Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Marriage Of Taste and Nutrition

The American diet is a toxic one.We overload our bodies with toxic processed and junk foods.However how do we give up these tasty but poisonous foods?By combining both healthy and tasty.It was done long before theinentions of burgers and chips.Helarhy food has been around for centuries and it's time to get back to it. This debate was the topic of for New York Times article by formerDining editor and nutrition lobbyist MarkBitman.He points out that diets can be both tasty and highly nutritional.WE just have to get back to the Mediterrenean prGrekdiet.That means little or no red meat ,more fish and fowl in our diets- along with olive oil.Veggies and grains along with the occasional slice of whole wheat bread should round this out.Dessert should be fruit and nuts.Nix the cake and candies however add dark and onlydark chocolate because of the antioxidants involved.Mr.Bittman suggests treating yourself to ice cream or a cheese burger ever great once in a whi E but consider the, just that treats. So what is a healthy and tasty meal?There is a yummy veggie laden frittatait is filled with onion and and kind of vegetable that you want.Add ppers along with mushrooms and spinach .You could even serve it wothParmesan cheese or better yet a side of fresh home made tomato sauce.There is also Mr. Bittman's first rece for a fur spiced salmon.Salmon fillets are crusted in cumin, nutmeg,clove and coriander for a tasty and crunchy main meal,elegant with simple turmeric rice pilaf. You can eat healthy and tasty too.Just use the Mediterrenean diet as your guide.Your palate and stomach will both appreciate it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fizzy Math

Soda has long been a part of the American diet along with landscape. who doesn't love a cold fizzy cola on a hot summer evening? Or a root beer float.The problem is that the commercial stuff is full of sugars and calories.Luckily soda lovers can make their own using the new carbonators. They were the main topic of an article in today's New York Times Dining section.Times regular Julia Moskin wrote about this new trend that is not only invading American kitchens but bars and restaurants as well..All you need for it is just tap water and in90 seconds - voilĂ  - instAnt sparkling water.You can buy flavorings to match those of the big companies. However it's the same old sugar problem,You can buy the fruit alternatives Mash or Spindrift which costs four dollars.You can also make your own which many health conscious affectionados are doing. the carbonators allow home soda makers as well as bartenders to come up with some pretty creative and tasty brews. there is a recipe for real Ginger ale involving fresh cut Ginger and cane suqar.However the carbonators are delicate.Some won't work if syrups or juices long with actual fruit pits are tossed in.Many manufacturer's guarantees will not honor a broken carbonator once it's been ruined by syrup. sow will Take them ,to the delight of bartenders.It turns out that a carbonators makes a more livelier , ,more aromatic samurai with st ill crunch oranges and pineapples.Vodka and the ever fiery Scotch Bonnet pepper have been carbonated to produce a wildly flavorful unique cocktail.Even non alcoholic drinks can be made when mixed with water and then fizzed. Soda lovers should rejoice.They can make abetted, healthier version of their favorite beverages by buying and using a carbonators.It's still a way of enjoying an icy cold. Drink but at your hands. There are new flavors to create and new drinks to explore!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pheasant Uprising

Today is National Pheasant Day.If you're scratching your head  and wondering what a pheasant is it'ss a pretty tasty bird and a nice alternative to your average poultry .It's also a healthy meat that can be prepared a number of ways.  It's impressive to serve to both family and friends.

A pheasant is a typically native Asian bird but there are different versions throughout the world save for Africa., Namely thirty species exist, one , the ring necked ones being the state bird of South Dakota,It's a small bid sort of resembling a Cornish hen when cooked. Most pheasant meat is usually freshly shot and the cook gets to not only pluck it  but also pick out the gun shot that killed it. There is a website called Pheasant For Dinner which tells you where to buy it. Any Whole Foods Market sells it but you can also buy it on line at Pheasant For Dinner too.Pheasant tastes like a gamy chicken and a bit dryer .Cook it slowly,with butter or olive oil for moisture.

