Pleasure Cooking Is Long And Slow

I watched a TV show the other day where two chefs, Guy and Rachel, had a group of celebrities paired off in teams for a cooking competition. It was the cooking world’s version of American Idol and Dancing With the Stars rolled into one. I did not like it.

Cooking is not a competitive sport. It should be fun and pleasurable. There is nothing wrong with enjoying an afternoon of making a slow chicken gumbo recipe. As a matter of fact, part of making the recipe calls for making a roux on low to medium heat. It cautions you to cook it long and slow while you are attending it and stirring constantly. There is something very sensuous about cooking gumbo. The flavors are slowly infused into the soup.

New Orleans Classic Gumbos and Soups (Classic Recipes Series)

Gumbo is a cross between a soup and a dish. The word gumbo is an African word for okra. Okra is sticky and gooey when you slice it up to put into the soup. Gumbo becomes a hearty and flavor filled soup. It is a soup my grandma would say that “sticks to your ribs”. I think that means that it fills you up and if you eat enough of it, it would make you fat. I don’t think there is a danger of that.

When you are looking for a special dish that is colorful and spicy, try this. I cooked it on Christmas Eve for dinner. It has green and red bell peppers and green okra. It is served around a small mound of white rice. It made a festive looking dish for a humble soup.

You can make variations of this using shrimp and chicken, smoked ham and chicken or serve it in a vegetarian style. Play with the flavors and spices to suit your taste and how spicy you are feeling at the time. For more delicious soup recipes, visit eatdinner4two.com. I love to cook soups long and slow on a cold winter afternoon.

Create A Healthy Life Style For Your Family

My family is an essential part of my life, and I would certainly like to do anything for their safety and health. Cooking is one thing that will help me in ensuring their health. I love cooking and preparing festive healthy dishes for my loved ones as it will give me a chance to take care of them. My husband loves beef dishes especially steaks, steak diane is his all time favorite dish. On the other hand, my kids love dishes made from chicken, and chicken kiev is the favorite dish of my elder son. I try to make all kinds of dishes that my family likes, but I also try to create a menu that will help my children to avoid unhealthy junk food and have delicious, healthy food. Healthy food provides necessary nutrients, which helps in reducing the risk of various diseases like strokes, different cancers, diabetes and heart diseases.

I use plenty of different vegetable and fruits as they provide a lot of different minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that help my family to fight illness and to stay strong and healthy. I mostly try to use raw vegetables, and sometimes I blanch them in order to store their nutritional value as over cooking will lose them. Blanched vegetables are liked my kids as they become soft and colorful. I try to give fruits after every meal to my family members. Fish and lean meats are also essential part of our diet. Lean meat in excessive quantity can be harmful for our health, so I try to balance it by adding fish in my meals as they are low in fat and have less cholesterol. They also have fatty acids that are beneficial for our body and mind.

It is also necessary to control our fatty foods, so I use olive oil instead of butter and balsamic vinegar as a substitute to salad dressing. Fizzy drinks, soda, juices, tea and coffee, if taken in large quantity are also harmful for our health. I loved having tea twice or thrice a day, but now I take tea once a day, and for the rest of the day, I have switched to green tea instead of ordinary tea. I am trying to create a healthy lifestyle for my family by balancing their favorite dishes with the healthy ones.

An Easy Way To Make Meatballs And Various Fish Recipes

Meatballs form a delicious snack that can fit into most menus. It can be an excellent tea time snack or a starter at lunch or dinner. It can also be a part of the main course with a helping of rice or pasta. Meatballs can also be cooked into a curry and served as a side dish with rice or as a delicious sauce with pasta. Meatballs are a divine accompaniment to wine as well.

The question then is how to make meatballs. With the ingredients in hand, it is easy and takes little time. Meatballs can be made with beef, lamb, pork, turkey or chicken. The meat should be minced. Chop onion, ginger and garlic into fine pieces. Mix them with the minced meat and add herbs, salt and freshly ground black pepper to it. Add bread crumbs and a beaten egg into it with a spoon or two of olive oil. Knead it into a mixture and shape it into small balls with your hand. Now heat oil in the pan, and fry the meatballs till heat seeps it and they are cooked. You can have them just fried or make a sauce of your choice to go with it. It can be tomato basil sauce or creamy cheese sauce or any other pasta sauce. Take a baking tray, place to meatballs, spread the sauce over it and grill it for sometime till the sauce melts the balls and makes it a mouth-watering delight.

Fish recipes are abundant in every culture. You can choose from a wide variety of fish, white fish, cod, haddock, salmon, river cobbler, and other sea fish or from a wide variety of Indian fishes like rohu, bhetki or hilsa. Fish can be cooked into a curry; Indian and Thai fish curries are delicious. It can be baked or grilled. It can be made into a filling for a sandwich or pie or patties. Fishcakes and fried fish are also very popular just as sea-food soup is. Fish is one food which can be cooked in a huge many ways with a different taste or flavor for each. It can be served with a sauce of your choice, rice or pasta depending on the preparation.

