Can you use a candy thermometer in the oven?

Not all oven thermometers give accurate readings. I realized that there is a difference between what my oven is set to and what an oven thermometer shows. So, I’m not sure how to determine whether my thermometer is accurate. And I was looking for a thermometer to check the accuracy of my oven.

Candy thermometer is very useful tool in the kitchen for everyone who love to cook and enjoin sweet treats like candy or cakes. It is essential to get the right temperature of the sugar liquid on the stove. I wonder that if I can use candy thermometer to test the temperature in the oven.

#1 What is temperature range of candy thermometer?

Candy thermometers are not strange to us anymore. It plays in important role in the stages of cooking sugar process. Candy thermometer even show you the thermometer level of each stage such as hard ball stage, prim ball stage, softball stage and threat stage. With a candy thermometer you can know exactly when you need to stop boiling sugar to get the right consistency.

Due to best candy thermometer wirecutter, candy involves cooking sugar as high as 300 F, and deep-frying requires oil to be 375 F and hotter. Therefore, on average, the temperature ranges of candy thermometers available are from 100°F (37°C) to 400°F (205°C).

#2 Should we use a candy thermometer as an oven thermometer?

Oven thermometers are not a reliable measure of the real temperature inside your oven. When you set your oven to 350 F or 400 F, it could be anywhere from 25 to 50 degrees higher or lower than that. As you know the range temperature of candy thermometers is about 100°F to 400°F. So I do not think that a candy thermometer should be placed in an oven.

Moreover, the candy thermometer uses only the bottom part to measure the heat from the liquid, which are often made from glass. The glass body pf candy thermometer can be broken easily when it is in a swift changing condition of an oven. If you want to check the oven temperature, I would like to recommend you should use a specialized tool instead.

[USA Seed Bank Reviews] Great Lakes Genetics (www.greatlakesgenetics.com)

At first look, one is almost tempted to completely ignore the Great Lakes Genetics Seedbank. First, they don’t tell you exactly where they are on their website. It’s only when you select a product and go through the check-out procedure that you discover they are in Clio, Michigan.

Second, when you go to their website at https://www.greatlakesgenetics.com/ you are given exactly 60 minutes to go all the way through checkout. Otherwise, your shopping car completely disappears.

Third, there are no frequently asked questions section on their website, they do provide minimal information on their shipping/payment page, but even then, it is bare minimal.

Finally, Great Lakes Genetics only accepts two types of payments, either cash in the form of U.S. dollars, or a blank U.S. Postal, or Money Gram money or Western Union money orders. That’s it. No credit cards. No wire transfers. No bitcoin. Nothing.

Stack up all of these things together and our first tendency is to be like Aria Grande and shout, “Thank you, Next!”

Sure, there are plenty of great cannabis strain products, but really? That’s it?

However, if do a Google Search for Great Lakes Genetics you will find, at least for U.S. customers that it has a reputation as one of the most reliable seed banks in the United States.

Time and time again, customers rave about how they placed their order, and within a week received their order safe and sound in a discreet, mailed package.

Like all USA cannabis seedbanks, they sell their cannabis seeds as novelty items only, so there is no cultivation information provided as well. But you can’t beat satisfied customers and Great Lakes Genetics has a lot of them.

In fact, based upon numerous reviews, Great Lakes Genetics may be listed as one of the top 10 seed banks in the US.

One of the things that Great Lakes Genetics excels in is offering freebies. In fact, freebies are offered with every order.

Another reason for their success is volume pricing. While many seed banks offer perhaps 4 to 6 seeds, the vast majority of Great Lakes Genetics offerings come in a pack of 13!

Is Great Lakes Genetics perfect? Far from it. All seeds are sold as is and there is no guarantee of germination. And we personally don’t like the idea of sending either cash or blank money orders in the mail.

But it is what it is, and Great Lakes Genetics has built quite the reputation within the United States for not only reliability, but shipping products quickly.

This is apparently a mom and pop store, so don’t expect a vast customer service team. If there is a question or a problem you need to send an email and wait for a reply.
However, reports are that they do respond quickly.

