Letter from the Editor: Welcome Chef Greg Engelhardt
by Deborah Dolen
We are pleased to announce Chef Greg Engelhardt, Las Vegas, as our most recent addition to the Mabel White editorial staff. Chef Greg has trained with the world's most renowned chefs while working throughout Europe, the United States, and even the seven seas while aboard a luxury cruise ship. Chef Greg is back in the US with a passion and vigor for food we could not previously begin to approach. He not only adds his expertise in gourmet food to the Mabel table, he also offers a much needed masculine aspect to our repertoire. Chef Greg is so excited to join us, he has supplied me with many articles to get us in the right direction. I find his definition of a chef most interesting. He says "the chef in you is an attitude" and that anyone creative with a food element, is a chef. He will be teaching us many great techniques in his tenure, from the basics to the gourmet side of things, and that we all have the potential to cultivate the chef within.
would also like to thank Leane
Tamper Proofing Your Products
I noticed we never discussed how to make your products tamper resistant in former articles. This was easy, so here you go! We found a certain shrink tape that comes in several different colors to wrap around most all of your containers and then gently hitting with a blow dryer to seal the tape down. We have been using this tape for our own products, and were taken off guard when our customers wanted to buy that also--to make their products tamper resistant. Because of this, we now sell this 66 foot long tape on our site. White does seem to be the most popular seller. The tape also comes in Blue, Brown, Green, Orange, Red, Violet, White, Yellow.
After many requests we finally added a new Chai flavor to our flavor menu and brought an excellent Rose flavor back into our cabinets. Rose was a knock out seller, and we now just came across a more pronounced version that we just love. We also added Honey and Green Tea flavor oils, which really hit the top notes. Flavor oils can also be used in making soap and lotions. We added sour flavor oil as an agent to make sour apple, sour cherry and so on. This agent is very powerful and a little drop will do ya. We removed flavors such as sour cherry to allow the end user to make any flavor they like as a sour version, such as the popular Altoids Tangerine sour. We now have 4 ounce plastic pour mouth bottles in stock for those who are into making edible love lotions, which sell like crazy.
As far as durable and uniform soap making goes, the Mabel White Supply Company now sells 12" long and 3" in diameter PVC molds that can be used for melt and pour projects as well as cold/hot process soap making. When making soap we grease the molds very well, usually with the same oil we use to trace, and leave 1/2 inch or so of space at the top. This is so that if we have a hard time getting to soap to start moving out of the mold, we can put all of our weight on one heel of our foot and get it to start moving. Slicing uniformly is also easy as we just push out 2 inches at a time and cut down the side of the PVC with a butcher's knife.
The PVC pipe also can with stand the oven bake method of curing soap in 2 and 1/2 hours at 180 degrees. We simply stand the pipes up side by side in a large pan. We use aluminum foil and florist wire to secure one end of the mold, and can usually just oil it off and reuse it again as a stopper.
is a Chef?
a Chef Volume I
is a chef? Well,
there is one thing that most people do in this world and do daily.
a whole lot of cooking. We
are cooking around the clock, that you can be sure of.
Do you need a tall hat or a fancy title to be a chef?
I think not. With
all the cooking going on out there, I can tell you there are
plenty of chefs in their own kitchens cooking up great things and
finding out what works and just as often…what doesn’t work.
Simply, "the chef in you is an attitude."
cook. That’s the
common denominator when looking at what a chef does.
What they cook and how they cook is where their art
begins. How they
learned to cook can be through any number of different channels
(and these days with TV at its height, I mean channels literally.)
The art of cooking is often an heirloom gift- passed down
from generation to generation.
A culinary degree offers thorough guidelines, but is not
necessary to enjoy the kitchen.
Everyone is eating everyday, making for a great many cooks
out there. So, where
do we find the chefs? Well,
like sand and a river bed to find gold…we need cooks and a
kitchen to find the chef.
world is filled with cooks. There’s plenty of room for cooks and
their kitchens to participate and experience as much or as little
of the cooking experience as they wish.
It is within these different levels of participation (or
appreciation if you will) that the chef begins to rise up and
develop beyond the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
There are chefs representing every cuisine, language,
color, race, country, and religion in our world.
When we step into our own kitchens to cook, we find
ourselves within this incredibly diverse “club” and have no
limits as to how much we can enjoy the experience.
What separates a cook and the chef?
