Food and Drink

Chocolate Fountain Description and Help

Chocolate Fountain Description and Help

Chocolate Fountain Description and Help

What is a chocolate Fountain?

A chocolate fountain is a device for serving chocolate fondue. It can come in many different sizes, mini, medium, large and extra large depending on the number of guests you wish to cater for. The fountain has multiple tiers over a heated basin at the bottom. The chocolate is melted in the basin and then pulled up through the augur and continuously flows over the tiers. When it flows over the tiers, guests are able to select a condiment they would like to dip into the fountain, using a skewer, they select a dip of their choice and coat their item in delicious, warm melted chocolate....heaven!

Essentially, a chocolate fountain is composed of two parts. The base is the motor and a heater. The heater is designed to transpose heat through the base to keep the chocolate in liquid form. The motor drives the screw in the upper part of the fountain. This is an Archimedes screw, weren't they clever! This is thought to have originated around 600 BC, I bet they never thought of a chocolate fountain then. The screw lies in a tight cylinder in a vertical fashion with several holes at the bottom of the screw. The screw lifts the chocolate to the top of the cylinder from where it flows over several plates and down the fountain to be recycled again. This is the basic premise of a chocolate fountain, because the chocolate is thick, there is no need for a pump as the screw is a better means for lifting the chocolate up.

Why have a chocolate fountain? Chocolate Fountains are a new and impressive form of entertainment, they create a fantastic focal point at any major event and provide your guest with a unique and interactive way of treating themselves to luxurious fondue chocolate. Chocolate fountains are a great solution for some weddings, they provide a wonderful desert or can be used for an evening buffet. Some people chose to have a chocolate fountain rather than a wedding cake, this is because chocolate fountains are interactive and people can help themselves as much as they like when the would like it

What should you consider when booking a chocolate fountain? We recommend you consider booking you chocolate fountain at least 12 months in advance, this is because they are extremely popular. To enable you to get a realistic quote you will need to provide the following details:
1. Number of guests the chocolate fountain is to cater for.
2. Location of event.
3. Date of event - (if it's a midweek event you may get a good discount).
4. Duration of event.

Most people book their chocolate fountain for the evening and on average, chocolate fountain companies hire their fountain for a period of 3 hours. However, every wedding/event is different, if you require your fountain during the day or for a longer period of time etc, please discuss this with the chocolate fountain company you have chosen

Home chocolate fountains are mini versions of the commercial ones used for weddings and events. Unfortunately there is a lot of rubbish out there and we get calls regularly from people saying that their mini fountain doesn't work. Here are a couple of things that will help. Only use a quality chocolate that is made specifically for chocolate fountains. This tends to be more expensive but it is the key to success. Chocolate purchased from your local supermarket doesn't work unless you put oil in it, a good quality fondue chocolate doesn't require oil. The poorer the quality chocolate, the more oil you require. This is in fact a contradiction because standard chocolate bars typically contain around 20% vegetable fat anyway, but you will still have to add more oil because of the high level of impurities. If this doesn't work, take the fountain back to the point of purchase and tell them that it is rubbish, maybe some of the high street chains will think again about selling consumers junk!

How do you get the most out of your home fountain. Ensure that you have a variety of dips available, the best to use are strawberries, grapes and other fruits such as pineapple and melon but fruit works really well with chocolate. Ensure that you have skewers and enough for your guests, these are readily available at a variety of shops, especially hardware shops that sell barbecues. Also ensure that you have some large napkins as you wouldn't want chocolate dripping all over your floor. Finally, presentation is key, make sure that your skewers are kept together and that you present your home fountain as clean and attractive on a surface that is easy to wipe to ensure that drips don't spoil your display.

Finally, after your event has finished, don't turn the fountain of and go to bed. Dispose of the chocolate whilst it is still in liquid form as this makes cleaning so much easier. Your fountain should also disassemble into separate parts, put everything except the motor assembly into a dishwasher or a sink full of hot and soapy water and then it should be easily to clean down. Before you pack your fountain away, make sure that it is completely clean and dry to prevent any contamination.

If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at the Chocolate Fountain Directory or Chocolate Fountains of Devon for advice and information on suppliers.

