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Cooking rice is a great way to add bulk to a meal

Cooking: -rice is a Great Way to Add Bulk to a Meal!

Stocking up on often used pantry items when they are on sale is the perfect way to not only save money on item you know will not go to waste but also to ensure that you will have enough ingredients on hand at all times to throw a meal together in a matter of minutes. Here is a list of my top ten pantry items that will help you add that all-day cooked flavor to quick cooking meals.
1. Pasta: Pasta is so versatile that you could make dinner with it every night for a month and never have the same meal twice. Dried pasta is the perfect pantry staple to stock up on every time it goes on sale at your grocery store. Keep different size and shaped noodles on hand to make meals more interesting. Dried pasta can be added to soups, stews or casseroles, it can be used as a bed for your favorite stir-fry, for more details visit to www.cooking-groundbeef.com to add some bulk to your meal or it can be the star of the show — a quick go-to meal by simply adding your favorite jarred sauce.
2. Spaghetti Sauce: Of course you can use a jar of spaghetti sauce to pour over spaghetti for a quick meal any night of the week, but think outside the box a little when it comes to this pantry staple. You would be surprised how many different ways spaghetti sauce can be used. The great thing about spaghetti sauce is that all of the cooking has been done and that all-day flavor is already sealed in. There are so many varieties on the store shelves that you can get a sauce with whatever flavor combination you prefer, for more details visit to www.apples-recipes.com or you can get a simple marinara sauce and spice it up your own way by adding fresh herbs and vegetables to suit your pallette and your menu.
3. Prepared Broths: Boxes or cans of prepared beef, chicken and vegetable broth are a must have pantry staple. When it comes to quick cooking you should not pass up any opportunity to add flavor. You can do this by substituting broth in place of water to add extra flavor to any recipe. You can even cook your rice in broth instead of water. If you cook often the larger boxes of broth can be stored in the refrigerator after opening so you can use as much or as little as you need and they can sometimes be a better bargain than the cans. If you do wind up with leftover broth in an opened container and are afraid that you will not be able to use it quickly, pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it. You can pop out as many cubes as you need and melt them right into your recipe. You can even get fancy by adding some dried herbs to your broth cubes before freezing for extra flavor.
4. Quick Cooking Rice: Rice is a great way to add bulk to a meal. Serving a stir fry of meat and vegetables over rice makes a delicious and satisfying meal. Rice is also a great way to add some whole grains to your diet by using brown rice or wild rice instead of white rice. Experiment with different flavors and find one that your family enjoys. Rice also makes a great side dish either by itself, with vegetables mixed in or simply topped with your favorite spaghetti sauce.
5. Condensed Soups: Condensed soups are a fabulous way to add both moisture and flavor to quick cooking meals. You will find recipe ideas right on the soup can labels and there have been entire cookbooks written around the theme of cooking with condensed soups. Cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, cream of celery and condensed cheese soup are probably the most popular. Take a close look at the soup selection the next time you are in the grocery store. Read the recipes on the labels and stock up on any that you can incorporate into your weekly menu planning. If nothing else, you can make soup for lunch or dinner on a cold rainy day. Don’t forget the chicken noodle in case somebody doesn’t feel well.

