Everybody knows how to make pancakes. You can prepare a fairly decent stack of pancakes even if you are a first-time cook. There is nothing simpler than making pancakes from scratch. Or is there? Have you ever wondered why your first pancake never works? Or why instead of the fluffy, tall pancakes yours look like flat discs?
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This post is about pancake PERFECTION. It will show you how to make easy fluffy golden pancakes in no time, with a minimum mess in the kitchen.
To make perfect pancakes, you need to own high-quality kitchenware elements. Here are the basics.
The first and most important cookware element is the frying pan. An unsuitable, sticky pan will ruin even the best pancake recipe. The three rules for pans are non-stick, wide enough, and no hot spots. If you have a griddle or a skillet, feel free to use them.
Avoid pans with sloped sides and choose a heavy-bottomed pan. If the pan’s bottom is too thin, your pancakes will burn. You will need a pan that is wide enough to allow you easy flipping. I recommend a ceramic coated pan that is nonstick and can be heated to very high temperatures. Another upside is that ceramic pans don’t rust. The ceramic coating conducts heat very well so there will be no hot spots.
Buying a high-quality pancake pan will pay off. If you buy a bargain-cheap, non-stick pan at the supermarket you might end up with flakes from the non-stick coat in your sweet treat. A more expensive pan will last forever!
Second on the list is the spatula. This tool is essential for easy and efficient flipping. I have tried to do it with a spoon once, trust me, it is impossible. That is unless you are a flipping master and you can turn your pancakes by tossing them into the air, like that guy who holds the world record for most tosses (140) in one minute.
The perfect spatula should have a thin edge to let you get under the pancake and flip it easily, without any tearing or wrinkling. You can use a metal one, but if you have a nonstick pan or skillet you can choose a silicone or rubber spatula.
Cups, bowls, spoons, and more
Besides the two above mentioned key elements, you will need a few more to have on hand to prepare a standard easy pancake recipe.
- Two cups (for flour and milk)
- A teaspoon (for raising agents and salt)
- A tablespoon (for sugar and butter)
- Two bowls (one big and one medium, preferably metal, ceramic, or glass, not plastic)
- Whisker (for mixing the ingredients)
- Brush (for applying fat to the pan)
The Fluff Factor
If the pancakes don’t look fabulous, I won’t bother eating them. I want to fall in love with the pancakes at first sight. I want them to be tall, soft, and fluffy. When it comes to texture, the first commandment is: choose easy pancake recipes. Easy equals foolproof. Check out our pancake collection with over 200 of the best American pancake recipes!
Let’s talk about the ingredients first. In an easy pancake recipe, there are dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt, and wet ingredients: milk, egg, and butter.
- Rule number one for fluffy pancakes: your raising agents (baking powder and baking soda) must be fresh. The shelf life is 6-12 months from opening date, but if you’re not sure, apply this simple test: add ½ teaspoon of baking powder or baking soda in 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar. If the raising agent is fresh, it will bubble and fizz.
If you have forgotten to buy baking powder and have already started to make the pancakes, you can prepare a homemade baking powder, by mixing 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar and a teaspoon of baking soda in a small bowl. Store this powder airtight, in a dark and dry place at room temperature, for up to 6 weeks.
The wet ingredients should be at room temperature. If they are cold the pancakes will be sultry.
1.Use buttermilk instead of milk for lighter and more tender & fluffy pancakes. If you don’t have buttermilk at hand, know this: acidity equals fluffiness. Create a home-made “buttermilk” by adding a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice into a cup of milk (any type of milk will do, even non-dairy).
You can also use Greek yogurt or mix the milk with plain Greek yogurt (1-part milk + 2 parts yogurt).
Another secret ingredient for fluffiness is carbonation. The fizziness in carbonated beverages, like beer or sodas (e.g. seven up) is responsible for making the pancakes extra fluffy. Did you know that beer pancakes are called “mancakes”?
- Separate the egg white from the egg yolk. Beat the whites separately and fold it into the batter to make it lighter. It’s a science thing: egg whites are made almost entirely of protein, so when whipping them, the proteins unfold and recombine in rigid structures, i.e. they transform into a mass of foamy bubbles.
- For best results, use all-purpose flour in the batter because it won’t affect the structure of the pancakes. Other good alternatives are whole wheat, buckwheat, or cornmeal. Mix and match any of these flours and find what works best for you.
- Make your pancakes immediately after mixing the batter. The fresher the batter, the better the pancakes. The raising agents start working immediately after coming into contact with the wet ingredients and their effect decreases with the time. So, if you want you can mix the dry ingredients in advance, but once you add the wet ones, you’d better start cooking!
- Leave the batter lumpy. The more you mix the batter, the chewier the pancakes will be, due to gluten development in the flour. You don’t want that. Stir the ingredients until they are just combined, but make sure there are quite a few lumps inside.
- Another idea to speed up the mixing process is to use a blender. First, add the wet ingredients. Once they are foamy, add the dry ingredients and keep mixing until smooth.
The Art of Cooking
Once you’ve prepared the best pancake batter it is time to learn how to cook perfect small golden pillows that simply melt in your mouth.
I recommend that you treat the first few pancakes as a test batch. Use them to adjust the heat and practice your flipping skills. Make sure the pan is not too hot to avoid burning the pancakes. On the other hand, if it is not hot enough, the batter will smear. Sprinkle a few drops of water before you start cooking. If they are shimmering, you’re good to go.
