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Healthy Novelty Cakes

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Decorating a cake requires patience which may discourage people who are setting forth in the confectionary industry. However, as is the case of every good thing, novelty cakes may look complicated to make, but in fact are very easy to make. One can make this process a lot easier with store bought frosting and boxed cake mixes. Some cakes which are a lot in demand are listed as below:

Sports Ball Cake

Sports cakes can be made of any ball game as usually all of them are round. The batter can be baked in a metal mixing bowl which is sprayed with a nonstick cooking spray. This works better than using a cake pan. One requires a 2 qt mixing bowl for each box of cake mix. One can test the cake after 40 minutes by inserting a wooden skewer into the center. One needs to allow the cake to cool in the bowl for about 20 minutes. One can run a knife between the edge of the cake and the bowl to loosen the cake. Before inverting the bowl, one needs to place a serving platter or a cake plate. To make the sports cake more realistic, one can decorate it with tinted icing to represent the correct sports ball. For instance black shoestring liquorice and orange frosting will make a basketball cake and alternate white and black frosting is football cake.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake

One can bake a strawberry cake in a heart shaped pan. One can tint the frosting with red paste food coloring and frost the whole cake. The liquid food coloring is no match for the paste food coloring as it gives a richer red color. One can add the leaves on top of the “strawberry” by cutting green taffy into the shape of leaves and pasting them on top of the strawberry. One can apply sliced almonds to give the appearance of seeds. To add a special touch, one can place chocolate candy melts to the icing. One can place wax paper strips under the cake to cover the serving platter. This helps make minimal mess. The melted candy melts can be poured over the bottom to give an appearance of a strawberry dipped in chocolate.

Beach Cakes

These novelty cakes can be created in shape of any cake. To depict sea side one can use food coloring to represent water and then the entire cake can be frosted. One can crush wafers of vanilla or graham crackers to depict sand. Fruit roll ups in colors of green can represent weed.

These are some of the cakes that can be made by people who have time on their hands and want to create a truly memorable cakes. Novelty cakes are usually baked to either commemorate a special event or to turn an ordinary event into a special events. So, to make your event special, go ahead and make a novelty cake for yourself!

Read here for more information on: Easy Cake Recipes.

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January 19th, 2011 at 12:34 am

Easy Ways to Prepare chicken salad

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When hard core non vegetarians are quizzed about their favorite dish or type of meat, almost 90% of them vote chicken as theirs. The reason behind chicken’s popularity is very simple- it is a very tasty dish. It is one of the simplest dishes to cook too. Although chicken is known for its taste, one can hardly ignore the fact, that chicken by itself carries no significance. The meat needs to be combined with other edible products to produce a delectable dish. It either needs to be cooked in curry or broken down into nuggets or mix and match to give it taste. One of these mix and match situation is chicken salad recipe. The advantage of chicken recipes is, they are both healthy and nutritous.

There are three components in a chicken salad recipe that remain constant, no matter what. There may be addition or subtraction of ingredients, but the three core elements namely the healthy vegetables, the chicken meat and the spices and herbs remain the same. The add-ons are usually either cooking oil or salad oil or condiments. The other add-ons are usually vinegar, salad oil or at times, other herbs and spices. There are numerous options too. As mentioned earlier, curry is a good way to cook the chicken. Some recipes suggest vinegar, which adds flavour to the chicken. But it should be added in moderation, as too much vinegar may turn the chicken sour. An alternative to vinegar is lemon juice too.

When it gets down to cooking chicken, remember not to overcook it. It is recommended to use a meat thermometer, to check the temperature regularly. When the temperature reads 165 degrees F near the breast region, that is the perfect time to take the chicken off the grill. To illustrate the health factor in chicken salad recipe, listed below are recipes that every chicken lover will enjoy:

1)Easy Chicken Salad Recipe:

Ingredients:

1/8 cup onion, finely chopped

1/8 cup celery, also finely chopped

1 cup cooked chicken breast, cubed

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon sugar

salt and pepper

Directions:

1)Place the finely chopped onion and chicken in the same bowl

2)Add the sugar, mayo, salt and pepper and mix them thoroughly. Mash them so thoroughly that they are evenly distributed. Keep the unfinished left overs in a refrigerator.

