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    »Southern Cooking Brings Soul to Food«

  • TorontoSEO 9:50 PM on July 29, 2008 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , South, Southern Cooking, Southern Cooking Brings Soul to Food, , , ,   

    Southern Cooking Brings Soul to Food

    I was born and raised in the heart of the Deep South. From as far back as I can remember I remember long summer afternoons spent drinking iced tea and shelling peas and butterbeans on my grandmother’s porch. I have moved on from my roots and have made my way into other regions of the world. One thing, however, that has remained constant in my life is my deep and abiding love for southern cooking and cuisine.

    I was probably well into my teen years before I realized that tea could be served any other way than loaded with sugar and over ice. It was about that same time that I realized some folks would eat vegetables that hadn’t been soaked in batter, dredged in cornmeal, and deep fat fried. Southern cooking is not for the faint of heart though it can cause many hearts to grow faint. One thing that can be said is that you’ll never find anything else like it on earth.

    People in the south learned to make do with little in many instances. Some of the poorest people in America live in the southern part of the country. Of course, you will find that many of these people despite their poverty are also among the most generous. The same can be said of food. It’s the one thing that seems to be in ample supply in most southern homes and very few will turn you away with an empty stomach.

    Perhaps it’s the seasonings that are often used when cooking southern food. From the crab boil and gumbo file of Cajun Cuisine to the secret ingredient that almost every southern kitchen contains for their fried chicken recipes (and no one on earth can fry chicken like a born and bred southern grandma). Perhaps it’s the Sunday church dinners where everyone shares a little of what they have with others or the love that goes into preparing these meals that are shared with friends and family. Whatever the case may be, if you ever have the occasion to experience real southern cooking, do not pass it up. You might shave a day off your life, but a good southern fried chicken leg is really living and well worth the sacrifice if you ask me.

    Of course it would be remiss to mention southern cooking without bringing up some of the more delicious desserts that seem to be perfection for the south. I mentioned banana pudding above but there are so many more. Pralines are a perfect for those living down around New Orleans as is bread pudding. A little to the east there are grandma’s who have taken their lemon icebox pie recipes to the grave with them so coveted were these delicious deserts and the same holds true for pecan pies as well. We should never forget the flavorful Mississippi Mud cake though, and so many other wonderfully delicious treats that southern cooking has introduced to the world at large.

    Favorite vegetables in the heart of the south as I mentioned above included peas and butterbeans, snap beans, corn, summer squash (after all, it’s summer all year in the south), and okra (fried or boiled in many southern kitchens). Not all vegetables were deep fried though few were off limits. I remember eating my share of fried okra, fried squash, and yes, fried green tomatoes. Life was good back when calories weren’t counted and no one really worried about clogging arteries. While I wouldn’t make these a daily dish in any household, I certainly would recommend trying them out if you ever find the opportunity.

    Another great thing about southern cooking is the wonderful fried seafood that seems to abound. From fried fish (almost any variety works well when it’s southern fried) to fried oysters, seafood just seems to taste so much better in the south. If you are hoping to learn some of the southern cooking and cuisine you will most likely need to order your spices and have them shipped unless your grocery store has a rather extensive ‘exotic’ foods selection. You can sometimes find great southern seasonings on the International food aisles in grocery stores as well. If you want to really treat your family to an outstanding meal, you should really try southern cooking for the night.

     

  • »Quick and Easy Lunches for the Cooking Challenged«

  • TorontoSEO 9:50 PM on July 28, 2008 Permalink |
    Tags: , Challenged, , delicious lunch, , filling, Lettuce, Lunches, macaroni and cheese, Quick, Quick and Easy Lunches for the Cooking Challenged, , , ,   

    Quick and Easy Lunches for the Cooking Challenged

    Let’s face it, cooking is not a top priority in the lives of every man, woman, or child on the planet. In fact, far too people have made learning to cook a priority in their lives. This means that we often exist on convenience foods and boxed mixes rather than taking the effort to prepare healthy meals for our families and our own personal enjoyment.

    The same holds true for lunches when we often resort to a can of soup or box of macaroni and cheese or some other such product rather than putting our creative efforts into making a quick and easy yet delicious lunch. You will see many ideas in this article and the hope is that these ideas will not only get you off to a great start for ending the lunch rut we all seem to find ourselves in at some time or another but also to try new things on your own.

