Archive for the ‘Casserole Recipes’ Category

Be Inspired, Become a Celebrity Chef!

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Whoever in the world does not appreciate a well-cooked food? Do you know that those cuisines that you have fallen in love with in the fancy restaurants are prepared and cooked by the well-equipped chefs? It feels utterly significant to you that people appreciate and in fact love your cooking. Now who has the right to become chefs themselves? Who deserves to enjoy the feeling of being appreciated and revered? Everybody does! And if someone has the talent for cooking, definitely he could officially become a certified chef.

Who ever thought that being in the limelight is all what the celebrities could be good at? There are a lot of celebrities who have other careers to busy themselves with. Many of them have long realized that they could excel in other areas and one of which is in the cooking arena. Yes, many of today’s actors, actresses, and directors are in fact good cooks. They have their own specialties as well. Moreover, some of them have taken the right path and have landed themselves in the reputations of great celebrity chefs. Among them are Julia Child, Alton Brown and Wolfgang Puck.

What are the components of becoming a great celebrity chef? They could be the combination of proper timing, talent, strong personality, dependable education, and the will to excel in the field.

One of the best schools, the CHIC or Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago is aimed at preparing the learners in handling several careers that are related to the culinary arts by the use of the influences on food preparation in the areas of the traditional, Midwest, American, and the European settings. Let us take a look at the celebrated great celebrity chefs of all time.

Julia Child lived in the outskirts of Marseilles and Paris right after the Second World War. It was in this time when she took interest in learning the French culinary arts. She took classes at the Le Cordon Bleu and cooked for her family and friends. Her focus was on mystery meats and casserole so the Americans loved her craft.

Alton Brown basically grew up assisting his grandmother and mother in the kitchen. He found a career as a video director and cinematographer but because of his passion for foods, he came up with a niche to expose his culinary knowledge. Now, he is the host of Good Eats of the Food Network.

Wolfgang Puck is a restaurateur whose name could be spotted in several malls. His Franco-Californian attack on food recipes has definitely warmed the hearts of millions of food lovers. He started mastering the culinary arts at fourteen.

There are great differences between the educations received by these well-known celebrity chefs but they agree at one point and that is in terms of sharing a similar passion and the drive to share that passion to the rest of the world. These great celebrity chefs encourage the budding chefs out there to only believe that they could excel in other aspects of life and that learning could not only be confined in one shell.

Becoming a celebrity chef is not a dream that would be hard to fulfill. Equipped with the right components, attitude, and point of view in life, you could also gain a credible reputation for yourself. It is a matter of faith in yourself!

What Are Tortillas

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Tortillas got its name from the Spaniards. The word “tortilla” comes from the Spanish word “torta” with the meaning being round cake. Tortillas are eaten everyday not just in Mexico but also in America. Americans put just about anything in the tortilla. Ever try peanut butter and jelly in a tortilla? Many eat it that way; also the tortillas are used with hot dogs, casseroles, and sandwiches.
Tortillas have been enjoyed for many centuries, but not with all the fillings that are used these days.

Aztecs made tortillas more than 10,000 years before Christ. Aztecs ate a lot of corn, some right from the cob, and others they would save and use later. They would ground it into corn meal and later make into masa, which is corn dough. The masa is added with water. If the water is not the right temperature, the consistency will not be enough to make the tortilla. Once the masa is ready, it is placed in a ball size in the maker’s hands. It takes awhile to go through the process of making the masa flat. It is patted into what looks like a think pancake. Once it is the right size, it is placed on a hot griddle. It does not take long to cook.

Today the tortilla is still made with the same ingredients. Majority of them are made in factories with machines because they are in high demand. They come in many flavors. Anyone can still make them from scratch if they prefer. You can find tortillas in a variety of Mexican foods. Tacos use them as the shell. Enchiladas consist of the tortilla being filled and then rolled, afterwards being cooked. Quesadillas use tortillas as turnovers which are filled and then fried.

If you think that tortillas are just for eating, think again. There is a type of art that is called “tortilla art”. It is fine art that uses tortillas as the canvas. First the tortillas are baked and then acrylic. After that they are painted. Tortilla art is made to represent the culture of Latino artists.

Tortillas are also what are used to make the tortilla chips. The tortilla is cut into wedges and fried. Corn tortillas are made from corn, vegetable oil, salt and water. The chips first became popular in the 1940s in Los Angeles, California where the chips were mass-produced, but it is still considered a Mexican food.

Americans use tortillas for a lot of their foods. It is most common found in burritos, which started long ago in northern Mexico. Tortillas are a traditional food of many people from northern states of Mexico and also Native tribes that are found in the Southwestern United States. Just about any restaurant will carry tortillas. You can try many different foods that include them. They are easy to find in the grocery store. You can use your taste buds and imagination to make your own foods which include the tortillas.

There are many different recipes available to search, so join in on a tasty convenient food that many Americans have already discovered.

Cooking for Sunday Dinner

Monday, December 8th, 2008

From as far back as I can remember there have been special church occasions when dinner on the church grounds was the order for the day. Far too many times I watched as person after person walked in with store purchased fried chicken. Whether the reason for this was lack of time, lack of planning, or lack of ideas I was never quite certain. I was certain however, that this was not isolated to my church alone.

