Author Archive | SP Scienceware

Funnels + Cake

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Image: Funnels + Cake = A Tasty Treat

It's fair and carnival season here in the US which means plenty of fried foods, including funnel cake - a round pile of crispy fried dough usually covered in powdered sugar. But where did funnel cakes actually come from? And, would you believe this deep fried dough is actually considered a 'lower calorie treat'?!

      • The name 'funnel cake' comes from the way batter is poured through a funnel into hot oil.
      • These fried fritters date back to medieval times, but their modern U.S. origins are commonly associated with the Pennsylvania Dutch, who served funnel cakes to the masses at the Kutztown Folk Festival every year.
    • Similar delights (yep, we're fans!) can be found the world over including:
      • Spain - Churros
      • Canada - Beaver-tails
      • Brazil - Bolinho de chuvas
      • France - Bugnes
      • Portugal - Fartura
      • Germany - Strauben/Strieble
      • Lithuania - Skruzdėlynas

But low calorie?! No way!

Yes way! An average 6-inch funnel cake contains less than 300 calories! The steam produced by the high water content in the batter allows it to puff up, resulting in the light and airy texture. Pile on the toppings like powdered sugar, chocolate, or jelly and it's another story...

Want to make your own funnel cakes at home*, or need funnels for the laboratory?

Image:  Variety

Bel-Art - SP Scienceware has funnels of all shapes & sizes!

From large 36 inch Buchner funnels to 24mm micro funnels, and everything in between!

Funnel Cake Recipe

  • Image: Funnel Cake Batter
    Funnel Cake Batter

Ready in 20 minutes. Prep: 10m Cook: 10m 12 servings 263 calories

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

3 eggs

1/4 cup white sugar

2 cups milk

1 quart vegetable oil for frying, or as needed

2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, or as needed

Directions

1.  Mix salt, baking powder, and half the flour in a bowl. Set aside.

2  Cream eggs, sugar, and milk in a large bowl. Add flour mixture and beat until smooth. Continue to add remaining flour, but use only enough to achieve desired consistency. Batter will be thin enough to run through a funnel.

3.  Heat the oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) in an 8-inch skillet.

 

 

4.  Put your finger over the bottom opening of the funnel, and fill the funnel with a generous 1/2 cup of the batter. Hold the funnel close to the surface of the oil, and release the batter into the oil while making a circular motion. Fry until golden brown. Use tongs and wide spatula to turn the cake over carefully. Fry the second side one minute.

5.  Drain on paper towels, and sprinkle with sifted confectioners' sugar and serve.

Recipe courtesy of AllRecipes.com.  The original recipe can be found here.

 

 

Vinnie Martorano, Channel Manager West

A Day in the Life

Having my office on the west coast of the U.S. while having customers in Europe and my main office on the east coast keeps my mornings fairly routine. I work my way across the globe. 4:45 A.M. PST, I’m up, have had my coffee in the darkness and moonlit sky of the early Pacific Northwest morning and am ready to follow up on any opportunities that arose while I was counting sheep. Typically this includes new sales leads and current business follow up as well as monthly business reviews via conference calls as a supplement to our face to face visits with customers in Europe and the U.S.
Image: Vinnie Martorano, Channel Manager West

Vinnie Martorano, Channel Manager West

By the time I’m finishing up with Europe, I turn my attention to our office in New Jersey. Right around this time the folks in N.J. have grabbed their coffee or tea and are getting to their desks at 8:30 A.M. EST. I proceed to conduct my usual/daily calls with my team members in pricing/quotations, product management, and marketing and sales. I also address any urgent requirements from the latter part of the previous day. After those calls, I focus on my to-do list in a reactive mode and address e-mails and return phone calls. This can vary in length of time based on the requirements of the customers. Now the creative (fun) part of my day begins. I turn into a proactive machine and look to generate new revenue. These activities include nurturing existing customers and thanking them for new and existing business, following up on any open quotations and looking to close the order/sale. It never ceases to amaze me how much I can learn about my company’s capabilities and product offering by this activity. Disclaimer: I travel about 55% of the month. Yes, United Airlines loves me. During that time my day is consumed with airport security, rental cars, and hotel shuttles. Often times my day to day calls and activities have been known to occur on the rental car shuttle bus, in noisy terminals and hotel parking lots. The light at the end of this tunnel is that I get to work “face to face, belly to belly” with the most fascinating people in the market: our customers and end users. I meet with them with preset agendas and frequently bring personnel and resources from our main office to assist in my efforts. This is enjoyable for the both the customer and our personnel as it gives them a chance to meet the individual they have been dealing with for sometimes years over the phone. In conclusion I find my role and job very rewarding by supplying key products and services to an industry that is looking to learn more about and improve the human experience. I feel like I contribute to helping our most talented researchers doing drug discovery, quality control in the food and beverage industry, laboratory technicians in environmental testing, teachers in education and so on.

4 Dumb Thieves (And 1 Smart One!)

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Dumb Thief

 

4 Dumb Thieves
(And 1 Smart One!)

Movies might portray criminals as masterminds with intricate plans but the reality is a little less glamorous. Just search 'Dumb Criminals' and see how many results you get! (FYI it's about 5,360,000). While being the victim of any crime is certainly scary, sometimes you can't help but laugh at how some thieves got caught. Here are 4 of our favorites that we hope give you a chuckle!

  • A teenage girl in Nebraska, U.S. robbed a local bank and then stole a car. How did she get caught? She posted a public video bragging about her crime spree on YouTube.

 

  • A burglar in China was caught (literally) by attempting to squeeze through a small fifth floor window of an apartment building.
  • In Norfolk, England a man was arrested 15 minutes after posting a selfie with a knife on Facebook, boasting that he had just robbed the supermarket Tesco.

 

  • A man in Texas, U.S. was arrested for forgery, unsurprisingly, after trying to cash a check for $360 billion. And it wasn't even made out to HIM.

Those thieves were not smart. Our Sample Thief, on the other hand, is a very smart way to steal liquid samples.

  • Take liquid samples at specific depths

  • Easy to use, one-handed operation

  • 41.5" length has max capacity of 475ml

  • Other sizes can be made to order

Did You Celebrate Chocolate Chip Day?

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Did You Celebrate
Chocolate Chip Day?

 

 

That's right - chocolate chips have their own day. And it was May 15. Don't worry we won't judge you if you celebrate a few days late. If you're a choco-holic you might even (unknowingly) celebrate chocolate chip day more than just once per year. But if you're not a chocolate lover and only indulge occasionally, you might wonder if that bag of morsels in your pantry from who-knows-when is still good. Let's find out!

Chocolate usually has a 'best before' date and not an 'expiration' date so it can be used even if the date has passed if stored in a cool, dry place. How long past the printed date can they last?*

  • Pantry: 2-4 months
  • Refrigerator: 6-8 months
  • Freezer: 2-3 years

 

Bonus fact!  After a while you may notice white dots on the chocolate. This is 'sugar bloom' and just means the sugar has come to the surface and then evaporated.This makes the chocolate chips less palatable when raw, but they're still safe to eat and bake with!

 

What if you need to keep samples or chemicals cool and dry in the lab?  The Secador® Refrigerator Ready Desiccator provides moisture-free storage in cold spaces!

Image:  secador-refrigerator-ready-desiccator

  • Perfect for use inside refrigerators, -20°C freezers, or at room temperature
  • Extra long depth and pull-out shelves allow full use of fridge shelf depth
  • Top-down door opening allows easy access to contents

Image: Shop Now