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Author Archive | Kasy Allen

Safely Avoiding the Temperature Danger Zone with Soups, Stews & Hot Liquids

Safely Avoiding the Temperature Danger Zone with Soups, Stews & Hot Liquids

One of the many challenges for a restaurant is avoiding the dreaded food temperature danger zone. When your team is in crunch-mode working on their prep lists, one of the best ways to be
more efficient is to get out of that danger zone faster. In order to prevent the growth of bacteria, soups, stews, broths, and other hot liquids cannot remain between 41°F (5°C) and 140°F
(60°C) for more than two hours. Trying to get foods below that 41°F mark quickly, however, can be tough without the use of cold paddles. FDA directives for chilling foods calls for the
use of cold paddles, and  San Jamar’s Rapi-Kool cold paddles are the perfect way to get hot liquids in the safe zone. San Jamar’s paddles can be filled with water and frozen ahead of
time. They also help reduce waste, because they’re constructed of a smooth material that helps food easily slide off. Bonus – the cold paddles can also be placed in the dishwasher.

A final tip — you can place the hot liquid container in the walk in cooler or an ice bath, to get to the safe temperature zone sooner. Where the cold paddles cool the soup from the inside out,
the walk in cooler or ice bath will help cool from the outside in. Remember that until the soup reaches the temperature safe zone, temperatures need to be recorded hourly.

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What are the Differences between Commercial and Residential Food Service Equipment?

What are the Differences between Commercial and Residential Food Service Equipment?

Great question and one we get more often than not.  The glaring fact is that there are definitely different price points, which encourages residential customers to stick with residential equipment, and tempts restaurant owners to do the same.  We get it, it’s about keeping money in your pocket, but the truth is that there’s more than just price that sets residential and commercial equipment apart, and in the long run, you actually get more for your money with commercial equipment.

When looking to make an investment in a piece of food service equipment, you’ll need to compare apples to apples.  Look at storage space, how it would hold up to being used in a commercial kitchen (vs. in a home: the equipment may only be used a few times a week, or month), size of product, if it complies with FDA and NSF regulations, thickness of the electrical cords, warranties, motor options, electrical options, etc.  Where a regular KitchenAid may work in your home, in a restaurant you’ll likely have to step it up to a much larger mixer to withstand the wear and tear of back of house.  Make sure you know all of the differences between the pieces of equipment you’re shopping for and know if it will hold up to your cooking needs.  Besides, paying less in the short term doesn’t always mean greater savings in the long run – if a machine breaks down because it is overloaded, you’re looking at repairs, or worse, replacing the machine altogether.  Of course, if you ever need help, just let us know, we’re happy to help.

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Food Service Industry Giving Back to the Community

When it comes to the holidays our hearts start to fill with the gift of giving, and we’re a little closer to our philanthropy side.  We see those on the streets in need of blankets, gloves, shoes, and socks, and the next time we rummage through our closets, we think of them before dropping our used things off at the thrift store.  Something as simple as a blanket can give a small glimmer of hope to someone living on the street and warm your heart. 

We thought it would be nice to see what businesses in the food service industry do to give back to the community.  We found that plenty of you offer free meals on Thanksgiving and Christmas, but what we didn’t expect to find was these two particular companies that give back year around.

La Trobada | Terrassa, Spain

La Trobada is a restaurant located in Terrassa, Spain that recently opened to the public.  When you think of giving back, this restaurant got it right.  Instead of charging diners for their meals, they offer a fair trade: work one hour cleaning or serving, and a three-course meal is provided for free. 

And with a down economy, patrons of La Trobada have been grateful for the opportunity to enjoy a nice, warm meal and not have to worry about money woes for once.  In fact, about 50% of the restaurant’s patrons are part of the work to eat program.

