Category Archives: Food & Cooking

Essential Kitchen Equipment

The latest advancement in science and technology has changed our lifestyles. It has successfully shifted our responsibilities to the technological equipment and we are happy to get rid of all our responsibilities because believe it or not but the machines do it quite well. This has touched the life of not only those individuals who work in factories and offices but even for housewives. Household chores have become quite easier than how they were performed in the past, and all thanks to the modern science and its inventions.

Following are some of the modern and very essential kitchen equipment that every woman should have in her kitchen:

Electric Oil Warmer

These oil warmers are available in many different sizes and styles. They are indeed the most important equipment that you should have in your kitchen. With the help of this invention you are able to warm the oil according to the temperature of your requirement. This is easy and hassle free.

Microwave Oven

You can get roasts and fries very easily and very quickly done by your microwave ovens.

Baking Oven

Whether you want to bake cookies or cakes for your special events, the presence of the baking oven is always helpful in the kitchen.

Electric Coffee and Tea Maker

You can sip your coffee or tea whenever you feel like with this modern equipment. It is portable so it can be carried for trips.

Electric Stove

No hassles with fire and matchboxes, electric stoves are easy to use and handle.


Now you do not have to worry about the skin of your hands getting damaged with detergents etc. You can wash your dishes very easily and without any hassle with the help of dishwashers; this also saves your time.

Restaurant Equipment Service

Here in the Jean’s Restaurant Supply Service Department, we have compilied a list of service and preventative maintenance tips to help your restaurant succeed in it’s business venture. Your heating, cooling, cooking and food preparation equipment is a huge investment that should be kept in good, clean, operational order.

  • Commercial Ovens:
    • Wipe out spills from your oven cavity daily- this will cut down on rust and corrosion in the oven cavity, while also reducing the possibility of fire hazards.
  • Walk-In Coolers and Freezers:
    • Keep the doors closed when not in use- if doors are left open for any extended amount of time, ice can quickly build-up on the evaporator coils and cause cooling problems. Keeping doors closed will help cut down on any unnecessary service calls.
    • If doors must remain open, consider adding an Air Curtain or Air Door to the doorways. Ask one of our sales representatives about energy-saving Air Curtains and Air Doors.
  • Steam Tables/Warmer Wells:
    • Some units require the heating element be immersed in water at all times. It is important that the water level in the well never drops to a level where the immersible element is exposed, as this can cause premature failure.
    • Keep the heating elements clean and free of any mineral build-up as this can also decrease the life of your equipment.
  • Air Conditioning/Heating System:
    • Have your Air Conditioner Filters changed or cleaned monthly. This will help save immensely on your electricity bill, as air conditioning can be a considerable percentage of your electric bill (20-30%).
    • Be sure to get your Air Conditioning/Heating system checked by a qualified professional at least twice yearly, to be sure both the Heat and Cool cycles are operating safely and efficiently.
  • Condenser Coils:
    • Keep condenser coils clean on all refrigeration equipment, such as: ice-making equipment, refrigerators, freezers, salad coolers, air conditioning units, etc…
    • Keeping condenser coils clean and free from dust and grease will help prevent breakdowns and costly repair bills, and will also save on electricity.
    • Dust can usually be brushed of the coils or blown off with compressed air. Grease build-up sometimes requires a service company to clean it thoroughly with a coil cleaning solution.
  • Ice Machines:
    • Ice machines are one of the most important pieces of equipment in your restaurant/bar. Keeping it clean will make it run better, it will make more ice, and it will cause less wear and tear on component parts, therefore saving money on electricity, as well as excessive repair costs.
    • Let us keep your ice machine in good working order with a high-quality, properly installed water filtration system. Change those water filters every 3-6 months. Both of these suggestions will help extend the life of your ice machine, cut down on costly repairs, and finally, make cleaner, better tasting ice for your customers.
    • Ice-making equipment must be properly sized for your particular establishment’s needs. Here at Jean’s Restaurant Supply, we can analyze the size, seating capacity, and expectations of your business, so that we can suggest the proper size ice machine for your establishment.
  • Ventilation/Exhaust Hoods:
    • Keeping clean air filters in your exhaust hoods will keep them working more efficiently, the motors running cooler and with less stress and strain, therefore extending the life of the motors and belts.
    • Have your exhaust hood and fresh air fans checked quarterly for proper operation and belt tension, which allows for peak performance.
    • As one of the only privately owned, independent manufacturers of Commercial Exhaust Hoods in Texas, we, at Jean’s Restaurant Supply, are proud to be able to custom-build and install quality stainless steel exhaust hoods to meet your restaurant’s exact needs and specifications.

