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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hot Crock Pot Meals for a Cold Day


It's that time of year again. If you live in the Midwest or similar regions like I do, you have to transition to cooking hearty meals during the fall and winter. Gone for the most part are grilling and salads. Aromatic soups and thick stews are now par for the course. Pork roasts are substituted for barbecued ribs, roast beef for steaks on the grill. Whatever you tend to make during the cold days of the year, your crock pot makes it easier. Start your meal in your slow cooker before you go to work. Dinner will be ready when you come home from work and the children are back from school. Check out these quick and easy recipes you can make for you and your family in your crock pot slow cooker.

Hunter's Slow Cooker Stew

What you need:

• 1.5 lbs ground beef, browned and drained
• 1 medium head of cabbage, cut in small wedges
• 15 oz can tomato sauce
• 8 oz fresh mushrooms, washed and sliced
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 large green pepper, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• black pepper to taste
• salt to taste

What you do:

• Add all ingredients to a 5-6 quart crock pot and mix. Cook,
covered, for 6-7 hours on low.
• Add 1/2 - 1 t red pepper flakes for a spicier version.

Three Meat Crock Pot Chili

What you need:

• 1 lb ground beef
• 1 lb Italian sausage
• 1 lb round steak, cubed
• 2 c beef broth
• 28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
• 15 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
• 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
• 12 oz can tomato juice
• 2 large onion, chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 4 oz can chopped green chiles, drained
• 3 T chili powder
• 2 t ground cumin
• 2 t oregano
• 1 t salt
• 1/4 t black pepper

What you do:

• Brown ground beef, Italian sausage and round steak in a large
skillet; drain. Place meats and remaining ingredients into a 5
quart or larger crock pot and mix. Cover and cook on low for 7-8
hours. Serve by itself or with sour cream, jalapenos, shredded
cheddar cheese, raw chopped onion and/or crackers.

Creamy Chicken and Bacon Pasta

What you need:

• 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts halves, cut in half
• 1/2 lb bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
• 2 (10.75 oz) cans cream of mushroom soup
• 4 oz can sliced mushrooms, drained
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 2-3 T olive oil
• salt and pepper to taste
• fettuccine or cooked pasta of choice

What you do:

• Heat oil in a large skillet. Lightly season chicken breasts with
salt and black pepper. Place chicken in skillet and cook over
med-high heat until browned, about 1-2 minutes per side. Place
chicken in a 3.5 quart or larger crock pot and cover with onion
and mushrooms.

• In a medium bowl, combine soup, garlic and bacon and mix.
Pour soup mixture over chicken breasts. Cook, covered, for 6-8
hours on low. Serve over hot cooked pasta.
If you love easy recipes, especially easy crock pot recipes, then visit Easy Breezy Recipes at for some quick and easy recipes for you and your family.
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Most Common Ingredients in Pasta Dishes


Italian Cuisine is known as one of the worlds healthiest diets. It focuses on simple and natural ingredients and the benefits of this Mediterranean diet can include weight loss, improved sugar levels and a healthy mind. The best way to start is to stock up on the core ingredients used in commonly used in their various dishes.
Olive oil is a common one to stock up on. By replacing butter with olive oil you'll be replacing bad cholesterol with good cholesterol. It is high in monounsaturated fat and is the best cooking oil to use. The Extra virgin olive oil is high in polyphenols, the antioxidants which have been linked to good heart health. Use olive oil to dress your salads with a bit of lemon, or to lightly sauté fresh vegetables.
Tomatoes are a must have ingredient for any Italian cuisine. They are either used in a fresh salad or in a red Italian sauce and are packed with vitamin c and lycopene, another antioxidant which protects the heart and is also known to prevent some cancers. Additional nutritional ingredients in a tomato include vitamins A, potassium and folate.

Garlic adds flavour to any Italian dish and is good either fresh, dried or in powder form. It is a well-known natural health remedy used to treat certain ailments and can strengthen the immune system as well as fight off infections and reduce cholesterol. Garlic can also prevent the growth of the candida fungus.
Seafood is low in fat and cholesterol and high in protein, vitamins, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids. Fish is known to eliminate some problems associated with memory loss, cardiovascular functions, colon cancer, strokes and PMS. Omega 3's are healthy fats which are important for optimal immune function. They increase metabolism and help in hormone production.

Whole Grains are the core ingredients in Mediterranean cooking and known to lower cholesterol, prevent constipation and lower the risk of many chronic diseases. The risk of type 2 diabetes, strokes and heart disease is reduced by eating whole grain foods and it also helps in weight management.
Beans are a big part of Italian cuisine and are an inexpensive source of protein that can be very versatile. They are often substituted for meat and can be used in salads, soups, stews, pasta, side dishes and dips to name a few. They are known to prevent health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. They contain protein, fibre and almost no fat and are good at filling up on as they contain almost no fat.

Dark Leafy Greens. The Italians love their dark leafy greens which contain magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, and betaine. The vitamin K found in the greens help to prevent blood clots and age related issues and not getting enough of this can result in cardiovascular disease, fragile bones and artery and kidney calcification. The best way to eat leafy greens is in a salad or sautéed in olive oil with garlic.

Nuts. Nut trees are almost as popular as olive trees in Italy and they offer various health benefits. They are loaded with protein, fibre and essential fats and are good in salads, as a snack on its own or use pine nuts, hazelnuts or almonds to make a good pesto sauce.

Red Wine. No Italian meal is complete without a glass of wine. Red wine is better for your health and a glass of red with your meal can be good for cholesterol, blood sugar and help with digestion.
As they would say in Italy "Buon Appetito!'.
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How to Make Pasta Carbonara - Quick and Easy


Pasta Alla Carbonara - pasta in the style of the coal workers - is a simple yet deliciously rich dish that can be thrown together very quickly with just a few ingredients you probably already have on hand: pasta (traditionally made with spaghetti but any shape will work), eggs, bacon, freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, and freshly ground black pepper. The trick to making a luscious, creamy Carbonara is to carefully control the heat when you mix the eggs into the hot pasta. Do it wrong and you end up with scrambled eggs and pasta. If this happens, don't worry, it will taste fine but the texture won't be quite as satisfying. Just follow the recipe step-by-step and your dish will be beautifully rich and creamy. Buon appetito!


1 pound of pasta (serves 4 for dinner, 6 for lunch)
5 large eggs (1 egg per person + a spare)
½ pound of bacon, sliced (1/2 package)
1.5 cups of FRESHLY grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
Salt to season the water
Freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Put a large pot of cold water on to boil. (4 quarts of water per pound of pasta)

2. While the water is heating, slice the bacon into small pieces and place in a cold saucepan. Turn the heat to medium low and slowly render the bacon until brown and crispy. You can drain off some of the fat but leave at least 3 tablespoons in the pan to create the sauce. Turn the heat to low to keep it hot.

3. While the bacon is cooking, wisk together the eggs, 3/4 cup of the grated cheese and a few cranks of pepper in a bowl or large measuring cup until well blended. No need to add salt as the bacon has plenty. Set aside.

4. When the water is at a rolling boil, add a heaping tablespoon of salt and drop in the pasta. Stir gently to prevent it from sticking as the water comes back to a boil. Cook according to package directions, stirring occasionally, until al dente or cooked but still firm to the bite. Just before draining, reserve a ½ cup or so of the starchy pasta water. Set aside.

