More Cooking Picks
Getting dinner on the table each night is stressful enough without worrying about using the right pots and pans. Stocking your kitchen with basic pots and pans that serve multiple purposes makes meal prep easier. Invest in sturdy, stainless steel or aluminum pieces. These pieces will last so you won't waste money replacing them every year.
Quail is a small game bird. The meat is dark, but has a delicate flavor; this makes it a good choice for children, who may find other wild game too strong tasting. Because game meat is less tender than that of domestic animals, it's easy to overcook a quail accidentally, making the meat rubbery and tough. The best way to handle quail is to cook it quickly and pay close attention during the cooking process.
If you are the mother of a teenage boy, there is a good chance that he wants to build muscle. Using whey protein, a protein-rich food supplement, is one thing he might have tried. You can add whey protein into various foods to help with muscle-building. However, you should always consult a doctor to make sure whey protein is safe for your child. Eating foods, such as meats and legumes, is an alternative and healthy way to get stronger.
Waterless cooking uses special cookware with seal-tight lids equipped with steam valves. You can steam-cook food using only the water it naturally contains. The whistling steam valve alert keeps you from scorching foods, so the meals you fix for your family are cooked perfectly every time. Because they are not immersed in water during cooking, vegetables retain color and flavor, making them more appealing on your child's plate. Added fats and oils are not necessary, and foods retain more nutrients, because vitamins are not destroyed by high heat and they do not leach out into cooking water.
Baking traditional Southern cornbread in any pan other than a cast iron skillet approaches culinary blasphemy. You may associate cast iron cookware with comfort food such as buttery cornbread and thick slices of bacon, but cast iron can also turn out healthy dishes such as crisp-skinned chicken or tasty vegetables. Whether your cast iron is a family heirloom or a new purchase, it can provide your family with decades of dinners, breakfasts and even desserts.
Cooking and baking are distinctly separate disciplines in the kitchen. Although most home cooks do both, the two activities require rather different attitudes. Cooking is a more forgiving process with a relatively large scope for improvisation. Baking is more of a chemistry experiment, requiring greater accuracy and consistency. However, many techniques and many ingredients are shared between cooking and baking. Two examples are cornstarch and baking powder.
While traditional apple cider was once made from specific types of apples cultivated solely for cider making, most types of cooking apples now can be made into delicious cider. Cooking apples are typically tarter, larger and firmer than apples meant for snacking. While most cooking apples can be eaten on their own, some varieties of cooking apple make better cider than others. Fresh apple cider is a sweet, natural autumn treasure that the whole family will enjoy.
Once the province of hunters, venison has become more accessible in local supermarkets. The lean, flavorful meat has about two-thirds the calories of an equivalent serving of pork, yet it's as versatile in the kitchen. Venison's pronounced flavor appeals to more sophisticated palates, but you can make it more kid-friendly if you treat it like a pork chop. Like pork chops, venison chops work with sweeter sauces and cooking methods that leave the meat tender.
Oatmeal provides whole-grain fiber that can help lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease. For children, fiber helps combat constipation. Adding oatmeal to cookies, breads and muffins is a good way to add fiber to your child's diet. In addition to being a good source of fiber, oats are low in fat and calories. You can use old-fashioned oats in place of quick cooking oats in recipes and meals.
Provide children with an enjoyable way to experiment with ingredients and become comfortable in the kitchen. Cooking games that make tasks enjoyable teach valuable culinary skills and foster a sense of confidence. Invite the whole family into the kitchen to play as they create a meal together with laughter, cooperation and teamwork. They might even clean up the dishes with a smile.
Meals that are prepared ahead of time and frozen for future use come in handy on days when time is short, schedules are conflicting and a home-cooked meal seems impossible. Whether you cook and freeze an entire meal or prepare and freeze basic ingredients, freezer-friendly cooking offers a convenient alternative to a fast-food restaurant's drive-up window.
Sockeye salmon is a Pacific wild-caught fish, popular for its firm texture and good flavor. The salmon's red flesh comes from an orange pigment in its diet which is a strong antioxidant. Sockeye salmon is a healthy meal choice for the whole family. It provides rich amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that are important for brain and eye development and reducing the risks for heart attacks, dementia and depression. Cook sockeye salmon simply to preserve its naturally appetizing taste.
While all meats require thorough cooking to prevent food-borne illness, vegetables are generally more nutritious when they're consumed raw. Beneficial vitamins may wash out of veggies when they're cooked in water, or nutrients may be lost in recipes that require high heat or long cooking times. However, you can still benefit from the nutrients in your food by learning which cooking methods best preserve vitamins.
Getting your children involved in cooking not only teaches them how to prepare healthy foods, but may encourage them to eat more healthfully. Children who are proud of the nutrient-filled dishes they prepared may be more willing to eat them than eating something healthy that you made. Encourage children to help prepare at least one meal a day so they learn to enjoy cooking.
If you're on the go and need to get dinner made quickly, cooking with halogen will speed the meal-preparation process considerably. Taking the place of a traditional oven, halogen-lamp ovens are small enough to fit on the kitchen countertop, using the power of infrared halogen lamps to cook food. Compact and inexpensive, these ovens offer a fast, convenient way to cook an entire meal.
Food stuck to the pan can be a frustrating issue in the kitchen. Following the proper procedures helps you cook without the sticking, saving you time and elbow grease when it's time to clean up. Preventing burnt-on, hard-to-scrub messes also makes it easier for the kids to help with the dishes.
Spring rolls are an appetizer common in many Asian cuisines. They may be deep-fried and crispy or served cold, sometimes called "fresh spring rolls" or "summer rolls." If you want to introduce your kids to these vegetable-filled treats without frying them, you can either make fresh spring rolls or imitate the crispy texture of fried spring rolls by baking them.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein that help form muscles and other body tissue. Essential amino acids are those that must be consumed every day to support optimal health. Cooking foods destroys some essential amino acids they contain, but the negative effects vary depending on which cooking method is used. Short cooking times, and incorporating the cooking liquid into the finished dish, help to preserve the most essential amino acids in most foods.
Stock your kitchen with a variety of ingredients and you'll be able to produce imaginative and enjoyable treats for the whole family. Clear gelatin, also called unflavored gelatin, contains animal proteins processed into a thickening agent without taste and odors. The thickening ability of gelatin makes it an ideal ingredient in many different kid-friendly recipes, from snacks and desserts to dips and salads.
Buffalo tastes like beef, but it lacks the characteristic marbling of beef and therefore has less overall fat. Its leanness makes it slightly less tender, but it makes a tasty jerky or kippered product. Kippering -- drying and salting meats as with jerky, but without the sweetness of jerky recipes -- turns strips of buffalo into a carbohydrate-free, high-protein snack. You can also cook with the preserved meat, as it stays softer than jerky.
