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Friday, August 27 2010
I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen with either a laptop or iPhone handy to look up recipes, so whenCulinate released Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything iPhone App earlier this year I had a moment. You know, one of those moments that bring together all of those things that you love. Yeah, it was intense.
At first I thought the price was a little high for an iPhone app (I generally stick to the free or below $2 price tags), but when I realized you get the entire volume of How to Cook Everything crammed into a tiny app for $4.99 I was sold.
And so began my obsession with cooking apps (you should see my cookbook shelf). Since then, I've invested in a few more cooking and recipe guides on my iPhone. They all have their own personality so pick one that suits your cooking style. Personally I prefer How to Cook Everything (it's just so comprehensive) and Martha Stewart's Everyday Food.
What is your favorite recipe resource?
Recipe Apps for iPhone:
Thursday, August 26 2010
By Cristin Dillon, Self magazine
Pizza is my ultimate vice. I usually order from my favorite pizza shop but occasionally I make my own pizza at home and when I do this, I keep my pizza so healthy, it's not even considered a splurge! The best healthy homemade pizza starts with a nutritious crust so bring on the whole wheat! The nutritional downfalls of pizza are: (1) thick, white crust with lots of calories and no filling fiber, (2) loads of full fat cheese, (3) high sodium, high saturated fat meat toppings, and (4) lack of nutrients from vegetables. I can work my way around all of these downfalls and still have a great tasting pizza. Today, lets focus on the crust!
Related: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss
There are a couple of options for healthy crusts. The key is to go thin so that you reduce the calories by half if not more. Whole wheat crust is best because it contains fiber that is more filling and will satisfy you sooner (think 2-3 slices rather than 5-6). If you have time and patience you can make whole wheat dough from scratch but I get terribly frustrated when trying to roll and stretch it out as it always ends up a mess! Life is busy these days so recently I have been relying on store-bought, ready-to-use whole wheat crusts.
Last week I used Boboli to make my homemade pizza. This crust tastes great (thanks to the addition of a little Parmesan cheese) and it cooks nicely with a crisper bottom and softer inside. The one thing I don't love is the presence of palm oil which is responsible for the saturated fat in the crust. It's not a lot but it just doesn't seem necessary. One of my favorite (palm oil free) alternatives is Whole Foods 365 Everyday Organic Whole Wheat crust.
Related: Don't Panic: What You Need to Know About the Recent Egg Recall
Pizza can be a healthy option so long as you build it right. Get started with a whole wheat crust, then use 2% cheese and lots of vegetables (sauce and toppings), lastly add a little lean protein like chicken strips, 95% lean ground beef or even chicken sausage! This combo tastes great and fills you up fast - Enjoy!
Tuesday, August 24 2010
If you are a seafood lover, then it's certain you've got a soft spot for genuine Alaska crab. While you may order this delicacy from time to time in restaurants, maybe you've always wanted to learn for yourself how to prepare and enjoy this seafood treat. Begin by learning a little more about the three major varieties of Alaska crab, Alaskan King Crab, Dungeness Crab, and Opilio Crab. All of the above can be enjoyed in a variety of elaborate dishes, or simply by being steamed and dipped in melted butter. Whether you are up for buying and preparing whole fresh crabs, or are looking for pre-split, easy preparation crabs for delicious meals without all the hassle, it's still easy to enjoy genuine Alaska crab from the icy waters of Alaska right at home for half the price of the restaurants.
Widely considered to be one of the most dangerous jobs a person can have in North America, genuine Alaska crab fisheries must brave extreme and dangerous weather conditions, trying work environments, and daily peril in order to bring in the harvest each year. Since Alaska is one of the best sources of sustainable wild seafood in the world, the crabbing seasons are carefully monitored to make sure that populations have plenty of time to thrive and regenerate. As such, there is a season for each specific type of crab, although they are available fresh or fresh-frozen all year round.
