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How do i Make a Shepherds Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional British recipe, but oh so often what is served is not a real Shepherd’s Pie but a Cottage Pie. Cottage Pie is NOT just another name for Shepherd’s Pie – the two are different – albeit very similar. A true Shepherd’s Pie is made with minced lamb while a Cottage […]

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Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional British recipe, but oh so often what is served is not a real Shepherd’s Pie but a Cottage Pie.

Cottage Pie is NOT just another name for Shepherd’s Pie – the two are different – albeit very similar.

A true Shepherd’s Pie is made with minced lamb while a Cottage Pie is made with minced beef, if this is served with grated cheese on the top it actually then becomes a Cumberland Pie.

So just how do you make a real, traditional Shepherd’s Pie? Well, it really is a very simple dish to make and completely delicious. If you haven’t tried the real thing do give it a go and try this traditional British recipe.

SHEPHERDS PIE

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1lb lean minced (ground) lamb

1 tablespoon oil

1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 oz plain flour

I teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 dessertspoon tomato purée

3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

10 fluid ounces lamb stock

4 large potatoes

A little margarine and milk

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

METHOD

Peel and chop the potatoes, cook in boiling salted water until soft. Mash the potato, mix in a little margarine and milk and grated nutmeg and allow to stand.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas

Heat half the oil in a frying pan until it is very hot, then add the lamb and fry until, until browned, then drain in a colander to remove any excess fat.

In a sauce pan, heat the remaining oil over a low heat and gently fry the onion and thyme, until the onion is soft but not browned.

Add the cooked mince, sprinkle in the flour and add the tomato purée and salt and pepper.

Cook for 5 minutes, stirring all the time

Add the Worcestershire sauce and stock and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Continue to simmer until the liquid has reduced and thickened, taste and adjust seasoning. Cool.

Pour the lamb mixture into one large ovenproof baking dish or four individual ovenproof baking dishes and top with the mashed potato.

Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the mashed potato topping is golden-brown and crisp.

Serve with crisp seasonal vegetables.

And that is a true and traditional Shepherd’s Pie – enjoy!

Source:
1. How to Make Shepherd's Pie Video – Allrecipes.com
2. Fine Fermented Foods
3. Shepherd's Pie Recipe : Alton Brown : Food Network

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media.jsonline.com

How to Cut down on Soda

We all know that soda tastes great to most of us. The problem with the fizzy drink are all those excess calories. So, how do you cut down on your soda intake? I have a few tips. 1. Don’t buy them. – If you fail to buy them on your grocery shopping trips, it will […]

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We all know that soda tastes great to most of us. The problem with the fizzy drink are all those excess calories. So, how do you cut down on your soda intake? I have a few tips.

1. Don’t buy them. – If you fail to buy them on your grocery shopping trips, it will not be in the house to drink. Instead, try to drink water from the tap. Or, if you are like me and dislike water, instead of picking up the soda grab a box of tea bags or a canister of instant lemonade or even Kool-aid. These are cheaper and taste great, with less calories. If you really want to go on the healthier side of things and still don’t want water, buying 100% fruit juice is always an option, but a bit more pricy.

2. Don’t take cash. – This means into your office at work, with you on the road, to school or anywhere you typically buy the bubbly beverage from a drink machine. Not only is it much more costly but carrying that cash around temps you too much to buy that soda. Yes, you may want to convince yourself “If I take cash today, I will buy that bottled water instead of my favorite cola”. Face the facts: You’ll end up getting that soda, and probably a candy bar too. Your best option is to take a cup with you and get water. Its generally free from a sink or water fountain. And if you don’t like water? Try getting those mix-in packs which flavor water. If you, like some, dislike these, then invest in a travel mug and take your favorite beverage with you. (Just not the cola).

