Sunday, December 23, 2007

Create a Family Heirloom Cookbook

Create a Family Heirloom Cookbook
by: ARA


(ARA) - Almost every family has a treasured recipe, handed down through generations, that is not only beloved because it’s delicious, but because it evokes memories of favorite family get-togethers.

A family heirloom recipe book is a wonderful way to combine favorite dishes and family folklore. According to Cheryl Wolf, a performance artist and graphic design instructor at The New England Institute of Art, "Family recipes are a valuable resource for a family history. I have built an entire performance around my family's recipes and the stories they evoke! "Breaking bread" together is life-affirming. What better way to reach back and bring personal history to the present?"

Wolf adds, “A family recipe is also a family history, and can be a wonderful work of folk art.” For example, she says, take the opportunity to not only write down family recipes for generations to come, but include famous family stories (every family has them), photos and memorabilia as well.

But how to turn family culinary gems into actual recipes? Chef Peter Adams of the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago has a few tips: “Start with a family letter, asking everyone to send back one or more of their ‘specialties’ by a particular date. Ask those who can to reply by email so you can cut and paste recipes right into your final document.”

If you have a relative who never writes down recipes (it seems like all the best recipes are never written down), but rather cooks by "a dash of this, a little bit of that,” consider having someone in your family be the “helper,” and prepare the dish along with them. Adams suggests the “helper” measure, guesstimate, and generally keep track of how the dish is prepared, including cooking times and temperatures. The “helper” should also be sure to ask about consistency, color, texture and doneness. According to Adams, “This last bit of information is always the most important part of passing along a recipe.” Once you have a written recipe, prepare it again according to the directions, and adjust the recipe as necessary to get as close as possible to the original.

When you’re asking for recipes, provide everyone with a similar format. For example, ask family members to list the ingredients to be used in order, together with the quantities. Lay out the steps that are needed in order to make the item, and always add little comments about what to look for as the dish is prepared, and when it is done. It can be a lot of work, especially with recipes that were never written down. But, says Adams, ultimately it’s worth it because you’ll be saving an important -- and delicious bit of your family’s history.

Once you have the recipes, you’ll want to create a look for your cookbook that reflects your family. A simple way to do this, says Meryl Epstein of The Art Institute of Phoenix, is to include family mementos or old photos, along with the recipes. A simple way to share one-of-a-kind memorabilia is to take them to a local copy center and make color copies.

“You can use the color copies you make as background, and print a recipe over the photo, or have the recipe on one page, and a photo on the facing page. You can also create a collage using items such as blue ribbons (won for a cooking), tickets stubs or airplane tickets from a favorite trip that produced a great recipe,” says Epstein.

For text, use simple fonts like Times Roman or Arial so that they are easy to read for all ages. Save decorative fonts for recipe titles or chapter headings. Consider creating a box -- with shading and borders -- for the recipe itself so that there is enough contrast between the recipe and any background artwork you use.

Epstein suggests writing an introduction about the cookbook, its organization and how family responded to the project. Be sure to date the book and have a table of contents so family and friends can easily find a favorite recipe. Here are a few of her suggestions for organizing recipes:

* by category, for example, appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and desserts

* by family, for example, grandmother, aunt and uncle, or cousin recipes

* by holiday, for example, favorite dishes for the 4th of July, Thanksgiving or Labor Day

To keep recipes easy to read and clean, consider putting them in plastic sleeves (available in craft and office supply stores) and then in 3-ring binders. Says Epstein, “This way, you can add a new recipe every year.”

Courtesy of ARA Content






About the author:
Courtesy of ARA Content

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

After the latest help relating to cooking recipes

After the latest help relating to cooking recipes.
by: Tom

When you are after top-quality advice about cooking recipes, you'll find it easier said than done separating value packed information from ill-equiped cooking recipes submissions and support so it is sensible to know how to moderate the information you are offered.

Find cooking recipes
Your relevant result is a click away!



Here are several guidelines which we sincerely believe you should use when you're searching for information about cooking recipes. Hold in mind the advice we tender is only pertinent to internet help on cooking recipes. We can't give you any guidance or tips for researching in 'real world' situations.

cooking recipes in the Free Online Encyclopedia
Read about cooking recipes in the free online encyclopedia and dictionary. Over 600,000 articles on any topic and completely free access to the entire content.



