What Cleaning Agent Best Removes Baked-On Food

Are you tired of struggling to remove that stubborn, baked-on food from your pots and pans? Look no further! In this article, we will reveal the cleaning agent that is guaranteed to tackle even the toughest messes. From the power of baking soda to the versatility of dish soap, we have tested them all so you don’t have to. Get ready to discover how to clean baked on food and say goodbye to those pesky stains and hello to sparkling clean cookware!

The Power of Baking Soda

Baking soda is known for its exceptional ability to remove baked-on food. Not only does it effectively tackle stubborn stains and grime, but it also offers numerous benefits beyond the kitchen. One of the key advantages of baking soda is its versatility as a cleaning agent.

In addition to removing baked-on food, you can use it to freshen up your carpets, deodorize your fridge, and even clean your bathroom tiles. Its gentle yet powerful properties make it a go-to solution for various household cleaning tasks. However, while baking soda works wonders on its own, combining it with vinegar can create a natural cleaning miracle that will leave your home sparkling clean.

Vinegar: A Natural Cleaning Miracle

Using vinegar is a great way to easily tackle stubborn, stuck-on messes. Its acidic properties make it an effective natural cleaning solution for various household cleaning tasks. Here are three reasons why vinegar should be your go-to cleaner:

  • Vinegar breaks down grease and grime: Whether it’s baked-on food or greasy stovetops, vinegar cuts through the toughest stains, making cleanup a breeze.
  • Vinegar eliminates odors: Say goodbye to unpleasant smells! Vinegar neutralizes odors, leaving your kitchen smelling fresh and clean.
  • Vinegar disinfects surfaces: Not only does vinegar remove dirt and stains, but it also kills germs and bacteria, making your countertops safe and hygienic.

Now that you know the power of vinegar as a cleaning agent, let’s move on to another secret weapon in your arsenal: lemon juice.

Lemon Juice: Your Secret Weapon

Looking for an effective natural alternative to remove stubborn stains? Look no further than lemon juice! This versatile citrus fruit can tackle a variety of stains, from grease and ink to rust and mildew. With its powerful cleaning properties, lemon juice is a must-have in your arsenal of cleaning supplies.

Effective Natural Alternative

One popular option for removing baked-on food is vinegar, which can be an effective natural alternative. Vinegar is not only a staple in your kitchen pantry but also a powerful cleaning agent that tackles tough stains and grime. Here are three reasons why vinegar is a great choice for cleaning baked-on food:

  • It is a natural cleaning solution that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, making it safe for you and the environment.
  • Vinegar’s acidity helps to break down stubborn residues, making it an eco-friendly cleaning option.
  • It is versatile and can be used on various surfaces, like stovetops, ovens, and baking sheets.

Versatile for Various Stains

Vinegar’s versatility extends beyond removing baked-on food and can effectively tackle various stains. When it comes to versatile cleaning methods, vinegar is undoubtedly the best natural cleaning agent you can rely on. Not only does it cut through grease and grime, but it also works wonders in removing stubborn stains from different surfaces. Take a look at this table to see just how versatile vinegar can be:

Stain TypeVinegar Solution
Coffee1 part vinegar, 2 parts water
WineUndiluted vinegar
GreaseEqual parts vinegar and dish soap

As you can see, vinegar’s ability to handle different types of stains makes it an invaluable tool for your cleaning arsenal. But don’t worry, we’re not done yet! Let’s now explore the versatility of dish soap in the next section without missing a beat.

The Versatility of Dish Soap

Dish soap is a versatile cleaning agent that can effectively remove baked-on food. One of the benefits of using homemade cleaning solutions is that they are often more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than store-bought products. When it comes to removing grease, dish soap plays a crucial role. Its powerful formula cuts through the tough grime and oil, making it easier to clean even the most stubborn stains. Not only does dish soap dissolve grease, but it also helps to break down proteins in food residues, making them easier to remove. However, if you’re looking for an extra boost in stain removal power, then let’s explore the magic of hydrogen peroxide in the next section.

The Magic of Hydrogen Peroxide

Did you know that hydrogen peroxide is not only a powerful cleaning agent, but also has various other uses? When it comes to efficacy, hydrogen peroxide is highly effective in removing stains, disinfecting surfaces, and killing bacteria. However, it’s important to keep in mind the safety precautions while using hydrogen peroxide, such as wearing protective gloves and avoiding contact with eyes or skin. Additionally, beyond its cleaning properties, hydrogen peroxide can be used as a natural teeth whitener, hair lightener, and even for gardening purposes like plant root stimulation.

Efficacy of Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is effective at removing baked-on food. Not only does it work wonders in disinfection, but it can also be used in your laundry routine. When it comes to efficacy, hydrogen peroxide has been proven to kill bacteria and viruses effectively, making it a great choice for cleaning surfaces and utensils that come into contact with food. In addition, adding a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to your laundry can help remove tough stains and brighten whites without damaging the fabric. However, while hydrogen peroxide is a versatile cleaning agent, it’s important to take safety precautions when using it. This includes wearing protective gloves and goggles, as well as ensuring proper ventilation in the area where you’re working with hydrogen peroxide.

