Sharing of recipes I'd learned and made from books and bloggers
 

Year: 2015

Grilled Bacon Jalapeno Wraps using an Optigrill

Grilled Bacon Jalapeno Wraps using an Optigrill 

Grilled Bacon Jalapeno Wraps is basically a perfect snack for your day. It is thoroughly loaded with proteins, thanks to bacon; has a touch of flavour, thanks to jalapeno; tastes exotic, thanks to grill; and is quick to consume, since it is a wrap. This recipe deals in cooking it on an optigrill. Optigrill is a kind of electric grill, by the way. This grill is smart enough in the sense that it has specific cooking methods for different meat, automatically turns off after cooking, has enough space to put a lot of items on it, is easy to clean and cooks quite impressively yet impeccably. When you combine such a food item with this grill, the result is soothing. Let us now see how we get to this result. 

The time required: 

This recipe is pretty easy to make and so requires a negligible amount of time. In all, the recipe would take up to 10 minutes for preparation, the same amount of time for cooking; making it a total time of about 20 minutes. The time, as is seen, is easy on the person cooking it. For a recipe ready in this short time, Grilled Bacon Jalapeno Wrap is loaded with nutrition owing to its ingredients. The final touch to it is given by the grill. 

The ingredients required: 

Like every recipe, this recipe also requires some ingredients to be kept ready before going on to the process of cooking, or might we say grilling. Let us find out what those essential ingredients are: 

  • About 8 slices of bacon, preferably trimmed of fat 
  • A minced clove of garlic 
  • 2 tablespoons of fromage frais, fat free 
  • About 75 grams of cream cheese, extra light 
  • 2 diced jalapenos 
  • Some pepper 
  • Some salt 
  • Two chicken breasts, preferably pounded thin 

When these items are ready at hand, you may proceed with the process of cooking. 

The process of cooking: 

The climax to this story is right here. Read on to find out steps you need to adhere to in order to achieve perfection. 

  • Place the chicken breasts flat on a board. 
  • Trim the fat of the bacon ensuring that all of it has been removed. 
  • Bring together jalapenos, salt, garlic, parmesan, cream cheese and fromage frais in a large bowl. Be sure to mix them together, properly. 
  • Now place this mix on the flattened chicken breast flattened out. Fold over from the edges of the chicken so as to wrap the mixture within it. 
  • Now grab the bacon and wrap it, surrounding the chicken breast. Ensure that you leave no gaps in this. 
  • Back to the grill, select the option of chicken and allow the grill to heat up. 
  • Now load the grill with the wraps you just made. 
  • Lower down the lid and allow the grill to tell you when it is done. 

That’s it. 

So, your perfect snack is now all ready to be served. Pointlessness lies in still looking at the recipe. Put it into practice, now! 

My New Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer – Review and Recipes

My New Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer – Review and Recipes 

Coffee is rapidly becoming our constant companion these days. With all the goodness and benefits it has to offer, it is pretty hard to deny a cup of coffee no matter what the occasion. We wake, we need coffee; during the day, we crave coffee; who lives without an evening coffee? How about coffee before going to bed? Damn! No one can refuse those.  

So, if coffee has been so rooted within us, having a brewing machine is a matter of fact. Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer passes for a scintillating choice that stands out. To give you an insight, I have been working with this device for pretty long now. Let me take you on a ride. 

The Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer comes with three distinct brew settings 

This signifies the versatility of this machine. One setting takes care of the single cup. Another setting, on the other hand, is suited for a huge cup of coffee. The second setting works satisfactorily as it also has a safety timer. 

However, the setting no. 3 that is labelled ‘Espresso’ is below par. It doesn’t feature a force fed water jet as is required for a proper espresso. But it does end up with a coffee close to espresso. 

The Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer features self cleaning 

The machine comes pre-installed with a self cleaning feature which prevents the clogging up of the machine with coffee. However, you would still require to manually indulge in the cleaning business. 

The Specialty Brew on board 

As the name suggests, Specialty Brew comes as a unique feature to the Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer. It is provided alongside a hand creamer. 

However, this feature does not live up to its sobriquet. It does pull off a drink of a different kind. 

The bad about this machine is highlighted by the fact that it cannot be used for commercial purposes, however well-suited it may be for household purposes. 

To conclude the review, this machine offers value for money in mid range pricing. This machine is loaded with state-of-the-art features that still make it a choice better than many others. 

