Are you planning ahead for summer grilling season? Do you want to ensure that all your neighbors feel free to drop in without an invitation? Try these six tips to bring all your neighbors to your next barbecue.
Meet and Greet
Making a connection with a neighbor can be as simple as a short conversation while you’re out with the stroller or walking the dog, or taking a meal to a new neighbor. Ideal summer covered dish meals included grilled vegetable kebabs, burgers and hot dogs. Don’t forget tasty homemade vegetable dips or salsa.
Keep Your Yard Attractive
Mow your yard regularly, sweep your sidewalk and keep outside decorations seasonal but subdued. Make it a daily chore for the kids to pick up their outdoor toys. Grill out regularly with your family. This gives you practice in trying different dishes and tells your neighbors that you enjoy entertaining and eating outside.
Get the Bugs Out of Your Yard
Bug zappers aren’t attractive when you’re trying to eat. But there are a lot of different, subtle ways to discourage mosquitoes in your yard or around your patio. Flies and mosquitoes can easily be deterred by the scent of rosemary, peppermint, basil and thyme. Simple solution, plant a herb garden around your eating area outside. And think of all the benefits, no pesky bugs, a natural solution, looks beautiful, and you will have fresh herbs to incorporate in your cooking adventures. Just be sure to leave some on the plants for the bugs.
Light Up the Night
Outside lighting doesn’t have to be expensive or even professionally installed. You can buy solar lights from your local farm supply or lawn and garden store. Use solar lights to light your walkways and mark the perimeter of your patio or the stairs up to your deck.
Anticipate Different Dietary Needs
When you’re throwing an open outdoor barbecue, it’s entirely possible that potential guests may be diabetic, vegetarian, on a gluten-free diet or on the wagon. Provide at least one dish to meet every need and be sure to have non-alcoholic beer and sparkling grape juice on hand. Don’t be afraid to grill traditional meat entrees and provide beer and wine as well. There are so many different options and different recipes you can test out. You can even save money by buying meat online in bulk and in different cuts. Then you will have it on hand for an impromptu get together. You can easily satisfy all your guests with just a few dishes.
Dropping in and Saying Goodbye
Your guests shouldn’t feel any pressure about dealing with their dirty dishes before they leave. Put out two or three garbage cans with bags so that guests can easily clean up after themselves. That way your guests don’t feel obliged to load your dishwasher and you have less to do after the party.
When your neighbors know that your summer barbecues are casual and easy-going, you won’t have to invite them. They’ll show up as soon as you put the meat and veggies on your grill.
The vegetable soup diet is one of the most popular diets and is also very nutritious because it provides a lot of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that strengthen the immune system and keep the body strong, healthy and lean. There are endless variations of healthy vegetable soup recipe so you can make a different one everyday without getting tired of it. You can make simple staples or gourmet recipes. You can have a different soup for lunch or dinner and lose pounds in a matter of weeks. When making vegetable soup, skip the loads of butter and cream that add fats and calories and stick to fresh vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, mushrooms, and tofu for a satisfying and nutritious meal.
Basic vegetable diet soup
A popular and basic vegetable soup recipe for dieting is made with sautéed onions, carrots, celery and garlic added with canned whole tomatoes with juice. Green beans, cabbage, chicken or vegetable broth, water, salt and pepper are also added and the whole is brought to a boil over high heat then simmered for ten minutes. Sliced zucchini and spinach are also added and simmered or until all the vegetables are tender. This recipe can be varied by adding different herbs, spices and other low-fat ingredients to make gourmet recipes such as Mexican chicken soup, Greek fish Stew, Italian minestrone, spicy Thai shrimp soup, vegetable curry, goulash, and red beans and rice stew.
Famous cabbage diet soup
Another popular diet soup is the cabbage Miracle Soup made with onions, green peppers, fresh or canned whole tomatoes, cabbage, and celery seasoned with dry onion soup mix. The vegetables are cut up, placed in a pot and covered with water then boiled and simmered until tender. This is part of a seven-day diet that involves a strict diet plan but allows you to eat the soup anytime you feel hungry.
