Great food

The Advantages of Making Food and Beverages at Home?

Cooking at home is today seen mostly as a hobby rather than a necessity as it was back in the days. Around 1900, only 2% of all Americans were regularly eating outside the home. Today, this percentage is over 50%. Many people invoke lack of time, and the fact that there are so many restaurants, fast food places and other eateries everywhere you go, makes eating out so convenient that it is hard to ignore. However, there are many important benefits of making food and beverages at home that they should not be ignored, either. We will try to convince you why we think so right away.


Nutrients vs calories


8If a certain dish has a high number of calories, it does not mean that it is nutritious. Actually, numerous calories are usually the result of a lot of added sugar, salt and other taste enhancers that do not pack any nutritional value. When you cook at home, you are the one in control of all the ingredients, so it is unlikely that you will feel tempted to reach for the sugar and just add it to your dish, because it would make it taste better. The same thing goes for beverages, even if you may find this surprising. All kinds of tricks are used by the food and drinks industry to make beverages more addictive, even the apparently harmless soda. If you were to know how much additives are put in the food they serve even in the fanciest restaurants, you would be thinking twice about eating out every night.


Food and beverages are the fuel of life


9Any human being must eat and at least drink water in order to survive. It is not farfetched to say that everything we eat and drink on a regular basis represents the fuel for the lives we lead. There is an actual knowledge of how to prepare food and beverages, so that they are beneficial for our health. Some foods can make you feel better and healthier, while others can make you sick, even if they taste great. Beverages, alcoholic or non-alcoholic, must be made according to well tried recipes in order to preserve and promote health. We do not say that you will automatically become a foodie, once you start cooking at home, but you will surely know more about food in general, and you will lead a healthier, happier life, once you start making what you eat and drink at home.


You choose your portions


When eating out, you do not choose your portions. Take a moment and think: how many times have you felt forced to eat everything on the plate, just because it was placed in front of you? Or, simply, because the food was there, it felt wrong to let it go to waste? The problem with fast food places in particular is that they serve really large portions of both food and drinks and you end up eating too much and gorging on extra calories that you could have done without. When you prepare your own food and beverages at home, this does not happen. You pick the size of your plate and, if you feel full, you can always get up from the table, without feeling guilty.


You will bond with your loved ones


There is another benefit for cooking and eating at home that may not be so obvious at first glance. Homemade cooking brings families together, and you will love the cozy feeling of having everyone around the table, sharing a tasty meal, and delicious drinks that you are proud to know you have made using your skill and your own two hands.


If you’d like to read about more benefits I recommend the following links:

About home recipes.

About health.

Other perks.

Great brews

Things You Should Know If You Want to Make Your Own Beer

5So, you have just started thinking about making your own beer at home. We welcome you to the club! More and more people prefer making their own beer at home, because this way they manage to save money and also obtain a type of beer that is more to their taste than the commercial products sold on the market. We want to help you by introducing you to the wonderful world of beer making. It is simple, it costs very little and it is fun! Now let’s see what things you should know should you start making your own beer at home.


The basic stuff


No beer could be made at home without the basic equipment, so we are going to introduce you to it. So, this is what you will need:


  • One large pot – you do not have to get one specifically for this purpose, any large pot in your kitchen will do
  • Strainer
  • Kitchen thermometer
  • Rolling pin
  • Funnel
  • Bottled water
  • Container
  • Polyvinyl tubing
  • Bottles


Besides equipment, you will also need the right ingredients. Beer is a very simple beverage, so your list of ingredients should be pretty straightforward, as follows:


  • 3 pounds dried malt extract
  • 8 ounces crystal malt (crushed)
  • 1 ounce pellet hops
  • 1 package brewer yeast
  • Half a cup of sugar


The above ingredients are for obtaining 2.5 gallons of beer. So, if you are planning to share your beer with your friends, this is the kind of quantity you can make to serve everyone with a fresh pint of homemade beer.



Essential steps


Making beer at home is pretty simple, so you do not have to be a rocket scientist to nail it right from the get go. We want to make things even simpler, by breaking them down into a few essential steps.


