I found this site. They have amazing kitchen gadgets, furniture, and everything you need for your kitchen. Have a look.
A few posts ago, I wrote about chili. It is such a warming, tasty, and filling meal. Today, I read that you can even live longer by adding one key ingredient to your stew…kidney beans. The zinc in these beans may help you live a longer life. Have a look at this article from Real Age for more information.
Here you will learn how to fish a walleye from the lake and serve it for dinner.
Walleye is low in saturated fat. It is a good source of magnesium and potassium. It is also a great source of protein and vitamin B12. As part of a healthy diet, people should eat fish twice a week. Here are some tips on bringing walleye fresh out of the lake and to your dinner table.
Fishing in Minnesota:
Living in Minnesota, one cannot avoid lakes or fishing. Fall must be great fishing season because many people are pulling great big walleye out of the lakes. It is also a wonderful time to be fishing on the lakes because there are fewer recreational activities going on. Hopefully, people are bringing these tasty fish home, gutting and cleaning them and serving them for dinner.
When fishing for walleye, you should use bright colored lures in murky water and more natural colors in clear water. Walleyes are constantly on the move. So, they most likely won’t be hanging out in the same part of the lake each time you go fishing. The best lures seem to be the minnow sticks. It is a good idea to experiment with size and color.
Filleting a walleye isn’t very difficult. First, place the knife behind the fin with the blade pointing down. Cut to the backbone (not through). Then, point knife toward the tail (sideways) and cut straight along the backbone. Then take the ribcage out by slicing one inch on one side and 1/8 of an inch on the other side. Rip the rib cage out. Finally, hold the thin end (tail end) with finger and scrape the skin off with the knife. The thin bones remaining in the fillet will melt when cooked. Wash and clean the fillets and they are ready to cook.
There are many walleye recipes out there. I like to keep it simple like with the following recipe:
Walleye with lemon butter and capers
4 Walleye fillets
¼ C. water
¼ C. flour
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp capers
1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
Place water and eggs in bowl and whisk. Place flour salt and pepper in a bowl. Roll the fish in the egg wash and then in the flour mixture. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the walleye 2-3 minutes on each side (until flakes with a fork). Place walleye on plates. Add lemon juice and butter to skillet. Add capers. Stir up to thicken a bit. Pour over fillets and sprinkle parsley. Serve with vegetables and rice or potatoes. Enjoy.
Who doesn’t love pizza?
Pizza has always been a family favorite. With all of the options, in crust thickness and in toppings, I guarantee there is a pizza out there for everyone. Besides, who wouldn’t like it all of that cheese?
In Elizabeth Gilbert’s, Eat Pray Love, Gilbert travels to Italy and finds Italy’s best town for pizza. She discovers the best restaurant for pizza in that town and gets to try a piece of this (the world’s best) pizza. How wonderful that must have tasted! Some day, I hope to take the same trip and try the same pizza. Well, a fresh piece, of course. It would be so wonderful to take an entire trip revolved around food.
Broaden you pizza perspective:
Here I go again talking about England…but, it is relevant to this pizza story. In England, there is a pizza chain called Pizza Express. They have the most extensive list of pizza toppings I have ever seen. You can order pizza with eggs on top or raisins. Their combinations are so strange but end up tasting extremely delicious. Luckily, Pizza Express serves these pizzas in individual sizes. It would be difficult to choose one of these for the whole table. I never go to England without at least one visit to Pizza Express. They have them in almost every town. I feel like Pizza Express changed my perspective on pizza making because I now know there are so many possibilities. I guess you can say the same about Happy Joe’s taco pizza and California Pizza Kitchen’s Thai pizza or goat cheese pizza (with roasted red peppers and bacon pieces).
Here, in Minnesota, when you feed your kids and their friends, it is nice to have pizza available. In fact, if you live anywhere and are feeding anyone (kids or adults) it’s handy to have pizza. For years, I have tried to have at least one frozen pizza on hand in the freezer. You can serve it as an appetizer for a party or as a meal served with salad for your family. If unexpected guests arrive, you can whip up a pizza to add to the meal and feed your extra guests. Most people like pizza. So, it is a good thing to have available.
Make your own:
Recently, I discovered how easy it is to make the entire pizza from scratch. You will really impress friends if, out of the blue, you throw together a homemade pizza. It is really simple to prepare the dough ahead of time, cover it with a bit of olive oil, place it in a baggie, and freeze it for later. If you know you will make one later in the week, you can keep it in the fridge. It’s so much nicer to have homemade pizza dough because it tastes better than frozen and it looks so much more rustic and beautiful when it’s finished. I just triple or quadruple the dough recipe and store them individually in the freezer. They don’t take very long to thaw.
You can even make your own pizza sauce and freeze or can it to have available all year. This year, I made my own sauce from all of my tomatoes in the garden. I bought the pizza sauce packet from the grocery store for the appropriate spices and just followed the directions. It was so simple. It is great to have tons of this sauce on hand. Otherwise, there are plenty of jars and cans of pizza sauce to buy at the grocery store in the tomato sauce aisle.
