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How to Make Pancakes from Scratch – 15 Super Easy Recipes for Pancake Day 2018

How to Make Pancakes from Scratch – 15 Super Easy Recipes for Pancake Day 2018

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

pancake day

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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

pancake day

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

pancake day

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

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

pancake day

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

pancake day

Photo credit:donnahay.com

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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’m in love with food and everything about food! Blogging is my way of celebrating that love and MyGreatRecipes made it all happen. If you, too, are into great food and interesting reads, you will enjoy reading my posts!
Italian-American Classic – How to Make a Perfect Chicken Parmesan

Italian-American Classic – How to Make a Perfect Chicken Parmesan

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 Meat

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.

chicken parmesan recipe

Photo credit:geniouskitchen.com

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 Cheese

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.

The Breadcrumbs

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.

The Sauce

Any tomato/marinara sauce works with chicken parmesan recipes, be it store-bought or homemade, plain or spiced.

chicken parmesan recipe

Photo credit:tastingtable.com

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.

Frying

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.

chicken parmesan recipe

Photo credit:delish.com

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.

chicken parmesan recipe

Photo credit:theseasonedmom.com

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 recipe

Photo credit:mastercook.com

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.

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!
15 Effortless Zucchini Recipes

15 Effortless Zucchini Recipes

Even though summer might seem so far away, that doesn’t stop us from dreaming, planning, and looking for amazing recipes. One of the plants that must find its place on your tables this summer, be it as a light dinner, an appetizer, or incorporated in a dessert, is the nutrient-packed zucchini. The fact that they are inexpensive is all the more reason to stack up on zucchinis and give one of our delicious zucchini recipes a try. But first…

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Three Fun Facts About Zucchinis That Will Make You Love Them Even More

  1. Zucchinis are fruits

No matter how strange it might sound, botanically, zucchinis are actually fruits. Zucchini belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo along with squashes and pumpkins. A botanical berry called a “pepo” is the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower, which means zucchini is a fruit. Uh-oh, it’s going to be confusing next time someone suggests eating more veggies than fruits 🙂 .

  1. The longest zucchini measures 8 ft. 3.3 in

Believe it or not, the longest zucchini was astonishing 2.52 m (8 ft 3.3 in) long. It was grown by Giovanni Batista Scozzafava in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada on 28 August 2014, and has remained the longest zucchini to this very day.

  1. The word zucchini comes from Italian

The plant’s name comes from Italian: zucchina, the diminutive of zucca, which translates as “gourd, marrow, pumpkin, squash”. In fact, the zucchini varieties we know and cook with today were developed in northern Italy in the second half of the 19th century.

The Best Recipe for Zucchini Casseroles

Stuffed Zucchini

As you probably already know a casserole is not one specific recipe, rather it refers to literally anything that can be made in a casserole pan. This means that much like the lasagna and the moussaka, a recipe which calls for zucchinis to be baked in a casserole pan will naturally be called a zucchini casserole.

We’ve decided, however, to include gratins in this category as well. Although they are not to be confused with casseroles, these two do have several unifying features. Au gratin literally means “with cheese” and it is a technique which includes topping an ingredient with a browned crust. The crust can be made using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, eggs or butter. Sounds familiar? One last thing that makes dishes prepared with these two culinary techniques very similar, is they are traditionally served in the baking / casserole dish. So, to sum up, all gratins are casseroles, but only casseroles that contain cheese can be called gratins.

1# Italian Zucchini Casserole

Since zucchinis as we know them come from Italy, and the very word for them is Italian, why not try and prepare this Italian Zucchini Casserole? If you love Italian sausage, then these zucchini boats topped with mozzarella will be just up your alley. Eat them as they are or use them to top your favorite pasta. Either way, you are in for a treat!

[Get this zucchini casserole recipe here]

2# Chicken Zucchini Gratin

Zucchini gratin

If you are looking for a summer lunch recipe, this is it! The yellow squash and zucchini complement the chicken’s taste and everything comes together in the most colorful, eclectic dish ever!

[Get this zucchini recipe here]

3# Veggie Gratin

If you are looking for a vegetarian version of this delicious dish, then prepare the veggie gratin. It can easily be a main course, since asparagus, broccoli, and zucchini all come together to form the most satiating bite ever. And the best part? This recipe is the chameleon of zucchini recipes, so you can easily serve it for lunch, brunch, or as a side dish for chicken or fish.