  1. The boiling


Crush the crystal malt in a bag with the rolling pin. Pour 2 ½ gallons of water into the large pot along with the grains. Go for medium high heat to bring the contents to temperature, then turn off the heater, cover and let it steep for half an hour. Use the strainer to remove the grains, then boil, without boiling over. Add 2/3 of the hop pellets and boil for one hour. At the end, add the rest of the pellets and turn off the heat. Cover again and let it steep for 10 minutes.


  1. Dealing with the wort


The above step was used for obtaining what is called the wort, or unfermented beer. This needs to be cooled before proceeding further. Immersing your pot in a bath of cold water is one quick method; the colder the water, the faster you will be able to cool down the wort. Make sure everything that goes in contact with your wort now is properly sanitized, or, otherwise, you will contaminate the beer. After cooling, pour the contents of the pot in the fermenting container and add from the remaining water if too much was lost during the boiling process.


  1. The fermentation

Now you add the yeast and seal the container. The fermentation process needs 7-10 days to work its magic. To finish the process, you also need to prime the beer. Remember about the sugar? Boil it with a cup of water for a few minutes, let it cool and pour it in another container where you are going to transfer your beer. This way, your beer will not have a flat taste, but quite flavorful and delicious!


When you’re done with the priming, too, pour your beer in bottles and put caps on all of them. Serve beer cold and enjoy all the praising from your friends. You are totally worthy of every word!

Great food

2 Great beef quesadilla recipes

It’s hard to find anyone that doesn’t love beef quesadillas, except for vegetarians. If this is you, don’t worry we will also include some great vegan recipes on our blog. We decided to share two recipes with you, one geared for kids and the other a little more adventurous so hopefully everyone will be happy with dinner tonight.



Kids beef quesadilla




11lb. Lean ground beef

1 tsp. Ground cumin

1 tsp. Chili powder

¼ tsp kosher salt

⅓ chili con queso sauce (prepared)

1 tbsp. Oil olive

4 flour tortillas

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese



Brown the ground beef in a skillet adding in the spices and queso sauce. Heat the olive oil in a separate skillet. Take a flour tortilla, add ground beef, sprinkle liberally with shredded cheese and cook until a light golden brown. Usually one minute on each side. When finished place on a plate, and you have a delicious meal your kids will love.



Beef Quesadillas with Queso Blanco Sauce


2If you want to make your standard beef quesadillas stand out from the rest, we recommend adding a white cheese sauce. The flavor this gives the meat is hard to beat, and it is also extremely easy to make. The only difference between these quesadillas and the ones you made for your kids is the queso sauce. In one pan you will brown the lean ground beef, adding in the same spices that are listed in the previous recipe. In a separate pan combine 1 cup of Monterey jack cheese, 2 oz. green chilis, heavy cream, 1 tsp. Cumin, 1 tsp. Salt, ½ tsp. Pepper and 3 cloves of garlic. When the cheese is melted and the sauce is rich and creamy pour over top the ground beef, which should have already been place in the tortillas and nicely browned. Garnish with cilantro and sour cream.


Like we promised these recipes are extremely easy to make, and are great when you are in a hurry. Each recipe only takes 25 minutes or so to make, and you will also appreciate the fact that you only need to dirty a few pans. There is nothing worse than having to clean up a huge mess after spending time cooking dinner. We hope that you enjoy, and keep checking back for more delicious recipes.

Great brews · Great food

6 Great Tips and Tricks for Hosting a Perfect Garden Party

Weather permitting, garden parties must be the most awesome way of getting together with friends and family and having a great time. However, they can also be a lot of work, and you need all the help you can enlist. In this post, we want to help you by offering you a few great tips and tricks that always get us going. We hope that they will help you host a perfect garden party that no one will forget anytime soon.

Go for a special garden party drink


What is a party without drinks? They are the soul of the party and they keep everyone going, regardless of whether they prefer sitting around, engaged in witty conversation or they are more active and get involved in backyard sports with the kids. Give your garden party a soul, by offering a special drink that everyone will love. A pink grapefruit Margarita, for instance, is an awesome idea, and so is Sangria, the famous Spanish drink that keeps you cool in summer. What will be your signature drink?

