you’re committed to meal prepping every week or simply trying to organize your fridge, investing in quality food storage containers will make things a whole lot easier. Not only will they help keep your food fresh, but they can also save you time and make your kitchen look much neater.

One of the most important factors to consider when shopping for food storage containers is the material they’re made out of. While glass food storage containers are super versatile (many are oven-safe), plastic options are typically more lightweight, which makes them easy to stash in your bag during your commute. While some people still prefer glass over plastic to avoid chemicals leaching into food, it’s also important to note that all of the plastic containers on this list are BPA-free.

RELATED: The 10 Best Lunch Bags for Women, According to Thousands of Reviews

Since there are so many different types of food storage containers available on the market, we scoured the internet to find the ones that are actually worth buying. From space-saving plastic canisters that will instantly organize your pantry to leakproof containers with over 8,200 five-star reviews, there’s an option for you on this list.

These are the best food storage containers to buy in 2020, according to thousands of customer reviews:

Best Glass: Pyrex Simply Store Meal Prep Glass Food Storage Containers

With an average 4.8-star rating from over 5,650 Amazon shoppers, these versatile glass containers from Pyrex are a household staple for plenty of reasons. Between the near-perfect reviews and the wide variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, you really can’t go wrong no matter which of the many options you purchase. This particular set comes with nine different glass containers ranging from one- to seven-cup capacities, and they’re safe to put in the dishwasher, microwave, freezer, and oven. “Absolutely love these containers,” wrote one person. “I prefer leftovers warmed up in the oven and these go straight from the refrigerator (without plastic lid) to the oven. I don’t even have to scrub them after use, my dishwasher does all the work.”

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