Food and Drink

Spur Of The Moment Get Together? No Problem With These Quick And Delicious Appetizers!

Spur Of The Moment Get Together? No Problem With These Quick And Delicious Appetizers!Spur Of The Moment Get Together? No Problem With These Quick And Delicious Appetizers! by by Mary Mechler

This happens to all of us. It's Friday afternoon, and your colleagues are talking about getting together for a drink after work. You volunteer to have everyone over, but have no thoughts for a few quick appetizers.

Not to worry. If you keep a few staples on hand, I have a couple of great ideas for quick and delicious appetizers your guests will love! No matter what the season, these appetizers works well.

I always have a jar of artichokes, on hand -- the main ingredient of this recipe. I have made it so many times, that I just keep all the ingredients around now because you never know when friends or family will drop in for a visit. Here we go:

Artichoke Cheese Bake
1 can or jar of artichokes (if you have them marinated, that's fine - it makes no difference)
1 cup grated cheese (Romano or parmesan work well)
1 small can diced chilies
1 cup mayonnaise
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
(Optional - at the holidays, I like to add about 1/2 cup of crab meat. Fold it into the mixture after you have pulsed the previous ingredients in the food processor. I omit the chilies when using crabmeat in order to not overpower the flavor of the crab.)

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Butter or spray a 1 qt. casserole or baking dish.
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until there are small chunks of artichokes visible, about the size of a pea.
Put into prepared baking dish and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a bit brown on top and bubbly.
This is a great dip with water crackers because they allow the flavors to really come through. I also like to use broccoli, cauliflower and red bell peppers to dip into it. Everyone always loves it, and are amazed that it's so simple to make. This one is an easy hit!

Pesto Bruschetta

1 French Bread Baguette, cut into 1/2" slices
1/3 cup pesto - any type
Roasted red peppers, thinly sliced, enough for 2 pieces on each slice of bread
1/2 cup grated or shaved parmesan cheese
Olive oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush one side of bread with a bit of oil. Put on baking sheet, oiled side up, and bake until top is barely brown, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and cool until you can handle them.
Flip the bread slices over. Spread pesto on each slice. Top with roasted red pepper slices and cheese.
Return to the oven for another 6 minutes, or until cheese begins to melt. Serve warm.
This is a great flavor combination with traditional basil pesto, or, any other flavor you may choose. I've used a sundried tomato based version in this recipe as well.

So, there here are a couple of ideas to help you out in a pinch. Maybe you'll end up keeping these items on hand so that you can accommodate that last minute get together as well. They're homemade, quick and delicious. Your guests will love them.

These are just a couple of my "old reliables". Send us your thoughts on whether they work for you, and if you have ideas for other articles.

Mary Mechler has been cooking and baking since she was 5 years old. Mary is excited to share her love of cooking and great cooking tools with others who are cooking enthusiasts, through the website, which offers kitchen cookware, chefs knives and kitchen cutlery. If you find something you like, and place an order, we'll include a free copy of Amy Coleman's cookbook while supplies last!

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Easy and Delicious Dinner Recipes for Backpacking

Easy and Delicious Dinner Recipes for BackpackingEasy and Delicious Dinner Recipes for Backpacking by by Jill Smi

As you already know if you've read our other easy backpacking recipes, it is very important to eat nutritiously and drink plenty of water while backpacking. We've already mentioned a few meal ideas for breakfast and lunch, as well as a few energizing backpacking snack suggestions.

Dinner is the backpacking meal that most backpackers settle down and truly enjoy. Once you have set camp for the evening and settled in, a hot and hearty meal will revitalize your body and get you prepared for another day of active hiking.