5. Drain the pasta quickly in a colander (but don't rinse! the starchy water helps blend the sauce). Return the hot pasta to the hot pot, off the heat.

6. Carefully add the hot bacon and oil to the pasta, scraping the saucepan with a rubber spatula to get every morsel of deliciousness. Stir well to completely coat the pasta with the hot oil.

7. Slowly pour in the egg mixture, stirring quickly as you go to keep the eggs from cooking too fast. Put the pot back on low heat and continue stirring. Add a splash of the reserved pasta water and a ½ cup of the grated cheese. Stir continually to smooth out the sauce as it heats through. If the eggs are cooking too fast, take the pot off the heat again. The pasta will continue to absorb the sauce after it has been plated so you want it just a bit on the "goopy" side when you serve it.

8. Plate the pasta, garnish with the remaining grated cheese and a few cranks of fresh ground black pepper to taste. The spiciness of the black pepper goes really well with the richness of the sauce.
For step-by-step photos and a great video demonstration of this and other delicious pasta recipes, visit us online.

Christine Coughlan is the author, designer and publisher of, your one stop resource for pasta recipes, ideas, how-to and more!
You'll find simple step by step recipes with beautiful images, helpful how to videos, drool worthy culinary tours, timely seasonal inspiration and much more. Quick and easy one-dish dinner ideas, classic pasta and sauce combinations, rich and satisfying lasagnas, even an in depth video series on how to make fresh pasta by hand will keep you coming back for more.

To keep things flowing smoothly in your kitchen, look for her handy tips and timing techniques. From gathering your ingredients to garnishing your plate, you'll look like a seasoned pro. To check out more great pasta recipes, visit today!
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Monday, September 23, 2013

Mackerel Cakes


Canned mackerel is cheap and can make a great substitute for salmon croquettes. I have also used it for tuna casserole as well. Mackerel is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids which is good for the heart and cost less than salmon. I like salmon croquettes but salmon is much higher and mackerel is the next best thing to use.
Growing up I couldn't stand to eat croquettes and had to eat them. I would always cover the taste of them with ketchup. Most people use hot sauce but as a child I didn't like hot sauce. I have learned to appreciate the taste of croquettes now that I am grown and like to eat them with tartar sauce mixed with hot sauce. Here's a recipe I made that are just as good as salmon croquettes. This recipe is for mackerel cakes.

1 can mackerel
1 cup bread crumbs (I used a mix of panko and regular bread crumbs)
1 tsp lime juice
½ cup miracle whip
1 tbsp mustard
½ of an onion
½ green pepper
1 potato
4 to 5 cloves of garlic

Canned mackerel have bones in it. The bones are small but are not that difficult to remove. Take mackerel out of the can and remove the bones trying to remove as much as you can. Add the mackerel to a mixing bowl and squeeze the lime juice over the mackerel. Dice a potato and boil until tender. Can potatoes work too; chop the can potatoes and add in the bowl along with the chopped onion and green pepper. Dice the cloves of garlic and mix in with the mackerel mixture. After that you add the ½ cup of miracle whip and mustard and mix all the ingredients in the bowl. Season the mixture with salt and pepper then add in the bread crumbs. For this recipe I used ½ cup of Italian bread crumbs and ½ cup panko bread crumbs but you can use what ever type of bread crumbs you choose just make sure you use enough bread crumbs to make a patty with. After incorporating all the ingredients form the mixture into patties. Heat ¼ cup vegetable oil in skillet on high heat and Brown patty on one side for 5 minutes then flip and brown the other side until golden brown. Remove the cakes from the hot grease and drain on paper towels. This is a good recipe to have with potato salad and green beans.
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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Stuffed Banana Pepper Recipe


My family grows banana peppers every year. They love the summer heat and produce mass quantities. We always wonder what to do with our huge harvests. Pickling them is a nice option. You can use them to top sandwiches and salads or simply pop and eat them. Another fabulous option is to make stuffed banana peppers. They are delicious this way!

It may seem unusual to use banana peppers to stuff and bake. It is a unique way to enjoy them though. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how delicious they taste. The small size of the peppers allows the flavors to meld together into a delicious taste explosion.

My recipe is perfect for a light, summer dinner. When I think of stuffed peppers, the first thing that comes to mind are large bell peppers stuffed with ground beef and breadcrumbs then topped with a red sauce. This stuffed banana pepper recipe thinks outside the box. It is light, flavorful and delicious.
Get started with the step-by-step instructions. Here's my stuffed banana pepper recipe for your garden fresh peppers. It's easy to follow, and should only take you about 20-30 minutes of total preparation time. The peppers will then bake for about 25 minutes and voila, dinner is done!

1. 10-12 Vine Ripened Banana Peppers
2. 1-2 lbs raw chicken breast
3. 1 can cream of chicken soup
4. 10 oz bag saffron yellow rice
5. 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
6. Water
7. ¾ Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
8. Salt & Mrs. Dash Original (to taste)

• Season chicken breast with salt & Mrs. Dash and place in crock pot with 1 cup of water and cook on high for about 4 hours (you can also simmer in a pot with water for a quicker cooking method, the goal is to cook the chicken breast so it will easily shred). Allow chicken to cool slightly before shredding.
• Pre-heat Oven to 400 degrees.
• Prepare Saffron Yellow Rice according to package directions (my personal favorite is Mahatma Saffron Yellow Rice).
• Wash & seed the banana peppers.
• Make a slit down the center of the peppers so you can stuff them.
• Coat the banana peppers with 2 Tbsp Olive Oil, salt & Mrs. Dash. Place in baking dish.
• Shred chicken breast.
• Mix cream of chicken soup with one can of water and whisk until blended.
• Add about half of the prepared rice and half of the prepared cream of chicken soup to the shredded chicken. Mix well.
• Stuff the chicken rice mixture into sliced banana peppers.
• Top with shredded cheese.
• Bake for 25 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
• Enjoy!

Did you enjoy this recipe? If you would like to see a photo illustration of the recipe in an easy to print format, visit our website: Come visit us and give feedback about how the recipe worked for you. We would love to hear from you!
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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Fruity Chicken Salad Sub Recipe


Chicken salad is a great quick lite recipe to make for the summer. I love sub sandwiches and there is a fast food sub place I frequent a lot but I won't mention them here. You'll have to guess who they are. Here's a hint, some man named Jared lost a lot of weight eating them. Anyway they have added one of my favorite sandwiches back to their menu for the summer.

Even though they are relatively a cheap place to eat, I still like trying to cut corners on spending as little money as possible. I like coming up with my version of how I make something you buy at a fast food restaurant. It's healthier, cheaper and probably taste better than the original. Here, I will share my Fruity Chicken Salad sub. This is a recipe where you can put your own creativity into what ingredients you like in your sub sandwich.

