Everything You Need To Know About Pizza Stones

If you love pizza, you know that it’s difficult to make a pizza at home that tastes as good as one you can buy from your local pizza joint. Their crusts are crisp and light and the cheese is melted just perfectly. But there is a way to turn your homemade pizzas into a pizzeria quality pie and it requires just one simple item.

A pizza stone is simply a large, pizza-shaped stone that you place in the oven while it is preheating. Placing your pizza on it and letting it bake on top of the stone will give you the crisp crust and perfect top that is as good as anything you can get from a restaurant.

The science behind how it works is pretty simple. The stone stores and conducts the heat evenly across the bottom of the crust. That even temperature bakes the crust evenly and the conduction allows the crust to get crispy without burning. The even heat also encourages the consistent cooking of the cheese and toppings, which also leads to a bubbling, perfectly melted pizza top. Your friends and family will swear you bought your homemade pizza and if you want to fool them, that’s up to you.

But as great as pizza stones can be, they are not all equal. As you might imagine, the better quality the stone, the more consistent the material, the more efficiently the stone will do its job. So which stone should you buy?

The cheapest option is to just purchase some generic ceramic tile and use that as a pizza stone. And while it will provide some heat conductivity, these tiles aren’t made for the purpose of baking. So they can crack or break completely while being used. Even worse, they composition isn’t even throughout the tile, so they don’t provide the baking consistency you need.

Generic pizza stones work better and most of them will do a decent job of baking a pizza. But like the generic ceramic tiles, these basic pizza tiles can provide inconsistent results. They are often made of cheaper materials that don’t provide the even heat conduction that creates that perfect crust. And some of the cheaper materials can become brittle over time and begin to crack after frequent use.

One great pizza stone option is made by Cast Elegance, one of the leading pizza stone sellers. Their stones are made from Thermarite, a material that is perfect for the job of evenly conducting heat. It will absorb more moisture from the pizza crust, which helps create that crisp and light restaurant-like crust. This Thermarite stone has been fire treated at a temperature of over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. So this stone won’t crack or break, even when used in the hottest oven or outdoor barbecue.

The Thermarite stone also has a smooth surface that won’t retain stains and doesn’t include any baked-in organic materials. So unlike many other pizza stones, the Cast Elegance stone won’t emit any smells when heated up. The stones are available in several sizes, in both round and rectangular shapes.

So when you want a restaurant-quality pizza at home, you’re going to want to use a pizza stone. And if you want a pizza stone, you won’t find a better one than the ones from Cast Elegance.

Cupboard Essentials for Italian Cooking

Have you ever wondered what makes Italian food so delicious? Here are the basic ingredients you’ll need if you want to invite a taste of Italy into your kitchen:

Dried Pasta

This is an absolute cupboard essential. Made from flour, water and salt, there are many different varieties but they form the basis of almost every Italian dish so make sure you’re stocked up on the pasta you prefer.


Whether you opt for fresh or canned, the rich fruity taste of tomatoes is the grounding for most of the well-loved Italian dishes we enjoy in the UK. Choose whole, peeled tomatoes for a deeper flavour to your recipes.

Image credit


If you decide you want to branch out and make your own pasta then choose semolina flour which one of the preferred flours for homemade pasta. All-purpose flour is still fine for making both pasta and the dough for homemade pizzas.


These small fruits have been soaked in water, salt or lye to ease their bitter taste. They are used greatly in Italian cuisine from pastas to topping pizzas. They have some great health benefits too as they are packed with monounsaturated fats, antioxidants and Vitamin E.


Strong, pungent and ideal for warding off vampires apparently, garlic is used extensively in Italian cooking. Pick your cloves with firm, tight and unbroken heads for the best flavours in your recipes.


Authentic mozzarella is made from the milk of water buffaloes but most of the cheese of this kind is made from cow’s milk in the UK. Known for its elasticity, it is used in many dishes and is the cheese used to top pizzas because it melts so deliciously. If you don’t feel like cooking then think about Italian Restaurants In Dublin. For more details, visit http://www.toscanarestaurant.ie/


This is a hard cheese with a very strong flavour and smell but don’t be put off. Mostly used in its grated form, it adds a wonderful nutty flavour to many pasta dishes adding the finishing touches to the tops of lasagnes as well.

Balsamic Vinegar

As opposed to wine vinegars, balsamic is thicker and sweeter. It is mainly used in dressings, salads and marinades in Italian cuisine. Some authentic Italian balsamic vinegars are aged for over a decade in oak barrels and used in their neat, syrupy form for drizzling over vegetables or fruit.

Image credit


A fresh sprinkle of this herb adds a lovely aromatic finish to top a plate of spaghetti, pizza or to garnish a pizza.

