Monthly Archives: January 2017

Why People Love Barbecue

When it comes to grilled food, the first thing that comes to our mind is the deliciously pronounced word, Barbecue. This word came from barbacoa, which is from an early Indian language called Taino. It is their method of making fire and dry meat in them. Later, in the Spanish regime, they borrowed the word and in the process, later on, it applied on cooking or grilling meat in fire rather than drying them. Since then, many countries and industries adopted the newly discovered style of cooking meat and made numerous barbecue recipes using different kinds of meat and in unique styles.

When you talk about barbecue, it is always the favorite when it comes to gatherings and celebrations, which is except for the desserts. It is also quite famous in outings and picnics with friends and families. Some people use sauce for a more definite taste and some season the meat while cooking. One of the commonly known styles of barbecue making is marinating. It is when you soak the meat into a mixture or seasonings so that the meat will absorb the flavor. It is set aside for like a couple of hours so that meat will be tendered by the different spices added.

Ever since barbecue recipes were made, many people adopted its adequate taste. Now, many restaurants are offering barbecue options in their menus. Many people love its taste, so it is not quite surprising that it is one of the most ordered meals in most fast food chains. In some countries, commonly the Philippines, barbecue stalls are found on streets where there are many other options of barbecue rather than just meat and fat. Filipino people love street foods and exotic foods, and some barbecues in the Philippines are just too exotic compared to other countries, where they sell grilled intestines, heads and feet of chicken and also pork liver.

Barbecue recipes also play a good part in the industry of shows and showbiz. Nowadays, many cooking shows teach viewers how to season and grill barbecue. There are also cooking contests that do not omit barbecue from their contest criteria. Shows where people find out what food that tingle their taste buds.

Barbecue then became a part of the list of food that people want to savor and enjoy during meals and special occasions. Aside from its low-cost because of the few ingredients, it is a good addition to the food served to the visitors due to its unique and lovable taste.

Two Tips To Make Your Next Soup Amazing

Really good soups all have two things in common flavor, and that special something taste they do not normally find in soup.

I have to share with you two things that I do on my budget to make my soups outstanding. I believe that the freshest ingredients on sale at my local grocery store help make a great soup but, sometimes my soups are a combination of whatever is leftover at the end of the week.

The base, I like to slow cook my soups in my slow cooker. The base of any soup can be made with water. Where I live the water has a terrible taste and must be filtered. A few months ago I started keeping the liquid I used to cook pork roasts and chicken in my slow cooker. I was not sure at the time what I would do with this liquid so I froze it in 2 cup containers. Soon after I began taking these frozen 2 cup portions and putting them in my slow cooker as the base liquid. The flavor given by the frozen broth was amazing.

I could use the same ingredients from one soup but change the flavor simply by going from a chicken based frozen broth to a pork frozen broth. The best part is there was no additional expense of having to purchase broth from my grocery store. The next best part is, all the extra work I had to do was simply pour the broth into containers. Wait for the broth to freeze then pop them out of the container and put the frozen pucks in a freezer bag until such time as I needed one.

The second important flavor enhancer that I like to use is the BBQ. My preference for BBQ is charcoal. The only part that annoys me about charcoal is the wasted charcoal left over that is still hot and will continue to give off heat and flavor until it turns to ash.

After the main course has finished cooking and removed from the grill I now fill the grill with vegetables I can use in future soups. Tomatoes that have been sitting on your grill will enhance the flavor of a roasted tomato soup with that smokey goodness. Celery, carrots, corn, onion, garlic and squash all absorb the flavor of your grill and can be added to your soup. There really is not any kind of vegetable or meat when added to the grill after cooking your main dish that will not enhance the flavor of your next soup.

Grilling your vegetables this way has other benefits. The vegetables cook slowly while you are enjoying your fantastic meal. The hardest part is remembering to get them off the grill before you go to sleep for the evening.

Rick and his wife have been able to reduce their grocery budget by almost 50% since they started this challenge in 2010. Their 15 years of grocery shopping for the family has led them to start a blog with very creative tips to using leftovers to save money. There are great tips about meal planning, cooking utensils, recipes, and grocery lists.

What Makes Caribbean Food Special?

The sea, sun and sand make the Caribbean a popular tourist destination. But aside from the beautiful weather, the amazing landscape and the total Caribbean experience, Caribbean food is unique and appetizing. There is just something about that great spicy Caribbean flavor!

Caribbean food is not like food from any other part of the world. The Italians have their pasta, the French their pastries, wine and rich cuisines, the English their ‘bangers and mash’ and China has its egg rolls, but the Caribbean has its own unique spicy Island taste that many people appreciate. A lot of Caribbean food involves highly spiced cuisine that titillates the tongue and palate.

The Caribbean consists of many islands that each have their own specialties. Central America, with Mexico, Costa Rico, and Panama can also be considered part of the Caribbean, at least when it comes to tourism and cooking, because they have coasts that border on the Caribbean Sea. Central America, because of its connection with North and South America, has its own style of food as well.

Many popular Caribbean food dishes involve ‘hot’ spices and ingredients, often in the form of curry and hot peppers. Jamaican cuisine offers curry chicken, lamb, beef and goat, as well as meats infused with ‘jerk’ seasonings, making it hot, spicy and delicious. If you can stand up to the heat in the cooking, you can be in for quite a tasty treat when you sample Jamaican cuisine. Jamaica has its own unique variety of fruits and vegetables as well, such as callaloo (something akin to spinach), Ackee (which is part of Jamaica’s national dish of Saltfish ‘n Ackee), and some weird sounding fruit like ‘ugly fruit’, ‘star apple’ and ‘jack fruit’. One of Jamaica’s most popular foods that has made its mark in the United States and Canada is Jamaican Patties, a spicy meat pie with a flaky crust.