Backpacker's Sushi
Cook 1 cup instant rice with boiling water.
Cut nori (seaweed rollers for sushi found at international grocers or sections) into quarters
Place a spoonful of rice on the nori and add a spoonful of tuna from foil packet
Roll the sushi and dip in wasabi, horseradish, or soy sauce (take-out packets)

Seafood Pasta
Cook 1/2 package pasta (fettuccini, tortellini, etc)
Heat a little bit of olive oil, salt, and garlic with salmon or tuna (foil package)
Toss with parmesan cheese and enjoy!
Variation: chicken (canned) and sundried tomatoes

Just Add Water Backpacking Feast
In a small sandwich bag combine:
3/4 cup instant potatoes
3/4 cup dry stuffing
Dried cranberries
Beef or turkey jerky pieces
Powdered gravy mix
At camp, stir in boiling water and let stand before eating.

Country Chicken and Rice
Combine 1 cup instant rice with 1 1/2 cups boiling water
Stir in one packet onion soup mix
Add 1 small can of chicken
Stir until warm

Fiesta Trail Chicken
In a small sandwich bag combine:
1 cup instant rice
1 packet tomato soup mix
Spices (chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, etc.)
At camp, add 1 1/2 cups boiling water to dry ingredients and stir in a small can of chicken.

Other dinner ideas include:
Small canned hams that require no refrigeration
Fresh vegetables for first night dinners (broccoli, corn on the cob, green beans, etc.)
Soup cups
Canned foods (ravioli, Spam, beanie weenies, beef stew, etc.)

Salty foods are good for replenishing your body to avoid dehydration. Eat foods that are high in calories and protein. If you packed canned foods, look for products with easy open lids. Otherwise, remember to pack a can opener, like the versatile Leatherman Juice S2 Multi-tool.

The most energizing and replenishing snacks for the trail is gorp, or modern versions of trail mix. Try these gorp recipes for variety.

Chocolate Lover's Gorp
2/3 cup dried apricots
2/3 cup dried cherries
2/3 cup dried blueberries
2/3 cup almonds
2/3 cup peanuts
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dark chocolate chips

The Trail is on Fire Gorp
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a skillet
Brown 2 cups puffed rice cereal and 2 cups raisin bran, stirring constantly
Spread the cereal on a baking sheet and cook at 250° for 30 minutes.
Toss cooled cereal with:
1/2 cup Spanish peanuts
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried dates
1/4 cup dried jalapeño slices
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp sugar

Want to find out about pet tortoise and dangerous pets? Get tips from the Pet Ideas website.

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Fruit Cocktail Recipes

Fruit Cocktail RecipesFruit Cocktail Recipes by by John Smi

Cocktails made of a combination of fruits are often served as the first course of a meal, usually a luncheon or a dinner, to precede the soup course. In warm weather, they are an excellent substitute for heavy cocktails made of lobster or crab, and they may even be used to replace the soup course. The fruits used for this purpose should be the more acid ones, for the acids and flavors are intended to serve as an appetizer, or the same purpose for which the hot and highly seasoned soups are taken. Fruit cocktails should always be served ice cold.

Grapefruit cocktail.

The cocktail here explained may be served in stemmed glasses or in the shells of the grapefruit. If the fruit shells are to be used, the grapefruit should be cut into two parts, half way between the blossom and the stem ends, the fruit removed, and the edges of the shell then notched. This plan of serving a cocktail should be adopted only when small grapefruits are used, for if the shells are large more fruit will have to be used than is agreeable for a cocktail.

2 grapefruits 2 oranges 1 c. diced pineapple, fresh or canned Powdered sugar

Remove the pulp from the grapefruits and oranges. However, if the grapefruit shells are to be used for serving the cocktail, the grapefruit should be cut in half and the pulp then taken out of the skin with a sharp knife. With the sections of pulp removed, cut each one into several pieces. Add the diced pineapple to the other fruits, mix together well and set on ice until thoroughly chilled. Put in cocktail glasses or grapefruit shells, pour a spoonful or two of orange juice over each serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar, garnish with a cherry, and serve ice cold.

Summer cocktail.

As strawberries and pineapples can be obtained fresh at the same time during the summer, they are often used together in a cocktail. When sweetened slightly with powdered sugar and allowed to become ice cold, these fruits make a delicious combination.

