Monday, November 30, 2009

Great Recipes For Vegetarian Kids

By Mike Jackson

Bringing up vegetarian kids can be tough. A parent will need to make sure that their children have enough dairy and protein in their diet. Even if your child is not vegetarian but you would like him or her to eat more veggies you should make these recipes for vegetarian youngsters.

Not just healthy, they are tasty and fun to make too.

Vegetable curry - This can be made by chopping some potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, aubergine and zucchini into bite-size pieces and boiling them in coconut milk with curry paste. This healthy dish is a great way to get your kids used to spices. Make the curry mild at first and then make it hotter as your children get used to it.

Spinach ravioli - It is possible to buy packet spinach ravioli or make them yourself. You can make these fun to eat but discussing how many to make and involving the kids. Alternative fillings are cheese or mushrooms. Serve the ravioli with a tomato sauce and sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese. The advantage is this recipe is that it uses spinach which many children will not eat.

Vegetable quesadillas - These are very quick and easy to prepare. Place cheese and green and red peppers between two tortilla pieces and toast in your toaster or under the grill until cheese melts and the quesadilla is stuck together. Serve with a home-made salsa incorporating tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Cover with sour cream. This recipe for vegetarian children is very colourful and tastes great.

Grilled vegetable sandwich - Cut some peppers, courgettes, eggplant, onions and tomatoes and marinate in olive oil and dark balsamic vinegar with pepper and salt. Cook the vegetables in the over or on a grill pan until they are soft. Use them to fill toasted slices of whole-wheat bread or herby bread. This healthy lunch recipe for vegetarian youngsters can be served with home-made chips.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

How To Make Apple Cider

By Andy Garvin

Apple cider is a classic New England beverage that can be consumed and enjoyed on several occasions. It's typically a holiday treat served during Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Traditionally, apple cider is made from unfiltered apple juice, often served hot and flavored with spices. If you're planning to treat your holiday guests to this delicious drink, you'll want to have a good apple cider recipe on your hands.

One hot apple cider recipe calls for maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, and orange and lemon peels. The main component is apple cider itself, which can either be purchased or homemade. A cider press can help you extract the juice from the apples if you want your cider to be more authentic. However, this takes a lot of time and patience and it's more practical to just buy some.

No one will frown upon you for this, especially after they taste how good your cider is. Whichever you decide, when you have your apple cider, you mix it with maple syrup in a sauce pan, and then you wrap the cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries and fruit peels in a cloth and drop it into the cider and syrup mixture. Then you simply heat the sauce pan until the cider is hot but not boiling. At this point, you take out the spice bundle and the apple cider is ready to serve.

Variations on the hot apple cider recipe can switch up the spices and flavorings used. Some examples of additional ingredients are nutmeg, brown sugar and cardamom. If you want a richer texture and flavor, you can add butter, and if you plan to make your apple cider alcoholic, you can add some rum or brandy to the mix.

If you're looking for a cold apple cider recipe, it uses similar ingredients except you may use juices, like orange and lemon juice instead of maple syrup and peels. Stir everything in a punch bowl and chill the mixture, and then you're done. Cold apple cider can also be made from a hot apple cider recipe-in this case, you chill the mixture that you've heated instead of serving it right away. Using the same recipe to make both hot and cold apple cider can satisfy everyone's temperature preferences. But regardless of whether it's hot or cold, drinking apple cider is a great way to celebrate the fall or winter season. Just make sure that there's enough to go around!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine: Why I am in Love With a Kitchen Appliance

By Michelle Robert

If you enjoy cooking, then you are like so many folks who absolutely love a good kitchen product or new tool! Any product that helps in cooking better, faster, or more efficiently is awesome. And it is especially nice if it is easy to clean too!

This is why I was very interested to learn about the Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine. As I researched this product, I have found what a versatile machine it is, as it can help in so many cooking and baking needs. I especially love that, for many people, it has become the most useful cooking appliance in the kitchen.

Shredder, slicer, grinder (with additional available attachments) as well as a traditional mixer for making dough for nearly any baking project...the Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine really does it all. It is like having a new toy in the kitchen. Bosch Universal owners also enjoy the fact that clean-up is extremely easy too!

What is particularly useful about this machine is that you can basically eliminate all those other additional kitchen appliances. It comes with good-size bowl, dough hook for up to 12 pounds of dough, and twin wire whisks, but with the additional available accessories and attachments, there really is no limit to what it can do!

With a powerful motor and the Bosch reputation for great quality, the Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine will be around for all of your cooking and baking needs for many years, and as such is an investment that is worth making.

Whether you are a professional chef or novice cook - this is one kitchen appliance that will be a welcome addition to any kitchen. Functional, efficient, versatile, and built to last forever, the Bosch Universal Kitchen Machine will be loved by anyone who loves being in their kitchen!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Flowers Can Taste As Good As They Look - Cooking With Flowers

By Adam Fowler

Not only do flowers add a lot of flavour to your recipes but they look beautiful too. There are easy ways to add flowers to your main dishes, your soups, salads, desserts and appetisers. Cooking with flowers makes bouquets so good you can eat them. Go ahead and eat them, they are yummy.

Even though not every flower you see is going to be safe to eat there are lot of flowers that are both beautiful and edible. They make decorative additions to your recipes and they add great flavours as well. Soups are spectacular with flowers floating on top. Edible flowers are not just pretty and tasty but they do add nutritional value to your ingredients. The next special dinner that you make will be very remarkable with the addition of a few edible flowers.

Try to find flowers that are organically grown. Ask your florist what they recommend and how they would suggest you use the flowers in your cooking. Always be sure to wash them carefully like you do with your vegetables that you cook.

As a general rule for dishes that are sweet try using violets, citrus or apple blossoms and carnation petals. Main dishes do well with broccoli florets and herbs. Vegetables that have edible flowers are arugula, okra, broccoli, fennel, and the male squash flowers. The flowers of the arugula have a nutty taste like horseradish. The whole fennel plant is edible and the flowers taste like aniseed which goes well with salmon.

To add freshness to any of your recipes you can always add in herbal flowers. The leaves of the herbs produce edible flowers like dill, dandelion, basil, lavender, rosemary, mint, thyme, chives and sage. The flowers of the herbs can be preserved in oil for cooking and the lavender makes a sugar that is an amazing sweetener for cookies, jelly and tea. Rosemary has tiny buds that work really well in meat dishes or salads. The flowers of the dill go well in omelets while the buttery flavour and look of the dandelion flowers have a peppery kick to them once eaten. The flowers of the chive are a crunchy addition to salads and the flavour is that of a mild onion.

The ornamental flowers that are edible are pansies, calendula, day lilies, hollyhock, chamomile, impatiens, bergamot, , chrysanthemum, nasturtiums, violets, tulips, violas and scented geraniums.

For spicing up your salads or adding interest to your soup by floating flower petals is a good addition to your menu. Crystallizing hollyhock flowers are good dessert garnishments. The main dishes like omelettes, souffles, rice dishes and breads go well with calendula. There is a peppery flavor with nasturtiums and they pair well with guacamole or cheese. The day lilies taste a lot like asparagus so they work really well in a stir fry dish or in soups.

Edible flowers from trees include apple, hibiscus, honeysuckle, roses, lilacs, plum, pear, and peach. Rose petals can be crystallized and then made into jellies or jams. Of course, edible roses are wonderful for decorating cakes. No matter what flower you choose to add to your recipes, it is always the best idea to buy from a reputable dealer who can give you expert advice.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Mashed Potatoes; Easy And Delicious Side Dish For Generations

By Ben Cook

Almost every household in nearly every country knows the delights of mashed potatoes. They may be called something different but they are still that creamy, luscious mounds of goodness that is very popular during Thanksgiving or any other time of the year. In the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind mashed potatoes were a major part of the plot and they are definitely a major part of dinner. The definition of mashed potatoes is creamy, buttery and fluffy potatoes but in some places they are lumpy and still very good.

