Wednesday, February 29, 2012

0 Kale, the forgotten green...

Some people don't like kale because it has a slightly bitter taste and it can be a bit tough – if you're one of these people there are ways to prepare it that will surprise you and perhaps change your dislike for this super veggie (23 Super Veggies, October 12, 2011). One of the great things about kale, besides it's health benefits, is that it has a very long growing season so it's available throughout most of the winter.

Kale is in the same family as broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts. It's super nutritious, so you should consider adding it to your diet. One cup of kale has 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, 180% RDA of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and get this a whopping 1,020% of vitamin K. Kale is good for your bones, eyes, muscles, reduces your risk of cancer, helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart disease. One thing to keep in mind though is that kale contains high levels of oxalates which can interfere with the absorption of calcium, so avoid eating calcium rich foods at the same time as eating kale.

A friend of mine, Gareth, cooks kale in a mixture of left-over pickle juice and water to help mask the bitter flavor. You can also cook it with a couple of cloves of garlic and some red wine vinegar, or you can eat it raw in a salad, chopped up in soup, or tossed into some pasta with pine nuts, olive oil and feta cheese. Below is a recipe for a healthy nutritious meal using kale with quinoa and sweet potatoes. Also I've provided a recipe for baked kale chips which you can make and use as a healthy substitute for potato chips.

I don't remember where I found this recipe, but I was inspired to try it because of a similar dish that I like at a local vegan restaurant called POCO. I have to say that I like POCO's a lot better. I'll need to do some more experimenting with this, I think that it might be better with less balsamic vinegar mixed into the kale before baking.  You can also substitute acorn or butternut squash for the sweet potatoes and maybe garnish it with some feta cheese.  Give it a try yourself, tell me what you think and if you make changes to it that you like better let me know what they are. Thanks!

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Kale
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups kale
5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place sweet potatoes and red onion slices in a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss together and then put them on a large baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Stir a few times while baking.

2. Drizzle kale with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet. When the sweet potatoes and onions have been in the oven for 15 minutes, put the kale in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, or until kale is wilted and starting to get a little crispy.

3. While the vegetables are roasting, make the quinoa. Using a strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water. Add quinoa, water, and salt to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Let cool quinoa cool to room temperature.

4. When the vegetables are done roasting, let them cool to room temperature. Chop up the red onion slices and kale. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, sweet potatoes, red onion, and kale. Drizzle the salad with remaining three tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and add in the dried cranberries. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 6

Nutritional Data
Calories 256
Total Fat 5 g
     Saturated Fat 1 g
     Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 62 mg
Total Carbohydrates 50 g
     Dietary Fiber 5 g
     Sugars 17 g
Protein 6 g
Vitamin A 226%
Vitamin C 71%
Calcium 8%
Iron 13%

Kale Chips
1 bunch kale
1-2 Tbl olive oil
salt to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse, dry and remove stems from kale. Put into a bowl, drizzle with oil, covering as much of the leaves as you are able. Place kale on a baking sheet, in a single layer, sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes – check at about 12 minutes, you want them to be dark green and crispy – do not burn.   For more flavor, you can sprinkle with parmesan cheese, garlic powder, paprika, etc.

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

0 An easy and cheap dinner, roast chicken

Sometimes buying a whole chicken and roasting it is one of the cheapest meals, containing meat, that you can make. Not only is the chicken itself very reasonable, but you can throw the carcass into a pot and make chicken broth, or if there's enough meat still on there you can make chicken soup.

I made a roast chicken the other day when my mother came over for dinner. We both had a nice dinner that night, I had a chicken sandwich the next day, then cut off a lot of meat and made a pot pie (large enough for 2-3 people), then I boiled up the carcass and made chicken soup (enough for 4 good size bowls of soup). Now I'll admit that this was not an organic chicken, but it was on sale for only $3.50 – that comes to about .39 cents a meal. I would imagine that an organic chicken would probably run about $8 or .89 cents a meal, I don't think that price can be beat.

It might not be as tasty as a Thanksgiving turkey, but it does have a nice flavor and it's super easy to prepare. It does however take longer than picking up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store. Roasting your chicken will take just a few minutes to prepare, but it will take about 2 1/2 hours to roast. But as with everything you make from scratch – you know exactly what's in it, there is no hidden salt, sugar or chemicals. Try this very basic recipe and start experimenting with new ideas later...