12-16 oz can chicken
1/2 cup grapes (red, green or both)
1 celery stalk
half onion
1/2 cup mayo
1 peach yogurt cup
1 tsp rosemary
2 tbsp dill
1/4 cup green peppers
1/2 cup of raisins, cranberries & almonds
black olives
hot pepperjack cheese

In a large mixing bowl add the can chicken drained. Chop your onions, celery and green pepper small and add to chicken. Add the fruit mix with almonds in along with the grapes. Add the mayo and peach yogurt and mix well with the ingredients. Add the dill and salt and pepper to season. Don't skimp on the dill, it gives the salad a nice flavor after it's been in the refrigerator. The longer in the fridge the better tasting. Choose your favorite bread. I use any kind of bread but if I'm making subs, I will use an Italian loaf or french bread. I cut the loaf in half then slice the half separating the top and bottom. I use two slices of pepperjack cheese to line the bottom bread then top with my cold chicken salad. You are ready to dress you sandwich. I like lots of black olives, spinach and cucumbers lined neatly across the sandwich. You can choose whatever toppings for your sandwich according to your taste. I don't use any other dressing on mine because the mayo and peach yogurt is enough but you can. Fold the sandwich together and you have fruity chicken subs.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Meatloaf Recipe


One of my all time favorite recipes to make is meatloaf. Who doesn't like a good meatloaf with buttered rolls, macaroni and cheese and green beans on the side? Plus the next day you can have leftover meatloaf sandwiches. Slice a piece and put it on some plain or toasted bread and you've got the best sandwich ever.
Since I don't eat red meat as much as I used to, I substituted this recipe I'm sharing with you with ground chicken. Sigh, it wasn't the same but it didn't taste too bad. Meatloaf made with anything other than beef or sausage isn't right at all. I know some people mix theirs with sausage or veal but I would rather just have lean ground beef instead. Here's my meatloaf recipe for you to try.


1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion
1 small green pepper
1 can tomato sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup oats
1 egg
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce for meatloaf

1 cup ketchup
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp mustard

Get a large mixing bowl and add ground beef to it. Chop onions and green peppers into little chucks and add to ground beef. Use the chunky onion and green pepper unless you don't care for having chunks of vegetables in your meatloaf. Some people like their vegetables diced really fine but I like to see mine in the loaf when I slice it. Add both cans of tomato sauce and tomato paste to the mixture along with the Worcestershire sauce. Add the oats, egg and seasonings. Then you take your very clean hands and mix it all together. If the loaf is too saucy you can add more oats as needed. Once you have incorporated the mixture pat the meatloaf into a loaf pan. I sometimes put a little flour in the bottom of the pan to keep from sticking. Put loaf into a 350 degree oven and cook for 30 minutes. While the loaf is cooking mix your ingredients together for the sauce. Remove the loaf from the oven and spread the sauce over the loaf evenly. Put the meatloaf back into the oven and cook about 15 more minutes. Take it out of the oven and let the loaf cool. It is important that it rest in the loaf pan about 20-30 minutes before cutting it, if not it will fall apart when you cut it.

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Zesty Mediterranean-Style Baked Tilapia Recipe


An easy recipe for one of the dishes I make that always gets a standing ovation and requests for encores is my Zesty Baked Tilapia Mediterranean-Style. It is a pretty easy to make baked fish recipe, can be prepped ahead of time and assembled "lickety-split"! What makes it so fragrant and tasty is that it is infused with flavor both from the top and the bottom and this style of baking keeps the fish moist throughout. I made it the other day and thought I'd share the recipe with you...
For this, I used ingredients from the Target Stores brand Market Pantry. You will need:
  • 1lb Market Pantry® tilapia fillets (or 4-6 pieces)
  • One large tomato or two medium tomatoes, sliced crosswise
  • Grated zest and juice of two lemons
  • Two tablespoons Market Pantry® chopped Kalamata olives
  • ½ cup Market Pantry® mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Market Pantry® grated Parmesan cheese
  • One tablespoon olive oil
  • Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lay the sliced tomatoes in a rectangular glass dish and sprinkle with the chopped olives and lemon zest and drizzle with olive oil.
Season the fillets with salt and pepper and lay them over the bed of sliced tomatoes, olives and lemon zest and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese together with some of the lemon juice. Add just enough lemon juice to achieve a pleasant balance of flavors, and a medium-thick consistency. Start with two tablespoons of lemon juice. Coat each fillet with the mixture and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the topping turns a golden brown.

When I'm entertaining, I usually assemble the dish and prepare the mixture, wrap them in plastic film and keep them in the refrigerator. While my guests are having cocktails, I coat the fish with the topping and put in the oven right away. It's best served fresh out the oven. This dish should taste citrusy on the top with the olive flavor as the middle note, and the cheese and mayonnaise following in close order, but less distinct. The rather bland fish is infused with the lemon zest and olives from below and the lemon in the topping, giving it that piquant taste. The citrus flavor is tempered by the tomatoes and the cheese and mayonnaise. The topping also helps keep the fish moist and seals in all the flavors.

I have served this with couscous and vegetables, a brown and wild rice medley, saffron rice as well as rosemary roasted potatoes and it works well. Whatever you choose to serve with this should not be too flavorful or acidic - there can only be one star at this table! My favorite wine to pair with this tends to be a Pinot Grigio, but a Chardonnay works just as well.
Try it and let me know how you like it - more importantly, how your guests like it! I can't wait to get your feedback! Many Thanks to Target Stores.

R. Ayite Okyne is The Lifestyle Maven - a style guru, epicure, lifestyle expert and cultural ambassador with a quest for the inspired life. He authors a blog and hosts a series of web episodes Send your questions to and he'll be happy to answer them!
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Monday, June 10, 2013

Step By Step Recipes - Chinese Fried Wonton and Shrimp Balls


Chinese culinary history is believed to have dated back to a thousand years already and over time it has also incorporated and blended with the cuisines of other cultures and traditions too. However, the styles and tastes of Chine vary with each region, which has wonderfully led to a dazzling array of techniques, ingredients and even eating styles. Here's a look at two of the most popular Chinese step by step recipes, fried wonton and shrimp balls.

Fried Wonton

To prepare fried wonton, you will require the following ingredients - 1/2pound minced pork, 12 chopped bay scallops, 1 pack wonton skins, three peeled and chopped water chestnuts, 1lightly beaten egg, two coriander sprigs, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, ½ teaspoon corn flour, ½ teaspoon fish sauce, salt, white pepper and oil for deep frying.

To cook this easy to follow recipe, mix bay scallops, minced pork, water chestnuts, corn flour and chopped coriander into a bowl, and then add half of the beaten egg (the other half will be used for wrapping the wonton). Mix these ingredients properly, and then and the white pepper, salt and fish sauce. Set aside, and wrap the wontons with the wonton skins, and fry these in a wok filled with cooking oil. Serve hot, and season with chilli sauce or ketchup.

Fried Shrimp Balls

To prepare fried shrimp balls with wonton skin, you will need the following ingredients - one teaspoon salt or fish sauce, one pound raw shrimp, one teaspoon sugar, 1 table spoon corn starch, 1 lightly-beaten egg white, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, one table spoon oil, wonton skins and a few dashes of white pepper.
To cook, de-vein the shrimp and toss it aside. Then, using a mini food processor, beat the egg white until it becomes frothy, and add the raw shrimp, along with the other seasonings. Carefully blend these ingredients until they form a shrimp paste. Next, cut the wonton skins into very small strips and place them on a flat surface.

Form the shrimp paste into balls and roll them in a bed of wonton skin, but ensure that the wonton skin will evenly coat the shrimp balls. Next, deep fry the shrimp balls in a wok, until they get golden brown. Serve with hot sauce, or preferably Thai sweet chilli sauce.
To find more delectable Chinese, and oriental-style step by step easy recipes with photos, log on to the Internet, and type "step by step Chinese recipes" on your search engine.

