Skip to main content


Latest Posts

Friday, September 28 2007
In French cuisine, there are some dishes which are considered national dishes, eaten throughout France, and others with specific regional origins. One common factor in all French dishes is an emphasis on good quality ingredients (especially local produce), and careful preparation.

Here are some popular French dishes:

- Bouillabaisse - A fish stew, originally from Marseille. Usually a variety of different fish and shellfish are used to prepare the soup, as well as celery, leeks, onions and tomatoes. The stew and the fish are usually served in separate bowls, with the stew poured over French bread seasoned with bread crumbs, olive oil and chili peppers ("rouille").

- French onion soup - A soup made from onions and beef broth, topped with cheese and croutons. According to legend the soup was invented by King Louis XV of France.

- Coq au vin - Chicken fricasseed with wine, lardons, mushrooms, and garlic. Traditionally, older roosters are used in the dish, as they contain more connective tissue resulting in a richer broth.

- Beef Bourguignon (French: Bœuf bourguignon) - Beef stew cooked in red wine, flavored with garlic and herbs, carrots, onions and lardons (bacon from the back fat of a pig), and then garnished with onions and mushrooms.

- Escargot - Land snails cooked with parsley butter - often served as an appetizer.

- Blanquette de veau - Veal, mushrooms and onions cooked in a thick cream sauce.

- Pot-au-feu - A spiced beef and vegetable stew. Typically carrots, celery, leeks, onions and turnips are used in the dish.

- Quiche Lorraine - A baked dish made with heavy cream, eggs and bacon (but traditionally no cheese) in a pastry crust. If onions are added, the dish is known as quiche Alsacienne.

- Andouillette - A traditional French sausage, from Lyon, Troyes or Cambrai. It may be eaten hot or cold, and has a very strong odor that some people consider very unpleasant, and is very much an acquired taste. Please note: The prepared version of andouillette sold in the United States is not the same!

- Crêpes - Thin pancakes made from wheat flour. Originally from Brittany (French: Bretagne), they come in both savory (crêpes salées) and sweet (crêpes sucrées) varieties.

- Chocolate mousse - A creamy dessert made from eggs and cream, and flavored with chocolate.

- Crème brûlée - A custard base, usually flavored with just vanilla, and topped with a hard layer of caramel made by burning sugar under a grill or other intense heat source.

- Éclair - A hollow baked pastry, allowed to cool, and then filled with pastry cream (crème pâtissière), custard or whipped cream, and then topped with chocolate or icing.

- Profiteroles - Small baked pastries filled with pastry cream (crème pâtissière) or whipped cream. Often served with chocolate sauce
Posted by: Send a Meal AT 11:46 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, September 21 2007

Do you think of lasagna as an awe-inspiring gourmet impression or a hard to digest, school food staple?

In Tuscany I have tasted superb layers of meltingly warm, fresh pasta. This traditional meat sauce of Italy is made with finely minced beef and chicken livers or pancetta and slow cooked gently for hours until the flavors smooth. In spring the subtle pasta sheets have been layered with tender artichoke hearts, béchamel and ham, a wedding of delicate flavors to delight the most gourmet appreciation.

Lasagna is a meal that has left home and travelled the world. It has made it into the majority of microwave meals, grocery store dinners and been destroyed in the process. Thick, heavy sheets of pasta packed in oozing quantities of sauce and bear little similarity to their Italian forbears.

To taste the real Italian lasagna that I am recounting, you must take a gourmet journey to Italy; visit the hills of Tuscany or Emilia Romagna with its rich, butter-based cooking and huge amount of fine restaurants. In any Italian city you will be able to be grateful for the fragility of flavor, the melting consistency with which authentic Italian lasagna can pleasure the appetite.

Here the lasagna is only a part of a relaxed meal. In the fall you might have started with antipasto bread, and then sampled the lasagna, leaving enough room for your main course of a steak with fresh mushrooms harvested from the area around you.

Lasagna is a meal planned for feasting - to make it as it should be is time intense: rolling out your own freshly made pasta to make sheets that are thin enough not to be heavy, boiling it briefly a few sheets at a time; making fresh meat sauce and allowing it three or four hours to simmer at your convenience; stirring sauce cautiously so it does not burn; lastly assembling all the special workings and layering them, thoughtfully spreading just the right amount of sauce for the pasta to take in and have a bit left over; adding in freshly grated parmesan to get the equilibrium of flavors just so; baking it all in the oven for just the right amount of time for the flavors to join into a celestial whole. It is a labor of love made at home for special occasions or ordered in a restaurant where you know they do it well.

