Cooking Techniques

Advantages / Disadvantages of a Gas Grill

Approximately 80% of American households own a grill. This data shows how far the American population is ready to embrace developments in the kitchen and cooking department. As far as outdoor cooking is concerned, gas and charcoal grills are the two prominent types of grills.

The continued conservation campaigns have reduced the number of charcoal grills in our homes since they are associated with deforestation. Gas grills make use of a natural resource that is readily available. However, gas grills have mixed fortunes.

Below are some insights into the advantages and disadvantages of a gas grill.

Begin by Getting the Right Grill

One of the significant problems associated with this equipment is the high probability of becoming faulty. This is primarily brought about by individual tendencies of buying substandard equipment.

There are set standards for gas grills that you have to check before taking it home. Be sure that your pick is equal to the task to avoid future inconveniences. At the same time, be sure that you can use it efficiently when no one else is around.

If you are not familiar with it, take time and go through the menu. If doing so doesn’t help, talk to the technician, and get assistance where necessary. Don’t buy it because you only have a limited amount of funds.

Advantages

Food Cooks Faster

It becomes hard to compare gas grills with other cooking equipment. These grills consume less time in cooking which saves you much for other activities. They only take a fraction of the time consumed by other cooking methods.

It also saves you cash that you would have used to rush to a hotel to get some bites. Grills allow the accumulation of heat, thus the rapid cooking process. It has a quicker ignition and heating rate as compared to the rest.

It Is Cheap

When it comes to the cost, gas grills may have a high initial cost. However, you will get to realize that it was the cheapest option in town. Other forms of the grill are characterized by low prices which later become a problem due to the high cost of fuel.

On the flip side, gas grills will be cheap in the long run since gas has low prices. You will generally have enough cash to get more grilling foods for the family.

Easy Control of Temperature

While grilling, it will reach a point where either the heat is too low or too much. In the case of gas grills, it becomes easy to regulate the temperature which is done through the adjustment of a specified knob.

Charcoal grills are directly the opposite in that controlling the temperature requires sufficient airflow. While this may be not difficult, you cannot compare it to the convenience of a knob.

Temperature is a critical component of your grilling experience. Ensure the knobs are functioning even before you take the griller home. In case they fail after a short time, use the warranty policy to get another machine.

Gas Grills are Safe

Unlike charcoal grills, gas rarely emits fumes of carbon that may end up bringing instances of breathing complications. It also lacks wastes, like ash, that may be blown by winds to other apartments.

While there isn’t as much waste, gas grills do demand your attention just in case of a technical hitch.

Are Comfortable to Use

Charcoal grills come in with a series of labor demands beginning with the purchasing of fuel igniting it. Interestingly, most of the population, especially the younger generation, has not interacted with the charcoal system.

It, therefore, becomes difficult to convince such people on the essence of such grills. However much pressure you get from others, go for makes that are comfortable with you and avoid carbon at all costs.

Don’t be fooled by a cheap price that may end up costing you a fortune in the long run. After all, gas grills are convenient, easy, and comfortable to operate. You don’t have to do it from the outside like in the case of charcoal grillers.

Gas Grills Cook Almost Everything

The secret to effective cooking is regulating heat and temperature. This is something that gas grills have meaning it is more than possible to cook every meal to personal tastes.

In charcoal grills, it takes effort to lower the temperature, which may lead to the burning of some foods. The wide range of temperatures gives room for slow cooking which leads to better meals.

Grilling Has Health Benefits

Foods prepared on gas grillers are said to be low in calories and fat. Unlike grilled foods, fried food poses several health risks among them obesity and cardiovascular disorders. Interestingly, even foods that have low-fat content tend to rise when fried.

The good thing with gas grillers is that they suck excess fat, especially when slow-cooking. This eventually leads to lower calories, thus manageable weight.

Drawbacks

Takes Away the Flavor

Gas grilling is good, but when it comes to the original flavor, it is beaten by charcoal grills. This is brought about by the lack of much-needed smoke that adds a natural flavor.

There is hardly any smoke in a gas grill, and once you notice it, it is a red flag.

Health Risks

Grilled foods are suitable for the body, but the interaction between the food and heat may be dangerous. In most cases, meals that are grilled are proteins. High heat reacts with protein bonds, forming heterocyclic amines which are known carcinogens.

Additionally, it produces glycation products which in the long run cause conditions such as diabetes.

