Some of you may be guilty of this – storing ingredients such as flour, baking soda and butter beyond their expiration dates. While you may think that these items can be stored for a long time, they too have their expiration dates.

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It’s about time then that you check their shelf life and label your container to make you aware when you need to throw them away. Here are useful tips you need to keep in mind.

Flour is a common kitchen ingredient that many housewives believe can last for a long time. When stored in the pantry, the maximum time you can keep your flour is six months. If you want to keep them longer for up to a year, though, the best storage space for it is the freezer or refrigerator. Just be sure to store it first in an airtight container before putting it in the fridge.

Butter is good for up to two weeks only but if you want to make it last for a month, again the freezer is where it should be stored. If you have several bars of butter, do remember to put only one of them in the fridge and the rest should be placed in the freezer.
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Being an important room in the house, any kitchen should have the proper lighting to ensure that those who use it can see everything clearly even at night. There are tricks in lighting a kitchen and it’s not actually enough that only a single light is installed on the ceiling.

Having only one ceiling-mounted lighting fixture creates a glaring effect and causes shadows which is a no-no in the kitchen, according to interior designers. To create a well-lit room, blending and layering four types of light is most ideal. Depending on what you want to achieve in your kitchen, all four should be taken into consideration but you can also choose to use only two of them if you’re after practicality.

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Task lighting is the most important of all and this is one placed above a person’s head and the countertop (work surface). This provides sufficient illumination when preparing ingredients and reading recipes whether from a book, magazine or an iPad. Ideally, this kind of light should be installed below the overhead cabinets.
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Barbecue is a favorite food of many people worldwide. Whether in the developed countries or in the developing nations, this food is very popular among kids and adults alike.

A major proof confirming people’s love for barbecue is the high sales of grillers and smokers. In 2010, for example, more than 15 million were shipped in North America with the gas grills as the most preferred type. The latest study on barbecue lifestyle, usage and attitude done by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association showed that majority of grill owners use their grills all year round. The summer are the most popular grilling times particularly during Independence Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Father’s Day.

Barbecues won’t be as tasty as they are without the marinade. Marinating is an important process as it makes the meat softer and juicier. Most marinades make use of vinegar, wine or lemon juice but other products may be incorporated. Continue reading »

Spring is here and with this season comes Easter. For many people, this time of the year calls for some celebration and when there’s celebration, there’s bound to be food.

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When it comes to Easter treats, pastels and sweets abound. Easter is often associated with pastels because of their sweet color. But besides the sweet ingredients, the egg also takes the limelight during this season.

If you wish to prepare something sweet and tasty for everybody, here are some ideas you can follow.
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Do you often buy small kitchen appliances that serve a specific purpose? Does your urge to buy them stem from your frequent watching of TV shows that introduce new kitchen products in the market?

If you are and if you’ve currently found a lot of them unused in your kitchen, then maybe it’s time to get rid of some of them. It’s the end of the year and decluttering is good for you and your home.

The experts say we only need a few basic appliances, pots and utensils in the kitchen. In reality, though, homemakers have so many with some of them rarely used. Continue reading »

Olive oil is fat in the real sense of the word. But the fat that it contains is the monounsaturated fatty acid or MUFA considered to be the healthy type.

There are several health benefits to be gained from olive oil consumption. Firstly, it lowers the risk of heart disease together with the polyunsaturated fat. It is able to do this by cutting total cholesterol levels. Some studies have found that MUFAs also control insulin and blood sugar levels.

Olive oil can be a good alternative to your butter or stick margarine. Do remember it’s never appropriate to use them together.

When shopping for this item, pick the one that is less processed as it still contains the nutrients. The extra virgin oil, which is more expensive, goes through the first pressing only and therefore, retains the most flavor. The cold pressed ones and virgin oil are okay as well as they are not heated up beyond room temperature. What you should avoid are the regular or pure olive oil which normally undergoes refining and filtering. Generally, they have lower nutrients.
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As Thanksgiving in the U.S. approaches, for sure couples and families are now thinking of what dishes to prepare for this very special occasion. There’s no question that the turkey will continue to be the highlight of the menu.

Unless you have a big family who are turkey lovers, it is expected that many will have leftovers after the Thanksgiving celebration. But don’t throw them away yet because you can still make use of them in your meal for a few days more.

One way of using turkey leftovers is to make burgers. Here’s one recipe from Guy Fieri of Guy’s Big Bite called Jewels turkey-jasmine burgers.

To make the burgers, cut into tiny bits or ground the turkey leftover. Then mix with steamed jasmine rice (or any rice that’s available), thinly sliced spring onions, bread crumbs, one-half teaspoon sesame oil, one tablespoon soy sauce, one large egg, one Thai chilli or serrano chilli that’s minced, one teaspoon sugar and salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well until all ingredients are blended.
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promote your blogAny foodie knows that it takes more than just fine ingredients to make one good tasting dish. The same is true with blogs.