It may seem odd but I have traveled all over the country and lived in many different areas of the culture. One thing that seems constant no matter where I live is that someone inevitably brings fried chicken from a local restaurant or deli as his or her potluck offering. There is nothing wrong with this of course, but there are so many great recipes available for Sunday dinner cooking that it seems odd that so many would resort to this tired old tradition rather than spicing things up with a spicy taco casserole or sweetening the deal with some delightfully delicious and simple to make dessert.

Sunday dinners obviously aren’t the only time when cooking a casserole or making a dessert is a good decision for the day. They are, however, the most common from my childhood, which is why I often refer to them. There are also ‘pitch ins’ at work that require a contribution and these are an excellent opportunity to make coworkers envy your culinary talents. Even for those who are health conscious however, there are many wonderful types of salads that can be prepared for occasions such as this that will provide you with a guilt free entre at the event for which you are preparing your offering.

You do not have to choose calorie or fat filled dishes for your Sunday dinner cooking. In fact, when you are doing the cooking you should cook the things you enjoy eating. Most of us are much more likely to put our best efforts into preparing the foods we enjoy rather than those that feel as though they are a chore for us to make. The same holds true when cooking for potlucks and such. Just be careful that you do not prepare the exact same dish every time or people will think that it is the only dish you can prepare.

I recommend checking out casserole recipes online and in your favorite magazines. Even magazines that offer healthier eating options often have a casserole, large salad, or even a healthy dessert you can prepare for these events. My personal solution has always been to collect recipes over time that I would like to try out and use the potluck audience as my recipe guinea pigs. This way if my family or I do not like it, we won’t be stuck with leftovers for a week and if we do like it, we can put it into our rotation of recipes for use at home.

Sunday dinner cooking doesn’t have to be nearly as stressful as many of us make it out to be. Many wonderful crock-pot recipes can actually be prepared while you sleep. Just load your slow cooker with the proper ingredients and turn it on before turning in. You should awaken to the wonderful aroma of whatever delightful dish you have prepared and still manage to get ready for church in record time. This tried and true technique is a great way to make Sunday dinner cooking quick and easy.

Even if you are one of the many who have very limited culinary talents it is quite possible to wow your friends, relatives, and fellow church members with the correct ‘simple to make’ recipe. Desserts are by far the best way to go in this effort and can also be made the night before (in many cases) and stored in the refrigerator. Desserts are almost always a good bet and very few people ever complain about them regardless. The Kraft foods website offers some fabulously easy to make and delicious desserts if you are in need. The next time it is your turn to join in on the potluck preparation don’t resort to fried chicken. Dish up something that will truly turn heads instead.

PPPPP

711

What is Tex-Mex Cuisine

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Tex-Mex cuisine is a name used to describe dishes that are found in the state of Texas that is primarily American. It blends available foods in the United States with traditional Mexican cuisine. Some of the Tex-Mex foods may differ from actual Mexican dishes, but are still referred to Mexican dishes in Texas. People who live outside of Texas sometimes refer to Tex-Mex as Southwestern food.

Tex-Mex is considered “America’s oldest original cuisine” by some. Tex-Mex got its name back in 1875. It started when the Texas-Mexican Railway was nicknamed Tex-Mex to refer to the railroad and describe the Mexicans that were born in Texas. The mission era blended Texas foods with Spanish and Mexican. It got its name by the Tejanos (Hispanics born in Texas). The different regions of the state kept the foods similar to each other. Eventually other meats such as goat and cow’s head gained popularity. In the twentieth century, cheese was added because it was readily available and inexpensive in the United States.

More than 60% of the population of Texas has ancestors that were from Mexico. It is no surprise as to why that state has become popular for its Tex-Mex dishes. Tex-Mex is most popular in the South Central part of the state, which includes the cities of Austin and San Antonio. Tex-Mex dishes commonly use the ingredients of garlic, sour cream, cilantro, beans, avocado, and chorizo, which is a spicy Mexican sausage that originated from Spain. Chiles are also important in Tex-Mex dishes.

The chilies range from sweet and mild to hot fiery and are added to a variety of dishes. Some chiles that are used in Tex-Mex cuisine include ancho, jalapeno, and the hottest of them all, the habanero pepper. The food is contemporary and can easily be made. There are dishes that require more detail such as casseroles, black bean soup, and bunuelos, which is fried bread that is eaten with sugar and cinnamon that is sprinkled on the top.

Tex-Mex cuisine contains large amounts of beef, spices, and beans. Texas-style chili, crispy chalupas, and fajitas are all Tex-Mex originals. A serving of tortillas with hot sauce or salsa is another Texas invention. Other tasty creations include seven-layer dip, and tamale pie. Mango margaritas are a modern drink in the Tex-Mex menu.
Many of these recipes are simple and require little skill, but there are some foods that involve preparation of another recipe to complete the main dish.

One dish that is shouts Texas, is chili. It is a combination of meat and spices, with no beans added. Sauce is the main ingredient of the chili. Chili started by the Chili Queens of San Antonio. They made the chili to sell at stands for cowboys who came to the town.

If you are ever visiting Texas, it is worth trying the unique foods of the region. You will be able to taste Mexican classics with a Texas twist. Many dishes are available, but don’t be surprised when the dish arrives and the food doesn’t taste the same. That is part of the experience you will have when you eat Tex-Mex.