Finally, you will need toppings. Here is where you can be creative. Kids love this part. Actually, kids enjoy the entire pizza making process. My kids love making the dough, rolling it out, and topping the pizza to suit their tastes. It’s also fun for them to make different designs with their ingredients. You can top the pizza with sausage, pepperoni, green peppers and onions. You should also add extra herbs and spices.
Or, you may want to keep the meat off of your pizza and choose artichoke hearts, onions, olives, and red pepper. Either way, you will need to have lots of shredded cheese to add to the toppings. I find that almost any cheese works. Choose your favorite and give it a try. It’s also nice to use a combination of cheeses. The possibilities are limitless. Be creative and make it your own masterpiece. Here is a video of me and my daughter, Daphne, making pizza for our family.
Makes 1 Pizza (Multiply this recipe to make a bunch of dough balls for your freezer)
2 1/4 C. flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. yeast
¾ C. lukewarm water
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Mix the flour, salt and yeast together. Add in the water and mix again. Add the olive oil and mix. Sprinkle some more flour as needed. Knead and pull for four to five minutes. Wipe some oil in a bowl and place the ball of dough inside. Cover with plastic. You can put this in the freezer. When it comes out of the freezer, let it come to room temperature (about four hours). If you didn’t freeze it, allow it to sit, covered for 30 minutes. Then, roll it out, cover with sauce, cheese and toppings. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 15 minutes, or until crust reaches desired consistency (depending on thickness of crust). When it is finished, let it cool, cut and eat. Enjoy. Here is a video from Breadtopia which is where I learned to make pizza dough.
Most likely, if you traveled in Colorado or New Mexico, you have had the opportunity to taste green chili or chili verde. It is usually made as an accompaniment to other dishes, but it is hearty enough to be a meal in itself. It is delicious on burritos, fried eggs, and over enchiladas. Here in North Country, we can make fresh chili verde too. There’s nothing stopping us from getting a bit of those southern flavors into our kitchens.
Traditionally, chili verde is made with pork. You could also substitute chicken or ground turkey or even ground beef. However, it is also delicious without the meat if you prefer a meatless version. Also, you can make a choice in which green pepper you would like to use depending on your proclivity to spicy food. There are habaneros (extremely spicy – you may start speaking in tongues), jalapenos (very spicy), or Hungarian wax (medium spicy). These are just a few examples. There are many more.
It is best to get the peppers you want to use (or a combination of peppers) and roast them under the broiler turning them when the skin starts to bubble and brown. Once they come out from underneath the broiler, let them cool in a plastic baggy. Once cooled, peal the skin off the pepper and chop off the stem. Next, you chop them up and they are ready to be made into green chili.
2 lbs pork, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 C. Vegetable or chicken broth
2 ½ C. green pepper, chopped and roasted
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
¼ tsp. celery salt
¼ tsp cumin
¼ C. cilantro, chopped
¼ tsp chili powder
1 tsp. green Tabasco sauce
1 Tbsp. flour, mixed with water
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown the pork in a skillet. Add the onions and sauté with the meat. Add the broth, green chili, garlic, tomatoes, celery salt, cumin, chili powder and Tabasco sauce. Let this cook for an hour. You could also make all of this in the crock pot and leave it to slowly cook for the day. Then, add the water and flower mixture, slowly spooning it in. This will thicken up the sauce. Add salt and pepper. Just before serving, sprinkle the fresh cilantro.
A liqueur is a sweet alcohol which could be sipped on its own, made into a cocktail, or used as an ingredient in a recipe. They are usually flavored with fruit, herbs and spices which adds so much flavor to food. Many flavorings are dissolved to make a liqueur. Therefore, the name liqueur means to dissolve in Latin.
Amaretto is a traditional Italian liqueur. It has a sweet and smooth almond flavor. However, almonds are not used in making Amaretto. The flavor comes from apricot kernel oil, burnt sugar and spices. Amaretto can be used as a substitute for almond extract in recipes. Here is a delicious example of a recipe using Amaretto. It’s a simple way to spruce up ice cream. Enjoy.
Amaretto Ice Cream and Berry Surprise
4 coops of vanilla icecream
2 C. fresh strawberries, sliced
1 C. fresh blueberries
¼ C. almonds, slivers and toasted
1 C. amaretto liqueur
Mix the berries together with the Amaretto. Cover the mixture and allow this to chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Scoop vanilla ice cream into four bowls. Spoon the berries over the top of the ice cream. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds.
Cooking with herbs and spices is essential to making delicious meals. However, it may be overwhelming deciding what to buy at the grocery store. Or, maybe you are creating a dish and aren’t sure what herb or spice is appropriate for your food. Here is a short list of herbs and spices, their flavors, and their common uses.
This spice comes from an evergreen tree in the myrtle family. It has a pungent and fragrant odor. The flavor and smell reminds people of a mixture of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. However, it isn’t a mixture of anything or a combination of all spices. Allspice is usually used to flavor stews and curries, teas, cookies and sausages.
