Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cooking for Two

One thing to keep in mind however is that when cooking for two, it is sometimes best if two are doing the cooking. This gives cooking an opportunity to become a communication event rather than a chore. 

By cooking traditional meals for four and feeding a portion you have managed to cook two meals for the time investment of one. This means that you can spend a great deal of time not only creating new and delicious foods, but also visually appealing food combinations as well.

Cooking for two opens doors that aren't necessarily available when cooking for larger crowds with more limiting tastes.

Cooking for two is a great way to get your partner involved in the cooking process as well. Take the time, when cooking for two, to prepare those dishes that you love most. Cooking for two is so much more than a cliché. The Internet, bookstores, and libraries are filled with books about cooking for two. 

Cooking for Two


Whether you are cooking for two out of a sense of romance or necessity you will find that there are many resources online and off when it comes to finding the perfect combinations for those terrific twosomes. One thing to keep in mind however is that when cooking for two, it is sometimes best if two are doing the cooking. This gives cooking an opportunity to become a communication event rather than a chore.

Despite the fact that there are many resources and recipes available to those that are cooking for two there are also equal occasions to take traditional recipes that are designed to feed four and make them an opportunity to stretch your food dollars even further. By cooking traditional meals for four and feeding a portion you have managed to cook two meals for the time investment of one. It's a good deal for many, particularly those that do not relish the idea of cooking at all, much less of cooking for two.

Young couples and older couples alike often find that it is easier and almost as inexpensive to hit the fast food or other casual dining establishments than it is to prepare a nice healthy meal for two at home. The one thing they often forget is that cooking for two can be an interesting way to bring a little romance into the evening when done right of course.

Cooking is an art that most people have forgotten as it is also a necessary act unless you wish to live on sushi and raw vegetables. Even in these situations however there is typically some degree of preparation that is involved in the process. Food is beautiful and can be beautifully arranged if you are of the mind to do so. This means that you can spend a great deal of time not only creating new and delicious foods, but also visually appealing food combinations as well.

When cooking for two you will have the most opportunity for experimentation when it comes to food as any other time in your life. You have the option of trying great new cuisines and the knowledge that if you do not like the food, you are not wasting multiple servings. You can try to mix and match flavors and textures. You can make works of art on your plate or go for the guts, gore, and eyeballs galore. Cooking for two opens doors that aren't necessarily available when cooking for larger crowds with more limiting tastes.

Cooking for two is a great way to get your partner involved in the cooking process as well. When cooking for two you can discover the many great things that you both enjoy and those that aren't so appealing to one or the other of you. Make sure that when you are cooking for two that you invite an open and honest dialog about the things that you like and dislike about the meals being prepared. This will help you discover things to add to your regular menu as well as things to avoid making a part of your dinner rotation.

Perhaps the greatest thing about cooking for two is the fact that you can afford to enjoy special occasion cuisine more often when you are only feeding two than when you are feeding larger crowds. Bring on the steaks and lobster tail. Learn how to make shrimp scampi and filet mignon. Take the time, when cooking for two, to prepare those dishes that you love most. After all, it is really living when you live to dine rather than when you dine to live.


Cooking for two is so much more than a cliché. It is a great way to explore the culinary universe while exposing your palates to some wonderful surprises along the way. The Internet, bookstores, and libraries are filled with books about cooking for two. Take advantage of the opportunity to do just that and you'll be amazed at the world of flavors you've invited into your kitchen.

Gluten Free Cooking

The good news from those who require gluten free cooking is that more and more restaurants are beginning to acknowledge this condition and offer some selections that are gluten free. There are many resources available for those who need to eat gluten free foods. There are even more and more 'convenience' or prepackaged foods that are designated for gluten free cooking. Changes are being made and resources are being shared through the Internet that help not only adults that require special gluten free cooking and diets but also support for the parents of children who must have gluten free diets. Gluten free cooking does not have to be the chore many of us think it must be and all gluten free food doesn't taste like cardboard. Take the time to get to know the wonderful gluten free recipes that abound and incorporate them one at a time into your cooking repertoire

Gluten Free Cooking


When it comes to cooking, there are many dietary restrictions that will be encountered along the way. One restriction that is gaining some degree of notoriety in recent years is the need for a gluten free diet. Gluten is a substance that is commonly found in flour products that a decent sized portion of the population has a negative reaction to in some form or another. For these people, gluten free isn't a choice it is absolutely necessary.

Gluten free cooking does impose many restrictions and often makes it quite difficult to enjoy something the vast majority of us take for granted-dining out. The good news from those who require gluten free cooking is that more and more restaurants are beginning to acknowledge this condition and offer some selections that are gluten free. It takes time, just as it did with low carb craze for the demand for these products to make it worth the industries while to make adjustments in their way of preparing foods.

