Archive

Category Archives for "Other tips"

6 Best Dipping Sauces for Grilled Meat

Everyone loves grilled meat, especially when there are some gorgeously tempting dipping sauces to choose from. Whether you’re using an outdoor grill or an indoor cast iron griddle, you can’t beat grilled meat.

Here’s a selection of dipping sauces that you will love! Best of all, many of them can be made in advance and then stored easily.

1. Speedy Aioli

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup of either vegetable or light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Blend all ingredients except the 1/2 cup olive oil. Pour into a bowl, then while whisking, drizzle in the olive oil. Taste test and add salt and pepper.

Your aioli will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

2. Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (squeeze 1 to 2 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon jalapeno, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt to taste

Method

Toss all the ingredients in a food blender and process it till you get a nice puree. If desired, taste test, add salt, and keep in the fridge till you’re ready to use it (up to 3 days).

3. Garlic butter sauce

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper or chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika (or smoked paprika)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Whisk together the butter, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, cayenne pepper, and paprika.

Add in the remainder of the ingredients and stir well. Taste test, and add salt if desired.

4. Easy Satay Sauce

Ingredients

  • One can of coconut milk (about 14 ounces, or 1 2/3 cups)
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (without added sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
  • 2 1/4 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (or use more soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tablespoon tamarind sauce or puree (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice 
  • Salt, if desired

Method

Using a medium-sized saucepan, combine all ingredients except for the lime juice and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and let it simmer until it thickens (about 5 minutes).

Remove the sauce mixture from the heat, stir in lime juice, and taste test. Add a pinch of salt if desired, then serve.

Any leftover sauce should keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

5. Sweet Thai Chili Sauce

Ingredients

  • 10 to 12 red Thai bird chilies, finely minced (use gloves)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup Asian fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Method

In a jar or another sealed container, combine all the ingredients, shaking well till the sugar dissolves. Store your sauce in the fridge till you’re ready to use your sauce – it will keep for up to 3 weeks.

6. Béarnaise Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Leaves from 4 sprigs of fresh tarragon, minced (save the stems)
  • 1 small shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

Method

Combine the vinegar with all ingredients except for the egg yolks, salt, and butter in a small saucepan. Let the liquid simmer for 15 minutes or until the liquid reduces to be about 1 1/2 tablespoons.

Strain the liquid into a small bowl (use a fine mesh strainer).

Combine the reduced liquid with the egg yolks and a pinch of salt in a bowl or an immersion blender cup.

Melt the butter and put it into a cup that you can use to pour.

Now slowly pour the hot butter into the bowl with the egg yolk mixture, whisking (or blending if using an immersion blender) constantly. The sauce should be nice and creamy.

If your sauce is too thin, heat it in a saucepan in a bain-marie and whisk until thickened.

Stir in the chopped tarragon and serve immediately.

Note: Béarnaise sauce is delicious but cannot be reheated once it’s made.

Here’s How You Can Get the Best of Celery Juice

For ages, celery juice has been a highly recommended drink by celebrities, dieticians, and moms, and rightly so!

The benefits of celery juice are innumerable. It is rich in minerals and packs a lot more nutrients when compared to celery sticks. It is an amazing source of calcium, Vitamins A, C, and K, etc.

However, including it as a regular part of your diet does take effort, especially if you want to be as healthy as possible and make sure you have fresh celery juice every day. Read below to know the various benefits of celery juice, how to correctly include it in your diet, and more.

What Are the Benefits of Celery Juice?

Before we move on to telling you about how exactly you should include celery juice as a regular part of your diet, let’s list down the various benefits of drinking celery juice.

  1. Anti-Inflammatory – One of the primary benefits of celery juice is that it is anti-inflammatory. The presence of phytonutrients, which act as antioxidants, play an important role in lowering oxidative stress. This in turn helps to not only bring down inflammation in the body but can also lower the possibilities of future ailments like cancer growth, obesity, diabetes, and more.
  1. Improves digestion – Consumption of celery juice is shown to improve the digestive process in the body. Apiuman is a type of polysaccharide found in celery that has shown to reduce the presence of stomach ulcers, improve stomach lining and even regulate stomach secretions, which lead to better digestion.
  1. Highly hydrating – With 95% water, celery juice hydrates the body like none other, along with providing fiber and nutrients. Drinking celery juice can help your body meet its daily fluid intake, and maintain body temperature, brain function, kidney function, and more.

Other than this, celery juice is also an excellent alternative to sugary beverages, and offers great taste along with a ton of health benefits and vitamins, without any of the additives.

How to Prepare Celery Juice?

