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All About Artichokes (Plus Recipes!)

History of Artichokes Who first decided artichokes might be edible? They must’ve been a little desperate, because—although delicious—artichokes are not the easiest vegetable to prepare! They’re native to the Mediterranean and came to the U.S. as late as the 19th Century when French immigrants brought them to Louisiana and Spanish immigrants brought them to California. There are about 140 artichoke varieties in existence, and approximately 40 of those are grown commercially for food. Most of what we consume today are...

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How to Throw a Party Themed “The Office”

"The Office" is a classic, so why not throw a Dunder Mifflin themed party? Decorations could be as elaborate or as simple as you want. The perfect venue would, of course, be a conference room. We recommend that you have plenty of office furniture and office supplies scattered around. It wouldn't hurt to include desk toys, as well. You could make a banner that states the obvious, like "It Is Your Birthday," or something else suitable for the occasion....

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How To Make a 3 Course Fondue Meal

Have you wondered how make a fondue meal? Do you have to have a fondue pot? What kinds of foods can you use to fondue? How do you keep the cheese from separating in a cheese fondue? Where did the idea of fondue even come from? We have the answers to all your fondue questions. The word fondue comes from the French word “fondre” which means “to melt.” Usually, the fondue is prepared over the stove and then served in...

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20 Tips for Healthier Cooking

It’s a new year, and most of us have room for improvement when it comes to healthy cooking and eating. We don’t recommend completely overhauling your approach to food; it can be overwhelming and a recipe for failure. But we DO suggest you take doable, reasonable steps toward healthier cooking; these kinds of changes are sustainable. Here are our top 20 tips for healthy cooking. Take the ones that seem appropriate for you, and give them a try! 1. Steam...

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Varieties of Butter and Their Uses

Butter is that magical substance made from cream (usually from a cow). We use it at all temperatures: melted it is a sauce, at room temperature it is a spread, and cold it goes into pastry. Technically, butter is a water-in-oil emulsion where the milk proteins serve as the emulsifiers between the water and fat molecules. There are many different varieties of butter, so let’s take a look at the differences in and uses of each. Unsalted Butter (Sweet Butter) Unsalted...

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How To Brine a Turkey

We brine turkey to improve its flavor, tenderness, and juiciness. The salt in the brine denatures the proteins in the muscle, allowing the meat to absorb more moisture and flavor. We will explain how to both Wet Brine and Dry Brine your turkey in this post, as both methods have pros and cons. Wet Brining is soaking the turkey in a salt solution before cooking. The pros of wet brining are 1) it imparts the most flavor and moisture to...

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2021 Holiday Gift Guide

If the people on your holiday gift list EAT, then Big Plate has gift ideas they'll LOVE! First, use our gift guide to get inspired. Next, come in the store or browse the website to mark as many gifts off your to-do list as possible. Then, let us put your gifts in our beautiful, festive red bags so they can go straight under your tree--no wrapping required. Finally, relax and enjoy the season because you are READY! At Big...

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How to Set a Table

“How to Set a Table” may no longer be regularly taught in public school, but it is NOT a lost art! Setting a proper table isn’t hard, and everyone enjoys the beauty of an organized and attractive scene for a meal. A properly set table makes the meal seem fancy and attractive, no matter how inexpensive or basic your flatware, dishes, glassware, and menu are. Read on to learn where to put the wine glass, whether to use a...

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5 Reasons to Use Araven Food Storage Containers

What does your establishment use for food storage containers? Have you tried Araven airtight containers? They’re a step (or five) above the gastronorm food pans you’re used to. Think Tupperware for food service! Here are the top five reasons why you should consider switching your facility’s food pans to Araven. Reason #1: Labels Araven puts integrated traceability labels inside the container. The label is actually sandwiched between layers of BPA-free ABS, which means you never have to buy another food label...

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How to Clean the Kitchen in About 30 Minutes!

Having a clean kitchen is important because it makes cooking safer and more fun. Cleaning the kitchen can be a daunting task, but we know how to make it quick and easy. We’ll discuss how often to clean the kitchen, what supplies to use, and specific techniques for cleaning the fridge, microwave and other small appliances, sink, floors, cabinets, counters, backsplash, etc.. You should wipe up after yourself in the kitchen every day. The place you prepare and consume...

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