How to make italian ham panini

How to Make Italian Ham Panini

Italy is one of the best places in the world to produce the finest cuisines and fantastic dishes, not to forget the good wine, of course. Remember spaghetti and pizza treats that no one could resist?  Well, Italy has definitely become very well known for that, but there is more to Italian foods than these things. And what about those enticing Italian sandwiches called Panini such as Ham Panini or Turkey Panini?
Panino, or Panini in plural form, is a famous sandwich made of a small loaf of bread that is cut horizontally, stuffed with your choice of meat products, cheese, herbs and spices, vegetables, and other ingredients. Panini sandwiches vary: some would have it served without the sauce or topping, as their tradition dictates; some would prefer to add sauce to fit in with their local taste. In whatever style you want your Panini to be, keep in mind though that the best way to cook Panini is to cook it in a Panini grill or press.
To help you get started here’s a sample recipe for the Italian Ham Panini, which is good if you have ham leftovers in your fridge.
You will need to prepare the following ingredients:
-Thinly-sliced ham; leftovers are good
-Italian loaf bread
-Fresh mozzarella
-Provolone cheese
-Fresh basil leaves, or fresh spinach, rinse and pat dry
-Extra virgin olive oil
-Red wine vinegar
-Salt and pepper
Then follow the steps below:
1-Cut the Italian loaf in half. On each side of the cut bread, place thin slices of mozzarella to keep in tact the bread halves together when placed in Panini press.
2-Put a topping of fresh spinach, or fresh basil leaves, on the mozzarella.
3-Sprinkle it with a good amount of vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper to get the best flavor from it.
4-Next, layer it with provolone cheese.
5-Then top it with thinly-sliced ham. Shower some more salt and pepper.
6-Put together the two halves of bread and close it up.
7-Lastly, brush some olive oil before putting it on the grill.
8-Let it grill until the cheese is seen to melt.
9-Remove it from the grill. Let it cool for a few minutes until it’s not too hot to hold anymore. Slice it into your desired cuts.
10-Then serve and enjoy your Panini!
Panini sandwiches are not only healthy and delicious treats for everyone; it is the most preferred food-to-go these days by busy bodies. While they can easily be prepared at home and brought to the office, they can also easily be ordered from your favorite restaurant; this option is more expensive of course.
While some people question the calories and fat found in Panini sandwiches, there is nothing to worry about if you make your own, because you control the ingredients. To resolve this issue, always opt for low-fat or low-calories ingredients to fill up that Ham Panini sandwich.

All you need to know about kitchen cutters

All You Need To Know About Kitchen Cutters

Pastry and Biscuit Cutters

Basic plain and crinkly edged cutters are simple pieces of apparatus for small pastries and cookie making; they are frequently found in graded sets which fit neatly inside each other in their own tin for convenient storage.

There are also ‘fancy’ cutters; these are out there in each and every imaginable shape, from hearts and stars to wizards and Christmas trees. Fancy cutters are usually enjoyable to use for cookies, pastry, cake, icing, marzipan, canapes for every feasible situation.

Pastry and cookie cutters are generally available in metal or plastic. When purchasing, make sure that the top edge is rolled and the chopping edge is sharp. A rolled edge provides the cutter added strength, and makes it much more comfortable to use.

Aspic Cutters

A miniature variation of pastry or cookie cutters, and is utilized for fiddly decorative work.

Pastry Wheels

These kinds of cutters are used to cut straight or crimped lines through pastry. They may also be employed to cut sheets of pasta for parpardelle or maybe ravioli.

Ravioli Cutters

Right after layering the filling between two sheets of pasta, this gadget allows you to stamp out the ravioli shape whilst closing the edges. They are usually made up of a stainless steel fluted-edged cutter together with a wood handle. Various shapes and sizes are accessible.

Pizza Cutters

This particular gizmo is utilized to cut through cooked pizzas in order to divide them up in to portions whilst maintaining the toppings neatly in place. It comprises of a stainless steel cutting wheel set onto a handle. Make certain that the cutter includes a finger guard between the blade and the handle, and that it seems comfortable and well balanced in your hand.

Chip Cutters

These are helpful gadgets for chopping chips, offered in 2 types. The first is a single wavy blade set into a handle and applied to create crinkle-cut chips. The second is a gadget for slicing large amounts of chips at once; the whole peeled potato is positioned under it and then the stainless-steel cutter pushed down, transforming the potato into a pile of beautifully produced chipped potatoes, all ready for frying.

This is just a selection of the extensive range of kitchen and cook’s cutters which are available on the market today. In addition, there are a number of speciality cutters that are outside the scope of this particular article, but which you will undoubtedly find it you browse through the racks of your local supermarket or kitchen equipment store.