Buying the Celery

Before you prepare celery juice, it is important to buy the right kind of celery. You will find celery on the produce aisle of most grocery stores, however not every kind is appropriate for juicing. The celery should have tight, sturdy stalks that snap when you break them, and the leaves should be crispy and fresh, and not wilting.

An important tip to keep in mind here is to not discard the leaves. Most people tend to tear the leaves off and throw them away, but they actually contain a large amount of the nutrient content of the entire plant, so make sure to keep them on.

Juicing the Celery

With A Juicer

  • Chop the celery stalks into manageable pieces
  • Thoroughly rinse them under clean water to remove any residual debris or dirt
  • Carefully feed the celery stalks in your juicer and collect the liquid. For the best consistency, use a strong juicer that can extract juice easily from hard stalks.
  • It is best to consume immediately, but you can also refrigerate it, for a maximum of 2-3 days.

With A Blender

  • Chop the celery stalks into chunks of about 1-2 inches
  • Carefully run them under water and rinse thoroughly to remove any residual dirt
  • Add the celery pieces into the blender with a quarter of a cup of water.
  • Blend the celery and water until you get a smooth liquid.
  • Pour the blended liquid into a muslin or a nut milk bag and squeeze rhe juice out with your hands into a clean jug
  • Drink the extracted juice immediately, or refrigerate for a maximum of 2-3 days.

How to Include Celery Juice into Your Diet?

When to Drink: Technically speaking, the best time to drink celery juice is right in the morning on an empty stomach. However, you can have it during breakfast or intermittently during the day as well.

How Much to Drink: About 2-3 cups of celery juice a day should be more than sufficient. Too much of it can also have repercussions and lead to irritable bowels, digestive issues, and more. If you have a sensitive stomach, it is best to restrict yourself to half a cup or one cup in the beginning. Alternatively, you can even mix celery juice with water.

Alternative Recipes: Other than going for just celery juice, you can also try out simple recipes like the ones below.

  • Eat celery with dips like peanut butter, hummus, guacamole, and more.
  • Steam celery and eat with sprinkle seasonings.
  • Add celery into chicken and tuna salads
  • Create a green smoothie with celery, kale, spinach, banana, and apple.

Which Is Better: Filtered or Bottled Water?

Did you know that almost 60% of your body is made up of water? What do you suspect will happen to your body when you do not take enough water? Research shows that humans can survive 30-40 days without food. However, the same species will have difficulties after spending only three days without water.

Water is the carrier of all the useful nutrients in our bodies. It also the same water that flushes out toxins from the system. Water also plays a crucial role when it comes to the regulation of body temperature. There are different types of water sources, which come with varying benefits and limitations. Our focus today will be on filtered and bottled water:

Filtered water

It is typically tap water that has been purified. The purification process aims to make the water safer or improve its taste. The extent of purification and safety of the water will depend on the filtration that is in place. There are basically two major types of filtration systems that you will find in most filtered water systems; reverse osmosis and charcoal filters.

Reverse osmosis

Separates clean water from impurities after the impure water passes through a porous membrane under high pressure. The method eliminates almost 100% of dissolved material, harmful bacteria, and organic material. The process takes longer to implement even though it is efficient in energy consumption. The systems are generally complicated to maintain.

Charcoal filters

It uses activated charcoal as it is known to be extremely porous. The activated charcoal binds chemically with the bacteria and other chemicals in the drinking water and leaves the water clean. The activated charcoal does not bond with all impurities. The charcoal also needs to be replaced after some time because the pores get clogged and make it hard to bond with particles.

Benefits of drinking filtered water

It is healthy

There are certain particles in water that are not fit for human ingestion. Filtration eliminates elements such as herbicides and pesticides. Reverse osmosis comes in handy to eliminate such particles. Water has some natural substances that are good for our general health. Most filtration systems leave such substances in the water after purification.

Odorless

You may find that water from some taps comes with a funny smell. Chlorine is the major cause of this odor, which makes it uncomfortable to consume water. However, chlorine kills bacteria that are a threat to your health. A filtration system will eliminate that smell and allow you to have an easy time as you drink water.

Tastes the same or better

The filtration system does not compromise the taste that you need in water. A good number of bottling companies sell filtered water to their consumers. The fact that a filtration system will remove odors makes it a good choice for most homeowners.

You can order on demand

The world is changing, and people are now banking on convenience and ease of doing different things. People are looking forward to creating a world with minimal wastage. Filtered water creates the perfect environment for those looking for on-demand services. You can now get a home water delivery service only when you need clean drinking water. You can have several water bottles that you can refill at will and store in your home.