    First of all, not all great lunches require actual cooking in order to prepare. Some of them will require the use of the microwave and some of them will need to be cooked or at least prepared before hand and reheated. The choices are virtually limitless once you understand the creative concept that must be in place. You should also find that many of these ideas are so simple you will wonder why on earth you have never thought of them. I certainly hope that some of these ideas will become main features within your own home.

    Lettuce wraps. These mike delightfully delicious lunch treats and the filling can be prepared ahead of time, which leaves only reheating the filling and wrapping when you’re ready to eat. This is a fun lunch to share with your little ones and it teaches them that lettuce is much more versatile than people often give it credit for being. Some people choose to go with a teriyaki inspired filling; my family likes taco inspired fillings for our lettuce rolls. You are perfectly free to come up with a favorite filling of your very own.

    Try sandwiches with different breads. Believe it or not, my children love trying new things. It’s a rare trait for which I am extremely grateful. Believe me I understand all too well how fortunate I am. My youngest however, has a little difficulty with thick or crusty bread. Her favorite sandwich choice has become Hawaiian sweet rolls. We put the meat, cheese, mustard, and pickle in her roll as if it were a bun and she’s thrilled. Other great ideas include hollowing out crusty rolls and filling them with roast beef and cheddar. You can broil this in your oven for a few minutes for a rare sandwich treat. The cooking part is very minimal and you do not have to have in depth knowledge of anything to prepare or enjoy these simple treats. Other great bread ideas include croissants with ham and cheese or chicken salad, taco pitas (another great favorite in our household), and paninis (this works really well if you have a George Foreman grill or a panini press).

    While this is by no means the end all be all guide to cooking quick and easy lunches it is good food for thought. The hope is that this will get your own creative juices flowing so that you can prepare wonderful lunches for your family without needing to do too terribly much heavy cooking in the process.

     

  • »Pleasure Cooking«

  • TorontoSEO 9:50 PM on July 27, 2008 Permalink |
    Tags: , boredom, confidence, , , , , , Pleasure Cooking, , , ,   

    Pleasure Cooking

    Far too often we get caught up in the necessity of cooking in order to eat and forget the absolute joy that can be found through the act of cooking. Of course this isn’t limited to stovetop cooking. There are many men and women around the world who find baking to be an extremely pleasurable pastime in addition to traditional stovetop cooking or even barbecuing on a grill. The main distinction occurs in how you perceive your cooking projects.

    How Do Your View Cooking?

    While this question is asked somewhat rhetorically, it is a question you should ask yourself and answer. Do you view cooking as a chore or duty or do you view it as a project? There is something much more exciting about embarking on a new project than getting around to a loathsome chore. If you do view cooking as a chore the more important question might be why?

    Some common reasons that people dislike cooking include the following: lack of skill, lack of confidence, boredom, or you could simply dislike the inevitable clean up far more than you enjoy the process of cooking. For each of these, there are solutions if you are willing to make the effort.

    A lack of skill when it comes to cooking can be easily corrected in most cases by taking a few cooking classes. Classes are offered for varying degrees of skill sets and are meant to help you develop your cooking talents while teaching you the basics of meal planning and preparation. You can increase your skills by taking more classes down the road.

    While a lack of confidence is a little more difficult to address having a few ‘dinner parties’ in which your quests can compliment your culinary talents can often solve this particular dilemma. The key in this process is to plan your menu carefully and remain well within your comfort zone. You will be amazed at the wonderfully rich and delicious meals that can be prepared with very little effort if you are willing to sift through the recipe books in order to find them.

    Boredom in the kitchen is perhaps one of the easiest problems to fix there is. The solution is exceedingly simple-find a challenge. Try cooking Thai or Indian cuisine. Try more difficult recipes. Try making only meals from scratch or simply try broadening your use of spices and seasonings. There are many things you can do in order to bring some excitement back into your kitchen. You may even discover hidden talents and tastes in the process.

    There will always be clean up. My suggestion is to make a deal with either your partner or your children and they can draw straws over who cleans up. Of course if this won’t work in your family, you could always turn over a new leaf and clean as you go whenever possible. This makes the clean up process after dinner so much simpler to handle that it is well worth a few extra minutes during meal prep.

