Archive | April, 2012

You Won’t Go Wrong To Send Cookies As Birthday Gifts To Someone You Love

27 Apr

cookiesYour Mom’s cookies will always be the best for you. Or so you thought until you had your first taste of your wife’s chocolate chip cookies. You then began to love cookies more than ever and you resolve to feed that cookie monster within every time you get the opportunity (the truth is, you vowed to create opportunities instead of just wait for them to come!) No one will argue with the fact that cookies are good to eat. Dieters have been known to succumb to temptations and break their will when presented with the best smelling and tasting cookies they ever saw. It seems that no soul on earth can resist taking a nibble of a peanut butter cookie or a apple filled cookie. Everyone turns to a cookie monster every time they come into the presence of a tray full of sugarcookies or brownie filled cookies. And for the health nut, there are oatmeal cookies too.

You won’t go wrong to send cookies as birthday gifts to someone you love. They are sure to appreciate a tray or a basketful of rocky road cookies or butter almond crunch cookies. Cookies are one of the most comforting foods around as everyone will always have memories of Mom’s cookies baking in her favorite oven back in their old hometown. Children’s parties will never be complete without cookies. Ice cream and cake may be standard treats for birthdays but cookies will have their own special place in children’s hearts. There will always be room for one more cookie in a child’s stomach, anytime, anywhere.

Cookie cutters kept on growing in popularity as more designs were created. During the 1970’s and into the 1980’s more people became domestic and worked on their own crafts at home, including decorated cookies. During this era we also witnessed an increase in spendable income, allowing people to spend more on such hobbies. As with many other products, there was a trend during the last quarter of the century to make manufacturing less expensive, and more cookie cutters were being manufactured in places like Malaysia, China, and other countries. However, cookie cutter production somehow survived being moved completely out of country and there are still many cutters being produced in America.

Now you can find cookie cutters in just about any shape or size. Copper is now a commonly used material for cookie cutters, but plastic and tin are still the most commonly found. If you can’t find a particular shape, there are cookie cutter companiesthat will create a custom shape for you. Likewise, you can buy your own kit to design and create your own cookie cutter.

While cookie cutters are being bought for the obvious purpose of cutting out sugar cookies, there is also a lot of people that search for, bid on, and buy cookies simply to collect them. There is even an official Cookie Cutter Collectors Club (CCCC) that meets regularly and has a big following. There are at least a couple of Cookie Cutter Museums, and enthusiasts even enjoy a “National Cookie Cutter Week” (started by the CCCC) during the first week of December. Of course this marks the beginning of the biggest time of the year for decorating cookies: the Christmas season. Even if you don’t care for the holiday, who can resist biting into a yellow frosted star cookie?

If you plan in baking your frozen or chilled dough logs, get them out of your chiller or freezer. Your small cookie mixture rounds which you just made are now ready for baking although they might need additional minutes inside your oven. The small dough logs you created must go through defrosting first before you cut and bake them. You may defrost your cookies on a clean counter top or through a microwave.

Freezing your cookies & cookie dough mixtures is always good just in case you get those cookie cravings.

A Tour In HongKong The Special Snacks Which You Can Not Escape

24 Apr

Hong Kong special snacksSpeak of Hong Kong and you can’t avoid talking about the Hong Kong  food. The most notable Causeway Bay is for authentic Hong Kong cuisine with the atmosphere to match it. From local snacks along the Jardine’s Bazaar, Tang Lung and Matheson Street to illuminated 24-hour food stalls and from bars and sushi parlors along Sunning Road to the elegant restaurants at the Times Square, Theater Plaza on Percival and Paterson streets, Causeway Bay is the ultimate source for all native gourmets.

If all sorts of Asian cuisine is your preference, head towards Kowloon City. Formerly an industrial hub, Kowloon City gradually evolved into one of Hong Kong’s best Asian gourmet destinations. While the cuisine is dreamy and delicious, the prices are so low that you can savor a variety of cuisines in a single night without breaking your budget. Spicy South Asian dishes are offered alongside the sweet and sour Cantonese and Chiu Chow delights.

For freshly prepared seafood, head to Sai Kung, Lamma Island or Lei Yue Men. The beautiful setting is livened up by the best types of fish, lobsters, scallops and juicy prawns. A bit grander and elaborate than other food districts in Hong Kong, these will often require advanced booking. In comparison, Stanley, located on the southern side of town, offers a different atmosphere, with seafront alfresco and boutique beer options. It’s a relaxed dining area, with romance as its number one appeal.

The cuisines of China (particularly the Cantonese) are dominating Hong Kong’s culinary scene, and that is no surprise, as most Hong Kongers are of Cantonese origin. Alongside the Chinese cuisines, you will find many restaurants specializing in other Far East cuisines, such as Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and others… European and British influence can also be found, as Hong Kong was a British colony for more than 150 years.

