Category Archives: Cooking

How to Make Hash Browns

A balanced and delicious breakfast is important, but pairing every breakfast protein with toast can get boring and monotonous. Potato hash browns are an excellent source of carbohydrates and the perfect complement to any breakfast dish.To make 4 servings of hash browns, you will need

Ingredients

  • 1lb Potatoes peeled and grated (4 small or two large potatoes)
  • Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/3 (80ml) cup Olive Oil

Utensils

  • 9” Skillet
  • Grater
  • Potato Ricer/ Paper towels
  • Measuring cup
  • Spatula
  • Cooling rack or serving plate

Cooking Directions

  1. After washing, peeling and grating potatoes squeeze excess liquid from shredded potato using a potato ricer. Do not push the potato all the way through the ricer, but apply enough pressure to get all the liquid out. If you do not have a potato ricer, use paper towels to extract the liquid from the shredded potato.
  2. Pour olive oil into skillet over medium heat and allow the oil to become very hot. The oil should not sizzle when a drop of water is added to the skillet.
  3. Place a layer of shredded potato into the heated oil, sprinkling black pepper and salt on the potato to taste. Add another layer of shredded potato on top of the first, and sprinkle more salt and black pepper.
  4. When the underside of the potato has turned golden brown and is sticking together, use the spatula to carefully flip the hash brown over onto the other side.
  5. Fry until golden brown on both sides, then transfer from skillet to serving plate or cooling rack.

Tips and Warnings

  • If all the liquid is not squeezed out of the potato before frying, the hash browns will fall apart and become soggy.
  • For additional flavour, add ¼ cup finely chopped onions or tomatoes. Onion powder, or any other powdered seasoning can also be added along with the salt and black pepper.
  • Do not layer hash browns to be more than about ½ an inch thick or they will be difficult to flip over.

How to Bake a Cake

Anyone can buy a ready-made cake or add water to a cake mix but if you were challenged to bake a cake from scratch, a real homemade cake? Could you do it? Well its actually very easy and below we will walk you through the steps to help you bake a cake on your own.

Required Ingredients

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 2 cups sugars
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbs vanilla
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tub of frosting (any flavor)

Required Equipment

  • 1 Large Bowl
  • 1 Small Bowl
  • Three 9” round baking pans
  • Cake Mixer
  • Toothpick
  • Oven

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the bottoms of the baking pans and sprinkle flour in them.
  2. Sift then measure three cups of flour.
  3. Add baking flour and salt then sift again.
  4. Beat the butter until creamy while gradually adding the sugar. Add the eggs one by one. Beat the mixture until even.
  5. Add milk, vanilla, and the flour mixture while mixing well to ensure that the batter even.
  6. Pour evenly into baking pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. You’ll need to stick it into one of the cake if it comes out clean remove the pan from the oven. If the toothpick however has cake batter on it, allow to bake a bit longer. Run check again after a few minutes, if clean then remove from oven.
  7. When you remove the cakes from the oven, place them on wire racks for about 10 to 15 minutes. When the time expires remove the cakes from the baking pans and continue to cool.
  8. Once the cooling process is complete begin frosting the cakes. Evenly spread the frosting on the top of one of the cakes. Carefully positioned on the other cake directly on top of the frosted one. Complete the frosting process by placing frosting on the top and sides of the second cake.
  9. Congratulations you’re finished!

Blender Method

  • Add all the ingredients except the flour, salt and baking powder and beat.
  • Pour it into your large bowl
  • Add dry contents.
  • Mix well
  • Pour evenly into baking pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. You’ll need to stick it into one of the cake if it comes out clean remove the pan from the oven. If the toothpick however has cake batter on it, allow to bake a bit longer. Run check again after a few minutes, if clean then remove from oven.

How to Cook Salmon

Before cooking salmon, you have to clean it. Using your hands, soak the fish in water and gently remove any dirt and debris.

After cleaning, you need to cut the salmon properly. Use a knife to slice the salmon in the middle to form a pocket. Avoid cutting the fish all the way through. Leave half an inch at each of the edges.