Use vegetable oil for frying, not butter. Butter burns easily, due to the milk solids contained inside. Especially when your pan is on medium heat for a longer time.
If you insist on using butter, chose either the clarified version, in which milk solids have been separated beforehand or the unsalted version which has a lower whey content and doesn’t burn as easily. The last option is to mix the butter with oil.
Use a heat-proof silicon pastry brush to apply the chosen fat onto the surface of the pan.
If you use too much oil, your pancakes will fry. Wipe the excess oil before you pour the batter into the hot pan or griddle using a paper towel.
Frying and Flipping
Do not flatten the pancakes with the spatula, even if you are tempted to do so, in order to cook them faster. They will cook faster but they won’t be fluffy.
How to avoid smearing the batter because of a sloppy flip? The problem is that you’re using the whole arm, instead only the hand. Slide the spatula under the pancake, lift slightly, and then turn it using your wrist.
Flip the pancake when bubbles appear on the surface and the edges have set. Don’t wait for the bubbles to burst, it will be too late! The bottom of the pancake should be light brown. It should take you about 2-3 minutes to cook the first side and 1-2 minutes more for the opposite side.
Your awesome & easy pancakes are now ready. All you need to do is choose a splendid topping to match these expert-made pancakes and enjoy.
Add-ins and Toppings
Add-ins, like berries or chocolate chips, can be easily burnt. That is why it is best to add them as late as possible. First pour the batter into the pan, then add the chips or berries (distribute evenly). Bananas, on the other hand, caramelize during cooking so you can add them directly to the batter, mashed or in slices.
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Standard picture perfect pancakes require a perfect topping. Out of respect for the perfect fluffy pancakes you’ve just prepared, choose pure maple syrup instead of the pancake syrups sold in plastic bottles that are full of sugar and God knows what else. Add a pat of butter on top and dive in!
Pancakes for breakfast, now that’s a great idea, right? And while a pre-ready pancake mix might be considered a godsend by some, it is safe to say homemade pancakes will beat a store-bought mix any day of the year. There are three reasons behind this: Preparing your own pancakes from scratch is way more fun, less expensive and what’s more, you can let your imagination go wild.
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Mastering The Art of Making Pancakes
If you are a newbie in the cooking world, you should first know some of the pancake preparation basics, then choose a pancake recipe from the Best American Pancake Recipes – Quick, Easy and Delicious, and put your knowledge to the test J. While there is not ONE particular tip on making the perfect pancake recipe because tips will vary depending on the recipe, there are a few things that apply to all of them:
- A non-stick skillet is a must!
- Use fresh raising agents (baking soda and baking powder).
- Make sure the wet ingredients you are using are at room temperature.
- Make a test batch (it will help you find the right cooking temperature, and see when is the best time to flip).
Fruity Pancake Recipes
Regardless of whether they are a part of the batter itself, or are used as toppings or add-ins, fruits are always a great way of making pancakes taste even better! With flavors that vary from sweet to tangy, here are some of the best and easiest recipes you will ever need!
- Banana Pancakes
We start off with a pancake recipe that only calls for three ingredients (ok, and a pinch of salt, and some oil for cooking). This pancake recipe will only take up 5 minutes of your time, and the result will be delicious pancakes that you will want to prepare day in day out.
Extra: Bananas will not only make the pancakes tastier, but they come along with a wide range of health benefits. First off, they are rich in potassium, a mineral crucial for maintaining a good heart health. Second, they contain a fair amount of fiber (which means they will satiate your hunger faster), and last, but certainly not least, bananas come with a moderate amount of protein.
- Blueberry Pancakes
Made with Greek yogurt and whole wheat flour, these hotcakes are the definition of fluffy. Mastering them? Piece of cake, just follow the step-by-step instructions and you are good to go. A sweet and tangy forkful of pillowy soft awesomeness is what you will get.
Extra: Apart from the freshness they provide, blueberries will enhance the health-factor of any batter. See, the vibrant blue color that makes them so appealing to the eye comes as a result of the pigments they contain: anthocyanins. These are also responsible for a large part of the blueberries’ health-promoting features, including their antioxidant power. All in all, blueberries play the role of guards of the cardiovascular system and regulators of the blood sugar levels.
- Apple Pancakes
These hotcakes with grated apples are definitely going to become a regular item on your breakfast menu. If you have 5 minutes on your hand, put all the ingredients in a blender and you will get a tasty sweet batter with a note of tartness. There is also a downside tough, you will need 10 minutes to fry them, and only 10 seconds to devour a stack.
Extra: You know the good old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. This only goes to show apples are not only tasty but filled to the brim with health-promoting features that make these delicious fruits great aids when it comes to reducing the risk of diabetes and stroke and promoting neurological health.
Nutty Pancake Recipes
Crunchy and tasty, nuts are the ultimate snacks, but, much like fruits, they are also great toppings and add-ins. A general rule to follow whenever you want to implement them in a pancake recipe is ROAST them. This will enhance their nutty flavor and will increase their crunchiness.
- Almond Pancakes
With two whole tablespoons of ground almonds, half a teaspoon of almond extract, ¼ cup of slivered almonds, and 6 tablespoons of almond milk, these will definitely be a hit with almond lovers. And, even if you are partial to almonds, once you’ve tasted a bite of these pancakes, you will definitely turn “team almonds”.