There is Limited Mobility

When families are grilling using charcoal, you will find them chat around the grill. This case doesn’t play out in gas grills since they do not generate enough heat for them.

Gas grills are, in most cases, fixed in one position meaning the grilling activities cannot be transferred outdoors. Gas is dangerous to deal with and will require minimal exposure.

Grilling is one of the cooking approaches that society is adopting at a high rate. Charcoal grills are no longer as common as they were initially and are being replaced by gas grills. Even as you use these gas grills, be cautious to avoid cases of fire and explosion.

Resources – The Spruce, Huffington Post, Hunker

Tips and Tricks for Feeding Large Groups of People

While it may sound like fun to invite enough people to fill a house, there are many elements involved in the planning of such an event. Not everyone is aware enough to acknowledge all of the logistics of entertaining a crowd, here is a useful list of things to consider. Keep reading as the experts at Food Service Company explain more. 

Acknowledge Your Strengths

Unless you are willing to stress yourself out with preparing a second entree, only cook dishes that you know and are confident you can make without a problem. Save the innovative eatery for appetizers and dessert.

Know Your Audience

Unless you can easily accommodate the individual dietary requirements of each of your guests, focus on foods that you know your guests already like.

Stick to Foods that Keep Well

Do not stress yourself with cooking everything on the day of the event. A smart host will prepare batches of the party food in advance, preferring dishes that can be put into storage and easily be reheated hours before the time on the invitations rolls around.

Make Sure You Make Enough

While it can be hard to figure out the exact amount of food per person, there are some basics to this calculation.

  • Entrees: half a pound of protein or 5 ounces of pasta.
  • Side Dishes: 4 ounces of vegetables and 1.5 ounces of grains.
  • Dessert: Two cookies or brownies.

It’s Okay to Cheat a Bit

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There is nothing wrong with picking up a premade food item, like a crudité or charcuterie platter. This extends to buying a time-demanding side dish instead of spending the time and effort to make it yourself. The less you have to exert yourself, the better your mood will be for entertaining guests.

Consider Going Buffet-Style

While plated meals are normal for a formal dinner, they also demand you be in host most for the entire time. Since buffets are self-serving affairs, you can spend less time worrying about keeping your guests fed and more time entertaining and being a good host, only intervening when a particular item runs low or goes away. Consider desserts that require little effort to prepare, like handheld baked goods.

Get Organized

Make a list of every task and every step toward completing that task. Once your guest list is confirmed, ensure that you will have enough dishes and cutlery for those guests for the entire night, plus a few extra in case of accidents or surprise company. If your fridge has sufficient space, consider storing dishes in clusters themed around the course they will be served for.

Your Oven Only Holds So Much

While you might be tempted to insert multiple dishes, each with their own goal temperature, into an oven and averaging out the temperature to save yourself some time, this can lead to unevenly cooked meals. Furthermore, recipes tend to be written with the one dish having exclusive use of the oven-adding multiple dishes actually requires even higher temperatures for the oven to properly do its job of cooking two or more dishes simultaneously. Limit your baking and feel free to include some dishes that can be prepared on other appliances like a cooktop or even a toaster oven.

Remember Food Safety

Use a separate chopping board for your meat than you use for vegetables and bread. Know the safe temperatures for each type of protein.

  • Pork and red meat: 145ºF.
  • Ground meat: 160ºF.
  • Poultry and anything reheated: 165ºF.

Food should be tossed once it has remained at room temperature for over two hours; track this amount of time by abstaining from refilling half-empty platters. 

Loaded Chicken Nachos Recipe

Nachos are quite famous everywhere, and they are perfect for every meal. If you eat it with liquid cheese sauce – one of my favorite nacho cheese sauce in Australia. It will, with no doubt, be a great snack. Mix it with chicken and burger cheese slices – quite famous as American cheese in Australia then it’s an amazing dinner.

Off days are incomplete without Chicken Nachos being cooked, this dish is a big hit at my home. It is super delicious and cheesy and surprisingly easy to cook. One of the keys to this amazing dish is the super tasty Mexican Shredded Cheese.

Lots of juicy shredded chicken, tons of mandatory shredded cheese, and the nachos together will satisfy all your favourite people like my husband and children. Try recreating restaurant quality loaded chicken nachos for your kid’s birthday party, or any special occasion, it will bring fun to every occasion.

