Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wine Selection for Thanksgiving: what to do?

There are many flavors of wines and some people get really picky. If you know your friends, then a variety of wines, that they have recommended may be the solution. Most of the times, however, there will be new people at the table. On a tight budget? The choices then may come down to two wines. 

Here is what New York Times Eric Asimov recommends:
So, two wines. They need to be light rather than heavy, agile rather than powerful, moderate in alcohol and versatile enough to complement the hodgepodge of dishes on the table.  Their main quality: lively acidity, the quality that gives wine energy.
He recommends the following:  the M√Ęconnais region of France Chablis; crisp Italian whites like Soave or fianos from Campania; reds and dry whites from the Loire Valley; good Beaujolais; lighter-bodied zinfandels; and sauvignon blancs. Wines for Thanksgiving dinner
Narrow the choices to one red bottle and one white sauvignon. If your friends and relatives are wine connoisseurs, ask for their help or when they ask the magic question: What can I contribute, say please bring in your favorite selection. It shall be a winner. 
If you are dying to impress your folks during your visit, I recommend the Wine Lover's Holiday Gift Guide available at The Wine Enthusiast Magazine Wine Gift Guide Do not worry, the prices are acceptable. They carefully selected a list that fit all budgets with gusto from ($6.99-1,000). And for those who would not be delighted by wine but instead are very happy with beers, no worries....they are often more likely willing to bring their selection, or otherwise are flexible to go along with a variety that include a few light and strong dark varieties. Do remember that while wine lovers tend to be more picky regarding selection, the beer lovers maybe content with the best selection among the locally produced beers.  



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Veggie Times: Take the Vegetarian Challenge for a day, a week or for life


Do you wonder how you can decrease your foodprint or your ecological footprint? An easy way is to go vegan or vegetarian for a brief period or for life. It all start with a meal....make it the next one. Take the vegan vegetarian challenge.
More

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cooking wild mushrooms


October 7, 2011. After you have been so fortunate to find wild edible mushrooms, you may wonder how to cook them....In fact there are many ways of cooking wild mushroom and a couple of good books provide recipes that will satisfy and even delight you appetite. The basic recipes may vary with the mushrooms, their flavor and their texture.  My intention is to provide you with an easy wild mushrooms recipe. A basic recipe that works with many mushrooms.

4 mushrooms caps sliced (I used Agaricus campestris)
2 garlic cloves
2 onions cut in slices
2 spoons of red wine
1/2 teaspoon of brown sugarY
pepper, paprika or your favorite spices
salt
olive oil

(other optional ingredients: chives cut in small pieces or green onions, shallots, liquid honey instead of sugar)
Other mushrooms that can be cooked with this basic 'mushroom recipe' are morels, wine mushrooms, portobello, and chanterelle mushrooms to mention a few.

Instructions:
Stir fry the onions and garlic cloves in olive oil until they are golden. Add the sugar and mushrooms. Stir the mix and and cook at low heat, after 3 minutes or so, add the red wine and the spices. That is it!

note: if you are using sugar you need to let it melt to sweeten the dish. If you are using a variety of onions that turns sweet when it is stir fried then that could be your sweetener instead of sugar. If you use honey, do not cook it. At it at the end and only a few drops (perhaps 1/2 teaspoon).

You really don't need to overcook the muOctober 7, 2011. After you have been so fortunate to find wild edible mushrooms, you may wonder how to cook them....In fact there are many ways of cooking wild mushroom and a couple of good books provide recipes that will satisfy and even delight you appetite. The basic recipes may vary with the mushrooms, their flavor and their texture.  My intention is to provide you with an easy wild mushrooms recipe. A basic recipe that works with many mushrooms.

4 mushrooms caps sliced (I used Agaricus campestris)
2 garlic cloves
2 onions cut in slices
2 spoons of red wine
1/2 teaspoon of brown sugarY
pepper, paprika or your favorite spices
salt
olive oil

(other optional ingredients: chives cut in small pieces or green onions, shallots, liquid honey instead of sugar)
Other mushrooms that can be cooked with this basic 'mushroom recipe' are morels, wine mushrooms, portobello, and chanterelle mushrooms to mention a few.

Instructions:
Stir fry the onions and garlic cloves in olive oil until they are golden. Add the sugar and mushrooms. Stir the mix and and cook at low heat, after 3 minutes or so, add the red wine and the spices. That is it!

note: if you are using sugar you need to let it melt to sweeten the dish. If you are using a variety of onions that turns sweet when it is stir fried then that could be your sweetener instead of sugar. If you use honey, do not cook it. At it at the end and only a few drops (perhaps 1/2 teaspoon).

You really don't need to overcook the muOctober 7, 2011. After you have been so fortunate to find wild edible mushrooms, you may wonder how to cook them....In fact there are many ways of cooking wild mushroom and a couple of good books provide recipes that will satisfy and even delight you appetite. The basic recipes may vary with the mushrooms, their flavor and their texture.  My intention is to provide you with an easy wild mushrooms recipe. A basic recipe that works with many mushrooms.
shrooms. Cooking them a little is good shrooms. Cooking them a little is good to break down their protective walls and access the nutrients. Eating raw mushrooms is almost useless because we do not have enzymes for cellulose or quitina, structural components of mushroom cell walls. 



