Kitchen Aid Blender

HI All

KitchenAid Blender

Well, it has been a while since I posted something on this page and I wanted to keep giving you my recommendations on what I consider are the great kitchen equipments for the house.

I have my kitchenAid Blender probably since 2006, and until today it has not given me any problems. I use the blender on daily basis for different preparations as I love to have proper consistency when I cook.

The Kitchen Aid Blender has 5 speeds that can be used for different cooking and procedures from crushing ice (great for those summer days when you want to have a nice mojito or ice frappe ) to really smooth soups, purees, baby food products or emulsions.

As you might understand this is a really strong blender and because of that it can bring some consequences if you do not know how to use the product properly. You can not have really smooth purees or emulsions unless you have the right temperature for it, but is the products are too hot you might be having problems when blending them as some of it might just fell out of the jar because of the heat, but this is something that could happened with almost any blender. On the other hand is really easy to clean and is  strong enough to do most of the general cooking jobs.

A really positive point is that even when it is a really strong piece of equipment it does not make much noise, my old blender that was half of this one was making double of the noise with half of the job.

Another thing that you should know about this blender is that the driving mechanism consists of a rubber toothed piece that transfer the engine strength to the jar blade and this part might waste or brake.  This is  is designed to protect the engine in case the blade is stuck while blending, but even so the blender comes with three year manufacturer guarantee and the only thing that you need to do is contact them and they will organise a replacement of the part, even so I can said is a solid product.

By Willchef

 

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Rice pudding/ Arroz con leche

Hi all

I wanted to start this section with a traditional dessert but I was not sure what was good enough for this page until today.

My little girl have been with a flu for a couple of days and I wanted to do something nice  to try to cheer her up, then I remember that when I was little my grandma use to make me puddings when I was not feeling well and this recipe came to my mind in a flash. I hope that you enjoy it.

Arroz con leche/rice pudding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rice puddings and its varieties can be found on almost every country of the world and  because of the simplicity of the ingredients and the easy cooking methods used, it has made it an excellent and well known dessert around the whole world.

Ingredients:

  • 250 gr of white short grain rice (Valencia rice or similar) you could use a most rich variety as Arborio rice ( medium grain rice) or similar for a more whole cook look on the rice pudding.
  • 1lt of milk
  • 100 gr of Sugar
  • 4 aromatic cloves
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 2 lime
  • 1 lemon
  • Cinnamon powder
  • 40gr of Butter

Arborio RiceDemerara SugarAromatic ClovesLime and Lemons

 

 

 

Cinnamon and ClovesDiced Butter

 

 

 

Products:

  • Rice: almost any varieties of white rice can be used for this dish depending of what are you looking for and what do you have available. I do like a really creamy rice pudding and for this recipe I like to use a variety of rice that have a lot of starch, Today I have used a risotto rice variety: Arborio rice
  • Milk: the quantity of fat on this dish will tell you the consistency and creaminess of the dish but if you want to avoid the fat, is not a problem if you use a low fat milk and add some egg yolk to add consistency. Even so I will still recommend full fat or semi skimmed.
  • Sugar: you can use any kind of sweetener for this dish: brown sugar, white sugar, honey, Demerara sugar, sugar cane or any other that you will prefer, in my country we normally use Panela or Papelon. As I am really far from my country we have substitute this for Demerara sugar
  • Lime and lemon: on this occasion we will only need the skin of the lemon and the lime. you can use a knife and remove the skin without using the white part of the skin or use a Zester
  • the rest of the ingredients can be eliminated or substituted depending of what you prefer on some areas of the world they add raisins, dates, liquors, coconut milk, almond milk and similar

preparation:

  1. Place the milk, the rice, the sugar, the Cinnamon stick, and half of the lime and lemon zest on a sauce pan and put into the fire at medium heat, mix time to time to make sure that it does not stick on the button of the pan.
  2. Cook slowly to make sure that the rice absorb the milk and the spices and it cooks to the right consistency with out overcooking, if you use to much heat you will finish with a dry rice, probably not cook, and you will need to add more milk to rectify the heat what will make the rice soft outside and still hard inside .
  3. When the milk has reduced to almost nothing and the rice is cook, start adding the pieces of butter slowly and mixing constantly to make sure that you get a creamy consistency.
  4. Remove from the heat and from the pan when you have reached the desired consistency.
  5. Finish with a bit of cinnamon powder and a bit of the lime and lemon zest.

 

 

 

 

 

Understanding the cooking: there are really little techniques involved on this dish but there are a few things that you should be aware of.