2)Chicken Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped celery

2 cups cooked shredded chicken, cold

Salt and pepper

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

3/4 cup mayonnaise

Directions:

1)Mix the chief ingredients such as celery, chicken, salt and pepper, lemon juice

2)Add mayonnaise to it and mix well

3)Add the chopped eggs, folded, blending throughout

4)This can be served on rolls, or inside carved out tomatoes or lettuce.

3)Healthy Chicken Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

1/4 cup celery chopped

3 1/4 cups chicken, cubed and cooked

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

3 Tablespoons mayonnaise, lowfat

1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1) Bake the chicken, cut it in the sahpe of cubes and put them in refrigerator

2) Combine the rest of the ingredients and add the cold chicken and serve

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January 17th, 2011 at 4:16 am

Easy Shrimp Jambalaya Recipe

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Jambalaya is a dish that is partly Creole and partly Cajun and it has originated from Spain. People are not positive about the origin of the name but there have been speculations combined with local tales. For instance, most believe it is derived from the Spanish word jamon which means ham. Ham was a chief ingredient in the jambalayas prepared in the eighteenth century. There are different Jambalaya recipe that are prepared throughout the world, not just in Spain. Some of them are listed as below:

Easy Shrimp Jambalaya recipe

Materials Required:

1 teaspoon sea salt

Olive Oil for Sauteing

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon no-Salt Cajun Spice

1-1/2 cup onion chopped

2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1-1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped

1-1/2 cup celery chopped

1 14.5-ounce can whole tomatoes, diced

2 clove garlic, minced

1 4-ounce can tomato sauce

1-1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

2 cups white rice

3 tablespoons green onion (tops plus 1 inch of the white), finely chopped

3 tablespoons fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, finely chopped

Method

Place shrimp in a large bowl. Add salt, Cajun, pepper spice to the shrimp and toss to coat. It should be set aside.

3 cups of water should be boiled to prepare the rice. Add 2 cups of rice, a pinch of sea salt and stir it. The flame should be reduced to simmer and cooked for around 15 to 20 minutes or till the time the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Then, remove the container from the heat and keep it covered till it is ready to be eaten

In the interim, a heavy Dutch pan should be heated over medium high heat. The oil to coat the bottom should be enough to coat the bottom. Next, the bell pepper, celery and onion should be added to the pan and saute until it goes tender. The heat should then be reduced to medium and the garlic should be added. Then after sauteing it for a minute or two, keep stirring the garlic so that it doesnt brown. The shrimp should be added next, and saute’ until the shrimps turn pink.

Add the tomatoes, the tomato sauce, the thyme, and 1 tablespoon of green onion and parsley to the shrimp mixture and can be cooked on medium heat until the sauce turns hot. Add the cooked rice. The cooked rice should be added to the shrimp mixture and tossed to combine or the jambalaya over the rice.

Most people have not heard of Jambalaya, it is basically a very savory and delicious dishes that was thought to have been originated in Spain but is, actually from Louisiana in the Unites States. There are 3 more Jambalaya recipes which have gained prominence such as the Creole Jambalaya, the white Jambalaya and the Cajun Jambalaya. It is easy to make and serves a sizeable number of people and can be whipped at an extremely short notice.

Visit here for more information on: Butternut Squash Recipes.

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January 14th, 2011 at 3:59 am

How to Make a Cake Tips

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There are different types of cakes, and even more different ways to make cakes. Making cakes is easy. The trick is knowing how to make a cake. There are a few recipes to make different kinds of cake.

Materials required:

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup of butter

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/4 cup of milk

2 eggs

1/2 tsp salt

1 3/4 cup of sugar

1 1/2 tsp of vanilla

Cake Pans

Groceries

Mixing Bowl

Hand Mixers

Wire Cooling Racks

Toothpicks

Method:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F

Grease and lightly flour two round 8 inch cake pans and keep them away for later use

Combine baking powder, flour and salt in a small mixing bowl and set it aside

Beat butter or margarine with a hand mixer at medium speed for 30 seconds in a large mixing bowl.

Add sugar and vanilla to the mixture and beat well

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition

Next, the dry flour and milk alternately beating on low speed until just combined

The batter is then poured into cake pans

It is baked till 35 to 40 minutes until a toothpick is inserted through the middle of the cake and comes out clean

The cakes are then cooled on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

The cakes are removed from pans and cooled thoroughly.

