Posts tagged with "cooking"

What to do with your old kitchenware

Over the years it is easy to pick up lots of kitchenware and utensils. However, what is not so easy is keeping them all in good condition. Many people find themselves looking around their kitchen and thinking that the only solution would be to rip it all out and start again. Whilst everyone would like to be able to afford a brand-new kitchen, sometimes it is not financially affordable. This does not mean that you are stuck though. There are plenty of options out there for you to breathe life into your kitchen and this article will give you some ideas on how to do it.

Old Knives

Whether you have invested in a really premium set, or they are just favorites that you have held onto, knives will inevitably lose their sharpness and shine. The simple thing to do is to replace them with a newer set. However, this is not the cheapest thing to do. One way in which you can avoid this is to use a wet stone sharpener. This will bring back the blade to your knife and allow you to keep your favorites without them becoming useless. 

Revitalize your woods

One way to breathe some life back into your kitchen and its wares is to give the cupboards, worktops, and tables a good clean and sand. Sanding them down will take off any surface damages like scratches and marks and smooth it all down. If you are looking to change the color scheme of your kitchen then sanding down all of these features is essential. It can be done by getting the right tools or even the handy DIY sanding pads. 

Removing the blemishes from your wood will make your kitchen look brand new again. This can be especially helpful if you have had children who have taken their toll on the surfaces. It is cheap and easy to do even for a DIY novice.

Kitchen art

If you have found yourself with an abundance of kitchen equipment that is either rubbish or too old to be of any good to anyone, then why don’t you think about repurposing it. You can be surprised at how creative you can get with old pots and pans. They can make quirky art deco pieces that people won’t believe you whipped up in an afternoon. It is all about knowing what you want to do. 

For example, old Teflon frying pans make great chalkboards. This is a great way to get the kids involved. If you have an old skillet pan lying around, you could add art to the back of it and hang it up. You can glue pieces of tile and glass to completely change its look. Or you can repurpose a cake tin as a decorative cake stand for your coffee table. You are only limited by your creativity.

Old Kitchenware

There is so much more that you can do to your old kitchen that does not involve throwing it away. If you don’t have the money or just want to be a little bit greener, then you can investigate how to repurpose all your old kitchenware. Some things like knives can be rejuvenated whilst others can be transformed.

 

Five Tips for Starting a Gluten-Free Diet

In 2022, consumers have a large selection of gluten-free options, improving their quality of life. For individuals diagnosed with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivities (NCGS) in past decades, their dietary selection was minimal. Whether you live in a region with a vast selection of gluten-free options or a limited variety, you may utilize these five tips to effectively start your diet.

Many individuals struggle to maintain a celiac-friendly diet because of limited awareness and education. When consumers increase their recognition of gluten-free labels and naturally allergy-safe foods, they can achieve a healthy diet without stress. Before evaluating the five tips, individuals may benefit from exploring gluten allergies and their physical impacts.

What Are Gluten Allergies?

Celiac disease results in an immune reaction when one’s intestines come in contact with gluten. The physical response damages the small intestine over time, causing malabsorption. Intestinal degradation causes anemia, weight loss, bloating, fatigue, and diarrhea.

The disease may also cause osteoporosis, skin rashes, mouth ulcers, migraines, and fatigue. Other individuals with the condition experience numbness of the feet, legs, and hands, as well as joint pain. People effectively reduce their symptoms over time by consuming a strict gluten-free diet.

Individuals also treat NCGS with gluten-free diets. The illness is similar to celiac disease, except the condition is non-detectable by certain testing. People with NCGS experience brain fog, abdominal pain, migraines, chronic fatigue, bloating, joint pain, diarrhea, and constipation.

A team of researchers at Columbia University identified the effects of gluten on the intestinal health of individuals with NCGS. They discovered similar immune responses and stomach cell destruction associated with consumption. Researchers believe the reaction may relate to a different component in gluten that causes its lack of appearance on celiac tests.

Scientists look at individuals’ reactions to amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) and fructans when assessing the cause of NCGS symptoms. Understanding the severity of gluten allergies and their probable causes can support informed dietary choices. The first step to starting a successful gluten-free diet is deepening your understanding of the allergen.

1. Expand Your Gluten Education

Gluten is a protein found in various grains like wheat and rye. It is a naturally occurring part of many plants, and researchers discovered a way to extract the protein. Many processed foods contain gluten as a binding agent, holding them together and adding texture.