    Cooking for pleasure is really the only way to cook. If you have difficulties when it comes to finding the enjoyment and entertainment value of cooking, perhaps it’s time you bring some fun back into your kitchen. If you’re barbecuing, put on some Jimmy Buffet and dance around your kitchen. If you’re cooking Italian find some nice Italian music to set the mood. Bring the fun back into your kitchen and you will find that cooking is a pleasure rather than a chore.

     

  • »Once a Month Cooking«

  • TorontoSEO 9:49 PM on July 26, 2008 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , Month, Once a Month Cooking, , , , , ,   

    Once a Month Cooking

    If you are like most moms around the world, there never seems to be enough time or energy at the end of most days to prepare the nice home cooked meal you would love to have ready made for your family. Unfortunately, cooking a good family meal requires both time and energy. A few wise moms have discovered a concept that has become known as once a month or freezer cooking to assist in those nights when time, energy, or both are in short supply.

    The thought behind once a month cooking is that for one or two days (if you prefer to spread the process out over a couple of shorter days rather than one long day of cooking) of intense culinary effort your family can dine well for an entire month. Many women who have tried this have also discovered that not only does it help by always having something nice and home cooked for dinner, but also helps families stay within budget.

    Far too many mother’s will guiltily raise their hands when asked whether or not they’ve ever resorted to fast food or junk food meals simply because they were too tired to cook or were missing one ingredient for a meal and did not feel up to running to the grocery store in order to pick up the missing ingredient. This practice can get expensive over time and rob your family of some well-earned fun money.

    There are some important things you must keep in mind if you are considering once a month cooking as a way of life for your family. The first thing you need to keep in mind is that planning is the key. You will need to set aside a day (or two) for the cooking when nothing else is on the calendar. It is simply too difficult to see to all the details if you are planning your cooking event around car pools, soccer games, or dance practices. You need a full day that will be relatively uninterrupted. If you have a spouse, partner, or family member that can take the children for the day this will be the ideal situation. Otherwise be sure to have plenty of distractions on hand for the little ones or find a way to enlist their help with any cutting, chopping, slicing, dicing, or peeling that may need to be done.

    You should also create a thorough menu followed by a list of each and every ingredient you will need. Shopping needs to be done on a day other than when you are planning to cook. This means that you aren’t likely to rush through the shopping trip and forget something as a result. Bring your menu and your list and get everything you need in one trip whenever possible. You can also save money by planning your meals for the month according to the sales circulars and coupons you have for the week in order to stretch your budget a little further.

    Finally, you need to make sure that you have all the supplies, dishes, and containers you need in order to prepare and store the meals you’ve prepared properly. You should also make sure that the recipes you are using for your once a month cooking marathon are recipes that freeze well. It is even better if you have recipes that double well so that you can get twice the results from the same effort.

    You should also make sure you are mentally prepared for your marathon cooking session. Beginning with a nice and tidy kitchen is a great start. Folding card tables make an excellent flat surface for storing things out of the way and freeing up valuable counter space for preparing and assembling the foods that will be prepared. You should also utilize as many appliances in your kitchen as possible for maximum efficiency. Don’t limit all cooking to the oven. Find dishes that freeze well and can be prepared in the crock pot or on the range top. Once a month cooking is a challenge but many women will agree it is well worth the effort on those nights when the thought of cooking seems unbearable and the wallet has been stretched to its limit.

     

  • »Microwave Cooking is the Wave of the Future«

  • TorontoSEO 9:49 PM on July 25, 2008 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , Microwave, Microwave Cooking, Microwave Cooking is the Wave of the Future, , , , , ,   

    Microwave Cooking is the Wave of the Future

    When it comes to cooking there are few tools that are more versatile in the kitchen than the microwave. This device offers so many functions when it comes to cooking that most people never bother to utilize. It’s sad really. In most homes, the microwave has been relegated to doing duty as a meat defroster, popcorn popper, and coffee warmer rather than using is as the fabulous device for actual food preparation that it really is capable of being.