A good hint to follow when you are presented with help or advice about a cooking recipes web would be to determine who owns the site. This may show you who owns the site cooking recipes credibility The easiest way to reveal who owns the cooking recipes site is to look for the 'about' page.

All reputable sites providing information about cooking recipes, will almost certainly provide an 'about' or 'contact' page which will record the owner's details. The details should disclose some indication about the website owner's expertise. You can then make a judgement about the vendor's insight and appreciation, to give recommendations about cooking recipes.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
About the author:

Tracey Mane is the webmaster for http://www.cooking-recipes.info

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cookware what you need and what you don’t !

Cookware what you need and what you don’t !
by: mark Brading

Cookware is always a rather contentious subject. I have seen chefs turn up to even the simplest of cooking jobs carrying more than it would take to maintain your average oil tanker (though maybe this is not the best use for your cookware), when all that was really needed was a knife and something to sharpen it with.
So what are the real ”cookware essentials”, the things that you really can’t do without? Well surprisingly you actually need only a very small amount of things to get you going. Probably considerably less than you have already.

All the cookware you actually need is a good knife, a means of sharpening it, a chopping board and a couple of pans.You may prefer a bit more cookware but you can cook with just that.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as partial to a kitchen full of mixers, blenders, electrical appliances and assorted useful, and otherwise, gadgets as the next person.
But although good quality cheap cookware ( yes it is possible )like grinders and blenders give you a lot more scope there are plenty of things that you can cook without them, but a good knife, or three, is absolutely essential.

The first and most essential piece of cookware you need is a cooks knife, thats as large as you feel comfortable with, an 8 inch knife with a blade that curves slightly to allow a rocking motion is a good start, then a smaller knife, about 4 inches, for cutting small vegetables and a carving knife.

If you buy one about 10 inches long it can also double as a bread knife. Although there is no point buying extra knifes just to line the pockets of the large kitchen eequipment manufacturers. A set can actually be quite good value and give you more for a similar amount of money. But check carefully what is in the set first.
If you cannot find a set with what you think will be useful to you, don’t buy it. Many sets come with extras like a case or wooden knife block but try to see past the free gifts. Its much better to have a few good knives in your drawer than a fancy polished beech wood block with fifteen designer knives, fourteen of which you never use, and one that is not the right shape for your hand and gives you blisters.
I have a small, not very expensive set of French Sabatiers that are comfortable but not as posh looking as some of the more fashionable makes like the Japanese globals which I find too light which makes chopping a lot of veg for example much harder work.

If you learn how to use them properly then steel or grinding stone is a good way to keep your knives sharp otherwise there are a good choice of proprietary sharpeners that keep the knife at the right angle while you pull it through the sharpener. Pans also need to be good quality, nothing over the top, no need to spend a fortune. Just make sure they are of a good solid construction.

This promotes good even heat distribution and helps to prevent things burning. Stainless steel is a good option. A good wok on the other hand should be made of a thin light steel and cost very little, but always check that it has a good well-fixed wooden handle. The best place to buy this most useful of pans is (perhaps unsurprisingly) usually the local Chinese supermarket. A good chopping board is another necessity though two are better than one as this helps to prevent cross contamination if you designate one for uncooked meats/fish etc.and another for things like fruit and salads.

No matter how much you think you will always be careful and wash them between uses this is the best single way to prevent contamination between foods. Mixers can be useful if you intend doing a lot of baking. But unless you make bread on a regular basis (always a good idea), then buying a simple, good quality hand held mixer rather than a heavy stand alone version could save you a couple of hundred dollars in as well as a lot of space on your worktop.

A blender is always useful for soups and the occasional smoothie, and a grinder will give you a lot more options in your use of nuts etc.and will also provide a constant supply of fresh coffee for the more manic cook. A good way to combine the functions of all three is to buy a food processor.

A good quality machine such as a Moulinex or Robot coupe will save space and allow you to buy a much better processor than if you bought there items separately. There is an almost unending list of kitchen equipment that you could buy (if in doubt walk into your local cookery shop and ask the owner what he thinks you need!), but make sure you get the essential good quality cookware right and it will make your cooking easier and more enjoyable.