If looking for fresh, top tasting, crab legs, then Alaska King Crab Legs are the way to go. One of the most popular varieties in the world, genuine Alaska crab legs taste great on their own or in a variety of dishes like chowders and stews. The rich, tender taste and texture, as well as the bright red exterior and the enjoyment of the process of eating a crab leg all make these delicacies a favorite of many. Dungeness crab from the icy waters of Alaska are the largest and most flavorful found on the West Coast of the United States. Available nearly all year, this delicious variety of crab works with a number of seasonings and flavors, and can be served as in a salad, soup, or as the main dining attraction itself. A low price and great quality make Dungeness crab a top seller! Finally, Opilio Crab is a genuine Alaska crab variety also known as Snow Crab or Queen Crab. Not as easy to get a hold of as it once was due to population declines and Alaskan sustainability practices, they are still quite a treat when available due to the flaky white meat, and top texture.
Tuesday, August 17 2010
Labor Day barbecues and events generally are held to mark the end of summer, but that doesn't mean your barbecue party has to have everyone crying in their beers longing for the hot summer days. You can do a lot to make the most of your Labor Day barbecue party. Here are several tips:
Now if you were looking for more traditional approaches to making the most of your Labor Day barbecue...
These tips will help you make the most of your Labor Day barbecue party which will have everyone usher in the fall with a belly full of beer!
Thursday, August 12 2010
It's August! Which means that across the nation, endless loads of laundry are being done--dare we say mostly by mothers--and school supplies purchased in preparation for students going off to college for the first time, or returning to their college dorms to start a new adventure in what has already become a home away from home.
All summer long, mothers of America, you've tried to keep an eye on your kids and their nutrition, and now you're sending them back to the land of instant noodles, candy bars and cafeteria food. It's no secret that college students are often pressed for time, settling for fast food, energy-dense snacks and instant meals. The hard news is that these bad habits increase their risk of getting chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
The good news is that college students are really good at forming good habits, too. Studying harder than they ever did in high school, for example, and cooperating with others on team sports. Good eating habits aren't that hard to implement, and yield high rewards. Healthy eating makes them (everyone!) feel better, cope with stress better, rest better, and perform better in the class-room and on the athletic field.
So why not pack these tips in with that clean laundry?
1. Breakfast. Let's start with the beginning, no? I know you've heard it before, but think of it as one of those old songs that gets better and better as the years go by. Start the day off with good energy! Real fruit, protein bars, cuppa tea if that's your cuppa tea (we suggest green for antioxidants). Just eat breakfast. Please.
2. You can eat instant noodles and other instant meals, but choose which ones you eat wisely. There are plenty of organic and all-natural options on the market these days. You can still have quick and easy, but not so much MSG, sodium, and other unhealthy, hard-to-pronounce ingredients.
3. Fresh, perishable food beats packaged foods with mysteriously interminable shelf lives. Haven't you read your Michael Pollan? "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." Get a mini fridge. At least supplement those instant noodles with fresh carrot sticks. Just be careful of the ice cream if your mini fridge has an even mini-er freezer. The point here is to be proactive, by having fresh foods on hand and inviting. Bonus: is there a farmers' market near your college? Go!
4. Water. You know it. Cheaper and better for you than juice, even, and certainly, infinitely better in every possible way than the high fructose corn syrup laced sodas that are being fiendishly marketed to you. Stop being a victim of corporate advertising dollars preying on your health! Be a hydration fanatic instead. Nothing keeps you healthier. Nothing keeps you slimmer, either, in a good way. Half the time you think you're hungry, you're really just thirsty. See if mom and dad will splurge on a water cooler! You'll be the most popular room in the dorm. (Mom, if you're reading this...)
5. Mindset. The most important thing you can do is start to think of what you put into your body as real nourishment. Vitamins, minerals, water--these things work on your behalf inside your body, whereas empty sugar calories don't. They weigh you down. They make you unhealthy. It's like having a terrible player on your sports team or a terrible lab partner. Work with your food so your food will work for you.
