Proper Food Preparation

Proper Food PreparationIf you think buying, cooking and eating fresh, natural, organic whole foods would be adequate to get the most nutrition, you would only be partially correct. Using the highest quality raw ingredients is step one. The second part of the equation is learning a few strategies that enable you to prepare those foods in a way that unlocks every bit of their nutritional value. Here are 7 simple things you can do:

1. Eat some of your food raw daily. Cooking destroys enzymes in the food that assist in digestion and absorption of nutrients. Raw food enthusiasts avoid cooking food above 114 degrees, the point at which they believe enzymes are destroyed. Studies have also shown that eating a raw food diet lowers total cholesterol and triglycerides, increases energy, improves overall health, and may even help with weight loss. At the very least, shoot for one raw salad consisting of a variety of fresh vegetables, some fresh fruit, and raw nuts and seeds daily.

2. While eating vegetables raw preserves enzyme activity, some vegetables are better when cooked. For example the lycopene, a phytochemical, in tomatoes and carrots, is actually made more bioavailable when these vegetables are cooked. Lycopene makes up about 50% of the carotenoids in the body, along with alpha and beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. You can try stir frying or lightly steaming to fully release their nutrients. Combining them with a small amount of healthy fat, such as extra virgin olive oil also enables your body to absorb those nutrients more fully. You get the most nutritional value from cooked tomato products like pasta sauce, ketchup and tomato soup.

3. Cruciferous vegetables that are part of the Brassica family such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts can actually be eaten either raw or cooked. However, they contain “goitrogenic” compounds that, when eaten raw depress thyroid function in sensitive people. If you have an under active thyroid, you do not have to totally avoid those vegetables. Simply cook them. Parboiling them for several minutes will deactivate the compounds and make them safe for you to eat.

4. It is recommended that regardless of your method of cooking you cook your food at lower temperatures. Cooking at very high temperatures, which would include grilling and broiling, not only destroys vital nutrients, but also produces advanced glycation end products (AGES). That acronym says it all because these substances cause inflammation and aging. If you are roasting or baking your food, simply extend the cooking time and lower the temperature.

5. When cooking with oil, be careful to choose a stable fat, otherwise the heat will damage it. Polyunsaturated vegetable oils like canola, corn, safflower, sunflower and soybean oil should never be heated or used for cooking. The reason for this is that they easily combine with oxygen in the air to become rancid. These oils degrade very easily because of this tendency. Extra virgin coconut oil and organic butter are best for cooking as they are very stable saturated fats. They withstand high temperatures without damage to their chemical structure. Regular olive oil should not be heated above 400 degrees, so it is suitable for stir frying or light sauteing at moderate temperatures. Extra virgin olive oil, flax oil, sesame oil, pumpkin seed oil and macadamia nut oil should not be heated. Use them as condiments, drizzling over vegetables, in salad dressings and smoothies or as a dip for whole grain bread.

6. Raw nuts, seeds and seed-like grains such as quinoa, millet and amaranth, as well as whole grains like steel cut oats and brown rice, should be soaked before you cook and eat them. They contain phytic acid which is a naturally occurring substance that prevents absorption of certain minerals and nutrients in those foods. By simply soaking them in filtered water for at least 8 hours, the phytic acid is deactivated.

7. Garlic is a power-packed food that has been studied for years and has many health benefits. The way to get the most from garlic is to crush the cloves. Allicin, a powerful anti-fungal and antibacterial compound, is produced when you crush or chop the garlic cloves. It’s also usually suggested that you wait ten minutes for the compound to develop fully. The effects of allicin are strongest in raw garlic, so to get the most benefit, use a small amount of crushed or chopped garlic raw or combine with your cooked food just before serving it. Cooking destroys it and the longer the garlic is cooked the more these properties are destroyed.

Try these simple strategies for getting the most nutrition from your meals.


Make Some Great No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

FS= Randy Mon

FS= Randy Mon

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 that her No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies were gone, she pulled out the stash, only to see big smiles yet again.

