Artichoke pasta salad recipe

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Recipe for artichoke pasta salad in our easy vegetarian recipes collection.

 artichoke pasta salad

Recipe ingredients

  • 7 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, quartered, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 pound pasta shapes, such as penne or fusilli
  • 2, 6 ounces, jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces cooked broccoli, chopped
  • 20 to 25 salt-cured black olives, stoned and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and ground black pepper

How to make artichoke pasta salad

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan.
  • Add the red pepper and onion and cook over a low heat until just soft, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  • Stir in the thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the vinegar.
  • Cook, stirring, for a further 30 seconds, then set aside.
  • Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water according to the instructions on the packet until al dente.
  • Drain, rinse with hot water, then drain again.
  • Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and toss well to coat thoroughly.
  • Add the artichokes, broccoli, olives, parsley, onion mixture and remaining oil to the pasta.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Stir to blend.
  • Leave to stand for at least 1 hour before serving or chill overnight.
  • Serve the salad at room temperature.

Apricot flapjacks recipe

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Recipe for apricot flapjacks in our easy vegetarian recipes collection.

 apricot flapjacks

Recipe ingredients

  • 2 cups oat flakes
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vegan margarine
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • About 10 dried apricots chopped up quite small

How to make apricot flapjacks

  • Melt the syrup, sugar, and margarine together in a pan over a gentle heat.
  • When thoroughly melted mix in the oats and apricots and press the mixture into an oiled cake tin.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 380 degrees F or until just beginning to brown.
  • Cut lines into the cake while still warm.
  • Cool and break into bars.

Apricot tart recipe

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Recipe for apricot tart in our easy vegetarian recipes collection.

 Apricot-tart

Recipe ingredients

  • 2 cups yogurt
  • Shortcrust pastry to line a pan
  • 1 1/2 cups canned apricots
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, separated

How to make apricot tart

  • Drain the yogurt for 3 hours.
  • Bake the pastry case for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the fruit. Save the juice for use in a fruit salad.
  • Lay the apricot halves on the pastry.
  • When the yogurt has drained, mix it together with the whipped cream and remaining ingredients except for the egg white, beating everything to a smooth mixture.
  • Whisk the egg white until it is stiff and fold it into the other mixture.
  • Spoon it over the apricots and bake at 325 degrees F for 50 minutes.

Apricot whip recipe

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Recipe for apricot whip in our easy vegetarian recipes collection.

 Make Apricot Whip

Recipe ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups dried apricots
  • 1 1/2 cups yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans

How to make apricot whip

  • Cover apricots with hot water and soak for 30 minutes. Drain well.
  • In a food processor or blender, combine the apricots, yogurt, and honey. Process until smooth. Chill.
  • Note: To serve, sprinkle nuts on each portion.

4 Kitchen Faucet Valve types and why you should pick them

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Kitchen Faucets are an integral part of any kitchen and choosing an appropriate one is important for performing your kitchen tasks efficiently.

Kitchen Faucets come in all shapes and sizes and there are many varieties to choose from.

So when you are buying a Kitchen Faucet, it is crucial that you know how many types of Kitchen Faucets are available in the market and how do they differ from one another.

There are mainly 4 types of Kitchen Faucet depending on their valve type given below. You can read more about them through Homeguyd’s comparison charts:

Compression Valve Faucets

This is the simplest and cheapest type of Kitchen Faucet which comes with two separate handles for hot and cold water. This type of faucet works using a rubber washer which is lowered down when you move the handle upwards.

Once the washer is pressed down, it shuts the valve seat at the bottom of the stem and is responsible for managing the flow of water. To stop the flow of water, you need to push the handle back down and firmly close down the washer.

These traditional faucets are more likely to wear out and cause drippy faucets but these are super easy to fix which makes them a popular choice for most people.

Ball Valve Faucets

One of the most common type of faucet used in kitchen, this one comes with a single handle which is washer-free and comes with a round cap on the faucet base.

The ball valves has various slots which handle the mixing of hot and cold water and manages the flow of water too. Since this is a washer-less faucet, it doesn’t require much maintenance but with its huge number of components, it tends to leak more than the other type of faucets.