Keep a low profile so that everyone can enjoy themselves

Garden parties are not meant to be extravagant or sophisticated. They are the perfect opportunity for everyone to let their hair down and enjoy a pleasant time, together with friends. So, the idea is to keep a low profile. Don’t bring out the good-good china, or fancy utensils. A place where everyone will feel comfortable and at home will do. Do not necessarily go for paper plates, but, if this is how your friends will be at ease, don’t hesitate, either.

Create the right ambiance with the right music

A garden party would not be complete without music. Here is an idea that we enjoy tremendously. We have a vintage record player and we use it to play our favorite tunes directly from vinyl! Needless to say, all our friends enjoy the freedom to choose from the records we have, and the vintage player is a great conversation starter, too!

How about a nice centerpiece?


The table would not be perfect unless you add a nice centerpiece. Decorate the table as you see fit, but without encumbering it too much. After all, your guests must still be able to eat leisurely and the shyest ones should not find an excuse to avoid engaging in conversation with the person across the table from them, just because they found the perfect hiding place behind the centerpiece.

Tasty looking platters

For a garden party, food should be kept as simple and as tasty as possible. One bite appetizers and finger foods are all the rage at garden parties, because anyone can grab something to eat and move along, without actually stopping to eat for hours.

Hanging lights in the evening


It is nothing unusual for garden parties to prolong well into the evening and even the night and you should be prepared for such situations. Make sure to supply on candle lights and hanging lights, so you can light up the garden, as soon as the sun goes to sleep.

Great food

How to cook quesadillas fast and easy?

As many others, I’m a great fan of quesadillas. I consider them to be the most entertaining type of food in the world. That’s because you can find tons of ways to cook them or even invent your own original recipe. I cook this dish as often as possible, and I always try to come up with something new: an ingredient or condiment and I seldom research the internet for new combos other amateur cookers such as I have come up with. As I said, quesadillas can be prepared using a multitude of ingredients, but some of them are essential and can’t miss from its composition.


The first one is the tortilla that you need to fry or at least heat a bit before assembling the quesadilla. However, to obtain a perfectly crispy texture and brownish color, you must cook it using an optimal instrument. Some people just use a cooking pan, with just a bit of olive oil or grill them, which gives them a nice looking line-pattern. I prefer a quesadilla maker that gives the best results and also eliminates several issues you might encounter when using a pan. My personal cooking utensil is a Hamilton Beach model, designed with non-stick materials and fitted with a locking lid.


These are, from my own experience the two most important features of such an instrument. Firstly, the non-stick material helps you cook perfectly shaped tortillas, with no leftovers stuck to the cooking surfaces. That means less time spent cleaning afterwards, but also the insurance that the tortilla will not only look good, but also taste amazing. The locking lid is a great asset as well, as it stops the filling from being spilled all over the cooking surface. Moreover, it fries the quesadilla on both sides at the same time, which shortens the overall cooking time. Though this dish doesn’t take long time to cook, ifwiskey7 you like to prepare your own sauce, cook the meat thoroughly or leave it in a marinade sauce for a while, it can take you a couple of hours to achieve a great result. In these circumstances, possessing a cooking utensil that will have your dish ready in a couple of minutes can be of real assistance. What should also be mentioned when it comes to this Hamilton Beach Quesadilla maker is that it cuts the quesadilla in six equal pieces, which will satisfy all people at the table. In addition, it will ease your job, as it is quite difficult to cut the quesadilla and avoid spilling the filling.

As this is a sizeable item, you may think it will occupy a considerable space inside your kitchen, but not this one, as it is built so that you can store it in a vertical position and leave it any place you like in your kitchen.

Great brews

Some stuff about Belgian beer

Belgium is a small country, but one that has plenty to offer to its visitors. A lot of traditional products individualize this small patch of land in Europe. Who has never heard of waffles, Belgian chocolate, Cuberdons (or Neuzekes, as they are nicknamed due to their shape similar to a nose) or Belgian beer?