Take a few slices of lemon and place them inside the pocket. Add in 2 chopped garlic cloves and some black pepper.

You can place other spices inside the salmon. Avoid adding very strong spices as these could overpower the fish’s flavor.

Do not stuff the pocket with too much spices. This could cause the spices to come out of the pocket during the cooking process.

Wrap aluminum foil loosely around the salmon. Heat the oven to around 300 degrees. Place the foil containing the salmon in the oven.

Let the salmon cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Afterwards, use a fork to check the salmon. If the salmon is still too heavy and undercooked, you still need to let it cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.

Once the salmon is cooked, carefully remove it from the oven. Let it sit in the foil for a few minutes.

Finally, unwrap the foil and serve the salmon in a platter. You can choose to have marinara or lemon and butter for its sauce. You may also choose to eat it as it is.

How to Bake a Salmon

Apart from being an extremely delicious meal, Salmons are also known to have a lot of nutritional value. Salmons (like most fish) is low on fat, high on protein and has a lot of omega 3 which is good for the heart and overall good health of your body’s functionality. Baking is a great way to enjoy your fish; it is easy and can be prepared in minutes, so follow these instructions to start having your very own baked salmon.

Tools required are

  • Baking dish
  • Oven
  • Knife

Materials required

  • Salmon
  • Seasoning of choice
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Foil Paper or Baking sheet

Instructions

  1. uy the salmon of your choice which maybe fillet or whole fish. You may be required to wash clean and scale depending on where it is purchased or if you go fishing on your own. Then use you knife to cut it in the way you like.
  2. Start off by seasoning the salmon with all the necessary herbs and spices to your own preference. There are a couple methods that can be used to do this. You can either cut up all the necessary seasoning, such as onion and pepper or along with your powder seasoning like salt, use your hands to rub them into the fish. Or you can blend your seasoning and along with olive oil pour it into a Ziploc bag with the fish so it can soak and marinade.
  3. Allow the seasoning to soak into the salmon overnight or a couple hours depending on how you like it so all the flavor comes out when it is time for cooking.
  4. Now when you are ready to cook turn on the oven and allow it to preheat anywhere between 350 – 450 degrees for about 5 – 15 minutes. Start to prepare the baking dish; you can place a foil paper or baking sheet inside the base of the baking dish if you like.
  5. When the time is right and oven is heated enough, place the season fish into the baking dish and put it into the oven and allow it to stay there for about 8 – 12 minutes.
  6. Check consistently with the fish as you don’t want it to overcook (fish does not take long to cook). Use your knife to test the tenderness of the fish and then you will know when your fish is done.

Tips and Warning

  • Always be cautious when you are around the stove, because it produces a lot of heat so have your apron on if necessary and your cooking gloves when moving the hot baking dish.
  • Check your local book store for more cook books and also check online to find various types of seasonings and different elements that can enhance the flavor of your salmon.
  • The thicker the fish is the longer it takes to bake, so you may have to keep the fish in longer depending on its thickness and the amount of fish you have in the oven at once.
  • Using paper to base the baking dish can reduce the time spent cleaning up after cooking is completed.
  • Seasonings that are recommended are rosemary, paprika, oregano and chili powder.

How to Boil Peanuts

A lot of persons enjoy boiling peanuts as a great snack. It is a delicious and excellent meal that can be enjoyed anywhere and is mostly popular in the southern parts of the United States. Peanuts provide a lot of nutriments, and this dish does not require a large amount of ingredients. Follow these instructions and you can have your peanuts boiled just the way you like them.

