Category Archives: Parents

The Art of Tipping

Many years ago, before college opened new opportunities to better paying jobs, I worked as a waitress. I made more money waitressing than I could have with my good, but ho-hum typing skills. The difference was tips.

First of all, tipping should be only based on the waiter/waitress, and not the fact that you do or don’t like the food. For that, bitch big time to the management. The waiter/waitress cannot control that. Personally, I’ve also advised good people to find another place to work if the food or kitchen service was terrible.

How to get tips? It’s simple. Service-how the waiter/waitress treats you and how they look after you both before and after you get your order.

Which is how I still tip today. Really good service gets a 20% or even more tip (and hey, I’m the older female some writers here write off entirely). Really good service includes someone who actually likes people and lets it show. They aren’t “chatty,” but clearly like dealing with people. This server gets to you as promptly as possible, sees that your water, if ordered, and other beverage arrives almost immediately. This server is there to take your order as promptly as you wish to place it-and understands if you need more time to decide. This server also “sets you up” with service ware well before the meal. If the kitchen is slow on appetizers or anything else, the good server will also be there to apologize and try to explain the delays (when I begin to advise them to work elsewhere.)

The merely efficient server, usually a “robot” type who really doesn’t want to work in a restaurant, gets 15%. This server has no warmth or personality, but does an decent job. Just there to earn the income. That’s okay; it’s hard work, but don’t expect to get top tips if you don’t like working with people.

Below that-well, service is service. If a service person does at least come by to refresh my drink before I leave, I will tip 10% but no more. This server should have been by to check if everything was OK not long after I began my actual meal. If this server is at least personable, I might up it to 12%. If the server clearly dislikes me just because I am an infringement on their working day, I will not. But he/she did at least come by to check on the drink.

Anything less..I may leave a buck. If the server is truly surly-which some are both rude and act “put upon”-I leave nothing. In restaurants that require a 15% tip on every meal, but the waiting service bad…well, I pay the 15% for that one meal and never eat there again. I also advise my friends about the poor service. I also let the management know about the problem…but I still don’t go there again.

In the end, don’t do this kind of work if you don’t like people-all kinds of people. Including the ones who bring in three hyper kids who trash the table. Including the drunks who in incoherent and usually make (easily eluded) passes. Including the people who will bitch about anything and everything. And yes, including those who will never tip much or anything, They think the restaurant is paying your salary, period.

Most of us know better than that. But if you are a server, give the best you can to every customer, and the overall tips will make up for the losers. I once got a .10 tip from a truly hard-*S state restaurant inspector and laughed about it. The head waitress-and the restaurant owner-both said, “My God! You’re the only one he’s ever tipped at all.”

Source:

  1. The Gentleman's Guide To Tipping – The Art of Manliness
  2. Cantaloupe Benefits & Nutrition Facts
  3. FCS2-103: The Art of Tipping – UK College of Agriculture – University …

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What is the Worlds Favorite Flavor

Chocolate truly is one of the world’s most treasured flavors. In fact, it’s species name is Theobroma cacao- which literally means “food of the gods.” Few people would argue otherwise. Chocolate has been a huge part of this world been around for ages- it can be savory, bitter, or sweet.

Chocolate can take many forms… It’s even used in some regions of Mexico in a savory sauce called mole (moh-leh). The main dish we refer to as Mole in America is actually called “mole poblano” that is made with cocoa, ground chiles, ground nuts, and spices. Usually served with chicken or other meat. But also, in the beginning, chocolate was a drink- in the same region or the world, no less. It was a drink of the ancient Aztecs that was made of the fruit of the cacao tree. Cacao seeds were ground and mixed with various spices to create a drink we know as xocoatl or “chocoatl” meaning “warm” or “bitter” drink. The original xocoatl drink was then discovered my Spanish conquistadors who brought it over to Europe, which is where the evolution of chocolate began.

It wasn’t until European influence in the 17th century that the chocolate in bar form we know of today was created. Naturally, sugar and vanilla were added to the original xocoatl drink for it to be considered more palatable. Chocolate was then being milled and baked into sweets eventually coming to the form we know of as the candy bar.

However, for some of the true connoisseurs of cocoa, there are a variety of ways to enjoy this treat. Various percentages of cocoa have been made into bar form. EVen going as far as 100%. Or, you can even enjoy the ancient Aztec tradition of xocoatl simply by combining ground cacao nibs, water, ground chile, and vanilla for taste of the ancient past.

