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Category Archives: Cooking

Grab an Apple and Say Cheese…

ApplesHappy National Apple Week! Many Florida kids return to school this week, too. Coincidence? With an apple in hand, have your favorite kid(s) either bring in a red delicious or create a treat for their brand new teacher(s). This week may be a tad bit more hectic for many. What a perfect time to cook up a delicious, nutritious, quick meal whether you have tiny mouths to feed or not.

GrilledAppleCheeseBlog-1This is a REALLY hard recipe, so prepare yourself. You will need…..apples, cheese, bread, and butter. I know….CRAZY right? Here’s what we did here at Aggressive Appliances on our Jenn-Air griddle. Thanks to Dean Snyder for the awesome idea!!!GrilledAppleCheeseRecipe

Get your apples and cheesy smiles ready for a brand new academic year!!

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Something to Talk About

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FOOD_CROISSANT_COFFEE_TRG_72815Pull up a chair and grab a fresh baked croissant with your coffee. The time has come again to seriously consider a Subzero-Wolf-Asko package. As of July 1st through March 31, 2017, they are running a promotion that can include $1000 back and/or Wolf Gourmet product options.

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Many consumers wonder if the cost of a premium appliance package is worth it. They also wonder if they can afford such luxuries. I’m here to tell you it’s possible and worth it. Investing extra money now will give you a fabulous chef’s kitchen that will last you for many years.

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Refrigeration that lasts, cooking products that stand up to the toughest and gentlest recipes, cleaning products that take on anything you can whip up on their fine products, this is what you can have with a Subzero-Wolf-Asko kitchen. But they don’t stop there….how about a coffee system and microwave options (built-in, drop down doors, micro-drawers). Under-counter refrigeration and freezers offer you drawer options or door options. Wine storage in beautiful columns, or placed under your counter. Ice machines and outdoor products, the list goes on and on. You like modern and sleek? Professional and robust? Hidden behind decadent cabinetry? If you can dream it, the Subzero-Wolf-Asko line can bring it to life. This is a manufacturer that doesn’t quit and neither do their products.

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One of their best kept secrets is how they treat their customers. You are premium. You are cared for. Their customer service is top notch and, to us, one of the best in the industry. They invest in you as you have invested in their products.

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This is not a product line can be summed up in a small blog. A tour through our expanded Living Kitchen and details in person about their promotion are very much worth a trip to our showroom. Finish your coffee and croissant, and stop in. It’s time to wake up and realize this kitchen dream is within reach. We will show you how…

Fight Like a Viking

11873 1000_VIKING_PRAs a dealer we are invited to learn and cook on many manufacturer products. This week in my appliance adventures I flew into Georgia with healthy skepticism of the Viking product line.  Because I’m such an appliance geek, what I learned surprised and excited me. Viking keeps fighting…

Since being purchased in 2013 by Middleby Corporation, a leader in commercial kitchen technology, Viking has reinvented and revitalized their brand. Let me take you on a mini tour of how they’ve done that.

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Infrared broil technology in their electric ovens, and a carpet of broiling fire in their gas ovens, was really something to watch and use. The power of their induction elements and knob-controlled cooktops open up the market for those wanting more speed and/or have difficulty using electronic touch controls.

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Learning the various ways to use a warming drawer for slow cooking recipes will make this a must have piece in any kitchen. They also offer the only combi-steam-bake-convection microwave on the market. But by far the most impressive of their commercial technology is due out on the market this year with the introduction of the Turbochef oven to the residential market.

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Turbochef uses radiant heat, microwaves, and convection in a way that will take our fast pace cooking to a whole new level. It’s used daily in well known companies commercially to speed up cooking, crisping, and baking to minutes instead of hours. Baked potatoes, French fries, breads, meats, desserts, you name it…done in minutes. Imagine a whole meal cooked for a large crowd in 20 minutes. This is the future and the future is knocking hard and fast on our kitchen doors. Wait for it….