2 c. diced fresh pineapple 2 c. sliced strawberries Powdered sugar

Prepare a fresh pineapple, and cut each slice into small pieces or dice. Wash and hull the strawberries and slice them into small slices. Mix the two fruits and sprinkle them with powdered sugar. Place in cocktail glasses and allow to stand on ice a short time before serving.

Fruit cocktail.

A fruit cocktail proper is made by combining a number of different kinds of fruit, such as bananas, pineapple, oranges, and maraschino cherries. Such a cocktail is served in a stemmed glass set on a small plate. Nothing more delicious than this can be prepared for the first course of a dinner or a luncheon that is to be served daintily. Its advantage is that it can be made at almost any season of the year with these particular fruits.

2 bananas 1 c. canned pineapple 2 oranges 1 doz. maraschino cherries Lemon juice Powdered sugar

Peel the bananas and dice them. Dice the pineapple. Remove the pulp from the oranges in the manner, and cut each section into several pieces. Mix these three fruits. Cut the cherries in half and add to the mixture. Set on ice until thoroughly chilled. To serve, put into cocktail glasses and add to each glass 1 tablespoonful of maraschino juice from the cherries and 1 teaspoonful of lemon juice. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.

For tips on types of hawks, what do caterpillars eat and other information, visit the Interesting Animals website.

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Apple Banana Smoothie for a Wholesome Breakfast

Apple Banana Smoothie for a Wholesome BreakfastApple Banana Smoothie for a Wholesome Breakfast by by Melissa Roy

6 medium-sized apples, red ones only
3 honey bananas (small and freckled preferably)
3 peeled frozen bananas
3 spoons of white sugar
¼ cup of plain yogurt

In order to prepare for this exuberant beverage, these are the ingredients which are necessary for the preparation of a delicious apple banana smoothie.

First, peel the apples and run them into the juicer. Collect the apple residue from the retaining basin and run it again by the juicer in order to maximize the sap extraction. Peel off the honey bananas and insert them into the blender together with frozen ones. It is unnecessary to cut them into smaller pieces as the honey bananas are quite petite and soft.

Pour the quarter cup of plain yogurt into the mix. Blend the ingredients for a good 45 seconds. Next add the extracted juice and include white sugar into the blender and merge the mix together for about 30 seconds.

This serving can be added with shaved ice as this would add a chilled sensation to the beverage. Originally this serving is adequate for three people and can be blended together with ice cubes. As for the sugar measurements, the quantity can be controlled according to personal preference or replaced by honey altogether, to add energy to the beverage. The ingredients can be halved or quartered according for individual consumption.

The quest to wake up in time to get to work is better encouraged with a supplemented nourishing breakfast as naturally people are sluggish in the morning. A productive person would want to be part of an efficient working environment and the key in achieving a prolific lifestyle.
A smoothie is often mistaken for milkshake although the two are quite similar ingredients-wise. Milkshakes usually offer additional health dosage such as egg whites and protein powder. However an apple-banana smoothie packs all the required fruit fibers and calories in just a few easy steps.

Melissa Roy is president of Adern Media. Read kitchen stuff and products reviews at unfinished kitchen cabinets and Designer brass door hardware and Victorian Door hardware

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How To Avoid Salad Dressing Sabotage

How To Avoid Salad Dressing SabotageHow To Avoid Salad Dressing Sabotage by by Emily Morris

Are salad dressings secretly sabotaging your diet?
If you are trying to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, or just improve your over-all health, everyone knows that eating more vegetables is a great way to go. They're low or no-sugar, loaded with vitamins and minerals as well as a myriad of other healthy nutrients. Salads can be a great way to get more servings of vegetables into your lifestyle, but they can also be packed with hidden calories. If you eat restaurant salads, they may taste great, but they almost never use low-fat ingredients. (After all, rich creams and oils make them taste so good, you'll want to come back and spend again!)
Would you be tempted to select any of the following at a restaurant, or make it at home?

