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Cooking For Working Moms

Cooking For Working Moms | By Tracy Falbe

Super mom is supposed to bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan, but that old song is a tired joke for working moms who need to put dinner on the table. Too often working moms resort to fast food or microwave dinners to feed their families, but these options if used too much lead to poor nutrition and even obesity.

Fatigue and stress usually cause working moms to forsake the kitchen, but with a change in attitude toward cooking, you could enjoy more time at home, better nutrition, and even save money.

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Saveur is for people who experience the world food first. It was created to satisfy the hunger for genuine information about food in all its contexts. With its emphasis on heritage and tradition, home cooking and real food, the magazine evokes the flavors of food from around the world (including forgotten pockets of culinary excellence in the United States). It celebrates the culture and environment in which dishes are created and the people who create them. It serves up rich, satisfying stories that are complex, defining and memorable. Saveur is the definitive culinary and culinary-travel magazine of its generation.

Overcoming the time barrier

Busy moms (and dads) think that their schedules do not allow time for cooking. Dealing with time issues usually becomes easier once you step back and examine how you are actually using your time. If you are picking up a take out dinner five nights a week, then you are likely spending 20 to 30 minutes after work performing this chore by driving to a take out food place, waiting in line, ordering, and then going home. With even the conservative 20 minute estimate, you have used 100 minutes (close to 2 hours) in one work week that could have been spent cooking nutritious food and saving money. Wouldn’t it be nicer to drive home, put your feet up for a few minutes, then make some dinner?

Time barriers to cooking are also overcome by planning and accepting that many foods do not require very much time to prepare. To cook efficiently you need to find meals that you like and that do not require much time to cook. Next, you will decide what meals you want for the week and then make one trip to the grocery store to buy the necessary food supplies.

My kids don’t like my cooking

If you have a family that is accustomed to fast food, then your family may need time to adjust to a healthier lifestyle. Kids often prefer fast food to home cooking, but that is all the more reason to make fast food a treat. It can be something they earn instead of simply expect. Also, as your cooking skills improve, your kids will come to like real food better because most fast food is rather distasteful to people who are used to good food.

Asking for help

For working moms with older kids, you should ask them to help you cook. The kids could even have specific days in which they prepare dinner. Although kids will likely complain about having to do anything, teaching them the important skill of cooking is important to their future independence and health. Some kids will even enjoy cooking and take pride in contributing to the family’s needs. And allowing them to be involved in food preparation will get them excited about their food instead of whining for fast food.

Tips to make cooking easy

  • Keep it simply on most days. You do not need to try anything extravagant.
  • Cook meats ahead of time. This is often a simple task that can be accomplished with minimal effort in the couple hours before you go to bed. Browning and seasoning some ground beef the night before and putting it in the refrigerator will allow you to have a speedy taco dinner or nachos the next night. And having some cooked chicken in the refrigerator makes it easy to put together a casserole after work.
  • Get a slow cooker and find some recipes you like for it. After some prep time in the morning, you can go to work, and then have a hot dinner ready to dish up when you walk in the door.

Saving money

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Buying take out food all the time eats into your wallet every day. That money would be much more efficiently used with a big trip to the grocery store. A roast on sale for $7 can feed a family of four and give some leftovers for a sandwich or two. That same $7 might be only one or two fast food meals. And staples for side dishes like potatoes and rice are easily under $1 a pound. Frozen vegetables are also very affordable and they don’t wither in the refrigerator. They might not be as nutritious as fresh, but they are much better than no vegetables and they taste good.

Cooking skills come with practice, but the effort is rewarding. Spending some time in your kitchen with the kids helping or doing their homework at the table is far better than sitting in a car at a drive-through restaurant.

To begin your journey to reclaim your food and spend your time on meaningful activities, steer your canoe over to Recipe River, a resource for home cooking with a growing list of recipes.
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Top 10 Ingredients Used in Cakes Recipes

Top 10 Ingredients Used in Cakes Recipes | By Jamie Lee

Finally, I am writing a basic topic about cakes after a few casual articles on baking cakes. This topic is strictly for beginners who do not know how to bake cake at all. The following list below will explore all the ingredients that are frequently used in any baking cakes process. By reading this article, baking beginners would be able to identify the commonly used ingredients. Of course, these ingredients can be easily found in the supermarkets.