If we were rating them, we’d probably give them a 3.5 or maybe 3.8 overall, but a 4.0 or more for quick service, free seeds, and volume selling.

Best snake bedding: ReptiChip Premium Coconut Substrate vs Zilla Reptile Bedding

Great for first-time snake owner, to save your time of looking for best snake bedding this post we go to the details of two quality bedding products for snake: ReptiChip Premium Coconut Reptile Substrate vs Zilla Reptile Terrarium Bedding Substrate.

 #1 Material

It is important to know exactly what is the bedding made of.  Texture, properties, everything is important. It is better to make from a natural material since it not only safe for your pets but also imitates the natural environment as much as possible.

ReptiChip premium quality 100% organic coconut chips. This bedding can be safe for verities specie of reptiles whether you keep a corn snake, a milk snake, a king snake, a gecko, or a turtle.

Moreover, ReptiChip also is produced with the proper size of the fibers. They’re large enough to prevent your pet from accidentally swallowing them, so there’s no need to worry about impaction.

However, some users realized that this product contains dusty. Too much dust can cause respiratory problems for your snakes, and would probably pose some problems to people who are suffering from allergies or breathing problems.

Zilla Reptile bedding is made of 100% natural biodegradable material, which is environmentally friendly ingredients, the product is safe to use. It contains no toxic resins or oils. It also works well with the reptile heat mat.

The substrate contains Made from premium white fir shavings and ground eucalyptus adds a bonus, which will make your snakes feel closer to their natural environment.

#2 Absorbency and remain humidity

Snakes are the animals that require a high humidity level. They usually prefer to live in the environment with about 60% humidity, during the shedding process, the humidity level also should increase to 80%.

ReptiChip retains humidity quite well and can help maintain the humidity level that your snake species need in order to thrive. This bedding is even considered that can hold humidity better than aspen. But it would be better to mist the cage with the humidifier.

Heat-treated aspen chips of Zilla bedding are ultra-absorbent. Due to this, this bedding will help you keep the moisture at a comfortable level. However, There have been some complaints that this product does not hold humidity well as the snake needs during the summer.

#3 Easy to maintain and odors control

ReptiChip is the product that surely worth your money since the amount you get will last for a really long time. It also has the natural scent, that will cover the unpleasant odors in the cage. You do not have to worry about the odors problem.

Zilla reptile bedding has the ability to keep the fresh scent within the cage. Besides, the ideal chip size and the light color make it spots cleaning easy.

Best aquarium filter: Fluval External Filter vs Sunsun 5-Stage External Filter

You may be getting started on an aquarium and wonder what is the best aquarium filter you need. This post can help you get the right filter by coming up here two effective models: Fluval External Filter vs Sunsun HW-304B 525 GPH 5-Stage External Canister Filter.

If you are serious about cleaning your tank, the high-quality filtration is top of mind for maintaining proper water conditions for fish.

To save your time, Fluval is a reliable brand that has been known as produces a lot of aquarium equipment. The Fluval external filter also comes with 3 years warranty. Therefore, it is an effective and quality fish tank filter that you should go with.

#1 The Capacity Of The Tank

The capacity of the tank is the most important criterion that will determine the filter size. Lager tank will exert too much pressure on the smaller sized filter. In addition, the larger filter size will operate for more than you need in the smaller tank, and also take lots of energy cost.

Sunsun filter has a flow rate of 525 GPH, which means it can be used for up to 150 gallons of the fish tank. This filter can handle 3 times the 150-gallon tank per hour.

Fluval external filter is ideal for aquariums sized from 70 to 100 gallons. It offers a flow rate of 1450 LPH or 383 GPH.

#2 Filtration effective

Fluval filter features a clog proof intake strainer as well as two layers of foam screen. To avoid water trickling into the receptacle or plug, the user needs to arrange a “drip loop” in the cord joining the filter to a repository. The twin foam pre-filters act to catch more debris and prevent clogged media. Independent modules allow easily replace the media removal.

SunSun is a 5-stage external canister filter. It offers a built-in 9 Watt UV sterilizer that controls and prevents the growth of algae and harmful bacteria, promotes the clearness of the water. It also comes with 4 flexible media trays that allow you to add more filter media.

