How to Read and Execute a Recipe Properly

It seems like such a simple thing, but I like to employ a certain method to my madness when reading a recipe that I might like to execute. Pardon me for sounding like machine code. If recipe = good, then execute = Y. Being prepared is the number one piece of advice that I give when executing a recipe. I stress this all the time, because it is a big lesson that I have learned in my kitchen adventures.

Read and Reread

Take a few minutes and read the recipe through once. Then read it again, this time take note of any ingredients that you will need to purchase or any cooking utensils you will need. It is never a good idea to be completely linear when executing a recipe. Sometimes the recipe calls for a certain type of bakeware in the last paragraph that you didn’t know you needed.

Also, make notes or mental notes about what ingredients need to be prepared a certain way, and where the instructions tell you to do so. For instance, one recipe might read One Medium Onion,

How To Choosing Cheap Meat

meats1On the average, Americans consume 11 ounces of meat per day. That’s a world topping 250 pounds per person per year. Now I am not saying that to eat frugally that you must switch to vegetarianism or veganism, but some good advice I received recently was to use meat as more of a condiment. What do I mean by this? Instead of using the recipes whole pound of beef, try using ¼ as much. Beef stroganoff calls for beef tenderloin; at $10.00 a pound there is no way to serve your family a serving under $1. But cut it to ¼ as much, $2.50 and make 6-8 servings and the math works. And beef stroganoff receives the bulk of its flavor from bouillon, sour cream and dill.

My recommendations when selecting the inexpensive cuts of meat can be used as a guide to help in your decisions.

Best Beef for Grilling – Flank steaks and skirt steaks. They come off the grill flavorful and tender.
Best Beef for Roasting/Smoking – Chuck roast. Try braising in beer, wine or broth.
Best Beef for Pan

Tips Easy and Healthy Dinner Ideas

ei1c12_penne_pesto.jpg.rend.sni18colDinner time can often mean getting home late, looking in the fridge, seeing not a single eatable thing, and heading out for dinner instead. Although once a week this isn’t a big deal, nightly starts to get a bit expensive and unhealthy. And then when being unhealthy costs you even more money, you really have to start asking yourself what you’re doing. The nice thing is, that with a little planning and a trip to the grocery store, you can avoid all of this.

I want to challenge you to have meals planned ahead of time and groceries ready and waiting to make those meals. It could take you the same time as driving to the fast food joint, taste better, help you feel better, and move you to movie star status with your spouse or children. First lets look at some meal ideas.

Pasta is a great way to make something quick and really delicious. I like to recommend veggie noodles due to the extra serving of vegetables you get. Now you can really do whatever you feel like with the pasta.

Simple Fruits and Veggies Fresh

1. Select Ripe, Fresh Produce

Keeping your fruits and vegetables fresh begins at the store. When making your selections, keep an eye out for cuts, bruising, or soft spots on the produce available. Damages to the fruit triggers enzymatic reactions, which speed the spoiling process.

2. Freeze What You Don’t Use

Once at home with your grocery finds, consider freezing what you won’t be using within the next few days.This immediate freezing will ensure your fruits and vegetables are frozen at their top condition.

3. Store Smart

Vegetables are best stored in the bottom rack, or lower level of the fridge. It is not recommended to store fruits or vegetables in the door rack of the fridge, as it is exposed to varying temperatures when opened.

4. Stay Dry

Avoid rinsing your vegetables right when you get home. It’s best to rinse them before preparation, as the excess moisture can induce mold growth between vegetables. Stick extra paper towels between damp areas.

5. Keep It Cool

Store foods away from appliances and areas that emit heat. Heating the fruits or vegetables will accelerate the ripening action, and lead to

Best Ways to Soften Butter for Baking

There are few things in this life better than a warm, home-baked cookie fresh from the oven. Even the aroma evokes pleasure (just witness the amount of candles with cookie scents). But when you get the hankering to bake cookies, there’s one ingredient that might slow you down: softened butter.

Unless you leave your butter out of the fridge, chances are you are going to have to get your butter from cold and hard to slightly warm and softened. Ideally, the butter should be around 65 degrees, not on the verge of melting but rather just enough to leave an imprint if you were to press your finger in the butter. Too warm and your cookies will melt on the pan like a snowman in summer.

Here are five ways to get your cold butter to the perfect baking temperature.

1. Shred the butter with a cheese grater. This is my preferred method; it’s messy but it works. Place a box grater over a plate and grate the butter using the coarse grating side (so, not too finely shredded). Once shredded, the butter will come to the right temperature in 10 minutes or less.

2. Cut the butter into pats. As with shredding

Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I love to be in the kitchen, maybe because I don’t get enough time in there, but regardless when I have the chance, I get in there and bake or make cookies for my grandchildren, cook dinner for my kids or prepare some tasty treat for my co-workers. It gives me great pleasure to spend time in the kitchen because I know that many will enjoy the outcome of my time there.