Also, the ingredients can be modified with your own taste; now it’s time to show some creativity.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients

Tortilla Chips 1 large bag 

Shredded Chicken 2 cups

American cheese 8-9 slices

Mexican Shredded Cheese 1 Cup

Corn ½ Cup

Tomato 2 (diced)

Olive 1/3 Cup

Green Onion ½ Cup (thinly sliced)

Jalapeno ¼ Cup (sliced)

Salsa ¼ Cup

Sour Cream ¼ Cup

Coriander ¼ Cup

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a baking dish with a cooking spray, or you can brush some olive oil.
  3. Layer the tortilla chips in the baking dish, making it a single layer.
  4. Then, cover the tortilla chips with shredded chicken.
  5. Place the cheese slices above the shredded chicken, make sure the cheese slices don’t overlap each other.
  6. Add another layer of tortilla chips.
  7. Place corn, tomatoes, green onion, and olives
  8. And finally, sprinkle some or a lot of shredded cheese on top.
  9. Bake the dish for about 15 minutes.
  10. Garnish it with Jalapeno slices, salsa, sour cream, and coriander.
  11. Serve immediately.

Quick tips

  • You can use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery if you don’t have time to make oven-roasted chicken.
  • You can make this recipe lighter, weight your ingredients using a food scale instead of measuring cups. You will get a more accurate measurement. The amount of shredded chicken can vary on how you pack the cup.
  • Create a single serving on quarter sheet pans. It will take the guesswork out of serving size and avoids fighting over the last nacho.

About the Author:

Rosemary Kobe is a homemaker who loves to play with her two little twin-toddlers at her homes in Sydney & Melbourne. She is one of the greatest foodies in Australia experimenting with a lot of dishes at home and occasionally heads out in search of the best burgers in Gold Coast. If you know one – let her know in the comments below or mail me at [rosemariikobe@gmail.com]

Simple Ways to Enjoy a Healthy Meal




Eating healthy doesn’t mean following an extreme dietary plan, or denying yourself your favorite food. Rather, it’s more about eating foods that boost energy, improve your health, and balance the hormones. Chances are you’ve read countless articles on nutrition or tried a bunch of diets without success – which is why we won’t try to sell you another magic diet.

Our mission is to promote healthy living by way of eating nutritious whole meals and minimizing junk food. We’ve found that the simplest and most effective approach to dieting is to reduce the number of processed foods we eat and instead, eat more real food.

A good, healthy diet often times involves very specific foods and nutrients that are known to be vital to our health; but still, the overall dietary plan is what matters more and what determines your health. It is absolutely important that you substitute instant, processed foods with home-made meals whenever possible – because when we eat natural food it has an amazing impact on the way we look, think and feel.

Do I need to avoid some foods?

Your body needs a balance of vitamins, proteins, carbs, fat, fiber, and minerals, to function properly. Now, some of the more extreme dietary experts may disagree, but there’s no need to eliminate entire food categories from your diet, it makes more sense to eat the healthiest foods from each category. Let’s go through the basics of healthy eating:

Debunking food categories

Carbs: These are an important source of energy and should be part of your daily nutrition. The best carbs are complex, and unrefined; such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. Avoid eating white bread, starches, pastries, and sugar to prevent fluctuations in blood sugar, mood, and energy.

Fat: Some fats are healthy and some aren’t. Healthy fats (such as omega 3s) are vital to our health and play a major role in keeping our physical and mental health in check. Eating more natural fat (such as nuts, avocado) can also make it easier to lose weight.

Fiber: We need more fruit, vegetables, grains, beans, and nuts in our diet. Some of the benefits include a healthy heart, reduced risk of diabetes, and healthy skin.

Protein: Aside from animal products, you can get good amounts of high-quality protein from a variety of plants and seeds and this is important because without sufficient protein you won’t have the energy to go about your day.

How to make healthy meals

If possible, prepare your own meals. Cooking forces you to be more aware of what you put in your body, and as a result, you will consume less sugar, fat, calories, and other foods that leave you bloated and irritable.

Drink more water. This helps your body get rid of waste and toxins that cause tiredness, low energy, and headaches. You can also reduce food intake by drinking enough water.

Always read the labels. You need to be aware of what you’re purchasing and what those food labels say. Keep in mind that some manufacturers will pack huge amounts of sugar and processed fat and still label the food healthy.

Eat in moderation. Don’t stuff your body with large amounts of healthy food – this will interfere with the digestive process and leave you feeling sick. Moderate your food intake and reduce the portion sizes of “bad” food so that instead of craving them more, you eat just enough to keep the balance and follow it up with plenty of whole foods including greens and vegetables.