I plead guilty to not having the staying power for making my own fresh pasta and so do without lasagna all told at home. I am just waiting for an occasion to get back to Italy so that I can make a fuss of in a gourmet holiday, feasting on lasagna, mushrooms and truffles!

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 09:48 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, September 20 2007

The arrangement of fresh vegetables and fish, lobsters, crabs and further seafood can make for a unforgettable dinner. For instance, shrimp, oysters and many pallid fish are complimented by lemon, while Maryland crab cakes are appetizing with a bright sliced backyard tomato. Lobsters are served with a fresh corn-on-the-cob. Additional seafood bits and pieces taste most excellent with herbs such as cilantro, basil, lemon grass or oregano.
Countless of the most well-known seafood recipes are include backyard fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs in their inventory of ingredients. Shrimp Scampi is one of the large amounts of fashionable seafood dishes eaten in the United States. Nearly all scampi recipes comprise shrimp with garlic, lemon and fresh herbs. An added famous seafood recipe is a tasty New England clam chowder. The seafood soup combines seafood with garden tomatoes, onions and carrots.

A seafood customer’s garden might include greens, corn, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, squash, onions, shallots, garlic, dill, chives, parsley, cilantro, oregano and more.

Augment Your Garden. Unnecessary seafood parts can supplement your garden and supply much needed minerals to your soil. Shrimp, lobsters and crabs all have a durable shell that can be added to your compost pile or covered in the garden. Fish skeleton, scales, skins and carcasses are other exceptional additions to your garden soil. Still seaweed, rinsed to eliminate the salt, makes an outstanding mulch or fertilizer additive. These are all simple, environmentally friendly, accepted ways to set out of seafood discards while elevating your garden. The outcome can be miraculous!

Supplementary seafood by products may not be needed for compost but can be used or cast-off in some way. Clam shells make great walkways, or other fill for other projects. Mussel and oyster and other shells can be trampled and made accessible to poultry that need the calcium in order to create strong egg shells. The gut sections of many fish can be brined, iced up and kept for fishing bait. In some cases, whole fish can be saved for crabbing or other baits.

Seafood recipes that include fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs:

Grilled Shrimp Scampi Meal
2 pounds large shrimp
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. minced garlic
black pepper and crushed sea salt (not obligatory) to taste

In a big bowl, mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, and black pepper. Seasoned with crushed red pepper, if desired. Put in shrimp, and toss to coat. Cure in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.

Preheat grill for medium-high heat. String shrimp onto skewers, stabbing once near the tail and once near the head. Shake over with sea salt if desired.
Lightly oil grill grate. Grill for two to three minutes on each side, or until the shrimp are not clear in color.

Clam Chowder Meal with Vegetables
12 large shucked clams and clam juice
8 medium fresh diced tomatoes
3 or 4 diced white potatoes
1 diced carrot
1/2 small diced onion (optional)

Shuck clams, keeping the clam liquor as a base for the chowder. Cut clams into small pieces using scissors or a food processor. In either case, remove the stomach and throw away.
Dice the vegetables.

Combine the vegetables, clams, pepper and juice in a sauce pan.
Add water as needed to preserve a soup-like consistency and simmer for 1 ½ hours on low heat.

The author maintains seafood related websites including Fresh-Seafood, Commercial Fishing and Chincoteague Island Virginia.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 09:28 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, September 19 2007

Plant life has been used in cooking and meal preparation for years, though a lot of inhabitants are still hesitant of how to use them appropriately. For some they merely conduct experiments until they find the ideal arrangement, but for others they just do not seem to be able to get the idea of it making a meal with herbs and spices. Dissimilar herbs go with different foods and it is significant to know all about the different herbs prior to you truly use them in your cooking.

How Herbs Have Been Used Over the Years: Herbs have a quantity of uses and they have been used for accurately hundreds of years. The Chinese mainly revealed them and they were used for both cooking and therapeutic purposes. On the other hand, there is no substantiation as to when the Chinese essentially started using herbs in their cooking of meals.

The Egyptians were also thought to have used herb vegetation in their cooking well before the pyramids were even erected. Herbs are as well-liked as ever today and citizens have a propensity to conduct test more and more with their food by adding herbs to their meals in order to give them extra flavor. If you eat out at restaurants then there is a immense chance that the chefs there may have used herbs in their meal cooking.

