How much Easier can a Rival Crock Pot Make your Life?

As the evenings get shorter, the grill needs to be put away and replaced by the Rival crock pot. Invented by the Rival Crock-Pot company, the rival crockpot, or slow cooker, is a low-energy way of cooking food over a period of several hours. Because the temperature never reaches anywhere near boiling point, food gets cooked without losing any of its natural flavour or nutritional value. This is a cooking pot that is excellent for preparing rich stews. The length of cooking time is ideal for complex dishes that rely on binding diverse flavours. And modern rival crock pots are ultra-economical.

The concept has caught on. Slow cookers are now made by companies like Breville and Morphy Richards which are renowned for their cookware. They have become a common feature in many modern kitchens because you can set a meal to cook and then leave it to work its magic. Modern families often find it difficult to prepare nutritious meals just as everyone is coming home from work or school. For many, that's the most chaotic time of the day - and the worst possible moment to start preparing dinner.

A rival crock pot allows you to choose the best moment to prepare your meal. You can chop your vegetables and prepare your meat in the morning, place it all in the rival slow cooker and turn it on before you leave the house. The first crockpots cooked at a pre-defined, low temperature that was controlled by a thermostat. Contemporary cookware now offer a host of features that essentially allow you to expand your culinary repetoire beyond the limit of simple stews. Some feature more complicated temperature control so that food can be kept warm once its cooked automatically. Some slow cookers have a probe that checks the meat and turns the cooker off once it is cooked through. You can even program more advanced slow cookers to start at a high temperature and drop, or the other way round. But, if you add more power to your slow cooker, it will cost you more to run. A modern, simple crock pot is still the most efficient way to cook your food. However, if you decide that you do want a programmable crock pot, Rival offers a wide range of them including their most recent model, the Crock pot eLume Slow Cooker with a touch screen user interface.

Crock pots come in just a few different sizes. These are the '4-quart' and the '6-quart', which hold exactly what they say on the tin. The 6-quart option would be perfect for a big family with healthy appetites and a large kitchen. But one factor that has made rival crock pots so popular over the years is the prevalence of 'pot-luck' dinners. In this case, a 4-quart, handled crock pot would be ideal. Just carry the pot to the party and plug it in as soon as you arrive. Many rival crock pots feature a removable stoneware ceramic liner. You can serve your dish straight from the stoneware liner in style. And the weight of the crockery is enough to keep the meal warm without the need for power.

Now that there have been so many crock pots and slow cookers on the market for such a long time, there are also plenty of easy crock pot recipes to go with them. Once you have familiarized yourself with the basics, your imagination is the only limit. As well, like with many other kitchen appliances, there are a number of crock pot replacement parts available on the market to help you maintain the usefulness of your trusted crock pot if it should become damaged in some way; a dropped or otherwise damaged crock pot can be saved by finding the right crock pot parts to replace a cracked or broken lid, a cracked or broken stoneware liner, or even to replace a missing knob from the lid of your crock pot. ***

Do Not Leave Crock Pot Slow Cookers Out of the Meal Prepararation Equation

If you really want the best results from your crockpot recipes then you don't want to go too cheap on your spending. On the other side, you don't have to own a mega de luxe model. You should do your own research, because it will be of no help if I recommend you a Philippe Richard cooker or a Mirro pressure cooker. It is good to know that you will not have to invest more then $40 for something like this.

If you decide on any of these brand names- brand names like Rival, Hamilton Beach, Kitchen-Aid, Cuisinart or Proctor Silex - you won't go wrong. Don't go cheap since you will get what you pay for -you will want your slow cooker to last for quite a few years.

Be careful not to choose a lousy crock pot slow cooker that has no or next to no useful features - it won't be a good deal. Since you don't want to rush home to take care of your meal and watch over it, a automatic shut-off and warm feature would be something you really need. Slow cookers can engage a lower warming mode all by themselves. This helps when you are serving a large meal by keeping stews, soups, and other dishes ready to serve.

Once you have settled on the brand and model, now pick the size. Most popular cooker sizes are 3.5 and 4 quart models. Depending on your family needs, you will be able to choose anything from a small to a large crock cooker.

You can be very creative with the choices and the food you want to put into your slow cooker. You can't find the perfect recipe when we talk about cooking with slow cooker. The blended flavors of a few choice ingredients is what the slow cooker is good at. You can prepare all sorts of foods in your crockpot, the choices are numerous. From sauces and soups, stews and roasts, it does them all well.

Fast food is over with, and the slow cooked meals are made popular. You can make a delicious meal by tossing some ingredients in the pot just before you leave the house.

Making Your Own Gourmet Chocolates.

A while ago I decided to a be chef and make some gourmet food for a party, I actually ended up making truffles, and boy, were they a big hit with all my friends, who all made the assumption they were gourmet chocolates purchased from a trendy candy or gourmet food shop. Be warned! Creating your own gourmet chocolate can be fairly difficult, and it takes time and patience, nevertheless, on the optimistic side it gives you the opportunity to choose from recipes that may not be so simple to get in the neighborhood candy store.

The key to making amazing gourmet chocolate:

Choosing and buying the ingredients of your gourmet chocolate is part of the fun. To start with I melted excellent quality dark chocolate over a double boiler. Secondly I rolled some small balls from marzipan and covered them with chocolate. Finally I rolled the chocolate covered marzipan in ground almonds, I also rolled chocolate covered peanut butter in more chocolate and then gave them a covering of ground peanuts.

Making chocolates opens up your creative juices, and so when making your own gourmet chocolates, you can create many different variations like, chocolate covered candied ginger, chocolate covered citrus peels; even chocolate covered chili peppers, wow.

Sharpen your sculpting talents when making gourmet chocolate:

A popular TV chef had a recipe for a honey chocolate cake, which inspired me to make a honey marzipan truffle.

  • Start by getting the chocolate ingredients.
  • Then melt the chocolate over the double boiler.
  • Add a little honey, this will create a nice glaze.
  • Now get the marzipan and with a paring knife carve some simple shapes like flowers, bunnies or hearts.
  • Then dip the shaped marzipan carefully into the chocolate and let the chocolate set on the marzipan.
  • Then sprinkle them with confectioner's sugar.
  • The glaze will be a little sticky, so the sugar will stick.

