In a traditional Indian home, the wife and mother does not go out to work. She stays at home and spends her days making sure that there is wholesome and tasty food ready for her family to eat whenever they may want it. If there are other older women in the household such as aunts or a grandmother, they will help too. An Indian girl will start learning to cook at a very early age and will be expected to help her mother with the household catering and cleaning too. At her mother's side a daughter will learn how to grind spices, how to mix them to make various masalas and exactly when and how to add them to individual dishes. She will learn how to make various types of bread - chapattis, rotis, parathas and more. She will learn to make several dishes at the same time, no Indian meal consisting of only one dish, and she will learn the art of producing the crispest deep-fried onion bhajis and pakora. The girl's skill in the kitchen can make the difference between her finding a husband or not.There's no getting away from it, delightful though Indian cuisine is, producing a meal is a complex and time-consuming business, even for the most experienced Indian housewife.That's the traditional way. However, in modern-day India and in Britain, where many Indian families have made their homes, life is quite different.These days, Indian women often do not have the luxury of staying at home all day. They want or need to go out to work. Indian girls brought up in Britain see other girls of their age going shopping, to parties, to visit friends, to school, to college and ultimately to work and they don't want to stay at home with their mothers, slaving over a hot stove. On top of that, they don't want to lose the culture and flavours of Indian cuisine.What to do then, when Indian cookery does not provide a quick answer to providing a meal? Vicky Bhogal has found the answer. In her book, Cooking Like Mummyji, she explores the culinary problems of a modern Indian girl living in Britain and provides an interesting answer. I suppose we would call this fusion cooking as it is a mixture of the flavours of India and the simplicity of British family food and the results are great tastes produced in the minimum of time. I particularly recommend Fishcakes with Bite and for Sunday lunch with a difference, Green Masala Roast Chicken - absolutely delicious.For all your Indian cooking needs why not visit my Asian Food Online Store
Every Thanksgiving table should include a centerpiece to add to the festive feel of your dinner. It's quick and easy to make a Thanksgiving centerpiece from fall flowers, pumpkins, gourds, and greenery. You can create a beautiful Thanksgiving centerpiece in very little time and for very little money. FLORAL PLATTER CENTERPIECE Here is a simple centerpiece that you can arrange on a tray or platter in just a few minutes: You will need a small potted ivy or mum, a few small gourds or pumpkins, several miniature pumpkins, a few apples, and some fresh or dried greenery such as moss, leaves, or parsley, and of course the platter or tray in which you will place your arrangement. Place the mum or ivy on one side of the platter and place a gourd and two small pumpkins next to the plant. Make sure you water the plant, but sparingly so as not to overrun or spill the water onto the other items on the platter. Arrange the miniature pumpkins around the platter and place the apples randomly to give a splash of color. Use small apples of both red and green colors. Place the leaves and/or greenery between the apples, gourds, and pumpkins. This makes a wonderful centerpiece that will make your Thanksgiving table a thing of beauty. HARVEST GLASS BOWL WITH FLOWERS To make a Thanksgiving centerpiece that includes all the symbols of fall, you will need the following: - a small glass tumbler - one very small pumpkin that has had the top cut off and the insides scooped out - six or more small gourds - a few dried leaves (preferably in various colors) - a dozen or more fall flowers such as mums - a cup of fresh or dried cranberries - shallow glass bowl After you have gathered your supplies, place the tumbler inside the pumpkin and fill it halfway with water. Arrange the flowers in the tumbler and place the pumpkin in the glass bowl. Place the bowl containing the pumpkin and the flowers on a cutting board or large glass plate on the table. Arrange the leaves, gourds, and cranberries in a random fashion around the pumpkin. Add a few small candles if you wish. You will have a beautiful centerpiece in just a few minutes of your time. CRANBERRY CENTERPIECE Create another easy centerpiece with only a clear glass vase (any size you desire), two pounds of fresh or dried cranberries, and a large bunch of pink or white carnations. Cut the carnation stems so that the flowers will be just above the top of the vase and remove any leaves. Place the carnations inside the vase and pull the flowers away from the edge. Drop the cranberries into the vase and then fill with water. This is a very easy and inexpensive centerpiece that will look beautiful on your table. It is quite easy to make a memorable centerpiece with very little time and money. Use your imagination and add lots of colors and textures to create a centerpiece that will create the perfect Thanksgiving atmosphere.
So you have decided to throw a party. Great, now its time to consider all of the things you must do to make it a success. You need to make a guest list, plan decorations, arrange for a DJ, etc, etc. The list goes on and on but one of the most important tasks is arranging for the food. Food and drink will make or break your party. The question you must decide is are you going to hire a caterer or are you going to handle the food yourself. There are pluses and minuses to both. Catering Yourself
If you decide to cater the party yourself, you will of course save money. Caterers can be expensive and they make up a considerable portion of a parties budget. If you are having a relatively small gathering, it is probably not worth hiring one. You might be better off just buying a few party trays from your grocery store or a favorite restaurant.