The good thing about using herbs is that it’s effortless to include them to most foods, so you do not have to be a chef in order to try out new ideas with them. If you want to use herbs in your meal for the first time, it may not work out as you intended, but the greatest thing to do is to keep trying. Now and again you may get some grand results and other times you may not do too well, so you just need to persist. Just bear in mind not to go over the top with it with herbs, because by using too much it can often make the flavor of the food a little unbearable. Also, another angle is to try to use fresh herbs instead of dried herbs as you will be able to tell the difference when it comes to tasting them.

In general, herbs in our food have been used for several thousands of years, even though the precise dates it started are not very clear. By adding herbs it can really add extra flavor to our food and meals, and it is also healthy for you at the same time; so it is unquestionably significance trying them out. Experiment with the diverse types of herbs and try them out on unusual foods in order to see if you can generate something that is really tasty and that you and your family will enjoy.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 11:41 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, September 18 2007

Home-style cooking is about all those magnificent meals we enjoyed (still do) which included loads of butter and cream, pies and so on. The food tastes great and we all love it. The complexity is it does not fit in with our current familiarity of what healthy food should be like, and we agonize about issues like high cholesterol and heart problems. This blog entry looks at ways in which we can reduce un-healthy fats in customary home-style meals to bring it in line with present thoughts on healthy eating and thus get healthy home style meals – food we love to eat and food that is healthy.

Our objective then is unhealthy fats, so which fats are unhealthy? Generally speaking fats can be divided into two types – saturated and unsaturated. Unsaturated fats can be supplementary divided into polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. All food contains all these fats but in differing scope and the trick is to identify and decrease eating of those foods which contain high sizes of the unsafe fats. The body finds it hard to process saturated fats into energy and simply stores them as body fat. Saturated fats are the ones we need to decrease, because they lead to increased cholesterol levels in the blood which increase the risk of heart troubles.

Which foods have high proportions of saturated fats? Animal products, i.e. meats, have a propensity to have high levels of saturated fats, however different meats have different saturated fat levels, poultry (chicken and turkey) generally being moderately low. Fats that are solid at room temperature such as butter or lard are a major source of saturated fats and should be minimized. There are some fats of vegetable origin which should actually be totally expelled; these are the “hydrogenated vegetable oil” such as processed palm oil and some margarine. If it says “hydrogenated vegetable oil” give it a wide disembark.

What this means for healthy home-style meals is that you need to pass up using butter or lard in the cooking procedure, so farewell to lots of those delicious fried dinners unless you dry fry in a non stick pan. It is also adios to recipes that call for roasting meat with tons of butter and minimizing some processed meats that contain a lot of fat, such as some sausages, salami, spam and so on.

Unsaturated fats on the other hand can be advantageous to health. Polyunsaturated fats of vegetable origin such as sunflower oil contain omega 6, and polyunsaturated fats from oily fish like mackerel, sardines and salmon contain omega 3. In reality some eating of polyunsaturated fats is essential for your health, serving to reduce blood cholesterol levels. These foods form an imperative portion of healthy home style meals. Fish is now a regular part of our diet, my companion swears it improves her achy joints. We have also adopted a healthy breakfast which has helped my cholesterol level lower a great deal.

Monounsaturated fats also bring health benefits in sinking blood cholesterol. In healthy home-style cooking we tend to make the most of olive oil rather a lot. Other sources of monounsaturated fats include: avocado, pears, almonds, hazelnuts, and oily fish.
To come to the point home style cooking can be made healthy by lowering saturated fats as described above and by substituting suitable unsaturated fats. There’re of course other issues to be addressed such as the effects of sugar and refined flour, but that requires an additional blog. Awareness to the points exposed here can help you to produce a healthy home style meal system, giving great tasting healthy meals.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 09:43 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, September 17 2007

You know the drill… you run around all day taking care of the kids, the family unit and your job and before you know it, 6:00 is upon you and you have no idea what to make for dinner. That used to be me too. The answer was usually to sever everyone a bowl of cereal or call the pizza delivery guy. Not anymore. While I am still just as busy as ever, I also comprehend how significant it’s to prepare a genuine meal for my family. Not only is it much healthier, but we also end up saving funds we used to spend on takeout and we have come closer as a family. I would not operate dinner time for anything in the world and neither should you. Here’s my best information for getting dinner on the table even if you are as busy as I am.

