Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Fluffiest Pancakes Ever—in 8 Easy Steps

How do you make breakfast pancakes extra light and airy? Clayton Miller, Executive Chef at Wit and Wisdom, the new tavern at Baltimore's Four Seasons Hotel, developed this unique method early on in his career when he worked as a pastry chef. "One of the items on the menu was a classic French soufflé," Miller tells Shine. "That's where I got the inspiration for this dish." The secret is folding in extra egg whites, but he promises, "The pancakes aren't temperamental like a soufflé."

Miller says the dish is delicious with butter and maple syrup, but a simple caramel banana sauce makes them swoon-worthy.

Soufflé Pancakes (adapted from Clayton Miller)

Makes 6-8 substantial pancakes
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
5 ½ cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda

Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.

2 ½ cups
2 cups milk
2 whole eggs
2 eggs yolks

Combine and whisk together in medium mixing bowl. Slowly stir into dry ingredients to prevent lumps. Do not over mix (this makes the pancakes tough).

3 egg whites

Whisk to medium peak. Fold gently into batter. Do not over mix.

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a six-inch non-stock frying pan on medium. Swirl to coat sides. Butter should be golden and bubbling, but not brown or smoking. Pour one cup of batter into pan. You can add more or less depending on how thick you want the pancake. It will puff up so don't fill pan more than ¾ of the way up the sides. Cook on stovetop for one minute then place oven for 3 minutes. Flip pancake and place back into oven for approximately two more minutes or until cooked through. Add more butter as necessary to coat pan and repeat. Serve with maple syrup, sliced fruit, whipped cream, caramel banana sauce.

Easy Caramel Banana Sauce (adapted from Clayton Miller)
Enough for 2-4 pancakes

1 banana, mashed
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Slowly brown the butter on a low heat in a medium saucepan. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cook until sauce thickens slightly.

By Sarah B. Weir, Yahoo! blogger

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

All-In-One Magic Bathroom Cleaner

by Jessica Reichenbach

What you need:
-1 Professional Spray Bottle (it is worth the extra $1, trust me!)
-8 oz. Distilled White Vinegar
-4 oz. Lemon Juice
-2 oz. Liquid Soap (I use Dawn)
-2 tsp. Baking Soda
-10 oz water

To Mix:
Add the Baking Soda and Vinegar FIRST and let it fizzle out before adding the rest of the ingredients because it will foam. Funnel in all the ingredients, squeeze out the suds, screw on your cap and go make your bathroom sparkle!

To Use:
Clear the surfaces, use toilet tissue to wipe off any dirt, hair, spilled liquids, ect. Using the lightest spray setting, spray down everything- sink, counter, mirror, faucets, tub and the whole toilet, inside and out. I let it sit while I sweep the floor. I then use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the surfaces from the cleanest to the dirtiest. In our house that means mirror, faucets, sink, tub/shower and then the toilet. Be sure to rinse out the tub/shower really well so it isn't slippery.

Stubborn stains in your tub?
Whether its a dirt ring at the top or dirt stuck in the textured bottom, this will solve your problem! Spray down the problem area heavily, and then using a sponge with a non-scratch scrubber, scrub in a circular motion. Again, rinse very well and then put on your shades because its going to be shiny. 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Food inspectors getting tough on olive oil fraud

Food fraud affects many food categories, but stakes are a little higher with olive oil due to potential allergens in substitute ingredients

By Sylvain Charlebois
Senior Fellow
Atlantic Institute for Market Studies
Sylvain Charlebois
Sylvain Charlebois
Olive production in Italy was hard hit last year due to an early frost. The country's production dropped by 57 per cent. Greece and Portugal suffered similar fates, along with pest issues, and saw their production drop by 35 and 15 per cent, respectively.
Short food supplies generate economically-motivated adulteration. This is often the case for spices, tea, vinegar, wine and, of course, olive oil.
Fearing a loss of market share from forced higher retail prices, companies sometimes commit food fraud in order to cut costs.
But in the case of olive oil, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency appears to have things under control.
Since June 2018, Canadian retail olive oil prices have gone up more than 40 per cent in some cases. When olive oil gets more expensive to produce, companies may be tempted to adulterate their products by using palm oil, soya oil or sunflower oil.
The first cases of adulterated olive oil go back to the Roman Empire, so this isn't new. Even some well-known brands have been involved in adulteration. It's quite easy to switch ingredients, as most consumers would probably not notice a difference in taste.
Food fraud affects many food categories, but stakes are a little higher with olive oil, due to potential allergens in substitute ingredients.
In recent years, CFIA has tested some products it suspects to be fraudulent. In 2013, 39 per cent of random tests found adulterated olive oil. Twenty-eight samples were collected across the country. That ratio went down to 10 per cent in 2018, with the random testing of 20 samples.
Obviously, these results don't mean cases of food fraud are actually down in Canada - far from it. But reports are encouraging, nonetheless.
It may suggest, however, that the industry is now fully aware that our federal regulator is checking and will find fraudulent products.
Anything more than zero per cent is too high but the situation appears to be improving. A California study a few years ago estimated that almost 69 per cent of all olive oil imported to North America was fraudulent. Most fraudulent products in the study had been produced using chemicals, making them ineligible to be considered extra virgin. The recent numbers from the CFIA are nowhere near that high.
Food fraud remains one of the most significant challenges in the food industry. According to some estimates, the intentional adulteration, substitution or misrepresentation of food for financial gain costs the global food industry well over $70 billion.
The practice lowers standards for all in the industry and makes conditions for compliant food companies more difficult.
Worse, given that mislabelling is the ultimate outcome of food fraud, many consumers with health conditions are exposed to risks from hidden ingredients.
With new technologies, a change in consumer expectations about food fraud and regulators playing a more active role, fraudulent behaviour is slowly becoming marginalized. That should be celebrated, but much more needs to be done. Public awareness and education, as well as allowing consumers to report suspicious products, should be encouraged.
The most common cases of food fraud in Canada remain misrepresentation with organic and local products. A simple laboratory test only to identify foreign ingredients is not nearly enough.
It's been argued recently that blockchain technologies can help the industry address food fraud. The concept has merit. Many grocers have embraced the approach, although they face resistance higher up the supply chain. For blockchain technologies to work, all involved within the supply chain must comply.
In the meantime, olive oil enthusiasts must be vigilant. Typically, 500 millilitres of quality olive oil should cost $15 to $16 to produce. Price points at retail for good olive oil should be higher than this. So if you're looking at a bottle retailed at $10 or less, walk away.
Sylvain Charlebois is scientific director of the Canadian Agrifood Foresight Institute, a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University, and a senior fellow with the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies.