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How Is Kobe Beef Made?

Origins

  • Kobe beef is not so much made but rather produced or raised in specific conditions in Japan that over time have contributed to a unique texture, taste and marbling. Kobe beef is widely praised for its tenderness, flavor and high quality fatty marbled appearance.

    The beef is “made” according to strict Japanese government guidelines that regulate the term Kobe beef and refers to Wagyu beef born and slaughtered from the Hyogo prefecture. True Kobe beef isn’t exported out of Japan, so the American Kobe-style beef seen on menus is from a crossbreed of Japanese Wagyu and Black Angus.

Cattle History

  • Kobe is the namesake capital city of the Hyogo prefecture in Japan, to which the black Japanese cattle or Wagyu derives its name. It is in this prefecture that Wagyu cattle, known as Tajima have been raised and selectively bred for over 2,000 years. Wagyu cattle are not native to Japan. They were originally introduced to Japan and used as draft cattle. The breed was chosen for its ability to withstand physical endurance.

    Because there aren’t a lot of wide open pastures and the terrain is relatively mountainous, the breed developed at a slower rate with a smaller frame and rather large forequarters and lighter hindquarters. These physical attributes have resulted in very high quality meat considered the finest beef in the world.

Unique Attributes

  • Isolation on the Japanese islands and distinct feeding techniques resulted in bloodlines that developed and maintained qualities in Wagyu meat that differ significantly from all other breeds of cattle. During the hot summer months the cattle are fed beer while their muscles are rubbed with sake to prevent soreness from the lack of paddocks to freely graze. This original diet, handling and isolation has over time developed a far superior meat.

    The unique characteristics, such as the abundance of marbling, is believed to be the result of softer skin, which in turn produces more tender meat. According to Dr. Jerry Reeves of Washington State University, evidence indicates that the marbling in Wagyu beef contributes markedly not only to tenderness and juiciness but also to taste.

How to Make Any Kind of Juice Using a Blender

If you’ve been waiting to get a juicer to make fresh orange juice or lemonade, delay no longer — because if you happen to have a blender that you use for smoothies or soups, you already have an ideal juicer with the addition of a straining element, such as cheesecloth or a paint-straining bag. Juices prepared with a blender, as opposed to a juicer, taste best when consumed immediately or within 15 minutes. It’s especially important to consume grapefruit and navel orange juices immediately, as they get bitter after standing.

How to Make Any Kind of Juice Using a Blender
EquipmentIn addition to your blender, your necessary equipment includes a homemade strainer. One of the easiest setups entails a paint-strainer bag pulled over a glass or plastic low, wide container with an opening of about 6 to 7 inches in diameter. You can use a giant measuring cup or large glassware — or repurpose large, round plastic coffee containers. Midsized paint-strainer bags measure about 10 inches across and 10 inches deep, but are tapered at the bottom, with a closed end that’s 5 inches across. You can clean and reuse them indefinitely.

Alternatives include nut milk bags, large squares of cheesecloth and a clean piece of pantyhose, cut to include the foot and calf area.

Preparing the FruitWash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly. Peel citrus fruits, and core apples to remove the toxic seeds. Remove the pits from pitted fruits. Keep green tops such as those of celery, but not the bitter tops of carrots and rhubarb. For convenience, leave the small seeds in other fruits — they’ll be pulverized and strained out with the rest of the pulp. Trim away and toss any damaged areas, the FDA advises. Trim larger fruits and vegetables into cubes 1 inch across or smaller. For green vegetables such as kale and spinach, pull the leaves off the stems and tear the leaves so they fit in the blender.

Puree bananas and avocados separately and add them to the finished juice, rather than including them in the main juicing process, to keep more of their fibrous materials.

BlendingLoad your blender with the fruits and/or vegetables, in order of smallest pieces to largest, and wettest to driest. Add about 1/2 cup of water — just enough to allow the ingredients to begin mixing. Puree the fruits and vegetables until smooth.