While on the one hand it is frustrating to not have the option of dining out, there is some challenge to finding new and tasty foods and combinations for cooking each and every night without falling into a rut of the same old foods that you know you can eat without worry. Consider cooking gluten free a challenge rather than a chore and you may find that the process is much more enjoyable. You might even find that you appreciate the meals you've worked hard to prepare even better because of the great sense of accomplishment.

There are many resources available for those who need to eat gluten free foods. There are even more and more 'convenience' or prepackaged foods that are designated for gluten free cooking. This means that those who once had no option but creating meals from scratch do now have the occasional shortcut available to them. We are even finding cookie and cake mixes that are now gluten free in order to enjoy some of the finer things in life for those who would have been completely deprived only a few short years ago.

Changes are being made and resources are being shared through the Internet that help not only adults that require special gluten free cooking and diets but also support for the parents of children who must have gluten free diets. Cooking for children in the best of circumstances is often difficult. It is even more difficult when there are excessive dietary restrictions that often eliminate the possibility of our children enjoying childhood favorites. That is why it is so important to seek out the many resources and recipes that are available for gluten free cooking.

If you require a gluten free diet and have no idea where to start or what you should be cooking you should check out the many websites and blogs online that address the issues and needs that are faced by those requiring gluten restrictions. You will probably be amazed at the wealth of information that is available. Also, if you have a Trader Joes or Whole Foods store in your area, most of them either offer or will order gluten free products for your cooking needs.


Gluten free cooking does not have to be the chore many of us think it must be and all gluten free food doesn't taste like cardboard. Take the time to get to know the wonderful gluten free recipes that abound and incorporate them one at a time into your cooking repertoire. You will be amazed at how wonderful you feel as well as how great the food tastes. 

Gourmet Cooking for Pleasure

Gourmet cooking is a style of food preparation that deals with the finest and freshest possible ingredients. This means that to enjoy authentic gourmet food you must prepare your food immediately after purchasing the fresh ingredients that will comprise your meals. When it comes to cooking gourmet food the two rules mentioned above are the only hard and fast rules. One important quality when it comes to cooking gourmet food is the layering of flavors. You should not however rely on taste or aroma alone when cooking gourmet foods. As I mentioned above gourmet cooking is a large degree skill but there is some degree of art involved. The thing about gourmet cooking is that it is to some degree more art than science. The good news if this is an avenue you wish to pursue is that there are often gourmet cooking classes offered at gourmet food shops in your area. 


Gourmet cooking


Gourmet cooking is a style of food preparation that deals with the finest and freshest possible ingredients. This means that to enjoy authentic gourmet food you must prepare your food immediately after purchasing the fresh ingredients that will comprise your meals. Not only do you want to purchase the freshest ingredients when cooking gourmet meals but you also want to insure that you are purchasing ingredients of superior quality.

Those who excel at gourmet cooking and food preparation have many options available to them. From catering to opening up their own restaurant these talented individuals who are entrepreneurial in spirit often do quite well in the world of business if their talent is sufficient.

When it comes to cooking gourmet food the two rules mentioned above are the only hard and fast rules. Everything else is purely a matter of adventure and taste. Now this doesn't mean that any and everyone can become a gourmet cook simply by going out and purchasing the finest and freshest of ingredients and throwing them into a pot. There is some degree of art involved when it comes to gourmet cooking and a large degree of skill that is necessary in order to achieve these culinary masterpieces.

You should also understand and be prepared to discover that fresh ingredients are not always available so there are times when compromises must be made when cooking gourmet meals. For this reason you capitalize on what is in season and plan your meals accordingly whenever possible. One important quality when it comes to cooking gourmet food is the layering of flavors. You should be able to taste the meat or seafood as well as the vegetables, herbs, and spices that comprise your skillfully prepared meal.

You should not however rely on taste or aroma alone when cooking gourmet foods. As I mentioned above gourmet cooking is a large degree skill but there is some degree of art involved. For this reason, presentation is a key component of the gourmet dining experience. Through a few freshly chopped herbs on the plate before placing the food or top the food with appealing and aromatic herbs that will compliment the flavor of the meal you have prepared. Present the fruits and vegetable sides in a visually appealing fashion rather than simply tossing them onto a plate.

With proper presentation even foods that were simple to prepare can take on the flavor of a gourmet feast. This is something you should keep in mind whether your cooking plans for the evening involve the gourmet or the every day. The thing about gourmet cooking is that it is to some degree more art than science. This means that there is always room to improve your skills and stretch your limits as a cook. There will always be the next great challenge or the 'what if' when it comes to flavor combinations.