In short, chocolate has it’s place with any palate- for those with a penchant for savory foods, a sweet tooth, or ones who have a palate refined enough to enjoy it in it’s more bare form… How can one not enjoy it?

Source:

  1. Vanilla: The Cultural History of the World's Favorite Flavor and …
  2. Best Sugar Substitute
  3. Vanilla: The Cultural History of the World's Most Popular Flavor and …

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Where to Find the best Coloured Wine Glasses

Using coloured wine glasses can add interest and opulence to the most mundane meal or celebration. A ruby, midnight blue or intricately decorated gold glass can be luxurious, beautiful and practical at the same time and so lifts special celebrations such as birthdays, Christmas and anniversaries to a higher level. There are a number of retailers who stock richly coloured wine glasses . Here are some of the best.

1. Marks and Spencer . Bloom Etched Wine Glass. A richly coloured purple bulb glass, featuring an etched floral design, this glass provides elegance and drama for the bargain price of £5.00. Although delicate , this beautiful glass is practical and is dishwasher safe, meaning it can be used for parties and celebrations easily without having to resort to hand washing once the party is over. To view and buy online go to www.marksandspencer.com

2. Graham and Green. Butterfly Wine Glasses. Created in four different colour ways, Petrol (a dark blue), Turquoise, Purple or Green, this wonderfully crafted and colourful glass features a carved butterfly design . You can collect a matching set of glasses in one colour way or collect a number of different colours as most of the options compliment each other really well. An easy way to create a stunningly decorated table. To view and buy online go to www.grahamandgreen.co.uk .

3. Next. Conical Wine Glasses. With four different coloured options, Teal, Green, Red and Black , this sturdy large glass is a bargain retailing at £16.00 for a set of four . Handmade and also dishwasher safe , these lovely glasses are perfect for anyone who wants to add colour to their dining table but has a tight budget. To view and buy online go to www.next.co.uk .

4. John Lewis. John Lewis Wine Glass. This y-shaped , hand made glass is made in both Peacock Blue and Lime Green. Predominately fresh and summery , these glasses would be perfect for a picnic or summer barbeque party with friends. Easy summer style for the small price of £4.50 per glass and suitable for any wine, whether it be Red , White or Rose . To view and buy online go to www.johnlewis.com .

5. Watts London. Florentine Gold Whit Wine Glass. If money is no option then for a piece of real luxury and glamour , consider this 24 carat gold decorated wine glass. Inspired by the table wear of the Italian renaissance , this glass would add panache to any celebratory table. To view and buy online go to www.wattslondon.co.uk .

Source:

  1. Wine Glasses – Overstock.com
  2. 10 Foods to Avoid This Summer
  3. The 10 Best Wine glasses | Features | Lifestyle | The Independent

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Taco Salad Recipe

Here’s a unique recipe that’s a particular favorite at my house, I fix it at least once every other week or so. Like many recipes of it’s type, it’s endless customizable to fit your needs. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 pound of ground beef

Liquid Smoke

Chili Powder

Italian Seasoning

Garlic Powder

Can of Tomato soup

Onions (optional)

Green peppers (optional)

Chopped tomato slices (optional)Lettuce

Shredded Cheese (mozzarella or sharp cheddar)

First cook the hamburg
on a stove, breaking it into smaller chunks.
If desired, put in onions and green peppers. Drain off excess fat. Add the tomato soup, liquid smoke, the powders and Italian Seasoning.

Now, here’s the part where you choose how you wish to eat this. You can spread the mixture over bread and make Sloppy Joe sandwiches. Or you can put it in a microwaved flour tortilla or spread it on a taco shell. My personal favorite, though you can spread the mixture onto various chips, plain tortilla, corn chips, or, my personal favorite, nacho tortilla. Then you sprinkle in the cheese, lettuce and, if you wish, the tomatoes!
Some people even like to reheat the mixture in the microwave, melting the cheese (although if you do this, I recommend you add the lettuce AFTER you microwave, or skip the lettuce all together.)

Source:

  1. Taco Salad I Recipe – Allrecipes.com
  2. Hardgainer Meal Plan to Gain Weight
  3. Taco Salad Recipe : Paula Deen : Food Network

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What is White Chocolate

Many different kinds of chocolate exist. White chocolate is a favorite among many people, and some people have even claimed that white chocolate is not really chocolate. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s definition of “chocolate,” however, those people are right; white chocolate is not “chocolate.” 