Cheap and good for the environment

Concerns over plastic bottles disposed of different parts is something worth looking at. Reusable bottles can be the answer to this nightmare, threatening the quality of life that we lead. The initial investment in reusable bottles might be high. However, you will incur reduced costs with refills.

Demerits of filtered water

Purchasing and maintaining a filtration system can be expensive. The filters demand frequent replacements, or else you end with an ineffective system.

Bottled water

Bottled water is water that has been purified and stored in water bottles. The following are some of the benefits associated with buying bottled water.

Convenience

It is a convenient choice if you are looking for a solution when you are on the road. You can always grab a bottle of water when you are in the yard, your garage or in your car. The beauty of bottled water is that you can buy from the local store if you forgot to carry a bottle from home.

5 Essential Kitchen Gadgets For Inexperienced Cooks

Cooking is one of life’s most pleasurable joys. Who doesn’t like being able to whip up a sumptuous meal on a whim, or cook up a feast for loved ones, friends and family? If you’re just at the beginning of your cooking journey, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of recipes and resources that exist on the web in 2020. Well, fret not. Today, we’re here to give inexperienced cooks the 411 on 5 essential kitchen gadgets that you need to begin your culinary adventure. Read on to find out more!

1. A Trusty Stand Mixer

I know what you’re thinking...a stand mixer for someone who is just starting out? Well, hear us out for a minute. Most people think that stand mixers are used solely for the purpose of baking cakes and desserts, but what if we were to tell you that a stand mixer can do so much more than that? Take the KitchenAid for example.

This world-renowned stand mixer does more than just mix - it comes with a variety of attachments that allow you to knead the dough, roll out pasta, make ice cream, grind meat and so much more. A quality stand mixer is one of the best investments you will make for your kitchen, and something that will last you for decades, so hope online and get one right now - that is an order! 

2. Quality Sheet Pans

A quality sheet pan is one of the most versatile tools a cook can have in his or her kitchen. Sheet pans are ideal for roasting vegetables, cooking pizzas, baking cookies and making sheet pan meals. A sturdy sheet pan made of high-quality materials (avoid buying cheap ones as they tend to discolour and warp in shape after a few uses), is something that will last you for years upon years.

Sheet pans are also fantastic surfaces to freeze veggies and fruit prior to bagging them up in plastic bags. Hello, homemade frozen berries! Talk about a handy and low maintenance kitchen “gadget”! 

3. A High-Speed Blender

You could always opt for an immersion blender over a high-speed blender if you’re low on budget, but we highly recommend investing in a quality high-speed blender that will serve more than just the purpose of blending. High-speed blenders are 21st-century tools that not only blend soups and smoothies but can also make ice cream, sorbet, nut butter, homemade flours and a variety of other things that will save you lots of money in the long run.

Why pay $20 for Almond Butter when you can roast up some Almonds and turn them into high-quality homemade Almond Butter for a fraction of the price? You’ll also be able to control what goes into your food if you’re someone who is looking to avoid additives, colouring and other things that just don’t belong in food! 

4. Cookware That Doesn’t Suck

Hop into K-Mart, Target or even Ikea and you’ll find some of the cheapest deals for massive sets of cookware that you’ll ever find. However, chances are they suck or are made of poor quality materials that won’t last you longer than a year. The solution? Invest in a quality set of cookware that includes essentials such as a saucepan, frying pan and stockpot. You really don’t need more than that if you’re just starting out, so choose wisely! 

Kitchen man prepares lunch or dinner. Close-up of the pot on the stove.

5. All The Accessories in the World 

If you’re inexperienced in the kitchen, you may not know the difference between a silicone spatula and wooden spoon. We highly recommend that newbies to the cooking game get their hands on at least some wooden spoons, mixing bowls, a quality chopping board and cooking utensils that will make your life a whole load easier. Ever tried flipping pancakes with a fork? Fun fact: it doesn’t work. The great thing is that most homeware stores carry all these basic items and accessories, and you won’t have to blow your entire salary on them either. 

And there you have it -- everything you need to go from an amateur cook to a confident home cook who dishes out Gordon and Jamie recipes with one eye closed. Cooking is a learning process, and one that is meant to be enjoyed, so don’t stress yourself out too much if things go awry - it’s all part of the journey! 

6 Best Reviewed Mini Fridge Kegerators 2021

Kegerators are refrigerators designed to reserve and dispense kegs. They are a mix of a barrel and a refrigerator. They keep the keg in refrigeration and use carbon dioxide to pressurize and dispense it. Kegerators keep the contents fresh for a long period of time. They are suitable for both commercials as well as residential use.

