Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Not Your Usual Pasta

With my birthday coming up, I've been thinking of what sort of dishes should I prepare. The first thing that came to my mind is pasta. However, pasta is one of those dishes that are considered as "regulars" during special occasions mainly because they are somewhat easy to prepare (not to mention affordable). And because of that I've been thinking of ways on how to make the "usual" pasta dish into a not-so-usual pasta. Being a techie freak that I am, I did a bit of googling and came up with some tested and proven not-your-usual pasta dishes that I am sure my friends would ravish (or else..).

For my friends that are not too keen on eating meat, seafood pasta would do be just fine. As you have guessed, the main ingredient is of course, seafood. For those who are willing to make this kind of not-your-usual pasta, any kind of seafood will do, just make sure that to inform your friends the type of seafood that you made with the pasta to prevent unwanted allergic episodes. Another type of not-your-usual pasta dish that I have learned is the spicy pasta. Yep, you heard me right. Spicy pasta would surely be a hit to those who love eating with added heat (hehehe.. sorry, couldn't resist). All you have to do in creating this spicy pasta is add some hot sauce and more spices.

The great thing about pasta dishes is that you can cook them the way your palate prefers. To tickle your palate a bit, here is an excerpt of an article about the not-your-usual pasta dish:

"Aren’t you tired of preparing the same ol’ pasta dishes? Spaghetti, rigatoni, macaroni and cheese, these are the common pasta dishes that the lot of pasta lovers has been preparing over time. Sure, these dishes are superb and very tasty. But there is actually something that you can do to spice up these ordinary dishes. And one such way is by dishing up a pasta salad. Here comes the matter of ingredients to include in your pasta salad. The great thing about preparing a pasta salad is that just about anything can be included! Just go through your refrigerator and your cupboard for you will surely find a lot of ingredients that you can include for your dish. Just to name a few, here are some ideal ingredients that you can use."

To read more just click here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Coffee Flavored Gourmet

As I have already mentioned on my previous post about coffee, I am a coffee addict. I start my day with a mug-full of coffee and usually end my day with a cup (and countless of cups at the office). I have just recently discovered that my love/longing for coffee has reached new heights. I now often find myself craving for coffee flavored foods (does that make me a "certified coffee addict"? *wink*). Anyways, as I was saying, coffee flavored food are my latest food preference and because of that, I often do a bit of work on my kitchen to create a coffee-flavored gourmet. And boy, was I in for a surprise! It wasn't as easy as I have thought it would be. That predicament have made me seek help from a trusted and proven source... The internet.....

Dramatics aside, the internet is truly the number one source of information. You can actually have the information that you need in just a few keystrokes (using your preferred search engine of course, e.g. yahoo, google, altavista, etc.). And coffee flavored foods are no exception. The main ingredient in creating coffee flavoring for your food is of course, coffee. However, in order for your coffee flavoring to become a success, you must also consider two things; the quality of flavor used and the procedure. I'll give you a sneak preview of what I have learned so far:

"Coffee is the main ingredient, as expected. Thus, it would be one of the factors here. The underlying concept here would be the type of bean that is used to make the flavored coffee. It is actually the type of bean that would influence the taste of flavored coffee. In general, coffee beans are comprised of just about 800 different compounds. These different compounds influence the flavor of your coffee as well. Other factors that influence flavor are sugar, mineral salts, aromatic oils, carbohydrates, organic acids, and methylxanthines. Caffeine actually belongs to the class of methylxanthines."

If you want to read the full article, just click here.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

How To Cook Perfect Pasta

Pasta is the most versatile type of food. It can be served on any occasion. Not only that, pasta is also one of the most popular and most favorite foods of today mainly because not only are they delicious, preparing a pasta dish is also quite easy. However, although it is quite easy to cook a pasta dish, it is also quite easy to ruin it. And that is the main reason why the main goal of all pasta lovers is to learn how to cook the perfect pasta. Although pasta has been around for quite some time now, cooking the perfect pasta can be quite elusive for most people. Mainly because some of them disregard the basics in making a perfect pasta dish.

