Therefore you’ve thought through different remodeling strategies suggested by kitchen remodeling lansing mi for the kitchen. The method that you manage the ultimate details could possibly be your solution.
You might have pointed out that we haven’t mentioned things such as backsplash, external hardware, countertops and paint. They are a big section of how your kitchen can look. But they are last since when push involves shove, they are able to wait.
If there’s available space in your remodeling spending budget to accomplish it all simultaneously, go for it! But if you’re uncertain how everything will easily fit into still, these are things that are an easy task to update as well as DIY later.
Painting is really a low-cost part of kitchen remodeling. In the event that you don’t plan to change your kitchen area walls, you may not have to be worried about this at all. If you do, you can find an improved feel for exactly what will work for you as soon as your countertop and cabinets come in.
SPACE FOR STORAGE - You don’t need to move walls or even add totally new cabinets to boost space for storage in your kitchen area. If you want more room for the kitchen’s contents, add-ons like pullout shelves or rollout drawers can enable you to access and use area you didn’t know you'd! You can find other storage choices besides cabinet storage space optimizers. Extending your cupboards to the ceiling or including toekick drawers in the bottom can squeeze a lot more storage into a kitchen area that can’t be extended. These options aren’t for folks who desire to stretch their dollars just; they are often contained in big-spending budget kitchens for the comfort alone.
Backsplashes could make a splash independently, or permit your cabinet and counter options take center stage quietly. Materials widely range, from marble slabs to cautious painting. Tile is really a classic since it is versatile, low-maintenance and durable. It can be affordable also, depending on your alternatives. If your spending budget is very tight, a straightforward coat of easy-to-clean color could possibly be all you need.
The countertop itself is one big option! If you’re keeping out for an ideal little bit of granite or the Corian you need doesn’t really easily fit into your budget at this time, you could choose a less expensive material for and upgrade later now. You could miss the middle upgrade even. This will depend on whether you need an all-at-as soon as transformation or are prepared to go bit-by-bit to obtain exactly what you need. This is a little-known proven fact that it will be easier to obtain counters after your cupboards as opposed to the other method around. Sometimes it can help to have your cupboards all finished to obtain an idea of what sort of particular counter top might look using them. This gives you time and energy to check around for vendors also, hunt down an ideal slab, or just area out your investments. Don’t consider this one as a spending budget limitation, think about it to be savvy and cautious.
Lighting: Proper lighting could make a dreary kitchen area bright and change dark corners into practical space. This is the element that makes all of the others shine really; after all , how else will it is seen by you all? But lighting doesn't have to be carried out all at once. If you want to speed yourself, some areas of lighting can become put off. For instance, under cabinet lighting is going in with the cupboards themselves, but selecting your kitchen’s light fixtures can anytime be done.
You’re ready to get some estimates now! You’ve got your targets, resources, and an excellent understanding of steps to make it occur, so it’s time and energy to talk to an expert.
When any type is being planned by you of catered event, whether personal or professional, you depend on the expertise of one's caterer to assist you design an ideal menu. But there's more to a catered menus than deciding on the best entrees and desserts simply.
You have to decide how much food you will require also. You want to make sure that there is a lot of drink and food for the guests, but you desire to keep that event budget in order also. Now, a skilled caterer will be able to assist you find out just how very much drink and food will be necessary for your event.
If you’re keeping an optical eye on your event budget, you will need to have a simple understanding of just how much food and beverage you will require for confirmed event. So we’ve ready a straightforward cheat sheet with professional catering tips to assist you to keep your caterer truthful, as well as your food costs in order.
First Things First
When gauging food quantities for your event, you'll first have to consider several basic questions:
·What kind of event are you currently planning?
·How many visitors will be attending?
·How lengthy will the function last?
The answers to these fundamental questions will assist you to gauge the quantity of food and beverage you will need during the period of the event. For example, a business cocktail celebration that lasts a couple of hours will require significantly less meals than an all day long marketing event. After you have defined your event completely, you can begin to utilize your caterer to determine how much food you will require, and go on to create your menu then.