Roast Chicken
4-5 lb whole chicken
1 Tbl butter
1 Tbl olive oil
1 apple, quartered
1 orange, peeled & quartered
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove giblets from the chicken. Rinse chicken, be careful not to splash water onto counter or clean dishes to avoid cross contamination. Pat dry with a paper towel. Stuff the cavity with the apple and orange pieces. Put into a large roasting pan – breast side up, cut butter into small pieces and arrange on top of chicken, pour olive oil over top of chicken, sprinkle with garlic powder, salt & pepper. Roast for 2 ½ hours at 375 degrees, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven, let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving (remove and discard apple & orange).

While chicken is resting you can make a gravy to serve with it (November 19, 2011). You can also stuff the chicken with home-made stuffing (November 21, 2011) instead of the apple & orange, cut the recipe in half and cook the extra stuffing in a casserole dish to have with left-overs. Or you can roast the chicken with potatoes, carrots and onions around it too, just like the roast pork recipe (February 10, 2012).  By stuffing the chicken (or putting potatoes around it) and roasting it with vegetable you will save preparation time and still be able to serve a delicious and nutritious home cooked meal.

Serve chicken with stuffing, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes or baked sweet potatoes, a salad, and a steamed vegetable or two, like broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, spinach or green beans.

Don't forget that you can make a pot pie (November 28, 2011) and/or soup (January 23, 2012) too! You will have a lot less meat left over to make the pot pie, so adjust the recipe accordingly and make it in a small casserole dish or in a regular pie plate.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

0 What is hummus? How healthy is hummus?

Hummus is a Middle Eastern spread made mostly from chickpeas (garbanzo beans). Chickpeas are very high in fiber and protein. They also contain folate, Omega-3's, calcium, iron, zinc and mangnesium. The second major ingredient in hummus is tahini (sesame seed paste) which is also high in protein, fiber, monounsaturated fat, calcium and iron. You'll remember from my previous article that fiber, folate, Omega-3's and calcium all help to lower blood pressure. Also, beans are known to lower cholesterol, control blood sugar levels, and help prevent cancer.

You can eat hummus as a dip for vegetables, use it as a spread on sandwiches, serve it with crackers, pita bread or bruschetta, mix it with salsa for a healthy and spicy bean dip, or add broth (or water) to it and use it as a salad dressing.

It doesn't seem that most pre-made hummus' have too many added ingredients, with the exception of preservatives. But, the cost to make homemade hummus is about half the cost of store bought. So instead of spending about $4 for 7 oz of some name brand, why don't you make your own for only about $3 for 16 oz (using canned - it's even cheaper if you use dried beans!), it's easy and takes less than 5 minutes. When you make your own you can also season it to taste just the way you like it.

This recipe was given to me by an old family friend about 25 years ago. Since then I've modified it just a bit. I don't usually keep tahini on hand and it's quite expensive, but since I do make a lot of asian stir frys I always have sesame oil on hand.  You can use about 2-3 tablespoons of sesame oil in lieu of the tahini in the recipe. Also, he and I really like garlic, so the recipe calls for an entire head of garlic but you can use about 4 cloves or less, if you don't want as much of a garlicky taste.

2 c well cooked garbanzo beans, drained (or 1 - 16 oz can drained)
2 ½ Tbl tahini (or 2-3 Tbl sesame oil)
3 Tbl water
2 Tbl olive oil
2 Tbl lemon juice
1 head of garlic, peeled
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cumin (or paprika)
¼ tsp black pepper
1/16 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Combine chickpeas, tahini, water, olive oil, and lemon juice in the bowl of food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. Add garlic, salt, cumin and peppers. Process to blend. Correct seasonings to taste. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready – will store for 5 days. Sprinkle with paprika when serving.

Here's an interesting take on Baba Ghanoush...

Baba Ghanoush
1 lg eggplant
2 c well cooked garbanzo beans, drained (or 1 - 16 oz can, drained)
3 Tbl tahini
¼ lemon juice
¼ olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled
½ tsp salt

Slice the eggplant in half, place on baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes until soft. Let cool. Scoop out eggplant and place in a food processor, add remaining ingredients. Process until smooth. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready – will last 5 days.

For a more traditional Baba Ghanoush, just leave out the garbanzo beans.