Cannellini Beans

These beans are often found in Italian soups, stews or salads. If you opt for dried beans, you’ll need to soak them in water overnight so for a quicker last-minute option, choose a canned variety.

Arborio Rice

This is the variety of rice that makes risottos as delicious as they are. It’s a short-grained type of rice which is high in starch. This starch is released during cooking, best done over a long, low heat and this is how it gets its thick and creamy consistency.


A very tasty type of Italian ham that has been cured and dried in the open air for long periods of time. This process gives it a deeper flavour and makes it gorgeously tender. It is mostly found sliced super thin and is best eaten uncooked.

Live in an apartment? How to deal with deliveries when you aren’t in

Today there is a new vogue for apartment building. Unlike the 1960s tower block, it targets a different market and rarely involves any demolition. Developments help put vintage buildings back into use, revitalising declining neighbourhoods. The expanded number of students is one driving force, and the growth of housing associations another. Apartments are not always huge but are generally well-equipped and many people prefer them.

Image Credit

Practical problems

Common problems include parking, visitors and deliveries. Apartment developments are often gated or only accessible with code access. Callers often have difficulty parking nearby, knowing which buttons to press, or leaving deliveries when you aren’t home.

Not only residents suffer. Try carrying a fridge freezer from the nearest car park and up flights of stairs. No wonder postmen are occasionally caught delivering wads of “Sorry we missed you” cards instead of their parcels. Digital signature pads are so hard to use most of us couldn’t identify our own signature on one, so parcels often go astray.

Practical solutions

Rule number one is to use only couriers with excellent reputations for customer service. At least this means you will resolve the delivery problem eventually. For a same day courier in Slough you might try https://www.uk-tdl.com.

Image Credit

Apartment living in American cities has long been common, and they have sophisticated services to avoid problems. For example, “Doorman”, “Parcel” and “Swapbox” are apps that help you appoint a middleman who signs for your parcel and completes delivery at times you’re home.

In the UK, most apps are designed for couriers, not customers. For example, “Parcel Manager” sends you messages about your delivery time, but it’s little help knowing the time you missed your delivery when you have to be out. “home delivery” apps from Google and Apple give you more control over deliveries, but mostly tie you to particular takeaways, and Amazon’s locker service ties you to Amazon.

DPD is leading the way with an app that helps customers and couriers actually coordinate better. You can even send your courier a photo of a safe place to leave the parcel.

In the future, the Internet of Things will extend our options. When the courier reaches your door you’ll be able to unlock it from your phone for the delivery to be left inside, then send a digital signature acknowledging receipt.

The 7 Prettiest Streets In Madrid

Madrid is a beautiful city and much of its character is provided by its streets, which have been able to evolve and reinvent themselves without losing a pinch of its charm. Strolling through the different streets of Madrid is a pleasure; some have appeared in the lists of the best in Europe and the world. There are wide, narrow, small, and large, with traffic, pedestrian, with history, magnificent views, charm and beauty.

How to create a superb customer experience in your beauty store

The beauty store experience is essential to get right if the ‘final moment of truth’ (FMOT) is occur and the customer is to make that branded purchase. Particularly when it comes to high-end and premium beauty products, in-store experiences are critical to converting browsing to sales. What are the tactics that store owners can use to tempt and persuade beauty fans to spend?

Image Credit

Be consistent

When it comes to branding, every channel must be consistent. When a customer is engaging with a premium beauty brand, they will already have seen advertising and content on social media, print, out-of-house and other channels. It is essential that this high-end visual experience is continued within the store to maintain this sense of luxury and exclusivity. The retail area must be pristine, beautifully lit, fragranced, and presented perfectly.

Think strategically

Beauty customers want to see segmented products that allow them to browse easily. Place displays of products in categories to facilitate this, such as colour-coordinated nail polishes and fragrances organised by their brand.

Image Credit

Make sure everything is clean

Beauty fans love to try testers, so make sure yours are clean, well-presented and look as new as possible. Everything needs to look fresh and hygienic. Provide tissues and sanitising liquid.

Consider music

In store music is a key part of the in-store brand experience. It can be on-trend or ambient to create that essential atmosphere. You can find out more from a provider such as https://moodmedia.co.uk.

Customers feel that the products they are buying are even more exclusive when they purchase limited editions. Promote these with POS branding and themes that are meaningful to customers.

In-store experiences

Offer makeup applications and makeovers, complimentary lip shade matching or advice, beauty tips, personalised shopping, and other in-store beauty demonstration and makeup application experiences to show customers how they could look with the right products and application tools. This helps to promote add-on sales, as customers will often choose to buy everything within the set if they are happy with their final look.

Promotion evenings

Hold evenings with special deals, talks and demonstrations, fizz and goodie bags to really engage your customers and provide extra value and experiences that they can Instagram with like-minded friends!

These tactics will help to create an in-store brand that stands out and enjoys high sales.