This will make a great gift for all occasions, and is an especially good idea for gourmet chocolates, because you can make the marzipan into any shape to suit the occasion, and finish off by dusting them with the confectioner's sugar.

A Fantastic gift for someone you care about:

It's difficult to find someone who doesn't like chocolate, so as gifts they are an excellent choice to show someone you care. By making chocolate yourself, you can take your time, and make them look great for that special person in your life. Food and wine followed by some gourmet chocolates will definitely score you some brownie points.

Gourmet chocolates are as a rule created by master chocolate makers, so there's no pressure here, but be sure you don't make something that’s looks dreadful and uninteresting, as this will crush the object of making them yourself. If the chocolates you create are lumpy, uneven or mis-shaped people will not think much of them. You need to be sure the quality is fantastic when offering your friends some of your gourmet chocolate.

Selecting The Right Wine For That Special Occasion

Do you find it hard to pick out the perfect wine for a special dinner or event?  We have a checklist of particular things to look for in a good wine.  This should help you make a great choice in your next wine purchase.

1. The White Wines:  Most commonly served as the first course, these wines do not have a really strong flavor, therefore leaving the taste buds relatively unaffected for the next course.  Do not be afraid to ask the wine salesman for his advice.  They will know exactly what year and which grape is best at this time.

When toasting that special event in your life or the life of a loved one the whites are a perfect choice. The more common toasting wine for weddings and anniversaries is of course the more elegant choice of Champagne.

2. Red Wines: A good red wine is great anytime, but when considering which wine to serve with a particular meal, a red is normal chosen for the heartier meals of beef, pork or lamb.  A good Merlot, Burgundy, or Cabernet would all be perfect choices.

Oregon produces a great Pinot Noir.  This wine is a combination of plum, vanilla, and blackberry.  Because of its light and fruity flavor it could also be served after dinner.

When hosting a spicy Mexican meal the Shiraz is a perfect compliment with its peppery flavor that brings out the spiciness of your enchilada suiza or chili verde.

The perfect wine to complete an Italian meal would be a Chianti.  With its rich flavor and deep red color it blends easily with ravioli and pizza.  When you finish the wine, the beautiful raffia wrapped bottles make great candle holders and set the mood for your romantic Italian dinner.

If you are serving a tender rib roast, tenderloin steak, Chateaubriand, filet mignon, or tournedos of beef, a robust Burgundy would be just the ticket.

As you can see from the suggestions above you may wish to have both a white wine and a red wine on hand when hosting a dinner. Some guests will most likely pick the wine they prefer and stay with that choice for the entire evening. Another may choose a white for the start of the evening and finish with a red. So always be prepared.

You may enjoy making your own wine.  You could start with one of the fruit wines.  They are relatively easy to make and go great with desserts.  Wouldn't your guests be impressed.  Visit a fruit wine making website for some recipes.

Find info on wine racks visit Oak Wine Rack

How to use Pressure Cookers

Pressure cookers were created to speed up the process of making food. They work, because at higher pressures, it takes a higher temperature to boil. This means that higher heats can be reached faster, because of the build up of pressure. Pressure cooking was fairly dangerous in the past, but now there are many safety features built in. This makes pressure cooking as safe as a microwave. Pressure cooking pots are one of the most useful cooking utensils to have in your home.

There are many things that can be cooked in a pressure cooker and there are many a cooking book devoted to pressure cooking. In days gone by, pressure cookers were more common and necessary kitchen tools than they are today. This is because of the popularity of take away foods and microwave meals. In older days when it was always up to the lady of the house to make all the meals, having the speed of a pressure cooker really cut down on her time in the kitchen. Even so, there are still many great recipes out there that are designed with a pressure cooker in mind. There are recipes for vegetables, rice, other meats, canning, deserts, fish, beans and many more. Most new pressure cooker models will come will a cheap recipes book, but to really explore the whole realm of pressure cooking, there are Internet sites devoted to them, or you could buy a recipe book from the store that is specifically designed for a pressure cooker.

The original design of a pressure cooker was very inventive. The first appearance of one was in 1679. These baking tools were actually called steam digesters, but they worked basically the same. These older models were used more for canning than they are today. Pressure cookers are made of steel or aluminum, and sometimes will have a copper bottom. When the food is placed inside, a small bit of water is added as well to conduct the heat. A sealed lid covers the pot. When the heat rises, so does the pressure, which makes the food cook faster. The lids have a steam valve to keep the pressure from becoming so high that the pot explodes. Today's cookers have more safety features, so this is not likely to happen much any more. However, older versions would get clogged all the time, and explode on a regular basis if not watched constantly.

Pressure cookers are really a great tool to add to any kitchen. It is easy to see their functionality among kitchen tools. If you have the room, a pressure cooker can be a great addition to your cooking collection. It is pretty amazing how fast it can actually cooks foods.

What Is Tex-Mex Cuisine

Tex-Mex Food Video

Different states in America offer different types of Mexican food. One type is Tex-Mex food. It is found in the state of Texas and consists of Mexican-American dishes. The dishes made in the Tex-Mex style are similar to regular Mexican foods such as burritos, but the difference is the type of chile pepper they use. In Tex-Mex food, green chile pepper is used. The peppers are grown throughout the state. It is becoming popular in other states also. Green chile pepper can be used in just about any type of dish including amburgers.

Another difference that separates Tex-Mex dishes is the way the foods are prepared. The use of spices and sauces are different from Mexico. Also the dishes usually have more meat and fewer beans. The dishes are influenced by the southern state of Chihuahua, which is also known for their dishes having more meat.

More than 60% of the population of Texas has ancestors that were from Mexico. It is no surprise as to why that state has become popular for its Tex-Mex
dishes. Tex-Mex is most popular in the South Central part of the state, which includes the cities of Austin and San Antonio. Tex-Mex dishes commonly use the ingredients of garlic, sour cream, cilantro, beans, avocado, and chorizo, which is a spicy Mexican sausage that originated from Spain. Chiles are also important in Tex-Mex dishes.