What can you do with phesant. Again the simplest is roasting or baking it like a chicken subtly salted and peppered.You could also make it curried or braised, with a stuffing alongside it.Of course the most famous pheasant dish is phesant under glass. This is a boozy, creamy mix of pheasant breast, a variety of mushrooms along with brandy and white wine. It is plated with a glass cover which is lifted in front of the diner so he or she in enveloped in the aroma. You can also make it in a pot pie such as with chicken or turkey along with salads,Pheasant can also be turned into a soup as well.There is even a pheasant stew too.

If you want to serve something different but not too exotic then try pheasant. You can have it the classic style, roasted with stuffing or the elegant way under glass.Either way it a new way to introduce yourself and your cooking skills to game,

Monday, February 25, 2013

Navigating Your Cafeteria

Everybody has to have cafeteria food sooner or later. It's one of the toughest eateries to wander through and find so ethnic tasty ,neatly and even safe.It can be done.Just choose carefully and you'll be fine. Cafeterias are usually busy between noon and one PM. If it's a large company one ,the it may open at seven or eight AM and serve breakfast.However don't expect an omelet bar and fancy granola.You will get scrambled eggs probably along with bacon and maybe sausage.They may even have hot oatmeal. Stick with this last because there's no grease or worry of salmonella .Most cafeterias have rolls, bagels , croissants and muffins.I'd say choose these.They're the safest and also filling. Some cafeterias will also have fruit plates such as university ones.This is an excellent breakfast or even snack. Lunch is another tricky path.Some colleges offer healthy choices ,taking into consideration vegans along with religious beliefs.Some, along with bigger companies offer a wide array of hot and healthy meals. Try chicken breast or salmon with rice , if you have the choice. If your work or school has veggies or turkey burgers try them every now and again. Safe bets are usually grilled cheese without bacon.Try to avoid overly greasy burgers along with anything with mayo.Some cafeterias keep stuff too long and you don't know how long some thing has been there. if it tastes bad or funny bring it back and demand a refund.Most cads wi Give you your money back. There are going to be days when you have to rely on your school or office cafeteria.Choose wisely and you'll be OK. You, your stomach and taste buds will survive

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cinnamon That Extra INgredient

One of the simplest ingredients can be used in both savory and sweet dishes? Want can be this versatile ?The spice that has been around for ages cinnamon.It can be used in both meat,vegetable or sweet dishes. It is a spice rack must have and for many good reasons. Cinnamon is pen of our oldest spices.It has been used for more than two millennia.It's names from the Greek kinnaamonen but the ancient Hebrews also had similar word.It can also be called cassia.It was introduced by Arab traders to Venice during the Middle Ages.It was also sold in ancient Rome where traders bought it fromIndonesians who even made rafts from the bark.It's the interior or the second bark that we use.Both the exterior and the interior barks are wetted and then dried.There are four different types,Alba,Continental,Mexican and Hamburg.The bark can be used to help prevent colon cancer and even herpes. Cinnamon can be used for almost everything from savory to sweet.The Turks and Iranians use it with rose water as well as with meats to desserts.It's one of the top ingredients in the Greek lasagna style dish moussaka as well as in squash and pumpkin recipes.Mostly the spice is used in dessert .It adds dash to apple sauce and also gives bites to chewy rolls.Cinnamon doughnuts are always a treat ,especially when they 're heavily dusted with cinnamon I also used in coffees and chai teas to give usually bland drinks bite and zest. Cinnamon is a wonderful spice and a must have in any spice rack. It can be used in both savory and sweet dishes ,creating interesting meals and snacks.Always have a jar on hand.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Crunchier Granolas