Mashed potatoes can be simple with just a bit of butter, milk, salt and pepper added or they can be a little more complicated with garlic, green onions, or cheese added. Some recipes get very complicated adding a variety of other vegetables, meat product like bacon, and gourmet cheese and then they are baked again making the twice baked potato that is actually mashed potatoes heated up twice.

There are even instant mashed potatoes, although not nearly as tasty as real ones. They haven't been around all that long either being patented in'62 by Canadian scientist Edward Asselbergs. He invented the process of dehydrating mashed potatoes that is used today even though some earlier methods were patented in'12 and'54. Today we can even go to the grocery store and purchase tubs of real potatoes that have been already mashed for us and all we have to do is heat them up in the microwave.

A method of making mashed potatoes is to just boil them and mash it with a fork adding only butter. People that like this method enjoy the true flavor of the potato and say that processing it in a mixer damages the potato making it too sticky and starchy. Lots of people like that sticky and starchy texture and this is the way they make them. Some people mash with a wire masher first and then add things to the potatoes or they put them in an electric mixer. An old way to make them is to use an old fashion ricer which is a metal basket with holes in it with a handle and blade. You put the potatoes in the basket and turn the handle which moves the blade squishing the potatoes through the small holes in the basket. The bi product can be whipped up easily making a very smooth mashed potato.

A simple mashed potato recipe uses russet potatoes but other good potatoes to use for mashed are Idaho and Yukon Gold. The ingredients needed to make Simple Mashed Potatoes are:Two and one half pounds potatoes, peeled and cut in chunksOne fourth cup milk, One fourth cup butter, One half teaspoon salt, One half teaspoon black pepper. Instructions are as follows: Place potato chunks in 4 quarts of water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once it boils reduce heat to medium low and cover the pot. Let it simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until poked with a fork the potatoes feel soft. Drain potatoes and transfer to a large bowl and mash with a wire masher or place in a mixer bowl and whip them for a few minutes. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper and mix until potatoes become smooth and creamy. This will serve about six people.

Another variation is to make mashed potatoes with cheese and sour cream. Peel and cut into chunks 8 to 10 potatoes and place them in enough water to cover in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil and boil about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes and put in a mixer bowl. Whip for a few minutes then add 8 ounces cream cheese, one half of a 16 ounce carton of sour cream, and six tablespoons butter. Combine well than add one fourth teaspoon garlic salt and one fourth teaspoon pepper. Mix in well. You have the option of adding one half cup shredded Cheddar while whipping or placing it on top and letting it melt.

Always employ and down motion when using a wire masher instead of a side to side so that the cells of the potato do not release all the starch. Never use cold butter on mashed potatoes; instead it should be softened at room temperature. You can warm your milk before adding but never let it boil. This will ensure your potatoes are warm when you serve them. Use chicken stock instead of milk to give a different flavor but make sure to taste before adding any salt. The stock has salt in it already and you may make them too salty.

Everyone will enjoy your mashed potatoes along with dinner just as they have for many years before. Add bacon, green onions or chives and many different things to make them different every time you serve them. You can place butter or sour cream on top, or try cheese and the every popular gravy. There will never be left overs of mashed potatoes after dinner

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Plan Thanksgiving Dinner - A Step By Step Guide

By Angela Tyler

Planning Thanksgiving dinner and preparing it can be very stressful, especially if you have a large family or are expecting a number of guests. In order to make Thanksgiving more enjoyable for yourself as well as your guests, some advance planning and preparation will work wonders. Use these tips to make your holiday a stress-free, memorable occasion:

10 Days Prior To Thanksgiving:

About 10 days prior to Thanksgiving, or at least one week, get your list together of folks who are invited and contact anyone you haven't spoken to as yet. This will give you plenty of time to prepare for the amount of food and seating. Be sure to jot down next to your guest list names any special food needs or dishes that anyone is bringing to the meal.

Now that you have your guest list you can figure out the size of the turkey. You'll want about one to one and a half pounds of turkey for each person; more if you want leftover turkey. You may want to buy a fresh turkey, so check with your market now for availability. Or, you may want a frozen turkey, a smoked turkey, or even a deep fried turkey. Now is the time to make that decision.

A final menu should be ready at least a week before Thanksgiving. Look at your guest list and adjust your menu to take into consideration the younger children, big eaters, or anyone with a special dietary need. Offering the children onion-less stuffing in a separate casserole might make their meal a bit more special.

Thanksgiving Week:

The week of Thanksgiving is the time to stock up on necessary items from the grocery store. You can make certain items in advance such as bread or rolls, and freeze them until Thanksgiving morning. Also make sure you have supplies such a napkins, cups, etc.

The Days Leading Up To Thanksgiving:

A couple of days prior to Thanksgiving you can prepare a few items in advance to save time on the big day.

Things like cranberry sauce or relish can be stored in your refrigerator for a few days. You may want to cut up onions, celery, and any like items and store them in plastic ware to save time on Thanksgiving morning. You may want to prepare some side dishes the night before Thanksgiving; items like Green Bean Casserole store just fine overnight. Prepare your pies and cakes now, as well. If you have items in the freezer, they should come out now and go in the refrigerator.

Double check your Thanksgiving menu shopping list and make sure everything on it is ready and waiting in your kitchen during these last two or three days before Thanksgiving.

Get out your games, decorations, and special serving pieces for Thanksgiving. If you have kids, be sure to involve them in the game planning at the very least. If they are old enough, be sure they are included in decorating the house and table. Now is the time to get out your special table linens and wash and iron them if necessary.

If you have purchased a frozen turkey, take it out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator 3 days prior to cooking to give it plenty of time to thaw. Following the thawing instructions on the turkey to the letter.

Thanksgiving Morning Is Here:

It's Thanksgiving morning and you are all set! Your turkey is thawed and ready to stuff. Figure out the timing to roast your turkey using the time table on the packaging. Prepare your bird, stuff it, and get it ready for the oven in your roasting pan. Plan your side dish cooking schedule. Prepare any side dishes and desserts that you were unable to prepare overnight; peeling potatoes, etc. Wash dishes as you go to prevent a pile up during dinner.

Now it's time to set the table, and take a break! Enjoy the aromas already wafting through your house... that is the smell of a wonderfully planned and prepared Thanksgiving dinner. Good for you! You have successfully created a memorable Thanksgiving without all the stress. Go light the candles and relax with your guests!

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Easy Homemade Vegetarian Meals

By Kristen Thorpe

Vegetarian recipes give you a whole lot of options for daily meals. They are completely healthy and can be made in less time than non- vegetarian dishes. It is good sometimes to change the tastes in food that you prepare. These will be healthier than regular meals made with meat. If you want to do this more often, don't worry; some vegetables contain enough protein to provide you with the amount you need daily. You can prepare different dishes and different meals throughout the day i.e., breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks. Of course you would need the right cooking materials too.

For breakfast, you can have veggie quiches with soy sausage. It contains eggs and soy sausage, which can either be cooked or chopped. Add in broccoli, spinach or any kind of vegetable- chopped and spread over the meal. It would take you just 12-15 minutes to prepare this healthy and delicious meal for everyone. This type of breakfast contains all the healthy nutrients needed and certainly provides you with the energy you need for the entire day. Fresh Strawberry, sliced on top of whole-wheat crackers can be a good choice too. You can also spray cream cheese on it, to make it even tastier.

It is good to have snacks during certain times of the day, than eating a lot for breakfast. You can have whole wheat crackers with fresh strawberry- sliced on top of it. It is tasty and refreshing too. For lunch, you can have mini wheat pizzas. It is a very important vegetarian meal, which can also be made in very little amount of time. You will need whole wheat English muffins and eating them will be real healthy; as they contain lots of grains and fibers. For the sausage, you can either buy the ones from the store or make mariana sausage at home. It can be cooked in garlic powder or virgin olive oil and the whole process takes only 8 to 10 minutes.