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

0 8 Things you can eat to help lower (or regulate) your blood pressure naturally

Here are 8 things that you can easily add to your daily diet that will help you lower (or regulate) your blood pressure naturally. Once you read through this article you will see how many of these things can either be eaten individually or mixed together to make for an especially heart-healthy meal. As always the key is to eat fresh, non-processed foods. Food items that help regulate blood pressure and that are heart-healthy are naturally rich in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, folate, calcium and Omega-3 fatty acids. Also, remember that your body more easily absorbs and utilizes these nutrients when they come from natural foods rather than by being chemically added to food products or when taken in a daily vitamin.

Calorie for calorie, berries are among the most nutritional foods on the planet when it comes to fiber and antioxidant capacity. All berries are great for you, but blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries are tops for their ability to help lower blood pressure, because they are high in fiber, vitamin C and potassium.

How they work: All three berries are high in fiber, but raspberries rank highest: Just one cup delivers more than 33 percent of the daily value, for a mere 60 calories. A cup of strawberries offers 136 percent of the daily value for vitamin C. And blueberries contain a compound called pterostilbene that helps prevent plaque buildup in the arteries. Last but not least, berries are an anti-inflammatory.

How much: Eat at least one serving (one cup) of berries per day, fresh or frozen. Berries are delicious added to oatmeal, a salad or yogurt.

Black Beans
Legumes boast a high fiber-to-protein ratio that you won't find in any other type of food. This combination works wonders for regulating blood sugar and lowering blood cholesterol levels, both of which are related to maintaining normal blood pressure.

How they work: Black beans are a nutrient-dense source of fiber and magnesium, which are essential for healthy blood pressure levels. What puts them at a distinct advantage over other foods, though, is the folate you'll find in these legumes. Folate, also known as folic acid in its synthetic form, is a B-complex vitamin that appears to lower blood pressure (especially systolic blood pressure) by relaxing blood vessels and improving blood flow.

How much: 400 micrograms of folate is the recommended daily allowance (RDA). Aim for that as a minimum; 800 micrograms daily has shown significant benefit in reducing blood pressure in multiple large-scale studies. One cup of cooked black beans provides 256 micrograms of folate. Black beans are great in soups, burritos (see article September 14, 2011) and in salads. Don't forget that they are a great source of protein too, mix them with brown rice for a more complete protein.

This veggie is hailed as a super-food because of its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. And when it comes lowering blood pressure, broccoli sells itself.

How it works: Broccoli is a potent package of fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C, all nutrients that help lower blood pressure. One cup of steamed broccoli provides more than 200 percent of the vitamin C you need each day. Researchers aren't sure how, exactly, vitamin C helps. Theories range from the vitamin promoting the excretion of lead to calming the sympathetic nervous system to protecting nitric oxide, a molecule that relaxes blood vessels, thereby increasing blood flow. But the results are the same: Antioxidant vitamin C helps normalize blood pressure.

How much: For the myriad health benefits you can reap from regular consumption of broccoli, most people would do well to eat at least one serving a day. For variety, dip it raw in salsa or hummus, put it in a salad, add it to a stir fry, or steam it with olive oil and lemon.

Mark Houston, a physician and medical director of the Hypertension Institute of Nashville at Saint Thomas Hospital, recommends celery to patients as a natural remedy for lowering blood pressure. This recommendation isn't anything new, Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have been prescribing celery or celery root to patients with high blood pressure for more than a century. Studies have shown benefit in animals as well as humans.

How it works: Celery contains phytochemicals known as phthalides, which relax the muscle tissue in the artery walls, enabling increased blood flow and, in turn, lowering blood pressure.

How much: Research suggests that eating four stalks of celery per day may be helpful in lowering blood pressure. Add celery to your salads, soups and stir frys. Or eat it raw as a snack and for a boost of protein, add a tablespoon of unsalted peanut butter or almond butter, both are high in monounsaturated fat (the heart-healthy kind) or dip it in hummus.

Cold Water Fish
Cold-water fish are rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, which are famous for their cardiovascular benefits. In particular, omega-3s lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Wild (not farmed) salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod, trout, halibut, herring, and sardines are among the best sources.

How it works: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids: The human body can't make them, so we need to get them from the food we eat. Omega-3s act as a natural blood thinner, making it easier for your heart to pump blood around your body. Less thick blood is also less likely to form clots in veins and arteries. Before we started eating so many processed foods we ate a good balance of Omega-3s and Omega-6s but today we eat way too many Omega-6s, which can cause heart disease, asthma, cancer and autoimmune diseases. So we need to eat a lot more foods rich in Omega-3s (in addition to cold water fish, eat walnuts, flax seeds, farm fresh eggs and cook with olive oil) and less foods with Omega-6s (vegetable oils, processed and fast foods).