Not long ago I wrote about that hippie staple granola.Lo and behold it was the tic again of an article inTheNewYorkTimesDining section.While my piece was just about the basics,The dining section amped it unto Momofuku high gourmetism. It was given amake over that almost all basic foods go through. The article was written by Times Regular Jeff Gordonoer who takes a new twist on this simple dish. Most granolas are made with rolled oats, almonds and some kind of sweetener such as honey or brown sugar. The new versions are much more colorful with dried papaya,, pickled mango and compressed pineapple. Most mixes are laced with liberal sprinklings of cinnamon and nutmeg. Not these. there is dried sorrel and dried mint even to give it unusual dashes of color and flavor. There's even a savory version too. this mix isn't then soaked in milk. It's usually drenched in a thick creme fraiche,.It could even be added as aside to foie Gras. A Rosemary and pistachio one becomes the crusting for elk at OAK at Fourteenth in Boulder, Colorado. There's a pine nut and citrus one that becomes aside for seared scallops or roasted sweet potatoes,Of course even the fanciest granola is good over a plain vanilla or butter pecan. you can even layer it in a pudding parfait too if you want. granola isn't the usual hippie dip pie food it was.Now it's a mega gourmet dish that can go from breakfast to lunch to dinner. It's an amazing food that you can create for some cool dishes.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Galbi Fire From Korea

Mid winter is usually the coldest time of the year.The time requires tasty hot meals that are rib sticking and warming.This is gable, Koreanshort lobs.These are great for indoor grilling too and a change from the everyday?Halving is alo a good way of introducing the family to a different meal.They were the subject of yesterday's A City Kitchen Dave Tanis.Mr.Tanis made the pretty simple dish with excellent Basically gable is nothing more than braised short ribs.These are the toughest art of the cow and are usually braised or seared.The Koreans gril them.Most gable are made with flank cuts Koren andKoreanAmericans buy thematic Asiangroceries where the ribs are already cut to the or perfection.Give any cut a cold water bath before marinating to get rid of an the marinade is simple, almost as simple as some American marinades.It is a mixture of soy, garlic and sugar'along with cayenne ,garlic and rice wine.Sone cooks sub in cola or honey for the sugarandmost native cooks recommend adding pureeed fruit also. This he's breakdown the enzymes and any fruit such as pear, kiwi or pineapple will do.They also add flavor as well.Marinate for two to three hours and then gri Led forvonly two or three minutes.Galbi is usually wrapped in raw Ettuce leave and served with a small scoopful of rice. if you want a different Asian meal,then trygalbi.It's a different and easy way to braise short ribs.What a great way to enjoy ribs in an untraditional way.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Will Blog For Food

Everyone always asks what's the easiest way to get into food writing? Blogging or the newer v-logging. If you love writing about food and cooking this is the way to go. It not only satisfies those creative cooking cravings, it also gets you established into the food writing industry.

Anyone can write a blog.It's easy. The thing is to create an unusual spin on it, especially with food. Have something that's boring and mundane and you won't get the readers (or the ads ) that generate the need to go on as well as give you the Internet cred. Check out some of the more
 successful ones,like Pioneer Woman which creates simple meals. You can go fancy with a gourmet chocolate blog or even a  caviar specific  (check the competition on any specialty food blog before you start).Any blog on food is actually a good one, especially the one with clips and pictures.

Another way to go is v-logging which is just making a daily or weekly video and uploading it on You Tube. This gives you a tremendous amount of creativity. You can film restaurants and even get interviews with local chefs (and famous ones). You can make some great how to videos about any dish . However it is basically a food show. You should have a steady hand with the camera or have a stable cameraman.Another is editing, It's fun to have bloopers  but not everyday or every week. Also it means hair, make up and clothing. No one wants to see a drudge cook. Glamor, sadly is everything , even in the food writing industry.

If you love food and are creative, then food blogging or v-logging is for you. It's a fun way to connect your passion the world. You don;t have to be a great chef either. Just have a good time, sharing your recipes and loves with the world!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pastina That Italian Classic

If you're Italian, whether your roots are Northeern or Souterhn, you;ve probably had pastina soup when you''ve been sick.It's a wonderful and actually versatilepasta that tastes good either in just a simple broth or even with sauce. It's also a great staple to have if you have kids and toddlers . Pastina introduces the young ones to the lifelong joys of pasta.

Pastina means little pasta and are usually star shaped. These are tiny, about the size of pinheads when cooked. Most Italian mothers make them in chicken both as a good sick day meal or to introduce toddlers and babies to pasta Pastina is usually an Italian baby;s first solid food more eaten than cereal.It's usually made of wheat flour and some recipes have egg in them.The Turks make  something similar called Sehriye.Theirs add tomatoes and other veggies to pastina in a chicken broth.