    Before you set up to change your ways, you need to understand that when it comes to microwave cooking, not all microwaves were created equal. Wattage is vitally important as is the quality of your microwave. The average el cheapo microwave that you can find in discount stores will simply not stand up to the rigors of regular full meal preparation though they are perfectly acceptable for many wonderful dishes that can be prepared as side dishes. The correct microwave however, can actually brown and bake a full sized Thanksgiving turkey.

    Microwave cooking is definitely not something that is meant for those who are afraid of trying something new or those that are afraid of making mistakes along the way. This is a process that is one part science and one part figuring it out. Research helps a great deal but even many of the recipes you will find for microwave cooking are written for microwaves of varying wattage so you will need to ferret out what times and temperatures would be appropriate for your microwave. This is to a large degree going to be a process of trial and error unless you are using the recipe book that came with your microwave.

    Do not despair however, most that have tried microwave cooking find it to be a much better process for their meal preparation needs. While microwave cooking is great for big families it is an outstanding way to save money when cooking for and feeding one. It is also rather simple. In other words, even college students can benefit by learning microwave cooking for one or more as it will help them limit their expenses while still eating healthy fresh made meals.

    Another great thing about microwave cooking that is often overlooked is that there are far less messes to be made than when cooking part of a meal stove top, part of a meal in the oven, and part of the meal elsewhere. By and large, microwave cooking keeps any spills and splatter isolated to your microwave. Most of these can be cleaned and controlled rather easily by using a removable plate in your microwave (that can be washed in the dishwasher) and covering your food whenever possible to avoid splatters.

    Microwave cooking is gaining popularity despite the fact that is hasn’t caught on as well as the inventors would have liked. The proof of this is in the many products that have been created to make microwave cooking a little bit easier. From omelet makers to special trays for cooking bacon in the microwave industrious people are working to make the easy way of cooking that much easier.

    If you have a microwave in your home that is used mostly for melting butter and warming pizza, then you have a microwave in your home that is being terribly under utilized. It is time you hit the search engines for recipes that will be appropriate for your microwave and get busy trying something new and different that will have your family awed and amazed. Imagine having them toss accolades for your tireless devotion and standing over a hot stove for hours when in actuality you only checked on the microwave when the proper time approached.

    Microwave cooking very well may be the wave of the future. Get a head start and begin building your collection of wonderful microwave recipes right away for the best selection. The day will arrive when you can make microwave cooking the rule rather than the exception.

     

  • »Low Carb Cooking«

  • TorontoSEO 9:49 PM on July 24, 2008 Permalink |
    Tags: , Carb, , , lifestyle change, , , Low Carb Cooking, , , , ,   

    Low Carb Cooking

    Around the world people are paying more attention to their bodies and their health than perhaps at any other time in history. One method that has shown great success in helping people quickly drop those unwanted pounds is through low carb cooking and dieting. This method of weight loss seems to have taken the world by storm promising quick results for the simple (or not so simple) lifestyle change of eliminating as many carbohydrates as possible from our diets.

    The notion sounds simple on one hand and is appealing to not only women hoping to drop those vanity pounds but also men who welcome the idea of eating all the steaks they can handle throughout the year. Low card cooking is becoming a way of life for many families as a result though the idea of this particular lifestyle change and the reality of it do on occasion seriously collide with one another.

    If you are interested in dropping those unwanted pounds and keeping them off, this is a doubt that without a doubt gets results. The problem is that you must stick to the diet in order for the results to remain consistent even after you’ve met your weight loss goals. This means that you are not really embarking on a diet so much as a complete overhaul in the way you eat.

    The excellent thing about low carb cooking is that it is so widely popular. This means that you will have no trouble finding resources, tips, tricks, advice, and even amazing substitutes for those things you often miss most when engaging in the low carb lifestyle. Popular stores such as Whole Foods and Trader Joes are great places to go for specific foods that are low carb in nature and designed to meet the chocolate or breading needs of those who feel more than slightly deprived by the rigorous restrictions of a low carb lifestyle. Many mainstream grocery stores are also beginning to see the value of catering to this ‘high end’ market of consumers and offering a wider variety of low carb friendly foods to consumers.