About the author:
"http://nearlyhealthy.com" is a new quality easy recipe, cookery tips and information site, for great tasting food that is also easy to cook. Cooking should be a joy not a chore. Using the best ingredients and keeping it simple means your food tastes good with the minimum of fuss. . Cookery book reviews, we choose the best in current and classic recipe books and food travel writers. Also product and good food suppliers.
Need to know the best food processor we take the time to choose so you don't have to. Need to know where to find the best organic pork? We bring you the best suppliers and information.
We have started small but will add more and more content over the coming weeks so do keep checking back. We look forward to seeing you and listening to your comments and feedback.
http://www.nearlyhealthy.com

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Cooking Aprons: An Overview

Cooking Aprons: An Overview -
by: Thomas Morva


We all take notice of the chefs in our favorite restaurant, at one point or another. We recognize them by their signature hats and chef aprons. Chefs have used cooking aprons for a countless number of years. Not only is it the attire-of-choice at many high-end restaurants, chef aprons are a functional accessory to their wardrobe.

Chefs wear cooking aprons for several reasons. One reason is that they are dealing with a variety of food ingredients for many hours each day. They have to have a means of keeping their clothing free from dirt, stains and odors. They also need pockets to carry utensils from one part of the kitchen to another. Chef aprons serve a variety of purposes and most of us will admit that chefs wearing cooking aprons have a more professional look.

Men and women have worn kitchen aprons for centuries. Traditionally, women have been the primary homemakers in a family. Although times have certainly changed and things are not as cut-and-dry as they were before, the same tends to hold true. Kitchen aprons have been an important piece of attire in women's history. The use of cooking aprons likely precedes that of written history with several scholars noting the use of aprons even in the time of Adam and Eve.

Kitchen aprons, or cooking aprons, have been worn to protect clothing from dirt, grime and smelly odors. They serve as a towel to dry freshly scrubbed hands. The pockets of kitchen aprons have been a wonderful tool for carrying utensils, kindling wood or even an occasional treat for a child. It is simply amazing to consider the long and rich history of cooking aprons and how they have changed along with societal standards. Today’s kitchen aprons still serve the same functional purposes but tend to come in a larger variety of styles, colors and with catchy one-liners.

About the author:
Aprons Info provides detailed information about various types of aprons, including humorous, personalized, child, cooking, and lead aprons, as well as apron sinks, and more. Aprons Info is affiliated with Original Content.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Converting a Stovetop Recipe to a Crockpot Recipe

Converting a Stovetop Recipe to a Crockpot Recipe
by: tony buel

Crockpots vary but the low setting is typically around 100 degrees and its high setting is around 300 degrees.

Knowing this, it is fairly easy to convert most recipes for use in your slow cooker. Some adjusments to cooking times will be a judgement call on your part, but some simple guidelines should help. Just follow a few simple rules and you're on your way.

You should decrease the liquid since it does not boil away in a crockpot.

Add cheeses and other milk product towards the end of your cooking since they tend to break down if they are cooked for too long.

Brown any ground beef before adding to the crockpot. It will taste better and have better texture this way.

Add rice and noodles at the end of your cooking as well. They will turn mushy if they are cooked too long. You can cook these separately and then combine them when it's time to serve.

Add your spices at the end.

If a stovetop recipe calls for 15-30 minutes, the crockpot should cook it for 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hrs at a high temperature and 4 - 8 hours at its low temperature setting.

If a stovetop recipe calls for 35-45 minutes, the crockpot should cook it for 3-4 hrs at a high temperature setting and 6 - 10 hours at its low temperature setting.

If a stovetop recipe calls for 50 min to 3 hours, the crockpot should cook it for 4 - 6 hrs at a high temperature setting and 8 - 16 hours at its low temperature setting.

Following these guidelines will allow you to be able to convert a stovetop recipe to its delicious slow cooking counterpart!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
About the author:

Tony's website www.my-crockpot-recipesprovides hundreds of delicious and easy to make crockpot recipes

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Affordable Gourmet-style Recipes

Affordable Gourmet-style Recipes
by: ARA

(ARA) - Looking for recipe ideas that are easy to follow, inexpensive and relatively guilt-free too? Try incorporating an American household favorite -- canned tuna!

For something a little different that promises to please guests and family, Bumble Bee provides some delightful, recipe ideas made with canned tuna’s new gold label Prime Fillet. Keep this gourmet quality solid white albacore tuna ready in the pantry for parties, unexpected guests or family get-togethers. Then, whip up an affordable gourmet-style meal that will have your guests convinced you’ve prepared something truly elaborate and extravagant. As an added bonus, they will enjoy canapés or entrées that are delectable, but without those serious calories.