Chicken Ranch Taco Salad - 960 calories and 57 grams of fat
That's over half your daily fat requirement, and nearly half your day's calories all in one salad
Crispy Calamari and Veggies - 1,520 calories and 98 grams of fat
That's over your daily fat requirement in just 1 appetizer and well over half your calories for the day
A triple whopper at Burger King only has 1130 calories...
Southern Fried Chicken Salad- 1,100 calories and 68 grams of fat
Better not eat any more fat grams that day...

Most of those are getting the extra calories from the creamy dressings and fried meat that's added on. However, using less tasty 'lite' dressings and just skipping salads all-together isn't a great idea. Crisp raw vegetables in tasty dressings or dips are fantastic for health. Substituting grilled meat for fried is also a tasty choice. Some dressings even help you absorb important nutrients.

For example, citrus based dressings, or salads with high vitamin-c ingredients can help you absorb the iron in leafy green vegetables. The healthy fats found in olive oil, chia seeds, avocados, nuts and some fish will help you absorb much more lycopene from tomatoes (and other red vegetables), lutein in green peppers (and other greens), and carotenoids in carrots (and many other brightly colored vegetables). They key to unlocking these healthy phytonutrients and anti-oxidants is eating the foods together. Ohio State University did a study which proved greater absorption of nutrients could be achieved when people added a healthy fat to their salad.
Ready to try something fresh and new?
This vinaigrette tastes fantastic on spinach and strawberry salad. Baby spinach leaves have a very mild flavor, and fresh strawberries are an unusual and refreshing addition.

Chia Strawberry Spinach Salad Dressing
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dry chia seed
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 dash paprika

In a measuring cup, simply mix together all ingredients. The seeds won't hydrate in the oil, but they'll cling among the salad ingredients. This dressing will separate into two layers if left alone, so always shake before use. You don't have to use it only on spinach strawberry salad, you can try it over your favorite greens.

Still want a creamy dressing, but don't want the calories? This dressing is thick and creamy, but has ZERO milk products of any kind. It's perfect for anyone who is lactose intolerant. This zesty dressing will amaze your guests as you serve it as a dip or over your favorite greens. They'll never guess that the tasty, creamy base is really...beans!

Creamy Cilantro Vinaigrette:

1 can cannellini beans
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup canned green chili peppers
¼ cup hot (not boiling) water
¼ cup cilantro (chopped)
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp chia seed gel
1 clove garlic
1 pinch sea salt

This dressing is also amazingly easy to make. Just rinse and drain the beans, chop the cilantro, dice the chili peppers and mince the garlic. Put all the ingredients into your food processor or blender and hit 'puree'. The dressing is finished when everything is smooth and creamy. You can use it for dipping, or add to your favorite salad mixture.

Why are there chia seeds in each of these dressings?
The chia seeds are an important part of the recipes because they not only help to mix and distribute the flavors, they also help you to feel full. The soluble fiber on the seeds' shell forms a gel when exposed to water. This allows them to absorb nine times their weight in zero calorie water. So while you're eating less calories, you're feeling full sooner when you add chia. It's that gelling action that allows them to help with flavor mixing, improving the taste of whatever you add them to.

The seeds themselves have no flavor at all, so you can freely add them to almost anything when you want a nutritional boost. They're packed with nutrients, such as more calcium (by weight) than milk, complete protein like in meat, and healthy omega-3 oils that are usually only found in fish. They're also an easy way to boost the fiber content of a meal without changing the taste.

When changing the taste of a meal is as easy as switching the dressing, you'll never get tired of healthy salads. Store-bought dressings may sit in the fridge for months, but when you make your own dressing, it's not only much fresher, free from chemicals and preservatives, it's also in portions you decide, so there's just enough for what you plan to eat. It may take a few minutes to whip up, but the myriad of possibilities and flavors are well worth the time. Plus, isn't increasing your health, and that of your family worth the extra five minutes to mix?

Try these dressings, and loads of other great recipes in our free Chia Cook Books ! Learn more about what chia seeds can do for you at MySeeds Chia Seeds Plus, don’t forget about free shipping to get you started quickly and easily!

