Monday, March 3, 2014


5 Ways To Use Whisky In Cooking

Experimenting in the kitchen with different flavors and ingredients is a clever way of making cooking more fun. It is also important to try different flavor combinations in order to make food just a little bit tastier. Using alcohol as part of your cooking is a great way of adding more taste to your food.

Whisky is especially a good choice to make and here are five ways to use whisky in cooking.

1. Make A Marinade

Marinating your meats and vegetables is a great way of adding more flavor to your food. A proper marinade can really make meats more tender and the taste difference is just huge to foods that haven’t soaked in a marinade.

Whisky can be a great addition to a marinade. Next time you are cooking chicken or pork you should try this simple mixture:
  • 4 tbs rapeseed oil
  • 4 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 125 ml whisky
  • 125 ml orange juice
  • 125 ml lime juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 123 ml reduced soy sauce
2. Create A Sauce

Gnocchi with Whisky Cream Sauce

Whisky is also a great addition to a sauce. It makes any sauce really tasty and adds a nice little kick to your basic sauces. You can then just use the sauce with meats or vegetable dishes. Because whisky is such a warming drink it can really make a great addition to your sauces during the cold winter months.

This Food Network's Cream Whisky recipe is a really tasty to option to use with foods. It uses very basic ingredients and tastes lovely with red meat. But you also shouldn't be afraid of using it together with vegetables.

3. Something Sweet

Chocolate Whisky Brownies

Whisky isn't just a flavor to include to your main courses. It is also really good when combined together with sweeter flavors. For example, chocolate and whisky go really well together. Chocolate whisky brownies are a nice dessert idea for a dinner party and there are plenty of recipes on the internet for sweet whisky desserts.

4. Flavor Your Snacks

Eating healthy is really important and we all have to watch what we eat. Snacking on crisps isn't a good idea but you also want to have something nice to eat when you’re watching your favorite TV shows, for example.

Using whisky to flavor homemade vegetable crisps and roasted nuts is a really good healthier option. Just soak the vegetable crisps in whisky before roasting on the oven. You can also add a splash of whisky when you are roasting nuts.

5. Mix In A Cocktail

Whisky Cocktails

Although whisky is a great drink on its own it can also be a nice addition to a cocktail. The internet is full of great cocktails that use whisky but this traditional whisky recipe is one of the best out there. All you need is:
  • 1 slice orange peel
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • 1tsp sugar syrup
  • 2-3 drops whisky bitters
  • ice cubes
  • 50ml Scotch or bourbon
  • and a twist of lemon peel to garnish
Stir well and serve. Makes a perfect quick drink for welcoming guests, for example.

Michelle Collins is a passionate cook and she is always trying out new recipes from the internet. She loves reading cooking blogs while sipping the vintage whisky she got for Christmas. She is also really interested in languages.
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Cebu's Best Food Delicacies

Cebu is not only known for its tourist attractions. It's also known for its food delicacies, from snacks to desserts, that will surely delight your taste buds. When you get the chance to visit Cebu, here are delicious treats that you should try:

Otap

Otap

Pair this crispy and flaky biscuit with coffee and your breakfast is complete. Just be careful since eating it is really messy! Consider me weird by I love dipping otap in vanilla ice cream as my snack.
Sugbu and Shamrock are the known producers of the best otaps.

Dried Mangoes

Dried Mangoes

Are you looking for a sweet snack? Grab a pack of dried mangoes and its sweetness will give you a boost. They've also created a more mouthwatering version of this sweet delicacy by dipping dried mangoes in melted chocolate.

Masareal

masareal

Masareal is a dessert for the sweet tooth. It's a mixture of crushed peanuts and sugar that's usually shaped in bars. Didang's Masareal products stand out from the rest.

Lechon
Lechon

Although lechon is available in places outside Cebu, people still flock to Cebu as it is home to the tastiest lechons. Lechon in Cebu doesn't need to be dipped in sauce as it's already marinated with lots of spices.