In fact, some of the greatest foods began with someone asking, "What would happen if I added this?" Always ask what if and always seek to improve your skills. The good news if this is an avenue you wish to pursue is that there are often gourmet cooking classes offered at gourmet food shops in your area. Some colleges or local community programs will also offer these sorts of classes for a few if you are interested. This means that there are almost always opportunities to broaden your experiences with gourmet cooking and expand your horizons.


Whether this is your first time considering gourmet cooking or you are an old pro, keep in mind that skills can be learned over time with the proper motivation and an open and honest desire to learn. If you want to learn more about gourmet cooking there is really nothing to stop you from doing so other than yourself. The Internet, your local library, and many bookstores across the country have countless volumes of information that can help you get started on your journey to gourmet cooking bliss. 

Microwave Cooking is the Wave of the Future

Before you set up to change your ways, you need to understand that when it comes to microwave cooking, not all microwaves were created equal. Wattage is vitally important as is the quality of your microwave. Research helps a great deal but even many of the recipes you will find for microwave cooking are written for microwaves of varying wattage so you will need to ferret out what times and temperatures would be appropriate for your microwave. While microwave cooking is great for big families it is an outstanding way to save money when cooking for and feeding one. By and large, microwave cooking keeps any spills and splatter isolated to your microwave. From omelet makers to special trays for cooking bacon in the microwave industrious people are working to make the easy way of cooking that much easier. 

Microwave cooking very well may be the wave of the future. The day will arrive when you can make microwave cooking the rule rather than the exception. 

Microwave Cooking is the Wave of the Future


When it comes to cooking there are few tools that are more versatile in the kitchen than the microwave. This device offers so many functions when it comes to cooking that most people never bother to utilize. It's sad really. In most homes, the microwave has been relegated to doing duty as a meat defroster, popcorn popper, and coffee warmer rather than using is as the fabulous device for actual food preparation that it really is capable of being.

Before you set up to change your ways, you need to understand that when it comes to microwave cooking, not all microwaves were created equal. Wattage is vitally important as is the quality of your microwave. The average el cheapo microwave that you can find in discount stores will simply not stand up to the rigors of regular full meal preparation though they are perfectly acceptable for many wonderful dishes that can be prepared as side dishes. The correct microwave however, can actually brown and bake a full sized Thanksgiving turkey.

Microwave cooking is definitely not something that is meant for those who are afraid of trying something new or those that are afraid of making mistakes along the way. This is a process that is one part science and one part figuring it out. Research helps a great deal but even many of the recipes you will find for microwave cooking are written for microwaves of varying wattage so you will need to ferret out what times and temperatures would be appropriate for your microwave. This is to a large degree going to be a process of trial and error unless you are using the recipe book that came with your microwave.

Do not despair however, most that have tried microwave cooking find it to be a much better process for their meal preparation needs. While microwave cooking is great for big families it is an outstanding way to save money when cooking for and feeding one. It is also rather simple. In other words, even college students can benefit by learning microwave cooking for one or more as it will help them limit their expenses while still eating healthy fresh made meals.

Another great thing about microwave cooking that is often overlooked is that there are far less messes to be made than when cooking part of a meal stove top, part of a meal in the oven, and part of the meal elsewhere. By and large, microwave cooking keeps any spills and splatter isolated to your microwave. Most of these can be cleaned and controlled rather easily by using a removable plate in your microwave (that can be washed in the dishwasher) and covering your food whenever possible to avoid splatters.

Microwave cooking is gaining popularity despite the fact that is hasn't caught on as well as the inventors would have liked. The proof of this is in the many products that have been created to make microwave cooking a little bit easier. From omelet makers to special trays for cooking bacon in the microwave industrious people are working to make the easy way of cooking that much easier.

If you have a microwave in your home that is used mostly for melting butter and warming pizza, then you have a microwave in your home that is being terribly under utilized. It is time you hit the search engines for recipes that will be appropriate for your microwave and get busy trying something new and different that will have your family awed and amazed. Imagine having them toss accolades for your tireless devotion and standing over a hot stove for hours when in actuality you only checked on the microwave when the proper time approached.

Microwave cooking very well may be the wave of the future. Get a head start and begin building your collection of wonderful microwave recipes right away for the best selection. The day will arrive when you can make microwave cooking the rule rather than the exception.