Vegetarian versions of meat recipes
You can make vegetarian versions of soups that originally have meat in them. For example, Mexican tortilla soup is typically made with chicken but you can make a vegetarian version and load it with corn, beans, tomatoes, potatoes and carrots. Use earthy chili flavors, herbs, and spices to make a satisfying broth. You can also make vegetarian chili and add minced carrots, zucchini, and tofu instead of using ground beef.
Inspirations from all over the globe
There are countless vegetable soup recipes you can try at home inspired from different parts of the globe. You can make vegetarian or vegan soups as well as gluten-free, salt-free, or fat-free. You can also add a bit of meat for more flavor or substitute with mushrooms or roasted vegetable stock. Chicken stock is also available in low-fat or low-sodium varieties. Other vegetarian recipes you can try are cheddar cauliflower soup, sweet potato-peanut bisque, ravioli vegetable soup, asparagus soup, butternut squash curry soup, cumin lentil soup, white bean and escarole soup, zucchini tortellini soup, tofu and seaweed soup, broccoli-cheese chowder, Hungarian mushroom soup, vegetarian hot pot, sweet potato and black bean chili, potato and leek soup, tomato soup, split pea soup, grapefruit gazpacho, cold cucumber soup, onion soup, tempeh tomato vegetable soup, spicy mango ginger soup, fat-free cabbage soup, black bean and lentil soup, pumpkin soup, vegetarian miso soup with garlic, and three bean soup with pasta.
Stand mixers are great for replacing several other appliances and cookware items in your kitchen. You can create many new recipes and become a chef by using your stand mixer in a variety of new ways. All you need to do is purchase a few new accessories for your mixer. Here are five ways to use your stand mixer that might surprise you.
When you want fine or coarsely ground meats, cheese, nuts and vegetables, the food grinder attachment is perfect. Create fillings for your ravioli, freshly-made ground beef for hamburgers, crumbs for coating other foods and even Parmesan cheese to put on your pasta. Make your own ham salad as well. You can also add a vegetable puree and strainer attachment to your grinder to make your own jam, jelly, baby food or pasta sauce.
Create your own flours and fiber-filled goodies by grinding down corn, rice, oats, wheat or other grains. Create flours that are extra fine all the way to cracked-grain style. You can also grind your own flaxseeds to add to your smoothies, pancakes or put on top of just about any food to boost the health benefits.
Make Ice Cream
There is no need to create room for an ice cream maker in your kitchen when you can purchase the added accessories for your stand mixer and make a perfect treat that way. The trick is to make sure your bowl, which is available through Mendingshed.com and other retailers, is very cold before attaching it to the mixer.
Slice and Shred
Whether you want cheese slices and deli meat or sliced vegetables or fruits, the cone-shaped shredder comes with four blades. Two of these are for shredding and two are for slicing, which makes it possible for you to create healthy salads all with your stand mixer. Shred cheese for any meal including pizza also.
There are actually several attachments besides the genuine KitchenAid mixer parts that allow you to create your own homemade pasta. The pasta roller helps you to make long strands of pasta such as spaghetti noodles and linguine. The pasta extruder helps you to create smaller pastas like macaroni and fusilli that hold sauces well. The ravioli attachment creates perfectly-sized and matching top and bottom layers for you to create your own stuffed ravioli. The pinching tool keeps fillings in and water out.
You can create a wide variety of meals and snacks with your stand mixer by adding accessories such as the the ice cream maker, slice and shred accessories, grinder, tool to mill grains or the variety of pasta attachments so you do not need so many kitchen appliances. Use these five ways to use your stand mixer to mix it up!
Turkey can be a wonderful star of any meal; however, the traditional turkey dinner is rather labor intensive and the traditional options for serving up turkey can get a bit tiresome. If you seem to have fallen into a routine with how you serve turkey, it may be time to mix things up.
When people think of turkey, they generally have a vision of it as a dinnertime food. However, it can be easy to start off the day with turkey incorporated into breakfast in the form of an omelet.