How much: According to the joint guidelines from the FDA and the EPA, two six-ounce servings per week of most cold-water fish is a safe amount for most people, including pregnant women and nursing mothers, to reap the health benefits with minimal risk from exposure to toxins. If you bruise easily, have a bleeding disorder, or take blood-thinning medication, talk to your doctor about potential complications. Add salmon to your soups and salads, make a salmon fritatta (October 26, 2011), or broiled salmon (September 6, 2011).

For more than a century, dandelion has been used as a cure-all for countless conditions and ailments in cultures around the world, particularly in its native Asia and Europe. The entire plant is edible, from leaves to roots. And in addition to lowering blood pressure, it's good for the liver, eyes, and skin.

How it works: A natural diuretic, dandelion helps reduce blood pressure by releasing excess sodium without the loss of potassium (as occurs with some over-the-counter diuretics). This is doubly important because excess sodium raises blood pressure by constricting blood vessels, while potassium helps regulate it. You want to eat about twice as much potassium per day as sodium. Dandelion is also loaded with magnesium, which dissolves blood clots and stimulates the production of nitric oxide, helping to relax and dilate blood vessels for better blood flow.

How much: Eat fresh dandelion greens in a salad, sauté dandelion roots in a stir-fry, or drink dried dandelion in a tea. Incorporate dandelion into your diet as often as you can; it's really good for you.

Low fat dairy
In a Dutch study of hypertension in adults 55 and older, researchers found that low-fat dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt may help prevent hypertension.

How it works: The modest amount of fat in low-fat dairy is important because it increases the bioavailability of calcium, making it easier for the body to absorb. In addition, milk and dairy products offer blood-pressure-lowering magnesium and potassium.

How much: In a 2006 study from Harvard Medical School, researchers found that people who ate more than three servings per day of low-fat dairy showed a systolic blood pressure reading of 2.6 points less than those who ate less than half a serving per day. Try to eat skim milk, cheese, and yogurt at least three times a day, or for an in between snack. You can always add cheese to a salad. Remember Greek yogurt is higher in protein than regular yogurt and all yogurts are probiotics which will help keep digestive system functioning properly. Yogurt is easy to make too see my article on how to make it (August 31, 2011).

Whole Grain Oats
In a 12-week study comparing whole-grain oat-based cereals to refined wheat-based cereals, researchers reported that 73 percent of hypertensive participants in the oats group were able to cut out their antihypertensive medications, or reduce them by half. The remaining participants also experienced significantly reduced blood pressure.

How they work: The fiber and magnesium found in oats both have beneficial effects on blood pressure. In addition, oats slow atherosclerosis, the plaque buildup that occurs in blood vessels.

How much: Aim for one serving or about three-fourths of a cup of whole-grain oats per day (old-fashion oatmeal, rolled oats or steel cut oats, but NOT instant oatmeal), or at least six servings per week. For a boost of blood-pressure-lowering calcium and potassium, eat whole-grain oatmeal topped with skim milk (or unsweetened soy milk) and bananas or berries, or sprinkle oat bran on cereal, salads or yogurt. Loose oats also make an excellent thickener for soups and stews. Check out the articles on making whole-grain cereal (October 20, 2011) and granola bars (November 1, 2011).

I'm thinking my next article might just be on Hummus.....

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

0 Sourdough Bread – it's even healthier than whole-wheat!

I love sourdough bread and I love that it's cheap to make! The recipe below costs about 17 cents a loaf to make. Basically you make a “starter”, feed and water it regularly and then use it instead of the more costly yeast. Sourdough breads are leavened by using this “starter” which creates the enzymes needed to predigest the grains. This action causes carbon dioxide, which gets trapped in the dough making it rise.

There are different varieties of “starter” and they have a different characteristics as well – one of them might effect rise times and another might effect the “bitterness” of the dough, among other characteristics. However, one thing is true with all sourdough breads, the less starter you use, the longer you will need to let it rise and the more pronounced the sourdough taste will be.

You may not believe it but, sourdough bread is better for you than even whole-wheat bread. It's believed that the fermentation of the sourdough changes the nature of the starches in the bread, creating a more beneficial bread. Fermented foods often offer more health benefits than fresh foods, for example, the probiotics in yogurt. It's believed that the beneficial bacteria in fermented foods aids in digestion by balancing the natural flora in the intestines and that the lactic acid helps to increase the absorption of nutrients and minerals by our bodies.