Quick and Easy Lunches for the Cooking Challenged

First of all, not all great lunches require actual cooking in order to prepare. Lettuce wraps. These mike delightfully delicious lunch treats and the filling can be prepared ahead of time, which leaves only reheating the filling and wrapping when you're ready to eat. Some people choose to go with a teriyaki inspired filling; my family likes taco inspired fillings for our lettuce rolls. Try sandwiches with different breads. Other great ideas include hollowing out crusty rolls and filling them with roast beef and cheddar. Other great bread ideas include croissants with ham and cheese or chicken salad, taco pitas (another great favorite in our household), and paninis (this works really well if you have a George Foreman grill or a panini press). 

the Cooking Challenged


Let's face it, cooking is not a top priority in the lives of every man, woman, or child on the planet. In fact, far too people have made learning to cook a priority in their lives. This means that we often exist on convenience foods and boxed mixes rather than taking the effort to prepare healthy meals for our families and our own personal enjoyment.

The same holds true for lunches when we often resort to a can of soup or box of macaroni and cheese or some other such product rather than putting our creative efforts into making a quick and easy yet delicious lunch. You will see many ideas in this article and the hope is that these ideas will not only get you off to a great start for ending the lunch rut we all seem to find ourselves in at some time or another but also to try new things on your own.

First of all, not all great lunches require actual cooking in order to prepare. Some of them will require the use of the microwave and some of them will need to be cooked or at least prepared before hand and reheated. The choices are virtually limitless once you understand the creative concept that must be in place. You should also find that many of these ideas are so simple you will wonder why on earth you have never thought of them. I certainly hope that some of these ideas will become main features within your own home.

Lettuce wraps. These mike delightfully delicious lunch treats and the filling can be prepared ahead of time, which leaves only reheating the filling and wrapping when you're ready to eat. This is a fun lunch to share with your little ones and it teaches them that lettuce is much more versatile than people often give it credit for being. Some people choose to go with a teriyaki inspired filling; my family likes taco inspired fillings for our lettuce rolls. You are perfectly free to come up with a favorite filling of your very own.

Try sandwiches with different breads. Believe it or not, my children love trying new things. It's a rare trait for which I am extremely grateful. Believe me I understand all too well how fortunate I am. My youngest however, has a little difficulty with thick or crusty bread. Her favorite sandwich choice has become Hawaiian sweet rolls. We put the meat, cheese, mustard, and pickle in her roll as if it were a bun and she's thrilled. Other great ideas include hollowing out crusty rolls and filling them with roast beef and cheddar. You can broil this in your oven for a few minutes for a rare sandwich treat. The cooking part is very minimal and you do not have to have in depth knowledge of anything to prepare or enjoy these simple treats. Other great bread ideas include croissants with ham and cheese or chicken salad, taco pitas (another great favorite in our household), and paninis (this works really well if you have a George Foreman grill or a panini press).

While this is by no means the end all be all guide to cooking quick and easy lunches it is good food for thought. The hope is that this will get your own creative juices flowing so that you can prepare wonderful lunches for your family without needing to do too terribly much heavy cooking in the process.



Cooking for Special Occasions



It is these moments that we often refer to as special occasions. Incredibly rich side dishes that are simple to prepare are greater in number than meat dishes that require little culinary effort. The greatest gift you can really give yourself when cooking for special occasions is the time necessary in order to enjoy these special occasions. The important thing is that you do not get so caught up in the idea of cooking for special occasions that you forget to actually enjoy the occasion. 

The key for those who prefer to do all the meal preparation when cooking for special occasions at the time of cooking is planning properly and allowing plenty of time for possible hiccups in the process. Special occasions are a great time for friends and family. Do not waste too much time and energy fretting over cooking for special occasions. Instead, put all of your effort into enjoying those occasions. 

Cooking for Special Occasions


We all have those moments in our lives when we feel as if everything needs to be exactly right. It is these moments that we often refer to as special occasions. When it comes to cooking for special occasions, many of us find that we drop the ball in our anticipation and feel as though we have ruined the moment. While this is often far from the truth, it does serve to diminish the moment in many of our minds. For this reason, you need to work up a repertoire, if you will, of simple to make special occasion cooking recipes.

You will be shocked and amazed at all the sinfully rich and delicious meals and side dishes that are out there, that are amazingly quick and easy to prepare. This means that you will not run the all too common disaster scenarios that you hear about and will still manage to have a wonderful meal that is enjoyed by all.

The trick is in choosing a rather simple meat dish and dressing it up with the more decadent side dishes. Incredibly rich side dishes that are simple to prepare are greater in number than meat dishes that require little culinary effort. You should also keep in mind the audience for your special occasion. Sometimes a family favorite makes the occasion seem much more special than an all out effort for chicken cordon bleu or veal Marsala. There is no point in going to an extreme effort to create a culinary masterpiece if it is going to be riddled with picky children proclaiming that they do not like this or that about your meal.

