As food costs rise, and many of us find ourselves in the midst of a quarantine, it’s becoming less desirable to head out to the grocery store for food. More and more people are choosing to grow their own garden in the comfort of their backyard. Not only can backyard gardens save you a considerable amount of money, but it can also be much better for your health. [Read more…]
People who love Japanese food should know very well the importance of Nori. Nori is a seaweed paper that’s one of the main ingredients in many Japanese dishes and plays a vital in a healthy diet being rich in protein, fiber as well as vitamins and minerals.
Originally produced using the edo-era paper making method, the Nori of today is mostly made in factories. Interestingly, more than 600 square kilometers of Japan’s coastal waters are dedicated to growing seaweed. [Read more…]
Whether youâ€™re trying to rid your body of something youâ€™ve recently eaten or drank or youâ€™re looking to drop a couple pounds by cleansing your system first, eating foods that help detox your body can be great for your health. And luckily, a lot of the best foods for detoxing actually arenâ€™t horrible to eat. This little perk can make flushing out your system and getting everything back in balance easier than you might have dreamed. To give you a little help knowing which cleansing options might be best for you, here are three foods that will help detox your body. [Read more…]
There are a few different ways to expand your cooking horizons. You can try new recipes. You can attempt new genres of food preparation. You can use new dishware, or just try adjusting some of the ratios of ingredients that you typically use.
Or, for a more extreme change in cooking behavior, consider spicing up your kitchen activities by changing your cooking methods themselves. Consider trying the sous vide method, adding some more gadgets to your repertoire, combining multiple cooking methods together, and reading cooking magazines and blogs to see how other people are expanding their abilities. And in the end, the more you experiment and fail, the bigger a knowledge base of cooking that you’ll have to work with in the future.
Try Sous Vide
One interesting way to cook that you may not have ever thought of or even heard described before is the sous vide method. At its core, you’re heating food in a sealed container inside of hot water. This will usually take the form of vacuuming sealing something like a steak inside a cook-safe plastic bag, and then dipping the bag in a hot water vat with a controlled temperature. The results can be nothing short of amazing if done correctly, and it will produce a unique flavor and texture that everyone will love.
At the center of many new cooking methods is the kitchen gadget. It may chop, slice, blend, heat, freeze, or dry out food in a new and unique way, and that’s what makes it worthy of being in your kitchen. There are new kitchen gadgets coming out all the time, and once they’ve been in the public eye for a minute, you’ll start to see reviews of how they work, and decide if there’s a new technique you’re willing to incorporate.
Have you tried baking something, and then frying it to finish it off? Have you tried mixing pan frying, stir frying, and microwaving all together? One of the more interesting ways to spice up your cooking methods is simply to combine several different ways together. You can get some truly interesting results by mixing pan searing meat with baking it at different points in the cooking process, for example.
Reading Cooking Magazines and Blogs
If you’ve never read a cooking magazine or blog, then you don’t know what you’re missing when it comes to continuing education about cooking. Certain types of recipes and diets go into and out of vogue, but you can always rely on cooks to progress when it comes to their actual methods of cooking – go ahead and borrow from them!
Experiment, Fail, and Experiment Again
If all else fails, at least failure teaches you what not to do again, and that goes especially for cooking methods. After you burn something to a crisp or boil it into oblivion, take some mental notes about why it didn’t work. And then, put on your chef’s thinking cap and give something a bit different ago. The people you eventually will impress with your cooking will be glad of your early efforts!
Some people have the audacity to say that pizza isnâ€™t good for you, and while if you were eating it daily and huge servings of it it might be, in moderation itâ€™s great. It offers you more nutrients and less fats than some of the foods you could be eating. So, while it may not be the healthiest food option, it isnâ€™t even close the worst.
Whether you choose to eat out, or create your own pizza creation right at home, there are a million options and combinations. Why wouldnâ€™t pizza be on your list of favorite foods with all of that going for it. Plus, if you fold your slice in half itâ€™s like an easy to eat pizza sandwich. [Read more…]
Almost all people would like to have a Thanksgiving Turkey on their dining table on the special day but not many would like to be inconvenienced by meticulous preparation. For a lot of people, the simpler, the better it is for them. Here are the simplest Thanksgiving Turkey recipes gathered from the Internet.
This turkey recipe will require about 10 minutes of preparation and 3 hours of actual cooking. Unfortunately, even the simplest cooking of the star of the Thanksgiving table will require time. The wait will we rewarded by enjoyable eating for the family.