United Methodist Church | Providence, Rhode Island

Food Service Industry Giving Back to the Community

We’ve heard lots of stories about churches giving back to the community and helping the homeless population get back on their feet – even if it’s just a pair of shoes.  But we really liked the concept that the United Methodist Church of Providence, Rhode Island took.

Homeless people are invited to breakfast that includes heaping piles of yummy bacon, eggs, and pancakes, in exchange for helping to cook and serve the food.  What started off as a small program, has grown immensely and now the breakfast group easily has 40 volunteers every morning.  The program is said to do more than just serve up a warm meal, it helps give the homeless population that volunteer a sense of hope and kindness.

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Top 10 List of Gifts for Chefs

Gift giving for chefs can sometimes be hard, because the majority of them get the things they need, when they need them, but don’t walk away just yet.  We asked a few of our chef friends what types of gifts they’d love to receive (even if they already had it), and we were able to narrow down the list to a few top contenders.  From the foodie in your life to top chefs, here are our favorite food lover gifts.

 1. Pocket Thermometers

Top 10 List of Gifts for ChefsEvery chef needs a pocket thermometer, and extra on-hand at that.  Why you ask?  Temperatures of food are everything for a chef – it keeps their patrons safe and the health inspector happy.  Thermometers that are small enough to fit in a side chef jacket pocket and can give fast digital readings are preferred, especially when they have accuracy within 1⁰F.

Our Favorite: Comark Waterproof Digital Pocket Test Thermometer – $24.90

 2. Wine Keys

Top 10 List of Gifts for Chefs

Whether it’s for the chef in your life or a bartender, for some reason or other, wine keys always seem to disappear.  Pocket size wine keys are perfect for on the job, but other corkscrew sets are helpful for wine aficionados.

Our Favorite: Focus Food Service Swing-A-Way Waiter’s Corkscrew – $31.89/6pk

 3. German Knives

Top 10 List of Gifts for ChefsA knife is at the top of the list for best gifts to give food lovers, but there’s a catch.  Most chefs would prefer to hold their knives before making an investment.  They fall in love with the feel of the knife before they do the actual make of it.  That is, until it comes to German and Japanese knives.  German knives are the most widely used and favored of chefs.  You can basically get any type of German steel knife (boning, paring, slicing, etc.) and your foodie will be happy.

Our Favorite: Wusthof 10” Cook’s Knife – $32.00

 4. Stocking Stuffers

Top 10 List of Gifts for ChefsStocking stuffers are always great, inexpensive items that any chef would adore.  A few that were on our list of favorites included: apple corers, peelers, needle nose pliers, micro-plane graters, cherry/olive pitter, fish spatula, garlic press, offset spatulas, bar mats, bar caddies, 1-9 pans, and squeeze bottles.

Our Favorite: San Jamar Dome 3 Quart Garnish Center – $36.49 (may have to get a bigger stocking for this one though)

5. Mandolins

Top 10 List of Gifts for Chefs Mandolins are often an overlooked accessories that (as one of our chefs put it), “You don’t realize how much you need it until you look over and there it is, and you think, “Geez, I’m glad I have that.””  It may not be the center piece of kitchen must-haves, but they’re definitely helpful for getting precise, consistent cuts.  They’re also great for any budget, because they range from $6 to $150.

Our Favorite: Jaccard Safe Hands ABS Mandoline – $36.95

 6. Knife Bags

Top 10 List of Gifts for Chefs What’s a better gift for knife enthusiasts than knife accessories?  Our next items on the list are knife bags.  If they’re spending the money on nice knives, they also know that it’s worth it to protect their investment, and that’s where knife bags come in.  There are different sizes, depending on how many knives your foodie needs to tote around, but a simply knife roll that holds at least 5 knives will do just fine.

