Archive for August, 2012

All About Japanese Food

Japanese, food, cuisine

Blog URL: http://www.cookandsmile.blogspot.com/

Welcome to “All About Japanese Food” ! My name is Kiyomi. I graduated from Tsuji Culinary School majoring in Japanese cuisine. After finishing school I worked as an assistant at a home cooking school.
Now I cook for my family and BLOG because…”Japanese food is not just SUSHI or TEMPURA, there are many home cooking meals that are healthy and tasty! I hope this blog open doors to your interest in Japanese cooking!! I am eager to become your Japanese Food Guide.” [Read more]

Simple Indian Food- An Easy Cooking Blog

Indian, food, sushi

Blog URL: http://www.simpleindianfood.blogspot.com/

I am among those who never even thought of entering the kitchen before marriage and became a complete foodie (although very fussy)who loves to try new recipes after marriage. I can survive on Chats, chocolates, icecreams and love to try various craft activites. Very much addicted to the world of computers and Internet, I dream of becoming an cookbook author…

The blog was started with an intention to share Indian delicacies so that even a newbie in kitchen can try out the recipes in the simplest possible way. The spices and sweetness in dishes are moderate and need to be adjusted to suit personal tastes. [Read more]

Fast food: 5 ways to healthier meals

fast food, beverage, drink

These five tips can help you make wise meal choices when going to a fast-food restaurant.

Can fast food be part of a weight-loss or healthy diet plan? You might not think so. In fact, you might even think that you can’t have a meal that’s both quick and healthy.

But this isn’t necessarily so. An occasional stop for fast food can fit into a healthy diet plan. The key is to choose wisely when ordering fast food.

  1. Keep portion sizes small. If the fast-food restaurant offers several sandwich sizes, pick the smallest. Bypass hamburgers with two or three beef patties, which can pack more than 1,000 calories and 70 grams of fat. Choose instead a regular- or children’s-sized hamburger, which has about 250 to 300 calories. And skip the large serving of french fries or onion rings and ask for a small serving instead. This switch alone saves 200 to 300 calories.
  2. Choose a healthier side dish. Take advantage of the healthy side dishes offered at many fast-food restaurants. For example, instead of french fries choose a side salad with low-fat dressing or a baked potato. Or add a fruit bowl or a fruit and yogurt option to your meal. Other healthy choices include apple or orange slices, corn on the cob, steamed rice, or baked potato chips.
  3. Go for the greens. Choose an entree salad with grilled chicken, shrimp or vegetables with fat-free or low-fat dressing on the side, rather than regular salad dressing, which can have 100 to 200 calories a packet. Watch out for high-calorie salads, such as those with deep-fried shells or those topped with breaded chicken or other fried toppings. Also skip extras, such as cheese, bacon bits and croutons, which quickly increase your calorie count. If you forgo the dressing, you can find salads for around 300 calories at most fast-food chains. Some examples include McDonald’s Southwest Salad, Burger King’s Chicken Garden Salad and Wendy’s Chicken Caesar Salad.
  4. Opt for grilled items. Fried and breaded foods, such as crispy chicken sandwiches and breaded fish fillets, are high in fat and calories. Select grilled or roasted lean meats — such as turkey or chicken breast, lean ham, or lean roast beef.
  5. Watch what you drink. Many beverages are high in calories. For example, a large regular soda (32 ounces, or 908 grams) has about 300 calories. Instead, order diet soda, water, unsweetened iced tea, sparkling water or mineral water. Also, skip the shakes and other ice-cream drinks. Large shakes can contain more than 800 calories and all of your saturated fat allotment for the day.

Have it your way

You can eat healthy away from home, even at fast-food restaurants. Don’t settle for what comes with your sandwich or meal. Ask for healthier options and substitutions. For example, ask for reduced-fat mayonnaise or mustard on your sandwich. Or at a fast-food Mexican restaurant, request salsa instead of cheese sauce. And remember to keep your eye on portion sizes.

Lesley Eats

Vegetarians, fruit, recipe

Blog URL: http://www.lesleyeats.com/

“So, what do you eat?” A frequent question for vegetarians. “Lesley Eats dot com” is my answer. I share vegetarian recipes and highlights from restaurant visits at home in Nashville, Tennessee (and from my travels) as well as a little bit about the fun and failures along the way. Joining me are Mr. Eats (previously known as the Significant Omnivore), Baby Eats and occasionally Grammy Eats. [Read more]

