Good Ideas for Christmas Party Food and Drink

Good Ideas for Christmas Party Food and Drink

Everyone loves Christmas time, right? An excuse to laze about and eat as much as you possibly can; who could resist that? There is only one problem with this celebration; you need to actually cook the food for it! Christmas is the time that will push every cook to their limit. The food has to taste amazing, look amazing, and there has to be tons of it! So, in respect for this holiday, here are a few simple recipes that will help you cook amazing food for your family with less stress.

Hors d’Oeuvres

Hors d’OeuvresHors d’Oeuvres is a wonderfully flavoured appetizer! Giving off a strong garlic smell with a hint of thyme reveals its main seasonings. It also contains Camembert cheese which is baked until soft and creamy before being added. As well as this, there is a topping of sliced dried tomatoes which add a sweet side to balance out the melted cheese. You can serve this dish with either a side of sliced baguette or some spreadable crackers. Delicious!

Pears With Blue Cheese and Prosciutto

Pears With Blue Cheese and ProsciuttoThese lovely appetizers barely take ten minutes to throw together; perfect for if you want to let your guests have a little something to munch on while they wait for the main course! You first slice up all the pears into wedge shaped pieces. Mix in some lemon juice with them to stop the pears from browning. Throw together a slice of pear, a piece of arugula, and a piece of blue cheese on a strip of prosciutto, and then roll them up. If your appetizers are a bit on the unstable side, you can stick a toothpick through them to keep them together. It is recommended that you find a creamy blue cheese to use; if your blue cheese is crumbly then it may not work well with the other ingredients, as well as making the whole appetizer unstable. Is your mouth starting to water yet?

Good Old Ham

HamEveryone may first think of the Christmas turkey, but in my book the ham is the start! It’s so simple to cook too! It is best cooked with apricot instead of the typical sugars, in order to give it a fruity sweet flavour. As from apricot, you can add some crushed fennel seeds, black peppercorn and coriander. Be warned that ham takes quite a while to cook, so you should give yourself several hours to get it done!

Horseradish Potato Gratin

HorseRadish Potato GritinThis dish is not necessarily common at Christmas time, but it is an amazing combination of flavours that everyone can enjoy! All you have to do is toss peeled, sliced potatoes in a mixture of cream, horseradish, and nutmeg, then place them in a buttered baking dish. Cover it with foil, bake for 25 minutes, then uncover and bake for another hour or so, until the potatoes are softened and the top is a nice golden brown. Absolutely fantastic food!

Warm Hazelnut Toddy

Hazelnut ToddyYou didn’t think we’d forget the drink did you? Sure, you can easily just buy some coke and other soft drinks, but how boring is that? It’s as simple as combining Frangelico and hot water in a mug, then topping it with whipped cream right before serving. You can add a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg over the top to garnish if you feel like it. This is an adult drink of course, so hot chocolate should be prepared for the kiddies! If you have a few or all of these things then you will have a very happy family gathering!

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Making Food With Beer

Making Food With Beer

Beer is amazing all on its own! It has so many uses that we are still discovering new ones all the time. Aside from being used as a beverage, beer is quite commonly used in cooking. Is has a wide variety of uses, when it comes to cooking food. What are these uses? Allow me to answer that question for you!

beer batter

Beer Batter

Probably the most common use for beer in food is beer batter. Beer batter is used in many countries, but is most common in European and American countries. Simply adding beer to your typical batter recipe gives the batter a thick, crispy texture. The most obvious use for this is English fish and chips, a well-known recipe that is both simple and delicious! Do not limit yourself, though! Beer batter works on everything from fish to onion rings, to chicken. Try it out! Be creative!

Beer can be Added to Stews

One of the worst mistakes you can make with cooking a stew is using primarily water! Water is very good for you, obviously, but it adds so little flavour to a dish that if it is the primary ingredient, then it often tastes quite bland. Instead of adding so much water, you can add beer! Beer provides a sugary-bitter flavour profile to your stew, bringing out the flavours of all the other components that are inside the stew. So if you want to show off your mad cooking skills, this would be a good way to go!