The neck and giblets will have to be pulled out from the cavity. The giblets are set aside for making the gravy. After drying the turkey with paper towels, it will have to be seasoned by salt and pepper. Various aromatics will be placed inside the turkey. The turkey is to be basted with melted butter while roasting in the oven.
This recipe basically follows the procedure for the above recipe with some variations in the aromatics and ingredients used. The turkey is likewise to be placed in a roasting pan and is to basted every 30 minutes for even browning.
It is recommended to tent the turkey loosely with foil so as to prevent too much darkening. The turkey needs to be rested for about 25 minutes before serving. To prevent burning of wing tips, they can be tucked underneath the body. Legs are tied together with kitchen twine.
This Martha Stewart recipe is Roast Turkey with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze. The turkey is also seasoned with salt and pepper. The recipe calls for the cavity to be filled with Pecan Cornbread Dressing. Again, the basic procedure of removing the neck and giblets, tying the legs, and basting at regular intervals is followed.
It will be noted that the simple Thanksgiving Turkey recipes follow the same procedure. The variations will usually be in the stuffing ingredients. Even the cooking time involved is not much different. To make sure that the turkey is done, it would be best to insert an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh.
We can always experiment with ingredients if we would like to produce unique flavors without sacrificing simplicity in preparation. Every year is a chance anyway to produce something new. Thanksgiving is simply more exciting with a Thanksgiving Turkey on our table. Online tutorials for cooking turkey can provide just the right visuals for easy following, if needed.
Bento meals originated from Japan but have become popular in many other countries. They are associated not only with taste but more so with their unique food arrangements that are nothing short of aesthetically appealing. Japanese homemakers have been whipping up wonderful bento meals for centuries so why don’t we take some inspiration from them and get creative with our own bento meals?
What Are Needed to Prepare Bento Meals?
For homemakers and parents who would want to prepare amazing bento meals for their families, all they’ll need are some basic food containers preferably with compartments, some time, and a lot of creative juices working. This is one way of encouraging children to eat their food with more gusto and excitement. There is actually no limit in the end product as long as imagination is at work.
Bento meals often inspired by Japanese cartoon characters or anime. Characters from comic books and video games are likewise often used. This should not prevent bento makers from being limited by these designs.
Tips in Creating Bento Meals
1. Observe proper proportion
The ratio of 4:3:2:1 is recommended as pertaining to rice, side dish, vegetables, and dessert. Of course, this can be adjusted to be more suitable for the intended recipient. Children will appreciate seeing common ingredients prepared with a twist.
2. Opt for bright -colored food items
Bright colors are very attractive to children. They are also very nice to work designs on. A combination of vegetables, fruits, and other ingredients in the right color match and contrast produce exceptionally beautiful edible creations.
3. Create designs around a theme
Bento meals designed around a theme produces more cohesive results. Homemakers can choose a different theme everyday to create excitement and anticipation for a child. Children tend to look forward to meal time if they know they have something different to look forward to for the day.
4. Use stencils for patterns and shapes
Not everyone has the hand for creating exact patterns and shapes. With the use of stencils however, cut outs will look very professional and realistic. Some shapes can be cut in random sizes and forms thus using free-hand can also be expected.
5. Avoid soggy food
Bento meals are lunch boxes. The problem with lunch boxes is that Â food tend to be soggy when eating time comes because of the need to close the boxes even when they are still hot. It is highly recommended to let food cool before closing the box.
What could be worse than opening your door to an unexpected house guest? Probably opening the door to five unexpected guests asking to spend the night due to an emergency? And then you remember, you have only enough food for your own family for the day since grocery day is tomorrow yet. These are the times you wish there is a courteous way of turning away visitors on your doorstep. But alas, there is none.
The only way not to encounter this potentially embarrassing situation is to be ready for guests at all times.
For those just starting out learning how to cook or for those who had just got bitten by the foodie bug, herbs can be a confusing part of the culinary world. These green sensations can look the same to the naked eye but each has their own flavor and can do different things for a particular dish. Here’s a starter’s guide to the world of herbs:
This herb is most known for its part in Pesto. Basil is commonly used in Mediterranean dishes. Use the basil leaves to flavour fish, meat and vegetable dishes or soups. It has a very strong flavor which intensifies with cooking.