The lactic acid in the bread also retards the growth of mold, thereby naturally preserving the bread for a longer period of time than yeast breads. The fermentation process of sourdough bread also breaks down the starches and gluten making the bread easier to digest and may even result in a bread that gluten sensitive people are able to eat. Because of this another benefit of sourdough bread is the effect it has on blood sugar control – you are less likely to have insulin spikes when you eat sourdough versus white or even whole-wheat bread.

You can get a starter by either purchasing a starter culture, getting some from a friend or making your own. Now, sourdough starters can be finicky (sometimes rising well and other times not rising much at all) so a lot of people will tell you to either buy a starter or get one from a friend that you know works well. If you have patience, I suggest you make your own. It's really easy and given enough time the starter should mature and give you the same results each time.

There are several different methods of making a starter – one way is just using water and flour, another is to use a citrus juice and flour, and another is to use raisin water (water from rinsed raisins) and flour. I'm sure that there are other methods out there as well. When I made my starter I combined all three methods and it seemed to work well.

My starter method
  • I started with ¼ c of flour and a ¼ of water mixed in a quart jar (day 1), kept lightly covered and in a warm place. Then, I took an orange and squeezed its juice into a small jar, I added a few raisins, about a cup of water and soaked them for a day (day 1).
  • The next day I added a ¼ c of flour and a ¼ cup of this water mixture (day 2), for the following 3 days (days 3-5) I did the same. You should begin to see bubbles in your starter and it may even start rising.
  • For the 6th and 7th day, I added ½ c flour and 1/3 c water. At this point you will need to remove about a ½ c of starter per day and add new flour and water to your container.
  • If you don't want to waste this starter you can use it in pancake batter or biscuit batter – use it as if it were a ½ c flour, cut back a little on your liquid and continue to use the baking powder called for in the recipe.
  • After about 10 days your starter will begin maturing and you can start making bread. It will continue to mature for awhile and you will get better results (a lighter, less dense bread – more rising) after about a week.
I make bread about every 3-4 days, I make sure that I feed it the day before I use it and I feed it after I remove what I need for my bread that day, so I don't have too much of a problem with having too much starter. But you can either feed it less often (as long as you feed it the day before you use it) or keep it in the refrigerator for up to a month at a time without feeding, just take it out a couple of days before you need to use it and begin feeding it again.

There are different methods of making sourdough bread. Mostly they concern pre-mixing and rising methods. Once you start making a consistent loaf you can experiment on your own trying different methods to get the consistency and sourness that you like. You will need to knead sourdough for a longer period of time than yeast bread and it will also require a longer rise time – but I think the benefits are worth it.

Easy Sourdough French Bread
1 ½ c starter
1 c warm water
1 tsp salt
1 Tbl olive oil
3 ½-4 c flour

Mix starter, water, salt and olive oil in a large plastic or glass bowl. Add flour one cup at a time, mixing thoroughly – to about 2 ½ cups. This should get you a thick moist dough. At this point, spread about ½ c flour on the counter, put your mixture on top of it, add a little more flour to the top of the mixture and begin kneading your dough – add flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking. Knead for about 20 minutes or until smooth. Place your ball of dough into a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, cut in half. Fold one half into itself length-wise and then width-wise, shape into loaf, repeat with the other half. Place on ungreased baking sheet, cover and let rise in warm place for about 2 hours, make three-four diagonal slits on top of each loaf. Brush or mist loaves with water. Place a pan of water in oven on lowest shelf, place bread on middle rack and bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.

Once you get start getting a consistent loaf you can begin experimenting with different methods and even different ingredients.  Rye bread has even more health benefits, and less gluten.  I've never made rye bread though because I don't like the taste of rye.  If you do make a rye bread, or really anything else you try, please let me know how it comes out.  I make a wonderful bread substituting ½ c whole-wheat flour for ½ c regular flour and then add 1 tablespoon each of sunflower seeds, flax seeds, millet, amaranth and quinoa, it's delicious.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

0 Delicious Peacock Wedding Cake Toppers, Delicious Peacock Wedding Cake Pictures

Peacock wedding theme, many of the couple is the theme for the wedding corpses have their own, they do not know whether you can pull it off. Exquisite creature, you have wings to display the most beautiful combination of peacock colors. Having a peacock theme wedding, you can use many means to teal, blue, green, purple, violet. When you add a bit of gold and bronze, can be more wonderful palette. It should be a visual delight for all your wedding guests.