StrainingPlace the paint strainer over a suitable vessel, and pour the pureed juice and its fibrous components — everything in the blender — into the strainer. Pick up the edges of the strainer, and then lift them up and twist the top of the strainer closed. Move carefully so the liquid juice remains in the container — it will pour out of the bottom as you lift the bag. Squeeze the pulp like modeling clay so that it releases more of the juice into the container.

Drink the juice promptly. The pulp can go into a compost heap or you can freeze it for soups. Clean the bag with soap and water, and allow it to dry in a warm place, or outdoors in the sun.

Non-Alcoholic Substitute for Grand Marnier

Grand Marnier is a distilled orange-flavored liqueur made by macerating orange peels in brandy or grain alcohol. The natural sugars in the fruit help flavor and sweeten the liqueur. Grand Marnier is often used in classic French dessert dishes like Crepes Suzette, or to flambe oranges that are added to desserts such as creme brulee. It is also commonly used in savory dishes like orange chicken or Grand Marnier shrimp, and often found behind the bar to add a bit of orange flavor to cocktails. Some orange-flavored substitutes are available when alcohol is simply not an option.

Crepes Suzette, a famous French dessert, often includes Grand Marnier.

Cooking

  • Even though alcohol burns off when cooking, you can still achieve the same flavor depth that Grand Marnier provides with nonalcoholic substitutes. Mix 2 tablespoons of unsweetened orange juice concentrate and 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract together to take the place of 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier. The juice mix is a concentrated orange flavor sweetened by the sugar in the extract for a perfect deep-orange flavor for your dish.

Baking

  • Replace Grand Marnier in a dessert recipe with the same amount of orange juice concentrate enhanced and sweetened with a bit of orange zest and a teaspoon of orange marmalade. The orange zest adds a fresh flavor and the marmalade helps keep your dessert moist.

Cocktails

  • Replace Grand Marnier in your favorite cocktail with the juice or syrup from your favorite brand of orange-segment fruit cup. Juices and syrups used in fruit cup are usually slightly thicker than regular fruit juice, which will mimic the consistency of the liqueur. The concentrated orange flavor will replace the Grand Marnier.

General Substitute

  • If you’re in a pinch for a quick substitute for Grand Marnier in a drink or food recipe, unsweetened orange juice concentrate always does the trick. Orange juice concentrate retains all the flavor of the fruit without the water. It’s commonly found in frozen form needs to be thawed. If you have ordinary orange juice on hand, heat a cupful over a low flame until it has thickened and is reduced by half for the equivalent of a half cup of concentrate.

Making a Room Into an Arabian Tent

If your idea of an exotic room decor is an Arabian tent with a canopy overhead, thick carpets underfoot, and lots of comfortable seating and pillows, you can create that look, in resplendent style, with the use of plenty of luxurious fabrics. An authentic or near-to-authentic Arabian tent room will be a true oasis of comfort and serenity, a place for meditation, a nap, or conversation. You can take your design concept as far as you like, but the most convincing treatment will be complete, erasing all vestiges of a modern European or North American (Western culture) room.

Capture the flavor of a Middle Eastern tent room with this decorating scheme.

Colors

  • Choose your color palette. Your tent room should be filled with a happy melange of colors, all in “jewel” primary color tones like ruby red, amber yellow, lapis or sapphire blue. Balance these colors with off-white or light beige, in generous portions, such as in the “tent” fabrics and wall-to-wall carpeting so these strong primary colors don’t overwhelm the senses.

Remove Any Ceiling Fixtures

  • Turn off power to the room at the main circuit breaker box if there are any ceiling fixtures or wall sconces in the room. Since you will be upholstering the ceilings and walls with fabric, you won’t be able to use these lighting fixtures again for safety reasons. Remove all of these light fixtures. Cap off all the wires in the electrical boxes with plastic electrical nuts and close all the boxes with metal plate covers. If you intend to install a new Arabian-looking light fixture, like a Moroccan lantern, in the center of the ceiling, extend these the fixture wires approximately 8 to 12 inches below the electrical box. Cap these wires off, temporarily, with electrical nuts. Restore power to the room.