Additional Fact:

According to most food experts, most salad are served cold, but some especially the South German potato salad, are warm when served. Have fun serving this truly tasty Salad Nicoise and learn more step by step recipes at ( ).
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Monday, June 3, 2013

How to Make Pineapple and Coconut Banana Bread


I've always loved recipes that look complicated and involved, but are actually easy and quick to make. This is one of my favorites. You can just about mix everything in a bread pan and throw it in the oven. This weekend I had a craving for something sweet yet chewy, so I threw some pineapple chunks, coconut and oatmeal into my banana bread recipe and it turned out fantastic!

Served with a dollop of greek yogurt, this turned out naturally sweet, chewy and most of all moist. I think my banana bread will have to give way to this Pineapple and Coconut Banana Bread I threw together.
This bread we've enjoyed eating for breakfast is simply stuffed with yummy bites of banana and pineapple. You just can't take a bit without tasting one - which is exactly what I was going for, so I'm happy. OK, I've been squealing around the house all day; I'm just so proud of myself.

I put a dollop of greek peach yogurt on the top, and fresh strawberries to compliment our breakfast, and wow, did it! All the natural sweetness melded together and really created the perfect breakfast dish.
I had hoped to make the leftover pieces into thick french toast, but we nibbled them down to crumbs. I'll have to try that another day.
Pineapple Coconut Banana Bread
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup drained pineapple chunks
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Combine banana, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and eggs in a small bowl.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
  5. Add pineapple, nuts and coconut, gently stir to mix.
  6. Spoon batter into a bread pan.
  7. Sprinkle coconut on top of the bread to garnish.
  8. Bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool on a wire rack, in the pan, for about 15 minutes
  10. Remove the bread from the pan after 15 minutes and cool thoroughly on the rack.
The easiest way to mash a banana, is to do it in the skin. Slightly break open the top, and gently squeeze the banana until it feels mushy. Peel off one side, and finish with a fork. I took one banana and sliced it for nice big banana chunks in the bread.

If you liked this recipe, join us at Enjoying Simplicity, Enjoying Simplicity is our vision that cooking can be healthy, simple and it can be done at a low-cost.
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Friday, May 24, 2013

Garlic Bread on Texas Toast Recipe


Popular in Texas and the states surrounding it, Texas toast is generally served toasted as a side. Texas toast is a type of pre-sliced bread packed in bags, not sold toasted as the name implies. What sets it apart from other bread is that it is that the thickness of the slices is double the thickness of typical sliced bread. It is especially useful for dishes in which the bread is used to soak up liquid ingredients. Extra thickness can improve the finished product, such as in French toast.

Texas toast was reportedly first served at The Pig Stand drive-in restaurant in Beaumont, Texas, after a bakery order for thicker slices of bread resulted in slices too thick for the toaster and the cook suggested buttering and grilling them as a remedy in 1941. Although The Pig Stand's story is not contended, they failed to patent this invention. Producers of Texas toast in the United States include Wonder Bread, Mrs. Baird's, Franz Bakery, and Safeway's Lucerne foods.

In this recipe, you may use margarine or butter, whipped or not, as long as it is spreadable. The main detail to adhere to is the proper technique for producing the garlic bread on Texas toast.

Texas toast bread, unfrozen
Butter or margarine, softened
Granulated garlic powder
Paprika powder
Dried parsley

Heat oven to 400º F

Select the desired number of slices from the loaf - or loaves if you are doing a large quantity. The most important thing you need to know about making Texas toast right is you need to butter both sides. Using plain, unseasoned butter or margarine coat each side of each slice of bread evenly paying attention to cover the edges so that they do not burn. Place on an un-greased shallow baking sheet as you go.
Next sprinkle as much granulated garlic as you wish onto the upward facing side of the buttered bread and follow with paprika and parsley. The paprika and parsley have a mild flavor so that the garlic will stand out, and are mainly used for the added colors. Red paprika, green parsley and white bread together represent the colors in the Italian flag. So here we have a marriage of Italy and Texas, time to "toast" the newlyweds.
Put the toast into the pre-heated oven or broiler. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until butter is melted and bread is golden brown. This will be a richer toast than a garlic toast on a French loaf with warm buttery goodness top and bottom.

Place the toast on a plate or basket and serve warm.
Becca Knight lives in Texas and writes about it on her blog "Don't Know Much About Texas"
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Simple Tips For Making The Perfect Smoothie

Smoothies are seen as a perfect way of maintaining good health. Making a smoothie can be pretty easy but there are certain tricks that one needs to keep in mind to in order obtain the best smoothie. Some of the tips used in making the best smoothies include:
Use Yoghurt as your Base
Making a smoothie normally requires a semi liquid. Normally milk is usually used or sometimes soy. Yoghurt is seen to be the best base as it contains certain beneficial bacteria. Yoghurt is also good because it is low in calories.
Freeze Your Fruits
Frozen fruits are the best when it comes to making smoothies. Frozen fruits normally make your smoothie to be extra thick and cold. Large fruits like melons normally need to be chopped before being placed in the freezer.
Healthy All the way
If you intend to lower the content of calories in your smoothie, you can either use skimmed milk or soy milk. You can also increase the nutrition of your smoothie by using protein powder, brewer's yeast or wheat germ.
Cocoa is normally packed with lots of flavanols. These are the compounds used in making chocolates. Unlike chocolates cocoa is seen to be virtually fat free and low in calories. Adding just one teaspoon of cocoa will go a long way in boosting the health of your heart. Cocoa powder is good for butter and banana smoothies.
Extra Tips
It can be really irritating when you make a smoothie and realize that's its not thick enough. If your smoothie is coming out extra thin you can make it thicker by adding ice cubes.
When blending, it is necessary that you add the liquids first. This prevents the fruits from binding up with the liquids. Blend everything on high until it is highly blended. If the smoothie is too thick it means that you've used too much ice cubes or frozen fruits. Thinning can be done by using water, a splash of coffee or green tea. Coffee perfectly matches with smoothies made of butter, cocoa powder and bananas. Green tea on the other hand particularly goes well with peaches and strawberries. In addition, coffee and tea are seen to have beneficial antioxidants which have numerous health benefits.
The ingredients used in making smoothies are never sweet for the tongue. One can sweeten the smoothie a little bit by adding maple syrup or honey. Keep this sweeteners at a minimum in order to keep the calories level down.
Some of the ingredients used in making a punchy smoothie include:
• 1 cup of milk
• 1 cup spinach
• 1 teaspoon of honey
• A quarter cup of frozen peaches
• A quarter cup of frozen strawberries
Finally just because your smoothie has ingredients like spinach, peaches and soymilk doesn't mean that it's healthy. A healthy smoothie is one that has a low count in calorie. You need to keep an eye on the calories level of your smoothie. This will help you understand how your smoothie fits perfectly in to your diet plan. To learn more about how to make the perfect smoothie, visit

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Friday, May 3, 2013

A Delicious Honey Bee Cocktail Recipe


Honey can be easily used in many different ways without making too many efforts. It is not only a natural sweetener, but also has many other benefits. According to numerous studies and researches, honey protects your body against infections and also prevents many diseases. Usually, natural honey bee food contains royal jelly, bee propolis and bee pollen.

Daily intake in an appropriate amount means good health. Moreover, it can be easily incorporated into your diet via simple and delicious recipes. To start with, you can simply eat one tablespoon of honey with your morning tea. In the afternoon, iced tea can also be a good choice. At night, a honey bee cocktail will completely relax your mind and body. While making food for your family, you can add taste as well as health by adding just a few drops of honey.
Honey is quite healthy for your body. However, you should consider a few things while using it in home recipes.