Celebrity Chefs

Chef, event, food

Blog URL: http://www.celebritychefsasl.blogspot.com/

Celebrity Chefs UK & Worldwide Blog, Demonstration Chef Hire for Product Launches, Promotions, Corporate Events. Book a Celebrity Chef for Food Festivals, Shows, Fayres, New Openings, Promote Healthy Eating in Schools, Colleges & University’s, A.S.L. Event Caterers UK, Team Building Events like -“Ready Steady Cook” Competitions, Whats On, News, Reviews, Recipes & Download Our Free Celebrity Chefs Smarthone app for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry etc. [Read more]

Chicken Salad Recipe

salad, tips, advices

Who can resist the wonderful experience of a well-made chicken salad on fresh bread, maybe with a cup of hot steaming cream of tomato soup on the side? I have many fond memories of sitting at bistros, enjoying the alfresco, and sipping Earl Grey tea, and nibbling on a great chicken salad sandwich. The sweet taste and texture of chunky chicken, combined with the creamy ecstasy of mayonnaise, and crunchy celery., is almost more than the taste-buds can stand. There is nothing like a good chicken salad recipe.

This noble bird (Gallus domesticus), was first domesticated in China over 8000 years ago. The many breeds of modern chickens all came from the wild Asian Junglefowl breeds, which are still around, and bred for the despicable ‘sport’ of cockfighting. By 3000 BC, domestic chickens had spread all across Europe, the Middle East, and even to Polynesia. It is a common belief that the Spanish Conquistadors brought chickens to the New World, but in reality, there is archaeological evidence that chickens were being raised in Chile as early as 1350 AD. Over time, chickens were bred to be larger, tamer, less inclined to roam, and to lay larger, and more eggs. Eventually, breeders produced the modern breeds that we know and love, today.

The next thing to ponder is how the chicken (or anything else) got between the bread. The concept is said to have originated with the ancient Jewish philosopher Hillel the Elder. He was said to be fond of wrapping lamb slices and bitter herbs in flat, unleavened bread, known as matzos. They were sort of like a Jewish Tortilla. Almost every culture on the planet has had some sort of flat, unleavened bread associated with it, and it is certain that the idea of rolling meat and veggies up in it spread rapidly across the known world. It was the first fast-food. It was delicious, portable, and left one hand free to deal cards, hold the reins of a horse (or camel), hold a fishing pole, or even wield a weapon, if necessary. Africa and the Middle East have retained their love of unleavened flat breads, but in Europe, yeast-breads came to dominate the baked-goods industry. Sandwiches in England, and other parts of Europe, had an ignominious beginning, in the Middle Ages. In taverns and inns, slabs of beef were hung from the rafters, and portions were sliced off as needed. Plates and dinnerware were very expensive, and subject to theft, so only the rich, and powerful got to use plates, knives and forks to eat with. For commoners, the beef was served on thin slices of hard, usually stale bread, as a plate, and food was eaten with the hands. After eating, the juice-soaked bread was thrown to waiting dogs, or the poor and less fortunate among them. The first mention of an open-faced sandwich was in the 17th century, where naturalist John Ray commented on the practice of laying thin slices of beef on buttered bread. It wasn’t long before someone figured out that if you used two slices of bread, it became a very portable food. The idea spread, and “meat and bread” became the food of choice for men at card games, gamblers, and men on the go. The modern name of the sandwich owes it’s birth to none other than John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. The Earl was very fond of ‘meat and bread’, because it allowed him to play his favorite game, Cribbage, and not get the cards greasy from eating with his hands. He had his valet bring meat and bread with him at all times when traveling, so it became common when ordering ‘meat and bread’ in a tavern to simply say “the same as Sandwich”. This became shortened to simply ‘sandwich’. Thus, a legend was born.

It is a good bet that somewhere, sometime, someone began using leftover chicken to mix with other things, and make a palatable dish. But the first official chicken salad recipe is an All-American creation. Even though the Chinese have been making something similar to chicken salad, it was a far cry from what we are familiar with in the US. It all started in 1863, Wakefield, Rhode Island in a small, but very popular butcher shop called, simply, Town Meats. The owner, Liam Gray, hated waste, so he began to mix his leftover (but still edible) chicken meat with mayonnaise, tarragon, and grapes, and serving it cold as Chicken Salad. The creation became such a hit that he converted the butcher shop to a delicatessen, and was still in business until just a few years ago.

Today, there are as many variations of chicken salad as there are people. The only rules for chicken salad are that it must be served cold, use some sort of binder (usually mayonnaise, but there is nothing stopping someone from trying mustard, catsup, sour cream, cream cheese, or any combination.), at least one raw vegetable, fruit, or any combination, such as onion, garlic, celery, grapes, Mandarin Oranges, pineapple, apples, etc…, and, of course, cooked chicken, as a rule, skinless, boneless, and more often than not, all breast meat. Other than that, anything goes. The meat can be chunky, or shredded, grilled, smoked, fried, steamed, or boiled. You can add nuts, seeds, bean spouts, and/or any spices you want.