Sadly in 1979, my grandmother passed away and somehow I obtain her recipe and started making them for the family reunions. I found that I, too, had to put a stash away for a later time in the day (or weekend) so that they would be spread out for the group to enjoy. Since that time, I’ve been requested to make them for many occasions.

Do I think my recipe is special? No. Do I think there is anything different in my No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies that is not in other recipes? No, not really, but I do have a few handy tips that can help you to make good No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies.

Before I give you the recipe, please let me give you a few helpful hints:

1. Do not double the recipe. It never seems to work for me because of the formula of the ingredients and the amount of heat and boiling that it requires. If you need to make more than one batch, simply make them individually. It really doesn’t take any more time and they will be perfect each time.

2. Be sure to use the timer. The recipe will call for bringing the ingredients to a boil. Make sure it comes to a complete full boil and then start the timer for one minute. You do not want to over cook or under cook these cookies. Over cooking them will result in crumbly, dry cookies. Under cooking them will give you a runny mess.

3. Let Stand for One Minute: I typically let my cookies in the pot for about one minute before dropping them by spoonful on the wax paper. This gives it a little cooling time and will not drip as much.

4. Shape them for appeal. After dropping them by spoonful on the wax paper, I take a fork which has been dipped in cool water, and press them around the sides to give them a more round appearance and eliminate the round oatmeal edges that tend to spread. Then I press the top lightly to flatten the top without squishing the cookie. Dip the fork in cool water often to keep it from sticking to the cookies.

5. Lift the Wax Paper to loosen. After the No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies have hardened (several hours later), you can remove them from the wax paper more easily, if you list the wax paper off the counter or table top so that they are not stuck. They will easily peel from the wax paper.

6. Store in air tight container. For longer lasting cookies that will not dry out, keep them in an airtight plastic storage container. Keeping them on a plate with plastic wrap is good, but a container that is air tight works better.

The recipe for No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies that I make follows:

1 stick of margarine
2 cups of sugar
½ cup of milk
Combine in a sauce pan, cook ingredients and bring to a boil. Once the margarine is completely melted and the sauce comes to a hard boil, boil it for one minute, stirring occasionally.

½ cup of peanut butter

One melted, add:
4 tablespoons of cocoa
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Mix well and add
3 cups of 1-minute oatmeal.

Stir well. Let stand and then drop by teaspoons on wax paper. Yields approximately 42 cookies



An Introduction to Bread Ingredients

Bread Flour

Bread flour has a high content of gluten so sometimes you may see this advertised as high gluten flour. High Gluten flour contains high protein and is usually a good flour for bread makers.

It makes the bread very elastic and will keep the bread from sinking or caving in after it has risen.

This flour is good for making a large size loaf of bread with a really good inner fiber because of the high gluten content.

It may sound obvious but there is not a more important ingredient when it comes to making bread.

Plain Flour

Plain flour is made by mixing well chosen soft and hard wheat and is best for making bread and cakes.

Whole Wheat Flour

Whole wheat flour is made by grinding whole wheat. It contains the skin of wheat and it is heavier and more nutritious than common flour. Bread made by whole wheat flour is usually small in size. Most recipes for wheat bread will combine the whole wheat flour and bread flour in order to achieve the best results.

Black Wheat Flour

Black wheat flour also known as “rough flour” is a high fiber flour that is very similar to whole wheat flour. To obtain a large size after rising it needs to be used in combination with a high proportion of bread flour.

Cake Powder

Cake powder is made by grinding soft wheat or low protein wheat which is used for baking cakes.

While most flours seem to be very much alike it comes down to the yeast performance in combination with the flour and the way in which it is absorbed.

The area or region in which the ingredient is grown, stored and ground also plays a role in the performance of the wheat.

It never hurts to try a few different brands of flour to get an idea of what works best for you as well as tastes the best.