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Canning Soup Secret Recipes

Canning Soup Secret RecipesCanning Soup Secret Recipes by by Ryan Oelkers

A good housekeeper always gives the best of everything to her family. And in that best of everything, the most is giving her family and loved ones the best and healthy foods available. Serving them with organic, fresh and non-contaminated foods are best. During winter seasons, everyone loves soups. And when it is being prepared at home, it can be less expensive than purchasing it from the outside. Thus, homemade canning of soups is an economical, affordable means of having different soups preserved and canned for instant winter consumption.

But mind you, when canning soup, several safety points must be given serious considerations. First and foremost, the method to be used in canning must be the pressure canner method. Why? It is because this method ensures that food born microorganisms cannot spoil or contaminate the soup being canned. Since most ingredients used in canning soups contained low acid, pressure canner is just as perfect for a lasting soup preservation.

Second, in canning soup, it is advisable to only can clear soup. Thus, ingredients like thickeners, oils or milk, or noodles should be avoided. Soup preservation using pressurized containers are so effective that you can store the soup for some months without refrigeration.

Nowadays, canning is so popular for a number of reasons:

1. Preserving self-produced crops: It is always beneficial to have a kitchen garden and grow organic crops for own consumption. Healthy organic food is assured to be enjoyed by the whole family. And because these crops are cultivated and grown by you, it can be best stored and preserved by canning. In this way, you and your family can enjoy your self-produced crops even during off seasons.

2. Living Standards: There is a drawback in the world economy at present. High commodities and low labor turn-outs are primary problems. Thus, stretching ones budget is a must. For this reason, majority people today are finding alternative solution to lessen grocery expenses. And buying canning products on sale provides big difference and big saving than buying these products in stores.

3. Nutritional value: Doing homemade canning gives one the confidence that the whole family is eating the right kinds of foods containing the needed nutritional value needed. Aside from that, one can be assured that the foods that come to the mouths of all the family members are safe and are healthy foods. Because canning was made at home, unwanted ingredients such as acids, chemicals and other substances can be avoided.

4. Food allergies: Foods which causes allergies can be prevented. Because your canning your own foods, chances are you are not going to preserve and store those foods that can cause any member of your family allergies. In short, you have a better control over the situation.

5. Satisfaction and contentment guaranteed: Canning by oneself provides you with the satisfaction and contentment that your family and you are taking the right and healthy foods available.

Canning soup in order to enjoy the secret recipes of your grandma on different soups, anytime you wish. You only have to make certain that you will go over USDA guidelines on the different directives relating to homemade canning. As everyone is aware of, canning process is a long process and can be tiresome. But it can save anybody with time and money. But most of all, it provides one the assurance that the whole family is eating the right and healthy foods.

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Why Do You Use Healthy Cooking Oils?

Why Do You Use Healthy Cooking Oils?Why Do You Use Healthy Cooking Oils? by by Gina G. Stewart

You probably use cooking oils more than you realize. Whether you are cooking eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches, or just stir frying vegetables, you are probably using at least a teaspoon or two of cooking oil. This adds up pretty quickly, and this is why you want to make sure that you are using healthy cooking oils.

Even if you are not overweight and otherwise not concerned about your health, by switching to healthy cooking oils you will be doing yourself a huge favor. You can't even taste the difference between the regular cooking oils that you are probably used to using and the healthy cooking oils, so what is the big deal? Heart healthy cooking is very important these days, what with the fatty, deep fried foods that are all so readily available to us.

The Selection

So you may not be aware of just which oils are considered as being healthy cooking oils. It is important to weigh up each cooking oil and take a look at it from all sides to determine which is going to be the healthiest. There is canola oil for one, which is low in saturated fats and rich in monosaturated fats.

Canola oil is very low in fat and good for the heart, so it should be one of your main cooking oils. There is also the extra virgin olive oil which is quite commonly used, and this should also be a staple in your kitchen when it comes to cooking oils. This oil is also rich in monosaturated fats and contains phytochemicals that may help to lower blood cholesterol levels, so it is actually good for you.