Another great idea when it comes to cooking for special occasions is to prepare as much as possible ahead of time in order to alleviate the pressure during the event and to allow you more time to enjoy the event rather than dealing with the details of meal preparation. The greatest gift you can really give yourself when cooking for special occasions is the time necessary in order to enjoy these special occasions. This is not to say that there isn't some cooking that will need to be done.

Foods that can be prepared ahead of time and reheated just prior to serving are often the best when it comes to cooking for special occasions. There are all kinds of appetizers, entrees, and desserts that will work perfectly in this particular instance. You can often find them by performing a simple Google search online or by sorting through many of your favorite cookbooks at home. The important thing is that you do not get so caught up in the idea of cooking for special occasions that you forget to actually enjoy the occasion.

If this is not the way you prefer to do things that is perfectly understandable. Some of us do thrive in high stress situations. The key for those who prefer to do all the meal preparation when cooking for special occasions at the time of cooking is planning properly and allowing plenty of time for possible hiccups in the process. Mistakes occur when people feel rushed and hurried in their culinary efforts.

Another common mistake that is made when cooking for special occasions is cooking outside of your comfort zone. When you are preparing a challenging recipe it is best if you do this during a time when you are not going through the stress of potential visitors or insuring the best possible of circumstances. In other words, it is best to challenge your culinary talents when you do not have a vested interest in success.


Special occasions are a great time for friends and family. The hope is that you will have many special occasions throughout your life. Do not waste too much time and energy fretting over cooking for special occasions. Instead, put all of your effort into enjoying those occasions. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Low Carb Cooking



One method that has shown great success in helping people quickly drop those unwanted pounds is through low carb cooking and dieting. The excellent thing about low carb cooking is that it is so widely popular. Popular stores such as Whole Foods and Trader Joes are great places to go for specific foods that are low carb in nature and designed to meet the chocolate or breading needs of those who feel more than slightly deprived by the rigorous restrictions of a low carb lifestyle. You can also find many resources on the Internet to help assist and encourage you in your low carb lifestyle incorporation. When it comes to low carb cooking you have the perfect excuse to use your grill well and use your grill often. Most importantly about low carb cooking you should keep your goal in mind

Low Carb Cooking



Around the world people are paying more attention to their bodies and their health than perhaps at any other time in history. One method that has shown great success in helping people quickly drop those unwanted pounds is through low carb cooking and dieting. This method of weight loss seems to have taken the world by storm promising quick results for the simple (or not so simple) lifestyle change of eliminating as many carbohydrates as possible from our diets.

The notion sounds simple on one hand and is appealing to not only women hoping to drop those vanity pounds but also men who welcome the idea of eating all the steaks they can handle throughout the year. Low card cooking is becoming a way of life for many families as a result though the idea of this particular lifestyle change and the reality of it do on occasion seriously collide with one another.

If you are interested in dropping those unwanted pounds and keeping them off, this is a doubt that without a doubt gets results. The problem is that you must stick to the diet in order for the results to remain consistent even after you've met your weight loss goals. This means that you are not really embarking on a diet so much as a complete overhaul in the way you eat.

The excellent thing about low carb cooking is that it is so widely popular. This means that you will have no trouble finding resources, tips, tricks, advice, and even amazing substitutes for those things you often miss most when engaging in the low carb lifestyle. Popular stores such as Whole Foods and Trader Joes are great places to go for specific foods that are low carb in nature and designed to meet the chocolate or breading needs of those who feel more than slightly deprived by the rigorous restrictions of a low carb lifestyle. Many mainstream grocery stores are also beginning to see the value of catering to this 'high end' market of consumers and offering a wider variety of low carb friendly foods to consumers.

You can find recipes that are low in carbs by the mouthful at your local libraries and bookstores around the world. You can also find many resources on the Internet to help assist and encourage you in your low carb lifestyle incorporation. In addition to the cookbooks, recipes, and encouragement you also need to weed out the fact from the fiction when it comes to low carb cooking. The best way to do this is to go straight to the source. If you are going to incorporate this lifestyle altering diet into your way of life, you want to make sure that you are following it to the letter and not some knock off version that may not be as effective.

When it comes to low carb cooking you have the perfect excuse to use your grill well and use your grill often. In fact, I highly recommend a George Foreman grill (or some similar knock off) for your home for those days when grilling outside simply isn't an option. Around our house, those are the days when the snow reaches the bottom of the grill but we are the exception rather than the rule. Most importantly about low carb cooking you should keep your goal in mind. If you aren't making progress, check what you are doing and adjust your cooking and eating accordingly.