Top five things you should know about paninos

Top Five Things You Should Know About Paninos

Are you tired of the usual appetizers served in restaurants or at your home? Would you like to have something different for a change? If yes, then you should try paninos and discover how tempting and delicious they are.  (Many people call panini, paninos however the proper name for grilled sandwiches is Panini.)
Panini are gourmet sandwiches stuffed with a variety of meats, cheeses and high quality toppings and sauces. They are often served in restaurants as appetizers. They can be stuffed with just about anything you can think of.  If you are still unfamiliar with Panini, here are the top fivethings you should know about them:
1. Panini are very nutritious
If you want a tasty yet healthy treat, panini can provide you with both. Although they are made with superior cheeses and meats, you can also include vegetables and fruits in your panini. You can add sliced onions, sliced green peppers, sliced black olives, cucumber and pineapple.
2. Panini taste great grilled
Just like your favorite sandwiches, panini taste best when grilled. Make mouthwatering panini by grilling them on low heat for several minutes or until golden brown. Most people prefer using slightly stale bread compared to fresh since it is usually crispier when grilled.  Bread that is a day or two old can also stand up to the grilling process better.
3. Panini are the best appetizers
Do you often wonder what to serve company?  Panini make fantastic appetizers.  You can pretty much put anything in them, even leftovers, grill them before your company arrives, place them on a baking sheet and in the oven to stay warm.  Cut them up, place them on a nice platter and your company will be wowed!  If you have leftover chicken, make some chicken panini by adding provolone or mozzarella cheese to some ciabatta bread.  Throw in some Italian dressing, pesto or hummus and you have a delicious appetizer that will blow your guests away.
4. Panini are easy to prepare
You don’t need to be a professional chef in order to make panini.  You don’t even need a lot of skill.  Seriously, panini are probably the easiest food you’ll ever prepare. Panini are rarely the same because every time you make them something different will go into them.  Leftovers, frittata (omelet), chocolate, etc… If you can imagine it, you can make it!  You can also surf the Internet or purchase a panini recipe book to help you get on your way. 
5. Panini are fun to prepare
You can enjoy preparing panini with your loved ones especially with your kids. Panini are so much fun to make and you can experiment with different ingredients.  Cut up all kinds of vegetables, cheese and cooked chicken breasts or ground beef.  This will allow your kids to pick what they want to put in their panini.  You can make Italian panini, Mexican panini, and even pizza-style panini depending on the ingredients you use.
It helps to know what exactly that panini are Italian sandwiches.  It’s also great to know the benefits of panini like the fact that you can make them in minutes and that they can be very healthy.  Remember that paninos (a.k.a panini) are very nutritious appetizers which are easy and fun to make.

Easy recipes for people on the move

Easy Recipes for People on the Move

Are you one of those busy people who never has time for a good, home-cooked meal? Do you tend to grab a burger or taco instead of a real meal because the fast food joint is «on the way»? If you’re one of the millions of people who never seem to have time to cook, a repertoire of quick and easy recipes and a single great appliance can make a huge difference in your life.

The GT Xpress 101 is an indoor grill that bills itself as a sandwich maker, dessert maker and meal maker. The ads for the countertop grill say that it will revolutionize the way that you cook. For the busy, on-the-move individual, that claim is not far from the truth. Here are just a handful of recipes for busy people who skip breakfast, eat fast food for lunch and pull a microwave meal out of the freezer for dinner. Just wait till you see what you can do in just eight minutes.

Breakfast — the most important meal of the day

Too many busy people skip breakfast in the rush to get out the door to work in the morning. The GT Xpress can make it easy for you to eat a healthy, nutritious breakfast to fuel your workday the right way. Because there’s no need to stand over a skillet to flip pancakes or stir eggs, you can preheat the grill, add ingredients, and hop in the shower. By the time you get out, breakfast will be ready to eat — and you’ll still be out the door on time.

Parmesan Bagel Bake

Much tastier than the usual fast-food breakfast bagel — and a whole lot less expensive

  • 1 mini onion bagel
  • 1 egg
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • ? tablespoons tarragon
  • 1 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoons shredded Provolone cheese

Preheat the GT Xpress. Place one half of the onion bagel in one well in the GT Xpress. Scramble egg and beat in salt, pepper, tarragon and Parmesan cheese, then pour over bagel. Top with Provolone cheese and cover with other half of the bagel. Close top and cook for 10 minutes. Take the opportunity to put on your makeup or run a brush through your hair — it’s easy to multi-task.

