Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sweet and Sour: Trying Something Different

Sweet and sour recipes, as cooked in North America, and not truly traditional to China. As with many ethnic dishes, Americans have put their own twist on them to fit in with their lifestyles. Many sweet and sour recipes from North America contain tomatoes, or even catsup, which is not an ingredient native to China. Nonetheless, sweet and sour dishes, whether they be traditional or "Americanized" are a tasty addition to your monthly menu plan.

A common misconception about Asian dishes is that they are difficult to prepare. Nothing could be further from the truth! Whether you are making some traditionally, using the stir fry method in a wok, or using the flavors to enhance a slow cooker dish, these recipes are quick and easy.

To read the entire article please click Sweet and Sour: Trying Something Different

Here are just a few recipes we have available:

Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken
Sweet And Sour Beef Brisket
Sweet And Sour Meatballs
Sweet And Sour Chicken
Microwave Sweet And Sour Pork Chops
Spinach Salad With Sweet And Sour Dressing

You can search for other sweet and sour dishes here too!

See you next week!

~ Amanda

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Popcorn Recipes & Tips for National Popcorn Day

January 19th is Popcorn Day. Though we can't seem to find any origin to this declaration, some sources think it ties in with the Super Bowl. Makes sense I guess, parties, food, snacks, popcorn just fits right in! Popcorn has been enjoyed for much longer than you would think though. Many native tribes used it not only for eating, but for making celebratory necklaces. Ah yes, glorious popcorn!

So let's celebrate Popcorn Day by making some tasty treats! Try one of these recipes, or visit our site for more popcorn recipes.

Butter Pecan Popcorn
Caramel Corn
Cranberry Popcorn Balls
Honey Butter Popcorn Balls
Red Hot Popcorn

Popcorn Tips & Recipes

by Amanda Formaro

Popcorn has been around for a lot longer than many of us thought. Did you know that natives used to spear corn cobs on large sticks and cook them over an open fire? The kernels would pop and stay on the cob, making popcorn on the cob! I'm still a little amazed at that one and would love to try it myself one day.

For now though, I'll stick with the good old fashioned method of popping corn. After all, you can't buy cobs of corn ready for popping, but you can buy bags of it, and relatively cheap too. There are a couple of different fool proof ways of making homemade popcorn:

Microwave Paper Bag Method
Believe it or not, all you need is a brown lunch bag, some unpopped popcorn kernels, and some tape or staples. Open the brown bag, pour in enough kernels to cover the bottom of the bag completely. It's alright if a few of the kernels overlap, just make sure you cover the bottom of the bag. Next, fold the top of the bag closed and either tape or staple (they will not spark) it shut. Place the bag on its side in the microwave and cook it just like you would store bought microwave popcorn. Because all microwaves vary, the time it takes to cook your popcorn is going to be individual to your oven. Generally between 2 and 3 1/2 minutes will do it.

Want to read the rest of this article? 
Visit Popcorn Tips on Alicia's Recipes to read the rest!

Be sure to check out all of our popcorn recipes!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January is National Oatmeal Month: Recipes and Facts

January is National Oatmeal Month. Did you know that Americans buy more oatmeal during the month of January than any other month during the year? It's no wonder, oatmeal is a hot breakfast, perfect for cold, wintery days, and it's good for you. Many create New Year's resolutions to eat better and improve their health, so it's just natural for so much oatmeal to be consumed during the blustery days of January.

Below are a bunch of recipes from our site that use oatmeal as an ingredient. You can see our complete search for "oats" here, or visit our Oatmeal Cookie section here. Be sure to check out our oatmeal tips below as well!

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Almond Granola Bars
Low Fat Fruit & Oatmeal Bars
Apple Crisp
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Honey Banana Bread
Mennonite Oatmeal Cake
Cranberry Caramel Bars
Cowboy Cookie Mix

Oatmeal Tips
by Amanda Formaro

Oatmeal is a very versatile grain. You can cook it and eat it as is, use it in baked goods, and even make it into soap! There are several different types of oatmeal, knowing the difference can save you from a bowl of cardboard for breakfast.

Types of Oatmeal
There are several types of oatmeal, the most common being old fashioned oats, quick cooking oats, steel cut oats, and instant oatmeal. All oatmeal is made from oat groats. Oat groats are minimally processed whole oats that take a long time to cook in their whole state.

Old Fashioned Oats
Probably the most common type of oats, widely available on grocer shelves, old fashioned oats are used in baking as well as cooked and eaten for breakfast. This type of oat has been steam heated and then flattened, forming an oat flake. A bowl of old fashioned oatmeal usually takes about 5 minutes in boiling water or 2-3 minutes in the microwave.

Quick Cooking Oats
These are basically old fashioned oats that have been flattened further still and cut into smaller pieces to allow them to cook faster. This process allows for a much faster cooking time.

Want to read the rest of this article?
Visit Bean Tips on Alicia's Recipes to read the rest!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bean Day Recipes

January 6th is Bean Day. Why? No one seems to know. I can't seem to find anything about its origins, though there are theories about farmers celebrating the bean harvest. But in January?? Who knows. I do know that we have a lot of bean recipes and I am more than happy to share them with you! January is also National Staying Healthy Month, so eating legumes, which are high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol, is the perfect solution.

So why not celebrate Bean Day by making something with beans? Or better yet, make it the main attraction. Beans have loads of protein, are a great low fat replacement to meat, and are very inexpensive. Try one of these recipes, or visit our bean recipe section for more.

Amish Bean Soup
Black Bean Soup
Crock Pot Beans
Hunter's Beans
Old Fashioned Baked Beans
Three Bean Casserole
7 Bean Salad

Bean Tips
by Amanda Formaro

Legumes are a type of vegetable that includes beans, peas and lentils. Legumes are one of the most versatile and nutritious foods, low in fat, they contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. Legumes also contain beneficial fats, and are a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber. A wonderful source of protein, legumes can be a healthy substitute for meat, which is much higher in fat and cholesterol. Legumes are often chosen by vegetarians to replace the protein they miss by removing meat from their diets.

Aside from all the health benefits that beans offer, they are extremely budget friendly. A one pound bag of beans is usually less than $1.50 and can make several meals, depending on the number of servings you are planning.

Beans can be stored in the bags they are packaged in. However, if you open the bag, or if the bag is punctured, it's better to store the beans in a glass or plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Moisture is the enemy, and air carries moisture. Do not keep dried beans in the refrigerator, a dark cabinet is best.

Want to read the rest of this article? 
Visit Bean Tips on Alicia's Recipes to read the rest!

Be sure to check out all of our bean recipes!

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