It can be frosted as per requirement

Listed below are the steps on how to make a cake that is shaped like a pillow. These cakes are innovative and are fun to make. So, what are the materials required for making this funny cake. The materials required and the steps to make it are listed as below:

Materials needed-

Buttercream

Color for the fondant

Fondant

Rolling pin

Frozen cake

Ruler

Toothpicks

Serrated knife

Method:

Freeze the cake. The dimensions of the cake can be an 8″*3″ either whole or torted.

Once the cake is frozen the 1 inch from the edge of the cake and place a toothpick in the spot. The process is repeated from other sides

With the serrated knife, one can score a curved line from one corner to the toothpick and then to the opposite corner. The process can be repeated for the other sides.

The cake is cut into a straight line, along the curved line. This process is rpeated on all sides too

Take the serrated knife and the edges can be carved to make it tapering

Continue the carving until the desired look is achieved

The cake is then flipped over to repeat the process.

After the carving is done, the bottom side of the cake is attached to a cake board. The cake is then iced with butter cream

The fondant is rolled out to cover the cake. To smoothen the cake, elevate the cake and the fondant is draped on the cake.

The excess fondant is trimmed

Place the raw product in the refrigerator and wait for it to cool and solidify the raw dough. To make sure, the fondant stays on cake, apply a little more pressure while smoothening out the cake.

These are some cakes which can be made on a day one decides to learn how to make a cake. These are the cakes with which one can take tentative steps into baking.

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January 13th, 2011 at 4:35 am

Butternut Squash – Only the Best Butternut Squash Recipes

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Butternut primarily belongs to the winter squash family. There are different butternut squash recipes such as the butternut squash soup and squash casserole. The squash has a great flavour, color and texture. It has a hard tan colored exterior and has the capacity of weighing upto several pounds. The hard shell can peel away to reveal orange flesh which is firm which has textures similar to potato or apples. One of those famous butternut squash recipe is listed as follows:

Materials needed

3/4 pound butternut squash

3 cups soft bread cubes

1 Leek, julienne cut into 2 inch pieces

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 garlic clove, minced

1 large egg lightly beaten

1 garlic clove

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated

2 teaspoons fresh thyme chopped

3/4 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Method

The oven must be preheated to 350 degrees

A 2 quart baking dish is greased next

The bread cubes and 1 cup of water need to be combined in a large bowl

The bread should stand for 3-5 minutes in the water

The excess water must be drained off

The butternut squash is then peeled and grated off

Then 1 teaspoon of the olive oil should be heated in a large skillet, over medium heat

The leeks are then saute in oil for approximately 4 minutes

Next, the thyme, garlic and squash is stirred

Then cook the ingredients, by stirring them occasionally.

Then cool it for 7-10 minutes and remove it from heat

Then the egg, Parmesan, squash, ricotta, bread, pepper, salt and parsley are combined

The mixture is then spread evenly in the greased baking dish

It should be baked for 35 minutes or till it gets golden

St it down for 15 minutes and then it should be served.

Popular butternut squash recipes include the butternut squash soup which is a healthy and tasty appetiser. The method and the materials required are listed as below:

Butternut squash Soup

Materials needed:

2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only)

2 tablespoons butter

1 large potato, peeled and cubed

1 large onion chopped

1 Granny Smith apple (peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick)

1 cup diced carrots

1 quart chicken stock

1/2 cup light cream

1/4 cup dry white wine

salt and pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Method:

The butter is melted in a large pot over medium heat. This should be stirred in onions and leeks and cooked thus until the onion softens and turns semi transparent in about 5 minutes. Then, the squash, potato, carrots, apple and chicken is added. All these raw materials is boiled, following which the heat is reduced to medium low and left to simmer. This leaves the vegetables soft.

The soup is then pureed into either the blender or a stick blender is used to puree the soup in the pot. The soup is then pureed and then returned to pot and stirred in cream and wine. It is then seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg and is simmered gently. It is ladled into bowls and with chopped chives.

These are two butternut squash recipes that have the possibility to be instant hits with adults and children alike.

Read here for more information on: Jambalaya Recipe.

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January 10th, 2011 at 3:24 am

How to Eat Snow Crab Legs?