All the more reason to prepare this recipe: Almonds, like other nuts, come with a palette of health benefits. Healthy brain and heart function and a healthy skin are results of consuming them on a daily basis. Being rich in riboflavin and L-carnitine is what makes almonds great for the neurological system, whereas, the healthy monounsaturated fatty acids are “to blame” for the health benefits. Last, a hydrated and non-wrinkled skin will be a result of the Vitamin E they contain.
- Pecan Pancakes
These fluffy pancakes with half a cup of pumpkin puree and cinnamon will make your kitchen smell like heaven. Warm and sweet, the aroma will definitely bring a smile on your face, and the nutty flavor will only be enhanced by replacing the regular vegetable oil with two tablespoons of walnut oil. Yum!
All the more reason to prepare this recipe: Pecans are known for their power to reduce the LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase the HDL or “good cholesterol” in the blood, which means they are great for the overall cardiovascular system. What’s more, they abound with minerals (manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium) and vitamins A, B, C, and E.
Savory Pancake Recipes
Be it as a side dish, brunch, or breakfast for dinner, every cook should have a recipe for savory pancakes handy whenever the need for it arises. And while some recipes, like that for the okonomiyaki, require a more experienced cook, the following are super easy and equally tasty J
- Potato Pancakes
A satiating and scrumptious recipe that will certainly make you go for seconds, and what’s more, can be prepared in five simple steps. What else does one need? Maybe a boost of iron, calcium and vitamins A and K will do? If you didn’t get around to opening the link above, this recipe also calls for 10 ounces of spinach. And, since it is likely you’ve seen Popeye, you surely know that this translates into healthier muscles, but also a glowing skin and impeccable vision.
- Sweet Potato Pancakes
If you are looking for a flapjack recipe that is easy to handle, will take you no longer than half an hour, and it is still worthy of being dubbed lunch-appropriate, then this is the recipe you are looking for. Beside the sweet potatoes, it also calls for chives and an onion. And we all know that this is a combination that is going to please the taste buds, and fill the tummy.
- Canadian Bacon Pancakes
This is a recipe for those who want their savory flapjacks to be on the “heavier” side. Although vegetables and herbs like chives, thyme, and watercress are present, the crispy bacon cubes play the main role in this recipe.
Luscious Pancake Recipes
Now, pancakes wouldn’t be in the category somewhere in between breakfast and dessert if they were not a great base for experimenting. This is why recipes like the following are a must for every pancake lover out there.
A great way you can go about if you want an out-of-the-ordinary recipe is implement your favorite store-bought treats into the batter, use them as toppings, or better still, use them both ways. And, don’t worry, we’ve got the experimenting part covered, so all you have to do is just follow the instructions. Literally, the only thing you should worry about is decide whether you want to share them with others.
- Oreo Pancakes
The Double Stuff Oreo Hotcakes are a dream come true. Half a cup of Oreos goes into the batter, making it taste like the real deal, and a whole cup goes in the stuffing, which means double the trouble. One can say that this is more of a spread, but either way, it is as scrumptious as ever. Whipped cream, vanilla extract, sugar, and Oreos comprise an equation that results in perfection.
A tip: Get some of the Oreos that you were to use for the spread, put them in a plastic zip bag and crush them. Top the stack with them.
- Reese’s Pancakes
If you love peanut butter, then this recipe will surely be up your alley. Although the batter itself contains cocoa and chocolate chips, the famous Reese’s are reserved for the syrup. Be careful, though, the peanut butter cups should be stirred into the pan only after you’ve turned the heat off.
A tip: Get some extra Reese’s (the smallest ones) and use them to top each stack for the ultimate Reese’s pleasure.
- Nutella Stuffed Pancakes
Well, we have all been there, staring at a jar of Nutella and wondering whether to get a spoon and get it over with. Well, this recipe is an even better idea. The process of making it will require a lot of patience, though, because, let’s face it, you will be more than tempted to eat the whole Nutella jar even before you prepare the pancakes. But, be still, as another old saying goes: “Good things come to those who wait” and these are definitely worth it!
A tip: to make these beauties even more scrumptious and more fun, top them with whipped cream and colorful sprinkles.
Different Pancake Shapes and Forms
There is no shortage of pancake recipes that are unusual and fun. If you are looking for a recipe that will make everyone forget all about the old round pancake, then try one of the following ideas.
- Pancake Muffins
Grab your muffin tins, and instead of putting an effort of greasing and re-greasing the pan, just pour the batter into each indention of the mini muffin tin. In 15 minutes the mini muffins will be ready for you to devour.
- Mini Pancakes
These hotcakes, also known as silver dollars, are the cutest form in which a batter can come. they are great for parties and social gatherings, as their petite form is found irresistible.
- Mini Puffed Pancakes
Being bite-sized is the feature that sets these apart from the others. Although this might be perceived as both a good and a bad thing, (because you might eat one too many) the mini puffed pancakes are definitely a recipe every pancake lover should give a try to.
- Donut Pancakes
The last recipe for today is reserved for the fun glazed donuts. Prepare the pancakes as you usually would, and as soon as they start to cool, cut the center out of the hotcakes with a donut hole cutter, or a simple bottle cap.
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We hope that you have found a recipe that sparked your interest. Give at least one of them a try and you will see that making pancakes from scratch is no rocket science at all. Quite the contrary, if you carefully follow the individual instructions, it will be as easy as ABC.