Wednesday, August 11 2010
Read reviews on restaurants, do not ignore the quality of food choices and rates for a buffet. Be it a choice of a la carte menu or buffet, you are free to make a wise choice. Delectable spread of meals which are lighter on your pockets too.
Start with a welcome drink, you have a choice of beer, cocktail or mock tail. You have two types of soup to choose from, Indian bread, rice or noodles, different varieties of veg and non veg gravies with it. Salads of different types and mouthwatering desserts and ice cream with your buffet package! Check online, to find out the days when buffet meals are served.
These are just perfect for your corporate gatherings, a day out with friends or family, a romantic dinner with your loved ones can be planned out well. View the menu options online and decide on the restaurant based on your budget and style of food. There are restaurants which are specialised in Thai, Chinese, Italian, Indian - North Indian and South Indian, Multicuisine, Continental, Rajasthani and Bengali.
Buffet is a good choice of food for those with:
A good appetite and
Tuesday, August 10 2010
Everyone loves to camp and being outdoors in nature. Even when we cannot get away, we spend many of our free hours outside being in nature. Many families spend their weekends outside in their back yards for most of the time. They enjoy the fresh air and the informal atmosphere. Many plan to do their cooking on their built in gas grills for the weekend also. Often, people will invite their friends and family to participate as well. It is an informal but enjoyable way to entertain.
Most of the time it is the man that does the cooking on the BBQ grills. However, it is becoming more of a family affair. Some have built fancy outside kitchens with an outdoor refrigerator and all the cabinet space. Some have to start out with a small Webber portable grill. It is great to be able to trade up and have a nicer set up but the important thing is getting up from watching TV and doing something active with the family.
Having a family barbecue will do that. It gets the family active and up and going together. There is an air of anticipation for the delicious food and fun activities after the food preparation. Some only have a charcoal grill to work with because of limitations of the building codes where they live. It is still a fun time and good food. It is a reason to take turns and eat at each family member's home as each one can host a meal.
Having sturdy, easy to use and clean grill tools will make the cooking time go faster and less stressful. You will feel more comfortable taking a moment to talk to a guest when you know everything is under control in the cooking department. You will be happy you did it when it is time for clean up and there are no dishes to wash!
Monday, August 09 2010
Once upon a time, Vegetarians found it extremely difficult to get a great meal when dining out. The truth nowadays, however, is much more enlightening and exciting to be honest and there are several different outlets you can use in order to find a great, flavorful vegetarian meal.
In many aspects, the thought of vegetarian meals while eating out at your favorite restaurant meant ordering what everyone else was eating, just nix the meat. While this might have been okay for the beginner vegetarian, the truth is that many vegetarians know better than to sacrifice their protein and just eat a big plate of vegetables.
Dining out when you've made the choice to be a vegetarian is quite simple and the best part is more and more places are recognizing the importance in becoming a vegetarian. Aside from this fact, many places value the thoughts and opinions of their consumers and have learned to cater to their clients no matter their eating preferences.
Thankfully, this attitude has given vegetarians more choices when it comes to eating out. Many restaurants now offer foods like the bean burger and spinach and ricotta lasagna. Aside from this, the major protein staple for many vegetarians when dining out is tofu. While many restaurants felt that the investment into vegetarian meals might once have been a capital disaster, many places nowadays invest whole heartedly in the idea; some even serve nothing but vegetarian meals.
Unfortunately, not every city will have an abundance of vegetarian eateries. However, there has been a lot of recent investment in the vegan and vegetarian aspect and the market is quickly growing. So, how do you order your vegetarian meal in a place that's less than animal friendly? The answer is simple: if the place makes you uncomfortable, steer clear.