Some Mexican dishes that have a different taste in Tex-Mex include chorizo. It is a sausage that is spicy, being seasoned with red chile and garlic. It is a food that can be served at breakfast. The Tex-Mex chorizo is said to taste different by its spice blend. Tortillas in Tex-Mex cuisine are also different. The tortillas are usually more thick and less chewy then tortillas found in other places. Posole is a stew that Tex-Mex has put their twist into. Tex-Mex
style has many green chiles added to it, which makes it a lot different than the traditional dish.

Salsa picante is a thin sauce with pureed red peppers, onions, and tomatoes with added spices. The spices are similar to others that you would find in typical Tex-Mex dishes. The chili sauce added is also similar to both Tex-Mex style and Louisiana hot sauce. Picante sauce is very common and is an added condiment to add an extra punch of heat to any dish.

One dish that is shouts Texas, is chili. It is a combination of meat and spices, with no beans added. Sauce is the main ingredient of the chili. Chili started by the Chili Queens of San Antonio. They made the chili to sell at stands for cowboys who came to the town.

If you are ever visiting Texas, it is worth trying the unique foods of the region. You will be able to taste Mexican classics with a Texas twist. Many dishes are available, but don't be surprised when the dish
arrives and the food doesn't taste the same. That is part of the experience you will have when you eat Tex-Mex

More information on Mexican food can be found here Homemade Corn Tortillas

Famous Restaurant Recipe - Chicken Ala King Recipe

Good food need not be expensive. It is really a good thing that the Internet has been introduced. This information highway can certainly provide a lot of information. There are many famous restaurant recipes available online. I recommend the CopyKat Cookbook as it contains a list of the most famous restaurant recipes contain in a single ebook that is easy to download and print.

Now, people can cook their favorite foods with the guidance of recipes found online. All that one has to do is to find a famous restaurant recipe and off he goes to the kitchen. Take Chicken ala King for example. Simply follow the instructions below.

Three tablespoons of unbleached flour
1 and ½ cups of milk
1 and ½ teaspoon of instant chicken bouillon
2 cups of cubed chicken, cooked
2 cup of pea, frozen
1 jar of pimiento
And 1/8 teaspoon of pepper


Combine the flour with 1/2 of the cup of milk. Cover the container and mix it well by shaking, there has to be no lumps.

Pour it in a saucepan with the remaining milk bad add the chicken bouillon. And water and bring to a boil. Stir the mixture constantly until you get a thick sauce. Lower the heat and then add the remaining ingredients to the sauce. Continue stirring so the sauce will not stick to the pan. Serve hot.

See how easy it is to cook a famous restaurant recipe? Other than that, you can actually control calorie intake and the amount of seasoning you use because you can´t really decide what to add and what not to add in a restaurant.

This means that you can decide what food to cook and balance your family´s intake of nutrients. You can cook an easy and healthy famous restaurant recipe at home.

If you are looking for more famous restaurant recipes, check out Copykat Cookbook. Learn famous restaurant recipes such as the outback restaurant recipes and more.

Dinner Fast and Easy: Quick Tips to Get a Healthy Dinner on the Table

If you think you don't have time to make dinner, think again. With these ideas, you'll be a professional at-home chef in no time.

Plan ahead.
Nothing has people reaching for the take out menu faster than a lack of planning. If you've been trying to plan dinner after 5 pm, odds are that you give up on cooking most days. Make sure to plan at least five meals each week before you go to the grocery store for the week, so you have the ingredients on hand. (Printable grocery coupons are here.)  If you have enough food to make several different types of meals, you'll be less likely to eat out.

Each morning, decide what you'll make for dinner that night. You may want to put any meat that needs to defrost in the refrigerator. You'll also want to make sure you have all of the ingredients. Review the recipe and figure out when you'll need to start making dinner in order to have it done on time.

Come up with a system for dinner recipes.

It's easy to make a quick dinner when you have a system that works. Keep it simple. Your dinners can be protein, carbohydrate, plus veggie. This formula can cover a wide range of possibilities – baked chicken, cheesy noodles and broccoli, grilled steak with peppers and onions served with tortillas, sautéed ground beef with Asian vegetables served over rice. The possibilities are endless!

Save time with frozen vegetables.

Everyone needs more vegetables and serving frozen vegetables are an easy way to get more into your family's diet. Keep a wide variety of frozen vegetables on hand. You can change the flavor with spices, margarine mixed with lemon juice or even Italian dressing. A few minutes in the microwave or on the stovetop with a vegetable steamer and you'll have vegetables for your meal.

Cook some ingredients ahead of time.
Ground beef can be used in many different recipes, from spaghetti to tacos. It takes just as much time to brown two pounds of beef as it does to brown a half a pound. On a weekend, brown and freeze several pounds of ground beef or ground turkey. This way, the next time you cook a recipe that calls for ground beef you'll just have to reheat it. You can do the same thing with chicken pieces.

Keep alternatives at the ready.
Even the most well planned menu can come undone from time to time. Keep a few frozen meals at the ready. Frozen lasagna, skillet meals and other pre-packaged foods are okay every once in a while. You can improve the nutrition of these processed meals by adding more vegetables and serving health side dishes.

For those special occasion meals when you need gourmet fare, consider a service that delivers prepared meals or gourmet entrees to your home (such as Home Bistro or Omaha Steaks). This option can get expensive if you use it a lot, but both companies issue online coupons and promotions from time to time. Check here for current Home Bistro Coupons; and here for Omaha Steaks coupons.

Impress Your Guests With Gourmet Food

How to Locate Gourmet Foods

If you are seeking to impress your guests at your next dinner party or special event enrolling in a creative cooking school will teach the necessary skills to properly prepare gourmet food.  Most of the larger retail grocery stores have a gourmet foods isle. If you cannot find what you are hungry for there try a quick online search.

