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10 Things You Can Make With An Ice Cream Scoop - Its Not Just For Ice Creams

If you think that the ubiquitous ice cream scoop is just for, well, your favorite cold dessert, you will be amazed at just how versatile this particular kitchen utensil can be. However, let us be clear that what we are referring to as the versatile ice cream scoop is the disher type that has a mechanical scraper built-in into the hemispherical scoop. While the one-piece ice cream scoop that resembles a deep and oversized spoon can be versatile as well, it pales in comparison to the number of practical applications of the traditional ice cream scoop or disher scoop.

Dishers come in different sizes often with reference to the quart. So a Size 4 means you have ¼ of a quart or 4 level scoops into a quart. A Size 16 disher therefore is 1/16th of a quart or roughly equivalent to about 60 mL or about 2 ounces. Technically, this is where the versatility comes in. A traditional ice cream scoop or disher can make for an excellent measuring tool for all of your cooking needs. And, because of its hemispherical shape, it can create beautiful balls about almost anything.

Here is a list of what you can do with the traditional ice cream scoop.

1. Fabulous looking side dish:  Think mashed potatoes, macaroni salad, or even brown rice perfectly molded to complement your main dish

2. Pancakes:  The trick to creating beautiful, rounded, and equal-sized pancakes is to make sure you put equal batter on the pan each time. Stack them up before drizzling with your favorite pancake syrup

3. Muffins:  Your need muffins that will bake all at the same time. You want them golden brown. You dont want some to be burned to crisp while others are still pale yellow. Portioning your muffin batter allows for beautiful muffins.

4. Cookies:  The key again is in accurate portion sizes. Because you will be using exactly the same measurements, you are guaranteed to make beautiful and crunchy cookies every time with a cookie dough scoop.

5. Cupcakes:  Like your muffins, all you have to do is to scoop a level portion of your cupcake mixture and pour it into your ramekins or cupcake wrappers and you are good to go.

6. Meatballs:  We couldnt even begin to tell you how wonderful meatballs look on your classic meatball spaghettis. Need bigger meatballs? Use a Size 4 ice cream scooper.

7. Fruit balls:  Melons, watermelons, papayas, and even pears and apples. Carve out beautiful fruit balls and use them in your fruit punch. Or put them on a skewer for an instant fruit-cue.

8. Hamburger patties:  You need big, juicy hamburger patties? Get a Size 4 or a Size 6 ice scooper. That should give you equally-portioned meat patties.

9. Ice cream pops:  Stick a popsicle stick onto your portioned ice cream balls, put them back in the freezer and let them set before taking them out.

10. Sandwiches:  If you made a tuna or chicken sandwich spread, the disher is the right tool for the job especially if you will be serving a lot of people.

The list goes on. Technically, you will only be limited by your creativity when it comes to using the traditional ice cream scoop, whether you use plastics scoops or metal scoops, or even the high quality commercial ice cream scoops.

Cooking With A Halogen Oven

Does cooking an entire dinner in a glass bowl that is plugged in to an electric outlet on your kitchen counter sound a little weird? It shouldnt. If you have a halogen table-top oven in your kitchen you will know this is a great way to cook a meal.

You can find halogen ovens for sale on shopping channels, small appliance sections in a store or even online. Today they have become a very popular way to get a meal from the freezer to the table in only a few minutes.

The one thing that most people love about these small appliances is that they don't take up a lot of space in the kitchen. As well they cook everything in one pot that would normally take up an entire oven. In fact you can saute, boil, roast or even bake cakes and you can do it three times faster than when using a conventional oven.

This type of oven uses halogen heating elements that convert electrical energy into intense heat. They rely on the infrared waves along with a high performance fan to circulate the heat throughout the bowl. This action cooks the food fairly quickly and does it without a lot of energy being used.

The halogen oven comes with a clear glass bowl that has a lid that contains all the workings for the oven. This includes the halogen light bulb along with the fan. Since the bowl is glass you will be able to see your food cooking. It also come with a temperature nob and a timer.

Cheaper than a conventional oven, they take up less space and are ideal for small apartment kitchens, camping or the cottage.

The halogen oven may be small and compact but you will be able to get a surprising amount of food in the bowl. In fact you can easily cook a medium sized chicken or turkey and add vegetables around the meat in the bowl. This way everything is cooked in one place.

The oven usually comes with a couple of wire shelves so you can put food at difference heights depending on the amount of direct heat you need. You can for instance put potatoes on the top rack and other vegetables and cook your chicken on the bottom rack.

Because the heat is circulated with a fan you get even cooking with a halogen oven so you dont have to turn the meat or vegetables during the cooking process. Also, the meat turns out moist and tender from this cooking method. The heat is not a dry heat like you get in a conventional oven so you will find you can produce a melt in your mouth experience when you cook chicken or turkey or even steak.

How To Make A Rich Cappuccino

There is nothing better than the taste of a good Cappuccino especially first thing in the morning although it is pretty special anytime of the day. Cappuccino is a rich, dark coffee that originated in Italy. The name comes from the resemblance of its color to the robes worn by the monks of the Capuchin order.

A Cappuccino is a lighter coffee drink because of the large volume of foam that sits on top of the espresso. You make this lovely drink using both steamed and frothed milk along with espresso coffee. The foam sits on the top and if you like you can sprinkle it with nutmeg, cinnamon or chocolate.

First You Should Start With Good Espresso Beans

To make a really good Cappuccino you have to start with a good quality espresso bean. The best way to do this is to first grind the beans that need to be ground very fine. Then you press the espresso down firmly using a high pressure espresso machine. The creama should be visible on top of the espresso as a golden-brown foam.

What is The Difference between a Cappuccino and a Latte

Lattes are very similar to Cappuccinos since they are half espresso and half milk. With a latte you add the milk to the cup so it mixes with the espresso. This way the milk doesnât actually stay on the top of the espresso.

How to Make the Froth

If you have an espresso machine chances are it comes with a frother. If not you can manually make the frothed milk by using a French press. You will need to heat up a cup of milk on the stove first. Next pour the milk into the French press and pump the plunger for a few minutes to create the froth for your cappuccino or latte. You can also buy separate milk frothers.

Using a Cappuccino Maker to Make a Rich Cappuccino

If you like to drink Cappuccino a lot you probably should get an espresso maker so you can make your own anytime you want. One of the benefits of having an espresso maker is that you can make steamed milk with the machine. Keep in mind that if you will be making more than one espresso drink at a time, you may want to purchase an espresso maker so that you can make several cups at once.

If you are going to make this delightful coffee beverage on a regular basis you may want to invest in several accessories including grinders, espresso cups and milk jugs. If you know you will be drinking Cappuccinos or Lattes daily, having your own machine will save you money in the long run. Going to the local coffee shop everyday can get a little expensive.

One of the benefits of having your own machine is that you can make an espresso anytime without having to run to the local coffee shop. You just need to walk to your kitchen and whip up a Cappuccino or Latte anytime you feel like it.