Monday, 5 December 2011
It's never too early to think about Christmas. We all know by now how much planning is needed for Christmas to go by without any major hiccups so the best thing to do is be prepared. To do that you need to plan what you need to buy and prioritise.
Christmas food is obviously one of the few things you must buy during the Christmas season. However you could still plan ahead now by making lists of what you need to buy and where you need to buy it. Some items will have a long use by date, so can be purchased in early December or even late November. You can make your life easier by using a supermarket's online shopping facility - start compiling your shop early and save it for nearer the time when you'll actually want to order.
If your going to make your own Christmas cake you should be making it now if not already made.( Aug to Sept)
Order your Bird or game,what ever you decide to have or buy a frozen one now. To work out what size you need, count on serving 450g per person. A frozen turkey will need 1-2 days to thaw. Make and freeze your mince pies now.Buy all your tinned and dried ingredients now, so your not rushing and end up forgetting it on the big day.
Think about the tabletop decorations if you're planning something special.
One week before Christmas
- Start to defrost the turkey at the back of the fridge.
- Write your shopping list and purchase all non-perishables (don't forget pet food).
Two days before Christmas
- Make Cranberry sauce and store in the fridge.
- For stuffings and bread sauce you will need stale bread. Cut and cube it now and lay it out on a baking tray in a single laye to dry out.
- Make sure all napkins and tablecloths are washed and ironed.
- Wash or polish cutlery, glasses, serving dishes and china.
- Pick up the flowers you ordered for the table.
- Arrange flowers and water well.
- If possible, wait until Christmas Eve to buy vegetables, salads and fish. If not, buy them now.
Christmas Eve morning
- Pick up fresh turkey.
- Do last-minute shopping.You should have a check list,most things should be crossed off by now.
- Prepare Vegetables,pigs in blankets and anything else to make life easier for yourself for tomorrow
- Defrost mince pies
- Prepare your chosen puddings and refrigerate. If you're serving a traditional pudding, make brandy butter and refrigerate.
Christmas Eve afternoon
- Prepare stuffings Don't refrigerate, but leave covered in a cool place. The stuffings should not be too cold when you stuff the turkey.
- If you can make your starter ie, soup then do so.
- make bread sauce Cover tightly with cling film and store in the fridge.
- Set the table, leaving the flowers until the morning.
Christmas Eve evening
Take the turkey out of the fridge, cover with foil and allow it to come to room temperature,then weight your bird so you can work out the cooking time(25 mins per lb + 25mins). Do the same with the stuffing and butter so that it softens for the morning. With all the newly-created space, fill up the fridge with wines, mineral water and fresh juice.
- Preheat the oven about 180c and prepare the Bird. IT SHOULD BE STUFFED AND READY TO GO.
- You now know the cooking time 4-5 hrs depending on size of bird.
- Make breakfast if you haven't already.
- If you are using a warming oven, put in the required plates and serving dishes.
- Set up coffee and tea trays for later.
- Get everything for cooking out and into the proper pans. Reheat Bread Sauce and place it in a jug with butter on top to melt over the surface, and keep warm.Your roast will take about 1 hr to cook so work out time when to put in oven
- Start steaming the Christmas pudding. (Make a tradictional pudding.)
- If you're drinking red wine with your meal, you may want to give it time to breathe. Open now.
- You've survived the morning, well done! Pour yourself a glass of bucks fizz to celebrate.
- Your roast should be in the oven now start to cook vegetables and pigs in blankets
- Remove turkey from oven, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest.
- Check bacon rolls, remove and keep warm.
- Put gravy on to heat. While they are cooking, dish up food into serving dishes and carve the turkey.
- Check Christmas pudding.
These time are a guild line you can work out your timing from the size of your meat. Then work backwords with
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
The Right Snack Track
Snacking is the downfall of many otherwise healthy diets, but the good news is that your can learn to control this snacking quite easily. Also, even if still want to snack during the day, there are ways in which you can do so without killing your healthy diet. Staying on track with your diet when you like to snack might be hard, but it is worth that extra effort because it keeps your body healthy.
To prevent snacking, simply eat more meals. Instead of eating three large meals every try, try eating smaller meals every few hours. If you are snacking because you are hungry, chances are that you are using more energy than you are ingesting and you need the extra fuel. By eating 6 smaller but healthy meals every day, you will not be tempted to snack very often, but will keep your high energy levels.