The protein is present in bread and pasta because it comes from barley, wheat, spelt, rye, durum, emmer, farro, triticale, and other grains. Some naturally gluten-free grains include rice, quinoa, and oats. It is important to look out for specifically gluten-free oats at the store because some products experience cross-contamination.

If oats grow in a field with wheat or rye, they may receive a coating of gluten, decreasing the safety of their consumption by individuals with allergies. When oats are processed in the same facilities as gluten-containing grains, they also may experience cross-contamination. Remaining aware of the naturally celiac-friendly foods and the risk of contamination supports a successful diet.

2. Identify Sneaky Sources of Gluten

Another beneficial tip for starting your gluten-free diet is remaining aware of the sneaky sources of allergens. Medications and supplements often use gluten as an external coating or filler. Before consuming a new pill, it is important to contact your doctor to evaluate its dietary safety.

Processed meat, poultry, and fish often contain wheat as a filler or bast. Most deli meats, hot dogs, and sausages contain gluten, making them not suitable for consumption by individuals with celiac disease or NCGS. Some meat substitutes also use the protein as a filler, creating dietary challenges.

Imitation seafood, like the crab inside sushi rolls, and seitan, always contain gluten. Some veggie burgers also use wheat and other grains to bind the other ingredients. Many sauces additionally utilize wheat as a thickening agent.

Soy sauce is a common culprit of accidental gluten exposure. Restaurants also regularly add barley to miso, making it not suitable for gluten-free consumers. Fortunately, there are many safe alternatives to wheat-containing foods, like tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

3. Plan Ahead When Eating Out

The worst feeling is showing up to a dinner out with friends only to realize you cannot eat anything on the menu. Researching a menu before attending a restaurant is the best way to avoid dietary mishaps. Some eateries have designated gluten-free menus whereas others may have zero options.

Calling a restaurant ahead of time is the best way to ensure your ability to safely eat there. Some chefs may even encourage individuals to bring their own gluten-free bread, flour, or pasta to accommodate their dietary restrictions. Individuals can also plan ahead when eating at a friend’s house by bringing a celiac-friendly option.

4. Convert Your Favorite Home-Cooked Meals to Gluten-Free Options

While traditional Italian dishes often contain gluten, individuals can substitute wheat components with chickpea, almond, or rice flour. Consumers with celiac disease and NCGS may make their favorite dishes like pizza using gluten-free substitutes. One pizza recipe uses rice and tapioca flour instead of wheat to create the crust.

It also utilizes xanthan gum to keep the dough together, binding it as gluten would. The crust is also dairy-free and egg-free, making it a suitable option for vegans and lactose-intolerant individuals as well. When making celiac-friendly pizza, it is important to prepare the dough away from wheat-containing dishes to limit cross-contamination.

5. Beware of Cross-Contamination

The final tip for starting a gluten-free diet revolves around cross-contamination. When individuals cook celiac-friendly foods in a wheat-containing kitchen, the meal may come in contact with gluten. Sharing cooking surfaces, utensils, and containers with wheat-containing items can create unsafe dishes for consumers with celiac disease and NCGS.

Flour containing wheat can remain airborne in bakeries for hours, increasing the rate of cross-contamination. Before ordering food from a restaurant or eating at a friend’s house, ensure they have a celiac-friendly kitchen. Many Individuals designate a section of their kitchens to gluten-free meal prep to decrease the risk of cross-contamination.

The Benefits of Eating Gluten-Free

Many individuals benefit from eating a gluten-free diet, especially consumers with celiac disease and NCGS. When you eliminate gluten from your diet, you preserve your small intestinal lining. The diet also decreases abdominal discomfort, migraines, brain fog, and rashes, helping individuals live a normal life without adverse symptoms.

Eight of the Best Ways to Cook Sirloins Steak

Sirloins steak is a popular cut of beef that’s affordable and versatile. Whether you’re a novice in the kitchen or an experienced home cook, preparing delicious, juicy sirloins steak can be a daunting task.

With so many different methods to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? Here are the eight methods to prepare your sirloins.

1. Grilling

Grilling a sirloin steak is one of the most popular techniques to cook meat. The high direct heat, caramelised texture, and smoky flavour from grilling make it an ideal cooking method for your favourite cut of beef.

While you can use a gas or charcoal grill, using a cast-iron skillet on the grill allows you to make a delicious crust on your steak. You can also use skewers or kitchen strings to tie your steak for uniform cooking.

2. Pan Frying

Pan-frying is another common method of cooking steaks. It involves browning meat quickly in a skillet over high heat with very little oil, thus creating a lovely caramelised crust on the surface of your meat. The key to pan-frying is using a cast-iron skillet and removing your steak from the pan when it’s done for maximum flavour and juiciness.