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Ingredient 1- Flour

Flour is the main ingredient in a cake. There is variety of flours used during making cake. Most of the cake recipes recommended the use of plain flour. Sometimes using plain flour may not be able allow the cake rise properly. That is why certain cakes recipes suggested the use of baking powder or soda bicarbonate, that allows the forming of bubble in the cake batter, hence enable the cake to rise easily. There are also other types of flours in the market such as sponge mix flour, cake flour, self-raising flour and so on, each serving their own purpose.

Ingredient 2- Eggs

Eggs are normally separated between yolks and egg whites, and then beaten separately together with sugar. Egg whites will have to be beaten until they are fluffy. Always use fresh eggs from farms to ensure the egg whites can turn fluffy easily when beaten.

Ingredient 3- Sugar

Sugar itself has different varieties. Mostly we use caster sugar that is widely found in supermarkets. Icing sugar on the other hand is used to make butter icing for cake filling. For those who are more health conscious, we can opt to use raw sugar or brown sugar.

Ingredient 4- Butter

You may also be aware that there is generally two types of butter, salted and unsalted. You may need to make sure to use the right type.

Ingredient 5- Vanilla essence

Vanilla essence is normally sold in bottles. We can also use the real vanilla stick to give a natural vanilla taste. Typical quantity that is used is around 1 teaspoon.

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Ingredient 6- Chocolate

There are many types of chocolate. Typical chocolate used is dark chocolate or cooking chocolate. There is also white chocolate that is normally used in creating color contrast in the cake. Chocolate is also used to decorate the cake and make the cake more appetizing.

Ingredient 7- Fresh Cream

Fresh cream is used when making cake filling. Fresh cream will have to be whipped using beater until it is fluffy before it is blended with preferred flavoring ingredients such as chocolate or coffee.

Ingredient 8- Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is the main ingredient used for making most of the cheese cakes out there. The cream cheese is normally creamed together with caster sugar until the mixture is light before adding into the egg batter.

Ingredient 9- Milk

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Milk is also used widely in baking cake process, giving a strong milky aroma when the cake comes out from oven.

Ingredient 10- Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is normally added into cake batter to add some moisture to the texture of the cake so that it is not too dry. It is added in small quantity, else the cake will be become too moist and too oily.

Jamie Lee is a yuppie who wishes to quit his full time professional job and become a pastry chef or restaurateur instead. He maintains a recipes site at http://www.1cakesrecipes.com
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and besides cheesecakes, he also likes to eat and bake chocolate cakes and some of these recipes could be found at

Tips in Cooking Italian Recipes

Tips in Cooking Italian Recipes | By Milos Pesic

If cooking burgers and barbecues, sunny-side ups and omelet, try cooking Italian food and you will find a fast portal to cooking with stress. Cooking Italian food is hard even with a recipe to guide you on your way.

Recipes of Italian food may contain a lot of words that you will not be able to find in ordinary dictionary. This is perhaps because Italian food is often being cooked by those who already have the experience in cooking.

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But still, who’s stopping you from trying out the different recipes that you will find in an Italian cook book? Who knows, you might even master one dish and another through practice.

One advantage of having a cook book is that everything is already laid out for you. This means that you already have a guide on what to do to make an Italian dish. All you need to do is prepare the ingredients and follow the cooking procedures to the letter. But this is of course easier said than done. Here are some tips that will at least lessen the hardships of coking Italian food.

Buy a good recipe book

A lot of the procedures involved in Italian cooking is sometimes very hard to comprehend in words. Sometimes you need a real life demonstration to go with it. Unfortunately, you don’t have a real chef in front of you. All you have is a recipe book.

If this is the case then buy a recipe book that will at least explain the very basic procedures that you will encounter in Italian cooking. Some recipe books have a section that explains all that. Some even have illustrations and pictures of the procedure per dish so that readers will have an idea what it is being done.