[Get this zucchini recipe here]

Recipes for Zucchini Bread with and Without Yeast

If you thought that the delicious banana bread and the amazing apple bread were the only shortbreads out there, you were very wrong. Zucchini bread is equally as tasty as its apple and banana cousins :). And here are 4 recipes to prove it! As a general rule when it comes to preparing zucchini bread recipes, make sure you choose the smaller zucchinis. Their skins are tenderer and they contain fewer seeds.

4# Chocolate Zucchini Bread (no yeast)

Once you try this luscious zucchini bread, it will become your go-to recipe whenever you need a snack or a dessert that combines good nutrition and wonderful flavors. But because the fact that it contains chocolate might discourage you from giving this zucchini recipe a try, we have decided to share the nutritional information per slice: calories 239, fat 14.6g (sat fat 2.6g), carbs 27g. Not that bad for a delicious dessert, right :)?

[Get this zucchini recipe here]

5# Lemon Zucchini Bread (no yeast)

zucchini bread

Prepare this lemon zucchini bread and bring it to neighborhood potlucks and picnics. Wrap the loaves in brown paper and raffia and be prepared for sighs of amazement followed by requests for the recipe.

[Get this zucchini recipe here]

Since you will need 2 teaspoons of grated lemon zest, (do note that the white pith is not considered the zest, only the colored portion of the peel is) the best way to get it is using a citrus zester, or vegetable peeler to scrape all across the surface of the lemon.

6# Zucchini Yogurt Bread

Now, on to the easier and less time-consuming zucchini bread recipes. You will only need an hour to prepare this delicious bread that contains zucchini and oregano. To make it even more traditional, using a sharp knife score the top of each loaf at an angle several times. The important thing is to let the loaves rise uncovered for around half an hour, bake it and enjoy!

[Get this zucchini recipe here]

Extra! You can prepare a scrumptious spread to accompany this zucchini bread. Go ahead and mash a cup of feta cheese, ⅔ cup of sour cream, half an onion (finely chopped), 2 tablespoons of fresh chives (snipped) and finally, a ¼ teaspoon of black pepper.

7# Pesto & Zucchini Bread

Once you try this focaccia-like bread kneaded with Italian pesto and topped with grilled zucchini slices you will be transferred somewhere on the streets of Italy. And that’s not even the best part, you will only need an hour to prepare it, start to finish, and then you can sit back, relax and enjoy a tasty slice of heaven.

[Get this zucchini recipe here]

Extra! You can make the bread crunchier and way more delicious by adding some pine nuts (2 ounces to be more precise). To stop them from over-browning, soak them in a small bowl of water for around 20 minutes.

Recipes for Zucchini Appetizers

Whether you are having a casual get-together for friends and family or a party for colleagues, everyone will appreciate a healthier twist on their favorite appetizers. Check out our choices and see if you can find something you like.

8# Zucchini & Ricotta Crostini

The popular bruschetta appetizers can come in a healthier, and way more delicious package: the zucchini & ricotta crostini. The best part is there are three cheese types in this zucchini recipe. Chop 2 large zucchinis and 3 tomatoes and place them over the ricotta cheese, only then add the grated Parmesan and the provolone slices. Yummy!

[Get this zucchini recipe here]

9# Crispy Zucchini Sticks

If you need a healthier take on French fries, then try these zucchini sticks. Seasoned bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, and garlic salt, make these the tastiest, most flavorful fries you’ve ever tried.

[Get this zucchini recipe here]

10# Zucchini Parmesan Stacks

Zucchini Parmesan Stacks

The perfect summer appetizer! Made with zucchinis, tomatoes, and eggs, these sandwich-like stacks scream summer and the Parmesan makes them all the more palatable. Prepare them and watch them disappear next time you are throwing a party in your backyard.

[Get this zucchini recipe here]

Recipes for Zucchini Side Dishes

We can all agree that in order for the main dish to shine, the side dish that accompanies it must be great as well. For that reason, here are zucchini recipes for the best and most versatile side dishes ever!