You should not heat raw honey over 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because excessive heat causes honey to lose its medicinal properties. Honey is a natural sweetener. Therefore, you should use it in less quantity than sugar. In other words, one cup of sugar is equivalent to half or three-fourth cup of honey. Moreover, honey turns food into brown color quickly. Therefore, cooking temperature should also be low.

As mentioned earlier, natural honey has many benefits. It affects your health as well as beauty. Moreover, it can be consumed by everyone. Honey can be easily used for a lot of home remedies, home recipes and many other purposes. In fact, it can be easily bought at affordable rates. Honey also acts as a good cure for many different types of skin problems.

A Delicious Cocktail Recipe

Almost all of us attend parties or even host them on a regular basis. Most of the time, guests just want to sit back and relax. For many people, relaxation means having a few drinks and enjoying themselves. However, people are usually confused about the choice of drink to be kept in a party. As a host, a person has to keep in mind different preferences, likes and dislikes. A cocktail is often a good choice when you are confused in such circumstances. Let us tell you about the recipe of a delicious and easy-to-make cocktail:

Honey Bee cocktail.
Preparation Time - Approximately 15 Minutes
¾ oz lemon juice
1 Bottle non alcohol champagne
½ oz Honey
½ water
Lemon twist to garnish
Ice Cubes to add to the drink

First of all, you have to take a saucepan and fill it with honey and water. Heat them for some time until the mixture thickens. Once the mixture has thickened, let it cool for some time. After this, add honey syrup, lemon juice, bottle non alcohol champagne to a punch bowel. You should also add ice. Mix. Pour the drink in a cocktail glasses with ice. Garnish it with a lemon twist. Your Honey Bee cocktail is ready to be served. It will taste as sweet as honey, with some sourness from lemon and just a hint of champagne.
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Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Simple Meal For Garlic And Asparagus Lovers


Anyone who knows me knows that I love garlic. I usually eat four or five cloves a day. And not little ones either! I crush medium to large sized cloves and find a way to include them with at least one meal. And before you ask, the answer is NO: despite all the garlic that I eat, I don't smell like garlic! I guess I'm lucky that way.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I love fried potatoes and over-medium eggs served alongside sausage patties or a pile of crispy bacon. Yum! There's no better way to start the day than breakfast at a local, greasy-spoon diner. However, the problem with breakfast at the diner is there aren't any breakfast dishes that contain garlic. Not a single one. And there's never anything on the menu that contains asparagus either (another one of my favorite foods). So, I took it upon myself to dream up a very simple meal that uses garlic, potatoes, asparagus, and fried eggs. After preparing this meal several times, I finally figured out how to make it perfect for my taste buds. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do!

First, wash a medium sized potato and cut it into small cubes. I prefer to leave the skin on, but you're welcome to peel it. Drop a tablespoon of butter into a frying pan, set the heat on medium, and throw the potato cubes in there.

When the potatoes are nearly cooked, it's time to crush your garlic. I use two to three medium sized cloves but that might be too much for the average person, so maybe start with just one small clove the first time you cook this meal. Crush the garlic and dump it into a small bowl. Very important: let the crushed garlic sit for at least ten minutes all by itself before you mix it with anything. Use an egg timer if you have to (I have three in my kitchen!).

Next, wash and cut eight stalks of asparagus into 1/4 inch pieces. I generally use the top six inches from each piece and toss the lower portion into the trash. In another pan, sauté the asparagus in a tablespoon of butter, and remember to keep stirring them so they don't burn.
By now, your potatoes should be done. I'll usually crank the heat up for at least three to four minutes in order to brown them and make them crispy, and then I'll turn the heat off altogether. Cook the potatoes to your liking, and then turn the heat off.

I prefer to cook the asparagus until they almost lose their crispiness, and then I pour the asparagus into the pan containing the potatoes and mix them together (remember to turn the heat off!).
In the same pan that you cooked the asparagus, fry a couple of eggs. Flip them once and cook to your liking. I prefer over-medium eggs: fluid yolks but thoroughly cooked whites.
The last couple of steps are pretty simple: add the crushed garlic to the pan of potatoes and asparagus, and mix together. Then pour the potatoes and asparagus and garlic mix onto a large plate. Sprinkle a little salt across everything, and then plop the fried eggs on top.

I eat this meal at least three or four times a week, and I love it every time. I like the texture of the egg yolk mixing in with the crispy potatoes and asparagus. Although you can certainly add a sauce to the top of this, I don't think you need to. The blend of flavors and textures makes this meal perfect the way it is.

Some day, somewhere, a restaurant will start serving this meal for breakfast, and when they do, I'll be there!

The listed ingredients will serve one person:

1 medium sized potato
3 medium sized cloves of garlic, crushed (use less if you're new to garlic)
6 spears of asparagus cut into 1/4 inch pieces (use the top 6 inches; discard the rest)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of butter (add more butter if necessary)

Red Shell Foods offers a variety of delicious salad dressings that can be ordered straight from their website. Please visit their site at:
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Monday, April 22, 2013

Three Changes to Make Your French Dip Sandwich Special


French Dip sandwiches have been around for years. It's a basic sandwich made with roast beef, crusty bread, and thin gravy called "au jus." But some restaurants are adding onions, green peppers, and cheese -- changes that are far cry from the original.

Search the Internet and you'll find dozens of recipes for the lunchtime and dinnertime favorites. Some recipes use leftover beef roast, and others use meat cooked in a slow cooker. I made these sandwiches the other night and used leftover beef. Personally, I think the flavor of the sandwich has lots to do with how you season the meat.

While the oven pre-heated I rubbed the meat with olive oil. Then I sprinkled it with crushed rosemary, smoked paprika, garlic powder, thyme, freshly ground pepper, and a little salt. Thanks to the olive oil, the seasoning stays on the meat. To seal the outside of the roast I cooked it at 450 degrees for a half hour. I lowered the heat to 325 and continued cooking until the meat thermometer read 150 degrees -- rare to medium.

Be aware that when you cook a roast and take it out of the oven, it continues to cook for a few minutes. I made a thin sauce with water, au ju mix, and gravy flour. Some of the seasoning had fallen to the bottom of the pan, which added flavor to the sauce. This sauce became my dipping sauce later.
Rachael Ray has posted a recipe for this favorite sandwich on her website. Instead of gravy, she makes a sauce with butter, chopped shallot, dry sherry (optional), canned beef stock, and a little flour. A similar recipe from Georgia Downard is posted on the Food Network website. It, too, uses butter, shallot, garlic, beef broth, and a little white wine for extra flavor.

I checked my cookbook collection and found more recipes, only these had soy sauce in them. Since I'm trying to avoid salt I avoided these recipes. As good as all these recipes are, simple is often better. Three things make my French Dip sandwiches special, the seasoning on the meat, toasting the rolls ahead of time, and making the dipping sauce with leftover gravy. If your mouth isn't watering yet, it will be when you take your first bite of this sandwich.


