Gaggia 90500 Super Automatic Espresso Machine Review

gaggia-90500-titanium-espresso-makerThe Gaggia 90500 Super Automatic Espresso machine is a little beauty. It is fully automatic and with just a press of a button it will grind, measure and dispense the espresso into your cup. This is a solid piece of equipment with a stainless steel front panel and metal outer case.

This espresso machine has two boilers which helps to reduce the wait time between brewing and steaming. What this means is that your coffee doesn’t go cold while you are waiting for the steamer to heat up to froth the milk. This is especially useful if you are entertaining and need to make a number of cups of coffee for your guests.

This espresso machine produces three different beverages: espresso, regular coffee and caffe lungo but essentially you can make any type of cappuccino or latte. I also love how this machine can dispense hot water – perfect if you have a hot tea drinker in the house or you’d like a hot chocolate or if you are like me and just like to drink hot water. The water heats up in about 30 seconds.

The GaggiaTitanium Super Espresso Machine grinds the beans for you but you can also use pre-ground coffee which becomes especially useful for decaffeinated coffee drinkers or if you have a favorite pre-ground mix. There is actually a separate chute so you don’t need to remove the coffee beans from the main hopper to use the pre-ground beans…another great option to have when entertaining as you can easily meet all your guests needs.

The grinder has an amazing 18 different settings so you can grind your coffee beans as finely as you need. When the coffee beans are ground the leftovers are moved into a separate container for easy cleaning and the LCD display will let you know when it needs to be emptied.

There is also a pre-brewing option which softens the coffee beans bringing out the real flavor and aroma of the coffee.

You can also program the amount of coffee for each cup depending on how strong you like your coffee from between 6 and 9 grams for each cup.

The dispensing spout is adjustable to accommodate different size cups and you can program the amount of water per cup.

Pre-warmed cups are essential to making a good cup of coffee and the the Gaggio 90500 meets this requirement perfectly. With the automatic cup warmer you will make the perfect cup of coffee every time.

We really like the frothing wand and the cappuccinatore which automatically froths milk making it super easy to make cappuccinos. The best part is that the froth automatically drops into your cup.

The water reservoir holds enough water to make up to 30 cups of espresso and 10 cups of regular coffee. You can also adjust the water temperature with five different settings so you can have a very hot coffee or less hot coffee depending on your preference.

The Gaggia 90500 machine keeps a record of the number of cups of coffee you have made and displays it on the LCD screen.

The on screen LCD display will let you know when to add add beans and water and even when to clean the machine.

The swivel base makes cleaning a breeze as you can access any part of the machine by simply turning it on its base. In other words, once you have placed it on your counter you don’t need to lift it ever again.

The Gaggia 90500 Titanium Super Automatic Espresso machine is a top notch product and well worth the investment if you are a regular coffee drinker.

Where Can I Get the Best Price?  Amazon.com

Caring for your Copper Cookware

mauviel-copper-3qt-saute-pan



Mauviel – Copper 3 Qt. Saute Pan

Although copper is a lovely type of cookware which has unparalleled temperature control and heat conductivity, it has one major disadvantage – it tarnishes extremely easily. Here are some tips on caring for your copper cookware that will help you to keep your beautiful pots and pans gleaming and bright.

Using Copper Cookware Safely

Copper cookware
is a pleasure to use, but it is also expensive to replace. Luckily, with proper care, copper pots and pans can be used for many years. Some tips to help increase the lifespan of copper cooking utensils include:

  • Avoid using metal spatulas or cutting food items in the pans with metal knives. This can damage the interior lining of the pans.
  • Salt can also damage the stainless steel or tin lining of your copper pans. Don’t let salt water stand in your cookware for an extended period of time. When adding salt to water for pasta and similar dishes, wait until shortly before the water boils to add the salt.
  • If your copper pans are lined with tin, be sure to keep the heat under 450° F or you can melt the lining.
  • If you have cast-iron handles on your cookware, season them with a thin layer of olive or vegetable oil regularly. This will build up into a protective layer over time, which will prevent corrosion of the handles.
  • Never put a copper pan over high heat when it is empty.Mauviel - M'Hertiage Copper 5 Pc. Set (Copper) - Home

Cleaning Up After You Cook
Copper should never be put into the dishwasher. Instead, it should be cleaned with a synthetic or nylon scrubbing pan and gentle soaps. Filling the pan with water when it is still hot and scraping with a wooden or plastic spatula will remove stubborn food. Be sure to dry your pans thoroughly, as water droplets on the copper can make unsightly stains.