#3 Features

Sunsun filter comes with a self-priming pump, so you don’t have a siphon manually. It is also good to use for a planted fish tank. The filter is strongly built and easy to assemble. It comes with pre-lubricated seals, and top buttons to switch on/off the UV light.

Fluval external filter can be used for both saltwater and freshwater aquarium. It features the sound dampening impeller, which makes its operation quietly.

The Fluval 406 Canister Filter has a unique square-shaped canister design that allows it holds 35 to 50 percent more water than round canister filters of the same size.

Which allowing better water flow via a complex cleansing path that optimization contact with the filtration media. It also comes with a patented Aqua stop valve and multiple filtration baskets.

5 British Foods Some May Think Weird

Indulging in local food is one of the best ways to experience local culture. But, when it comes to sampling local food, most stick to the popular food dishes. Only the most adventurous ones search for authentic and at times quirky food dishes for a true cultural experience. For those adventurous ones, here are five British Foods that are weird for most.

Star Gazey Pie

Just a photo of this dish sends jitters down most people spines. It is difficult to eat a pie with fish staring out of it. Star Gazey Pie has an interesting legend attached to it. Tom Bawcock of Mousehole, Cornwall went fishing in stormy weather and ferocious seas to save his starving village. He returned with enough fish to save his village. Locals cooked a pie with fish coming out of it just to prove the existence of fish in the pie. Around Christmas, the village of Mousehole honours Tom Bawcock by preparing pies with fish poking out it staring at the stars. It is difficult to find it in the UK but you can head to Cornwall around Christmas to sample this strange pie.

Haggis

Let’s move further north for one of the weirdest British foods out there – Haggis. Haggis, the national dish of Scotland, usually raises quite a few eyebrows with its strange ingredients. Sheep’s pluck is the main ingredient of haggis. What is a sheep’s pluck? Pluck is a sheep’s throat, lungs, liver and heart mixed with onions, suet, oatmeal and spices. And, that’s not it! The mixture is then stuffed into a sheep’s stomach and then boiled in water. If you can’t digest all this then try having it with some fine single malt Scotch. You will find Haggis being served at most Scottish breakfast joints.

Laver Bread

We go from Scotland to Wales in search of strange British foods. Prepared with laver seaweed, this dish is not a bread at all. Laver seaweed is sourced from the western coast and minced or pureed after boiling it. It looks a lot like other boiled and pureed greens such as spinach, kale or collard greens. However, it tastes completely different from any of them and has a very earthy and salty flavour. It has a very strong aroma which some people find hard to overcome. Patties of laver bread, oatmeal, eggs and bacon are served at most traditional Welsh breakfast joints.

Scotch Woodcock

 

Have you guys heard of a dish called Spotted Cock? Scotch Woodcock gives Spotted Cock a run for its money when it comes to weird names. While the name is surely strange, the dish itself is quite a delicacy. It is actually scrambled eggs and anchovy paste on buttered toast along with a hint of cayenne pepper. Scotch used to be served after a grand meal during the Victorian era. Times have changed and these days it is eaten for breakfast or even as a snack. It is quite easy to find in most restaurants serving British foods.

Faggots

 

From Spotted Dicks to Faggots, British dishes surely have very innovative names. So, what are faggots? Faggots are meatballs made of pig’s heart, liver and stomach. It is an acquired taste and you either love it or hate it. They were eaten a lot during the Second World War as food rations. They lost their popularity over the years and are harder to find these days. Some older restaurants, butcher shops and farmer’s markets are your best bets. You can also find them in the frozen section of some well-stocked supermarkets.

 

Have you sampled any of the above-mentioned weird British foods? Or, do you know of any other strange British dishes that should be included in this list? Kindly, leave a comment below and let us know.

15 MindBlowing Pasta Salads That Will Give You Veg While You Carb Feast

The weather is great, the mood is even greater so it’s time for outdoor living and chilling or snoozing on cool grass after a quick, light pasta salad meal made with minimum effort.  Super tasty and made in a flash, pasta bowls are hard to resist no matter what you are preparing for: a garden BBQ, a picnic at the park or a light lunch outside to catch those precious rays of the sun. Pasta salads are more of a concept than an actual recipe. What you need is a handful of ingredients, normally already in your kitchen cupboards or your fridge.