    You can find recipes that are low in carbs by the mouthful at your local libraries and bookstores around the world. You can also find many resources on the Internet to help assist and encourage you in your low carb lifestyle incorporation. In addition to the cookbooks, recipes, and encouragement you also need to weed out the fact from the fiction when it comes to low carb cooking. The best way to do this is to go straight to the source. If you are going to incorporate this lifestyle altering diet into your way of life, you want to make sure that you are following it to the letter and not some knock off version that may not be as effective.

    When it comes to low carb cooking you have the perfect excuse to use your grill well and use your grill often. In fact, I highly recommend a George Foreman grill (or some similar knock off) for your home for those days when grilling outside simply isn’t an option. Around our house, those are the days when the snow reaches the bottom of the grill but we are the exception rather than the rule. Most importantly about low carb cooking you should keep your goal in mind. If you aren’t making progress, check what you are doing and adjust your cooking and eating accordingly.

     

  • »Italian Cooking in American Kitchens«

  • TorontoSEO 9:47 PM on July 22, 2008 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , Italian Cooking, Italian Cooking in American Kitchens, Italian cuisine, Italian food, , , , ,   

    Italian Cooking in American Kitchens

    Most of us have found some sort of Italian cuisine that has become a favorite for our families and ourselves. Unfortunately, far too many of us discount the possibility of bringing Italian cooking into our very own kitchens for fear that many of the recipes are far too difficult. The truth is that learning to cook Italian food just might make your home the favorite drop in dining spot for friends and family all over.

    Believe it or not, most great Italian recipes have an easier version that can be made with very similar effects when it comes to flavor and aroma. Also, despite the commercials of old, all Italian cooking does not require an entire day of simmering in order to achieve great flavor. Though you do not have to let your friends and family in on that little secret. Be a martyr for flavor and they will love you even more. You do not have to let anyone in on your best-kept secrets when it comes to preparing these often simple dishes.

    The biggest challenge that most Americans face when it comes to Italian cooking is basically learning a new set of essential ingredients. The cheese, meats, or grains that are used in their creation most often identify or define Italian cuisine. It’s the combination of these primary ingredients that create some of the most distinctive flavors on earth. Learn about these ingredients. Identify the flavors and study the combinations of flavors and you should be able to not only follow many great Italian recipes but also to invent a few of your very own Italian inspired recipes.

    The greatest thing when it comes to cooking Italian food is that most of these dishes are rather difficult to destroy. This of course does not indicate that it cannot be done, only that it isn’t as simple as with some of the more delicate cuisines around the world. Italian food is durable and flavorful but for the most part not too terribly delicate when it comes to flavor. You can go a little heavy with some spice or cheese without completely ruining the dish in most instances. If you are anything like me, this is a regular occurrence when cooking and one of the reasons I enjoy cooking Italian food so much.

    Whether you are a beginner when it comes to the culinary arts or a seasoned pro there is something that will provide the appropriate challenge for you when it comes to Italian cooking. Take a look around there are recipes in abundance across the Internet, at your local library, in specialty cook books, and even in your favorite block buster best selling novels.

    Another thing you should keep in mind when cooking Italian food is that nothing seems to bring out the flavor of Italian food better than a good bottle of wine to match. Perhaps this is the reason that it is difficult to ruin an Italian meal, no matter how bad it is, the good wine paired with it, will erase all ill will and tastes in very short order. You will want to spend a little time researching and studying the science (though some will argue that this is truly an art form) that goes along with pairing a good bottle of wine with the right flavor combination when it comes to Italian cooking. Once you’ve mastered this, there is nothing to prevent you from being the diva of all things Italian when it comes to food preparation.

    The most important thing for you to remember when cooking Italian food is not to take the cooking too seriously. Good Italians know that the enjoyment of the meal is far more important than the process of preparing the meal. Make your meal an event with plenty of time for pleasant conversation and enjoyment of your company in between courses. You should also never rush a good Italian meal or you will find that all your efforts cooking Italian will be for naught as the true pleasure of Italian cuisine has been lost somewhere in translation.

     

  • »Healthy Cooking is a Must for Families«

  • TorontoSEO 9:26 PM on July 21, 2008 Permalink |
    Tags: , , dissention, , , Healthy cooking, Healthy Cooking is a Must for Families, , , , , ,   

    Healthy Cooking is a Must for Families

    When it comes to cooking healthy meals for our families, there is always some degree of dissention among the ranks. The good news is that there are recipes that are very healthy but the healthy nature of these recipes is somewhat disguised. What they do not know in these instances truly should not bring harm their way (outside of allergies, which should never be ignored).