If it’s not your faucets that’s leaking then you’d need to check under the sink. Here’s what SF Gate suggests for kitchen leakages.

Cartridge Valve Faucets

The most popular type of faucet which comes with both single-handle and double-handle, this type of faucet works using a brass and a plastic cartridge and is washer-free too.

The cartridge controls the flow of water and manages the temperature of water by moving left to right and up and down, respectively.

These cartridges are sealed using an O-ring which ensures that this faucet is more durable and works for a longer period of time.

This type of faucet is less likely to break down and doesn’t require as frequent maintenance as the other faucets and it is super easy to repair too, making it the perfect faucet type to choose for your kitchen.

Ceramic Disk Valve Faucets

Well, last but not the least, Ceramic Disk valve faucets are the latest invention in faucets which utilizes a single lever and 2 highly-polished ceramic disks which slide across each other.

The disks move from side to side and can be lifted up to manage the flow of water and mix the water temperature.

This type of faucet is considered to be the most durable faucet but since this is a new inventions, it is relatively expensive and is not opted by many people yet.


Hate bony fishes? Here’s how to debone it right

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fish-fillet

When it comes to healthy eating fish simply stand out. It’s got all the healthy oils, proteins etc. the body needs but one of the things I hate about cooking fish is the deboning part. While most of the frozen stuff does come without bones there’s always a chance of some troublesome tiny ones being leftover. These are often known as pin bones.

In case you have an entire fillet you need to debone and not just the pin bones well then you could be in the kitchen for quite some time today. But it needs to not always be as tough as it seems. Here are few tips to get you started right.

  • The first and foremost thing that you need to do is get the right set of tweezers. Look for stainless steel material that has broader and rectangular tips since these provide a better grip for even the most tedious of bones.
  • You can use other tools as well such as a nose plier or your cosmetic tweezers which often are equally effective but for long term basis, a culinary tweezer works best.
  • Firstly you need to find exactly where the bones are placed. For that gently run your hands over the fish from one end to the other. You’ll find most of the bones located in the middle of the fillet where it’s the thickest. While these bones tend to be quite long finding them can be tough as they are buried deep with only the end of it available at the surface.
  • In case you’re in a hurry here’s another tip you’ll find really helpful. Grab a mixing bowl and place it upside down on the kitchen counter. Now place the fillet bent over it with the flesh side upwards. The bend makes the bones easily visible and this can be pulled right out using your hands or tweezers.
  • Also always keep a bowl of water alongside while doing this as some of the bones tend to stick to the tweezer itself. Once you think it’s all done all you need to do is run your hand over the fillet one final time. Once that’s done the fillet is ready to be put on the grill, fried etc.

Learn to fillet a salmon and debone it from the experts themselves. Here’s how Gordon Ramsay does it.


5 easy to make healthy yet yummy desserts using oats

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It’s a proven fact that oats are one of the best and healthiest foods available. Whether you dieting or looking to get ripped it’s often the go to breakfast but that’s not all.

There’s a lot more to oats than that. Adding their crisp yummy goodness to desserts can give it a whole new dimension and a healthy twist. So here are a few oat desserts I would recommend for your next dinner party.

Oatmeal Raisin skillet cookie

If you love both oats and cookie then this is one cookie you’d love munching on every time hunger strikes. Here oats are kneaded into the dough and once the cookies are baked you can you can top them off with another dash of oats goodiness.

If baked right the cookie will have crunchy outside and a softer center. I would recommend you eat it warm and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and dig in directly into the pan.

skillet-cookie

Peanut Butter Truffles

Those looking for an on the go snack that is easy to make this is the ideal recipe. The golden sprinkle add-on on top of each truffle gives them a classy and traditional finish.

You can make both smaller and bigger rounds thus making it easier to carry even in your lunch boxes etc. or simply serve them as individual dessert starters at the next evening party. They also make the perfect birthday presents for kids.

peanut-butter-balls

Cocoa Puffs Ice cream sandwiches

This isn’t your everyday cookie. Here the cocoa puffs and other ingredients combine to give the cookie effect. Add a layer of Nutella and your favorite ice cream in the middle and freeze it overnight to help it set better.