Get each person drawn in.One of my main secrets is that I do not try to be super-mother and I do not try to get everything done by myself. Of course this includes making dinner. In our house, cooking is a family matter. My husband and daughter are in the kitchen with me, cooking, setting the table and cleaning-up afterwards. It makes every step of the procedure much faster, and when I am running late and do not make it home in time to get dinner started, the two of them can get started without me. Cooking together is also a great way for all of us to connect.

Shortcuts are okay. Do not feel like you have to make everything from scratch for it to count as a home cooked meal. It is ok to take shortcuts. Some of my favorites are to use bagged salad that’s already cleaned and ready to go, breadsticks and rolls that just need heating up and all kinds of canned soup or stews. There are also quite a few good frozen meal packs available online these days that you just cook in the pan or in your slow cooker. Whenever I do take the time to make things like soup, stew, casseroles or even meatloaf, I make quite a few batches of the dish and freeze the left over portions for another day when I am short on time. What counts is that you get a hale and hearty meal on the table, not the amount of time you spent in front of the stove-top.

Preparation of your meals. After everything else, but not least, let me share my principal secret with you – I plan my meals. It is so much easier to get dinner on the table, when you know accurately what you are going to cook ahead of time and have what you need at hand. Just sit down once a week with a pencil and a piece of paper and write down exactly what you are going to make for dinner each day of the week. Get your recipes out, and affix them to the list, then make a grocery list. It saves a lot of time only having to go to the store once a week and by attaching the recipes to the list of menus, other family members can get on track to getting dinner started when you are running late.

For a great free report on meal planning basics visit – the report goes into much more detail on how you can start planning your meals and also comes with a blank menu planning worksheet and shopping list that I use every week.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 11:03 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, September 12 2007

Unfortunately, with the easy and ready ease of access of processed foods, organic eating way of life is not as wide spread as they could be. Even those of us that do not want our bodies with pesticides and element toxins understand that sometimes a fast food meal from our favorite drive-in or carry off is easier than going to the problem of preparing our own organically cooked meals.

I have to admit that I sometimes even go to the lengths of heating up a prepared dinner when I am too tired to even lift a finger to dial the phone or order a pizza online for a meal that has to be better than a first frozen and then heated in the microwave meal eaten in confinement in front of the TV.

In fact, this is why I turned to organic eating habits to begin with, to get out of the rut that my life had fallen into. It did take some doing, and I did fall off the organic eating cart many times, but determination finally won through and I was out of my fast food junkie and TV dinner pothole, and onto the benefits of organic eating.

The mystery is though, that sometimes I am just too tired to deal with cooking a meal for myself and that is when I go to Taco Bell or the frozen dinners. In order to battle the seductive superiority of these fast paced lifestyle holes, I even went so far as to find and buy organic frozen dinners, but rational finally set in on that one, and I switched back to stocking my freezer with non-organic frozen dinners.

Why? Simply for the reason that after all the processing these foods have gone through, along with the freezing process, and then the microwave, it renders useless any type of righteousness that might be found in the foods. So why pay more for what turns out to be for all intents and purposes the same item? That was my assumption anyway.

If you decide to pursue an organic eating course of psychotherapy however, you will find that your life just became healthier and more complex at the same time. It became healthier because you are eradicating pesticides and other toxins from your body, and it became more difficult because now you have bigger monthly grocery fees, and you have to search completely for organic foods!

The benefits however, far are more important than the disadvantages, and you will most indisputably be glad later on that you went to the trouble to change your eating habits to organic eating habits. I hope this piece of writing was very helpful and thank you for comprehension.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 09:28 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, September 11 2007

Many people are stressed to put meals on the table despite having lost their jobs or lasting other financial emergencies. It can happen quickly; leaving those affected feeling somewhat anxious and uncertain what to do to stretch the food financial plan. Here are tips on what to eat when funds so tight that going to the grocery store is a excruciating experience because the money just is not there.

Get resourceful with grains: Buy a big canister of oats, because they are adaptable and can be used in many different ways (oatmeal, cookies, bread, and more). Rice is also a good choice, because there are many ways to use it and a big bag of it is fairly inexpensive. Barley, lentils and beans can be used in homemade soups. Flour is a good choice for baking your own bread. Buying the largest sized containers of these items is usually the best financial decision. Check prices at the store of each product to see what size is most cost successful for you.