Don't let memories of your mother's pressure cooker sway you from using this effective tool for making meals. Technology has improved the modern pressure cooker from the hissing, clanging pot you may have seen explode in your childhood kitchen. With a safer design and a multitude of benefits, pressure cookers are making a comeback. The advantages of cooking with this tool, including speed, flavor and nutrition, far outweigh the logistical inconveniences.
Eye fillet, also known as beef tenderloin, is tender, mild and juicy. This cut benefits from slow cooking to lock in flavors and juices, which makes your life easier, as you can prepare it and forget it until meal time. Suitable for family dinners, or that special dinner with the boss, eye fillet can be served with your family's favorite vegetables for a down-home meal or dressed up with oven-roasted potatoes and steamed veggies for a company dinner.
Whether you call them "macaroons" and dream of sweet, creamy mounds of coconut or you spell it "macarons" and create light almond and egg-white cookies, you have the perfect starting point for your yummy treat quest. The confections probably originated in an Italian monastery and became a favorite of Italian Jews for Passover desserts, since they don't use leavening agents. They were first brought to France in 1533 by the chefs of Catherine de'Medici. Over time, they have evolved from a mixture of ground almond, sugar and egg white to moist and chewy coconut balls that may or may not include nuts. Both versions are versatile enough for almost infinite dessert applications. Both the almond and coconut versions are irresistible to grown-ups and kids alike.
Brisket is a healthy choice to feed a growing family as it meets the government’s guidelines for lean meat, and just one serving provides 51 percent of the recommended daily consumption of protein. It's also an economical choice, because it is less expensive than many cuts of beef, but goes a long way. Combine the budget advantage with a good sale, and you are feeding your family and friends for pennies on the dollar.
Family camping trips are occasions for roughing it and trying novel ways to complete mundane activities. Cooking your food in empty cans over the campfire is one way to lighten the load of heavy pots and pans to haul to the campsite. It makes good use of the containers you used for the previous meal and can save some KP duties. Observe a few safety precautions before planning your gourmet adventure in can cooking.
Spaghetti is an inexpensive kitchen staple that is fast and easy to make. Spaghetti noodles provide a base for a wide variety of dishes, from the reliable spaghetti bolognese to Italian spaghetti and clams. A perfectly cooked batch of noodles is an essential starting point for your family's favorite spaghetti recipe.
When you want a simple and healthy cooking method that imparts big flavor to your recipes, a clay roaster can deliver. Attractive enough to go from oven to table, a clay roaster will hold a wide variety of different entrees and is perfect for serving. Use clay roasters for cooking nutritious and tasty one-pot meals for the whole family.
It doesn't take a seasoned cook to know that sauce transforms an ordinary meal to a delicious one. Creating a sauce only takes a few minutes once you've mastered the technique. Asking your tween or teen to whisk the sauce while you finish meal preparations gives you a few private moments to catch up on each other's day.
Meatballs aren't just the domain of seasoned, celebrated Italian chefs. They're also the friend of a busy home cook. These versatile, little morsels can be prepared long in advance and frozen for future use, either before or after they are cooked. So blast the Puccini, pour yourself a glass of your favorite beverage and spend a couple of weekend hours training for Italian-food greatness.
Many meals are enhanced by the flavors imparted by alcoholic beverages used in cooking, such as beer and wine. Parents may rightly wonder if it's safe to feed their children dishes cooked with beer. It's an individual choice, but foods with beer in the ingredient list don't generally contain very much alcohol -- if any-- if they're cooked for a long enough time.
Your family may be familiar with tapioca pudding, but the uses of the starchy substance stretches past the pudding. Tapioca is traditionally used to thicken desserts and pies. If your kids have never tried bubble or boba tea, they are sure to enjoy the drink served up in translucent glasses and enjoyed through a straw, with tapioca as the "secret" ingredient. Many busy moms also use it to thicken broths, soups and stews, as it adds texture and shine without changing the flavor.
When your preteen is ready to start cooking and using the kitchen, make safety a priority. While it isn't unhealthy to cook using foil according to the manufacturers instructions, burning foil can release toxic metals and gas into the air. Know how to use foil correctly to keep you, your home and your child safe.
Cornish game hens, also known as poussins and rock Cornish game hens, were introduced to American consumers in the 1950s when two poultry breeds were crossed. The result was a small, juicy bird with short legs and plump breasts, ideal for a single serving. Despite their name, Cornish game hens are raised, not hunted, and are usually sold at less than 6 weeks old. A single bird typically weighs less than 2 pounds. Cook a Cornish game hen using familiar methods and a few special techniques.
It's 6 p.m. when you get home, the kids are starving, laundry and homework beckon and you forgot to thaw the chicken or meat before you left for work. Every mom faces the dilemma of what to cook when her best-laid plans go awry, but there are always options for cooking on the fly. If you have frozen hot dogs in the freezer, pull them out and you can whip up a meal in mere minutes that your kids will enjoy eating.
Artichokes are green vegetables that are loaded with vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber. With a tough, spiky exterior and a prickly choke in the center, artichokes require just the right method of cooking and cleaning to come out tender, delicious and even edible. Steaming is the best way to cook an artichoke quickly and easily while preserving the healthy benefits.
The minerals found in foods contribute to a healthy diet and a healthy body. However, some cooking methods can leach the minerals, vitamins and other nutrients out of foods. The jury is still out on whether the effect of cooking is negligible or significant, but you can take steps to ensure that your family receives the maximum amount of nutrients from cooked foods.
Ramps are part of the lily family, a group of plants that includes well-known foods such as leeks and garlic. Their season is short and you're most likely to find them at your local farmers market early in spring. You don't have to cook ramps -- raw ramps have a distinctive and earthy taste that pairs excellently with sea salt and butter -- but it is much more common and popular to eat them cooked. Try them roasted, parboiled, sautéed, braised and even puréed to provide your family an easy-to-love flavor you're not likely to find any other time of year.
Hispanic cooking encompasses a variety of flavors, from the spicy Central American tastes of peppers and chilies to seafood-based dishes from the coasts of South America to the jerks and Creole cuisine of the Caribbean. With its emphasis on grains, vegetables and seafood, Latin American cooking lends itself well to heart-healthy meals. This versatile cuisine is easy to make at home, too.
There is no denying the appeal of cooking a meal that takes 30 minutes or less when you are a busy mom with children. You can whip up plenty of quick meals, but brisket is not one of them. Whether you choose to bake your brisket in the oven, smoke it for some barbecue or place it in a slow cooker, you must give your brisket ample time to make it tender. If you cook it too fast, you are going to have one tough piece of meat that your little one is apt to give up on and spit out onto his plate.