Milk chocolate is probably the closest parallel to what white chocolate is. However, even milk chocolate is made with cocoa derivatives, so essentially it is chocolate. Milk chocolate is also made with sugar and milk. Different types of milk can be used to create smoother-tasting chocolate. On the other hand, white chocolate is made with cocoa butter. The solids are typically very white in color, sometimes ranging to a pale yellow. Milk and sugar are also added to give it a characteristic sweet taste. There are different percentages, as outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, that define each type of chocolate. For example, white chocolate must have 20% cocoa butter and 14% total milk “ingredients” (1). There are also different limitations for how much sweetener can be added to the white chocolate mixture. In Europe, there is no limit, while in the U.S., it must contain no more than 55 (2). 

In the past and even in the present, there are issues with the FDA’s definition and enforcement of its chocolate-related policies. For instance, until recently, companies have been allowed to label products as “chocolate” when, indeed, those products do not even meet the FDA’s definition of what chocolate must have (which is cocoa butter or cocoa solids). Some companies add vegetable oil instead of the mandatory cocoa butter or cocoa solids, mostly because vegetable costs much less than cocoa butter/solids. 

White chocolate, therefore, has somewhat of a difficult cooking use. For instance, when melted in the microwave, white chocolate can turn very grainy and the cocoa butter does not mix in back well with the rest of the ingredients. If melted over a double boiler, however, one might be able to better avoid that problem.

So, if you want to use white chocolate in your baking, be aware of its properties and characteristics. Also, check to see that the brand that you are buying is giving you a good quality white chocolate, or else you might just be getting a vegetable oil bar.

Sources

1. http://www.hersheys.com/nutrition/chocolate.asp

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_chocolate

Source:

  1. Is White Chocolate Chocolate? | Boston Chocolate Tours
  2. South Beach Diet Phase 2, A Scam Or Does It Work?
  3. White Chocolate Is A Big, Fat Lie – BuzzFeed

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What Green Tea Tastes the best

I never was a lover of tea. I have always been primarily a coffee drinker, but one day I was feeling ill, sore throat, coughing and fever, and my husband came into the living room and asked me if he could get me something to drink.

He listed off a few choices, soda, water, juice, coffee but none of these beverages appealed to me. Finally he said: I know what to get you and left the room.

At first I thought he was going to bring me his favorite cure for a cold: whiskey, lemon juice and honey. I hoped not.

Then I saw my favorite tea cup in his hand. I really didn’t want tea either, but I knew I should be nice and drink it.

What a surprise was in store for me! This tea was delicious and it wasn’t brown, it was a pale green. The flavor was more delicate and sophisticated than regular tea and I needed no sugar, lemon or cream to enjoy it completely. I drained my cup and asked for a second.

“What kind of tea is this?” I asked.

“Lipton Green Tea,” he said. “I think you might like it.”

What an understatement!

Ever since that day I’ve become a lover of and connoisseur of green tea. I have tried numerous varieties of green tea, some extremely expensive. A friend treated me to Uji Tezumi Gyokuro green tea – very expensive, nice packaging, but it still didn’t compare to my favorite green tea of all: Lipton Green Tea.

Yes, it’s tried and true Lipton that came up with the best tasting green tea, in my estimation. Sure the health benefits of green tea are well known by now, but it’s the taste that’s going to get me to drink tea and Lipton won hands down.

The flavor of Lipton Green Tea is hard to describe: it’s fresh, light and tastes “green” – almost like the sweet grass I used to chew on when I was a child. Lipton Green Tea is flavorful but mild and is soothing on the stomach.

I’m totally addicted to this tea, and I assume I’m getting healthier by the minute!

All the research says green tea is good for you and that’s because its dried and not fermented like other teas. Less processing keeps more of the beneficial elements in the tea, and less processing creates that special flavor I crave.

Hot or cold, Lipton Green tea is refreshing and thirst quenching. How nice that a side effect of drinking green tea is its numerous health benefits.

You can try expensive, exotic, green teas if you want, but I have a feeling you’ll end up choosing Lipton Green Tea as the best tasting of them all.