Pastina soup is the easiest dish to make. Boil up some four or five broth cups in five cups of water and add an even cup of pastina. You can add cheese or butter later for more flavor or protein. There is also a great pastina and warm milk dish. This is an easy and comforting winter dish that involves the pasta bits, butter and a half cup of warm milk.I would try it with cream for a really rich , creamy texture and taste. There is also one recipe where you can sub in a beaten egg for a more tastier version. Pastina can be used in a variety of dishes using everything from pumpkin to turkey chunks to veggies,

Despite it's small size pastina is hugely versatile. Make it for a sick day soup or as a creamy comfort dish. It's a great pasta for  young or old, a tasty treat for everyone.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Saturday Night Treats

Saturday nights usually mean a night out. It could be a romantic dinner or a movie and drinks with the girls.Yet what happens when it's just you? Easy answer. Treat yourself. There's nothing wrong with going to your favorite restaurant. by yourself.One it's a chance to put on your nicest outfit, and two you can give yourself a truly wonderful meal.Try either a dish you' ve always wanted to try or to the most expensive dish in the place.This is the time to try those lamb shanks or seared scallops.The best part is bringing home what you can't finish. Eating by yourself is an excellent way to try new places.Enjoy it with the best wine in the house or even a glass of champagne. Cooking for one is also fun. You can treat yourself to a Dagwood or a burger without worrying about sharing. You can also make something as simple as a pizza bagel adding all sorts of funky ingredien s such as anchovies and scallions.Try out a new recipe too.It's a great time to experiment with a new ingredient or cuisine before trying it out on dinner guests. Then there is dessert.Definitely treat yourself to something wild and chocolate- y. Make a brownie sundae. using two or three flavors and enough sauce to float a boat. there 's also homemade cookies and there's nothing better than a plate of fresh home made ones. have them with a big glass of milk and your favorite movie. There's nothing wrong with a Saturday night by yourself. in fact consider it a foodie fantasy.Dine in or dine out, it's up to you. After all it's your night to treat yourself!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Romantic Dinners Anytime

Today is Valentine's Day and there were and still are home cooked meals Luckily though a candlelit dinner can be had anytime of year. after all rehire are engagement parties and anniversaries as well as celebratory meals. Melissa Clark wrote about the perfect Valentine's Day meal in yesterday 's New York Times Dining section.She makes a rib steak along with avocados with a bagna clad sauce. this wouldn't 't be my idea of a sexy meal. Bagna clad is a Piedmontese sauce made with anchovies, melted with oil and butter. I would serve it with the steak along with Savoy cabbage. A better romantic meal is filet mignon served on buttered toast with a side of the bang sauce. pair it with a rich and hearty Barolo and it's a great dinner. as for greens , maybe an asparagus salad with a simple vinaigrette although it really is not necessary. Ms. Clark suggests a vegan chocolate mouse that's made with whipped chocolate. it doesn't have eggs or milk so it' is perfect those with allergies too. i would put this with a scoop of coffee or vanilla ice cream. Another treat is Tamasin Day Lewis( yes, her brother is that Daniel of Lincoln fame) mocha brownies. these are rich , coffee laced treats dabbed with a hazelnut . They are the most decadent little cakes that are easy to make( check put the Tube clip to see how it's done. A romantic meal shouldn't be reserved just for today. make one any time of year. love isn't just for today. it's for everyday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lent Arrives Help Others Or Yourself?