If you're dining with friends who insist on going to a steakhouse, there are several different options. The traditional staples of the soup and salad combo are a fail-safe and seem to always work. The development of the traditional salad has come so much further than you would think over the past five years. Loaded with hearty vegetables and great, low fat dressings, salads often pull up to the low calorie table while still managing to taste great, be good for you, and even look delicious and enticing to children as well. How do they manage that?
The colors in vegetarian food are deal points that often entice people into wanting more or wanting to try something different. Vegetarian food is designed at the corporate level in order to attract potential and veteran veggies to try new things. Reinventing the wheel is an unwelcome factor when it comes to vegetarian food.
Thanks to this outlook, many businesses focus on catering to special requests and developing new ideas in order to attract new clientele. It is perfectly clear that most places want to cater to you, regardless of what kind of food you prefer; although vegetarians really are starting to have the upper hand.
Friday, August 06 2010
In large pot bring six quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the radiatori and cook until al dente. Meanwhile, cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, then peel the halves and cut them lengthwise into thin slices. Place the slices in a bowl, add the juice salt and chili and stir them gently. Drain the pasta and transfer it to a platter, pour the avocado mixture over the pasta, then toss together gently. Sprinkle the tomatoes and parsley over the top, serve at once.
You could it this dish warm or have it as a salad, both ways is delicious. To cook pasta perfectly al dente - tender but chewy, begin with enough boiling salted water to let the pasta circulate freely. For The 1 lb of fresh pasta you will be able to serve about six people, 5 qt of water will be sufficient to cook the pasta for six. Cooking time varies, with pasta's shape. size and dryness. Fresh pasta generally takes between one to three minutes to cook, but dry pasta will take between three to fifteen minutes. unless otherwise specified, pasta should always be served in a hot dish.
For innovative pasta dishes try whole roasted heads to add to the pasta before serving, roasted garlic have a wonderful fragrance and flavor that will be a good idea to roast extra heads to refrigerate for future uses. Even better, onion heads are also a great idea, this time try roasting sweet onion heads, then scoop out much of it or process all of it in a blender and create a pasta sauce with them, add your favorite spices salt and pepper to taste.
Adding raisins and pine nuts will make a pasta dish in a special winter dish, this bittersweet combination goes well with the addition of anchovy fillets, sweet Italian sausage sauteed in the oil with the garlic.Combine the wonderful bitterness flavors of arugula springs and broccoletti rapini, for those who love the spicy bitter taste. To cut parsley, wash it under cold water and shake dry. Holding the stems together gather the leaves into a tight and compact bunch, with a chef's knife chop the leaves coarsely, discard the stems or save them for broth-stew making.
For more finely chopped parsley, gather the coarsely chopped leaves together, steadying the chop of the knife blade and moving it back and forth in an arc until the desired fineness is reached.
Thursday, August 05 2010
Looking for a new culinary treat? Are you an aspiring chef or just the person who cooks healthy, yet interesting dinners at home for family and friends? Whatever your needs there are a million reasons why fresh, Alaska seafood might be the right choice for you! Available fresh or frozen all year round, the flavor, texture and quality of wild caught seafood can't be beaten. All of that comes with the guarantee that your product is one that comes from Alaska's sustainable seafood industry which works to preserve seafood species and their natural habitats. Where responsibility for sustainability and great quality meet one find's fresh, wild seafood that comes from the icy waters of Alaska.
Going out to eat might be a bit tougher on the wallet than it was in the past, but there's one great guarantee when you see Alaska seafood on the menu, quality. There are many chefs, restaurants and regular grocers, shoppers and consumers who have all jumped on the 'fresh' or 'organic' foods bandwagon. Now, one trend that has been going strong since 1959 is easy to be part of simply by choosing seafood products from Alaska. As written into the Alaskan Constitution seafood species are protected by not only politicians, but teams of scientists, statisticians and the fisheries. With many restrictions and regulations in place designed to encourage sustainable harvesting practices, there will surely be fresh, wild top quality Alaska seafood available for many generations to come.