Source:

  1. Green tea taste test – Which ones the best? – NDTV Food
  2. Grain-Fed vs. Grass-Fed: Which Beef is Healthier?
  3. A Beginner's Guide to Drinking Better Green Tea | Serious Eats

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Turkey Dressing

If you are from the south then you  know that dressing is made from cornbread. I dearly love dressing made from chicken, turkey, pork, and even squash. Early in my marriage, with no recipe to follow, I decided to make this marvelous Southern food using my own intuition. So I started with some left over cornbread since I thought this was the main ingredient.. I made an attempt with stock using chicken legs. After mixing everything together, I put it a casserole dish and placed it in the oven. Well I found out right quick I didn’t have dressing. I didn’t add eggs, or onions, or celery or any sage. All I had was dry bread, chicken flavored. My husband and I got a big kick out of this mistake. The next time I went to town, I checked out the library for the recipe of turkey dressing.

3 cups of stock (chicken or turkey)*

about 4 or 5 cups of crumbled cornbread

2 eggs (slightly beaten)

1 tbsp sage

1 tsp poultry seasoning

1 onion finely chopped

1 or 2 stalks of celery chopped

1 boiled egg chopped

small jar of pimento (optional for color)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup evaporated milk

Add the broth to the cornbread, mixing well.  Stir in the eggs and add celery, onions, and sage. Add salt and pepper with poultry seasioning. Chopped boiled egg and pimento are added  at the end. Pour into a greased casserole bowl. Mixture should be easy to pour or it will dry out while cooking. If not, add more stock or milk .Cook at 325 F for about 30 minutes. About the last 10 minutes of cooking, I sprinkle the top with paprika to present a good appearance. My children like this even when it is cold. Well maybe at room temperature.

*sometimes I add the chicken or turkey  to my dressing to serve as one supper dish

Source:

  1. Best Thanksgiving Stuffings & Dressings Recipes : Food Network
  2. Connection Between Serotonin and Appetite: How to Suppress Cravings
  3. Old Fashioned Stuffing Recipe – Allrecipes.com

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Watermelon

Citrullus lanatus is the scientific name of the watermelon. Aptly named, this gigantic fruit is wonderfully cooling on hot days, and so watery that it quenches thirst. It is well suited to growing in hot and dry climates, requiring soil temperatures between 75° and 90° F (24° and 32° C) to germinate. Though wild versions of citrullus lanatus favor wet areas, such as riverbanks, the plant is very drought resistant.

Indigenous peoples of the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa, one of the driest inhabited places on earth, have long used tsamma, a wild version of the watermelon, as an important source of water. For the many Westerners who associate the domestic version of the fruit with hot summer days, it carries a similar meaning. The watermelon is perfectly suited to growing in hot and dry climates, and it provides the perfect relief from heat and dehydration.

That is not to say the watermelon will not also grow in wetter climates. The humid American Midwest and South are terrific watermelon growing areas. Native to Africa, the plant is believed to have crossed the Atlantic with people kidnapped into slavery. Well before the transatlantic slave trade, the watermelon spread into Asia through commerce, reaching India by 800 CE and China by the eleventh century. It is now grown almost everywhere that the climate is suitable.

Ancient Egyptian art depicts watermelons. Sanskrit has a word for the fruit. Its usefulness has a long history, not only as a cooling and thirst quenching fruit, but as an ingredient in jams, jellys, and alcoholic drinks. Its rind and seeds are also edible. In the Kalahari, tsamma seeds have long been pounded into a nutritious meal. In eastern Asia, some varieties of watermelon have been bred for their seeds rather than their flesh. In contrast, Westerners, favoring the fruit, have cultivated seedless watermelons.

Though the leaves of the plant are not typically eaten in the Western world, they can be. Leaves and immature fruits of citrullus lanatus make nutritious vegetables. The thick rind can be pickled, a use very common in rural America as recently as the beginning of the twentieth century. The National Watermelon Promotion Board, a marketing effort by watermelon growers, lists some unique ideas for using watermelon on its website. These include carving watermelons into interesting shapes, hollowing them out to use as bowls, and (at the time of this writing) a recipe for watermelon salsa.

Citrullus lanatus is closely related to cucumbers and to summer and winter squash. Like these vegetables, it is botanically defined as a berry because it carries many seeds inside. It is a curious thought indeed that this interesting fruit is nothing more than a giant berry.