Tools required are

  • Spoon
  • Steel Pot

Materials required are

  • Raw Peanuts (about a pound)
  • Water
  • Salt

    Instructions

    1. Buy the peanuts that you wish to use for cooking, pick through them and carefully wash and clean them to remove loose soil, leaves or weeds.
    2. Fill the pot with the desired amount of peanuts along with water so that the water covers the peanuts and allow the peanut to absorb the water.
    3. Put the pot on a stove, wood fire or propane burner to boil. Then add salt relatively to your preference.
    4. Watch the water until it starts to boils and then turn it down to maintain the boil without the flame being too high. Keep the pot covered and use the spoon to stir the peanut every once in awhile for throughout the cooking process and add water if needed
    5. Allow it boil for about 2 – 4 hours and then take some of the peanuts out while you observe how well it is done. Allow them to cool and then see if they’re done how you like them and if they have the taste you’re looking for. If they’re to your delight then take them out and wait until they’re cool enough to be eaten.
    6. When you have shared out all the peanuts you want, if there are leftovers you can simply store them in a sealed Ziploc bag or any container that has little or no air inside and then put them in the freezer to keep cool.

    Tips and Warning

    • You can use other seasoning and spices for boiling your peanuts according to how you like it (this can be garlic or pepper).
    • When the peanut starts to sink to the bottom of the pot it is an indication that they cook.
    • Use caution when you are around the fire. The fire and the heat from the pot can be harmful if you are not wearing the proper gears.
    • Putting a lot of salt on your boiled peanut is not recommended. Excessive amount of salt is normally associated with high blood pressure and other illnesses.

How to Make No Bake Cookies

Knowing how to make no bake cookies is easy and is not time consuming. To satisfy your cravings for tasty and mouthwatering sweet treats try some of the delicious no bake cookie recipes including

No Bake Peanut Butter Squares, Sugar Plum No Bake Cookies and Marshmallow Treats.

No Bake Peanut Butter Squares

Ingredients

Enjoy eating sweet treats by knowing how to make no bake cookies. With this special recipe, you can satisfy your cravings for delicious and tasty snacks. To make No Bake Peanut Butter Squares, you will need a cup of creamy peanut butter, three cups cracker crumbs and two cups semisweet chocolate chips. Other special ingredients include ¼ cup peanut butter, a teaspoon of vanilla, 1 ½ cup softened margarine, 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar and a cup of chopped peanuts.

Steps

Combine the sugar, vanilla, margarine and a cup of peanut butter in a bowl. Mix well and add peanuts and cracker crumbs. Stir until the mixture becomes stiff. Line an aluminum foil in a pan and transfer the mixture into the pan. Mix the ¼ cup peanut butter and chocolate chips in a skillet over low heat. Pour the chocolate chips mixture over the peanut butter mixture and refrigerate for 1 hour or 1 ½ hours. Slice the bar carefully to make 36 peanut butter squares.

Sugar Plum No Bake Cookies

Ingredients

In this tasty and luscious recipe, you will use three ounces strawberry flavored gelatin and 1 ½ cups shredded coconut as key ingredients. To improve the flavor and texture of the cookies, add a can of sweetened condensed milk, 1 ½ cups cracker crumbs and another three ounces strawberry flavored gelatin in the ingredients.

Steps

Pour the condensed milk in a bowl and add three ounces strawberry flavored gelatin. Mix thoroughly and add cracker crumbs as well as coconut. Continue stirring until the dough stiffens. Create 30 small balls by cutting and rolling the dough. Put the remaining gelatin in another bowl. Place five balls at a time in the bowl and coat them with the gelatin. Place the cookies in a plate and refrigerate for an hour.

Marshmallow Treats

Ingredients

Another tasty no bake cookie recipe is the Marshmallow Treats. This is very easy to prepare because it only uses three ingredients. The ingredients in this recipe are four cups miniature marshmallows, five cups crisp rice cereal and ¼ cup of butter.

Steps

Place pan over low heat and melt the butter. Stir in the marshmallows and cook for not more than two minutes. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and add the crisp rice cereal. Continue stirring until the marshmallows are coated with the rice cereal. Pour the mixture over a pan and refrigerate. Slice the dough after an hour and serve.