Our Favorite: Mercer Cutlery 10-Pocket Knife Roll – $43.20

 7. Chefwear

Top 10 List of Gifts for Chefs

If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you know how yucky clothes can get for those working with the food, which is why you can never go wrong with a set of new chef coats, beanies or pants.  Make sure you know the color and fit they prefer, because some restaurants are strict on color and some chefs have preference different sleeve length, other than that, prices vary from $5 to $100, so there are a lot of options to fit any budget.  Our chefs noted that they could never have enough pants and coats on hand, so this is definitely a winner!

Our Favorite: Chef Works Monte Carlo Chef Coat – $82.92

 8. Japanese Knives

Top 10 List of Gifts for ChefsJapanese knives are a different story.   These knives are handmade and are fit for the best of the best cook out there.  The caveat is that these are the type of knives that most chefs want to hold and get a feel for before making a purchase. But, your chef can always exchange the knife, and if they’re a Japanese knife newbie, they’ll love you for being able to experience the beauty of these handcrafted knives.

Our Favorite: World Cuisine 6 ½” Deba Japanese Sushi Knife – $58.05

 9. Dutch Ovens

Top 10 List of Gifts for Chefs If you haven’t ever invested in a Dutch oven, you’ll be surprised at how pricey they can be, and also why they’re a great gift idea for food lovers.  Investing in a great Dutch oven, is like investing in a great set of knives – you collect them overtime, but they last forever.  Any cook that has cooked with a Dutch oven will tell you that the way they cook and keep their heat is unlike any deep bottom pot you’ll ever cook with.  Prices range from $50 to $360, and there are tons of difference sizes and colors to choose from.

Our Favorite: Lodge Red Enameled 6 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven – $69.86

 10. Knife Sharpeners, Steels, and Stones

 Top 10 List of Gifts for ChefsDon’t worry, if you don’t know the difference between knife sharpeners, steels, and stones getting any of these will make your chef happy.  The difference between getting a countertop, handheld, or manual version is completely up to what your chef is interested in, but you definitely can’t go wrong with a sharpening stone with coarse, medium and fine stones.

Our Favorite: Mundial Course/Medium/Fine Sharpening Stone – $145.59

Click to for a video on how knife sharpening works.

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What is a Rethermalizer?

What is a Rethermalizer?A rethermalizer is a heavy cooking appliance that works to heat up pre-packed foods from a chilled or frozen state (below 40⁰F) to a temperature above 165⁰F, in about 90 minutes.  It is also capable of holding the temperature of food at 150⁰F, until ready to serve.  The main difference between a rethermalizer and a food warmer (like a soup kettle or bain Marie), is that a rethermalizer helps bring foods through the HACCP “danger zone,” which is between 41⁰F and 135⁰F.  In other words, a rethermalizer helps save a step of heating food, then transporting to a warmer.

Common types of food heated in a rethermalizer include pastas, soups, gravies, sauces, vegetable, and meats.  The ingredients are pre-cooked, placed in a 2” wide by 12” long by 10” high package, and then frozen.  The packages are delivered in their pre-packaged state, and all you have to do is pull out a package and slip it in the rethermalizer – helping to save time and labor. 

Other benefits of rethermalizers, include:

  • Consistent Food Quality. The water bath that surrounds the food is gentle enough that even delicate foods come out with consistent food quality.  It also helps to prevent food shrinking and overcooking.
  • Lower Food Waste. No need to guess at how much food to cook up – the packages are pre-measured, so you’ll always know exactly how much to prepare.
  • Menu Versatility. Because the meals are packaged, different menu items can be cooked at the same time.  This also helps with cross-contamination concerns with food allergies.
  • Meal Flexibility. Entire meals can be heated in a rethermalizer, or just focus on the sides, so you can concentrate on the entrée.

Skeptical about the menu choices available with rethermalizers?  The menu above is a list of menu items prepared in the Pitco Cafe – all of which were heated with a rethermalizer.  Tempting, right!  Still unclear if a rethermalizer is right for you?  Leave a comment below and we’ll help you out, or give our sales team a call at 888-388-6372.