Turkey-stuffed omelets can kick off your day with a healthy dose of protein while delivering great flavor. Add shitake mushrooms, spinach, cheddar cheese to round things out for a delicious and healthy omelet. If you are feeling like adding a little extra crunch to your turkey omelet, try adding a little bit of bacon.
Macaroni and Cheese
When people think of macaroni and cheese, most view it as a side dish. However, adding turkey to it can take it from being an accompaniment to the star of any meal.
Whether you are preparing macaroni and cheese from scratch or getting a little help from a prepackaged mac ‘n’ cheese, turkey can boost the dish. Make it spicy by adding a bit of crushed red pepper. Create a rather healthy version by loading up the dish with turkey, broccoli, carrots and a variety of other vegetables. Or you can even move it toward a more gourmet dish by adding truffles along with the turkey.
Kid-friendly and fun, burritos often are made with red meat. However, turkey can provide a healthy twist on this family favorite.
Serve up with refried beans, and you have an easy and delicious meal that should please even the pickiest of eaters.
Often, ground meat such as beef, pork or veal are used in manicotti. However, turkey or a combination of turkey and spinach can transform this traditional dish into a fresh new favorite.
For a decadent version, try utilizing three cheeses rather than simply the traditional ricotta cheese. This will create a rich-tasting version of the dish.
For a healthier version, swap out the regular ricotta for a lower fat version. This will provide the flavor with less guilt.
While it is not uncommon to incorporate turkey into a variety of soups, less common is the turkey-tomato soup. Chunks of turkey can add a richness of depth. To make it even heartier, add elbow macaroni.
While turkey may not normally be considered the most exciting ingredient, venders such as Harvestland can offer you turkey options that can really alter your family and friends’ opinions of this sometimes bland white meat.
Food poisoning can be a very serious issue, it brings with it major health concerns and can even cause death in some cases. If you think you have food poisoning it can be helpful to make sure you get the proper medical treatment. The last thing you want is to have to treat your sickness all by yourself, getting the proper medical treatment is extremely crucial.
Some of the easiest ways to limit your chances of getting food poisoning are to eat more organic foods, and be aware of where your food is coming from. When you eat higher quality foods these foods will naturally have less exposure to harmful chemicals and other bacterias that are given a chance to pollute less quality foods.
In this article we’re going to cover the reasons you should eat organic food to reduce your chances of getting food poisoning, and the steps you should take if you happen to get food poisoning.
Why do organic foods do better at preventing food poisoning?
Over 40 million people get some form of food poisoning every single year, and that’s just the number of cases that are reported. If you attempt to include unreported cases of food poisoning that number would be much higher. Some of the largest contributors to this number are meats such as chicken and beef. Aside, from meats other greens such as spinach and salad mixes also contribute to that high number.
Foods that are organic have stricter requirements for their growth, production and manufacturing. These regulations end up making it harder for food borne illnesses and bacteria to spread. Also, food that is grown in an organic manner tends to be healthier, due to those same standards.
How can I reduce my risk of food poisoning?
There are a few different ways you can minimize your risk of getting food poisoning. For instance, when you prepare your food always ensure that you wash your hands before and after handling any meat, or even any food whatsoever. Also, make sure that you always wash all fruits and vegetables before you eat or cook them.
Ensure that you always cook your meats to the recommended temperature, undercooked meat is a big contributor to food poisoning. Bacteria’s that cause illness cannot survive past a certain temperature, so cooking your meat past that point will go a long way towards making your food safer.
What steps should I take if food poisoning does occur?
I hope this article has been helpful and you have a better idea of why you need to eat more organic foods in your life. Besides the health reasons of eating more organic foods, they can also lower you and your families chances of contracting a food borne illness, or food poisoning. Remember, if you do get food poisoning seek medical treatment as soon as possible, this will increase your chances of having a smooth recovery.
The biggest contributor to food poisoning is obviously the treatment of your food, so do whatever is in your power to minimize your risk. This includes buying healthier foods, and utilizing safe and effective preparation and cooking procedures.
Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at The McMinn Law Firm, a personal injury law firm in Austin, Texas. Zane did not enjoy the last time he got food poisoning at a restaurant.