TV Research

There are a lot of cooking shows on the market that will help you a lot with improving your skills in cooking Italian food. And with TV, you will have a first hand demonstration of what is being done with various ingredients. Even if you are not actually there with the chef, you can still see what he or she is actually doing.

Know the terms

Constant research and watching TV will expose you to a lot of terms of Italian cooking. This will help you a lot in terms of cooking the other dishes that are in the recipe book. Remember, the procedures are actually all basic and are being done in many of the dishes so all you need to do is master each one and you are already good to go.

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Be precise In cooking, whether Italian food or other cuisines, you need to make sure that your measurements are correct and precise. The taste of your dish will depend upon the rightness of the ingredients that you put into it. A small difference in the ingredients can alter the taste. Too much salt will make it too salty. Too much flour in the sauce will make it gooey. Too much water will make it bland and thin. And it goes on and on. The flavorings that you put and the amount of the ingredients will factor a lot in the food that you are preparing so be cautious and use those measuring tools.

Milos Pesic is a certified culinary trainer who owns a highly popular and comprehensive Culinary Arts web site. For more articles and resources on cooking, free cooking classes and instructions, cooking recipes, cooking lessons and much more, visit his site at:
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The Many Ways of Cooking Mexican Food

The Many Ways of Cooking Mexican Food | By KC Kudra

Mexican foods, like many other foods, can be boiled, grilled, or fried. These are modern Mexican cooking styles but Mexican traditional cooking techniques were rather different.

In ancient times, Mexicans did not have ovens. Instead, they would cook Mexican food over an open fire, which was the most common out of all the Mexican traditional cooking techniques.

The food would be placed in iron pots before cooking. This Mexican cooking method is similar to how we cook food on the grill these days. The Aztecs steamed and boiled their food in two handled clay pots before the Spanish introduced iron cooking pots. These two handled clay pots were called xoctli. The pot would be filled with food and then heated over an open fire. A lot of foods were fried and Mexican cooking features frying to this day.

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Today in the present, it is a lot easier to cook Mexican dishes. It takes less time to prepare the foods. If someone wants to make homemade tortillas, there are iron pans that make it easy. Flans are made simply using spring form type pans. Long ago, it was a long process to make masa, which is a dish that includes a certain type of corn that has to be grinded. Nowadays you can purchase a metal grinder that helps grind the masa.

When you are making Mexican cooking recipes, the oven is perfect for many of them. You can bake meat, fish, and vegetables easily. You can also cook foods in a pot of water with added spices. A lot of Mexican recipes can even be made in a crock pot or slow cooker. Large steaming pots simplify the tamale cooking process. They take a long time to cook so a large pot means you can cook more at once, instead of in smaller batches.

Grilling Mexican food is another way to enjoy it. Foods used to be cooked this way many years ago and it was called “barbacoa.” With this Mexican cookery method, meat was wrapped in banana leaves and cactus leaves and steamed over boiling water in a large pit. If you want to learn how to cook Mexican food, this is not the easiest technique for a novice! Food cooked in this way would have tasted similar to our grilled food of today. Fajitas are a good example of a perfect Mexican food to grill.

Mexicans many years ago used “metate y mano,” which was a large tool with a concave surface, made from stone or lava rock. This utensil was used to mash the ingredients together. A “molcajete” is another ancient Mexican cooking tool, which translates as a mortar and pestle. You would learn about these ancient cooking tools in a Mexican cooking class, although we use different utensils today.

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Cooking almost always requires stirring somewhere in the preparation. Wooden spoons have been around for many hundreds of years and are still widely used. There are different types of spoons today, depending on whether you are moving meat around in hot oil or stirring a thick sauce.

There is a rich history behind Mexican food and Mexican traditional cooking techniques. The methods might have changed through the ages but the food is still traditional. Food tastes different when cooked in different ways and there are plenty of Mexican recipes to try out and enjoy.