Breakfast Burrito

1 egg, beaten

2 pre-cooked breakfast sausages, sliced or broken into pieces

1 slice American cheese

? cup diced peppers

? cup diced onions

1 flour tortilla

Cooking spray

Spray top and bottom cooking surface with non-stick spray. Fit tortilla into one well in the GT Xpress allowing half the tortilla to lap over the side. Add onions, peppers and sausage. Pour egg over vegetables and sausage. Top with cheese slice. Fold tortilla over. Close cover and cook for 8 minutes.

Take-along Lunches

Instead of running through a drive-through for lunch, take a few minutes to make a quick sandwich in the GT Xpress to pack and take along. Or get a little fancy and bring something to heat in the office microwave. Try one of these recipes for something special at lunch.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Wrap

? boneless chicken breast

1 slice Swiss cheese

1 slice baked ham

1 tortilla wrap

Cut a slice into the side of the chicken breast to create a pocket. Fold swiss cheese and slice of ham into the pocket. Press the chicken breast together and fit into one well in the GT Xpress. Close top and cook for twenty minutes. When done, wrap burrito style in tortilla wrap and pack for lunch in insulated lunch bag.

Bacon and Swiss Stuffed Baby Bella Mushroom Caps

2 slices cooked bacon

? ounce of shredded Swiss cheese

1 finely chopped scallion

1/8 tsp ground pepper

1 tablespoon Ranch dressing

6 Baby Bella mushroom caps

Combine everything but the mushroom caps and mix well. Place 3 mushroom caps in each well. Top with bacon mixture. Close cover and cook for five minutes. Open and allow to cool before wrapping for lunch. Add a six ounce cup of yogurt and a bottled water or juice for a gourmet lunch at the office.

Gourmet Dinner on the Fly

How often do you skip dinner or order a pizza because it takes too much time to cook something fancy? The GT Xpress makes it easy to cook delicious, fresh dinners for one, two or a crowd — without heating up your kitchen or dirtying pots and pans. Next time you’re in the mood for something healthy, fresh and delicious, try one of these recipes.

Seafood Stuffed Salmon

2 salmon fillets

2/3 cup shredded crabmeat or chopped shrimp

? cup shredded spinach

salt and pepper to taste

Slice partway through each salmon fillet to create a pocket for stuffing. Mix crabmeat and spinach together. Season with salt and pepper. Fill each salmon pocket with stuffing mixture. Brush the well and top surface of grill with olive oil and fit one salmon fillet into each one. Cook 6 to 8 minutes.

Looking for a soup recipe how about a slow cooker soup

Looking For a Soup Recipe? — How About a Slow Cooker Soup

A nice bowl of hot soup is so good at the end of a long day. It warms and comforts you, making you feel cared for. Some people are afraid to try making soup at home that does not come in a can, but it is pretty easy once you give it a try. If you use your slow cooker, it is even easier.
Soups for the Slow Cooker
Almost any kind of soup can be made in a slow cooker. Whether you prefer simpler soups like vegetable beef or lentil soup, or if your favorites include fancier soups like vichyssoise or pot-au-feu, your slow cooker will come in handy. You can even create delicate soups such as trout chowder or crab soup in a slow cooker while you attend to other tasks. If you like ethnic soups like Indian Dal or Italian Wedding soup, they also turn out perfectly in a slow cooker.
It does not matter what your favorite soup is… you can probably make it in your slow cooker. Leftovers work, too. If you have a ham bone left, toss it in with some split peas for yummy pea soup, or add some navy beans to make a hearty bean soup.
Even soups that seem more complicated, like cheddar cheese or clam chowder, can easily be made in your slow cooker. Whether it is something simple like chicken soup or more complicated, you can make all your favorite soups. Use your favorite ingredients like noodles, dumplings or rice… whichever you prefer.
Try Something New
You can also try a soup recipe that is new for you. Trying new recipes is always fun! A new slow cooker soup will give you something exciting to look forward to for dinner. Have you ever tried a garden cabbage soup? What about deviled chicken soup? Have you ever heard of a cheesy meatball soup or a taco soup? You are sure to find new favorites.
With a little inspiration, you can create your own slow cooker soup recipes. Why not give it a try? The slow cooker lets you make a few mistakes. It will tenderize a tough piece of meat. Adding different vegetables and herbs add a delicious, complex flavor to your soup. If you like a creamy soup, add some milk or cream towards the end of your cooking time. Let your imagination run wild.
Traditional soups like chicken and dumplings, beef noodle and potato soup are great, too. For something a little different, mix up the ingredients a bit. Try adding bacon or ham to your potato soup, or put brown rice in your beef soup. Adding a new twist can be a lot of fun.
If you have a lot of leftovers, such as after a major holiday, use the slow cooker to make a nice soothing soup. Add in some leftover turkey or ham to make a great soup. Add rice, noodles, or potatoes if you wish. Do not forget the leftover vegetables like corn, peas, carrots… and do not leave out the gravy. You will have a sumptuous holiday soup that lets you enjoy your meal all over again with very little work. Using slow cookers is a great way to relax.