Potatoes are a good thing: A bag of Idaho potatoes is useful anytime, since you can make a meal out of a baked potato, mashed potatoes or homemade hashed browns. Potato flakes are good for instant mashed potatoes, but they also are good in bread recipes, for giving a little extra flavor to the loaf. Potatoes are multipurpose and filling, which is why they are great for stretching the funds just a little.

Be particular about what you get in the frozen or refrigerated aisles: Prepared refrigerated and frozen items tend to be high-priced and eat up the food budget money very quickly. They taste great and are fun to have, but not when money is at a minimum. When things are really tight, miss out on the luxurious prepared meals and make your own entrees, desserts and breads. I make bread every week because it has a better flavor than many store bought breads. The frozen aisle is good for bulk items, like frozen vegetables, berries or waffles. Look for specials and read price labels to make sure you are getting good deals. I make homemade blueberry muffins off-season by using frozen blueberries, they are cheap and taste great. Waffles are easy to make, but they can be economical at the store if you run into a sale. Shop with awareness to get the best values.

Make recipes that use few ingredients: Soup is an easy meal to make, just keep chicken or beef stock or bouillon cubes on hand. Just add your choice of ingredients. I like to use reasonably priced whole chickens for making soup, buying a few boneless breasts costs more money unless you come across a rare big sale. Onion soup is great, so is split pea soup because it is nutritious and not expensive to make. If the recipe makes a large volume of soup, just freeze containers of it for later and microwave them when you want. Homemade yeast bread is cheap to make and is very satisfying. I make baking powder biscuits, too, which go great with honey or jam.

Buy the prevalent size cereal box you can find. Read the labels on the cereal boxes or bags, and see which brands give you the largest amount of product for your money. If you like puffed wheat sweetened, buy a bag of the more inexpensive non-sweetened puffed wheat and mix it with a bag of sweetened puffed wheat. It cuts down on sugar usage, and is cheaper than buying one small box of sweetened puffed wheat cereal. The cereal in bags seems to be less expensive, most of the time, in my store.

It pays to be thrifty when at the grocery store during hard financial times. Keep nutrition in mind, and vary your diet with fresh fruit and vegetables. Cut out the non-necessities and junk food, and be sensible with what you buy. Look for items that can be used for baking, cooking and making as many filling, satisfying meals as possible. The tough time will pass, and when it does, then you can go back to eating steak, imported cheeses, prepared meals and desserts. Withstand the financial storm as painlessly as possible by being creative with meals and realizing that the sun will come out later. When it does, and life returns to normal, you’ll know that you got through it and that if the situation were to happen again, you will get through it like before, eating well despite a lack of money.

Carolyn McFann is a scientific and nature illustrator, who owns Two Purring Cats Design Studio, which can be seen at: . Educated at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, Carolyn is a seasoned, well-traveled artist, writer and photographer. Clients include nature parks, museums, scientists, corporations and private owners. She has been the subject of TV interviews, articles for newspapers and other popular media venues.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 10:13 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, September 10 2007

Microwave ovens are the quickest and almost certainly the best way to cook fish. This is a bold, but factual statement as fish are full of moisture. The moisture within the fish is the building block that makes them easy to cook using your microwave oven as well as the fibrous nature of fish. The unique cooking action of microwaves is also an important factor to the enormous results achieved, as it heats the water molecules quickly and the vibrating action caused by the microwaves makes this action very quick.

1 - The trick when cooking fish is not to put too much in the microwave at once, and to make sure that any fish or pieces of fish placed in the microwave are of similar size. This will mean that they cook evenly and all at the same rate.

2 - Placing the fish in a microwave safe dish and putting either a microwave cover or microwave safe wrap over it to hold on to the steam, will help the fish to cook more quickly and help keep it moist.

3 - It is always best to under cook the fish slightly. When the fish is removed from the microwave the cooking process will continue for a couple of minutes, so if it is left to stand this will finish the cooking of the fish and give you moist flakey and luxurious results.

4 - The ideal thickness of the fish to be microwaved is about an 1” thick. With thin pieces of fish or flat fish it is best to turn the edges underneath, this will prevent the edges of the fish becoming dried out and tough. These thin fish can also be rolled. Thick fish can be butterflied, which means it can be cut down the middle.