Safety Precautions When Using Hydrogen Peroxide

When using hydrogen peroxide, it’s crucial to follow safety precautions such as wearing protective gear and ensuring proper ventilation. Safety should be your top priority when handling this powerful cleaning agent. Before you begin, make sure to put on gloves and safety goggles to protect your skin and eyes from any potential harm. Additionally, work in a well-ventilated area or open windows to allow for fresh air circulation. Proper usage of hydrogen peroxide also involves storing it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources. By taking these safety precautions, you can ensure a safe and effective cleaning experience with hydrogen peroxide. Now let’s explore the alternative uses for this versatile cleaning agent without missing a beat.

Alternative Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide

Now that you know how to use hydrogen peroxide safely, let’s explore its alternative uses. Did you know that hydrogen peroxide can be used for more than just cleaning wounds? It is actually a versatile ingredient that can be found in many DIY home remedies and eco-friendly cleaning solutions. For example, you can mix hydrogen peroxide with water to create an all-purpose cleaner that effectively removes stains and kills bacteria. Additionally, it can be used as a natural bleach alternative for your laundry or as a stain remover for carpets and fabrics. By incorporating hydrogen peroxide into your cleaning routine, you can enjoy the benefits of a clean and hygienic home without relying on harsh chemicals. Speaking of cleaning, let’s now dive into all about oven cleaner…

All About Oven Cleaner

To effectively remove baked-on food, it’s important to consider the different types of oven cleaners available. Using an oven cleaner can bring numerous benefits when tackling stubborn stains and grease. Here’s how to choose the right one for your needs:

  1. Consider the type of oven you have – certain cleaners are specifically formulated for gas or electric ovens.
  2. Check the cleaning power – look for a cleaner that is strong enough to dissolve tough grime, but gentle on your oven’s surfaces.
  3. Look for non-toxic options – if you prefer eco-friendly products, there are oven cleaners made with natural ingredients.
  4. Read customer reviews – see what others have experienced with different brands and determine which one is most effective.

Once you’ve found the perfect oven cleaner, you’ll be amazed at how easily it removes baked-on food. But before we dive into that topic, let’s explore another powerful cleaning agent: white vinegar.

The Wonders of White Vinegar

White vinegar is a versatile and powerful household ingredient. Not only is it great for cooking and dressings, but it also has numerous benefits for hair and cleaning windows. Let’s take a look at the wonders of white vinegar in a table format:

Benefits of White VinegarUsage
Shiny and smooth hairRinse after shampoo
Removes product buildupUse as a hair mask
Natural conditionerMix with water
Streak-free window cleaningDilute with water
Disinfects surfacesSpray and wipe

Using white vinegar on your hair can help restore its shine, remove any product buildup, and act as a natural conditioner. For cleaning windows, diluting white vinegar with water creates an effective streak-free solution. Now that you know the wonders of white vinegar, let’s move on to the surprising effectiveness of salt when it comes to removing baked-on food without scrubbing.

The Surprising Effectiveness of Salt

Using salt as a natural scrubbing alternative can be surprisingly effective in removing tough, baked-on residue from dishes. 1) Salt is an inexpensive and readily available household item that can help you tackle stubborn stains. 2) Its coarse texture makes it an excellent abrasive for scrubbing away food particles without scratching the surface. 3) The alkaline nature of salt also helps to break down grease and grime, making it an effective stain remover. Simply sprinkle some salt on the stained area, dampen with water, and gently scrub until the residue is gone. The benefits of using salt as a stain remover extend beyond just dishes; it can also be used to clean cutting boards, countertops, and even remove coffee or tea stains from mugs. Give this simple yet powerful cleaning trick a try and see the results for yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Baking Soda to Remove Baked-On Food From Surfaces Other Than Oven Racks?

You can use baking soda to remove baked-on food from surfaces other than oven racks. However, there are also alternative homemade cleaning solutions that you can try for effective results.

How Does Vinegar Compare to Other Cleaning Agents in Terms of Removing Tough, Baked-On Food?

When it comes to tackling tough, baked-on food, vinegar is a natural wonder! It outshines commercial cleaning agents with its amazing power and versatility. Say goodbye to stubborn stains and hello to sparkling clean surfaces!

Are There Any Precautions or Safety Measures to Keep in Mind When Using Lemon Juice as a Cleaning Agent?

When using lemon juice as a cleaning agent, it’s important to take precautions and follow safety measures. Lemon juice can be acidic and may cause skin irritation or damage certain surfaces.

Can Dish Soap Effectively Remove Baked-On Food From Non-Stick Surfaces Without Causing Damage?

