Be a Restaurant Chef at Home

Are you not jealous to restaurant chefs? I do, because I love cooking and I swear, I am so desperate to serve delicious foods that diners will keep on coming back.

Pretending to be a chef, at home I have a menu board in the kitchen. I have several handmade recipe book. All handwritten and ingredients were adjusted to our taste. Recipe that I personally write on the recipe books are tried and tested. And recipe that I still have to try were in a separate book. Beside the menu board, I place a pen and paper and let my husband, kids or my friends write anything about my new recipe. This is to confirm what is needed or adjusted to make it tastier. And I have recipe written on the index card also. Sometimes I ask my family to pick one index card on each categories to decide what should I cook for their meals.

I have different kinds of cutters and knife. This is for cutting and chopping fruits and vegetables to add some attractive decorations. Because beautifully served meals are inviting. Other than fanciful knives, you have to at least own a proper chef knife and know how to sharpen them. It’s so basic but you will feel so frustrated when your knife doesn’t cut properly and everything gets really slow.

Oh and don’t forget about the pots and pans. You need some basic one, but as usual no harm to have lots of them :) .

I always serve a set meals with a balance health benefits and calorie check. With a nice color coordination meals can always be exciting and awesome.

And of course nothing can replace my kitchen helpers, like food processor, grinder, mixer and hand-blender. They are the reasons I perfectly prepared a mouth watering and inviting meals all the time. However, you can also produce a tasty meals without your kitchen appliance. The downside is you consume a lot of time only for preparing and mixing ingredients. Like if you bake a bread, there’s no problem in mixing the dough with your hands. The tendency is you will exert too much effort in mixing to prevent lumps.

There is always an advantage and disadvantage using an electric appliances. Consider your time and money. If you want to produce an extremely tasty meals I suggest you have the important electric appliances on your kitchen. Surely everybody are hats off for your ultimate delicious dishes.

Toasty Easy Food

How often do you use your toaster oven? Do you use it for heating up baked breads, leftovers and pizza? Or to even to cook something?

I am fond of inventing new recipe from left over foods and mixing available ingredients in the kitchen. Especially for snacks, unexpected friends visit and sometimes for finger foods while watching our favorite movies at home.

Whichever way you want to have these foods, it is important to have the right crisp, moist and tastier. Work your imaginations, remember the last time you dine out. Do you have something you wanted to eat from your coffee break with your friends? From the foods you eat outside, do you want to tell the chef to add more of these and that to make it more delightful?

That’s how I form a new idea for my recipes. Probably it’s a copycat but I am happy to have the taste adjusted according to my preference. Conclusion is, To me toaster oven is one of the best purchase I made, because they are small and good oven for baking. You don’t need to preheat it, as it’s small so it heats up pretty fast and it doesn’t take too much space. I also can try out smaller batches of new recipes. Who wants to fire-up a 30 liter oven to toast bread for your breakfast!

Here’s a lot more fun idea for surprisingly delicious foods for your family:

1. Left over spring rolls wrapper for pizza. Spring roll wrappers are good for pizza having a thin and crunchy crust. Just spread ketchup or tomato sauce evenly, sprinkle some cheese and your favorite toppings. Mine usually topped with tomatoes, peppers and salami or hotdogs. Then again add more cheese and arrange in a toaster oven. Set for about 5 mins or depends on your preference.

2. Left over spaghetti. I’m sure some of you done this before. My family loves this because it is more tastier and creamier. I add more cheese, coffee creams the liquid one, some hotdogs if there’s one in the refrigerator.

3. Buttered salmon. This one usually has no left overs. But if there’s any I toast it in the toaster oven the next day to give a little change in our foods. Because my family don’t want to eat same taste the following day.

4. Roasted asparagus with butter rolled in almond powder. This is also a good one to go with side dishes.

5. Dried fruits. This is my favorite one. Very organic and assures no preservatives added. Seasonal fruits like grapes, mangoes or prunes are likely to be dried in the toaster. Why, because we have lots and nobody wants to eat the same fresh fruits all the time. Also, dried fruits can be easily packed and kept inside the bag. I can grab it anytime of the day. Just add some roasted nuts and it’s heavenly.