Well, you most definitely have heard about the last one, as it is famous all over the world, for its flavors and diversity. It really is a shock that a country so small has been able to produce so many varieties of beer. You can find a wide range of flavors, from the sweetest to the most bitter here. There’s a lot to to say about how you should choose one, but, one aspect that Belgians stress when it comes to drinking this old traditional beverage is employing a special glass. And you’ll see when you go there that each beer you order comes with its own type of glass that is able to make the most of its taste. If you spend more time there, we recommend you try all the beers you can find, but, if you’re just passing through, you can choose from the following:


The most popular: Duvel


wiskey 3I am not an expert and not even a Belgian, so I won’t say this is the most popular beer there, but it is definitely one that Belgians consume with much pleasure. Duvel has not only a wonderful golden color, but, when it is poured in its special glass, it forms a thick layer of foam that is nothing I’ve ever seen in any other beer. This is a strong pale ale beer with an alcohol content of 8.5 %, which gives us a hint on the origins of its name, translated from Dutch as Devil. Duvel has a bitter, crispy taste that makes it almost addictive from the first glass. This beer is usually made with two hop varieties, but Duvel has launched a special edition a couple of years ago made with three hop varieties, which I highly recommend and which was so popular when it got on the market, that a Facebook group was created by those who wanted more of the new assortment. Be careful though, this is also stronger, as it contains 9.5 % alcohol.


The Trappist: Westmalle


wiskey 4Firstly, let’s talk a bit about what Trappist means. Generally, we call Trappist those beers that are brewed inside a monastery (that’s right, you read correctly). Why is this important for Belgian beer? Well, nowadays, there are 11 monastery located breweries in the world: 1 in the United States, 1 in Austria, 1 in Italy, 2 in the Netherlands and 6 in Belgium. I’m sure now it’s pretty clear why.

Westmalle is one of the strongest pale ale beers, as it contains 9.5 % (way to go monks!) alcohol, one of the tastiest and one of the most popular in Belgium and in many other countries, as it has gained international renown. This Trappist beer has a subtle aroma in which you can feel a taste of yeast. It has a dark color and it is served in a sturdy glass that resembles a goblet. I assume that the sturdy structure of the glass was designed to keep it in one piece, since this beer can get you positively wasted after a couple of glasses.


The most special: Duchesse de Bourgogne


wiskey 5When you first taste this beer, you get the impression that maybe you made a mistake and ordered a bottle of wine (maybe you had too much beer before this one), but then you look at the label and you see spelled beer. This is not your average type of beer, in its small bottle and with its reddish, wine-like nuance, it definitely makes you think about wine – and it also tastes like one, the kind that was maybe preserved in bad conditions and has acquired a sour, but still a bit sweet flavor. However, I guarantee that you’ll love it, if you taste it with an open mind. You’ll also love its finesse bottle and glass and you’ll come back for more.


Nevertheless, these three varieties can only give you a basic image about how wonderful and unexpected Belgian beer can be. To taste them all, well, maybe you should just find a job and move there for a couple of years.

Great food

Why buy a pizza oven designed for home use?

My kids used to complain a lot about the taste of my pizza in the past. They said that even if edible, my pizza could not be compared with the one their father bought them, when I was away, from restaurants. But, as I am a stubborn person, I refused buying them delivery pizza and continued preparing them homemade recipes.

homemadeThe reason for which I do this is that the pizza I prepare at home is healthier than the one you can buy when you eat out. I have my own favorite pizza combinations in which I include only natural and healthy ingredients that I buy from quality stores and markets.

Secondly, you can never know how trustworthy the places you go out to eat are, how they clean, preserve their ingredients, and their cooking utensils.

homemade2Thirdly, I’m quite sure most restaurants will choose cheaper ingredients, or use those that are not fresh anymore in cooking their dishes, and I want my kids to be in good health at least while they live with me. Once they move out they can choose the way they eat and how they stay healthy.

However, a while ago, the whole activity of cooking homemade pizza has been entirely changed. I have taken my pizza to the restaurant level by acquiring a pizza oven. A pizza oven is exactly what it says it is, an oven that is especially designed to cook the best pizza without you being a trained chef.

After days spent looking for one, I’ve decided to purchase an assembled oven that, unlike a modular one is already installed and you can use it once you find it a proper place. Once you purchase the oven, and have it set in the needed place, you just follow the instructions of the brochure that comes with it, and you can cook a pizza right away. My pizza oven is shaped like an old cooking oven, only smaller and with a metal structure, so it looks great in my kitchen.

Generally, you can find them in different sizes, colors and models. They function with firewood, electricity or gas. I have an electric one, as I believed it was the safest and the most convenient option for me. In addition, it fits perfectly in the space of my small kitchen and is easily cleaned.