11# Potato-Zucchini Bake

Need a unique side dish filled with flavor to complement your baked ham, grilled steaks, or roast chicken? This potato-zucchini bake enriched with lemon juice, onion, chives, and Cheddar is the perfect way to go about. The best part is this side dish could easily become a main dish by simply adding 3 cooked and sliced chicken breasts to the zucchini mixture.

Nutritional info per serving: calories 354, fat 17.5g (sat fat 7.8g), carbs 34.9g

[Get this zucchini recipe here]

12# Zucchini Pasta Bake

This vegetarian side dish made with the cutest bow-tie pasta, tomato, zucchini, and fresh basil is the prettiest, most colorful and flavorful side dish you could serve. Make sure the zucchini is slightly firm before you add it to the pasta, in order for the zucchini not to overcook in the oven. No one wants a mushy dish, right? 🙂

Nutritional info per serving: calories 448, fat 16.7g (sat fat 6g), carbs 56.6g

[Get this zucchini recipe here]

Recipes for Zucchini Ratatouille

Even if you haven’t heard of this dish before, the name itself sounds very French, and that’s because it is French. In fact, if you love animated movies, you probably remember the American computer-animated comedy film Ratatouille released in 2007. Well, at the end of the film they serve ratatouille, a stew of summer fruits and veggies (zucchini being the star of the recipe) prepared in olive oil and cooked over low heat.

13# Grandma’s Ratatouille

The beauty of this dish lies in the fact that you can literally use whatever it is you find in your veggie drawer. If you want a meaty consistency, go ahead and add mushrooms, and if you want this side dish to become a main dish, layer slices of bacon on top.

[Get this zucchini recipe here]

14# Chicken Ratatouille

chicken zucchini casserole

This chicken ratatouille can easily become your new favorite summer dinner. The chicken combined with all the flavors of the Mediterranean have SUMMER written all over.

[Get this recipe here]

15# Garden Ratatouille

Less is more is definitely not the axiom you want to go by when preparing this recipe. Feel free to add as many different veggies as you can possibly think of. Anything from red and green bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, eggplant and of course, zucchini can make their way into this rainbow-y dish.

Serve this ratatouille with sourdough rolls and grilled chicken, or to turn it into a main dish add or slices of cooked kielbasa sausage or cubes of ham during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

[Get this recipe here]

 

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I’m in love with food and everything about food! Blogging is my way of celebrating that love and MyGreatRecipes made it all happen. If you, too, are into great food and interesting reads, you will enjoy reading my posts!
Apple Crisp, the Dessert You Don’t Want to Miss!

Apple Crisp, the Dessert You Don’t Want to Miss!

Apple Crisp or Apple crumble, depending on which side of the pond you are from, is one of those dessert recipes that are a household staple. Not only is it made with easily accessible ingredients, but preparing it is a breeze, which might be the reason apple crisp is so popular.

Of course, being relatively inexpensive and easy to prepare would amount to nothing if this dessert wasn’t TASTY!  The sweet cinnamon aroma and the tartness of the apples, their softness and the crispiness of the streusel topping, make apple crisp a combination of contrasts that is nothing short of perfect!

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Come fall and the craze for apple crisp begins, but who said that this simple, delicious dessert is confined to one season only? We chose to write a word or two about apple crisp in the wake of spring, precisely because we don’t believe in season-appropriate cooking: If you crave it, make it!

apple crisp

Photo credit:todayshow.com

Apple Crisp History

If you hadn’t noticed it yet, going to the bottom of how recipes came to be is something we at MyGreatRecipes love doing. And while there are many recipes that date back to Medieval times, or to ancient times even (as it is the case with pancakes), apple crisp cannot brag with a long history behind it. The fact that it didn’t make its way into the Fannie Farmer Cookbook, the collection of American recipes that dates back to 1896, only goes to show that apple crisp is all new and modern.

But, given its popularity with cooks and regular fellas alike, it is sure going to be around for generations to come. So, the very first printed reference to apple crisp (in the Everybody’s Cook Book: A Comprehensive Manual of Home Cookery) from 1924 (which seems pretty close to us), will seem pretty down in history to those enjoying apple crisp in 2300 J.

The Benefits of Apples and the Best Apple Cultivars for Apple Crisp

The good old proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” has not been around for so long in vain. The benefits of eating apples have been recognized by people in history, but this very proverb appeared in Wales somewhere in the 19th century. Author, Caroline Taggart, explains that the original was: “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread”, later to get modified in this shorter more up to point variant. Now, let’s see the nutritional value of these miracle foods and some of their possible health benefits.