The hot dogs you buy at the store are precooked, but you still need to heat them to steaming to make them completely safe to eat, especially for pregnant women and small children. Grilling is the best way to cook a hot dog to get it hot without drying out the insides while giving it an extra boost of smokey flavor, according to taste tests performed by the food writers at the SF Gate website.
A pig leg, better known as pork leg or ham, is one of the most flavorful cuts of meat. Whether you're looking for a delectable Sunday roast or the perfect holiday fare, you can't go wrong with this cut of pork. The large slab of meat may seem a bit intimidating, but it is not any more difficult to cook than any other roast. As long as you use the right technique and handle it with care, your ham will turn out to be a succulent meal.
Burgers – be they beef, turkey or fish – are a delicious casual meal that both kids and adults can enjoy. Sometimes grilling your patties isn’t an option, and after a long day you might not feel like turning on the oven. Thankfully, it's not necessary; you can fry patties in a pan right on your stove top. If you know the secrets to cooking patties to perfection in a pan, they will turn out just as delicious, without the fuss.
A lot of people use the terms prawn and shrimp interchangeably. Prawn is more commonly used in the UK while Americans prefer shrimp, however there are some biological differences between the two. Prawns are much larger and thus better suited for certain dishes and methods. Prawns can be a delicacy if properly cooked; however, if you don’t know the right methods to bring out the flavors, you may end up with rubbery, flavorless crustaceans on your plate.
If you spend all of your free hours watching cooking shows on television, odds are you can already extol the virtues of a flat top grill. But if you've just procured a flat top grill or moved into a new place that has one built in, you may not know yet how advantageous they are to home cooks, or how quickly and efficiently you can throw together a meal for your family.
Despite its bright yellow color, turmeric has a mellow, earthy flavor that won't overwhelm other seasonings in a dish. If your children are attracted to brightly colored foods, you're in luck. Turmeric adds vitamin C, iron and calcium, but won't disturb picky eaters with a strong, unfamiliar flavor. You can add turmeric to meals already in your family's dinner rotation, or branch out and try a simple ethnic dish using turmeric.
Snow peas are wide, flat pea pods with tiny, immature peas inside. The vegetables are commonly found in Asian cuisine, although you can use them in just about any type of food kids love. Because the pods are edible and the peas taste great either raw or cooked, snow peas are easy to serve in many foods. You can even serve them on their own with a bowl of creamy dip.
Children who grow up cooking with their parents turn into adults who know how to cook for themselves. One of the best ways to teach kids to cook is by letting them cook right alongside you, as soon as they are old enough to stand on a chair and hold a spoon. Make this learning experience a little easier by finding special cooking utensils for their small hands. With specialty items and clever substitutes, you'll have an entire small cooking set ready for your little ones to use when helping in the kitchen.
When you fry traditional pork bacon in a skillet, the fat that melts out as it cooks remains in the pan — the bacon cooks in its own hot fat. Even after the grease has cooked out, regular fried bacon contains high levels of cholesterol. While limiting your intake or controlling portion size are ways to cut cholesterol, other options for healthier bacon are to prepare it using a method that reduces the amount of fat that remains in the meat after cooking, or to use alternative bacon products.
Fresh ginger root, that knobby and curious-looking root you may see in the produce department, can enhance cooking with its lively flavor. The spicy zing of fresh ginger can add flavor to foods, as well as provide some health benefits, nausea relief and immune enhancement. Try cooking stir-fry with ginger root for a flavorful entree the kids will enjoy.
Sheephead mushrooms go by many names, including hen of the woods, maitake and cloud mushroom. They have an unusual appearance, growing in large clumps at the base of oak trees, with spoon-like caps. Although they look quite different from the more popular button mushroom, sheephead mushrooms can be cooked in all the same ways.
Texas broil steak is a less tender cut of beef that benefits from proper preparation and slicing. Many cooks feel the meat benefits from a good marinade, but a fast cooking method followed by proper cutting also yields a tender steak. The secret to fast cooking is to have the pan or broiler hot before adding the steak. If it is not hot enough, the steak will give up its juices and stew in them.
Slow cooking is a convenient time-saver for busy families. Some types of nutrients may be lost during the long time they are stewing during slow cooking, but a covered pot that keeps the cooking juices locked in minimizes the nutrient loss. Even with some nutrients lost in slow cooking, home cooking is bound to be more nutritious and healthful for your family than fast food and processed food products.
While they don't provide that same natural, smoky flavor as charcoal grills, grills that connect to gas tanks are simpler to use. Instead of having to burn charcoal at the beginning of a barbecue session -- and having to clear it out at the end -- firing up a gas grill requires turning a few knobs and pushing of a button. More than 60 percent of all of the U.S. households with grills cook with gas.
Family camping vacations allow the entire family to benefit from fresh air, sunshine and exercise. If you and your family eat vegetarian, cooking can present a challenge because most traditional camping foods are meats. With a little imagination and preparation, you can easily prepare vegetarian meals for your family over the fire.
Getting your children to enjoy eating asparagus requires some ingenuity and creative preparation. Grilling asparagus instead of steaming or boiling it gives the vegetable a new dimension, and using a marinade or fresh herbs to enhance its flavor may tempt even the pickiest eaters to try it. Asparagus contains folic acid, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6, according to the University of California. This nutritious vegetable has low sodium content, making it a healthy grilling choice for your family.
Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables out there, containing many essential vitamins and minerals. Certain cooking techniques, however, can diminish its nutritional content. For example, "The New York Times" reports that cooking broccoli in a bowl of water in the microwave can cause the broccoli to lose up to 97 percent of its antioxidant compounds. Raw broccoli maintains all of its nutrition, but if you're going to cook it, choose the healthiest ways. Fresh broccoli only takes a few minutes to cook, so it's the perfect quick-fix vegetable when you're in a rush.
Your cookware can change the nutritional value of foods, sometimes making it unhealthy. When selecting pots and pans for your kitchen, consider the heating properties, durability and the potential for leached chemicals in each type of cooking vessel, then buy the best quality pots and pans you can afford. Cookware is an investment that supports nutrition and healthy home cooking.
Switching your family to a healthy diet can be daunting when they're craving a snack. Chips and candy can wreak havoc on their daily calorie intake, but the thought of munching on carrot and celery sticks might seem less than appealing. Cooking health food with fewer than 100 calories may be difficult at first, but you can whip up satisfying low-cal snacks with a little practice.
You might be tempted just to order a pizza next time you need to feed a group of teens. Instead, try fast and healthy meal ideas that will nourish growing bodies and delight teenage palettes. Focus on wholesome ingredients to prepare a fresh, nutritious and tasty meal that even the pickiest teenagers will enjoy.