PS. You can find more wild mushroom recipes and information about edible mushroom at mycomagnet.com the website of  the two of my friends with whom I have enjoyed foraging for mushroomsmycomagnet.com http://mycomagnet.com/

Easy pesto recipe from the garden to the plate

I fill a small colander or bowl (dimensions) of basil leaves with their stems. If you are buying at the farmers market that would be two bunches of basil.  Before leaving the garden, I planted the end of the stems containing the seeds for the future. Thus, I only took stems with leaves, no flowers or seeds to the kitchen table.

At the kitchen, I washed the stems+ leaves with tap water, and washed my hands...very important for cooks to do this steps particularly when dealing with food that will be eaten fresh or stored raw/non-cook.

Next, separate the leaves from the stems a place them on a separate bowl or directly on a blender. Also mince one garlic (terminology?) and get the olive oil and the cup measure ready. I

I use 2 1/2 cups of olive oil. I add the first cup and about 1/3 of the leaves and press grind. Now add the garlic and grind. Mix.

Add the other 1 1/2 cup of olive oil and the leaves in small increment. At this time the blender will begin to protest and you need to help a little stirring the mix from top with the help of a wooden spoon.  Continue the process until you grind all the leaves. This is really the basic pesto. This recipe yields a 300-400 g of plain pesto.

 If you want to keep the pesto for a long period of time, you need to add some kind of preservatives. I prefer spices such as pepper and salt.

Specialty pesto:
You can experiment with pesto flavors. The most common additives for enhanced flavors include sea salt, aged Mozzarella cheese, hot peppers, and pine nuts.  

Monday, September 26, 2011

What is gluten sensitivity? And what are the gluten intolerance symptoms? Gluten free recipes included

What is gluten sensitivity? And what are the gluten intolerance symptoms? Gluten free recipes included: German Style Skillet Potatoes!

Ingredients:

2-3 potatoes vegetable oil sage dill (optional) pepper (not optional) onions salt(optional) 2 garlic cloves.

Boil the potatoes but do not allow them to be soft. Cut the potatoes in pieces of similar sizes. Now in a skill (iron pan) stir fry the pieces of onions until they begin to become transparent. Add the pieces of boiled potatoes and continue stir frying until they are golden. As soon as you add the potatoes also add the sage, dill and minced or chopped garlic . When the potatoes are golden retire the pan from the heat source and add salt and pepper to taste!

Happy eating! See your gluten free diet and good eating, eating delicious and health food. It is easy!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tips To Save Money In Plumbing Bills

For those of us who like to spend time at the kitchen, also know that sometimes we have to deal with problems in the kitchen such as a clogged sink or drainage.
The following article provide some suggestions for you to save money in plumbing bills.

Tips To Save Money In Plumbing Bills

Monday, August 15, 2011

What I learned from making a Soup?


I learned to play a bit with a recipe and my creativity. I learned that I have a strong tendency to change recipes.

But what else can be learned from cooking a soup? First, I learned to be flexible. After reading the recipe in ‘1000 vegetarian recipes’, I was not sure I had all the ingredients. I did not know what a vegetable bouillon was. I know it sounds silly, but the word ‘bouillon’ was not in my vocabulary. I had a word ‘cubitos’—Spanish for ‘ little cubes’. My recipe called for a cup of milk, but oh wait…I didn’t drink milk then. Would almond milk work? It had to, because my mind was already set up for that soup and I was not going to go out to the grocery store. This reminded me that flexibility and resourcefulness are keyingredients for an enjoyable cooking experience.

You may wonder why I did not have all the ingredients for that recipe. The short answer is that I did not have the recipe when I was at the grocery store. I bought the squash because there were many at the market, and they looked great. And also because I had been thinking of cooking peanut butter-pumpkin soup or squash soup for a while. I have two good friends who make excellent squash soups so I have those memories in my bank of good experiences.

I started by imagining my end product. It puts me in the mood of cooking! I portrayed a smooth, delicious and beautiful soup, already served in a nice plate. I can even smell it, and feel it. The idea made me happy. Why is that?

As you may know, food has a strong connection to memories and feelings. It is no different for me. This yellow silky soup has always been a messenger of the gods for me. Pumpkin soup will always remind me of home. Back home, I called it ‘sopa de zapallo’ or ‘sopa de ullama.’ I grew up having a traditional dish, called ‘guisao’, which I won’t describe here in details, but it was a dish served only on Good Fridays. Guisao is made of small pieces of pumpkin, cassava, fresh spices and fish. That dish, in itself, represents an encounter of cultures indigenous Mesoamericans and Spaniards.

Tweet recipe: pumpkin, some sort of milk, onions, garlic, vegetable boullion+ bay leaves, lime juice, peanut butter (optional), ginger, and water of course. Mix the ingredients....enjoy!
The original story and recipe are here What I learned from making a Soup?