3. Crunch the numbers. – If you are like most people you probably go shopping at least once a week. Say you pick up only one twelve pack a week. Lets say its just $3.00 a week. (That’s the sale price at my local store). 3 multiplied by 52 is 156. That’s $156.00 a year wasted on a drink that only gives you extra calories. (I’m sure, like my family used to, you get about 2 or 3 twelve packs. The numbers just get bigger. I bet that money would come in handy to pay for some of those credit card bills.)

And speaking of those calories, how many extra calories is that? Well, being conservative and including all the “0” calorie sodas, the average is around 100 calories per 12 ounce can of soda. In a 12 pack that’s 1,200 calories. Multiply 1,200 by 52 is 64,400 calories per year consumed on a conservative amount of soda. And the average family is four people so that’s 15,600 calories per person, assuming the soda is shared equally. Now a single pound of fat is approximately 3,500 calories. That comes out to be 4.5lbs extra a year just in drinks. Drinking that much soda over 10 years and you can see why you have 45 extra pounds on your previous high school frame and why your kid is that much over weight.

Even if you want to say: “well, I buy the 0 calorie diet soda, hah! I don’t get all those calories.” How good does that even taste? If you do like the taste and fail to see the fact that no soda ever made has fiber or protein, both essential nutrients, then by all means, drink up your 0 calorie soda and see if it helps you lose weight and keeps you healthy.

In the end, to stop drinking soda, you have to have the will power to make an entire life style changed. Not drinking those sugary syrup filled sodas will help you lose weight and become healthier over all. Soda isn’t the only thing. All those other unhealthy foods should be cut down to a minimum as well. Exercise is a must as well. Making a life-style changed isn’t easy but its worth it in the end.

Source:
1. How Can I Stop Drinking So Much Soda? – WebMD
2. Rice Diet Menu
3. How to Stop Drinking Soda – Health.com

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media.fashionblog.it

How much Wine to Serve at a Party

If you are having a party at which you will be serving wine, it is important to know how much and what type of wine to buy beforehand. The amount of wine you will need depends on how many drinking adults you have invited, and how much wine you want them to drink. You must […]

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If you are having a party at which you will be serving wine, it is important to know how much and what type of wine to buy beforehand. The amount of wine you will need depends on how many drinking adults you have invited, and how much wine you want them to drink. You must also consider how people are going to get to your party. You do not want your guests to be driving home intoxicated. Also, the type of wine you will need to buy depends on what you will be serving at dinner and whether you will be toasting some occasion with champagne.

When preparing for your party you will want to make a guest list. Usually guests will be people you know to some degree, but if you only know people slightly it is probably best to assume they will want to share in the wine. Count the number of drinking adults on your list. Next, determine how long your party will last. To keep people under the legal limit for drunk driving allow two eight ounce glasses of wine per hour. Multiply the number of drinkers by the length in hours of your party, then again by two for the number of glasses they are drinking, then by eight for the total ounces of wine. Take this total ounces of wine and divide by 25, the number of ounces in a bottle of wine, then round up to get the number of bottles of wine you will need for your party. If that math is intimidating, just buy one bottle of wine for each guest if your party is approximately four hours.

The next thing to do is put together your wine list. In general, if you are serving red meat like beef, you will want red wine. Seafood and poultry goes with white wine. These are just general rules and there will always be some people who prefer either red or white wine regardless of what food is served. If you are having champagne for a toast, allow one glass for each drinker, unless you are feeling generous and want to allow a refill. Figure out how much champagne you will need by using the number of drinkers times the number of glasses you want to serve for your toast. Add this to the wine list. Take the total bottles of wine you figured out for the party and divide this equally between bottles of white and red wine so that your guests can have what they prefer.