Failing to do any preventative maintenance on your restaurant equipment or allowing things to go until they break, ends up in more costly repairs and/or replacement.

Cast Iron Cooking Equipment

You don’t have to be a lover of the outdoors to appreciate the beauty of cast iron cooking equipment. You do have to love the idea that your oven is strong, durable and high quality. If you are serious about the outdoors then you should investigate the variety of fantastic cast iron cooking equipment that can be bought. Anyone who likes to go camping will definitely be enthusiastic about a cast iron double burner propane stove. You can cook virtually anything on this stove ranging from water for your coffee to steak for your dinner. It is a really economical way to cook and only needs so little to power it. So if you keen on the great outdoors this is an essential.

For those who love to cook outside or on camping trips then the Dutch oven is the perfect choice. Wherever you are, if its outside, then Dutch oven can be used to cook a whole variety of delicious meals. You don’t have to be limited to just grilled meats you can really achieve quite a spread including meatloaf, turkey, corn bread and even pineapple upside down cake, the list is endless, and the results are great. The beauty of cooking on a Dutch oven is that it is simple and fast and is ideally suited to cooking for many.

There are two very good reasons why cast iron cooking equipment works so well. First of all it is durable and made of the best quality material, therefore its not likely to break easily, if ever. Secondly, the results achieved from cooking food on cast iron equipment are amazing. Though the stove takes time to reach the required temperature,but once it has it stays at that heat so all your food is cooked evenly. Because the Dutch oven retains its maximum temperature you can use it to keep any prepared food for later, for example when preparing in advance for a dinner party or if you need to keep food warm for any member of the household who is working late and you want them to enjoy a hot meal without it being overcooked.

The Dutch Oven and the cast iron double burner propane stoves are just two types of cast iron cooking equipment. There are lots to choose from. One piece of equipment you can use both indoors and outside is the cast iron reversible griddle. As its name suggests you can use both sides. One side is smooth and the other side is ridged. You can use it by placing it directly onto the oven burners. It really is worthwhile to consider making the cast iron reversible griddle part of your cast iron cooking equipment.

Choosing The Best Commercial Kitchen Equipment

Choosing the best equipment for the kitchen of your commercial establishment is not an easy task. You will have to judge the long life and reliability of the equipments which can ensure the profitability and quality of services catered by your business. You will have to make a balance between the quality, long life, price and suitability of the commercial kitchen equipments with the quality of service you are going to provide at your establishment.

So, either you are planning to buy a few items like a glasswasher etc. for your commercial kitchen or replacing them entirely, you should make a wide study about the reliability, quality and long life of the equipments along with their reasonability in price. While making budget about this you should keep in mind certain other things which may make it easy to buy the best kitchen equipment for your commercial establishment.

Tips to follow while purchasing commercial kitchen equipment

Space to place the equipment: The first and foremost thing to consider is the availability of space to place the equipments suitably so that they can be maintained and used easily and comfortably. For instance you are planning to buy a glasswasher and you are not able to place it on suitable place where it can be used effectively then it will be a wrong decision to buy it. Moreover size of equipment also matters in buying one as you may have space for smaller model but you need a bigger model. You should also consider this point while making your budget for this purchase.

Price of the kitchen equipment: Price of the equipment is another important thing to be considered while planning for replacement or fractionally buying them. You might be having limited budget as you are running a commercial establishment so you should consider the cost factor also to make your budget. But you will have to balance your budget with fairly good quality of equipments instead of cheaper one as it may ruin the reputation of your establishment.