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How to Boil Potatoes

There are numerous ways of cooking potatoes, one of which is by boiling them. By learning how to boil potatoes, people can learn one of the fastest, cheapest and easiest ways to cook such simple, nutritious and delicious ingredient. Not only will they save time, but also gas, electricity and money as well. In addition, people can serve them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Steps

Get at least a pound or two of fresh potatoes. Wash them thoroughly. Remove soil and dirt by using a scrubbing brush specifically designed for vegetables. Do not use soap as it may contain harsh contaminants and ingredients not suitable for eating. Rinse properly. Use a knife to take out darkened and hardened spots. This step is very important particularly for those who are trying to make mashed potatoes.

Slowly and gently, remove the peel off potatoes. Rinse to remove remaining dirt. Slice them into smaller pieces or simply leave them as whole. Either way is possible. Get a nice clean pot. Put the skinned potatoes inside it. Pour in some water until the level reaches half of the pot. For every quart of water, simply put in a teaspoon of salt.

Turn the stove on and set it to medium high heat. Put the pot on top of it and then cover. Wait until the water reaches boiling point. Smaller variants usually take at least 10 to 15 minutes to finish. Meanwhile, medium-size variants take around 20 to 25 minutes to boil. On the other hand, larger variants may take 35 to 45 minutes to finish.

After this, get one of the potatoes inside the pot. Use a knife to check if they are done. When the knife goes through them easily, they are ready for serving. The length of time in cooking varies depending on the size, freshness and number of items being cooked. According to cooking experts, fresher variants cook easier and taste better than old stocks.

Additional Tips and Information

Before boiling the potatoes, let them stand first under water for a few minutes. In doing so, they will absorb water. This will eventually facilitate the cooking process. In addition, be sure not to overcook them as they may end up being too soft or mushy, which are not very good to eat. While boiling, the potatoes can go either with or without their skins. Both will eventually do, depending on what works best for the one who is cooking.

How to Boil Chicken

Boiling chicken is easy and lets you savor its full flavor and texture. Use proper methods for boiling chicken and have a tasteful meal.

The steps needed for boiling chicken to perfection are easy to follow even for new cooks. To avoid any difficulties it is best if you prepare all the necessary equipment and ingredients first.

Needed Equipment

You should have a large container to cook the meat. If you are going to use cold water thawing, prepare airtight bags or plastics; prepare as many as needed. If you are going to store it in the refrigerator you need a bowl or platter. When cooking a meat thermometer will also be handy.

Facts about Thawing

Before you can even begin boiling chicken, you have to thaw it first. The process of thawing is very important. Never attempt to cook chicken (or any meat for that matter) that is frozen.

The best way to thaw is by placing the meat in the refrigerator (40 F or lower). If it is large the process takes anywhere from 5 to 7 hours. A small one will need 5 hours at most. To speed up the process you can cut the large meat into smaller pieces. If you are only going to cook the legs or breasts, just thaw them instead of the whole piece.

You can use the cold water method if you like. Put the meat in a sealed container and immerse in cold water. A small chicken will thaw in a couple of hours, while a large piece double that time. Make sure to replace the water every half hour. You need to start the boiling chicken process immediately afterwards.

The Boiling Process

When the meat has thawed, place it in a crock pot or similar holder filled with water. Put the lid on and turn it to medium high. Check every now and then to see if bubbles have formed. When you see the bubbles, reduce the temperature level. Leave the meat there for ten minutes. What you are doing is giving it time to simmer.

To make sure that it is cooked you should use the meat thermometer. Before you cook put the thermometer in the meat (avoiding the bone). This allows you to see the temperature during the process of boiling chicken. You can also use a knife to make an incision. If the meat is no longer pink, the cooking process is done. You can now remove the water. However, if the meat is still pink cook a little longer. The large the meat, the longer it might take to cook.

Other Tips

It’s important to get the freshest quality meat to ensure great taste. Always look at the expiration date. If you are not going to cook the meat for several days keep it frozen. The refrigeration method allows you to thaw, freeze and thaw again but flavor will be lost. For more flavoring you can spray some butter or quick melt cheese on the meat. Some prefer to add garlic, salt and pepper, chili etc.