The key to a faultless and always tasty pasta salads is the variety and abundance of vegetables all year round and especially in the summer, when many are even tastier as they’re in season. If you’re stuck for ideas just go through your cupboards. Pick the pasta shape of your choice: from fussili to penne to spaghetti and noodles. Anything will do really. Then pick a source of protein such as leftover roast chicken, cold shredded steak, cooked hams, prawns or fish. Add an antipasti from a jar: sundried tomatoes, peppers, aubergines if you have them handy or use at least two fresh vegetables and lots of fresh herbs. Sounds easy right? Now dress to impress, give it a good toss and tuck in. Below we have collected 15 brilliant pasta salads for the best veg & carb bowl.

  1. Tortellini with pesto & broccoli

    The fresh and fragrant flavour of pesto can lift up any pasta. Grab some tortellini, cook with a few broccoli florets for a couple of minutes. You only need to toss it in a bowl with pesto, pine nuts and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Hey presto!

  2. Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

    Summer sweet corn is a great addition to any salad. Boil from fresh or crack a good old fashioned tin. Tip in some chopped avocado in slices or cubes, bacon and a mild creamy cheese. Don’t forget to spice it up with jalapeños.

  3. Ratatouille pasta salad with rocket

    We all keep some leftovers in the fridge. Pasta salads are the best way to use them. If you have made a large pot of ratatouille, use what’s left with some freshly boiled pasta and a handful of fresh rocket. That’s your five a day in a bowl.

  4. Greek pasta salad

    There is nothing better than a bit of cool, creamy, salty feta crumbles mixed with juicy cherry tomatoes and Kalamata olives. Well, wait, there is! Toss in some pasta, dress with olive oil and you’re a winner.

  5. Summer pasta salad

    Like the above salad but with extra additions for that wow factor and colour! Reds and yellows and purples and greens from peppers, red onion and zucchini add extra layers of flavour, crunchiness and depth.

  6. Balsamic Strawberry Pasta Salad

    How much do you love strawberries? We love them so much, we tried them with pasta too. It’s the strawberry balsamic vinegraitte that binds everything together beautifully.

  7. Pasta salad with pesto & prawns

    Nothing can go wrong with a classic prawn and pesto combo. Use homemade pesto for best results, fresh herbs and freshly squeezed zesty lemon.
    https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1993/pasta-salad-with-pesto-and-prawns

  8. Creamy Cucumber Pasta Salad

    With crisp, juicy cucumber, fresh dill and sweet white onion this salad can be turned to a full meal of its own. It’s is a very refreshing summer salad, simple and satisfying.

  9. Artichokes, pepper and feta cheese

    Bright, colourful and delicious. If you love artichokes then this is the perfect pasta salad for you. Try it with butterfly pasta (farfalle). Usual partners in crime: feta cheese, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar etc. Can’t go wrong even if you try.

  10. Rustic grilled veg and rigatoni

    If you’ve fired the bbq already make some space next to your burgers. If you have an electric grill or using your good old, you will do just fine by grilling fresh vegetables for a delicious chunky pasta dish with a tangy dressing to serve as a side for your grilled meats or make a lunch out if it. Get grilling!

  11. Superfood pasta salad

    A pasta salad like no other. The key is in the dressing, soy sauce with ginger and lime. Drizzle over a handful of soya beans and green beans, a bit of carrot and any sprout you love.

  12. Feta and spinach pasta salad

    Easy as abc. Boil pasta (al dente), toss it with crumbled feta, raw baby spinach leaves and a handful of black olives for flavour and fun and dig in.

  13. Tomato, olives and basil pasta salad

    We love Jamie! And we love his healthy food campaign. Who doesn’t? This dairy free and vegetarian pasta with ripe tomatoes olives and basil smells of Italian summer. Buon appetito!

