March 2015

Butter Mill Named Most Innovative Kitchen Gadget of 2015

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The revolutionary product was awarded the 2015 IHA Innovation Award in the “Kitchen Hand Tools & Cutlery” category.

Lake Mary, FL (PRWEB) March 18, 2015

Cooks Innovations™ has been awarded the 2015 IHA Innovation Award in the “Kitchen Hand Tools & Cutlery” category for its revolutionary Butter Mill. More than 500 new products for the home and kitchen were entered into the Innovations Awards competition at the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago, March 7th-10th, 2015.

“We are proud that the Butter Mill has been recognized by an independent expert panel from the International Home + Housewares Association. This home and housewares authority sees countless new kitchen products from around the world, so it’s clear that they recognize the true innovation of the Butter Mill and how useful it is for families,” said Peter Vander Stichele, President.

Home cooks have long struggled with effectively spreading cold butter. Now, with a few simple twists, the Butter Mill grates cold butter effortlessly, making it easy to store, collect, and spread butter on bread, vegetables, and even corn on the cob.

The attractive design makes the Butter Mill a helpful tool for both the kitchen and dining room, and its use extends beyond regular butter. Creative cooks can add honey, garlic, herbs, and spices to enjoy deliciously flavored butter.

Pie Crust 101: Perfect Your Pie with Homemade Pastry

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Have you ever purchased a pre-made pie crust shell at the grocery store instead of baking one from scratch, too overwhelmed with the thought of perfecting the right pie recipe and with no idea where to begin?

Somehow it just never compares to a homemade pie crust. To save your taste buds from artificial flavoring, the team at Cooks Innovations will break down the steps on how to bake the perfect pie crust from scratch.

The recipe itself is pretty basic, and yields enough dough to fill a 6-inch pie pan:

  • 4-1/4 ounces flour (about 1 cup)
  • 3 ounces butter (6 tablespoons), chilled, cut into small cubes
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar (increase to 1 teaspoon for dessert pie)
  • 2 tablespoons ice cold water

Before we start, it’s important to know that you must follow this recipe very closely. Your crust is the main attraction of your pie, so give it the attention it deserves! A general rule of thumb is to keep all of your ingredients very cold. The colder they are, the easier it’ll be to work with, and the more likely your pie crust will turn out well in the end.

First, mix the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender or a fork. To “cut the shortening”, blend it into the flour until it becomes smaller and smaller. Add the water and mix until the dough holds together. Once the dough has reached the right consistency, press into a large circle, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Now it’s time to roll out the dough. The plastic wrap used earlier will help make this step a little easier, preventing the rolling pin from sticking to the dough. Ideally, you want the dough to be a quarter of an inch thick and 10 inches in diameter. Always roll outward from the center, making sure to keep the dough as circular as possible. You can use your pie pan as a guide to make sure you leave enough extra dough for the crust. Just flip your pan upside down directly on top of the flattened dough and look at what’s exposed.

If you see at least 1-2 inches of dough around the edges, you’re good to go. If it looks a little empty, you may need to roll the dough out a little more in that particular area, careful not to make any holes! If you prefer to make more than one pie, you can always divide the dough evenly and use it with smaller 4-inch tart pans, following the same steps.

Next, transfer your dough into the pan or pans. The final step to making your pie crust is creating a decorative crust. Simply fold the edge of your dough underneath itself (think pizza crust but backwards). Then, place your thumb and index finger at a slight angle on the edge of the pie, and pinch the dough. Continue to do this in succession, very closely back to back along the edge of the pie until you’ve gone around the entire crust. Eventually, you will have a beautifully decorated pie crust that’s ready to be filled, baked, and enjoyed!

Depending on the actual pie recipe you’re following, the baking time and temperature will vary, so of course refer to your actual recipe. Luckily you can bake the crust ahead of time. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and line the pie with aluminum foil. Fill it about halfway with dried beans, rice, or pie weights to keep the pie flat. Bake for 20 minutes, then carefully remove foil and return pie to oven. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, then remove and cool. Whenever you’re ready to fill and bake for the final time, it’ll be ready to go.

Baking the perfect pie crust doesn’t have to be a mystery. With this step-by-step guide on how to master the art of crafting a pie crust from scratch, you’ll be a culinary connoisseur before you know it.

Looking for more helpful kitchen advice? Find us on Pinterest for delicious recipes, innovative products, lifestyle tips and more!

Six Simple Ways to Stop Wasting Food

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Wasting food­ — we’ve all done it, one way or another. You find yourself constantly throwing away moldy containers of leftovers that you meant to eat two weeks ago. You toss out countless fruits and veggies that have spoiled because you never got around to using them. You even throw away unopened foods that have passed their expiration date because you completely forgot you had them hidden in the very back of your pantry. This never-ending cycle for many American households is what contributes to 40% of all food and beverages thrown away every year on average, according to The Natural Resources Defense Council.