Beer is Used in Marinades

beer marinadeIf you’re marinating fish for the evening, or even a whole chicken, beer can be a vibrant addition to your marinade. Leaving the meat to soak in that alcoholic goodness leaves it juicy and tender by the time you’ve cooked it. Adding beer to your marinade will keep your meat from drying out, as well as adding a boat-load of new flavour! Try it out the next time you’re having a barbeque!

Beer can even be used in chocolate cakes!

Ever wanted to bake a chocolate cake but you ran out of milk? Not to worry, just add beer! It is possible and highly recommended to use beer in a chocolate cake! Generally, the style of cake that the beer works best in is a chocolate cake made with sour cream and topped with cream cheese. The measurements need to be just right so that the beer doesn’t overpower the sweetness of the cake, as well as to keep the cake from falling apart as the beer will loosen the solidity of the cake!

beer

Beer can be Used in Many Other Things!

We have barely even begun discussing the various uses of beer! There are hundreds of different things that you can put it inside that increase the quality and uniqueness of each dish that it is placed in. So get on out there and start making recipes of your own! See what else you can find that beer works in; and when you do, let me know so I can enjoy it with you!

 

 

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How to Tell if You’re Addicted to Alcohol

How to Tell if You’re Addicted to Alcohol

Many people love to have a drink every now and then. In this modern day, a common means of socialization is going out and drinking with friends. It is also quite a usual means of breaking the ice for new friends. Drinking a little tends to loosen you up if you find it hard to talk to someone new. This is all well and good, but when does social drinking become an addiction? When does drinking just for pleasure become a threat to your health? Here are a few tips on how to know if you have a drinking problem.

What is Your Conscience Telling You?

How do you feel before you go to drink? When you pick up a bottle, what does the voice inside you say? If it’s making you feel guilty, you may have a drinking problem. If you find yourself making excuses, like you just had a rough day, then your subconscious might be trying to hide the fact that you are addicted. If you were not then there would be no need for a reason to drink, would there? If either of these things are true for you, then perhaps you should try to lay off it a little just in case.

Are You Trying to Hide when You Drink?

man drinking beerWhen you feel like drinking, do you go off on your own? When you’re out with your friends, do you drink differently? Do you find yourself telling them you drink less than you actually do? If these things are true, you may be trying to hide from your addiction. You may be aware to some degree that you have a drinking problem; this is why you hide it from others, so they won’t try to help you. If this is true, let someone know so they can watch over you when you drink.

Do You Feel the ‘Need’ for Alcohol?

When it comes time for you to relax, what is the first thing you do? Do you head for a book or just chill on your couch, or do you go straight for the booze? If you find that you cannot relax without alcohol, then there is a high chance that you have become quite addicted to it. Try your best to find ways to relax without it. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a nice icy beer every now and then, so long as you don’t need it in order to relax at all!

man drinking

Do You Ever Have ‘Blackouts?’

The most alarming sign that you are addicted to alcohol is if you are consistently forgetting what happened or what you did while you were drinking. If this happens to you more often than not when you drink, you are highly addicted to alcohol and should probably lay off it as best you can. As I said, there is nothing wrong with having a beer or a stronger drink every now and then, but your health must come before your pleasure!

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How to Choose a Buffet Provider

How to Choose a Buffet Provider

Have you got a big event planned but you’re not sure who to order buffet food from? Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out which buffet provider to choose. There are several steps that can be followed in order to do so well. Let’s look at some of them now.

Buffet Food

How Many People are You Planning to Feed

It is important to know how many people you are planning to feed before you choose a buffet provider. If you are just feeding a few people, or a large number of people, different providers are better. Some are good for preparing for a small group, while others are better at preparing for a larger group. So before you make a choice, make sure you know how many you plan to feed.

Check the Reviews

Naturally, you should check the reviews for the buffet provider. Generally speaking, if a provider has a high review they are going to be more reliable; whereas a buffet provider with a low review is more likely to have poor quality and/or service. This should help you narrow down your list quite a bit!

What is Your Budget?

Buffet ServicemenIt is important that you are aware of your budget before you order from the buffet provider. If you attempt to order various foods for your guests, you may find that you end up going over budget. There are three main steps for figuring out and applying your budget. The first step is to determine how many plates of food you will require to feed everyone who is coming. Once you know the number of plates you will need, you can take your budget and divide it by that number. It is recommended that you then aim to buy plates of food that are either the exact number which you found in step two, or slightly below. If most of your plates are just a little below the budgeted cost, then you will find yourself with a bit of spare change from your initial budget. You never know when you might need a little change.