Hot water can effectively remove baked-on food from non-stick surfaces without causing damage. Using a scrub brush or sponge with dish soap is more effective than just relying on hot water alone.

Is Hydrogen Peroxide Safe to Use on All Types of Oven Surfaces, Including Stainless Steel?

Hydrogen peroxide is safe to use on all types of oven surfaces, including stainless steel. It’s a great cleaning agent that effectively removes baked-on food without causing damage. As an alternative, dish soap can also work well on non-stick surfaces.


How to Make Perfect Smoked Pizza

Hey, pizza lover!

Do you ever find yourself wishing that you could make perfect smoked pizza at home? Well, now you can! In this blog post, we are going to teach you the easy steps needed to make the perfect smoked pizza. Just follow our steps and you will be able to bake up a delicious and crispy pizza that everyone will love.

Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to become a master of smoked pizza making! With our easy-to-follow instructions, you will be able to create the best-tasting pizza ever. So read on and start baking today or, if you want to find out how to smoke pizza in an electric smoker, then please check out my buddy’s website.

How To Make Perfect Smoked Pizza

Making the perfect smoked pizza is all about getting the right balance of flavor and texture. A good smoked pizza should have a crispy crust, a slightly smokey flavor, and just the right amount of toppings. Here are a few tips on how to make your next smoked pizza perfect:

1. Choose the right type of wood for smoking. The best woods for smoking pizza are hickory, mesquite, or apple. Avoid using pine or cedar, as these can give your pizza a bitter flavor.

2. Preheat your smoker to 350 degrees Fahrenheit before adding your pizza. This will help ensure that your crust cooks evenly.

3. When it comes to topping your pizza, less is more. Too many toppings can weigh down the dough and make it difficult to cook evenly. Stick with classic toppings like cheese, pepperoni, or sausage.

4. Cook your pizza for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

5. Let your pizza cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. This will give the sauce time to set and prevent the slices from falling apart.

I’ve Been Making Pizzas For Years, And I’ve Never Found A Better Way To Make Them Than In A Smoker.

I’ve been making pizzas for years, and I’ve never found a better way to make them than in a smoker. The key to making the perfect smoked pizza is all in preparation.

First, you need to find the right smoker. There are a lot of different smokers on the market, so it’s important to do your research and find one that will work well for you. I personally prefer a pellet smoker, but any good quality smoker will do.

Once you have your smoker set up, the next step is to prepare your dough. This is where a lot of people go wrong – they don’t give their dough enough time to rise, so it ends up being too dense and not cooking evenly. I like to let my dough rise for at least 24 hours before I even think about putting it in the smoker.

After your dough has had time to rise, it’s time to start prepping your toppings. Again, this is where a lot of people make mistakes. They put too much sauce on their pizzas, or they don’t cook their toppings long enough before putting them on the pizza. If you’re using raw meat toppings, make sure to cook them thoroughly before putting them on your pizza.

Once you have your dough and toppings prepared, it’s time to start smoking your pizza. The key here is to not over smoke it – you just want enough smoke flavor to complement the other flavors of the pizza, without overpowering them. I like to smoke my pizzas for about 30-45 minutes at around 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

And that’s it! Follow these steps and you’ll be sure to end up with the perfect smoked pizza every time.

Is Pizza Good In A Smoker?

There’s nothing quite like a freshly made pizza, and when you add smoking to the mix, you’re in for a real treat! Smoked pizza is becoming increasingly popular, as it adds a unique flavor to the dish.

If you’re wondering if smoking pizza is worth the effort, the answer is a resounding yes! The smoky flavor pairs perfectly with the rich taste of cheese and tomato sauce, and it’s sure to be a hit with your friends and family. Plus, it’s not as difficult as you might think to make smoked pizza at home.

Here are a few tips for making the perfect smoked pizza:

– Use a quality pizza dough recipe that can withstand being smoked. This will ensure that your pizza crust turns out nice and crispy.

– Preheat your smoker before adding the pizza. This will help to prevent the dough from sticking to the grates.

– Add your favorite toppings, but don’t go overboard. Too many toppings can make it difficult for the smoke to penetrate the pizza and impart its flavor.

– Smoke the pizza at a low temperature so that the dough has time to cook through without burning.

– Allow the pizza to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving. This will give the flavors time to meld together.

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to create mouthwatering smoked pizzas that will have everyone coming back for more!

How Long Do You Smoke A Pizza?

Pizza is one of those classic comfort foods that everyone seems to love. And while there are a million different ways to make pizza, one of the best methods is smoking it. Smoking pizza gives the dough a unique flavor and allows you to control the level of char on the crust. But how long do you smoke a pizza?