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Crabs generally seen on a café menu are snow crabs, king crabs, Dungeness crabs, and stone crabs, to name just a few. Snow crabs have recently become famous because they are often served at all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets. They are much simpler to control when it comes to cracking them open and eating the tender flesh inside than other types of crabs. A simple device is all you need to begin on your seafood feast.

How To Eat Snow Crab Legs

Consuming snow crab legs can be difficult at times. Despite its pleasant and super delicious taste and flavor, consuming this delicious dish can be sloppy and difficult at times, especially for those who hardly know and lack the skill to do the job. For this reason, it is but good to know how to consume snow crab legs.

Required Tools & Materials

When individuals understand how to eat snow crab legs, they can easily enjoy and appreciate such a outstanding treat. The tools for this simple job include lemon wedges, which can add an enticing taste to the dish. Likewise, melted butter also goes well with such tasty treat. Furthermore, pick out hard to reach meat of crab using a fork or crab pick.

Instructions:

1.Pull one of the legs off the bunch; you will realize it is made up of two joints. Fold at the joint and pull apart slowly. If you are lucky, the meat will come out of the foot through the joint. This works really well with the fingers. Squeeze the lemon onto the meat and dip in the butter. Eat the crab meat.

2.Crack the shell on one part of the leg nearby a joint. Don’t crush it; just crack it. Bend and pull it apart. The meat must come out in one large piece. Repeat lemon and butter.

3.Use a crab tool or a crab fork to get any meat that is stuck in the shell. Press on lemon and dip in butter.

4.Squeeze on finished, use a pre-moistened hand wipe until you can get to a sink and wash your hands.

Tips & Warnings:

People can use fork in place of crab tool. After enjoying the dish, cleaning is very essential. Take out the crab flavor off your hands by using hand towel or any brand of hand wipe. More essentially, go to the sink and then wash the flavor off your hands employing water and soap.

Consuming crab legs can truly be messy. At times, the flavor sticks right into the hands. After enjoying such super fine and tasty treat, clean your hands using a hand wipe. If there is none available, ordinary tissue will do. If there is a pot simply wash hands properly with soap and water.

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May 26th, 2010 at 11:17 pm

Posted in Recipes

Tasty Cake Recipes

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Baking can be fun especially if you know what you are doing and you have all the appropriate ingredients and equipment available. Who said baking had to be hard? It can be quite easy! Here are some easy cake recipes to get you started on the road to excellent baking.

#1 – Rich Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

Butter, to grease the cake pans

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk, shaken

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 extra-large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300° F (150° C).

Grease 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.

Mix the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla in another bowl.

Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix.

Add the coffee and mix until combined.

Empty the batter into the cake pans and bakes for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Remove the cakes and place them onto a cooling rack to cool.

#2 – Easy Fruit Cake

Ingredients

1/2 cup Apple sauce

3/4 cup Water

1/2 cup Sugar.

2 1/2 cups Mixed dried fruit

2 Egg whites mildly beaten

1 1/2 cups White flour

2 teaspoons Baking powder

Directions

1. Preheat oven at 300ºF.

2. Line a 6-inch round cake pan using greaseproof paper.

3. Put the apple sauce, water, sugar, and dried fruit in a saucepan.

4. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

5. Allow to cool.

6 Combine the egg whites into the fruit mixture.

7. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture.

8. Mix to make a firm batter. Add water if required.

9. Empty into the cake pan and scatter brown sugar on top.

10. Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, when a skewer comes out clean.

Novelty cakes are those that are created and decorated in different designs. These cakes have become popular at occasions particularly birthday parties. They are done in three kinds:

1. A simple circular cake with objects or pictures on top.

2. Dimensional cakes when the cake is cut into the shape of the object desired.

3. 3-Dimensional where the cake is created in an imitated object that positions upright.

These cakes are expensive and difficult to design but not if you buy a novelty cake pan in the shape that you like. Just bake a normal cake mix using the tin. When it is finished the edges made by the pan will show you where to place certain features. Frost the cake in your selection of colours and there you have it, your own novelty cake!

Here is a delicious strawberry short cake recipe.

