Cooking Tips and Recipes

August 19, 2010

Crockpot Cooking Tips

Crockpot cooking or slow cooking is one of amazing cooking facility that keeps you easy and free during cooking and also save your time. In this cooking method, you just have to fill up the slow cooker and keep it on flame. You can go for shopping or do something else during cooking. After 1 hour, your house will be filled with wonderful smell and meal will be ready to serve on the table. Here we will guide you regarding basic tips for Crockpot cooking.

  • If you want to cook vegetables, you should cook them on stovetop first then shift them to Crockpot to avoid extra moisture.
  • Also dry the liquid of ingredients like tomatoes, onions and others before adding in Crockpot.
  • Always use seasoning ingredients at the end of Crockpot cooking because heat of Crockpot changes the flavor of ingredients and spices.
  • Don’t lift the lid off and on because heat will waste and you have to add time for cooking.
  • Avoid putting liquid ingredients like milk, cream or sauces in the beginning of cooking in Crockpot.
  • Prepare meat and chop vegetable ahead of cooking time to be easier in Crockpot cooking, just put them in Crockpot and enjoy ready to eat meal.
  • All foods should be used after defrosting them in Crockpot.
  • It is also better for good cooking that temperature should be high in the start of cooking but later on low it.
  • 140 degrees F is considered the best for all type of cooking in Crockpot.

These tips will make you easier in cooking with amazing kitchen appliance Crockpot.

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July 29, 2010

Best Baking Tips

You may burn lots of cookies, cakes and other baking dishes when you first time start baking. I also have done same but many years before. Now I have learned the tricks and secrets of proper baking after lots of experiments with baking. I find baking a fun and enjoyable process but if you are confident that you are doing everything right. I am going to share some baking tips and tricks for convenience of all of you.

  1. Very first thing that is important for baking is equipment or utensils. Non stick baking pans leave dark spots on your baked food so using tins and springform utensils is ideal for perfect baking. Non stick muffin trays can also be best option. Spoons, trays, mixing bowls and cups made of aluminum can also be used for best baking.
  2. Next thing is ingredients of baking and they vary in taste and quality. You must focus on using best in taste ingredients for baking. Baking ingredients can be cheese, chocolates, spices, baking powders, frozen fruits and berries, eggs, nuts and many others.
  3. Caster sugar is best choice for baking desserts rather than regular sugar.
  4. Butter is considered the best with comparison of margarine in baking process.
  5. Baking ingredients are expensive yet results perfect baking of your cakes, cookies and desserts.
  6. Read the recipe of dish properly and make sure that you have collected all the ingredients and equipment for specific dish before baking.
  7. Baking ingredients should be kept in room temperature before you begin cooking.
  8. Always preheat oven before baking.
  9. Remember that when cake is ready it slightly shrunk the sides of baking bowls and trays you use for baking.

10.  Always put some oil or butter on baking tray before keeping it in oven.

These are easy tips that you should follow while baking cookies and cakes for they will make the process more convenient and you will find best results of baking.

July 9, 2010

Cooking Vegetables in a Crockpot

Crockpot is a type of slow cooker that has changed the ways of people how they prepare their meals. Special crockpot recipes and dishes are introduced to take advantage of this cooking appliance. Entrees, vegetables and all other foods are equally prepared in crockpot. This cooking appliance is basically used for slow cooking. Cooking vegetables in crockpot make you convenient in whipping up dishes like cheesy broccoli, cauliflower, candied and sweet potatoes and many types of casseroles. Hundreds of vegetable recipes are prepared in crockpot.

If you want to cook variety of vegetables in crockpot, very simple method is for this and you can use these cooked vegetables as side dish. Here is method of cooking vegetables in crockpot:

  • Wash and trim the vegetables finely.
  • Place them in crockpot when they are still moist.
  • Drizzle just 2 tbsp of olive oil on the top of vegetables.
  • Also add one pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Then toss the vegetables finely.
  • Cover the crockpot and let it cook for 2-3 hours.
  • Keep stirring and checking every hour.
  • Crispy and tasty vegetables will be ready and you can use them with meat cooking and serve as side dish.

If you don’t like to eat just vegetables you can add meat, onion, garlic with combination of different vegetables. A big advantage of cooking vegetables in crockpot is that vegetable retain their nutrition and color. We can say that cooking vegetables in crockpot is best method if you are vegetarian and like to have nutrition of vegetables whole.

June 30, 2010

Some Great Tips for Salad Decoration

Salad is high nutrition food and can be presented as side dish with meal or as an entire meal depending on your choice. Salad decoration is also very important and gives your dinning table a gorgeous and fresh look. Here are some tips for salad decoration that you will feel very convenient while preparing fruit and vegetable salad.