A quick smoothie drink with frozen berries makes delicious and quick snack partners. You may add soymilk, or some ice cream that are made organically. Teriyaki flavored tofu can be made for dinner and your family will give you high praises for this dish. To make it great tasting, use grape seed oil. Whether you plan on making vegetables meals or for snacks in the afternoon, everything will go as planned, if you have all your cooking materials ready. Be sure that you everything set, from pans to knives. This way, meals will be done even faster.

As you may have already heard, vegetables are a great way to keep the sick days away. They contain various essential nutrients that keep the body healthy and functioning well. Don't get the wrong idea that vegetable food does not taste good; this is totally wrong. All you need are fresh and new recipes to create healthy dishes that delight the senses. Vitamins and minerals are what bodies need to perform its best and also make people feel better. Wouldn't you want this?

Vegetables are great sources of minerals and vitamins for the body. Various studies have linked a healthy diet to a decrease in the ageing process. So don't hesitate, get all your kitchen materials ready and create great tasting dishes and snacks with vegetable ingredients.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Belgian Chocolate the True Chocolate Lovers Dream Come True

By Thomas Crown

I love chocolate, there I said it I admit I am a chocoholic. However there is just one type of chocolate that is the true chocolate and that is Belgian Chocolate. This type is a dream come true for a true chocolate lover, in this article I will try to focus and tell you all about this treat from the chocolate gods. I know you are probably going to say that I am biased when it comes to talk about chocolates. This may be true but this is better than just chocolate, it is Belgian Chocolate.

We begin with properly defining Belgian Chocolate. This version of chocolate has been around since the'th Century and many people have become addicted to it since then. With a variety of candy processing companies producing some pretty good chocolate the desire for chocolate has increased significantly.

What is it that separate Belgian Chocolate from all the other chocolates of the world? Simply put, it's the craftsmanship that goes into manufacturing this treat. Unlike any other sort of chocolate that's sped through a machine and produced at an unimaginable amount of speed, Belgian Chocolate is more about quality not quantity.

The manufacturing companies of Belgian Chocolate to this very day still make their chocolate by hand with some of the same equipment which was used when the first piece of chocolate was made. The makers of Belgian Chocolate take pride in developing the best chocolate in the universe which is evident in every delicious bite.

What's even more intriguing about Belgian Chocolate is that it comes in a variety of flavors including but not limited to truffles that have mouth-watering fillings that are just incomparable. These truffles come in exotic flavors which cannot be duplicated anywhere else in the world.

If you are looking for a gift that will absolutely blow a person away then you will want to buy them an assortment of Belgian Chocolate truffles that will show a person how much you really care about them.

There are a number of people that are under the impression that Belgian Chocolate is no different than any other kind of chocolate being sold; however, this is so far from the truth. Contrary to popular opinion, criticism or debate, Belgian Chocolate is unlike any other chocolate on this earth.

Since this chocolate treat is not available at the local store level, you will have to make a special trip in order to purchase it. You might also be able to find an online store to make shopping easier.

In closing the important things to remember is that if you have a person in your family that loves chocolates then you will want to spend the extra money and buy them Belgian Chocolates. This will be like a dream come true for them and it will be a gift that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Explore new flavors in recipes this holiday

(ARA) - Holiday tunes on the radio, mistletoe hanging in strategic locations and the scent of pine lingering in the air - it's the perfect time to get into the kitchen and discover some new cooking flavors that will keep your taste buds happy and give your house a warm, yummy smell.

Not only does cooking in the kitchen gather everyone together during the holidays, but it provides the opportunity for some creative thinking about new recipes and ways to put a different twist on traditional favorites.

Experimenting with recipes allows you to explore new cooking flavors, either by using unique and new spices, or by combining different ingredients for a different taste.

One flavor many cooks often forget to try is vanilla, which has a heady, aromatic taste combined with sweet, fruity and floral scents. Vanilla beans are grown in primarily four locations around the world - Madagascar, Indonesia, Mexico and Tahiti - and each variety of bean can be used to enhance both sweet and savory flavors.

Nielsen-Massey's Pure Vanillas are cold extracted to slowly draw out the delicate flavors of the beans. Gourmet food shops, bakers, chefs of fine restaurants and manufacturers of premium ice creams use these vanillas because of their quality and varying flavors.

To experiment with the flavors of vanilla in your kitchen, try starting with this drink recipe:

Vanilla Peppermint Pattitini

Serves two


2 ounces vodka

2 ounces half and half or cream

1 heaping tablespoon hot cocoa mix

1/4 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Peppermint Extract

1/2 teaspoon pure chocolate extract

1/2 teaspoon pure Tahitian vanilla extract (Madagascar or Mexican if preferred)


Chocolate syrup

Mini candy cane


Add all ingredients except the syrup and candy cane in a shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into chilled martini glasses. Garnish with a swirl of chocolate syrup and candy cane.

For a great holiday dinner, consider cooking duck instead of chicken or turkey. "A Century of Flavor" cookbook offers the following recipe:

Duck Breast with Tahitian Pomegranate Chutney

Serves four


For the Tahitian Pomegranate Chutney:

1 cup 100 percent pomegranate juice

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 tart apple, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)

1 Bosc pear, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1/2 cup raisins

For the Duck Breast

4 duck breasts

salt and freshly ground pepper


For the chutney, combine the juice, sugar, vanilla extract and vinegar in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring frequently. Add the apple, pear, walnuts and raisins. Cook for five to eight minutes or until the fruit is tender, stirring frequently.

For the duck, preheat the oven to 400 F. Score the skin of each duck breast at a 45-degree angle approximately four times. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Coat with nonstick cooking spray. Place the duck breasts skin side down in the pan. Sear for four minutes. Turn and sear for an additional two minutes.

Place a wire rack in a 9 by 13-inch roasting pan and coat the rack with nonstick cooking spray. Place the duck on the rack. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes or to the desired degree of doneness. Plate with the Tahitian Pomegranate Chutney and wild rice.

And for dessert, try this cookie recipe:

Crisp Vanilla Butter Cookies

Makes two dozen cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar

1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chocolate pieces of choice


Cream the butter, confectioners' sugar and vanilla powder in a mixing bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt on low speed until just blended. Place the dough on parchment paper and shape into a 12-inch long log. Chill between 3 to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Coat an insulated cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Cut the dough log into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place on the cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Place the cooled cookies on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Place the chocolate pieces in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on "high" for 15 seconds. Repeat at five-second intervals, stirring and checking the consistency. The chocolate is ready when it freely drips from the spoon in a fine line. Spoon the chocolate into a large plastic food storage bag. Twist the bag until the chocolate is in one corner and then trim the tip of the bag. Drizzle the chocolate over the cookies.

Variation: Add 1/2 teaspoon of any pure flavor extract, such as chocolate, almond, lemon, orange or coffee, to the cookie dough to create a signature cookie.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wholesome Cooking at Home

(ARA) - We all want to eat a nutritious diet that helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases and manage cholesterol levels. The same holds true for diabetics; in fact, many of the guidelines for a balanced diabetic diet are useful for anyone who wants to stick to a healthful diet.

With all the refined sugars and processed carbohydrates found in today's grocery aisles and neighborhood markets, it's easy to see why anyone who is concerned about his or her health is intimidated by the idea of whipping up a healthy meal at home. Even though you have countless, long-forgotten cookbooks on your shelves and have visited various cooking Web sites, there aren't many recipes there that can offer you a healthful meal that won't send your blood sugar through the roof.

The American Diabetes Association recommends choosing whole grain, high-fiber foods and plenty of vegetables and fruits - the same foods that most people eat when they decide to follow a nutritious meal plan. Additionally, the ADA encourages diabetics to include "good" fats in appropriate portion sizes to reap the benefits of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, and omega-3 fatty acids. While many recipes might appear incompatible with nutritious diabetic eating, it's easier than you think to make them friendlier to a flavorful carbohydrate-controlled diet. Here are some tips:

Have a recipe that calls for a cup of sugar? Try cutting the amount in half and increasing the amount of spices in the recipe to amp up the natural sweetness.