Specialty Meats & Poultry

Online gourmet stores offer many of the hard to find gourmet meats shipped direct to your doorstep.  They may come frozen and packaged in specialized storage containers to retain their freshness and quality.  This is especially convenient if you do not live close to large shopping areas.

By searching online your choices are vast.  Although you may have some fine specialty meat shops in your area supplying you with some very fresh and tasty meats, they may not stock the finer gourmet meats.

Gourmet Coffee

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world and gourmet coffee is most peoples' favorite. Coffee really presents a universe of choices, and especially if you entertain a lot you are going to want to have a good selection of coffee to choose from. Different gourmet coffees have different tastes and it is important that before you actually purchase any coffee you determine how you want to brew your coffee.

If you are taking the time to serve up a special meal consisting of some finer gourmet foods you will to accompany the dish with fine gourmet coffee as well.  Whether it is a cappuccino, espresso, or flavored coffee the bean is the all important component.

Finally the Chocolate

Of course no talk of finer gourmet foods would be complete without discussing gourmet chocolate. Everyone loves chocolate, and in fact there are very few foods in history that are as highly prized as chocolate.

No one would turn away a gift of dark gourmet chocolate.  In fact, chocolates are probably one of the most popular gift items and it is available in such a variety of favorites.  You can choose from truffles made of gourmet chocolate, a chocolate mouse, or chocolate dipped marshmallows.

Searching for finer gourmet foods can be done easily online.  They can be shipped conveniently to your front door and added to your next gourmet meal or dinner party menu.  Whether you are looking for gourmet meats, coffee or chocolates it is always worth it to take gourmet cooking classes. The the extra time and effort will definitely pay off with the compliments you will receive.

Get more info on cooking visit Turkey Cooking Time

Sparkling Wines - The Wine Of Parties

Champagne & Sparkling Wine

A party is not a party without the presence of sparkling wines or champagne. Sparkling wine is basically the party drink of the alcohol world. Exciting occasions, like weddings, will have sparkling wine present. Champagne has a colorful history and how it is made is quite unique. This truly makes it worthy of the title "party wine."

It is said that sparkling wines were created by accident. Monks from Champagne, France were supposedly the accidental inventors of this drink. When their wines were stored in their cellars for some time, the wine turned bubbly. They thought they had spoiled the wine, but after drinking it they realized that they had created something great. Sparkling wine is created through temperature changes. When the wine cools down below fermentation temperature before all the alcohol has fermented and when it is heated up again, the resulting fermentation creates the bubbly appearance through a carbon dioxide reaction. Many wineries use the name champagne for their sparkling wine, but in actuality, wine that is truly champagne comes from a specific district of vineyards in France. Any other winery that uses the name champagne is stealing the name from the true foreign wineries.

The process of making sparkling wine has stayed pretty much the same throughout the years. This type of process has in recent years become modernized, however it pretty much keeps the spirit of the older ways. The first step in making champagne and sparkling wines is to pick the grapes over a period of time so that every grape is at its ripest. Sometimes, different grapes from different vineyards are used to retain the best qualities of each variety. The grapes are then pressed and stored, usually in stainless steel barrels to ferment. This is done over a period of at least three weeks, until all the sugar is turned into alcohol. The wine is then separated from the bits that sunk to the bottom of the barrels and is transferred to other barrels, sometimes wood, to ferment longer or is mixed in with older wines to retain a particular flavor. For the second fermentation, extra sugar and yeast is put in with the wine to make the bubbly texture. And that is how sparkling wine is made! There are many different kinds of sparking wines and they are all made a little differently, but the basic process is the same.

Now you know the basics of how sparkling wines are made. There are way too many kinds of wines to be named in one article, so if you are interested, check out some wine websites or a wine club for more information. One of the most important sparkling wine facts to remember is that true champagne only comes from France. Use that bit of factual info to impress your friends!

Are you aware of the true value of of the wines that you drink? Are you awaare that you can make wine yourself? If your answer is "no" then you are in luck because you can get instructional material that are able to teach you on all aspects that you need to know about wines. From the grapevine to the table you have the ability to learn how wines get their value, created and even how the grapes are cultivated. Before you know it you will end up being a authority of wines and will be able to impress your friends with your newly acquired ability. All it takes is the appropriate know-how and you will be on your way. For additional information be sure and go here: Making Wine Without Sugar and more information at Making Pear Wine as well as Wine Making Materials

How to Dress Up Budget Food Recipes

Everyone needs to watch their spending today; even someone making six figures is going to feel the pinch of gas prices and food prices that are skyrocketing out of control these days.  But while there seems to be no end to the number of Low Cost Cooking recipes that you can use to cut back on your family's grocery bill, very often these recipes leave something to be desired when it comes to their nutritional value and their taste.  Really, what's the point of following cheap food recipes if it means food that is unhealthy or that no one in your family will eat?  But there are some ways to dress up these recipes so that they're tastier and more nutritious at the same time.

For one thing remember that you can use foods that are reduced in fat and sugar but not necessarily fat free or sugar free.  Usually things like mayonnaise or salad dressing that are fat free are rather tasteless but you can use reduced fat items in Budget Cooking recipes that will make them healthier but still preserve the taste.  Think of how you can use reduced fat cheese, mayonnaise, salad dressing, yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese, and items like these in any cheap food recipes you may have to make them better for you.

Sometimes when you are looking at meat, its best to look for leaner cuts of meat such as chicken or pork.  Shredded chicken marinating in barbecue sauce makes for great sandwiches, or you can use chicken strips for rolled up sandwiches instead of steak.  Thinking of how you can make up cheap food recipes using less expensive cuts of meat this way can save you quite a bit over time. 

You might also want to think of items you can add to your Low Price Cooking recipes to enhance flavor.  For example, salsa, spaghetti sauce, reduced fat cheese, or sour cream can be used in many casserole recipes without adding a lot of extra calories.  If you're making chicken and rice, add some cheese or sour cream and bake it for added flavor.  Leftover meatballs can be added to pasta sauce for a nice submarine sandwich.  These types of cheap food recipes use up leftovers so that you're not adding anything to your grocery bill.Sometimes we forget and just warm up a plate of leftovers but think of what you have in your fridge that you can add to help with the flavor of those leftovers.