  1. There are some recipes where they recommend to wash the rice. The only reason for doing this will be that you are not interested to have a creamy rice as you are eliminating part of the starch by washing the grain, if you are not looking for a creamy consistency try using a thinner rice, eliminate the fat from the recipe or as I mentioned wash the rice before cooking it.
  2. I have found some recipes where they pre-cook the rice on boiling water before cooking it on milk, the reason for this is to do this dish faster by precooking the rice the only thing that is achieved is reduce the cooking time. I still prefer the long process as you will have a really milky taste on the rice.
  3. In some cultures they like the rice pudding really liquid or really thick, to achieve this you need to understand a couple of things. To get the rice thick you will need a starchy rice grain, some fat on the recipe and you could use some egg yolk (at the end of the cooking) to get a more compact rice. To make it more runny but at the same time creamy the easiest way is to add more liquid on the recipe.
  4. On certain areas of Latin America we add raising to the rice pudding but previously we marinated them with rum or any sweet wine, add them last minute or you will have a darker rice because of the raisins.

 

 

 

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Love, Trust and Support

I was just thinking a couple of days ago how my kids are growing, how everyday I can see a sign of something new coming up, and how they are doing the next step by loving, trusting and supporting them.

One great example of the trusting part is the potty training, we tried to potty train my daughter about 8 months ago, and what we achieve was to put her off since she was not ready and the nursery was using a technique that was putting too much pressure on her, they sat her on the toilet every 20min, not very friendly approach I would say, but I did not realise this until now. About 2 months ago, my husband and I started talking to her about going to the potty or the toilet when she feels it is needed, so all the time we changed her nappy we reminded her.

Also when we went out with friends with kids I pointed out for her how the kids were going to the toilet and not wearing nappies, so little by little she was getting more interested in knowing what was happening until a week ago she took the nappy off by herself and used the potty, and she actually did both things that night and then went to bed with a knicker on without wetting herself through the whole night, amazing!!!

I keep on with the training because she is more aware when she is at home but outside she does not understand yet where she is going to do it as well as she gets more distracted, however I am not pushing her or going crazy about it, I remind her sometimes if she wants to go to the toilet but I do not get frustrated if she has a little accident.

Related more to the love part, I have been reading a book called  the secret of happy childrens, it talks about the two type of love we have to give to children, these two loves are named soft and firm by the writer, a wonderful way to describe how we should raise our children.

Children need our unconditional love to grow healthy, happy, confident and make a good contribution to the earth, this is were firm love takes part, we have to set clear rules for them and be consistent otherwise they will feel they can play around. This book also gives some great advises on how to handle the discipline by using a dealing technique, explain to children why something is wrong and let them think about it. It is a worth reading piece for all of those parents and carers around.

Last one but not least, support, only by being with them, they feel more confident to try and do new things, they take the risk. I could give many examples of this, but one good one is that my little boy once I sit down with him, he starts moving more about and explore more the things that surround him.

In addition to all I mentioned above, there is something very important, trusting yourself and the way you believe you should raise your children, always remembering that they need tones of those two type of love.

Thank you and love

Marialegs

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Wine Cellar

Hi.

Since we move to our house, early 2010, we have been working on making  improvements in all areas that it have been possible. One of the first things that we had to do in the House was to change the Boiler as it burns down one night after a month from moving to the new house (early winter).

When we replace the boiler for a new model we have to change the actual place of the boiler.Initially it was situated in what it use to be the chimney in the kitchen area, and the new boiler is on one of the kitchen walls. When the installation was done we realised that we had an empty area in the kitchen which I wanted to make useful.

Then the idea of the wine cellar came. Why not to use this space to keep our wines and drinks?, and that was it. I worked on the inside walls of what it was going to be the cellar and start looking for what I could use to make the cellar itself.

The space of the old boilerThere are many ways to do this, you could use plastic pipes, old wine boxes, hollow bricks, terracotta  wine brinks or you could make your own with wood. On this occasion I was lucky enough to find a wine rack almost exactly of the size of the area I wanted to cover, and voila!!! done!!!

Now I have an excellent place where I can not only keep my wines and drinks at the perfect temperature and without using any more space in the kitchen area, but also keep the bottles away from the kids.

As you can see there is always a way to make any space useful. you just need a bit of imagination and time, my mother collaborate with one of her paintings and a candle set make it the central place in the kitchen area

Wine cellar decoration

By Willchef

 

 

Summer is here, where are we relaxing?

Hi All

At last we manage to get some sunshine in the UK. After quite a lot of weather changes it is getting hot and now is the time to enjoy it,

The problem is that we ALL want to work in the garden and do BBQs with the friends, but as you all know, that will bring as well all the accessories that you will need to enjoy a good BBQ. In my case I start the other way around, I buy the accessories before I have the BBQ and later I invite the friends home.

As you might know we where considering what garden accessories to get first, and my wife and I started talking about what we used to like and do as a kid and we were talking about our childhood, what we were doing and what we enjoyed at our kids age, we realized that most of our kids adventures and games were outdoor as we spent most of the day enjoying the weather, so we decided to look at the following product.

