3 Essential Spices to Have in Your Pantry

3 Essential Spices to Have in Your Pantry

No kitchen pantry is complete without an array of spices. You’ll get bored with your meals very quickly if you cook without spices. Without any flavoring in your food, everything starts to taste the same. No one wants to eat the same bland chicken recipe over and over again. So please, read this guide on three essential spices to have in your pantry. After all, everyone deserves a little spice in their life.

How Your Produce Gets to the Store

How Your Produce Gets to the Store
Have you ever looked at the spinach in your salad and wondered what’s its story was? It’s in the produce section ready for you to pick, but where did it start off? Fruits and vegetables you happen upon in the grocery store are often grown and shipped from thousands of miles away. If you’re wondering how your produce gets to the store, read our guide on produce’s journey to your local store.

Three Tools That Every Chef Needs

Three Tools That Every Chef Needs

When you’re learning to cook, you’ll quickly find you require a solid collection of kitchen instruments that will serve you reliably as you make a variety of dishes. You may use a few utensils for one recipe only to find that another recipe requires different appliances. Here are some tools that every chef needs in their arsenal.

Kitchen Scissors

A lot of us have stared down at a package and then sighed as we realized we needed to run to the office to grab a pair of scissors. Afterwards, we quickly wash and dry them because we don’t want leftover sauce smearing on our office papers. You can circumvent this annoyance by getting a pair of kitchen scissors reserved for your cooking endeavors. They’re not limited to opening packaging, either: you can also use them to cleanly cut vegetables and pieces of meat.

Tongs

All too often, you find that a spoon or spatula just isn’t enough as your noodles keep sliding away or your chicken refuses to flip without splattering everything within a ten-foot radius. When you’re faced with such dilemmas, tongs are irreplaceable. They allow you to pick up food deftly and make every movement with more intention and skill. You’re no longer forced to make a choice between burning your fingers or clumsily trying to push your food the way you want it to go. When you’ve finished cooking, your tongs can also double as serving utensils.

Chef’s Knife

A chef’s knife is often the tool cooks hold in utmost esteem among its kitchen peers. This is because a good knife will glide through your ingredients and produce just the right cuts you’re aiming for. It also makes prep time a breeze. However, a low-end knife can make a simple slice a dangerous and muscle-fatiguing chore. As you select your chef’s knife, take note of what its design. If you have the option, hold it in your hand so that you can to get a feel for it. Consider investing in a Japanese-style knife, as chefs generally agree that they offer the best performance and quality.

6 Countries with the Best Food


What is considered great food is the most subjective thing on the planet. Everyone has different tastes and different ideas about what’s a delicacy and what’s plain weird. Every country has its own signature cuisine and food style. Even different regions within one country has different ideas about food. Think about the U.S. regions—the Northeast versus the Southeast and the Southwest. Each of those three regions of one country has different and distinct food styles. Even picking just five countries out of all the nations of the world and declaring their food the best would be a monumental task—and any such list would be met with debate. So, instead of calling this list the countries with the best food, let’s call it the countries with really good food.

Thailand

Thailand continues to make its mark on the international food scene, and it’s one of the great foodie destinations. They have sweet pork barbecue, sour noodle soup, and mountains of spices and tropical flavors to dazzle the taste buds. Sandy beaches and warm waters are cited as the best reasons to visit, but really, it’s the food.

Panama

This tiny Central American country remains under the radar in foodie circles, but it won’t for long. With hundreds of islands and hundreds of miles of shoreline and beaches, Panama is a seafood-lover’s mecca. Venture to the interior of the country and feast on traditional dishes comprised of beef, pork, and root vegetables along with coconut and tropical fruits.

Italy

Italy’s place in the food hall of fame goes without question. Where would the world be without their contributions to the food scene? Modern Italians make the same simple foods that their ancestors made centuries ago, and they still do it with flair. There’s nothing like taking a food tour of all the regions of Italy.

United States

Only in the U.S. can you sample all the foods of the world in one place. The U.S. is a melting pot of cultures and food traditions, to say the least, and many people will argue the country has no food traditions of its own. They are wrong. Southern soul food and barbecue are distinctly American. Hamburgers, pizza, and sandwiches may have origins in other countries, but the U.S. has made them their own.