You can also try cooking sirloins in butter for incredible flavour.

3. Pan Roasting

Pan roasting is a combination of both pan-frying and oven roasting. It involves browning meat, then cooking it in a covered pot over low heat for an extended period. This method works best when cooking sirloins rump roast or other large cuts of steak because the long cooking process will break down the connective tissue and make the meat tenderer.

4. Braising and Stewing

Braising and stewing is an ideal cooking method for tougher cuts of meat because it requires slowly simmering tougher pieces of beef until they’re very tender and moist, usually in some type of liquid like broth or water. This produces a wonderfully flavourful and moister steak that tastes just as good the next day. You can also try adding vegetables like potatoes, carrots and onions to your braising liquid for a complete meal.

5. Roasting

Roasting is one of the healthiest ways to prepare sirloins steak because it involves cooking in an oven. This steak cooking method is excellent for creating a juicy, tender steak while maintaining the natural flavours of your meat. You can also roast sirloins in a marinade or dry rub to infuse your steak with extra flavour.

6. Sous-Vide Cooking

Sous-vide cooking is a method of cooking that involves slowly cooking meat in a vacuum-sealed pouch with boiling water to create tender steaks.

Once you’ve sous vide your meat, you can sear it in a cast-iron skillet for incredible texture and flavour. This technique creates the most succulent, juiciest steak you’ll ever taste.

7. Steaming

Steaming is the best cooking method to avoid overcooking sirloins steaks because it uses steam heat to cook your meat. This technique is great for creating tender steaks that are moist and flavourful. You can also try adding garlic, rosemary or other herbs for an incredible accompaniment.

8. Deep Frying

Deep frying is one of the most popular cooking methods when preparing sirloins steak because it creates a delicious crispy shell around your meat that tastes amazing. Making deep fried steaks can be difficult but can also yield fantastic results. However, deep-frying isn’t the healthiest method of cooking.

Conclusion

There are many different ways to prepare sirloins steak, but the best way is up to your personal preference. No matter what cooking method you choose, sirloins will remain one of the most popular cuts of beef, thanks to its unique texture and flavour. Bon appetit!

Five Ways to Add Heat Without Ruining the Meal

Is your favorite part of the day the meal you’ll make at night but missing that je ne sais quoi is driving you up a wall? Some heat might very well be the thing you are looking for. It’s more versatile than you’d expect and has its place no matter the type of cuisine you are craving. If this is a new avenue for you, here’s some surefire ways to bring the heat.

Crushed Red Pepper

You probably know this best from its place among the shakers in your favorite pizza joint, but it might be time to stop only enjoying it there. The secret combination is a mixture or various red peppers that would be sure to add a little kick to your next meal all without dipping too far into the unfamiliar.

Pepper Jelly

You might be used to saving your pepper jelly for cheese and crackers but there’s no need for it to end there. This treat is perfect for meats, poultry, fish, you name it. It’ll add the perfect kick you are craving along with a few other flavors you didn’t realize you needed. Depending on what you are making, cranberry pepper jelly might be what you want or mango habanero might be the perfect way to reinvent your kitchen staples. 

If you somehow don’t have any on hand and aren’t sure where to buy pepper jelly, don’t forget the internet is your best friend in finding exactly what you need. Sure, there’s always what’s in the stores, but don’t settle if it’s not exactly what you want. At least, make sure you do a little research on the net; you’d be surprised how many varieties of pepper jelly are out there for the taking. 

Sriracha

It might look like it, but don’t think this is in any way ketchup. Thankfully, as the years have gone by, it’s become just as common in some places. Like it’s similarly colored, albeit more traditional friend, ketchup, people put it on just about anything. 

 Inside the bottle, you’ll find the perfect mixture of jalapeno and serrano peppers, garlic, brown sugar, salt and vinegar so it’s easy to imagine all the possibilities when looking to add this to your kitchen. 

 There’s plenty of copycats out there, so if you are looking for the original, make sure you grab the bottle with the rooster front and center.

Fresh Peppers

These are perfect if you are hesitant about adding heat to your next meal. Given it’s not a spice you’re adding, but actual peppers you might need to base the dish around this a little more than you would otherwise. 

The reason it’s such a great choice for those starting their spice journey lies in the seeds. Taking those first steps, take all the seeds out and you’ll have a more mild experience. If you do that and it actually ends up more mild than you were thinking, keep some in. Feeling adventurous? Leave as many as possible and enjoy the ride. 