Author Bio
Edwin hall is the owner of the Chocolate fountain directory as well as being a part time surfer, father, husband, footballer and general good guy!

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com - Free Website Content


Malva Pudding - South African Dessert Recipe

Malva Pudding - South African Dessert Recipe

Submitted by: Kit Heathcock

Almost every restaurant in Cape Town has Malva Pudding on its dessert menu. It is one of those ubiquitous dishes that one has to side-step diplomatically, as a tour manager organising menus for a week of dinners for clients on walking holidays. If you're not careful you could end up with a gastronomic tour of Cape Town's Malva Puddings! That's not to say that it is not a good dessert choice. It is rich, delicious and indulgent and has to be tasted at least once on a gourmet tour of Cape Town. Along with many other traditional South African dishes it gives a nod to the Netherlands for its origins. Essentially a rather homely baked cakey pudding, its restaurant version soaks itself in a rich, creamy sauce to take on a mantle of decadence, while elegant versions serve themselves up with a few poached apricots alongside too.

No-one seems to know where the name Malva pudding came from - suggestions range from a traditional accompaniment of Malvasia wine, a heavy dessert wine, to a woman named Malva creating it back in the mists of time.

I tried out my sister-in-law's recipe to make a dessert to follow our Sunday lunch of roast chicken and roast potatoes. Hers is a home version rather than restaurant one and gives details for the cake without drenching it in the creamy sauce. It produces a comforting cross-between steamed pudding and cake, with a tantalising hint of the apricot jam that flavours it and a pleasing, almost caramelly overtone. It is served warm with custard and cream alongside. Leaving out the stage of drenching it with the sauce makes it a lot less rich and calorific, but does mean that you can eat a lot more of it!

Malva Pudding Recipe
Serves 6-8

1 heaped tablespoon butter
3 heaped tablespoons apricot jam
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ cup sugar
½ cup milk

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the beaten egg and jam and beat together. Add the dry ingredients and milk alternately and stir into the mixture. Pour the batter into a greased round dish approx 21cm / 8 inches. Cover either with a lid or tinfoil and bake at 180C / 375F for 30 minutes until the top is browned and a skewer comes out clean. Serve warm with custard and cream.

If you would like to try the rich and more traditional version of Malva Pudding, and I think it should be done once in a while, here is a recipe for the sauce to drench it in as soon as it leaves the oven.

Sauce
1 cup cream
4oz / 100g butter
½ cup sugar
60 ml hot water.

Warm together the ingredients until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved and pour over the pudding as it comes out of the oven. You can prick holes in the top to help the sauce soak in.

With the sauce incorporated into the Malva Pudding you hardly need anything else to accompany it, the cream being already inside! Just for appearances' sake though you might like to serve it with a conservative dollop of vanilla ice cream, or a few poached apricots and a drizzle of cream. The other compromise is to reserve some of the sauce to serve alongside the pudding rather than letting the whole amount soak in.

Copyright 2007 Kit Heathcock

About the Author: Kit Heathcock writes and copyedits for a number of websites from Original Orange. She contributes to a luxury travel website Just the Planet and A Flower Gallery.

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10 Tips For Dining Out

10 Tips For Dining Out

Submitted by: Meri Raffetto

There is no doubt about it; Americans are eating in restaurants more often than ever before. In 1970 Americans spent just 26% of their food dollars on restaurant meals. Today we spend 46% of food dollars on eating out. This is likely the result of a fast paced lifestyle and more convenience of restaurants. What have also grown are restaurant portion sizes. The average restaurant portion size is large enough to feed three adults! Furthermore, studies have found a direct association between eating out and higher caloric intakes. This is important to know since obesity rates have doubled in the past 20 years and currently 65% of adults are obese.

This doesn’t mean you have to forego eating in restaurants. This may not be realistic for many people’s lifestyles. Instead, become more aware of what you are ordering and how much is on your plate. Here are 10 tips for dining out.

1. At lunch, opt for a deli sandwich with vegetable soup or side salad instead of a burger and fries. You can find these items in your local deli or supermarket.