Removing Tarnish
If you use copper cookware, it will tarnish with time. Some people do not mind the darker patina that forms with the tarnish, feeling that it is the sign of a true cook. If you would like to keep your copper bright, however, use a non-abrasive commercial copper cleaner or create a paste from flour, salt, and water to polish the outer area.

Mauviel - M'Heritage Copper 10.2 Round Frying Pan (Copper) - Home
Repairing and Re-tinning Copper Cookware
Over the years, the inner lining of copper pots and pans can become scratched or pitted. This puts you at risk of copper leaching into your foods, which can be dangerous for your health. The risk is higher if you are working with acidic foods.

If your pans are lined with tin, you can have your pans re-tinned and returned to their original usefulness. This is usually much more cost-effective than purchasing new pots and pans. You can tell it’s time for repair when the copper starts to shine through the tin.

A Guide to Dutch Ovens

Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned 8 Quart Camp Dutch OvenMost people have heard of Dutch ovens, but few know exactly what they are, or how they can be used in the kitchen.Some people  think that this kind of pot is too old-fashioned for modern use, but many cooks still use them today. This guide will tell you things you need to know about these useful and durable ovens.

What is a Dutch Oven?
A  Dutch Oven is a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. It is usually made of cast iron, either plain or enameled, though some modern ones are made of aluminum, ceramic, or steel.

They first gained popularity as a campfire oven, because they could be used for so many different types of cooking, including boiling, steaming, baking, and roasting. when you were out camping. The Dutch oven could replace several different types of pots and pans, which was important when all of your worldly belongings had to be stowed atop a pack horse.

The heavy metal construction also meant that they were difficult to damage, even when crossing heavy terrain, and these useful cooking tools were often were passed down through generations.

Alternate Names for Dutch Ovens
These ovens are also referred to as French ovens, cocottes, camp ovens, and casserole dishes. Names often vary depending on the country where they are used.

Two Types of Dutch Oven
Dutch ovens are still popular today. They can be divided into two separate types of oven, depending on how they are used:

Dutch Ovens for Camping
The same qualities that made Dutch ovens a favorite of settlers moving into the Wild West continue to make them popular among campers today. While most chuckwagon Dutch ovens are made of bare steel, aluminum ovens are not as durable, but are much easier to carry with you on the trail.

Modern-day Dutch camping ovens usually have three legs to hold the pan above the coals and rim along the top that allows coals to be placed on the lid for even cooking from each side. A handle stretches from one side of the pot to the other, allowing it to be hung over the fire if need be.

Dutch Ovens for the Kitchen
Dutch ovens used in modern kitchens have a flat base to make them rest more easily on the stovetop, and small handles on each side of the pot, plus they are generally enameled, which makes them more colorful and eliminates the need for seasoning.

Le Creuset 13.25-qt. Enameled Round Dutch Oven, Flame
When to Use Dutch Ovens
Dutch ovens are excellent for long, slow cooking. They are often used for chili, stews, and beans. In the kitchen, these versatile pots can be used in the oven or on the stove. Some other uses for Dutch ovens include:

  • Roasting – set in the oven for fantastic roast beef, pork, or chicken.
  • Baking – create breads, biscuits, and cakes in your Dutch oven.
  • Steaming – cook fresh, fantastic, healthy vegetables, fish, and seafood.
  • Boiling – use for rice, potatoes, and other side dishes as well as for coffee or hot chocolate.
  • Pan Frying – the lid of a Dutch oven can be used as a griddle. Make pancakes, fried eggs, or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Care of Dutch Ovens
If your Dutch oven is made of bare cast iron, it must be seasoned before use like any other cast iron pot or pan. When cleaning cast iron cookware, don’t use soap – it will destroy the seasoning. Simply scrub with plain water and then heat the pan until all of the remaining residue burns off.

A Dutch oven is a fun and versatile tool to have on hand, whether you intend to cook at home or on the trail. If you don’t already own one, you should consider adding it to your kitchen; it could become one of your favorite pieces of cookware.

More Information about Dutch Ovens

The Versatile All Clad Dutch Oven
A Quick Guide to Dutch Ovens – How to Season your Dutch Oven

The All Purpose Dutch Oven
Tips for Using Your Dutch Oven
How to Store Your Dutch Oven
Why are Dutch Ovens Called Dutch
Dutch Ovens- Quick Facts
What to Look for When buying a Dutch Oven

How to Choose a Sauté Pan

all-clad-ltd-saute-panAll-Clad LTD 6 qt. Saute Pan with Lid

Sautéing is one of those basic cooking techniques that lets you create delicious meals with plenty of variety to tempt your family’s palate. However, in order to sauté properly, you need the right equipment for the job.