  14. Thai noodle salad

    Mouth-drooling Thai noodle salad with peanut sauce reinforced up with healthy vegetables. It’s vegan and can be gluten-free if you wish. You can make it ahead and if you’re a carnivore stack up with chicken or prawns.

  15. Chicken noodle salad

    Another Asian kitchen inspired salad, always healthy, with a spicy kick and of course packed with vegetables and soy dressing. Check the lie calorific value. Instant winner.

Classic British Foods You Must Try When Travelling to UK

A visit to the UK will not be complete without savouring the staples of British cuisine. Some British foods, like Fish and Chips or a Full English Breakfast hardly need any introduction. British gastronomy is as abundant as the country’s cultural heritage. You can find great seafood on the coast, seriously good quality meat and definitely a lot of good British ale to accompany your meal with.

  1. Full English breakfast

    No better way to start the day than a sturdy breakfast. Eggs – check, beans – check, hash brown – check and of course some crunchy bacon too. A good fry-up is all you need to layer your toasted bread with and a grand appetite should not be missing. Try to find a full English breakfast at a local, neighbourhood cafe.

  1. Fish and chips

    Fish and chips is famous across the globe for the light and crunchy coat of butter. A delicious piece of fried cod comes with a handful of freshly cooked chips and optionally with mushy peas. Try it, the British way, with a generous helping of salt and vinegar on your chips.

  2. British beef – Steak and kidney pie

    British beef has a very proud tradition. There are six classic British beef breeds that have been exported across the hemisphere and nowhere can the heifers be better fed than the rolling fields of Britain. If corned beef sandwich is the first thing the springs to mind, wait until you try it in a roast or better still in a pie. Slowly cooked diced beef and diced kidney, a generous helping of brown gravy with fried onions all cased in flaky pastry, this is what steak and kidney pie is about. This pie makes the ultimate comfort food on a cold day.

  3. Scotch eggs

    The Scotch egg was invented by Fortnum and Mason back in the days of horse-drawn carriages. It is one of the quintessential British foods that hardly need an introduction: a hardboiled egg wrapped in minced meat and a crunchy crust. This might be just the thing you are looking for to continue with a busy day out. This is the traditional version; look out for the modern ones with great new twists.

  4. Sunday roast with mint jelly and Yorkshire pudding

    There is nothing that signals better British than the Sunday roast. Pubs nowadays have exquisite menus for Sunday lunches. Look out for roast beef or roast lamb with mint jelly. These both come with Yorkshire pudding. Don’t be fooled, this pudding is no dessert but pastry puffs like no other.

  5. Bangers and mash

    There are many types of sausages to seek out for apart from classic flavours. Pork sausages with bramley apples or with leeks and chives and the long round Cumberland sausages are three special sausages worth trying out. You can have them with mash potatoes – as in bangers and mash or you can enjoy a good British sausage in toad in a hole, with flaky pastry.

  6. Cottage pie or Shepherds pie

    Cottage pie or Shepherd’s pie is one of the most homely of British foods. This pie, it is not encased in pastry like the steak and kidney pie. It simply has a scrumptious mince meat sauce, with peas and carrots and it is layered with lavish mash potatoes on top. There is a difference between cottage and Shepherd’s pie. In the first you will find beef mince whilst in the latter lamb’s mince. They are equally delicious and certainly a good call after a long day.

  7. Ploughman’s lunch

    Beer, bread, and cheese have been combined in the English diet as far as anyone can remember. For a ploughman’s lunch you only need a few ingredients at hand: a nice slice of bread some good cheddar and a fine, sharp onion pickle. This simple dish has been served to travellers at the inns for centuries. Its name however is relatively more recent. This sandwich was baptised as Ploughman’s lunch in the 1950s in an attempt to promote British cheese. It stayed on for good reason; it’s a very satisfying and filling snack to have when on the go.

  8. Afternoon tea

    No visit to the UK would be complete without afternoon tea. What is afternoon tea? Well, it is a mini-meal enjoyed in early afternoon, started back at the mid 19th century with many tea rooms operated across the country. It is however much more than a quick meal, afternoon tea is a ritual of the teapot and strainer, a separate jug of milk and tinkling spoons. Afternoon tea is quality time, a way to stop and relax. Along with your tea you will have soft sandwiches, cut in fingers, scones and clotted cream and dainty pastries. Nowadays it is often accompanied by champagne if you want to make it a little more special and is certainly a winner if you need a snack before heading to the theatre.