Specially developed by two of California’s leading chefs, here are recipes that demonstrate how canned tuna is no ordinary ingredient.

* Mediterranean-Style Rigatoni Pasta with Prime Fillet Albacore

Recipe by Chef de Cuisine Fabrice Poigin, Bertrand at Mister A’s, San Diego

This simple and flavorful pasta dish with a Mediterranean flair is ideal whether sitting down to dinner with the family or celebrating with guests. Chef Fabrice suggests complementing this with a glass of 2001 Spottswood Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

4 ounces unsalted butter

1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 red bell peppers, deseeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 vine ripe tomato, diced

5 cloves of garlic, minced

A sprig of rosemary

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 small jar of Spanish olives (green olives stuffed with pimientos), drained

2 6-ounce cans of Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Solid White Albacore, drained

1/2 pound rigatoni pasta

1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives

Dry aged parmesan, grated

Pinch of crushed red hot pepper flakes (optional)

Directions: Bring water to boil in a large pot according to package directions in preparation for cooking the rigatoni pasta. Heat 2/3 of the olive oil and 4 ounces of unsalted butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until nearly hot but not smoking. Add diced onions and cook for approximately 5 minutes until soft. Add diced red bell peppers, reducing to low-medium heat and cook until peppers are soft. Add diced tomato, minced garlic and 1/3 teaspoon of rosemary sprig leaves. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Cover and cook over low heat for another 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Then, add drained whole olives and Bumble Bee Prime Fillet tuna in solid pieces to sautéed mixture. Cover and cook until tuna is heated through (approximately 3 to 5 minutes).

Cook the rigatoni pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the package directions or until al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander, leaving behind a little moisture. Toss the pasta, tuna sauce and water, then place in a serving dish or on individual plates. Drizzle remaining olive oil over the top and garnish with thinly sliced chives and grated dry aged parmesan. Top with a pinch of crushed red hot pepper flakes, if you prefer a little more bite.

* Delicate, Festive Albacore Tuna Canape

Recipe by Chef de Cuisine Fabrice Poigin, Bertrand at Mister A’s, San Diego

An easy-to-follow, elegant-style canapé for entertaining guests or just treating yourself to a unique way of serving up albacore tuna! Serves 6 to 8.

Ingredients:

1 6-ounce can of Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Solid White Albacore, drained

2 finely diced shallots

1 tablespoon chives, thinly sliced

1 soup spoon crème fraiche

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Sourdough bread (optional)

3 ounces of comté cheese or aged white cheddar, sliced thinly

Extra crème fraiche for garnish (optional)

1/2 ounce domestic caviar (optional)

Chervil sprigs (optional)

Directions: Mix together Prime Fillet tuna, shallots, chives, crème fraiche, and salt and pepper. Spoon mixture onto toasted triangles of sourdough bread or into Chinese ceramic serving spoons. Top each serving mixture with a slice of cheese and place in a pre-heated oven (300 degrees) until cheese begins to melt -- approximately 3 minutes. Remove toasties or Chinese spoons from the oven and top individually with a dot of crème fraiche, and then a dot of caviar (optional). Finish with a sprig of chervil to garnish.

* Prime Fillet Albacore Tuna and Potato Casserole

Recipe by Chef Gerald Hirigoyen, owner and executive chef, Piperade and Fringale Restaurants, San Francisco

Recognized in Food & Wine magazine’s 2003 Top Ten Best New Wine Lists, Chef Gerald suggests complementing this entrée with a glass of 2001 Turnbull Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil

2 large onions, thinly sliced

4 medium Anaheim chilies, seeded and thinly sliced

2 bay leaves

8 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered

1 cup dry white wine

3 cups vegetable stock or canned vegetable broth

6 to 8 saffron threads

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 mild dried chili pepper

4 6-ounce cans of Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Solid White Albacore, drained

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Pinch of piment d’Espelette (Basque chili pepper) or mild cayenne powder

Directions: Warm 1/2 cup olive oil in a large casserole over high heat. Add onions, Anaheim chilies, bay leaves, and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes, wine, vegetable stock, and saffron. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Add salt, pepper, and dried chili pepper, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the tuna and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until warmed through. Stir only occasionally to avoid breaking apart the fish. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Discard the bay leaves before serving. Serve in shallow soup bowls, and sprinkle with the parsley and piment d’Espelette.