The level of involvement the chef is making in his or her
own kitchen. At what
level? That is up to
you as the chef.
to become a chef?
a chef Volume II
At Mabel White, we encourage you to explore the wonderful resources of the kitchen. There are so many simple pleasures found in your kitchen that you have no idea exist. Each new recipe presents a chance to learn and enjoy something new. In fact, each trusted and faithful recipe in your repertoire presents a chance to learn something completely new. Your kitchen has potential to surprise you with something new every day. The kitchen is living and breathing! It is fed by something altogether different than our world’s population. It is not fed with food…but with participation and appreciation. (The photo to the left is Chef Greg's sautéed scallops over polenta--one of our favorite dishes.)
kitchen feeds off you and your attitude displayed while in the
kitchen. The kitchen
responds to the level of involvement you take in the simple act of
cooking. The kitchen
wants to be customized for each recipe you bring in.
It wants to be slightly rearranged to accommodate a special
cooking technique or dinner party.
The more you interact with the kitchen and its many
elements, the greater the degree of chef you cultivate within.
the time to look around and see if you need to move a few things
in your kitchen before you begin your next recipe.
Wake up the kitchen!
Hang up the pots that have been hidden away in the dark
closet for the past few years.
Bring out your peppermill, kosher salt, olive oil and
favorite vinegars. Keep
them out for you to see, reminding you a chef lives there.
Look at each recipe as its own experience and the
chance to set up your kitchen “station”, putting things in
place to make the recipe more enjoyable.
kitchen is your vehicle for expressing any degree of enthusiasm,
passion, attitude, and creativity you want as a chef.
Chefs have cool kitchens!
You know why? Because
they use them, they move things around, and everything in there is
a part of the experience. Be
creative, be excited, but most importantly, make your kitchen part
of the fun!!
to go next?
a chef Volume III
Mabel White signature recipes have been developed and organized to
offer the reader three levels of involvement, from easy, to “let’s
rock and roll.”
The photo on the right is one of three outstanding strawberry and
powdered vanilla Mabel signature recipes I created and you will
see in the next issue. In this issue, you
will find my suggestions called “things in place” that will
guide you through the set-up and utilization of your kitchen like
never before. We have
come to approach recipes in the same way our predecessors have
presented them to us. They
give us a list of ingredients with the amount needed, and a basic
list of steps to make the recipe ready.
We in turn go out and buy the ingredients according to the
recipe, and jump right back in the kitchen and start cooking.
We don’t often stop and get things set up before we
ready to cook is where
we separate the chefs from the cooks.
Celine Dion runs through her voice warm-ups before a big
Vegas show. Babe Ruth
picked up a few bats and swung in preparation for the next home
run. As a chef, you
must think ahead and visualize the steps needed to prepare a
recipe or to create a meal. In
doing so, you are able to organize the tools and ingredients
necessary to complete the entire experience.
These concepts will come naturally to you as you evolve as
a chef. You’ll see
what you need and where things are needed to make a cool kitchen.
in Place! “Mise
Becoming a chef Volume IV
would like you to get “Things in Place” before
the first cut is made or the first vegetable is peeled.
“Things in Place”, or mise en place in French,
is a founding concept in all culinary school systems here in the
Most recipes break down the time it takes to prepare a recipe from start to finish into two groups: preparation time and cook time. The preparation time always refers to the time it will take to dice, chop, peel, roll, brush, etc. What about the time it takes to get the knife, cutting board, vegetable peeler, rolling pin, brush, and other things out and to a handy place? What about putting your apron on? What about folding a few terry-cloth towels nicely for your hands and clean-up? What about getting the scale out? What about moving the trash can into a handy spot? Is the dishwasher ready to go? This is “mise en place”
these “things in place” is the road map to a successful
cooking adventure. You
have thought ahead and put all necessary items in arms reach so
you are able to work efficiently and, most importantly, see the
things involved in your project.
You are much less likely to forget an ingredient if it is
right out in front of you. We
have all seen the chefs of today's many cooking shows creating
recipes with ease. How
do they navigate through the recipe so easily?
“Things in Place”!
You see ingredients measured out into little cups ready to
be mixed in or added to the recipe.
You see all the pots and pans already out within arms
reach. This is not
movie magic; this is how we work as chefs! Great
cooking is accomplished with building blocks.
Your building blocks are all the tools and ingredients it
takes to create a recipe from start to finish.
You want to put these blocks together in a smooth, flowing
order to make the experience enjoyable and successful.
you in the next issue... -happy
cooking!- Chef Greg
Chef Greg's Garden: Growing MicroGreens (We no longer carry Microgreens)
by Chef Gregory Engelhardt
Are you familiar with micro greens? They are available in about 30 variety's. They are simply sprout versions of the herbs and lettuces we all know of. Attached below are the common varieties that can be easily grown at home. They are ready to eat in 7-14 day!! Perfect for Spring and container gardens!!! Arugula, shown on the left, is very pricey in the stores, and most more cost effective to grow your own.
