Party Food Recipes


Archive for September, 2010



Learn the Most Fundamental French Cooking Techniques

If you are a French cooking enthusiast and wish to learn classic French cooking then the first thing you will have to do is to learn the best French cooking techniques. You will have to get equipped with the fundamental French cooking techniques that will help you cook from simple to the most sophisticated French dishes.

To start with you dont have to by heart all the French cooking techniques. So here are a few most basic French cooking techniques that would make your French cooking easier and comfortable.

What is Glace de Viande

This is one of the most essential French cooking techniques and this is why you should be learning it first. Glace de Viande actually stands for glazing the meat. This technique is generally used in almost all the meat recipes as French prefer to glaze the meat before adding it to the main dish.

Every student, attending a frenc cooking class, is taught about how to glaze a meat. Glace de Viande is a level higher because this technique is generally used for thicker meats, and glazing helps the meat juice condense quickly. Simply blend the steak or roast juices and drippings with 5 cups of stock. Then boil the mixture till the concoction reduces to a quarter of the initial content. Lastly, you can find out whether the glaze is ready by simply placing a spoon into the meat and when the thick mixture sticks to the spoon then it is ready.

How to Julienne

Another great French cooking technique that you will have to understand is how to julienne. You would have noticed that most of the French recipes have long and thinly cut vegetables into them. This is called julienne vegetables and there are many other food items that are julienne. This is why you ought to know this technique to make the dish look as though you have a French chef to cook for you.

It is very easy. You have to simply cut the vegetables and food items obliquely or in other terms sidelong. To do this you will need to be equipped with the right cutting tool. A normal knife will not be of much use and so you should have a knife specially used for julienning.

Both the French cooking techniques form the most basic of all the techniques. However, you have a variety of French cooking techniques that you will get to learn as and when you advance to complex cooking recipes.




Healthy Eating Habits – Few Tips

healthy eating habits – Attitude

Patterns of behavior maintained by repetition are called habits. Preparing coffee in the morning, brushing the teeth and shower has become habitual. Bad habits like smoking and drinking are actions done without giving them a second thought. We choose our foods and beverages follow the same path. Doctors admonishment to develop healthy eating habits to prevent serious health condition falls only on deaf ears. We take it lightly and suffer later. Many people do not know what healthy eating habits are. They just dont know where and how to begin. Let us examine how to change our habits of eating and choose healthy foods.

Habits die hard and it is impossible for people to change their fixed habits of eating suddenly or at once. Our taste in food, develop over a life time and so it is better to bring about changes over time slowly but steadily. Eating junk food or relishing a big container of greasy French fries cannot disappear over night. The body opposes it and your metabolism doesnt cooperate. The result is a feeling of guilt and you go back to your old habit.

The technique required is to wean you from bad food choices. If you want to give up eating French fries, stop doing it for two days in a week at first. In the second week eat just for a day and no more. Cut back on the amount of salt you use to season the fries which can surely help you. Less salt makes them less enjoyable and later less desirable.

While you cut one food from your diet substitute it with another one new healthy eating habit. For example replace your usual sweet with a piece of fruit for your lunch dessert. Dont forget to eat slowly and enjoy every bite. Apples, high in fiber and antioxidants are a great choice, low in calories and surprisingly sumptuous. They also keep the mouth fresh. Use this weaning and replacing strategy to the best of your advantage in building up a healthy eating habit and success.

Do not discontinue this substitution of unhealthy foods with the healthy ones and better choices. Leave buttered mashed potatoes and take a savory pilaf garnished with fresh parsley. Enjoy cold water fish twice a week. While in a hurry make a fruit juice and yogurt smoothie for breakfast.

You will be pleasantly shocked and surprised at the results you have achieved. You will start enjoying the new variety in your diet. There is a feeling in you that you are better and more energetic. Your skin gets a healthier glow. As the new healthier habits develop in you over a long time you will surely like it for what benefits it has bestowed on you.




Learn Italian Cooking Techniques to Make Cooking Simpler

If you are one of those that is trying to learn Italian cooking meant for beginners, then you will have to understand the various Italian cooking techniques prior to plunging into cooking main course. The point why we insist in understanding the techniques first is you can find out the key areas you are good at so that while you start cooking you can display your expertise with comfort and steal the show amongst your family and friends.

Firstly, you will have to start using olive oil and this is one of the top tips offered as in Italian cooking techniques. Most of the Italians prefer their dishes to have lots of oil in them and if you are looking to learn Italian cooking then make sure you have this essential ingredient with you.

You may have to do a little bit of research while looking for some great Italian cooking techniques. For an instance, you will have to make a list of all the dishes that are referred as classic by Italians. But the fact is that Italian cooking has been adopted in many other countries that it has taken various renascences. Despite the variety available in different regions, the real Italian cooking has its own traits and a keen learner of Italian cooking techniques can very well differentiate it from any other dish.

The staple foods of the Italians are Antipasti, soup, pasta, bread, and fish. So learning to cook these is like reaching a milestone in Italian cooking itself.