Today is Ash Wednesday the start of Lent. Christians and some good hearted people are torn between whether to give up their favorite foods or pastimes to help others.To be honest ,if you can do both that is great.There,s nothing like improving your diet along with making other lives better. if you Re going to give up foods ,give up the ones that you like.These are usual Y the bad ones too like cake, candy and ice cream.For going these also teaches yup to eat healthier Their.You'll be subbing in fresh fruits for dessert and with it added vitamins and fiber.Forty days without sugar also changes your palate and you may find yourself developing a distaste for all thing sugary.This also app Ies to salty and greasy fast food too.A few weeks without fries and chips and yes ,you'll see and feel a difference.Lent is also the time to eat more fishTry moreOmega3 filled salmon or enjoy red snapper.These fish are tasty grilled and good with veggies and a pilaf. Of course some people would prefer to give up their time.You can work at your town or church's soup kitchen.Even if you can't cook, there's always clean up.There's nothing wrong with scrubbing pots and pans.You can even help with cleaning vegetables and cutting them up for sides and soups.You can also help pout at your food pantry too.If yup own a store or bakery,donate what you can to it.This may lead to year round helping.There are also meals on wheels where you can deliver hot lunches to the informed and elderly. you may enjoy this so muc that it could be a year round occurrence. Lent can mean a variety of good deeds. You can be good to your body by giving up the bad foods ruining yourself. you may help others with kind deeds and home cooked meals.Whatever you do think of what will come out of it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Those Perfect Magazine Pics

Pictures of delicately frosted cakes.Stew sthat are golden brwon and laced with perfectly julienned carrots and browned onion squares. Hot cocoas topped with creamy swirls of whipped cream and sprinkled with chocolate shavings. Yes we;ve all seen them and been seducded by what;s known as food porn.These are those perfect pictures that we see in magazines and on the web. These are the photographs that seduce us into cooking and baking. We think we can recreate the same thing.Guess again.

There are usually armies helping to decorate every little rose and pearl onion. Some magazines even have thier own  decorators on call. As for those perfect dinners some of that food is plastic ,and the gravy is sugar water with coloring. Don't get me wrong .There are some magazines like the quaint TAste of Home hat actually uses real pictures submitted by real cooks.Thes ame can be said for real life blogs sich as Pioneer Woman. These are the ones I would trust the most.

What happens when your perfect dinner doesn't; live up to its' picture?If it;s for a group or party, just imrpovise. Cook extra rice or mashed potatoes along with making extra gravy ot hide the disaster. also if the taste isn;t too hit, then add an extra dash of salt.  The best idea is make a trial run and adjust the taste t the way you want it. The same for desserts. A fun idea is getting the kids to help you make the squiggles and rosesfor the cake.You can also try it on cupckes too..

Yeah, we all fall for food porn. Who wouldn't ?The problem is that what we fall for and what we try to make are two different things. If you want to make a perfect picture of the food , just practice, You may get it right,

Monday, February 11, 2013

Is Butter Better?

We all know butter's tasty it makes unbearable veggies bearable.It adds a richness to sauces Nd baked goos.Yet we also know that it can also be bad for you? Or supoosedly it is.Yet is subbing it with margarine a good thing? can it enhance yup cooking as well as your baking? Butter has been around since the beginning of time. it's been the base of any a sauce for millennia. it laso has been the main ingredient in cakes and cookies, giving both their rich tastes and fine textures. Butter is also a better addition to sauces,creating a silken texture that goes well with any mreat or fish. also , rub butter on a raw chicken. Or turkey and the end result is crisped bird with a crisy, yet tender skin.Let's face it ,a lobster tastes a million times better when it's dipped in a rich butter sauce.Remember butter does burn quickly, and can ruin a dish. Be careful and diligent when working with it, MArgarine does have it's pluses,Many health nuts swear by its' benefits. yes it is low in calories an can add to various dishes.It is great to sauté with and won't burn as much as butter.It can be used in the same baked products as butter. Margarine can be mixed with olive oil as well for various sauces. some people do like margarine on their veggies because they are not as rich then. I tWas created in France in 1813 by Michel Chevrel.Like butter it is an emulsier and was used by the lower classes.LouisNapoleon even created a contest in 1838 With Hyppolyte Meges Mouries.It. Was used vin some dishes but most French dishes require butter. What is the better choice. to be honest it's best to stick with both .Butter and margarine can be used for both tasty dishes that are good for you. Have both in your fridge. This is dedicated to my little butter lover Midnight who we lost last night.He loved licking butter off my chin. I will miss my sweet boy and pray he has all the butter he wants up in Heaven.There will be a time when Mommy will join you, cupcake and we will have butter together again.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Brown Flour Controversy