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Weight & Volume Conversions for Dry & Liquid Ingredients

Weight & Volume Conversions for Dry & Liquid Ingredients

A lot of what comes down to creating the perfect recipe is knowing the difference between weighing, measuring, and the right conversions.  Simply said; however, these are often overlooked, because a lot of us were raised on the notion that 8 ounces is 1 cup, right?  Unfortunately, that’s not always true, especially when it comes to dry ingredients.

For most liquids, 8 ounces does indeed equal 1 cup; except for heavy liquids, like molasses and honey, where 1 cup is more around 11-12 ounces.  That small adjustment in ounces can make or break a once amazing recipe, especially when it comes to dry ingredients.  When there’s so many other factors that could ruin a recipe (the pan you use, the altitude, the humidity, etc.), it’s important that you know the difference in weights of your ingredients.

Before diving into the conversion table, we’d also like to note that there’s a difference between weight ounces and volume ounces.  Weight ounces are used for measuring dry ingredients (whereas 16 ounces is equivalent to 1 pound); however, volume ounces are used for measuring liquid ingredients (whereas 8 ounces equals a pound).  In this case, if you were to look at the difference between 8 weight ounces of honey and 8 volume ounces of honey, the difference would be ¼ of a pound, which is a lot when looking to be precise with your recipes.  Another example, if you take a dry ingredient (which typically has much more air around it) and try to measure it in a measuring cup, rather than weighing it, odds are you’ll get very different numbers: 4 ounces of grated cheese in a measuring cup can equal 8 ounces of grated cheese on a scale (which one do you think is the right measurement of ounces we’re looking for here?).

Dry Ingredients Cup(s) Weight Ounce(s) Gram(s)
All-Purpose Flour 1 4 1/2 128
Bread Flour 1 4 1/2 128
Cake Flour 1 4 113
Pastry Flour 1 4 113
Whole Wheat Flour 1 4 1/2 128
Brown Sugar 1 7 1/2 213
Powdered Sugar 1 4 113
White Granulated Sugar 1 7 198
Chopped Nuts 1 4 113
Cocoa Powder 1 3 1/4 91
Cornstarch  1 4 113
Liquid Ingredients (for most: 1 cup = 8 oz) Cup(s) Volume Ounce(s) Gram(s)
Butter 1 8 228
Cream 1 8 228
Honey 1 12 340
Milk 1 8 228
Molasses 1 11 312
Oil 1 7 1/2 213
Sour Cream 1 8 228
Water 1 8 228
Yogurt 1 8 228
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Pitfalls of Resizing (or Scaling) a Recipe

Pitfalls of Resizing (or Scaling) a Recipe

Looking to take a recipe and resize it to feed 10 times or 100 times more people than the original recipe called for?  There are a few words of caution to review before doing so.

The term for multiplying or dividing a recipe is called scaling, and for a lot of recipes, you’d be okay increasing or decreasing the recipe by 4 times (most cooks would stick with no more than 2 times), but any more than that, and a lot of other things need to be considered.  But this is generally speaking, there are other recipes that are almost impossible to resize without knowing how different things affect the recipe, like temperature, pan size, pan color, how the batter is mixed, what type of ingredients are being used, how the ingredients are measured/weighed out, etc.  This is because these different factors completely change the food chemistry, and if the original recipe had anything off, that error will be multiplied right along with the scaling.

Savory vs. Baking Recipes

Let’s take a step back and look at the difference in the recipe types.  In a roundabout way, there are 2 types of recipes: savory recipes and baking recipes. 

Savory Recipes

These types of recipes are easier to scale up or down, because they can be done so by taste, you just need to know the ingredients to add slowly and the ones you can go ahead and throw in the pot. 

Items like alcohol, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper, herbs, and other seasonings should be added a little at a time.  On average, you’ll be adding in 1 1/2 times the amount the recipe calls for when doubling the recipe.  This may lead to more mixing, but it’ll save your recipe from being overpowered.

