“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.
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 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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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!
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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!
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.
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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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.