Trying a recipe that asks for half a cup of butter or cream? Puree a medium-sized avocado in a blender or food processor and add more liquid to your mixture until you get the same creamy consistency.

The American Diabetes Association recommends avocados as a source of monounsaturated fat. Avocados have only 50 calories and less than 3 grams of carbohydrates per three-slice serving (or 1 ounce). The fat in avocados is two-thirds monounsaturated fat. According to the American Heart Association, mono- and polyunsaturated fats may actually help reduce cholesterol when consumed in moderation and substituted for saturated fat or trans fat in your diet.

Try incorporating avocados into your everyday meals to reap the benefits of nearly 20 vitamins and minerals and 1 gram of fiber per serving. By using appropriate amounts in pasta sauce, dips and garnishes for your favorite soups and salads, you can include avocados from Mexico year-round in your favorite dishes to add smooth texture and rich taste without putting your cholesterol levels at risk.

To get the best taste out of your avocado, buy avocados from Mexico ripe for immediate use, or firm for creating nutritious meals later in the week. Firm avocados will ripen to perfection when held at room temperature for one to three days. When they yield to gentle pressure, they're ready for the cooking to begin.

This holiday season, what better way to use your turkey leftovers than in a healthy, delicious sandwich? Try this recipe for a turkey sandwich with spicy avocado spread. For more recipes and ideas on how to incorporate avocados into your diet, visit

Turkey Sandwich with Spicy Avocado Spread

Makes: Four servings (1 cup of avocado spread)


2 fully ripened avocados from Mexico, halved, pitted and peeled

1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle hot sauce

8 slices whole grain bread, toasted

8 ounces sliced cooked turkey

1 large ripe tomato, sliced

1 cup alfalfa sprouts


In large bowl, mash together avocados, lime juice, salt and chipotle sauce. Spread on each bread slice. Top four of the bread slices with turkey, tomato and sprouts, dividing equally; cover with remaining bread slices. Garnish with sliced avocado, if desired.

Per serving: 355 calories, 22 grams protein, 16 grams fat, 36 grams carbohydrate

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Pumpkin for Every Occasion

By Ken Kudra

Pumpkins are a specific type of squash in North America that is usually orange in color. In some places, however, any winter squash can be called a pumpkin. While this may be a bit confusing for those of us in North America, it is refreshing to know that there are more things to do with a pumpkin than carve it or make it into a pie.

Both the pumpkin seeds and the flesh are completely edible. The seeds are a great source for zinc in your diet. They can be roasted and enjoyed as a snack or as an addition to yogurt, breads, cereals and lots more. Anyone who has tasted butternut squash or pumpkin pie will have an idea of what pumpkin tastes like. It makes a great sweet or savory dish.

Pumpkin can be roasted whole to make a lovely vegetable dish. You can also make sweet breads using pumpkin. Add some cranberries for a holiday flair. Pumpkin butter makes a delicious change of pace on your morning toast. It is a smooth spread that can also be used on sandwiches, or add a large spoonful in your morning granola with a bit of yogurt for a new breakfast treat. Do not forget to add in some delicious toasted seeds as well.

Make pumpkin into cupcakes, muffins, and cakes. Pour the batter into a jellyroll pan to make a flat cake. Use cream cheese filling and roll it up for a yummy pumpkin roll. Pumpkin cheesecake is a common fall offering in many restaurants and grocery stores. Try making your own instead... it is not difficult. Use pumpkin in cookies and puddings to add more of this tasty vegetable to your diet.

Classic pumpkin soup is a delicious way to enjoy pumpkin. The creamy goodness is a great appetizer or you can make it a complete meal. Add some spices, or make it with roasted pumpkin to add even more flavor. Top it off with some chopped herbs or a swirl of sour cream to make it look as wonderful as it tastes.

Pumpkin is great to add to rice or pasta dishes. Try some delicious pumpkin risotto or make a filling for ravioli out of pumpkin. Mix chunks of pumpkin with other vegetables and make a roasted veggie dish. Mix pumpkin with cheese and polenta for something new. Pumpkin is full of vitamins like beta-carotene. Add more to your seasonal dishes and help boost your immune system for winter.

Have pumpkin for breakfast by making pumpkin pancakes, muffins, scones, or donuts. This versatile vegetable easily makes the transition from savory to sweet without a problem. Serve the pancakes with a whipped cream topping or maple syrup. You can even add cooked crumbled bacon to the batter before cooking the pancakes.

If you like dessert but you want something a little less sweet, try pumpkin ice cream or tarts. Adding pumpkin to your meal helps your family get the flavor of the season and get all their nutrition at the same time. Give the humble pumpkin a try.

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Pumpkin Soup Varieties Keep This Recipe Fresh

By Ken Kudra

Pumpkin soup is one of those recipes that has many variations. While most people think of only classic pumpkin soup, there are many other ways to create a soup out of pumpkin. One of the easiest recipes is for a honey roasted pumpkin soup. The ingredients are drizzled with honey before roasting. Then it is made into soup.

Another easy pumpkin soup variation to try is pumpkin and cheese. This is a simple soup you can make using canned pumpkin puree. Simply add in your ingredients like spices, cream, broth, brown sugar and some grated cheddar cheese. Serve this soup with some fresh rolls or melt some grated cheese on top until it is bubbly and delicious.

Another twist on classic pumpkin soup adds real maple syrup to the soup as well as some Marsala wine. The rich flavors blend together, creating an incredible meal. Be sure and use real maple syrup... the imitation syrups just will not have the same effect on the soup.

You can also influence your pumpkin soup by changing cuisines. There are pumpkin soups in Thai, Haitian, Mexican and Jamaican cuisines. The common spices of each cuisine make the difference, creating new flavor variations with the pumpkin.

If you want something more exotic, try corn pumpkin crab soup. This soup is creamy, yet it contains crab, corn, cayenne pepper, paprika, and nutmeg. The creaminess comes from a good dose of heavy cream. If you do not want the cream, leave it out. A little dried dill adds a tang to the final result. Either way, the soup is delicious and a bit unusual. Your family will love it. If you want, serve it as an appetizer to an Asian meal.

You can also add specialty ingredients to vary your pumpkin soup. Bacon adds a lot of flavor for a savory soup, while chocolate makes a delightful dessert soup. If you like spice, add some peppers, curry or other hot spices to add some zest to your soup. Mix up sausage and peanut butter with your pumpkin soup for a very delicious, distinctive flavor you will not soon forget. This fast recipe can be put together quickly when you do not have much time.

Traditional fall ingredients like apple are also commonly combined with pumpkin in soup. Other winter squashes like butternut or even sweet potatoes can be combined to add different levels of flavor. Herbs can be used to add different flavors to the soup. In summer, you can even make a chilled pumpkin soup that will work wonders at cooling down your guests.

It really does not matter what variation of pumpkin soup you make. The results will be a rich, delicious soup that will fill you up and warm you to your core. The velvety texture of this creamy soup is satisfying on all levels. It may become a new favorite for your family or friends. If cooking time is at a premium, throw your ingredients in the crockpot and let them cook all day long. You can enjoy it in the evening at your leisure.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fat Burning Foods: Healthy Dishes

By John Knight

A surefire way of burning fat is eating the right kind of food. By eating the right kind of food, you are able to speed up the metabolism process of your body in order to lose that extra weight. Thus, there are the so called fat burning foods.

This kind of food contains special and natural ingredients that help burn unwanted fats in our body. Truly accessible, this food can be bought in the market. Very natural, there are no dangerous side effects that one has to worry about, which can normally be found in processed foods. And so by regularly including in the diet these foods, plus proper exercise, you can effectively lose that extra weight and get in tip top shape.