Wine varies greatly in quality and price. You can pay anywhere from two dollars a bottle to many hundreds. The budget for your party will determine what wines you will buy. If you have invited a lot of guests and your budget is low, you will have to go with more economic choices for your wine list. Champagne can range from five dollars a bottle on up. The cheaper varieties of wine and champagne are unremarkable but drinkable. High priced wines may not impress your guests if they are not aficionados of the vine. Consider the people you have invited to your party, are they family, friends, co-workers? Do these people collect wines? Are they just social drinkers who like a glass to go with food? The wines you choose will say something about you as well. The best way to be sure is to get a single bottle of the wine you plan to serve and try it out. This way you will be sure to serve something acceptable at your party.

If you plan to have wine at your party, know in advance how much and what varieties you want to serve. Consider your guests and their preferences. Have some idea of how many people are likely to attend. Make sure that any guests who become intoxicated have a ride home and are not driving. Check out the wine you plan to serve before you make a volume purchase to be sure it is acceptable. Coordinate your wine list with the foods you plan to serve. Allow for differences in taste for different guests. Wine does not have to be something mysterious or intimidating. Good wine makes a pleasant accompaniment to a meal and can make your party a memorable event.

Source:
1. Party Planning – Total Wine & More
2. Peanut Butter Diet
3. The Dinner Party Wine Bottle Calculator | VinePair

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www.streetbeers.com

How to Bake the best Holiday Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread is a classic Scottish cookie consisting of one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour.  Shortbread can be baked in strips, cookie cutter shapes, or pressed into a form to produce a shortbread cake.  A shortbread form is a mold that produces a pattern or picture for the baked cookie (or […]

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Shortbread is a classic Scottish cookie consisting of one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three parts flour.  Shortbread can be baked in strips, cookie cutter shapes, or pressed into a form to produce a shortbread cake.  A shortbread form is a mold that produces a pattern or picture for the baked cookie (or cake).

This recipe splits the three parts flour into two parts flour and one part corn starch producing a finer texture and adding a bit of flavor to the cookies.

The “short” in shortbread comes from an old meaning for the word short, describing the crumbly texture of the cookie.  The texture comes from the high butter (fat) content.  Shortbread evolved from another traditional Scottish recipe for Rusk where the yeast in the Rusk was eventually replaced by butter.

The recipe below is slightly modified from the original.  It called for a higher oven temperature.  This tended to burn the cookies as they baked too fast on the edges.  A slightly lowered temperature as indicated in this recipe has produced perfect cookies ever since.  

These shortbread will melt in your mouth.  They can be served on their own, with ice cream, or with your favorite beverage of tea, coffee, or milk.

When preparing the cookies below, you can “dress them up” by adding small pieces of candied cherry to decorate them before baking or by dusting them with a little icing sugar after they have cooled.

1 lb flour

1/2 lb cornstarch

1/2 lb icing sugar

1 lb butter

Method:

1. Sift all the dry ingredients together ensuring they are well blended.

2. Add in the butter in small amounts.  Blend together as if mixing a pastry dough.  Continue mixing until the ingredients have come together.  Do not overwork.

3. Roll out with a wooden rolling pin, using some flour to dust the work surface and the pin.

4. Roll to approximately 1/4 inch thickness.  Use your favorite cookie cutter(s) to cut out your cookie shapes.  For a more traditional cookie you can cut the dough into rectangles or press it into a short bread form.

5. Place cookies on parchment paper on a baking sheet.  If you don’t have parchment paper, then use a non-stick tray.  A thicker tray will perform better and is less likely to burn the bottom of your cookies.

6 Bake in 325 degree oven for approximately 15 or 20 minutes until golden.  Do nor overcook.

7. Cool on wire rack.

8. Enjoy.

Source:
1. The Best Shortbread Recipes For Holiday Baking – Huffington Post
2. Green Beans Health Benefits
3. Shortbread Cookie Recipes – Allrecipes.com

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www.working.com

History of Soft Drinks Soda Pop

On a hot summer day, nothing can be more refreshing than an ice cold soft drink. From Pepsi to Coca-Cola, from Orange to Root Beer, sparkling water to seltzer, there are numerous soft drinks to choose from. Soft drinks are sold in every gas station, every restaurant and just about every place you go today. […]

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On a hot summer day, nothing can be more refreshing than an ice cold soft drink. From Pepsi to Coca-Cola, from Orange to Root Beer, sparkling water to seltzer, there are numerous soft drinks to choose from. Soft drinks are sold in every gas station, every restaurant and just about every place you go today. But where did this carbonated delight come from? How was it invented?

