A Twist on Macaroni and Cheese

Today’ s overcast and a great day for some comfort food! I, like most Americans, enjoy a good meal of feel good comfort food on cloudy, overcast days- Today is a fine example! Mac and cheese was one of my first inspirations, a go-to comfort food, for me and my family. There are so many different variations that can make your cooking preparation and imagination go wild with interesting, healthy or exotic vegetable and spice combinations.

As I awoke this morning, I glanced into the ice box, pantry and noticed a brightly orange and blue decorated box of mac and cheese. The brightly colored box caught my eye as did two t-bone steaks, I also made it a point to take stock of the fresh and frozen herbs and vegetables, available for a quick and easy weekend dinner. Sometimes I buy packaged products and make a different variation to appease the taste of everyone in my home, and modifying according to their taste and mine.

First, the t-bone steaks, I defrosted in the refrigerator the evening before, so after morning coffee, I am ready to marinade and return to the ice box.

Drizzle olive oil on both sides and season with salt and fresh ground pepper from a pepper grinder; sprinkle with paprika, fresh grated garlic, three cloves for both steaks, fennel springs, if unavailable, fresh parsley, cleaned and chopped, fresh minced ginger, or ground ginger and paprika- let sit and marinade until ready to reach your heat source.

Macaroni and Mozzarella cheese: In a stock pot add vegetable bouillon, replacing water for stock water, boiling and seasoning, as needed. *I always use low-sodium stock, or add sea salt, perform a taste test of the water to achieve desired taste. I add chopped, fresh green, yellow or red bell peppers, sometimes all 3 of these if available, and boil for 3 to 5 minutes prior- before adding pasta to the water, after boiling all to completion, 2 minutes before the pasta is Al dente, add fresh-frozen peas, checking again for salt and finally checking for all ingredients to be cooked to satisfaction.

Drain, do not rinse, separating your pasta, and adding a tablespoon of vinegar immediately to hot pasta, season with fresh springs of parsley leaves, a few chopped and pitted black olives of your choice, *I prefer three to four black Mediterranean olives black, purple, yellow or green olives, if available. Next I blend my pasta with a little bit of saffron threads, for even more color, blend with vegetables;adding salt if needed.

To cut down on salt, I may boil the olives in a small sauce pan filled with water,on the side to reduce the salt, though usually you only need to do that while adding cured olives to stews that are pressure cooked. Lastly, season with a teaspoon of oregano and half a teaspoon of smoky cumin. Garnish the recipe with small chunks of Mozzarella cheese, or sharp cheddar cheese for added creamy flavor, add olive oil, maybe a few teaspoons, stir and let set in the refrigerator to marinade..

A small side salad of peeled, chopped Red Ugly tomatoes, my favorite, or Roma tomatoes, half a chopped red onion, chopped parsley, chopped green peppers, three to four chopped Spanish olives, one to two teaspoons of equal parts extra-virgin olive oil and red, wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a few pieces of red or green bell pepper slices for color and parsley sprigs.

*Finish with apples ready to be sliced after dinner; served with a side of local honey to aid with allergy relief!

Dinner is prepared, when dinner time arrives is to let t-bones rest to room temperature for a few minutes before grilling the steaks and while grilling; make the fresh small side salad and chop apple slices. Bon appetit!

3 Easy Low Carb Recipes You Should Try

Food is known to be the main cause of obesity. Due to this, weight conscious people are very careful about the food that they eat. If you are one of these people, and you love cooking, here are some of the best low carbohydrate recipes that you should go with. The cool thing about the recipes is that you will not only be in control of the amount of calories that you get into your body, you also get to prepare the food at the comfort of your home. The most popular low carb recipes include:

Swedish breakfast buns

When many people hear of buns they think of the sugar stuffed monsters but this isn’t the case with these buns. To prepare the buns you need:

· ½ tsp salt

· 2 eggs

· ½ cup sour cream

· ¾ cup of almond flour

· 2 tbsp baking powder

· 1 tbsp sunflower seeds

· 1 tbsp whole flax seeds

· 2 tbsp olive oil

To prepare the buns you need to preheat your oven to 400 degrees and then mix almond flour, baking powder, salt, psyllium, and seeds in a bowl. You should then add sour cream, olive oil, eggs and mix them carefully. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes and then cut the dough into 4 pieces. Shape the pieces into balls and put them in a cake pan and bake them for 20-25 minutes until they have formed a brown color. Once they are done serve with your favorite beverage.