Consider minute details: While making budget for buying commercial kitchen equipment you should consider minute details of the expenses including shipping and packaging charges etc which may disturb your budget, if not considered earlier. Some of these expenses are inevitable.

Future workability of the equipment: You should also consider the future working facts of the equipment before planning to purchase it. The amount of energy needed to use it effectively is the main point which affects the workability of the equipment and its running cost.

Warranty on the equipment: Your commercial kitchen equipment must have warranty from the manufacturer for any manufacturing and working defect in it. The warranted kitchen equipments can give you peace of mind as the manufacturer is responsible for any kind of defect in it.

Thus, if you consider all these points discussed above while planning a budget to replace your kitchen equipments including glasswasher for your commercial establishment, then be rest assured that you will certainly buy the best of them.

Whether you employ a lot of people and run your own catering facilities or provide catering directly to the public you will need some decent equipment. There are many Commercial Kitchen Equipment Suppliers where you can acquire items such as a Commercial Glasswasher and you can find these either in your local telephone directory or by doing a search on the Internet. Before you start your search you need to think about whether you want new or second hand equipment and what your budget will be to purchase the necessary items that you need. Make sure that you shop around for the best deals.

How to Cook Great Tasting Meals

Times are hard for many of us and money is tight. But that doesn’t mean we have cut corners with our diet. What I want to share with you here is how you can still afford to cook great tasting, healthy food even on a tight budget. Here are my 3 golden rules how to cook easy meals for that taste great and won’t break the bank!

Rule 1. Plan your household menu for the week: It’s estimated that 24% of everything you put in your supermarket shopping cart ends up in the trash! For every $10 you spend on food $2.40 gets thrown away! Think about it – if a person spends $100 on groceries every week, $5,200 each year, then over $1,200 goes up in smoke. It’s as if you’d taken a bunch of dollar bills and set them alight! The way to stop this is to plan a weekly menu, list all the ingredients you need for each dish and buy only those ingredients. It only takes a few minutes and can be great fun, especially if you include other family members.

Rule 2. Buy what you need, not what the stores try to sell you! Once you’ve decide on your menu, create a shopping list with all those ingredients you need. Be careful to note the quantity of each item you need – there’s just no point buying, say, a large pot of cream when a small pot will do. Invariably, you’ll end up not using it and you’ll be burning cash! Stores are experts in taking cash out of your pocket – seducing buyers with “special offers”, tempting in-store displays and bulk-buy deals. Ignore these tricks, stick to your menu plan, follow your shopping list and hang on to your cash!

Rule 3. Do what every restaurant chef does… plan each meal together, not separately! Just like in any household kitchen, hotels and restaurants lose huge amounts of money if food is wasted. To avoid this hotel managers and chefs are experts in putting different dishes together that compliment each other. Put simply this means that whatever food isn’t used in one dish today, it can be used in another dish tomorrow. For example, If you’ve bought some tomatoes to cook a pasta sauce today, you can aim to use the rest by planning other dishes later in the week that also include tomatoes – salads, or Italian bruschette for lunch perhaps. The important thing is to be able to eat great tasting healthy food that ends up on your table with no waste. If you follow these 3 golden rules you’ll save hundreds of dollars in grocery bills, you’ll eat really well and have some fun planning some easy to cook dishes for your family to enjoy.

Tasty Healthy Food Recipes

Eating good is something more people are trying to do these days. Just because you want to eat healthy food, it does not mean you have more time. You find yourself looking for dinner ideas which will include quick recipes that are still healthy. It is easy to find dishes you will want to make over and over again.

It does not even matter what kinds of foods you like to eat, you can find the dinner ideas which will meet your needs. Everything from quick recipes to get food on the table right away to healthy food recipes which might take a bit more time to prepare is available. All you need to is decide which ones you would like to try first.

