Category Archives: Cooking Tips

New Years Special Meal Anyone??!!

With 2008 fast approaching, why not cook up a meal that will nicely see you through to the new year! On todays menu we have:

Roast Beef

beef on the menu

Preparation time: 40 minutes.
Cooking time: 2- 2 ½ hours.
Oven temperature: 220 C, 425 F, gas 7.
Ingredients:
1. Sirolin rib- 1.75-2.25 kg/4-5 lb, boned and rolled.
2. Table Salt
3. Ground Pepper
4. Dripping- 2 oz./50g.(For the Yorkshire Puddings*)
5. Plain flour- 4 oz/100g.
6. 2 Eggs
7. Milk- ½ pint.

Cooking Instructions :

1. Place the beef in a roasting tin with the thickest layer of fat on the top.
2. Lightly season the beef with table salt and pepper (all purpose seasoning also works well) and spread with the dripping.
3. Roast the beef in a preheated oven, basting several times. A great meal suggestion would be small roast potatoes alongside the joint.
4. Take the beef to a warmed serving dish with the roast potatoes and those lovely Yorkshire puddings!.

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Do You Need A Romantic Christmas Dinner Tip?

meal ideas

Here are a few ideas to help you make a perfect romantic evening for you and your partner!:

– A romantic dinner should be a stylish meal idea so that you’ll impress your partner and have time to enjoy together.

– Think ahead and rent a Christmas DVD, this will be the perfect opportunity to cuddle your partner in bed, watch the movie and play games together. Perfect!.

– Plan a day of romantic activities together just for the two of you and make your romantic Christmas a memorable occasion…

– Look up recipes or meal ideas that will get you and your partner in the mood for a romantic and shall I say memorable Christmas!

– Another great romantic meal idea is garnishing your plates..this should bring out your decorative touch. You can also use scented candles or potpourri to create a romantic atmosphere.

Need Help Setting A Beautiful Christmas Table

Christmas meal setting

Hosting a Christmas dinner party for your family and friends can be quite a task…especially knowing that you have to cook a big enough turkey with the right recipes, get the setting right and most importantly making your guests feel welcome, ensuring that this Christmas will be memorable to them for all the right reasons.

Here are a few tips that will make your Christmas dinner event go without any hitches:

Use an Impressive Tablecloth

This is a basic rule that everyone must follow and get right! First, use an impressive tablecloth with a table runner, place mats and napkins as you never know who who could leave pieces of turkey all over the table!. Another good tip is try using Christmas themed prints and avoid giving your table a busy look as the table may have cramped look and guests will be thinking ‘where is the food going to go?’ Finally, always keep attention focused on your centerpiece, which is your brilliantly cooked Christmas meal.

Use Appropriate and Stylish Cutlery

White plates are always in style. The best thing about white cutlery is that you can dress them up with lots of Christmas themed accessories which will give that casual or playful look. Its good to have a relaxed environment without being too formal, so having a Christmas theme set on your table will definitely lighten the mood. You can also try mixing colors and styles which always adds interest and looks very pretty.

Small Gifts

What will really get your guests happy and in the Christmas spirit, will be neatly placed small gifts placed on the table. Christmas gift ideas can be be Christmas ornaments, Christmas sweets, peanuts or other imaginative gifts.

Finally,

The Centrepiece

The centerpiece must compliment the table. Even if you want to be creative in how you make the centrepiece, you should in any case remember to avoid certain common mistakes:

1. avoid compositions which are too high because they can block the view of the diners

2. the centerpiece must not be too big for the table

3. then there’s the container which holds the centerpiece: it will be better to use a low and unnoticeable container, or if it is visible see that it goes well with your creative table decorations.

family recipe

Five Tips for Cooking your Christmas Turkey!

Christmas-turkey-recipe

Christmas is coming! If you’re cooking a Turkey for the first time – or even if you’re a cooking pro with more Christmas recipes than Santa, here’s five tips to a perfect roast turkey!

1. Be Prepared!
Thaw the turkey plenty of time in advance, then remove all body cavities (and the giblets!) before you do anything.

2. Always Preheat!
Make sure the oven is preheated before the turkey goes anywhere near it! Thats about 170° C or 325° F for a conventional oven.

3. Start Stuffing – it’s now or never!

While you’re waiting for the oven to heat, Get a roasting pan and place the turkey breast side up. Carefully fill the inside of the turkey with the stuffing.

4. Thermometer Time!

Always make sure the thermometer is not touching bone when you insert it into your turkey. Place it firmly into the thickest part of the thigh.

5. Get Roasting!

Leave your turkey to cook. The meat thermometer needs to reach around 85 C or 180 F before it’s ready. The stuffing should reach 70° C or 165° F before you remove from oven and get ready to enjoy your Christmas cooking creations!

Chicken Stew

This family recipe is a great Winter meal that even the kids will enjoy!:

chicken-stew

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs cooked chicken (boneless)
1 can chicken broth
1 can vegetable broth
3 cups of water
2 tbsp oil (olive oil for the healthier choice!)
6 potatoes, chunks
2 stalks celery chopped
1 onion chopped
assorted vegetables (beans, peas, corn, carrot work well!)

Step 1:
In the biggest pot you can find, sauté the celery and onion in oil until soft. Add broths, chicken and water (use tin of chicken and measure 3 cups of water). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer.

Step 2:
Once step one is completed, peel and add potatoes. Let simmer for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Add vegetables; any favourite will do, frozen or fresh.

Simmer an additional 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.

With dishes prepared, Serve hot!! Serving suggestions include rice or French stick bread.

This easy Chicken recipe is soon to become one of your favourites! Try it out and let me know your comments!

Corn starch, Bisto or flour can be added as a thickener, but if you use extra potatoes and lots of vegetables it doesn’t really need thickening.

Enjoy!

Great tasting herbs to use with your meat!

cooking-herbs

Good herbs with your meat recipes will go from boring to a taste sensation!

Here are a few tips!:

– For Chicken dishes, try using basil, bay, coriander, cumin, dill, lemon balm, mint, rosemary or tarragon.

Beef goes really well with basil, bay, coriander, cumin, dill, mint, sage, tarragon and thyme

– Try cooking your Pork with anise, basil, bergamot, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, mint, rosemary, sage, or thyme.

– Everyone knows Mint and Lamb go hand in hand, but how about using basil, bay, caraway, coriander, cumin, dill, or rosemary next time?

Fish and lemon balm are commonly used. Fish also tastes great with basil, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, and tarragon.chicken-recipe

Remember that putting too many herbs in a meal can overpower a dish too! Add herbs slowly and taste as you go. You can always add in more through the cooking process if you still think your meal lacks flavour.

Cooking Tip of the Week: Pasta

Did you know there is over 500 different types of Pasta?

Neither did I until I was looking up new Pasta recipes to try and came across a name I hadn’t heard before – orecchiette – which is actually just a small pasta shell!

Pasta is such a great family meal. It’s rare to find someone in the house that won’t eat it. Because it’s so versatile, healthy, economical, and easy to prepare it’s become a favourite in households worldwide! The only thing you’re limited to is your creativity!

With new variations of pasta being introduced (such as whole wheat and whole grain for example) I’m sure that the amount of Pasta types will only increase over the years!

PASTA TIP:

When trying to cook your pasta ‘Al Dente’ – forget the timing! The recommended timing on the back of the your pasta packet is just an estimate and will vary greatly depending on the amount of pasta you are cooking, the amount of water, the water temperature, the size of the pot and how hot the flame is! The best way is to keep a close eye on your pasta and taste test it to check it’s ready every time you cook!