Monday, January 24, 2011

How To Cook Pasta

Pasta is a delicious food to eat and easy to cook. You should cook pasta just before serving and this is an important thing to be kept in mind while cooking pasta. To enjoy pasta you should know the process properly. People who do not know the process properly will spoil the entire pot of pasta they are cooking. Here is how you can make delicious pasta and what you need to make pasta.
  • Per serving you need 1 liter boiling water
  • For salting the water you need salt
  • The sauce of your choice
  • Pasta, about 100 g or ¼ pound for one person.

First fill the stockpot with enough water and then add 1 teaspoon of salt that measures the water of 1 liter. Cover the pot to bring it to a boil. Remember while cooking pasta that after the pasta is cooked the pasta becomes double in size. So if you have not put enough water in the pot then the pasta will stick to each other.
To avoid the sticking of pasta it is important to stir well while adding the pasta to the water. Wait till the water starts boiling again after adding the pasta. The pasta takes eight to twelve minutes to get cooked fully depending on the quantity as well as the type of the pasta.
You need to simmer the stove to avoid the pot from foaming up and spilling over the edges of the pot. You can take a tiny piece of pasta and taste it just to check if the pasta is cooked properly. The center should not be hard. The pasta should be tender and firm.
Once your pasta is cooked properly then the excess water should be drained. If you are making cold pasta salad make sure to rinse it in cold water to get rid of the starch and prevent it from sticking. If you are not making the cold salad with pasta then make sure not to rinse this as the starch present in it will help to blend the sauce flavor in the pasta when you are ready to add sauce of your choice in the pasta. You can then leave the cooked pasta in a chafing dish until you are ready to serve it.
Make sure that you cook only one type of pasta at a time so that you get the best result.  Keep checking the pasta from time to time while cooking to ensure that the pasta is not over cooked. Remember you should have a large capacity pan with sturdy and wide handle to cook the pasta.

Watermelon Cake

Is that true that watermelon store and keep ripe at room temperature is more nutritious than ice cold watermelon? Researchers compared the level of antioxidant between watermelon ripe at store room temperature for two weeks increases it nutritional value than one stored in the lower temperature.
Watermelon is like tomatoes that owes its ripening process on the amount of antioxidant lycopene, an organic pigment of carotenoid family. The only differences the watermelon has lower level of beta carotene than tomatoes. 
Based on the research, the lycopene level is dependent on the storage temperature. Watermelon left uncut at the kitchen or room temperature doubled its beta carotene compared to the one stored in lower temperature did not increase. Low temperature halted the ripening process of watermelon reducing the beneficial antioxidant to build up.
But, it's not good to leave your food sitting in the table for safety concerns. It's better to put it inside the fridge once you cut it.

Sample of Dessert Recipes: Watermelon Cake

1 watermelon
8 oz fat free frozen whipped topping, thawed
8 oz nonfat light lemon yogurt
Fresh fruit to decorate cake (strawberries, blueberries, kiwi fruit, grapes, apples,

 Choose 7 inches diameter symmetrical watermelon.  Cut 3 "thick cross section from watermelon.  Cut 4 slits through rind without cutting the red flesh.  Cut the white rind.  Fold together whipped topping and yogurt. Pat watermelon cake dry with paper towel. Place the watermelon cake on serving plate.  Put around the top and sides with whipped topping mixture. Decorate with fresh fruit as desired.  Refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut to 10 pieces.

Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

Balsamic vinegar dressing has been used to flavor dishes for around 1000 years and is yet a preferred dressing utilized by nowadays chefs to spice up a salad or meal that may otherwise be bland to present. Its simplicity is what maintains it modern with professional and house cooks similar.

Balsamic vinegar dressing is practiced in two different "grades" of value, one prepared the traditionalistic way in two provinces in Italy, and the common divison of balsamic vinegar that reduces a few corners to attain a duplicate effect. Both styles use the same initiating action of boiling white grapes down into a highly intense grape juice. This grape concentrate is then stored in wooden barrels for a big duration of time to be able to ferment and age with the woods that it was positioned in.