Eggs are most common in terms of fat burning. They contain have fat burning ingredients that can certainly facilitate the healthy balance of your body. They can be cooked in so many different ways: scrambled eggs, fried eggs, poached eggs, boiled eggs, and other cooking techniques. You can also use eggs in combination with other ingredients, like for instance an omelet with cheese and mushrooms.

Seafood also ranks as one of the best fat burners. There are lots of different types of seafood such as crab, lobster, fish, etcetera. Not only is it great to help you burn fat but seafood is full of protein so you are getting other benefits as well.

Such other foods good for burning those unnecessary fat include: apples, apricots, asparagus, beets, beet greens, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cherries, chicory, cod, corn, cranberries, cucumber, dandelion greens, eggplant, garlic, grapes, green beans, and huckleberries. And also, there are lemons, lettuce, limes, mangoes, mushrooms, muskmelons, mustard greens, okra, onions, oranges, papaya, parsley leaves, peach, pears, peas, peppers, pineapple, prunes, pumpkin, radishes, raspberries, sorrel, spinach, squash, strawberries, string beans, tangerines, tomato, turnips, watercress, watermelon, all perfect for a fat burning diet.

However be reminded that consuming these foods is not enough. You must still continue to engage in physical activities in order to pace up the fat burning processes. It is only through toil and controlled diet and exercise that are you going to be able to get the best results. With the blend of eating fat burning foods and constant work out, you can certainly keep a good and healthy body.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Top 5 Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas

By Adriana Noton

Because breakfast provides people with the fuel to start the day, it is one of the most important meals of the day. Eating breakfast keeps one alert, awake, energetic, and focused. Because we all have busy lifestyles, it can often seem too time consuming to make breakfast. Fortunately, there are many quick and easy breakfast ideas that help one make time to have a good and healthy start to the day.

The following are top 5 quick and easy breakfast ideas:

1. Cereals are a popular way of getting a quick breakfast. There are many healthy cereals that contain oats, bran, and wheat. Popular healthy cereals include Mini-Wheats, Cheerios, and Raisin Bran. You can balance the meal with a piece of toast, fruit, and glass of milk. Both children and adults love this easy to make breakfast meal. You can also use a slow cooker to cook oatmeal overnight. In the morning you will have a hot and delicious meal. Add fruit and cinnamon to add flavor to the hot meal.

2. The night before, you can boil some eggs, peel them, and store them in the refrigerator. As well, mix different cut up pieces of fruit in a bowl and store in the refrigerator. In the morning you just have to warm up the boiled eggs and uncover your fruit bowl. It is quick and easy. Sprinkle some granola over the fruit and make a piece of toast or toasted English muffin.

3. A delicious breakfast sandwich is another easy to make meal. Toast an English muffin and spread butter or mayonnaise. Add several slices of cheese and a few slices of sliced deli meats. You can add veggies to the sandwich if you want. Along with the sandwich, have a glass of milk and some fruit or yogurt.

4. There are a number of easy breakfasts meals that do not require preparation. This can include: store bought sliced banana bread or muffins and breakfast bars that include cereal bars, oatmeal bars, and granola bars. Yogurt is another example of a quick food for people on the go. It is very healthy and you can add fruit and granola to the yogurt. There are a variety of yogurt flavors available. A fruit smoothie is another popular breakfast food. Just mix fruit, yogurt, and fruit juice in a blender and you have a thick and filling meal.

5. If you are making a mad rush out the door, grab a piece of fruit such as a banana. It will give you energy and keep your stomach from rumbling. You can even make a peanut butter sandwich the night before and eat it on the way to work. There are also special breakfast drinks you can purchase.

If you are one that has very little time in the mornings, before you go to bed, set the table for breakfast with bowls, glasses, spoons, cereal box, bread, butter, fresh fruit...etc. It will help cut down on breakfast preparation time. To have a productive day, a good breakfast is essential. Fortunately, there are many ways for you to make time to have something delicious and nutritious to eat.

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Expresso Coffee Is A Unique Experience

By Lucia Latte

The word espresso literally means brewed for you. This drink has been around since the early'00's. Actually the term expresso coffee has been around since the'00's but the method of making coffee in the Espresso method is much older than that. There is a lot of confusion about expresso coffee regarding whether it is the method of making the coffee, or if the term pertains to the coffee been used. There is also some question on how it should be drank.

It is commonly thought that Expresso coffee is based on a type of coffee bean. While there are particular beans that tend to be used in making Expresso coffee it is not the bean that makes Expresso different. In fact any coffee bean could be used to make a cup of Expresso coffee.

The blend of the beans is also something that is often credited with being what is different with Expresso coffee. Blends just like beans may be made with Expresso coffee in mind but this does not mean that a cup of coffee made with these blends is Expresso coffee.

The roast is also disassociated as being the difference with Expresso coffee. In fact there is no one single roast that is correct for Expresso coffee. Roast is a personal choice and there are different roasts that tend to be popular in different parts of the world. The traditional roast in Italy is a medium roast while California's tend to prefer a bold roast.

Most coffees are about what is in the coffee expresso coffee is about how the coffee was made It is the brewing is what separates expresso coffee from other coffees. Expresso coffee is actually an individually brewed cup of coffee as the name implies in Italian. Unlike most coffee drinks expresso coffee is a shot of coffee that has been brewed from a tablespoon of finely ground coffee beans. A proper definition of expresso coffee would be a shot of coffee produced under a high amount of pressure with very finely ground coffee beans.

Simply placing the grounds into the machine and pressing the button does not make a cup of Expresso coffee a good Expresso. A good cup of Expresso is more of an art like producing a fine wine. In order to do this properly it the grounds must be ground fresh and then placed in a metal device that resembles a filter and then packing those grounds down with a flat metal surface. Packing the grounds just right is important. The right packing will provide a nice silky like surface to the top of the Expresso coffee. This surface is known as the crema. Good crema is vital to an outstanding cup of Expresso coffee.

The way Expresso coffee is drank is as specialized as the way it is brewed. The proper method of drinking Expresso coffee is to lift the cup to just below the nose and then inhale the aroma. Savor this aroma and then drink the Expresso coffee in several large gulps almost like you would a good lager. Once the cup has been emptied it should be placed diligently onto the saucer.

It is not a sin to sweeten Expresso coffee but it is best savored just the way it was brewed. However if you are the type that just has to have a little sugar with your coffee feel free to add it to your Expresso coffee. In fact it is often done this way in Italy. No matter if you like it sweet or not enjoying a cup of Expresso can be a very unique and bold experience.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Slow Cooker Soups

By Ken Kudra

There is something so comforting about a nice hot bowl of soup. The soup warms you, making you feel cozy. Many people are intimidated at making homemade soup, but it actually is pretty easy once you have tried it a time or two. It is even easier when you use your slow cooker.

Soups for the Slow Cooker

Just about any kind of soup can be made successfully in a slow cooker. If you like simple soups like chicken noodle beef barley, the slow cooker can do it for you. If you like fancier soups like vichyssoise or French onion soup, your slow cooker can handle that too. Delicate soups like seafood chowder can also be made quickly in your slow cooker. If you prefer ethnic soups like Indian Dal or Mexican tortilla soup, you are good to go.

It does not matter what your favorite soup is... you can probably make it in your slow cooker. Leftovers work, too. If you have a ham bone left, toss it in with some split peas for yummy pea soup, or add some navy beans to make a hearty bean soup.

Cheddar cheese soup and clam chowder will also work in the slow cooker. That is the best thing about soup recipes in the slow cooker... you can make all the soups you like best. Noodles, rice, dumplings... they all can be made with the slow cooker.

Try Something New

Maybe you will want to try a soup you have never tasted before. Trying new dishes is fun! Take a chance and try a new slow cooker soup. Have you ever tried a taco soup? What about cheesy meatball soup or deviled chicken soup? Ever tried a garden cabbage soup? There are many different soups out there just waiting to become your new favorite!