If you’re wondering what Chives are and don’t recognize the picture, then imagine the strands chopped into small rings. These are usually added to foods because of its onion-like taste. Add them to soups, salads and stews but add them at the very last moment to preserve its flavor.
Also known as cilantro, coriander is a staple herb in most Asian and Indian dishes. The leaves are best added to poultry dishes, soups and vegetable stir-fry. Just be sure to buy fresh coriander leaves as the dried variety lacks flavor. Its seeds are an important ingredient in chutneys and curries.
This herb is used a lot in Middle Eastern cuisine especially in tabouleh, falafel and chickpea dishes. If you’ve ever come across a recipe that calls for persillade, then you’d be needing chopped parsley and garlic ins 50-50 mixture and a handful of breadcrumbs. This is usually called for in meat dishes.
If you love roasts then Rosemary is the herd for you. This herb goes well with roast potatoes, roast lamb and any roast fowl. You can also use the herb for its great aroma. Be careful to remove the leave after cooking and before serving.
Cheesecake is a popular dessert that many people love. Though most bakers are afraid to attempt this delicious delight, the truth is, there is a simple way to bake it: by not baking it at all. There is a way to make cheesecake without having to crack open an oven at all. The No-bake Cheesecake may be known to experienced bakers, those starting out may be surprised to find this trick to creating the classic dessert.
There are dozens of different recipes out there that can be used to create your own No-bake Cheesecake. But, in order to make it like the real thing, here are some tips on making your cheesecake so delicious, no one would think it wasn’t baked.
1. Make sure to whip your cream cheese. While some people simply mix it around the bowl, actually whipping it would ensure a perfectly creamy texture to your cheesecake.
2. Give your cheesecake enough time to set before adding your toppings. Since most toppings are fruit (fresh or canned), they would be coming complete with their own juices. Chill the mixture for around 45 minutes before placing any toppings to prevent the juices from mixing and messing up the formula.
3. Handle your cheesecake as little as possible before it has set. Too much movement can cause cracks and imperfections to form. Make sure it has completely set before moving it around.
With these three simple tips, you can be sure that your No-bake Cheesecake will come out beautifully.
Everybody loves ice cream. No matter your age, social status or citizenship, ice cream will always have a special place in your heart. The wide range of flavors is one of the best things about it. You can choose the classic vanilla flavor or be bold with candied bacon ice cream. It seems that you can make ice cream out of anything these days.
Homemade ice cream has many benefits. First, you get to personalize the flavor. It’s up to you to decide what you put into your ice cream. Another is that you are certain of the ingredients going into your dessert. You have the power to choose the freshest milk and the tastiest fruit. You can even make sugar-free, low-fat and organic ice cream.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker at home, then your arm and spatula would be your tools of the trade. Here are five easy steps to making your own ice cream:
1) Chill your ice cream mixture over an ice bath.
2) Pour your mixture into a durable freezer-friendly container and place it inside your freezer.
3)Â After around 45 minutes, check on your ice cream. If you begin to see ice crystals form at the edges, remove it from your freezer. With a spatula or whisk, stir it around vigorously until all frozen sections are broken up. Then, place it back into the freezer.
4) Do this every 30-45 minutes.
5) In about 2 to 3 hours, your ice cream would be ready.
It’s that simple to make ice cream without an ice cream maker. Just be sure to really put your strength into whipping up you ice cream and it would come out rich and smooth.
Tapenade is a delicious dip which is also used to liven up other dishes. For this recipe we used basil, but others use parsley. Some people also season it with salt and ground pepper, which for me is not necessary because the anchovies add some saltiness to it.
Makes 1-1/2 Cups
1/2 pound pitted mixed olives
2Â anchovy fillets, rinsed
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons capers
2 to 3 fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoonsÂ extra-virgin olive oil
Rinse the olives in cool water and place them in a food processor. Add the anchovy fillets, minced garlic, capers, basil leaves, lemon juice and olive oil. Process it for thirty seconds and then scrape the sides of the food processor bowl. Continue to process for another minute or two until the mixture forms a consistent paste mixture. Transfer it to a bowl and serve or store it in a sealed jar or container and refrigerate.
*Based on Alton Brownâ€™s recipe from the Food Network
Image from: giffconstable
This homemade vanilla ice cream makes use of ingredients which are easily available. Feel free to use real vanilla essence or vanilla pods if desired.Â Serve the ice cream with fresh fruits or with chocolate syrup for a yummier experience. Enjoy!