The Historical Origins Of Soft Drinks.

Technically, a soft drink is defined as any drink other than plain water that does not contain alcohol. The first “soft drinks” were not made in factories but came naturally as they were mineral waters found in natural springs and geysers. Early societies would bathe in these natural springs believing that they contained health improving minerals. This theme of the health benefits of soft drinks follows its development throughout the ages.

Later Arabic chemists developed sherbets. These Sherbets were the first juice and carbonation drink and were made from crushed fruit, berries, herbs or flowers. Muslim shopkeepers sold what they called a Sharob to the European traders coming through the Middle East. Out of the Muslim Sharob, came the French Sorbet. Around 1265, the Sherbet Dandelion & Burdock was introduced in England and was instantly very popular. This led to the development of other carbonated drinks in the Western World.

Soft Drinks in the West

The first soft drinks to be marketed in the West were made from water and lemon juice and sweetened with honey and was called lemonade. A Paris Company was granted a monopoly on the sale of the lemonade soft drink and its employees would walk around Paris with tanks of the drink on their back and sell the drink by the cup.

Not much later in England an important discovery was made that would revolutionize soft drinks. In 1767, Joseph Priestly discovered a method of infusing water with carbon dioxide. The invention is known as carbonated water. Another Englishman named John Nooth improved the carbonated water designed and began selling his product to pharmacies throughout England. Like the ancient societies, the carbonated soft drink was believed to aid in good health.

Later two Swedish Chemists improved on the work done by the English. Torbern Bergman invented a process that produced carbonated water from chalk by using sulfuric acid. This allowed carbonated water to be produced in large amounts. Later John Jacob Berzelius began to add flavors to the carbonated water.

Soft Drinks As We Know Them Today

Today Soft Drinks are mostly known by its most popular form: the soda pop. However, even soda pop is nothing more than carbonated water with flavor added. The important step came in 1784 when citric acid was developed from lemon juice. Since then, soda became the inevitable result. In 1871 the first soda was given a trademark. This soda was ginger ale.

Four years later, Charles Hires introduced his Hires Root Beer Extract and in 1876 it was offered at the Philadelphia Fair. Root Beer was made from a herb tea made from Roots that added carbonated water and citric acid. Hires Root Beer became very popular on the East Coast.

Then came Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper and Moxie which were introduced in 1886. At first, Coca-Cola was sold as a remedy for headaches. But Dr. Pepper, introduced in a corner drug store in Waco, Texas, was sold as a beverage. Then in 1903, Pepsi-Cola was formed and its product was sold as a cure for dyspepsia. Later sugar was added and these once medicines became the tasty beverages we known today.

Soft Drinks today are a big business. Coca-Cola and Pepsi still compete to be crowned as the world’s best soft drink. But the soft drink was developed as a heath supplement and until only 100 years ago was marketed as such. Today, it is a tasty beverage.

Source:
1. Soft drink
2. Blueberries for High Blood Pressure
3. Introduction to Pop – The History of Soft Drinks – Inventors – About.com

Image Credit
www.certifiedcoffee.com

History of Soft Drinks

People often confuse soft drinks as just sodas. However, any beverage that does not have alcohol or dairy products is considered to be a soft drink. They include bottled waters, iced tea, fruit punch and soda. The history of soft drinks can be traced back to ancient times. “Ancient societies believed that bathing in natural […]

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People often confuse soft drinks as just sodas. However, any beverage that does not have alcohol or dairy products is considered to be a soft drink. They include bottled waters, iced tea, fruit punch and soda.