All you need is a little inspiration to create your own slow cooker soups. Why not try making your own recipe? The slow cooker allows for imperfection. A tough piece of meat will be tenderized by the long cooking time. Vegetables and herbs add their flavors, creating a complex broth. Add a little milk or cream towards the end to create a nice creamy soup if you prefer. You are limited only by your imagination.

Traditional soups like chicken noodle, vegetable beef and chicken and dumplings always taste good, too. If you want to try something slightly different, tweak the ingredients. Maybe you would like to try a nice pork stew or turkey and dumplings. Tweaking your favorites can be fun.

You can even press your slow cooker into service after the holidays to make your day after easier. Add leftover turkey from Thanksgiving to the slow cooker to make a delicious turkey soup. Add rice, potatoes, or noodles, whichever you like best. Add in leftover vegetables like peas, squash, carrots, or leftover gravy. You will end up with a new way to enjoy the fruits of your labors from before the big day. Slow cookers are a great way to use up these leftover goodies.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Teaching The Kids To Cook? Kids Love Making Homemade Candy.

By Peter Bertonich

When school holidays come around the kids are delighted. But sometimes mom isn't so delighted. What are you going to do to keep the kids entertained these holidays? How about making some wonderful homemade candies these holidays?

Everyone loves homemade candy, (well any candy really, homemade candy is just the best). Kids especially just love homemade candy, especially if they have made it themselves. Homemade candy isn't that hard to make if you start with one of the easier homemade candy recipes, and the kids just love getting into the kitchen and doing it themselves, then eating the results.

Just last night I was watching the looks on the faces of my kids as they licked out the bowl, and it was hard for them to wait until the candy was ready to eat before they raided the box.

And I believe that it's very important to get kids to learn about the delights of cooking. It is never too early to get started teaching the kids all the joys of cooking, and the skills, and making homemade candy is a great place to start. In fact the perfect place to start the kids cooking.

Sadly cooking at home seems to be waning. I believe that they are even making houses now that don't have a kitchen. That's sad. A good time for any family is when everyone gets together in the kitchen and starts making something yummy. And there's no doubt that candy is yummy! It's one of the best types of cooking to start the kids with.

Remember a few things though. Allow plenty of time, because cooking with kids always takes longer, and rushing it spoils the fun. And always expect mess, so don't worry about it. Kids cannot cook without mess, so expect to have to clean up after cooking.

And one rule that I always follow. Once you've found a great homemade candy recipe ALWAYS double the recipe. There's never enough to go round if you just cook the recipe, because everyone wants more.

And while kids (and you) might love homemade candy it's not restricted to your family. Candy that the kids have made makes a fine gift and it's something for the kids to give that they really did make themselves. Grandma will love it.

So maybe you have kids at home and maybe they're pestering you for great ideas for something to do in the school holidays. Making homemade candy is a great idea, kids love it. And it may start them on a lifelong love affair with cooking.

So go grab some homemade candy recipes and get the kids making mess in the kitchen. Get started, but don't eat all the candy as soon as you've made it like we did last night.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Stock Up For the Holidays on The Tastiest Retro Candy

By Madeline Sacon

Harking back to the good ole days of childhood brings back so many happy memories. Tossing the ball in the park, staying up late at a friend's house, or maybe family trips spring to mind. One souvenir in particular that brought a grin to my face was reminiscing about when my friends and I might pick out our favorite candies from the neighborhood candyshop.

Current day sweets just don't seem the same. There is something about retro candy that makes us all just smile. Today's sweets : Teaberry gum, Necco wafers, Boston Baked Beans, root beer barrels, or Abba Zabba. Every one of these tantalizing candies makes us think of different happy childhood memories.

Because many of these candies are not sold in shops it got me wondering, wouldn't it be great to celebrate these retro candy favorites? One idea that came to mind was to buy lots of old fashioned candy from the web and throw a party with a nostalgic theme. With the holidays coming, this may be a great. Not only does candy serve as a great treat and decoration, but also it's the perfect talking point.

When guests see some of the candies they haven't had in years they will have to try some. Everyone has a tale of their favorite childhood candy. Another way to celebrate with old fashioned candy is to send it as a gift. There are websites that sell hard to find candy piece by piece or as a bunch that is festively organized into a present basket. What a great way to send a salutation to a pal or any one else.

There are some present boxes that have about fifteen different sorts of retro candy that most of us haven't seen in ages. The fun part was trying each retro candy and reminiscing about those times as a kid. Who wouldn't love getting some of their old time favorites as a gift?

We love old time candy not just for the memories but because it tastes good too. Kids these days still get a kick out of gum cigarettes, circus peanuts, gold mine gum, or even rock candy.

These are only a few of many ideas to bring back some great retro candy. Whatever your first choice of candy it is just plain fun! More than just eating candy, nostalgic candy provides stories and entertainment with friends, youngsters, neighbours, or fellow workers. Give it a try and expect a real giant smile!

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How To Make Homemade Chocolate In No Time

By Kareechy Ken

Chocolate is a favourite and studies have shown that chocolate is an aphrodisiac. When sitting watching TV most people always have a slab of chocolate besides them to nibble on now I am going to give you a few tips on how to make homemade chocolate.

The first thing you need to do is purchase all the items you will need for making homemade chocolates and can be found at any craft shop. You will need to take your time when choosing moulds as there are hundreds of different designs available as well as festive moulds.

Once you have chosen the moulds you need chocolate and there is also different kinds of chocolate which comes in rather big slabs or you can buy one slab of each flavour. Homemade chocolates are delicious when they have a fillings so you can also buy various different fillings as well.

Once you have obtained all the necessary items and ingredients you are ready to begin making your chocolates which I might add is a whole lot of fun where the whole family can join in or just a few friends.

The very first step is to begin melting the chocolate and the best way to do this is by placing it in a double boiler if you don't have one then you can also use a microwave or even the oven can be used. Lay your moulds out and open your packets with the fillings and once the chocolate has melted down you can then spoon the mixture into the moulds and then add the other ingredients. Make sure that the moulds are filled to the top and that they are level.

When you are finished just bang the trays on the table to make sure you have got all the air bubbles out and then you can put the trays into the fridge for an hour or until they are set. In the meantime you can prepare your box or jars to put the chocolates in. When the chocolates are set remove them from the moulds and they can now be eaten. You can make up gift parcels for friends and family now you know the technique on how to make homemade chocolates.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Like Beer? Brew Your Own!

By Luke Porter

Home brewing is something which has been popular for many years. Still, many are resolute that convenience is best for them and continue to drink only beer that they have paid for at a liquor store or at a bar. However, the thing about that kind of convenience is that you pay for it every time. It may not be much at the time, but add it up over a years worth of parties, games, dinners and nights out and it starts to amount to a lot.

Paying for your own beer brewing supplies may not seem to make sense at first, as you will think to yourself that you could have a few nights worth of drinking for the same price and not have to go to the effort of ensuring that your brew tastes like it is supposed to. However, the more you think about it, the better an idea it becomes. OK, so the cost is a little bit more than a few crates, but once you've got the kit you can keep using it, and when you find your supplier, beer brewing supplies can make more quantity for your spending than you would be able to buy for the same amount.

As well as the initial costs, some people are put off home brewing because it sounds like a lot of effort. It must be better to just let the breweries take care of all of the behind the scenes stuff for us, right? Well, of course it is, but then again you could think of it this way - you can eat in a restaurant every night of the year, but you'll save money and develop a skill if you cook your own meals. The longer you keep practising, the better your beer will get, and before too long you will have your own recipe which will be customisable to give you the taste you want every time.

As for the supplies you need, these can be found easily enough. Most larger towns will have a specialist store that stocks the required equipment and ingredients, but don't worry if your town doesn't as there are plenty of suppliers on the internet. In fact, buying via the internet may be the best option anyway as the prices tend to be lower. Do a little online research first to find out what you need. Like-minded beer lovers can be found in various beer brewing forums and they are always happy to give tips and recommendations to newcomers.