When most people think of a peacock, a waste of word comes to mind. I think the overall look and feel of the game of your wedding, and want to make sure that there is a peacock it is what they embody. If you use a bunch of extremely bright colors, your wedding, instead of the adhesive, you can make it look elegant. Therefore, it is to add just the right amount of decoration and use of color you convey a sense of elegance is very important.

The flowers are another great way to enhance the mood of the theme of the wedding of peacock. You need to select the most vibrant flower colors of rich blue and purple. Stems and leaves, add a splash of green in a flower arrangement already. Please try to use some lobelias, single button, Blue Bell, a viola and lavender in the center of the table and your bridal bouquet.

The theme of the peacock, wedding cake, you can change a work of art. If you are willing to spend top dollars you have the most spectacular wedding cake, you can hire someone to try the peacock, to re-create. Has a peacock feather of some of the decorated cake top and along the side of the complex if it is not. When you add a gold and bronze trim along the edge of some of the cake will be further so that it looks exquisite. Because they operate in, you can use the many beautiful colors, you should be able to come up with the idea of ​​infinity for the interior and wedding favor. Peacock theme is anything dull, wait just to attract your guests in some fun and think of ideas to use.

Delicious Peacock Wedding Cake Pictures :

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0 Delicious Maui Wedding Cakes Ideas

In general, because they are blessed with fruit and flowers is the most wonderful Maui and Hawaii, the best cake, there is a tendency to take advantage of them on the island. There are companies on the island for more than 50 years, was created a wedding cake designs and recipes. Many highly regarded worldwide. Has created a wedding cake for some famous for, also the actual wedding, have not been held in Hawaii, with Rich.

Cake has been flown to-order production and the final destination, as will be entertained at a wedding reception as what happened on the island of Maui has it right. In addition to the wonderful fruits and flowers available, there is a wealth of dairy products from some of the herd of cattle anywhere in the world happy, healthy. By combining the talent and cake maker of Hawaii, which is comparable to the quality anywhere in the world, these natural items, you are responsible for some of the best Maui wedding cake.

There is work available from the production of Maui wedding cake simply can not be reproduced anywhere. Sweet pineapple butter cream fillings, decorated with some of the most beautiful flower is the flagship of a better cake maker. Frosting made from sugar cane of freshly picked, it is grown a few miles from the bakery, to replicate using the product packages from a local supermarket you can not - they are, even if derived from Hawaii.

As for the adventure, and was discovered on the planet, there is a taste and available padding made from an eclectic mix of fruit and flowers is a unique and wonderful. Regardless of what you want for the cake of wedding in Maui you, and you other places on earth they are not before it reaches the oven, from ingredients grown for some time yet, make that, You may be able to create such a wonderful peace of mind does not guarantee that it is the highest quality in which it was created. More Info About Maui Wedding Ideas

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0 Delicious Starbucks Petites Birthday Cake Cake Pop

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Friday, February 10, 2012

0 Hormel Pork Roast Aus Jus vs Home made Pork Roast

When some people think of comfort food they think of meatloaf, or mac 'n cheese, or pizza, but I think of pork roast. The smell of the pork roasting in the oven reminds me of Sunday dinners at my Aunt Midgie's house, the comfort of being surrounded by family and love. What wonderful memories...

I also really love the taste of pork, almost any kind of pork. Pork Roast, Country Spare Ribs in Sauerkraut, BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Pork Chops, Moo Shoo Pork, Tonkatsu, Schnitzel – whatever you call it, I love it! One of the great things about eating pork roast is getting that nice crispy end of the roast. Yum! Another great thing about it is having left-overs!  Slice the roast thin and heat it on the stove top in gravy.  Easy & quick, it will make up for some of the time you spent cooking this meal from scratch.

By now you already know that I love garlic too. So, you won't be surprised to learn that my pork roast has tons of garlic in it. I “stud” the roast with slivers of garlic – you don't have to do this and it will save time if you just want to sprinkle the roast with garlic powder but of course the garlic flavor won't be as intense either. I also like to cut up potatoes, onions and carrots to put around my roast too, just like Aunt Midgie did. And when the roast is done, don't forget to serve it with some delicious (unhealthy) gravy (November 19th).

Now, I'm comparing a Roast Loin of Pork with Hormel's Pork Roast Aus Jus – you should know enough about me by now to know that I've never purchased or eaten this product, but I think it's probably similar to a home made pork roast. Hormel's package claims that a serving size is 5 oz and the package serves 3.5 people – don't you love that? Hmm, I'll just invite 2.5 people over for dinner.... I believe that a serving size should be 4 oz but for comparisons sake the nutritional data will be based on a 5 oz serving of meat only.