Tent the Ceiling

  • Cover the ceiling with pleated fabric to form a “tent canopy” overhead. Begin with a section of fabric and staple one end to a point that marks the center of the ceiling. Stay clear of the area where the ceiling light fixture electrical box might have been located: staple the fabric around this hole, approximately 2 inches away from the hole, and avoid contact with the capped off electrical wires as you do this, if they are present. Gather the fabric with your fingers to form loose pleats as you staple. Extend the length of the fabric to the place where the wall meets the ceiling, directly opposite your starting point on the ceiling. Pull the fabric tight. Staple this end of the fabric to a point on the wall that is approximately 12 inches below the ceiling line to create a gentle, sloped effect. Continue to gather the fabric to form the pleats as you staple this end to the wall. Install a second section of fabric alongside the first section, starting at the center of the ceiling and working out toward the corresponding area on the opposite wall. Overlap the two side-by-side sections by 2 inches so the seam between the two sections is somewhat masked. Work all the way around the room, section by section, until the ceiling is completely covered with pleated fabric.

    Create a round ceiling medallion, cut out of 3/4 inch plywood, that is large enough to cover the place where the fabric has been stapled to the center of the ceiling. Drill a hole through the center of this medallion to accomodate the light fixture wires if you intend to install a hanging light here. Mount this medallion securely to the ceiling with molly bolts. Decorate the medallion with paint or upholster it with more of the ceiling fabric: do this only after installing a hanging light fixture from the medallion if that is in your plans.

    Optional: Install an appropriate ceiling light fixture such as a Moroccan hanging lantern. The larger the lantern the better. Turn off power to the room at the circuit box. Mount the fixture to the plywood ceiling medallion and connect the fixture using the capped wires. Restore power to the room and test the fixture.

Tent the Walls

  • Line the walls with lengths of fabric. Use the same material employed in the ceiling, or a slightly different or darker fabric for contrast. Staple the fabric, loosely pleating it as you go, to long strips of 1-inch-by-2-inch lumber. Wrap the fabric around the wood and staple it on the back side of the wooden strip so the staples won’t show. Staple the top end of the fabric to a strip of wood, and then staple the bottom end of the fabric to another strip of wood to form one wall “panel” of fabric with a top and a bottom wooden “rail.” Raise the top rail and place it against the wall so it covers over the stapled ends of the ceiling “tent.” Nail or screw the rail to the wall here. Align the bottom rail at floor level and nail or screw it to the wall as well. Repeat this until you have covered all the wall surfaces from floor to ceiling, even over windows. Try to place fabric over any windows in such a way that two sections overlap at the windows: you will be able to part the fabric with your hands when you need to reach and operate the windows. It helps to start by installing two fabric sections at the window locations and working around the room from there to be sure two sections come together at the windows. Install short “filler” panels over the tops of doors; don’t cover the doors.

    Remove any doors in the room and replace them with heavy velvet curtains. Mount the curtains on cafe curtain rods installed inside the door jambs.

Carpet the Floors

  • Carpet the room if it is not already carpeted, wall to wall. A neutral or “sand” tone is best. Add layers upon layers of Oriental or Arabian carpets and rugs, one over the other. Two or three layers of different carpets are typical. These carpets should each be different in design and coloring.

Furnishings and Accents

  • Furnish the room with a ring of comfortable low couches and masses of pillows of all sizes. Traditional Western furniture is acceptable but wall-to-wall couches is the look you want. Pepper the room with small tables with round or octagonal tops, all placed in front of the couches, not at the ends. The wood finish on these tables should be a dark red mahogany.

    Decorate with Middle Eastern accent pieces, including mosaics, brass vessels, and tapestries. Remember that depictions of human beings are not acceptable art subjects in Middle Eastern design so stick with art based on Middle Eastern design patterns and animals.

How to Make American Chop Suey the New England Way

American chop suey, with roots in New England, bears no resemblance to the chop suey found in Chinese restaurants. American chop suey contains tomatoes, ground beef, pasta, vegetables and cheese, mixed together in a large pot or pan and served in a bowl with additional shredded cheese on top if desired. This recipe, with its origins in the steam table buffet restaurant kitchens of New England, can now be found throughout the United States, though its name still reflects the source.