Some recipes you may try: 

There are many exotic recipes that have been tried on the Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer. We will enlist those recipes, but there are not any restrictions to stop you from bringing in your own creativity to experiment with a recipe. Here we go: 

  • Caramel Macchiato 
  • Iced Vanilla Coconut Latte 
  • White Chocolate Caramel Iced Coffee 
  • Iced Peppermint Mocha 
  • Cinnamon Brown Sugar Coffee 
  • Butterscotch Macchiato 
  • Chocolate Frappuccino 
  • Maple Latte 
  • Cinnamon Caramel Iced Coffee 

Oh well! The list is going to be endless. The capabilities of Ninja Coffee Bar Brewer are apparent in the names of the aforementioned recipes. You can drool over any or all of them. In fact, when you have your own brewer, it is going to be fun experimenting with more ingredients that surpass the conventional methods of brewing coffee. 

Happy brewing! 

Why grilling meat makes it taste different?

We are all fans of grilling. So much that grilled meat becomes our only kind of preferred meat once we come across it. As a matter of fact, grilling does more than just enhancing the flavor of the meat. A close perusal highlights that the taste of meat becomes markedly different. To state the facts, chemistry governs the changes that take place in the meat when tossed on a grill. The taste that we experience after grilling the meat is particularly stimulated by the aroma given to it by the reactions taking place on the grill. 

As a matter of fact, a reaction takes place while smoking. This reaction is termed as Maillard Reaction. Basically, this reaction involves a breakdown of proteins into what has called as amino acids. These amino acids, in turn, interact with carbohydrates that are present in your food. This results in a specific scent that draws us closer to food. Also, the methods of preparations play a crucial role in developing flavor profiles which are tangible in the end products. 

You may be familiar with four primary flavors but be very surprised to hear that there exist two more flavors in addition to salty, bitter, sour and sweet. One such flavor is what the Japanese call ‘Umami’. Literally, the word means yumminess or deliciousness. Umami generally alludes to the protein present in food. When brought together with the Maillard reaction, it indicates that the food is safe for consumption after cooking to a certain degree. 

Three elements give rise to umami. These elements are: 

  • Guanylate

This flavor enhancer is found in yeast, seaweed, and fish. It possesses a taste similar to that of mushrooms dried out. 

  • Inosinate  

This enhancer comes from muscle fibers of the animals. It can be identified by its specific taste somewhat similar to fish and meat.  

  • Glutamate 

It serves as a vital element required for converting proteins into amino acids. It alludes to saltiness associated with the likes of soy sauce. Glutamate occurs naturally in seaweed, eggs, poultry, and fish. 

The case when two or more umami elements come together is called an umami-bomb. This is the reason why some foods have a unique taste. You may even consider bringing some umami based recipes to your grill. 

Now let’s fall back on the most disliked aspect of food. We are talking about fat. Yes, fat comes in crucial in the matter of how the food that you grill tastes great. When we grill food, fat is oxidized. This leads to the even greater appeal of food in terms of taste. Surprisingly, fat lends a soothing feeling to our mouths – bring butter and cheese to your mind. Fat also affects how our taste buds perceive food. 

Conclusion: 

It is fascinating how science can elaborate the mechanics of food and bring to us an unseen picture of something that we come across every day. While this write-up deals with the basics, it is the combination of chemical compounds, methods of cooking and preparation that produces the taste of a certain recipe. So, when you savor food to try to look at the hidden aspects of it. Happy grilling! 

My all time Summer Grilling Ideas for Food

Come summer and something happens to me; my love for grilling shows up in ways I cannot even explain. Though living in a city like New York has not given me enough freedom to grill wherever I want, I have managed to live my fantasy of grilling. I have been into this grilling business for a long time now and have pretty much had my hands on many recipes – both occidental and oriental. These recipes have traveled along with me and still continue to ring my doorbell sometimes. My love for grilling has reflected the recipes that are going to follow in this write-up. Without tickling your tongue much, let us discuss these ideas. 

Jerk Chicken 

Chicken has always been my favorite. No wonder why my grill has seen so many chickens come and go. Jerk Chicken, however, did not come easy. I took a long time to figure out the best way to grill chicken and then to garnish it in a manner so that the presentation only compliments its essence. I used allspice berries and bay leaves to garnish the smoked chicken. The end product is delicious. 