Of the many natural resources in the world, few are so well protected as Alaska seafood. A natural delicacy, the industry and economic benefit behind it is something that must be preserved not only for the enjoyment but wellbeing of future generations. This model of sustainability is one that many industries and governments should learn from; it is a model in which demand is not allowed to overrule regulation and common sense. This model of regulation and sustainability is one copied and looked towards the world over as a perfect example of how things can be done the right way for the benefit of all concerned, including ocean habitats, fisheries and consumers alike.
To find out more about choosing Alaska seafood simply go online! When shopping for seafood, ask which products come from Alaska in your local seafood market. Demand sustainable natural resources by voting with your dollars as a consumer with power to make big changes!
Wednesday, August 04 2010
I first discovered Spanish food at a tapas bar in New York City and fell in love instantly, since then I had wanted to travel to Spain and experience the real thing.
I finally had the chance to visit Barcelona, the main goal of the trip was to experience the many tapas bars and excellent food and culture. I was not disappointed and intend to visit again in the coming years for the same reason - the food!
I greatly enjoyed the country, its people and lifestyle and can see myself living there, shopping in the markets and cooking with the most amazing ingredients - specifically fresh seafood and pork products.
Spain has many different personalities and flavor profiles from Andalucia to Galicia to Catalonia and everything in between - every part of Spain has its own food specialties and traditions. I prefer the more traditional Spanish dishes and way of eating for example roast baby pig and pintxos/tapas mainly because you can taste the history, culture and soul of the country. Tapas is a very social way of eating with no 'rules' that you must first have your salad then entree then dessert in that order - you can enjoy whatever you like and as much as you like, you're not limited to only one or two things which keeps the eater from becoming bored and allows one to easily try new things. In my experience, Spanish cuisine in general whether traditional or modern is always prepared with passion and a sense of pride and respect for both the country and the ingredients - Spanish cooks don't just want to feed your hunger but they want to touch your soul and seduce your mind! In Spain, eating is not just something one does out of a need to survive, it is an experience and a way to connect and relate to those who prepare the food and those you are sharing your meal with.
I believe the culture of food in Spain is something that many Americans are just starting to understand and appreciate. In the US, people sometimes have a negative or non-existent view of food. Because so many people in the US have health and weight problems, food is often seen as something bad that you need to avoid and not take pleasure in. Many people are raised in environments where little or no emphasis is placed on food - its merely a form of sustenance lacking flavor and creativity. I feel that people are starting to rebel against these ways of thinking about food and are beginning to recognize that food can be something positive. When travelers return from experiencing food in Spain, they can't help but talk about their eating adventures - the buzz is growing and anyone who is seriously interested in exploring new foods can't help but add Spain to their list.
Another reason why people are starting to embrace Spanish food is because the American food culture has been very dull. People quickly grab a bite to eat in between errands, they gulp down re-heated take-out while watching TV and many people want to add more flavor and excitement to their meals but don't have access to unordinary ingredients or restaurants in their area - these people are ready and willing to experience something different and exciting. Because Spain is so welcoming and has a great deal to offer visitors in addition to excellent cuisine, it is the perfect foodie destination.
Also, there is a growing segment of the population that has discovered a passion for food especially that of different cultures and is seeking that which they cannot have - the tapas bar hopping experience, the delicious cava and my personal favorite - jamon, something you can't get easily in the US. You can order your cured pork and aged Manchego online, you can sit at an American interpretation of a Spanish bar but its an empty experience - nothing compares to the real thing.
Tuesday, August 03 2010
I don't know about you, but my childhood memory of Parmesan cheese is still very vivid. It was a Thursday, and it came pre-grated in a green cardboard cylinder. It sat in the fridge for a couple of weeks until my mom finally opened it and made spaghetti. It's okay, admit it. You first parmesan cheese encounter was something like that, too. But I, and America, have grown up. No longer are gourmet ships restricted to the biggest cities while Italian restaurants now serve other regional dishes and not just the classics. Since we are used to tasting different things, new things, and making discriminating choices, it is time that we take a closer look at Parmigiano Reggiano, a kind of cheese that is light years ahead of parmesan cheese.
