Monthly Archives: July 2013

Carl’s Jr. and Popeyes Go Sweet With New Treats

It’s summer time, which means your customers might need a bit of ice cream to cool them down. If they’re not in the chilled-confection mood, they may want a bit of chicken with a different edge. Carl’s Jr. and Popeyes have introduced two new dishes that add a bit of sweet to their menus, but in unique ways.

First off, Carl’s Jr. (but apparently not sister brand Hardee’s) is offering up a new ice cream sandwich, Eater reports. Nothing explicitly unique in that concept, is there? For $1.49 (or currently free with a Super Bacon Cheeseburger), though, this ice cream sandwich is a Pop-Tarts ice cream sandwich. A scoop of vanilla ice cream is saddled between halves of strawberry frosted Pop-Tart. Tested initially in Southern California, the sandwich is enough of a success (and probably easy enough to produce) for the company to bring it out on a larger scale. Theoretically, this only adds boxes of Pop-Tarts to their kitchen.

On the other hand, Popeyes is keeping things focused on the hot side of their menu. Known for their chicken, they’ve introduced a waffle-battered plate of chicken tenders, paired with a honey maple dipping sauce. Stated to be inspired by Jazz legends (but most likely inspired by the food pairing concept of “chicken and waffles”), Foodbeast reports that the tenders come in a $4.99 meal of three tenders, cajun fries, biscuit, and honey maple dipping sauce. While you won’t get the waffle’s vaunted “flavor nooks” given the form, you will have a thick-enough sauce to dip them in.

Have you tried to look at the pairing of sweet and salty, like Popeyes has, or even seen how you can combine simple sweets for a new treat? These two chains are trying something new that doesn’t require much new effort from them. For Carl’s Jr., all that’s required are Pop-Tarts, and Popeyes most likely just needs a new batter and dipping sauce; the chicken and the rest of the meal are traditional.

how-cold-should-i-keep-my-fridge

How Cold Should I Keep My Fridge?

Unless you live on a farm or want to travel to the grocery store every day, you need a refrigerator to keep foods and drinks fit for later consumption. Keeping the fridge at the proper temperature is the key to minimizing food spoilage and loss. Several variables affect how you need to adjust your fridge settings.

Understanding Bacteria

 One of the major reasons why people put food in the fridge is to slow the growth of harmful bacteria that could cause illness. Scientists have figured out that bacterial growth doesn’t really slow down significantly until temperatures reach around 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

 No Freeze, Please

 Even though bacterial growth slows at temperatures under 40 degrees Fahrenheit, many of the foods and beverages people like to store in the fridge have at least a small amount of water. If temperatures in the fridge dip below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the water in the beverage or food can freeze. That can turn fresh fruits and veggies into an unappetizing, mushy mess once the food is thawed. It also can make it impossible to chug favorite beverages. Thus, the temperature in a fridge never should go below freezing.

Other Factors

 Refrigerators are no different than other closed spaces in terms of physics. The warmest air in the fridge always will rise to the top, simply because it is less dense than cold air. This is a problem when trying to figure out the right temperature setting because the sensor for the fridge thermostat measures how warm or cold the fridge is in only one spot. To really get a good picture of where you should set the temperature dial, you should check the temperature at multiple spots within the fridge. This same phenomenon is what makes fridges with the freezer at the bottom more efficient than ones with the freezer at the top – the unit does not need to fight the natural tendency of cold air to sink and therefore cools better.

As you spot check the fridge temperature, a complicating factor is the amount of food and beverages in the appliance. If you have a lot in the fridge, the air cannot circulate properly and makes it much harder for the refrigerator to keep everything cool. Viewed from another perspective, the more you put in the fridge, the warmer the air in the fridge will get. You might need to set the temperature a little lower than normal to compensate for this if you’ve got more in the appliance than normal.

 

The General Rule

 

Given the fact you don’t want foods and drinks to freeze as you slow bacterial growth, the general rule of thumb is to keep your fridge somewhere between 32 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, with 38 degrees being optimal. It’s best to keep your fridge only about medium full so the air can circulate to cool each item properly.

stainless-steel-sink

How To Measure The Quality of a Stainless Steel Sink

Measuring the quality of a stainless steel sink involves looking at all of its various technical specifications and making an overall judgment about how good it is. A lower-quality stainless steel sink may initially be cheaper, but you will also need to pay more money in repairs than if you would have paid more initially and purchased a sink of higher quality.

Step 1 – The Thickness

Determine the thickness of the stainless steel that was used to make the sink. Thicker stainless steel sinks are of a higher quality because they will not bend or flex. Thinner stainless steel sinks will bend and flex, which can ultimately damage the sink. The thickness information for a stainless steel sink will be listed in the unit’s technical specifications.

Step 2 – The Finish

Find out what type of “finish” a stainless-steel sink has. Certain finishes make a stainless-steel sink prone to water spots, smudges and dirt which would make the sink of lower quality. Certain finishes are also more difficult to clean, or display scratches more obviously which would make your sink look old and broken. Mirror finishes also display water spots very easily. The type of finish will be listed in the technical specifications of the sink. For example, “satin polished finish” is easy to clean and is durable in that it prevents scratches. The aforementioned “mirrored finish” is another type of finish.

Step 3 – The Seal

Examine what type of material was used to “seal” your stainless-steel sink. Just because the bowel and backsplash of your sink is stainless-steel doesn’t mean all parts of it will be. The parts of a sink that connect to other pipes (like the holes for faucets, the primary drain and the sides of the sink) will have some type of material on them that acts as a sealant. This material should be foam based for the highest quality sink experience.

Step 4 – Number Of Holes

Count the number of holes in a sink and make sure they match the number of accessories you have in your kitchen. For example, some sinks will have just a hole for a water faucet and that’s it. Others will have a hole for a faucet and accessories like a spray nozzle. Make sure your stainless-steel sink is compatible with all the accessories in your kitchen.

Conclusion

Certain parts of a “quality” measurement are subjective. While it is possible to tell the level of quality of a sink based on things like its finish, the total number of holes the sink has is purely up to your personal preference. A high quality sink for your neighbor may only have one hole for the faucet, but if you have a spray nozzle the quality would go down accordingly.