The answer to that question depends on a few factors, including the type of pizza you’re making and the temperature of your smoker. For thin crust pizzas, you’ll want to smoke them for around 2-3 minutes at a temperature of 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re making a thicker crust pizza, you’ll need to smoke it for 3-4 minutes. And if you want a really charred crust, you can smoke the pizza for 4-5 minutes.

One thing to keep in mind is that the pizza will continue to cook even after you take it out of the smoker, so you don’t want to overcook it. It’s better to err on the side of undercooking and then give it a minute or two to finish cooking out of the smoker.

So there you have it! The next time you’re in the mood for smoked pizza, remember these tips and you’ll be sure to end up with a delicious pie.

Can I Use A Pizza Stone In A Smoker?

Yes, you can use a pizza stone in a smoker! However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, make sure that your pizza stone is heat-resistant and can handle the high temperatures of the smoker. Secondly, it’s important to preheat the stone before putting your pizza on it. And finally, be sure to put the stone on the lower rack of the smoker so that it doesn’t get too hot and ruin your pizza.

If you follow these simple tips, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious smoked pizzas without any problems!

What Temp Do You Cook A Pizza At In A Pellet Smoker?

When it comes to cooking pizza in a pellet smoker, the sky is the limit in terms of temperature. However, for the perfect smoked pizza, we recommend cooking at a temperature between 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that your crust is nice and crispy while the cheese is perfectly melted.


I’ve been making pizzas for years, and I’ve never found a better way to make them than in a smoker. Smoked pizza is the perfect combination of crispy crust, gooey cheese, and savory toppings. If you’re looking for the best way to make a delicious pizza, look no further than your trusty smoker.


Our 5 Favorite Coffee Bean Drinks

If you’re like most people, you probably enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning to help wake you up and get you going for the day. But did you know that there are actually different types of coffee beans, each with its own unique flavor profile? In this article, we’ll introduce you to five of the best coffee bean drinks around so that you can start your day off right!

Café Latte

A café latte is a coffee drink that originated in Italy. It is made with espresso and steamed milk. A café latte generally has more milk than a cappuccino.

A typical café latte is made with one or two shots of espresso and steamed milk. The milk is sometimes topped with foam. A café latte can also be made with soy milk or almond milk.

Café lattes are usually served in tall glasses or mugs. They can be flavored with syrups or spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg. Café lattes can also be made into iced drinks or frozen drinks.

Overall, café lattes are creamy and smooth coffee drinks that are perfect for any time of day.

Café Mocha

A Café Mocha is a coffee drink that combines espresso with chocolate. It usually also has milk and whipped cream. Café Mochas are a popular choice at coffee shops. They are typically made with dark chocolate, but can also be made with milk chocolate or white chocolate.

The espresso in Café Mocha gives the drink a strong coffee flavor. The chocolate adds sweetness and richness to the drink. The milk and whipped cream make the drink creamy and smooth.

Café Mochas can be made with different types of chocolate. They can also be made with different flavors of espresso. For example, some Café Mochas are made with mint chocolate or raspberry chocolate. Some are made with vanilla espresso or hazelnut espresso.

There are many different ways to make a Café Mocha. Some people like to add extra flavorings, such as vanilla extract or cinnamon. Others like to top their drink with whipped cream or marshmallows.

No matter how you make it, a Café Mocha is a delicious and satisfying coffee drink.

Flat White

A Flat White is a coffee drink that originated in Australia. It is made with espresso and steamed milk, and usually has a layer of foam on top. The coffee to milk ratio in a Flat White is higher than in other drinks like a latte, which gives it a stronger flavor.

Flat Whites are typically served in small cups and can be made with either whole milk or skim milk. Skim milk will give the drink a less creamy texture, but will not affect the flavor too much. Whole milk will make the drink richer and more creamy.

If you want to try something different, you can add flavoring to your Flat White. Popular choices include vanilla, caramel, and chocolate. You can also ask for your Flat White to be made with almond milk or soy milk if you prefer.


An Americano is a coffee drink that is made by diluting espresso with hot water. This results in a coffee that is less intense than espresso but still has a lot of flavors. Americanos are typically served with milk, sugar, or cream.

Americano is a popular coffee drink because it is very versatile. It can be enjoyed on its own or with added milk, sugar, or cream. Americanos are also easy to make at home with an espresso machine.

If you are looking for a coffee drink that is flavorful and versatile, an Americano is a great option.


A cappuccino is a coffee drink that originated in Italy. It is made with espresso and steamed milk, and it is usually topped with foam.

A cappuccino typically has a stronger coffee flavor than other coffee drinks like lattes. This is because it is made with espresso, which has a strong coffee flavor. Cappuccinos are also usually less sweet than other coffee drinks. The steamed milk helps to balance out the strong coffee flavor.

Cappuccinos are typically served in small cups. This allows you to enjoy the strong coffee flavor without getting overwhelmed. Cappuccinos are also usually served with a small spoon so that you can add sugar or other sweeteners if desired.