After each layer has firmed up simply slice it into smaller pieces for serving with a small scoop of ice cream on top.

cocoa-puffs

Fruit loops cookies

The only issue with these cookies is that they don’t seem as interesting as the rest but when it comes to taste they definitely pack a punch. Once you’ve given the dough the desired shape refrigerate it for 2-3 hours as it holds it in place when baked and also keeps them soft and bloated and once it’s baked you can add in some fruity cereals etc. to make it more interesting.

fruit-loop

Almond butter cups with a twist

Does hunger strike you well past bedtime or is it chocolate craving you’re finding hard to quell? Well, irrespective of that these yummy chocolate and almond cups are exactly what you need. Use some leftover cheerios as a topping.

Make sure you let the almond and butter base set properly before you add the chocolate and Cheerios layer. Once done let the layers firm up further in the freezer for 4-5 hours.

almond-cups


5 Things you are doing wrong when cooking ribs but shouldn’t

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ribs

One of the most favorite summer foods remains the ribs. No foodie’s summer can really be complete without some tender ribs with barbecue sauce.

Now you can have it grilled or straight out of the oven but the thing that remains key here is to cook it right. There’s nothing worse for a meat lover than uncooked, dried out or charred pieces of meat. So here’s what you shouldn’t be doing with ribs next time you’re cooking.

Not cooking it right

The first and foremost problem with ribs is not cooking it right. Both undercooked and overcooked ribs can kill the mood but getting it right is easier said than done. I usually recommend newbies to use a thermometer but it isn’t always accurate.

Let the meat speak for itself. When the meat starts to pull away from the bones or it tends to curl at the center it’s cooked perfectly.

Leaving the back membrane on

Wondering why the ribs aren’t coming out as tender as you’d like? That’s mostly because of the presence of a thin membrane layer on the bottom part of the ribs which though edible tends to stiffen when cooked.

Once you’ve run the knife through the membrane you can get the rest out using hands. It can be slippery and thus I would recommend you do it using a hand or paper towel to get a stronger grip. Here’s how it should be done.

 

Leaving it directly on the heat

Cooking on high heat directly is awesome if you’re in a hurry and cooking stuff like burgers; kebabs etc. but for ribs, patience is a virtue. High heat can not only result in uncooked portions but also leave the meat dry.

Make sure you place the meat correctly on the rack and only take the heat up a notch towards the end of the cook for a cherry look.

Putting it directly on the grill

We love the ribs to have that charred look and the smoky flavor but for that, the ribs need not be on the grill from the very beginning. For them to be well cooked and to keep them tender the ribs need to be on low heat for long but controlling heat on a grill is tough.

This is why most recipes ask you to pre-cook the ribs. The heat can be controlled plus the meat remains tender. I recommend you always bake the meat. Cooking it in a slow cooker is a good alternative too.

Using the sauce too early

While the sweetness of the barbecue or any sauce you plan to use adds to the yumminess of the ribs adding it too soon to it can result in instant burning and excessive charring. Keep in mind that the sauce isn’t a must.

But if you’re really in the mood for some I would suggest you only add it towards the end of the cook in order for it to heat up sufficiently and yet not char the edges.


5 Things I did to make my baked items tastier

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While most of us are perfectly comfortable cooking up a bowl of noodles, fried rice or some grilled chicken with a tad bit of our own creativity when it comes to baking stuff we prefer to stick to the recipe books and at times rightly so.

Baking is all about accurate timing and precision and thus leaves little room for creativity so today I am going to share with you with a few secrets out of my cookbook to help you bake better.

I use ingredients at room temperature

I am sure you’ve come across plenty of recipes that specify you to use the baking ingredients cream etc. at room temperature. Ever wondered why that is? This is because at a moderate temperature these ingredients are simpler to mix irrespective of whether you use a stand mixer, beater or do it by hand.

Also adding ingredients of varied temperature to each other can often result in splits or fat separation. Temper hot ingredients into colder ones for better results.

I always weigh each ingredient

Like I mentioned above baking is all about precision and thus it is important to eliminate any guesswork involved and measuring every ingredient is the best way to do so. All recipes mention the exact weight of every ingredient.