It’s not unusual for business coaching and occasions seminars to end up being scheduled on a new weekday morning. Then you will want to function some types of breakfast for the attendees. Here’s a simple breakdown of what you shall dependence on a breakfast menu.
·Beverages - Anticipate typically two beverages (espresso, tea, juice, etc) per person.
·Main Entrees - An individual 5 oz helping per person.
·Sides - Enable the decision of two sides per personal
·Pastries - In case you are helping pastries instead of a full breakfast, enable at the least two pastries per guest.
Once again, afternoon luncheons are ideal for corporate coaching seminars and less intense company gatherings. A light lunch time helps to crack up the full day, and provides your guests the opportunity to refresh and refuel themselves. If you're planning for a business luncheon, use the following manual to estimate your meal needs.
Whether it’s an all day long event, or a stylish dinner party, a sit back dinner typically takes a greater amount of drink and food. Remember, you aren't only serving meals, but are supply beverages and appetizers ahead of dinner also.
While you should depend on the advice of one's catering company, it in no way hurts to possess a rough notion of catering procedures to make sure that expenses are kept in order and that there surely is minimum amount food wastage. Remember, inadequate drink and food could be embarrassing, but an excessive amount of is money wasted.
We would want to be catering organization! Please check out our stunning catering display to find out more about our services.
The Fundamentals Focus on gentle cleansers before functioning around strong chemical types. Lemon and distilled whitened vinegar assist deodorize, and baking soda is a great scrubbing agent. Designate sponges for particular tasks -- washing dishes, wiping counters, and so on. Sterilize sponges by dampening frequently, microwaving them on higher for just one minute then, or by tossing them in a dishwasher. Maintain instruction manuals for home appliances in a new binder stashed in a new drawer. Make reference to manuals for maintenance problems. Maintain purchase and freshness in the pantry by weeding away expired items; many baking and spices staples lose potency after half a year to one year. Wipe up immediately spills, before stains have to be able to set. Choose the suitable cleanser for the materials. Marble, for example, are designed for only pH-neutral items, while stainless steel ought to be cleaned with a particular commercial spray. Small Appliances and much more Toaster Dispose of crumbs weekly or so by switching the toaster ugly or even emptying the crumb tray in to the trash. Adhere felt pads to the bottom of your toaster to safeguard countertops and to ensure it is better to slide in and away (this trick works for clean appliance exteriors and almost all small countertop appliances). Knives Wash and dry yourself; putting these utensils in the dishwasher can warp and boring their blades. Avoid soaking knives, as this leads to wooden handles to shrink. Maintain blades by storing knives inside a countertop block or even on a new wall-mounted magnetic strip. In the event that you must shop these utensils in a kitchen area drawer, maintain their blades razor-sharp with knife guards or slotted trays. Microwave Wipe exterior once a full week with warm, soapy water and a new soft sponge. Clear control panels with a damp cloth barely. Clean the inside weekly with heated, soapy water, with plain water then. Deal with stains with a remedy of two tablespoons baking soda combined into one quart drinking water. Loosen caked-on residue simply by heating system a dish of drinking water within the microwave on higher for three minutes; let stand 5 minutes with the hinged door closed, and then wipe the inside. To take care of persistent odors, stir 6 tablespoons baking soda or one-fifty percent cup lemon juice into one cup drinking water, and heat mixture on high for just two to 3 minutes; leave the entranceway open for a couple of hours afterward to air flow out the applying completely. Coffeemaker Wipe the surface with warm sudsy drinking water; rinse and dry then. Clean carafes in the very best rack of a dishwasher or yourself. Flush out interior monthly with a remedy of equal parts whitened vinegar and drinking water (about 2 cups). With the carafe set up, run the device for half of a cycle, switch it off then. After an full hour, turn the coffeemaker back again on and end the cycle. Wash by running many cycles with fresh drinking water. Kettle Dissolve mineral deposits inside your kettle every couple of months by boiling equivalent parts water and whitened vinegar. Eliminate kettle from heat, and allow it sit for a number of hours before rinsing. Clear outside with a damp sponge. Spice and coffee Grinder Run soft white breads or uncooked whitened rice by way of a grinder to get lingering spice contaminants and the natural oils they keep behind. Any residue left out by nuts could be removed by grinding one tablespoon baking soda; clean thoroughly. Stand Mixer Wash aluminum attachments yourself. Those produced of stainless can be put into the dishwasher. Wipe the bottom of the mixer with a damp sponge or fabric. Unclog blocked vents with a toothpick or even toothbrush; vacuum out dust. Wooden Utensils Hand-wash with very hot, soapy water and a new dish brush. Sanitize sometimes by rubbing a fabric dampened with a remedy of one component bleach to ten components water over the surface; wash and dry completely. Rub food-safe mineral essential oil into spoons to avoid them from blow drying. Garbage Can Remove the trash regular, and clean the bin's exterior and inside once weekly with the sponge and mild detergent.