According to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, a moist and tender beef roast results from the proper cooking method for the particular cut of beef. Because eye of round roasts have a tendency to be dry, proper cooking techniques ensure a perfect, juicy result your whole family will love. The recommended cooking methods for eye round roasts are roasting and braising. While the oven can be used for both methods, braising can also be done on the stove top or in a slow cooker. The cooking times differ for each method. Choose the one that best suits your schedule and meal preferences.
Salmon is widely recognized as an unusually healthy dietary choice, as rich in nutrients as it is in flavor. Salmon skin is completely edible, and is usually included with canned salmon. Some cooks routinely leave it on, while others just as routinely take it off. Either option is healthier than not eating salmon at all.
The small crustacean known as the crawfish is a staple of Louisiana's Cajun and Creole cuisine, prized by chefs for its sweet, buttery flavor. When cooking crawfish, it's important to realize that the crawfish will shrink noticeably if it's overcooked, resulting in a smaller crawfish that's rubbery and less flavorful than a crawfish cooked for the appropriate amount of time.
Coconut has long been a staple in tropical countries, providing a nutritious source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. In fact, coconut is regularly used in meal preparation in numerous cultures, and is a key ingredient in dishes all over the world. Cooking with coconut, whether it's coconut meat, coconut milk, coconut oil or coconut flour, offers an array of benefits for your family ranging from delectable flavor to improved health.
Fruits, vegetables, grains and other foods that come from plants contain fiber, the part of a plant that you can't digest. Fiber plays an important role in your health by relieving constipation, reducing the chances of other digestive problems and improving cardiovascular health. Cooking foods that have fiber softens the fiber, but doesn't destroy it.
If you and your family love seafood, bump up the flavor by cooking with seawater. Seawater cooking is popular for crab boils, lobster cook-offs and other fresh-caught seafood. The natural levels of salt in the water can add to the seafood flavor, and coastal barbecues make seawater cooking appealing, as you can just haul in a bucketful from the ocean without having to cart heavy jugs from the house. However, there are some health considerations you should be aware of when cooking with seawater.
Summer brings with it fun away from school, the promise of long nights, warm days and bumper crops of your favorite fruits and vegetables. While vegetables are available year round, asparagus is more plentiful and less expensive in the summer. The appearance of asparagus makes it look more difficult to cook than it is, and any time you introduce a new vegetable to your kids, you have to coax, cajole and to do back flips to get them to try new veggies. If cooked properly, asparagus is a marvelous addition to your dinner menu, pleasing even the most discriminating child's palate.
Meatloaf is a family favorite, but it can take a while to prepare. If you're used to saving meatloaf for a weekend meal, you may be surprised to realize that you can prepare meatloaf ahead of time. Prepared meatloaf can keep in the refrigerator overnight, or you can freeze it, baked or unbaked, for future meals.
A calzone is a large pocket meal filled with pizza toppings. This Italian specialty is made by spreading toppings on half of a pizza dough, then folding the dough over and sealing the edges. The perfect way to cook a calzone is based on your family's preferences as there are several options to choose from.
Red d'Anjou pears began as a natural mutation of the green variety, and they share nearly all other characteristics of the standard green d'Anjou pear. This means you can cook with them in any of your favorite pear recipes, or substitute them for apples in recipes for pies, cakes and crisps.
Applesauce isn't just for baby food. Whether cooked or simply pureed, applesauce has a smooth texture and rich taste that complements a variety of dishes. While you may be tempted to grab a jar from the grocery store shelves, making it from scratch is easier than you might think, and it allows you to control what other ingredients go into it.
Pinot Gris, also known as Pinot Grigio, Malvoisie and Runlander is a wine made from a grape that originated in Middle Ages Europe. The wine works well for cooking, as long as you remember the cardinal rule that you should never cook with a wine you wouldn't drink.
The first spoonful of applesauce often captures a baby's tastebuds for life, continuing into adulthood. Applesauce is easy to make, easy to digest and nutritious. Applesauce is low-fat and high fiber, containing vitamins A, B and C along with the minerals calcium, iron and magnesium. Using applesauce as a cooking ingredient adds nutrition and flavor to your family's meals, and it provides a base for sauces and moistness for baked goods that tempt the tastebuds of even your pickiest eater.
Whole grain flour is a healthy addition to your family's diet. When you substitute whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour, you may need to make other minor adjustments in the recipe to ensure success. Cooking with wheat flour versus white flour boosts nutrition and enhances flavors.
Peanuts are natural energy boosters that contain healthy fats, proteins and antioxidants. Enhance the flavor and boost the nutritional value of everything from breakfast pancakes and snacks to dinner and dessert when you cook with peanuts. The addition of snack foods to regular meals is an exciting concept for kids, so gather your little assistants in the kitchen to help measure out and toss the peanuts into your family's favorite recipes.
Glass and ceramic cookware goes from oven to table, with leftover storage in the same container in the refrigerator or freezer. Corning issued the first catalog of Pyrex glass flasks and beakers in 1915 and forever changed cooking with oven-safe glass. Corning developed ceramic cookware suitable for the stove top with the 1958 introduction of CorningWare. Other companies followed Corning in the development of glass and ceramic cookware so that today's cook has many choices for fast casseroles and one-dish meals. This cookware also helps busy moms put a nutritious dinner on the table every evening by affording them an easy way to pre-make their favorite family meals and have foods ready to go straight from the refrigerator to stovetop or oven.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which is necessary to develop strong muscles in children and adults. Our bodies contain some of the amino acids we need, but nine essential amino acids are found in foods, such as lean meats, eggs, dairy products and whole grains. Amino acids do not break down during the cooking process, but may be lacking in some diets -- particularly vegetarian diets.
Swordfish provides a solid texture in a dense steak cut. Its firm flesh and moderate flavor make it an ideal canvas for bold flavors. A high mercury content makes swordfish something you and your family should consume in moderation. Avoid it entirely if you are pregnant. If you cook swordfish properly, the results are a flaky, dense fish to build a meal around.
Cooking in vessels made of different types of earth and clay dates to the Native Americans who first inhabited the United States. Stoneware replaced more porous types of clay cooking vessels. Do not let its ancient history lead you to believe this is an old-fashioned and therefore less convenient way to cook, however. Stoneware, such as pizza stones and baking pans, offer busy moms a convenient, durable and efficient cooking vessel when used correctly.
Gelatin is the thickener in the sweet jiggly dessert that kids love, but it's also an ingredient in other recipes. Some require that you stir it into a hot liquid to dissolve the little granules, but others do not. Depending upon what you're making, you might add powdered gelatin to cold dishes, or you may stir it into cold water, then add hot liquids. While gelatin isn't full of a lot of nutrients, it does contain protein, so your kids aren't getting just empty calories.