The wood offers supplementary savor and taste to the balsamic vinegar during the aging operation, and as the concentrate sits, it is in condition to ferment and get its rich flavor. The divergence between commercial grade balsamic vinegar dressing and dressing made the old style is how much the dressing is left over to ferment.
Dressing left over for at least twelve years is known as being real balsamic vinegar dressing, while other advanced manners are practiced to expedite the operation in the barrels and many times the dressing is excluded a lot sooner than the twelve year minimal. Balsamic vinegar dressing is usually utilized to supply supplemental 

savor to salads and opposite bland tasting dishes.
Balsamic vinegar appends the sweetness of the grapes utilised to create it to the dish its brought to. In several circumstance, counting on the quality of the dressing you get, you may or could not have to bring some completing sugar or sweetness to the dressing to produce the punch you're expecting for. Low division commercialized balsamic vinegar dressings usually get this trouble and supplemental flavorers such as olive oil or garlic have to be supplied to fill out the vinegar prior to serving.

How to Make Your Own Homemade Candy

You can find candies in almost every corner of your home. In most cases, you can easily buy some in your local grocery or convenience stores. Buying candies is one thing but, making some on your own is a delightful and fun-learning experience everyone should try.

For most first-timers, the first time is always the hardest. Once you get a hang of it, everything else will come naturally. Making homemade candies is just like baking cakes in the oven. The first thing you need to do is decide on what type of candy or flavor you wish to make in your kitchen. You can look for candy recipes in books or on the internet for some flavorful choices. Once you have decided what particular candy you feel like making, then these simple and basic steps will follow:

1. Get the ingredients. Different recipes have different ingredients needed. So you should make sure that the candy recipe you have chosen has ingredients that can be easily bought in your local grocery stores. In most cases, you often see sugar, cocoa, fresh eggs, milk and butter on the list. In order to lessen your expenses, it is best to choose a recipe with the most number of ingredients that are already available in your kitchen. You also need some molders to achieve the desired shape for your candies. These shapes highlight your creativity in making candies.

2. Check you tools. Making your own candies means there will be a lot of mixing, stirring and beating required. To do these, you need to have at least a set of mixing bowls, a wire whisk, hand beater, rubber spatula and pastry blender. You also need to have the perfect measurements of your ingredients to achieve the desired taste for your treats so you'll need some spoons and measuring cups.

3. Follow the given instructions one at a time and appropriately. Every candy making recipe has its own set of procedures. Just like in most algorithms, it is a step by step procedure. Avoid skipping one or a few steps. This may greatly affect the outcome of the whole cooking process.

4. Cook your candy mixture under the specified degree of heat. Also give high consideration on the required time it needs to be properly cooked.

5. Candies from the stove need to be given enough time to cool down. You should also make sure that you have platters already set.

Making homemade candies doesn't require you to have a well experienced chef in your kitchen. You only need to have a good reference, a complete set of tools, and creative hands to do the whole package and make your own delicious candy treats

Favourite Lasagna Recipe

I make lasagna pretty often because i really-really love it. If im correct, i have over 100 different lasagna recipes now. And i have tried every single one of them. I have many good friends who are coming to visit me often when i got another recipe and going to try that. And there is no time, not even once, where my friends have told me that they did not like my lasagna.

About 10 portions.

Ingredients you'll need:

12 sheets of lasagna 
1 kg of ground beef 
2 chopped onion 
4 cloves of chopped garlic 
little bit of rosemary 
little bit of white wine 
2 cans of crushed tomatoes 
2 tablespoons of dried oregano 
200 g of grated cheese 
200 g of mozzarella cheese 
handful of fresh basil 

Its easier and better to make big amount and it can be done without any trouble. 

