Archive for December, 2012

One pot cooking is terrific for the budget conscious and you can draw on all sorts of different dishes and pots, specially those who are pushed for time or detest washing up.

With the majority of one pot meals that necessitate braising, casseroling, stewing or pot roasting, cheaper meat cuts are used and the results are very satisfying. Therefore the better cuts aren’t crucial, which is good when you are on a budget.

The slow cooker is the daddy of one pot dinners, most people wouldn’t be without one. Their deep bowls are effective at stewing food to perfection and their variable temperature gauge is ideal for browning followed by a slow and lengthy cook. Your perfect one pot dish may be served directly from the slow cooker saving yourself the trouble of having to wash as many dishes than you ordinarily have to.

In addition, the dish once cooked can then be placed into a number of storage tubs to be put in the freezer for future mealtimes.

Thoughts and images of childhood time and again include the meals that were prepared for us, such as meat casseroles and stews and were often made out of minced meat and root vegetables. Once in a while, it was great to uncover some chunks of meat in them also. One pot dinners often work out more affordable than the traditional meat and vegetable cooked dinner and you’re always guaranteed a big helping.

One pot meals aren’t entirely the same, for example stews and casseroles on a comparable theme. Nevertheless, some recipes for one pot meals will come in the form of a soup, vegetable or pasta based meal. Casseroling and stewing are the obvious methods to cook one pot meals although you could also avail yourself of the stir frying, pot roasting or braising ways to cook.

Casseroling or stewing implies a slow and long method of cooking food in a gravy or stock. Beef, if not minced, needs to be cut into small pieces and chicken may also be jointed for speed of cooking.

While roasting is appropriate for cooking bigger meat joints or whole birds, pot roasting is a perfect method for cooking small joints. The meat needs to be browned first and put in a dish surrounded by vegetables, then covered with foil or lid and cooked over a low heat or in an oven at low temperatures.

Braising is when small meat cuts or poultry joints that have been browned are placed in a dish with all manner of vegetables and a small amount of liquid to be enclosed by means of tin foil or lid and cooked slowly in the oven to let the juices in the meat to mingle with the stock or gravy.

Stir frying is when thinly sliced or finely shredded ingredients are fried briefly in a little oil on top of a high heat. The ingredients should be rapidly turned again and again to guarantee even cooking. Vegetables should be tender to the bite and cooking times need to be kept to a minimum subsequently if you’re short of time it can be a great cooking method to make use of.

Beginners and professionals alike have resorted to cooking one pot dishes. This form of cooking is very traditional, using recipes from days long since gone. Because it’s a fast and simple way to produce a very scrumptious dish it’s no surprise that one pot meals are as popular today as they did way back when.


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How often have you looked out of the downstairs window at the backyard and daydreamed about it looking and feeling different and more pleasing to the eye?

Making changes to the look and feel of your dwelling is something many people wish to do as they wish their children to feel safe and at ease in it at all times. The same can be said of the backyard as it ought to be an area to find a safe haven and inner peace and tranquillity.

You could do your own backyard landscaping or you can appoint someone to do it for you, whatever way it doesn’t have to be radical or demanding. Doing it yourself is going to be very challenging work, especially if you have never done it in the past. The simplest thing to carry out before doing it yourself is to enrol on a crash course on backyard landscaping because there are many things that you’ll need to find out about.

The choice is yours and while you could save lots of money doing everything on your own, should things go badly wrong it can end up costing you a lot of money to put it right. It might be best if you only attempted the simplest and undemanding jobs and kept the remainder for the experts!

There are plenty of books on gardening to choose from that contains landscape gardening and backyard and patio gardening so it is a nice idea to invest in these type of books, if only to give you an idea of how you’d like your backyard to look. It goes without saying you can leave the designing to your chosen builder, but wouldn’t it be nicer to have your own designs taken notice of.

An exceptional idea for landscaping your yard is to use evergreens because they’ve got an amazing ability for decorating any backyard and help it become restful and welcoming. Deciduous trees are always a good idea too, nevertheless to give your backyard stability and structure it is best to stick with the evergreens.

The main reason for this is that some deciduous trees don’t look good in all seasons, so you might want to always consider things in your yard that can look nice all year long. Evergreens are such things, as they look amazing about the home and garden in both winter and summer and make your yard appear interesting at all times.

Making excellent use of hardscape is precisely what a backyard requires. Hardscaping requires using such things as rocks, walls and fences. All of these could make your backyard look fascinating all year long when you use them together with climbing plants, hanging baskets, attractive trees, garden ornaments and water features, therefore check out all your options when it comes to backyard landscaping as there’s rather more to it than plants and trees.

Fences and walls don’t just make great neighbours, they could also surround your property beautifully, accentuating all the other landscaping ideas and set them off perfectly and which, when finished, will seem to be just like a picture frame around a stunning painting. Love your entire house and home – particularly the backyard!

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Is this you? … who is there on this earth that does not like eating cakes and desserts, biscuits or cookies, or the smell of freshly baked bread drifting through from your kitchen?

Myself, I do not have the correct ingredients which great bakers have so I rely heavily on good quality information and excellent cookbooks.