Plan your meals ahead. Healthy eating requires good planning. Start by stockpiling your kitchen with high-quality fruits, vegetables, cereal, meats, dairy, fish, oils, spices, whole grains, healthy snacks, and simple recipes. A good way to do that is by getting your groceries delivered by mercato.com. Pick a few recipes that you like and build your meal schedule around them.

What Really Happens when you Microwave Food?




The microwave oven is ubiquitous in most home across America. When Americans get hungry and want a quick, hot, meal, they no longer turn on the stove or oven — they pop something in a plastic container into the microwave, and in a matter of minutes they’re ready to eat a steaming bowl or plate of whatever suits their fancy. Twenty years ago the microwave seemed a miracle of modern technology. Today, it’s taken for granted like cell phones and big screen TVs.

But there’s always been a nagging question in the back of people’s minds when it comes to microwave cooking — how much, if any, of the basic nutrients are disabled when a dish is microwaved, as compared to baking, frying, or boiling? Of course, it’s always been obvious to food scientists, and then to the general public, that the best way to preserve and consume nutrient is in their raw and natural state. But who wants to eat a raw potato? Heat will always diminish the nutrient factor in any kind of food, according to nutritionists. And compared with other and more traditional methods of heating and cooking food, the damage to nutrients with microwave cooking is usually minimal.

Scientists have shown that the major nutrient influences in cooking are, first of all, the amount of time an item is actually cooked. The longer it remains heated the more vital nutrients are destroyed or disabled. Secondly, food loses a significant amount of nutrients when it is cooked with excess liquids, such as water or tomato puree — vitamins and mineral have a tendency to leach out faster and in more abundance when more liquid is used. That is why cooks are encouraged to incorporate their cooking liquids in their recipes — it helps retain minerals and vitamins that would otherwise simply be poured down the drain.

The way a microwave oven works is basically simply physics. The machine sends out waves on a micro frequency that are picked up by molecules of water in the food item; these molecules then generate a large quantity of heat as they vibrate with the micro wavelengths inside the food. The uniqueness of this style of cooking comes from the fact that cooking food in a microwave requires little or no liquid, whereas when a food item like carrots are boiled in water the water will turn slightly orange — indicating that some of the important nutrients have leaked away from the vegetable itself and are now contained in the liquid medium.

When baking and roasting food, the problem lies in the fact that the exterior of the food item is heated quickly while the interior of the item, such as a roast or a baking potato, takes longer to reach the proper temperature. This creates carbonization of the outside of the food, which is what chefs strive for in restaurants for flavor, but which actually destroys a good deal of the nutritional value of the food and has been linked to possible carcinogens.

The bottom line is that while not all the facts and figures are in about microwave cooking yet, scientists believe it to be one of the best ways to prepare food in today’s busy, time-starved world.  

Healthy Eating Trend: The Best Oils for Healthy Cooking




Your diet and lifestyle have a direct impact on the health of your heart.

When you prepare your food, it’s recommended you eat something that is rich in nutrients and healthy fats. With oil, there is a difference in the type of fat that you can get.

Before I recommend oils to use for your healthy cooking, let me explain the different types of fats that are found in oil.

Oils are liquid fats that come from the seeds or nuts of plants. The ratio and type of fats contained in each oil usually differ.

 

Saturated Fats: Also known as Solid Fat, it is usually solid around room temperature and found mostly in animal foods like meat, cheese and milk.

 

This saturated fat is found less in poultry and fish, but more so in red meat. It is also found in tropical oils like cocoa butter, coconut oil and palm oil, which are used in things like coffee creamers and whipped toppings.

 

Desserts, cookies and cakes are usually high in saturated fats and can raise your cholesterol level. Anyone embarking on a healthy diet should ensure that the saturated fat in their daily calorie intake should be less than 10%.

 

Unsaturated Fats: Unlike saturated fats (which at room temperature are in liquid form), unsaturated fats are found in the oil derived from plants or their seeds.

 

Consuming unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats can assist in improving your cholesterol levels. Two types of unsaturated fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

 

  • Polyunsaturated Fat: Found mostly in vegetable oils like soybean, sunflower, safflower, corn oils and sesame. This is also the main type of fat found in seafood.

    When you consume polyunsaturated fat instead of saturated fat, you’re on the path to reducing your LDL cholesterol level.