Beef Tenderloin 

Let me tell you, if you have not grilled beef, you have not done anything in your life. This recipe when taken off the grill, resembles a charred piece of wood. But when you cut through it, you would be surprised to see the tenderness it possesses. Do remember to allow beef some rest when taken off of the grill. And, do not forget to keep the presentation appealing. 

Corn Salad 

I love corn for its versatility. This cereal goes everywhere and gives its best in enhancing the flavor of a recipe. But here, I am going to consider just the corn and grilled corn. Grilled corn alludes to Mexican style cuisine. I bet you would be surprised when you try such a simple yet beautiful recipe. Use some cheese and spices to craft a salad out of grilled corn and it is going to be worth everything. 

Grilled Potato 

Let me show you another simple recipe. Take a secret? I am a fan of simplicity. It shows in my recipes, anyway. Smoked potatoes served with grilled and caramelized lemons are a show stopper. Do try this simple mouth-watering recipe to take a taste of simplicity. You would not be disappointed. 

Grilled Chicken 

I am never going to leave that damned chicken alone as long as I am alive. So, here I take up another chicken recipe on the grill. The savory taste of grilled chicken when served with a sweet and spicy sauce, there is nothing more you can ask for on a summer evening. The only thing is that you need to manage with some heat while you grill during summer. But I don’t think that counts. 

So far, I have shown you some of my all-time favorite recipes. I can assure you that all of them are succulent enough to make your day. So do not sit back in lethargy on a summer day, grill yourself something good. Get up! 

Real Difference between Coffee and Espresso

There are many coffee lovers in this world. In fact, we are all coffee lovers. Statistics corroborate the fact. Anyway, even if that is the case, it would not be wrong to say that we ourselves do not know our coffee well enough. This would become clearer with the question we are going to address further. Coffee is famous for the benefits it has on our body and infamous for the exact same reason. Our nights and days are incomplete without a cup of coffee, we crave it every single time. Coffee. Coffee. But we know surprisingly little about the brewing techniques. Well, who would have thought that brewed coffee and espresso are two different entities altogether? Already surprised? Well, it is a fact. If you are aware, you would be really disappointed to be given a cup of black coffee in the name of espresso. Let us now go on to gain an insight into this statement with some practical knowledge about coffee. 

Difference in the way beans are prepared 

One of the differences is highlighted in the manner of preparation of beans. Coffee beans that would grow up to become espresso have to be subjected to roasting for a significantly longer time than the normal coffee beans. Further, beans ready for espresso are ground much finer than the beans meant for normal coffee. 

Difference in the brewing pattern 

The way an espresso is a brewer is markedly different from the way a normal coffee is. Normal coffee or drip coffee usually consumes a longer time to mix with water than espresso does. This allows for the beans to be coarser than the beans meant for espresso. Espresso is generally made by a pressurized stream of water whereas normal coffee can be brewed out of drip method. Normal coffee can even be brewed in a way well represented by the French press. Whatever may be the manner of brewing, normal coffee will have a remarkably milder touch of flavor than a cup of espresso. Also, there would a creamy essence missing. 

Special equipment is needed for espresso 

As a matter of fact, beans meant for espresso can be used to brew normal coffee and vice versa. The difference between coffee and espresso is further highlighted in the way coffee is prepared, it depends on the type of equipment used for preparing coffee. As mentioned earlier, espresso required a forced stream of hot water, a normal coffee brewing machine would hardly be able to give out espresso. In fact, there are specifically designed machines available in the market and are better known as espresso machines. Such machines pull off a traditional espresso with foam floating on its surface. 

 

So, the real difference between coffee and espresso is brought out in the process of brewing. Now you may have a decent idea of the differences in the two products of coffee beans. It opens ground further for more discussions on other kinds of drinks made of coffee beans. There are, thus, surprising facts about coffee. 

With this, we shall part for a cup of coffee. Happy brewing! 

Cleaning Hacks with a Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

One may not be a clean freak like Monica Geller but nobody likes dust all around the house. There are numerous ways of dusting. Dust is a good riddance, always. First, vacuum cleaners made the job easy. Second, vacuum cleaning became easier and cleaning easier yet with the advent of handheld vacuum cleaners. Now that handheld vacuum cleaners are rapidly becoming common, people look for yet easier ways to get things done. More than it is a matter of laziness, it is a matter of cleanliness and cleanliness is more important than many other things in this world. Here, in this write-up, we try to make cleaning easier still with basic yet helpful hacks that you can entangle with your handheld vacuum cleaner. Let us what those hacks are: 

Look for a better utility from the attachments: 

For proper housekeeping and cleaner finicky things in the house, you can utilize your dusting brush in more ways than one. Your dusting brush can come in handy on mirror frames, picture, books, lampshades and blinds. This is particularly helpful in combating the annoying dust particles in the wrong places. 