It is hard to spot the difference until you don’t use one at home. Indeed, pizza’s taste doesn’t come solely from the ingredients you prepare it with, but from the way it is baked, a process that allows the flavors to mix and create a whole, rich taste. The ovens that are created for pizza cooking make sure that the dough is evenly baked on all sides. This way, when you get the pizza out of the oven, you can enjoy a crunchy pizza with a taste, given by the perfect combination of tasty dough and the chosen flavor. There’s no complaining from my children now, and I am able to cook any pizza I want, with my chosen ingredients and be sure they will love it anyway.


How to Properly Prepare for Making Whiskey at Home

Now that we are acquainted, we would like to share with you some ideas on preparing whiskey at home. Since this American alcoholic beverage means tradition, good taste, and, of course, flavor, you will discover that many people have many different ideas when it comes to making whiskey. We are not aiming for anything complicated. Actually, we think that all you need is water, yeast, grain, and, of course, a love for whiskey!


How much whiskey do you want to make?


The first thing you need to know about making whiskey is that it takes quite whiskey 2some quantities of primary ingredients in order to get just a few liters of perfect whiskey. Here are some calculations to help you decide on the proportions of your own recipe. If you want to get about 35 liters of pure alcohol, you will need 222 pounds of grain. From this quantity of grain, you will get 600 liters of mash. Mash will turn into pure alcohol, and from pure alcohol you will obtain the drinkable, delicious beverage. From 35 liters of pure alcohol, as presented here, you will be able to make about 85 liters of whiskey or about 22 gallons. That is surely a lot of whiskey!


Use fresh yeast for each batch


We are not going into the intricacies of the process of making whiskey just yet, before properly getting you prepared with all the required information. Now here is a pro tip that some of us learned the hard way, unfortunately. Do not reuse yeast when you are making multiple batches of mash. The reused yeast is simply not as efficient at turning the starch into sugar so you will obtain a weaker alcohol after you are done with the fermenting process.


More rounds of distillation mean more purity


whiskeyWhen you are making your own whiskey at home, you can decide on your own level of purity. This means that you are totally in control. The idea is to run more rounds of distillation if you are interested in getting purer alcohol. Of course, this will be stronger, but that is the main secret you learn when you are trying to make your own alcoholic beverages at home, like us.


Get rid of “heads” and “tails”


Do not forget a simple rule of great whiskey. When distilling, get rid of “heads”, which is the liquid that boils off first, and “tails”, which are what remains at the bottom. This liquid does not have proper purity and can weaken your whiskey.


Epic news!


Hello everyone! We are a bunch of friends who simply love cooking and making their own beverages at home. We would like to share our thoughts, our recipes and even some of our wackiest ideas about how to obtain the kind of liquor you usually find in stores using local ingredients and your own two hands. Why are we so passionate about this? Frankly, when you buy drinks from the stores, especially the higher shelves, how much do you think you pay for the label, and how much for what is inside the bottle? You most probably have an answer to this one.


So do we. Why spend so much money on brand, instead of making our own, high quality alcoholic beverages at home? Of course, what you need most is the knowledge, and this is something that we have accumulated through the years, by exchanging ideas between us and by trying them out. It is true, that some fails have occurred along the way, but that didn’t stop us to try again and again. As one of the brightest inventors in history once said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” By applying this simple method of seeing things, we have managed to find a lot of interesting recipes that do work.



What do we like to make? In regards to beverages, we like to make our own home brews of beer at home, as well as whiskey. We do not go for alcoholic beverages, only. We also know about plenty of natural juice recipes that are great for the body and palatable for your tongue. We also love cooking, and our recipes are focused on the kind of delicious foods to be served at parties, barbecues ( with some of the best raclette grills), as well as dishes that you usually find in restaurants.


juiceWe strongly believe that you do not have to leave your home in order to enjoy the finest dishes and beverages. What you need is a bit of knowledge, and this is what we would like to share with you. From choosing the right ingredients, to the minutest tips that can turn a dish around and make it heavenly delicious, our blog will be focused in particular in helping you achieve the title of home chef without fail.


Now that we have properly introduced ourselves, we can barely wait to share with you some great methods for making whiskey at home. Stay tuned for our next post!