Then there are various other types of cooking oils that you can consider as well, such as the macadamia nut oil, sesame oil and soybean oil. Each of these offers its own benefits, and they are all about equal in terms of health, so you can leave it up to your own personal taste.

Remember, switching to healthy cooking oils is only one thing on the almost endless list of things that you can do to improve your health. Ever thing that you can do for your health, no matter how seemingly small will make a difference in the end and you need to remember this.

Also keep in mind that no matter what changes you make to your diet and how healthy you may be eating, if you are not exercising on a regular basis you are not going to be able to get in the shape that you want.

If you love this article, you will also love another article written by this article's author on top freezer refrigerator and small refrigerator.

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Chicken Noodle Soup is Easy to Make

Chicken Noodle Soup is Easy to MakeChicken Noodle Soup is Easy to Make by by Mary Mechler

It's really not that difficult to make great tasting Chicken and Noodle Soup. Really! With the convenience of using a supermarket roasted chicken, you can get incredible flavor without starting from scratch.

When I started testing recipes, I looked through all my conventional cookbooks, gourmet cookbooks, online, etc. All the recipes I found seemed to lack the flavor I was looking for - you know, that great 'chickeny' depth of homemade chicken soup? So, I started looking in those cookbooks from churches and women's organizations.

Although I didn't find the exact recipe there, I did have some thoughts that led to my current method. I use a noodle recipe from a very sweet lady who goes to my church, Delores Koster. Her soup recipe is in the St. Francis Xavier, Carbondale, Illinois Cookbook.

The struggle I was having lied in making the stock/broth/base for the soup. That's when I decided there had to be a better, easier, faster way to get the flavor I wanted without waiting for a whoe chicken, vegetables and some seasonings to figure out how to marry together appropriately.

One night after my daughter's basketball game, we stopped to get a rotisserie chicken and the grocery store for dinner. My family only likes the white meat, so we have part of the chicken left over. Rather than tossing it, because no one liked the dark meat, I froze the whole thing until I could figure out how to use up the remaining chicken.

My son had been asking for homemade chicken and noodles, and that's when I decided to give it a try. I added what was left of the rotisserie chicken into water with some vegetables and spices to make the base for the soup. After a couple of hours of simmering on the stove - and it smelled great - I strained the mixture and boned what was left of the chicken. Ironically, my kids don't really like a lot of chicken in their soup, so this idea works out great for us. And, for some reason, they eat the dark meat in this soup.

I add the noodles and let it simmer for at least an hour or two. Usually, I have towater prior to adding the noodles. The result is really good. It has become one of those meals that everyone looks forward to, and the kids always ask for when they don't feel well. I guess that's the true test of chicken soup, right? I hope you enjoy it, too!

By the way, feel free to add new carrots or whatever other kind of vegetables you would like to this soup. My kids prefer to have a bowl of steamed broccolli and cauliflower that they can dip in the broth, so I don't add anything but noodles to the strained broth for us.

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 Grocery Store Rotisserie Chicken - or the remaining part of one. (If you like a lot of chicken in your soup, you may want to add a chicken breast or two if not using a whole chicken)
1 Medium Onion, quartered
2 Stalks Celery, cut into 2 inch pieces
5 whole Peppercorns
1 T. Poultry Seasoning
1 T. Sea Salt

In a Dutch Oven, or large soup pot. Add all of the above ingredients except water. Pour enough water over to cover ingredients by 1 inch.

Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and leave uncovered for at least 1 hour, but preferably 2. I like to start this first thing in the morning to have for lunch, or at noon for an early dinner.

With a slotted spook, or spider, strain chicken, bones, and vegetables out of pot. Put pot back on burner, and add about 3 cups of water.

Bone chicken, reserving meat for the soup. If you would like to add vegetables, especially carrots, do so now. If adding peas, you can wait until the last 10 minutes of total cooking time.