Clean those pestering clutters in the roller: 

Hair strands or knots and threads can be awfully nagging when stuck in the brush roller. However, there is a method to rid these annoying entities. You can grab a seam ripper and pull out such strings from the brush without worrying much. 

Do not throw away that old pantyhose yet: 

Sometimes, you may end up dropping a tiny item in a unreachable place. Instead of descending into a panic attack, utilize your pantyhose. Use a rubber band to fit the pantyhose on the nozzle. This adds to the suction power of your handheld vacuum cleaner. The only thing you need to take care is that the item does not end up in the bag. 

Resuscitate the old carpet: 

Rearranging of furniture can leave dents behind on the carpet. You can place ice cubes at these places so that the melt swells up the fibers. Now use your vacuum cleaner on it to get the fibers back in place. 

To avoid stench, use baking soda: 

Your mattresses, rugs, or carpets can be difficult to take on a tour to your washing machine. Here too, your handheld vacuum cleaner comes to your rescue. Sprinkle some baking soda on such smelly items and allow it to stay for about 30 minutes. After that, suck up the baking soda along with other dust particles. 

Sometimes, create your own attachments: 

The attachments that come with your handheld vacuum cleaners may not be enough to reach each and every place in your house. In this scenario, use a cardboard roll. For instance, you can squish one end of the cardboard tube to fit the sliding track and attach the other end to the hose. This way, you can suck up the dirt from such a narrow place. 

These 6 hacks have been very effective practically and may even help you with household cleaning. Have a great time vacuuming! 

Uses and Functions of Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

The handheld vacuum cleaner has made lives easier since it has so much to offer. The beauty of handheld vacuum cleaning lies in its ease of cleaning. Many handheld vacuums have shown up in the market and newer technologies are yet to arrive. While they are on their way, we may suffice with the technologies available right now in the market. What we have here is what can save us hours of cleaning and terrible pangs of handling cumbersome equipment. To narrow things down, here we would look at some fitting functions and uses of the handheld vacuum cleaners. In fact, no one can deny the utility handheld vacuums have for the clean freaks. Jokes apart, let us now look at the real uses and functions of the handheld vacuum cleaners. 

Handheld vacuum cleaners are available in various sizes 

Unlike corded vacuum cleaners that may be stuck at a conventional size, handheld vacuum cleaners have various sizes to choose from. In accordance with the consumer requirements, handheld vacuums are manufactured in various shapes and sizes. These sites allow you to choose one for a specific task. One thing to keep in mind is that the suction power can be the same for even the smallest of models. 

So many accessories to make tasks easy 

Unlike many other vacuum cleaners on the market, handheld vacuum cleaners come with many helpful accessories. The accessories provided with such vacuum cleaners have way better capabilities and can easily reach places that many vacuums cannot. These accessories also ensure that there are a lot more things a handheld vacuum cleaner is able to suck up. Even for wet cleaning, these cleaners have safety turn-off mechanisms in order to ensure device safety. 

Fairly easier to maintain 

The handheld vacuum cleaner is designed not to incorporate bags. The absence of bags ensures that the cleaning of the device is easier. If you regularly clean your device’s filter, rest assured the life of your vacuum cleaner would be significantly extended. 

The power of suction 

Handheld vacuum cleaners, especially wet-dry ones, are designed to possess a high suction power. You cannot deny the fact that these vacuum cleaners perform better than the conventional ones, at times. 

Portability 

We need not discuss it much since it is so apparent. These devices can be taken anywhere and everywhere without much hassle. Moreover, if you own a wet-dry device, it makes it even better. The only thing is that you have to ensure that battery power is enough to carry them away from the power source. 

Ease brought into cleaning 

Yes. The handheld vacuum cleaners were certainly invented to make the processes of cleaning easier than ever. If your device happens to possess of wet cleaning abilities also, you can imagine the utility they provide to you. Any wet spillages anywhere and you are ready to clean it up. 

 

Needless to say, the handheld vacuum cleaner is virtually deluged with functionalities that surpass the methods of traditional cleaning. Happy vacuuming!