Corn Flour and Oatmeal Flour

Corn flour and oatmeal flour are made by grinding corn and oatmeal respectively. They are both the additive ingredient of making rough bread which is used for enhancing the flavor and the texture of the bread.


Sugar is very important to the mix for adding taste and color. (In my opinion I do not think sugar is necessary.) I have made many a loaf without sugar and I can not tell the difference in taste or color.

Sugar does help to nourish the yeast to make a better rising bread.

If you are using a bread maker you may want to look for the ingredients in your super market that say “great for bread makers.” I seem to believe these ingredients that come advertised for the bread makers are of a different quality than those prepared for traditional baking.


Yeast breaks down and then produces carbon dioxide which makes the bread expand and the inner fiber soft. Yeast also relies on sugar and flour as a source of nourishment.

Yeast also must be stored at a cool temperature so the refrigerator is an ideal spot for it.


Salt is necessary to improve bread flavor and the color of the crust. Salt is not a necessary ingredient so feel free to omit it all together. Your bread would actually be larger without the salt also.


Eggs will improve the texture of your bread as well as add nourishment and make it larger in size.

Grease, Butter and Vegetable Oil

Grease can make the bread soft and delay its storage life. Butter should be melted or chopped into small pieces before use.

Baking Powder

Baking powder is used mainly to make bread rise very fast. It will also bubble or soften the texture of the bread.

Baking Soda

Same principle as above and the two can be used in combination with one another.


Water is a very essential ingredient to making bread so never leave it out of your recipe.


5 Reasons To Make Bread With a Bread Maker

There are many reasons to go out and get a bread maker to make your bread with but I am only going to list five of them for starters.

The first reason and in my opinion the most important for making your own bread is because it’s much healthier than buying the store brand bread with all the added preservatives.

For example I’m going to list all the ingredients found in a loaf of bread that I have pulled from my pantry that I recently purchased at the grocery store. And it is wheat bread I might add. See below.

Whole wheat flour, water, high fructose corn syrup, wheat gluten, yeast, soybean oil, wheat bran salt, enrichment (calcium sulfate, vitamin e acetate, vitamin a palmitate, vitamin 3d) mono-and diglycerides, calcium propionate, (preservative), datem, soy lecithin, citric acid, grain vinegar, potassium iodate, ethoxalated mono-and diglycerides, calcium phosphate.

I mean what is this stuff? I understand the flour and the yeast but the other stuff? C’mon.

Now I will go and grab the recipe I use to make my own bread. See ingredients below.

Milk, eggs, butter, flour, salt and yeast. That’s it!

The recipe does call for sugar but I leave that out. you really don’t need it especially if you are using a bread machine and are buying the bread ingredients advertised as “great for bread maker.”

Reason number two. It’s so easy! It only takes five minutes to prepare at the most.

Take the ingredients I mentioned above in the specified measurements in whatever recipe you are using and dump them in the bread pan than turn on your bread maker and your work is done.

Three hours later you have warm fresh bread and your house smells wonderful!

Reason number three: It’s fun.

Making bread can be a lot of fun for the whole family. There are thousands of bread cookbooks out there that you can get your hands on for making different varieties of bread. In my house we make basic egg bread, white bread, wheat bread, corn bread, etc.

Everyone in my family has their favorite bread and again it is so easy to do.

The fourth reason is that you will save money.

For the price of two loaves of bread (depending on the brand) you can buy enough bread ingredients to make six loaves or more so keep this in mind if you are considering buying a bread maker. You can buy a really good one for under sixty dollars and it no time it will pay for itself.

Reason number five. You can experiment with cakes and jams.

Not only do bread makers make bread but most come with a setting for cakes and jams. I have not done anything with the cakes but I have made the jam and it tastes great. And the prep time is just as short and simple as the bread making.


Uncommon Ways to Cooking Chicken

Chicken is likely the most eaten meat across the world due to its inexpensive nature, wide availability and versatility of preparing. Part of the poultry family which includes Turkey, Cornish game hens, Duck and other wild or domesticated birds, Chicken is by far the most popular and consumed of all birds.