Garam Masala

A great choice if you aren’t sure how to dress meat or tofu the next time you are preparing either. Don’t think it’s only useful on either of those; it is a key spice when making the wonderful dish that is butter chicken. 

This blend is often the basis of many Indian dishes and the name literally means “hot spices;” learning that is sure to excite some and give pause to others but don’t have fear when it comes to adding some heat into your staple dishes. 

cookware illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Make Those Boring Foods Good Again with These Top Three Additives

There are different ways to introduce more flavors and variety in your cooking. One of the ways is to use fresh herbs.

Fresh herbs can add a lot of flavor and variety instead of just salt and pepper. Some other spices you can try are paprika, cayenne, cumin, black pepper, ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon.

This is mainly because these spices have high aromas that will be released during cooking. They also offer health benefits like cancer prevention, or you can use them for weight loss purposes.

Adding spices during cooking is just one way to spice up boring meals, but what about post cooking? There are different ways to make boring foods not so boring. If you’re looking for a good way to spice up your bland food, you can use your imagination and try out these unique ingredients that can be simple or elaborate but create mouthwatering flavor.

Bacon Jam

Bacon jam is a great ingredient to spice up boring dishes. Bacon is a type of meat that will give any dish an extra kick while not compromising taste.

Bacon Jam is a great ingredient to spice up your boring dishes. It can be used in various dishes like glazed pork chops, bacon-wrapped chicken, Jamaican jerk chicken and more.

Bacon is not just for breakfast with pancakes or waffles; it can also be used in this spread form to cook a few other dishes that are normally considered boring. Your next burgers will never be the same!

Sriracha Mayo

Sriracha Mayo is a great recipe to add some spice and flavor to your boring meals. It adds an interesting twist that your family members will most likely enjoy.

This recipe is not only easy to make but also healthy because it doesn’t require much oil, sugar, or salt. It’s also very easy to find in your local supermarket. The Sriracha mayo can be used as a topping for anything, including sandwiches or lettuce wraps.

A common misconception about sriracha mayo is that it is spicy and therefore only good for dipping with chips or vegetables. However, the spicy-ness of this condiment comes from the sriracha sauce itself – so it can be used in other recipes like pasta and white sauces too!

Garlic Butter

Garlic Butter is a mixture of garlic, butter, and oils that can be used to spice up both sweet and savory dishes.

Garlic Butter is great for adding flavor to your boring dishes by making them more exciting. For example, it can be used as a topping for potatoes or roasted vegetables. It would also add flavor to mashed potatoes or even fries. You can even put a little bit of this on a steak and you will be blown away.

Garlic is an amazing ingredient to spice up boring dishes. Garlic has a variety of health benefits, and it is one of the most powerful all-natural ingredients to get rid of food poisoning. It can also be used as a natural health supplement for weight loss, heart disease, and diabetes.

Garlic butter is easy to make with just a few ingredients. It can also easily be found in your local grocery store just like sriracha mayo. The best part about this dish is that it tastes great with anything from pasta to chicken.

Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

Alexis Sicklick’s Savory Soup Recipe

NYC Chef Alexis Sicklick is known for her savory fall recipes that push conventional cooking boundaries. One of Chef Alexis’ renowned and most unique dishes is her caramelized apple soup.

This caramelized apple soup came from one of Chef Alexis’ favorite fall soups; butternut squash and apple soup. The powerful notes included in butternut squash are optimized with the apple flavor that creates more acidity and depth. Like many others, Chef Alexis has a liking for the caramelized apple, and this was the flavor that she wanted to encapsulate in her own soup. Chef Alexis describes the soup as a combination of “all your favorite parts of French Onion Soup into a lighter, luscious version for the fall, focusing on the elegance of the cooked apple and enhancing it with the unmistakable goodness of caramelized onions.”

For the full story on Chef Alexis’ caramelized apple soup, read HERE.

Caramelized Apple Soup Recipe

Soup Ingredients

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 White Onions

6 Apples, any variety/mix

1 cup White Wine

Water

½ bunch Thyme

½ bunch Oregano

4 Cinnamon Sticks

4 Star Anise

Salt

  1. Slice the onions 1/8-inch thick. Cover the bottom of a wide soup pot with a thin layer of oil and caramelize the onions over low heat.
  2. Peel and rough chop the apples into medium-sized pieces. Once the onions are golden brown, add the apples and cook until they also turn golden brown and begin to break down, but not too much so they lose their moisture and body (the apple starches help to create the velvety allure!) – you can raise the heat a bit for this step. Stir often to prevent them from sticking.
  3. Once the apples turn soft and deep brown, deglaze with white wine and reduce just a little. Add water to cover and the herbs and spices in a sachet of cheesecloth for quick removal later. Season with a few pinches of salt, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil.
  4. After the soup boils, turn it to a simmer and let it cook, covered, for about 1 hour.
  5. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as needed – feel free to add in some ground cinnamon or grated star anise if desired. With an immersion or regular blender (careful, it is hot – use small batches for the second option), blend until the soup is smooth and velvety.