As far as food tours go, I must say that one of the best I have ever taken is the Bologna food tour. As a fan of food tours, I have visited many and I was very much looking forward to this one. I had scheduled it as part of my holiday in Italy. I knew that they do some pretty amazing things with ham, cheese and vinegar in this regions but I wasn’t prepared for all the delights that I experienced. To understand why I would recommend this tour to anyone who is visiting Italy, let me take you through exactly how the food tour went.
The Parmesan cheese tour
We had a pretty good guide, Julio, for our tour. He explained to us that in most cases, the Parmesan cheese tour takes place in the morning so that visitors can see the entire process, right from when the milk is delivered. It was true; we set off at about 7.30 in the morning for a factory in Bologna. We were able to see the milk delivery. Julio explained to us that all the milk comes from the region and the cows that produce it are fed on only hay and grass from the region – no chemicals at all. That is why this particular Parmesan cheese has a “”Denomination of Protected Origin” or DOP status. We watched the cheese maker turn the milk into cheese, shape it, brand it and then set it up for curing. We had a cheese tasting right at the end and I must say that this cheese is different from any cheese that I had ever tasted before.
The Balsamic vinegar tour
The most surprising thing about this part of the food tour was that I discovered that what I knew as Balsamic vinegar is nothing like the real thing made in Bologna. It is thick, black, bittersweet and can turn everything, even sugary foods, into a complete delight. The skill of making Balsamic vinegar is passed down from generation to generation and only the makers really know what the secret ingredients are. What Julio was able to tell us is that it was discovered quite by accident when a bottle of wine was forgotten for a long time. The vinegar is made from a combination of grapes and it is aged for years; to be exact, the youngest is 7 years old and there are some that are as old as 45 years. Again, we were able to sample the vinegar at the end of the tour.
The Parma ham tour
This was to be the last stop of the tour and we were able to see why Parma ham is so special. It is made through a painstaking process of cleaning, brining and curing the ham for several weeks. We were able to see the ham makers pressing the ham gently so that all the moisture came out of it and then salting it. We also saw the dark, cold rooms where it is cured and of course we were able to taste it
Gabriele is a dedicated travel and food writer who contributes to the food blog of Emilia Delizia
Every country and culture has its own traditions about what to eat on New Year’s Day in order to bring them luck. We have gathered the top ten International food dishes that are considered both delicious and lucky!
1) Hoppin’ John. This traditional New Year’s dish of the American South consists of black eyed peas cooked with bacon and served over white rice. No self-respecting Southerner would dream of starting out the New Year without a heaping plate of this for breakfast. Just have the Beano ready . . .
2) Mango with sticky rice. In Thailand the New Year doesn’t actually begin until April, when the farmers traditionally begin flooding their rice fields to plant their first crop of the year. Mangoes ripen the same month, and there are vendors everywhere selling sliced mango with a lump of sticky rice on the side, all covered by sweet coconut syrup – the whole thing served on a fresh banana leaf. If you share the dish with your boyfriend/girlfriend it is guaranteed you’ll be married before the year is out.
3) Fried chicken feet. In southern China the New Year is feted with fireworks, rice wine, and fried chicken feet. The Chinese eat the whole foot, bone and cartilage and all, and will tell you it tastes delicious and is very good luck. Reports from foreigners who try it vary – some say it tastes like burnt toast but otherwise is harmless; others have had to go to the local ER to have their stomachs pumped due to the bone fragments. Apparently, it’s all a matter of mastication.
4) Ha’penny pudding. In Great Britain they make a sort of mincemeat pie without the crust, and hide a coin inside it. Everyone is served a portion of the pudding on New Year’s Day and whoever gets the piece with the coin will be blessed with good luck all year. In Scotland the thrifty people have replaced the coin with a small gherkin.