Oven toaster were almost great in any foods. Just make sure to determine how much cooking time and consider the temperatures. Because oven toaster temperatures are much higher than microwave ovens. Constantly check how does your foods reacts with heat or else you’ll end up over toasting the foods.

To me, foods that are roast or toast have less fats than frying or deep frying. Foods that are toast or roast spill out fats and oils in the pan. Healthier and tastier foods with oven toaster makes a big difference.

Picture credit: Rex Roof

Serve Freshly Baked Bread Everyday

Probably you have breads either on the table, counter-tops, frozen or refrigerated. We do have breads always in the counter-tops but mostly in the dining table or sometimes fridge.

Kids grab any kind of breads that is lying on the table when they arrived home from school. They want it either plain, flavored or dressed with butter and jam.

All the members of the family find it easy and chewable to have breads for breakfast. Normally they want it with ham or bacon topped with cheese, some lettuce and tomatoes, a sandwich. Best partnered with fresh squeezed juice or mixed fruit juice.

That is the reason I was so eager to have a bread maker at home. My family inspires me to bake a homemade breads. I’ve tried different kinds of bread baked on the bread maker. Some fails some were amazingly delicious. Some failures I guess because of the timing and temperatures. But it is adjustable and manageable. Because those breads are just an experiments. But generally, most of these bread makers performance are amazing. If you are an amateur baker like me, it’s the easiest to make something consistent once you found a perfect recipe.

With my bread maker baking breads made easy. Mixing and preparing the dough is really a tough task to accomplish. Imagine a bread maker mixes the dough perfectly without lamps makes  the bread fluffy, moist and fresh. And I assure that I provide my family with organic foods to keep them from harmful ingredients and preservatives.

Favorite breads can now be baked anytime at home. I am satisfied to serve the table with a hearty and heavenly breads always. The best gift are my kids smile every time they enjoy their breads, their smiles pays the effort. The bread maker do the tricks for me. With some help from my convection oven I am all set to a greatness. Thanks to the new era, the advance and innovative technology ease every cooking task. If you are also thinking to bake your own bread and looking for a suggestion of which to buy, check out this review of all the cool bread machine.

What is Organic Living?

When we say organic living we say goodbyes to harsh chemicals, to safely keeps us away from cancer, illness, allergies and we save our mother earth.

Eat organic foods. Processed foods and canned  and freezer foods contain preservatives and harmful additives that is not good for our health.  My way of providing my family foods that is safe from harmful ingredients is to plant vegetables on our backyard. If you don’t have backyards you can also plant fruits and vegetables on your verandas. Foods that are grown without chemicals is beneficial to both our health and the environment.

Use organic beauty products that is accessible on your kitchen. Body soaps, shampoo and skin care products also contains chemicals that is harmful to our skin. Use essential oils to clear up dirt and moisturize. Or whenever you buy skin care products check the back label to see what ingredients are they made of.

Avoid too much use of bleaching and cleaning products that contains harmful chemicals as well. Instead try to use natural cleaning agents that are sitting on your cupboards. One of the best cleaning agents that do a lot better for me are baking soda, vinegar and salt. Besides helping save the environment I also save money and our health. You can also mix vinegar and water, and put them into spray bottle. It makes a very good emergency cleaning solution.

Because I love being crafty I always recycled used things. Mostly are jars and boxes for keeping small things organized together. Or rather tailored and sew old clothes for my kids dress. Used tea cans or milk cans are also perfect for indoor plants such as herbs and spices, it gives us fresh breeze at home. There are lots of website for ideas on arts and crafts using used bottles and cans, like this one by Stephanie Lynn.

In many cases, products that cannot be produced at home can be purchased at the groceries. It doesn’t matter whether you produce your own or buy from stores. Just be careful and watchful for all the ingredients contain in your products. Go for a certified organic products.