The history of soft drinks can be traced back to ancient times. “Ancient societies believed that bathing in natural springs and drinking mineral waters could cure many diseases” (Wikipedia.org)

The sherbet is most likely the earliest soft drink. Developed in the Near East during the medieval times, these juices were made of crushed herbs, fruits and flowers. These sherbets are totally different from the frozen ones we enjoy today.

The first naturally carbonated drink appeared around 1265 in England. Dandelion and Burdock was very popular during that time.

Non-carbonated soft drinks were first marketed in the West during the 17th century. The drinks were made of honey, lemon and water. Marketer carried barrels of this drink on their backs and sold them to the people in towns.

In the 18th century carbonated drinks were introduced to the world. Wanting to replicate naturally carbonated water “Joseph Priestly discovered a method of infusing water with carbon dioxide to make carbonated water” (Wikipedia.org). With its pleasant taste, carbonated water became very popular. Later on in the century, flavors were introduced to the water.

In the early 1800s, soda water was popular in the United States. Using a Nooth apparatus, Benjamin Silliman sold soda by dispensing them in cups and glasses. This was the birth of the soda fountain. Since this was a major success, large factories were producing soda fountains be the 1830s.

Since mineral water was and still is a healthy beverage, Pharmacists set about to improve the taste. They added herbs and used “birch bark, dandelion, sarsaparilla, fruit extracts and other substances” (Wikipedia.org).

Soda fountains began emerging in many drug stores. People would go to one on a daily basis.

While soft drinks were on the rise during the 19th century, the sales of bottled beverages took up only a small part of the market. This was because of the majority of the consumers going to soda bars. It was not until the early 1900s when the sales of bottled drinks rose dramatically. In the second half of the century, canned drinks took up a large part of the market.

The Crown Cork Bottle Seal was invented in 1892. Wanting to keep the carbonation in the bottle, to keep the drink from going flat, many patents were tried. This “was the first very successful method of keeping the bubbles in the bottle.” (Wikipedia.org).

In 1899, a glass blowing machine was used for the first time to make glass bottles. Prior to this, the bottles were hand blown. This new innovation increased the production of bottles from 1,400 to 58,000 a day.

The first vending machines began appearing in the 1920s. At the same time, sodas were sold in take home packs. Just like when you go today to buy a six pack of soda, you have the convenient plastic ring to carry them. However, the carriers were made of cardboard.

Today the soft drink industry is steadily growing. With plastic bottles and new flavors being added each day, it is expected to continue its market growth.

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft-drink

Source:
1. Soft drink
2. Healthy Beer
3. Introduction to Pop – The History of Soft Drinks – Inventors – About.com

Image Credit
www.canada.com

Healthy Salad Tips

Salads trace its origin back to the Roman days. Basically salad means raw vegetables seasoned with salt or salty substance. The French called it “Salata” which means salted things which later coined as “salllat” or “salad” by the English in 14th century. (Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2006 (p. […]

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Salads trace its origin back to the Roman days. Basically salad means raw vegetables seasoned with salt or salty substance. The French called it “Salata” which means salted things which later coined as “salllat” or “salad” by the English in 14th century. (Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2006 (p. 682)).

Basically salad refers to a healthy way of consuming vegetables and food. The principles of a healthy salad are as follows:-

   1.            Minimal cooking to preserve the healthy nutrients found in the food

   2.            Prepared in a way that the already present nutrients are made easily available for absporptiom in the gut.

   3.           Provides fiber which is essential in prevention and management of diabetes,obesity, cholesterol and bowel health.

   4.            And of course the last but not least, tasty and palatable.

Salads contain three basic elements.     

Base

Depth enhancers

Binder/dressing

The base

The base usually forms the bulk of the salad. It is can be green leafy vegetables (salad leaves, lettuce, spinach etc.), colored vegetables (carrot, peppers, and pumpkins) or fruits. They provide the essential nutrients like iron, flavonoids, vitamin C, Vitamin E, antioxidants and fiber. Minimal cooking or rather no cooking ensures these rich essential nutrients are preserved and not damaged. Flavonoids and anti-oxidants are essential in prevention of cancer and excessive cellular aging. Vitamin C and E are potent immune protectant.