Recipes Teach You the Tips and Tricks

Recipes act as the foundation for any type of cooking and if you are keen in learning the Italian cooking techniques and tricks then you will have to look through various Italian recipes. Be it books or the internet, you have a vast collection to look for Italian cooking recipes.

Once you have got the source, ensure you have a good collection of Italian recipes with you. The best thing you can do is to own a recipe book which will make you life easier. You simply have to check the table of content page and get back to the recipe. Recipe books also give you the freedom of access at any point of time; you need not depend on somebody or something to prepare a simple Italian dish!

Italian food is famous for its variety delicacies and it is up to you to select the right recipe for healthy dining. Make sure you are through with most of the Italian cooking techniques before starting to cook Italian. Also, remember to add lots of love and concentration while cooking just like every Italian cook.




Knowing Baking Processes and Definitions Makes Cooking Easy

Have you just started cooking and are quite confused with the cooking jargons these cooking classes or cookery books talk about? Then this is the right article you are looking into as we discuss about the various Baking process and definitions that will make your cooking a pleasurable and learning experience.

A La Mode
Desserts that are either served or dressed with an ice-cream topping like the pie a la mode.

Bake
Cook and make edible by placing the food in dry heat in an oven.

Bavarian Cream
Dessert pudding that stands on a gelatin-cream base. Bavarian cream can be served as such but many use it as a filling.

Blend
To fuse all the cooking ingredients to get a single component.

Boil
To prepare food at a boiling temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit at sea level. The temperature drops about 1 degree for every 500 feet in elevation; the reason why a few recipes provide alternate directions for higher elevations which is above 3500 feet.

Bon Bon
A sweet dish cooked with or dipped into fondant.

Broil
Prepare food with direct heat like by broiler or over coals.

Caramelize
The process of heating dry sugar or sugary foods to get brownish look and caramel flavor.

Charlotte
A dessert prepared by coating a dish with strips of cake, lady fingers or bread where fruits, whipped cream or custard are generally used as fillers.

Clarified Butter
The golden fluid that is a residue of the heated butter. During the heating process the water gets evaporated and is also separated out of the milk solids.

Cobbler
A deep fried fruit pie topped with a rich pastry or biscuit dough.

Cream
The process of making the content light and fluffy by vigorously beating it. Sugar, flour and eggs may be creamed into the shortening.

Dust
To evenly sprinkle sugar, flour or crumbs on the surface of the food. This is also done to roll out the dough.

Dredge
To cover the surface with flour or a any finely crushed ingredient.

clair
A finger shaped pastry that is filled with small custard or whipped cream.

Fold
A way to blend ingredients with a spoon or wire whisk making an up and over hand movement. Especially used while adding in a delicate mixture into a heavier one without stirring.

Fondant
A thick creamy candy made by kneading the sugar paste.

Garnish
Decorate or add flavor to foods by topping it with attractive and complementary foodstuffs before serving.

Glaze
To coat with thin sugar syrup and cooked to the crack stage. To cover the surface of the food with a thin icing. The term is also interchangeably used to brush-on milk, egg or sugar before baking which gives a shiny golden finish.

Knead
The process of gently pressing soft dough with the heels of your hand and by folding, pressing and stretching the dough to make it smooth and elastic.

Meringue
A mixture of batted egg whites and sugar generally used as pie topping or to lighten other mixtures.

Parfait
Dessert that contains ice cream, fruits and topped with whipped cream; or a frozen mixture of egg whites or yolks, cooked with hot syrup and mixed with whipped cream.

Scald
To warn up liquid to a temperature just below the boiling point. A thin skim forming over milk indicates sufficient heating.

Simmer
To cook in liquid that is just below the boiling point.

Torte
A cake or pastry made of many eggs, sugar and grated nuts or dry bread crumbs (instead of flour) which are baked in a large flat pan. Occasionally, comes in with a jam filling and coated with an icing.

Whip
To batter or cream stiff and creamy food by adding air to it with short quick movements, generally using a fork, whisk or an electric beater.

Zest
The coarse but colorful outer peel of all citrus fruits like lemons and oranges. The colored outer portion helps in adding flavor to the food where as the inner white portion is not used because it is bitter.




Healthy Eating for the Vegans

Vegetarians have a very healthy way of eating, although the rules are the same you should include variety, maintain balance and moderation.

Vegetarian People are those who prevent themselves from consuming all kinds of meat, even if it is hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken and fish. They are also categorized according to the kind of food they wish to eat. For example, Lacto-ovo vegetarians prevent animal flesh but they consume eggs and almost all the dairy products. A Vegan is one who prevents all the foods that has traces of animal origin.

Due to the prevention of meat in their diet vegetarians always think how they can meet their protein requirements. It may be difficult to believe that an average American eats more protein that he actually requires and the lacto-ovo vegetarian substitutes it with the consumption of dairy products which are rich source of protein. Vegans fulfill their protein requirements from nuts, seeds and soy products.