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Refrigeration in Viking has major changes (thankfully). The free-standing, counter-depth piece pictured above is the only piece made by another company….but since it was filled with Coke products….it deserved a picture here. Their built-in products have better hinges and the addition of their Ion Purification System called the “Plasmacluster System”. This type of purification is used in the medical field and the military to clean bacteria from the air and aid (in this situation) in food preservation. It doesn’t use a replacement filter because it’s not a filter. Their compressor design does not require cleaning because of the way it’s designed. They use metal shelving on the doors and tempered shelves on the interior. They offer a max cool in the freezer and refrigeration sections to bring quick cool to just packed refrigerators. The crisper drawers control and introduce humidity where it’s needed most. It’s worth checking out.VikingRef

They have taken the Blomberg dishwasher as their own and with it have combined some of the best features found in many leading dishwashers on the market today. They offer two dishwashers, one with a third rack. Their third rack machine doesn’t cover the entire top of the dishwasher. This helps to accommodate large stemware on the second shelf. All models offer a third wash arm in the top of the stainless steel tub. While not the quietest at 48 dBa, it does offer a final rinse cycle at 167 degrees and their longest cycle is about 2 hours. That high temp final rinse, along with the fan assist, will aid in condensation drying which has become an industry standard.VikingDishwasher

Viking has the ingenuity of design engineers from 67 commercial divisions of Middleby working to bring commercial cooking to a residential environment. Viking Pro offers 2 year warranty.

There is so much I can’t fit into this blog, but come in and let me tell you the story of any piece in their line. Viking is definitely a company worth watching closely to see what new ways our lives will change in the kitchen in months and years to come.

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Garlic as a Fruit

Pysanky-1With Easter just over a week away I’m transported back to memories of my Ukrainian grandmother, Anna. It was a cherished holiday for her as it is for many. She was born and raised in the Ukraine. She worked hard in the fields and would often tell me stories of her difficult, funny, and interesting life. Food was always involved and so was card playing.

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She had great love and pride for her children, her family, her garden, her pierogies, and prayed over her bible so much it was worn thin from turning the pages filled with prayer cards from lost loved ones. She taught me the art of egg decorating, babka tasting, how to knead dough for pierogies, gave me my love of fresh horseradish and beets, not to leave out the importance of raw garlic. She considered raw garlic a fruit and ate it as such. Yup, just like an apple.

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She didn’t have a grand kitchen, but she did have a grand soul that filled her kitchen and the hearts of anyone she knew. On her small stove she fried her pierogies with copious amounts of butter and onions, baked her Easter breads, and boiled the eggs we intricately decorated with beeswax and deep colored dyes. You may never have met my sweet Babchi, but if you like trying new things, click on the pictures within this blog and find out how to make your own Ukrainian Easter eggs (pysanky) or make a babka with this recipe given to me by my cousin Laura Stasiuk.

LaurasBabkaBabchi was one of many that taught me the value of family, traditions, and doing things together.  Many summers were spent watching her roll out dough for her endless supply of pierogies on her kitchen table, while talking, laughing, singing, and dancing. She taught me to find joy in simple pleasures like feeling the earth under my feet, the smell of fresh mint rubbed between fingers, or growing and drying fresh grown chamomile flowers for tea. She taught me how to appreciate all the gifts in life, big and tiny.

Enjoy your families now and always.  And to all of you….ya tebe lyublyu (я тебе люблю) which means….”I love you” in Ukrainian. I wish you all a “Babchi” in your life. Photo credits to my dear Aunt Gloria McNamara, Anna’s daughter.

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Let Love In

Valentine2015With Valentine’s Day just a few days away I started thinking about all the goodies and ideas that go along with the holiday associated with love and sweets. Loved ones, chocolate, hearts, flowers, fruits, and delectable meals, spring to my mind. I like to think of Valentine’s Day as a special day set aside to focus on all the people you love and take time to celebrate that love with them! What better place to start than the heart of your home….the kitchen.ValentineCookies

Fresh sugar cookies, convection baked in an oven, decorated with icing and sprinkles….may be the perfect way to say “I love you” to your parents, your kids, your love, your neighbor, your best friend, or……yourself! Or what about…slowly melting decadent chocolate over a simmer flame on a gas range-top or induction cooktop only to dip fresh strawberries, bananas, pound cake, or pineapples right into it…..together? What could be more loving than creating these things with someone you love? The best dishes are made when joy is one of the ingredients.ValentineEgg