1 egg
3 egg yolks
Cold water
2 C. Flour
2 t. Salt

In a medium mixing bowl, add all eggs. Whisk until light. Add 3 tablespoons of cold water and salt and whisk until well blended.

Add flour and mix with a fork until you can gather it up in your hands and form a ball. Depending on the weather, I've had to ad a bit more water to bring it together; but, be careful not to add to much and make it sticky.

Let the dough sit for about 5 minutes. This is important because it allows the dough to be rolled out much easier, and less like elastic.

Flour the area where you will roll out the dough.

Roll out the dough into a large circle. I get it as thin as I can, about 1/8 inch, although some people like their noodles thicker. If you prefer them thick, you will need to add for time for cooking to make them tender.

Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into noodles the desired width and length you prefer.

Put the noodles into the simmering broth and continue to simmer for at least 1/2 hour, but they are more tender if you have the time to let them simmer for an hour.

You can add the chicken about the last 15 minutes.

Taste for seasoning, because I usually need to add at least another teaspoon of salt at this point.

Mary Mechler has been cooking and baking since she was 5 years old. Mary is excited to share her love of cooking and great cooking tools with others who are cooking enthusiasts, through the website, which offers kitchen cookware, chefs knives and kitchen cutlery. If you find something you like, and place an order, we'll include a free copy of Amy Coleman's cookbook while supplies last!

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How to Cook Different Kinds of Ham

How to Cook Different Kinds of Ham

How to Cook Different Kinds of Ham
By Ray T. Lewis

Ham is usually sold in one of three conditions:

1) Fully cooked
2) Partially cooked
3) Uncooked

Although the cooking techniques are similar, there are differences between a fully cooked and a partially cooked or uncooked ham. For example, a fully cooked ham should be cooked to an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, while a partially cooked or uncooked one should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

The instructions below are grouped into sections for fully cooked and partially or uncooked hams. --

Roasting or Baking--Fully Cooked

There are three basic types of fully cooked ham:

1) Wet cured or City Ham
2) Spiral sliced
3) Canned hams

Keep in mind that a fully cooked ham does not require cooking; it can be eaten as is. But cooking it can bring out the flavors of its own juices. The flavor can also be enhanced by adding other ingredients during the baking process. A fully cooked ham should be cooked to an internal temperature of 140 degrees.

Spiral Sliced Ham

This type is pre-seasoned and does not require cooking. However, if the ham is to be served warm place it in aluminum foil, cut side down and add approximately � cup of water. Wrap ham tightly in aluminum foil and cook at 275�-300�. Allow 10 to 14 minutes per pound cooking time. Ham may be removed from oven when internal temperature reaches 135�. Allow to sit in foil for a few minutes until the internal temperature reaches 140�.

Canned Ham

Place the ham in a shallow cooking pan, uncovered. Bake at 325�. Allow 15 to 20 minutes per pound cooking time.

Wet Cured (City) Ham

This ham may be cooked either covered or uncovered.


Trim any excess skin and fat. Do not trim off all the fat as that is what produces the juices and flavor. Place ham in a roasting pan, if cut, place cut side down. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 325 degrees. Allow 15 to 18 minutes per pound for whole hams and 18 to 24 minutes per pound for half hams. Glazes, if used, should be applied during the last thirty minutes of cooking.


Follow directions for covered ham, except do not cover with foil. Use same cooking temperatures and times. Apply glaze in the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Roasting or Baking Partially Cooked or Uncooked Ham

These hams are defined as Dry-Cured (Country) ham or Wet-Cured (City) Ham types. Remember, regardless of the type, these hams should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

Dry-Cured (Country) Ham

These hams need to be washed and soaked for up to three days before cooking. Follow the label directions on the ham for washing and soaking instructions. This type of ham can be baked covered or uncovered.


After soaking, place it in a large roasting pan with 4 to 5 cups of water. If the ham has a skinless side and a side with skin, put it in the roasting pan skin side up.

