Monthly Archives: August 2019

Halloween Cooking Ideas

Whether you are cooking for a feast of adults for Halloween or looking for some great kid approved recipes there are plenty of resources online for some excellent spooky recipes for All Hallows Eve. There are some basic rules that will help the meal preparation and presentation go a little more smoothly if you’ll follow them. Hopefully that advice below will help you get through your spook fest and enjoy a great dinner too.

Most people who have a huge Halloween party will find that they will be interrupted throughout the evening with trick or treaters seeking the perfect treat. While we want to enjoy the ghosts, goblins, kings, and princesses gracing our stoop we also do not want to burn the food we are working hard to prepare. For this reason we need to select foods that require little attention during the preparation process rather than foods that are quite time consuming and attention demanding.

Crock pots are a blessing to have around on a night like Halloween. You can begin the food cooking well before the little goblins begin their appointed rounds and have the dishes you’ve prepared kept warm while you’re waiting for guests to arrive or doling out treats at your front door, whatever the necessity of the moment may be. You can even cook normal favorites in the crock pot or cook them on the stove and use the crock pot to keep them warm.

Some excellent spooky crock pot ideas include spaghetti brains. Prepare the sauce and the noodles ahead of time separately. Mix the sauce in the noodles and keep them warming together in the crock pot. Meatball eyes are another crock pot favorite. Stuff the meatballs with one stuffed olive eyeball and place in spaghetti sauce. Bat wings (which are actually chicken wings) with your favorite sauce are also excellent in the crock pot. Sloppy Joes can also be prepared and stored in the crock pot then served open faced over buns with small triangle cheese slices for eye and a pickle for eyeballs and a large triangle of cheese for the mouth.

Another great Halloween cooking idea is to prepare as much as possible ahead of time. There are all kinds of frightening and ghastly goodies that can be made ahead of time and stored for the big day. Make your spooky offerings such as dips that can be made cold and used for veggies, which can also be chopped ahead of time, can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for the big day. Cookies can be baked and decorated and stored in advance. Devilled egg white mice can be made earlier in the day and stored in the fridge on waxed paper.

The Internet is full of great recipe ideas for delicious and devious Halloween desserts, snacks, and treats. There are far too many to try them all. However, if you have favorite foods that are easy to prepare and a good party food you might want to search the net for a manner of making the food more appropriate to a Halloween theme. You can make your own pizza a little spookier by decorating it in a manner that is spooky or painting pictures, such as a jack o lantern face with pizza sauce. There are plenty of things you can do to raise the fear factor even on family favorites if you use a little creativity and give it a fancy name (like spaghetti brains).

The most important thing about Halloween as a holiday is that it gives children of all ages the perfect excuse to use their imaginations and play pretend. The food you cook doesn’t have to be too terribly spooky in order to be a perfect fit for the theme of the day. A few simple adjustments, a little dash of food color, and a lot of imagination can make any meal so much more Halloween worthy in the end.

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Gourmet Cooking for Pleasure

Gourmet cooking is a style of food preparation that deals with the finest and freshest possible ingredients. This means that to enjoy authentic gourmet food you must prepare your food immediately after purchasing the fresh ingredients that will comprise your meals. Not only do you want to purchase the freshest ingredients when cooking gourmet meals but you also want to insure that you are purchasing ingredients of superior quality.

Those who excel at gourmet cooking and food preparation have many options available to them. From catering to opening up their own restaurant these talented individuals who are entrepreneurial in spirit often do quite well in the world of business if their talent is sufficient.

When it comes to cooking gourmet food the two rules mentioned above are the only hard and fast rules. Everything else is purely a matter of adventure and taste. Now this doesn’t mean that any and everyone can become a gourmet cook simply by going out and purchasing the finest and freshest of ingredients and throwing them into a pot. There is some degree of art involved when it comes to gourmet cooking and a large degree of skill that is necessary in order to achieve these culinary masterpieces.

You should also understand and be prepared to discover that fresh ingredients are not always available so there are times when compromises must be made when cooking gourmet meals. For this reason you capitalize on what is in season and plan your meals accordingly whenever possible. One important quality when it comes to cooking gourmet food is the layering of flavors. You should be able to taste the meat or seafood as well as the vegetables, herbs, and spices that comprise your skillfully prepared meal.