Home bakers sometimes have a quandary to deal with when they bake.Do they use the more refined white flour or the whole wheat healthier stuff. Both have their merits but also their detractions too. is one better than the other? There in lies the debate. Most home bakers and even the commercial ones swear by white flour.It is easier to work with along with producing a more tender cAke or bread.White flour also give you a finer crumb cookie and pie crust.Another plus is that you don't have a chewiness to the finished product and what others think of as an intrusive nutty flavor. White flour though does have a bad reputation.It's not as nutritious as whole wheat, causing more problems with diet and weight problems. Many bakers do swear by whole wheat flour. It is better for you because it still has it's minerals And vitamins. while white flour basically has empty calories, whole wheat and other brown flours is chock full of fiber , selenium an iron. It is hard to work with as you'll read in tomorrow's New York Times Sunday magazine section (spoiler alert). Mark Bittman writes about baking baguettes with the flour. It will be hard because brown flour reacts differently with yeast. whole wheat breads and rolls do not have that light, airy crackly crust. the bread itself tends to be thick and dense with a solid chewiness.It can be a difficult medium to work with and it does require a certain amount of patience. There are always are going to be two camps when it comes to using white or brown flour. in the end it really is up to the baker. Use the one that's most comfortable, the one that will guarantee success in baking.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Making Our Favorite Treats

Don't panic if your favorite Hostess treat is discontinued .There is a great new cookbook that has the squiggle cupcakes and Twinkies along with other goodies you can make.Classic Snacks Made From Scratch has them as well as other goodies that only your supermarket sells.These are not only a foodie's fantasy but a baker and cook's Dream. Casey Barber is the author of this book from the famed UlyssesPress which is known for it's fun and quirky cookbooks.Ms.Barber loves her junk food but makes it healthy by creating it, herself. The book has everything from simple puddings. To the more elaborate take on Cheese Doodles. thereb is even the savory cracker Chick- N A Basket along with Pepperidge Farm goldfish.She have even written an entire chapter on ice cream treats!These are surprisingly easy, especially the creamsicles.There are also Good Humor almond and eclair bars to try as well. The recipes can be a bit labor intensive yet the process can go fast if you have help. The best part of Ms. Barber's recipes is that they have no artificial anything.There are favorites such as the Hostess cupcakes, all made with natural goodness as are Twinkies. she also has animal classics which are perfect to bake if you have children. the snacks are much better for you than the commercial kind such as the flavored barbecue and sour cream and onion chips. some recipes such as the ones for homemade TAter Tots and pizza rolls are perfect for a Saturday night dinner. If you are a true commercial food lover then Casey Barber's book is for you . you can go wild making your favorite treats . best of all they're home made without all those artificial additives.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Polenta A Winter Favorite

Polenta is one of those dishes that signifies winter. It can accompany any main dish from chicken cacciatore to a good hunter's gravy filled with pork bits. One of the best aspects of it is that it's super easy to make  and like a fashion basic can go with anything. It's also versatile, going from steamed to grilled, the perfect all around ingredient.

This Northern Italian staple was the star of an article in yesterday's New York Times Dining section A City Kitchen. Dave Tanis, the column's author really wrote a valentine to this simple dish made only from ground corn mush. He gives really good advice (that I ,even growing up with it, didn;t even know)>Polenta comes in three types of fineness. course, medium and fine. Also the longer you cook it the better tasting it will be. The mush becomes too bitter of you take it away from the flame too early on. The longer in the pot th sweeter it will be because the cornmeal swells and basically burst with flavor.

Mr. Tanis gives some pretty good recipes aw well. He grills the polenta into squares and serves it with tomatoes and eggs. The last is classic Piedmontese, adding the polenta gives ti a new twist. He also stuffs it with spinach along with ricotta and fontina, letting the mash  have a crunchy top. For me the best is either stuffed in Savoy cabbage, popular in northwestern Torino where my great grandfather came from or reheated and served as a base with sunny side up eggs. This last is a great way of using leftover polenta (along with the heavenly taste of egg yolk mixing with the corn flavor)

Polenta is a great winter dish anyone can make. Try it a variety of different way to discovers it's creamy texture and taste. Once you;re hooked, that's it. You're a polenta affectionado for life.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Replacement Time