In addition, their package says their “fork tender” roast was slowly simmered in aus jus and to serve it with sides. I don't know about you, but why would you take a nice piece of meat that's “fork tender” and put it in a microwave to cook? I think that would make it tough. If you put the carrots, onions and potatoes around the roast – there's one of your sides taken care of already. Just add a salad and an in-season fresh vegetable and you're done. The meat in this recipe will shrink some, but should serve 8-10 people. I'm basing the “side” on about 4-6 people, then you'll have left-overs of the meat.

Roast Loin of Pork
3 lbs Loin of Pork
4 garlic cloves, each cut into about 3 slivers
4 md onions
6 lg carrots
6 md potatoes
2 Tbl olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. With a sharp paring knife, make 3 small slits across the top of the roast and repeat about every two inches down the top of the roast. Insert your garlic slivers into these slits. Put your roast in a large roasting pan. Drizzle 1 Tbl of oil over roast, sprinkle with salt & pepper. Peel onions and slice about 3 very thin slices and lay across the top of the roast. Cut the remainder of the onions into quarters, peel and cut the carrots into thin 3-4” long strips, peel and quarter the potatoes, arrange all of the vegetables around the roast (something like, onion, potato, carrot, onion, potato, carrot, etc. - after you put them all around, you can layer them if needed) Drizzle the remaining oil over the vegetables and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Put in the oven and roast for about 1 ½-2 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Put roast on a serving platter and let sit for a few minutes (while you make your gravy) to let the juices settle, serve the vegetables in a large bowl.


Price for home made Pork Roast: $6.00 per pound
Price for Hormel Pork Roast: $8.80 per pound

Ingredients in home made Pork Roast: Pork, Garlic, Onion, Salt & Pepper
Ingredients in Hormel Pork Roast: Pork, Water, Salt, Dextrose, Spices, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Modified Cornstarch, Caramel Color, Spice Extractives

Preparation time for home made Pork Roast: 15 minutes prep, 30 minutes per pound
Preparation time for Hormel Pork Roast: 1 minute prep, 4 minutes in the microwave

Nutritional Data for home made Pork Roast
Calories 303
Calories from Fat 184
Total Fat 20 g
     Saturated Fat 7 g
     Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 82 mg
Sodium 116 mg
Total Carbohydrates 1 g
     Dietary Fiber 0 g
     Sugars 0 g
Protein 27 g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 1 %
Iron 7%

Nutritional Data for Hormel Pork Roast
Calories 180
Calories from fat 60
Total Fat 7 g
     Saturated Fat 2.5 g
     Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 85 mg
Sodium 600 mg
Total Carbohydrates 1 g
     Dietary Fiber 0 g
     Sugar 1 g
Protein 28 g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0%
Iron 8%

For the life of me I can't figure out how their product has less calories, I suppose that they've trimmed all of the fat off, I can't figure the calories that way. Sorry, just don't eat the delicious fat on the outside... Anyway, you'll notice that the cholesterol is slightly lower in the home made and the sodium is significantly lower. It might take longer to prepare (it's mostly in the cooking time) – but it will be tastier and cheaper. Right from the beginning it's $2.80 per pound cheaper and you'll find pork roasts on sale often enough for a lot less that $6 per pound – just buy them then.

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0 Easy Girls Birthday Cakes Ideas - To Make

Easy Girls Birthday Cakes Ideas
Disney princess costume and you've got to dress up girl costume set separately. You also have a selection from the adult princess costume for you to wear to the birthday party. Except for the cake ... all are lined up for the perfect princess birthday party. Cinderella princess dress to get all the frills are not well! Many of the best options are the owner of the cup cake from the cake stand is a simple birthday cake princess Snow White to complete. What style is, literally, you have the option of Princess cake put the icing on the cake for your princess party.

Idea of the most luxurious cake is a princess doll cake stand. You will need a plastic Barbie doll size for this cake or any other Princess Cinderella and Snow White. Bake a round or bell-shaped bundt cake pan. , Immediately wash her get rid of the doll, please press the center of the cake to her slowly. Disney Princess costume using as a guide, decorate a cake like a doll dress. This cake stand looks like a princess just their own, her girl is impressive for the birthday girl have a cake that looks like a dress-up costumes only.

