5 Basic Cooking Hacks That You Should Give A Try
Use A Knife To Serve Ice Cream
No need to use spoon while serving ice cream in a party anymore because you can serve it fast with a knife. All you have to do is to put the knife on a stove top for a minute and two and then use that hot knife to slice the ice cream.
Now is the time for harvesting blackberries, plums, raspberries and more. Make the most of your fruit with these great recipes, which can be preserved in sterile, airtight Kilner jars, to maintain freshness.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a newly-qualified chef or a veteran, it can be frustrating if you don’t have the right tools. The best food is prepared by the best equipment. Therefore, in today’s blog, we’re going to list what we consider to be the essential equipment for any top chef in any kitchen – all of which are available here at Cooksmill.
This week, debate has divided the team here at Cooksmill. As we start to get into the swing of summer, the conversation turned to cocktails – what we like, what we don’t. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has a favourite. Nobody can agree. Battle lines have been drawn. Sides have been chosen. Friendships have been put to the test.
That’s right, we’re fast approaching the seasonal joys of of overly long school holidays, god-awful panama hats and dare I say…socks with sandals.
On the flipside, BBQs and some much promised sun. So it ain’t all bad.
At Cooksmill, we’re stocked and ready to cater to all your summer needs – grills for the ace barbecutionist in all of us, cocktail mixers for those garden parties and the uber-fashionable Kilner jars.
We are proud to announce that we are now official stockists of I.O. SHEN knives. I.O. SHEN knives are truly some of the best knives around and we are very excited to now stock these in store.
To give you a bit more background on I.O. SHEN knives we have decided to write this blog post on the brand and the range we will have in store.
I.O SHEN knives are all graded for their hardness.They are made from top of the range steel, this makes them more robust and sharper for longer. For those who aren't knife enthusiasts quite yet, knives sturdiness is measured on a scale called Rockwell. Rockwell 62º being the highest grade commercially available.
A standard Japanese knife usually comes in between 54º and 58º Rockwell, this is because Rockwell 62º would easily snap or chip the blade is not handled properly.
However, I.O SHEN have managed to overcome this issue. I.O SHEN mastergrade knives have overcome this issue by using a layer of extremely hard Japanese steel (Rockwell 62º), which is sandwiched between two layers of softer stainless steel (Rockwell 10º), to produce the ultimate cutting edge.
Another element differentiating I.O. SHEN knives from other brands is the knife handle. They have the weight of a traditional German knife making the knife much easier to handle with greater precision. So I.O SHEN have managed to perfectly combine both Japanese and German excellence.
I.O SHEN knives are the perfect set of knives for both professionals and enthusiastic amateur chefs!
At Cooksmill you will find a selection of knives at unbeatable prices along with some amazing accessories such as the I.O. SHEN electric knife sharpener making sure you never blunt a knife again and it is always sharpened to perfection at a specific 15 degree angle!
For our full listings please click here.
As we are now in the run-up to Christmas (yes I know it is still the end of November whilst I write this) we thought we would share with you some of our favourite recipes for our favourite part of Christmas…. Cocktails!
We have recently started stocking (and drinking) Funkin Cocktails. We had a fantastic day in-store the other week with them and I think it is fair to say that every customer enjoyed a cheeky cocktail during the day!
To give you a bit of background knowledge on Funkin Cocktails, they do cocktail mixers, purees and pours. All the ingredients are 100% natural and you can definitely taste it! With their products making cocktails has never been easier for both at home and in bars or restaurants.
So to get back to our theme we have selected some delicious Christmas cocktails to get you in the festive spirit.
First cocktail is undoubtedly a classic with a small twist to it. Welcome the Frosted Daiquiri. You can’t really get any simpler and tasty than this one. All you need is a little bit of vodka, some Funkin Strawberry Daiquiri and then a strawberry and icing sugar for garnishes. Ice in, spirit in, shake it, and drink it.
ur second Christmas cocktail is a Raspberry Rudolph. There are a few more ingredients than the previous one but it’s equally as easy to make. All you will need is some rum, some Funkin Margarita mixer, a bit of Funkin Raspberry puree and finally some apple juice. A great Christmas cocktail.And our final Christmas cocktail recipe for you is the Berry Christmas (ho ho!). Definitely the strongest so of course drink responsibly. All you need is a single shot of whiskey or bourbon, a single shot of southern comfort and 100mL of Funkin Hollywood and you are sorted. Oh and don’t forget to garnish your cocktail with some succulent wild berries!
To check out all of the Funkin Cocktail recipes check out their website
Vegware Biodegradable Product Range
For those who haven’t heard about it yet, we are now stocking Vegware products! For those who don’t know too much about Vegware let us explain to you just how great they are!
Vegware provide catering disposables that are all green products. Their products are made from plants as opposed to the more traditional plastics. The three main plants used are trees, corn and sugar cane. The first main advantage of doing so is the drastic reduction in carbon emissions. This year they have saved 2,693,470 Kgs of carbon emissions already! Not only do they use plants rather than plastics, but they also use a lot of recycled products. Be it card, paper, bagasse or sugar cane; be assured that it will have several uses in its lifetime! And finally, to put all small doubts to rest, all card or paper used in the products is sourced from a responsible forestry source. Plus, rather than filling up landfills with very harmful plastics, all products are compostable. This has led to a whopping 2,060,638Kg of potential landfill diversion this year alone!
Since starting the company in 2006 they really have gone from strength to strength and now boast over 250 different products and operate across the globe. Being big on environmental issues Vegware also push ideas and try to promote food waste management too in an attempt to reduce food wastage.
More recently two of their products are been nominated as finalists in the PEA awards. The products nominated are the black renewable black cutlery and the gourmet range.
For anyone who runs food and drink stalls at markets these products are amazing. Environment aspect aside these are much sturdier than your standard disposables too. We have a wide range of the products in stock today, perfect timing for the upcoming Christmas markets around the country. So come on and check them out.
For those that are yet to come across HACCP, or ‘Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point’, it is a formal science-based system to help maximise hygiene, and therefore, safety in the food industry.
This is tested within routine Food Standards Agency inspections to make sure that you have a HACCP system in place and that it is being adhered to by everyone in your business that is coming into contact with food or food preparation surfaces.
It revolves around identifying risks and implementing controls at key stages to help eliminate those risks, or ‘food safety hazards’. This term refers to biological, chemical or physical agents that can be dangerous when consumed. HACCP is designed as a common-sense method to identify and control any potential dangers with the goal of increasing food safety and minimising the risk of hazard.
It was originally devised in a collaborative effort between NASA, the U.S Army Laboratories and Pilsbury. It was born as a way to control the safety of food that was being sent to space and made key use of NASA’s Critical Control Points procedure.
The HACCP principles are as follows:
Identify what could go wrong.
|Identify the most important points where something could go wrong (Critical Control Points)|
Establish limits for each CCP
This could refer to cooking temperature / time.
Monitor your CCP’s
|Monitoring is necessary to ensure that the process is under control at each critical control point.|
Correct any problems you discover in a CCP
|These are corrective actions to be taken when monitoring indicates a deviation from an established critical limit.|
Put checks in place to make sure your system is working
Validation ensures that the above points do what they were designed to do and are successful in ensuring the production of a safe product.
You should always keep records when you perform any of these steps as an inspector will ask to see these should they pay you a visit.
Your HACCP plan should be kept current and evaluated from time to time to make sure it covers all necessary procedures effectively.
|See our colour coded chopping boards HERE|
|See our colour coded knives HERE|