Awesome Tips

How to Make Perfect Sauces for Home Cooking

Break the Cycle So many people use processed ingredients in their cooking that it almost becomes second nature. When compiling our shopping lists for the week, the process is often to decide what we want the main part of a meal to be, and then deciding which jar or packet of sauce you are going to buy to accompany it. That said, many people are now going down the healthier and much more fun route of buying whatever ingredients they need, and making the sauce themselves. So, the simple answer to how to get tasty sauces is to make it yourself, but what are the massive benefits that branch out from this? Know What You Eat By far the biggest benefit to bringing a touch of do it yourself to your cooking is that you know exactly what you are eating. Even if you do bother to read the ingredients on a packet of cheese sauce, the chances are that you haven’t got a clue what 50% of them are, and nor are you likely to head straight home and Google them, or do so from the supermarket on your smartphone. Still, regardless of whether you know what each “E number” is, at least if you make the sauce yourself you know exactly what’s going in there. And guess what? By making things such as sauces yourself from scratch, you will realise that additives and other “ingredients” are the most pointless thing in the history of man. Your homemade sauces will taste much better and overall be much healthier for you than something you buy and trust just because it is labelled “Dolmio” or “Uncle Bens.” Oh, and did we mention the fun part? Getting Funky You know that feeling you get when you tuck into a pre-prepared food and think, “something’s missing?” Well, that too will be gone forever. Making your own sauces entirely from scratch means that, not only are you getting all of the health and nutritional benefits, but you also have the opportunity to get funky in the kitchen and customise them to your own tastes. Want your tomato sauce a little thicker and creamier? Then do it. Always thought that cheese sauce would be great with a scattering of paprika or mixed up with chilli flakes? Why not try it. You never know, you might even find that you’re a dab hand and cooking and unearth what has been until now a hidden talent of yours! Practice makes perfect when it comes to cooking, and the only way to really do that is to experiment and make every single thing in your meal from scratch where possible. Videojug is one of the world’s leading...

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Last Minute Baking – How to Cater For Unexpected Guests

Unexpected guests landing on the doorstep can send fear through anyone, especially if they have empty bellies and you are not adequately prepared. If you want to make sure you are always ready for these eventualities, there are plenty of desserts which won’t take long to bake. These cakes can even be personalised to suit your guests and will ensure they leave feeling happy and satisfied. You only need a few ingredients for most of these, so you can make sure you always have these ready and waiting. You can make them as plain or indulgent as you want without causing any extra fuss. Rice Crispie Cakes Rice crispie cakes are ideal for anyone, but are especially favourable for children. The ingredients are simple, all you need is a box of rice crispies and some chocolate, which you can mix together to create these mouth-watering delights. You can even decorate them with other chocolate bits, such as smarties, to create cakes which no one will be able to resist. These bite sized treats are an ideal way to treat your unexpected guests, especially if they arrive with their kids in tow. Fairy Cakes Classic cakes which take no time to cook up, fairy cakes are ideal if you are pushed for time. The ingredients are minimal, with flour and sugar being the main ingredients and you can add other chocolate pieces to personalise them to suit. Fairy cakes are really easy to create, even if you are a complete novice to baking. Cupcakes Cupcakes are highly popular and can be made in no time at all. You can design these to suit any occasion, such as Halloween or Christmas, by adding decorations which signify the time of year. You can also keep them plain for an all-year round treat. Everyone loves cupcakes so if you are treating unexpected guests, you can be assured that they will love these little delights. Cupcakes are relatively simple to make and are a much loved dessert for an all year round treat. Muffins You can’t go wrong with muffins if you want to ensure you keep your guests happy and these don’t take long to bake. You can make them as naughty as you want with lots of chocolate chips or keep it plain with blueberries. You only need a few ingredients to create these tasty treats and they are the perfect dessert to surprise any unexpected guests with. You can guarantee your guests will leave with a full belly with these cakes. If you want to treat your unexpected guests and ensure they leave with a smile, then offer cupcakes; they are the perfect way to welcome unexpected...

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Easy, Healthy, and Bite-Size Appetizers

Planning a party can be a challenge. There’s so much to prepare, from the venue and decorations, to the table design and food. But before you get all frazzled, let’s make it easier for you. Here are some suggestions for sumptuous appetizers that are definitely a cinch to make. 1. Serve Up Hot Appetizers Warm food and sauces are wonderful fare during chilly nights. Tartlets, empanaditas, stuffed mushrooms, pigs in blanket, roll ups and mini tacos are just a few options that you can try out. You can also go for spicy food for that blast of flavor in your mouth. Mexican dips, red pepper sauce, and chipotle dips can be paired with meats or savory appetizers. If you have time, you can also provide a known Swiss dish, the cheese fondue. Prepare a selection of breads and meats, even fruits and veggies for your fondue. Cut in bite-size cubes. Day old French bread is a great choice, as well as hams and blanched broccoli, cauliflower, or cherry tomatoes. For fruits, pears and apples hold their flavors well with cheese. A savvy accompaniment to cheese fondue is wine, like the Sauvignon Blanc. 2. Chill with Cold Starters Opting for cold appetizers is actually wise, especially if you have so many things to prepare for on the day of your event. Many recipes can be done ahead of time, and all you have to do is keep these in the fridge before serving. Simple salad or salmon canapés, finger Ceasar salads or endive boats stuffed with cooked vegetables or fresh fruits, invigorating cucumber salads, spring rolls, and prosciutto are just some sumptuous choices. There is also a variety of sauces and dips that you can create for the dish of your choice. Offer cheese platters too. Get a wide selection of cheeses with different flavors and textures, like goat cheese, mozzarella, pecorino, comte, gouda, and parmigiano-reggiano. These go together with breads, as well as vegetables, such as roasted red peppers and artichoke hearts. Include salty foods, like salami and prosciutto, as well as some sweet apples and pears. 3. Refresh with Reviving Fresh Veggies and Fruits Fresh fruits and veggies require no cooking, and so you’ll have more time for other last-minute preparations. Purchase a variety of fruits and vegetables, and then cut these into cubes or sticks. Jazz up the natural flavor of fresh fruits with apple-cinnamon dips, caramel-toffee sauces, yogurt or cream cheese. Flavor enhancers for raw veggies include hot pepper dips, salsa, curry sauces, mayonnaise, and flavored oils. Presentation does make an impact. Although it’s perfectly fine to spread all these fresh greens and sweet fruits on a huge platter, you can be as creative as you...

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