5) Raw calf liver with citrus chutney. Argentina is a meat-eating country, since they produce more beef and export more beef than any other country in the Western Hemisphere. So it makes sense they would celebrate New Year with plenty of good red meat. But exactly why you have to eat your liver raw is unclear – most Argentines say it is a native custom that the Spaniards kept on. The citrus chutney, made of grated lemons, oranges, grapefruit, and imported bergamot from Italy, mixed with fiery chili peppers, is said to discourage the flu bug; children are often given it as a cold medication when they come down with the sniffles.
6) Beery chicken. Take one whole chicken, drown it in a gallon of Foster’s overnight, and then stew it and serve with parsnips – that’s the way to woo Lady Luck in Australia. Australian sheep shearers, who pretty much live on a diet of mutton and Foster’s Ale all year long, have been known to go on strike if they don’t get their beery chicken on New Year’s Day.
7) Poutine. This Canadian staple is not exactly touted as a good luck charm on New Year’s Day. Instead, it is prepared for all those unfortunates who overindulged the night before and are now suffering from a hangover; it is purported to cure hangovers in a trice. Poutine is made of French fries covered with melted cheese curds and brown gravy. If you can stomach such a disgusting mess on New Year’s Day you probably deserve some good luck.
8) Palm grubs. Now this one is on shaky ground. Expats who live in Cambodia swear that the native population chop down dead palm trunks on New Year’s Day to extract the large, pasty white, beetle grubs that infest it, and eat them raw, with relish. This may be a holdover from the famine times Cambodia experienced during the 70’s and 80’s, but the Khmer natives we have spoken with disavow any such disgusting tradition. This is probably a case of expats pulling some travel writer’s leg.
9) Reindeer steak. Norwegians celebrate the New Year with a large, juicy steak provided by their northern neighbors, the Laplanders. It’s extremely expensive, and so only the well-off can afford to have it. Still, those Norwegians in humbler circumstances manage to get ahold of some ground up reindeer meat to make “kjottebolle”, or meatballs, for their New Year’s Day supper. Eaten with boiled potatoes and lingonberry relish.
10) Devil pasties. In South Africa housewives pride themselves on making the spiciest devil pasty in the neighborhood. A holdover from the days when Cornish miners worked the gold and diamond mines, the pasty is a fried pie with a filling inspired by spices brought over by Indian indentured servants during the 19th century. If it doesn’t coat your tongue with ash, goes the South African saying, you won’t be getting any good luck for the New Year.
One of the best things about spending time in a foreign country is the chance it provides to sample new flavours and to experience new foods. If you’re moving to Canada then you’ll have plenty of time to experience the meals and drinks that are popular throughout the country. Here are six favourite Canadian flavours that are loved by residents and by tourists:
Something of a Canadian staple, maple syrup can be added to sweet and savoury dishes. It’s enjoyed as an addition to mashed potato, it’s used to cover pancakes, it’s added to porridge, used as a dip for fresh fruit, drizzled over ice cream and served with sausages. It’s also used to make sweets and to flavour cakes, and can be used as a coating for popcorn or a glaze for meat or fish. 85% of the world’s maple syrup is produced in Canada.
Tim Hortons’ Hot Chocolate
Tim Hortons’ famous hot chocolate has a rich, creamy flavour and is a very satisfying drink. Tim Hortons is a Canadian fast food restaurant serving sandwiches, snacks and drinks and on the menu you’ll find varieties of hot chocolate ranging from the traditional cocoa drink to flavours including vanilla, toffee, caramel, mint and hazelnut. There are also seasonal favourites including gingerbread and the much-loved Candy Cane flavour with white hot chocolate, mint flavouring and coloured sprinkles.
Another Canadian speciality, the butter tart is a dessert tart made with butter, syrup, egg and sugar in a flaky pastry. Traditionally, raisins are added. The recipe for the butter tart varies across Canada, with many families having made their own modifications. Often, additional ingredients include nuts, coconut, currants, butterscotch, peanut butter, maple syrup and chocolate.
Authentic Canadian bacon is a lean roasted joint that has been rolled in cornmeal. It tastes fresh and is unsmoked. You might think that a joint of meat is best served as an evening meal, but many Canadians also serve Canadian bacon with pancakes and maple syrup as a breakfast dish.