“I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give.” – Julia Child
Valentine’s Day Traditional Foods
How February 14 became associated with love remains unclear. Most Historians believe that it was a physician by the name of Valentine who started the frenzy of sending love cards on this day. Namely, the poor man fell in love with one of his patients, the daughter of an emperor. Before being executed because of his religious beliefs, he sent his beloved a note signed with “Your Valentine.”
And while cards are a must when it comes to this holiday, food doesn’t fall behind either. When we think of foods associated with Valentine, most of us immediately think of the most popular love food – chocolate. Chocolates became a common gift during the Victorian era when people were greatly inspired by medieval courtly love and chivalry. So, if you are looking for a chocolate recipe, you’ll find it difficult to select just one. Our suggestion is Chocolate Pots de Crème. Looks good and tastes divine.
Still, there are a few more traditional foods used to celebrate love and for each and every one of them, there is a logical explanation.
Wine. The feeling that one gets when enjoying a glass of wine is often compared to the feeling of being in love. Don’t forget to buy a high-quality wine to serve on this day. If you and your loved one don’t fancy that euphoric feeling wine creates, use it in recipes like the one for Creamy Pistachio Chicken. This dish is made with white wine which gives it incredible depth and flavor and the alcohol evaporates during the cooking process so there is no need to worry.
Strawberries are heart-shaped and red colored so it’s no wonder they were considered a symbol of Venus by the ancient Romans. Dip them in melted chocolate, or even better, incorporate them into an amazing recipe just like the Strawberry Cream Cake.
Honey. As a symbol of love, bees were associated with Cupid during the Renaissance and are often depicted stinging Cupid, the god of love, in paintings. Honey is a symbol of procreation and contains boron, which provides an energy boost and helps regulate testosterone and estrogen levels. This natural aphrodisiac can be incorporated in savory recipes, but it definitely works best in sweet ones, like Honey Fudge Parfaits.
Herbs. There are three herbs often associated with the day of love – lavender, basil, and rosemary. With its scent and beautiful purple color, lavender relaxes the senses. Basil is a traditional symbol of fertility and boosts sexual desire by increasing the heart rate and improving circulation, whereas rosemary has been associated with wedding ceremonies since the Middle Ages and is often incorporated in wedding bouquets. Use lavender and rosemary in a single delightfully fragranced and delicate recipe – Scented Cupcake Trio.
Valentine Breakfast in Bed
Valentine’s Day is a perfect way to show your love, but also a great excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast. If love and devotion do not offer a sufficient justification for such a guilty pleasure, here is a little extra: Chocolate is absolutely sensual, from its aroma to its taste, but it has also been known to cause a spike in dopamine, which induces feelings of pleasure. This fact makes chocolate a powerful aphrodisiac which is sure to get you in the mood for love.
In addition, chocolate is really good for you – it lowers the ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, boosts brain function, and acts as a powerful antioxidant.
So, why wait for dessert? Feel free to start the day in a decadent fashion.
The easiest option is to make chocolate pancakes. However, in order to capture some of the love that is in the air, cook these fluffy flapjacks in a heart-shaped mold.
The beauty of pancakes is their versatility and flexibility; for instance
- you can stack them on top of each other, adding vanilla frosting in between the pancakes and on top, to create a delicious cake;
- you can pour the batter into muffin tins to create cute chocolate muffins; or
- slice cooked pancakes and incorporate them in various trifles and parfaits that look absolutely tempting!
Another option is to add some red food coloring to the batter and prepare luscious red velvet pancakes. They make use of cocoa powder as well, but for additional chocolatey flavor, serve them with Nutella cream.
Here are some other chocolate morning options:
– Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
– Triple Chocolate Banana Bread
– Pecan Chocolate Chip Maple French Toast Bake
– Chocolate Waffles a La Mode
– Dark Chocolate Granola + Valentine’s Twist
– Double Chocolate Oatmeal
Valentine’s Date Night Dinner
As Jay Leno once pointed out, men call this day ‘Extortion Day’. So, if your significant half doesn’t feel like putting on their fancy outfit and leave the comfort and safety of your home on a chilly night, why not stay at home and cook? This decision has another upside – your joint bank account will remain intact, allowing you to save some money for a romantic weekend getaway once the weather decides to improve a bit.
Invest your time and energy in really fancy dishes packed with aphrodisiac food that really spark the romance. By definition, an aphrodisiac is a food or drink that increases the sexual desire. Aphrodisiac foods reduce the stress levels, increase circulation, or affect neurotransmitters.
Do aphrodisiacs work? Try these 10 recipes with your baby and see if scientists are right:
#1 Chili Lime Tacos with Mango Salsa
Besides the passionate red color and the fiery taste, chili peppers stimulate endorphins which are responsible for good moods. Their hotness increases circulation and stimulates the nerve endings, making you feel more aroused.
This spicy dish can be served wrapped in tortillas or turned into a main dish salad by swapping the tortillas with romaine.
#2 Oyster Mushrooms, Garlic, and Green Onion Sautee
Besides being very easy to make, this recipe is also paleo and gluten-free. Oysters are one of the most well-known aphrodisiacs due to the fact that they are full of zinc and amino acids that support the production of sex hormones and increase the sex drive.