Moreover, it can be said that during the years Hong Kong developed its own unique cuisine that combines Cantonese cooking with other elements. Being one of the world’s foremost culinary capitals, Hong Kong presents visitors to the city a gastronomic array of delights to indulge in. The Hong Kong Food  is part of an initiative that was launched in 2009 to promote this image. The festival isn’t actually a festival in the traditional sense but is rather a year long promotion of food in Hong Kong. It gathers the support of approximately 2,000 restaurants, famous dining districts, and twenty five renowned local gourmets in addition to popular tourist attractions.

Due to the blending of cultures from around the world the variety of foods available are almost endless. The Western and Chinese cuisine are all very authentic. French cuisine has become the most popular style of Western cuisine in Hong Kong and a large number of French cafes have sprouted up. Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Italian cuisine are also commonplace in Hong Kong. It might take some searching, but there is also Vietnamese, Spanish, Russian, Indian, Cuban, and American cuisine available. Being located on the sea, Hong Kong has a huge variety of the freshest seafood available and it is incorporated into many dishes.

Yum cha (“drinking tea”) is an integral part of Hong Kong’s culinary culture.This Cantonese term refers to the custom of eating small servings of different foods, mainly dim sum, while sipping Chinese tea.Dim sum is probably Hong Kong’s most popular dish. It literally translates to “touch the heart”, which means “take what your heart picks” (that is because of the great variety you can choose from). Dim sum is typically served as a light meal or brunch that consists of various types of steamed buns, dumplings and rice-rolls, containing a range of fillings, including beef, chicken, pork, prawns and vegetarian options.It is normally eaten some time from morning to early afternoon and usually served with Chinese tea.

Hong Kong’s Kowloon Area is one of the best places to eat in Hong Kong. The prices are reasonable and it is a favorite among locals. Around the Causeway Bay, there are many restaurants that specialize in traditional Hong Kong cuisine. You can also find sushi shops and coffee houses. They are a great place to rest after shopping. In the Saigon area there are a lot of seafood restaurants. Being located near to the sea, the seafood is always incredibly fresh. In Stanley, which faces the sea, there are many romantic restaurants. At Lan Kwai Fong, there are many first class Western and Chinese restaurants.

Enjoyment Of Your Taste:Bejing Roast Duck

23 Apr

Beijing Roast DuckRoast duck alty of Chinese Cuisine. Though Roast Duck is available in many Chinese restaurants throughout the world, they simply cannot beat the flavor and aroma of the grilled in China.

Beijing roast duck, roasted, clear furnace (ie hanging furnace) and stew two laws. Quan Ju De Roast Duck Restaurant features, is to use the hanging oven baking method, which is from the Qing imperial court room hung oven roasted suckling pig with a special method of transplant. The baked duck, shiny gold ce color, but in addition Suxiang tender, do not have a special delicious flavor. The so-called “stew stove” is a kind of hearth, furnace body is brick, about the size of about one meter square. The production method was first introduced from the south of Beijing, is characterized by “duck not see fire,” is from the furnace and a hot charcoal grill stew of the furnace wall. More tender taste furnace duck stew some duck juice also significantly more abundant and full more. And eat roast duck, is the first to be cut as thin knife, with the poker best lotus leaf cake coated with sweet soybean paste, and then put onion, garlic, duck strips, roll and eat, very fragrant beauty.

Cloisonne, also known as “fetal copper filigree enamel, “is a unique combination of ceramic arts and crafts copper. Cloisonne copper production system with a first child, followed by craftsmen in the above painting, and then copper in the copper body drawn on the basis of design patterns stick out, and then glaze with enamel colors embedded in different patterns, the last and then by repeated Sintering, polished gold-plated made. The production of both the use of cloisonne bronze and porcelain technology, but also integrated into the traditional art of hand painting and sculpture, called a master of Chinese traditional handicraft. This copper enamel was founded in the Ming Dynasty Jingtai years, due to start-up with just the blue, hence the name cloisonne. Modern Cloisonne has become a craft name, rather than color.

The art of roasting ducks evolved from techniques used to prepare sucking pigs. For more than a century, specialized chefs have developed the idea that the skin of the duck should be so soft and crisp that it melts in the mouth. In applying the traditional method of preparation, the chefs at Quanjude pay particular attention to the quality of the duck, the auxiliary ingredients and the type of wood burned in the oven. Special farms supply plump Beijing ducks weighing an average of 2.5 kilograms each. The two famous Beijing condiment shops, Liubiju and Tianyuan, supply the dark tangy bean sauce spread on the pancakes. The fragrant sesame oil and refined sugar are also specially selected. Finally, only the wood of fruit trees such as date, peach and pear are used in the roasting process to give the meat its unique fragrance.

