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Tips for Storing Butter at Room Temperature



Butter is such a popular spread and baking ingredient that you cannot miss it in any kitchen. This dairy product has a way of making virtually anything taste better. 

It has a high-fat content of over 80% which gives it a longer shelf life. 

Butter is made by churning gallons of milk until to separate it from the buttermilk. The creamy, smooth, and flavorful attributes of butter make it perfect for baking, cooking, and spreading. 

But fats tend to go rancid, and you have to store butter properly to avoid this. Spoiled butter will get moldy and may develop a sour taste which may cause stomach aches.

Butter does not have to stay in the fridge or freezer to its quality. It can retain its quality even at room temperature. You don’t even need a special container for your butter.

Here is a brief overview of how to store butter at room temperature

Consider the temperature in your kitchen

The ideal temperature for butter is 67-72 degrees. Changes in the temperature in your kitchen will require that you take extra precautions to avoid spoiling the butter. 

A/C comes in handy in case temperatures go too high. If you are not in a position to regulate temperature, you might want to consider relocating it to the fridge. 

Not all Butters are the Same

Butter comes in two varieties: salted and unsalted. 

Salted butter lasts longer on your kitchen counter compared to unsalted butter. This is because salt is a preservative which gives salted butter a longer shelf life at room temperature and keep destructive bacteria at bay.  

If you have unsalted butter, you are better off leaving it inside a fridge or freezer. 

Know how much Butter you are Going to Use

When you know just how much butter you are going to use in a day or meal, you can scoop out only that amount and return the rest to the safety of the fridge. Anticipate how often you are going to use butter, and how much you will use for spreading, or baking. This way you keep your butter safe from spoiling. 

Consider the type of container for storage

Use an opaque and airtight container to store butter at room temperature. Light and air accelerate oxidation. 

When the oils in the butter oxidize, they become rancid. This process alters the molecular structure of butter; producing harmful compounds which may cause food poisoning. A good butter dish will make the butter spreadable for a longer duration. Avoid using metallic storage containers because they are good conductors of heat and make it easier for butter to spoil.

Confirm Pasteurization

Pasteurization destroys pathogenic microorganisms like bacteria in dairy products. The high-fat content in butter makes it vulnerable to spoiling. That is why pasteurization is so good. 

According to the United States Foods and Drugs Administration (FDA), bacteria cannot survive in pasteurized butter. The pasteurization process separates fat molecules from water molecules and makes it harder for bacteria to breakthrough. Pasteurization kills bacteria so that the butter won’t spoil. Pasteurized butter takes a lot longer to spoil.

Store the Butter in the Optimum Location

Place your container of butter away from any sources of heat. Choose a cool place in the kitchen. Heat makes butter melt and sometimes spoil. Spoiled butter will give food bad flavors. 

This is why you have to be careful about where you store the dish. You can store it in a closed cabinet away from the stove or any source of heat.

Wrapping up

In conclusion, it is possible for butter to retain its quality at room temperature. You just have to pay attention to the room temperature, the container, location, as well as the type of butter you are dealing with. 

Storing butter at room temperature instead of freezing it has some advantages. It stays thick and easy to spread. You don’t have to soften or melt the butter. If butter is your bliss, you definitely want to store it properly. 

Butter has a surprising ability to stay fresh at room temperature, under the right conditions.


Can you Replace Whole Vanilla Beans with Vanilla Bean Powder? Our Taste Test




There is a surprisingly wide range of vanilla extracts, vanilla powders, vanilla beans, and vanilla pastes available on the market. You may have wondered whether you are better off using vanilla bean powder to substitute vanilla beans. We have tested them so that you don’t have to. 

Vanilla Bean Powder

Vanilla bean powder is made from whole vanilla beans which have been ground up. This makes it cheaper than buying whole vanilla beans. Vanilla bean powder is also much easier to use than whole vanilla beans. 

If you need to substitute one for the other in a recipe, use half a teaspoon of vanilla powder to replace two inches of vanilla bean. Whatever you are baking will come out with the same beautiful specks you would get from vanilla beans. 

Vanilla bean powder is not the same as vanilla powder. The vanilla powder works best when you do not want the vanilla to affect the color of the food. You might want your vanilla cake to come out white, sans specks. We learned this information after looking up everything.

We also learned that vanilla bean powder is like vanilla beans because its quality worsens the longer it is stored. This deterioration in quality affects both vanilla beans and vanilla bean powder. We learned that vanilla bean paste is a better substitute for whole vanilla beans than vanilla bean powder. 

We ended up investing in vanilla bean powder we found on Amazon. It cost $10 an ounce which is expensive but not as expensive as vanilla beans. Two vanilla beans cost nearly $20. It can take up to 8 vanilla beans to make an ounce of vanilla beans. 

The vanilla bean powder we ordered from Amazon smelled lovely. We went ahead and used one and a half teaspoons of vanilla bean paste to make blackberry bread. The recipe called for vanilla extract but I used the vanilla powder as a substitute. The results were not what I expected. 

The vanilla flavor was present but subdued. We were hoping to be wowed by the vanilla flavor. We were also hoping to see vanilla bean specks on the bread. There weren’t any specks. The bread took on a grey tint instead. Vanilla bean powder does not achieve beautiful specks or a strong vanilla flavor. Vanilla bean paste does that for me. 