Use vegetables in any of your cheap food recipes when possible; this saves money and is a lot more nutritious than anything else.  When making a casserole, reduce the rice and chicken and bulk it up with broccoli or cauliflower.You really can have a well balanced meal even with a meat dish as you can steam fresh veggies as a side dish.Whats nice about this is that you get some cheap food recipes that are also better for you.  You can even use pasta sauce over steamed vegetables as well for added flavor.  By doing so you'll have cheap food recipes that are healthy and budget friendly.

Low Price Cooking is a brand new community website for Cooking Nutritious Food at a lower price to help your family budget. Come by LowPriceCooking to get your free Ebook on LowPriceCooking Basics just for joining the Low Price Cooking community for free. You will find cooking Forums, cooking Videos, Low Price Cooking Community Members and more just for signing up for free to join and then you can get your free Low Price Cooking EBook on Low Price Cooking Basics. Come be A part of our Low Price Cooking Community.


30 Minute Meals Recipes

I would love to say that I have the time to whip up amazing meals each night. There are a few problems with that thought. For one, I am not the best cook in the world, and secondly, I just don’t have a lot of time.

I remember my grandmother would spend most of her day in the kitchen, and that was something that she seemed to enjoy. For me, however, it is just not possible. Instead, I look for great and interesting meal ideas that I can make fast. That means that the 30 minute meals you can find are some of the best options for me.

I was never sure how I felt about Rachel Ray, but I love her 30 minute meals recipes. Not only are they pretty easy, they are also meals that are not the ordinary fare that I give my family all of the time.

We get stuck in a rut sometimes with the same meals over and over, and that is mostly because they are tried and true favourites. The meals in 30 minutes are great, and they don’t have to be extremely complicated to keep everyone happy with our menu.

Many of the 30 minute meals are so easy that someone like me can do them. I have make many mistakes in the kitchen, and I think it has to do with my short attention span. Finding great meals to make in 30 minutes is just about right, and is something I can concentrate on.

These are not your average meals either, so it does require some extra shopping. However, if you can plan your 30 minute meals ahead of time (a week or two ahead) you can get all of your shopping done without worrying about being out of or missing something essential.

You can watch Rachel to get your 30 minute meals, or you can find listings online if you want to plan ahead. You can also find meals in 30 minutes by buying one of her cookbooks.

Because she is so popular right now, you can find her books almost anywhere that sells cookbooks, or you can find them easily enough if you do a search online. After a while, you may even be able to come up with some of your own meals that you can make in a half an hour or less.

You’ll learn a lot about food and cooking by following along and figuring out how to put things together in a pleasing and fast way.

Click here to buy cheap 30 minute meals recipes.

An Easy Gourmet Food Recipe

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By Jim Nettleton

Cooking and preparing fine, gourmet meals has always been a hobby of mine. Over the years, I’ve originated dozens of recipes that have pleased family and friends. Here’s one that you can prepare rather quickly that will have your diners praising your skills.



1 15 ounce can Hunts tomato sauce

½ small onion chopped fine

1 tblsp. Parsley, chopped fine

1 tsp. Basil

½ cup water

½ cup dry red wine – Cabernet Sauvignon recommended

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ cup extra virgin olive oil for sautéing

1 whole mild Italian sausage (about 10 inches)

1 cup coarsely chopped red bell peppers with seeds and stem removed

1½ cups diced creamer potatoes

1 cup freshly sliced mushrooms

5 ounces small cooked shrimp

5 ounces cooked crabmeat

1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tblsp. freshly chopped garlic

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 box jumbo pasta shells (biggest you can find)

5 ounces flounder fillet

Parmesan cheese, grated

Place tomato sauce in a large pot. Add chopped garlic, onion, parsley, pepper, basil, water, wine, ¼ cup olive oil and Italian sausage. Cover pot and bring to boil. Immediately turn heat down to simmer for 30 minutes. When finished simmering, remove and save sausage.

While sauce is simmering, saute the following in the ½ cup olive oil: the mushrooms, bell peppers and creamer potatoes for about 5 minutes.

Bake the flounder until flaky and tender. Then, using a food processor (or chopping the ingredients very fine by hand - if done by hand, the resultant mixture should be thoroughly blended) - blend the shrimp, crabmeat, flounder, Monterey Jack cheese, garlic powder and cayenne pepper until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

Prepare the shells according to package instructions. When done, drain and pat dry. Stuff the shells with approximately 1½ heaping tablespoons of the mixture. To aid in judging the amount needed, the mixture should be enough to stuff about 10 shells.

Place the shells in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over the shells, using entire amount. Bake at 325 degrees until sauce bubbles.

Remove. Sprinkle shells with a small amount of Parmesan cheese. Cut sausage into small pieces. Serve with sausage pieces as garnish.


About the Author

Jim Nettleton is a radio and television professional who loves his food. He has been cooking and preparing gourmet meals for decades and loves to share his recipes with those who enjoy good food. He highly recommends The Secret Recipes From Your Favorite Restaurants - Visit his French Gourmet Food blog for cooking tips, tricks and recipes at


Pottage Italiano

By Jim Nettleton

Here’s another terrific recipe that’s a real tummy filler. Enjoy!


1 15 ounce can Hunt's tomato sauce

1 tblsp. finely chopped garlic

1/2 small onion, chopped in chunks

1 tblsp. parsley

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. basil

1 whole mild Italian sausage

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup dry red wine - Cabernet Sauvignon recommended

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup freshly sliced mushrooms

1 cup coarsely chopped red bell peppers, with seeds removed

1 1/2 cups diced creamer potatoes

4 pieces veal, scallopini style

1/2 pint heavy whipping cream

2/3 cup Parmesan, Romano, Provolone cheese, mixed in equal portions and grated

1/2 cup olive oil for sauteeing

1 cup fresh snow peas in pod

Place tomato sauce in a large pot. Add garlic, onion, parsley, pepper, basil, water, wine, 1/4 cup olive oil and two small pieces (about an inch long apiece) of Italian sausage. Cover pot and bring to boil. Immediately turn heat down to simmer for 30 minutes.