Another reason to not hire a caterer is that you will be able to serve exactly what you want, not just what the caterer has to offer. You can have the exact foods that you and your guests like in the amounts that you want.Hiring A Caterer
Hiring a caterer does have advantages however. Sure they can cost you money but their expertise can come in handy. If you order the food yourself you might over order, wasting money. Even worse you could end up ordering too little and run out of food or drink. That would be a party nightmare, quickly putting an end to the festivities. You want to see a crowded room empty quick, just tell your guests that there is no more food or drink. Another advantage of hiring a caterer is that it will allow you to completely enjoy your party. No running back and forth to the kitchen or checking to make sure your appetizer tray is full. You can spend your time mingling with your friends or business associates. What good is throwing a party that you cannot enjoy.Lastly, honestly answer this question. Do you have the expertise to pull it off? Caterers have the experience necessary to make sure that your party goes off smoothly. The food will be ready on time. The drinks will flow smoothly. They have thrown hundreds or even thousands of parties and they will make yours run like clockwork.Hopefully this article has helped you decide on the direction you want to take your party. Decide carefully, it is an important decision that could make or break your event.
Amuse-bouche is becoming the hottest trend in foods and entertaining. If you enjoy offering your guests interesting fare that always gets raves you should consider learning about the seduction of amuse-bouche. WHAT IS AMUSE-BOUCHE? The word amuse-bouche is a french expression, literally translated "mouth-amuser". And no wonder - amuse-bouche are snappy, single bite creations which combine intense taste sensations in an artistic form. Amuse-bouche is different from your typical hors d'oeuvres. It is most often offered when guests are seated at the table. Amuse-bouche not only offers guests something to taste while waiting for the dinner, but also sets the 'flavor' of the evening. The amuse-bouche should compliment the dinner as well as give guests a sample of the quality of the meal to come. WHAT CAN I MAKE FOR AMUSE-BOUCHE? Amuse-bouche concentrates on flavor; often combining simple, intense flavors alongside rich, multi-faceted ones. The focus is on savoring and appreciating the full flavor of a single bite; much as you savor the intensity of a shot rather than having a full cup. The amuse-bouche can be a combination of bite size, single ingredient bites arranged artfully on a plate or a combination of flavors offered as one serving on a Chinese spoon. You may also choose a rich, flavorful soup (such as vichyssoise) presented in a shot glass along with a spoon. The key to a good amuse-bouche is quality ingredients. Whether you're offering simple mandarin slices alongside a savory salmon mousse or a skewered shrimp with a complex marinade, you will want to use the highest quality and most decadent ingredients you can obtain. PRESENTATION Second only to quality ingredients and full flavor is presentation. Amuse-bouche follows the French tradition of artistic presentation. Find amuse-bouche ideas online and take note of the visual presentation. While not complex, the resulting impression is one of style and attention to details. Garnish sparingly and preferably use a simple white plate for optimum presence. If you are so inclined you may wish to entertain your guests with a variety of amuse-bouche at an evening gathering rather than simply a prelude to a sit down dinner. You may also choose to compliment your amuse-bouche with a well chosen wine. Some recipes will indicate a suitable wine or you can base your selection on the dominating flavor of the amuse-bouche. There are several fine recipe books to guide you as you begin exploring the pleasures of amuse-bouche, but let your creative spirit shine as you take inspiration from the simple pleasures of flavor and entertaining and create your own unique 'mouth-amusers' for your guests.
Lobsters are supposed to be red right? ... Well, yes and no.Most live american lobsters are naturally colored an olive green or mottled dark greenish brown. In rare cases, lobsters come in shades of bright blue, white (albino), yellow, black, and red have been reported from time to time. Perhaps the most unusual colors are the "half-and-half" lobsters with a line straight down their backs where the two colors meet.The major pigment in a lobster's shell, astaxanthin, is actually bright red in its free state; but in the lobster's shell astaxanthin is chemically bound to proteins that change it to a greenish color. When lobsters are cooked, heat breaks down these bonds, freeing the astaxanthin so that it reverts to its normal red color.So how does a lobster turn bright blue?A genetic defect has been found that causes a blue lobster to produce an excessive amount of protein. The protein wraps around a small, red carotenoid molecule known as as astaxanthin. The two push together, forming a blue complex known as crustacyanin which often gives the lobster shell a bright blue color. About one in a million lobsters are blue, but when cooked, it turns red like the other lobsters.It has been suggested that more than 'one in a million' lobsters born are blue, but many do not survive because their bright blue shell brings too much attention to themselves, making them a prime target for predators. Scientists also believe that blue lobsters tend to be more aggressive than their normal colored counterparts. Since they dont easily blend in, they have adapted and changed to be more aggressive to protect themselves.The blue lobster is truly another gift from Mother Nature that most people never see. Many professional lobstermen go through their whole lobstering career without catching or even seeing a blue lobster. Those that do have the privilege of catching one, are amazed and excited as it is seen as a once-in-a-lifetime event and feel a sense of awe when they experience seeing the strikingly beautiful blue lobster for the first time. Those that are caught are not normally eaten, but rather given to aquariums and educational institutions and kept on display in tanks for others to admire.Taxonomy of Homarus americanus:Kingdom: AnimaliaPhylum: ArthropodaClass: CrustaceaOrder: DecapodaSuborder: Macrura reptantiaFamily: NephrodidaeGenus: HomarusSpecies: americanus