2. Avoid specialty breads on sandwiches such as foccacia, baguettes or rolls, and choose whole grain bread instead.

3. Avoid anything mixed with heavy sauces or mayonnaise. (a tuna or egg salad sandwich in a restaurant may have more mayonnaise than you would add at home).

4. Get your salad dressings, sauces, and gravies on the side.

5. Eat half or even a quarter of the regular entrée or split the meal with a friend. Remember, most restaurant portions can feed 3 adults.

6. Share one dessert.

7. Skip the extra cheese on anything you order.

8. Choose lean meats such as chicken, turkey, or fish. A turkey sandwich in place of a roast beef sandwich can save you 100 calories and 10 grams of saturated fat.

9. Go easy on stuffed entrees- they’re often loaded in fat and calories.

10. Avoid “super-sizing” combo meals. They may be an economic value but they can add up to 1800 calories for one meal!

The average American adult is gaining 2-3 pounds a year. That amounts to eating just 20 - 30 extra calories than your body needs each day. It really is the “little things” that put on excess weight. Where can you save a few calories?

© Meri Raffetto RD, 2004

About the Author: Owner of Real Living Nutrition Services, Meri Raffetto is a recognized professional in the area of nutrition and wellness. She specializes in weight management and cardiovascular nutrition and offers online programs to help people reach their health goals. For more information visit http://www.reallivingnutrition.com.

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Healthy Breakfast Guidelines

Healthy Breakfast Guidelines

Submitted by: Adrian Joele

They often told us since grade school:Start the day with a good breakfast! But while eating breakfast does seem to boast performance in children, it’s not so clear whether it’s equally important for adults. While a number of studies have suggested that skipping breakfast can cause fuzzy thinking and fatigue,some experts say that the evidence is not convincing.

Studies on human performance indicate that people who regularly skip breakfast may actually experience an energy slump on occasions when they do eat it.Dr Arthur Frank,MD,medical director of the Obesity Management Program at George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C. is not opposed to the idea of having breakfast,”you shouldn’t feel obligated to eat it”,he says.”Follow your body’s lead.”

Of course,if you frequently find yourself feeling tired as the day wears on, skipping breakfast could be making the problem worse,says Wahida Karmally, DrPH,RD,CDE, director of nutrition of the Irving Center for Clinical Research at Columbia University Medical Centre. She recommends starting the day with a breakfast that is high in complex carbohydrates blended with protein- whole-grain cereal with low-fat or fat free milk and fresh fruit,for example, or whole-wheat toast topped with low-fat cheese.

We recommend adding one of USANA’s Macro-optimizers to your breakfast. They contain complex carbohydrates,dietary fiber for more energy, soy protein and potassium in the right ratio’s, with a low glycemic index of 23. You can read more about macro nutrients in one of the following sections.

Children who eat breakfast are more likely to have better concentration, problem solving skills and hand-eye coordination. The State of Minnesota Breakfast Study showed that “students who ate breakfasts before starting school had a general increase in math grades and reading scores, increased student attention, reduced nurse visits and increased student behaviors.” Eating only sugary foods may cause your child to have erratic energy levels, it actually spike their blood sugar levels which can cause type 2 diabetis. Eating a balanced breakfast will help get them going and sustain their energy until lunch time.

A healthy breakfast does not have to take a lot of time. Stick to the basics and serve simple foods that are nutritious and quick in the morning. For ideas, here are ten tips for nourishing ways to kick-start the day.

Ten tips for a healthier breakfast.

1. Oatmeal in an instant Instant oatmeal is great on a cold morning and contains fiber and vitamins. Choose oatmeal that isn’t already pre-sweetened. Sweeten it with raisins or fresh fruit.

2. Smoothy madness Blend frozen fruit(bananas and berries are great),low-fat or fat free milk and 100% fruit-juice for a quick, tasty breakfast smoothy with lots of nutrients.

3. Go 100% whole grain 100% whole-grain, fiber containing cereals served with low- or fat-free milk are a healthier alternative to sugary cereals. Whole-wheat muffins with smashed banana are also easy and tasty.

4. Eggxactly! Boil,scramble or poach eggs and serve on whole-wheat toast they’re packet with nutrition and in appropriate portions, are great for kids.