Beet sugar is quickly outpacing cane sugar in popularity because it is less expensive to process. More than half the sugar in the United States now comes from sugar beets. While less expensive sugar is a good thing, beet sugar does not substitute easily for cane sugar in every type of recipe.
Nothing says summer quite like the taste of ripe mulberries, fresh from the tree. Unlike raspberries or blackberries, a tiny central stem sometimes remains on mulberries when you pluck them from the tree. Stemming mulberries is optional, but in dishes where presentation counts, it's best to remove the stems. It's a time-consuming task, however, so recruit the kids.
Cooking engages teenagers in a productive activity that teaches lifelong skills while encouraging creativity. While some recipes require an exact science to turn out, others allow for experimentation. Invite your teen into the kitchen with you for bonding time and to help her discover a potential hobby or even a future career option.
Pastry shells, including pie crusts, tart shells and puff pastry shells, are a handy thing to keep in your freezer, but some types need to be thawed before baking. With pastry crusts on hand, you can prepare meals, desserts and easy appetizers in minutes. To thaw or not to thaw depends on whether it's a pie crust or puff pastry.
You're not likely to find silverside in the U.S., unless you go to a specialty butcher, but not to worry. Several lean, inexpensive cuts of meat make fine substitutes. Use silverside and its alternatives for hearty, slow-cooked stews and soups, or soak it in a brine for several days to make corned beef. Lean and nutritious, silverside is a good choice for family meals on a budget.
In addition to the type of meats and seasonings you use, the type of surface you use when barbecuing can have a profound effect on the outcome of your meals. If you go shopping for a grill, whether gas or charcoal, you'll notice that grills come with a variety of cooking surfaces, which include steel, stainless steel, porcelain-coated and cast iron. Cast iron is an alloy of iron and carbon that is hard but relatively brittle in comparison to steel. Despite being brittle, it has several advantages for barbecue cooking.
Nothing brings a family together like eating together, but even in a small family it's hard to please everyone. Family reunions, which often involve large numbers of people, are even trickier. Most family reunions are potlucks, which means everyone is asked to cook and bring a food to contribute. The possibilities may be endless, but some choices lend themselves better to family reunions than others.
Hot dogs are one of America's go-to foods for snacks, quick meals, picnics, campfires and as a protein in dozens of quick casseroles and dishes. Loved by kids and adults alike, you'll find hot dogs in many forms such as frankfurters, wieners or bratwurst, and they may be made of beef, chicken, turkey, pork or a combination of meats. Look for meatless vegetarian versions, too. The dogs may be plump, slender, short or bun-size -- the variety is endless. Hot dogs are easy enough for kitchen-savvy children to cook, and busy moms can easily glamorize them for a quick and economical family dinner.
A hearty vegetable stew or a comforting pot roast from start to finish on a work night sounds like the setup for a joke in which you're the punchline. Under normal circumstances, that type of meal wouldn't make it to the table until you've already put the kids to bed and settled into your pajamas. If you have a pressure cooker, those types of meals on work nights suddenly become a reality. With a little pre-planning, healthy, home-cooked meals come together in the same amount of time it takes to order and receive takeout.
The best option for cooking real smoked kippers will depend on several factors, including what type of taste you want to produce and what cooking implements you have available. Real smoked kippers are herrings -- or small, silvery, saltwater fish -- that have been gutted, split in half, salted and smoked. Despite being smoked, kippers require additional cooking as they are usually left undercured so that the fish retain higher quantities of moisture.
So many tasty foods are high in fat and calories, you might think you'll be deprived when you go on a diet or try to get your family to eat healthier. If you're a creative cook, this is never the case. You can convert almost any favorite dish into one that's healthier by making better choices in ingredients and cooking methods. Cook great, reduced-calorie dishes your family will enjoy by being smart about the way you cook.
Substituting honey for sugar in your family's favorite recipes can alter the texture of your final product, as well as the flavor. While honey is higher in iron and calcium than sugar, as well as other minerals, eating enough of it to gain significant amounts of vitamins and minerals would also mean ingesting far more carbohydrates than is healthy.
Wheat can be incredibly difficult to avoid, whether in packaged foods or home-cooked recipes. Yeast, although not as common, can be hard to avoid if your family enjoys bread, other baked goods and certain pastries. Fortunately, when cooking at home you can make a variety of substitutions to your recipes to serve healthy meals without the wheat or yeast.
Nutrient-rich chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a low-fat source of high-quality protein. One cup of chickpeas contains about 15g of protein and more than 12g of fiber. They are also a source of vitamin B-6, folate, zinc, vitamin C and other antioxidants. Although canned chickpeas from the supermarket are ready to use, home-cooked chickpeas are thrifty and easy to prepare, and they'll give your hummus a rich, nutty flavor. Freshly cooked, dried chickpeas have a different texture than the canned variety, ensuring that your hummus will be velvety smooth. Add flavor to your hummus by experimenting with dry seasoning mixes, like spicy ranch. Look for bagged, dried chickpeas alongside other dried legumes in the supermarket, or check in the bulk aisle.
When your children become teenagers, their eating habits and appetite may change dramatically. Your picky son becomes ravenously hungry all the time and your junk-food-loving daughter is suddenly consumed with healthy eating. As they grow, their nutrition needs will change, too. It's important that teens get enough vitamins and nutrients to grow into strong, healthy adults. Be prepared to accommodate your teens' new dinnertime habits with a selection of healthful, tasty, filling meals.
One of the most enjoyable parts of camping with your children is making casual meals away from the kitchen. You and your kids can create tasty meals with unusual cooking methods. Hot dogs on a grill and eggs in a frying pan may be old hat, but cooking your food using a stick or a coffee can can be an entertaining way for your family to spend some time on your camping trip.
When schedules are hectic but you still want home-cooked dinners, you can spend some time preparing meals ahead and freezing them. Known as "freezer cooking," once you have a freezer stocked with meals, it's a simple thing to browse the contents and pick out that night's dinner. Keep your freezer well organized so you know your inventory on hand.
You don't have to break the bank to put a delicious meal on the table. Cook good and cheap food that the whole family will enjoy, keeping the ingredients fresh and the ideas imaginative. Try involving everyone in the preparation process; kids typically are eager to eat the foods they help cook.
In Northern Italy, polenta means slowpoke, a reference to the lengthy process early chefs went through to make this thick porridge. Polenta has been around for thousands of years, but it wasn't until Christopher Columbus discovered the New World that corn products became the primary ingredient. Confusion over the difference between cornmeal and polenta arises from the fact that manufacturers often package certain types of cornmeal as polenta, possibly so that they can charge extra for a "specialty" item. Generally speaking, polenta is the name of the dish, and cornmeal is what you make the dish from.