You can also help to stop your snacking simply by removing temptation. Before you reach for a snack, ask yourself if you are honestly hungry or if you are just eating because you are bored, because the food tastes good, or because you feel compelled to eat when doing a certain activity (like watching a movie). If you are snacking because you are really hungry, than it is probably fine to have something to eat, but if you are snacking for another reason, you should try to remove the temptation. Simply rid your house of junk foods and do not buy these items again when you go to the grocery store.
Instead, purchase healthy snacks. Think about the snacks you are eating. Would they fit easily into a food group as fruit, vegetable, grain, dairy, or protein? If the answer is no, then the snack is probably not good for you. For example, carrot sticks (vegetables), yogurt (dairy), or whole wheat crackers (grains) work well as snacks, while candy, potato chips, and processed foods do not.
When you snack, remember to consider your beverages as well. Drinks like soda, fruit punch, iced tea, lemonade, and juice boxes can contain unnatural ingredients and lots of sugar. In short, they are high in calories but low in nutrients. Instead, opt for drinks that supplement your healthy diet. Choose water most of the like, or drinks that are made with natural fruits, like apple juice. Low-fat milk and sports drinks are also good choices. Above all, stay away from most kinds of alcohol. Red wine is an exception, since this can help your heart health, but any type of alcohol in high amounts is fairly bad for your body.
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Keep in mind that there are many different types of Chinese recipes that you can make for your family. You’ll need to keep in mind that everyone in the family probably has their favorite dish, but you’ll also find that everyone has a different reason why they like that dish as well.
You’ll find that when everyone has different tastes it can be very hard to please everyone, so you may have to try to figure out what recipes work well and also what recipes don’t work well. You’ll also want to keep in mind that these recipes are nothing that is set in stone. You’ll need to keep in mind that there are some standard ingredients that you can work with and figure out your own recipe. Keep in mind that Chinese food is based on ingredients like rice, noodles, seafood, and vegetables. You’ll find that there are some different tastes in the different regions of china too. You’ll find that Lo Mein is very different in Shanhai then it is in Beijing. This is because of the cultural differences and also the ingredients that are readily available.
You’ll find that the regions do end up playing a special role in what tastes like what, but you’ll also want to keep in mind that China is a big country and it is very different, climate-wise, when it comes to the regions too. The spices tend to make the dish.
When it comes to Chinese recipes there are types of Chinese Recipes there are a lot of things that will make or break the dish. It is very important that you think about things like soups and pancakes when trying new things because they all are different when it comes to eating at various restaurants or making them yourself.
Friday, 11 November 2011
When it comes to Chinese recipes, you’ll find that there are some of the most interesting recipes that you will ever try. You’ll also find that there are many recipes that are appropriate as a snack or some that are appropriate as a main course. You’ll need to keep in mind that these recipes will be able to come together quickly too. You will find that there are thousands of recipes that you can use and there are even more cookbooks on the market. You’ll need to keep in mind that it is easier for you to try out recipes and then add them to your own personal cookbook. This way you are able to build your own cookbook that can be passed down to other generations.
Often, you’ll find a recipe that is hundreds of years old, but each generation has added something to it or taking something out. You’ll find that these are the best recipes because you are able to make them your own and feel more comfortable about doing so. You’ll need to keep in mind that there have been great technology advances and you’ll need to opt out some of the cookware so that you can use electric woks or rice cookers.
When it comes to the cultural heritage of the food, you’ll want to keep in mind that they have a very strong history. You’ll need to keep in mind that most of the recipes do involve rice. Rice has become the main food for china and it has also become a major export.
There are many Chinese recipes that can take hours and hours to prepare, but you’ll also find that there are twice as many recipes that are so easy to prepare that you may be able to have a good meal for the family within minutes.
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Soy is powerful for your body
Soy use is relatively new. You will find that there are tons of health benefits that you will be able to get from soy, but you will also want to include it into your diet regardless of the risk for heart disease, if you may have it. You should know that most vegetarians will eat soy as a substitute for meat, but it will also allow patients to lower your high cholesterol levels. You will want to check with your doctor about adding soy to your diet
There are a lot of doctors that recommend that you replace meat with soy so that you can avoid the bad fats, but get the protein that you need. At this rate, daily, soy has been proven to lower cholesterol. Even the FDA or the Food and drug Administration has noticed the effects of soy and how it can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease. Cholesterol clogs veins and arteries with a fatty substance that hardens to produce plaque; too much plaque in the arteries can close them completely, causing a heart attack. If you eat soy, you’ll be to reduce your cholesterol levels in your blood so that you can avoid build up in your arteries and heart. Lowering the amount of cholesterol by eating more soy can also reduce your risk for having a stroke.