Depth enhancers

As the name suggests, depth enhancers are substance added to the salad to give a crunch or texture. They could be meat (preferably lean meat), nuts, seeds, pastas, brown rice etc. A point to note again is healthy salad should have lesser of the depth enhancers as compared to the base. The lean meat ideally just steamed, grilled or roasted with minimal oil. The best way is to pan fry in minimal olive oil. Bacon used sensibly can add great depth and flavor to the salad but used excessively just adds unhealthy fat. Nuts and seeds (like pumpkin seeds) are rich in selenium that are mood enhancers as well as strong anti-oxidants.

Binders or Dressings.

As the name suggest the function of the binder is to bring together all the components of salad and makes it palatable. The dressing are also responsible in making sure the essential nutrients said above is easily absorbed by the body and they themselves act as anti-inflammatory aid if prepared accordingly.

Substance that are usually used in preparing dressings:

1. Oil                        

– healthy option will be olive oil or extra virgin olive oil

– ensures the fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E,K are made readily available for absorption

– provides omega 3 and 9, which are potent anti-inflammatory nutrients.

– provides good cholesterol which is  cardio protective.

2. Flavoring               

– these can be variety of substance.

– Best is to avoid over the counter or processed sauces or condiments

– Salt should be ideally used in very minimal amount. Anchovies and capers are healthier substitute. Bacon can also be used. Brine should again be used minimally

-Vinegar can be replaced with the apple cider vinegar or citrus fruit juices like lemon, lime orange or grape fruit. These citrus juices are high in vitamin C which is a potent anti- oxidant and facilitates iron absorption. The green leafy vegetables are rich in iron but  vegetables like spinach is also high in oxalate that hinders iron absorption. Hence the vitamin c provided by the citrus juices counter the oxalate and improves the absorption of iron. Cider vinegar helps to boost up your metabolism and immune system.

– Usage of pepper as seasoning agent should be also limited to minimum. Instead paprika, fresh garlic, onion, fresh ginger can be used as healthy option.

-Herbs like thyme, basil, oregano, cilantro, mint are also healthy option of adding flavor as well as providing many health benefits.

– spices like turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and at the same time adds a distinctive taste to the salad.

– yogurt can be good source of probiotics that helps in digestion and maintaining the healthy bacterial colony of the gut.

A few additional tips on preparing salads

1. Wash all your ingredients thoroughly as they are consumed raw.

2. Prepare them just before serving and consume them as soon as possible

3. Try to use organic vegetables or fruits.

4. make sure to include at least one salad per meal.

Simple Healthy salad ideas:

Base

1 small sized red, yellow, green peppers diced

500gms rocket leaves or any salad leaves

Depth enhancers

1 cup cooked brown rice (crunchier the better)

1 pomegranate seeded

300gms steamed chicken breast – diced ( can be omitted by vegetarians)

Binders

2- 3 tablespoon of olive oil

½ lemon ( juice expressed)

1 tsp. sesame seed roasted with  ½ tsp turmeric  made into fine pwder

3 cloves of roasted garlic

1/2 inch ginger finely chopped

1 tbsp. water

¼ tsp. brown sugar

Pinch of salt

Method

1. Prepare the dressing -Mix all the ingredients and flavor accordingly

2. Mix the base and the depth enhancers thoroughly refrigerate for 30 min

3. Mix the prepared dressing to (2) and serve immediately.

Source:
1. 5 Tips for Building a Healthier Salad: Not all salads are created equal.
2. How To Stop Sugar Cravings
3. Making Healthy Salads: Tips, Tricks, and Basics – About Health

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sassyhongkong.com

Have you got a Recipe for Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash (sometimes known as butternut pumpkin or winter squash), is a member of the gourd family, the same family as the pumpkin, and does have a very similar taste to that fruit. It is in season late autumn and early winter; with its unusual shape, yellow skin, orange and almost nutty flavoured flesh this […]

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Butternut squash (sometimes known as butternut pumpkin or winter squash), is a member of the gourd family, the same family as the pumpkin, and does have a very similar taste to that fruit.