Rosquillos
Rosquillos

Rosquillos are soft and delicate biscuits made of flour, eggs, sugar and baking powder with no preservatives. Titay's is the original creator of these fine delicacies.

If you're a food lover, Cebu will definitely not fail you.

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Friday, February 14, 2014


Foods to Avoid When You’re Pregnant

Being pregnant is the perfect time to make some changes in your eating habits.  Say good bye to your excuses and alibis because having that unborn baby inside your womb is reason enough for you to stick to healthy eating habits.  This is the time of your life when you should be working not only towards making your baby healthy but you also need to see to it that you are healthy enough for the demands of parenthood that you will be facing after a couple of months.   Before you make some drastic changes in your eating habits, you need to read first the following tips.

For some women, being pregnant could mean having extra cravings for certain foods.  But, you must first check whether these foods could help you have a healthy pregnancy.  However, if the foods you are craving will only increase your risk of suffering from food-borne illness and miscarriage might as well crash it out from your list. The following are some examples of foods to avoid:

Raw Eggs

Eggs

Eating raw eggs may only increase your risk of getting salmonella which can lead to diarrhea and vomiting.  It is best to avoid foods that contain raw eggs such as those Cesar dressings from some restaurants, sunny side up and soft-boiled eggs. Make sure that each egg you are eating is completely cooked in order to eliminate any risks of disease-causing bacteria.

Sushi

Sushi

Unfortunately, being pregnant is absolutely not the perfect time to eat sushi.  If you love going to Japanese restaurants just to eat sushi better drop the thought right away and start loving other dishes. Sushi can also contain illness-inducing parasites. Why not try California rolls and other cooked foods?

Unpasteurized Beverages

If you are pregnant, stay away from juices and other beverages that were not pasteurized and are often sold at farm stands.  Beverages that were not pasteurized would mean that they did not undergo the process of killing bacteria and other toxins that they possibly contain. Make sure to read the labels before buying any juice or beverage.

Some Sea Foods

Eating salmon and tuna may help you obtain the needed omega-3 fatty acids but be careful about eating other kinds of fish.  Swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, shark and other bigger varieties of fish may accumulate greater amounts of mercury (because they have been eating small fishes that also contain mercury) which may be harmful for your unborn child.  Any amount of mercury ingested from foods may stay in one’s body for up to four years and this is the reason why you should avoid high-mercury containing sea foods all throughout your childbearing months.

Cured Meats

Bacon

Hotdogs, sausage and bacon may seem to be very tempting for pregnant women.  However, these foods made from cured meats are not safe to eat especially when you are pregnant because of the amount of nitrate that they contain. Nitrates are food preservatives that are being questioned for being one of the culprits for diabetes and brain tumor. Although the research is still inconclusive but it is still best to avoid these kinds of foods for they do not contain any nutrients anyway.

Caffeinated Beverages

Although studies about caffeine intake during pregnancy can be confusing because some researchers say that consuming it in moderate amounts does not pose any harm to the unborn child. But, other studies suggest that caffeine can increase the risk of certain health problems for the fetus.  Instead of waiting for the conclusive results of these studies, might as well avoid caffeinated beverages like the plague.  Moreover, caffeine is no doubt a stimulant drug that can lead to miscarriages and birth weight problems. Add to that the fact that caffeine is a diuretic which can lead pregnant women to be dehydrated.

Alcoholic Drinks

Beer


You may envy the thought that French women are allowed to drink wine even when they are pregnant and nobody would seem to care.  But, in case you do not know French women are now starting to consider what many Americans have believed for so many years-that drinking alcohol during pregnancy is not safe, regardless of the amount. Alcohol is referred to as a depressant that can be responsible for the slowing down of the body’s central nervous system.  It was the year 1970 when American experts started coining the term FAS which means Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  This condition defines a wide array of birth defects that have been linked by experts to alcohol consumption during pregnancy. In other words, ingesting alcoholic beverages while pregnant may increase your baby’s risk of suffering from mental retardation, abnormal birth weight, emotional problems and other learning disabilities.