  • Use glass decorative bowls and wooden bowls to serve the salad in more impressive way.
  • Cut fruits and vegetables in same size and steam them for few minutes. Add mayonnaise to make delicious salad.
  • Mixed salad of fruit and vegetables is not only seemed to be beautiful but also served to guests.
  • All the salad ingredients should be chilled before using. If you have cut vegetables and fruit before time, keep them in cold water to maintain their freshness.
  • Salad ingredients should be of varying colors. Vegetables and fruits of red, green and yellow colors can be used in this regard.
  • Dressing of salad should be done in proper way. Although dressing does not affect the look and appearance of salad but it adds good taste in the salad.
  • Presentation of salad is also very important and you must be creative regarding preparation and presentation of salad.
  • Grain food like peas, beans and grams can also be used in salad decoration and preparation.
  • Boiled chicken can also be used with combination of fruit, vegetables and grain foods.
  • Noodles and macaronis are also used in salad preparation.
  • If you want to keep salad fresh or glowing, sprinkle some drops of lemon juice or vinegar on salad.
  • Sea food and boiled eggs are also used to make beautiful and delicious salad as a whole meal.

Follow these tips and enhance the beauty of your dining table and obviously taste of your meal.

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June 21, 2010

Cooking oil and Health Issues

Selection of best cooking oil is most concern of cooking process and it is directly associated with your health issues. Today everybody wants to look green and healthy and cooking oil is very important in this regard. There is plenty of cooking oil available and in the light of this discussion you will get proper guidance in choosing best and healthy cooking oil for your family health. Here we will discuss some of common cooking oils that can be used for each type of cooking.

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Olive Oil

Olive oil is one that contains unsaturated fat. This natural oil preserves taste, smell, aroma, vitamins and other properties of olive fruits. Olive oil is prepared by pressing fresh olives unlike other products. An authentic research tells that olive oil is beneficial for several diseases like ulcers, high cholesterol, heart diseases and gastritis etc. 1 tbsp of olive oil contains 14% saturated fat, 12% poly unsaturated fat and 74% mono saturated fat.

Canola Oil

Canola oil is also good for your health and this is also natural oil that is obtained from crushed canola seeds. Canola oil is perfect for those who have diseases like high blood pressure, cholesterol and heart diseases. Canola oil is perfect for sautéing, frying, grilling, salad dressing and normal cooking for its light smell and smooth texture.

Peanut Oil

As the name shows this oil is obtained from peanut. If we talk about nutrition of this oil, this is not best for health but people tend to use it in cooking. Peanut oil is an ideal choice for frying and deep frying food for its high smoke temperature.

Rice Bran oil

This oil is one of healthiest oils in the world that is commonly used for good health. Rice is an important food item and this oil is obtained from this crop that has good nutrition for good health. This extremely light and versatile oil is best for sautéing, frying, backing and salad dressing.

Sesame Oil

This cooking oil is used frequently especially in Asia. This natural oil comes in different colors for numerous pressing procedures of sesame seeds. This oil is packed with lots of healthy vitamins and minerals. This oil has short shelf life and low smoke temperature. Sesame oil lowers the risk of high cholesterol and heart diseases.

Hope you will find good idea regarding best cooking oil selection for your family health.

June 11, 2010

How to Grill Whole Chicken?

Chicken can be cooked in several ways as you can bake, fry, barbeque and grill chicken. Below is the process of grilling whole chicken.

  • Rinse the chicken under cold water and rub with salt and vinegar. Wash it again.
  • Season inside and outside of chicken with salt, pepper, minced basil, cilantro, barbeque sauce and rosemary.
  • Take a charcoal grill and prepare a bed of coals.
  • Brush the chicken with olive oil and put on grill.
  • Keep chicken breast side against burned coals.
  • Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Turn the side of chicken and cook till become golden.
  • Also check out that meat has been cooked thoroughly.
  • Keep chicken sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Grilling chicken is most favorite activity of cooking lovers. But you should take good care of hygienic rules during grilling chicken. Here are some special tips regarding chicken grilling.

  • Keep the grill clean as chicken will not stick if grill is cleaned.
  • Parboil would be better before grilling chicken. Parboil is pre-cooking of chicken before grilling it.
  • If you are going to grill boneless chicken, cooking time of 10 minutes is enough for this.
  • Keeping grill and chicken moist is very useful tip if you want to perfectly grill chicken.
  • You can also marinade chicken before grilling to keep it moist.

If you will follow the tips given above, you will see that how perfectly you have grilled whole chicken?

June 9, 2010

Meat Cooking Tips

Here are some best tips for you to make meat’s gravy smooth and tasty. These tips will cover all the meat categories like fish, chicken, mutton and beef also. The tips include:

  • Add almost 1 pinch of club soda in gravy if you want to make gravy quickly. Club soda will loose the browned bits quickly.
  • Marinating the tough meat is better for overnight to better tenderize it. Use ½ cup of vinegar and 1 cup broth of beef.
  • You must include tomatoes in gravy whenever you cook vegetables or meat as it helps them tenderize better.
  • Stock meat bones in freezer for next use of cooking broth or stock.
  • Adding 1 tbsp of Blackstrap of molasses will enhance the flavor of beef stew.
  • If you want to make thick gravy, you can add corn flour or plain flour in it. Make sure that flour is cooked finely before removing it from heat.
  • Salt is the key to add best flavor in stew or gravy especially for meat.
  • Shaking some salt on fish will make fish stew or gravy odor free and its taste will also enhance.
  • Adding some drops of yellow food color in cooking oil will be better when you fry chicken. It will turn chicken to golden brown.
  • If chicken is defrosted in heavy salted cold water, its taste and flavor is surely be very good.
  • In order to eliminate frozen taste from fish place it in baking pan and cover with mixture of water and milk powder.
  • Drain the juice of ham while cooking to eliminate salty taste.
  • Cooking meat in muffin tins is better for individual serving.
  • Usually 1/3-1/4 cup of cooking oil is required to make lot of stew or gravy.