5. Toaster Treats Frozen, whole-grain waffles take almost no time to make. Top them with berries, low sugar apple-sauce or sliced bananas instead of syrup.

6. Go Nutty! Spreading peanut or almond butter on whole-grain toast is great to get both protein and fiber.

7. Go Fruity! A fresh fruit cut up with a dollop of low-fat or fat-free yogurt is a great way to start the day. Apples contain fiber and bananas contain potassium.

8. Try All-Fruit Spreads. Instead of butter or margarine on toast, try all-fruit spreads, fruit butters, or even sliced bananas or strawberries.

9. Bagel Classics Try a whole-wheat or sunflower seed bagel with low-fat cream cheese or peanut butter.

10. Breakfast On-the-Go Don’t have time to eat breakfast at home? Keep whole-grain mini bagels on-hand or muffins or the USANA Nutrition bars (Iced lemon Fibergy Bar,Oatmeal Raisin or Peanut Crunch Nutrition Bars.)

About the Author: Adrian Joele became interested in nutrition and weight management while he was an associate with a nutritional supplement company. Since 2008 he wrote several articles about nutrition and weight loss and achieved expert status with Ezine http://Articles.com. He has been involved in nutrition and weight management for more than 12 years and he likes to share his knowledge with anyone who could benefit from it. Get his free newsletter & report on nutrition and tips for healthy living, by visiting: http://www.nutrobalance2.net

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A Look at Making Pasta in the Crock Pot

A Look at Making Pasta in the Crock Pot

Submitted by: KC Kudra

Perfect pasta can be made using your crock-pot. With a few tips, you will get delicious pasta every time. There are many different ways to make pasta with crock-pot recipes. It all depends on what recipe you are making.

Cooking Pasta as a Separate Step

In some recipes, it is recommended to cook your pasta completely before adding it to your recipe. Alternatively, your crock-pot contents might be served on a bed of noodles. You may find this works well with stroganoff, roasted meats with sauces, and other similar recipes.

Some recipes may ask you to partially cook your pasta in boiling water until it is just barely tender. They then suggest adding the semi-cooked pasta to the crock-pot for the last half hour or so of cooking. You may use this technique with dishes like chicken Alfredo, casseroles and other meals. This method allows the noodles to finish cooking in the crock-pot, soaking up some of the flavors in the sauce.

Making the pasta separately is more work than just using the crock-pot. However, taking the time to boil your water and cook the pasta just right gives you perfect noodles when you need them. This technique is not appropriate for all recipes, however.

Everything in the Crock-Pot at Once

Some recipes that you find for the crock-pot call for uncooked pasta. They mean less work for you, though in most cases the pasta is still added in towards the end. This technique works well for homemade chicken noodle soup, ramen, or goulash. Standard types of pasta should be added to your crock-pot about half an hour to an hour before serving. If you are making a ramen soup, the thin noodles only take about 10 to 15 minutes to cook if your crock-pot is on the high setting.

You will also find recipes that need the pasta added at the very beginning. An example of this type of dish would be crock-pot lasagna. Macaroni and cheese is also nice and creamy in the crock-pot, but it is a dish that only takes about 90 minutes to 2 hours to cook. Leaving it any longer will result in mushy noodles. Baked ziti, stuffed shells, and thicker casseroles will have this requirement. Watch your cooking time, because these dishes often do not take all day to cook. Overcooked noodles will be soft and shapeless.

Pasta does just fine in the crock-pot. All you need to do for success is to use the right approach for each recipe. Pasta is more delicate than something like beans are, so keep an eye on the cooker until you know how the recipe will work. Sometimes it may take a few times to get it right.

You will soon be feeding your family delicious meals featuring pasta from your crock-pot. Pasta is true comfort food, and it has never been easier then when you master the skill of simple slow cooked pasta dish that the family will just adore. So next time you make pasta instead of leaving the crock-pot to collect dust in the cupboard take it out and discover how easy crock-pot pasta is.