Chicken can often be purchased whole or cut into specific segments such as whole legs, thighs, drumsticks, split breast or one of the most popular cuts, boneless skinless breast. It is important to note that the more processing the chicken goes through before you purchase it, the more expensive it will be.

On its own, chicken is a fairly bland meat that really needs to be seasoned in some way prior to cooking to enhance the flavor of the finished dish. There are several methods to accomplish this including:

  • Brines
  • Soaking Marinades
  • Injected Marinades
  • Dry Seasoning Rubs

Let’s look at each of these methods in greater detail.


Brining is a method that typically consists of soaking the chicken in whole or parts, in a heavily salted water solution. By brining the chicken it tenderizes the meat and can often add more moisture to the meat preventing it from drying to quickly when cooked. Brines can be as basic as 1 gallon of water to 1 cup of salt or additional ingredients can be added to enhance the flavor of the meat. My favorite brine includes 3 parts water, 1 part apple cider vinegar, 1 cup salt and various seasonings such as garlic, onion, Italian or Cajun seasoning mixes depending on the type of flavor I’m looking for in the finished dish. Either way, when brining chicken it’s best to allow it to soak fully immersed in the brine solution for at least 4 hours prior to cooking.


Similar to brining, marinating chicken can tenderize and enhance the flavor significantly. In most cases, brining is used for whole chicken where marinades are used on chicken pieces (with the exception of injected marinades). There are many pre-prepared marinades available at any local grocer or you can make up your own home made marinade. These usually consist of a mixture of oil, vinegar, sugar and seasonings. One of our favorite and fairly easy marinades consists of olive oil, Balsamic vinegar, garlic and Italian seasoning. To marinade chicken pieces simply place them in a plastic zip lock bag, pour in the mixed marinade and allow to soak in the fridge for 2-24 hours. (The longer it marinades the more flavor you will have). If using whole chicken and you want to get adventurous, use a marinade injector (like a large needle and syringe) to inject the marinade directly into the meat at various points.

Dry Rubs

This method of flavor enhancing is typically used when frying or grilling chicken. Dry rubs simply mean coating the outside of the chicken with some type of dry seasoning mix consisting of Salt, pepper and various other seasonings and allowing the chicken to rest for 30-60 minutes prior to cooking. Most often, this method is followed by basting with some type of sauce during the cooking process to prevent the meat from losing too much of the natural juices.


3 Essential Cake Baking Tips for Amateurs

Cakes are one of the most common desserts consumed by people on most special occasions like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, baby showers, etc. These are baked goodies that require a lot of effort along with putting in the right ingredients and following the correct procedure to finally gain the perfectly baked cake. Baking cakes at home have been an age-old tradition with recipes coming down through generations but with recent trends, people have started to opt for cakes from professionals who bake them professionally without any glitches.

While the professionals excel in baking the perfect looking cakes, they are trained in various aspects of baking and, therefore, are capable of coming up with the choicest cakes. While new and amateur bakers learn the ways to bake, here are a few tips, dos and don’ts that professionals have to pass down to them to help them attain the best quality baked goodies.

• If you have thick and tight textured cake, it is not the perfect one – Cakes are often light and fluffy after it is baked and therefore if you find the finished product to be heavy and densely packed, there are several reasons behind it. The butter and sugar weren’t mixed with the eggs, the eggs weren’t beaten to make it soft and fluffy, there was a shortage of baking powder or the oven cooked it slowly to not let the air circulate well and thus leaving it dense. Any of these conditions may have led to a heavy texture thus not bringing out the right feel to the baked item.

• A cracked cake is a disaster – After you are done with the baking, if your cake looks like a piece of dry brick and has cracked all over, it is a disaster. You have made either of the following blunders where you have added excessive amount of baking powder, the cake batter was stiff due to the shortage of mixing liquid, or the oven was too hot when the baking dish was put in. Due to the lack of moisture, there are times when the cake dries up and this letting you notice cracks on it.