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Chop the onion, garlic, rosemary and cook them until soft. Add ground beef and brown. When the liquids starts to evaporate, add little bit of white wine and cook for some minutes more. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Spice with salt, pepper and oregano. Spray the baking dish with olive oil and add a layer of lasagna sheets, then meat sauce, grated cheese, basil and mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers with remaining components. For the last layer add meat sauce, basil, grated cheese and mozzarella cheese. Cook in oven at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes. Before serving, let the lasagna rest for about 10 minutes. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Creamy Mushroom Soup


250g mushrooms, sliced
3 or 4 leeks, sliced
4 medium potatoes, halved and thinly sliced (cooks faster that way)
2T Fresh parsley (or 1t dried if you don't have fresh)
Salt & pepper to taste
750ml (3c) chicken stock
500ml (2c) water
Olive oil
60ml (¼ c) cream – just enough to give the soup good colour and taste

  1. Wash and slice the mushrooms, leeks and potatoes.
  2. Put them a pot with the olive oil and sauté till the veggies have softened slightly.
  3. Add the chicken stock cube and about 1 – 1½ litres water (I use boiling water because it goes faster)
  4. Boil for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
  5. Add parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Liquidize the soup and then add the cream

Praline Pumpkin Dessert

I am always looking for new recipes and this recipe comes from a cousin of mine. It is a pleasant change from the normal pumpkin bars, pumpkin pie and even pumpkin cookies that we are so used to. It also makes a wonderful centerpiece with its bright orange color and white topping. Simply take it out of the pan and transfer into a pretty, clear bowl.
Here are the ingredients that you will need to make your praline pumpkin dessert:
1 fifteen ounce can of pumpkin ( not the pumpkin pie mix)
1 twelve ounce can of evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 cup of white sugar
4 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 yellow or white cake mix
1 ½ cups of finely chopped nuts
¾ butter or margarine
Whipped cream
This recipe will easily serve twelve people.
The first thing you need to do after you have your ingredients measured out is to beat together your pumpkin and milk in a large mixing bowl. A hand mixer is very handy for this recipe. When the milk and pumpkin are well blended, add the eggs, sugar, and cinnamon and beat until it is smooth.
Once beaten until smooth, pour the pumpkin mixture into a well greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Then sprinkle the dry cake mix over the top of the pumpkin mixture. Next, sprinkle the chopped nuts evenly over the cake mix. Then melt your butter or margarine and pour it over the nuts.
Bake your dessert at 350 degrees for fifty to sixty minutes. Top with whipped topping and serve. You can serve this dessert warm or chilled. Store it in your refrigerator or in a cool class food

Step by Step Instructions to Make a Delicious Coffee Cake

The pudding in the cake makes it stay nice and moist. And the toppings and spices make it have the taste of a traditional coffee cake.
The first thing you will want to do is get your ingredients ready and measured out. Here is a list of the ingredients you will need to make this coffee cake:
1 box of your favorite yellow cake mix
1 small box of instant vanilla pudding
1 small box of instant butterscotch pudding
4 large eggs
1 cup plus one tablespoon of vegetable oil
¾ cup of water
1 tightly packed cup of brown sugar
1 Tablespoon of cinnamon
1 cup of finely chopped nuts
After you have all the ingredients measured out, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then, in a medium size mixing bowl, begin by mixing together your yellow cake mix and your vanilla and butterscotch puddings. When well mixed, add your eggs and your vegetable oil. Mix these in by hand and then add your three quarter cup of water and your nuts. Mix all this very well.
Divide the dough in half and spread one half into a well greased nine by thirteen inch pan. Spread evenly across the bottom of the pan. Then in a small mixing bowl, combine your brown sugar and cinnamon with a fork. When evenly mixed, divide in half and sprinkle half of the sugar over the dough in the pan. Then spread the remaining dough over the sugar and top with the rest of your sugar and cinnamon.
Bake at 350 degrees for fifty minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. This coffee cake is good no matter what the occasion! Serve with hot coffee, tea or cold milk.

Mixed Pickle to Can Recipe

you can make just enough mixed pickle to eat fresh but with this recipe you will want to either can or freeze most of it. Then when you have that special dinner or event simply open a can as the perfect accent to any meal. These canned jars also make unique Christmas or birthday gifts for anyone on your list. It is useful and most people will not want to return it.