Mexican recipes are easier than you might think, find out just how simple it is to make your favorite Mexican food recipes at home in your own kitchen.
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How to Prepare Yourself For Cooking Thai Food

How to Prepare Yourself For Cooking Thai Food | By Parul Tyagi

Ever wondered how Thai stir fries and noodle dishes taste so fresh and appetizing? The secret behind it is the manner in which they are cooked. Typically, Thais cook their food at flaming temperatures and just for a few minutes. This method helps retain the natural flavors and nutrients of the ingredients, especially vegetables that retain their crunchiness.

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The secret to cooking delicious Thai food lies in preparing ingredients before starting the actual cooking process, because cooking in a wok is ‘fast and furious.’

Preparing to Cook Thai Food

The best way to start preparing for cooking Thai is to complete the grinding first. So, if your recipe requires some paste, get that done and ready first. You can use a food processor or a traditional pestle and mortar to do the grinding and retain the taste and authenticity. Else, use a coffee grinder for dry grinding.

Once you’ve got the grinding done, ready the vegetables. Cut your vegetables in to desired shapes and sizes and place them in separate dishes on your kitchen counter based on how they are to be used in your recipe. Chop any meat (if the recipe demands it) or meat substitute such as tofu, if needed once the vegetables have been chopped.

Cooking Thai Food

In order to cook Thai food at home, you don’t need any special cookware.

  • Wok: the most important cooking tool. If you don’t have a wok, you can even use a deep frying pan. Buy a wok made of high-quality SS (stainless steel). You can also buy a wok with non-stick coating.
  • Spatulas: also known as wooden spoons or shovels, they are used to stir-fry the various ingredients. Use soft wooden spoons if your wok has a non-stick surface. Spatulas made of hard material can damage your wok’s coating.
  • Oil: peanut or coconut oil is the preferred choices for most Thai chefs. Both oils give a good flavor to Thai food dishes whether stir-fried or deep-fried. Other oils that can be used include canola, sunflower, and corn etc.
  • Heat: heat should be kept on medium-high or high for best tasting Thai food. - Centerfolds without the Staples  

Finally, arrange your dish on a serving platter or simply eat it from the wok. Thai food tastes best that way!

For more information on how and where to get a traditional pestle and mortar or Asian kitchenware visit our Thai Food website.

Parul Tyagi is an Internet Marketing Consultant, as well as an experienced and accomplished copy and content writer. She owns her own Internet Marketing consultancy – RedJuice Factor and can be contacted at
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Finding the Finest Gourmet Coffee Beans

Finding the Finest Gourmet Coffee Beans | By Sharon V Chapman

Gourmet coffee beans are almost exclusively high-quality mild varieties of the bean Arabica. Arabica coffees are known for their full body flavors and low acidity. However, the term “gourmet coffee” has also come to embrace coffees that are enhanced with flavorings during the roasting process.

Where you get your gourmet coffee beans depends a lot on what you are considering gourmet. Are you looking for gourmet flavored beans or gourmet beans that are grown in a specific region such as the Kona beans of Hawaii?

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You can purchase gourmet coffee beans at your local grocery retailer. However, you cannot be assured of their freshness or their authenticity. Any company can label a product as gourmet and you might not know the difference until you have already spent your money on an inferior product. Additionally, they most likely will not carry the higher end gourmet beans.

Local coffee shops are more likely to carry authentic gourmet beans that are fresh. They are staking their business’ reputation on any product they carry and sell. This alone is reason enough to trust their product. In addition, they are usually able to procure a larger variety of gourmet coffees than a typical retailer. They most likely will take special orders as well.

Picking a Gourmet Coffee Bean

If you are going to buy a gourmet coffee bean, you should know ahead of time what kind of bean you want to buy. To help you make your decision, based on the beans growing location and expected flavors, you can choose from among these gourmet coffee beans:

Brazilian coffee beans: Typically these coffee beans are consistent but unremarkable in their characteristic. These coffee beans make a wonderful base for coffee blends.

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Saveur is for people who experience the world food first. It was created to satisfy the hunger for genuine information about food in all its contexts. With its emphasis on heritage and tradition, home cooking and real food, the magazine evokes the flavors of food from around the world (including forgotten pockets of culinary excellence in the United States). It celebrates the culture and environment in which dishes are created and the people who create them. It serves up rich, satisfying stories that are complex, defining and memorable. Saveur is the definitive culinary and culinary-travel magazine of its generation.