To tell the truth, I don’t think I have ever had any chicken salad that wasn’t delicious, no matter how simple. A dear friend of mine had a small deli downtown once, and her most popular item was her chicken salad, which was just chicken chunks, mayo, and celery. Not even any salt and pepper. I never went in there when it wasn’t full of people chowing-down on her creation. She has since moved on to bigger and better things, and her deli is now an Ice Cream shop, but most of us around here still have fond memories of her, and her outstanding sandwiches. So, don’t be afraid to experiment. Be creative, and release the culinary artist that lives within you. Here are a few chicken salad recipes to get you started, including Liam Gray’s Original Chicken Salad.

Liam Gray’s Original Chicken Salad

1 lb. of leftover chicken meat, with skin and bones removed, and shredded.
1/4 cup of juice, from the chicken (or chicken broth)
1/4 cup of seedless grapes (red, or white), cut in to eight pieces each.
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp tarragon
salt and pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a suitably-sized mixing bowl and toss together (gently, so as not to crush the grapes) until well mixed. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Serve on a bed of lettuce, carefully placing the chicken salad in the center with an ice-cream scoop . Garnish with a tomato wedge, and crackers. Can also be used on sandwiches.

Kelly’s Simple Chicken Salad

This is the girl I told you about that had the delicatessen downtown. Her chicken salad had a simplistic, country-goodness about it that was hard to beat. Don’t worry about exact proportions. Just do whatever looks right to you. That’s the beauty of this recipe.

1 gal. or so of water
4-8 large boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets
2-4 cups mayonnaise
1/2-1 cup celery, sliced thin

The night before you plan to make the chicken salad, add the water to a large pot, and bring to a boil over hi heat. Add the 4 chicken fillets, and when the water returns to a full boil, lower the heat to a simmer. Cook the chicken just until it is no longer pink in the center. Do not overcook. Place the chicken in a container and just cover with some of the chicken water. Place a lid on the container, and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the chicken from the container, dispose of the water, and cut the fillets into 1/2″ chunks. Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl. Slice the celery, and add it to the bowl. Add the mayonnaise, and toss the whole mixture well. Return to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Use on sandwiches, or on a bed of lettuce, with crackers as a garnish.

Curried Chicken Salad

2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 green onions, sliced thin, or 1/4 onion, diced
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds (you can toast them if you want)
1/2 to 3/4 cup mayonnaise, or to taste
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp curry powder ( you can add more if you want it spicier)
salt and pepper, to taste

In a mixing bowl, combine the diced chicken, celery, onion, almonds, and raisins.

Toss with the lemon juice and mayonnaise. Add more mayonnaise, if you need to, but don’t make it too runny.

Add curry powder, and salt, and pepper, to taste.

Serve on lettuce, sandwiches, or in pita bread for a ‘pocket’ sandwich.

Cajun Chicken Salad

A fantastic chicken salad with the great taste of Louisiana Cajun Cooking.

4 cups of cooked white meat chicken, diced
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped fine
1 1/2 cups green onions, chopped fine
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup pecans, chopped fine
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp McIlhenny’s Tabasco Sauce ( you can, of course, substitute one of the lesser so-called Louisianan sauces such as Bullseye, Crystals, Louisiana, or Texas Pete, but if you want the real deal, stick with the only real Tabasco Sauce…McIlhenny’s.

Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl and toss until well mixed. Adjust the mayonnaise as necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

This is best served on Hoagie Buns, or Sandwich Rolls.

Garnish with a large glass of iced tea, and a picture of Justin Wilson.

Shauna Sever

Cake, baker, supper

Blog URL: http://www.shaunasever.com/blog/

Shauna Sever is The Next Door Baker. With her easy, fun and accessible approach to baking and entertaining, she inspires both the pastry proficient and baking-phobic alike to tie their apron strings and head into the kitchen. Whether it’s an easy savory tart for a weeknight supper, a birthday cake for the office or a decadent dessert to impress friends at a dinner party, Shauna gives you the know-how to bake up simple, flavorful recipes that are good for the soul and get people talking. [Read more]

Junk Food Blog

Breakfast, fastfood, food

Blog URL: http://www.junkfoodblog.com/

Tired of eating soy-cheese? Wondering why you starve yourself all morning only to replenish yourself with carrot sticks? Then you need to bookmark Junk Food Blog! Junk Food Blog reports on the newest junk food hitting the market, giving you plenty of options to satisfy your lust for fat, sugar, salt, and alcohol (you know, the stuff you really want). [Read more]

Calories in White Wine

cook, wine, recipe

Have you ever wondered about the calories in white wine? Do you fret over going out, knowing you may pay a price for caloric over-indulgence?