Suspected food allergies should be evaluated, diagnosed, and handled by way of a qualified medical expert, like a board-certified allergist. Most of your care provider might refer one to an allergist. You might also search health related conditions directory managed by the Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Usually do not diagnose a meals allergy by yourself. Self-diagnosis can result in unnecessary dietary limitations and inadequate nutrition, in children especially. Additionally, some individuals think they're allergic to a meals if they actually have a different type of food problem, and treatment varies. Some ways of food allergy diagnostics procedures are unproven and also considered controversial, since no definitive studies have shown they can diagnose food allergies effectively. Some may raise the risk of an allergic attack even. The initial step an allergist shall take to diagnose a food allergy is really a thorough medical history. The allergist will inquire questions to find out if food allergy could be causing your signs and symptoms and to identify at fault food(s), and can perform physical exam then. Next, the allergist might conduct tests to greatly help identify a meals allergy. While these tests by yourself do not provide clear-cut answers always, the allergist will combine your test outcomes with the given information given in your health background to provide an analysis. These tests can include: Skin prick test Blood test Oral food challenge Trial elimination diet These tests are proven diagnostic methods. Based on your health background and initial test outcomes, you might have to take several test before receiving your diagnosis.
Thinking of some projects this particular summer, such as kitchen and bathroom remodeling? Is actually worth taking a look at some information first. In the current marketplace, you might not fully recover your renovating costs from resale period. This begs the issue for property owners: In the event you renovate in any way? This depends. Casing markets differ, but within general, except if someone is usually looking regarding a fixer-upper, home buyers are usually seeking up-to-date kitchens plus baths. When it comes to a possible remodeling work it is vital in order to evaluate house owner property. When the floor programs are worthwhile, you need to update your own kitchen plus bath since you may reap the particular rewards from resale period. If your own house is usually priced plus marketed correctly and it also appears like the 10, it may sell considerably faster. Regarding home owners ready to jump into the remodeling task, it is well worth your time in order to think long-term. As a person start to choose appliances, shades, countertops plus cabinets, believe about reselling. Kitchens: Exactly what is in. Excellent rooms, which are generally large, independent family areas with vaulted ceilings, are usually out. Customers today are trying to find an open up kitchen-family area, where a huge kitchen starts up in to a family area and it has simply no walls isolating the 2. When you have got space, a good island along with a morning meal bar is advisable. Built-in cooking area desks had been all the particular rage regarding 10 years ago, yet they've dropped away from favour. Home owners are usually replacing cooking area desks along with more usable countertop room and shelves. How individuals use technologies within their cooking area has progressed for creative designers as time passes. Individuals are making use of laptops today, and a person don't require an entire desk for your. Consider creating a technology place with a lot of shops in your own kitchen, plus create an area for everybody to refresh their digital gadgets plus cellphones. Developments in bathing. Home owners nowadays are choosing bigger shower areas with all the current trimmings, for example aromatherapy steam showers and much more. We all are viewing a tendency toward amazing shower encounters, with huge, round rain shower heads. These types of shower areas can consist of built-in storage containers where you can pre-load your hair shampoo and conditioner. With regards to the particular number associated with bathrooms within your home, more is usually almost constantly better, real estate property experts state. Although a person may not really fully recover your cooking area or shower remodel, additional factors in order to consider. In fact, you'll obtain to enjoy that new cooking area or aromatherapy shower, plus experts state updated houses move quicker at reselling time.