Here is a list of the ingredients you will need to make and can your mixed pickle:
5 cups of white sugar
2 cups of white or cider vinegar
3 cups of water
1 teaspoon of celery seed
2 teaspoons of mustard seed
1/8 teaspoon of turmeric
Salt to taste

You will need vegetables but the amounts you use can vary according to what you have on hand and according to which kinds you like the best and want the most of! Here is a list of the vegetables most people put in there mixed 


Sweet bell peppers (green and red)
The first thing you will want to do is clean all of your vegetables and then cut them in small, bite size pieces. Make them the size you would want to eat in one bite. Then place your cauliflower in a small saucepan with a small amount of water and boil for three minutes. Remove from heat and then put your cut up carrots in a small saucepan with water and boil them for five minutes. Remove your carrots from the heat. Drain the water off both the carrots and the cauliflower.
Next, in a medium size saucepan, combine your sugar, cider, water, turmeric, and salt and bring to boil over medium heat. Boil until sugar dissolves.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together your cucumbers, carrots, onions, cauliflower and peppers. When well mixed add the vinegar syrup and mix well. Put your vegetables in well washed and sterilized canning jars. I like using pints so that I can give them away easier. Put your can lids and rings on and cold pack for eight to ten minutes. That is put in canner or large stockpot with three to four inches of water and boil the jars for eight to ten minutes. After they have boiled that amount of time, remove from the canner and tighten the rings. When completely cool you may remove the rings.
A good way to add variety to your mixed pickle is by adding frozen mixed vegetables to your vegetables. Try different varieties to figure out which ones you like the best. My personal favorite is California blend. Frozen vegetables do not need to be cooked before adding to mixture. Enjoy!

How to Make Delicious Baking Powder Biscuits

Here is a list of the ingredients you will need to make these Baking Powder Biscuits.

2 cups of all purpose flour
½ teaspoon of cream of tarter
2 Tablespoons of white sugar
1 large egg
4 teaspoons of baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
½ cup shortening
2/3 cup milk

First, begin by sifting together your flour, baking powder, salt, white sugar, and cream of tarter into a large mixing bowl. When sifted, add your shortening to the flour mixture. The warmer your shortening is the easier it will be to blend. You can use a pastry blender or hand mixer to mix together. Blend until the mixture is meal consistency.
Once the flour mixture is the consistency of fine meal, pour the milk slowly into it. You should stir your batter constantly while doing this. Then add you egg and stir by hand until well mixed. Stir you dough until it becomes a very stiff dough.
Now, knead your dough for a couple of minutes on a well floured surface. This is done by first flouring your hands and then pressing down on the biscuit dough with your fingers. Put your whole weight into it. Turn the dough over and over and continue doing this until the dough is nice and smooth. This makes your biscuits very flakey.
After you are done kneading it, use a rolling pin and roll the dough to about a half an inch thick. Then cut in circles and bake for fifteen minutes at three hundred fifty degrees. Serve your biscuits warm with your meal!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Banana Smoothie Recipes

Quick Banana Smoothie Tips

Ice Cubes or Frozen Fruit?
A lot of smoothie recipes call for ice cubes. Personally, I'm not a fan of adding ice cubes to my smoothies. They are hard on your blender, and they change the smoothie's texture. Instead, I opt for frozen fruit. I buy fruit already frozen, but I also freeze fresh fruit. I love buying fresh bananas and freezing them - it's cheap and easy.
When I freeze bananas, I peel them and cut them in half. Then they go into freezer bags until I'm ready to use them.
That said, I will include a banana smoothie recipe here that calls for ice cubes just for those of you who love it that way!

I usually use soy milk, but smoothies are also good with other kinds of milk. Try cow's milk, rice milk, almond milk, chocolate milk. The choices are countless, and I've used many of them myself.

I find fruit pretty sweet on its own, so I rarely add sweeteners myself, but I know a lot of people like to sweeten their smoothies. My favorite addition to a banana smoothie is honey, but vanilla extract works well too. Adventurous? Try a bit of maple syrup!
If you use plain milk, it might be beneficial to use a sweetener. I tend to use vanilla soymilk, so when I go for another milk option, the smoothies are as sweet.

Recipes for One

You can easily double and triple these recipes to make bigger smoothie batches.

Basic Banana Smoothie

  • 1.5 frozen bananas
  • 8 ounces milk

Combine ingredients in blender. Blend everything until smooth. You may choose to add more milk to reach desired consistency. (I like mine thick and have been known to add more banana.)

Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie

This tasty smoothie gets a protein boost by adding peanut butter. Mmm: Peanut butter and bananas!