5 - Add any herbs and seasoning before you begin your meal cooking process. This will allow the flavors to permeate through the flesh as the fish cooks.

Bought to you by Rossgo of

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 09:22 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, September 06 2007
Chili is a stew-like dish that differs from region to region. Also known as Chili Con Carne (chili with meat), chili, like stew, is made with several different ingredients and cooked for an extended period of time. Chili recipes are something like stew recipes. Many are good, some are bad and they're all a little different. One thing they do have in common is that everyone thinks they have the best chili recipe.

Depending on the region, the chili may or may not contain beans. Chili purists may point out that real chili does not contain beans, but that answer may vary depending on whom you ask.

One thing that most chili recipes have in common is that they contain some kind of meat and red chili powder. I say most because there are many variations of vegetarian chili and chicken chili, the latter of which is usually white in color, with little or no red chili added.

The meat found in chili is usually beef, although there are many other types of meat that are also used. Some very good chili recipes use venison or buffalo. And there are even chili recipes that use exotic meats such as kangaroo.

A key ingredient in most chili recipes is chili powder. This is a spice mix containing a variety of different spices, most notably ground red chilies, cumin, and garlic. This is not to be confused with ground chili or ground red pepper, which is simply the dried chili pepper ground into a powder. To forego using premixed chili powder, a chili recipe often makes use of the individual ingredients to create their own unique taste.

Regional variations of chili are wide ranging, from chili containing rice, celery, or corn to dessert like ingredients such as brown sugar or even peanut butter.

Cincinnati chili probably has the most unique flavor and ingredients, and is usually served over spaghetti. This regional variation often contains cinnamon and chocolate or cocoa.

Chili can be served many ways. By itself, it can be a substantial dish and topped with raw onions and Cheddar cheese and served with crackers. It can be used as a topping for hot dogs or as mentioned above, spaghetti or other pasta. Chili can be wrapped in a tortilla and eaten as a burrito. Or it can be eaten on a hamburger bun like a sloppy joe sandwich.

If you've never made chili before it can seem a bit overwhelming with all the possible variations. Searching the Web trying to find a good recipe for your first attempt can be a daunting task with all the recipes available.

To get you started, here is a good resource for your first pot of chili. It's easy and makes a really good meal.

Easy Chili Recipes

Try some of those variations to see how easy good chili can be.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 08:19 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, September 05 2007
Do you have the skills to help you switch from drive through state of mind to preparing full family dinners? Yes, I laughed at this notion too. The whole thought that I could have the time or liveliness to make dinner for my family everyday is ludicrous. Then I started implementing these tips and our family life in fact changed. I would like to share with you how to make easy dinner recipes work for you on a day after day basis.

Tip #1: Get a calendar. This is an organizing tool that works for everyone I know and it is so simple you are going to just say, "Come on. Do you think we are simpletons?” Not at all, but when you are writing down all of your activities for the day, note what days are going to be crunches and which look not so bad. If Tuesday looks unpleasant, buy a rotisserie chicken, some grand rolls, a bag of Caesar salad and you have got chicken sandwiches in a burst. You will only go through half the chicken and when Wednesday comes around, you have the makings of great pasta. Your calendar can be your best friend, so map out your week in advance and inscribe on each day what dinner is going to be.

Tip #2: Post a shopping list inside your pantry door. This will help you keep in mind the odd items that come up (plastic wrap gets me all the time) plus as you are doing your meal planning at the opening of the week you can easily fill the items you need to make those dinners.

Tip #3: Combine. One grocery trip per week is all you need. Do not make life harder than it is. When in uncertainty, refer to Tip #2 and be industrious with that.

Tip #4: Get everyone else involved. I have three children so they get to pick one meal every other week. My daughter picks one week and then my son the next. I find a day that looks good and ask for their preference ahead of time. They get energized to for having dinner at home because it is their choice and I do not have to compel anyone to eat anything.

Tip #5: Get techie. Subscribe to blogs or websites that have great recipes emailed right to you each week. I have been auspicious enough to subscribe to a program that helps me out enormously. Not only does it have a huge library of recipes to pick from, but it helps me put the recipes onto a list and then even makes a grocery list for me. I don't know how I ever lived without it. There are quite a few of these sites out there, but the one I use can be found here. Order meals online.