From the family of beans there are a number of them that can be chosen like the, soy, peanuts, kidney, split peas, green or red lentils, pinto, and lots more. Some known ones are, refried beans in Mexican dishes, kidney beans in chili, pinto beans, and red beans and rice. Most of the beans taste good while some are added with flavor to improve their taste. Nuts although give more fat than beans are rich in proteins are should be taken with control. A cup of cooked beans gives an equal amount of protein that two ounces of meat provide.

The vegans who avoid all kinds of animal food have to worry about the nutrients like vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin. An average North American diet consists of animal foods for the main source of B12. The vegans should have B12 supplements or foods that contain this vitamin to have a sufficient intake like soy products or mlk.

The vegan can depend on orange juice or soy milk which are fortified with calcium, for their calcium requirements. Beans and green leafy vegetables also supply some amount of calcium.

Though all the typed of vegetarians depend on simple food classifications, they should have a control over the consumption of vitamins and calcium also which is a very important aspect for a healthy diet and remain healthy too. When you have a control over the food you consume, no doubt you have several years to eat healthy before you.




Italian Cooking Recipe Make It Simple

When it comes to food, every one of us have preferences and favorites, be it thai or Indian cuisine, ice cream or fast food. But the most commonly loved cuisine is the Italian cooking. Cooking recipes have been from one generation to another with the hope that the generation next will carry the tradition as well dishes forward to make it world popular.

Most of us like Italian cooking but only a few know the secret recipes to those delicacies. So the only way to enjoy Italian cuisines is to visit the nearest Italian restaurants that may turn expensive or probably visiting your Italian neighbor! Whichever way it is the main criteria is to eat to satisfy the mind.

Another great way to enjoy Italian cuisines is to learn Italian cooking. If you are one of those who wish to learn Italian cooking, there are a lot of tutorials and self-help books and online articles that are rich in Italian cooking recipes. Experts compare Italian cooking with dancing because one has to carefully and gracefully choose ingredients, be it spices or the ripest tomatoes or the tenderly cut meats or garlic pods. This is the best part of it all you have the freedom to master the skill and prepare your own Italian delicacies. The problem is most of the people get bogged down by following the recipes meticulously, instead of understanding the recipe and then tailoring it to ones needs and taste. There is no such hard and fast rule in cooking, like one should use only one garlic pod or should not add asafoedita in a recipe that has tamarind in it.

Experimenting Is The Key For Italian Cooking Recipe

Did you know that the most famous and appreciated cuisines were invented with a shortage of ingredients or with a slip-up combination with sauces, vegetables and spices? A great deal of Italian cooking recipes is more about avoiding a few ingredients than following them word to word! Just think of Lasagna and the variety of the same food available in America. Those who have mastered Italian cooking recipes prefer carrots dipped in sauce as a sweetener while a few count on cottage cheese. There are many who love grated mozzarella and on the other hand many believe that the dish is incomplete without a sausage in the sauce. This is what Italian cooking is all about a person touch and lots of creativity. It is mainly about your loved ones taste and preferences and not about perfection.

The key is to try something offbeat. So the next time you wish to experiment with Italian cooking recipes try something new and you will yourself be surprised with the dish. You never know what you just did would become one the most preferred Italian dishes in America.




Healthy Eating for Pregnancy Women

A healthy and well balanced diet is what is required to start with during pregnancy which is best for both the mother and the baby. By this you need to undergo only a few alterations in your diet during your pregnancy.

The first trimester

If it is difficult to maintain a balanced diet during the early stages of your pregnancy you should assure yourself that you are not lone and due to uneasiness some women tend to eat most of the time and gain excess weight due to this. While some find it difficult to eat food and slowly lose weight.

To avoid malnutrition and dehydration are very important aspects to be remembered during the first trimester.

Calories

During pregnancy you need to eat about 300 calories more than your usual routine and the best way is to eat well when you feel hungry and eat as many as food as you can from the foot of the pyramid.

If you feel your weight gain is slow you can consume an increased amount of fat in your diet and always eat whenever you feel like as you are not eating all for only yourself now.

Calcium

During the second trimester, you may require about 1,500 milligrams of calcium every day for your bones as well as the baby and this amounts to about more than a quart of milk.

Calcium is insufficient in most diets, so besides milk dairy products, calcium fortified juices and even calcium which is all good sources of calcium should be included.

Fiber

Consumption of fiber prevents constipation, which is a well known problem during pregnancy. Whole grains, fruits and even vegetables are rich in fiber. Metamucil and Citrucel are safe supplements which can be taken during pregnancy.

Protein

Protein intake is not going to be deficient normally for women who have a healthy diet, unless you are a strict vegetarian.

Iron

Most of the women have iron deficiency during the early stages of pregnancy. Dark green leafy vegetables and meats are rich sources of iron. Iron supplements should not be taken as they may cause internal symptoms like cramping, constipation and diarrhea.

Vitamins

Your physician will be able to guide you with your vitamins requirements in your diet. Folate is the best and if you are receiving it sufficiently you can keep off al the other vitamins. But you should consult your doctor about this.





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