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon hot water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup low-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Combine the unflavored gelatin and water in a small bowl. Place the bowl in a larger bowl with hot water. Stir until the gelatin dissolves.
Next place the milk and sugar in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Do not let it boil.
Pour the gelatin mixture and vanilla essence into the saucepan. Stir well. Remove from heat and pour it into a shallow tin. Freeze.
Once it is frozen, transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Beat the mixture using electric beaters until it is white and creamy. Once the mixture has doubled in volume pour it into an airtight container. Freeze it until it becomes firm. Scoop and serve.
Photo Courtesy Of: Â timomcd
Potato and tuna salad is a filling dish that you can eat as a snack or to replace a light meal. This mayonnaise free recipe can also be served during parties as a side to meats. Add more vegetables such as celery or carrots if desired.
1 medium sized potato
100g can tuna in brine
1 spring onion, chopped
1 hard-boiled egg, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons low fat yoghurt
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Half fill a saucepan with water and place it over high heat. Bring it to a boil.
While waiting for the water to boil, scrub the potato and clean it in running water. Cut it into bite sized cubes.
When the water is ready, place the potatoes in the saucepan and cool it for 3-5 minutes or until it is tender. Pierce it with a fork to check if it is ready. Drain well and let it cool.
After, drain the tuna and reserve 2 teaspoons of brine. Place it in a medium sized bowl along with the spring onions and egg.
Meanwhile, combine the curry powder, yogurt and reserved brine. Mix well. Â Pour it over the potatoes, egg and spring onions. Toss gently to combine.Â Season it with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Photo Courtesy Of: Â Â vintage_queen
Coleslaw also known as Ensalada de Repollo y Zanahoria Â is a perfect add on to hotdog sandwiches, burgers or any type of sandwich. ItÂ Â also a popular side dish served Â in fast food restaurants and hotdog stands in Colombia.
Makes 3 cups
2 cup carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 1/2 cups green cabbage, cut into chunks
2 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 cup white onion, chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
Juice and rind of 1 lime
Salt and black pepper
Pinch of ground cumin
Put the cabbage, carrots and onions in a food processor or blender. Process it for 1 minute or until the vegetables are finely chopped.
Place the vinegar, sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, salt, pepper, cumin powder, lime juice and lemon rind in a small bowl. Whisk until well.
Combine the cabbage mixture and the mayonnaise mixture in a medium sized bowl. Mix well. Adjust the taste by adding more salt or sugar if desired. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Photo Courtesy Of: Â giffconstable
Mesquite is a legume plant that is found in the northern part of Mexico. The bean pods can be ground into flour and used for breads to add a sweet taste. As a marinade it gives a sweet smoky flavor to meats.
For best results, marinate the meat for 24 hours in the refrigerator and allow it to cool completely before grilling.
Yields 3 cups
1 cup olive oil
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup red wine
3 tablespoons minced garlic
Juice of 2 lemons or lime
4 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the olive oil, rice wine vinegar and red wine in a small pot. Add the garlic, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well until the sugar is dissolved.
Next get a piece of mesquite wood soaked in water. Place it over hot coals on the grill. We want the wood to smoke and not flame up. Adjust the heat as needed.
Put the pot beside the wood and allow it to be smoked for 20-30 minutes. If you are using a covered outdoor grill, you may cover it so that the smoke can easily infuse into the marinade.
Add more red wine and lemon juice to adjust the taste. Let it cool completely. Store it in an sealed jar or container and refrigerate until needed.
Photo Courtesy Of: Â kretyen
Tortellini is an Italian stuffed pasta which is similar to a ravioli except that it is ring shaped. It often contains meat such as prosciutto or minced pork, although some variations contain cheese. They can be served in soups or as pasta dishes. Here is a simple recipe that you can enjoy as is or build upon. Enjoy!
5 1/2 cupsÂ all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoonÂ olive oil
1 tablespoonÂ butter
400gÂ ground beef
1Â small onion, finely chopped,
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the flour in a bowl and form a well at the center. Put the eggs and olive oil at the center. Mix well.
Gradually add water into the bowl while mixing until you form a ball. If it becomes too dry add some water, but if it is wet add some flour. After, place the ball of dough on a floured surface and knead it until it becomes smooth. Cover it with a piece of cloth and let it stand for 20 minutes.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. SautÃ© the garlic and onions for 1-2 minutes until the fragrant and the onions are soft. Add the beef and cook it for 3-5 minutes or until the meat is cooked and browned. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in half of the Parmesan cheese.