1 cup leftover beef gravy (plain or mushroom)
1 cup water
2 rounded teaspoons of low-salt au jus mix (available in the soup aisle)
1 ciabatta roll per person (white or wheat)
Soft butter
4 thin slices of roast beef per person


In a small saucepan, whisk leftover gravy, water, and au jus mix together. Cover and cook over medium heat until steaming. Cut each roll in half and butter both halves. Toast rolls in a skillet over low heat, until the buttered side is a golden brown. (Do not over-toast.) Layer meat onto bottom half of each roll and top with remaining half. Ladle dipping sauce into individual bowls. Serve dipping sauce with sandwiches, a salad, or mixed fresh fruit.
Copyright 2013 by Harriet Hodgson
Harriet Hodgson has been a freelancer for 35+ years and is the author of 32 published books. Her latest releases are "Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss" and "Help! I'm Rasing My Grandkids." Please visit her website and learn more about this busy writer.
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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Light Salad Meals for Summer


Light salad meals are a great idea for hot weather menu planning. With just a few fresh ingredients you can make a meal quickly and easily. I like having a few standby recipes for those warm summer-like days. Here are a few of my favorite easy salad meals.
These easy salad recipes can be served in a variety of ways so you can always have a variety of meal ideas that are simple to make.

I love the creaminess of cottage cheese and here is a really simple salad with just four ingredients. This is a great salad to serve as a wrap sandwich or even a cold pasta topper. This recipe make 3 to 4 servings.

cottage cheese - 1 (16oz) container
marinated artichoke hearts - 1 cup chopped
sun-dried tomatoes in oil - 1/4 cup chopped
pitted oil-cured black olives - 1/4 cup finely diced
(you can use regular black pitted olives if you prefer)


- Simply place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine completely.
Easy Salad Meal Ideas:
  • Layered Wrap Sandwich: Serve this cheese salad as a layered wrap sandwich. Take a soft tortilla shell and layer it with washed spinach or lettuce leaves. Next place the cottage cheese salad on top of the greens. Then place any of the following on top of the cheese salad; strips of thinly sliced avocado sections, deli ham, chicken or roast beef slices. Roll up the wrap and enjoy.

  • Stuffed Potatoes: Make a quick salad meal by using this creamy salad as a topping for baked potatoes. Serve along with steamed and chilled asparagus drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.

  • Pasta Topper: Another idea for a light salad meal is to serve this cheese salad recipe over whole grain cooked and chilled pasta such as rotini, elbow macaroni or farfalle. I like to serve this with warm garlic bread slices on the side.
Here is another four ingredient recipe that make a delicious light salad meal. It is a refreshing crab salad that is packed with flavor. This recipe makes two servings but you can simply double the ingredients to make four servings.


cooked crabmeat - 2 cups (flaked or lump - broken into pieces)
dressing of your choice - 3 to 4 tbsp (Italian, French, or Caesar are good choices)
marinated artichoke hearts - 1 jar (7.5 oz) (drained and cut into small chunks)
fresh watercress - 2 cups (washed and chopped)


- Break the crabmeat into pieces and marinate in a bowl with the salad dressing for one hour.
- After one hour, add all the other ingredients and toss seafood salad well to coat.

Easy Salad Meal Ideas:
  • Crab Salad with Roasted Veggies: Serve this quick crab salad recipe on top of romaine lettuce with a side of roasted vegetables.

  • Crab Stuffed Avocados: Another easy idea is to serve this delicious salad scooped into an avocado half and serve along with rye toast with melted cheese on top for a quick meal.

  • Layered Crab Salad: You can also serve this as a layered salad by layering the crab salad into parfait glasses alternating between layers of peeled orange segments and the crab salad.
Try this simple chicken salad that is filled with great depth of flavor created with chicken, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and more.


chicken - 2 cups cooked, cooled and cubed
garlic - 2 cloves finely chopped
sun-dried tomatoes in oil - 1/3 cup chopped (use oil for dressing)
broccoli - 1 1/2 cups chopped (raw or steamed)
fresh squeezed lime juice - 1 tbsp

Note: If you do not like raw broccoli, you may steam it lightly before adding to salad.

- In a mixing bowl, add the chicken, garlic, tomatoes, broccoli, lime juice and the oil from the tomatoes. Toss well to combine.

Easy Salad Meals:
  • Chicken Salad with Udon Noodles: Serve this easy chicken salad over udon noodles with peach and cucumber slices on the side.

  • Easy Garlic Chicken Salad: Serve chicken salad over a bed of spinach leaves and shredded cabbage with a bowl of cold tomato soup and whole grain crackers.

  • Chicken Salad with Rolls: Another quick light summer meal recipe is to serve this garlic lime chicken salad with whole grain rolls or corn muffins.
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Friday, April 19, 2013

Healthy Pizza, Low Carb, Low Fat, High Protein



Healthy Pizza! Low carb, low fat, high protein
Most people like to get stuck into a pizza with extra toppings once in a while. But what if you are on a weight loss (Fat loss diet)?
Do you cut out your favorite foods all together? Or do you find an alternative?
Here is a healthy alternative to greasy pizza that you can eat on more than the odd occasion during your diet.

What You Will Need

Chicken breast
Tomato puree
Oregano or mixed Italian herbs
Garlic powder or crushed garlic

You can add other favorite ingredients also, but be aware of this if you are dieting as all those extras can add up.

Putting Your Healthy Pizza Together
  1. First off, wash and flatten the chicken breast. Place the chicken breast on a flat surface and cover with cling film.Grab something heavy, a chair leg, bible, shoe... But a rolling pin would be ideal! Gently tap the chicken until it is about 1 cm thick all over. Take care not to damage the chicken breast too much as this will serve as our pizza base.

  2. Put a good helping of tomato puree into a bowl and mix in the garlic powder or crushed garlic to taste. (If you are not a garlic lover, you may want to skip the garlic, it is not essential but will really add to the taste)

  3. Go back to the chicken breast. I find that this method works better if you use the "underside" of the chicken breast i.e. not the smooth side. With the chicken breast flat on a surface, (Smooth side down), spread the tomato puree evenly over the full surface and put into a fridge while you prep the rest of the toppings. By doing this it gives the chicken breast chance to absorb some of the flavor.

  4. Slice the peppers, olives, onions and mushrooms and tear the spinach up into small pieces

  5. Take the chicken breast that you prepared earlier out of the fridge and sprinkle with oregano or Italian seasoning (This gives it a "Pizza" flavor)

  6. layer on the toppings. I find it best to layer on the spinach then peppers first. Then the rest of the topping on in any order.

  7. sprinkle with low fat grated cheese, this will bind the topping together. (You can put a small layer of cheese after the spinach and peppers but be aware of the amount of cheese you put on if you are on a fat loss diet.

  8. Cook in the oven on 180c for 30-35 mins or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly ( make sure that the chicken breast is cooked thoroughly before serving).

  9. I would serve this with a Jacket potato if I was not being "Carb conscious" but served on its own, this is low fat, low carb and high protein!
As always, I'm happy to get feedback on how these recipes worked out for you. Let me know how you got on.
Good luck
By James Atkinson
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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Want That Salad With a Side of Sugar?


In this day and age, we are bombarded with hidden sugars. They are quite literally lurking everywhere. They are in our cereals, breads, yogurts, tomato sauces, and even in our salad dressings. Seriously? Did you intend to order that salad with a side of insulin-spiking Italian or the candy bar equivalent, Honey Dijon? In fact, while reading the label of one fairly popular dressing, I noted the second, third, and fourth ingredients were high fructose corn syrup, honey, and sugar. Why not just call it what it is? It's sugar, sugar, and still more sugar!