Perk Up A Boring Salad

Are you committed to eating healthier, but getting tired of the same old leafy green salads?  Here are some tips and tricks to perk up your same old salad and give your taste-buds a wake-up call.

Most salads are based on some sort of green leaf, a few other vegetables and some dressing.  By adding fruits, dairy products or protein you can make your salad into an entire meal, and add texture and taste.  Berries of all kinds are a great addition to traditional salads as they provide color, more nutrients, an interesting flavor and a little sweetness without adding sugar.  Try strawberries with spinach leaves, raspberries with romaine, and blueberries with a romaine, arugula and watercress mixture.

Dairy products can be introduced into your salad in the form of cubed or grated low-fat cheese, or by using yogurt dressings. Yogurt is a good replacement for higher fat sour cream or mayonnaise, and adds an interesting tangy flavor to dressings.  Yogurt contains calcium and healthy bacteria to help your digestive system work better.  You can use a pinch of curry or chili powder and a tsp of lime juice to make a dressing with a bite to it.  If you like garlic, try adding 1 tsp of crushed garlic and 1 tbsp of fresh basil leaves to a cup of plain non fat yogurt for a delicious creamy Italian style salad dressing.

Adding lean protein can elevate a salad from a side dish to an entree. Shredded pork, beef,grilled fish or chicken are all excellent choices, and a good way to use up leftover meats from barbecues or dinners earlier in the week.  Be sure to cook the meat well prior to adding it to your salad, and to either shred it or slice it very thinly.  Don’t be afraid to experiment; often salad entrees that include chicken can easily be made with grilled pork or fish instead.  For an unusual dish that is healthy, low-fat and kid friendly, try a chicken grape salad recipe.  Grapes are wonderful fruits for salads with protein as their flavor melds well with cooked chicken or grilled salmon. Protein can also be added by including nuts such as walnuts, peanuts, pecans, and almonds.  Try some toasted flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, or poppy seeds as  a garnish.  One of the fastest ways to add interest to a salad is to add a tablespoon of trail mix – the dried fruit, nuts and seeds add taste interest and texture.

So look through your fridge and cupboards for additions to your salads.  Soon you will be creating your own great healthy salad recipes!

Why Use Sea Salt?

What is sea salt and why should you consider using it.  Well sea salt is actually sodium and chloride that is collected from salty ocean waters.  Water is brought in and then evaporated to leave the salt behind.  Salt is also known as NaCl in chemistry and as a food in our modern and ancient cultures.   Even deposits of salt that are found on earth were actually put there from ancient salty waters that have since dried up leaving behind sea salt.

Understanding what is sea salt means comparing it to it’s counter part iodized table salt.  Common table salt is the salt that you see every day, perfectly white and beautiful it is also harmful to your body in many ways.  It is a culprit to blood pressure issues as well as other health challenges that many face.  The reason for this is because table salt is not a whole food.  It has been stripped of its supporting elements.  Sea salt on the other hand is a full spectrum food and can be used with little challenges assuming the diet is not laden with regular salt.  It is kind of like sugar. White sugar on it’s own is less then ideal for the body and generally everyone knows that it can affect their blood sugar levels and it’s not that good to consume regularly.  Alternatively a banana or apple is a great sweet treat that is still healthy and whole.  This is why you should only ever consider using sea salt that is unprocessed.

Now that you know what is what in the salt world what should you use your salt for.  Well there are so many options over and above salting your food for added flavor.  Salt is great for the skin.  Sea salt for acne and psoriasis is a popular way to take advantage of sea salts mineral content and slightly drying properties.  Another way to use it is to bath in salt water.  This therapy has been used for centuries all over.  Sea salt to cleanse the mouth, teeth and colon is also popular.  Cleaning in generally can be aided by salt as well.  Keep your eyes open for opportunities to take advantage of this very inexpensive substance in your life.

Selecting The Best Kitchen Worktop

Kitchen worktops attract the maximum attention in our cooking spaces. This is where most of the activities take place, be it slicing and dicing, kneading, washing or just setting a particular dish that needs to be put in the oven. Selecting the right kitchen worktop therefore plays a vital role in making or breaking the look of the cooking space as well as adding to the convenience of all the activities that take place in it. Thus, whether you are remodeling your old kitchen or decorating a new one from scratch in your new home, you should keep some important factors in mind at the time of shopping for a worktop for your kitchen.

You should make your purchasing decision based on four key factors. First and foremost, you need to decide on the budget for the purchase and then browse through the choices available in the market within your price range. Secondly, you need to keep the décor of your kitchen in mind and opt for a worktop that complements as well as enhances it. This becomes all the more important if you are simply replacing the existing countertop with a new one and not redecorating the entire space. Thirdly, you need to ascertain the use of you countertop so as to ensure that you select one that is made of the right material to fit the use.

For instance, granite and stainless steel countertops are ideal for cutting items directly on them. They are heat and water-resistant too and are easy to maintain. Wooden worktops on the other hand, require greater maintenance if you want them to last long. Lastly, you also need to pay attention to the style quotient of the worktop. It should look great, be extremely durable, and offer value worth the money that it costs.