Overall, cappuccinos are a great choice for coffee drinkers who want a strong coffee flavor without too much sweetness.

Recipes for each drink

There are many different recipes for making coffee drinks. Depending on what type of drink you want, the recipe will vary.

For instance, if you want to make a cappuccino, you will need espresso, steamed milk, and foam. To make a latte, you will need espresso and steamed milk. And to make a mocha, you will need espresso, chocolate syrup, and steamed milk.

Each of these drinks can be made with different types of coffee beans. For instance, you could use dark roast beans for a richer flavor, or light roast beans for a more subtle flavor. You could also experiment with different bean origins to find a flavor that you like.

The best way to figure out which coffee bean drink recipe is right for you is to experiment and try out different combinations. There are many great recipes out there, so don’t be afraid to try something new.


There you have it – 5 of the best coffee bean drinks to keep you going all day long. Whether you like your coffee black, with milk, or sweetened with sugar, there’s a drink on this list for everyone. So next time you’re in the mood for a pick-me-up, reach for one of these delicious concoctions and enjoy!


Torn Ranch Wine Truffles

Each month here at Jilly Chicago we be bringing you information on what we feel to be some of the industry’s leading companies. We do this in hopes to bring to light a company you may not know that much about and to bask them in the glory they so richly deserve. If you have any great companies that you feel should get the nod please email them to us at Jillys.

As one of the year’s most chocolate obsessed holidays fast approaches (February) we felt it would be just to entice you with one of the nation’s premier artisan chocolatiers, Torn Ranch.

The beginnings of Torn Ranch are similar to that of many purveyors of gourmet specialty foods. Torn Ranch began as a small retail store located in Marin County. As a warm welcome, the store owner (whose name really was Torn) would place a jumbo cashew in each customers hand as they entered his store. Eventually as the demand for his products increased rapidly, Torn closed his retail store to focus on the wholesale gourmet specialty market. 

Today, appropriately nestled between San Francisco and Napa Valley, with the leadership of Dean and Sue Morrow, they boast over 100 employees and have become well known as leading innovators in the gourmet industry. Their unparalleled commitments to the highest standard for product quality and gift design, Torn Ranch chocolatiers have quickly become known for their artisan chocolate.

Torn Ranch took the food world by storm with the creation of their tea infused truffles. They appeared in the Wall Street Journal among other publications, which helped them create national reorganization. For the past 30 years Torn Ranch has hand crafted their artisanal truffles which now feature such delicacies as wine infused and fruit ganache. It has long been known that the pairing of wine and chocolate is a perfect match.  Torn Ranch has taken it one step further by infusing rare vintage port wine, sparkling champagne, buttery chardonnay and a full bodied cabernet together with their signature milk chocolate; a wine connoisseurs dream!

Their artisan fruit ganache truffles are equally delectable with the addition of succulent passion fruit, guava, tangelo, pear, pineapple, coconut and other exotic fruits! Each artisan truffle is then hand-painted with their signature milk chocolate. Torn Ranch didn’t just stop there. They went on to create many other delectable confections such as snappy ginger cookies, chocolate dipped glaced apricots and chocolate glaced orange slices! Drooling yet? I know I am! I had an opportunity to get my hands on some of these delectable treats but I will save that for another post! Torn Ranch can only be found at high end retailers and is well worth the search!


How to Flambe

The word Flambé is one that creates the impression of an extravagant and difficult to prepare meal. Many chefs stray away from desserts or meals that are prepared using this method because they fear that is simply an art that is too difficult to master. That or they are afraid they might accidentally burn down the house.

Flambé (which means flaming when translated in French) is one of the best ways to add an additional layer of flavor to your meal. The flambé method allows the chef to incorporate a flavor of the liqueur without having the harsh bite of alcohol remaining. This can be an effective method for meals ranging from meats to desserts and can create a very beautiful presentation when used in front of guests.

The first step when flambéing is to choose the liqueur to pair with your meal. You will want to use a brandy or high proof liqueur. It is best to choose a liqueur that is 80 proof; as anything containing a higher proof is viewed as too unstable for the flaming process and can yield explosive results (literally). However, liqueurs that are of a lower proof run the risk of not igniting when held to the flame. It is best to add a liqueur that resembles the flavor of the fruit or meat being prepared. A cognac or whiskey can compliment the flavor of a meat and will create a complexity that is hard to rival with other cooking methods.

Next heat the brandy or liqueur in a small sauce pan with high sides as most recipes will call for little more then 4 oz of liqueur (approximately ½ cup). You will want to heat the sauce pan until bubbles begin to form around the edges. This will happen as the liqueur reaches its boiling point of 175 degrees which is much lower then water (212 degrees).

At the same time in a separate pan heat the food that you are planning on flambéing. If the food is not warm when the liqueur is added you run the risk of cooling the liqueur too much and it may not light. It is important when using a gas stove not to poor the liqueur directly from the bottle over the stove as the flame can chase up the bottle and explode, which would not be a good thing. While flambéing can impress your guests a trip to the hospital can also impress them as well, just not in a way you were hoping for.