Parmigiano Reggiano is a medium-fat cheese that is made from partly skimmed and unpasteurized cow's milk. It was initially made in a zone limited to the provinces of Parma, Reggio-Emilia and Modena, among other parts of the provinces of Mantua and Bolognia in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. It is naturally prepared, and no chemical preservatives or artificial additives are used. And like fine wine, it is a living product, capable of maturing and evolving in flavor.
The Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is a time-tested cheese, although complex, it is still perfect served on its own. Simply break off small chunks, make paper thin silvers or cut it into bite size slices, and you are ready to serve! But since everyone just loves it, you can also pair it with a never ending list of other flavors that will highlight its subtle bite and sweetness.
An essential part of any Italian athlete's post-workout diet, the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is also a great source of protein, calcium and phosphorous, and it contains other vitamins and minerals such as B12, copper and zinc. But the most interesting thing about it is the traditional way of opening, more appropriately called "cracking", its huge wheel.
In case you have never seen it cut open and wonder how these cutters were able to cut into such ragged and craggy wedges, well you will be surprised if I tell you that those wedges are there on purpose. Some people consider breaking into a 24-month old wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano like "cracking open happiness". Why? Because traditionally, opening the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese wheel makes use of a set of official tools - five different types of knives - in order to make sure that the internal crystalline structure and crumbly texture is preserved and left intact.
Carefully crafted by artisans, each wheel of the Parmigiano Reggiano is an expression of the cheese maker's sensibilities and sound judgment - the maker decides every stage of production with his fingertips. More than just a pasta ingredient, the Parmigiano Reggiano is a product of an intimate endeavor. So don't stop grating. Get the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese today!
Monday, August 02 2010
t is well worth to make an effort to learn how to prepare it well, and to have it stored in the refrigerator for everyday use.
When making broth it is necessary to add, tomatoes, parsnips, onion, garlic, parsley, dill, and is also important to let the broth simmer without stirring it, as this may cause the broth to become cloudy. When the broth is done, let it stand at room temperature to cool before straining and defatting.
Ingredients to make a broth: chicken backs and wings, 4 ribs of celery with leaves, 4 carrots with the skins and halved, 2 medium onions, skins left on and halved, 2 parsnips, with peels and halved, one large ripe tomato or 3 plum tomatoes halved, 4 cloves of garlic, lightly bruised, 8 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, 4 sprigs fresh dill, 2 large branches of fresh thyme, 6 black peppercorns, 4 whole cloves, one bay leaf, 1 tablespoon of coarse salt, 4 quarts of water.
Preparation; Rinse the chicken pieces well, removing any excess of fat. Place the chicken in a large soup pot and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer gently, partially cover, for about 1 1/2 hours, carefully skimming any foam that rises to the surface.
Adjust the seasonings and cook 30 minutes longer. Remove the pot from the heat, strain the broth, then pour it through a fine sieve once more to clear it. Let cool to room temperature. If the broth is to be used immediately, set it aside for 15 minutes to allow the fat to raise to the surface. Then, degrease the broth completely. If the broth is to be stored in the refrigerator for future use, transfer it to a storage container and refrigerate covered. Remove the hardened layer of fat from the top before using. If you are not using the broth within the next 3 days after preparation you can always freeze it.
Defatting broth is very simple, after broth is done, remove all the solids with a spoon and pour the liquid through a a fine strainer to clear it. Then set aside for 15 minutes to allow the fat to rise, carefully remove the layers of fat with a shallow metal spoon. Chicken broth is the basic and most important ingredient of dishes like chicken soup, mashed potatoes, beans, and some stews.
Add rice, potatoes, carrots, egg, cheese to a chicken soup, and it will become into a warm and hearty meal for you and yours during winter time.