Baking Recipes

If you’re not a baker, this will be a lesson for you.  Baking is more than just the art of cooking, there’s a very scientific archetype behind it.  It’s not as simple as throwing ingredients together, like with savory recipes.  Everything has to be measured out, and most Baker’s would tell you that things should be weighed out instead of measured.  Baking recipes would include soufflés, baked items that require yeast, cakes, pies, and custards.

It’s not to say that these types of recipes can’t be scaled, but the proportions are so vital to the success of the end product, that a slight error could completely wreck the recipe.  You can see how with some Chefs it would be a great accomplishment to reach that perfect baking recipe large enough to feed their patrons.

Things to Know About Scaling

This isn’t to say that baking recipes are impossible to resize, but it is to say that to do so, you would have to be very particular to the weight of the ingredients, among other things…

Conversion Factor. When scaling a recipe, you can use a simple conversion factor to find out how much more or less of each ingredient you need (although, make sure to look under “Savory Recipes” above for the ones we wouldn’t recommend doing this way).  If your recipe serves 10 people, and you want it to serve 14 people, simply divide 14 by 10 to get the conversion factor of 1.4.  With that number, you can multiply your ingredients by 1.4 to know how much of each ingredient to have on hand to make the recipe.

Shopping.  If you’re multiplying or dividing a recipe, you’ll likely get an odd number of measurements.  Don’t worry about getting 25.4 ounces of chicken broth, you can round up and still be fine.  For splitting eggs, you can either pour them in a bowl, whip them up, then mix half of the egg in with the other ingredients, or just throw the entire egg in (without the shell of course).  Usually recipes that call for eggs will be okay with the other half of the egg added in.

Tasting Savory Recipes.  If you can taste it, like with savory recipes, make sure to keep doing taste tests.  Chefs will go through spoon after spoon until they find the right taste – it’s easier to wash a spoon, than to fail on a big pot of soup.

To Scale or Not to Scale Baking Recipes.  It’s hard to answer this for you, because the answer is, it depends.  The easiest way to make more of a recipe is to divide and conquer – make multiple batches of the same recipe, and yes, this does work for some restaurants, especially those that are making delicate recipes like soufflés and custards.  It also depends on your comfort level for baking. 

If you’ve baked with ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs, yeast, and butter, go ahead and try scaling the recipe.  Start with 4 times, then push it from there, but don’t be surprised if you end up with more messes to clean and less successes. 

Recipe Archetypes.  If you want to be successful in scaling your recipe, we’d recommend learning more about how pan size, cooking time, temperatures, ingredients, and altitude can affect your recipe.   You should also know the archetype of your specific recipe… all recipes started from somewhere.  Here are a few articles to get you started:

Write it Down. If you’re going to spend the time scaling a recipe, make sure the write things down, so you know what worked and what didn’t.  Restaurants, and others in the food service industry, require consistent recipes, and they don’t get there by simply guessing every time. 

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Food Service Recipes

Food Service Recipes

In the interest of researching how to scale a recipe that feeds 6 people up to a recipe that feeds the masses, I found that it’s actually very hard to scale a recipe more than 4x up or down from the original recipe.  Well, that puts a restraint on new restaurant owners looking to make a big batch of soup to feed the lunch rush or a slew of cinnamon rolls to feed hungry breakfast goers. 

Where do you get those recipes?

There’s a couple of ways to increase the size of your recipes, but a lot of it is from either trial and error or learning from others.  After spending 10 years in a commercial kitchen, you have likely learned a few secrets to whip up larger batches, but for those that are starting fresh, it’s a bit harder to get your hands on large scale recipes.  However, we found a few online resources to help give you the push you need to start getting creative in the kitchen.  The list is below, but we thought it’d be best to also share a few examples of those recipes, so you can get an idea of what LARGE recipes actually look like.