#3 Spicy Tuna and Avocado Sushi Bites
Avocado’ reputation as an aphrodisiac goes as far as the Aztec times. This silky and creamy fruit is filled with vitamin E, which helps the body produce sex hormones and stimulates vigor and energy levels.
#4 Creamy Chicken Alfredo Pasta with Bell Peppers, Asparagus, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Asparagus is rich in folate, which aids the production of dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter, and histamine, which is released in the body during orgasm. In addition, this green veggie contains B vitamins which have been known to boost the libido.
#5 Saffron Shrimp and Peach Rice Bowls
Studies have confirmed that saffron increases the sexual performance. Moreover, this tasty spice is very healthy; it is packed with Vitamins B6 and C, as well as minerals like manganese, magnesium, potassium, and iron.
#6 Pesto Pizza with Pine Nuts and Feta
If you are not ready to give up great pizza even on days like this, that’s OK. You can simply upgrade it to a new tastier and sexier level.
Pine nuts abound in energizing zinc, which is essential for producing testosterone. They have been popular aphrodisiacs since the Middle Ages.
#7 Mushroom Gnocchi with Arugula and Walnut Pesto
Arugula is yet another libido-boosting food that has been used for a long time; to be more precise, since the first century A.D. This green leafy plant is packed with antioxidants that prevent negative effects of contaminants on your libido.
This recipe contains another aphrodisiac – walnuts, which contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids needed to boost the production of sex hormones.
#8 Asian Pan Seared Salmon Salad with Honey Sesame Dressing
Much like walnuts, salmon also contains omega-3 fatty acids that balance the hormones. Plus, it is combined with another powerful aphrodisiac in this recipe-honey.
#9 Spinach and Artichoke Quiche Cups
These tiny veggies come in handy to feed each other when you don’t have strawberries. Besides this convenient feature, artichokes contain antioxidants and vitamins needed for healthy blood circulation and overall health.
#10 Cashew Chicken Ding with Jicama, Celery and Red Bell Pepper
Celery is a crunchy, aromatic veggie that contains androstenol and androsterone, pheromones that are secreted by women and men when they sweat and serve to create sexual attraction. Consider replacing the cashews with another powerful attractant – almonds.
All of these amazing dishes can be complemented with libido-boosting spices, herbs, and add-ins such as:
– Olive oil
Valentine Lovable Desserts
No meal is complete without a dessert! Whether you are inspired by the infamous food scene in “9 ½ Weeks” or just want to share a tasty sweet treat, ask your boo to join you in the kitchen and prepare these delicious aphrodisiac-packed recipes together.
#1 Banana Pudding
It’s not just the phallic shape! Bananas also contain bromelain, an enzyme which boosts testosterone production, as well as vitamin B and potassium that increase the energy levels. This recipe also contains whipped cream…in case you want to recreate the above-mentioned movie scene.
#2 Mexican Coffee Ice Cream Pie
In addition to caffeine, which increases the heart rate and makes the blood flow, this recipe contains two additional feel-good ingredients – cinnamon, which heats up the body and normalizes the blood sugar levels, and vanilla, which stimulates the nerves, thus enhancing your sexual drive.
#3 Gingerbread Cookie Dough Truffles
Ginger is very similar to chili peppers in boosting the blood flow and body temperature. This fact was well known by French courtesans in the past, who gave ginger to their lovers to boost their pleasure and desire. The recipe also contains nutmeg, a spice that has been used as a libido-booster in Hindu cultures for centuries.
If you need a little something to boost your confidence and liven up the atmosphere, prepare these hot cocktails. Remember, consume in moderation – you don’t want to end up to stewed for love.
Valentine’s Day Cocktails
Watermelon White Sangria
Believe it or not, watermelon is said to have a ‘Viagra’ effect on the body! This is due to the high content of lycopene which relaxes the blood vessels and improves blood flow, which causes you to feel aroused very quickly.
Pomegranate and Orange Champagne Punch
Pomegranate is a powerful antioxidant which supports circulation. Studies have shown that these red gems also help with erectile dysfunction.
We hope that you have found a recipe that sparked your interest. All you need to do is find the perfect scented candles and create a sexy playlist.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
The Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner and it has gained a reputation of a holiday. The fact that both football fans and those not so keen on sports are thrilled for the Big Game only goes to show how important the National Football League is to Americans.
And what is even more important? Well, one would say the good company and the positive vibes are what matter the most, but we say it’s OK to admit that it is the FOOD we love these gatherings for.
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The Ultimate Nachos Recipe
On the very top of our Game Night’s list of favorite foods is a snack food dish that has captivated people from all around the world ever since 1943. The year when Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya created the very first version that included corn tortillas topped with jalapeño peppers, and cheddar cheese.
The Ultimate Nachos Recipe is everything you ever wanted: crunchy, cheesy and slightly spicy. Not to mention that The Great American Recipes managed to pay homage to the very first Nacho recipe (with the corn chips, cheddar, and jalapeños) while still keeping the innovative spirit on, by improving it.
How did they manage to do this?
By simply adding a few more ingredients that are both inexpensive and give this snack a whole new dimension. It is amazing how much something as simple as half a pound of ground beef can do when it comes to recipes like this. Your nachos will easily turn from a snack dish to a proper meal dish, and a very tasty one, too.
Be careful with the layering of the chips and the ingredients, though, people tend to take nachos recipes lightly and then nag when they end up with stuck-together chips.