Divide the dough into two and roll it out until it is 1/8th of an inch. Cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch squares. Put half a teaspoon of beef filling at the center of the pasta square. Fold it in half to form a triangle. Press the edges together and then roll the ends to form a ring. Set it on a tray. Repeat this for the remaining ingredients. Let the tortellini stand for 20-30 minutes or until it becomes dry.
While waiting for the tortellini to dry up. Half fill a large pot with water. Place it over high heat and bring it to a boil. Drop a few pieces of tortellini into the pot. So not overcrowd them. Cook the meat filled pasta for 2-3 minutes or until they float to the surface.
Remove the cooked tortellini with a slotted spoon and place them on a large bowl. Add the butter and gently toss until the tortellinis are coated. Season it with salt and pepper if desired. Divide it into serving plates and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Photo Courtesy Of: Â andrewmalone
This unique cheese spread has a combination of nutty, sweet, spicy and salty tastes. It is a perfect dip for cocktail parties or barbecues. It is often served with crackers, but it goes well with nachos or tortilla chips too. If you want a sharper cheesy taste, go for cheddar instead of cream cheese. I also love using the grated cheese mixes that you can find in the supermarket. They definitely add to this dipâ€™s interesting flavor.
Makes 2 cups
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
4 teaspoons of jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
8 oz. cream cheese
Crackers, for serving
Place the cranberries, brown sugar, orange juice, jalapenos, lemon juice and five-spice powder in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it summer uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture is thick. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until it becomes light and fluffy. You may use an electric mixer if desired. Fold in the cranberry mixture. Add the sliced almonds and orange zest. Mix well until all the ingredients are well combined. Serve warm or at room temperature with assorted crackers.
Photo Courtesy Of: Â Â quinn.anya
Chicken and chili flautas are just like baked mini burritos. They remind me of egg rolls with a Latin American twist.
For the Chicken, you may use roasted chicken or stir-fried chicken breast fillets. I also suggest that you use white meat and refrain from adding chicken skin for better texture. If you decide to do so, please make sure that it is finely chopped.
3 cups cooked chicken, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1 can green chili, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 pack frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
Guacamole for serving
Salsa for serving
Preheat the oven at 425F and slightly grease a baking sheet.
Combine the chicken, chili, onions and cheese in a large bowl. Mix well and then refrigerate covered for at least 30 minutes.
Take the thawed puff pastry and place it on a lightly floured surface. With a rolling pin, roll it out to make a 12×9 inch rectangle. Cut it into nine pieces.
Put 2 tablespoons of chicken filling on each rectangle. Make sure that it is near the edge of the longer side. Roll the pastry to enclose the filling. Wet the edges with water to seal it. Repeat this for the remaining pastry and filling.
Place the flautas seam side down on the greased baking sheet. Bake them for 20-30 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove from oven and let it stand for 2 minutes. Serve warm with guacamole and salsa.
Photo Courtesy Of: Â the.dugger
I love chips with dip especially nachos. I can eat it with salsa or a cheesy sauce, but one thing is for sure. It is definitely delicious when it has loads of toppings. This cheesy taco dip reminds me of just that. It is the perfect party food or you can simply whip it up for lazy weekends when you feel like eating chips while watching television. This sinful treat is best made with fresh tomatoes, but you may also use canned ones if you wish.
2 lbs. ground beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium sized green pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1 lb. cheddar or processed cheese, 3/4 cubed and 1/4 grated
16 oz. taco or tomato sauce
1 lb. fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 bottle black olives, drained and sliced
10 oz. canned green chili, drained
4 oz. canned mushroom pieces and stems, drained and chopped
1 cup sour cream
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. SautÃ© the garlic and onions for 2-3 minutes or until they are light brown and the onions are soft. Add the beef and green pepper. Cook it for 8-10 minutes until the beef is browned and crumbled. Pour in the taco sauce and then add the cubed cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, chili and olives. Â Let it simmer for 4-6 minutes or until the cheese melts and the sauce is warmed through. Transfer the sauce to a large bowl or baking dish. Pour the sour cream over it and sprinkle it with grated cheese. Serve warm with tortilla chips.
Photo Courtesy Of: Â Â Patrick Haney