Of all of the tasty treats that I will make or bake, the one that seems to get the most comments and compliments is the No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies. They love these cookies at work, at home and at parties. Many times people will ask me to make the No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies for a wedding or shower, at a graduation party or even at a church social.

I started make the No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies at a young age. When I was a child, my grandmother made these cookies for our family reunions. They were in BIG demand by everyone. She would have to hide a stash of them so that they were not eaten all at once and when everyone thought

Vegetable Lasagna With Parmesan Sauce

Summer vegetables are available in the winter, but they don’t taste like summer. Only farm-fresh vegetables taste like this season. I love to see the arrival of summer vegetables in stores: firm zucchini, green asparagus, red and orange peppers, and others. This recipe takes advantage of summer’s bounty and also helps you meet your daily quota of veggies.

For extra flavor, the vegetables are roasted before they’re added to the lasagna. Roasting them at 425 degrees removes moisture, and this causes shrinkage. I roasted a large zucchini, large onion, one red pepper, two cups of cut and peeled baby carrots, and about one and a half cups of asparagus. After roasting, I had two cups of produce.

So if you love veggies, you may wish to roast more than the recipe calls for. Defrosted and drained frozen leaf spinach may be substituted for the asparagus. To reduce preparation time, roast the vegetables the day before you plan to use them. My family loved this recipe and I think yours will too.


1 large zucchini

1 red pepper

1 yellow onion

1 cup fresh asparagus tips

2 cups cut and peeled baby carrots

1 teaspoon garlic salt

olive oil


1 stick salted butter

1/2 cup regular flour

1 packet salt-free chicken bullion


Tips To Become A Better Chef

Millions of people are fond of preparing their own meals. Cooking maybe time-consuming for busy people but for those who love to cook since it’s a passion, not a task. What makes cooking a very pleasurable task? For one, it arouses senses that are associated with taste and smell. Once the sweet aroma of cinnamon fills the air, people feel hungry. Even just visualizing a pot of beef stew can make you look forward to having dinner at home. However, most good cooks learn how to cook at home. It all begins with experience as their parents allow their children to participate in some chores like peeling potatoes or placing icing on cake. This creates an interest in kids as they see yummy dishes prepared right before their eyes. Eventually, they develop a taste for honest to goodness meals that reminds them of special occasions.

Even at an early age, children dream of becoming a world-class chef one day. It starts with using cookie cutters to assist a busy mom one day. Before they know it, they are already participating in cooking contests or selling their homemade goodies to families and friends. While this is the most normal course of

The Secret of Truffles

Truffles are a delicacy that only a few have ever experienced. Described as having an intoxicating smell, the mere scent of truffles increase the appetite. While we know that salt and pepper have a compelling feature that gives dining a more memorable experience, it is said that truffles go one step further and unleash emotions upon taking that first bite.

So why aren’t we all stuffing ourselves on Thanksgiving with a big platter of truffles? Truffles are rare. The best black truffles are only found in France’s Perigord region. Many chefs consider their texture and aroma exquisite to any other truffles. White truffles are even harder to find. Located in the Alba region of Italy, they have a sharper, peppery flavor. Truffles are only found during the months of October through February and are best when prepared fresh. Auctions can be found where thousands of dollars exchange hands for one meager truffle that is of the right consistency and size. Fresh truffles typically retail for $300-500 per ounce. Powders and oils are also offered for those that just want a taste of the succulent treat.

Truffles are a type of underground fruit resembling a mushroom that develops from the roots of

Reasons For Home Canning and Preserving

There are a number of practical reasons for home canning and preserving but I’d like to share with you my personal top five reasons why it is a good idea to can or preserve food at home. These are in no particular order, but are chosen simply because I think they do a great deal of explaining why I enjoy home canning. They also will tell you a little more about the inspiration I use to keep me filling my pantry with home canned goods.

Reason #1 – I Can Get Creative

It may seem a little on the corny side to some of you who buy and consume canned preserves but I wonder how many of you actually stop and take a long look at what is in that jar you are enjoying. I have carefully chosen recipes that result in not only a tasty food item, but also produces something visually appealing. I love the way a jam or jelly can set with ingredients trapped in suspension. I also enjoy the different colour hues I can create just by altering the type of pepper I use in a recipe. These are a few of the tricks that allow me

Tips To Make Meal Prep A Breeze

If you’re looking to maintain a healthier eating plan, one thing you will want to be doing as often as possible is preparing your meals in advance. Preparing meals up ahead will both help you stay on track and help save cooking time during the week when you tend to be most busy and less likely to squeeze meal preparation into your busy day.

The important thing to note in all of this, however, is not all foods prepare as well as others. In fact, particular foods will only last a day or two while others may hold up quite well for 4 to 5 days, or, freeze very well so can be used at a later time. These are the foods you might want to focus on when doing your meal preparation.