  9. The Food markets

    Once you have covered the basics as mentioned above, chances are you might be into something new. Head to the markets to walk among sellers of fresh produce and grab a bite on the go. In neighbourhoods the farmers markets are organised weekly and most likely you will find the array of stalls waiting for you during the weekend. If in London, there is the emblematic Borough Market at London Bridge. Chances are you will be mesmerised by the great quality British foods and you will definitely find something you have not tasted before.

Spring Treats to Look Out for in London Cafes

The sun’s out, the blossoms are blooming, and it seems we finally may have seen the last of winter. But just because the new season is here doesn’t mean you need to miss out on comfort food in London. With change in the air, now is the time to head out to a cosy café — it’s still a bit risky to venture into picnic territory. Luckily, cafés are hard at work creating innovative, tasty, fresh delights in the capital of creative food. Spring into spring with these delightful London café treats. And the best news? None of these need break the budget — the Michelin-starred restaurants can wait!

Chill Out

Now the days are warming up it’s time for your coffee to cool down. Iced coffees have come a long way from the sugary, whipped cream versions of yesteryear — not that there’s anything wrong with those if it’s your bag! Ask for a cold brew coffee and you’ll likely find yourself pleasantly surprised with a full cup of complex flavour notes designed for low-temperature drinking. Or, if you like it sweet, a granita might be more your thing. A happy medley between a sorbet and an espresso, you’ll be cooled off and pepped up all at once. Connoisseurs tell us that the flavour notes of coffee come through best in a cold brew — the best way to find out is to try for yourself!

Granovelty

This Spring granola has come to the fore in London café breakfasts, with many establishments making their own signature granola on-site. Forget dusty old oats gone soggy in milk; granola is now sophisticated and worldly, and a bowl can feature pecans, pistachios, crystallised ginger, dried fruit such as pear and mango, and sprouted oats crisped in pure maple syrup. With the addition of a high-end yoghurt (coconut kefir with Tahitian vanilla! Buffalo milk yoghurt with freeze-dried blackcurrant! Fermented nut yoghurt!), drizzles of honey, and an exotic goat or coconut milk, granola is the fast-rising star of café breakfasts for 2017. If you’re really on a health buzz, look out for unusual grains such as buckwheat that have been sprouted and then dehydrated for maximum nutritional benefit. But remember: taste comes first!

Best Served Cold

Speaking of being cool, chilled café lunches really come into their own in the changing weather of springtime. You can always go for a salad, of course, but other cold dishes offer the calming nature of comfort food without being heated. For guaranteed deliciousness try ceviche — fresh raw fish cured in lime or lemon juice and served with chilli and coriander. Cold-smoked fish, such as salmon, can also be soothing and refreshing on the palate. Even soup can be dished up cold in the form of gazpacho, a chilled tomato soup from Southern Spain, or vichyssoise, a French leek soup traditionally served froid. There are also exciting things happening in the space of raw food, so look out for experimental treats such as chilled cashew nut alfredo sauce, or avocado-based soups.

New Lamb

A true classic, new lamb never tastes better than in spring. Think gentle flavours such as fragrant mint, washed down with a glass of light red wine (Lambrusco anyone?). Many cultural cuisines honour the new spring season with a lamb dish, including the Middle East, North Africa, the Mediterranean and France. In the United Kingdom the best lamb is always free range and as locally sourced as possible, but can also hail from Scotland, or perhaps even New Zealand. For a high-end London café Saturday lunch, look out for lamb cutlets. Served on the rare side, rosy and pink, this spring treat dish is best eaten around April or May.

