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?

What can you do with so many zucchini?

Here are some ideas about what to do with your excess produce:
1. Give the produce to friends and neighbors --this works if they enjoy cooking. Also make sure you know their likes...
Most people prefer baby zucchini. I was told this "bring only the babies, not those baseball bats." Oh, no worries, I said, 'the bats' are for seeds.

If your family, friends or neighbors don't cook, then cook for them...some people don't know what to do with all those fresh weird looking things. What were they again? They will say thank you and let em..rotten! It is not their fault. They either want to be nice with you so they take the gift. Perhaps, they don't know how to say no to you. They have no experience or lack cooking instruments. Or plainly, they have no desire to cook. Of course there is that possibility that they don't like the stuff at all...
I know this list is not balance...bare with me. Bullets are coming...
2. With the big ones, make some chips. I cut small slices, circular and bake them. Then I put them in a dehydrator. You may choose to fry them instead. I add vinegar, salt, a little bit of sugar, pepper and Italian spices.
3. What about grillin...that is an excellent option.
4. Make zucchini bread
5. You could stir fry them with olive oil+onions+wine+garlic+chives+sage + pepper
6. Make a lasagna (use recipes for egg plant)..I know is not the same, but it works.
7. Cook them in a tomato-basil or marinara sauce
8. Pickle them
9. Wait until they rotten... It happen very fast :-)
10. Slice them and put them in a dehydrator
11. Eat them fresh, directly from the plant (This shall have been option #1)
12. Let them grow giant-ourmous and use the seeds, then pickle the rest/or fry them.
13. Give them to your enemies
14. Drop them secretly at the thrift store, the food pantry or the local grocery store
15. Make some money: instead of 1, 13, etc., sell them at the farmers market
16. Make baby food even if you have no babies
17. Take a lot of pictures for your blog
18. Get sick of eating way too many of them...
19. Cook or grind them and use them as a base for a vegetarian or soup stock
20. Hit someone on the head...the large ones could be a defense mechanism.


Pear Cranberry Pie

The original story and recipe is here Pear Cranberry Pie

This is the tweet recipe 6 tweets):
1. buy a crust...yeah, I don't know how to make crust, sorry.
2. Smash the berries: use a blender, a mortar, a hammer, a stone or whatever other way it may occur to you!
3. Use lot of sugar & butter those berries are as acidic as hell! How do I know hell is acidic? It has sulfur they say...:-)
4. Add All spices: this, which is a mix of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, fix any other potential problem and smell delicious!
5. Add vanilla- Have you ever use vanilla beans? No, really? That is the best.
6. You know the regular stuff: preheat and bake at 375 F during 45 min
Good luck, and happy delicious pie!

By the way: My recipe is not too sweet. Yet if you want to do some exercise after I recommend this book
Pilates on the Ball http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0892819812
(I am selling it!)

Delicious Jubilee Rice

Delicious Jubilee Rice

There are many rice recipes but only one 'rice' with its multiple shapes and colors. Rice that is being cook in all sorts of ways, times and places. Rice is simple rice though our rice is more than that...it has become part of our stories.
I learned to cook fried rice with dad when I was perhaps 11 years old. We cook one of his favorite dishes, rice with sweet peppers.
When a friend asked me to repeat a recipe I had cook a year before I said ups, I don't have a recipe....and so this journey began. To share more of this journey visit my hubpage Delicious Jubilee Rice
Recipe: 

 1 lb of Lundeberg Jubilee rice (~2 1/2 cups). Jubilee rice is a gourmet blend of several varieties of brown rice for a colorful mix.
· Double the amount of water, and add a bit more when the rice is drying (5 cups).
· 1 carrot peeled and grated medium or coarse
· 2 finely chopped green onions (~1 inch)
· 2 finely chopped scallions
· 1 finely chopped garlic clove
· Vegetable oil
· 2 table spoons of olive oil (when the rice is done)
· Mix of 3 peppers: cayenne + black pepper + dark sugar (sprinkle)
· Salt (sprinkle to taste or use 1/3 teaspoon)
· Amino acid blend or soy sauce (2 table spoon)
· 2 tablespoon of sesame oil (when the rice is done)
· Rosemary leaves
· Fennel
In a non-stick pot fry the garlic and scallions until they are golden. Add the carrots and continue frying at low heat for 2 minutes. Take the veggies out and place them in a small glass cup. Fry the rice in the same oil until it is golden. Add double the amount of water (~5 cups). Sprinkle some salt and stir. Cover the rice and let it cook at medium temperature. I set my Preston multi-cooker to 300°F (148°C) for 40min. Lower the temperature when the rice is drying. If the rice does not look completely soft, add 1/3 cup of water to moist it and let it cook for 10 minutes. Once the rice is done add the oils (olive oil and sesame oil), amino acid blend or soy sauce, the mix of veggies, and the spices. Sprinkle the spices, pepper, rosemary and fennel. I add just a little of each kind of spices for flavor. It is best to serve this rice warm since it tends to dry if left at room temperature for a long period. Enjoy it!


Is she the sexiest vegetarian? Olivia Munn naughty for Nature

Is she the sexiest vegetarian? Olivia Munn naughty for Nature
Vegetarianism is one of the ways to help the planet and contribute to resource conservation. Here Olivia Munn tells why she does it. She participated in Peta go naked campaign to rise awareness about the mistreatment of animals in circuses.

I do think that people in general could contribute to the planet in many ways, some would be vegetarians, others will turn activists, some will become volunteers, others will be fundraisers, and others will be philantropist. Some others will turn scientists or naturalist to investigate the problems. Many others will work on policies and/or the environmental friendly businesses. Yet, many others will educate children and communities...
Certainly, there is something you too could do for the planet that gives us so much! I really hope you do. A little and then a little more...