The best homemade pizza recipe delivered in minutes or its free

The Best Homemade Pizza Recipe Delivered In 7 Minutes Or It's Free!

I’m back from Sunburst Tomato Farm in Momeyer, North Carolina. What a great trip! While I was learning about growing tomatoes in the winter, I was thinking about making a homemade pizza recipe to add to my cooking classes. But then, I thought, what does the local tomato farmer like to make with his fresh tomatoes?
Tim Bass of Sunburst Tomatoes says he prefers the raw, natural flavor of his tomatoes in a Tomato Sandwich, «two slices of bread, some mayonnaise and a slice of tomato» is his favorite homemade tomato recipe.
Well, that might suit the tomato farmer, but Tim sent me home with a sack full of quality tomatoes and all I can think about is a homemade pizza recipe that I simply call «tomato pie». I don’t use pizza sauce. No, instead, I use sliced tomatoes. But I’m jumping ahead in this cooking class, let’s start with the crust.
This is my tried and true basic homemade pizza dough recipe: 18 ounces flour, 10 ounces water, 2 teaspoons of yeast. This will be the basis for the pizza crust that will then complete the standard 10 step yeast dough process.
You want to take time mixing the ingredients together, because you want for gluten to develop in the process. Moisture and agitation develop gluten which will help to develop that wonderful chewy crust that we’ve all come to expect and love in our pizza. After the pizza dough is mixed, you need to allow it to ferment until it doubles in size. At this point, knock all of the air out of the dough and allow it to rise again. Now, the homemade pizza crust starts to take form. Using a rolling pin and a thick marble* slab, flatten the dough to create the pizza crust.
*(Marble is a wonderful medium to use when you are dealing with dough or pastry because the thickness of the slab helps to keep the temperature consistently cool to create a better product.)
I like to use a pizza peel to get my pizza in the oven. I put a little bit of corn meal on the peel to help with the flavor as well as making it easier to get the pizza off of the peel when I’m ready to put it into the oven. Once the homemade pizza crust is on the peel, I like to go around the edge of the pizza crust folding over the edge to form the outer edge of the pizza. Also, brush on a little olive oil to ensure a nice brown crust and I like to add some freshly cut garlic as well.
Let’s keep moving along in this cooking class…
Instead of a tomato sauce recipe, thinly sliced tomatoes will form the foundation of the tomato pie recipe, and this homemade pizza goes in the oven, on top of heated stones.
What? Only tomatoes on the homemade pizza?
No, I want more ingredients, but the tomatoes take longer to cook! Only after the tomatoes have cooked is the cheese and basil added. Basil is too delicate to allow it to bake for the same time as the tomatoes, so it’s added at the very end in a fancy French knife skill called «chiffonade».
The best homemade pizza recipe is the one that uses the freshest, best ingredients, like tomatoes from your local farmer. The homemade pizza that you create will have much more flavor, nutrition and sense of pride that you made it. Not only that, it will be better for you as well. I hope you’ve enjoyed this cooking class, now go make a pizza!!