Now that you know which foods to avoid while you are pregnant it also pays to know what foods you should eat in order to ensure good health for you and your baby. Some of the foods that you should start incorporating in your daily diet from now on may include whole grains, beans, low-fat yoghurt, berries and other whole foods. Stay away from processed foods as much as possible. Make sure to drink enough of fluids every day and stay active.

Ryan Rivera loves to write about any health-related topics that help his readers find relief from anxiety and stress of daily living.  Make sure to visit his Calm Clinic Google+ account for more interesting information.


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Sunday, January 19, 2014


5 Clever Tips For Using Leftovers

Food waste is a really big problem and it isn't only harmful for the environment but can also end up costing you a lot of money. We tend to buy quite a bit more food than we really need and aren't necessarily the best in coming up with ways to use it before it goes bad.

But by using our leftover food we can cut down our food waste a lot and ensure that we eat healthy and versatile food.

To help you use your leftovers here are five clever tips to keep in mind.

1. Start Planning Better

The first tip you should keep in mind isn't really about how to use leftovers but more about giving you a way to guarantee you don’t end up with them as much.

If you plan for your weekly meal better and learn to know how much food your household can really eat you can have less food left over.

2. Use Meat In Salads

Salad

Salads can be a great way for using up any leftover meat you might have. This makes a really good lunch for you and is a healthy way of eating tasty food. Check out online recipes for meaty salads and you can guarantee both the meat and salad ingredients don’t end up being wasted.

3. Create A Stir-Fry

Fried Potatoes

Most foods can also be used to create a lovely stir-fry for the next day. For example, if you have some potatoes and fish left over you can chop them into smaller pieces, throw into a pan and add some more vegetables and rice into the mix. Sprinkle just a bit of soy sauce and cream for a saucier taste and you are good to go.

4. Make Use Of Leftover Alcohol

You can also use any leftover alcohol you have to spice up your foods. For instance, an opened wine bottle might lose its taste if kept open for long so try just adding rest of it for your foods when cooking. Wine goes well with many different meat and vegetable dishes.

Alcohol is also a good addition for desserts. So if you have some bread leftover that might go bad soon create a lovely pudding with any vintage whisky you got for Christmas. This is a tasty way of using bread before it goes bad. You can also glaze berries and fruit with alcohol to ensure you don’t need to throw them away.

5. Don’t Forget About Freezing

Naturally, you don’t even have to use your leftovers straight away. Freezing your food is really good idea and can help you have food ready for all those times you really don’t feel like cooking.

Good Housekeeping article on the subject is a good starting point. It tells you the best way to freeze food and gives an idea on how long food stays good when frozen. A lot of people believe that food doesn't stay as good when it is frozen but this isn't true.

As long as you know how to properly freeze it you are going to have the same taste packed in for later.

Emma is always browsing the web for the best housekeeping tips. She likes to ensure that she doesn't throw away food or usable items and believes recycling and swapping items can be really useful thing for everyone to do. She is also a big fan of knitting.


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Saturday, January 18, 2014


The Joys of Home Baking

Baking

I have always been an enthusiastic cook who enjoys producing my own meals but baking cakes, biscuits and buns was until recently decidedly foreign territory. Apart from making a few scones I hadn't sieved flour since my school days but I had been bitten by the baking bug watching bakers on television and decided it was time to get the mixing bowl and tins out again except that I no longer owned any!

The Price

One of the most compelling reasons for cooking my food from scratch has always been the financial benefit. With raw ingredients I can create great food without paying the premium for ready meals but it didn't take long to realize that the same may not apply to home baking. I had decided to make mince pies but with award winning pies available from Aldi at just £1.79, my efforts were not going to save me any cash.