Other Caribbean Islands have their own unique and tasty dishes as well. Caribbean food dishes like conch fritters, coconut mango chicken, Arroz Con Pollo (a Spanish-style rice and chicken dish), Paella, and Red Pea Soup, arising from different Caribbean Islands, along with dishes coming from Mexico like empanadas, burritos and enchiladas are all part of that great Caribbean taste experience. In Mexico, hot chili peppers are often part of the ingredients in many of their signature dishes.

As one might expect, Caribbean food often incorporates seafood into its cuisine. You can find many Caribbean recipes that include many types of fish or shellfish, such as cod fish, mackerel, grouper, lobster, crab, or even a combination of fish and shell fish as in a Boatman’s Stew, a Paella dish or a seafood chowder.

Whatever island you choose for creating a Caribbean food experience, you won’t go wrong when it comes to taste and flavor. In the Caribbean, the weather is heated up by the spicy offerings of the Caribbean food. From Cuba, to Turks and Caicos, and the Cayman Islands to Mexico, Panama and Costa Rico, Caribbean food is something everyone will enjoy.

3 Amazing Grilled Meat and Pasta Recipes You Need to Try

Pasta is a favorite dish throughout the world. One of the charms of this dish is that it’s extremely versatile – you can choose whatever type of noodle you like and the choices are endless when it comes to sauces and ingredients. Try something unique and add a delicious smoky taste to your pasta by combining it with grilled meat.

Grilled Chicken and Pesto Angel Hair Pasta

What you need:

  • 2 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups angel hair pasta
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pesto sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted almonds

Cook pasta until al dente in a pot according to package instructions. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook garlic until tender. Stir in cooked chicken, cooked pasta and pesto. Top with almonds before serving.

Grilled Salmon Linguine

What you need:

  • 1 cup cooked salmon, flaked into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup linguine pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 6 tablespoons skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

In a saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over medium-low heat then add bell pepper and onion. Cook until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Stir in salmon flakes and milk and simmer for 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Place pasta in a serving bowl and pour salmon mixture over pasta. Toss to coat. Top with lemon slices and dill.

Italian Style Grilled Shrimp Pasta

What you need:

  • 1/2 kilogram shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 kilogram tomatoes, chopped
  • 20 leaves fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 cups angel hair pasta, cooked al dente
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt to taste

In a small bowl, combine basil, olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning and salt. Mix until all ingredients are well-combined. Add shrimp to the bowl and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. When ready, cook on a pre-heated grill over medium heat until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large skillet, melt butter then add white wine. Bring to a boil. Stir in heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until mixture is reduced. Add cooked pasta, tomatoes and Mozzarella cheese. Remove from heat and top with grilled shrimp before serving.

Enjoy these grilled meat and pasta recipes for a more enjoyable backyard barbecue!

Adrian T. Cheng is a food blogger and a BBQ expert. Through years of grilling experience, reviewing various grill gadgets and trying delicious and unique recipes, he is sharing his knowledge with everyone through his blog. For more grilling secrets, tips, recipes and more, head over to Adrian’s website where he has other interesting posts.

Avocados Are a Wonder Food!

People can be really lukewarm about avocados. If you don’t know when they are at peak ripeness, they can be kind of weird both in taste and texture; that is, no taste and waxy in texture.

Until recently, people didn’t choose avocados partly because they thought they had no flavor, but mostly because they thought they were high in fat and cholesterol. We all needed more information to make a healthy choice about this fruit.

If you eat a ripe avocado… that is, not too green and not over ripe, it is a delicacy! The flavor is amazing and the texture is so creamy!

If that isn’t enough to make you love to eat them, do you know how healthy avocados are for you? They have great benefits, especially for vegetarians.

One of the greatest challenges if you eat a vegetarian, or mostly vegetarian diet, is to get enough good quality protein. Avocados provide a complete protein! While the avocado ripens on the tree, the sun breaks down the proteins in the avocado into easily digested amino acids. Your body needs all 18 essential amino acids to create complete proteins, and you can get this complete protein from eating avocados!

Avocados also are a wonderful source of healthy fat, and we now know healthy fats are essential for good health, and especially for good brain health. Studies have shown that eating avocados have beneficial effects on cardio-metabolic risk factors and have produced lower levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or the “bad” cholesterol.

All this makes eating avocados a win-win! But how do you eat them? They are easy to add to your meals, so use your imagination. Slice them on a salad; mash them and use them as a spread in a sandwich; top your scrambled eggs with them; you can even make an amazing chocolate mousse pudding with avocados; and then there’s always guacamole.

If you’re on a budget and trying to eat as much organic produce as you can, it’s good to know that so far, avocados are on the Environmental Working Group’s “clean 15” foods list. That is, they are among the foods that are the least sprayed with pesticides. For the present, you can grab conventionally grown avocados at lower prices than the organic ones.

One final bit of advice: eating an avocado at the right time can really make you love them. Buy several at a time, keep a couple in the fridge and put them out a day or two before you need to have them at the proper ripeness. That way you will always have a beautiful, creamy avocado ready when you need it!