    Healthy cooking is often difficult as most of us do not want to spend time planning and preparing meals that our families refuse to eat. At the same time, we want our families to be healthy so we feel compelled to learn new and improved ways of cooking healthy foods for our family to enjoy (and unfortunately in some cases scorn).

    With weight and nutrition being known as the culprit in so many health conditions it is impossible to ignore the importance of not only eating healthy ourselves but also of teaching our children the importance of eating healthy. One way to insure that your loved ones are in fact eating healthy is to make sure that you are cooking healthy and nutritious foods for them. This does not mean that you cannot enjoy the occasional calorie splurge or even that you shouldn’t. The key to cooking healthy is learning to control portions and understanding the importance of moderation.

    For those that are hoping to incorporate healthy cooking habits into their daily routines, there are no more resources available than ever before in order to assist you in those endeavors. You can seek the services of a professional nutritionist, your doctor can offer advice, you can find all kinds of books on healthy eating, cooking, and living at your local library, and the Internet is an outstanding source of all kinds of information when it comes to leading a healthier lifestyle all around.

    There are many books and magazines that are filled with recipes that encourage healthy cooking and eating habits. If you truly love to cook, then there is no shortage of recipes that you can try out along the way. The really good news is that you can incorporate healthy cooking into your cooking routine whether you are cooking for one or a household of ten.

    There are many that will argue that cooking healthy food costs more than cooking the prepackaged foods that pack on the calories and additives. The truth of the matter is that when you compare the costs with the medical bills of the future for failing to do so, they seem rather slight by comparison. Yes, good food costs more money. In many cases, that is a simple fact of life. However, by learning portion control and eating the proper portions you just may discover that you are actually spending less as you adjust to the proper amounts of food you should be consuming in order to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

    Cooking healthy isn’t an overnight change; it is a lifestyle change that should be implemented one step at a time. You do not have to go into your kitchen and through out every little thing that you deem ‘unhealthy’ only work to not buy more of these items once they’ve been used. Make wiser decisions when purchasing fats for food preparation and you will discover that you’ve made a vitally important step in the process of incorporating healthy cooking and eating habits in your home.

    It’s those small steps you take towards your goal of cooking healthy foods for your family that will matter far more than any giant leap. Before you know it you will find that you all have more energy and a better sense of overall health than you would have imagined before changing your cooking habits. If that isn’t enough to encourage you however, you can always check out the excuse to go shopping for new clothes after you drop a size or two.

     

  • »Gourmet Cooking for Pleasure«

  • TorontoSEO 9:26 PM on July 20, 2008 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , Gourmet cooking, Gourmet Cooking for Pleasure, , , , , ,   

    Gourmet Cooking for Pleasure

    Gourmet cooking is a style of food preparation that deals with the finest and freshest possible ingredients. This means that to enjoy authentic gourmet food you must prepare your food immediately after purchasing the fresh ingredients that will comprise your meals. Not only do you want to purchase the freshest ingredients when cooking gourmet meals but you also want to insure that you are purchasing ingredients of superior quality.

    Those who excel at gourmet cooking and food preparation have many options available to them. From catering to opening up their own restaurant these talented individuals who are entrepreneurial in spirit often do quite well in the world of business if their talent is sufficient.

    When it comes to cooking gourmet food the two rules mentioned above are the only hard and fast rules. Everything else is purely a matter of adventure and taste. Now this doesn’t mean that any and everyone can become a gourmet cook simply by going out and purchasing the finest and freshest of ingredients and throwing them into a pot. There is some degree of art involved when it comes to gourmet cooking and a large degree of skill that is necessary in order to achieve these culinary masterpieces.

    You should also understand and be prepared to discover that fresh ingredients are not always available so there are times when compromises must be made when cooking gourmet meals. For this reason you capitalize on what is in season and plan your meals accordingly whenever possible. One important quality when it comes to cooking gourmet food is the layering of flavors. You should be able to taste the meat or seafood as well as the vegetables, herbs, and spices that comprise your skillfully prepared meal.