You will also notice that the benefit that you will get from using soy in your diet does not just stop at helping you with cholesterol. You will also find that it can help women with their hormone troubles during menopause. The health benefits of soy do not stop at lowering cholesterol, however. Soy is also very beneficial for menopausal women, since it increases estrogen levels.
Then that will reduce the effects of menopause such as night sweats and hot flashes. Because it has been known to raise estrogen levels in the body, eating soy can also be very beneficial for men trying to treat prostate cancer. There are still some studies being done about how good soy can help you lose weight and deal with diabetes.
You will find that soy is a healthy food that can help you with many things including menopause. You can also use it to lower your cholesterol levels, but also make yourself generally healthy. You will want to ask your doctor about the effects of soy and how it may help you fight to become healthier. You will find that your doctor will fill you in with all the wonders and questions that you might have about adding soy to your diet and by using soy and exercise to make you healthier. You will want to add things like fruits, veggies, and grains so that you can have a stronger and longer healthy life.
Monday, 7 November 2011
- Prep time:
- 50 min, plus chilling
- Cook time:
- 20 min
- You can make a traditional meat and potato pie with ready made shortcrust pastry - make your own for a more authentic taste
Meat and potato pie
For the pastry
- 300 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 75 g butter
- 75 g lard, or vegetable fat
- 5-6 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp milk, to glaze
For the filling
- 1 onion, finely dieced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 250 g minced beef
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp Marmite
- 1 1/2 tbsp plain flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large baking potato, finely diced
Method1. For the pastry
Rub the butter and lard into the flour and salt until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water and form the mixture into a ball adding a little more water if necessary. Chill for 20 minutes.
2. Dry fry the onion, carrots and beef together in a medium saucepan over a high heat until browned, then reduce the heat and add the tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Marmite, flour and seasoning.
3. Cook for one minute then add the diced potato, 150 mil water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
4. Heat the over to 200C / Gas 6. Dust a work surface with flour and roll out two thirds of the pastry into a square large enough to cover the base and sides of a 20cm square 4cm deep cake tin.
5. Add the cooled mince, then roll out the remaining pastry for the lid. Dampen the edge of the pastry and place on the lid on top of the pie and press the edges well to seal.
6. Using a fork pierce the top of the pie several times and brush with milk. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve hot with mashed potatoes, peas and gravy.
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Now Winter will soon be here The perfect soup for those warm cosy nights - it's vegetarian and a good source of calcium, folic acid and vitamin C, too!
Please note you can use any vegetables you like this is just a guide line
potatoes,lentils or different pulses, just put in what you love
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves , crushed
2 large potatoes,peeled and diced
1 swede , peeled and cut into chunks
4 large carrots , peeled and cut into chunks
3 sprigs thyme , leaves removed and roughly chopped
850ml fresh vegetable stock or stock cube
500ml semi-skimmed milk
2 x 410g cans mixed beans in water, drained
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then gently soften the garlic without colouring. Tip in the swede, carrots,potato and two-thirds of the thyme, cook for 5 mins with on colour.
then pour in the stock . Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 mins.
If you want a broth just add the beans,if you want a thick smooth soup then
Ladle a third of the soup into a blender, whizz until smooth, then pour back into the pan along with the beans. Check for seasoning, then return to the heat and warm through and milk or cream.check seasoning again, Serve sprinkled with the remaining thyme and some warm, crusty bread rolls.
If you try it let me know who you got on.
Thursday, 20 October 2011
Why Breakfast Really is the Most Important Meal of the Day
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, that doesn’t stop millions of Americans, and people around the world, from skipping breakfast or opting for only a drink of coffee. The truth is that breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, and you will have a much more healthy diet if you include breakfast in your daily life.