Greece

The Mediterranean diet is considered the healthiest in the world. A combination of olive oil, seafood, and vegetables keep this country at the top of the food world. The country’s position between Africa, Asia, and Europe has allowed the Greeks to adopt foods and recipes from a variety of ancient cultures. Greece is truly a wonderous place to spend a week eating.

China

China is enormous, both in land mass and population. With so many people and so much space, there are many food choices and styles throughout the regions. Chinese food is an all-encompassing term that explains nothing. In every corner of the country, you’ll find thick stews, steamed fish, street dumplings, and odd delicacies.

Why Farm-Fresh Eggs are Better Than Store-Bought


If you browse your local farmer’s market or talk to anyone who buys their produce locally, you’ll likely hear all about how good farm-fresh eggs are. They’re not just richer in flavor and color; they also offer more nutritional value than the dozen you get at the grocery store. Learn more about why farm-fresh eggs are better than store-bought with this overview.

Higher Nutritional Value

The value of an egg depends on the health of the chicken that laid it. Small-scale farmers usually give their chickens better-quality feed than industrial or factory farms do. As a result, these chickens are healthier—and so are their eggs. Farm-fresh eggs are lower in cholesterol and saturated fat, and they’re higher in vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. All of these factors are beneficial to the human diet.

Fresher Eggs

Along with nutritional value, freshness is a major concern when it comes to eggs. If you get farm-fresh eggs—or even if you raise your own chickens and collect the eggs—you know the history of the eggs and exactly how old they are. On the other hand, it’s hard to know exactly how fresh your store-bought eggs are. Considering the time it takes to ship and stock them—not to mention the indeterminate amount of time they sit on the shelves—grocery store eggs generally aren’t as fresh, tasty, and nutritious as the eggs from your local farm.

Better Flavor

If someone tells you why farm-fresh eggs are better than store-bought, one of their reasons will probably be that the former taste better. Farm-fresh eggs have a richer flavor than their store-bought counterparts. They also look better—their yolks are a deeper, fuller color. Additionally, the whites are stiffer and the yolks don’t break as easily, meaning that cooking and baking with farm-fresh eggs often yield better results.

Why Do Chefs Wear White Coats?

Why Do Chefs Wear White Coats?

One of the most instantly recognizable articles of clothing in the world is the chef’s coat. Hanging in the closet, laying on a bed, or patrolling a kitchen, the chef’s coat is a carefully-chosen symbol of the restaurant world. The coat’s timeless form is fully-functional, and it has utilitarian design without any regard for fashion. Ask any chef and they will tell you, in great detail, about the first time they put one on.

The first known depiction of the modern chef uniform was in an 1822 sketch by French artist Marie-Antoine CarĂªme. In it, there are two chefs wearing the double-breasted coats, tall hats, loose pants, and aprons. It would still be 50 years until this uniform became the norm for chefs everywhere.

Why Do Chefs Wear Coats?

Some chefs prefer to wear an apron, but you will be hard-pressed to find a chef that doesn’t wear a white coat under it. It’s an important symbol for chefs everywhere. It signifies that they are an accomplished chef who has earned their coat and they know what they’re doing in a kitchen. A larger status symbol does not exist in the culinary world; there is a regal air about it.

While fashionable, the jacket’s every aspect is carefully thought out and planned. The heavy cotton material insulates the wearer from the intense heat inside a kitchen and is still breathable, keeping the chef as cool as possible. Spills are absorbed quickly by the heavy material as well. Long sleeves are requisite for further protection when reaching over a hot stove and open flames; plus, it protects the chef from cuts and scrapes. Knotted cloth buttons are used because metal ones can get hot, and plastic ones can break apart and fall into the food.

Why White?

White is the preferred color because it gives patrons the sense that the chef is in an influential and powerful position. White is also a symbol of cleanliness, giving the perception that everything in the kitchen is professional and sanitary. That feeling is important to instill in diners, so they don’t worry about foodborne illness. The more practical reason is that white hides stains better. At the end of the night, a white coat is washed with bleach and the stains disappear. Unlike black, white deflects heat better and keeps the chef cooler in the kitchen.