Garnishes

1 cup Toasted Hazelnuts

8 ounces White Cheddar

  1. While the soup is cooking, preheat the oven to 325°F. Cut the hazelnuts in half and toast them in the oven for about 10 minutes/until they become amber in appearance.
  2. Grate the cheddar cheese using the large grates on a box grater.

To Serve

  1. Turn the oven to ‘Broil.’ Line oven-proof bowls on a tray and pour the soup into them. Cover with a layer of cheese and place in the oven until the top is completely melted and turns golden brown.
  2. Garnish with the hazelnuts and enjoy!
Youtube Originals Copy That via Youtube for use by 360 Magazine

YouTube Originals Premieres Copy That

YouTube Originals premiered the first episode of “Copy That!,” the new five-part competition comedy series from Sony Pictures Television and executive producer Charles Wachter, where four-star YouTube creators each with a different, incredible skill, step out of their comfort zones and attempt to copy their fellow creators’ area of expertise in hysterical ways! Episodes debut daily on each spotlighted creators’ channel beginning on today only on YouTube. Additional “Copy That!” bonus content will premiere daily with each episode for YouTube Premium subscribers, only on the YouTube Originals official channel.

“Copy That!” stars Sofie Dossi (6.21M subscribers), Lisette aka Luhhsetty (3.15M subscribers), Rosanna Pansino (13M subscribers) and Preston (17.9M subscribers) who demo their gaming, cooking, dancing, or beauty and makeup mastery in a blur of action and charisma, and then it is up to the other star creators to COPY THAT! and nail their own version. Whether it be a delectable crêpe cake, make-up demos, or jaw dropping dance routine, the other star creators will be in over their heads trying to create their own magic in a space they know little about. 

Fans can follow the episodic rollout on each creator’s channel daily:

“Copy That!” is produced by Sony Pictures Television and executive produced by Charles Wachter. Susanne Daniels is Global Head of Original Content for YouTube. Alex Piper serves as Head of Unscripted for YouTube Originals, with Cara Casey and Ryan Bratton overseeing “Copy That!” for the global platform.

About YouTube Originals

YouTube Originals are award-winning series, specials and livestream events for YouTube’s two billion active monthly users that entertain, inspire, connect, and educate audiences through authentic storytelling from YouTube creators, music artists and celebrities. By tapping into the platform’s growing global community, fan engagement product capabilities, and innovative content, YouTube Originals amplify the most popular and unique aspects of YouTube. Fans can experience YouTube Originals content for free through the standard YouTube platform (ad-supported), or through a paid subscription to YouTube Premium, which adds ad-free, bonus/exclusive content, and early binge access to select programming. YouTube Originals are available in over 100 countries worldwide.  Keep up with the latest YouTube news by visiting the global platform’s official blog at https://blog.youtube/.

About‌ ‌Sony‌ ‌Pictures‌ ‌Television‌

Sony‌ ‌Pictures‌ ‌Television‌ ‌(SPT)‌ ‌is‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌television‌ ‌industry’s‌ ‌leading‌ ‌content‌ ‌providers,‌ producing, distributing‌ ‌and‌ ‌carrying‌ ‌programming‌ ‌worldwide‌ ‌in‌ ‌every‌ ‌genre‌ ‌and‌ ‌for‌ ‌every‌ platform.‌ ‌In‌ ‌addition‌ ‌to managing‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌industry’s‌ ‌largest‌ ‌libraries‌ ‌of‌ ‌award-winning‌ ‌feature‌ films,‌ ‌television‌ ‌shows,‌ ‌and formats,‌ ‌SPT‌ ‌is‌ ‌home‌ ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌thriving‌ ‌global‌ ‌content‌ ‌business,‌ operating‌ ‌a‌ ‌robust‌ ‌portfolio‌ ‌of‌ ‌wholly-owned‌ ‌and‌ ‌joint-venture‌ ‌production‌ ‌companies‌ ‌across‌ ‌the‌ U.S.,‌ ‌Europe,‌ ‌Latin‌ ‌America,‌ ‌and‌ ‌Asia‌ ‌Pacific,‌ ‌as‌ ‌well as‌ ‌linear‌ ‌and‌ ‌digital‌ ‌channels‌ ‌around‌ ‌the world.‌ ‌SPT‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌Sony‌ ‌Pictures‌ ‌Entertainment‌ ‌Company,‌ ‌a subsidiary‌ ‌of‌ ‌Tokyo-based‌ ‌Sony‌ Group‌ ‌Corporation.‌

thanksgiving illustration by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