If you follow the step-by-step instructions, though, your nachos will be the best nachos anyone has ever tasted.
Serve these tasty nachos with some sour cream and a salsa sauce. We recommend trying the Peach Mango Salsa.
The Ultimate Super Bowl Nachos Tip:
Since this February 5th the Atlanta Falcons and The New England Patriots will be the teams playing in the Super Bowl LI, why not get some colored restaurant style tortillas and put them on two separate plates.
Arrange one plate with red and blue tortilla chips, since the colors of the “Flying Elvis” are red and blue to represent the Patriots, and arrange the second plate with black and red ones, to represent the Birds’ logo.
Look at it this way: Even if your team doesn’t go home with The Vince Lombardi Trophy, at least you will have the title The Ultimate Nachos Master, so that’s ok.
Super Bowl and Food in Numbers
Nachos are not the only food that football fans love. Super Bowl Sunday ranks second in food consumption in the States, right after Thanksgiving.
The National Chicken Council reports that people across the country will consume more than 1.33 billion chicken wings while watching the game on Sunday, which is 2% more than last year. Chicken wings are by far the most devoured Super Bowl food. Four out of the five most ordered foods during 2016’s Super Bowl chicken wing varieties, namely:
- – Smoked wings
- – Buffalo wings
- – Barbeque wings
- – Boneless wings
Want more crazy Super Bowl Food numbers? This year, Americans will test their endurance by eating:
- – 120 million pounds of avocados
- – 29 million pounds of chips
- – 3.8 million pounds of popcorn
- – 2.5 million pounds of nuts
- – 4 million pizzas
In addition, they will drink a whopping 325.5 million gallons of cold and foamy beer.
The explanation for these insane numbers, at least partially, lies in – superstition. Besides holding on to their team’s lucky jersey, fiery football fans believe they help their team by ordering and eating ‘lucky foods’.
In Boston, the home of New England Patriots, the Indian spinach, and cheese dish called Saag paneer is considered the luckiest, whereas football fans in Atlanta, the hometown of the Falcons, place their hopes in chicken variations – chicken noodle soup and chicken salad. They also share their belief in Saag paneer with Bostoners, which ranked third in their city, according to the largest national online ordering database, Grubhub.
The other part of the answer to the question ‘Why Americans eat so much during Super Bowl?’ is… Well, Super Bowl is a major event and often a reason for throwing a party for family and friends.
Super Bowl Party Food Guaranteed to Score
No Super Bowl party would be complete without two things – football and food. The first part is planned and organized by the NFL, whereas the menu is up to you. And with so many fatty, flavored, delicious choices like the above-mentioned nachos, chicken wings, guacamole, pizzas, and sandwiches it is simply impossible to go wrong.
However, viewers seem to prefer certain foods over others. Knowing the ultimate Super Bowl Super Snacks will help you plan the perfect menu and the throw a party to remember. Here is a list of the 9 most popular Super Bowl foods besides nachos, which is ranked no.4.
What else would be number 1? Pizzerias work like crazy on Super Bowl Sunday, preparing for the busiest take-out day. To avoid the crowded pizza places and waiting for hours for delivery, make your own decadent version at home. I recommend the Tortilla Pepperoni Pizza.
This classic comfort food is favorite in three American states: Delaware, Minnesota, and Missouri. It’s no surprise, given the fact that chili can be adjusted to anyone’s taste – from vegetarian to protein-packed variations.
- Chicken Wings
We have already mentioned how popular chicken wings are on Super Bowl day. This food is favored in Nebraska and Washington. Why wouldn’t it be? Juicy, crunchy, and very easy to make, chicken wings can be prepared in countless varieties, from classic Buffalo to exotic fruity and sticky.
The classic Buffalo chicken dip is most popular in Virginia and Wisconsin. Tennessee is a fan of the Buffalo Chicken Appetizers, whereas Utah and South Dakota like chicken casseroles.
Actually, nachos is number four on the list of most beloved Super Bowl foods, but since it was talked about elaborately earlier, here we will suggest preparing the most popular Super Bowl food in Ohio – Pulled Pork Pita Nachos combined with guacamole. This creamy, fresh Mexican dip is the reason why football fans will consume millions of avocados on Sunday.
- Pulled Pork
Besides in Ohio, pulled pork is also the most popular Super Bowl food in Indiana. In addition to representing one of the American cuisine staples, barbecue meat, pulled pork sandwiches are very easy to prepare at home and flavor up to your taste.
- Devilled Eggs
Devilishly easy and delightfully zesty, all you need to make these stuffed eggs is mustard, mayonnaise, and seasoning that consists of ranch dressing, green onions, and minced chili peppers.
- Pigs in a Blanket
Make sure you prepare this dish if your party involves kids. Made with a hot dog rolled into a crescent dough, these miniature favorites are one of the easiest recipes to prepare – roll up a hot dog in a store-bought dough, place into the oven, and dip in mustard or ketchup. If you have leftover pigs, put them in your kids’ lunch box on Monday.
- Jalapeño Poppers
These creamy and spicy poppers are loved in New Mexico, New York, and North Dakota. Deep-fried jalapeño poppers will take some time to be prepared, but once they are done, your eyes will pop open with delight. And they will be gone in no time.
- Potato Skins
This easy and simple dish unites all the ingredients that football fans love: bacon, melty cheese, and sour cream, complemented with rich and zesty seasonings.