Look for Bumble Bee Prime Fillet’s upside-down gold can in most supermarkets nationwide. For more information on Bumble Bee, visit www.bumblebee.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content



About the author:
Courtesy of ARA Content

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Choosing Foods For Your Special Event

Choosing Foods For Your Special Event
by: Sintilia Miecevole

Choosing the right menu for a special event can be just as important as choosing a location. Food can communicate a theme, convey a feeling or set the mood of an entire night. If you are planning a high-class extravaganza, hot dogs and beer might not be appropriate. However, they might be the perfect choice for a birthday party at the lake. Taking great care in planning a menu shows your guests how much you appreciate them, and a great meal can help make a special day even more memorable.

If you are planning a birthday party for your child, an interactive meal can be a fun activity for your guests. Rather than slaving away in the kitchen all day or spending countless dollars ordering pizzas, you can save time and money by letting the guests make their own special creations. One fun idea is to prepare a multitude of toppings and let the children make their own bagel or English muffin pizzas. They will have a blast piling on strange combinations of toppings, and they will enjoy feeling like grown-ups in the kitchen.

For a more formal occasion like a holiday party, finger foods can be great for mingling guests, and they can be great topics of conversation. The obligatory finger sandwich can be spiced up by adding your own special pesto or cheese spread to an already tried and true recipe. Experiment with different ingredients in the weeks prior to the party, and test them out on your family. You will know when you get the reaction you are looking for, and you might end up spending much of the party writing down your recipe for your guests.

Planning a menu for a wedding can be quite stressful, especially when you are not sure exactly how many guests will be attending. The rule of thumb is that too much is better than not enough, even if it means having a lot of food left over at the end of the night. You can choose to have a buffet-style dinner, or you can have a set menu for your guests. It is important to consider your guests with special dietary needs. You should have vegetarian and low-sodium alternatives to your main courses, and you should have a heart-healthy menu for those who must avoid foods with high fat contents.

Before attempting a large-scale meal, you should make all of the dishes several times to perfect your recipes. Your goal is to have guests asking for more even after it all runs out. Test your creations on a variety of people and make adjustments according to their suggestions. When cooking food from your own recipes, it is important to remember the details of what you did every time you make it. That way you will know what went wrong when something turns out horrible, and more importantly what went right when you receive raving reviews.

Planning portions is the most important part of catering your own party. Though most recipes tell you how many people they will feed, it is best to err on the side of caution. If a recipe feeds eight, you might want to count it as six or seven, depending on how many guests you expect. Plan that half of your guests will want to go back for seconds. If you know that one dish will be a favorite, be sure to make extra. Though the green beans may be the healthier option, you can usually bet that the cheesecake will go a lot quicker. Keep in mind that the greater the variety, the more people you will please, so even if you are a steamed vegetable lover, you should probably prepare some beefy options for your less than health conscious guests.

About the author:
Sintilia Miecevole's resourceful and most interesting site http://www.fufood.com provides you with all kinds of food information such as cooking sites, great recipes, meal ideas, catering, nutrition, gifts, organic, cooking advice and much more. Be sure to visit http://www.fufood.com and enjoy the best of food!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cake Pans

Cake Pans
by: Zorana Durkovic


Cake pans….the secret behind every successful cake. My husband tells me that if I am the most luscious cake of his life. Well, who am I to disagree with him as long as he is happy being my cake pan?

When we were shopping for our wedding decorations, wedding dresses and wedding cakes, we gave a decent thought to the wedding cake pans. I would suggest that whenever you go for it chose one which has money back guarantee and warrantees. A one stop cake shop online or a retail cake shop will have the best deals in cake pans, with interesting varieties put to effect.

We had to choose from a lot of cake pans. Look at the variety we had with respect to the wedding cake pans. We finally chose an aluminum cake pan for long lasting baking performance. If you want to know the size it was 11 3/4 x 11 3/4 x 2 in. deep. It could be used for a lot of things like casseroles, desserts etc. We baked the wedding cake traditionally courtesy our family chef, from the same wedding cake pan.


Of course on our wedding Mr. Gillian, (my nephew’s friend; he loves cakes a lot and believes that cake pans are more important than cakes) gifted us with a wedding cake pan. It plays a stellar role in the kitchen. It has a smart design and it is non sticky as well. It has a double coating and does not make the food messy. You should check out the long handles for lifting the can without causing any discomfort.