So, why are the big brands doing this? It is really quite simple. Sugar is addictive, especially when mixed with the perfect ratio of dietary fats. That is what salad dressing is supposed to be, right? Many of the big food corporations have entire research teams dedicated to finding the perfect ratio of sugar and fats to ensure you keep coming back for more... and more... and more.
The reality is, you can spend hours analyzing labels and searching for terms like grape sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, malt syrup, maltodextrin, maltose, mannitol, molasses, raw sugar, sorbitol, sorghum syrup, sucrose, turbinado sugar, or xylitol (to name a few) or you can make your own.
Here are three of my personal favorites...

Balsamic Vinaigrette (2T serving)- This is perfect for when you're in the mood for something a little bit sweet and a little bit tart. It pairs beautifully with bright green baby spinach, toasted almonds, and freshly sliced strawberries.
1c Balsamic Vinegar
1c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ c Fresh Lemon Juice
3T Dijon Mustard
1T Ground Thyme
2 tsp Pepper

Add the ingredients into a bowl. Whisk until they are thoroughly blended. Serve immediately and refrigerate all leftovers. If stored in an airtight container, then the leftovers should remain fresh for 1-2 weeks.

Lemon-Dijon Dressing (1T serving)- This is the perfect way to add a little bit of tang into your meal. Consider tossing it with mixed greens, tomatoes, and sliced cucumbers.
¾ c Water
9T Dijon Mustard
6T Fresh Lemon Juice
3T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¾ tsp Pepper
6 Garlic Cloves, Minced

Add the ingredients into a bowl. Whisk until they are thoroughly blended. Serve immediately and refrigerate all leftovers. If stored in an airtight container, then the leftovers should remain fresh for 1-2 weeks.

Tahini Dressing (1T serving)- This is a go-to recipe for when you're craving something creamy and a bit heavier. When massaged thoroughly, it hangs on every kale leaf as though they were meant to be lifetime partners.

¾ c Tahini
1 Garlic Clove, Minced
1T Low Sodium, Tamari
¼ tsp Onion Powder
2T Lemon Juice
¼ c Water, add until it reaches the desired consistency

Add the ingredients into a bowl. Whisk until thoroughly blended. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes to marry the flavors. Serve and refrigerate all leftovers. If stored in an airtight container, then the leftovers should remain fresh for 1-2 weeks.

Jennifer is a Holistic Health Coach and Owner of Holistic Peace, LLC. She is dedicated to supporting individuals as they find the peace to live healthy and happy lives.
To invest in your own health and happiness, contact her on the web at, email at, or her Facebook page at
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

10 the Most Delicious Turkey Recipes

Author: Maria Lauritsen


It always seemed to me somehow that turkeys shouldn't love the beginning of winter. At first we celebrate Thanksgiving Day at the end of November, then comes Christmas – and millions of turkeys in the whole world live they last days.

Do Americans and Britons know why they call this bird by the name of one of the Asia Minor states? In fact it bears no relation to Turkey. Let's look to the past. Turkey cocks came to Europe from West Indies, i.e. America. Christopher Columbus was searching for another way to India as he discovered a new land, which he mistook for India. He thought turkey is related to a peacock that is called tuka by the inhabitants of the islands in the Indian Ocean. That is why we name this wonderful bird turkey.

But let's speak about turkey as a main dish of Christmas dinner. To my mind, it's the biggest and appetizing poultry, which gives the best fit to a family holiday. There are lots of ways to cook a turkey, though it's usually served whole. The principle of cooking is simple enough. First of all you need to unfreeze turkey correctly: do it beforehand, unhurriedly, better in the fridge what will require about 15-20 hours.

Turkey has delicate fatless meat, that's why there is a danger that it can get dryish during cooking. I know one secret way to make your turkey juicy and fleshy – take a usual syringe with a needle, fill it with melt butter and make some injections in its soft places. The result is startling, I assure you! Then rub the bird with salt and pepper within and outside, and it's basically ready to be placed in the oven.

Now it comes time for the most interesting thing: to choose what the turkey will be stuffed with. Whether you use such products like rice, fruits, nuts or chestnuts – it's all a matter of taste. Exactly stuffing variations distinguish different national recipes from each other: Poles add cream and chopped meat, Dutch - mashed potatoes and celery, French prefer chestnuts, and so on. But I'm going to share with you the tastiest turkey recipes from my large collection and hope you'll appreciate them at their true value.

Turkey with cranberries, bacon and walnuts

This spicy filling is one of the most delicious – it's a hybrid between traditional American and English versions of turkey stuffings. Cider sauce harmonizes perfectly with golden turkey crisp.

1 turkey weighing about 4 kilos
1 tablespoon corn oil
4 ounces bacon, sliced
2 shallots, chopped
2 celery twigs, chopped
1 rosemary twig
3 ounces cranberries
3 cups cider
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
3 ounces walnuts, chopped
1 orange peel, grated
1 cup sausage meat
1 egg
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup mouldering butter
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon starch
salt and pepper at your taste

1.    To make stuffing, combine oil, bacon, shallot, celery and rosemary in a saucepan. Cook 10 minutes, until vegetables are soft but not stain. Add cranberries, and 1 1/2 cup cider. Cook for 10-20 minutes, then take the pan from fire and let the mass get cold.
2.    Add nutmeg, allspice, a pinch of salt and pepper, walnuts, orange peel, sausage meat, 1 egg and crumbs.
3.    Heat up the oven to 240 C. Wipe dry turkey skin and stuff it. The rest of stuffing you can lay around the turkey.
4.    Coat the turkey with butter and flavor. Tent with aluminum foil and put in the oven. In 15 minutes reduce the heat to the minimum. Pour on juice, and then bake for 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Remove foil an hour before the dish is ready. Remove turkey from oven, cover with foil again and let it rest for 30 minutes before carving.
5.    Then you have to make a sauce. Remove grease in the casserole dish in which you've baked the turkey, add cider, chicken broth and a little meat from turkey wings. Combine with starch and cook until it thickens. Pour it in a sauceboat and serve up together with the turkey.

Apple-glazed turkey with herbs

This savory herb filling will surely enhance your turkey for the holiday table. In its part sweet apple glaze is snap to cook and has a really delicious and original taste.

1 turkey
1/2 cup butter
2 onions, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the glaze:

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

1.    Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and mix well, then add thyme, parsley, sage, salt and pepper and mix the mass. Pour in broth and fluff gently.
2.    Heat oven to 220 C. Remove giblets and neck from cavity. Fill the large turkey cavity and the smaller neck cavity, if you have enough stuffing. In the case you want to cook the stuffing separately, put in the oven 40-50 minutes before the turkey will be ready.
3.    Roast turkey about 2-2 1/2 hours. Then cover it with foil and, reduce the heat and continue cooking 30-40 minutes more.
4.    Melt apple jelly in a pot. Combine with cinnamon, pepper and salt and mix thoroughly. Brush turkey with apple glaze and cook about 3-5 minutes without foil until it's browned.
5.    Take the turkey out, cover with foil and let it for half an hour

Turkey with blocks and ham with Madeira gravy

If you want your turkey to be juicy, flavored and tasty, try this quite easy recipe. This is a perfect dish for a holiday dinner for two.