When both the liqueur and food have reached their temperatures simply add the liqueur from the sauce pan. If you are using a gas stove be prepared as the flame may ignite the fumes and begin the flambé process. If you are using an electric stove or the flame does not light the alcohol as it is added simply use a long lighter or match (like you would use for your fireplace) to begin the flaming process.

From here, simply let it cook until the flame has disappeared which signifies the burning off of the alcohol. As the flame burns simply move the pan in a back and forth motion being careful not to spill the contents over the side of the pan to ensure the burning off of all the alcohol. When finished, remove from the heat and serve immediately as most flambé recipes are meant to be served hot!


Whats the best way to bake a potato Barbecue Baked Potato

What’s the best way to bake a potato you ask?

Well personally I think that this is dependent upon your time. There are three widely accepted methods of cooking a “baked” potato, each with it’s own advantages and disadvantages.

Method 1: Baking it in the oven.

What I love about baking a potato in the oven is that it seems to have a little more taste then that of a potato prepared by other methods. This is probably because it gets a nice crispy texture without getting too mushy. The downside of this method you ask? Well it can take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the spud!

Method 2: Microwave!

The advent of the microwave has greatly reduced the amount of time required to cook up many a things. There are both good sides and bad. The good is that a baked potato can be heated up in just 15 minutes. The downsides here come in the form of overcooked ends that become hardened in a hurry and no one wants that!

Method 3: Boiling – The choice of most restaurants.

While boiling a potato takes a little longer than that of it’s microwaved cousin it can cut down overall cooking time by 15 to 20 minutes when compared to the oven baking method. One other nice point is the addition of water to the cooking process allows for potatoes that are softer and because of the salt added sometimes a little more flavorful.

For me the best way to bake a potato really depends on the time in which I have. If I have all the time in the world I bake them in an oven. If I’m pressed for time the microwave or boiling methods work great! I do however; feel that the way in which you bake your potato doesn’t matter as much as how you plan on topping it.

Yesterday I started a series of posts about some of America’s greatest ball park foods. Coming in at my second favorite little league game favorite is the Barbecue Baked Potato! This portable potato is not only quick and easy to prepare its probably the best way to top a potato ever invented.

To begin our barbecue baked potatoes cook your “baked” potato using the method of your choice. Pull it out of the oven/microwave/pot and cut it open. Then using a fork, press the softened potato into a small bowl like so.

Once you have your bowl it’s time to fill it! Put your barbecue flavored pulled pork into the center. Now, if you have all the time in the world you can make this from scratch. Or if you’re looking to save some time I find that Lloyds makes a great BBQ pulled pork that can be heated up in the microwave in 2 minutes flat.

Once you have your barbecue goodness on the potato it’s time to add some cheese.

Now add some freshly cut chives!

Finally, no baked potato is complete without a dollop of sour cream! One thing I like to do is keep it in the tin foil used to bake it with (this is provided you don’t use the microwave or boiling options) to create a little portable dish. If you do choose another method there’s nothing stopping you from putting this innovative plate idea to use once your tater is cooked. See you at the game!

One more look at this bad boy….. Oh yeah!

Barbecue baked potatoes


  • 2 large baked potatoes
  • 16 oz pulled pork (preferably Lloyds)
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh minced chives
  • 2 oz sour cream


  1. Bake your potato using method of your choice. Using a fork create a bowl within the baked potato.
  2. Warm pulled pork according to directions and fill the bowl created in the baked potato.
  3. Top pulled pork with cheese, chives, and sour cream.

How To make The Perfect Croque Madam

I am on a mission…..

And when I’m on a mission nothing can stand in my way. Not even the sacred traditions of what time certain meals are to be enjoyed.

Heck who am I kidding? I love to do breakfast for dinner all the time! Maybe it’s the kid in me but there is something about it that is comforting to me when you take a traditional breakfast meal and make it for dinner (like French toast).

But this week was a little different not only was this inspiration part kid it was also part MacGyver of me as I try to clean out my fridge (the very important mission).

Why is this such an important mission? Well in two weeks I will be taking a 1 week long vacation! I’m going to be heading north to Minnesota to stay at my family’s cabin in an effort to escape the heat of Texas.

Well I’m actually going because…well….I need a vacation…. Don’t we all?

As I was on this mission I noticed that a had an unusually large amount of Gruyere cheese left that desperately needed consuming (at least that’s what I told myself) as well as a couple dozen farm fresh eggs. Now when I say farm fresh eggs were talking strait from my parents neighbors farm where the chickens run free and peck at your feet as you collect your eggs fresh. I can’t even begin to tell you the difference these eggs make when you are baking (or in my case making Croque-Madames).