Most chefs will always have three coats on hand. One to work in, a second backup in case one gets too many stains on it, and a third to change into for glad-handing. They need to have a clean, pressed coat to put on to greet important guests and VIPs.

Which Country Eats the Most Pork?

Which Country Eats the Most Pork?

It might seem that the whole world is vegetarian sometimes. While the number of people choosing that lifestyle is growing at a steady pace, meat-eaters are still the majority. People all over the world continue to grab a chicken leg, thick steak, or slab of bacon over plant-based choices. In fact, the consumption of all kinds of meat has seen a dramatic rise since the 1970s. Meat is no longer a luxury as it once was in certain parts of the world—this is especially true of pork. Learn more about the world’s favorite type of meat and who indulges in it the most.

China’s Love Affair with Pork

The population of China continues to grow—there are over 1.4 billion people, and they love pork in all its forms. They are the world leader in pork consumption in gross tons eaten every year; however, they don’t eat the most pork per capita. The countries of the European Union eat more per capita, with Austria and Germany leading the pack. But to even contend with the magnitude of pork consumption in China, you have to lump the 28 member nations of the EU together into one category. That’s a lot of pigs to eat.

China is not able to supply the amount of pork that the citizens demand though. In fact, they can only supply about 25% of the livestock on their own. The main importer of pork to China is the United States. Due to a recent African Swine fever outbreak in China, the government had to destroy the affected animals. Fortunately for the Chinese, there has been a surplus of pork in the United States. As a result, American imports are at an all-time high—lucky for the Chinese, the U.S. is willing to share some of their stockpile of delicious meat.

Which Country Eats the Most Pork?

While Americans are in love with beef in all its delicious forms, pork is the most popular meat in the world. When put into a percentage of shares consumed per country, pork is the leader at 40.4%. Chicken comes in second at 32.4%, followed by beef at 21.8%. The following per capita consumption of pork (in pounds) by country might surprise you:

Per Capita Consumption of Pork in Pounds

Serbia – 115 lbs.

Montenegro – 102.9 lbs.

European Union – 88.9 lbs.

China – 88.1 lbs.

Taiwan – 87.1 lbs.

South Korea – 82.9 lbs.

Belarus – 78.5 lbs.

United States – 64.4 lbs.

Vietnam – 62 lbs.

Bahamas – 60.1 lbs.

5 of the Best Cocktails to Enjoy This Fall

5 of the Best Cocktails to Enjoy This Fall

Forget the traditional beer and wine at parties—you don’t want to be like everyone else. Keep reading to discover five of the best cocktails to enjoy this fall!

Apple cider mimosas

Apple cider mimosas are the perfect fall drink. The cocktail combines refreshing champagne with a fall favorite, apple cider—and it’s super-easy to make. Simply fill a champagne flute a third of the way with the apple cider of your choosing and fill the rest with champagne. For an extra touch of autumn, use stylish champagne flutes with cute fall patterns for an extra touch.

Caramel apple mule

A caramel apple mule is the best fall cocktail for anyone with a sweet tooth. The inventive fusion of caramel vodka, ginger beer, and apple cider will satisfy any craving you have. This drink is amazing for anyone who wants to enjoy a cocktail on a brisk autumn evening. Combine the ingredients however you see fit—if the caramel vodka is too overpowering for you, pour in just a splash of that and add in more ginger beer.

Pumpkin spice martini

People who love pumpkin spice lattes will go crazy for a pumpkin spice martini. The mix of vanilla vodka, Irish cream, and pumpkin-flavored liqueur will remind you of your beloved coffee drink with an extra kick. Again, it’s okay to distribute the ingredients however you’d like. If the Irish cream is a little too heavy for you, simply use more vanilla vodka or pumpkin liqueur when making the drink.

Pumpkin beer float

This fall cocktail is great for ice cream-lovers. The blend of vanilla ice cream with pumpkin beer will make you feel like a kid again. For thematic purposes, try chilling a beer mug the night before you prepare the drink. Placing the cocktail in an authentic chilled mug will give it that true “float” feeling.

Autumn sangria

Typically, sangria is associated with summertime. However, by simply adding a touch of apple cider, you can have the perfect fall drink. Mix together a full bottle of red wine, a can of seltzer, a splash of orange juice, half a cup of brandy, and a dash of apple cider, and you’ve created one of the best cocktails to enjoy this fall.