You can even find great dinner ideas for a vegetarian. There are so many great healthy food recipes to choose from, even those who enjoy meat may choose to try these dishes on occasion. Best of all, since so many of the dishes include quick recipes you will be able to prepare them no matter how hectic your schedule might be.

Those looking for healthy food recipes in a hurry will be glad to find all of the fast cooking methods available. These quick recipes can help you to create dishes you normally would have thought to be impossible. Of course, once you start exploring the possibilities, you are sure to find many great dinner ideas worth exploring.

Whether you are looking to be adventurous or you are simply looking for new dinner ideas, it is a good idea to pay attention to the ingredients being used in healthy and quick recipes. As long as you enjoy the majority of the ingredients, you are sure to enjoy even healthy food recipes.

Look for healthy food recipes which will allow you to prepare all or part of the recipe ahead of time. You will be able to create great tasting dishes from quick recipes as a result. From now on, there will be no excuse for not having great dinner ideas every night.

A great tip when look to speed up even quick recipes is to prepare ingredients like cooked vegetables in advance. Keep them frozen so that when you are looking to add them to healthy food recipes all you have to do is toss them in to what you are cooking. This way dinner ideas can be created with relative ease.

You do not have to travel all around the internet to find the dinner ideas you will use tonight. Instead, you can find most of what you need in order to recreate healthy food recipes in one place. You can also find quick recipes which will meet even the tightest schedules. The more recipes you try the more incentive you will have to try more. Get started today.

Make The Most Of Your Party Food Ideas

Before planning your party, it is important that you consider a few well-chosen party food ideas. These ideas will help you ultimately pick the best foods for your event. As you know, without great food, a party just cannot be as successful.

When it comes to thinking up party food ideas, you need a few tips and guidance to help you make the right choices. There are many things that you will want to take into account when planning what food to serve. For example, the theme of your party can factor into your chosen cuisine. In addition, whether you are serving kids, teens or adults will also help you determine what to serve. Lastly, in order to please the masses, it is best to offer healthy options, along with fun decadent ones.

Remember, by selecting the right party food options, you can ensure that you will not end up serving food that is subpar, which would only leave everyone feeling a bit unhappy. Regardless of the occasion, it is important that you serve people something that they will relish, which will also help to set the mood for better socializing.

With fingers busy on tasty morsels of food, the guests are going to feel much happier and this will go a long way in making the party a success. Party food can be anything from finger foods, to dishes that are rather simple, right on up to buffets or sit-down formal affairs.

Selecting appropriate food for your event could serve as the main draw of your guests to attend your party over and above another offer for a good time. This alone is reason enough why you need to make proper food selections with great care. Remember, a simple party can be made more successful just by serving the right foods.

You may decide that you want to pick foods that are somewhat different and/or unusual, which will go down particularly well with an adventurously minded crowd. You will also do well to pick your menu to coincide with your theme. For example, a Hawaiian cuisine would go well with a luau.

If your guests are conservatively minded, then you might want to look at sticking with traditional meals, which include meat, potatoes, as well as vegetables.

If you’re hosting a party for kids, be sure to check with the parents to see if there are any allergies that you need to consider.

I think the number one party food ideas for kids is pizza. Most kids love it and can never get enough. Other good options are hamburgers, hotdogs or tacos. To bring a little healthy balance to your party, you might consider creating fruit kebabs. They not only make for a pretty presentation, but they are yummy and good for everyone.

Chips and dips are always a welcome party food. Don’t forget to add a veggie platter with dill dip, just keep things in balance. A few bowls with various nut options is another great choice. Add a nice bowl of punch and you’re good to go.

Remember, in order to create sensational celebrations, you must select fabulous foods that will entice your guests and suit all who will attending your gala event!

Healthy Cooking Tips

Healthy cooking doesn’t have to be hard and some of the best cooking comes from the best healthy cooking tips. These are the seven best tips you can find around for cooking healthy meals, losing weight and most importantly, enjoying it!