The Ingredients

Having invested in a new tin and a decent bowl I stared down at the mountain of ingredients it appeared were necessary to make mincemeat. The currents, sultanas, raisins, candied peel, fresh fruit and suet had set me back a pretty penny and then there was the bottle of brandy that would add the boozy finishing touch to my creations.

So Much Food

The mincemeat did at least turn out to be delicious and I completed the mince pies with renewed vigor. The ingredients mountain actually produced a lot of pies, 48 to be precise and so they were not as costly as I first thought apart from the fact that I didn’t need 48 of the things! Clearly quantity control was something I needed to learn.

Therapy

I didn't save any money but I did find the whole process very enjoyable and highly therapeutic. There was a great deal more satisfaction to be gained from eating my own efforts rather than producing the pies from a box. Then there was my other big issue with purchasing processed food – the fact that you don’t really know what’s in it.

Good Health

The horse meat scandal demonstrated that even the retailers selling us our food don’t always know what it contains and I have always been suspicious about the health implications of the preservatives and colorings in food. If you make something yourself you at least know exactly what you have put in it and it has to be said that home-made treats taste great even when I have made them!

The experience with the mince pies served to show that even a complete amateur with no talent can bake effectively. I was bitten by the baking bug and moved on to such extravagances as millionaire’s shortbread. I have treated myself to some baking accessories and equipment and now plan to spend more time producing buns and biscuits and may even summon the courage to try making a gateau! I can’t beat the supermarket prices but I can match the taste, have great fun and be safe in the knowledge that there are no nasties in my food. I don’t think I am ever going to win any awards even in my own household but there is no turning back now.

Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business owner who divides her time between writing, running her shop and learning to bake.


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Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Chilling Out at Cafe Noriter

One of the best ways to chill out is to just sip tea in a calm and relaxing place while chatting with some a few friends. And thank fully, Cafe Noriter has finally reached Cebu. Aside from the food and drinks, what I loved the most in the cafe is it's homey appearance. There are small compartments that provide you a comfortable personal space.

Cafe Noriter in Cebu

Most of their drinks are really sweet so it would be better if they offer more salty foods next time. However, it's still a perfect place for the sweet tooth!

Coffee

Strawberry Smoothie

Drinks are only around two to three bucks and are really worth it. The strawberry smoothie that I've ordered was extra creamy and super-sweet. I loved how they presented their drinks artistically. Though I hope next time they'd allow their customers to opt for drinks to have less sugar.

Honey Bread

The honey bread was a delightful pair for the smoothie I've ordered. The whipped cream and the nuts have really improved the bread's taste.

Cafe Noriter is not just an ordinary coffee shop. It's a unique playground for people who want a romantic or a cheerful place for drinking coffee.

Location: One Acacia Place Unit 10-11 Arch Bishop Reyes Ave Cebu City



Friday, January 3, 2014


Smart Food Pairing Tips With Your Wine

Spectacular meals that have taken hours and hours to prepare have been known to bomb due to one simple act: poor food pairing with wine. Food pairing with wine leaves most people at a loss. Serving the wrong wine can prevent the full flavor of your meal from shining through. Here are some tips to make sure you always have the perfect match:

Earthy Flavors Go Well with Red Wine

Match any dish that has potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, truffles and even parsnips in it, with red wine and you'll never go wrong. Choose old world red wine or wine generally made in Europe. The earthy taste of your food will bring out the natural fruity flavor in your wine.

Know What Kind of Cheese You Are Serving


wine and cheese

If you think that any cheese will go well with any wine, then you are mistaken. Throwing a random cheese and wine combination on your table simply won't do. Soft cheeses like cottage cheese, Brie, mozzarella, ricotta, and feta will go well with a rich white wine like chardonnay. Hard cheeses like buffalo, Emmental, Parmesan, and Parmigiano-Reggiano will be nice with a medium red wine like Merlot. Both hard and soft cheeses are also great with sparkling wine like champagne.