To satisfy the growing demand for roast duck and with an eye on the profits to be made from a good name, many restaurants opened from a good name, many restaurants opened under the Bianyifang name. In fact, in 1926, nine roast duck restaurants in Beijing carried this name. In the late 1960s the Bianyifang Restaurant’s name was changed to the Chongwenmen Roast Duck Restaurant, but in 1979 it resumed its former title. Its menu includes more than 20 traditional duck dishes, including the Four Delicacies: wing and web, liver, heart and pancreas.

I hope you will enjoy the delicacy of the Roasted Duck on your next visit to Peking. But don’t forget to practice dealing with chopsticks before you enter Quanjude. However, tips for the service are not necessary in Chinese restaurants, although a pair of chopsticks is.

Learn How To Make Pinwheel Appetizers By Reading These Delicious Recipes

14 Apr

Pinwheel Appetizers RecipesI don’t know about you guys, but I find party food incomplete if I don’t come across some delicious appetizers. Sure the main course can be delicious and there can be a string of cocktails, mocktails and alcoholic beverages, but appetizers still have a special place in my heart. Which is why I am framing this article on how to make pinwheel appetizers for people who run out of ideas for appetizers for their party.

Pinwheel Appetizers Recipes

You must have come across these easy pinwheel recipes many times and often misjudged them as time-consuming recipes, which they are not. These pinwheel appetizer recipes are simple to make and I guarantee that just one bite and the guests would be wanting more and more.

Tortilla Pinwheels with Cream Cheese Appetizers
Ingredients

  • Cream cheese, 1 pack
  • Large flour tortillas, 4
  • Finely chopped green pepper, 2 tsp
  • Chopped parsley, 3 tsp
  • Chopped onions, 3 tsp
  • Finely chopped black olives, 3 tsp
  • Hot pepper sauce, ½ tsp
  • Mayonnaise as required
  • Thin ham slices

Preparation
Take a medium-sized bowl and add cream cheese, onion, green pepper, parsley, olives and hot pepper sauce. Mix well. There’s a chance that the mixture may become too thick and if that happens then add a bit of mayonnaise. Place the flour tortillas on a plain surface and then spread the mixture on each tortilla evenly. Now decorate the mixture with a thin slice of ham if you want to. Keep rolling the covered tortilla until it gains the shape of a hot dog. Keep the tortilla for cooling for some minutes as it makes the cutting very easy. Use a sharp knife and cut the tortilla in about ¼ inch thick slices. The slices will appear in a pin wheel design.

Spicy Chicken Pinwheels Appetizers
Ingredients

  • Softened cream cheese, 1 packet
  • Chopped green onions, 2
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped black olives, 1 can
  • Chopped green chilies, 1 can
  • Diced chunk chicken, 1 can

Preparation
In a mixing bowl add cream cheese, olives, chilies, onions, shredded cheese, green onions, and diced chicken. Now mix all the ingredients together until they are well blended. Spread this mixture onto the tortillas and then roll them properly. Wrap each chip and keep it for cooling for at 90 minutes. Slice it into 1 inch thin pinwheels and serve it with dip of your choice.

Ham Pinwheel Appetizers
Ingredients

  • Softened cream cheese, 1 pack
  • Thin slices of cooked ham
  • Thin sliced green onions, 2
  • Shredded tart apple, 1
  • Flour tortillas, 4
  • Chopped red pepper, ¼ cup
  • Minced garlic clove, 1
  • Curry powder, ¼ tsp
  • Ground mustard, ¼ tsp

Preparation
In a mixing bowl add cream cheese, garlic, curry powder, mustard and mix well. Now toss in the shredded apple and mix well. Spread this mixture on each tortilla and garnish it with red pepper, onions and ham. After rolling up the tortillas wrap them in a plastic bag and keep it for cooling for at least 2 hours. Cut it in inch slices and serve.

Turkey Pinwheel Appetizers
Ingredients

  • Large flour tortillas, 8
  • Baby spinach leaves, washed and dried, 1 bag
  • Softened cream cheese, 8 ounces
  • Dry salad dressing and dip mix, 1 pack
  • Seeded and chopped red bell pepper, ¼ cup
  • Seeded and chopped green bell pepper, ½ cup
  • Turkey slices, 15

Preparation
In a medium bowl add softened cream cheese and dry dressing. Mix well and add in the bell peppers. Divide this mixture equally in tortillas and cover it with baby spinach leaves and thin turkey slices. Roll the tortillas in wraps and keep for cooling for at least 3 hours. Now cut it into thin 1 inch slices and serve.

I hope you’ve liked these pinwheel appetizer recipes. As you must have seen that they are very easy to make and don’t need much hard work. You can make them in large numbers and serve them with colorful toothpicks and dips.