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 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

 

Ingredients:

 

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

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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?

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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

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.