• Streaks on the cake – Unless you are baking something with dual flavours and intend to see a marbled effect, seeing streaks on single flavoured cakes is something abnormal. This may have happened due to reasons like the improper mixing of the batter, improper folding of the flour along with the butter and sugar resulting in streaks of butter and sugar after it is baked. It would give you the right flavour and the taste when you would find surprise treasures of sweetened butter in your mouth while relishing your baked goodie.


Fun With Foodies

Do you love food? It is official: I love food, so I thought a great way to spend my “free” time, would be to pay a visit to all of my favourite chefs, foodies, and restaurants. This way, I get to taste all their amazing food, and share all the latest food trends, and tastes with you. I have invited my brother-in-law, Pepe, to join me on my adventures.

Firstly, he is French, and we all know that French people love good quality food. Secondly, he is a specialist cheese maker himself. Finally, everyone that meets him, loves him. He is a typical Frenchman, round and robust. He is passionate about everything he does, and thoroughly enjoys sharing cheese making and his food knowledge.

We are going to be visiting a variety of people and places, ranging from chefs, to restaurant owners, to food manufacturers, to food growers, to wine masters, and loads more. Pepe and I will be interviewing all of these interesting and amazing people. We will be sure to keep writing articles to keep you up to date, and we will tape Pepe’s interviews, and make videos for YouTube. After all we all love listening to a French accent.

We all seem to be becoming more and more interested in food. Cooking has become a pastime for many of us, and recipe books are like our new Bibles. I will be keeping my eyes open for all things trending in the food world. If you have any ideas of people that would be interesting to meet, and interview, please let us know.

Below are some interesting trends at the moment:

West meets East (Western dishes flavoured with Eastern spices)

Simple menus (offering fewer choices on menus)

Genetic modification

Clean food (no sugar, artificial flavourings, or additives added to food)

Pasta, and endangered species (more restaurants are serving baby marrow and
vegetable ribbons, or pasta made with chic peas, or quinoa)

Hot is no longer hot enough (chili, turmeric and peri peri are being added to far more dishes

Experiential meals (including carb-free eating. There are many ways of substituting carbs, with one being swapping mashed cauliflower for mashed potato.)

Cooking with fire (we call it braaing, but the rest of the world call it grilling or barbecuing)

Inspired ice creams (Ranging from healthy ones to pure decadent cocktail ones)

And here are some of the foodies that we have lined up to interview:

Cheese maker
Mushroom forager
Wine maker
Coffee Connoisseur
A couple of well known Chefs
An assortment of restaurant owners
Craft been maker
A cookery school owner
Ice cream maker


5 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 of 1/4 for smaller recipes. Eggs aren’t the only thing you can get smaller portions of.

Get Friendly with Your Butcher

Supermarket butchers are happy to recut and repackage meat for you. Most meat sections have a small bell that you can ring for help. Ask the butcher to slice you a smaller chuck roast for pot roast or beef stew. You will save money by only buying what you can easily use. Whole chickens are cheaper than cut up chicken packs. Ask the butcher to cut up the whole chicken for you, and then use the pieces in different meals throughout the week.

Slow Cooker Convenience

Most of the common slow cookers hold 6 quarts. You certainly don’t need to make enough soup for 10-12 people. Yes, it can be nice to have leftovers for another dinner or lunch the next day, but you don’t really need or want that much.

Slow cookers offer a major convenience as well as saving money. You can buy a cheap cut of meat and cook it slowly for a wonderful pot roast. You could buy a 3-quart size slow cooker. But if that’s still too large, or if you have a 6-qt hanging around, put a 1-2 quart ceramic or Pyrex dish inside of the slow cooker. Fill the slow cooker insert with water up until approximately halfway up the side of the smaller dish.

You may want to start with something simple like some seasoned chicken breasts that could be finished on the stove if needed. As you gain knowledge, you can start quartering down standard recipes and test them.