Nutritional Value of Apples per 100 grams

Energy 52 kcal
Fat 0.17 g
Carbs 13.81 g
Protein 0.26 g
Water 85.56 g
Sodium 1 mg
Vitamin C 4.6 mg
Vitamin E 0.18 mg
Vitamin K 2.2 μg
Calcium 6 mg
Iron 0.12 mg
Manganese 0.035 mg
Magnesium 5 mg
Potassium 107 mg
Phosphorus 11 mg

Antioxidant power

First and foremost, apples are rich in antioxidants. These disease-fighting compounds repair oxidation damage, and what’s more, they can even prevent it. This means that eating apples is of great importance for the improvement of our brain function and overall neurological health.

Being rich in quercetin, the antioxidant that fights oxidation and inflammation of neurons is not only good for the nervous system, but for boosting our immune system as well. Stimulating the production of the essential neurotransmitter acetylcholine, apples are said to improve memory. Last, but not least, eating apples reduces the risk of developing cataracts by 10 to 15 percent.

The apple cultivars that are the richest in antioxidants are the Red Delicious and the Granny Smith, ranked 12th and 13th out of over 100 foods rich in antioxidants per serving by USDA in 2004. Coincidence or not, Granny Smith apples make for the best apple crisp ever!

apple crisp recipe

Photo credit:whatsgabycooking.com

Fiber Power

A medium sized apple contains 4 grams of fiber, (the daily intake of which should be 25 to 30 grams of food).

Fiber rich foods will make you feel satiated quicker and will leave you with the sensation of being full long after you’ve consumed them. (this is mainly due to the fact that fiber delays gastric emptying). The type of fiber found in apples called pectin, classed as a soluble and fermentable fiber, is, in fact a great prebiotic. By feeding the good bacteria in the gut fiber found in apples can help us with the weight loss process, it can help lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, which in turn means it is a guard against heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Vitamin Power

Apples are rich in vitamins among which Vitamin C, a vitamin well known for its anti-infectious power; B-complex vitamins that include riboflavin (vitamin B2- 0.026 mg), thiamin (vitamin B1 – 0.017 mg), and of course, vitamin B-6 (0.041 mg) crucial for the regulation of red blood cells and the nervous system in general.

The best apple crisp would ideally be made with varieties that have a tart taste (so that you get that contrast we talked about earlier), but you can always use a sweeter variety if you want. In fact, a mix of several different apple cultivars is going to render the best results. Go for Granny Smith (for all the nutrients mentioned above), Empire, and Honey Crisp. And a mix of Rome Beauty and Jonathan apples will be just as tasty.

The Best Apple Crisp Starts Like This

Well, it starts and ends like this, there is not a trick in the (cooking) book that isn’t here J. Regardless of whether you are pressed for time, or are just partial to pies and pastry, preparing an apple crisp is the way to go. And if you follow the bellow-mentioned simple tips your apple crisp will always be the best one anyone’s ever tried!

Always use fresh apples

Even if you do not have your own farm, buying locally will benefit your community, and you can rest assured that they are 100% organic.

Once you get a hold of fresh apples, peel, core, and slice them. If you are the “lazy” type and think you’ll cut corners by simply omitting the peeling part you are very wrong! You should always peel the apples when making an apple crisp, and to make sure they bake at the same rate, cut them in uniform-sized chunks.

apple crisp recipe

Photo credit:thecreativebite.com

Go low on the sugar

Now, go ahead and add some sugar and toss to coat the apples. Please, please do not go overboard with it and use just enough to sweeten the apples (the aroma that the cinnamon gives to this dessert will make up for the lack of sugar). Another thing to do is you use brown sugar, or for an even healthier option, use granulated natural stevia.

Don’t forget the spices

There is hardly a combination that can beat that of cinnamon and apples, but adding nutmeg to the equation has proven to be great, time and time again. Need even more flavor? Feel free to add cloves. The specific aroma these spices release will make your kitchen smell heavenly good

Make your own crisp topping

You can use a granola mix, but making your own topping will be all the more rewarding. Plus, you can add as many ingredients as you please, making the apple crisp even crispier, and to preference, even chewier. For a crispier topping, add chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, or pecans would be great), oat flakes (you can even get vanilla flavored ones) and if you want the later outcome, add raisins or dried cranberries.

