Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Return of the spooky pumpkin

Halloween is almost upon and the stores are full of delicious pumpkins. Some big, some small, long, fat, skinny, tall, round, ribbed, smooth and even warty.

Many of the pumpkins you see will be used for creating spooky carvings with ghoulish faces at Halloween and the rest of the pumpkin will go to waste. However, there are many uses for this vegetable.

Pumpkins are also very nutritious and are full of calcium and fiber which has multiple health benefits.

Pumpkins also look great thanks to that attractive and vibrant orange that fits the autumn months ahead. This means that almost no part of the pumpkin goes to waste.

Another great part of the pumpkin are the seeds.  A prefect snack on the go. They are a healthy, delicious and nutritious snack thanks to their high mineral content and excellent protein source.

They can also be used as a new twist for your bar by replacing the common peanut. A great way to do that is to roast them. Here are some top methods for cooking with pumpkin...


A warming soup is perfect during the autumn and winter months as the temperature starts to drop and the winds picks up. A quick and simple way to accomplish this is to make it in a blender.


What you might not have known is that pumpkins can be used in all kind of cocktails and are perfect for the fall season as a seasonal themed drink. Why not try and infuse pumpkin into your classic cocktail by using a shaker.


Pumpkin seeds are one of the best parts of this vegetable and are so often thrown away. There are plenty of recipes out there for these seeds. Why not add them to your bread or add a pinch to your salad for that extra crunch and protein. Or simply toast them in a frying pan or grill in a baking tray and add a sprinkle of salt for your bar snack.


Pumpkins are still great for carving. All you need is a good knife and a steady hand to make some great designs that will spook your neighbors....

Friday, 24 October 2014

4 Ways to make your baked goods better

Excellent baking requires a skill and precision. There are many things that can improve our recipes and such as using timers, weighing the flour and using room temperature eggs all make a difference.

Follow these four simple steps to become a better baker.

1. Use Room-Temperature Ingredients

Many recipes state you you should use room temperate ingredients such as butter, eggs and milk.
This makes it a lot easier and gentler when creaming together butter and sugar.

2. Use good quality bake-ware
Roasting Dishes
Baking trays and sheet trays are a must. Using cheap quality trays may cause cake, pie, cookies, or pastries to bake inefficiently as they don't heat efficiently.Another important aspect is to use a top quality mixing bowl. Glass and metal are preferred as plastic coatings can peel and flake off over time.

3. Weigh Ingredients

A digital scale is an excellent way to ensure your weighing is precise. Successful baking requires little error and ensuring your measurements are exact. By adding too much or too little flower for example you can make your cake to dense, buttery, flakey and cakey.

4. Use Salt
Salt is one of the most important ingredients in baked goods. Although there inst too much, reducing or eliminating this ingredient can make your recipe taste completely different.
Salt isn't necessarily in a recipe to make it taste salty , it helps keep the taste from becoming too sweet and flat.