What I love about the Croque-Madame is the fact that it takes the already super delicious Croque-Monsieur and slams a fried egg on top to improve the already super nutritional meal. I can’t help but feel when the Croque-Madame was invented the very talented chef was on a mission to clean out his/her fridge as they were on their way to vacation.

I can even hear them in the kitchen going…. Gruyere…. Ham….Bread… well I could definitely do a Croque-Monsieur ….but what the heck am I going to do with all those eggs? I’m leaving for vacation in a week…. Hum… this gives me an idea!

To being our Croque-Madame we in fact start by creating a Croque-Monsieur. In a small saucepan melt some butter over low heat. Then add 2 tablespoons of flour and cook stirring for two minutes to create your (yup you guessed it) roux. What I love about a Roux is that all great sauces tend to begin with one!

Next we whisk in our milk and bring to a boil. The sauce will begin to thicken as we reduce the heat and allow to simmer for five minutes.

While the sauce is simmering shred a ½ cup Gruyere cheese. Add this and the mustard into the sauce and whisk until the cheese is melted.

Remove this form the heat and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. You now have a classic Mornay sauce (Which is one of the best parts of the Croque-Monsieur/Madame).

Now it’s time to build your sandwich. I know the recipe says to place the sauce on first but I find this difficult and confusing. Begin by buttering one side of our bread and placing it butter side down on a pan. Next spread 1 tablespoon Mornay sauce over your slices.

Stack your sandwich high with ham and some moderately thick slices of Gruyere. Don’t go skimping on the Gruyere here (you’ll thank me later).

Butter the remaining slices of bread and place them butter side up on top of the Gruyere. Allow these to cook on your skillet for a few minutes on each side until each side is a golden brown.

Spread the remaining Mornay sauce and place these in a broiling pan. If you don’t have a broiling pan don’t panic as it’s not really necessary here as this will not need to drain anything. Broil your sandwiches until the Mornay sauce begins to brown (about 2 minutes). While these are browning quickly fry up some eggs to place on top. When the Croque-Monsieurs come out of the oven allow to cool for 10 seconds and then make them Croque-Madames by placing the fried eggs on top. Bon Appetite!

A slightly altered recipe from The Gourmet Cookbook


5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
6 ounces thinly sliced Gruyere
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste
8 slices firm white sandwich bread, crusts discarded
¼ pound thinly sliced ham


Make the Sauce:

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small heavy sauce pan over moderately low heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to make a roux. Whisk in milk and bringto a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop enough cheese to measure ½ cup. Whisk chopped cheese and mustard into sauce, then whisk until cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with nutmeg. Cover with wax paper placed directly on surface to keep warm.

Make The Sandwich:

Lay 4 slices bread on work surface. Divide ham and remaining cheese slices among them. Spread 1 tablespoon Mornay sauce evenly on each of remaining bread slices and invert over ham and cheese. Spread half of remaining butter evenly on top of sandwiches and transfer, buttered sides down, to an oven proof 12 inch skillet. Spread remaining butter on top of sandwiches. Cook over low heat, turning ounces, until both sides are golden, 6 to 8 minutes total.

Preheat broiler. Leaving sandwiches in skillet, spread tops of sandwiches evenly with remaining Mornay sauce. Broil 5 to 6 inches from heat until sauce is bubbling and golden in patches, about 2 minutes. Transfer sandwiches to plates.


Vacuum Food Sealers – Do You Have What You Need?

 Find out how to preserve your fresh finds from the grocery store.

Vacuum food sealers are used to remove the air from packages and containers. That is very important for the preservation of food. When food is exposed to air, it begins to break down, and soon will start to go bad or get stale. If you freeze food in packages that are not vacuum sealed, you will very soon see ice crystals begin to form inside your package.

Everything keeps longer when it is vacuum sealed. Crackers, cookies, dried pasta, potato chips, snacks and everything else that you can think of.

There are many different types of vacuum food sealers. Here are some of the basics to consider, along with their storage options.

Machine Types

  • Standard Units that usually offer one touch control
  • Advanced units that offer variable speeds and on board roll storage with a built in roll cutter
  • Units specifically for fish and game
  • Professional Units

Storage Options

  • Pre-Cut Bags for Quarts and Gallons
  • Rolls – 8″ and 11″ wide – you determine the length and cut yourself
  • Canisters – Huge variety of shapes and capacities
  • Glass Mason or canning jars – they can take the pressure of the sealing

When you have opened your package of rice or dried beans, put the unused portion in a wide mouth glass mason jar, put the flat part of the lid on the jar and seal. This is a great way to keep your pantry bug-free.

Instead of standard canisters, store your dry goods like flour, sugar, coffee and baking goods in vacuum sealer canisters or mason jars. This keeps out moisture and bugs.