About the Author: Crock-pots are very versatile. If you give them a try, you will find them handy enough to use every day. For more ways to use your crock-pot, Crockpots are probably one of the most convenient appliances ever designed for the kitchen. They open up a whole new way to cook. For chicken noodle soup recipes with nutritional info, soup info and cooking tips. Visit http://www.ChickenNoodleSoups.com

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Chicken Recipe - Menudo

Chicken Recipe - Menudo

Submitted by: Ginar Asombrado

Chicken Recipe - Menudo

This chicken recipe is also one of the most special and delicious dish in the Philippines.. No one can compare this dish to other country and here in the Philippines on which of the chicken recipes I’ve already made is the best among all of them, so if your going to judge all chicken recipes from tinola, chicken curry and this menudo, be as prepare as you ever did when you are about to eat this, have a deeper concentration on your mind and a big appreciation for both chicken recipes. Because in the end you’ll be arguing to yourself which among those is the best recipe. But of course that isn’t the big issue there, the point there is, you tasted all and you tried eating all the chicken recipes I prefer. Now I’m going to add this delicious chicken recipe and hopefully try this also in your own. Another good recipe will surely delight your day not just you but also your family once eaten. Let’s start with its ingredients already:

Cooking oil

500 grams pork, cubed

150 grams pork liver, cut into cubes

¼ cup of MARGARINE

1 tbsp of soy sauce

Juice from 3 pieces calamansi

1 tsp garlic, chopped

½ cup onions, minced

1 cup green bell pepper, chopped

1 cup tomato sauce

1 cup wate

1 piece bay leaf (laurel in filipino)

½ tsp ground black peppe

1 cup potatoes, cut into cubes

½ cup carrots, cut into cubes

salt for seasoning

Cooking Procedure:

Let us marinate first our meat with simply putting soy sauce and calamansi juice then stir it and settle for a while. Others prefer adding vinegar on their pork or chicken in marinating it, but I think it’s already enough for this pork menudo so it won’t taste sour.

Heat your sauce pan or frying pan either if its what you’re using in your house then put your cooking oil in it, then we’ll add some margarine combined with the cooking oil so that it will be more delicious and also to add a bit flavoring on it. Add the minced onions and 500 grams of pork in to the pan. Then stir it until the pork became a bit pale brown this will take few minutes. Now you can already add the recipes, add the bell pepper, pepper, bay leaf and then mix. Stir it a bit and then add the tomato sauce and water and then heat and wait for 20 minutes then you can already add the potatoes, carrots and the pork liver. And for the final step, add your seasoning, put some salt and wait for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, and now you’re done with your cooking it’s now ready to serve. Happy eating!

I am Ginar Asombrado, a fond Filipino chef and cook. I have a lot of experiment when it comes to cooking dishes. Try it too to benefit you and everyone relates to you. And with that I would like to recommend and share to you a website that comes all the idea upon my cooking. Its http://recipe-tv.ph

About the Author: I am Ginar Asombrado, a fond Filipino chef and cook. I have a lot of experiment when it comes to cooking dishes. Try it too to benefit you and everyone relates to you. And with that I would like to recommend and share to you a website that comes all the idea upon my cooking. Its http://recipe-tv.ph

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Cooking Healthy With Quinoa - This Super Food Belongs in Your Diet

Cooking Healthy With Quinoa - This Super Food Belongs in Your Diet

Submitted by: Susanne Myers

One thing that most of us have in common is the desire to feed our kids, and ourselves, nutritious food. But, when faced with the array of choices, it gets confusing. What's good, what's bad... it's not easy to distinguish the difference sometimes.

Even though quinoa has been around for thousands of years, it hasn't hit America's grocery shelves until recently. Over the last few years, quinoa has exploded in cookbooks, cooking shows, and the internet. This 'super-food' is becoming quite popular in many circles; including vegetarian, vegan, weight loss, gluten-free, and fitness diets.