    In polyunsaturated fats, you can find Omega-3 fatty acids (sardines, walnuts, salmons, shellfish, canola oil, mackerel) and Omega-6 fatty acids, found mostly in vegetable oils.

  • Monounsaturated Fats: Found mostly in olive, peanut oil, nuts, avocado and vegetable oils.

    Foods high in monounsaturated oil can help reduce LDL cholesterol, but when you consume more unsaturated fat without reducing your intake of saturated fat, your cholesterol levels are unlikely to go down.

 

Here are our best choice of oils for cooking your healthy meals:

 

Avocado Oil: One of the richest oils in monounsaturated fats and a great way to include vitamin E into your diet. Avocado Oil, unlike others oils that are extracted from the seed of a plant, is extracted from the flesh of ripe avocados and has the highest smoke point of any plant oil (520 degrees Fahrenheit).

 

You can opt for this if you have a little extra cash to splurge, but try storing it properly, as it’s likely to go off fairly easily if it’s not taken care of. It is highly recommended, as it produces an antioxidant that improves eye health, helps your cholesterol levels and its buttery flavor can complement sauces and salad dressings. It is good enough to be used for any cooking need.

 

Canola Oil: This great cooking oil isn’t as popular as the rest, but provides a lovely texture, an amazing neutral flavour and an impressive heat tolerance level.

 

Budget-friendly when compared to other cooking oils, this oil is obtained by crushing the seeds of a type of rapeseed plant, (the canola), which comes from the same family as broccoli and cabbage. It also has the lowest content of saturated fat present in any oil and works well when used for baking, fries and sautéing, as it has a relatively medium smoking point.

 

A well-embraced oil for making Indian and exceptionally-tasting Mexican dishes.

 

Coconut Oil: Containing over 90% of saturated fats, which makes it resistant to heat, coconut oil has very powerful benefits and is a great choice for high heat cooking. It becomes solid at room temperature and can last for months (even years) without going bad. It is surprisingly rich in Luaric acid, which is a fatty acid that is known to improve cholesterol, as well as kill pathogens and bacteria. A great source of energy and taste, coconut oil is highly recommended for healthy cooking.

 

Olive oil: Well-known for the effects it has on the heart, the monounsaturated fat it possesses makes it a great choice to fight breast cancer and heart disease. It lowers the cholesterol level in the body and is ideal for breakfast and a great improvement to the Mediterranean diet. It is fairly resistant to heat and is used widely around the world for cooking. The extra virgin olive oil is great for sautéing and light salad dressing, while the regular olive oil is widely used for frying.

 

Palm Oil: Derived from the fruit of the oil palms, palm oil contains mostly monounsaturated and saturated fats, but with trace amounts of polyunsaturated fats, making it a recommended choice for cooking. The unrefined red palm oil is rich in Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin E, as well as other nutrients.

 

Leading health expert, Dr Shikha Sharma, claims that since there isn’t a single oil that contains all the necessary fatty acids (in the ratio at which the body needs them), it is a healthy option to rotate or change the oils that you consume. According to him, “Your body needs different essential fatty acids. A combination of saturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats will do well in keeping your body and diet healthy.”

 

In addition to their diet and lifestyle benefits, oils – especially coconut oil – have also been getting a lot of attention recently for their health benefits, including weight loss, skin regeneration and dental hygiene.

“In the field of dental health for example, you can use coconut oil as part of your dental health to help attack harmful bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath, fights gum disease, reduce plaque and prevent tooth decay and loss,” says Dr. Cecil Luong of Tigersmile Dentistry.

 

On a final note, don’t forget to take care of your cooking oils and ensure they do not turn rancid. If you cook a lot and are sure you can use up a lot of oil in a short period of time, then buy in large batches. If not, consider buying small batches, so they don’t get the chance to go bad.

 

How To Eat Healthy When Living In Dorms With No Kitchen




The life of a college student is hit with numerous roadblocks whenever thinking about healthy eating. Unfortunately, it is difficult to deal with everything that happens and the really long schedules. One of the common roadblocks is experienced by those college students that live in dorms since most of them do not have a kitchen that can be used and the money necessary for eating out is a lot.

Students that live in dorms that have no kitchen normally do one of the following things:

  • Buy meal plans
  • Eat out for every single meal
  • Only eat fast food or similar

Every single one of these options is bad as creating a great nutrition plan in such circumstances is close to impossible. You cannot think about advanced nutrition factors like moon phase role in weight loss when you want to follow a great diet and cannot cook most of the meals. Fortunately, there are different highly affordable things that you can consider, including the following ideas.