Let’s go over the main foods you need to focus on…

1. Chicken Breast. On the protein side of things, you can’t beat chicken breasts. They’re a firmer protein source, so can do very well in the freezer for weeks at a time. Grill up a batch of 10 to 12 breasts and serve them throughout the week.

Unlike other protein sources such as fish, for instance, they won’t lose

Eggs Sunny Side Up With Garlicky Kale

I have been cooking up some healthy meal ideas in 2016 and this is one of my favorites. Nutrient dense and full of protein, good fat and healthy carbs, this eggs and garlic kale dish paired with charred tomato is also flavorful and satisfying. Healthy cooking doesn’t mean making boiled chicken and plain brown rice meal after meal. Cooking healthy food is actually really fun but can require a bit more thought at times. That doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. I prefer to come up with recipes that are easy to execute for anyone.

Eggs are one of my favorite forms of protein. They can be made in a number of ways like soft boiled, poached, fried and more (hard boiled eggs are great to have on hand as a grab and go snack). Plus, eggs are cheap so you get more “bang for your buck” with eggs. We like to use the whole egg (you certainly do not have to) because the egg yolk contains so many valuable nutrients. Actually, the egg yolks contain 100% of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K as well as all the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin found in an

How To Fry a Turkey Indoors

I remember when I first heard of fried turkey, on the Food Network all I could think of doing was replicating it myself. But the way it was demonstrated on TV, just wasn’t doable in apartment living, with it’s outdoor requirement and ‘hazmat’ like preparations. The taste of fried turkey eluded me for many years until one day in November of 2010, close to Thanksgiving. That year, I bought two small turkeys rather than a big one. The first one I cooked for the holiday, laboriously. It was a pain. Handling red hot turkey to separate the pieces on my apartment sized counter, and then putting it back in the oven, all so I could take pieces out as they were perfectly cooked. I thought to myself that there had to be a better way. So for the second turkey I cut it in to pieces. Now we usually buy whole chickens and end up piecing them out so butchering poultry was nothing new. I decided to try it on a larger bird and it’s just as easy. After cooking turkey pieced apart, I wish I would figured this out a long time ago. Here’s why:

Turkey in Separated Pieces

Ways to Cook for Two

Are you tired of having too many leftovers when you cook at home? There are quite a few ways to cook only two portions, or four if you want lunch the next day. It’s frustrating when you see a really good recipe on Pinterest but it calls for 6 servings. In this article we will look at five different ways that you can cook at home and save money but not end up with a ton of leftovers. The first method is cutting a recipe in half.

Halving Recipes

No one ever said you couldn’t take a regular recipe and cut it down. If you want a quiche, look into making a smaller one in a muffin pan. You don’t need to buy a full sheet of pastry dough that you cut up and waste most of either. You can make the crust using hashbrowns. You can also make egg cups by buying Canadian bacon, and using that as the bottom of the cup. Again you would assemble this in a muffin pan.

If you want to make more egg dishes, but don’t know how to halve an egg, buy liquid eggs. You can easily pour out 1/8 of a cup instead

How To Storing Food in Your Fridge Correctly

If you have left home for the first time and set up in your very own home or apartment, you might be a little confused about how to store food correctly in your fridge and many of you might not even know that proper storage can actually help to reduce the risks of getting food poisoning. It is always wise to try and learn about food storage practices as a bad case of food poisoning can be extremely bad for your health and could even possibly cause death.

Fridge Storage

There are a number of different foods that need to be stored in a fridge in order to stop bacteria growing on them. These items will usually state that they should be ‘kept refrigerated’ and will have a use by date. Any foods that have been removed from their original packaging should be kept in sanitary bags that are sealed tight.

You should also keep your fridge at or below 5C, never store food in their open cans, and should never put food in the fridge until it has cooled down. Keeping your fridge clean is also very important for the practice of good hygiene.

Storing Meat

Most of you will know that you

Bread Recipes for Your Bread Maker

The following recipes below are for a bread maker but can also be done in the conventional way. Each recipe will make one and a half pounds.

Keep in mind that there are many different recipes out there and these three that I am sharing are what I would consider fun or better yet dessert types.

Keep reading…

My first recipe is for whole wheat carrot bread. And again, these ingredient measurements will make one and a half pounds.

Whole wheat carrot bread:

Oil – two tablespoons

Honey – two tablespoons

Cottage cheese – 3/4 cup

Grated carrots – 1 cup

Dill weed – 1 1/2 teaspoons

Dry Mustard – 1/2 teaspoon

Orange zest – 1 teaspoon

Salt – 1 teaspoon

Whole wheat flour – 2/3 cup

Bread flour – 1 1/3 cup

Dry yeast – 1 1/2 teaspoon

For a bread maker you would put the setting on the basic bread cycle.