Quinoa is a seed, a relative of beets, spinach, and Swiss chard. Because it is not a grass or grain, quinoa is considered the perfect food for those with grain, like wheat, sensitivities. The awareness of gluten-free diets may have likely brought quinoa into the limelight. However, quinoa is proving to fit into many diets for a wide range of reasons. Let's take a look at a few benefits that quinoa offers us all:

Protein: Not all foods considered high in protein contain all the essential amino acids in proper proportions for maximum effectiveness in the body, but quinoa does. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids in perfect proportions. In fact, quinoa has the same protein quality as milk. For a vegan, or a vegetarian who doesn't drink milk, quinoa is the perfect replacement food. Mix in some black beans in a simple soup or casserole, and you have the ultimate protein-rich super-food.

Minerals: The most concentrated amounts of minerals in quinoa are manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. With just one serving of quinoa, you will have more than half the RDA of manganese alone, neutralizing those damaging free radicals that are constantly attacking our organs. Along with manganese, quinoa contains high concentrates of magnesium and phosphorous which are both essential minerals aiding in bone health, heart and cardiovascular health, as well as nerve and brain health. Quinoa completes the mineral wheel with ample supplies of calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, and selenium, all vital to our health and well-being.

Vitamins: The highest concentrated vitamin in quinoa is folate. Folate is a B vitamin that is essential for healthy red blood cell development as well as healthy tissue and organ development, most notably during a child's early years. Folate is also believed to fight the destructive cell developments of cancer. Other vitamins that can be found in a good supply in quinoa are vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6, all essential in the growth, repair, and functioning of vital organs, blood, and tissue.

Dietary Fiber: You probably hear a lot about dietary fiber in advertisements aimed at curing constipation. But, the fact is, dietary fiber is crucial for all of our body functions. With a whopping 21% RDA in one serving of quinoa, eating a regular diet including this super-food makes sense. Why? Not only does fiber aid the digestive system, it also is known to lower blood cholesterol levels. Studies also show that increasing fiber in your diet will help reduce blood pressure which promotes heart health. A good diet rich in fiber helps control blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugars. Along with these benefits, high-fiber diets also may help with weight loss, due to the fact that foods that are high in fiber and low in calories, like quinoa, fill you up without added calories.

It appears that if you had to choose one food to survive on, quinoa may be your best bet. This super-food contains just about everything a body needs - fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Add to that the fact that quinoa is low in calories, has zero cholesterol, zero sugars, and is low in sodium, and you've got the perfect food to add to your family's healthy diet.

How do you get more quinoa into your diet? You can do much more than substituting quinoa in dishes that call for rice or pasta. Rather, start by remembering that quinoa is a protein. With that in mind, think about quinoa like you do black beans, another vegetarian source of protein. Replace meat meals with quinoa meals on a regular basis to enjoy all the benefits of this super food. Go ahead and clear a spot in your pantry, because once you cook with quinoa, you'll be stocking up.

About the Author: Susanne Myers wants to help you learn what it takes to eat right and stay fit, even with a hectic lifestyle and a tight budget. Find healthy recipes and tips for cooking with quinoa as well as other nutritious foods. And, visit us often at www.HillbillyHousewife.com for even more ideas and tips for living well.

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Unusual Chili Recipes: 4 Wacky But Wonderful Chili Meals

Unusual Chili Recipes: 4 Wacky But Wonderful Chili Meals

Submitted by: Brandy Summers

Got a hankering for chili, but tired of the same old bean chili you’ve had countless times? Good. It’s time to shake things up a little and try something different to get your taste buds excited. Here are four unique recipes for chili that will give your chili cravings some much needed variety.

=> Pumpkin Chili Mexicana

The sweet, earthy taste of pumpkin takes this dish to a whole other level of savory goodness.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1/2 cup onion, chopped, 1 cup of red or green pepper, chopped, 1 clove garlic, finely chopped, 1 pound of ground turkey, 2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained, 1-3/4 cups pumpkin puree, 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce, 1 (15-1/4 oz.) can kidney beans, drained, 1 (4 oz.) can green chilies, diced, 1/2 cup whole kernel corn, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add in the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender.

Add in the turkey meat and cook until browned; drain.

Add in the tomatoes with juice, pumpkin puree, tomato sauce, beans, chilies, corn, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

=> Memphis Barbecue Shrimp Chili

Here’s a very unique chili recipe that comes straight out of the Memphis barbecue tradition. The consistency will be very soup like and is meant to be served over rice or French bread.