Same Goes with Your Seafood

Another common food pairing with wine mistake is assuming that all seafood will go together with just one kind of wine. Typically, a fish will go with a dry white table wine or a Sauvignon Blanc. Pairing it with champagne will also bring out its flavor. Other sea foods like crab and shrimp, however, will go better with a light red Pinot Noir.

Red Meat Goes with a Bold Red

Wine with roasted meat

For hearty, meaty dishes like steak only a glass of bold red wine will do. Feel free to open up your bottle of Cabarnet Sauvignon or your Monastrell.

White Meat Also Goes with White Wine

How easy is that to remember? Once again, your chardonnay comes to the rescue! If you want to take a break from chardonnay and go with something a little different, grab a bottle of Roussanne. Its well balanced acidity is sure to make your simple chicken meal an extraordinary experience.

Cured Meat Goes with Almost Everything

Just don't pair it with a sweet white wine or a sparkling wine. Most people would enjoy this with a medium or bold red wine like Merlot or Malbec.

Bread is the Only Thing that Goes Well with Everything

Wine and bread

If you're only serving a simple snack and bread is your main event, then you're in luck. You can go crazy with your wine choices. You can match bread with anything from the dry white wine and the bold red wine and everything in between. You can even use a dessert wine like sherry if you feel like it. There are no rules when it comes to bread.

The smartest thing you can do is to taste test any meal you can with your favorite glass. Food pairing with wine need not be a daunting task. Always remember to relax and enjoy while you learn.

Anthony Robert loves to write about wine and food. He has written several wine notes like Taylors Estate pinot gris and explores interesting things about its taste.


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License: Creative Commons image source

Monday, December 30, 2013


12 Good Luck Foods for the New Year

One of the most celebrated events worldwide, the New Year, is fast approaching again. It's a time when we reminisce precious memories and look forward to a new and better year. So for those who want to welcome the new year with luck and prosperity, here are some lucky food ideas:

Greens

Green Salad

Green vegetables resemble cash so people eat them to gain financial stability in the coming year. Green leafy vegetables are also packed with nutrients so don't forget your green salads during the New Year's eve!

Pomegranates

Pomegranate

Pomegranates seeds represent prosperity. The more seeds, the luckier. Its red color also represents health and fertility.

Fish

steamed fish

Fish is considered lucky because the scales resemble coins and they swim in schools which symbolizes abundance. They also always swim forward which means progress.

Grapes


Eating a dozen of grapes is considered to be a predictor of the coming year in Mexico. Each grape represent a month. A sweet grape means good month while a sour one means a not so lucky month.

Noodles

Noodles

Noodles represent long life so the longer the noodle, the better. Since the noodles are not meant to be broken during the cooking process, the best preparation is a stir-fry.

Round-Shaped Foods

Bagels

Round-shaped foods like doughnuts or bagels represent the coming of full circle.

Vegetable Dumplings

Vegetable Dumplings

Vegetable dumplings bear resemblance to gold ingots, China's former currency. However, if you're preparing them yourself, be sure not to count them as it will represent a year of scarcity.

Pork

Pork

Eating pork during New Year's eve brings good luck because they push their snouts forward when looking for food. Some feathered animals, like chicken and ostrich, are to be avoided since they scratch backward when looking for food.

Cakes


Bake a cake with a coin inside. The one who gets it receives an extra good luck. Preparing a glutinous rice cake also represents family unity.

Cornbread

Cornbread

The cornbread's color represents gold. If you want an extra luck, and some corn kernels which symbolize gold nuggets.

Beans and Lentils

Lentil Soup

Each bean or lentil represents a coin so be sure to eat a bowl of beans during New Year's eve.

Midnight Champagne Toast

Champagne

A champagne toast is associated with luxury so it symbolizes wealth.

Celebrate the coming New Year with good luck and delicious foods that will satisfy your taste buds.

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Grapes
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