Nowadays, a mini fridge for kegerator is economically beneficial and thus a popular choice among many. They help in dispensing kombucha, draft beer, cold brew coffee and wine with certain modifications. The following is a list of some best reviewed mini fridge for kegerator 2020.

1. EdgeStar Kegerator

Edgestar Full Size Kegerator and Keg Beer Cooler is a value priced kegerator with a beer cooler of ultra low temperature. It can be set up anywhere in a home or a commercial area. This mini fridge for kegerator has high-quality beer components, a Domestic ‘D’ coupler and a carbon dioxide regulator. It also contains a stainless steel draft tower faucet along with a gas and a beer line.

Pros

  • It is the coldest among all kegerators.
  • Features air and beer lines approved by NSF.
  • Can be easily converted into a refrigerator.

Cons

  • It can only be used for freestanding
  • It does not support oversized kegs.

2. Kegco Keg Dispenser

Kegco K309 is a full service mini fridge for kegerator which can accommodate kegs of any size. It can keep the beer at the right temperature for a long period and includes a digital temperature display for better control. It is easy to clean and has a removable drip tray. It also has rolling casters for movement and a chrome guard rail to rest the mugs and glasses.

Pros

  • Kegco K309 Keg Dispenser has the coldest range of temperature as it comes with powerful cooling technology.
  • It ensures superior and long-lasting performance.
  • It also has attractive styling.
  • There are no such cons to this product.

3. Nostalgia Kegerator: Draft Beer Dispenser

With the capacity of 5.1 cubic foot, Nostalgia KRS210 weighs 95.6 pounds. It has a tank which fills carbon dioxide along with a double meter regulator. It also includes a drip tray of stainless steel and a grand wire shelf. The thermostat is adjustable as per requirements.

It has a 13 inches long chrome beer tap along with a spring loaded tap. This makes the process of pulling and dispensing easy. It can hold keg sizes that are ½ barrel, ¼ barrel and ⅙ barrel.

Pros

  • KRS2100 has casters which makes it easy to move.
  • The temperature can be adjusted as per requirements.

4. SPT BD Mini Kegerator and Dispenser

SPT BD is a mini fridge for kegerator which contains three carbon dioxide cartridges. These cartridges help in controlling carbon dioxide pressure. It weighs 13.83 pounds and has a capacity of 0.17 cubic feet. It is made of stainless steel and can hold 5-litre kegs.

Pros

  • SPT BD has a thermostatic cooling technology.
  • It has a LED temperature display and the temperature can be adjusted.

Cons

  • This product needs to be installed in a free-standing position.

5. RCA IGLOO Mini Fridge for Kegerator

RCA Igloo 3.2 is a mini fridge for kegerator with sleek and modern refrigeration technology. Its sleek style helps it in blending with its surroundings. It has a total capacity of 3.2 cubic feet. It also consists of a built-in van dispenser and a reversible door.

The product is quite sustainable as well as attractive. It has many storage options and weighs 45 pounds.

Pros

  • RCA Igloo 3.2 is very spacious due to its flush back design.
  • It looks very attractive and modern.
  • It consists of a reversible door and a built-in dispenser.
  • It has an adjustable thermostat and consumes less energy.

6. EdgeStar Craft Brew Kegerator

EdgeStar Craft Brew Kegerator can easily fit into places due to its compact size. It consists of a carbon dioxide tank and can hold 1/6th barrel keg. It also has an internal circulation fan. The temperature in this product can be as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit and yet the beer will never freeze. This kegerator also consists of a steel faucet and a circulation fan.

Pros

  • Craft Brew Kegerator has a very integrated locking system and strong protection.
  • Interior lighting gives it an attractive appearance.

Cons

  •  The product is not compatible with casters.

Conclusion

There was a time when barrels were made of brew and opened with force while a larger portion would spill out. With the invention of a mini fridge for kegerator, large amounts of drinks can be stored and protected. This article contains all the updated information on the best reviewed kegerators and can help the reader in choosing the one best for them.

How To Make Well-Marinated Sun-Dried Tomatoes?

There is nothing more exciting than making your own sun-dried vegetables. It’s no secret that they’ll last longer in shelf life and taste so much better compared to regular tomatoes. If you want to make sun-dried tomatoes that are well-marinated and taste good, you’re in the right place.

You will learn step by step how to make marinated sun-dried tomatoes so you can add them to your favorite salads and foods. You will also need some other ingredients that will make those tomatoes burst with flavor every time you take a bite. Once you’ve made your first batch, you’ll probably want to end up making more.

With that said, let’s dive in:

What You Need?