1-1/2 pounds medium shrimp, 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped, 1-1/2 cups of barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon hot sauce, 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, 1-1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, 1 lemon, sliced very thin, white rice and or French bread.

Peel and thoroughly clean the shrimp.

In a large, heavy skillet, melt the butter and oil. Cook the garlic until it’s nice and soft.

Add in the shrimp and cook until pink.

Add in the barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce, liquid smoke, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and chili powder.

Simmer all for 10 minutes. Add in the parsley and lemon slices. Continue to simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.

Serve chili over white rice and/or French bread.

=> Italiano Chili Con Carne

Italian meets Southwestern in this easy-to-make chili dish.

1 green pepper, 6 to 8 large onions, 1 pound ground beef, 1 medium can of tomatoes, 1 can of kidney beans, 1 can of spaghetti sauce.

In a skillet, cook the ground beef until brown; drain.

Dice up the green peppers and onions and add to a saucepan. Add in the cooked beef and the tomatoes. Let simmer until all ingredients are well done. Add in the beans and spaghetti sauce; heat thoroughly.

Season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar.

=> Picante Cincinnati Chili

This Cincinnati version is known as the sweet chili and is served over spaghetti noodles. The picante sauce adds a nice twist to this popular dish.

2 pounds of ground beef or pork, 2 large onions, chopped, 2 cloves of garlic, minced, 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce, 1 can picante sauce, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 to1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, 2 bay leaves, 1 pound thin spaghetti, cooked.

Topping: Shredded cheddar cheese, 1 chopped onion, kidney beans, heated, Oyster crackers.

In a large Dutch oven or pot, brown the beef or pork along with the onion and garlic. Add in the remaining ingredients, except for the spaghetti and the toppings. Cover and let simmer for 1 hour; stirring occasionally.

Remove the bay leaves. Serve the chili nice and hot over the cooked spaghetti. Use toppings as desired.

About the Author: Cha…cha…cha…it’s chili time! http://www.best-chili-recipes.com

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Cooking Tip-How to Braise Meat

Cooking Tip-How to Braise Meat

Submitted by: Stan Plytynski

If you want to enjoy a gourmet meal using inexpensive cuts of meat then you’ll want to learn how to “braise”. Braising means browning the meat oil and/or butter then slowly cooking in a covered roasting pan. The meat is covered in a liquid which usually includes some combination of water, broth and red or white wine. Cooking time can take from one to several hours as this method is used to tenderize and intensify the flavors in the meat and accompanying vegetables. Despite the time frame, most recipes are usually fairly simple and don’t require any advanced skills.

Follow these basic steps and you and your family or friends will thoroughly enjoy the results.

Step 1-Choose your favorite cut of meat. Lamb, beef, veal or pork shanks are very common in these recipes. Beef shoulder roast, chuck roast or brisket are also good choices. These cuts are usually tougher with higher levels of collagen. Collagen, when cooked at low temperatures for an extended time creates a gelatin which helps the tenderizing process. You can use chicken but it should not be skinless and bone should be in. Legs and thighs work best. The real secret is in the slow cooking.

Step 2-Brown the meat in some type of fat…olive oil, butter or some combination suggested in the particular recipe. The browning process is intended to add color and flavor enhancement. Frequently, the recipe may call for rolling the meat in flour seasoned with salt and fresh ground pepper. Again….a flavor enhancement. The browning process is done in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot with a lid. The browning step may take 10 -20 minutes to cover all sides of the meat. It only cooks the surface of the meat and the earing locks in flavor.

Some tips….the meat should be patted dry and free of moisture or it will “steam” more than brown…don’t crowd the meat so any moisture can escape. Size of the portions, if not whole, should be the roughly the same for even cooking.

Step 3-Add liquids. As I mentioned earlier, depending on the type of meat and recipe, you can use wine, water, stock/broth...usually a combination of these liquids. At this point you will usually add onions, garlic, spices, vegetables and any other flavoring you may like. Some cooks/recipes say don’t cover the meat & vegetables entirely. I have covered with liquid and the results are very good.