It is in season late autumn and early winter; with its unusual shape, yellow skin, orange and almost nutty flavoured flesh this fruit is delicious roasted, in casseroles, made into chips, mashed or – my favourite way of using butternut squash – to make a delicious, creamy and hearty soup.

Butternut squash (often shortened by lovers everywhere to BNS) is an excellent food nutritionally as well as taste wise, it is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and salt and is also a good source of Vitamin E, A & C amongst many other vitamins and minerals there is also only 40 calories in 100g and zero Points if following the Weight Watcher plan.

This recipe is actually my favourite one using the butternut squash as it is tasty and just that little bit different from others I have made, it is really warming and comfortable and my family and I just love it.

THATI STYLE BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 medium / large butternut squash

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

100g desiccated coconut

1 litre vegetable stock

100g sweetcorn

1 onion, chopped finely

1 carrot, diced into small dice

100g extra light soft cream cheese

2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 bay leaves

METHOD

1. Peel the squash (I find the easiest way is with a potato peeler)

2. Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds, chop the flesh into 1” dice.

3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, fry the onions, carrot and squash foe 5 minutes.

4. Add the coconut, sweetcorn, bay leaf , half the vegetable stock and curry paste.

5. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes, until the squash is soft and the coconut appears to have dissolved into the stock.

6. Remove the bay leaf.

7. Pulp in a food processor, adding the rest of the stock gradually, until you reach the consistency that you require.

8. Add the cream cheese.

9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This soup is also delicious made with pumpkin, an ideal way to use the leftovers from that Jack O Lantern!

Source:
1. Roasted Butternut Squash Soup – Cookie and Kate
2. Birmingham Hospital Diet Plan
3. Curried Butternut Squash Soup | Minimalist Baker Recipes

Image Credit
www.bodyearth.net

Halloween Slime Drink Recipes

If you are hosting a Halloween party, you might want to serve up some slimy drinks to gross out your party guests. Below are some of the best slime themed drinks that are sure to add some Halloween spirit to the ghouls and goblins that attend your party! ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ Cold Green […]

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If you are hosting a Halloween party, you might want to serve up some slimy drinks to gross out your party guests. Below are some of the best slime themed drinks that are sure to add some Halloween spirit to the ghouls and goblins that attend your party!

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Cold Green Slime

2 oz vodka
your favorite citrus soda
2 drops green food coloring
1 teaspoon sugar
lime for garnish
ice cubes

Add ice cubes to a Collins glass until it is about half full of ice. Add the vodka then fill to the top with your favorite citrus soda. Stir well. Then add the sugar on top and stir just a bit. Then add a couple drops of green food coloring and stir just once. Add a slice of lime for garnish and serve.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Captain Slime

1/2 oz Absolut vodka
1/2 oz Captain Morgan Parrot Bay coconut rum
1/2 oz blueberry schnapps
1/2 oz Blue Curacao liqueur
1 oz orange juice
ice cubes

All all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with two ice cubes and shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass. You can also serve on the rocks.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Melon Head Slime

2 oz vodka
1 oz melon liqueur
1 oz half-and-half
melon balls (optional)
cracked ice

Combine all the ingredients with cracked ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake well, and pour into a chilled old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a frozen melon ball if you want.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Halloween Slime

1 white tequila
1 shot peach schnapps
1 shot Midori melon liqueur
pineapple juice
club soda
ice cubes