That is basically all there is to boiling chicken. It is one of the easiest ways to prepare this dish, and the results are great. Followed properly, even novices will be able to do this.

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How to Bake a Ham

Tasty and sumptuous, ham can be a welcome addition to your repertoire of meals. Uncover the ways of baking ham and savor delicious meals with your family and friends.

Baking ham is easy to do as long as the proper steps are taken. Before you get to the actual cooking, the preparations that come before are just as crucial.

The Raw Pork

When you buy the pork check the expiration date to make sure it is still fresh. If you are going to cook the meat within three days there is no need to freeze it. Otherwise, put the meat in cold storage at a temperature of 40 F and below.

Thawing by Refrigerator

Before you start cooking, the frozen meat has to be thawed. The first method is to cover the meat with foil, set on a plate / bowl and put in the refrigerator. Set the temperature between 35 to 40 F. Before you start baking ham give it enough time to thaw. For small pieces the duration is 5 hours per lb. For larger ones it is 6 to 7 hours per lb.

After the process is complete you can cook it. It can be refrigerated for five days. It is possible to freeze it again after the five day period but flavor will be lost. Therefore it is best to cook once it has been thawed.

Thawing by Cold Water

Put the meat in an airtight bag or plastic. Fill the sink or bowl with cold water. Put the bag of meat in there. Replace the water every half hour. For smaller chunks the duration will be 3 hours. For a larger piece it will be half an hour per pound. Make certain that water cannot get in the bag as it can spoil the meat. Unlike the refrigerator method, this thawing cannot be repeated.

It is possible to start baking ham without thawing but the cooking time will double. Do not defrost the meat in the kitchen. What will happen is that the outer portions will attain room temperature but the insides will remain cold. This will ruin the meat.

Baking Tips

There is more to cooking than just putting the meat in the oven. To get the most flavor, avoid hurrying the process. Set the temperature at 325 F and give it half an hour per pound. To roast always put the fats section up (for basting). To keep the flavor and texture even, turn it halfway through the cooking process. When turning it over use a wooden spoon because pointed utensils will take away the juices.

When you are done baking ham remove the meat and leave it alone for 15 minutes before cutting it up. This makes the meat easier to dissect and serve in edible chunks.

You can use a meat thermometer to certify the temperature is correct. Put this in the meat before the cooking procedure and leave it there throughout the whole process. Alternatively you can use the instant read variant. After cooking, insert the thermometer into the thickest part. To get an accurate reading avoid hitting a bone.

In the end, the best way for you to learn the ins and outs of baking ham is to go and do it. By following these guidelines, any potential pitfalls and mistakes will be prevented and avoided.

How to Boil Eggs

To make a delicious boiled egg, you don’t just toss an egg into a pot of boiling water. It takes precise timing and knowledge of basic seasoning.

You also need to know more about eggshells. Eggshells change when the eggs start to get old. They start as really soft and easy to crack. They get harder as they get older.

Boiling

  1. Select the eggs that you will boil. Do not use eggs with any visible cracks to prevent the egg white from leaking into the pot.
  2. Bring the water to a boil before lowering the egg gently into the water. The boiling time will depend on how “cooked” you want the egg to be. If you want hard-boiled eggs, boil the egg for seven minutes. Set the timer to three minutes and thirty seconds for soft-boiled eggs, and to four minutes for medium-boiled eggs. If cracks start to form, stir in a tablespoon of salt for every two quarts of water.
  3. Add spices, tea or any flavoring mix into the boiling water. You can even use barbecue marinade to add flavor to your hard-boiled eggs. As a result, the eggs will have marbled whites as the color of the surrounding liquid seeps through the shell and adds color as well as flavor to the egg.

Consistency

Soft-boiled eggs will have a runny consistency. Medium-boiled eggs will have a hard white and a soft yolk. Sometimes, the yolk is also hard on the outside but it is still soft inside. Hard-boiled eggs are hard all the way through.

After boiling the eggs, cool them rapidly under cold running water, then leave them in cold water for about two minutes. You can peel them after taking them from the cold water.