This white powder comes from a root of a West Indian plant. It doesn’t have a flavor or an odor. It is used as a thickening agent for sauces and stews. It is best to mix it in a cup of water before adding it to your sauce to avoid clumping.
This plant comes from the mint family. It is generally used in Italian cuisine and paired with tomatoes. It has a sweet herbal bouquet. You can put it on pizza or garnish your pasta with marinara.
This is a ground seed of a tropical fruit. It comes from the ginger family. It is usually used in curries, breads, and coffee. It has an intense, pungent and sweet flavor.
This feathery annual is in the parsley family. It is used in pickling. It is also widely used in German, Russian and Scandinavian cuisines. It is delicious chopped and tossed on top of salad or over freshly broiled fish. It has a clean and pungent flavor.
This is a dried root from the lily family. It is essential in Chinese, Mexican and Italian food. It has a distinctive odor and flavor.
This is a hot and pungent condiment is made from a plant in the mustard family. It is used as a condiment for roast beef, fish and oysters.
This comes from two large shrubs found in Asia. It is hot and spicy. It is used with meat, fish, fowl, sauces, and salad dressing.
This spice comes from a mild red pepper. It is widely used in Hungarian dishes like goulash. It is also used as a garnish for deviled eggs and casseroles.
This plant is in the mint family. It is a small evergreen shrub. It is widely used in Italian cuisine. It can flavor lamb, pork, chicken, and bread. It has a piney flavor.
There are countless more herbs and spices to choose from. Try some of these for yourself and experiment with others. You will find that dishes can be taken to another level of flavor with each new spice or herb.
“Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.”
If you really love food: cooking, eating, discovering new cuisines, and learning new food related facts, you will be happy to read these books. Both books, although completely different, present food as more than just the three meals each day. In each book, food is part of a lifestyle which includes health of the mind, body, and spirit. It opens doorways to passion, people, and fun.
French Women Don’t Get Fat: The secret of eating for pleasure by Mireille Guiliano. This book is fascinating. It is supposed to be a diet book. But, soon, you realize that to get thin or to stay thin involves more than counting calories for a few months. It takes a change in lifestyle. The lifestyle Guiliano describes is one most people would love to have. It involves long walks around Paris, drinking champagne or wine with lunch, eating delicious salads, and…never going to the gym. Therefore, dieting becomes fun and not really dieting at all. She reveals how loving life and food and love keep you thin. One chapter is called, “eating for life” because she describes how to eat forever, not just to shed a few pounds. The book also contains delicious low fat recipes. She gives great tips like, “The full taste of wine reveals itself only when paired with the right food.” She goes on to say that French women would never drink wine without food, like a cocktail. It’s a fun book and you won’t be able to put it down. You will probably want to get on the next plane to France. However, everything she describes in her lifestyle you could adopt wherever you live.
The Man Who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten. This book is entertaining, fact filled, and so funny. You may know Jeffrey Steingarten as a judge on Iron Chef America. He is extremely well educated in all things food related. He found that one can get rid of preconceived notions of disliking certain foods with discipline and curiosity. He says that you can learn or train yourself to like food if you increase exposure to them. In this book, he travels and tries so many different foods. He gives you detailed information about everything. You will learn all you ever wanted to know about fries because there is an entire chapter on them. He bottles his own water and makes the perfect sourdough bread. He offers many recipes as well. It reads like a cookbook, travel guide and food encyclopedia. Plus, it’s a comedy. You’ll love it.
You would be doing yourself a favor to add these foodie books to your library. Whether you are a seasoned chef or a novice, you will enjoy reading these. They teach you about the author’s passion for food and life. Both are passions worth reading about.
There are so many reasons to have your children involved in the kitchen. First, it is nice to have help, even if it involves a bit of training. Also, cooking with children promotes bonding, conversation, and increases your time spent together. Finally, your children will learn valuable lessons in nutrition and cooking.
Help with cooking meals:
Cooking meals should not be a lonely chore. If everyone is involved, it becomes more of a pleasure. Turn on some good music. Sing and dance a little to liven the mood. Sure, you will have to teach your children while you all cook together, but soon they will know so much. Before long, they will know their way around without your help. Having your children cooking at your side makes meals so much more pleasurable.
Bonding, conversations and spending time together:
As with any activity involving your children, cooking with them allows you to spend some quality time together. You will find that conversations flow. You learn about their day at school, their friends, their likes and dislikes. Cooking together creates an opportunity to really bond and communicate. It will seem like less of an interrogation and more of a fun talk.
Nutrition and How to Cook:
So many young adults leave home with no understanding of basic cooking skills or nutrition. Perhaps every meal was just put in front of them to eat. They have no idea how to prepare meals for themselves. You can take the opportunity to teach them about the nutrients involved in each part of the recipe: the protein, the vegetable, the herbs, etc…Without this knowledge, your child could leave home and make meals of ramen noodles or cold cereal. How much cooler would it be to be the roommate who can cook for the entire apartment? He or she would become the superstar of the household. You child will be happy to grow up with this knowledge.
Really, above all else, cooking with your children is fun. It’s fun for the parent as well as the child. One very important thing to remember…involve them in the cleaning of the dishes too.