Spanish winter recipes...Mmmm cazuela pies. This February has seen the second significant covering of snow over Orce village and outlying hamlets. When it comes it comes!,even in an old Andalucian cave house with 2 meter thick walls it gets cold so a good winter warming recipe is called for.
Cazuela pies will certainly keep you warm, (and your lap if you decide to enjoy in front of the tv) in fact the insulation properties of the terracotta cazuela will keep these pies hot for hours. A great way of serving up piping hot winter pies, for this simple recipe we have used beef. Enjoy.
Ingredients: 1 kilo stewing beef, cubed 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped 1 large onion, peeled and chopped 250g mushrooms, wiped and chopped half bottle red wine 2 beef stock cubes 2 bay leaves salt and pepper 300g shortcrust or puff pastry
How to cook:
1. In a large casserole dish, heat a little olive oil and butter and when it is really hot and smoking, add the beef and brown on all sides. This may need to be done in batches. 2. When all the beef is nicely browned, add the stock cubes and cook until they dissolve in the juices. 3. Add the vegetables and the wine bring to the boil. 4. Add the bay leaves and season. Reduce to a very low heat and cook covered for 3-4 hours, removing the lid for the last hour or so. 5. When the beef is done, preheat the oven to 230 degrees. 6. Spoon the beef mixture into 4-5 14cm cazuelas. Divide the pastry into 4-5 even sized pieces and roll out into rounds. 7. Dampen the edges of the cazuelas and top with the pastry. Press down to seal and flute the edges. glaze with egg wash and make a hole in the middle for the steam to escape. 8. Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is a golden brown. 9. Serve with thick cut chips for a hearty and warming winters meal.
The tostada is one of Spain’s most famous breakfasts. Usually served very simply with rubbed garlic, tomato frito, olive oil and salt morning workers can be seen in almost every bar enjoying this Spanish style breakfast with a short beer or “tubo” (named so due the tall slim glass).
I remember our first Andalucian breakfast was a traditional Spanish tosatada - kindly bought for us by the local plumber who had just fitted the bathroom in our cave house, of course it was an introduction to his favourite tapas bar as well and being the newly arrived expat we simply had to find out more about his local watering hole.
Although garlic, tomato and olive oil make the basic version, the humble tostada can be served with a multitude of toppings, this recipe involves a spicy twist with devilled mushrooms which creates one of those get up and go flavours ~ a great recipe for a midday winters lunch. Enjoy.
Half a French stick or “barra” 10 Cup mushrooms, halved 2 Garlic cloves, crushed 75ml Double cream 3 tbsp white Rioja Chili flakes Tabasco sauce Black pepper Salt Olive oil Knob of butter
1. Fry the halved mushrooms and garlic in olive oil and butter for 3 – 4 minutes.
2. Sprinkle a few chilli flakes over the top, add white wine and mix, cook for a further 2 minutes until wine begins to reduce.
3. Add the Tabasco sauce to your preference and the cream, season mixture with black pepper and salt, simmer for a further 2 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, slice the bread lengthways and toast on both sides.
