Cookware Buying Guide

Take it from a person who has just finished moving not a few blocks but a few nations actually, that your kitchen can be the most expensive thing for your budget. The cookware, the groceries and the other teeny weeny things you prefer in your fridge can actually leave your wallet with a hole if you don’t know how to cut the expenses. So, HERE I AM, THIS IS ME, with all the knowledge not passed on from generations but by personal experiences, which will help you all a lot in buying the cookware. Be it a whole set or a few additions to your kitchen or any replacement in the same.

Don’t go ONLY after the BIG NAMES:

Good Quality Cookware SetIt is my personal experience that the big names are not always the best ones. The chefs’ endorsements MAY NOT always endorse the BEST Cookware. In fact, when I moved out of my parents’ house and started living on my own, most of my kitchenware consisted of the “BEST BRANDS”. But years of cooking and a lot of experimenting made me realize that all that glitters is SO NOT gold.

Check the Cooktop and the Pieces you Require:

Don’t buy the cookware which is incompatible with your cooktop or which will be a bit small or a bit large. This will save you money and gas and electricity (Induction). I mean, what is the use of buying a size 8 skillet if you can be served well with the size 5. Excess size will not only take excess time in cooking but will also take excess gas or electricity to heat up.

Online Shopping – Not SO GOOD

Take it from the person who has had a fair share of experiences. Buying cookware online can be problematic as till you don’t lift the cookware up and check its weight, strength and handles, grip etc., there will always be a factor of the doubt to your purchase. Physical shopping and testing of the cookware is necessary as it will offer you a better inspection and comparison of different items.

Be Informed

pre-seasoned cookwareYou need to understand the terms such as clad cookware, non-stick, pre-seasoned, hard-coat anodized or just anodized. The understanding will make your purchase more efficient and targeted to your needs. The pre-seasoned term means that the cookware already has a wax coat to prevent the rusting. Such cookware can be used right away after purchasing. Hard Coat Anodization will mean that the almost pure soft aluminum has been made into a hard one. The term CLAD ULTRA will mean that two metals have been used in the cookware. It is done to increase the heat conduction properties or to give strength. Those who are still confused or who have further questions can read FOODISTA’s cookware buying guide. Foodista is a great resource. It examines consumer reviews posted on reliable sites, analyzes them and recommends the best products.

non stick cookwareNon-Stick Cookware will be the one with the PVC Coating and are easy to clean and toss the things. I mean, if your cooking involves a lot of spreads and batters, they are the best kinds. Flipping an omelette, making pancakes and stir fries etc. will be a child’s play if you have these little buddies in your kitchen.

Uncoated cookware will be tough and heavy duty and will be good if you indulge in a lot of browning. They will be, however, consuming a lot of elbow grease and thus should be purchased after a good speculation.

cast iron cookwareCast iron, another mostly used cookware should be purchased if you want to keep the food warm for a long time. The cast iron cookware is a must if you are a fan of making traditional dishes as cornbread.

The other things to be considered while purchasing the cookware are the materials of the lids, which can be metal or glass or a combination of the both. The glass lids can sure give you a view of our food while it is being cooked without having to pick up the lid, they will require proper handling.

Infused cookware is the one in which the material with which the cookware is being coated is infused in the PORES of the COOKWARE to make it abrasion resistant. The coating is more durable and the cookware will keep on serving you better and longer.

Other things which are generally ignored while making the purchase are the handles and the safety measures. It is very important that the handles are checked for both the durability and the heat resistant areas.

Now let us come to some of the brands I have used and can actually talk about.

The king of the market is the ALL CLAD – the upscale stores and the select outlets, high prices and stainless steel and copper cookware are its specialties. It even has a distinct line for the chef Emeril called as Emerilware.

Anolon and Circulon both offer non-stick cookware with most of the Circulon being non-stick on both the inside and outside. Both lie in the UPPER MID PRICE RANGE.

Calphalon is the next one. The mid to high range brand which has added the most number of pieces to my kitchen. The brand provides multiclad, hard anodized, non-stick and stainless steel cookware. So, there is a lot of varieties.