Colombia: Everyone has heard the commercials with Juan Valdez and his Columbian coffee; however, what they do not tell you is the best Colombia coffee is the Supremo and the Excelso. Colombia also has a Colombian Medellin that is very rich with a fully body and slight acidity. Aged Vintage Colombian coffees are very sweet, thick and rich with a little bit of acidity.

If you like full bodied coffees with that are strong and sharply acidic then you should try gourmet coffee beans from Costa Rica. Another area that has a full bodied coffee that is rich in flavor has a wonderful aroma and a slightly acidic taste is Mexico.

Panama beans are noted for being full-bodied with a mild flavor and a sharp acidity.

Two of the most excellent coffee beans are from Hawaii’s Kona area and Jamaica’s Blue Mountain area coffee growers. The Kona beans have a hint of spice and sweetness with a full body a rich flavor. The Blue Mountain gourmet beans are considered top of the line coffee beans with their full body, slight acidity and smooth mellow flavor.

Gourmet coffee from the Dominican Republic is rich with a moderate acidity. You should look for coffee beans specifically from Santo Domingo or Barahona.

In Guatemala and El Salvador you should look for beans grown in the mountains or high areas. These tend to have the best body and a mild flavor. Those from El Salvador tend to have a medium level of acidity while those from Guatemala have a higher acidity level with a spicy, smoky characteristic.

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Java Island, whose name is synonymous with coffee, offers gourmet Arabica beans that are spicy with a heavy body and mild acidity.

The best quality Arabica beans in the Asia/Indonesia area are from Sumatra. Sumatra coffees are wonderfully full-bodied, rich with a mellow taste that is low in acid.

Gourmet coffees can come from around the world or from your local coffee shop. Gourmet coffee can be grown in specific locations that lend to its taste, such as the Kona coffee beans, or it can be made into a gourmet coffee through the addition of flavorings during the roasting process. Either way, coffee enthusiasts know when they are being served a gourmet coffee; it’s all in the taste.

Sharon V Chapman writes on the joys of coffee and provides consumer information on gourmet coffee beans for Gourmet Coffee Guide – your online guide to fine coffee.
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What Do You Really Know About Barbecues?

What Do You Really Know About Barbecues? | By Jim Garvin

It is a great American tradition that happens every spring, you will see families break out of their barbecue grills. But how much do we really know about this great American Tradition?

Barbecues originated, before the civil war, when it was common to cook elaborate meals outside. They would often times roast an entire pig on an open flame.

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It seems like Smoking has been used forever to safely cook and store food. The meat is subjected to smoke along with very low heat. This was very effective way to prevent any bacteria contaminating the food.

A recent survey conducted by the Barbecue Industry Association, found that over half of the marshmallows consumed in the U.S. were roasted outside over a flame or barbeque grill.

The true origin of the word barbecue is still not known. There are some folks that believe it originated from the American-Indian word barbacoa which was a wood that was used for cooking.

If you want to add a Smokey flavor to food that you have cooked inside the house, or on a gas grill you can use liquid Smoke. Liquid Smoke is actually made from the condensation of smoke.

Brisket, is a cut of meat taken from a cows chest, it cooks in 1 to 2 hours per pound on a barbecue. This cut of meat is often times cooked by smoking a process that can take several hours.

North Carolina, Missouri, Kansas City, and Lexington, and Texas claim to be the barbecue capitals of the world., Memphis, meanwhile, claims to being the pork barbecue capital of the world.

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Now you know some great trivia fact abut Barb-B-Q, Go ahead and stump your friends If you would like to learn more about cooking and how to cook safely outside check out the best recipe site. You will find many helpful tips on food safety and also a great collection of recipes you can have for free.

This article was written by Jin Garvin. Jim has spent more than 30 years in the food business. He would like to share some recipes and cooking tips with you , Just visit his website and grab some free recipes and safe food handling tips.
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