Category Archives: Having a Party?

10 Steps to Improve Yourself as a Cook

By Walter Trupp > Train your Taste. One of the most important keys to being a successful cook is to understand and learn when something tastes right.

At the beginning of your journey with food and its preparation, almost everything new to you will taste amazing. Learning about food is easy, and the process can be sped up by paying attention to the food you consume every day and by asking as many questions as possible. Continue reading 10 Steps to Improve Yourself as a Cook

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Bacon Cups. Really!

A Reblog from “not martha” by Megan  |  I had an occasion calling for bacon themed food and my mind immediately turned towards the famed bacon mat. I needed something a little more single-serving though, so I decided to attempt bacon cups. In the bacon mat instructions there is mention of draping the mat over an overturned metal bowl and cooking it so that it would turn out in as a bowl shape. I decided to try using the backs of various muffin and mini cake pans, I ran out of bacon before I got to try as many as I would have liked so I’ll have to try more at a later date. Any excuse for more bacon.

I set the oven at 400 degrees and carefully formed foil over the back of the muffin pan. I did not coat with cooking spray, it would have been easier to remove but I suspect that the bacon would not have held the form as well if the foil was oiled and would have popped apart half way through cooking. On the other hand some bacon did break when I was peeling away the foil. I cooked the bacon, moving the pans around, until it was crisp looking and waited for it to cool before removing the foil and shaped bacon.

This all took three hours and my house filled with smoke, but it was worth it. Be sure to put a cookie sheet with a rim below the cooking bacon in the oven, there was a lot of dripping fat and I saw a few flames. Watch your oven carefully!

For cup shapes I used the back of this Wilton King-Size Muffin Pan. These are the width of jumbo muffins but are almost twice as tall (see this cupcake for a visual).

For the first try I used two layers of bacon on the sides and wove it like a basket, or at least like I imagine a basket would be woven:

I turned out to not be enough after the bacon cooked and shrank:

It held its structure very well though:

The next time I used three layers of bacon on the sides, this worked out better:

For as floppy as the bacon is when trying to weave it, it keeps its shape really well once cooked to the point that it is crisp.

I also tried to make small round bowls using the back of a Betty Crocker mini filled cake pan.

It shrank up quite a lot, leaving more of a shallow rounded shape:

Going for a breadless BLT I filled the cups with lettuce (the arugula was the best) and sliced cherry tomato. After some serious investigation it was determined that the shallow bowls were the easiest to eat as finger food, while the cups were dramatic.

I had hoped to make a mayo-based salad dressing to really fill out my the BLT theme but I completely ran out of time. Overall, a success!

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Bloglink:  http://www.notmartha.org/archives/2008/02/27/bacon-cups/

How to Make a Perfect Smoothie

Smoothie is a smooth combination of fruits and yogurt, and you can have tons of creative ideas when it comes to making a smoothie. Smoothie is a healthy drink and yummy snack and is an excellent source of vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients. By changing the type of milk/yogurt you use in your smoothie you can make it a great source of probiotics. Also you can benefit from smoothies in your weight loss or healthy lifestyle journey. This guide is so useful when it comes to making a perfect smoothie:

If you want to see 180 more amazing smoothie ideas check out our sponsor’s link on the left side. It’s the story of Olivia,  and her transformation to a healthy and happy lifestyle by having smoothies; and she also changed her family and friends lives by sharing her smoothie recipes. Now she shared her secrets in her book: “Sensational Smoothies“. You can find useful tips about perfect smoothies and choosing the best ingredients to how to avoid dangerous combinations in smoothies.

Bloglink:  http://positivemed.com/2012/09/20/how-to-make-a-perfect-smoothie/

Filipino Party Food Planning

So you’re planning a little get-together for your friends, and you’ve got a mental list of foods to serve and people to invite. If you think planning a party is that simple, you’re in for a surprise. For one thing, there’s no such thing as a ‘little get-together’ when you’re in the Philippines. Filipinos love a good party, and they’ll go great lengths to have a feast every chance they get.

Unfortunately, we’re a bit less enthusiastic about putting the party together. How do you know which foods to serve, or how to go about making them? No worries—Filipino parties are really quite simple, even if they’re always bigger than expected. Filipino cuisine is very diverse, so you won’t run out of choices, and as long as there’s lots of food, your guests will be more than happy.

Unconvinced? Here are some useful Filipino food planning tips you can use for your next get-together.

Plan in courses

Ever been to a party where there was too much dessert but not enough of the main course? It’s a common mistake among party planners—they’ll make a quick list of foods they like and then run to the grocery store. Avoid this mistake by planning the entire meal by course. Do you want to serve appetizers or go straight to the main course? How many desserts do you need? If you have more than two main dishes, you don’t need a lot of appetizers. You can serve a variety of Filipino desserts recipes or prepare one large dessert, such as a pie or cake.

Mind the time

If your party is in midmorning or late afternoon, you don’t need a full-course meal because your guests will just have eaten. Instead of heavy Filipino food recipes, serve a range of different appetizers or finger foods. Not only is it more convenient, it also allows them to mingle while enjoying your meal. Be sure to add variety, as people can get tired of one dish fairly quickly.

People’s appetites change with the time of day, so plan accordingly as well. About 10 appetizers per person per hour is appropriate for lunch parties. People are generally hungriest during dinner hour, so if you’re holding the party then, have at least 14 munchies per person. If you’re hosting in the afternoon, you’ll need about half as much.

Don’t serve it all at once

There are few things worse than running out of food when you’re hosting a party. Of course, the safest way out is to overestimate—besides, you can always use the leftovers for next week’s meals. But what if you’re on a tight budget? The best alternative is to portion each course. For example, you can serve appetizers first, the main courses next, and dessert last. Don’t put out all of your food at once. When everyone has eaten, fill up your table with all the courses. That way, when they’re all full, they can simply go back to the table and pick their favorites.

Overbuy the drinks

You can get away with making just enough food, but it’s best to play safe when it comes to beverages. You never know how much your guests will want to drink. To save money without going cheap, prepare a nice punch or a few decent cocktails and stock up on cheaper drinks like beer, juice and soda. Get creative by mixing your own drinks—there are several low-cost Filipino recipes for party beverages. If you’re buying mixers, get them in smaller bottles so you don’t waste the unfinished bottles.

During the party, serve the fancy drinks first, then get out the canned or bottled drinks when everyone’s had their fill. That way, everyone can try the cocktails and freshen up with the drink of their choice later on. Keep the drinks in an ice box. Be sure to stock lots of ice—about one pound per person—for outdoor or morning parties.

Prepare take-home containers

When the party’s over, a lot of your guests will want to take home some of your leftovers. Don’t go scrambling around for spare containers, which most likely won’t be returned anyway. When shopping for the party, pick up a pack of food bags or disposable plates. Give them to your guests when they want to take home some food. It’s more convenient for both parties—you don’t risk losing your best plates, and they can stuff the food in their bags instead of carrying a large platter all the way home.

Enjoy the many articles and recipes at: http://www.streetdirectory.com/food_editorials/cooking/festive_recipes/filipino_food_party_planning.html