Cuisinart is another one of the mid-price range brands with a lot of variety in the cookware.

The other brands which can be considered while making the purchase are the Faberware, Tramontina and Wearever.

So, here it is. Having gained a lot of information on the cookware, what are you waiting for? Jump in your sneakers or the posh boots and hit the stores.

Happy shopping.

Purchased a Bread Maker for my Chef Sister

Sofia, my younger sister has been cooking and serving and playing the perfect hostess since childhood days. The first cookie she baked was half burnt and being her elder brother, I not only finished it to the last crumb, but praised it like anything. Years passed on and she went on becoming more and more perfect at cooking. It was her graduation night, when I suggested her to make her skills professional and turn into a chef. Now, after 5 more years, there she is, a renowned chef in a reputed restaurant, and there I am, writing about the latest gift I am going to give her in a few days. She will be settling finally and I have to give her something she could relate to. So, I just zeroed down to a Bread Maker; given the fact that she recently got her bread maker broken and was short listing a new one the other day.

Zojirushi BB-PAC20The one I have chosen for her is Zojirushi BB-PAC20. This is the highest rated bread machine by eco-chef. It is a lovely little machine with lots of settings for my chef sister. The machine has a steel textured finish and black colour top which gives it an overall classy look. It would look good on kitchen counters of all colours. The display and other controls have been organized neatly on the top right hand side and are easy to read and distinguish from one another.

Structural details of the Bread Maker:

The machine is a horizontal one and bakes a 2 pound loaf in one go. Generally, the machines available in the market make an oddly shaped loaf which is a serious no-no for my sister. Hence, I chose this one which makes the perfectly traditional shaped bread loaf. The baking pan comes with dual paddles and two handles which make the handling easy. The lid of the machine has another heater which makes sure that the bread is baked evenly from all the sides and what makes the machine all the more special is that there is a large viewing window which gives you the visuals of the progress of the bread baking.

breadWell, Sofia will be very happy as she loves experimenting with different tastes and ingredients and this machine will offer her a wide range of possibilities. One can make Wheat bread, regular bread, pizza dough, cookie dough, sourdough starters, cake, jams and even the donut dough. Another plus point of buying the machine is that it comes with a delayed timer of 13 hours. This makes it possible to put the timer on in the night and get the bread loaf ready by the time you wake up in the morning.

Well, I think that she will find it a very good gift as she deals with the best of the cookware and electronic cooking machines at work. But having something of her own which is so compact and loaded with features which are rarely found in every other bread maker and the promise of quality which comes with the name of Zojirushi, will make her happy to own it. Being a chef herself, she will be able to put it to more use than a novice like me and I would be happy to see her surprised face the moment she opens the package.

Well, I hope that she gets as much surprised as I am imagining. Let’s just wait and watch what happens. Till then, good bye.

Fuzzy Logic means Perfect Rice

rice overflowingIt has not been too long when one day I spoilt a whole dinner hosted by me. I put the rice in the cooker after having prepared everything else and went to have a shower. By the time I came back to the kitchen, I found that the rice had bubbled out of the cooker, leaving the gooey starchy mess on the cooker, counter tops, cabinets under them and the kitchen floor. The guests were ringing the bell and I was almost in tears with the mess that made me change instantly and set to cleaning once again after letting the party in and make them sit alone for almost an hour.

To this day, I don’t know where I went wrong. The amount of rice, water or was there something wrong in the cooker itself. That night after the party was gone, I was just sitting in front of my laptop to find the best cooker in my budget. I stumbled upon the fuzzy logic rice cooker and since then, have hosted a lot of parties and never have to face such a situation. Chef Brazil helped me to make that choice. Chef Brazil editors review the best rice cookers with pros, cons, videos, price comparisons, and user reviews.

Fuzzy logic rice cookerThe Fuzzy Logic Rice Cookers come with highly intelligent micro-computers which allow the space for the human uncertainty. Accounting for the terms such as ‘almost’, ‘near’, ‘a little bit more’ etc. the Fuzzy Logic Rice Cookers have the ability to deliver the perfectly cooked rice even if the ingredients are not properly measured. The temperature monitoring, steam etc is done by the cookers themselves and the user need not worry about anything.