Cover the ham with aluminum foil or a cover. Put the ham in a preheated 375 degree oven and increase oven temperature to 500� and cook at this setting for the first 10 minutes only. After 10 minutes, turn the oven off and allow the ham to set for three hours without opening the oven door. Turn the oven back on to 500� again for 15 minutes. This time, the ham needs to set in the oven, without the door being opened, for 6 to 8 hours. After setting, the internal temperature of the ham should be at least 160 degrees; if not, repeat the 500 degrees setting again for 15 minutes and check the ham after 1 to 2 hours. If desired, brush with glaze before serving.


After soaking, place the ham in a large roasting pan with 3 cups water. Do not cover. Put the ham in a preheated 325 degree oven and cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. As a guide, a whole ham will need about 18 to 20 minutes and a half ham will need about 22 to 25 minutes cooking time per pound.

Wet-Cured (City) Ham

Use the same methods as the fully cooked wet cured hams, but remember to cook to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Therefore, the cooking time will be a little longer than that for a fully cooked wet ham.

Ham Cooking Tips

  • Baking at lower temperatures but with increased times will result in richer flavored hams. Do not use temperatures below 200 degrees.
  • Do not pierce the ham once cooking begins-this allows beneficial juices and flavorings to escape.
  • When checking the internal temperature, avoid touching the bone with the thermometer as this can cause an incorrect reading.

Learn more about how to cook a ham and about cooking in general at these links.

Ray T. Lewis thinks that if it's pork, it tastes good. And that just about sums up his ideas on food.

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Cheeseburger Sliders - Super Easy!

Cheeseburger Sliders - Super Easy!Cheeseburger Sliders - Super Easy! by by Savvy Nana

I love cheeseburgers! It's one of my all time favorite foods and I am always in search of the best burger joints.

Lately "gourmet burgers seem to be all the rage. Lots of new burger joints are popping up around the country each one with their own specialty burger like Cajun Burgers, Hawaiian Burgers, Avocado Burgers, and so on. And of course these gourmet burgers come in all different sizes from 6 to 8 ounces and more. Then there's the "make your own" burger where you're invited to order your burger with everything from an assortment of cheeses and sauces to toppings of bacon, pineapple, avocados, and more.

That's all good and well, but what happened to the simple good old fashioned Cheeseburger? That perfectly grilled beef patty, reasonably sized of course, topped with good old American cheese, on a toasted hamburger bun possible topped with lettuce and tomato. Sometimes I crave just that, a simple cheeseburger. Honestly most of the time I end up making my own patties and grilling them in the backyard.

But sometimes I don't want to fire up the grill and at times I can't eat a full size burger. That's why I decided to make these sliders. These Cheeseburger Sliders are so easy to make, the kids can do it with some supervision of course.

They're great for dinner, as an appetizer, or as a snack. You can even freeze them or store leftovers in the fridge, just pop them in the microwave and they're good to go. They would make a great addition to a tasting party too, they're sized just right!

Here's the recipe!


1 Pound Ground Beef
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Onion Powder
1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 Package King's Hawaiian Sweet Bread Rolls
6 Slices American Cheese
1/4 Cup Butter, Melted
1 Tsp. Sesame Seeds


Carefully remove the rolls from the package without separating them.
Cut the sheet of rolls horizontally in half.
Place the bottom half in a baking sheet.
Cook the ground beef with the spices in a skillet until crumbly.
Spread ground beef evenly on top of the rolls.
Place the cheese slices over the ground beef.
Place the top of the rolls over the cheese.
Mix the sesame seeds with the melted butter and brush on top of the rolls.
Bake in 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and slice along the roll seams. Serve hot with ketchup for dipping.

If you want to freeze them or refrigerate leftovers place them in freezer safe containers. Microwave frozen sliders for 4-5 minutes. Microwave refrigerated sliders for 2 minutes.

Hi! I'm Carmina, also known as Nana. I love DIY projects, parties, crocheting, and traveling. I hope that you enjoy my posts and find them useful! If you have any ideas or suggestions I'd love to hear from you! For more information visit Savvy Nana

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