Chocolate Bread:

Water – 1 1/8 cup

White bread flour – 3 cups

Sugar – 1/4 cup

Salt – 1 1/2 teaspoons

Chocolate chips – 1/2 cups

Vanilla – 3/4 teaspoon

Large egg – 1

Cocoa powder – 1/2 cup

Yeast (fast rise) – 1 1/2 teaspoons

Or dry yeast – 1 1/2 teaspoons

The recommended cycle for chocolate bread on your maker would be sweet bread cycle or something similar because of course

The Secret of Sweet Potato

There is nothing like a hot baked sweet potato with butter melting and maybe a little brown sugar or cinnamon! Yum! Or what about yam casserole at Thanksgiving? Sprinkle a pecan topping and melt some marshmallows and you are ready to go! As good as those things are many people don’t realize this tasty tuber is so much more and is so versatile.

The sweet potato according to nutritionists at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is the richest vegetable in complex carbohydrates and ranks number one in nutrition far above the humble white potato and surprisingly more so than many other vegetables. In fact CSPI ranked the sweet potato number one in nutrition of ALL vegetables. With a score of 184 it outscored most vegetables by more than 100 points! How were they graded? Points were given for dietary fiber, naturally occurring sugars and complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron and calcium. Points were deducted for fat, especially saturated fat. Also, sodium, cholesterol, added refined sugars and caffeine were considered. Look at these comparisons to other vegetables:

Sweet potato baked 184
Potato, baked 83
Spinach 76
Kale 55
Mixed Vegetables 52
Broccoli 52
Winter Squash, Baked

How to Make Organic Desserts

Fresh fruit and veggies are organic sources of meals that you can enjoy without feeling guilty when you crave something light and refreshing as desserts. Depending upon age and gender, consuming 1 to 2.5 cups of fruits per day is highly recommended for us as stated by The U.S. Department of Agriculture. An adult male requires slightly higher portions of fruit and vegetables than a young girl does. In addition, The National Cancer Society advised that everyone should consume five parts of vegetable and three parts of fruit to stay away from cancer.

Probably there is not any better dessert for organic meal lovers than natural ice cream to charm their summer time. Variation of toppings could be limitless to pour on the ice cream including frozen fruit, chocolate flakes, nuts, dried fruits, and more to enhance your summer menu. If you do not wish to spend too much time in the kitchen to make your organic desserts, then all you need to have is a special ice cream maker.

A Frost Food machine has a cold plate as its main components. It is an efficient catering equipment which bars and restaurants should have to get the competitive advantage among organic

Facts About Vegetarians That Will Impress Your Friends

It’s always nice to throw out an interesting fact when you are with friends. Here are some vegetarian-related snippets for you to use, whether you are vegetarian or not.

1. There are a lot of vegetarians out there

If you are a vegetarian you may sometimes feel a little lonely. You scour menus searching for the veggie option (hoping it isn’t mushroom risotto – or worse: vegetable stack) and most of your friends and family eat meat. Yet in actual fact, there are many, many vegetarians in the world. Millions! In India it is estimated that over 350 million people are vegetarian. In Taiwan, around 13% of people are vegetarian.

If you live in the UK you may be interested to know that as many as four million of you are vegetarian. In Brazil 8% of the population (that’s 15.2 million people) are said to be vegetarian. In the United States, 13% of the population regard themselves as either vegetarian or vegan.

So you are not alone. Someone just needs to tell the restaurants.

2. Vegetarians do not eat fish (or chicken)

Vegetarians hate being asked if they eat fish. By definition, a vegetarian does not eat animals – whether they are from the land

Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids

Besides eating three meals per day, kids also need three healthy snacks. But what constitutes healthy? Generally, you will want to stick to the basic food groups of whole grain, fruits and vegetables, and dairy. Here are some easy to prepare, but nutritious snacks that fill the bill:

1) Whole Grain Cereal Clusters

Start with 3 cups of whole grain cereal, ½ cup chopped dried strawberries and 1 ½ cups of white chocolate chips.

Put the cereal and strawberries on a bowl. Melt the chocolate and drizzle it over the bowl mixture. Mix up the melted chocolate and bowl mixture. Spoon into mini muffin cups, and refrigerate until firm.

2) Cheese and Fruit Kebabs

When cut into fun shapes, these are a real hit with your kids. Take 4 cantaloupe or honeydew slices (or 2 slices of each), 4 fresh blackberries, 4 whole fresh strawberries, 2 ounces of reduced fat cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese and a few stick pretzels.

Using a 1 to 1 ½ inch cookie cutter, cut out shapes from the melon slices and cheese. Thread the fruit and cheese onto the stick pretzels and chill.

3) Fruit Smoothie

While you can buy fruit smoothies, most are loaded with unneeded sugar. You can make