Let's face it. Appliances sometimes have a short life. Any kitchen one is considered ancient if it lasts more than fifteen years. When to replace? That depends on you and what you've bought. Refrigerators and stoves can be with you for decades. When they start smelling funny ,as when a fridge does, then it s time to look at new ones. if a part of your stove doesn't work, then start looking at new ones.Keep in mind though ,if it's under five years old, you will still have it's warranty. Even a ten heard old appliance can be fixed, especially if It's a minor part. dishwashers should be replaced every fifteen years, especially if you used them twice a day every day. What about those other gadgets that make our lives easier? Microwaves take a daily beating. We use them constantly , for almost everything.Sadly enough they 're only good for ten years and Should be replaced then.Toaster ovens are a different affair. the older ones can last for decades while the newer ones fizzle out after only two years. It depends on what brand you buy and the warranty. most should last five to ten years .If it's not heating properly or burning toast then replace it.Blenders can last twenty-five years. Good to know if you're thinking of getting one for a shower, wedding or anniversary gift. Appliances really never last forever. They do need to be replaced no matter what the brand or the quality. if you have it too long, think about replacing it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

An Old Fashioned Toaster

Every kitchen today has a million appliances. There are gadgets that slice dice and pit. We have appliances that shake , bake and make all sorts of treats. We have mini ovens for creating fresh pretzels and yummy cake pops. Yet nothing beats an old fashioned toaster. This was the first modern gadget used in kitchens around the world and is still being used today.

As long as there's been bread , there's been toasting. In fact the name comes from the Latin tostum  to scorch or to burn and it was a great way of prolonging the life of the family loaf.Before 1893 , most people using toasting prongs , thrusting their bread into open fires.The first electric toaster was made in Britain in 1893 in the United Kingdom. The company was Stephen J. Cook and Company., The gold standard of American toasters,General Electric introduced theirs in 1909. By mid century , toasters were a standard of every kitchen, being the housewarming or shower gift of choice.

Toasters today really haven't strayed from their first pop up ancestors, first made in 1919.There are four and two slots along with those who have allowances for bagels and waffles. Toasted bread is a great addition to any sandwich , adding crunch and texture. There's nothing like a lightly toasted BLT or ham and cheese. Also good is just starting the morning off with a toasted rye loaded with butter and jam or jelly to start off a morning. Some toasters allow you to toast rolls too. and these again are a great way to start off a day.

The toaster may not be as fancy as any of these modern gadgets. Yet it has stayed steadfast and true for over a century. It gets the job done without any bells and whistles while producing a tasty treat

Friday, February 1, 2013

Recrunching Granola

Granola has had crazy roller coaster ride since it's introduction to the American diet four decades ago.It has been loved by flower children and exploited by every cookie and cereal's taking on a new life with moms who want a healthier snack or breakfast for their kids. Granola is primarily an American invention, being First created by Dr. Connor Lacey In 1894. There were some name variations such as granula by Alex Lacey. Granola is a mix of oats , puffed rice raisin, honey along with dried fruits , nuts and even chocolate chips. first dismissed as a "hippie" food, it slowly gained acceptance as an alternative to those overly processed breakfast cereals. It's everywhere now from gracing brand name yogurts to the ubiquitous breakfast and energy bars. If it's made right , it is good for you. the best bet are the all natural brands coming from smaller or boutique companies. Most stores now sell all natural hand made granolas. This kind is good as a snack or breakfast. Just make sure that it is all natural and the ingredients are pure. Granola is easy to make and the Web is chock full of good recipes by both top chefs and ordinary home cooks. be creative. Add some fun surprises such as sunflower or pumpkins seeds for crunch and a kick of saltiness. for some sweetness think dried cherries or cut up dried apricots. You can also try the traditional route of adding raisins and almonds , along with walnuts. for sweetening ,go the natural route of honey, cinnamon and brown sugar. avoid using refined white sugar at all costs. Granola is a good and healthy addition to any diet. Make it or buy it.Either way' you and your family will enjoybthis good for you American classic.