But I might use vanilla powder if I was in a bind with no way to get some vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. Besides baking, the vanilla powder might be nice for smoothies, oatmeal, or even coffee. 

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Is this British Condiment the Missing Ingredient in your Life?




I grew up eating cucumber sandwiches, beans on toast, crumpets, and other typically English foods. But for some reason, I was an adult before I had the pleasure of eating my first sandwich pickle. 

It was made with butter spread uniformly on each slice and a not-too-thick cut of Gloucester and finished with a large drop of Branston Pickle. It was a precise, yet simple process that yielded a perfectly delicious sandwich. 

I fell in love with the combination of sweet, savory, acidic, and sticky flavors contrasted by the fat from the cheese. Even though I sometimes added tomato slices to what became my go-to meal when I wanted a nice lunch sans cooking. 

Once I got introduced to the Sandwich Pickle, every trip to the UK became an opportunity to stock up on Branston Pickle. 

Branston Pickle is a decidedly British condiment. It is the equivalent of Marmite or HP Sauce. Branston Pickle has maintained the same recipe since 1922 and faces little competition. The brand sells more than 17 million bottles each year.

A typical British ‘ploughman’s lunch’ comprises bread, cold cuts, cheese, fruit, and pickle. Branston pickle is present in most British kitchens.

What gives Branston Pickle its unmistakable character is the mishmash of sugar, applesauce, spices, date paste, and barley malt vinegar which gives it the quality of aged umami. The other ingredients are cauliflower, carrots, onion, and rutabaga.

It is these vegetables that make up the lumpy bits inside the pickle. These lumps may or may not settle dead center on your sandwich. 

If you do not like the lumps, there is always the smooth version of Branston Pickle. The small-chunk version of Branston Pickle spreads more evenly while still giving you something to chew. 

You can choose any of the three versions of Branston Pickle, depending on how you intend to use it. Branston Pickle has many uses beyond sandwiches.

I find the condiment just as delicious on Triscuits and sharp cheddar cheese as it is on a melted cheese toast.

I have spread Branston Pickle on dosa and used it on deviled eggs. The smooth version works better for this.

Branston has been making chutneys for a few years now. Their caramelized onion chutney is quite good – you want to partner it with a bold Stilton. But none of them beats the Branston Sandwich Pickle to me.

Seven years ago, I moved to the US. For the first time, I did not know where to buy my favorite British condiment. When I made a cheese sandwich, I used sweet lime chutney or date relish. But I still missed my beloved Branston Pickle.

One day I accidentally found a little bit of Britain tucked away in Brooklyn, New York. I walked into a lovely store called Two for the Pot at the edge of Brooklyn Heights. I was browsing a range of loose-leaf teas, coffees, jams, spices, and biscuits when I saw more than a few jars of Branston Pickle. I bought a few bags of Walker’s crisps, a pack of Hobnobs, and more than a few jars of Branston Pickle. 

Thankfully, it is now easy to buy Branston Pickle online. Only the no-chunk version seems harder to find on the internet. But it is still comforting to know that I am a few Subway stops away from a local supply of Branston Pickle. 

I may not eat it out of the jar or mix it into pasta-like some people do, but Branston Pickle is my go-to condiment for a cheese and pickle sandwich. 

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How to eat more Lobster




Lobster is huge this spring. We are into everything about lobster. We are looking at recipes, cracking equipment, napkins, and plates. So to indulge our near fanatical love for lobster, we decided to delve deep into everything lobster. 

Here is everything you need to do for a lobster-full season:

The Equipment

There is nothing worse than cracking a lobster with a rock and scattering the shell all over the kitchen. It is disrespectful. You want to have a pick to pry tasty meat from the lobster legs. Curved seafood scissors will help you to remove the meat in one piece because of its curved blades. 

Here is where you can find the best equipment for your lobster dinner. 

The Tableware

Lobsters are not exactly simple dining fare. Lobster meat is a treat. When you are having a lobster dinner, you are allowed to go all out and invest in a lobster platter, special dinner plates, and even these lovely appetizer plates. This is a set of simple yet refined tableware that is just right for lobster.

The Lobster Dinner Preparation and Dining

Once you have your lobster pot, your well-chosen lobster, some melted butter, and lemon, it is time to get to cooking and eating. 

It takes some courage to do this. You have to choose a nice and meaty one. You could give the lobster a few minutes in the freezer before putting it to a boil. But don’t get to 10 minutes because after that the meat will be frozen. Or you could use a sharp knife to stupefy it before cooking. Boiling a lobster is not that hard once you get used to it. 

Learn the proper way to boil it, halve it, carve it, crack it, serve it, and eat it. With some tips and practice, you will be able to properly fold its claws down and remove the whole tail at once. 

The Cooking Instructions

If you are nervous about preparing your first lobster, you don’t have to be. We have a range of fool-proof recipes to choose from. Everything is covered – the rolls, salad, chowder, sliders, paella, and risotto. You can go for the recipe that seems best and which features the ingredients you prefer.Lobster does not have to be boiled. Grilled lobster is oh so yummy. You can start planning your ideal lobster dinner with your favorite wine. 

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