I order the stand with out the hammock as we already have one. The product was delivered on the date agreed and it was to the standard expected.

Unfortunately, so far I have not managed to enjoy the hammock as most of the time the kids are playing or sleeping on it, but is great to see the kids doing exactly the same things that we used to do when we were little, What a relaxing experience!!!

Now the stand is done and is time to try it over!! this is a great stand for the family as it can withstand up to 200Kg what it make it great for family time!!!!

As you can see on the picture is not only a fantastic relaxing place for your family but as well is a great piece of furniture for your garden, and I am sure that when the BBQ time comes everyone will want to be the one on the hammock

The stand is made with a really good quality wood and it looks solid and quite resistant, it can be found in different sizes and to withstand different weights depending on your needs. So far we have been trying the hammock (all the family on different occasions) and I just have one comment, some times when you are moving or swinging around on the hammock it makes funny noises but I am not sure is because it need a bit more tightening on the screws.

By Willchef

resting time

By Marialeg: And finally he managed to get some rest on the hammock :).

 

 

 

Wellbeing

 

Have you stopped to think about your well being for a minute? Do you know what well being means? By definition this is what it means

“well-being – a contented state of being happy and healthy and prosperous.”

What an amazing word!!!!, we should all work towards this goal and give ourselves the opportunity to have well being, the question is how, what it works for me may not work for you, but here are little tips to this well being path.

Breath, breathing gives us clarity, whenever you feel stress, sad, desperate, overwhelmed, give a 5 minutes conscious breathing to yourself and if you want to give a proper boost to your life, you can practice breathing exercises and meditation, there are many techniques around that will guide you and you can try them to see which one suits you the best. I personally use Jon Kabat-Zinn cd, it has very nice body scan and mindfulness breathing exercises, this guy has a very nice voice and the body scan is not too long. You may fall sleep though, but keep trying!!!.

Believe, this is a very delicate point, it could be either believe in a religion or in something that do good to yourself and the whole world, something that keep up your faith in yourself and the surrounding world. Personally, I practice Nichiren Buddhism and lately it has come into my way a Hawaiian forgiveness technique called Ho’ oponopono ( mum’s recommendation), again it has worked for me, but not necessarily for you.

Read, reading will open your horizon, whatever you like reading, have fun with it. I also enjoy reading holistic and spiritual books, these ones have helped me to change my point of view about certain things in life, so here I give you a list: The alchemist and Brida(Paolo Cohelo), the Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield), A new Earth and the Power of Now (Tolle Eckhart), The easiest way to live (Mabel Katz), The four agreements ( Don Miguel Ruiz).

Enjoy, whatever you are doing be there, feel it, live it.

Listen to your body, my brother open my eyes with this point, allow your body to tell you what it needs, if you feel like resting, do so. We do not realize with our busy lives that sometimes we need to stop, have a break to re energise our bodies and minds, do not feel guilty, be conscious.

Spend some times with little people, children take us back to our childhood and creativity flourishes again if we spend some times playing with them.

Draw your dreams, literally take a pen and put down your wishes on a board or on a paper, whatever you prefer just do it. This is something that was very difficult for me to do and it can be harder if you feel distracted or overwhelmed, I used to do a board with pictures which idea was taken from The Secret, then I stopped doing it, and recently I was convinced by my husband and brother to do it again, this time I used a notebook and I wrote down instead of using pics.

Change your world sometimes, it is not only refreshing but also do well for your brain when we change the position of the things in our different rooms at home or simply change our route to work.

In addition to all these tips, love yourself and pay attention to key people in your path, some people open our eyes to things are already there, but we can be so worry that we do not realise they are there.

Everything I have written are experiences, theory and techniques are already written, you may find something that suits you better, so do not hesitate in doing some search and live your own way.

Thank you and love.

By Mariale

Kitchen Aid

Link

Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer

 

The kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer is a great chef tool that now days it could be use for almost every day to day preparation and cooking at home.

It comes in a lot of different colors and with a great variety of accessories like, pasta sheet roller and cutter, ravioli maker, grain mill, can opener, citrus fruit juicer, sausages stuffer, ice cream maker, vegetable slicer-shredder and many other accessories, which could help you on all day to day cooking.

I have had an industrial Kitchenaid mixer in all the kitchens that I have been working on and i have purchased one for my house as well,  which have been a great help specially if you have kids, this will help you with all your kids treat like Cookies, cakes, pastry doughs or ice cream at home, and will help you produce good food for your little ones with out the stress part of mixing all the time.

I have manage to buy this machine and the Blender that goes with it what is an amazing duo on your day to day cooking

One of the most important things regarding this piece of equipment is that is quite strong and versatile but there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind, if the machine is forced and the motor is damaged the machine become really unstable.