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Although we favor the Ultimate Nachos, all of the above-mentioned recipes (check out the video) are more than suitable to make the Game night unforgettable.
Chicken parmesan is one of those recipes that tastes great even when not perfected. So imagine its deliciousness when at its finest: tender, juicy, flavorful, and with lots of cheese.
So, what does it take to make the best out of your cheesy chicken? High-quality meat, a few secret ingredients, and the right cooking technique. Let’s go through them one by one.
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Making a Perfect Chicken Parmesan Recipe
The chicken must be juicy and perfectly golden-brown when the dish is done. To achieve this, the chicken breasts need to be as thin as possible. Thinner chicken cutlets ensure the meat cooks evenly and at the same time. If you have thicker pieces of meat, start by cutting them widthwise.
Next step – pounding. Pounding is key when it comes to chicken parmesan recipes. Gently pound the meat to a thickness of 0.5’’. Be careful, too much pounding will tear the meat and make it dry after cooking.
Place the chicken breast on a cutting board or counter covered with a piece of waxed paper. Cover the meat with another piece of waxed paper and start tapping the from the center towards the edges, using a meat mallet or, alternatively, the bottom of a small saucepan.
The Buttermilk Brine
The secret of a super-tender, moist, and flavorful meat is the brine. And the ingredient necessary to achieve this is buttermilk. For extra flavor, add some garlic as well. Leave the chicken in the brine for at least an hour. For best results, it is best to let it sit for 4 hours.
The question here is – what is the best cheese to use? The cheese must be meltable but not too milky in taste. Grated Parmesan is, of course, the cheese of choice. However, adding some mozzarella cubes will give even better results. If you decide to go with mozzarella, avoid the variety packed in water (you don’t need additional moisture in the chicken parmesan recipe) and opt for the fresh variety.
Buttermilk can also be added either to the dry mixture based on breadcrumbs or to the egg mixture. This will contribute extra crispiness to the meat after cooking.
Any tomato/marinara sauce works with chicken parmesan recipes, be it store-bought or homemade, plain or spiced.
The Perfect Cooking Technique for Chicken Parmesan
Chicken parmesan recipes are best cooked in two stages – frying and baking. Here is the process step by step.
To get crispy chicken, you need lots of oil. Use enough oil to make the chicken breasts float in the pan.
Next, you need two bowls. The first one will hold the flour, mixed with a teaspoon of salt and ½ a teaspoon of pepper. The other dish will contain water, eggs, and another teaspoon of salt, lightly beaten to combine.
Finally, you need a large shallow dish to hold the breadcrumbs. You can add the cheese and buttermilk at this point or wait until after the chicken is fried.
Prepare a large plate lined with paper towels next to the stove to place the fried chicken breasts.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat to 370°F. Use a deep-fry thermometer to be certain you have the right temperature.
Start the process by dipping the chicken breast into the flour mixture, turning to coat on both sides. Then, transfer to the second bowl with the egg mixture, again coating evenly. Finally, coat well with breadcrumbs, gently patting to ensure complete and even coating.
When the oil has reached the desired temperature, carefully drop two of the chicken breasts into it to avoid oil splashes. Fry for about 5-6 minutes, until golden brown and crispy. Turn and cook for 5-6 minutes more. Transfer the fried meat to the plate lined with paper towels.
Heat the oven to 375°F with the rack in the middle. Place the chicken in a large casserole dish, cover with the marinara sauce, and top with the Parmesan and mozzarella mixture. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cheeses are melted and the Parmesan is slightly browned. Serve immediately.
Note: Chicken parmesan leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Delicious Chicken Parmesan Recipes
Garden Chicken Parmesan
Golden breaded chicken is surrounded by broccoli and bell peppers, then baked with pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese. Easy and delicious! You can vary the ﬂavor by trying different kinds of bread crumbs: fresh white breadcrumbs, seasoned dry bread crumbs or even cornbread crumbs.
Classic Chicken Parmesan
Whenever you can, use the freshest ingredients. Try grating the Parmesan cheese yourself. First, let the piece of Parmesan come to room temperature before cutting it into chunks and grating it in a food processor with the metal blade. Grate a large amount of cheese at one time and store the surplus in bags in the freezer. It will keep for months this way, allowing you to measure it out as needed.
Chicken Parmesan Pizza Sliders
Take a mini portion of regular chicken parmesan and stuff it inside pizza dough. Then top with some pepperoni and more cheese. These sliders are a perfect way to serve chicken parmesan leftovers. They can be a quick and delicious weeknight dinner, party appetizers, or a school/work snack!
Chicken Parmesan Soup
As the author of this recipe has written, this is “what happens when your chicken parm wants to go for a little swim”. What a great way to change the routine and serve your favorite dish in a liquid form. This lightened up variety is true comfort food, simply ideal for chilly winter days.
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Chicken Parmesan Stuffed Peppers
This easy recipe unites the amazing flavors of two classics – stuffed peppers and chicken parmesan. Shredded chicken, plenty of Parmesan & mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and breadcrumbs find their way into colorful bell peppers. As the peppers bake, the cheese melts, while the breadcrumbs on top become crunchy. For an even quicker variation, use store-bought rotisserie chicken.
With ingredients list that includes mushrooms and sour cream, Beef Stroganoff is the creamy and warming family dinner recipe you must have in your cookbook. Sherry brandy, tomato sauce, onion, and paprika are often added for extra flavor, which makes this dish even more decadent. Finally, the rich meat is served over a bed of pasta, rice, or mash to soak up the sauce!