I think that you get the basics on storage, now let’s move on to cooking. When you prepare your meals, make extra portions and make your own “TV” dinners. Prepare your plate as you normally would, then slide the whole thing into a vacuum bag, seal, and put in the freezer. When you’re ready to use it, take it out of the bag and heat. If you are freezing soups or spaghetti sauce, just put it into a bag and seal. When you are ready to use it, just drop the bag in boiling water and heat through. No clean up! Just pour your soup into bowls or pour your sauce over your pasta.

There are many more uses for vacuum food sealers, but these cover the basics for the kitchen. If you use it just in that one room, just think how much money you will be able to save. In addition to saving money, you are able to serve fresh food that hasn’t started to go bad before its time.


Want To Learn To Cook Like A Hotel Chef?

If most people visit a restaurant to enjoy food, some food enthusiasts come with the inclination of learning and discovering professional quality cookware used by its trained cooks. A lot of cooking adventurers believe that one way to know the most favorite and secret cookware to great food is through visiting popular and elite food places.

People learn cooking in many ways. Couples first learned cooking as they prepare meals together, others enrolled in cooking classes to explore about the world’s cooking techniques that could enhance the family’s dining experience. Along with all the learning how to cook is basic knowledge of cookwares required for certain dishes. For those who are fond of ethnic foods and are inclined of preparing them at home, they certainly need the kitchen pieces and tools that would make it cheaper than ordering for a take out.

Food is one of the things that keeps family together. Some families equipped their kitchens with approriate cookwares so they can enjoy cooking their favorite restaurant dishes at home rather than spending a lot for dining out. For them, cooking with the right cookware is just as delectable as some of their favorite restaurants in town. They can opt to save money by spending time together discussing about what food to prepare and the budget they needed for the food they want throughout the week. It is a perfect opportunity to bond as well as discover new ideas about things that could lessen expenses.

Shopping trips for a cookware can be a lot of fun. Aside from the certainty of what things to buy, the shopper could definitely save a ton of money from dining out. With the emerging of cookware choices at discounted prices, most families already have enjoyed different styles of food cooked at home. Finding a cookware to prepare warm breakfast, flavorful dinner, tasteful soups and hot drinks is just like dining out in a fine restaurant.

The choice for pots and pans have elegantly and innovatively expanded over the years. Families are now looking forward to find discounted cookware in different styles and uses like indoor grills, claybakers, pressure pans and all sorts of crockery that can be used both in the oven or the microwave. They can already prepare meals in lesser time giving them the occasion to enjoy and relax more with everyone.

Since households always have to set budgets for food for the entire family, the many promotional and discounted cookware prices offered these days are in perfect timing. People can start buying cheaper food stuffs like less choice cuts of meet to less expensive fish and poultry that they can enhance when cooked in an appropriate cookware. People no longer feel confined by their option of foods because purchasing a suitable cookware at a good discounted price is a clear opportunity of delicious food that is only served in fine restaurants.

It has smelled holidays and many cookware stores both online and offline have started offering great value holiday prices for quality cookwares. Grab your chance of that perfect cookware collection and make your family’s dining in as tasteful and fun as dining out.

Happy Holidays!


Are Hotel Rates Increasing In line With Inflation?

I have recently noticed that even though there are many sites online that offer great hotel rates, each hotel stay that I make seems to have gotten more and more expensive. I often choose to pay the regular rate because many of the hotels that I like do not offer rooms through the well-known discount sites, or the prices are about the same as if I had called up and reserved the room on my own. I usually have quite a few hotel stays each summer, but it seems to me that they are getting higher and higher each year.

The increase in hotel rates was most notable last Autumn when I stayed at a favorite, the Craighaar Hotel and found it to be about twenty pounds more than it was the year before. I was stunned at the price, but because I am picky about where I stay, I paid it anyway and, I have to say it still represents amazing value compared to some of the larger city hotels. While a twenty quid difference in hotel rates is not going to hurt someone like me too much, I began to feel bad for those who book weeks at a time in one hotel, and those who much travel for business, sometimes at their own expense.

This summer when I went away again, I noticed that it wasn’t just that one place that had an increase in hotel rates. Another of my favorites is now about twenty five dollars more per night than it was just two years ago. While I usually don’t mind, this time the hike in hotel rates made me change my mind about staying there. It wasn’t essential to stay, it was just something I wanted to do. I have since changed my plans. Instead of staying in a hotel the night before an event, I will simply just drive both ways in one day. Not preferable, but right now, it’s the right choice for my finances.

This pinch could cause a lot of people to change their regular favorite hotels. Though for one night it is not too big of a deal, over the course of a week, they might not think it is worth the extra cost. Though I am picky, most aren’t quite as picky as me, and they will settle for a few less extras if they don’t have to pay as much in hotel rates. Before you book any vacation, check up on the rates and see if you can indeed find a way to save money. Check out the discount travel sites, and don’t dismiss your local travel agent. They might just find you the very best deal going.