Five Perfect Gifts for People Who Love Wine

Five Perfect Gifts for People Who Love Wine


Choosing the perfect gift can be stressful. You want it to be personal and memorable, and you don’t want it to end up at the bottom of a storage box collecting dust. As such, it’s important to consider the recipient’s interests. If wine happens to be one of those interests, you’re in luck! There are so many wine-related gifts ideas to choose from that any oenophile would love. Whether it’s for a birthday, anniversary, or holiday, these gifts for people who love wine are sure to impress.

Customizable wine glasses

Whether they enjoy drinking merlot, chardonnay, or riesling, the recipient is sure to enjoy a customized glass for their wine of choice. To make the gift more personal, consider labeling the glassware with their name, their monogram, or a fun logo.

Wine pearls

Give the gift of a cold, refreshing drink with wine pearls. Even if a drink is served cold, it’s likely to become lukewarm over time. While one could simply put ice cubes in their drink, doing so can dilute the taste. To keep the wine cool while maintaining the flavor, wine pearls are a great option.

Wall-mounted corkscrew

A wall-mounted corkscrew ensures that your gift recipient will never again have to dig through their drawers to find a corkscrew. These screw into your wall, and they’re designed to give you the perfect leverage to quickly and easily open your wine bottle. This gift is perfect for someone looking to take their in-home bar to the next level.

Wine bottle stoppers

An unfinished bottle of wine should never go to waste. Help your special someone preserve their half-finished bottles by gifting them with a wine stopper.

Gift cards to their favorite bars

Gift cards might not seem very personal, but when you buy multiple cards to your recipient’s favorite bars or wineries, they can comprise a meaningful present. Simply purchase a few cards with enough money to purchase a glass or two at each location, and your loved one will be geared up for a fun night of drinking.

How to Prepare a Rotisserie Chicken

How to Prepare a Rotisserie Chicken
Grocery stores don’t have to have a monopoly on the rotisserie chicken market. They make a decent product, to be sure, but you could be making a better one at home. Learning how to prepare a rotisserie chicken doesn’t take years of study. A few simple grilling tools, some spices, and a plucked bird are all you need to cook like a master chef.

Set up the Grill

First things first: take the chicken out of the refrigerator and let it get to room temperature. This will allow it to cook faster. Before you start the grill, get the rotisserie set up and remove the spit: you don’t want to reach over a hot grill and burn yourself. If you have a gas grill, turn the burners to medium and close the lid so that the inside can heat up. If you have a charcoal grill, light the coals; once they have all turned white, divide them and push half to either side of the grill—the chicken should cook over indirect heat.

Prepare the Bird

Once the chicken has come to room temperature, remove it from the packaging, remove the innards, and dry it off with a paper towel. Next, truss the chicken with butcher’s twine so that the chicken will remain stable on the spit and rotate smoothly. Tying the legs and wings so that they’ remain close to the body of the chicken will keep them from burning and allow them to cook evenly with the rest of the bird. Finally, slide the spit through one end of the poultry and out the other. Make sure the bird is positioned in the middle of the spit.

Season the Bird

With the chicken on the spit, it’ll now be easier to season. Have someone help you turn the spit to get the seasoning all over. Rub olive oil all over the chicken first; this will make the skin crispy and help the seasoning stick. Mix your favorite seasonings in a bowl so that you can rub them on all at once. There are a lot of good spices for chicken, but the best are the simplest: salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme.

Take it to the Grill

Now that the chicken is tied, skewered, and seasoned, it’s time to put it on the grill. Put the spit into your rotisserie and turn it on. Before you close the lid and walk away, make sure it’s turning smoothly. A lopsided rotisserie will have to work harder, and you run the risk of burning up the motor. The total cook time should be about 90 minutes, depending on how hot the grill is. Use a temperature probe and make sure the internal temp is at least 165 degrees. Anything less than that, and you could get sick. Once you’re sure the chicken is done roasting, take it off the grill and let it rest for 20 minutes or so. Cutting into it right away will let all those delicious juices escape, and then you’ll have dry chicken.
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