Ice cream is the perfect dessert for kids on a hot summer's day. What better to cool them off and satisfy their sugar cravings than a bowl of ice cream? Ice cream, however, can also help you keep kids busy because it lends itself to a variety of cooking and preparation activities. Entertain your kids and trick them into helping make dessert by turning it into a game. Whether you are planning a birthday party on the fly or dealing with your own kids, ice cream cooking games are an enjoyable way to make dessert together.
Morel mushrooms are one-of-a-kind-looking mushrooms, with their dark and wrinkled caps. However unattractive, their rumpled exterior conceals one of the tastiest and most cherished of mushrooms. Classical and modern repertoires contain hundreds of recipes for morels, but there is a remarkable degree of consensus on the best way to prepare them.
A freezer full of make-ahead meals can be a real comfort for a busy mom. On those days when life hands you all the complications you can deal with, it's good to know that dinner is already covered. Prepared meals can be cooked from frozen foods or those thawed in advance, they just need to be treated a bit differently.
Lemons and limes are among the most common citrus fruits available throughout the year at most supermarkets. But unlike other citrus, such as oranges and grapefruit, lemons and limes are more useful in cooking than they are for raw eating or juicing. Many traditional and creative modern dishes make use of lemons and limes to provide tart, refreshing flavor.
Bacon-wrapped hot dogs are a traditional Mexican street food that has hit the carts of American vendors, much to the delight of meat-lovers. Recreating the salty, juicy treat at home puts an exciting spin on your typical grill fare. Spice up the basic recipe to suit your preferences for sweet, tangy or spicy, and you'll have a customized meal your family will devour.
When you choose whole foods, you are consuming unrefined and natural products. These are the foods that you grow yourself or purchase in their natural state with minimal packaging at the grocery store. This includes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy products and meats in their original state. Whole health cooking seeks to prepare whole foods to help kids grow up healthy and strong and to keep adults healthy.
Octopus is a much-loved staple in Asia and the Mediterranean, but little eaten in America. Fortunately, it is easily available in frozen form, thanks to its popularity in various ethnic cuisines. For those who've tried it in a restaurant and come to appreciate its sweet flavor, learning to cook octopus is surprisingly straightforward, even for a busy home cook.
If you're looking to incorporate new types of fish into your family's diet, look no further than the hake, an ocean fish related to the cod and the whiting. This fish isn't well known in the United States, but it is a much sought-after fish in parts of Europe, particularly Spain and Portugal. Hake can be poached, roasted, sauteed or broiled. The traditional Spanish way to prepare hake remains the best-known: pan-fried in a light coating of flour.
Nutella is a chocolate and hazelnut spread that originated in Italy during World War II. According to the Nutella website, a baker in Italy combined hazelnuts with chocolate in an effort to make his chocolate go further, because cocoa was rationed in Italy during the war. Today, you can purchase Nutella in any well-stocked grocery store. Nutella is useful as a sweet spread wherever you might use peanut butter, but it can also be incorporated into recipes.
Sea bass can be prepared in a variety of ways, from grilled to poached or even steamed. The simplest way to prepare sea bass, however, is to roast it. Roasting brings out the delicate flavor of the bass without a lengthy preparation or cooking time. Kids like its mild flavor, and because it is so versatile and easy to cook it will be a favorite for busy parents and kids alike. Remember lemon wedges for the kids -- squeezing fresh juice makes eating fish fun.
Hot dogs have made the transition from iconic German street food to household quick-meal staple. Serve with the standard condiments -- mustard, ketchup, relish, coleslaw, cheese, chili or creamy dressing -- and let your each member of your family dress their own dogs. The tender, juicy sausages are sure to please the crowd, but heating up whole batches of hot dogs quickly can be stressful if you are used to just heating up a few in a skillet for your family dinner. Alternate cooking methods allow you to cook several hot dogs at a time without sacrificing flavor.
Galvanization is the process of coating a metal with zinc. This can protect the metal from deterioration, particularly when exposed to moisture and heat, such as in the case of aluminum cookware. However, this coating can react with heat and moisture, causing zinc to migrate into your foods as you prepare them. Damaged cookware, such as scratched or pitted pots and pans, can increase the migration of minerals into your food. This increased mineral content can have a negative impact on your family's health.
The first time you bring home artichokes for dinner, chances are your family might think you brought home some sort of exotic, short-stemmed green flower to arrange. But the artichoke is a vegetable worth tackling, given its richness in vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber, packing a powerhouse punch of nutritional goodness for your children and you. Once you have the vegetable on the counter, there are some easy ways to attack that thorny, leaved vegetable, cooking-wise.
There are many advantages to removing the sugar and flour from your diet, including weight loss. If you or someone in your family is gluten-intolerant, you may need to cook and bake without flour for health reasons. Once you begin exploring your cooking options, you may discover many flourless and sugarless cooking recipes that allow you to cook foods the kids will love.
When you're watching calories or trying to cut sugar from your diet, you probably don't think twice about stirring a packet of artificial sweetener into your morning coffee or tea. However, when it comes to making your child's birthday cake or cookies for the bake sale, using artificial sweetener in place of sugar requires a bit more care. Artificial sweeteners are not created equally when it comes to baking, so it'll save you time -- and frustration -- if you know how each one holds up to heat and how best to use them in your dessert and treat recipes.
Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are the most widely eaten bean in the world. They have a nutty, rich flavor and firm texture. Use them in salads, soups and dips, but cook them thoroughly until they are tender. Undercooked chickpeas are neither tasty or good for your health.
Raw apples are a healthy, delicious snack but don't overlook this versatile fruit as a nutritious part of cooked dishes as well. Apples hold up well when baked or sauteed and contribute sweet, tangy flavor to everything from pies and dessert toppings to sauces and fillings. Loaded with fiber, vitamin C and potassium, cooked apples are a tasty way to increase your family's daily consumption of fruit.
Flavorful chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are an inexpensive source of protein, fiber, potassium, iron and calcium. These versatile legumes are traditionally used to make hummus as well as other Mediterranean and Indian foods. Take advantage of their mild, slightly nutty flavor by adding them to a variety of dishes, including salads, soups, stews and main dishes. Dry chickpeas have a richer flavor but require soaking and cooking before use. Canned chickpeas are ready to use, making them a great time-saver for busy moms.
Lentils belong to the legume family, but cook more quickly than beans or split peas. Use them in warm, filling stews or chilled salads. Lentils have a mild, earthy flavor that pairs well with many ingredients, such as onions, nuts, rice or carrots. For best results, add any seasonings after the lentils are tender but still warm. An easy way to add balanced seasonings is to stir in a packet of dry salad dressing and seasoning mix.
