Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Love Your Kitchen and Inspire Your Cooking

It’s common knowledge that cooking from scratch tends to yield healthier results than preparing processed foods and ready meals. You are in control of the ingredients going into your food, whereas processed meals tend to be packed with unhealthy amounts of sugar and salt. So, if you’re serious about eating healthier food, then it’s good to cook!

Unfortunately, cooking can sometimes seem like a chore, especially in kitchens that are small, grubby and have poor equipment. Many have trouble finding the inspiration to cook great food when their kitchen is drab or there’s a pile of pans waiting to be washed.

Dirty Kitchen

So, if you’re determined to get in the kitchen to make some great healthy home-cooked meals, but you don’t feel your kitchen is up to the task, follow our tips for a revamp that will make you want to spend time in your kitchen!

Sparkling Clean

Get on top of that washing up. Nothing will put you off cooking more than a load of dirty plates and pans, so wash up and continue to do so after every meal.

New Pans

Also, have an audit of your utensils and pans. Many of us keep cutlery drawers that are absolutely bursting at the seams with items that have never seen the light of day. Do you really need that avocado slicer? Clear some space by donating your unwanted utensils to charity. You may also want to consider upgrading your existing utensils or pots and pans; nothing will make you want to cook more than some brand new kitchen accessories like a fancy new knife block from Lakeland!

Time for a Lick of Paint?

Décor in the kitchen is subjected to the stresses of heat, splashes of grease and steam. It’s not surprising that the paint job or wallpaper in the kitchen may not hold up as well as the décor in the rest of the house, so kitchens can often end up looking tired and grubby pretty quickly.

Modern Kitchen

A new paint job may be all it takes to give your kitchen a new lease of life if it’s looking worn and uninspiring. Breathing some life into the kitchen will make it a fresh and exciting place to be; consequently you’ll get more pleasure out of cooking. Have a look at this article for some great kitchen décor inspiration.

Invest in New Appliances

Noisy old fridge on its last legs? Cooker not up to scratch? Worn out and aging appliances that aren’t working as well as they should will contribute to keeping you out of the kitchen. Appliances are a big investment, but they’re important and compromising on the quality and functionality of your major appliances limits what you can do in the kitchen!

New Fridges

Fortunately, companies like Sparkworld who furnish kitchens in Plymouth with appliances often have better deals than the big high street electronics retailers.

Love Your Kitchen!

The kitchen is arguably the most important room in the house, so it’s important to keep it well maintained and ship-shape. A clean and tidy kitchen with good quality equipment will encourage you to get in there and produce some excellent home-cooked meals, so don’t be afraid to show your kitchen a little love.

 

 

Top Tips For Feeding A Family

Trying to decide what to feed your family on can sometimes be really frustrating. It’s easy to just grab the nearest thing from the freezer and pop it in the oven, but that’s not always going to be the healthy and cheapest option. Most parents want to feed their children a balanced and nutritious diet, but not go over the top on the spending, so to achieve this you are going to have to give it a bit of thought.

Lots of ideas can be found by searching the internet and some sites will enable you to download a family meal planner to help you out. I’d say one of the first considerations to make is the type of food your family like best, as it’s no good spending hours producing wonderful dishes that they turn their noses up at. It’s also a good idea to consider food which is in season which will be cheaper to buy than something that is imported from across the other side of the world. Pasta, rice or potatoes are cheap and filling options and can form the basis of many family meals, and if your children won’t eat vegetables then why not disguise them by adding them to a pasta dish blended into a sauce. They won’t even realise they are eating them.

I find a great way of keeping costs down when food shopping is to sit down at the beginning of each week and make a list of meal ideas. You can then write a shopping list for the whole week’s meals, just buying a few fresh ingredients when necessary. You’ll probably have lots of store cupboard ingredients anyway to keep the cost down. You may think that it’s going to take to much time to do, but over the course of the week then it’s going to be far more convenient than asking “what do you want for your tea?” each day.