Tips For Smart Home Devices During Thanksgiving

November brings a great amount of excitement in the air – football season is in full swing, basketball is about to start, and Thanksgiving and holiday shopping are right around the corner.

Of course, that also means half of America’s football teams are already out of contention, and people have already begun to stress about Thanksgiving planning and their holiday shopping.

Fortunately, with all the “smart home” devices now at our disposal, everyone’s Thanksgiving Day preparation and cooking this year is sure to be “smarter” than ever. From smart thermometers and smart vacuums to Amazon Echo and Alexa devices, Thanksgiving Day prep and cooking should be a snap. 

Smart Devices Can Still Cause Frustrations

Unfortunately, a house filled with smart devices doesn’t necessarily make our cooking experience that much smarter. According to a recent survey, 74% of connected consumers have experienced technical challenges in the past year. Even before the pandemic, 36% of smart device owners said they haven’t connected their product because they don’t know how. In addition to product issues, 55% of respondents said their internet speeds have been slower since the pandemic began.

Just having a connected home doesn’t always mean it’s smooth sailing for smart device connectivity. Here are a few tips from personal tech support experts to keep technical frustrations to a minimum on Turkey Day.

  •   Use your Amazon Echo Show to view your favorite recipes. Pause, playback, etc. and see the recipe on the screen as you go. Need other food ideas, just ask Alexa for top Thanksgiving recipes!
  •   Make shopping for your groceries simpler with free apps like AnyList. Just download the app, register, and then start creating custom lists. Want to share your list with a family member or friend, no problem, that’s easy, just send the list from within the app to their email address. Once they click the link and download the app they will be able to see your list and add, change, delete items.
  •   Want to put a little pep in your meal prep? Use your smart speaker to play your favorite holiday songs while you’re cooking. Did you know that if you are an Amazon Prime member you get access to Amazon Music for free? Just ask Alexa to play your favorite tunes like “Alexa, play Feeling Thankful music.”  Also, did you know that iHeart Radio is free as well? Just download and register the app, make sure to add the “skill” to your Amazon Alexa app to let it work with iHeart Radio.  Try “Alexa, play iHeart Christmas Rock.”
  •   Want to start decorating for holidays early? Pick up some smart plugs and connect your holiday lights, tree and other electric devices and then create a “group” like “Holidays inside”.  Then, use your Google or Amazon device for voice commands like “Hey Google, turn on Holidays inside” and watch as all your gadgets turn on.
  •   Did you know you can use your Google Home device, your Amazon Echo device, or your iPhone Siri service to set multiple timers to keep track of your food cook times?  Try “Alexa, remind me in 15 minutes to check the turkey.
  •   Made a mess while cooking and too tired to clean it up yourself, use your smart vacuum to do some post-Thanksgiving cooking cleanup. You can create custom rooms with your iRobot app and then just send it directly to the room that needs a little extra tidying up.

Planning Can Save Frustration

Plan and make sure all your home’s smart devices are connected and working properly by contacting your tech support specialist home consultants ahead of the big day. You can also use a Wi-Fi speed check to make sure your Internet network speed is running at an optimal level when more family members begin to arrive and there are even more devices in the home running off your Wi-Fi. What’s more, you’ll want to check and make sure all your smart devices used in the kitchen are near the internet router, or if they are too far away there are always solutions like mesh routers and new Wi-Fi 6 routers that can extend your Wi-Fi range. Remember, slower internet speeds don’t always mean it’s your internet service provider’s fault.

About The Author: Scott McKinley is AVP, Global New Product Development for Personal TechPro, the connected device premium tech support solution for the Pocket Geek Home solution.

cookware illustration by Alex Bogdan for use by 360 Magazine

Top Chefs of France’s Loire Valley

The Loire Valley region of France is not only famous for being home to France’s most iconic chateaux and world-renowned wine, but is also home to astounding French gastronomy, earning its nickname of “the Garden of France.” Below is a snapshot of some of the region’s top chefs of the moment.