Baking is an exact science so it’s very important to weigh the ingredients accurately and to follow the recipe exactly also. As soon as you’ve developed the knack of baking a number of things successfully, it’s at this point that you might veer away from your recipe and begin adapting them more to your personal tastes.

On the subject of baking you will realise that baking powder and bicarbonate of soda are extremely helpful ingredients to always have available. They will pop up in a lot of cakes and desserts recipes since they are chemical raising agents. They give sponges, scones, muffins and certain cookies their delicate texture and baking powder enables you to maintain more control when cooking cakes.

The type of sugar you use to bake desserts and cakes etc can have an effect on the outcome: granulated sugar has a coarser crystalline structure and so traps a lot of air, caster sugar produces more even-sized pockets of air and icing sugar produces a very fine, flat cake. It is possible to use soft, brown, unrefined sugar for baking as it produces a flavour and a consistency that’s unique.

By adding baking powder to plain flour separately, as opposed to just using self raising flour, offers you rather more control. You don’t require too much raising agent in a rich fruit cake, for example.

Heat causes sodium bicarbonate to act as a raising agent by discharging carbon dioxide when used in baking. The carbon dioxide production starts at temperatures greater than 80 °C. Since the reaction won’t take place at room temperature, mixtures, (cake batter etc) can be permitted to stand with no rising until they are heated in the oven.

If baking choux pastry you must use a greased tin never baking parchment or greased glass because the eclairs will get stuck. In addition if you put a drop of water onto a greased tray and swirl it around before you pipe the pastry out to let you create more steam, that will make the choux pastry rise even more.

Numerous books on desserts and cakes can often impart practical tips when cooking such as using cooking parchment to line your tins. This is a non-stick paper that prevents mixtures sticking to the tin while cooking. This mustn’t be confused with greaseproof paper, that does not have non-stick properties.

What if, after all that attention and effort you put into baking the ideal sponge cake you cannot remove it from the tin in one piece. Well, to be able to take out your nicely cooked cake from the tin just run a palette or rounded butter knife about the interior edge of the cake tin and with care turn the cake out onto a rack for cooling.

To take out the cakes without leaving marks from the cooling rack on the top, position a clean tea towel over the tin, place your hand onto the tea towel and turn the tin upside down. The cake should come out onto your hand and the tea towel, then remove the greaseproof paper before placing it carefully onto the rack.

There are loads of cooking books to be had as a way to learn to bake and cook like celebrity chefs. If you’ve always wanted to bake wonderful cakes, it is time to stop wondering and begin experimenting! Suffice to say, each and every proficient cake-baker has to start somewhere.

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Crime and thriller fiction is tricky to classify considering that it may be difficult to recognise where crime fiction begins or where it ends. The important and fundamental components of crime and mystery fiction books are death, danger and love. It also consists of a number of sub-genres that include detective novels (like the whodunit), legal or courtroom thrillers.

Crime fiction is a book genre that fictionalises crimes and the detection of them, not forgetting the perpetrators of crimes and their motives for them. Crime fiction is in the main distinguished from mainstream fiction genres, such as science or historical fiction, but in a lot of instances the boundaries can become unclear.

Agatha Christie is a great detective (whodunit) novelist, the creator of Miss Marple and Poirot no less, but crime fiction nowadays most of the time includes the most ghastly or repugnant of acts. It is possible to identify with the characters or heroes in such novels and doing this helps readers to enjoy them so much more and identifying with a detective that has to overcome certain obstacles or tricky situations means they are very attention-grabbing to crime fiction readers.

Certain readers might deem detective fiction a bit tame since they have developed a need to know how the darker side of humanity will show itself. Perhaps the reason women in particular are drawn to this genre is that crime fiction allows people an opportunity to discover the psychological motivations of a killer, safe in the knowledge that it’s restricted to the pages of a book.

Over the years British books of fiction, in particular crime, has advanced from being a humble celebration of logic into the precise opposite. This might have a great deal to do with changes in society as a whole and the impartial and not to be bought British justice, which resulted in wrong-doers invariably receiving the punishment they deserve with killers being sent to the gallows. It would be fair to say that when the laws of the land changed, as in the abolition of hanging during 1964, so too did crime and mystery fiction stories since each one of these changes were mirrored in this genre and by taking into consideration the era in which the tale was set.

Fortunately, crime fiction and the film industry have complemented each other very well through the years. Together they indulge the need of the average audience to travel into a world of fantasy, where the good always reaps the rewards and the bad incur the penalty. Adaptations of crime fiction into films are massively profitable, such as the novels of mystery fiction authors such as John Grisham’s The Client and A Time to Kill.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins is broadly known to be one of the original detective novels with the book’s hero, Walter Hartright, applying lots of the investigation approaches we very often associate with detectives of later years. This novel also allows a desirable insight into the origins of the genre.

Crime fiction set in the Victorian era are extremely popular. These novels give us an insight into the workings of the police during this era and the methods they applied to solve the crimes of the day. Because mystery fiction novels today could be, and most often are, determined by criminal profiling, pathologists, databases, DNA etc, it truly is a delight to return to the simpler techniques, for example baddie versus goodie, brains against strength and the hard work of the detective living merely by his wits.

Crime fiction is created to seize your attention inside the first few pages and it is this component which makes crime and mystery fiction books the reads of a lifetime.

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