A new study recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine indicates that women who drink wine moderately, and on a regular basis, experienced less weight gain, and were more apt to not be obese, than their non-drinking counterparts.

In another study done in 2008, it would seem that 70% of women showed a marked preference for white wines. With regard to calories, this could be a good thing. On average, there are 5 less calories in white wine than red wines of similar types if they have the same alcohol content.

Are there that many calories in white wine? To answer this, we need to know a little about basic physics, nutrition and about the wine itself.

Most people associate calories with weight gain, and this can be partially true. A calorie, by itself, is not a nutritional item. A calorie is simply a measure of energy. 1 calorie is the energy required to heat 1 gram of water to 1 degree c., or 1.6 degrees F. A basic rule of physics is that energy can not be destroyed; only changed from one form to another, such as from electrical to mechanical, or heat. So, if a grape has x calories, and we add sugar and yeast to ferment it, then our finished product has the x calories from the grape, plus the calories from the sugar and the yeast. The caloric value of any food is an estimate of its energy potential.

The majority of calories in white wine come from sugar. Wine is made by allowing yeast to feed on the sugar contained in the grape juice, in the form of fructose. The metabolism of the sugar by the yeast turns the sugar into ethanol, or ethyl alcohol (CH3CH2OH). The alcohol content is commonly boosted by adding more sugar to the juice for the yeast to work on, making a ‘dry’ wine. Dry wines have more of the sugar converted to alcohol than ‘Sweet’ wines, which leave a certain amount of sugar unfermented to provide sweetness. With respect to calories, there is little difference between sweet and dry wines, because the body treats alcohol just like all sugars, and converts them into simple carbohydrates. These are used to fuel the body’s various functions. What is not used immediately gets stored for future use in fat cells. When the fat cells become saturated, the body makes more, hence the weight-gain. All this is just a fancy way of saying that all weight gain is just a function of Calories-In vs. Calories-Out. That is all there is to it.

The alcoholic content of beverages that contain alcohol is commonly expressed as a ‘proof’, which is the percentage of alcohol by volume x 2. So, a 28-Proof wine would contain 14% alcohol by volume. This allows you to calculate the calories in any glass of wine (or any other alcoholic beverage). The formula is 1.6 x a x b, where a = the percentage of alcohol in the wine, and b = the amount of wine you are drinking. 1.6 is a constant, representing the amount of calories in a given volume of solution. So if we have a 4 oz. glass of medium dry Chardonnay at 14% alcohol, we have 1.6 x 14 x 4 = 89.6 calories.

So how bad are the calories in white wine compared to other common beverages, by volume? Here is a comparison:

– Coffee (4 oz.)     1 calorie   add 1 Tbsp sugar  49 calories
– Tea (4 oz.)        1 calorie   add 1 Tbsp sugar  49 calories
– Coca Cola (4 oz.)  46.6 calories
– Diet Sodas (4 oz.)  .25 calories
– Water (any amount)   0 calories
– Fruit or Vegetable Juices (4 oz.)    20-50 calories
– 1% Milk (4 oz.)       55 calories
– Egg Nog (4 0z.)     175 calories
– Beer (4 oz.)         50 calories
– Bourbon, Scotch, Vodka, etc.. (4 oz.)   350 calories
– Amaretto, Coffee Liqueur, etc…(4 oz.) 500+ calories

As you can see, wine is on the upper end of the scale, but not at the highest. And, you need to have a little perspective. Sodas are rarely drunk in 4 oz. increments. An average serving of soda is between 12 and 16 oz., and people very seldom drink just one, so were talking triple digit calories here. The same is true with respect to milk, beer and juices. On the other hand, while the values for liqueurs and whiskies seem high, few people drink 4 oz. of them at a time (and be able to walk away unassisted). A normal serving for them is 1 ounce.

Absent any other health-related issues such as alcoholism, diabetes, or hypoglycemia, an occasional glass of wine is not going to hurt you. As in most things, the key is moderation. Too much of anything, even water, can be detrimental.

Now, you no longer need fear the calories in white wine, so go out and enjoy yourself.

Hong Kong Food Blog

Hong Kong, food, blog

Blog URL: http://www.hongkongfoodblog.blogspot.com/

There is Anna’ blog, she is a native Chinese living in Hong Kong. A objective of her blog is that some expat friends told hers that they found it difficult to look for Chinese food websites written in English. She have therefore decided to make her blog bilingual and including the restaurant names and how much she spend on each meal just to make additional sense to travelers. [Read more]