Once you have bought the necessary equipment and supplies, you will just need to follow the instructions that come with them. It is simple enough, just remember not to miss out any of the steps. Hands on learning and regular practice is the best way to make progress. Once you have the basics learnt, you can then start deviating from the standard processes in order to make your own special recipes. You'll soon be viewing it less like hard work and more like fun!

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How To Cook Cod - An Excellent Fish

By James Swelling

Dishes made from cod fish are scrumptious, nutritious, and plain to prepare for dinner. A huge advantage is you can create a large variety, like microwave it or roast. You can garnish with vegetables or just present it alone. You will be excited to know you can add what you want to make a meal that is inimitable and luscious. With cod fish recipes nothing can go haywire.

Before deciding on which dish to prepare, think of what you require. Cooking for diet control? No frying as it is not good. For a tasty dish, conjure up a veggie / pulp assortments formula. A simple option is an all bones recipe without adding any topping or other component.

Think about the time you have to make the food. While in a sprint, you may not have the leisure to saturate or cover the fish in. Identify the time you have for preparing these recipes before settling on the one for your meal. Decide if you want fresh or frozen cod fish.

Here is one option out of many that you can cook for anyone. In spite of being effortless to cook and economical, the flavor would match a dish that a good restaurant presents. It is easy and comprises of cheese, tomatoes and just bones.

The Requirements for this recipe are: 1 1/2 pounds of frozen cod bone, 1 teaspoon of butter, salt and pepper, four sliced tomatoes, Swiss cheese (as desirable), and 1/2 cup of half and half.

Peel the skin and bones. Use a napkin to dry the fish. In a preheated oven at 375 degrees thaw the butter; arrange tomato slices on the fish, shower as much cheese as needed, pour the cream on the fish, and add the butter to the baking pan. Your fish is ready to get cooked and would take 25 minutes to cook or wait for it to crumble.

It is up to you to alternate any of these items. If you do not want Swiss cheese, add cheddar cheese instead. If you find the tomatoes objectionable, make use of green peppers.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Frosting Recipes, Take The Time To Make Your Own

By Maura Luke

Did you know that it is an absolute waste of money to buy ready make frosting, there are so many different frosting recipes available, they look better, taste better and most of all are better for you. This is because even though frosting contains sugar, at least the home made variety does not have artificial ingredients, preservatives and goodness knows what else in it.

On the whole, Americans have gotten used to convenience in everything they do, but convenience is not always good for you, except in very small doses. Things which come out of a tube would never have been recognized as food by Grandma and this should be the way you look at food. If she did not recognize it as being food, like cheese in a tube, then it isn't food.

Frosting does not take a huge amount of time to make and with the great kitchen appliances we now have, it is even easier and quicker to make. The appliance just goes in the dishwasher afterwards, so it is no extra work. Home made frosting, even using the gadgets instead of a wooden spoon and bowl, will still taste just as good at the frosting you remember your Grandma making, and you don't want to deprive your children of this one small pleasure.

If you make use of a single butter frosting recipe, you can add and subtract ingredients as you will to change the flavor and color. If you want orange, strawberry and chocolate frosting fro one batch of cupcakes, mix up one batch, divide it into three portions, add chocolate to one, fresh strawberries to another and fresh orange juice and zest to the third batch. Substitute cream cheese for butter and make frosting for a carrot cake.

There are so many different and healthy flavorings you are able to use when you whip up a batch of frosting. You can even buy store bought cakes and cookies if you want and frost them at home, the kids will love helping you, and your cakes and cookies will be extra special.

Just a few tips, don't confuse granulated sugar for confectioners sugar there is a huge difference and one cannot be traded for the other, also use butter not margarine. Always frost your own home made cakes when they have cooled completely, and any left over frosting can be kept refrigerated for later use.

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What Christmas Presents To D.I.Y.?

By Barry Chan

Christmas is coming, and you must be looking for a money-saving ways to send greetings to your friends. To save money, at the same time, to show your love, homemade Christmas gift is a good choice.

Making your own gifts would definitely surprise your friends and family with the originality of your gifts. Lack of ideas? Below are some suggestions that you can consider.

Gift Basket - If you know the recipient well, you should be able to tell what he or she likes best. Come up with a theme and buy a nice basket of the appropriate size, then line it with red and green tissue paper. If it's a man that we are talking about here, try wine and wine glasses, or six pack of his beloved beer and a few beer mugs. If it's a woman, then you should go for a book and something more intimate, such as scented bath soaps and crystals. In addition to that, you may also want to put in a few candles, or a soft bath towel.

Gift Jars - If you think a basket would be too large to send out, gift jars serve as a good alternative. Food would be a good idea to be put into the jar. Just find out what the person likes and place his/her favorite food in a nice jar. Or if the person likes to cook, instead of putting ready-made food, putting ingredients for a nice recipe into the jar would also be a good idea. Attach the recipe to the jar and leave the fun of cooking to your friend. Of course, other than food, you can put any other things that you like in the jar.

Personalized Recipe Book - You do not have to write your own book, just cut out recipes from magazines or print them out from the internet for the customized recipe book. Does that person has a love for chocolates in particular? Copy the chocolate recipes you can find or have them printed out nicely. Lastly, get some clear sheets from the stationery shop and put everything into a 3 ring binder.

A Photo Album - For 'kidults', go through their childhood album or Facebook to get pictures of them when they were kids. Putting the pictures in chronological order with decorations, this will make them feel happy as you remind them of their sweet memories. This can be a good gift also for you mother, father and grandparents, if you put yours photos into the album.

These are just some of the idea. You can create our all list. When you beloved receive the gifts, they will know how much you love them. D.I.Y. Christmas gifts is unique, cost-effective and fun.

So, don't hesitate and start making your own Christmas gifts. From now on, you no longer have to run around different shopping malls, spending a huge amount of money on Christmas gifts.

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Don't Wait to Bring the Good Ol' Days Back With Old Fashioned Candy at Old Fashioned Prices!

By Olivia Brabennt

There are not too many people in the world who can resist candy. Perhaps it's the fact that sugar is a thrill for the mouth and it gives you a temporary rush, or perhaps it reminds us of those days of our youth.

Nowadays, the candy that is becoming especially preferred is old fashioned candy that was popular dozens of years ago. The sweet treats that were in their boom time back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s are now being rediscovered. Completely new generations of youngsters have the possibility to enjoy some of the best treats ever made.

When these old fashioned candy treats were originally produced, they were sold at candy shops, drugstores, and even dime stores. Plenty of today's parents have fond memories of wandering thru the eye-catching displays at the local candy shop, selecting each bit of candy with care, and then leaving with a sack full of amazing treats. Back then, it was possible to buy a enormous bag of candy for small change. A trip to the candy shop was like heaven!

Nowadays, the old fashioned candy that adults recall with such fondness can be enjoyed by modern age kids. While these tasty treats are sometimes sold at candy stores today, the best technique to get them is to do a Net search. The web has given us the chance to buy the same treats that were made years back, and almost all of the great favorites are not too hard to find. The web also offers a method to get back to the penny candy like prices. When these candies are bought in quantities, the price is quite reasonable or even extraordinarily cheap.

No matter which type of old fashioned candy is your favorite, it'll doubtless be available cost-effectively and quickly online .

Candy cigarettes, whirly pops, Clark bars, Necco wafers, candy buttons, or old style candy sticks...they are all yours with some clicks of your computer mouse! These candies are a great way to reach into your past to find the child version of you. The kids in your life today will also love tasting these sweet treats for the very first time and you are going to love tasting them again yourself.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

What Makes Roasted Fresh Coffee Taste So Good?

By Bart Jones

How many times have you woken up to the wonderful smell of roasted fresh coffee in the morning and there seems to be nothing that could spoil your day? What about the flip side of that? Your electricity goes out in the middle of the night and you wake up late and you don't even have the magical brew to start your day off. For some people, the right cup of coffee just makes all the difference.