This means that each family is not only wasting an incredible amount of food, but they’re also wasting their money, roughly $2,275 annually per family! Wouldn’t you rather spend that on something you actually enjoy? With these 6 helpful tips to help curb food waste, you’ll be saving your way towards that vacation in no time!

  1. Start Making Lists

One of the best and most common ways to stop wasting food is to start at the source: The grocery store. We tend to buy things on a whim. If something catches our eye, it’s easier for our minds to wander off and forget exactly why we even came to the store in the first place, turning “just a few things” into “I think I need a cart”. By focusing on only the items on your list, you can bypass any aisles you don’t need to visit and go straight for what you need.

Not only does list-making help with grocery shopping, but it can also help to show you exactly what you tend to throw out every week and why. Try keeping a log of everything you throw away. Is it mainly extra food being scrapped from your plate? Is it spoiled fruits and veggies? Expired items? Or leftovers you forgot about? Seeing the types of foods that are being wasted on paper and the reason behind it can help you change up your habits in the future.

  1. Only Buy the Amount You Need

Grocery stores such as Publix and Whole Foods are always willing to split packages of items for you. Only need half of a melon, a 4-pack of chicken breasts or even half a loaf of bread? Even if you need an odd number or have a special request, most stores will do their best to accommodate you.

  1. First In, First Out

Try keeping your fridge free from expired foods or forgotten leftovers by implementing the “first in, first out” strategy. Place newer items with longer expiration dates towards the back of the fridge, and put older foods in the front so that they’re easily accessible. Sometimes the main problem with wasting food is that you just didn’t remember it was there! By keeping foods that need to be consumed ASAP in plain sight, it’s easier to remind yourself to eat them before it’s too late.

  1. The Freezer Is Your Friend

If you know that you won’t be getting around to cooking or eating something, most items can be stored in the freezer until you need them. Meat, fish, fruits and veggies, and even bread can be preserved. Cooked leftovers like pizza or chicken can only last 3 or 4 days if kept the fridge. When stored in the freezer, however, they can last anywhere 2 to 6 months! Fresh steaks or poultry can last even longer, ranging from 9 month to an entire year!

  1. Save Your Scraps

Scraps may seem insignificant, but they can really add up. While doing all of your cutting and chopping, start saving your trimmed ends or peels from vegetables like onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms and potatoes. Place them in a large freezer bag and store in the freezer, adding to it as you collect over time. Once you’ve accumulated enough, they can be used to make vegetable stock perfect for soups and sauces. Meat lovers, you can also save chicken and beef bones to add to your homemade stock!

  1. Get Creative and Reinvent Leftovers

Have a leftover chicken breast and a bowl of rice? Mix them together with some fresh peppers and onions for a quick, easy and tasty stir-fry. Made pasta for dinner during the week and have some extra sauce? You can make (or buy pre-made) pizza dough, add some mozzarella cheese and create your own calzone or pizza. This is the perfect way to be creative with your leftovers while also saving time, money, and most importantly, food!

 Need more tips on how to win in the kitchen? Join us on Pinterest to check out our latest Kitchen Tips all year long!

IHA Announces Innovation Awards Finalists.

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IHA Announces Innovation Awards Finalists
13 Categories, 63 Finalists Named

ROSEMONT, ILL (Feb. 13, 2015)-The 63 finalists in the annual IHA Innovations Awards have been announced by the International Housewares Association. Winners in each of 13 categories will be announced in a ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 7 in the Innovation Theater, Room E350, Lakeside Center, followed by a reception at the Innovation Awards display in the Hall of Global Innovation (Lakeside Center Lobby). The 2015 International Home + Housewares Show opens at 10 a.m. on March 7 and runs through 3 p.m. March 10.

More than 500 entries were received and were judged by a panel of industry experts and news media. The finalists will be on display in the New Product Showcases located in the Buyers Club in each Show building.

“We are pleased to honor exhibitors’ cutting-edge innovations. Congratulations to all of the finalists,” said Phil Brandl, IHA president & CEO.

The finalists in the Kitchen Hand Tools & Cutlery category are:

  • IMCG, Inc. – Butter Mill
  • Kuhn Rikon Corp. – Kuhn Rikon Epicurean Ratchet Grinder
  • Paderno World Cuisine – Paderno World-Cuisine 4-Blade Pro Spiralizer
  • Tovolo – Stainless Steel Yolk Out™ Whisk
  • Trudeau Corporation – Adjustable Pastry Wheel

 

The judging panel for the annual IHA Innovation Awards included housewares merchants from retailers including Ace Hardware, Broadmans of South Africa, Brooks Stevens, Canadian Tire, Cook’s Warehouse, JC Penney, Kitchen Kaboodle, Kitchen Window, Kroger/Fred Meyer, Lowes, Shopko, Spoon and Whisk, Steamer Trading of the U.K., The Container Store and Yuppiechef of South Africa. Other judges included consumer editors and bloggers and many distinguished industry designers.

The International Home + Housewares Show will feature more than 2,100 exhibitors from 49 countries and more than 60,000 total attendees. For more information or to register for a badge, please visit www.housewares.org