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If you have a food blog, it definitely takes more than just pictures of your last gastronomy high for people to enjoy your blog. You have to provide descriptions of the pictures, mix your usual food photos with other food-related content like chef biographies, recipes, and restaurant features. In short, you can’t keep on serving just one dish, no matter how good that dish may be.

You also need to think about your food blog’s design. After all, no matter how delicious something is, if it looks like something straight from the sewers, then almost no one would want to touch it. The same is true with a cluttered and tacky looking blog. If you want people to take a second glance at your food blog, then you’d better spend some time on your “plating”.

Before

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the food gets served though, you need people to serve it too. Sure, tasting your own creations can be fun, but not having other people to share it too and ooh and ahh over the great tasting feasts is doing yourself a disservice. Again, the same is true with your blog. You need to have guests come over to enjoy your content, and

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hopefully rave over your content, maybe even spread the news by word of mouth. However, to get the first guests to come, you of course need to promote your blog.

You can do this by pestering your family and friends to keep on visiting your food blog, or do it the more professional way and pay for services of portals like Blog Search Engine. Blog Search Engine buy cialis online will review your food blog for you, link back to your blog, and make it searchable to their users, all for $14.99. You can also promote your blog even more aggressively with their upgraded packages and so increase your food blog’s visibility, thanks to their blog network.

In the end, if you treat your food blog like you would your food, you can guarantee that you’ll have people coming back for more.

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Halloween is just around the corner, and if you’re one of the countless people spending the weekend doing some last minute preparations, then here are some ideas from you straight for our favourite celebrity chefs.

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Pumpkin in Up

When it comes to decorations, who else do we look to but the diva of homemaking – Martha Stewart. Check out her pumpkin head ideas, from fanged pumpkins to absolutely cute zombie pumpkins. No matter what kind of monster you fancy, Martha Stewart has a tip on how to carve those pumpkin heads for

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you. If you can get your hands on her book, Martha Stewart’s Handmade Holiday Crafts, then you’ll even have Halloween décor ideas, including vampire bat piñatas and simple bat silhouettes for your windows.

Trick Up the Treats

Instead of running out to buy tons of chocolate and candy bars, why not bake some special Halloween cookies? You don’t need to be a chef to turn out a batch of good sugar cookies. And with some decorating tips, you can even probably send kids away amused with Halloween Spook Cookies</

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a> and grossed out by these Severed Finger Halloween Cookies (recipe made by Martha Stewart).

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Halloween Dinner

Take Rachael Ray’s cue and turn a simple tomato soup in

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a spooked up version with cheese pumpkin or ghost on top. You will also find countless recipes in the internet to make your food as ghoulish and gross as possible for your Halloween dinner, but you can just go all out and opt for bizarre foods for the Halloween; if you can stomach it that is. Just watch an old episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and you’ll see that you don’t even need Halloween as an excuse to have something gooey and eeky on your plate. The good thing with eating bizarre foods for Halloween is that you don’t have to spend hours just trying to get your spaghetti to look like brains since the brains on the table will be the real thing!

Image Credit: MarthaStewart.com and TV.com

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With all the celebrity chefs out there, it is easy to see how people can easily get confused as to what really works and what doesn’t work. Each chef has his own style, his own tips, and his own preferences. Who is to say that one is better than the other? I guess it’s all up to us to find out which tips we can use! In addition, one has to trust own’s own palate for ingredients and adjust recipes to make them your own! Copying from a book isn’t always the best solution, although one can never learn enough from these celebrity chefs. A perfect example for me is how I love Ajinomoto’s monosodium glutamate– simply for that extra natural flavor!

Anyway, here are 5 of the best tips that I have followed – and trust me, they work like magic!

Tip #1: Plan your meal ahead of time.
This is from chef Aaron Sanchez of the Food Network. Not only is he a hunk – he also knows what he’s about! He says that people who cook at home a lot should buy food on a weekly basis and do prep work as early as possible. For example, he says to peel potatoes the day before and keep them in the fridge (in water, of course). The next day, no need to go through the hassle of peeling taties!

Tip#2: Add pepper at the end.
I always did the opposite. According to David Kinch, this adds an acrid taste to the dish. I tried it and the difference was remarkable!

Tip#3: Make it simple when entertaining.
I hardly entertain, but when I do, I follow the Barefoot Contessa’s lead: keep it simple. Not only do you lessen the stress, you also get to focus on the flavors more!

Tip#4: Extra-virgin doesn’t mean extra good.
At least when it comes to olive oil – that’s what Tom Colicchio has to tell us. Yes, chef!

Tip#5: Buy whole spices.
Iron Chef Michael Symon knows all about spices and he’s right about buying whole instead of ground. The flavors are much fuller when you grind the spices yourself.