1. Cooking Begins with Shopping

With every great adventure, the first step is always to actually take that first step. That is, part of learning to cook healthy is shopping smart. For that, it is important to know that there are a few key rules to follow: (1) low fat versions of milk, cheese, yogurt and salad dressing, (2) leaner meat cuts – if you’re not sure, check for a tick from the Heart Foundation and (3) skinless versions of chicken breasts. While shopping, it is also a good idea to look at the ingredients and health information provided on the product to figure out how much sodium, fats (both trans- and saturated) and even sugar are in the products. Finally, a good of thumb is to walk around the walls of the grocery store as most healthy products are found there while the bad food is situated in the middle part of the store.

2. Healthy Cooking Tips

Nutrients are essential and there are many healthy cooking tips that can be found. Here, we have four that would provide a great step towards smart cooking: First, scrubbing vegetables instead of peeling them will retain many nutrients that vegetable held as most are found in the skin. Steaming vegetable or using the microwave will also retain a lot of valuable nutrients. If you want to boil your vegetables, then do it in a small amount of water and not over boil them. Lastly, incorporating stir fry recipes into a healthy diet can also allow many vegetables to be cooked quickly while retaining nutrients that they harbour.

3. Everyday Repetition

A great healthy cooking tip would be adding vegetables to all aspects of eating throughout the day. That could mean using carrots chopped up as a substitute for chips, broccoli and cheese whiz or even celery with peanut butter and raisin. In regards to main meals, a great healthy cooking tip would be to add peppers to stews or chow mein. Also adding other colourful vegetables to any dish also helps meet a recommended daily servings. Fruit chutneys and vegetable salads are also great substitutions for heavy gravies and sauces.

4. Fight Fatty Favourites

Low fat food products do exist. They are available as low fat cheese, low fat salad dressing and even evaporated skim milk. A great healthy cooking tip for people who love eggs is to invest in low cholesterol egg products. Even using the whites of the eggs in exchange for a whole egg also reduces the fat and cholesterol of baked goods.

5. Grease Trapping

There are a few great healthy cooking tips that would help considerably with removing fats. For one, using olive or canola oils are a great ways to start. During cooking, draining fats as you go helps and then dabbing pan fried food onto paper towels will also trap more visible fats. For soups, chilling soup and then skimming it off the top is also a way to reduce fat intake.

6. Methodology of a Healthy Cooker

There are a few ways to improve healthy and smart cooking; one great healthy cooking tip would be to try roasting, poaching or even stir-frying all the meals of the day. Open flame grilling should be minimal since it may produce cancer-promoting compounds. Also, microwaving – in in short range cooking times – reduce the elimination of nutrients and adds no water or fat to the cooking.

7. Talk About It:

Finally, talk about the healthy cooking tips! When beginning on a new endeavour, it becomes easier and more fun when learning with someone or teaching a younger person comes into the picture. Learning to cook healthy is always better with others – doing it with friends or family can help take the healthy cooking tips presented and implement it with more earnest attempts. Communication the desire to eat healthier and talking about how it can be done always helps to not only remind yourself but get ideas from others. Overall, learning to cook healthy can and should be fun. You are not alone – and the amount of interest may surprise you if you ask if anyone wants to cook with you.

Health Food Stores

At health food stores, customers are complaining about food allergies more often now with statements like, “I can’t eat this”, or “I can’t eat that.” Why do so many people, especially those who frequent health food stores, believe they have food allergies? It’s funny, I’ve never heard anyone say, “I’m allergic to coffee, cookies, cakes, popcorn, pizza or candy”, and yet these are things that people ingest regularly without a second thought. So, what’s up with all these health food store shoppers who have food allergies?

Food allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to a protein molecule in the offending food. This can happen even with those who stick to food from health food stores. The body is unable to break down that particular protein molecule, so it reacts by trying to “get rid of it”. It produces a chemical called ‘histamine’ and symptoms appear in the form of rashes, hives, itching, wheezing, breathing problems, and lots of mucus being expelled through the mouth, nose, ears, lungs, or sexual organs. More serious reactions from food allergies are: vomiting, diarrhea, loss of consciousness, drop in blood pressure, or even death.