Cooking pasta is done in two categories (you guessed it right, the noodles and the sauce). If one of the two is not done properly, then rest assured that that pasta is a disaster. Basically, the secret in cooking the perfect pasta is that you must cook the sauce and noodles properly. Here's a little appetizer on how to cook perfect pasta that I have read:

"Cook the pasta in a pot that is large enough to allow you to stir the noodles around in the water easily. If the pot is too small it will not hold enough water to cook the pasta, which will leave the noodles sticking to the pot. The pasta may also end up getting burned......"

To read more about the article, just click here.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Making The Perfect Cup Of Coffee

Coffee... (for me) is probably one of greatest drinks that man has brewed. Not only do these wondrous brew provide a wake up punch, coffee also provides certain health benefits. As the years go by, Man is constantly finding ways to perfect the brew. For those who love to drink coffee, the perfect cup of coffee is the "holy grail" of all coffee. However, making the perfect cup totally depends on the palate of the each and every coffee drinker. Each one of us (I confess, I'm one of the countless coffee addicts) have our own preference when it comes to coffee. Some may like their coffee strong (mainly to give an extra punch), while there are also some who love their coffee not too strong and not too weak.

The demand, the need and the popularity of coffee is the main reason why the coffee shop industry is growing. For those who love coffee as much as I do, here is an article that i want you to read. I promise that you will enjoy reading it (along with a cup of coffee of course!). Below is a preview of the said article:

"The mega success of the Starbucks franchise just shows how incredibly popular coffee is. In fact, it is one of the few foods or drinks that many people cannot live without. You probably know a number of people who cannot start the day without their cup of coffee. You may actually be one of these people."

If you want to read more just click here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Food and Wine

For most people, food served with wine is a great combination. However, lots of people find it somewhat difficult in choosing the right wine for their food. If you want to know how to pair wine with food then I strongly recommend that you read this article. The featured article is really quite informative. Below is a short excerpt from the article:

"Pairing food with wine is a common problem among many people. However, not a lot of people realize that wine and food generally work together, only that there are a few combinations that just does not work and that individual tastes just differ. Here is your guide to knowing which wines go well with different types of food as well those that do not."

Hope you'll enjoy the read like I did. Drink moderately! (sorry, couldn't resist, hehehe...)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Crockpot: One of the Best Cooking Secrets of All Time

Crockpots, most people are not aware of the value of these wondrous cooking appliance. One of the most significant benefits of having a crockpot on your kitchen is that you won't have to spend lots of time cooking. All you have to do is prepare the food that you are going to cook, put it on the crockpot, set it, and leave it be. You can do other important stuff while the cooking appliance does its job.

For those who still are not aware of these wondrous cooking appliance, check this article out. The said article is quite helpful if you want to know what a crockpot is. I also recommend the article for those who constantly use them. Like what i usually do with all my posts, here is a bit of the said article:

"Do you have someone in your household who loves to cook? If you do have an inspiring chef or chef-to-be, you might have noticed her using a piece of kitchen equipment that resembles a pot but with layers inside.

This equipment is called a Crock Pot. Generically, it is called a slow cooker, but this appliance, developed and trademarked by Rival Industries, has become a household name. Today, a crock pot refers to any slow cooker."

Oh, I forgot to mention, crockpots are known by some as a "slow cooker".

Black or White: Which Type of Chocolate Would You Prefer?

Chocolates... Almost everyone on this planet loves them. Who could resist their luscious bitter-sweet taste that lingers even after you have consumed one whole chocolate bar. Basically there are two types of chocolates (white and dark chocolates). Although each and every one of us have our own chocolate preference, both of them will surely satisfy your chocolate craving.

If you want to know more about white and dark chocolates, I strongly suggest that you read on this article. The said article contains bits and interesting stuff about white and dark chocolates. Here is an excerpt of the mention article:

"One of the best tasting foods in the world is chocolate. The history of chocolate started out as a bitter drink made out grounded cocoa seeds. This drink, called choclatl by ancient Aztecs, was special and sacred to these people."

If you want to read more about the said article just click here. Until then, all this stuff about chocolates made me crave for one. Yumm.. Yumm..