All these tips are approved by several times and you can use them to make flavored and smooth gravy.

June 7, 2010

Best Tips for Eggs

Here are some best tips combined for your convenience to make you comfortable in cooking egg dishes. You can take help from these tips in better way when you use eggs in cooking or for some other purposes. The best egg tips include:

  1. It is often difficult to identify the freshness of eggs before using them in cooking. Actually old eggs have smooth and shiny shell while fresh eggs have chalky and rough shell. From this point you can better identify the usable eggs.
  2. Another tip to identify the freshness of eggs is that take a cool salted water in a pan and dip the eggs in it. If they float, they are not usable. If they sink in the water, they are fresh and you can use them.
  3. To remove the shells of hardboiled eggs rinse them through cold water first.
  4. If you don’t clean or wash the eggs before keeping in refrigerator, they will not spoil even after many days.
  5. Adding 1 pinch of salt in water is better to keep them safe from cracking when boiling.
  6. When you cut the boiled eggs, the egg yolk often crumble. Wet the knife before each cut as it will keep egg yolk from crumbling.
  7. Sometimes you want to keep egg yolk in the centre of egg while cooking. For this purpose stirring the water is best during egg cooking or boiling.
  8. Pour cold water over the egg after boiling to prevent dark circle around its yolk.
  9. To double the volume of beating eggs, add some drops of water or milk in it.

10.  If eggs are stuck to the carton, wet the carton and eggs will come out smoothly.

Hope all these tips for eggs cooking will be better for you when you cook with eggs.

May 11, 2010

Deep Frying Tips

Deep frying is very important in cooking whatever you are cooking. Deep frying is also a delectable way to enjoy your snacks. If your method of deep frying is better then you can enjoy your crispy food outside and goodness in taste inside. You need to be very careful while deep frying your food and the method of deep frying consists of several steps as:

  • You have to choose best cooking oil for deep frying and this can be done on your personal choice. Be careful in the selection of cooking oil and choose the best one that is good hygienically. Sunflower cooking oil, canola oil and peanut oil can be a good choice.
  • As you have to deep fry the food, take a large and heavy wok or pan so that your food covered with oil to fry. Make sure that your oil should bubble surrounding food.
  • Temperature of oil is most important aspect in perfect deep frying and it should do carefully. Almost each food item requires different temperature and you should have knowledge about this point. You can use thermometer to check the temperature of oil. However heating oil on medium high heat is always better for deep frying of any type of food.
  • If you have coated your food pieces before frying with egg or any other liquid thing. Let it dry before putting in frying pan.
  • Remember that don’t overcrowd the frying pan with food pieces. Put food pieces carefully and leave lots of space around each piece of food so that it may cook evenly.
  • Don’t mix oil and water together as it will become very dangerous and produce flame in it.
  • Remove food pieces carefully and use proper tool for this purpose.
  • Dish out food items carefully and put them on some paper cloth to soak extra oil in them.
  • Avoid reusing cooking oil.
  • If you are using fryer for deep frying your food, make sure that it is clean and free from germs.

Hope all these tips regarding perfect deep frying will prove very helpful for you and you will get better way to deep frying your favorite food.

May 4, 2010

Tips for Barbeque Cooking

Barbeque is all time favorite food of people around the world. Basically barbeque is special technique that is used to add special taste in food. In this technique food is cooking on heat or smoke of fire that is the main reason in adding special taste in food items. Mostly meat recipes are made in barbeque method. Barbeque cooking is not very tough to do but some special instructions and tips will make you perfect in cooking barbeque food. Here are some tips for you to make tasty and hygiene barbeque food.

Thee general tips regarding barbeque include:

  • When you go to make barbeque recipe, make sure that grill that you will use should be clean and free from germs.
  • Never use spirits to burn the fire for hot barbeque cooking.
  • Barbeque dishes should be cooked on slow heat.
  • Keep attending barbeque dishes and never leave them alone.
  • Keep small pieces of meat near coal or fire.
  • Barbeque dishes ready when surface of coals are grey and all the flames are gone.
  • Always use flat sticks to turn the pieces of meat while making barbeque.
  • Put some pieces of fresh rosemary into charcoal fire as it will add a good taste in barbeque food.
  • Keep a spray water bottle near you as you can use it in case of flare-ups.
  • Plan your barbeque cooking just before starting and keep everything near you for frequently uses.
  • 20 minutes marination is enough for meat barbeque.
  • Take a good basting brush for proper barbeque cooking.
  • Strictly follow the hygiene rules of cooking before starting barbeque cooking, wash hands finely and use hat on your head.

If you follow the tips given above, you will be very convenient in making barbeque dishes of our choice and enjoy your time as well.

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