Source:

  1. Watermelon
  2. Calories In Cantaloupe
  3. Welcome to watermelon.org

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Smoked Paprika

Paprika, a spice used and traded since the beginning of history, is the newest darling of the culinary world to burst upon the scene with an explosion of fascinating new combinations of flavors and health benefits.

Packed with Vitamin C, and all the nutritionally powerful antioxidants in the capsicum family, this unique blend of mild, sweet, and hot peppers stars in the practice of healing and on the dinner table.

Amazingly, it is believed the capsium peppers, when dried in the sun and used medically in paprika, could contain as much as nine times as much Vitamin C as tomatoes by weight. Commercial drying for culinary use destroys much of the Vitamin C, but paprika also has antibacterial properties, is a stimulant, and can help normalize blood pressure, improve circulation, and aid digestion.

Hungary, Spain, South America, and India, each produces a paprika mixture with its own personality and properties. The result is a spice that might be sweet, smoky, hot, or very hot, depending upon the combination of flavors and peppers.

Commercial food manufacturers use paprika in cheese, processed meat, tomato sauces, chili powder and soup. It often adds color to make the product more appetizing, and is sometimes employed in dustings and coatings to improve flavor and appearance of meat and chicken.

Hungarian-style paprika is widely used in the United States and is thought to be stronger and richer than paprika from other parts of the world.

Chicken Paprikash and Beef Goulash are two of many popular Hungarian stews.

Many spiced sausages, including Spanish chorizos, incorporate Hungarian paprika in their preparation.

Use paprika to add color, flavor, and interest to eggs, hors d’ouvres, and salads.

Spanish, Portuguese and Turkish recipes include paprika in soups, stews, casseroles, and vegetables.

In Indian cruisine, tandoori chicken owes its characteristic red color to paprika.

Paprika is an emulsifier that acts very much like mustard when making mayonnaise and salad dressings.

Spanish smoked sweet paprika is an ingredient in Mediterranean recipes. The pimento peppers are slowly dried over oak coals resulting in a sweet, cool, smoky flavor that brings a new dimension to the dish. The color is a startling, deep red, that spreads quickly throughout the dish; the smoky sweet, bittersweet, or hot flavors are individually distinctive and appealing.

Try some of the ideas offered in this quick introduction to smoky paprika:

* Add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil to a bowl of thick Greek yoghurt. Sprinkle with bittersweet smoked paprika. Dip warm flatbread into the mixture and enjoy with a before dinner drink.

* Give a new taste twist to broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or cauliflower. Quickly saute a couple cloves garlic, one teaspoon sweet smoked paprika, one bay leaf, and a good splash of extra-virgin olive oil. Add a splash of wine vinegar and a bit of chopped onion. Toss with the vegetables.

* A sprinkle of smoked paprika adds new personality to vinaigrette for tossing a salad or making a marinade.

* Generously include hot smoked paprika with your other seasonings for spicy roast chicken, lamb, or pork.

* Sweet, smoked paprika, along with sliced onion and minced garlic, are tasty additions to potatoes.

The most popular flavors and variations of paprika are often available for sale in tasting assortments. These are perfect gifts for adventurous cooks and an easy and convenient way for you to explore and enjoy the “new” paprika.

Source:

  1. Paprika
  2. How to Get BPA Toxin Out of Your Life
  3. What's the Difference? Paprika | The Kitchn

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Tomato

It has been believed at various times to be a deadly poison or a powerful aphrodisiac. Currently touted for its health benefits, it is a staple in cooking throughout most of the world. It was the first genetically engineered vegetable brought to market. Many people grow heirloom varieties in their backyard gardens, this being one of the easiest vegetables to grow. It has also been the subject of a lawsuit to determine whether it is a fruit or a vegetable.

It is solanum lycopersicum, better known as the tomato. A member of the nightshade family, the tomato counts edibles such as potatoes, peppers, and eggplant among its close relatives, as well as such toxic plants as belladonna, jimson weed, and tobacco. Native to the New World, it was first cultivated in Central and South America. The word tomato is derived from tomatl, its name in the Nahuatl language of Mexico.

The Nahuatl people considered the tomato an aphrodisiac, seeing in it a resemblance to testicles. The word tomatl means “swelling fruit,” possibly a risque double entendre. The Spanish took the tale of the tomato’s aphrodisiac properties back to Europe, along with the tomato itself.