Spaghetti with Fresh Vegetables for 100 People

  • 265 ounces Spaghetti Noodles (which is equivalent to 20 13.25 ounce boxes or 16.56 pounds of spaghetti noodles)
  • 2 cups Olive Oil
  • 10 cloves Garlic, diced
  • 10 small White Onions, chopped
  • 10 small Zucchini, diced
  • 10 small Yellow Squash, diced
  • 10 bunch Asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 10 medium Yellow Bell Peppers, julienned
  • 10 pints Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • 20 leaves Fresh Basil, torn

  1.  Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. As the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the garlic and onions, and sauté for 5 minutes (or until onions become translucent).
  3. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, and yellow bell peppers.  Sauté until heated through, but still crisp.
  4. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and sauté for 2 minutes.
  5. Drain pasta, and mix together with veggie skillet mix.  Toss in the basil, and serve.

(Recipe Credit)

Batch of 500 Cinnamon Rolls


  • 7 ounces Active Yeast
  • 16 pounds All-Purpose Bleached Wheat Flour
  • 16 pounds Whole-Grain Wheat Flour
  • 2 pounds 3 ounces Non-Fat Milk Powder
  • 2 pounds 12 ounces Granulated Sugar
  • 14 ounces Salt
  • 2 quarts 3/4 cup Soybean Oil
  • 2 1/4 gallons 1 cup Water
  • 6 pounds 1 ounce Non Hydrogenated Margarine

Cinnamon Spread

  • 5 pounds 6 ounces Light Brown Sugar
  • 9 pounds Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 13 ounce cans plus 2 ounces Condensed Evaporated Milk

  1. Bring all ingredients and utensils to room temperature.
  2. Mix yeast, flours, milk powder, sugar, and salt on setting for 4 minutes.
  3. Slowly add in oil and water, then mix on setting for 14 minutes.
  4. Turn the mixer off, and let dough rise in warm area (about 90ºF) for 45-60 minutes.
  5. Place dough on lightly floured surface and weigh out balls at 3 pounds 6 ounces each.
  6. Mix light brown sugar, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, and evaporated milk until it becomes a spreadable paste.
  7. Roll each ball of dough into a rectangle 25”x10”x1/4”.
  8. Spread cinnamon mixture over rectangle (about ½ cup per rectangle).
  9. Roll each rectangle into long, slender roll (with cinnamon spread on the inside).  Cut each roll into uniform one-inch pieces.
  10. Place rolls on lightly floured sheet pans, and cover with a bag.
  11. Place in a warm area (about 90º) until double in size – about 25-30 minutes.
  12. Bake the cinnamon rolls until lightly browned: 400º in a conventional oven for 18-20 minutes and 325º in a convection oven for 12-14 minutes.

Optional: Frost with white glaze frosting

Serving Size: 2 ounces
(Recipe Credit)

Macaroni Salad for 100 People

  • 24 pounds Elbow Macaroni, cooked and cooled
  • 6 pounds Creamy Salad Dressing
  • 2 quarts Carrots, shredded
  • 7 cups Celery, diced
  • 2 cups Onions, chopped
  • 16 ounces Sweet Pickle Relish
  • 4 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 4 tablespoon Dry Mustard
  • 4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoon Paprika, for garnish

  1. Mix cooled elbow macaroni with salad dressing.
  2. Add carrots, celery, onions, relish, black pepper, dry mustard, and salt, and toss gently so the macaroni doesn’t tear.
  3. Garnish with paprika, cover, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serving Size: 1 cup
(Recipe Credit)

Where to Find More Recipes

Other areas that you can find recipes scaled large enough for the food service industry, include:

Have other large recipes you’d like to share?  Or tips for serving the masses?  Let us know below.

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Why Aren’t You Weighing Your Dry Ingredients?

Why Aren’t You Weighing Your Dry Ingredients?