Cooking Someplace Else On Campus

The fact that there is no kitchen present in the dorm room does not mean that you do not have access to a kitchen. Ask around and see where you can cook on campus. Work out the schedule and take advantage of the kitchen by doing activities around that.

Residence Halls With Community Kitchens

A kitchen is normally present for every single hall or for a building with the purpose of sharing. In many cases these are going to be ill-stocked and will be a little dirty but you can definitely utilize them. Just check out all the options that are available so you choose the best possible kitchen.

A Sink And A Stove Is More Than Enough

You do not need a huge kitchen in order to do all the cooking you need. Buy utensils and pans to then store in the dorm room. Take these to the kitchen whenever you are interested in cooking. Alternatively, you can easily add a portable stove in your room. Just be sure the smell does not bother you and the colleague.

Take Advantage Of A Microwave Oven

It is always possible to buy food that is healthy and that can be made inside the microwave oven. Most people instantly think about mini pizzas and sandwiches when they consider microwave uses but this is definitely not the case. Much better options are including frozen chicken breast, frozen vegetable steamer bags, eggs and frozen fruits. Obviously, getting the nutrition you need from microwave options is not the best possible solution but you can easily make this work for you. Also, having a space-savvy instant pot might also work best for you.

Conclusions

At the end of the day, there are no excuses that are good enough when you want to eat healthy and you live in a dorm room without a kitchen. The options above are those that are very good but do be sure that you keep a close eye on the different possibilities that could arise. You can easily have a healthy nutrition plan as a college student.

Wine-Can Chicken: The Perfect Summer Meal




If you’re hosting a backyard party on a beautiful day in August, you want to be drinking with your friends, playing bocce ball and having a good time, not fussing over a meal that requires an elaborate preparation. Hiring reliable event staffing services in Toronto is one way to free yourself up and hang with your friends (whether it’s a lone bartender or a full on catering staff); another way is to prep a meal that is reasonably straightforward to cook and serve. Beer-can chicken is the perfect example of this meal: you simply massage the chicken with oil, rub it down with spices, plop it on a half-empty beer can and throw it on the barbecue. An alternate version of this that we’ll explore today is a slightly more sophisticated cousin: wine-can chicken.

Wine-can chicken requires a very simple substitution, adding just one super quick step to the process. You pour out the beer you were going to use in a glass (you should probably drink it, or give it to a friend) and then pour a few ounces of wine into the can instead, before affixing the chicken to it. The key principle behind beer-can chicken is that the can of beer on the grill heats up and steams the chicken as it is cooking, infusing it with flavor and keeping it moist.

There are certainly some haters on the Internet who argue that this is an ineffective and silly way to cook a chicken, but results speak for themselves, and anyone who has ever competently cooked a chicken in this method knows that the end product is frigging delicious. Your instincts in this scenario might be to use white wine to cook the chicken (since fowl is typically paired with white wines), however, richer wines such as Malbec, Zinfandel or Cab Franc complement BBQ chicken much better, balancing the smokiness.

As for the seasoning, fret not, it is incredibly simple. You’ll want to set aside a bowl and mix salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and cayenne in it and then rub this mixture all over the chicken once it’s been massaged with oil. Make sure to use lots of salt, as this helps the skin crisp up, and definitely make sure to wash your hands once you’re done handling the chicken.

An excellent accompaniment to this meal is barbecued corn. Like the chicken, it is incredibly unfussy to prepare: you place the corn on the grill in its husk and cook it for 20-30 minutes. Within its husk the corn steams naturally as well, and even if you forget about it and leave it on for a very long time, it is extremely difficult to burn, overcook it, or dry it out.

Finally, you’ll probably want some sort of vegetable as well, perhaps a refreshing summer salad to balance out the richness of the grilled food. A Greek salad with feta and olives can serve quite nicely in this scenario, but since you worked so hard on the chicken and corn, you may want to call on friends to bring the salad.

 

Hosting The Ideal Cocktail Party For Your Donors




Giving your top tier prospects a night to remember is part of what donor stewardship is all about when you work in the not-for-profit sector. Whether you’re hosting an annual spring gala to thank your supporters for contributing to your charity, or planning something smaller, more intimate, and exclusive, patrons need to be recognized – that’s how they’ll keep coming back.