How to Make American Chop Suey the New England Way
PastaAmerican chop suey made the New England way typically contains elbow macaroni, but substitute any small pasta you like, such as seashells, cavatappi, penne or fusilli. Boil the pasta to al dente, or just barely fork tender, generally a minute or two less than the package recommends, as it finishes cooking in the skillet.

Ground BeefWhile the pasta cooks, brown some ground beef in a large skillet. You can use the grease from the ground beef to sauté the vegetables at the same time in the pan. As an alternative, brown the ground beef first, then drain the grease and set the beef aside on paper towels. Add a bit of olive oil to the pan to sauté the vegetables in the next step.

VegetablesAmerican chop suey contains diced garlic, peppers and onions, but you can add any other vegetables you like or have in the kitchen. Try adding grated carrots or diced celery. Sauté the vegetables simultaneously with the beef or after you’re done browning it, remove the beef and set it aside so you can use the same pan for the vegetables. Add a bit of olive oil or butter as necessary. Sauté the vegetables until they turn translucent and tender.

TomatoesTomatoes for American chop suey always come from cans. Use undrained petite diced tomatoes, tomato sauce or tomato paste diluted with broth, or a combination of all three to taste. Add the tomato products after combining the sautéed vegetables and browned ground beef in the pan. Blend the ingredients well, leaving room in the pan for the cooked pasta.

Finishing UpAdd the cooked pasta to the pan. American chop suey shouldn’t have the consistency of soup, but it should be slightly juicier than a casserole. Add some of the pasta cooking water if necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Add diced or shredded cheese to the pan, stirring until it melts. The dish traditionally includes cheddar and American cheese, but you can use any that you like. Try mozzarella or colby cheese instead. Cover the pan and simmer it to aid in melting the cheese. Cook it until the chop suey thickens and bubbles, and the noodles and vegetables are tender.

Orange-Earl Grey Iced Tea

Orange-Earl Grey Iced Tea

Makes: 8 servings, about 1 cup each

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup loose Earl Grey tea, or 12 Earl Grey tea bags
  • Peel of 1 orange, plus orange wedges for garnish
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 cups cold water

Preparation

  1. Steep loose tea (or tea bags) and orange peel in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Strain the tea (or remove tea bags and orange peel) and pour into a large pitcher. Stir in orange juice and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add cold water. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Serve over ice with orange wedges, if desired.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Nutrition

Per serving: 35 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrates; 0 g protein; 0 g fiber; 5 mg sodium; 67 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1/2 carbohydrate (other)

Best Ever Tropical Fruit Salad

http://theslowroasteditalian-printablerecipe.blogspot.com/2014/05/orange-honey-rainbow-fruit-salad.html

MAKES 12 Cups  |  ACTIVE TIME 25 Min  |  TOTAL TIME 25 Min

12 mandarin oranges, divided (for dressing and salad)
2 cup strawberries, sliced
1 pineapple, cut into bite size chunks
5 kiwi, sliced
3 mangoes, cut into bite size chunks

Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing
1 medium lemon
1 lime
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon Gourmet Garden Ginger Paste or fresh grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

Wash and dry lemon, lime and 2 mandarin oranges. Zest the washed and dried citrus with a zester or fine grater. Add to 1 cup measuring cup or small bowl. Cut each in half and squeeze the juice into the measuring cup. (You should get about 1/2 cup juice).  Add honey, ginger and poppy seeds to juice mixture and whisk until combined.  Set aside or place in the refrigerator if serving later.

Prepare remaining fruit. Slice strawberries and kiwi. Section remaining oranges. Cut pineapple and mango into bite size chunks. Place fruit in a large bowl. Pour dressing on top of fruit about 30 minutes before serving. Gently toss to coat. Serve and enjoy!

COOK’S NOTE:  This fruit salad is fabulous with whatever you have on hand. I love carambola (star fruit) and papaya in this salad as well. Bananas are lovely, but have to be added at the last minute or they will get soft and not look pretty.