Buffet Food

Where Are You Going to be Eating?

It is also important to know where you plan to eat, both for the purposes of aesthetics and location. If you plan to eat inside then you will want a buffet provider that is used to providing for indoor buffets. If you plan to host your buffet out in nature, then you will a buffet provider who is capable of servicing that type of event. The main difference will be the look of the plates and dishes, as well as the arrangement. On top of that, you should also be aware that a buffet provider which is closer to you is likely to arrive with food that is more recently prepared. If your buffet provider is far away, then your food is likely to be cold when it arrives. No one goes to a buffet for all the cold foods; they go there for a variety of amazing steaming hot foods!

 

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Why are the English Notorious for Their Bad Taste in Food?

Why are the English Notorious for Their Bad Taste in Food?

When was the last time you heard someone talk about England’s famous flavourful food? Never? Well, that makes two of us! For decades now many people have had a stereotypical view of English food as being bland and flavourless. Now, I’m not here to tell you whether that stereotype is correct or not; I am here to give you some theories as to where it may have come from.
fish and chips

War Rations After World War II

England was heavily affected by World War II, just as most other countries were. One of the main issues that England had during this time, aside from the war itself, was lack of food. During the war, England went on what is now known as the war-ration diet. This diet was forced upon most Englishmen thanks to the shortage of food. The war-ration diet consisted of basic foods; potatoes, dry fish, etc. Even after the war ended, England was still stuck on the war-ration diet for several more years. From what history tells us, the English became so used to this diet that once they had more choices in regards to their daily food, most of them preferred simpler foods anyway. Sure, they will now season their food with salt and pepper; a few other things on occasion; but for them this was already flavourful. They didn’t see any need for other things to be added.

It’s all a Matter of Personal Taste

shepherd's pieWhy do you think we can tell what foods come from which country? When you eat sweet and sour pork, you immediately know it came from China. When you eat a burrito, you are reminded of Mexico. Every country has a certain type of food that most of them prefer. Koreans tend to prefer heavily spiced foods, while Americans tend to prefer fatty foods with little or no spice at all. Every country has its own unique foods to offer the rest of the world. Everyone has their own preferences but that shouldn’t stop you from trying other culture’s food, right?

English Breakfast

Wait? Was that not Stereotypical too?

Do Americans really all love their fatty foods? Do Koreans all love spicy food? Granted, it seems there is a high chance that most of them do, but every single person has their own preferred food type. More often than not the food you grow up with is the food that you find most appealing for the rest of your life. So, based on this, is it not reasonable that the descendants of those who were limited to simple foods are also fond of simple foods? The conclusive theoretical thought of this article is that the majority of the cultures in the world are more fond of highly seasoned, very flavourful foods; because of this, many of those cultures view England’s simpler tastes to be a ‘bad taste’ in food. When it comes down to it, there’s no such thing as a bad taste in food. There is simply the food that I prefer to eat and the food that you prefer to eat. Neither is bad; they are simply unique differences in preferred taste.

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Popular Wine and Food Pairings

Popular Wine and Food Pairings

Wine has been a popular beverage for centuries and gets more and more attention as the years go on. Hundreds and hundreds of different wines have been invented and mass produced. Most of these wines are great on their own, but they also have specific food pairings that make them even better. The basic food pairings for the different kinds of wine can be seen on the graphic below. For this article, however, we are going to be discussing a few specific popular blends of wine and its complementary food.

wine graphic

wineChardonnay

Chardonnay goes perfectly with fatty fish and other kinds of seafood. The most popular pairing is that of a smoked salmon, cooked in its own juices as well as other seasonings. Another popular pairing for chardonnay are shrimp, served in a lush buttery sauce. The thought of sipping on a chardonnay right after that butter filled shrimp is mouth-watering!

wineChampagne

Champagne is a sparkling wine with a sweet, but dry taste to it. This dryness makes it perfect for any pairing that is particularly salty. The most popular pairing is that of crispy udon noodles served with nori salt. You can even serve it alongside finger-food such as potato chips or salted crackers. Delicious!