Pressure Cooker

The new electric pressure cookers are fool-proof. They are sometimes called “multi-cookers. ” You can use them as a pressure cooker, steamer, rice cooker, and slow cooker. If you’re short on time, they can help you craft an all in one meal like beef stew. The other nice thing is that you can cook smaller portions more easily.

Let’s say you have a bag of frozen chicken breasts in your freezer. You can pour in a cup to a cup and a half of water or broth and then put the chicken directly in or on top of a trivet and pressure cook on high for six minutes. You then have a completely cooked chicken breast that you can serve with just about anything. Add teriyaki sauce or barbecue sauce or make your own honey dijon mustard sauce.

Foil Packets

Foil packets are where you take a piece of foil and place in it a protein like fish or chicken, some vegetables like thinly sliced potatoes and asparagus, and then put in some seasonings. There are a tremendous amount of recipes out there if you Google terms like “chicken packet meal” or “fish foil packet. ”

You then cook the packet in an oven (or better still, a toaster oven) for the set amount of time at the given temperature. You get a well cooked meal with perfect portion sizes without messing up too much of your kitchen, and no leftovers to deal with.


The Most Effective Uses Of Garlic

Garlic is an amazing super-food, which has been used for its various medicinal properties to improve health and healing for over 5,000 years. Today it is used in almost every household for adding flavour to food or in your daily supplements as well as various other home healing remedies. Read on to find out some interesting facts you never knew about garlic and how to prevent medical conditions, if used correctly.

The history of garlic and its uses

Boosts immune system – Ancient Egypt:

It is believed that the Egyptians used this herb to feed to the slaves in order to keep them fit and strong in the era when the pyramids were still being built. Scientists later on discovered the reason why this herb was so good for the slaves and found that it boosted the immune system and it prevented various health and age related conditions.

Antiseptic – World War 1:

Garlic was a well-known remedy used during the time of war for cleansing, treating and healing wounds of the injured soldiers in the trenches with poor sanitary conditions.

At the same time, it was also used to treat the various epidemics such as tuberculosis and cholera.

Garlic is used to treat various conditions such as fever, headaches, coughs, gout, fatigue, relieves stress and maintains healthy liver functionality and it also helps to ease cramping, the type only women experiences.

Garlic has proven to be most effective to prevent and reduce the risk of the following medical conditions, if used correctly:

Reduce the risk of colon, stomach and rectal cancer

Eat 3.5-29 g Fresh or cooked garlic weekly – It’s advisable growing organic garlic at home for best results

Reduce the risk of tumours

Take high doses of aged garlic extract, everyday for 1 year, every five years

Lower your high blood pressure

Use garlic in a dried powder form in herbal teas

Tick bites

When at risk of being bitten by tics or fleas, make sure you eat enough garlic on a weekly basis

Treatment of Athlete’s foot

Use a garlic gel with about 1% ‘ajoene’, a chemical fund in garlic, to treat this condition. Apply it twice daily for the duration of 1 week. Garlic can also be used for treating other fungal infections and growths such as warts, when applying garlic oil to the area.

Tips when cooking with garlic:

If you love eating garlic but you do not like that after taste lingering on your breath, chew some fresh parsley.

Garlic can stay fresh for months after it has been harvested, but as soon as you break the head, its shelf life is reduced to only a few days.

When buying garlic at the shop, make sure it still has a hard texture, because the softer it gets, the older it is.

To keep your garlic cloves fresh, the best place to store it is in a dark cupboard at room temperature, away from heat and sunlight.


Creative Cooking A Guide

Benefits of Cooking

Just as creative writing can give you that rush, and provide you with that relief from ecstatic joy or lingering sorrow, creative cooking has its own benefits, too. Other than the obvious need to place food on the table that satiates your stomach, cooking can also be healing and therapeutic to some. Here are some of the reasons why you may want to think about creative cooking.