I have been intrigued by the subject of wedding cake pans. I recommend most of my friends and people I know to check out the best deals on the web for them. It contains exhaustive information and comparative features of every cake can, that in the end you will feel ‘baked’ enough. But seriously speaking, I have used some of them, and so has my chef. Our experiences say that we should go for one which is durable, versatile and is easy on your cooking.

Check out the words from my chef’s mouth: If your wedding cake is what it is, it is because of your wedding cake pan.




About the author:
If you would like to see hundreds of wedding cake pictures, read some more tips or find cake supply visit me at
www.cakechannel.com

Friday, November 16, 2007

American Fast Food Restaurants

American Fast Food Restaurants
by: Mark Woodcock

As a staple of life our need to eat has developed from a basic form of simply feeding our bodies with the fuel it requires, to a complicated art of presentation and taste combined with our intrinsic need to experiment with everything we see, touch, smell and of course taste.

The ever-increasing divergence of foods that is now available to us at our local stores and eating-places only help to confuse and tantalise us into new culinary experiments and delights.

From the sandwich shop to the award winning restaurants, we can always find a place that prepares and sells the food we want at a reasonable price, although cooking or preparing food for ourselves may be a cheaper or healthier option it never seems to taste the same as our local restaurant. Most people that have cooked their own versions and varieties of local, Chinese, Indian or other international cuisine believes it does not have the same taste or texture and will often opt for a more authentic meal from their local restaurant or take away.

Cooking at home has become less of a choice and more of a chore. With the large amount of ready meals available, the option of spending time in the kitchen becomes less and less appealing. People are spending more of their time and money in the world of fast foods and restaurants. Although some believe this to be a bad thing it has fuelled a new market in available meals that are only a phone call away. As long as the health and hygiene departments vet these establishments and our choices are varied, of good quality and healthy their use can be a good alternative to cooking our own meals.

With the onset of fast foods and the quick cook and ready cooked meals available along with the ever increasing choice of world cuisine, the enjoyment of these different foods have opened new options to the consumer within the food market.

In today's busy world where leisure time has become more and more important, the less time spent working and preparing to eat allows us more available time for our pursuit of our leisure activities.

People who do not have the ability, time or will to cook at home now only have to pick up the phone book or click on the Internet in order to find their local restaurant or fast food retailer that will be more than happy to deliver the freshly prepared hot food ready to eat straight to their door with minimum fuss.

Although the fast food retailers compete with each other fiercely, using their special offers and cheaper and healthier alternatives to entice us to their premises, the main stay of traditional restaurants still hold an important part in our lives.

Even though these places are vastly out numbered by the fast food industry, we still enjoy sitting down in the nice comfortable and pleasant surroundings of a restaurant and dining on good quality food at a leisurely pace, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of daily life and the fast food rush.

Traditional restaurants will always offer us that pleasant alternative to eating at home, ordering take out from our local fast food dispenser or visiting their drive through or small busy café style restaurants. Not forgetting those special occasions or romantic rendezvous, these still command the need for that quiet stylish quality restaurant where we know that the food wine and service will always be excellent and the experience wonderful and charming.

About the author:
Learn the essential information for picking the right restaurant at New York Restaurants

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Choosing Foods For Your Special Event

Choosing Foods For Your Special Event
by: Sintilia Miecevole

Choosing the right menu for a special event can be just as important as choosing a location. Food can communicate a theme, convey a feeling or set the mood of an entire night. If you are planning a high-class extravaganza, hot dogs and beer might not be appropriate. However, they might be the perfect choice for a birthday party at the lake. Taking great care in planning a menu shows your guests how much you appreciate them, and a great meal can help make a special day even more memorable.

If you are planning a birthday party for your child, an interactive meal can be a fun activity for your guests. Rather than slaving away in the kitchen all day or spending countless dollars ordering pizzas, you can save time and money by letting the guests make their own special creations. One fun idea is to prepare a multitude of toppings and let the children make their own bagel or English muffin pizzas. They will have a blast piling on strange combinations of toppings, and they will enjoy feeling like grown-ups in the kitchen.