“Para su pagina web!” was the cry from Antonio holding up a full cured tuna fish one Friday morning in his pescaderia. Antonio is also a glazier so one of those surprising situations you have to get used to when customers come into the fish shop and order a pane of glass for their new window…
Antonio is passionate about all things seafood, in season you can experience what can only be described as a highly impressive seafood spread with fillets, shellfish, snails, crayfish and the odd monkfish head carefully parked right in the centre of the display, usually with an unfortunate sardine or anchovy spiked on its teeth. Tuesday sees Antonio doing his rounds in his van, packed with all manner of fresh delicacies, a pair of scales and a large enough float for his euros. It was one Tuesday afternoon (that would be 7.00pm) when he passed by the office to explain in great detail his highest quality bacalao salted cod and his special order “Bonito tuna”
Now, we are already familiar with Antonio’s fabled “bacalao” but this time he presented us with some fabulous examples of full fish salt cod, high grade and weighing a very impressive 2000g. We were advised that the “orejas” or ears of the cod (those are the two flaps on the widest part of the opened fish near the top) are the best part for flavour as well as more recipes for the fish and techniques for getting the “soaking” process just right.
The real star of the exercise though was the enourmous “Bonito Tuna”. Antonio skillfully removed a sliver of flesh from the cured tuna loin and presented it to us as a mini tapa to taste test. Rustic, artisan and just as it should be but boy, the flavour, and the texture! With a little negotiation we purchased a 2kg Bacalao and a quality loin of cured tuna plus some complimentary tapas a lesson in cured fish
Over the following weekend we devised various tapas, unfortunately with this Bonito tuna there are few (if any) cooking possibilities, quite possibly a good thing as the flavour of the fish is exquisite.
*Bonito and Philadelphia Spinach wraps
*Bonito and Apple Toasts
*Bonito and Avocado
*Bonito Summer Salad
When the following Tuesday arrived we were invited to photo shoot some full tuna fish before Antonio began his rounds, this time we were in the fish shop so took the opportunity to snap some hanging bacalao too. The full tuna comes as an open fish, the back is tied on two bamboo canes, fillets and half fish are also available. It is worth noting that Bonito is very different to “Mojama” (air dried tuna loin) each have exceptional flavour with the Bonito being more moist than the air cured loin.
If you fancy a loin or two of Bonito tuna then it is special order, however it is available most Tuesdays and Fridays so don't hesitate to get in touch ~ we guarantee it will be worth the wait.
Mussels...arguably the king of shellfish. Its often very difficult to walk by the fish shop in Orce village, especially on Fridays, owner Antonio has a long marble topped bench crammed full with all manner of seafood delights. At the far end though is a spot reserved for mussels where he piles kilos of them into a mini mountain, carefully discarding any that look like they won't make the grade.
"¿cuántos kilos" He always asked that as we usually buy a couple of kilos for ourselves or even double that if the rellies are over and a big seafood paella is on the cards. When these mussels are in season boy are they good...! Enormous tapas, hearing them clunk and rattle as Antonio shovels them into a bag immediately gets you thinking of parsley and white wine - or another favourite we recently discovered "mussels in Asturian cider" as well as summer salads drenched in extra virgin olive oil.
If you fancy something different to do with mussels but yet incredibly simple then why not try a mussel and serrano ham salad ~ or iberico ham if your in a more gourmet mood... Both work very well in this land and sea affair.
1kg Fresh mussels, cleaned 100g Serrano ham 1 Baby lettuce 1 Tomato 2 Slices white bread, cut into squares Cracked black pepper Salt White wine Broadleaf parsley
1 Teaspoon cider vinegar 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Wine from the mussels
1. Place the mussels into a Spanish olla or cooking pot and steam in a splash of white wine for 5 – 6 minutes until all shells are open.