While sauce is simmering, saute the following in the 1/2 cup olive oil, saving the oil for the next step: the rest of the sausage, by itself, for 10 minutes. Save sausage drippings and clean the skillet; then, together, the mushrooms, bell peppers and creamer potatoes for about 5 minutes; then, the snow peas for 1 minute.

Next, cut the veal into thin strips about 1/2 inch wide and 2 inches long. Using the saved oil and sausage drippings, saute the veal for about 2 to 3 minutes. Place all sauteed items aside. When sauce is finished simmering, strain to remove the onion pieces, but retain all other ingredients. Return to the pot and add heavy whipping cream (fat free ½ and ½ can be substituted, but will result in thinner substance) and the 2/3 cup mixed grated cheeses, stirring carefully to blend.

Now, add all sauteed items. Stir. Cover the pot and bring close to boil, then reduce heat and simmer until peppers and potatoes are tender and the sausage is completely done, about 10 to 15 minutes. Watch the pot carefully during this time and stir frequently to avoid burning.

Ladle into large soup bowls. Serves 2 to 4 as either a soup or a complete entree.

About the Author

Jim Nettleton is a radio and television professional who loves his food. He has been cooking and preparing gourmet meals for decades and loves to share his recipes with those who enjoy good food. He highly recommends The Secret Recipes From Your Favorite Restaurants - Visit his French Gourmet Food blog for cooking tips, tricks and recipes at

Low Fat Cooking: 7 Tips to Make Your Favorite Recipes Lower in Fat

You can make your favorite recipes lower in fat and calories with a few simple substitutions. Here are seven tips to help you adapt any recipe to your new low fat lifestyle.

1. The first step is to take all of your recipes and make a note of the high fat ingredients. These can include whole milk, butter, margarine, cheese, sour cream, oil and eggs. Make a note of what needs to be substituted and then start to adapt the recipe.

Start making your substitutions slowly. It is going to take a little bit of time to master the art of low-fat cooking. Try substituting half of the low fat options at first and see how the dish tastes. If you are able to reduce the fat without sacrificing flavor, then try to eliminate a little more fat the next time around.

2. If your recipe calls for eggs, you can use low-fat egg substitute. Egg substitutes are available by the carton at your local grocery store. Use 1/4 cup of egg substitute for one egg. You can also reduce the fat by using egg whites instead of the whole egg, however this changes the composition of your dish slightly.

3. Make an easy switch from whole milk to low-fat or fat-free milk. If you're drinking whole milk on a daily basis or using it for your cereal, you should be making this switch anyway to follow the rules of your low-fat way of eating. If you are accustomed to using whole fat milk, first switch to 2% milk and then work down to fat free milk eventually. This way you can become accustomed to the taste of the lower fat varieties.

4. Mayonnaise, sour cream and cheese can all be substituted with lower fat versions of the same products. Use the same amount that you would with the high fat varieties. Low-fat plain yogurt also makes a great substitute for sour cream. When it comes to cheese, keep in mind that low-fat cheese doesn't melt as well as regular cheese. You may need to adjust your baking time.

5. Eliminate excess butter and oil by using cooking spray to prepare eggs and other items in a frying pan. You can save a lot of fat calories this way and will hardly recognize the difference. The clean up after using cooking spray is a lot easier as well.

6. You can also eliminate butter and oil in sweet baked goods by using applesauce. Use a cup of applesauce or pureed fruit for every cup of oil or butter required in the recipe. You can experiment with different flavor combinations and come up with many varieties of your favorite baked goods.

7. Your meat choices can also play a big part in how much fat a dish contains. Use extra lean ground beef (such as 97% fat free) instead of the full fat variety. Try substituting ground turkey for beef for an even lower fat option. If you aren't a fan of the flavor of ground turkey, try mixing the ground beef and the ground turkey together.

By using these simple substitutions, you can easily reduce the fat in your diet. The flavors of your dishes won't change a whole lot but your waistline will thank you.

Chocolate Mint A Refreshing Taste

Origin Of The Mint

Mint, or Mentha as referred to, is a family of 25 species. Mint leaves are  strong-scented, and exist throughout the year. Leaf colors range from dark green and gray-green to purple, blue and also pale yellow. They can grow to almost 120 cm tall with a potentially wide spread. In the world of food and drink, mint leaves can be used in teas, beverages, jellies, syrups, chocolate candies, and my favorite use - ice creams. I also read it is good to war off mesquitos, pretty cool. It also important to note the wide use of the mint in the arena of fine foods. Mint leaves are used in gourmet entrees for decoration and eating by some of the greatests chefs in the world.

Mint In A Chocolate Bar

Before we talk about it further, here is a great chocolate mint bar recipe from

Mint is a powerful flavor. It has been used for decades as a soother to the stomach. Adding mint to chocolate, particularly dark chocolate can be even that much better. Chocolate mint bars possess a great flavor that is tolerable to the taste buds. Mint extract, morsels or flavorings are added to many recipes for cookies, candies and drinks. An example of a good mini mint chocolate candy bar is what we have after a meal at Olive Garden Restaurant. What do they give us after we scoff down our pasta meals and bread sticks and salad, chocolate mint Andies candies?

Chocolate mint bars are great for all occasions, holidays, birthdays, social gatherings, and more. Many will appreciate having this particular type of chocolate around because of the health benefits of the mint itself. Many will reach for chocolate mint candies just because it is mint and they are thinking about their bad breath or stomach.

What can you make with mint chocolate? Tons of stuff! You can make mint chocolate chip cookies, mint flavored hot chocolate, mint toppings, mint chocolate fondue, mint chocolate drops, and more. Many sites will also list the nutritional facts for these bars. I have seen some post their recipe at 210 calories or so. This all depends on the ingredients. So, if you are calorie cautious then read up before you buy. There are also many organic recipes that will offer great alternative ingredients that are lower in fat and provide better nutritional value.