The bean is the where it all begins. If you put junk in, you get junk out. While some people are perfectly happy with Folgers, there are those who have to use one of the many gourmet brands that are on the market. The reality of it is that you can read about them as much as you want, but your taste buds are going to know when paradise has been found.

If you're of the gourmet ilk, you'll want to have only whole roasted fresh coffee beans on hand. Grind only enough beans to make a potful each time. Further, buy only sufficient quantities of whole beans to last for a month or two at a time. Keep them in an air tight container stored at room temperature, otherwise you risk the beans losing their freshness.

With the amount of companies out there that specialize in coffee these days, it is no surprise that there are plenty of coffee lovers who don't even make coffee at home. Their quest is to get out of bed and get to the nearest Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks soon after awakening so their day can start. They are merely going through the motions until the first sip takes place.

If you brew your own coffee, an obvious consideration is your coffee maker. This is something that you can spend as little or as much as you want, depending upon what is important to you. There are those who merely need to get the coffee into their system to function so these individuals will buy just about any machine to get the magical black juice. However, if you are a true lover of coffee, you are at least going to make sure you get a machine with the optimal brewing temperature of 200 degrees.

On your quest for the perfect machine, do a lot of research and don't believe everything you read. If you want an honest opinion, go to a neutral reviewing site or check out forums that are aimed at coffee lovers. Even after all of that, you are still going to want to taste a cup before you buy it. Most decent sellers will have machines of various types up and brewing so you can try the coffee from the machine.

If you are a true coffee lover, you may find that you will travel to the ends of the world to make sure you get the perfect cup of coffee. You are probably also the person that goes away on vacation and drives the wait staff crazy because there is never a cup that is good enough to satisfy your desires. It's okay, there are plenty more out there just like you!

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When You Want the Best, Choose a Gourmet Chocolate Gift

By Charlotte Andrews

When anyone hears the word gourmet chocolate it often brings a smile to person's face. That's because most of us love chocolates. Is there anyone who can resist gourmet chocolates? This alone makes chocolate one of the most desirable gift options. Even if chocolates are very popular on Valentine's Day, anyone can give chocolates for any reason and occasion. Are you giving gourmet chocolates for someone's birthday, a way to apologize, for someone's success? A chocolate gift will simply not fail. It is always a hit.

You can make anyone feel special by giving delightful chocolate gifts. What's more there are various ways to make that chocolate gift more special. By sending your chocolate gift with a get well soon card, good luck card or congratulations card, anyone who receives it will feel special once you send them their favorite chocolate.

You can find all sort of gourmet chocolate gifts that are sure to meet the taste requirements of just about anyone. There are incredible mild chocolate creations for those that like the creamy milk flavor while others can savor the dense chocolate taste of dark chocolate. If the treat is for a child, stick to their favorite milk or white chocolate gifts. For the adults in the crowd, don't forget to choose some liquor flavored chocolates, they are always a hit!

Gourmet chocolates online stores are filled with various chocolate gift options. With chocolates, you can never go wrong. Its taste alone can soothe anyone who consumes it. It has even been proven to relieve stress. Studies say it promotes happiness. Who wouldn't want to have that feeling? With the limitless choices of chocolates, it isn't hard to find something that everyone will love!

With everyone's fondness for chocolates, sending a chocolate gift basket is a great idea. It can be personalized and filled with favorite chocolate creations. This will make any occasion memorable. After all, aside from diamonds chocolates are also a girl's closest friend.

There are special occasions several times in a year for anyone to celebrate. Send those chocolate gift baskets for any occasion, whether it's for Father's day, Mother's day, a wedding day, anniversary day or Valentine's Day. Even if you just want to congratulate someone for an unforgettable moment, send chocolates. No other gift can touch someone other than the gift of delightful gourmet chocolate. What better way to send the perfect gift then to send a gourmet chocolate gift basket that you know will be a smashing success!

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pasta Maker Basics

By Gerri Lauder

Pasta is comfort food, whether or not you grew up in an Italian kitchen. Some of my first memories are of eating spaghetti, slurping up the long noodles and licking up the sauce. The ingredients in pasta are so simple, flour, eggs, olive oil and water. How can something so simple taste so good? If you have never made your own pasta at home it is time to treat yourself. Homemade pasta is one of the great marvels of the kitchen. So, roll up your sleeves, gather the kids or grandkids, friends and family and get ready to transform wet and dry ingredients into dough. And from the dough into noodles and from noodles into comfort food.

The key to making great pasta is to get the dough to the right consistency and then rolling it to an even thickness before cutting it into various shapes. Some cooks prefer to roll the dough out by hand using a rolling pin and a smooth surface, like a wooden cutting board or a marble slab. I recommend the use of a pasta machine to achieve expert results consistently. With so many different types of machines on the market to choose from, the only decision you'll have to make is manual versus an electric model. Good manual hand cranked machines should be heavy and have a base that clamps to the table or surface you are working on. Atlas, Imperia and CucinaPro are quality names for manual machines. Weston, Lello and Imperia all make electric pasta machines, and Kitchenaid does double duty by offering an attachment to its standard mixer. Although I have the Kitchenaid pasta attachment, I prefer to use my hand crank Atlas pasta machine, because it always seems like more fun to have one person turn the crank while someone else catches the dough.

You can choose to mix your dough by hand or by using an electric mixer of some type. Either method produces a soft, silky dough. If you are making dough by hand, place your flour in a bowl large enough to give you room to mix all ingredients together and make a well in the center of the flour. In another bowl, crack your eggs and beat them slightly, adding the oil and water, and mix well. Pour the liquid mixture into the well in the flour and mix with a fork until the flour is moistened and begins to clump together. Now the fun begins as you start playing with the dough.

Dust your hands with flour and begin to gather the clumps and begin kneading the dough right in the bowl. Grab the mass over onto itself, pushing and turning and folding the dough until it no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. Once you have one cohesive clump of dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, a large wooden cutting board works great, and continue to knead for 2 to 3 minutes.

You are done kneading when the dough is soft throughout, you can't feel any lumps, the surface has a sheen to it and it feels and looks smooth. If the dough seems too sticky add a little flour, a little at a time, while you are kneading. If the dough seems too dry or hard, sprinkle a little water on the dough and continue to knead it until it becomes soft and pliable. When you have finished kneading the dough, give it a rest by letting it sit on the board covered with a clean, soft kitchen towel for about 30 minutes. This will relax and soften the dough so it will be easier to roll out.

The basic steps in rolling out pasta dough are to run the dough between the rollers of the pasta machine beginning on the thickest setting and gradually rolling the dough on narrower settings. You do not want to roll all the dough at once; there's just too much of it, so it is easier to cut the dough into quarters and roll one piece at a time. You will end up with 4 or more elongated rectangular sheets of dough, ready to be cut into any shape you want. Some shapes like papardelle, which are strips about 1 1/2 inches wide, can be cut by hand. All pasta makers come with one or more attachments for cutting the dough, the most popular being tagliatelle and tagliolini. Some of the electric models will have an attachment that extrudes the dough to create circular shapes like spaghetti and capellini.

Once you have cut your pasta into the desired shapes, gently take the pasta and dust it lightly with flour. Let the pasta sit undisturbed on a baking sheet or bread board for the surface to dry a little before cooking. You can cook your pasta straight away, and enjoy it with a favorite sauce. If you are making more than enough pasta for one meal you can dry little "nests" of pasta and use them within a few days, or you can freeze them. Some people prefer to use pasta drying racks, which will dry the pasta in long strands rather than little nests.

Once your family has had a hand in making fresh pasta at home and eating the results, you won't want to go back to commercially processed pasta again. Homemade pasta has a delicate, rich flavor and a smoother texture than store bought pastas. Making pasta at home is a fun family project that everyone can do together and it will become one of the warm and comforting memories you share in the future. So start a family tradition of fun and laughter and good food. Make pasta-making a regular event in your kitchen.

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