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Beef Stroganoff is a classic that originates in Russia but is well loved all around the world. Some historical sources state that the name derived from a Russian diplomat and minister of the interior, Alexander Stroganov. Others say the dish was named after Count Stroganoff, a 19th-century Russian noble, who became a huge fan after his chef invented the recipe.
Best Meat Cuts for Beef Stroganoff
The classic beef cut for this dish is round or rump steak. However, there is a number of variations that include different types of beef cuts. Whatever cut you’re using, the final result should be tender and juicy.
For a quick and easy Beef Stroganoff, use the top sirloin or tenderloin, cut thin into 1-inch wide by 2 1/2-inch long strips. In case you decide to go with other cuts of meat, like stewing or chuck steak or minced meat, it is best to use the slow cooker.
For more exotic varieties, prepare your Stroganoff with chicken or even shrimp instead of beef, like the Brazilians do, or use sausages like in the Nordic countries!
Tips for Cooking Beef Stroganoff
The most important step to ensure your Stroganoff is rich, delicious and has the perfect color, stir-fry the meat quickly in butter. When doing this, the pan must be very hot but make sure to balance the heat in order to avoid burning the butter.
If you are using a slow cooker, add the sour cream and mustard in the last half an hour of the cooking process to prevent them from curdling. The meat is cooked until it falls apart and the sauce becomes rich & creamy.
Regarding the basic vegetables used in this dish, mushrooms, and onions, here the two basic tips: cook the onions right down and sauté the mushrooms separately to prevent them from going mushy.
When it comes to cooking the classic side dish for Beef Stroganoff, the noodles, to keep them from clumping while boiling, add a tablespoon of oil to the water. To keep hot cooked noodles from sticking together, toss them in a large bowl with a little butter.
The most important part of this dish is its richness and creamy texture. That being said, the sauce is key. Traditionally, Beef Stroganoff recipes call for sour cream. However, many find it bland and use more flavorful options such as flour-and-butter roux combined with beef stock and/or a small amount of dairy. If you find this combo rather heavy, just replace the flour-and-butter roux with sour cream and you’ll have the best of both worlds.
Freezing Beef Stroganoff
It would be such a shame to throw away leftover Beef Stroganoff. Luckily, this dish freezes very well. First, let it cool completely, then transfer to a large zip-lock bag or an airtight container. It will keep up to three months in the freezer.
Serving Beef Stroganoff
In the States, Beef Stroganoff is traditionally served with pasta, to be more precise wide or twisted egg noodles. Other common options include mashed potatoes & rice. Russians usually serve this dish along with potato sticks but with the addition of white rice. In Japan, it is often combined white rice or white rice seasoned with parsley and butter.
In other countries, you will see Beef Stroganoff served with baked potatoes, sweet corn, used as a pizza topping or crepe filling. Greens are also often served as accompanied, usually fresh crispy salads, steamed green beans, or sautéed broccoli.
Beef Stroganoff Recipes
Choose a classic Beef Stroganoff recipe or one of the twists we’re offering below. Our specialties include piecrust, meatballs, chicken, garlic, cheese, tofu, and more!
Beef Stroganoff Pot Pie
This recipe takes a traditional Stroganoff and tops it with a ﬂaky piecrust, rather than serving it over egg noodles.
Meatball Stroganoff Bake
Meatballs and egg noodles baked in a hearty beef sauce are a classic casserole. Top with sour cream for a traditional Stroganoff dinner! It is just as tasty with frozen, fully cooked meatballs. Just thaw 24 meatballs (about half of a 28-ounce bag) and add them to the noodles and sauce. Bake covered until the meatballs are heated through, about 35 minutes.
Beef Stroganoff Casserole
An updated version of the classic recipe, this Stroganoff is made with lots of fresh mushrooms. When it came to choosing the best mushrooms in the grocery store, opt for the loose ones. Turn each mushroom over to make sure that the cap is closed tight around the stem with no gills showing a sure sign of freshness.
Tender chicken strips are coated with a creamy mushroom sauce, thickened with sour cream, for a classic dish that’s packed with flavor. To turn this into a classic Stroganoff, replace the chicken with flank steak cut into 1/4-inch strips in Step 1. Use beef broth instead of chicken broth in Step 2.
Garlic Mushroom Stroganoff
Rich, intensely mushroomy, garlicky, and creamy – four adjectives that only begin to describe this amazing take on Stroganoff. The rich cream covers the tender but meaty mushrooms, then everything is served over rice. The best part? The whole dish is done in under half an hour from scratch!
One-Pot Beef Stroganoff
There’s nothing better than coming home to this comforting, flavorful bowl of yumminess after a stressful day at work! A simple to make weeknight meal, with beef and mushrooms smothered in a super-creamy sauce and served over fusilli pasta.
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Stroganoff marries tacos for an incredibly flavorful dish. To achieve the creamy effect, the meat is in a combination of onion, chives, and cream cheese, then some Cheddar cheese is added for extra flavor. An amazing cheesy and tasty one-dish meal that tastes like nacho dip over noodles and beef!
This recipe will be well loved by both vegetarians and omnivores alike. For extra creaminess, add some whipping cream along with the sour cream plus a touch of lemon juice. Serve with crusty bread and fresh salad!