Eye Candy

Feasts for the eyes as well as the tastebuds, visually appealing dishes are popping up everywhere in London. Rainbow-coloured food is a worldwide trend, encompassing bagels, marbled cakes, cocktails, and even vegetables, such as coloured cauliflowers and carrots (did you know, for example, that carrots were originally purple, and that black, white, purple, yellow, and red cultivars are available?). Or brighten your plate with edible flower garnishes such as pansies, nasturtiums and marigolds — especially right in springtime. Fancy something a little more opulent and less botanical? Eye-catching edible gold is now being scattered across brownies and popcorn and gilting biscuits, creating treats that are fanciful, luxurious, and utterly Instagrammable.

Lighten Up

One of best thing about lighter spring lunches is that they leave plenty of room for afters! In springtime, even desserts need not be heavy. Our current fave is a Genoise sponge, which is an airy, low-butter sponge cake made with cream and seasonal fruits such as apricot, rhubarb, and lychee. Treat yourself to a trifle or two.

Sunny Courtyards

Okay, so one this isn’t quite culinary, but after a long winter everyone has an appetite for sunshine. One of the best ways to enjoy London cafés in spring is to ditch the office (or bring the laptop if you must!) and find a cafe with a sunny courtyard or corner to get a dose of vitamin D. Sip on your drink (a matcha green tea, if you’ve got your finger on the beverage pulse) and soak up some rays. Many London cafés have quiet outdoor spaces full of green plants and trailing vines, just waiting to be explored. By the way, rooftops and conservatory-style areas work too.

Splash Out

Just when you think you’ve tried it all in terms of teas, juices, coffees, smoothies, and shakes, the spring season of 2017 brings more cold drinks than ever before. London cafés are now offering drinks as varied as turmeric lattes, kombucha (fermented iced tea), and quinoa milkshakes. But the trendiest (and healthiest) unusual drink prize has to go to: you guessed it, matcha. This special variety of green tea is appearing in every possible form, from matcha ice cream, to green noodles, confectionery, lattes, and mo

Why You Should Try Getting A Dinner Party Catered

A dinner party is a lovely thing. Friends, food, wine, relaxed conversation, and a chance to enjoy the good things in life. Except… you spent the whole day running around the markets trying to find tiger prawns to make that special prawn curry, you forgot to put the wine in the fridge, the candles turn out to be fake vanilla-scented, you burnt the dessert, and the mountain of dishes has completely covered ever surface in the kitchen. Sound familiar? Well, we have a great suggestion: for all the pleasure with none of the stress, it might be time to try getting a dinner party catered.

Catering at home can come in a variety of forms: you may want to get a catering company to bring around a completely prepared meal, or you make want to take the option that’s super trendy in London right now: getting a private chef to create your dinner party for you. Some companies will cook in your own kitchen, while some prefer to bring pre-prepared morsels to you and your friends. If you choose well, you can enjoy the best of both worlds: restaurant quality food and no effort, with all the comfort of your own home and no over-full Tube ride home.

Whatever option suits you, here are some good reasons why catering might be the way to go for your next dinner party.

  1. Relaxing is more fun when you get to actually, you know, relax.

    The idea of a dinner party usually involves a convivial evening of chat and good food and drink. Trouble is, the hosts are usually so stressed and exhausted from getting all the elements ready, that they’re too tired to actually enjoy themselves.
    Are you really going to enjoy the company of your friends and family when you’ve been slaving over a hot stove all day? Will you be able to be the life of the party when you need to check the chicken every ten minutes?
    When you care about your friends, it’s easy to get stressed about making something super tasty and delicious for them. In the process, it’s easy to become someone who is not that fun to be around any more — defeating the whole point of the dinner party! More than enjoy your food, your guests are there to enjoy you — and relaxed you will be the best company.

  2. Gastroenteritis can ruin friendships

    Ever poisoned your friends by accident? It’s pretty much the worst feeling in the world to know that someone you care about is in undercooked chicken vomiting hell, and that you’re to blame. Equally bad is if it’s a new boss or acquaintance you’re trying to impress. Murphy’s law states that even if you always cook great food, something will go wrong when you try and pull out the dinner party special. Take the risk out and get it catered!