Here’s a recipe that I came up with one day at home. It’s quick, easy, and usually disappears in minutes. It’s a great way to get everyone involved of all ages, since little or big hands are comfortable with throwing these ingredients together. Start your Valentine’s Day with a pizza pie made with and for the people you love this Sunday morning. While you’re at it, pair it with some chocolate dipped fruits and sugar cookies! Happy Valentine’s Day appliance fans!ChrissyBreakfastPizza

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Heavenly Pork Loin + Football = Smoking Sunday

PeppersPlayoffs had everyone sitting around the TV this past weekend. If you are wondering what the sonic boom was, that was my mom screaming because the Broncos won. (Hi Mom!) Since food is part of screaming at the TV while watching football in my house,  I picked up a pork loin and attempted to try a recipe verbally given to me by one of our phenomenal guest chefs, Maria Rivera. Pictured here is one of Maria’s creations…

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Here’s Maria…

MariaWhen I use the word phenomenal I mean her food brings me to joyous tears. I’m serious. Holy WOW. The kicker is Maria offers cooking classes to teach people just like me how to cook simply, yet decadently, in the comfort of their own homes with ingredients you can buy at local supermarkets. Here’s the link to Maria’s Cooking Classes

Below is the simple recipe (as told to me by Maria) that had my guests happily moaning and grabbing seconds…

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I do have a confession….I couldn’t sear it for 4 minutes on each side because I cook on a basic coil range with a recirculating 30″ hood that I’m still trying to adjust my cooking techniques around. Not only did I make a delicious pork loin, I created a ton of smoke and a lot of laughter as the smoke billowed out of all the doors in my apartment. It was heavenly in my house for about 10 minutes. Totally worth it. I baked my pork a little longer than 12 minutes to make up for the lack of searing time. I managed one picture of my leftovers I brought in for lunch because on the actual day we ate it we into a food coma before I thought of doing the pork paparazzi thing. Here it is paired with my yellow rice…..

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You may think….there is no way just slathered pork could be that tasty. Just try it yourself for the proof. It was SOOOOO good. And easy. And SMOKING! Super Yum!! Thank you, Maria!!!

Cater to Me

MikeCaterMike, one of our sales team members, had a call come in from a client the other day who also happens to be a chef. As he was accustomed to using full sheet catering pans in his restaurant, he was interested in a range that would accept full sheet pans to accommodate his creations at home. Wanting to confirm which models would work, we started going from product to product putting each to the test. We carry all of the leading brands and display them on our floor. That made it very easy to find out.

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So what did we find out?

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We found that DCS, Dacor, Thermador Pro Grand, MONOGRAM, and BlueStar in 36″ and 48″ ranges are all able to accommodate a full sheet catering pan.

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It should be noted that not all clients need that feature in their range. I know personally I have gone my whole life and have not needed to use a full sheet catering pan. I’ve even been known to cook up a storm in a 20″ range that I dubbed my “Easy Bake Oven”. However, if you do have the need, it is great to know there are plenty of fantastic options (that we carry and you can test) right here to choose from in our showroom without having to own or visit a restaurant with a commercial range! See you soon!

 

Soups On! 2015 Edition

Soup2015-1Each year we have a soup/chili competition amongst our employees. Some of us take the competition very seriously. I was happy to come in a solid 10th place out of 13 entries with plans to make it to 9th next year!! The results came in after many of us MmmmMmmmMmm-ing our way through all the competitors.

Logan, our latest addition to Aggressive took 3rd place. Sam, Scott’s wife, took 2nd place. Tina came in first with her tortellini soup!! Here is Tina’s winning recipe so you can cook up a great dinner for your guests! The kicker? She didn’t even really follow a recipe!

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Tina’s Tortellini Soup

I – box of veggie broth

1 – box of beef broth

2 – packs of pork sausage/maybe 16 oz each

2 – 32 oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes crushed

1 – onion chopped and sautéed

A handful of chopped garlic cloves chopped

1 – small bag of carrots chopped into strips.

2 – bags frozen tortellini (left on counter to thaw)

Saute your vegies and cook the sausage….add those to your broth and tomatoes…season with salt to taste, there was some Montreal seasoning on the counter, so I kept adding that too.