Here’s what you need for ingredients: tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil. Optional ingredients include garlic cloves, onions, etc.

There are three different ways to make sun-dried tomatoes. We’ll be taking a look at how to make them using any of these three methods:

  • Food dehydrator (Option #1)

  • Oven (Option #2)

  • Single layer racks (Option #3)

How To Make Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are perfect for salads, pasta, casseroles, and so many other dishes. But when they are marinated with other herbs and vegetables, they really are tasty. Let’s dig in and create some magic by “sun drying” some tomatoes:

Instructions

  1. Wash the tomatoes and remove the stems.
  1. Cut the tomatoes into ¼ slices. Alternatively, you can cut the tomatoes in half. As a rule of thumb, just know that thicker pieces of tomato will take longer to dry compared to ¼ slices.
  1. Take the slices and place them in the dehydrator tray. If you have any dried oregano or basil handy, this would be a good time to liberally sprinkle some on your slices.
  1. Power on your oven or dehydrator and set it to 150 degrees (see further down below for instructions to dry tomatoes in the sun). At this temperature, it can take ten hours to dry the tomatoes. However, it may also depend on the liquid content of the tomatoes. The less it has, the shorter it will take to dry. Check on the tomatoes every four hours. You’ll know they are completely dry if they appear to look leathery.
  1. Once complete, remove your sun-dried tomatoes and place them in an airtight container. You can store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Either way, the shelf life will be extended. You can expect these sun-dried tomatoes to have a shelf life of six months to a year if they are properly stored.

Option #1 - the food dehydrator

If you are looking for a way to make healthier foods like sun-dried tomatoes or beef jerky, food dehydrators are a must-have in your home. Choosing the best food dehydrator depends on  many factors, like how often you plan to use, what you plan to use it for, and what your budget is. For something like sun-dried tomatoes, however, an entry level dehydrator would be fine

Not to mention, it’s a real money saver when compared to purchasing foods that are already packaged for sale. In other words, the cost-effective way to get your hands on sun-dried tomatoes is to make your own.

Not only that, if you are growing your own vegetables, you can be able to grow more and make an abundant amount of freeze-dried foods. That way, you’ll never run out and you’ll always have them on hand long after you’ve made them. Because the shelf-life is lengthy, you won’t need to throw away foods as often due to spoilage.

Simply put, when it comes to using a food dehydrator, you are making sun-dried veggies that put their canned counterparts to shame.

Option #2 - the Oven Method

If you do not have a food dehydrator, you can still be able to dry the tomatoes. You can use an oven and set it to a temperature of 150 degrees. They will typically take a few hours to dry, so check on them regularly. If they take on a leathery texture, then they are done.

The instructions on how to prep them are roughly the same. You can be able to sprinkle some basil or oregano so you can give it that enhanced flavor. One bite and they will be the best tomatoes you’ve ever tasted.

Option #3 - The “Sun-Dry” Method using Single Layer Racks

Of course, you can literally dry tomatoes in the sun. However, there are certain conditions that need to be met in order for you to make this method more effective. For one, you have to live in an environment where high heat and low humidity is normal.

Clearly, a high-humidity environment would defeat the entire purpose since there will be moisture in the air. Tomatoes left in the open air with plenty of moisture will mold and create a hotbed for bacteria. If you live in an area where the weather gets hot and humid, one of the previous methods above will be your best bet.

With this method, you’re going to need to blanch the tomatoes and remove the skins. Next, you’ll need to cut them in half and remove the pulp and seeds entirely. Using a single layer rack, place the tomatoes on top and let them sit in the sun.

You also need to make sure there is a two-inch space that will allow for appropriate air flow. The tomatoes must be in the full sun in order for this process to work. Every day for the next 12 days (which is the estimated time for this method), turn the tomatoes and bring in the racks every night.

The natural sun dry method is the longest in time elapsed since it doesn’t rely on the use of either an oven or a food dehydrator. The air temperature will be less than 150 degrees, so you don’t want to use this method if you quickly want to make sun-dried tomatoes.

What makes the “sun dry” method great?

If you are using the sun dry method, you’ll be able to make the flavor a bit more nuanced compared to the other two methods above. However, it may not be a good idea to use this as a way to preserve them for a longer shelf life.

Final Thoughts

Making marinated sun-dried tomatoes can be a great culinary skill to have up your sleeve. Especially when you want to make something that will make a great add on for plenty of dishes. You can also be able to give them more extra flavor with additional ingredients like garlic cloves, salt, and onions.

Whether it’s with a food dehydrator, an oven, or nature itself there is no wrong way to make sun-dried tomatoes that are “oh so tasty”.

1 2 3 6
>