You can throw a fun cocktail party for example to cultivate and revive your donor list while endearing new prospects to your mission. It isn’t an explicit ask, however it fosters your relationship, connecting potential sponsors, or returning sponsors to the cause you’re raising money for. It is one of the most powerful marketing tools in the not-for-profit world.

When your work is philanthropic, your donors are the life-blood of your organization especially since government funding only covers project-to-project costs, and cannot possibly begin to fund the operating fees associated with running a charitable initiative. Research shows however that among donors who were satisfied after attending an event, 33 percent made an unsolicited gift, and 35 percent of solicited donors who made a gift credited the event with why they made the gift. Fundraising events however do take a great amount of time, energy, and effort on the part of company staff, and can be challenging when event planning is not a development department’s forte.

Three things to keep in mind when throwing a cultivation event are the venue, the atmosphere and of course, the food. Why not hire a caterer that has the ability to gently guide you through all of these aspects? The Food Dudes for example are one company based out of the GTA who’ve exploded onto the scene in the last ten years, and have been recognized for their natural ability to impress through innovation. Their inventive cocktail menu — which you can check out at Thefooddudes.com — can be customized to suit virtually any diet, and includes the city’s most interesting options from truffle beef sliders to liquid nitrogen popcorn.

Their event staff possess expert knowledge of their products and protocol, are familiar and enthusiastic about food, and are uniquely qualified to work the events they cater. Furthermore, they always bring a passionate and professional attitude to the work.

If you’re looking to throw your cocktail event at a private residence, the company can bring tailor-made equipment to perfectly compliment any evening such as regal wood platters for passed apps, burner covers, butcher’s blocks and more. For larger events with extensive guest counts, they partner with renowned rental groups that allow them to accommodate those numbers. Finally, they also have a relationship with many event venues around the city that they work from regularly, from small coffeehouses like Balzac’s Roasters, to bigger halls like those found in Wychwood Barns.

For not-for-profits to be sustainable, they need to keep donors engaged, interested and invested (both financially and emotionally) in the work. By hiring a caterer for your event that will put your guests’ satisfaction at the forefront, you can feel confident in knowing the people who keep your doors open will feel cared for by you and continue to give.

How To Enjoy Your Favorite Pasta Dishes With Less Guilt




Pasta is one of those meals where you like to pretend it’s good for you, since it does have tomatoes in it (and they have vitamin C in them, don’t they?), but you know it really isn’t all that good for you. Pasta can be pretty fattening and packs in a lot of carbs. Although, if you’re only indulging in pasta once a week or less then you’re at least doing something right.

If you want to feel a little better about your pasta consumption you can make some of the following changes to your cooking routine. Pasta can be an entire meal in one plate and can be a great comfort food, so don’t nix it from your diet just yet.

Look Into Organic Sauces

When you’re shopping for pasta sauces you should consider buying something organic. Tomatoes are commonly one of those fruits that are hit with a lot of pesticides since they have a lot of bugs that like to eat them. By going organic you’re also helping to ensure you’re getting fewer preservatives in your food, meaning it’s a bit fresher and has more nutrients.

You could also consider making your own pasta sauce. In fact, you could also consider growing your own tomatoes. Then you know exactly what’s gotten into them and onto them.

Try Whole Wheat or Wheat Free Pasta

There are good things about wheat and there are bad things about it. Wheat flour is often bleached, which can make it not so healthy of a food item if you’re trying to cut down the chemicals you’re getting through your food. You can avoid this problem by buying whole wheat pasta.

You might also want to check out some of the other pasta grain options. With the rise of gluten-free foods, you can find pasta made from corn, rice, and even ancient grains. Test them out and see which ones you like best. There are also grain-free options.

Add More Vegetables

Consider going meatless once or twice a week if you’re normally a meat eater. There are plenty of vegetables you can substitute for meat in pasta dishes. Some of them include squash and even broccoli.

Even if you stick with meat, consider adding more vegetable and less meat (and maybe even less pasta). The more vegetables, and the more of a variety of them, the better for your health!

Try A Different Meat Option

You could also switch what meats you’re using. Beef is high in fat and is known to be a culprit in clogging arteries. Sausage is also a common ingredient in pasta dishes and is also high in fat.

Try making pasta with chicken, even breaded chicken. It will give it a different look and a different taste that you may still enjoy. You could also try crab when having pasta alfredo.