    You should not however rely on taste or aroma alone when cooking gourmet foods. As I mentioned above gourmet cooking is a large degree skill but there is some degree of art involved. For this reason, presentation is a key component of the gourmet dining experience. Through a few freshly chopped herbs on the plate before placing the food or top the food with appealing and aromatic herbs that will compliment the flavor of the meal you have prepared. Present the fruits and vegetable sides in a visually appealing fashion rather than simply tossing them onto a plate.

    With proper presentation even foods that were simple to prepare can take on the flavor of a gourmet feast. This is something you should keep in mind whether your cooking plans for the evening involve the gourmet or the every day. The thing about gourmet cooking is that it is to some degree more art than science. This means that there is always room to improve your skills and stretch your limits as a cook. There will always be the next great challenge or the ‘what if’ when it comes to flavor combinations.

    In fact, some of the greatest foods began with someone asking, “What would happen if I added this?” Always ask what if and always seek to improve your skills. The good news if this is an avenue you wish to pursue is that there are often gourmet cooking classes offered at gourmet food shops in your area. Some colleges or local community programs will also offer these sorts of classes for a few if you are interested. This means that there are almost always opportunities to broaden your experiences with gourmet cooking and expand your horizons.

    Whether this is your first time considering gourmet cooking or you are an old pro, keep in mind that skills can be learned over time with the proper motivation and an open and honest desire to learn. If you want to learn more about gourmet cooking there is really nothing to stop you from doing so other than yourself. The Internet, your local library, and many bookstores across the country have countless volumes of information that can help you get started on your journey to gourmet cooking bliss.

     

  • »Gluten Free Cooking«

  • TorontoSEO 9:26 PM on July 19, 2008 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , Gluten, Gluten Free Cooking, gluten free diet, gluten free diets, , restriction, , , , ,   

    Gluten Free Cooking

    When it comes to cooking, there are many dietary restrictions that will be encountered along the way. One restriction that is gaining some degree of notoriety in recent years is the need for a gluten free diet. Gluten is a substance that is commonly found in flour products that a decent sized portion of the population has a negative reaction to in some form or another. For these people, gluten free isn’t a choice it is absolutely necessary.

    Gluten free cooking does impose many restrictions and often makes it quite difficult to enjoy something the vast majority of us take for granted-dining out. The good news from those who require gluten free cooking is that more and more restaurants are beginning to acknowledge this condition and offer some selections that are gluten free. It takes time, just as it did with low carb craze for the demand for these products to make it worth the industries while to make adjustments in their way of preparing foods.

    While on the one hand it is frustrating to not have the option of dining out, there is some challenge to finding new and tasty foods and combinations for cooking each and every night without falling into a rut of the same old foods that you know you can eat without worry. Consider cooking gluten free a challenge rather than a chore and you may find that the process is much more enjoyable. You might even find that you appreciate the meals you’ve worked hard to prepare even better because of the great sense of accomplishment.

    There are many resources available for those who need to eat gluten free foods. There are even more and more ‘convenience’ or prepackaged foods that are designated for gluten free cooking. This means that those who once had no option but creating meals from scratch do now have the occasional shortcut available to them. We are even finding cookie and cake mixes that are now gluten free in order to enjoy some of the finer things in life for those who would have been completely deprived only a few short years ago.

    Changes are being made and resources are being shared through the Internet that help not only adults that require special gluten free cooking and diets but also support for the parents of children who must have gluten free diets. Cooking for children in the best of circumstances is often difficult. It is even more difficult when there are excessive dietary restrictions that often eliminate the possibility of our children enjoying childhood favorites. That is why it is so important to seek out the many resources and recipes that are available for gluten free cooking.

    If you require a gluten free diet and have no idea where to start or what you should be cooking you should check out the many websites and blogs online that address the issues and needs that are faced by those requiring gluten restrictions. You will probably be amazed at the wealth of information that is available. Also, if you have a Trader Joes or Whole Foods store in your area, most of them either offer or will order gluten free products for your cooking needs.

    Gluten free cooking does not have to be the chore many of us think it must be and all gluten free food doesn’t taste like cardboard. Take the time to get to know the wonderful gluten free recipes that abound and incorporate them one at a time into your cooking repertoire. You will be amazed at how wonderful you feel as well as how great the food tastes.

     
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