  3. No clean up

    Ok, the food is great, the company is excellent… but then the guests go home and you’re faced with the mountain of dishes. No wonder people wait several years before hosting another dinner party! And no wonder numerous media sources have repeatedly announced “The Death of the Dinner Party.” The best way around this dilemma is to enjoy the best side effect of having a party catered: that’s right, they clean up for you. Whether you engage a catering company that whisks the plates away with them, or a private chef who politely polishes the kitchen to spotless state, you can relax with that glass of rosé, knowing that you really do have the night (and the next morning) off.

  4. Keep up with changing food trends

    Our parents may not have faced up to it yet (anyone else’s mother still making flakey puff pastry appetizers and adding canned pineapple to savoury dishes?), but food has changed in leaps and bounds since the heyday of dinner parties in the 80s and 90s. Food is now more global, fresher, more creative, tastier, and more sophisticated than ever before. And nowhere is this more true than in the humming cosmopolitan centre of London, where food cultures and food trends combine at the cutting edge of haute cuisine. That dog-eared Moosewood cookbook isn’t going to cut it when it comes to impressing your friends and colleagues. Unless you’re willing to devote considerable hours to becoming a Masterchef, the best way to keep your finger on the pulse of food is definitely to enjoy a catering company or private chef.

  5. It leaves you free to do what you do best

    Yes, catering may seem expensive at first: but just think of it as freeing you up to do what you do love and earn money from. If you don’t have to devote the rest of the week or weekend to recovering from your hectic dinner party, you’ll be free to earn money in the way that you’re good at — and your chef will get to do the same. Win win!

So if you’ve had a bad dinner party experience, or you’ve seen your friends totally stressed out trying to host a winning occasion, and you’ve thought to yourself “I’m not going to go there — it’s just not worth it!” — think again. Getting a dinner party catered has never been easier, more accessible, more delicious, or more widely accepted. Treat yourself and your friends to delicious bonding over food and drink, minus the headache and stress.

5 Authentic British Foods to Serve For Your Next Party

Do you have a party on your mind? Do you have friends and family coming over? So, you bought the Guinnesses and the Gin-and-Tonics for the party but what is the ideal party food? Tapas, tacos or teriyaki? But, why look beyond our own shores for exciting party food options. Our very own cuisine offers a wide variety of dishes from spicy to sweet and in between. These five British foods will jazz up your guests’ moods.

Fish And Chips

The undisputed king of British foods – Fish and Chips. It is the perfect party food to go with ice-cold beers. Deep fry cod or haddock. Cut the potatoes slightly thicker than you do for French Fries and deep fry them twice. Sprinkle salt, pepper and some vinegar. Place a pickle on the side along with some dip. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of preparing then buy it from any local fish-and-chip shop.

Shepherd’s Pie

If Fish and Chips is the king of British fast food then Shepherd’s Pie takes the crown of comfort food. One of the quintessential British foods, Shepherd’s Pie is essentially lamb and potatoes along with veggies like onions and carrots. The prime flavouring agents are the Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and beef stock. It pairs nicely with an English ale, stout, porter and a Bordeaux.

Scottish Potato And Cabbage Pie

People think that British foods are all about meat and potatoes. To prove them wrong and for your vegetarian cousins and friends, I present Scottish Potato and Cabbage Pie. So, how do you go about preparing this homely dish from Scotland? Boil potatoes and cabbage separately. Mash potatoes with butter and add milk. Bake it at 180 Celsius for 20-30 minutes with the cabbage, salt, pepper and plenty of cheddar cheese.

Scotch Egg

Do you remember Scotch Eggs from your school picnic days? Boil the eggs in salt water. Mix sausage, pepper and herbs like sage, thyme and parsley. Roll this mixture around the eggs and flour the entire entourage. Coat it with beaten eggs and breadcrumbs before deep-frying them until golden brown. Scotch Eggs are excellent finger food items for any party. They go well with beers and summer cocktails.

Sherry Trifle

You surely want your guests to leave on a sweet note which is why I present a quick and easy dessert – Sherry Trifle. It can be prepared within 30 minutes. Add sponge cake to the bottom of the glass followed by fresh strawberries. Spread the custard in an even layer followed by a thick layer of whipped cream. Now is the time to pour some sherry on the top and serve it after garnishing it with flaked almonds.

These traditional British dishes will surely spice up your parties.