Breakfast is rightly named—break fast. When you sleep, you are not eating for 6 to 9 hours at least, and more if you haven’t eaten since dinner the night before. Therefore, breakfast is the first time you’ll be eating anything for a very long period of time. Some nutrients, like proteins, cannot be stored in the body and are therefore not present, so the body needs you to replenish the “low” levels of such nutrients. Breakfast is like the match that lights the fire. It truly is a very important source of energy for your body in the morning.
Eating breakfast in the morning also helps you avoid some illnesses and disease. For example, your sugar levels are probably out of whack from not eating for many hours, so having breakfast levels out the amount of sugars in your body, helping to prevent diabetes. Eating a healthy breakfast also helps you to provide food to your stomach so that you don’t overeat at lunch because you are so hungry. Overeating leads to obesity, which comes with a whole host of problems, including heart disease.
Healthy breakfast foods, like eggs, fruit, or bran cereal are also a good source of many of the vitamins and minerals a person needs during the day. If you don’t eat these things in the morning, it will be hard to make up for that loss later in the day. Remember that without the proper amounts of nutrients, you body will not function correctly. When you eat a healthy breakfast, it also makes you choose healthier foods during the rest of the day, so that you continue to get the proper nutrients needed for your body.
Setting aside 15 minutes in the morning to eat breakfast every day can truly make a great different in your diet. In the best case, your breakfast will include foods from at least three different food groups. For example, you can have whole grain toast (bread food group) with peanut butter (protein food group) and a banana (fruit food group). Top that off with a glass of milk to drink, and you’ve even hit a fourth food group. Breakfast does not have to include a heavy pancakes and sausage meal every day to be healthy, and even grabbing a single piece of fruit or a muffin is better than skipping the meal completely. Breakfast is important to your health!
Friday, 7 October 2011
Friday, 3 June 2011
Thursday, 2 June 2011
Why it is most people will cut themselves with a blunt knife
Should a knife be sharpened every time you use it: Yes you should, every time I pick up my knife I will sharpen it, but I'm a Chef. Nearly everyone at home will have knifes in the kitchen and I'm sure most of them are blunt.
What's the different between a blunt knife and a sharp knife?The blunt knife if you have ever felt the blade of a knife to see how sharp it is. If you have you can easily tell if it's sharp or not. The cutting edge on a blunt knife looks more like a big oil tanker, wide and almost round, or if you have chopped without using a chopping knife. Never chop straight on to the work service this can fold one edge over.
The sharp knife:A sharp knife will have a V shape to it, most European manufactures sharpen their blade to 22.5 and the Japanese have there's in between 12-15 giving them a sharper angle giving it the poetical to cut thinner.
A sharp knife is a continue use of a steel the key is to keep the knife in a V shape. The blunter the knife the longer it will take to get sharp as you will have to remove the metal to get an edge back on it.
When to sharpen a knife: You should sharpen your knife every time you go to use it this way your knife will always be sharp. If you are doing a lot of sharpening you might want to sharpen it more that once.
Three ways to sharpen your knifes.
Whetstone: There are two types of stone you have the water one and the oil stone both work in the same way. If you have used them before they are by far the best way to sharpen your knives giving you the best possible edge. If you don't know what you're doing it won't, but don't worry at the bottom there is a short video of me showing you how to.
Steels: there are two types of steels you have the old-fashioned one where its round and you have the diamond steal. With the conventional steel you should keep this near your knifes so you sharpen all the time. To sharpen with a steel you the steel in your none cutting hand, away from you and your hand up at 3 o'clock, then with the heel of the blade you start at the end of the steel keeping it at a 45 degree angle then slowly going down the steel, then do the same on the other side of the blade. The more times you do this the quicker it will take so stick with it.
Ceramic steel: these don't work as well as the diamond steel they are about 70% affective but last a lot longer.
Diamond steel: these are very good for putting an edge back on a knife and you will take a lot less strokes than it would with a ceramic one.
Sharpeners and chantry: the pragmatist handheld models, the handheld knife sharpener, these are good if your not very good a sharpening knifes as they do all the work for you all you do is slide your knife towards you and that's it.
· If you like to have sharp knifes the every time you use your knife use the steel before every job.
· If you have the skill to use a stone then this will give you the best edge on your blade
· the easiest way and quickest is to use a handheld sharpener or a chantry, with these you will always have the same angle on your knife
I hope this has helped you in keeping your knives sharp have a look at the short video below on sharpening knifes.
Kind Regards Chris pell