The other thing that has happened on all the machines that I have worked with is that the plastic pieces on the machine get broken really fast. on an industrial kitchen you get use to have the kitchen aid mixer with out the speed handlers but I never realized of this until I bough mine and a year after the parts where getting broken.

something else that you need to be aware of is that you will always be better of buying this machine from new or from a person that you know or have confidence with as you might have this machine on web sites as Ebay for a really good price but those machines might been repaired and resell.remember what i said about motor damage? well you will buy the machine thinking that is in perfect conditions and after some use you will realized that the engine have been damaged and repaired what will leave you with half of what this machine is really capable of.

By Willchef

Crab Tian

Crab Tian, sesame dressing, avocado puree, blood orange

This is a simple and well balanced dish that could be easily prepare for a casual dinner or as an appetizer.

The main technique involved in this dish is the ” Emulsions ” where a fat is mix to a another product, in this case we have an emulsion on the mayonnaise as well as on the avocado puree.

Sesame mayonnaise:

  • 2 Eggs yolk
  • 280 ml of vegetable oil
  • 10ml of sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 25ml of sherry vinegar
  • 1tsp Dijon mustard
  1. First of all, put the egg yolks into the bowl, add the crushed garlic, Dijon mustard, salt and a little freshly milled black pepper. Mix all of these together well. Then, holding the oil in a jug in one hand and an electric hand whisk in the other, add drop of oil to the egg mixture and whisk this in.
  2. However stupid it may sound, the key to a successful mayonnaise is making sure each drop of oil is thoroughly whisked in before adding the next drop. It won’t take all day, because after a few minutes – once you’ve added several drops of oil – the mixture will begin to thicken and go very stiff and lumpy. When it gets to this stage you need to add a teaspoon of vinegar, which will thin the mixture down.
  3. Now the critical point has passed, you can then begin pouring the oil in a very, very thin but steady stream, keeping the beaters going all the time. When all the oil has been added, taste and add more salt and pepper if it needs it. If you’d like the mayonnaise to be a bit lighter, at this stage add tablespoons of boiling water and whisk it in.
  4. Mayonnaise only curdles when you add the oil too quickly at the beginning. If that happens, don’t despair. All you need to do is put a fresh egg yolk into a clean basin, add the curdled mixture to it (drop by drop), then continue adding the rest of the oil as though nothing had happened.
  5. Add the sesame seed and check the taste.

Avocado Puree

  • 3 harsh avocado
  • 50ml milk
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 8 drops of Tabasco sauce
  • 2 limes (juice)
  • salt
  • white pepper corn
  • coriander
  1. Take the stones off the avocados and place the avocados  on a mixer, add the rest of the ingredients (apart from the oil) and mix until smooth, add the oil slowly until you have a really smooth creamy puree, seasoning..
  2. Reserve the puree on a container covering the surface of the puree with oil and cling film to avoid oxidation or the browning of the avocado. the key to avoid oxidation of the puree is to cover all surface that could oxidize from the air contact or by adding an acid or antioxidant to make sure the color is really green

For the Crab Tian

  • 100gr of White Crab Meat
  • 50gr of shallots onions (cut really small: brunoise )
  • 1 long dutch red chilli (cut really small: brunoise )
  • 1 coriander fresh (cut into Chiffonade )
  • salt
  • freshly ground white pepper corn
  • 1 tbsp of sesame mayonnaise
  • sesame seeds (black)
  • 2 tbsp of avocado puree
  • blood orange segments
  1. Mix the crab meat, with the shallots, chilies, coriander, a bit of the sesame mayonnaise and the black sesame seeds. mix well and check seasoning.
  2. Place the mix of the crab on the plate and top with the blood orange. As you can see on the picture i used a small ring to place the crab meat uniformly and top it with the blood orange segment.
  3. Decorate with a spoon of the avocado puree by using placing the puree around the Crab Tian .

Alternatives:

  • You could prepare the same recipe with an already prepare mayonnaise and add a touch of the sesame oil and the Dijon mustard but i would recommend you to use kewpie mayo instead if you can have it available

By WillChef

Welcome to our insearchoffortune blog!!

Our very first mission as a blog is to get to all your hearts through sharing our life experiences, those very simple things that make our lives a little bit more enjoyable, peaceful, practical and fun.

When my husband decided to create the blog and asked me for a name, the first word that came into my mind was Fortune, because we all need to keep up our fortune, develop and manage our talent to the very best. This makes us realize that in order to do so, we need to be connected to our present by improving the way we do certain things and living this simple things with all our hearts.

Thus, the blog shows mainly home and well being related suggestions with products recommendation to give you the big picture.

I hope you all enjoy every part of it and make comments and recommendations.

Thank you and love.