  • 1.5 frozen banana
  • 8 ounces of milk (you might want to try almond milk)
  • 2 tbs. peanut butter

Combine all ingredients in the blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth. You should see the smoothie mixing from bottom to top without any chunks.

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

  • 1.5 frozen bananas
  • 8 ounces chocolate milk (soy, rice, regular, etc.)

Blend everything together until smoothie is smooth! Want to make it extra special? Throw in some peanut butter.

Ice Cube Banana Smoothie

  • 1 fresh banana
  • 6 ounces of non-fat milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla or a dab of honey (for sweetness)
  • handful of ice cubes

Break the banana into chunks and place in blender. Add vanilla/honey and icecubes. Pour milk over ingredients, and blend until smooth. If the conisistency is not thick enough, add a few more ice cubes until it reaches desired consistency.

Competition Quality Backyard BBQ Rib Recipes

moked Baby Back Pork Ribs


5 pounds baby back pork ribs
1/2 gallon apple juice
1 head garlic, separated into cloves
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
2 cups barbeque sauce


Prepare charcoal in a smoker, and bring the temperature to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C).

Cut the ribs into smaller portions of 3 or 4 ribs, and place them in a large pot. Pour in enough apple juice to cover. Place a lid on the pot and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, and let stand for 15 minutes.

Lightly oil the grate in your smoker. Place ribs on the grate, and throw a few cloves of garlic onto the hot coals. Close the smoker. Maintain the temperature at 225 degrees F (110 degrees C) by adding more charcoal as needed. Smoke the ribs for 7 hours, adding more garlic cloves to the coals occasionally.

Make a sauce by mixing together the barbeque sauce with 2 cups of the apple juice from the pot. Season with granulated garlic. Baste ribs with this sauce while continuing to cook for another 30 minutes.
Backyard Pro BBQ Ribs


1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste
3 pounds baby back pork ribs
1 cup barbeque sauce


Preheat grill for high heat.

In a small jar, combine cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Close the lid, and shake to mix.

Trim the membrane sheath from the back of each rack. Run a small, sharp knife between the membrane and each rib, and snip off the membrane as much as possible. Sprinkle as much of the rub onto both sides of the ribs as desired. To prevent the ribs from becoming too dark and spicy, do not thoroughly rub the spices into the ribs. Store the unused portion of the spice mix for future use.

Place aluminum foil on lower rack to capture drippings and prevent flare-ups. Lightly oil grate, and lay ribs on top rack of grill. Reduce heat to low, close lid, and leave undisturbed for 1 hour. Do not lift lid at all.

Brush ribs with barbecue sauce, and grill an additional 5 minutes. Serve ribs as whole rack, or cut between each rib bone and pile individually on a platter.

Bulgogi - Korean BBQ Beef



1 lb rib eye beef, very thinly sliced (sirloin and other well-marbled cuts also work well)
2 Tbsp. sugar (approximate)
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
3 Tbsp. oil


2 Tbsp black bean sauce
2 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 tsp. rice vinegar
for the rice:
1 C. short-grain rice
2 C. water
for serving:
1 head green leaf lettuce, washed and separated into whole leaves


Sprinkle the sugar evenly over both sides of all the slices of meat. Let sit for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the marinade. In a small bowl, blend together the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and rice vinegar.

Pour the soy sauce mixture over the meat and mix well. Marinate for 10 minutes.

While the meat is marinating, begin cooking the rice. Bring the rice and water to a boil in a medium covered saucepan. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover the pot with a lid, and allow the rice to steam for 20 minutes.

Once the rice is cooking, prepare the sauce. Mix the black bean sauce, sweet chili sauce, garlic, and rice vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside until serving time.

Finally, cook the meat. In a skillet over high heat, heat the 3 Tbsp. oil until shimmering. Cook the meat in small batches until brown and carmelized; be careful not to overcrowd the pan. As the meat is cooked, remove to a platter.

Each batch should take 2-3 minutes to cook. Serve the meat along with the sauce, rice, and lettuce leaves.

To eat, place a large spoonful of rice down the center of a lettuce leaf, add a few slices of meat, and top with sauce. Roll the lettuce leaf around the filling, and eat like a wrap.