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April 28th, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Posted in Recipes

Chicken Salad Recipe

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Chicken Salad is bursting with flavours if made with the right recipe. You can eat chicken salad by itself or you can pair it with sides likes lettuce, avocado; it can also be used for sandwiches. In addition to chicken, chicken salad can comprise of an assortment of other ingredients like bacon, sliced apples, peanuts, chopped peaches, seedless grapes, fruits, raisins, pineapples, hard boiled eggs, cucumber, peppers, English Peas, olives and a whole lot more. The flavours can also be adjusted by using different spices like cumin and curry.

Ingredients

4 cups diced poached chicken

1 stalk celery, cut into ¼ inch dice

4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced or ¼ cup sweet onion cut into ¼ inch dice

1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped parsley

1 cup prepared or homemade parsley

1 cup prepared or homemade mayonnaise

2 teaspoons strained freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1.In a mixing bowl, toss together the chicken, celery, scallions and herbs. Place aside.

2.In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper to taste. Add to the chicken and mix gently until combined. Chill until time to serve.

3.Serve on a bed of lettuce with sliced tomatoes, in half an avocado or in a chicken club sandwich made with artisanal bread, crispy smoked bacon, vine-ripened tomatoes and lettuce.

Poached Chicken for Salad

10 sprigs parsley

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 small onion, cut into halves

1 small carrot, cut into two halves

1 stalk celery, cut into two halves

3 pounds chicken breasts halves, on the bone and fat trimmed

5 to 6 cups chicken broth, homemade or low sodium canned

Directions

1.Put parsley, thyme, onion, carrot, celery, and chicken breasts in a medium saucepan. Cover with the broth, and bring just to a boil. Lower the heat to very low and cover. Poach the chicken for 20 minutes or until firm when touched remove the pan from the heat, uncover, cool the chicken in the liquid for 30 minutes.

2.Move the chicken to a cutting board and reserve the liquid. Bone and skin the chicken and cut the meat into 1 inch cubes. Throw away the bones and skin.

3.Strain the broth and store, covered, in the refrigerator for 3 days of freeze until later use. Skim off any fat from the surface of the broth before using.

This recipe yields 4 cups diced chicken or 4 to 6 servings.

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March 8th, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Posted in Recipes

Delicious Way to Grill Pork Chops

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Grilling is a delicious appetizing way of preparing pork chops permitting you to incorporate an assortment of flavors such as honey mustard, barbecue, Cajun, Mexican, French, Italian, Asian and more. To arrive at the ideal pork chops certain steps must be employed.

Brining is a good way to add moisture to any meat and is especially good with pork specifically with thicker cuts of meat which are recommended for brining contrary to thinner cuts. Brine is a salt water mixture (about 1 tablespoon table salt to a cup of water) that gets absorbed up by meat. Brining thick cut pork chops should take 2 to 4 hours; when brining do not use any other salt-based ingredient.

Marinades are chosen for thinner chops. Marinades cannot sink into meat like brine will but it adds a protective layer to the meat. A great example of a simple marinade is Italian Dressing which includes oil, vinegar and water as well as herbs and spices. Thin chops can be sufficiently marinated in 30 minutes. The marinade will moisten the meat and protect it from the very strong heat of the grill.

An alternative to the brines and marinades is a dry rub which is apportioned by seasoning the outside of your chops with herbs and spice (or salt and pepper). This will not add moisture or help to soften the chops but it will add a lot of flavor. Brine can be put together with dry rub, but ensure there is no salt in the dry rub.

Thin chops should be grilled hot and fast on top an acute heat, turnning over as little as possible. Preheat the grill to the most immense temperature. Place the chops on the grill and lock the lid for one minute. Unlock the lid and turn the chops 45 degrees without turning over. Close the lid for another minute. Flip the chops over and close the lid again. After a minute spin the chops 45 degrees and finish off. Cooking time is approximately 5 minutes.

Thick chops will have need of a reduced heat to get them cooked without drying them out. Preheat to greatest temperature grill. Put the chops on the grill and close the lid. After one minute open the grill and flip the chops. Close the lid for one minute. Now turn down the heat on the grill to medium. Rotate the chops and let them cook for about 3 more minutes with the lid down. Flip the chops over and go ahead with cooking for about 4 more minutes. Turn your grill down to its minimum setting.

Once the chops are cooked as required, remove and arrange them on a plate and cover with aluminum foil for 5 to 10 minutes to let them sit to allow the juice to redistribute in the meat.

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March 8th, 2010 at 12:00 am

Posted in Recipes