Yet along with the story that it was an aphrodisiac, the idea that the tomato was deadly poison also circulated. Its resemblance to deadly nightshade (indeed, the two plants are close cousins) may have been the reason for this… or the story may have started because how tomatoes were eaten really did make them poisonous.

At first, the tomato was so expensive that only the wealthy could afford it. In Europe at the time, the well to do ate from pewter dishes, while the less fortunate used wooden trenchers or served their food on slices of stale bread. Pewter was made with a significant amount of lead. When tomatoes were served in pewter dishes, their acidic content leached out the lead, giving the eaters lead poisoning.

By the nineteenth century, Europeans generally considered the tomato merely a source of food, neither aphrodisiac nor poisonous. In the Mediterranean, where the climate is well suited to growing tomatoes, the plant became a staple. Italian cuisine in particular was revolutionized by the introduction of the tomato. In America today, many of the most popular foods with tomatoes as a base are dishes inspired by Italian influence.

Tomatoes are also amply used in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. In their native Mexico, they remain a dietary staple, often garnishing food or made into salsa. In cultures without such a strong fondness for the tomato, such as much of northern Europe, it is still eaten in salads and on sandwiches.

High in vitamins A and C and in antioxidants, the tomato is now considered a health food, in marked contrast to its past designation as deadly poison. One antioxidant particularly found in tomatoes, lycopene, is believed to help prevent or even reverse stomach, colorectal, and prostate cancers, and helps to halt outbreaks in people with herpes. Other nutrients found in the tomato help to stabilize blood sugar in diabetics, reduce the damage done by smoking, and lower high blood pressure.

Solanum lycopersicum is a plant with a colorful history, as vibrant as the tomato itself. From aphrodisiac to poison to health food, people’s perceptions of it have shifted along with history itself. Today, with the rise in popularity of home gardening, the tomato, being one of the easiest plants to grow, has another reason for being a staple food source.

Source:

  1. Tomato
  2. Green Beans Health Benefits
  3. Tomato – Vegetable Directory – Watch Your Garden Grow …

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Samuel Adams Pale Ale

Pale ale is the beer style of choice for many Americans. This is true for so many reasons that to recount them here would be ridiculous. It’s probably best to say that it is simply an easy style to enjoy. For anyone looking to step outside the world of Anheuser-Busch corporate brewing and into the light of American craft brews, I suggest the pale ale as a good starting point. The flavors associated with this style are typically easy to comprehend. And it’s easy to make a novice beer drinker aware of the complexities of flavors he or she has been missing out on for so many years because pale ale really has it all. With the exception of dark malt, the pale ale offers the full range of tasty ingredients for which good beer is known. Even my mother, who generally dislikes beer in all of its many forms, will enjoy a good bottle of pale ale every now and then.

The Boston Beer Company has come forth with its own offering of pale ale. Known as the Samuel Adams Pale Ale, this is one that really stands out. When I first discovered this beer, I wasn’t ready for it at all. I was at a party thrown by a former roommate of mine and the beer was flowing like wine. Nearly everyone had shown up armed to the teeth with different types of beer. Each partygoer was excited to share his or her supply and the whole shindig quickly became a giant beer sampling festival. This was obviously the definition of paradise come to life for a beer lover such as me. When a Samuel Adams Pale Ale came my way I took a gulp and fell in love.

This pale ale is a light bodied beer that offers all of the great characteristics of good pale ale and none of the pitfalls. Where so many pale ales tend to lean toward the side of flavorlessness, this one somehow manages a richness not found in the average beer. The earthy quality of the hops will dance on your tongue like an elegant ballerina. Meanwhile the company’s proprietary yeast strain adds a unique undercurrent that you won’t soon forget. If you can get your hands on this beer, I suggest you do so. It should run you less than $10 for a six-pack. That’s not a bad price for a beer that will make you want it again and again.

Source:

  1. Samuel Adams (beer)
  2. Benefits of Flaxseed Oil: Is it Good for Your Health
  3. Samuel Adams – Pale Ale – Brewmasters Collection

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Tips for Grilling Fresh Vegetables

Why waste all that space on the grill with a few pieces of chicken or red meat, when you can fill in all the gaps with fresh vegetables? All vegetables can be grilled successfully and some require prepping first!