Cooking whole duck is no harder than roasting a chicken, and it offers an exotic change of pace. Ducks fly while chickens stand around, so duck breast meat is dark and flavorful, like chicken legs. Ducks also swim, so they have a layer of fat beneath their skin that helps them float. This fat is not marbled through the meat, allowing it to cook off during roasting. This layer of fat helps to moisten the duck meat as it cooks, meaning that you can cook duck uncovered and still have it turn out juicy and moist. A duck and chicken will finish cooking in about the same length of time, so when you want something different for dinner with a minimum of time commitment, prepare a duck.
Mussels are shellfish, like clams or oysters. They are usually processed without any additives or preservatives when sold live. Half-shell mussels are simply mussels that have been steamed open. Cooking fresh mussels is not at all difficult, requires no special equipment and takes only a few minutes. The shells will be hot to handle so keep a pair of tongs close at hand. Children love the novelty of the attractive, sturdy shells, which can even make natural playthings and craft supplies when thoroughly washed after the meal. Take advantage of this way to broaden their palates and introduce new flavors.
You just got back late from a long day at work to find your family has been snacking in front of the TV for hours. This situation calls for a quick, healthy meal that will satisfy the remaining hunger pains but won't expand waistlines. Cooking light, fresh food fast can be a challenge, but there are certain foods and cooking techniques that can make your job much easier. Whenever possible, buy ingredients already cooked to avoid that extra step.
A garlic press is a time-saver in your kitchen, allowing you to easily use fresh garlic in place of jarred or dried. While mincing garlic requires knife skills, even kids can help to use the garlic press. You can use pressed garlic in nearly any recipe that requires garlic, but some special care may be in order.
Many hunters make a practice of grinding venison, which has the dual advantage of reducing the cost of meat-cutting and eliminating any concerns over the toughness of the animal. Ground venison is often used for sausages, such as thin, spicy venison sticks. These can be either hot- or cold-smoked, as desired. It's safe to say that most home cooks do not have the time or inclination to hunt deer and turn the meat into sausages. Some, however, may wonder how venison sticks are made.
Velvety sauces and creamy soups don't have to remain the province of professional chefs. Borrow a restaurant trick for creating lusciously smooth textures and bring the blender in for more than just smoothies. Your blender not only improves your gravies, sauces and dressings, it also opens up new possibilities for healthy eating. Give the blender a whirl for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
When you're outfitting a kitchen with the materials and utensils you'll need to cook for the family, think basic instead of extravagant. By choosing carefully according to the kind of cooking you do most often, you can spend less -- but still get everything you need to prepare healthy meals. Once you have the tools you need, you might even involve the kids in meal preparation.
You don't have to live south of the border to enjoy delicious fajitas. When prepared at home, fajitas are an economical use of your food budget because the marinade tenderizes less expensive and tough cuts of meat, such as skirt steak. Chicken and shrimp also sizzle in Mexican goodness, so plan your fajita meal based on what's on sale at the store, and spend just a little time in the kitchen to enjoy big flavors.
Spaghetti bolognaise, also commonly called spaghetti bolognese, is an Italian pasta dish that usually includes more than one type of meat and vegetables, as well as a creamy sauce and a bit of tomato sauce. If your kids are used to traditional spaghetti and meatballs or elbows with cheese sauce, they may balk at this type of food for dinner. With a few considerations, though, you might get them to enjoy this slightly more sophisticated Italian fare.
Tempered glass bakeware has been in the American marketplace since before World War I, when the Corning company launched its Pyrex brand. Glass bakeware has been used ever since, and glass cookware is also available for stovetop and oven use. Glass cookware and bakeware are versatile, but do require a few adjustments to cooking methods and temperatures.
Once upon a time, buttermilk was the liquid that's left over after milk was churned into butter. Today it's a thick and creamy cultured milk product that. Despite its name, most commercial buttermilks are lower in fat than whole milk because they're made from reduced-fat milk. The culturing makes it easier for most lactose-intolerant people to digest than regular milk. Some children enjoy drinking buttermilk straight from a glass because of its creamy texture and tangy flavor, but most cooks use it solely for baking and cooking.
Swordfish steaks have a distinct, savory flavor that differentiates them from other large deep-sea fish such as tuna or tilefish. In addition to its rich flavor, swordfish is considered a lean meat, and it is a good source of selenium, niacin, potassium, phosphorus and vitamin B12. Pair any preparation with a salad tossed with creamy dressing and slices of crusty baguette. However you prepare swordfish, you can feel confident that you are serving your family a healthy meal they will enjoy.
Wieners are as versatile as the names used to describe them. Whether you like your franks grilled, fried, boiled, baked or nuked, the humble hot dog can be prepared every way imaginable, and it has been paired with every condiment that ever entered the mind of man. Break out the ketchup and mustard -- and the coleslaw, onions, or even the mango chutney. There are a million different ways to cook and serve wieners, and nearly all put a smile on a child's face.
According to Ohio State University Agricultural Research and Development Center, slow- and quick-cooking oatmeal are equally nutritious. This means that on a hectic morning, a bowl of steaming hot instant oatmeal constitutes a healthy breakfast, and for busy moms, no guilt is required. The main difference between slow- and quick-cooking oatmeal is in the processing.
Cooking bags are good for everything from cooking a few cups of corn for your family to roasting an entire turkey. The heat-safe bags are available in a variety of sizes and are useful for steaming food in the microwave or roasting in the oven. Both steamer bags and oven bags work by trapping steam and heat to surround the food with hot, moist air. The result is a moist, delicious meal and potentially less time spent in the kitchen.
Okra is a classic side dish on Southern tables, but savvy moms living anywhere can learn the best ways to cook this crispy pod. Preparing okra properly can be the difference between a palate-pleasing family meal and a slimy taste bud turnoff. When it comes to cooking okra, a few tricks will help you prepare a tasty out-of-the-box or classic recipe for expanding your family's vegetable repertoire.
Pleasing a crowd is simple when you opt for casseroles. When you're trying to please a range of ages, from small to tall, include down-home comfort casseroles with basic ingredients and seasonings. Cook casseroles for a crowd and put out a spread that will make them all come running.
Pepper aficionados know them as ghost peppers, naga jolokia or bhut jolokia, but the flame-red Indian pepper tastes the same no matter what name it bears. Red and warty jolokia peppers look as sinister as they taste; at more than 1 million Scoville units -- the scale that measures pepper heat -- these blazing chilies pack two to three times as much heat as a habanero. One word describes how to cook with jolokia peppers: carefully.