Add the tequila, the peach schnapps and the melon liqueur to a cocktail shaker with a couple ice cubes. Shake well and pour into a highball glass over ice. Fill to about 3/4 of the top with pineapple juice. Then fill to the top with club soda to add fizz.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Chunky Slime

4 oz Captain Morgan Original spiced rum
20 oz Surge citrus soda
green mint jelly
green food coloring
cracked ice

Fill a chilled beer mug with cracked ice.  Add about 2 teaspoons of green mint jelly and stir a bit to break it up into smaller chunks. Then add 2 or 3 drops of green food coloring on top of the ice. Pour in the spiced rum then fill to the top with the citrus soda. Do not stir.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Please drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive. And don’t let your party guests drink and drive either. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Source:
1. Slime Punch Recipe – Allrecipes.com
2. Gallbladder Diet
3. Drink | Halloween Slime Punch Recipe | Recipe4Living

Image Credit
bakingbites.com

Great Christmas Wines for the Mature Palate

The most important thing to consider when buying anyone a bottle of wine, is what the person you are buying for likes. This is true whether the wine drinker is 21 or 91. That said, tastes evolve over time. Especially when it comes to wine. The longer a person has been drinking wine, the more […]

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The most important thing to consider when buying anyone a bottle of wine, is what the person you are buying for likes. This is true whether the wine drinker is 21 or 91.

That said, tastes evolve over time. Especially when it comes to wine. The longer a person has been drinking wine, the more particular these tastes may be. Therefore, it’s hard to recommend a good wine for a mature wine drinker. You not only will need to know which varieties he or she prefers, but what price range you feel comfortable spending.

There are many websites that can assist you in your selection process. One held in highest regard by many wine enthusiasts is www.winespectator.com, which also publishes a magazine and a yearly guide to the best 100 vintages. You might also ask the manager of a well-stocked liquor store what he or she would recommend.

One fact to consider, however, is that younger wine drinkers often don’t like heavy red wines. Grape skins contain a lot of tannin, which is a naturally-occurring acid. As tannin breaks down, it converts the sweet grape juice into a bolder-flavored wine. The key is letting the wine age long enough. A white wine has very little tannin and will probably be ready in about a year. A red wine will need three or four years, and often more to age properly. Many wines, unfortunately, pass their prime before the tannin breaks down enough for the wine to taste good.

The darkest red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, can taste like acid to an immature pallet. That’s especially true if the wine hasn’t aged long enough to break down the tannin. Tannin also can cause sensations of sourness, dry mouth or even an upset stomach. And even when the wine has matured, the flavor is so different from non-alcoholic beverages, it takes some getting used to.

As people mature in their drinking habits, they typically will develop a higher tolerance for tannin. Typically, they still won’t like the taste of it. But they’ll appreciate how tannin brings out the flavor of the properly aged wine. They may even be able to describe the subtle nuances of flavor between two bottles of the same variety.

But some will never develop a taste for tannin’s attributes. They will live to old age preferring the lighter varieties of grape, such as Reisling. Some will even have a life-long preference for the highly sweet, low-tannin varieties that taste more like soda pop or juice than wine.

Another factor that will impact a mature person’s preferences is income. Let’s face it. A bottle selling for $10 or less isn’t going to taste as good as a bottle selling for $45. That’s true no matter what you’re selling. The better something is, the more in demand it will be, and the higher price it will attain.

The young person who is just starting out in a career, or who is raising a family might have no knowledge of this. It won’t be until the kids are grown and on their own that mom and dad discover the improved flavor of the more expensive wines.

Although each mature wine drinker is different, if you know what they like, they’re not hard to shop for. So get on the Internet. Or hop in your car and get to the nearest wine store. A great gift is waiting.

Source:
1. 20 best red wines for Christmas | Life and style | The Guardian
2. Connection Between Serotonin and Appetite: How to Suppress Cravings
3. The Grape & The Grain – 100 of the best wines for Christmas …

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blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com

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