For a more formal occasion like a holiday party, finger foods can be great for mingling guests, and they can be great topics of conversation. The obligatory finger sandwich can be spiced up by adding your own special pesto or cheese spread to an already tried and true recipe. Experiment with different ingredients in the weeks prior to the party, and test them out on your family. You will know when you get the reaction you are looking for, and you might end up spending much of the party writing down your recipe for your guests.

Planning a menu for a wedding can be quite stressful, especially when you are not sure exactly how many guests will be attending. The rule of thumb is that too much is better than not enough, even if it means having a lot of food left over at the end of the night. You can choose to have a buffet-style dinner, or you can have a set menu for your guests. It is important to consider your guests with special dietary needs. You should have vegetarian and low-sodium alternatives to your main courses, and you should have a heart-healthy menu for those who must avoid foods with high fat contents.

Before attempting a large-scale meal, you should make all of the dishes several times to perfect your recipes. Your goal is to have guests asking for more even after it all runs out. Test your creations on a variety of people and make adjustments according to their suggestions. When cooking food from your own recipes, it is important to remember the details of what you did every time you make it. That way you will know what went wrong when something turns out horrible, and more importantly what went right when you receive raving reviews.

Planning portions is the most important part of catering your own party. Though most recipes tell you how many people they will feed, it is best to err on the side of caution. If a recipe feeds eight, you might want to count it as six or seven, depending on how many guests you expect. Plan that half of your guests will want to go back for seconds. If you know that one dish will be a favorite, be sure to make extra. Though the green beans may be the healthier option, you can usually bet that the cheesecake will go a lot quicker. Keep in mind that the greater the variety, the more people you will please, so even if you are a steamed vegetable lover, you should probably prepare some beefy options for your less than health conscious guests.

About the author:
Sintilia Miecevole's resourceful and most interesting site http://www.fufood.com provides you with all kinds of food information such as cooking sites, great recipes, meal ideas, catering, nutrition, gifts, organic, cooking advice and much more. Be sure to visit http://www.fufood.com and enjoy the best of food!

Friday, May 18, 2007

4 Reasons To Grocery Shop Online

4 Reasons To Grocery Shop Online
by: Stacy Freund

1- Convenient

-It’s convenient for people who may find it time consuming to do a weekly grocery shop or for people who have difficulty in making it to the grocery store.
-The following groups of people may fall into these categories; working parents, busy singles, seniors, students, the disabled, people without transportation.

2- Fast and easy

-With many of the online grocery stores you are able to schedule your deliveries to work with your schedule.
-You’re able to order groceries anywhere you have access to the internet whether that be home, school or work.
-To make it even easier your shopping history is recorded on your account to make your reordering a breeze.

3- Cheaper

-Save time & money on gas and wear and tear on your car, not to mention checkout line ups, trying to find parking and traffic to and from the store.
-Take advantage of extra savings with online promotions and coupons.
-Your club card discounts are still in affect when shopping online.
-You’ll find they offer very reasonable delivery costs, if not free.

4- Safe and secure

-Feel comfortable ordering from well established grocery stores knowing you’ll have the guarantee of groceries delivered with care.
-Privacy and security precautions are taken when ordering from well established grocery stores.
-Helpful and courteous customer service is generally available through toll free numbers.
-Groceries are delivered to your door step by friendly and reliable drivers.

For further information regarding online grocery shopping and much more please visit www.easy-free-online-recipes.com.


About the author:
www.easy-free-online-recipes.comis a webpage focusing on recipes, online grocery shopping and fulfilling the publics cooking and kitchen requests.

3 Non-Traditional Ways to Prepare Your Holiday Turkey

3 Non-Traditional Ways to Prepare Your Holiday Turkey
by: Chef Phronc


Deep-Fryed Turkey

3 gallons peanut oil for frying, or as needed
1 (12 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
1/4 cup Creole seasoning
1 white onion


In a large stockpot or turkey fryer, heat oil to 400 degrees F. Be sure to leave room for the turkey, or the oil will spill
over.

***** Side Note *****

How to determine the amount of oil you need:

The easiest way I've found to determine the amount of oil you need is to place the turkey into the fryer and fill with water until the turkey is just covered. Remove turkey and allow to drain, pat dry with paper towels as well. Make note of the level of water in the fryer. Discard water and dry throughly. Fill frying vessel with oil to the level as noted above. This should help in preventing hot oil spill overs.