Always have a top notch digital scale for accurate reading. It costs less than $50. Apart from that also make sure you have a set of measuring spoons and cups.

 

baking-scale

 

Never forget to grease your pans well

To grease your pans you can use a number of agents such as butter, flour, or even some olive oil but when doing it make sure it’s not just a few strokes. A well-greased pan stops the batter or dough from sticking to the edges once the cake, bread etc. are cooked.

In case you have used flour make sure you get rid of the excess and also do not let your fingerprints leave vacant room for the dough or batter to stick. Here’s how to do it the right way

 

I got the right equipment

Having a top end oven isn’t a necessity. An average oven can work equally well, even a cooker can help you bake well but what really matters are your bakeware and equipment. For mixing only a KitchenAid stand mixer is my recommendation. Its attachments and metallic or glass bowl etc. are exactly what’s needed.

Apart from that, you’ll also need thick, heat resistant metal pans, some parchment sheet, a separate whisk etc. Avoid cheap bakeware for best results.

tips-bakingequip

I avoid substitutes unless a necessity

Most people will tell you maple syrup etc. are perfect replacements for sugar but that’s not true. Yes, it’s lovely but won’t have the same impact as powdered sugar would. Sugar reacts differently when heated. It adds better texture, moisture etc. and no avoiding sugar completely will not make it a healthy cake and in fact can lead to flatter and oddly shaped cakes.


6 Reasons why every baker needs a Stand Mixer

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stand-mixer

While hand mixers are being used since a long time now, stand mixers have recently started gaining more importance over their counterparts. While the prior were previously good for home cooking, it took a lot of time and energy which cannot be spent anymore in today’s busy world. Stand mixers have helped tremendously in reducing the cooking time and the efforts involved, making it the go-to choice when planning to buy a mixer.

Here are a few benefits of using Stand Mixers in your household:

Let’s you multitask

One of the greatest advantages of using these appliances is that it lets you perform multiple tasks simultaneously. Now you don’t have to be next to your mixer the whole time to mix and mash your food, you can go ahead and prepare other food items in the meanwhile.

This comes as a huge help when you are hosting parties or you have large gatherings at home. You can just put your ingredients together into the bowl and get other stuff done in the mean time, making sure that you have everything ready by the time your first guests arrive. Convenient, isn’t it?

Various useful attachments

The fact that you can buy various attachments for different tasks and then get it done using just one appliance makes it a favorable choice for most people.

These attachments help you with various tasks; did you know these mixers aren’t just limited to beating? You can get whisks, whips, hooks, etc. and mash and mix your cream, eggs, etc. with considerable ease. You just need to buy the right attachment and then you are good to go. Here’s more in detail about the attachments and accessories.

 

Time-saver

Remember the time when you had to beat the egg by hand and it would take you 10 continuous minutes to get it done?

Well, you don’t have to worry about wasting your precious time anymore. You can let the stand mixer do your task in a much faster time while you are free to get other tasks done. A double time saver for you!

Minimize the Mess

One of the best thing about these mixers is that it reduces the amount of mess which otherwise might have occurred if you were using a hand mixer or worse doing it by hand.

We all remember how hard and messy it was to make a consistent batter for a cake with a beater, your batter dripping out whenever you stopped to put in a new ingredient or sometimes when accidentally you beat too fast or hard and the ingredients went flying out. Well, you don’t have to worry about such things while using the stand mixer.

You can add all the ingredients without removing the mixing bowl and can just lift the attachment and not spill the ingredients on the kitchen counter or floor. Cooking became just a whole lot cleaner people!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Less efforts

Another great benefit  is that it doesn’t require too many efforts from your side.

You just need to put the food into the bowl and set the speed and let the machine do its magic. Now you can play with your kids without being tired after you have cooked the food for them. Too good to be true? Try it out yourself

More efficient

Let’s be honest, no matter how good of a whisker or whipper you were, it still didn’t give you a consistent result most of the time. But with these mixers, you are sure to get your perfectly beaten batter which helps you in baking amazing cakes and cookies.