Well, I am sure you have your favorite recipes for chocolate mint bars or any other form of it. We would love to have your recipe and post it to our blog. Or, perhaps you have a great place to find chocolate mint bars or other. Let us know. Log on and leave a comment at

Can You cook quinoa in a microwave

How to cook quinoa in a microwave

The standard way to cook quinoa is to cook in in boiling water.There is nothing difficult about preparing quinoa in a microwavbe as long as you follow these instructions. I used a 700 watt microwave oven on full power to prepare these instructions. Check the power of your microwave and increase or reduce the times accordingly.

Step one

Measure out one cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water. The size of cup doesn’t matter as long as the proprtions are 2 to 1.

Step two

Rinse the quinoa under cold water for half a minute to remove any impurities.

Step three

Put the water and the quinoa into a microwaveable dish and cover. Put the dish with the water and quinoa into your micro oven and cook for about 3 minutes. You will need to let the quinoa stand for about a minute after this first cook. Mix up the quinoa in the water with a spoon before putting it back into your microwave oven for a second time for three minutes. The quinoa needs to stand on the kitchen counter for 2 or 3 minutes to finish cooking.

The conditions in a microwave oven are different to cooking on the hob and ther may be some water not absorbed. Simply drain this off.

you can now tuck into the freshly cooked quinoa. The only difference I have observed in cooking quinoa in a microwave as opposed to cooking it the standard way is that is expands very slightly more and is a bit softer to the touch. The superb taste of quinoa is still there and it is easily used in all your best recipes.

By far the easiest way to put quinoa on your plate is to just serve it as is straight from cooking without any extras. Just serve it on the plate instead. But the best way to use the cooked quinoa is in salads and stir fry dishes. This is where it really comes into its own and prooves to be a versatile addition to your kithcen larder,



Cooking Made Easy For Kids

Kids are frequently fascinated with cooking, sometimes at a very young age. This attraction can be encouraged with all the realistic play cooking toys available, paired with a great imagination.

You can find a wide array of pint sized kitchens in the toy store, featuring replicas of common kitchen tools and ingredients. All the kitchen basics can be found, ranging from skillets and saucepans to butter, milk and eggs. Pretend cooking has made it very easy for inquisitive toddlers to begin experiencing fun in their own tiny kitchens.

Nothing makes cooking more fun and fascinating than an Easy Bake oven. For some time now kids have been preparing delicious goodies all by themselves, without having to ask Mom to turn on the oven. Giving mom a hand with dinner wasn't even a chore. In fact it actually made cooking easy with all those extra hands. There was always something to do, and baking usually meant getting to lick clean the bowl and spoon.

Most children love to play in the kitchen from time to time. But there are some who develop a true aptitude early on for the culinary arts. And this goes beyond merely dumping clumps of dough onto a cookie pan. In addition, this aptitude can be fostered with the introduction of Fun Easy Recipes For Kids.

You can make cooking simple and fun for these future chefs. You might find that dessert isn't their only focus, and that they're excited to prepare the entire meal. Taking up cooking could even be more enjoyable than playing computer games or watching TV.

You'll see numerous cookbooks and cooking videos that are kid oriented, full of fast, fun and easy recipes to try out. It might come as a surprise, but not all of these tasty recipes are loaded with sugary and fattening ingredients.

Why not have your child decide what's for dinner that night, and help him along in the preparation. You'll be relieved when you discover that the majority of these recipes are actually good for you.

It's so important that you monitor your children carefully in the kitchen as they help out. A sturdy step stool may be better than a chair when they want to be able to see over the counter. When something goes in or out of the oven, a grownup needs to be the one handling it, along with anything being tended on the stovetop.

Teach your kids about the possible dangers of the kitchen. Teach them safety precautions to keep them from being injured, but they also need to know what to do when an accident does happen. It's always better to be safe when it comes to the kitchen. ***

Make Your Own Milk Chocolate Fondue

Shop for Milk Chocolate Fondue

Talk about a child's dream dessert, milk chocolate fondue is just a kid's bliss. Minus the alcohol that might go into some recipes of course. I feel like I am in Charlie's Chocolate Factory looking at that stream of chocolate. Milk chocolate fondue can be made with any type of chocolate really, Belgian chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate. There are inexpensive ways of making it. You can buy it from a well known vendor or make it yourself with homemade ingredients. And, what's a chocolate fondue without some fondue dippers, like strawberries, bananas, pineapple, pound cake, and pecan, almonds, and anything else I suppose you could spear with a fondue fork.

They rank number one in the search engine and make one mean milk chocolate fondue, that is, Betty Crocker. When you think of baking and dessert making you think, Betty Crocker right? Their products are top quality and also very affordable. You can take the quick route to getting milk chocolate fondue, by purchasing from Betty Crocker. They have a great recipe for Chocolate Sour Cream Fondue as well.

Another great option for fondue is Nestle. They have such recipes as chocolate peanut butter smores fondue, a spiced chocolate fondue. Many of these brands offer advice on how to prepare such chocolate fondues, especially if you do not have a recipe book for them. Milk chocolate fondue is always delicious and a great treat to serve to guests at a special occasion.

Also keep in mind that by going with dark chocolate fondue over the milk chocolate versions, you will be receiving many health benefits. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which are able to fight off free radicals in the body. There is also the absence of milk in pure dark chocolate, which is beneficial to many lactose free individuals.

Remember, if you are making your own milk chocolate fondue, there needs to be a liquid mixed with the morsels or else they will stick to the pan and scortch. Some use half and half, others evaporated milk with other substances, spices, etc. This is key to creating a rich, creamy, chocolate fondue for all your family and guests to enjoy. Make a few weekend tryouts before serving for a special event in order to get the process right and perfected.

Many places have incredible recipes for making chocolate fondue, such as local stores, online stores, and personal websites posting some old-fashioned recipes. If you are in the market for something specific, then do some searching, if elogance is your goal. Remember, chocolate is chocolate, it is all about how it is prepared that elevates it above the norm. Presentation is also another factor. This is as important as preparation. Which you can use a good melting pot, or 2-quart household pot to prepare, add all the right ingredients. Then presentation takes it from there. But, when you are done, it is still chocolate, whatever type you chose. I worked in salad and desserts in an Italian restaurant some years ago, and I remember how big presentation was.