Christophe Hay

The most famous chef in the Loire Valley, Chef Christophe Hay was named 2021 Chef of the Year by the Gault & Millau guide. He currently holds two Michelin stars for his restaurant La Maison d’à Côté and one green star for his commitment to sustainable gastronomy, striving to promote the local terroir and producers. Chef Hay created his own permaculture vegetable garden, collaborating with a local conservatory to revive old plant varieties such as purple celery from Tours. In his kitchen, plants are at the heart of the plate. In addition, the chef owns a farm of 60 Wagyu oxen near Angers, and sources caviar from Sologne, fish from the Loire, organic and natural wines from Cheverny and organic local goat cheese.

In June 2022, Chef Christophe Hay will move to a new home: Fleur de Loire in Blois, a new 5-star hotel and gourmet restaurant. The former property of the brother of King Louis XIII will house 44 rooms, including 11 suites, a bistro, pastry kiosk, swimming pool and state-of-the-art Sisley branded spa. 

Catherine Delacoute from Le Lancelot

Located in the heart of the small village of Chilleurs-aux-Bois outside of Orléans, the bistro gastronome Le Lancelot takes inspiration from the Knights of the Round Table, with each room named after a character, including Lancelot, King Arthur and Guinevere. Le Lancelot is located just steps away from the historic Chateâu de Chamerolles, built in the 1500s on the site of an ancient medieval fortress under the authority of Lancelot du Lac. Even more, Chef Catherine Delacoute, owner and chef of the restaurant, is herself a knight. Chef Delacoute previously worked at Michelin-starred restaurants in Orléans, La Crémaillère and La Poutrière, before transforming an abandoned farmhouse that would later become the emblem of Le Lancelot. Her innovative approach to classic gastronomy and creation of such a unique and friendly atmosphere attract guests to experience her “gastronomic bistro.”

Julien Medard from l’Ardoise du Marché

Chef Julien Medard is at the helm of the Michelin-Starred l’Ardoise du Marché located just outside the town of Sancerre, which was voted France’s favorite village in 2021. In just a few years, Chef Medard has become known for creating innovative, consistent and sustainable cuisine, showcasing local natural ingredients in his dishes. His cuisine boasts powerful flavors, high-quality products and a strong contrast of textures and flavors. Largely inspired by his travels in Japan as well as local cuisine, L’Ardoise du Marché’s menu reflects the chef’s journeys, balancing the flavors of the East and West.

Gaëtan Evrard from L’Evidence

Gaëtan Evrard is an instinctive chef who draws his inspiration from the local, seasonal ingredients and terroir that surrounds him. L’Evidence is a one-Michelin-starred restaurant located near Tours in the town of Montbazon, offering up a creative culinary experience. Chef Evrard’s constantly evolving menus aim to offer the perfect balance between hyper-seasonal and hyper-local products. Authentic and natural, his recipes are designed to surprise and delight guests with the richness of their flavors and the exceptional harvests they celebrate. Tasting menus include a five-course “Inspiration Menu” with courses named: Land & Sea, Forest, Interlude, Sea Spray and Undergrowth.

Taste of SLS

To Launch at SLS Baha Mar with a Special Performance from John Legend

Join us for epic culinary experiences at SLS Baha Mar on November 5th. The evening will feature celebrity chefs, culinary tastings, masterful mixology, a toast of Legends Vineyard Exclusive French Rosé and a special performance by John Legend.

Accor a world-leading lifestyle hospitality company, today announced Taste of SLS Baha Mar, an evening of epic culinary experiences taking place on November 5th. The star-studded culinary celebration brings together award-winning chefs from across the world affording guests a taste of the very best of SLS properties in one glamorous location and an exclusive performance by award-winning artist John Legend. 

This news comes on the heels of Accor’s latest phase of expansion and its planned joint venture with Ennismore, which will see the creation of one of the world’s largest and fastest growing lifestyle operators, set to include SLS Hotels & Residences. 

Michele Caniato, Chief Brand Officer, sbe states: “We are delighted to bring back Taste of SLS to this very special property in the heart of The Bahamas, SLS Baha Mar and the entire resort of Baha Mar. We are thrilled that John Legend is headlining our event and bringing his signature LVE French Rosé to Baha Mar. I want to thank President Graeme Davis, and the Baha Mar team, for supporting us in this incredible event. Our event will be sure to wow foodies with over seven of our chefs in one incredible location.”