Intolerance to certain foods is different than true food allergies, and this is a more common complaint at health food stores. With food intolerances like lactose intolerance, where a person has difficulty breaking down the sugar in the milk, the symptoms are much milder. One may have some bloating, excess gas, cramping or diarrhea. While food intolerance is unpleasant, it is not life threatening like food allergies can be in some severe cases. The usual distresses are intolerances to wheat, soy, dairy and anything at health food stores that the shopper feels is too expensive.

The question that customers at health food stores ought to ask is not, “What food am I allergic to?” But rather, “Why is my immune system reacting to what should be health food?”

When determining specific food allergies and intolerances, some factors to consider are:
1. What is the trigger food?
2. When am I eating the trigger food?
3. Am I improperly combining fruits and vegetables or grains or meat and dairy?

The list can be quite exhaustive to hunt down the offending trigger food and how it is being consumed. In fact, most food allergy experts will tell you to keep a diary of everything you eat, and when you find the trigger food to just avoid eating it. Well, that sounds simple, but if you react to many things, including those that should be health food, it’s not so simple? Of course, you can eliminate the most common triggers to food allergies like: corn, wheat, eggs, dairy, and peanuts, but if that doesn’t work, then what? The truth is, your immune system can overreact to many substances. The best way to address food allergies is to strengthen your immune system and get in balance with all the systems of the body. Shop health food stores for specific foods to feed your 5 main systems equally: immune, endocrine, digestive, circulatory and respiratory systems. This may be difficult at typical health food stores, but searching online will produce results.

When you feed all your body parts with healthy, whole food nutrients, and eliminate the fake, processed foods in your life, your 5 systems can come into a perfectly natural balance. Then you can eat what you know you should be eating. It is better to strengthen the body’s systems with properly combined health food and ward off illness and disease the natural way. When you consume the right nutrients, the body operates at optimum levels for a more relaxed, healthy life. You have access to so much good nutrition at health food stores and plenty of options for avoiding food allergies or intolerances that it’s a shame to limit your choices unnecessarily.

One Dish Pasta Meal

Whether you work or not, have children or not or even if you’re the man in the family who does the cooking, sometimes you just don’t feel like spending precious moments of your life cooking.

You want (like most of us nowadays) good food, fast. Not fast food, good food pronto. And don’t forget to throw in that it has to be a crowd-pleaser!

OK, so my kids would eat pasta every meal if they had their druthers. And I like a good pasta dish myself. My husband is not one to complain about being served pasta. In short, most people, all ages included, are receptive to pasta. An entire nation does eat it daily.

Here is one of my standby pasta dishes when I can’t bring myself to stay in the ‘cuisine (kitchen) for more than 30 minutes tops. Actually, the recipe really originates from my husband’s bachelor days where quantity and quick preparation outweighed healthy and properly fatted. I took the liberty to ‘enhance’ it and make it more waistline friendly, especially to mine.

Add the no hassle garlic bread, either store-bought or homemade (it isn’t that complicated to make) and an uncomplicated salad for a rounded meal. I am forever a sucker for adding salad and fiber to my meals.

It may take you no time to fix it, but remember to take your time enjoying it. Life is too short not to enjoy good food.

Easy, One-Dish Pasta

Preparation and Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6 hearty servings

  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 lb. ground beef or turkey
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 cup sour cream, any type + 2 tablespoons separated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  • In skillet with lid, begin sauteing onion in olive oil on medium heat. Chop zucchini and add to onion. Continue cooking for another five minutes until onion is soft and zucchini bright green.
  • Add ground beef or turkey, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Cover and cook until meat is browned. Soak up grease with paper towel as needed. Stir occasionally.
  • When pasta is done, drain and add to serving dish. Toss with 2 tablespoons sour cream to prevent sticking.
  • When meat is fully cooked, add sour cream. Stir well and let reduce slightly for 2 minutes. Cook uncovered. Toss in with pasta.

Serve Immediately.