DIY and latest topics
DIY and latest topics
Whether you have a built-in bar, a bar cart, or just the corner of a kitchen cabinet, if you entertain and serve drinks to your guests, you need a few things to make the job easier.
You’ll want to stock the beverages that you like to serve. If wine is your thing, you need a choice of white, rose’, and red; beyond that you may want to stock sparkling or soft alcohol-free beverages for your non-drinking guests. For hard liquor, stock that which you and your guests drink most. Whiskey, scotch, vodka, gin and rum are some basics. Obviously, you will want glasses to serve drinks in. Depending on what you serve most, include the appropriate glasses for each different beverage. Next, if you are serving drinks requiring ice, you may want to include an ice bucket to avoid running to the freezer.
You will need a corkscrew to open wines. There are several types available; use what you are most comfortable with. Remember to peel the foil away from the cork before opening wine. A bottle opener is handy if you serve beer in glass bottles; and if you make martinis, you will want a set of bar tools that might include a shaker, strainer, long handled spoon, muddler, & jigger. A blender is essential for blended drinks like Pina Coladas and Daiquiris.
Mixes and Garnishes
Determine what drinks you make most often or that your guests like and stock the ingredients for those drinks. You may need grenadine for a Tequila Sunrise, simple syrup for a Sloe Gin Fizz, or bottled mixes for a Bloody Mary or Margarita. Lemon/lime wedges and juice, olives, and maraschino cherries add a professional touch to your drinks.
Buy a good how-to guide for mixing cocktails and have fun.
When a recipe tells me to saute’ onions and garlic, I chop everything up into small pieces and put it in a skillet with a little oil. When the onions are translucent, I figure they are done and go on with the recipe. I knew how to do this, but never knew why until I did some research recently. The term saute’ is from the French “to jump”, meaning that the food jumps around in the pan, either because you are stirring it or you are talented at shaking the skillet and making the onions “jump” in the air. Sautéing is cooking small pieces of food on a medium-high to high heat so that it is cooked through quickly.
You can saute’ food in a saute’ pan or a skillet depending on how you want to “jump” your food and how much surface to heat you want. A saute’ pan traditionally has straight sides which gives you more heating surface and may have an additional handle on the opposite side to assist in lifting a heavy pan. This also allows you to cook more food at one time. Shaking the saute’ pan to flip the food into the air might be difficult as the food would strike the strait sides and not flip successfully.
A skillet on the other hand, usually has outwardly sloping sides and is wider at the top than at the bottom. This gives you less heating surface since the base of the skillet is smaller than the upper rim. You would have more success lifting and shaking the pan as the food would slide up the slanted sides.
You can use either shape to pan-fry food. The method is slightly different from sautéing because you cook whole pieces of chicken, steak, pork, etc. at a lower temperature so the food browns on the outside, but does not burn before the interior is fully cooked. Both saute’ and pan-fry methods use a small amount of oil to allow moisture to be released from the items cooked.
Oil should always be at the right temperature before adding meat or vegetables. To saute’, a sprinkle of water should boil and evaporate right away. To pan-fry, the water should only sizzle. If you add food before the oil is ready, you may have very oily tasting food.
Of all flowering bulbs, amaryllis are the easiest to bring to bloom. This can be accomplished indoors or out, and over an extended period of time. The amaryllis comes in many beautiful varieties including various shades of red, white, pink, salmon and orange. There are also many striped and multicolored varieties, usually combining shades of pink or red with white.
Clean the bulb and place it in a cool (40-50 deg. F), dark place such as the crisper of your refrigerator for a minimum of 6 weeks. Caution: Do not store amaryllis bulbs in a refrigerator that contains apples, this will sterilize the bulbs. Store the bulbs for a minimum of 6 weeks. Planting
Plant bulbs in a nutritious potting compost, many are available pre-mixed. Plant the bulb up to its neck in the potting compost, being careful not to damage the roots. Press the soil down firmly to set the bulb securely in place after planting.
Placement and Watering
Plant the bulb, or place the potted bulb in a warm place with direct light since heat is necessary for the development of the stems. The ideal temperature is 68 to 70 degrees F. Water sparingly until the stem appears, then, as the bud and leaves appear, gradually water more. At this point, the stem will grow rapidly and flowers will develop after it has reached full growth.
Bulbs will usually flower in 7-10 weeks. In winter, the flowering time will be longer than in spring. To achieve continuous bloom, plant at intervals of 2 weeks for stunning color in your home or garden.
3175 Grand Avenue,
Billings, MT 59101
Billings MT 59101