Tip #6: Be flexible. We are not ideal and even the best laid plans sometimes fall apart. An sporadic pizza picked up in desperation is okay. We also have mix up nights when the plan has deteriorated and we get to just pick anything from the pantry we want - from a bowl of cereal to left over steak. We are all great with those evenings because we know that tomorrow we will get back on the program.
Posted by: Send a Meal AT 09:40 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, September 04 2007
You may want to learn how to cook better so you can impress a boy friend or girl friend. There is always room to learn new skills when it comes to cooking. This article will look at a few simple cooking tips to help you along the way.

For domestic cooking, a tandoor is not really convenient but the meat dishes can be reproduced on a barbeque or in the oven. Furthermore, in times of hot weather, when cooking on the stove and turning on the oven adds to the heat, a slow cooker provides a good alternative.

Cooking Tip #1 - When cooking meats of any kind, there is no sauce like a sauce made from the meat trimmings and bones of the meat itself.

Cooking Tip #2 - By taking the time to properly treating your pans, you will enjoy cooking much more and increase the life of your investment.

Cooking Tip #3 - A secret to cooking well lies in combining complimentary foods, where one ingredient actually enhances the flavor of the other.

Cooking Tip #4 - It is not necessary to brown meat before slow cooking, but it gives more depth of flavor in the food and removes some of the fat, especially in pork, lamb and sausages.

Cooking Tip #5 - To ensure even cooking when roasting a whole tenderloin, the small end should be tucked up and tied or trimmed for other use.

Cooking Tip #6 - India offers some of the more familiar mix Indian dishes, including the popular tandoori-style of cooking. This will enhance the taste and the aroma of your cooking. Any recipe from India is worth cooking for the aroma alone.

Cooking Tip #7 - When considering taking a cooking class it is important to find a class that will be of the most benefit to you.

Cooking Tip #8 - Using a Crock Pot

Crock Pot recipes tend to be ones which are a bit different than the usual recipes that require stovetop or oven cooking. You can tenderize tough meat by cooking it in a crock pot to save a bad piece of meat.

Due to the fact that slow cookers like a crock pot are simple, safe and require no attention while cooking, people who use it enjoy the time-saving convenience it provides. For those who are not concerned about cooking in aluminum the West Bend Versatility 6-quart Oval Slow Cooker will work well to cook meats.

If you want to save additional time in the evenings, try cooking in a Crock pot.

You'll find hundreds of cooking tips and recipes using whole grains, and more specialty whole grains (with cooking charts), and nutritional information on many web sites. Any whole grains can be cooked in a pot just as you would cook white rice, but they take longer and will use more liquid.
Posted by: Send a Meal AT 11:27 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, September 01 2007

Sweet potatoes cooked by Myrtle Beach, SC, native Jon Leithiser (pronounced LIGHT-hyzer) are a one-of-a-kind Southern treat.

Jon often dives in the Waccamaw River, and he finds all manner of treasures such as antique bottles, Native American projectile points and tools, clay pipes and enormous sharks’ teeth. He also pulls up chunks of golden pine resin, which are leftovers from the days when Horry County had a booming naval store industry.

Naval stores are things used for wooden boats, like pine tar used to make the boats leak-proof.

Jon had heard of a restaurant in Murrells Inlet, SC, that used to sell sweet potatoes boiled in pine sap, so once he had enough of the chunks to fill an old cast iron cauldron, he built a fire under it and melted the stuff. When it was boiling he chunked in the potatoes, and a local unique dining treasure was reborn.

Another Myrtle Beach native, J. Bourne, made a video about Jon’s taters. You can see it on YouTube here:

He mostly cooks sweet potatoes, but Jon can and does also put white baking potatoes in the pot. The result is a tender, creamy potato infused with a hint of pine flavor. They take about 30 minutes to cook.

It’s a dangerous and hot job to cook potatoes this way. Jon wears long pants heavy boots, and he uses thick leather gloves when he’s messing around with the cauldron. He has long tongs for removing the potatoes from the sap and then inserts the taters in small brown paper bags. Within seconds the pine sap coating the potatoes hardens, and Jon slices through the bag to split them open. He provides plastic forks, butter and salt, and sometimes cinnamon sugar too, and people are always amazed at how good those potatoes eaten out of paper bags taste.

Jon sets up his rig, which he hauls on a 1946 Dodge Power Wagon, during chilly winter months at area parties and events.

Becky Billingsley is a professional writer who publishes daily news about Myrtle Beach area restaurants at

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 08:29 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email