I have worked with these amazing varieties for years and can say they add more to any plate than almost any other thing available in the professional kitchen (second to only Traditional Balsamico.) Take a look. Mabel can get all these seeds, trays, and medium including growing instructions shipped directly to you. You can have micro basil or celery in just two weeks!
will make sense to settle on a few varieties that are easy for
beginners. Speaking of beginners, I suggest
Have at your fingertips what America's most selective chefs use for their most creative garnishes and flavorings. You never have to chop herbs again! Look out for my Mabel White signature recipes featuring microgreens and the many unique ways to use these amazing little "flavor bombs." I hope this will germinate into something interesting! To get pricing on these micro greens. Mabel does not carry microgreens, but agrees they are cool.
Thanks! Chef Greg
Mabel's Garden Edible Flowers
Agave Nectar for Edible Love Lotion
We will be offering Agave soon and doing a complete newsletter just based on all the different ways you can use Agave Nectar. In search of an all natural oil-based sweetener, (which there still is not one) we came across Agave Nectar a natural sweetener from a cactus succulent. Unfortunately we found it was not oil soluble, and behaved much like vegetable glycerin (floating to the top of an oil-based preparation.) We did find, however, we are crazy about Agave Nectar in general.
Agave Nectar is sweeter than honey and looks like honey, but is no where nearly as sticky. It also tastes like maple syrup. In fact, if we were told it was honey or maple syrup, we would believe it. Flavor oils will mix with Agave, even though Agave will not generally mix with an oil balm base. We found this nectar to be a great edible love lotion without adding anything, that could be offered in Agave stick form (also used to stir tea) or in a four ounce plastic bottle with a flip top lid, which we now carry in our supply store. Nevertheless, you will be hearing allot more about Agave Nectar in up coming articles.
Oils 101: Better Than Vicks
seems that nearly everyone I know (including me!) either currently has a
spring cold or is trying to get over one. I can always tell what’s
going around by the phone calls I get from family and friends. Oh, sure,
when they’re feeling well they like to tease me about my Essential oil
& herbal remedies—calling me the “Witch Doctor” or asking if I
take insurance—but when they get sick, I’m the one they call for
may have noticed by now that I’m fairly radical about purity and avoid
using anything artificial whenever possible. Topping the list of things
I will never use are: Petroleum jelly (Vaseline, Vicks and Mentholatum
included), Paraffin wax, Mineral and Baby Oils (same thing, different
fragrance) and anything else with a petroleum base. That I have to put
the stuff in my car is bad enough—no way will I ever use or recommend
this toxic junk for healing, candles or body care products.
are the recipes and procedures I use for the people I love when they get
a cold or flu. They’re better for you than the artificial remedies
that line the pharmacy shelves, and most important, they work! Use these
along with the tried and true practices of drinking LOTS of water,
herbal teas, warm water with lemon & honey, and plenty of rest.
Please note: for children, pregnant women and the elderly, use only 1/3 of the amounts of each EO.
on the chest and the back over the lungs. For a sore throat, rub on the
throat, neck and up under and behind the ears, then wrap with a heated
ounces of oil (
ounce of Candelilla Wax
drops Eucalyptus EO
drops Menthol EO
drops Tea Tree EO
drops Lavender EO
plastic pipettes or droppers
the wax to the oil and zap in the microwave until just melted. Stir in
the EOs. Allow to gel. NOTE:
If you don’t have any Candelilla wax, you may increase the oil to 6
ounces and use just the oil.
unclog the head, nose and ease chest tightness, put two
drops of either Peppermint,
Ache Bath Salts
and immune-boosting at the same time. Be sure to keep the bathroom door
closed to keep the steam and vapors in. Try
drops Lavender EO
drops Lemongrass EO
15 drops Tea Tree EO
the EOs into the salts very well. Add ¼ cup per full, warm bath and
soak for at least 15 minutes.
It’s so important to breathe moist air, especially during illness. Add this blend to vaporizers and humidifiers, simmer in water on the stove, and add to Distilled water to spray the air. Its soothing, antiseptic and anti-viral properties help heal and help de-germ the environment.
10 drops of each
EO into a clean amber glass bottle. Mix well. Add 5
or 6 drops
of the blend to a full vaporizer or humidifier, three
or four drops
to a simmering pan of water, or 10
drops to 6
ounces of Distilled water in
a spray mister.
a look at our last newsletter in the archives for Cold Sore
PC 101: You Are As Strong As Your Weakest Link
Being as strong as your weakest link is true to many areas of life. It is also true with your home personal computer. This is probably the last article I wanted to write, but it is what I have been learning the last few weeks. If it can happen to my nice system, it can happen to yours. Please do not e-mail us about PC's. This article is as much as I want to ever say about computers. I hope you find it helpful.