Mood uplifting

When threatened by looming agony, we often try to find a vent that would enable our emotions to subside, and get back to our daily chores. One such vent may be creative cooking. When trying a new dish, either purely out of your whim or by modifying a known recipe, your mind concentrates on the details. The mind, thus, for a certain amount of time is distracted from the grief or anger that it may have been holding. For as long as the dish is being prepared, your mind is so focused on its subtleties that it is given the time required for it to heal from its wounds. Often, by the time you are done with the dish, your temper cools down along with your stove.

A healthy change

No matter which part of the world you are from, everyone has a staple diet, and it is needless to say that having the same kind of meals everyday can make your life very dull. For most people, the way to break this chain of monotonous food habits is by dining out. However, it may either not always be affordable, or not always be healthy. A change in taste that comes straight from your kitchen, from the ingredients present in your own kitchen rack, can be affordable as well as healthy, because you always know what exactly went into the recipe.

You’re a hit

For those who host friendly dinners quite often, serving different kinds of meals at each dinner party might make you more popular. People would want to come back to you to have your delicious entrees because they taste so very different. It would definitely aid in improving your social life, and make yourself a favorite host. Let’s face it, intimate dinner parties among friends and families are a lot of fun, and if you have a chance to extend the fun meter, then why not?

How to be Creative with Cooking

Now that we have established some of the advantages of creative cooking, and you have probably given yourself that nudge to go ahead and try it, a few tips mentioned below might help you get started.

Tip 1: Stock up your kitchen cupboards

Whenever you go for grocery shopping, spend a few minutes on the aisles that you generally do not visit, and pick up a few spices/sauces or other ingredients that sound appealing to you. Believe me, if they are there at the store, they will have a use for you in your kitchen. Although, you must read the ingredients thoroughly before purchasing something new, in order to steer clear of any allergies.

Tip 2: Build you knowledge base

In creative cooking, it is important to know which ingredient gels well with another ingredient. You don’t want to cook something with an uneven mixture of ingredients that might make you throw up. The best way to improve your knowledge in cooking, like anything else, is reading. Get hold of recipe books, watch cookery shows, read up recipes on the internet. Knowledge is a vast ocean, and the triumph lies in being able to slowly acquire it drop by drop. While gathering knowledge, do not restrict yourself to any one form of cuisine, and explore the food habits of the entire world, from North of South, and from East to West.

Tip 3: Try your hand at small quantities

Whether preparing a brand new dish, or tweaking a known recipe, you must stick to smaller quantities, in order to avoid a huge amount of wastage in scenarios where things do not work out the way you expected. You may either want to prepare a single helping, only for yourself, or make enough for a small focus group of close friends or family members who would give you their honest opinions without criticizing your hard work. It is important to have an open mind, and not get bogged down by an unsuccessful dish. If it doesn’t taste good, ponder and ask yourself what might make it better. Use your knowledge base analytically, and you would definitely see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Tip 4: Keep exploring

Okay so you have cooked a special dish using your creativity, and everyone at your last dinner party loved it. That does not mean you stop there. Keep exploring with other options and ingredients, add slight variations, and keep experimenting to make the dish better and better. You would be amazed at how much of a positive person you become with every experiment, and how much you add to your constantly growing knowledge base.

Tip 5: Share your knowledge

The coolest part of discovering something new is to be able to share it with the world. Imagine what would have happened if Isaac Newton had not shared what he discovered when an apple fell on his head. We would have never known why we cannot float in air. So it is important you share your successful recipes among friends and families, and of course, publish them when you gain the confidence. Again, people you share with might have a lot to share themselves, and such discussions always form a steady path to our learning curves.


3 Things to Remember When Cooking Yourself Thin

Are you trying to slim down and get healthier? Cooking your meals puts you back in control with what you eat that will help your body lose the extra fat. But how do you know you’re cooking the right way? The more you eat from real food, the less you have to worry about portions. There are three tricks that can help make it easier. For example, do you know what you should have in every meal?