Graeme Davis, President, Baha Mar states, “As Baha Mar has been widely recognized for its elevated gourmet scene, Taste of SLS provides the resort with another opportunity to showcase the best of its impressive culinary portfolio and talent to our guests from across the world. We are thrilled that this year’s Taste of SLS will feature a spectacular performance by the extremely talented, John Legend.”

Encompassing culinary and mixology experiences staged throughout the resort, an exclusive performance by Grammy, Emmy, Golden Globe, Tony and Oscar-winning singer, songwriter, humanitarian, and philanthropist John Legend tops the event along with culinary collaborators: Dario Cecchini (Carna), Sara Aqel (Fi’lia), Katsuya Uechi (Katsuya) and several other concepts under the direction of Culinary Director, Wayne Brown. The event will pair unlimited gourmet food and beverage offerings with exciting entertainment at one of the Bahamas hottest properties along with access to its LVE Lounge and for those with Gold tickets and above, access to the After Party on the rooftop of SLS Baha Mar at Skybar.

Guests will enjoy hand crafted cocktails and LVE French Rosé from the Legend Vineyard Exclusive collection by John Legend as they enjoy never-ending culinary creations by SLS’s participating restaurants and mixology concepts. The event will take place at Baha Bay, a $200 million luxury water park, and the latest addition to Baha Mar.

Tickets for the event are now on sale at here and are priced upon experience, ranging from entry level Silver tickets at $399 per person, to Corporate Cabanas for up to 10 guests at $10,000. Event access can be combined with special rate VIP weekend getaway packages at SLS Baha Mar for a premium travel experience inclusive of breakfast and special rate event and room pricing (available until October 1st), bookable at here. Prices for these overnight packages lead in at $599++ based on two guests sharing, excluding taxes and guest amenities fee. Additional accommodations can also be booked at Baha Mar’s other hotels here.

Taste of SLS Baha Mar 2021 is presented in collaboration with Chase Sapphire®, LVE Wines, and Baha Mar, all of which represent some of the major global brand affiliations across the SLS portfolio. On site, Chase Sapphire cardmembers who purchase tickets through Chase Experiences will have exclusive access to a Chase Sapphire Lounge, providing a comfortable viewing area for the live performance with dedicated seating and bar access. LVE wines will also host a lounge onsite for all guests to have a taste of John Legend’s signature French Rosé. 

For further information about the event visit: sbe.com/tasteofsls for full details on featured chefs & culinary concepts, event specifics and a link for easy ticket purchase. For full peace of mind, Baha Mar’s Travel With Confidence Program offers complimentary return private air travel or free extended stay for guests who test positive for COVID-19. 

ABOUT SLS HOTELS & RESIDENCES

SLS is the home of an extraordinary experience coupled with a playful ambiance. Culinary artistry, theatrical interiors, subversive design touches and unexpected indulgences are at the heart of every SLS property. Collaborations with leading developers, architects, designers and chefs allow SLS to continue anticipating, innovating and shaping the future of luxury lifestyle living. With seven properties in Beverly Hills, Miami, Bahamas, Cancun, and Dubai, SLS is set to open two additional properties in Puerto Madero, Argentina and Scottsdale by 2023. SLS Hotels & Residences is part of Accor, a world leading hospitality group consisting of more than 5,100 properties and 10,000 food and beverage venues throughout 110 countries. Learn more at SLSHotels.com.

SLSHotels.com | all.accor.com | group.accor.com

ABOUT ACCOR

Accor is a world leading hospitality Group consisting of more than 5,100 properties and 10,000 food and beverage venues throughout 110 countries. The Group has one of the industry’s most diverse and fully-integrated hospitality ecosystems encompassing luxury and premium brands, midscale and economy offerings, unique Lifestyle concepts, entertainment and nightlife venues, restaurants and bars, branded private residences, shared accommodation properties, concierge services, co-working spaces and more. Accor also boasts an unrivalled portfolio of distinctive brands and approximately 260,000 team members worldwide. Over 68 million members benefit from the company’s comprehensive loyalty program ALL – Accor Live Limitless – a daily Lifestyle companion that provides access to a wide variety of rewards, services and experiences. Through its Planet 21 – Acting Here, Accor Solidarity, RiiSE and ALL Heartist Fund initiatives, the group is focused on driving positive action through business ethics, responsible tourism, environmental sustainability, community engagement, diversity and inclusivity. Founded in 1967, Accor SA is headquartered in France and publicly listed on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange (ISIN code: FR0000120404) and on the OTC Market (Ticker: ACCYY) in the United States. For more information visit group.accor.com or follow Accor on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.