The Butter

When preparing the topping yourselves, don’t add the butter with a spoon, rather mix it with the ingredients using your fingertips. As you mix, the topping will start forming grains. Don’t use too much of it, because there is a high chance of the crisp becoming soggy. This, of course, doesn’t mean you should skip the butter altogether or use too little of it, in that case, the crisp will be bland.

Don’t forget the additional toppings

Whether you opt for warm caramel sauce, whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream, this dessert wouldn’t be complete without at least one of these.

apple crisp recipe

Photo credit:therealifedietitians.com

Want to Make the Apple Crisp Ahead?

No worries, you can easily do this, but bear in mind that you can refrigerate a crisp only a day before baking. In order for the apples not to get brown, pour a tiny bit more lemon juice.

Store the apple mixture and the topping separately. Making sure the first is in an air-tight container, whereas the later, in a ziplock bag. Sprinkle the streusel topping (or your homemade one) on top once you are ready to bake the crisp.

Want to Freeze the Apple Crisp?

Say you are one of those people that love to spend a whole day cooking a month’s worth of food, apple crisp is a great recipe suitable for refrigerating. In fact, it can be frozen for up to 3 months. If you decide to do this, make sure the crisp is all cooled down before covering it with a double layer of aluminum foil. Prior to serving it, it is for the best if you thaw overnight in the fridge, then warm it up in a 350°F oven for around 25 minutes, or until heated through.

Apple Crisp Varieties

Although there are quite a lot of desserts that call for apples with sweet toppings, saying that they are apple crisp variants would be too farfetched.  However, we did think these recipes needed an honorable mention.

Apple Crumble

A great dessert best served warm. Apples and cinnamon pair together to give out the best of this easy to prepare dessert.

Apple Brown Betty

Layers of apples made with buttered bread crumbs or crackers, sweetened and topped with a sauce.

Apple Cobbler

This version includes baked apples topped with a pie crust, or baking powder biscuit dough then covered with a topping in clumps. Other names include apple grunt, apple slump, and apple pandowdy.

All of this being said, we believe that you have never tried an apple crisp better than The Oaty Apple Crisp, a memory-jogging dessert that will help you find your own safe place!

 

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I’m in love with food and everything about food! Blogging is my way of celebrating that love and MyGreatRecipes made it all happen. If you, too, are into great food and interesting reads, you will enjoy reading my posts!
Beef Stroganoff – 8 Amazing Recipes and Cooking Tips

Beef Stroganoff – 8 Amazing Recipes and Cooking Tips

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.

beef stroganoff recipes

Photo credit:pillsburry.com

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!

beef stroganoff recipes

Photo credit:sortedfood.com

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.

beef stroganoff recipes

Photo credit:campbellsoupcompany.com

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

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.

Chicken Stroganoff

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.

beef stroganoff recipes

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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Taco Stroganoff      

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!

Tofu Stroganoff

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!

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!
Easy and Creamy Homemade Coleslaw Salad

Easy and Creamy Homemade Coleslaw Salad

A classic coleslaw recipe is quite simple – it features only three ingredients (green cabbage, carrots, and dressing) and is very simple to make. Its simple crunchy creaminess pairs beautifully with rich BBQ meats and for that reason, coleslaw is a regular attendee at backyard parties and get-togethers.

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And yet, the final result is oftentimes soggy instead of creamy salad. Ruining the only salad that pairs well with pretty much every type of dish you make isn’t fun. So, what can you do to prevent this?  Read on to learn all the basics & tricks related to coleslaw.

Coleslaw Basics

Veggies

Standard coleslaw is made with only two simple veggies – green cabbage and carrots. However, if you want to fancy it up with additional color, you can include purple cabbage, as well as some grated celery. Braver cooks even add bell peppers to their coleslaw recipes! Bottom line is anything fresh and crunchy works good in coleslaw.

Dressing

What makes this salad special is the creamy dressing. Without it, coleslaw would be a bunch of chopped and grated veggies without any special purpose.