Finding the Right Wine

I’m quite happy to admit that my knowledge of wines is extremely limited. I’m not a regular wine drinker and whilst I’ve certainly enjoyed a quite a few types of wine whilst with meals in restaurants, I’ve never really understood what makes certain wines complement certain types of food.

This hasn’t really been much of an issue for me up until now. I have a forthcoming family wedding where I have been asked to provide the catering. It will be quite a low key affair, with only 25 guests invited to the wedding breakfast, I know that I am capable of catering for that number of people; and I know I can put together a good menu that would equal that of any professional caterer. Where I come unstuck is with the choice of Wines.

Researching my topic provided varying results. I found and article that seemed pitched directly at me on the askmen.com website. Its title is 5 wines you should know and it provided me with some handy information as a starting point. I found a great info-graphic at winefolly.com which really is worth taking a look at it’s also accompanied by a list of 5 guidelines for pairing the right wine with your food.

Ultimately my experience and knowledge of the wines listed is just too limited and getting it right on the day of paramount importance. I’ve decided that I need to bring in specialist help. I spoke to a company that not only has the great knowledge of wines but also specialises in wine delivery.

I was able to discuss the menu with them in detail and they were able to suggest the right wines that would complement the food perfectly. Choosing to hand this over to a specialist supplier was the right decision on this occasion. I can now concentrate on my speciality; the food. The research that I undertook has proven useful and I’ll be trying out a few of these wines to compliment my cooking when there’s not quite so much at stake.

reasons-to-cook-at-home

It Doesn’t Have To Cost A Fortune To Eat Healthily

When it comes to eating healthily and eating meals which taste fantastic as well, many people have the common misconception that it’s going to cost them more! For some reason, many people have the idea in their heads that it’s cheaper to eat processed pre-packaged meals than cook up their own healthy grub, however, in many instances, this isn’t the case at all! In fact, we often recommend cooking healthy meals yourself as a method of how to save money for families alongside getting some decent food inside you! It’s amazing how great home cooked food tastes and, thanks to the wealth of food based TV shows, more and more people are realising that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to eat healthy, home cooked meals and that it can also be an awful lot of fun cooking and baking!

Next time you’re tempted to order a takeaway, stop yourself! Instead of ordering a pizza or a kebab, nip to the local shops and buy the ingredients to make yourself a home-made soup or even a spaghetti bolognese. Trust us; you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to cook some of your favourite meals from scratch and how great they actually taste! You don’t need to be the next Heston Blumenthal in order to cook up a brilliant tasting meal and there’s literally thousands of recipes which you can find online at places like the BBC Good Food website to ensure you never run out of ideas of what to cook!

In fact; why not set yourself a challenge. Put together a meal planner for you and your family and see if you can cook all your meals for the next 7 days from scratch…yep, we mean breakfast, lunch and tea! It’s a challenge to switch from purchasing ready cooked food to doing everything yourself, however after completing the challenge, you’ll realise how it’s not only cheaper to make your own meals but that in many cases, it tastes better too!

What are you waiting for? Put together your meal planner for the next week, get yourself to the supermarket to buy all the ingredients you’re going to need and get your chefs hat on!

preparing food

Cooking

Cooking, although it may seem like a daunting task to some people, is not necessarily difficult and literally anybody can master the basics! However, despite the fact that there are so many simple recipes that can be easily grasped a great deal of people are still quite insistent that they can’t cook!
Seafood is considered by many people, even experienced cooks, as some of the most difficult food to prepare. It’s certainly true that if it’s not prepared correctly some seafood can go disastrously wrong, however if you stick to your recipe you should have no trouble at all! The main problem when cooking seafood is that is can be overcooked quite easily. Prawns, for example, can become pretty rubbery if they’re overcooked, but of course they shouldn’t be eaten undercooked, so getting them just right can be a challenge.

Nevertheless, despite the fact that some seafood dishes can be quite challenging to cook, particularly for an inexperienced chef, you shouldn’t be deterred from having a go at preparing some yourself! There are plenty of seafood dishes out there that are simple enough for beginners and you’ll struggle to go wrong with these.