You should not however rely on taste or aroma alone when cooking gourmet foods. As I mentioned above gourmet cooking is a large degree skill but there is some degree of art involved. For this reason, presentation is a key component of the gourmet dining experience. Through a few freshly chopped herbs on the plate before placing the food or top the food with appealing and aromatic herbs that will compliment the flavor of the meal you have prepared. Present the fruits and vegetable sides in a visually appealing fashion rather than simply tossing them onto a plate.

With proper presentation even foods that were simple to prepare can take on the flavor of a gourmet feast. This is something you should keep in mind whether your cooking plans for the evening involve the gourmet or the every day. The thing about gourmet cooking is that it is to some degree more art than science. This means that there is always room to improve your skills and stretch your limits as a cook. There will always be the next great challenge or the ‘what if’ when it comes to flavor combinations.

In fact, some of the greatest foods began with someone asking, “What would happen if I added this?” Always ask what if and always seek to improve your skills. The good news if this is an avenue you wish to pursue is that there are often gourmet cooking classes offered at gourmet food shops in your area. Some colleges or local community programs will also offer these sorts of classes for a few if you are interested. This means that there are almost always opportunities to broaden your experiences with gourmet cooking and expand your horizons.

Whether this is your first time considering gourmet cooking or you are an old pro, keep in mind that skills can be learned over time with the proper motivation and an open and honest desire to learn. If you want to learn more about gourmet cooking there is really nothing to stop you from doing so other than yourself. The Internet, your local library, and many bookstores across the country have countless volumes of information that can help you get started on your journey to gourmet cooking bliss.

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Gluten Free Cooking

When it comes to cooking, there are many dietary restrictions that will be encountered along the way. One restriction that is gaining some degree of notoriety in recent years is the need for a gluten free diet. Gluten is a substance that is commonly found in flour products that a decent sized portion of the population has a negative reaction to in some form or another. For these people, gluten free isn’t a choice it is absolutely necessary.

Gluten free cooking does impose many restrictions and often makes it quite difficult to enjoy something the vast majority of us take for granted-dining out. The good news from those who require gluten free cooking is that more and more restaurants are beginning to acknowledge this condition and offer some selections that are gluten free. It takes time, just as it did with low carb craze for the demand for these products to make it worth the industries while to make adjustments in their way of preparing foods.

While on the one hand it is frustrating to not have the option of dining out, there is some challenge to finding new and tasty foods and combinations for cooking each and every night without falling into a rut of the same old foods that you know you can eat without worry. Consider cooking gluten free a challenge rather than a chore and you may find that the process is much more enjoyable. You might even find that you appreciate the meals you’ve worked hard to prepare even better because of the great sense of accomplishment.

There are many resources available for those who need to eat gluten free foods. There are even more and more ‘convenience’ or prepackaged foods that are designated for gluten free cooking. This means that those who once had no option but creating meals from scratch do now have the occasional shortcut available to them. We are even finding cookie and cake mixes that are now gluten free in order to enjoy some of the finer things in life for those who would have been completely deprived only a few short years ago.

Changes are being made and resources are being shared through the Internet that help not only adults that require special gluten free cooking and diets but also support for the parents of children who must have gluten free diets. Cooking for children in the best of circumstances is often difficult. It is even more difficult when there are excessive dietary restrictions that often eliminate the possibility of our children enjoying childhood favorites. That is why it is so important to seek out the many resources and recipes that are available for gluten free cooking.

If you require a gluten free diet and have no idea where to start or what you should be cooking you should check out the many websites and blogs online that address the issues and needs that are faced by those requiring gluten restrictions. You will probably be amazed at the wealth of information that is available. Also, if you have a Trader Joes or Whole Foods store in your area, most of them either offer or will order gluten free products for your cooking needs.

Gluten free cooking does not have to be the chore many of us think it must be and all gluten free food doesn’t taste like cardboard. Take the time to get to know the wonderful gluten free recipes that abound and incorporate them one at a time into your cooking repertoire. You will be amazed at how wonderful you feel as well as how great the food tastes.

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