Castle cake come in all shapes and sizes. They can be as simple as a sheet cake, and luxurious cut pile like pancake topper in the shape of the castle and the castle complete with moat of the couple. The castle is more than a cake of cake, they are just to the party center piece. Memory of the mother of an adult costume princess castle cake carrying a lit in the middle of the table of friends to sing is a memory that last a lifetime.

Cake topper is a simple way for any cake is something special. Look for the topper or other shaped like a princess, princess princess Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Disney Princess costume birthday girl's favorite What is? She has a special girl wearing dress-up costumes to the party? If so, you will be able to find the cake topper to match the birthday girl's dress. Simple sheet cake will be able to playground princess cake topper just two.

Cup cake topper is a simple, useful extension to the cake and the cake topper. Lined cupcake messy option will check the small birthday cake, cup cake topper individual, you are presented with the special trinket to bring home with them to each child.

Not only did the model of Disney princess costumes in general, there is a cup cake holder available. Each cup cake holder, has a princess on it, it will provide the same benefits as cup cake topper. Is not this option has a large, beautiful cake, cake girl will be easy to keep clean dress-up costumes.

To form cake pan has a special way to turn on the sheet cake into a masterpiece. There is a cake pan shaped like a crown, can be decorated with candy "jewels." Cake is a simple option than the cake pan shaped like a castle, the castle standing traditional. After baking a cake, castle cake in the form of these it is easy to frost beautiful castle fit for a princess of all. Princess is the best option in the form of a princess cake pan perfect coach, and Unicorn.

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0 Boys 2nd Birthday Cakes Ideas n 1st Birthday Cakes

With the introduction of baby fine tradition of celebrating the birthday, can be very tough for his or her small stomach. Birthday cake, the elements of the coronation and birthday party center-piece of the traditional, the baby's digestive system is quite a challenge. But for adults, birthday cake, enjoy the following in the measured quantity is something. They are a delicious treat full of all kinds of sugar, butter and eggs, delicious candy and sweets. Although this will be fun and delicious cake, is a chore to plow through the stomach and the liver for they are also your.

Ready-made birthday cake, usually with sugar to be on display for as long as possible, is filled with preservative. These same throughout the ordeal, so might want to think twice before you put your little ones, after, liver is the same type of cake can give a headache in the morning. Many parents are hopping on this trend, I'm looking for a healthy alternative. After I find a free or no sugar cake of eggs to the store and knew many parents are doing in order to save. The other will save time, please try to dig through the Internet for cake recipes that sound. In order to reduce the work of all its legs, but here is delicious and make a great alternative for a healthy cake is easy.

Egg allergy

One of the problems on the birthday cake is a cake made with eggs that are for small children. Egg, egg white, is one of the top allergens in particular affect the baby. These allergies may be very problematic for infants under the age of. Because they believe that the infant's body and is a hazardous substance of the egg protein, and react to produce the symptoms of allergic reaction. Will outgrow the allergy by age 5 most children, it is recommended that you be very careful on the eggs to introduce your children how and when. These allergies are making a regular cake for is not a good idea, of its first birthday party of such a very, it is most severe in the first year of life of your child. The good news is, to make a cake without eggs is easy, is that you can even if you have not baked a cake before, do it. Please follow the steps below, I have a delicious cake you can boast to your friends just for you!

Egg less cake for beginners


3 cups flour
(Depending on brand) artificial sweetener 1/3 cup maple syrup / 2 cup and 1
Baking soda 2 tsp.
2 tsp baking powder
Wed 2 cup
Vegetable oil 2/3 cup
2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons vinegar
9x13 baking pan
Parchment paper to line pan


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Arrange the baking pan of choice in parchment paper.
Add the dry ingredients all in a large bowl, mix them.
Add the wet ingredients in another bowl of all, mix them.
Pour wet ingredients in a bowl and was dried. Mix until smooth texture.
Pour the mixture into the baking pan of your tree-lined.
Bake half an hour. It can be checked with the toothpick in order to verify if it stabbing you, whether the cake is ready, it comes off clean and ready.
After cooling it for about 20 minutes, get rid of the paper.
Go to decorate with icing of your choice.
More info
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Thursday, February 9, 2012

0 Baseball Cakes Pictures For Kids, Boys, Men - Baseball Cakes And Cupcakes

Delicious Baseball Cakes Pictures :

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0 Camo Wedding Cakes Toppers Pictures Ideas

Best Camo Wedding Cakes Toppers, Camo Wedding Cakes Toppers Pictures :

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