2. Remove the mussels from their shells and keep to one side, retain the wine mussel liquor and reduce over a high heat.
3. Mix 1 tablespoon of mussel liquor with the olive oil and cider vinegar, season with salt and pepper, mix well.
4. In a frying pan add a drop of olive oil, slice the ham into strips and fry.
5. When the ham is crispy, add a little more olive oil to the pan and fry the bread, turning regularly.
6. On a serving plate arrange the baby lettuce leaves with slices of tomato.
7. Toss the mussels, fried ham and bread and place on top of the salad.
8. Pour over the dressing and garnish with torn up parsley.
Pan fried mackerel is an exceptionally easy dish to make, get your fishmonger to fillet the mackerel for you and you have the basic ingredient for a delicious Spanish summer dish. If you are lucky enough to be able to buy from a fish quay or even catch your own then this dish can also be
*cooked outdoors with ease. Great seafood flavours!
You will need: (serves 4)
4 Large mackerel fillets
Handful fresh thyme
Knob of butter
1. Place the mackerel fillets skin side down onto baking tray.
2. Season with the thyme, salt, pepper and grate over with lemon zest then drizzle with olive oil.
3. Leave to marinade for at least 10 minutes.
4. Squeeze over the juice from the lemon then oven bake on a high heat for 10 minutes.
*For outdoor cooking simply prepare the mackerel in the same way described but marinade for 30 minutes. Lightly fry in olive oil or butter for 5 minutes skin side down.
This simple recipe for barbequed mustard chicken is quick and easy to make and works perfectly on the barbeque. We cooked this recipe after being given a rather large jar of hot Dijon mustard from a French neighbour in Orce village. The chicken pieces are marinated in the mustard for a few hours before being thrown straight onto the grill, the end result is an almost nutty flavour from the mustard together with the smoky flavours of barbequed chicken pieces.
With winter truly upon us we have been cooking some great typically Andalucian meals over the past few weeks, the threat of snow and hard frosty mornings always gets us in the mood for lighting the wood burner and cooking something with a bit of character for evening meal.
Our winner for best Spanish winter recipe this year is 'Butterflied Lamb & Garlic Asado', a take on the Andalucian lamb asado which uses the famous Cordero Segureno from the Granada region of Spain.
A very simple recipe to prepare and cook, use a terracotta roasting tray if you can and you will get that reassuring 'thud' when the spoon hits the bottom whilst serving up this delicious dish. This Spanish asado is juicer than its close cousin as the lamb is cooked as whole piece instead of steaks. Pop this one in the oven or woodburner and you will create an aromatic dish that is sure to impress the guests as well as the tastebuds!
Spanish salsas and chutney - cupboard fillers for the winter and when you can make your own they taste even better. One of the main ingredients is of course the tomato, vine ripened if possibe but anything ripe and red will do - the ugly ones pack the most flavour!
If you are lucky enough to have a local Spanish greengrocer who grows his own or get given tomatoes by your Spanish neighbours then why not try making a chutney, just as easy as a Spanish salsa but with more clout after it has matured, brilliant with a wedge of Manchego or Manchego reserva and especially tasty for some reason in winter...
Recently we really got into Spanish style chutneys, there are so many great ingredients you can put into them including spices and if like us you like a bit of chilli to liven things up then some of the red stuff adds a great kick.
You can find our recipes for Spanish chutney, salsas, pate and dips on this page (we also love anchovies which make a regular appearance).
An exciting new dining experience has been launched in Oxfordshire this month and what’s more you don’t have to leave home to enjoy it! Dine-in with Style is a quality, stylish, dining experience featuring gorgeous food, beautifully presented in your own home.
The company is the brainchild of Nicola Southall of Bloxham, Banbury. Nicola, wants to create special dining events, equivalent to a first class restaurant experience, in a client’s own home. Dine-in with Style brings a relaxed, but professional, restaurant feel to your own home, enabling clients’ to entertain in style at home with fabulous food beautifully presented, with the table designed to complement the evening.
A number of specialised food themes and menus are available including Italian Trattoria, Greek Taverna, Fish, Ladies Pink night, Spanish, Moroccan, Indian, Chinese or any style of great food the client might require, all creatively designed complemented by themed table settings.