Here are some tips on how to choose a sauté pan that will help you be more successful in the kitchen.

What is the Purpose of Sautéing Food?

In order to choose the best sauté pan, it helps if you understand the reason why sautéing is different from other cooking methods. One of the disadvantages of frying food is that the long cooking time tends to dry out your meals, leaving them tough and drained of flavor. Sautéing is a cooking method that involves adding food to a hot pan with butter or oil in it. The food cooks quickly, sealing in the flavor and tenderness while creating a seared outside for flavor and texture.

How Do You Sauté Food?

Unlike searing, sautéing actually cooks the food through. In order to do this, you need a high temperature and enough room in your pan that the food lies in a single layer across the bottom. This ensures quick and even temperature, without the stewing that would tough tender cuts of meat. The food is often tossed to ensure that all sides are properly heated, and to avoid sticking to the pan.

What Should You Look For in a Sauté Pan?
Paula Deen 5-qt. Nonstick Signature Porcelain Saute Pan, Red
Size

A good sauté pan should be large enough that all of your ingredients can lie flat on the surface. Crowding your food is one of the chief reasons why sautéing fails. If you are planning on cooking something like a filet mignon, you can use a relatively small sauté pan. For vegetables and hash browns, you’ll need a larger surface to work with.

Material

It’s very important that a sauté pan be able to distribute heat evenly. For this reason, choose a pan with a thick bottom. Stainless steel with an aluminum core is a good choice. Cast iron is also very effective, although these pans may be too heavy to toss effectively. Some people also prefer anodized aluminum sauté pans or regular aluminum with a non-stick surface.

Sides

A proper sauté pan has sloping sides that help the food return to the pan when tossing. A pan with short, straight sides is actually a sauce pan.

Handle

In order to properly toss your food as you sauté, you’ll need a pan with a long and sturdy handle. Make sure that the handle of your pans is firmly attached to the body of the pan and that it is made of a strong and durable material. A good sauté pan can help you make deliciously tender meats and tasty vegetables. Using these tips, you can find a great pan that is right for your kitchen.

Berndes - SignoCAST 11 Saute Pan With Glass Lid (Black) - Home

Berndes – SignoCAST 11 Saute Pan
With Glass Lid (Black)

A Guide to Copper Cookware

copper-cookware-setMany cooks proudly display their gleaming copper cookware, hanging them from decorative pot racks instead of hiding them away in closed cupboards and cabinets as is the fate of so many other kinds of cookware. But is there more to copper than just a pretty appearance? Is it worth the expense? Find out in this guide to copper cookware.

Why is Copper Such a Popular Material for Cookware?

The popularity of copper cookware does not totally stem from its beauty, but also from the unique properties of this handsome metal. Copper is a great conductor of heat, which means that it offers a gentle, even heating which avoids hot spots, sticking, and burning. It also heats quickly, saving cooking time, and cools quickly, preventing delicate foods from becoming overcooked. Furthermore, the efficient heating means that you won’t need as much heat, letting you save money on energy.


What Should you be Cooking in Copper Cookware?

Delicate sauces, risottos, and sautés are great to cook in copper pots and pans, because you can keep such a light touch with the temperature. Copper responds so quickly that you can reduce a sauce from a boil to a simmer in just a few seconds. Although you can cook any kind of food in copper cookware, there is no better type of material for cookware that requires a very precise touch.

Is Copper Cookware Safe?

Copper alone is not a safe material to use in cooking. It is toxic, and can actually poison you, especially when cooking with acidic or vinegary foods. For this reason, most copper cookware is lined with a layer of tin or stainless steel, which prevents the copper from leeching into your cooking.

Tin adheres very well to copper, and if the lining begins to wear away, it can be professionally restored. Stainless steel linings might bubble or warp over time, and if they do, the pan is ruined.

Mauviel - M'Heritage Copper 3.2 Qt. Saute Pan w/Lid (Copper) - Home
How Can You Select High-Quality Copper Cookware?

If you are choosing cookware for your kitchen, you want to be able to discern which pieces are truly high in quality without relying solely on sticker price. Aside from the lining, a good copper pan should be thick and heavy, and it should have a strong handle that will be able to withstand the weight of the copper pot or pan for years to come