Step 4-Cover the Dutch oven or pan. You can cook over a stove top or in the oven. I prefer the oven as it provides more even cooking on all sides and results in the best flavor and tenderizing. Follow the recipe for the correct oven temperature. Remember it will always be low….300-325* or less.

Here are some typical cooking times...

Lamb shanks….4-6 each a pound…2 ½ hours

Veal shanks….4-6 each a pound…2-2 ½ hours

Shoulder roast…3-4 pounds…roughly an hour per pound

Chicken (remember bone in/skin on)….1-1 ½ hours

Give ‘braising” a try….you don’t have to be a gourmet cook to enjoy a wonderful meal!



About the Author: Visit my website@ http://EnamelCookwarePlus.com for a quality selection of enamel coated cookware including Dutch ovens and roasting pans.

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Crockpot Dessert Recipes - Make Your Favorite Recipes Without the Oven

Crockpot Dessert Recipes - Make Your Favorite Recipes Without the Oven

Submitted by: Susanne Myers

Does shuffling around your dishes in and out of the oven get complicated during a big holiday meal? We like to have several desserts, so that usually means something's got to come out of the oven so the desserts can start going in. Juggling food around never works out well.

Why not put your crockpot to work for you this year? Transform your old favorite dessert recipes into crockpot dessert recipes and free up your oven for what it was meant for... the Turkey and Green Bean Casserole!

I chose three of my family's favorite desserts to make this year in my crockpot in order to free up my oven space and stove top for other dishes. Let's see how we can put my crockpot to work.

Apple Brown Betty

If you make this dessert in the oven, you have to time it just right so that you're pulling it out only a few minutes before serving. That's because it's better served hot with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top. You can basically use all the ingredients you normally do, but I add a little more butter. You're going to cook it on low for a couple hours so that's all the timing required. No last minute switching casseroles around so you can get this dessert done at the perfect time.

My recipe is sort of a variation of both apple crisp and bread pudding, so a crunchy topping is optional. If you like, you can mix together the ingredients for the topping in a saucepan, then top the apple dessert either in the bowls or in the slow cooker just before serving.

PB and Chocolate Brownie

Brownies are always yummy, but this brownie dessert tops them all with the added peanut butter! You begin with a regular brownie mix, but the dessert isn't cut into squares like normal brownies. You spoon the dessert into bowls instead of cutting them into traditional brownie squares. Serve while hot so that the added ice cream or whipped topping melts a little.

Top this brownie dessert with some sprinkles of Reese's Pieces or other candy topping that you like. Cut a peanut butter cup in quarters and garnish with one quarter for each serving. You want to time the cooking and serving of this so that you are ready to scoop up your dessert just minutes after you shut off the heat.

Pecan Crust Cheesecake

One of my favorite desserts is cheesecake. It's fun using what can be considered a mini oven. Basically, you use the same recipe you normally would. The important thing to keep in mind is you'll be using a 7" springform pan so you need to make sure it will fit . A 5 or 6 quart size is usually big enough, but measure to be sure. Then, make a simple graham cracker crust with some finely chopped pecans added, form the crust in the bottom and up the sides a little in your pan. Make the filling according to the recipe you normally use, then fill your pan.

You'll need to put a small rack in the bottom to hold the springform pan off the bottom. If you don't have a rack that fits, just pull a good length of aluminum foil off the roll and form a donut shape out of it to support the pan. Put that on the bottom and put your pan in. You want to cook your cheesecake on high for several hours, then shut off the heat and let it sit in there for another hour or until it's cool enough to handle. Then you'll cool it completely on a rack before you remove the pan from the cheesecake.

You shouldn't have to spend your holiday shuffling food all over your kitchen! Leave your main dishes alone to cook in peace and quiet by making crockpot dessert recipes and solve the food juggling dilemma.

About the Author: Susanne Myers at HillbillyHousewife.com wants to help you make fabulously tasty treats for your family and dinner guests. Find lots of crockpot recipes, tips, and ideas in the Hillbilly Housewife's informative guide, Crockpot Cooking Made Simple. Get your copy now and start enjoying the pleasures of crockpot cooking today!

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