There are three different classic dressings that will allow you to never get bored of this salad: buttermilk, mayonnaise, and sour cream dressing. What all these dressings have in common is their tangy flavor which is achieved with the addition of vinegar (usually cider or white vinegar). However, to balance the vinegar’s tanginess, a small amount of sugar and salt is also added.

Again, these are the classic choices and other flavoring ingredients can be added to taste. Some examples include onion, garlic, and mustard.

coleslaw recipe

Coleslaw Tips and Tricks

The longer you let the salad sit, the soggier it gets! This is the golden rule for coleslaw. One option is to eat the salad right after it is prepared; that’s when it is creamiest and crunchiest. Do not leave it in the fridge overnight. The cabbage releases liquid which makes coleslaw very soggy.

Ideally, to make the most of your slaw, refrigerate it for about an hour before serving. This will allow the flavors to set and blend together.

If you really must make the salad ahead, grate and chop the veggies but don’t add the dressing. Instead, compose the dressing and store in the refrigerator, in a jar or a small plastic container, with the lid on, and add it just before serving.

Salting the cabbage helps as well – it aids the veggie to stay crunchy for a longer time. Just add a tablespoon of salt and let the cabbage sit for about an hour. Then, using your hands, squeeze as much liquid as you can. Thus prepared, the salad will keep for several days in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, remove the slaw from the fridge and add some reserved dressing or, if you don’t have some, a tablespoon of mayonnaise to make it creamier.

coleslaw recipe

Credit:couponclippingcook.com

Coleslaw Step by Step Instructions

A standard coleslaw is made with the following ingredients:

2 lb. cabbage

3 cups shredded carrots

1 1/4 cup dressing of choice

To make the dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise (or ½ sour cream + ½ cup mayonnaise; ½ buttermilk + ½ cup mayonnaise)

1/4 cup white vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Shred the vegetables

Start with the cabbage. It is best if you have a large grater, but if you don’t, you will need a large knife and/or a food processor. Cut the cabbage in half and remove the outer layers. Then, cut the halves into quarters and remove the core in the center. At this point, you can proceed using the knife to slice the quarters into thin shreds or place the quarters in a or food processor using the shredding blade. Once you’re done, transfer the shredded cabbage to a large mixing bowl.

The same goes for the carrots. Once you peel them, you can either use a knife to cut them into very thin pieces or use the food processor. Then, add the carrots to the mixing bowl with the cabbage and toss the two veggies together.

coleslaw recipe

Credit:wonkywonderful.com

Prepare the dressing

To prepare the dressing, all you need to do is add all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk them until uniform. You can adjust the amount of vinegar, salt, and sugar to taste.

Compose the slaw

Pour the prepared dressing over the shredded vegetables. Toss gently until all vegetable sherds are uniformly coated.

Fantastic Coleslaw Recipes

Why stop at the classic coleslaw recipe when you can make the salad truly outstanding by adding less-then-usual ingredients? Think broccoli, turkey, pineapple juice, nuts, and more!

Broccoli Slaw

Crisp broccoli is accented with red bell pepper, crunchy noodles and a toasted sesame dressing in this fast and easy salad. For an intriguing flavor combo and a colorful presentation, cut a cantaloupe or honeydew melon into slices. Cut out the seeds in the middle of each slice and place each slice on a serving plate. Place a scoop of broccoli slaw at the center of each slice.

Ultimate Turkey Coleslaw

This recipe is perfect for enjoying on the deck when it’s a warm, sunny day. Toss it together, pour some lemonade, sit down and relax! Turn this recipe into a Cobb salad variation by using a blue cheese salad dressing instead of the oil and vinegar mixture.

coleslaw recipe

Credit:paleoholic.com

Favorite Coleslaw

This fast and fresh slaw, flavored with pineapple and mustard, is the perfect accompaniment for a hearty sandwich. For extra flvor,  substitute 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple for the pineapple juice and add 1/4 cup honey roasted sliced almonds just before serving.

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Colorful Coleslaw

No family picnic can go without this zesty slaw. Note: If you don’t have the time to shred cabbage, there are several types of pre-shredded packaged cabbage and coleslaw mixes available in the produce section of your local grocery store.

 

 

 

I’m in love with food and everything about food! Blogging is my way of celebrating that love and MyGreatRecipes made it all happen. If you, too, are into great food and interesting reads, you will enjoy reading my posts!

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