You can add wine, or I used most of a bottle of cooking sherry in mine.  I put in 2 bags of frozen tortellini (that I left on the counter, so they were actually thawed). Add those in the last ½ hour before you serve it. It’s a pretty basic soup so you can add or take away veggies per your taste….if you weren’t making for a big crowd, half all the ingredients.  I also added some chopped fresh basil right before serving.

Cheers!!!

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Then……Tina brought in some of the best cookies this past week for us to all enjoy. They are a Martha Stewart special. I’m adding the recipe link here because everyone needs to attempt these at home, especially for Christmas! Martha Stewart – Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

Happy cooking!!!

Merry Christmas Foodie Baby

ChristmasIt is 15 days until Christmas and you know there is that one person on your list you just have no clue what to get because they HAVE EVERYTHING. We have something they don’t. And we stock ’em. And they won’t break your budget. And…well…WOLF! Wolf introduced Wolf Gourmet this year featuring countertop appliances, cookware, and cutlery!!! With prices ranging from $299.95-$999.95 you know you want to take a peek.

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Wolf is well known for their outstanding cooking products, but they also have an amazing gourmet kitchen small product line. These products are offered as promotional gifts when purchasing a whole kitchen full of Wolf and Subzero….BUT…you can buy them, too! If you don’t buy a kitchen full of awesome appliances you can purchase their sweet suite of goodies as gifts or keep them for yourself!

I’m going to focus on one of my favorites…..their blender. At $599.95 you have more than a “blender” here. You have a meal maker! And look at that red knob, signature Wolf design. You can buy a black or stainless knob, too, if you want to change it up.

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This blender makes smoothies, soups, sauces, and anything else you can think of to throw in a blender. With a 64 ounce capacity and the ability to create a meal in one container, how can you go wrong? Here’s a quick recipe from Bob Luyckx, our Wolf rep, that he created on the fly…for hot, fresh apple cider.

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“I used one half of Gala apple and one half envy apple. After cutting each in half I cord them and sliced them into three or four slices lengthwise. Add one bottle of water ( or 2 cups). I added liquid sugar in the raw as a sweetener however you could substitute agave or honey.  I used about a tablespoon and one half, but you can sweeten to taste. Sprinkled some ground cinnamon into the carafe. Put the blender on it’s soup function or mode and in 5 1/2 minutes I had piping hot fresh apple cider at about 140°.”

How great is this?!? Thanks Bob!

At $499.95, the countertop convection oven is another favorite of mine, however, we have the whole gourmet product line here (pictured below) that we’d be happy to show you since we have them displayed and ready to come home for Christmas.

Stop in and do your last minute Christmas shopping with Aggressive!

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This Little Griddle of Mine, I’m Gonna Let it Shine

VikingChrome-1The day before Thanksgiving it was kind of quiet in here right after 12 noon. I’m sure you were all busy cooking, prepping, or sitting in stand still traffic. This was the perfect time for us at Aggressive to play on our appliances. We are prone to do that from time to time.

One of the reasons our customers benefit from our mostly live showroom is we play on the appliances and tell them about what we like about them. We test out their cool features AND eat too many of the tasty results, often. Eric and Doug treated us to peanut loaded cookies and homemade sausages on this particular Thanksgiving Eve. It should be noted this place is a serious threat to my waist and worth every calorie…

The reason I bring up their willingness to feed us is that I was most impressed by how Eric cooked up the sausage. He first defrosted it in the Miele steam oven and then griddled it up on the Viking  ViChrome™ Griddle.

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This griddle is quite impressive!!!! The result was a juicy and tender sausage inside, but crispy and browned on the outside. Perfection! So tasty and fresh. You would never have known it was frozen from 2014!!!! Since the griddle is “thermostatically” controlled it gives off even heat and temperature across the whole surface. That heat stays on the griddle so you aren’t heating up the kitchen, just the food.

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Anyone who loves cooking also knows cleaning up is not an ingredient of that joy. Once cooled, this griddle is easy to lift off the range and carry. The non-stick grease catch also comes out with no problem. Bring all the pieces to the sink, soap up, and done! All cleaned up! It’s mirror-like, chrome finish is beautiful, will not discolor over time, and is why it is so easy to clean.

If you happen to be in the area and want play on this range, or any other appliance, let us know. We would be happy to sample your creation!