As their name would suggest, Beaver Tails are flat pastry snacks in the shape of a beaver’s tail. They’re fried like a doughnut, and typically topped with butter. Then, Canadians add anything from cinnamon or chocolate to dried banana slices, pieces of fudge, nuts, fresh pieces of fruit, Nutella and, of course, maple syrup. Lemon can also be drizzled over an untopped Beaver Tail, or used as an accompanying flavouring.
Poutine is a Canadian fast food dish made of chips, gravy and cheese curds. It’s certainly not healthy, but it is surprisingly satisfying. Poutine has long been a Quebec staple, but it’s now becoming more popular across the country and has recently been added to the menu of all Canadian McDonalds restaurants.
You don’t have to be living in Canada to try these meals and drinks. Thanks to online shops and the fact that many ingredients are available elsewhere, it’s possible to try these popular flavours without ever entering Canada. Have you got a favourite Canadian dish? Do you have any to add to this list? Why not comment with your thoughts?
Susan Lewis is a cookery blogger originally from England, and now lives in Canada preparing authentic Canadian dishes for the whole family.
Nothing says great comfort food like southern dishes. These are often hearty and packed full of protein and carbohydrates that deliver an amazing flavor. There is almost always some type of chicken on the table, and biscuits are a necessity so that they can be used for dipping in gravy. The following has four fairly common, but very fun, southern dish ideas for you.
This is a classic when it comes to southern food. There are several ways to prepare fried chicken, but the easiest way is to roll it in flour and fry it in about an inch of vegetable oil. Add a little salt and pepper to the flour for seasoning. You can also get a chicken breading that gives a little more kick to the chicken. Make sure you thoroughly cook the chicken through so that there is not any blood left in the meat.
Another classic southern dish is potato salad. This can also be made in a variety of ways, but it is best if you use simple ingredients. Begin by boiling about eight large potatoes. When the potatoes have finished boiling, you can chop them into small pieces. Add one and a half cups of mayonnaise to the potatoes and one tablespoon of mustard. You can also add diced hard boiled eggs to add some richness to the flavor. Sprinkle a small amount of paprika on top of the potato salad for seasoning. Diced onions can be added to the salad for an extra kick.
Pork Belly Roast
A pork belly roast isn’t so common as the other three on this list, but it’s very southern, and very delicious if done properly. You can buy pork belly online and place it in a crock pot for a delicious roast that falls apart as soon as you remove it from the water. Only put a small amount of water in the bottom of the pot because the pork belly will create its own juices as it cooks. Cook the roast on low heat for about six hours. Remove the roast, and slice it or pull it apart to make BBQ. A smoky sauce is an excellent addition to the pork. You can also add a southern BBQ sauce that is made with vinegar for a tangy dish.
When it comes time for something sweet, pecan pie is a decadent dessert that is delicious with vanilla ice cream. Use fresh pecans for the best flavor, and if possible, make your own crust instead of getting a frozen crust. This is among the southern dessert classics you and your other diners will come to love.
Whether you are preparing a dinner for the holidays or for a Sunday lunch, southern food is something that is easy to make. Seasoning is everything when it comes to the dishes. Don’t go overboard, but make sure there is plenty of flavors that combine well, and don’t forget to use the freshest ingredients possible for the best consistency of the dish.
- Waffles. (without the chicken, PLEASE.)
- Donuts. (I’ll take a dozen – hold the saliva.)
- Cream of Wheat. (Stir in some Nutella for a taste bud orgasm!)
- Fried chicken. (as long as someone else does the frying.)
- Mashed potatoes. (the day there is enough gravy for ‘em is the day I know I’ve died and gone to heaven.)
- Green bean casserole. (the only thing canned mushroom soup is good for, outside of cleaning grout.)
- Meatball sandwich. (if it don’t drip, it’s a rip!)
- Grilled cheese sandwich. (with tomato soup, natch.)
- Matzo ball soup. (You were thinking we wouldn’t remember, maybe?)
10. Mac and Cheese. (out of a box – we ain’t on Iron Chef, baby!)