1 turkey weighing 5 kilos
12 ounces blocks
1 pint chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, grated
8 ounces bacon, diced
3 parsley twigs, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
3 1/2 ounces dry tomatoes, sliced
1/2 lemon peel
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

For the gravy:
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup Madeira
1 tablespoon mustard

1.    Put blocks in a big pan, combine with hot broth and leave it for 10 minutes.
2.    Fry onion and garlic about 5 minutes. Increase the heat, combine with bacon and cook for 5 minutes more.
3.    Combine blocks with bacon, herbs, lemon peel, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Brush the turkey with butter and stuff with the blocks mass.
4.    Heat the oven to 200-220 C. put the turkey on the casserole dish, tent with foil and bake for about 3 hours. Then remove foil, grease the turkey with its juice and cook for 20-30 minutes more.
5.    Take the turkey out, when it's ready and place it on a big dish, covered with foil. Take the casserole dish with turkey grease and put it on fire. Add flour, broth, Madeira and mustard. Cook for 10-15 minutes over a medium heat. Season the turkey at your taste.
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About the Author

If you like my recipes, you’re always welcome to my website, where you can get to know more ways of turkey and stuffing cooking, and also another recipes different dishes.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Choosing a Cake Topper to Show Off Your Personality


Wedding cakes are an important part of every wedding reception. They express the personality of the bride and groom and provide a point of interest for the guests as they wait for the couple to arrive at the reception. In addition to the design of the cake and decoration of the cake table, the cake topper is another representation of the happy couple.

Traditionally, toppers for wedding cakes usually feature statues of a bride and groom. They can be standing side by side like in a wedding ceremony, dancing, holding hands or even sharing a kiss. Usually they are made of crystal or ceramic and are fairly formal.

However, not all cake toppers have to be so traditional. Brides and grooms with a sense of humor might want to pick a more non-traditional topper like a bride holding onto the leg of a runaway groom or a bride holding a frightened groom in her arms. If the couple is known for being funny, this is a great way to carry their personality into the décor of the cake.

Cake toppers can also be customized for the bride and groom. They can be made to specifically match a couple's appearance including hair color, eye color, etc. Couples who are in the military can choose a figurine in a military uniform or couples that enjoy a particular sport or hobby together can have a topper made showing them enjoying that hobby.

Besides the typical bride and groom figurines on wedding cakes, there are other options, both with figurines and without. Cake toppers with more old-fashioned looking couples, cartoon-like figures or even abstract figures can be used. Or for those who don't want to necessarily have a couple on their cake topper, a simple topper displaying the couple's initials can be used or flowers can be used on top of the cake to replace a topper altogether.

The most important part of choosing a topper for wedding cakes is making sure it fits in with your theme. A bride and groom having a Disney-themed wedding might want to have Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed in a tuxedo and a wedding dress. For a Christmas-themed wedding, the topper could be of Santa and Mrs. Clause or even a snowman and snowwoman.
Brides and grooms of every type can find toppers for wedding cakes that will fit their personality, their theme and their budget, the possibilities are endless!

So if you are have a low budget for your wedding cake than Fortress cakes in Sydney is your best bet. You can also check out their other cakes like kids birthday cakes.
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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cake Decorating With a Silhouette Cameo Cutter


Imagine you were a cake artist who had to create a 5 tier wedding cake with the same design print all around the sides of every tier. The time involved in doing hand painting could be several days and make the cake price prohibitive for the bride. But the bride doesn't have to sacrifice the design of her dreams because she can't afford it. If, instead, the design in printed on edible icing sheets, the bride gets exactly what she wants at a fraction of the cost.

Wedding cake orders have been bigger, more elaborate cakes since the cake competitions started airing on television. Brides used to accept the plain white buttercream cakes that came at no additional cost from the wedding caterer. But, now the cake is a big part of the wedding theme and the biggest focal point after the bride and her gown.

Taking any design, the icing sheets are adhered to the sides of the cake using a bit of piping gel. Nut, more intricate designs are possible by using the electronic cutter machine with those printed designs. A machine equipped cake a special needle design for cutting cake decorating mediums is the Silhouette Cameo cutter.

You can cut an infinite number of patterns using this machine by either buying cartridges or downloading software. The machine connects to your personal computer where you can even enter custom designs to cut out.

Icing sheets aren't the only medium cake decorators cut with the Silhouette; everything from gum paste, modeling chocolate, marzipan and fondant can be thinly rolled on the accompanying mat, slid into the cutter's slot and trimmed into custom decorations.
On a smaller scale, imagine filling an ordering for a matching Louis Vuitton handbag and shoe cake. You could scan the design and cut out all the LV logos and other symbols that make up the design, saving hours required to either pain the or cut them by hand.
For those who don't like their handwriting or just want to cut out monograms, the Silhouette is ideal. The machine costs about $350 and comes with a software program for your desktop and instructions for use.

Before this machine was ever used for cake decorating, it had been used with a different type of needle for paper crafts. Wedding cake designer, Linda McClure, adapted the machine for use with cake decorating materials.

It does take a bit of practice to get used to using the machine. Both fondant and gum paste can be sticky and freezing them a bit will allow them to cut cleaner instead of sticking to the cutting needle. Once the design is cut, you can use a pointed object such as a scriber to lift the design then apply it to the cake with a dab of water.

There are infinite design possibilities when working with the software from pre-programmed designs to ones you scan or download. Technology has found its way into the cake decorator's kitchen.
Theresa Happe is a cake decorator and fan of where you can find the Silhouette Cameo Cutter
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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Five Fantastic Clam Dishes


Seafood is very popular and arguably healthy for you, or so says my doctor. It certainly has less fats and calories than red meats, no added hormones, and many health benefits. Growing up by the seacoast I often take seafood's popularity for granted, but on a recent trip to the Midwest, restaurants were featuring oysters from both coasts, Maine lobster, and plenty of sushi. My favorite seafood of all time is clams, and although perhaps not as popular away from the coast, the wide array of clams dishes on local menus and the proliferation of "clam shacks" along the New England coast reinforce the notion of the clam's popularity. Here are some of five of the most popular clam dishes.

Fried clams, deep fried to a golden brown and served with tartar sauce are a favorite. These are typically soft shell clams, briefly dipped in coating, and then deep fried. Although no one is going to claim these are healthy, if the coating, usually bread crumbs or some type of batter, is relatively light they do not absorb as much grease as would be expected. Everyone has their favorite place locally for these, whether it's a Spartan clam shack with benches and tables outside or a more upscale establishment.

Steamers are also soft shell clams, at least in New England, and steamed briefly perhaps for 2-3 minutes just until they open. They need to be served immediately when done, and are usually dipped in the broth from steaming and then into melted butter. They make a great appetizer. Many types of clams can be steamed, but my favorite is New England soft shell clams.
Baked stuffed clams are popular both on restaurant menus and also in supermarkets. These are available far and wide, and there are even several frozen varieties that are pretty good. That said, fresh is always better. These are hard shell clams, chopped and mixed with some combination of breadcrumbs, onions, spices, peppers, and more.

A clamcake is an interesting concept and not too far removed from the baked stuffed clam idea, except they are deep fried and served with tartar sauce. The best clam cakes have a high clam to other ingredient ratio. Besides clams, they often contain eggs, breadcrumbs, flour, and more.
Our last clam dish is Clam Pie. This is a traditional Native American dish enjoyed by The Puritans, and consists of a pie crust with filling that includes flour, sauteed onions, carrots, potatoes and of course chopped clams. Interestingly, this is often served for breakfast and makes a hearty breakfast indeed!

Visit All About Clams for much more information on tasty clam dishes!
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