Speaking about the company launch Nicola says, “I want to provide clients’ with top quality cuisine in the comfort of their own homes, for special occasions, all complemented by themed table settings which invites you to sit down and enjoy a unique dining experience. “The simplicity of our service is that you can leave the whole event, whatever the occasion, to us allowing you to thoroughly enjoy the event, be it a birthday party, anniversary dinner, special business occasion, or just a great get together with friends and relatives, knowing that we are in control in the kitchen and even do the washing up!”.
All the food is prepared in Nicola’s kitchen and then finished in the clients’ kitchen before being served.
Nicola’s service includes the following:
Full consultation to discuss your particular requirements
Spanish sheeps cheese with chili pepper? Will it be good? You bet! Direct from the region of La Mancha comes this fabulously different cheese with a bit of a kick...
One of the good things about being in touch with your Spanish suppliers is that on occasion you can accept being the guinea pig and lend yourself to some taste testing of new products, the kind people at Piconero based in La Mancha Spain sent us a new cheese to nibble at and we were not disappointed, in fact the camera came out, the description done and the new sheeps cheese with chili was on the website the very next day.
I love cheese but have to admit that I am no expert - I simply go by aroma then taste and texture then ultimately if I enjoy it or not! Before moving to Spain from the UK my experience of cheese was crackers, grapes and apple with a full blown mature blue stilton accompanied by a half decent port or a bossy red, Brie often entered the equation to calm to taste buds... but in the main I enjoy cheese with attitude! Where we are you cannot get a good old Stilton and although there are all things blue they never really hit the spot like a good old English ripe wheel of goodness!
However, being a lover of chili I was looking forward to a new Spanish cheese, something infused, strong and with a kick, those specks of red in the image pack some punch but it builds, when you first taste this cheese its like a normal Spanish sheeps cheese then the flavour intensifies and you soon realise why a good red wine is necessary as well as some fresh cold fruit to refresh the palate.
This one really is a cracking find, not just because on it is now on our website but because we genuinely enjoy it. The two new partners to this cheese completing a brand new trio from La Mancha are goats cheese with garlic and another sheeps cheese (this time with coffee). A delicious selection of new ideas, get the port on standby...
Earlier in the year we set about the project of building a clay oven on the patio, not an easy job using Spanish materials (traditional curved oven slabs) but in the name of keeping everything traditionally 'Andaluz' the oven was eventually finished and works great for cooking the usual suspects like pizza and bread (garlic and rosemary bread being a firm favourite).
Now the Spanish summer is in full swing we tend to use the oven for cooking hot tapas or a midday light lunch and this is where the terracotta cazuelaperforms really well. As as cooking vessel designed to cope with and retain the heat the 'cazuela' is suited a multitude of tasks, one of which is cooking food in olive oil. The famous 'gambas al pil pil' (chili garlic prawns) may spring to mind but for this very simple tapas recipe we are using fresh mushrooms bought from our Spanish greengrocer.
Leave the mushrooms whole, place in a 23cm terracotta cazuela. Drizzle with olive oil. Add the crushed garlic and mix well. Place in oven and cook on 220 degrees for 20 minutes.
Our clay oven was approximately 250 degrees with the fire going inside so the mushrooms took slightly less time, you also get that lovely smokey flavour with clay oven cooking. As a tapa these mushrooms are great, just make sure to have some fresh crusty bread to hand to mop up that delicious olive oil infusion afterwards.
Spanish seafood tapas are extremely popular in the summer months and with octopus being fairly cheap it is a firm and delicious favourite which is easily cooked. A whole octopus may seem like a challenge but usually the octopus or ‘pulpo’ is ready cooked making it very easy to work with. For this simple tapas recipe you will need half a medium octopus and a tagine - the magic cooking pot which retains flavours and is suitable for a multitude of cooking tasks. Terracotta tagines are also suitable for the barbeque or grill which is how this recipe has been cooked. Great flavours, easy cooking!