In addition, there are many types of grilling accessories readily available these days, that can help you fill in those empty spaces; Such as grill toppers, baskets, skewers and shish-ke-bab cradles, to name a few. They are all designed to enhance the growing, grilling trend and one can easily become quite adept and extremely creative with them, indeed! I have tried many of these wonderful contraptions and they all work very well!

There are some pretty amazingly large and very efficient propane grills on the market and of course, it all depends on ones tastes and preferences. However, I am old fashioned; I usually cook with a charcoal grill, as I find that grilled food tastes better that way!

I have two grills and often I use one for meats and one for vegetables. To get started, I build a pyramid out of charcoal in each, douse them completely with lighter fluid, wait one minute and then toss in a match. I wait about another fifteen minutes, or until the flames die down. By that time, the charcoal will have turned a white/grey color. Then, I take a poker or stick and level the glowing charcoal, flat, before I place an aluminum foil covered rack over the glowing emebrs. Of course, if you have a propane grill, you won’t have to go through all of this wonderful torture!

VEGETABLE GRILLING:

There’s nothing like grilling some Portobello mushrooms or even their baby counterparts; Watching them sizzle as the juices bubble all around them, is quite a mouth watering sight! To ensure that they don’t fall mercilessly to the grill gods, I wrap the grill rack with aluminum foil before I start.

When it comes to grilling tuberous vegetables; Such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips and rutabagas; I find that they never cook properly and burn up before they are done! So I cheat a little and boil them for about fifteen minutes, or until they are eighty percent cooked, before I throw them on the grill. I also found that it is easier, if I peel and slice the vegetables first, that way they will be ready for the grill, plus I won’t have to handle them as much, when they are hot.

Tomatoes! Fruit or vegetable? Anyway, a tomato can be grilled better as a whole, simply by wrapping it up in tin foil and baking it on the grill. If you like, you could cut it in half, prior to grilling and add a sprinkle or two of basil and a little olive oil.

Sweet corn is another grilling favorite of mine: Soak the corn in water for about an hour and do not remove the husks! When the grill is has reached it’s optimum temperature, place the soaked corn on the grill and cook for about fifteen to twenty minutes, with the grill covered up.

SECRET CONCOCTION:

There’s a little simple mixture that I make up, before most of my veggies hit the open flame; I take one stick of butter, or margarine and melt it in a microwave safe bowl, in a microwave oven, for about thirty seconds; The same can also be accomplished with the use of a small saucepan, over a stove top or on the grill itself!

Once the butter or margarine has melted sufficiently, I whip out a bottle of Helmann’s Dijonnaise (creamy mustard) and squeeze about two to three table spoons full of it, into the butter or margarine and mix it all up. That is it!

Most vegetables that hit my grill, are coated heavily with my Hellman’s Mustard, butter mixture and I’ll tell you why: The mixture, helps to prevent the vegetables from dehydrating and cooking too fast and even though the mixture will burn off eventually, the vegetables will have had time to cook on the inside, thus giving them more flavor when they hit your table. The mustard, not only enhances the flavor just a little, but it helps the butter to coat and absorb easily.

In addition, I always make sure that I make enough mixture for a second or third coating, for when I’m flipping the grilling vegetable slices over; This again, helps them to cook longer and improves the quality of their taste!

GRILLED ONIONS:

Red onions are amazingly, sumptuously delicious, when grilled, using my Hellmann’s/butter mixture; The aroma, texture and tastes are enhanced three fold! I simply slice the onions into rings and place them on the grill foil, where ever there is space.

IMPORTANT TIPS:

When grilling vegetables, I always give the meats a head start and put them off to the side if I need more time for other things to catch up. Although the veggies will only need about fifteen minutes on the grill, it is better to make sure that the meats are cooked properly!

The secret of successful grilling, is all about: Preparation, coordination and length of cooking time; I always start grilling about half an hour earlier than planned, as temperatures, preparation and cuts of meats, etc., may vary. There’s nothing worse than serving unprepared and uncooked food to your guests under a time restraint or making them wait longer than arranged! Besides, when grilling, there is always room for a little more creativity and perfection!

Source:

  1. 5 Tips for How to Cook Grilled Vegetables Perfectly – EatingWell
  2. Genetically Modified Apples That Don’t Turn Brown
  3. 18 Grilled Vegetable Recipes – How To Grill Vegetables Perfectly

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