Snow crab, like king crab, are typically imported from Alaska. For this reason, you will probably find snow crab legs sold precooked and frozen in your local grocery store, because transporting live snow crab is expensive. The best way to prepare snow crab, either fresh or frozen, is by broiling, because it will warm the delicate crab meat without overcooking it like grilling can. Children are fascinated by the shell and the intricate leg construction, which helps lead them to taste and enjoy this exquisitely flavorful centerpiece for a special family dinner.
Many gardeners, especially those with children, like to plant a row or two of radishes. They are always among the earliest seeds to germinate, an ingratiating habit that makes them ideal for the impatient early-season gardeners of all ages. Although they are commonly eaten raw, radishes are also a versatile cooked vegetable.
Zucchini is a dark green squash known for producing wildly in summer gardens The name of the vegetable comes from the Italian word "zucchino," meaning small squash. This type of squash is one of the most versatile items you'll find in the grocery store -- or grow in your backyard -- and it's full of nutrients to boot. Children love sweet zucchini bread, and it's easy to turn them on to other ways to serve it, as well.
Tilefish live in the Atlantic ocean and they have a diet composed mainly of crab and crustaceans, which gives them a distinct, savory flavor that make children clamor for more. If you're looking for new culinary horizons to expose your kids to, give this easily prepared, high-protein fish a try. You can bake tilefish, but baking takes longer and leaves the fillets less firm. Many recipes also call for frying tilefish fillets. The best way to prepare these fish, both for taste and for nutritional value, is to broil them.
Expand the family's horizons and experiment with a little ethnic cooking for dinner. Filo dough, a paper-thin dough that comes in sheets usually about the length and width of a typical roasting pan, makes a delicious, delicate crust for both sweet and savory dishes. Although layering butter between the filo layers is the traditional method of working with filo, you can also use olive oil or just put several leaves together with nothing in between.
Porcini mushrooms are among the world's most-prized mushrooms for culinary purposes. They're also known as king boletes in Americs. In France they're called cepes, in Germany steinpilz, and in Eastern Europe they have as many names as there are ethnic groups. Whether fresh or dried, they bring a deep, rich meaty flavor to your cooking that even children who may think they aren't wild about mushrooms appreciate.
Sometimes an occasion just screams for a special gathering with exceptional food. A pig roast can provide enough food to feed the whole neighborhood or all of your extended relatives, with delectably tender meat roasted to perfection. Before you pop the pig into the pit, prepare it properly, salting it to make it taste divine.
If you are looking for a healthy alternative to using cornstarch or flour in a recipe, behold the wonders of quick cooking tapioca. Tapioca comes from the starchy roots of the tropical cassava tree, which is also known as the manioc tree. Unlike regular tapioca, which contains large, pearl-like beads, quick cooking tapioca consists of small grains and can tolerate prolonged freezing and cooking.
Some people, especially children, do not enjoy the flavor of tomatoes. However, tomatoes are difficult to avoid because they are used in so many recipes and sauces. If you or your family do not enjoy the flavor of tomatoes, you can neutralize the strong flavor of the tomatoes and still enjoy your favorite recipes.
Polish sausage, or kielbasa, can be purchased in the form of a large fully cooked ring or as individual link sausages. The two are rather different products and require different cooking methods, but they do share one thing in common. Although raw kielbasa are at their best when cooked slowly, there are also quick options for busy moms.
For those rare nights that aren't kid-themed, grown-up food is a welcome respite. Whether you're creating an intimate dinner for two or throwing together a special evening for your closest friends, chardonnay is not only a crisp, white wine appropriate for sipping, it's also for cooking.
Anyone who waxes nostalgic about their first apartment usually tells a tale or two of dinner menus starring ramen noodles. It's not just the salty, noodle-filled broth that makes ramen easy for novice cooks, it's also affordable. Many grocery stores run occasional sales on ramen packages for about 10 to 15 cents a packet, making them not just ideal for starving college students or recent grads, but also for families who closely watch their budget.
If you are looking for another option for a fresh, healthy snack or food, soybeans may be your answer. Fresh yellow or green soybeans, also known as edamame, have been enjoyed as a healthy snack for centuries in Japan. Your family will love their fresh, savory taste, and you can feel confident that you are serving them a snack that is nutritious.
To cut back on fat in your food when you cook, use lean meat and skim milk whenever possible. Skip full-fat sour cream and cheddar cheese and instead, opt for reduced-fat sour cream and cheese made from skim milk. Choose fat-free or light creamy salad dressings and dips. Their creamy texture makes them seem rich. Other simple fat reduction methods may not be as obvious, but are just as important when it comes to reducing your family's overall intake of unhealthy saturated fat.
Lemon pepper is a staple in many home kitchens. This flavorful pepper is a simple mixture of coarsely ground pepper, tiny bits of granulated lemon zest and coarsely ground sugar. It's one of the most versatile spices in your cabinet and should be kept front and center to enhance the flavor of main dishes, sides and snacks.
Turnip greens deserve a place in your vegetable repertoire, as the inexpensive greens are rich in important nutrients such as calcium, folate, and vitamins A, C and K. Use a simple method to cook turnip greens, then dress up the greens with sweet or savory additions of your choice. With the right flavor combination, even vegetable-wary kids enjoy this healthy vegetable. Fresh turnip greens have bright green leaves and no yellow or wilted leaves.
Many people believe that okra is naturally slimy, so they avoid cooking it. Okra does have a substance inside it that acts as a natural thickener, and this is useful if you are making gumbo or another dish where the ingredients need to come together in a stew. However, you can keep your okra slime-free and crunchy by following a few tips.
By their nature, kitchens are filled with all manner of sharp edges and hot surfaces, and it's all too easy to have an unfortunate run-in with them. Kitchen safety at home is largely a matter of common sense, but planning and awareness will help you avoid serious burns or injury. Explain the hows and whys of kitchen safety rules to your children to help everyone stay safe.
A sensitive palate can be a mixed blessing. On one hand, diners with a sensitive palate often appreciate subtleties that elude most others. Yet, an overly sensitive palate makes many foods taste unbearably sweet, tart or bitter. For cooks, learning to accommodate a sensitive palate can be a fascinating challenge or an endless burden. Like so much in life, it's all about your attitude.
Because of the strong Portuguese influence in New England, seafood dishes common to this region often have a Portuguese spirit. When you want to prepare a traditional New England clam dish, try doing it Portuguese style. Cook Portuguese clams with customary seasonings in a kid-friendly way that will please everyone.
Tapioca is less used in American kitchens than flour and cornstarch, the two workhorse thickeners we grew up with. It is mostly seen as the gently chewy spheres in tapioca pudding, or the larger pearls in bubble tea and similar beverages. However, both quick-cooking tapioca and tapioca flour have many more uses for a savvy, time-conscious cook.