wineCabernet Sauvignon

The Cabernet Sauvignon has a very refreshing texture about it. It blends perfectly with steak and lamb chops as it restores your palate after each bite, causing you to get that blissful first bite every time! What could be more majestic than that?

wine

Sauvignon Blanc

Invented by the Kiwis down in islands of New Zealand, the Sauvignon Blanc brings out the flavour in any tangy food with its zippy texture. The most popular pairing for the Sav is a Scallop dish served with grapefruit and onion salad. You can’t go wrong with this one!

wineDry Rose

The Rose is one of the driest popular wines, hence its name. Don’t be fooled by its dryness though; the rose has a strong taste to it and goes well with any cheeses, as well as acidic fruits. Popular pairings include a gorgeous raspberry cheesecake or an Italian cheese sandwich. Put me in a room with a raspberry cheesecake served with a dry rose and you won’t see me for a long time!

wineMalbec

Malbec is a beautiful red wine with an incredible kick to it. Malbec wine is so potent that it pairs well with heavily spiced foods. The most popular pairing for Malbec is sweet and spicy crumbed chicken drumsticks, coated with Asian barbeque sauce. If you’re a fan of spicy food then you need to give this a try!

wineGruner Veltliner

Our last wine to look at for today is the clover scented Gruner Veltliner. This wine is quite popular in Spanish cultures and is probably one of the most ‘nature-friendly’ wines there is. This is because the Gruner Veltliner pairs best with fresh foods, like uncooked vegetables. It is also good with steamed vegetables, but the flavour isn’t quite the same. Its most popular pairing is with a lovely zucchini linguine with herbs. If you feel as though you like any of the above wines, do give them a try!

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Six Foods to Make you look Young and Charming.

Before you buy the latest anti-aging make-up products, I invite you to pay more attention on fresh foods that make you look young and charming. In other words, you can buy food instead of make-up products since they are fresh and full of nutrition. If you taking care of yourself on the inside¡ªdrinking enough water and eating healthy foods, which are all expensive and natural beauty products and make-up in the world won’t stop you from looking pale and exhausted on the outside. Why not do like that? I am sure it costs you less money than you choose to buy beauty products, which are contain much chemical factors.

1.Raisins

Why I introduce it for you? Loaded with potassium, magnesium and iron, it helps with body balance and boost blood health. They also packed with photonutrients, which help fight germs, bacteria and viruses¡ªthus causing your body to look more vibrant and strong. Raisins give the body energy and vitality and help in relieving toxins.

2.Tomatoes

As we know ,tomatoes is the king of beauty, which is filled with vitamin C. Tomatoes is a simple food in life, but it have special functions, like anti-aging, anti-cancer, prevent diseases. So it welcomed by ladies. And there also many ways to enjoy it: raw, squeeze juice, cooked. Different ways meet your different needs.

3.Peanuts

Peanuts are contains much protein, which gives you strong and healthy hair and nails. Moreover, it’s boost for skin tone and muscle tone. Because of rich in calcium, they do a big help on bone health ,which shows in how carry yourself. One more important, peanuts are best for man, which is strengthen male’s renal. Peanuts also have fibers, so you will notice that you eliminate a bit more and that is great for skin health.

4 Onions

Onions have a special taste after eating, some people refuse it. in fact, it really a good choice to choose from as beauty material. The sulfides and chromium in onions help to boost the immune system and heart health, as well as act as an anti-bacterial and detox trigger. Onions also help the people to lose unwanted water weight gently, thus eliminating bloating as well.

5.Potatoes

Potatoes have vitamin C, potassium, manganese, B6, copper, tryptophan and fiber, which all of them are great to calm down and relieve join health. Having health nerves and join health not only help you feel good, but also you’ll walk and talk differently than if you¡¯re in pain or stressed. In fact, eat a potato and you will be walking and acting like a carefree youth.

6. kiwi

Kiwi is the most abundant nutrients and most comprehensive fruit  which is rich in vitamin C,E and minerals, calcium and phosphorus. Eat kiwi can improve sleep quality and can complete the calcium of body. It also can enhance bowel movements to absorb the foods. Sleep is the most natural beauty products for women, and kiwi can improve the sleeping quality, so I suggest you to eat more kiwi if you have nightmare or insomnia.

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