You will need: (5 – 6 tapas servings)
Half a cooked octopus
10 Garlic cloves
500ml Olive oil
Equipment: 24cm Tagine
1.Prepare the octopus by removing the beak and chopping into bite sized pieces (leave the thin ends of the tentacles quite long for presentation. You can also simmer the octopus for 30 minutes to make it more tender even of pre cooked.
2.Peel and dice the garlic cloves.
3.Add a splash of olive oil to the tagine and fry off the garlic before adding the rest of the olive oil
4.Slice the courgette and add to the oil with the octopus.
5.Cook over the grill for 10 – 12 minutes giving a quick stir half way through.
6.Serve in tapas bowls or cazuelas with cocktail sticks for perfect seafood tapas.
A few years ago, I’d never even heard of pho, let alone tasted it. Now, giant bowls of this traditional Vietnamese noodle soup are a regular meal in our house.
There are three things I can thank for this change: 1) Moving to a part of the country where pho restaurants are as common as pizza joints. 2) Several months of gluten-free eating last year due to a health issue. 3) Meeting and becoming friends with Vietnamese cooking expert Andrea Nguyen.
Andrea has now published a new book entirely devoted to — what else?! — pho, and I’d like to share with you her recipe for Quick Chicken Pho.
This recipe is a great introduction to pho if you’ve never had it before. And for pho addicts like myself, it’s a good one to have around when a pho-craving strikes.
Friends, I have a new favorite way to cook eggs—in a mug, in a microwave.
No kidding. For reals!
Why??? Well first, it takes only a couple minutes to make, and clean-up is easy.
Second, while so many microwave mug recipes result in a poor substitute for something properly cooked, a microwaved mug omelette is surprisingly tender and delicious.
Third, when I’m trying to eat light, this way of cooking eggs cuts down substantially on added fat. It just uses a quick spray of cooking oil (or a wipe of olive oil) on the inside of the mug. (For those of you who count calories, I counted 200 in this recipe, your analysis may vary.)
It doesn’t get much healthier than this vegan vegetable and chickpea stew!
Humble veggies like carrot, sweet potato, and parsnips shine when paired with the intoxicating Moroccan seasoning known as ras el hanout.
Have you ever tried this spice mix? The main components are cumin, coriander, ginger, and cinnamon — they make a warming blend that’s perfect for perking up a hearty vegetable stew and serving on a cold day.
Continue reading "Moroccan-Spiced Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew" »
I am a freezer hoarder. I can admit that here, right?
My freezer is jammed to the gills — and not only with normal things like frozen fruit and chicken sausage, but also with the random bits of food that one tends to collect as a professional food writer and recipe tester. (Witness: several cups of unused rugelach filling, enough frozen whipped cream to last for months, and more Thanksgiving turkey than you need to know about.)
This is all to say that I have learned a trick or two regarding Freezer Tetris and how to maximize space.
Since I had a few batches of pressure cooker beans in urgent need of freezing, I thought I’d share my favorite way to freeze soup, beans in their cooking liquid, and broth to both save space and make my weeknight meal prep a little easier.
Continue reading "How to Freeze Soup, Beans, and Broth" »
It's Girl Scout Cookie season and we've been inspired. If you missed out on ordering a few boxes of your favorites or you're looking for some healthier alternatives, we've got you covered. Whether you love Thin Mints, Samoas or Shortbread, you can still get the fix you crave from a healthier homemade version. Treat yourself with these healthy recipes that capture the flavors of some of your favorite cookies, from the classics to the newbies.
Winter in California is the season for peppery arugula. Several years ago my parents planted some arugula in their garden and for years the arugula would re-seed itself, taking over the entire garden with a flourish, starting in December.
While mature arugula can be almost too intense to eat raw (best for left for cooking), young baby arugula is perfect for salads, and can easily be found in markets these days.
Continue reading "Arugula Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese" »
Preparing food with heat or fire is an activity unique to humans, and scientists believe the advent of cooking played an important role in human evolution. Most anthropologists believe that cooking fires first developed around 250,000 years ago.