I will prove to you that is a big part of making chocolate fondue. How do you feel everytime you look at a website displaying it? It catches the eye, it has appeal, I want to make that, you say, right? Focus on preparation first, then presentation last. If it is made right, it will taste right, then it can be made to look right. Enjoy!

How to cook quinoa the easy way

quinoa recipes

Many quinoa recipes use quinoa that has already been been cooked and prepared before including in a recipe. Cooking quinoa twice is very common and most recipes will require you to do this preparation stage. The finished result is used with mexican, african and asian dishes instead of the usual rice and cous cous. You can also cool the quinoa for half an hour and put it in salads. By adding chopped vegetables such as cucumber, leaf salad and rocket you have a lovely meal.

Step 1

Rinse the quinoa in a fine seive with cold water. Do this a second time to make sure the saponin coating is completely removed. If you have bought unprocessed quinoa it is very important to follow this soaking procedure.

Step 2

Measure out one cup of quinoa to two cups of water into a saucepan.

Step 3

Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring gently to ensure it does not stick to the pan. the boiling water can be turned down to a simmer and the quinoa will grow in size in the saucepan. The time you cook it for makes a difference to the final texture and feel of the grain at the end of cooking. When all the water is absorbed you know that the quinoa is cooked and readt to serve. It will expand to two to three times its original size. Stop the cooking after it is cooked.

Step 4

Your quinoa is now ready to serve as a substitute for rice with curry and other dishes. As well as this you can put it into your regular meals and salad dishes. The taste of quinoa doesn't dominate the recipes, its tends to blend in with other ingredients. The crunchiness and frimness of this grain makes a meal satisfying and filling.

It is also ready to include in the recipes that are in the quinoa recipes book.

Simmered tomato steak: Makes even the toughest cut of meat into tender morcels.

My last post on here discussed my (then) Fiance's crock pot pork roast recipe ( umm, yummie! ), well things have changed, we have gone and gotten ourselves married, and this time I have decided to turn the sppotlight on to a recipe from another source. This time I am going to give you a simmered tomato steak recipe that I originally learned from a coworker (Hi, Thomas) and which I later modified to suit my own tastes.

For this recipe you will need:
* 1 medium to large sized steak with excess fat removed
* 1 large can of tomatoes
* 2 cups of water
* 1 tablespoon of oil
* 1 medium onion, sliced
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
* 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
* 3 cloves of crushed garlic
* 2 medium potatoes cut into cubes
* 2 tablespoons of flour
* 3/4 cup of chopped carrots

First I like to braise the steak on both sides in a frying pan with a little oil. After that I take the steak and put it into an electric frying pan - but you could use a regular large frying pan or even substitute a medium sized roasting pan and do the recipe in the oven at equivalent temperatures, which is what I used to do before the electric pan. I suppose that you could even turn this into a Rival crock pot roast recipe if you felt so inclined. Once the steak is in the pan I add the juice from the can of tomatoes as well as the water, the sugar, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce. You can add in any desired cooking spices at this point I then turn on the pan to a decent simmering temperature - at least 300 -350 degrees, cover and let simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove lid and add the remaining ingredients making sure to stir them once in the pan / roasting pan. Allow to simmer together for another 45 minutes until desired tenderness is reached.


Our Kitchen gets an Upgrade, and You get My Fiance's Crock Pot Pork Roast Recipe.

Improving the Kitchen Arsenal with a Shiny New Crock Pot, or 'How My Fiance got an Upgrade'.

Recently, my Fiance and I attended a Wedding Shower over in Edmonton, Alberta. We live in Vancouver, British Columbia, but her family is mostly located in Edmonton, so off to Edmonton we went for the first of the two showers we would be having. One of the nicest gifts that we received was a brand new Crockpot, complete with a sealable lid and 'little dipper'; it had a really nice look to it, with a shiny, brushed steel exterior, a removable lid for ease of use, as well as a removable liner. It even came with a mini crock which lets you keep sauces heated for as long as you need!

I suppose that this doesn't sound like that big a deal for most regular longtime Rival Crock pots users, and my exposure to the whole Crockpot phenomenon is admittedly recent and limited, however for my Fiance - who is a long time slow cooker user and who has been making do with the same old basic unit for years and years, this gift was an oh so welcome addition to her kitchen arsenal. She has already been giving it a decent work out, and has no intention of quitting any time soon.

Fiance Jane's Pork Roast Recipe.

One of the more frequent meals that my partner likes to just throw together is a simple yet very tasty pork roast recipe. It seems like she always has all of the necessary ingredients at hand (which is always very convenient) and now that we are the proud new owners of a much larger crock pot, we can work with a larger piece of meat for the roast.

Honestly, I couldn't tell you anything specific about the cut that she usually uses - whether it is the shoulder or leg, but I'm not really sure that it matters for the sake of the cooking.

She usually doesn't seem to make a strong or concerted effort to put all of her veggies on the bottom of the crock like many suggest you do but instead evenly distributes the veggies above and below the roast in the crockpot. Either way, they seem to absorb a lot of the flavour of the roast pork itself. I am not really fussy about having crispier vegetables after cooking so I don't mind that they are all thrown in the slowcooker with the meat, but otherwise it wouldn't take much to cook them up seperately in the oven.

My Fiance says that she is not one to add many spices or seasonings when slow-cooking pork but she does admit to adding some salt, pepper and a few sliced cloves of garlic for more flavor. Sometimes she even adds in a bit of sage or ginger - but not too much.

So how long does she let it cook for?

Jane suggests that if you only have half a day to work with that you can cook the roast on high for around five or six hours, but that if you have a whole day to let it cook then she recommends letting it cook on low for around eight hours. Then you just serve it up and enjoy!

Okay, that was pretty simple, eh?

Well it works for us and I hope it will work for you, too!
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