***** End Side Note *****

Layer a large platter with food-safe paper bags. Rinse turkey, and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. Rub Creole seasoning over turkey inside and out. Make sure the hole at the neck is open at least 2 inches so the oil can flow freely through the bird. Place the whole onion and turkey in drain basket. The turkey should be placed in basket neck end first. Slowly lower basket into hot oil to completely cover turkey. Maintain the temperature of the oil at 350 degrees F, and cook turkey for 3 1/2 minutes per pound, about 45 minutes. Carefully remove basket from oil, and drain turkey. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh; the internal temperature must be 180 degrees F.

Finish draining turkey on the prepared platter.

Grilled Whole Turkey

12 pounds whole turkey
2 cups water
3 tablespoons chicken bouillon powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon paprika

Prepare an outdoor grill for indirect medium heat, and lightly oil grate. Rinse turkey, and pat dry. Place turkey breast side down on the prepared grill. Sear turkey on both sides until skin is golden to dark brown. In a large roasting pan, mix together the water, bouillon powder, garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning, parsley, and paprika. Place turkey breast side down in the roasting pan. Scoop the pan mixture over the turkey. Cover tightly with foil and place on grill. Grill 3 to 4 hours, until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 180F. Remove turkey from grill and let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Smoked Turkey

1 turkey 8 to 22 lbs., fresh or completely thawed
Sweet Pickle Brine (recipe to follow)
Maple syrup

Sweet Pickle Brine:

1 gal. water
2 1/2 cups salt, rock, pickling or canning salts are recommened
1/3 cup of light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Lquid garlic
1 oz. pickling spices

Mix well. You may need to adjust the amounts depending on the size of your bird. This recipe should suit you fine for an 8 to 12 lb. turkey.

Rinse turkey thoroughly with cold water, drain and pat dry. Prepare sweet pickle brine. Brine turkey according to the following schedule,
8 to 12 lb. bird 3 days, 13 to 16 lb. bird 4 days, 17 to 22 lb. bird 5 days. Remove from brine; rinse thoroughly in cold water and pat dry. Allow to dry in refrigerator for 24 hours.

Lock wings behind back and tie legs and tail together. Baste turkey with maple syrup before putting in smoker and every 2 hours while smoking. Position turkey on cooking grill. Smoke cook until done.

The best way to determine doneness is to insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey (the breast) the internal temperature should read 180 degrees F.

Smoking food is more an art than a science; this recipe is not intended for the novice. Allot of factors go into determining the cooking time for a particular food when smoking.

Cool turkey in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving to enhance the smoked flavor. You may serve the turkey right away if you wish.

About the author:
Frank Flohr (aka Chef Phronc) is passionate about cooking. Frank serves up a full plater of cooking tips, recipes and culimary information on his blog at http://www.recipecorral.com/blogUnleash the hidden "Chef" inside you!

3 Methods For Perfectly Melted Chocolate

3 Methods For Perfectly Melted Chocolate
by: Lee Dobbins

Melting chocolate for baking is an exacting task, if not done perfectly you can end up with a burned or grainy mess and ruin whatever you are baking. Below are 3 methods for melting chocolate, each can be successful in it’s own way and you need only pick a method that works for you and get cooking!

In The Oven

Chocolate can be melted in the oven quite easily but you will need to be very diligent about watching it. It’s easy to get caught up in your other baking chores and not realize that you have overheated it until it is too late. To melt chocolate in the oven, heat the oven to 110 degrees. Chop the chocolate and place in a dish inside the oven. Keep the door open and check regularly. It will take about an hour to melt thoroughly.

Double Boiler Method

This tried and true method uses two pots or a special double boiler pot. The bottom pot has about an inch of water in it and the top pot is a bit smaller and rests on the bottom pot. The water should be heated to just below a simmer. Chop the chocolate and put it in the top pot. The chocolate should be stirred until melted and you must be very careful not to get any water mixed in with the chocolate as this will make it grainy.

Microwave

Using the microwave to melt chocolate can be the fastest but also the most disastrous method as a couple of seconds of overheating can ruin the chocolate. Chop the chocolate and put it in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on 50% for 1 to 4 minutes - the amount of time needed will depend on the amount of chocolate you are melting so you will have to watch the chocolate the whole time. When you see that it is turning shiny and before it is fully melted, remove it from the oven and stir until it melts fully.

About the author:
Lee Dobbins is editor of www.online-gourmet-foods.com where you can learn more about gourmet food and find out more about gourmet chocolate.