Versatility:

Apart from cooking only rice, the Fuzzy Logic Rice Cookers can be used to cook the soups, stews, and every other thing the simple cookers do. The steaming of the vegetables and meat etc can be done also. Apart from cooking the different types of rice such as the porridge rice, sweet rice, hard rice, soft rice, sushi rice, regular and brown rice; you can also choose the texture of the rice such as wet rice, sticky rice, dry rice, etc.

The Fuzzy Logic Rice Cookers employ the principle of the intelligent cooking and makes the cooking as close to the human understanding as possible. I have used Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker for cooking various types of rice and have never been left unsatisfied with the results. The rice comes out perfect and as I am a huge fan of rice, I can tell every person out there that it is the best rice cooker you can have.

Delonghi ESAM 3300 espresso machine is my personal choice

DeLonghi ESAM3300 Espresso MachineWhen I think about coffeemakers I always think about Delonghi ESAM 3300 espresso machine. This wonderful coffee maker, in my opinion, is the best ever designed espresso machine on the market. Customers today are offered a lot of choice, but if you look for the perfect cup of coffee, delivered in no time and with as little work from your part as possible, then you are looking for Delonghi ESAM 3300.

This espresso machine is rated with five stars by The Edge and most of its users, although its price might seem a little high for some. The average price for a machine of this type is around $800, which is a bit too much for those who are used to buy coffee makers for less than $100. However, the Delonghi ESAM 3300 espresso machine is super automatic and has 1150 watts of power. It is made from a beautiful combination of plastic and stainless steel, with a 15 bar pump. The boiler is made from stainless steel and the water tank has 60 ounces of capacity and is removable.

CappuccinoThe whole machine weights less than 30 pounds and has one year of warranty. The espresso machine works only with beans, which are grinded instantly, just before the brewing. It is designed to warm even the cups. The beans are grinded easily with just the push of the right button and in no time users are presented with the perfect cup of espresso. If cappuccino is your drink, all you need to do is to press another button. Delonghi ESAM 3300 is designed to give to every member of your family his or her favorite cup of coffee.

I choose Delonghi ESAM 3300 because of the wonderful quality of the drinks it brews, and its right dimensions, which allow me to put it everywhere in my kitchen and the warm plate that keeps my coffee always warm. After the first cup of coffee, I saw that it is worth every dollar I spent on it. The machine is also very stylish and goes with all kitchen designs. And what is more, your coffee would not be ruined by the cold cups, as the machine heats them automatically.

espressoIn other words, Delonghi ESAM 3300 combines good coffee, excellent performance, easy maintenance, practical style and beautiful design at an affordable price. With it you could expect to drink the best espresso every morning. There is also the possibility to use some personal touch and program it according to your taste. All that is required from you is to buy the right ingredients and learn the easy making process. It takes me only a few minutes to make my favorite cup of espresso or the other espresso based drinks, such as latte and cappuccino.

Good Bye from 320

3Twenty Wine Lounge’s last day of operation is February 20th, 2015. Thank you all for breaking bread with us, and for the opportunity to pour a few tons of fermented grape juice over the better part of four years. It has been a blessing to be able to pursue our passions, and to share those passions with so many regulars and aspiring oenophiles. For the better part of four years, it has been a great honor to serve you, and the new owners of the space would love the opportunity to do the same (check out wildela.com for more information). Ultimately it is not the act of serving the wine and food I love that I will take the most away from this fantastic experience, but more that I have had the experience to build such camaraderie among great people, and to be a part of so many special moments in the lives of those that entrusted us with them. Thank you so much for your patronage.

Sincerely,
Edgar and Family

about 320 Los Angeles wine bar restaurant

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Contact

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320 South La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

General Inquiry:   info @ 320southwine.com

Group Bookings:   edgar @ 320southwine.com

Art Inquiries:       janet @ 320southwine.com

Hours of Operation:

Dinner:

Sunday – Thursday: 6:00pm – 10:30pm

Friday & Saturday: 6:00pm – 11:30pm