I do not open many attachments unless I am sure who they are coming from. Even then, my virus checker programs typically catch an incoming virus in my e-mail. There is a new hybrid of Trojans (in-coming virus laden junk that takes over) that does not require you to open them--and simply hitting a key to delete the e-mail will trigger it to do its thing. My main mistake one day was checking my e-mail BEFORE my start up programs were finished loading, and having Norton Anti virus load last. Now, I have Norton load first in my start up menu and I wait until it is done before I hit my e-mail. Doing so would have stopped DO.exe which totally crashed my system. Not knowing I had the Trojan, my PC got worse after every reboot, and it loved me to reboot. I have several programs load up that stop pop-ups, catch spy ware and so on, but Norton's was most important and I had that loading last. The bottom line is that I spent days trying to save my old system, to no avail, search for a new system, and then load up my new system properly as I discuss below.
To Check Your Present System
All of the following recommendations are hyper linked to where I got them. I would encourage you to get Norton AntiVirus 2004 by Symantec (downloadable always) and allow it to scan your present system and to load first. Always check for updates. Then I would recommend you get Lava Soft, also known as Ad-Aware to scan for all of the soliciting junk you may not even know is in your PC. Microsoft told me to use them one day when I just could not get around on my PC. After I saw all of the advertising junk I had accumulated, and deleted with that great program, I was able to move around again. I did not know that visiting some sites invites them into my world. It is fair game, I suppose, since I did visit their turf. After those two programs, I highly recommend Spy-Bot out of Europe, a great group of people who offer an excellent free product and hope for donations. I do donate to them. They catch spy ware and stay very up to date. You have more spy ware than you know, I am sure. Last but not least, if you live online as I do, get Black Ice to load last. This program will always tell you who is trying to get in, their IP as well as DNS address and EVERYTHING. It is so cool. It beeps you when an intruder is coming in and tells you just who it is while keeping them away. Typically JUST being on line invites jerks to check you out--if you have an open port. Chances are you do not even know what a port is. But you have them, and this will lock them down. I did not select Black Ice Application protection because it is just too picky when I load any other programs, meaning a new application, such as MS Word. But to keep a solid firewall, it is great. I have seen every kind of Virus program there is, and the series I described above is still the best.
Once you know your PC is OK and safe, then remember to clean out your Windows/TempIntFiles as they do accumulate a lot of junk, (basically everywhere you have been) and the large files in temp memory can slow you way down. I zoom the net so much, I delete the contents of that folder almost every day, as well as /Cookies and /Temp. Many people tell me they froze when trying to open a simple file--I tell them to clean out their garbage to free them up. They are shocked to even know their every net move is recorded in those folders and that typically taking out their garbage works very well to free them back up.
Also, defragging your hard drive and scanning it for errors is also good to keep in mind once a month. Typically a right click on My Computer can take you to those tools. Not defragging once in awhile can slow you down. But make sure your system is clear of any virus or ad-laden junk before you start good maintenance. You may have a sleeping virus already in your system that you don't know about. Just scan and protect what you have first. Then worry about general up-keep. Have an expert see what is in your start up menus (what is told to load when you turn on your PC) as you may find much of it worthless and also enough to slow you down. Some may be very important, which is why I say to have an expert look at that.
If You Need a New System
This I do not hope for my worst enemy. I had to go get a new system last week. I like Compaq, but I found out Hewlett Packard bought them, and yes, an HP Pentium 4 was the only decent thing I could find at Sam's Club. I did not have time to take my own advice and go with an All American supported company. Click here for that great former article. The trick is to NOT have to call the support line in the first place. The new system would recognize ALL of my old 30 programs EXCEPT my HP printer drivers! Uh, last I checked this was a new HP PC with Windows XP. So, I spent HOURS on the phone with Tech Support and they still had no solutions. They shuffled me back and forth between departments, and then repeat the whole routine--all to NO avail.
So, not needing any customer support from HP is first important. When you do get situated, as I did, with a new PC, first delete ALL of the stupid sales junk and programs designed to pop up and get you to buy more stuff. That is a great start. With a new PC, they are easy to spot. THEN, get Norton's to scan and start doing its job. After Norton's is purchased and working, download your other good spy ware. I would do all of this before I got into loading my favorite programs and getting them they way I like them. So, that is it! Good luck and happy surfing!