Keep a Little Fat

Our bodies need some fat to absorb the nutrients in vegetables. Choose healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil. You don’t need a lot. A little makes vegetables taste better, and they allow the seasonings to stick to the veggies.

If you don’t want to use oil, you could consider using salad dressing that has some fat in it as well as lower fat cheese. Researchers say this study indicates that the minimum amount of fat required for optimal absorption of nutrients from vegetables is more than 6 grams of added fat. You do need to keep in mind that you are eating your veggies with other fat containing items. So when you’re calculating it out, do some research to approximate how much fat is in the main course or if you’re plating up any other sides.

Think 50/25/25

So when you are filling your plate up, pretend you can see one line that sections the plate in half, and then another line that cuts one half into two parts. Then plan on serving the big half of the plate with vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower or asparagus and corn.

One quarter section should be protein, and the other should be complex carbs. This way you’re getting a better understanding of portion size. While you should eat about 3-5oz of protein and 1/2 cup of rice, beans, etc., you don’t always want to have to measure and weigh. Plus, you need to find out what amount is best for your body and weight loss goals.

The vegetables take up the largest section because they are the lowest in calories and highest in fiber and water which allows us to feel fuller faster. The protein has fat which allows us to feel satisfied. Have you ever had a salad for lunch and just didn’t feel full even though your stomach says it is?

Complex carbs naturally have fiber which helps our bodies regulate blood sugar and insulin levels as well as enable our bodies to digest our food and eliminate waste more easily.

Carbs are Complicated

There are many diet out there advocate low to no carbs. But is that really the healthiest way? Some people believe it is, but the jury is still out as to whether it is sustainable. And what we’re looking for is a healthy diet that can last you a lifetime.

There is no doubt that some carbs should be avoided or minimized. you should also limit the amount of sugar you eat every day. They increase your blood sugar which leads to mental fatigue and creates an increase in hunger.

As a side note, you should balance your simple carb grams with fiber grams. It helps your body process it better, and avoids the blood sugar spikes that can create more belly fat.

One bonus tip is to drink plenty of water. If you drink a full glass of water before a meal, you will eat less. And when we’re hydrated, we think better and can make smarter food choices.


How to Get Perfectly Toasted Buns

Who doesn’t enjoy a tasty burger on toasted buns? I’m sure that’s all of us. Restaurants that serve burger meals are in a very competitive industry because their burgers must be better and very tasty. In addition, you need to have consistency when it comes to the delivery of the burger meals. What you serve to one customer today needs to be the same when you serve it to another customer next week. One way to guarantee consistency is to invest in quality catering equipment which has measures and timers in place such as the Anvil Vertical Bun Toaster.

The Anvil Vertical Bun Toaster is an ideal piece of catering equipment that has a compact small footprint so it can be placed on a countertop in any sized kitchen. The twin feed system allows you to prepare twice as many buns because you can feed two buns into the machine at a time until it is full. This bun toaster has 6 position thickness settings that control the toasting process and heating surface. It has a heavy duty stainless steel wire conveyor system that is durable and reliable for daily use. For a smooth operation, this bun toaster is manufactured with precision cartridge bearing conveyor shafts. It also includes a bun exit chute that is reversible and allows for front or rear access, plus it is supplied with a Teflon release sheet that fits over the plate element.

If you are looking for an energy saving catering equipment, the Anvil Vertical Bun Toaster is designed with low energy consumption in mind. It only uses 0.75 kilowatts per hour and the aluminum heating plate uses a mere 2 kilowatts. You’re also able to control the temperature with the variable heating control which ranges from 50 to 300 degrees Celsius. If you have many buns to toast, you can set the heating control at the desired setting. Once you know the perfect heat setting for your buns, you can use the same setting at all times. That way you can be sure that the buns are all toasted evenly and consistently every day.

A perfectly toasted bun brings out all the flavors of the burger. This catering equipment is able to give you consistently golden brown buns with a seared finish. It is this seared finish which minimizes the amount of juices that are soaked up in the bun, thus the burger will stay firm and delicious.