Most bakers will tell you that one of their must-have-kitchen tools is a good scale that is capable of measuring in precise increments.  That’s because they rely on the scale to weigh out their ingredients, rather than simply scooping it up.  For example, take flour that has been packed in its 10 pound bag, quickly fill a 1 cup measuring cup, level it on the side, and then throw it in a bowl on the scale.  Because the flour was pre-packed and compressed, odds are it would be much heavier than the suggested 130 grams (that’s for all-purpose flour, other flour types have different suggested weight).  Now, swirl the flour around to unpack it a bit and spoon the ingredient into the same measuring cup.  Measure in the same bowl on the same scale and, guess what, odds are you’ll get a different number than the first time.  In fact, it’ll probably be less than the 130 grams you’re looking to reach. On average, measuring ingredients this way leads to anywhere between 30% more or less of the amount of flour you’re actually looking to get.  The point is, the collection of measuring spoons and cups isn’t needed, just the scale, because you can spoon in the flour until you reach the weight you are looking for.  If you go over a bit, that’s fine, scoop a bit out. 

Chefs and bakers like to weigh their dry ingredients for more than just the accuracy – it’s also easier to just fill a bowl on a scale. 

It’s important to note that you can measure ingredients in either grams or ounces, both units are okay to use; however, you should be aware of what aspect of the ingredient is being measured with regards to ounces – volume (fluid, liquid) ounces or weight (dry) ounces.  A liquid ounce of water (29.74 grams) is not going to be the same as a dry ounce of water (28.03 grams).  The majority of scales can measure weight in both ounces and grams, so you can switch back and forth depending on what your recipe is calling for or what you prefer.

Finally, if you need to convert things from ounces to grams (or vice-versa), simple type in “ounces to grams” or “grams to ounces” in Google and a calculator will load at the top of the screen.  From there, you can change the numbers as you need to, to find the right calculation.

Although not an exclusive list of weight conversion, here’s an example of a few dry ingredients and their weight in grams and ounces:

Why Aren’t You Weighing Your Dry Ingredients?

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Lemp Mansion: Haunted Restaurants That Make You Say ‘NOPE’

4. Lemp Mansion | St. Louis, Missouri

Want to dine with ghosts?  How about get married around them?  Or you could decide to spend the night with them; either way, the Lemp Mansion is probably one of the scariest restaurants I’ve had the pleasure of researching, so far.  It was likely all of the ghost pictures I saw, that gave me a scare, well, that and the fact that there have been at least four suicides and one death in the mansion. 

Of the Lemp family, William Lemp Sr. committed suicide in the house, which set an example for his children to follow suite.  Out of five children, three of them also committed suicide, in the house: Elsa in one of the guest rooms, William “Billy” Lemp Jr. in the office (now the dining room), and Charles in his room.  All family members chose to use a gun to pull off their feat. 

It also turns out that William “Billy” Lemp Jr. had a secret in the attic.  His illegitimate child, (crudely called “the monkey faced boy”) Zeke, was born with Down Syndrome, and hidden away in the attic.  Unfortunately, he never left the attic when he lived, and since death, he remains there.

With that much tragedy in one location, you could likely imagine that the hauntings in the Lemp Mansion are very active; so much so, employees of the restaurant don’t often stick around.  Such hauntings include the sound of someone running up the stairs, doors being kicked, a peeping Tom in the women’s restroom (thought to be William “Billy” Lemp Jr.), apparitions appearing and vanishing, voices and sounds, and objects flying through the air.  But that’s not all, there are also doors that are locked and unlocked, lights that turn on and off, a piano being played, and objects that vanish. And don’t forget about Zeke, visitors have said that they see him peeking from the third floor windows, and ghost investigators have gotten him to play with toys they leave for him.  It’s also said that these ghosts aren’t shy, they stay very active at all hours of the day.

At one point, the mansion started deteriorating because guests were scared to stay, but now with so many ghost enthusiasts, it’s booming with business!

Seriously people, you want to get married here?  Nope.

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