Eggs and vegetables fried in coconut oil

This food is not only healthy, it’s also easy to make. It also keeps you full the entire day thus you don’t have to keep on snacking every now and then. To prepare it you need: frozen vegetable mix, (cauliflower, green bean, carrots, and broccoli), coconut oil, spinach, and spices. You should add coconut oil to the frying pan and turn up the heat. You should then add vegetables, eggs, and spices. If you want, you can add spinach but you don’t have to. Once everything is in the pan, stir until it gets ready.

Shrimp and avocado salad

If you have been looking to lose weight you know that salads are of great importance. To prepare this salad you need:

· ½ cup of fresh chopped cilantro

· 1/8 tsp of fresh cracked pepper

· 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

· 3 tbsp fresh lime juice

· Pinch of salt

· 2 ripe avocados

· 4 cups of baby greens or lettuce

· 1 lb of cooked shrimp. The shrimp should be deveined and tail removed

You should pour the cilantro dressing over the shrimp and stir to coat. After this cover the shrimp and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. You should then wash and dry the lettuce and divide among plates. Thereafter cut avocado into bite-size wedges then top with marinated shrimp and leftover dressing.


You don’t have to gather weight from eating as there are plenty of low carb foods that you can go for. All you need to do is choose the one that is right and easy for you to prepare.

Guide To Deep Fryers

A deep fryer is an important appliance in your home or business. You can use the appliance in preparing different types of foods including: vegetables, meat, cheese and even bread:

Types of deep fryers

There are many types of deep fryers in the market that you can go for. The most common being:

Electric fryers: They are the most common in the market and are loved by many people as you can safely use them indoors. Their main flaw is that they come in small models. This limits you on the amount of food that you can prepare. For example, you can’t fry a large turkey. If you are looking to prepare large amounts of foods, you have to go for a large model that is usually expensive.

Propane fryer: The propane one are known to produce foods that are crispier and tastier. The oil also tends to heat up faster than the other deep fryers; therefore, you take a shorter time to prepare your food. While the units are great, their main flaw is that they operate on gas; therefore, they are risky to use indoors. The situation is even riskier if you have children in the house. To avoid accidents, it’s recommended that you use them outdoors.

Air fryer: This unit uses a technology that heats food within it from all sides resulting in food that is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. While the food is tasty and different from that made by other units, the food is healthy. The unit is also safe thus you don’t have to worry about accidents as it’s the case with propane deep fryers. Many people have also reported that the units are easier to clean compared to other units.

Factors to consider when buying deep fryers

For you to buy the right unit you need to consider a number of factors that include:

Number of frying baskets: Cheap and small fryers have only one basket. There are also some larger units that have one basket but most of them have multiple baskets. Multiple baskets allow you to fry different types of foods at the same time. For example, you are able to fry French fries and chicken side by side without worrying about them sticking together. If you love cooking and preparing different types of foods at the same time, you should go for units with multiple fryer baskets.

Safety: You can easily burn yourself when using a deep fryer; therefore, you should go for a unit that is safe to use. As rule of thumb, go for a unit with a lid that prevents oil from splashing on you. The unit should also have an automatic shutoff feature that comes into play when the oil temperature reaches an unsafe temperature.


This is what you need to know about deep fryers. When buying them always ensure that you buy from a reputable store.

The Difference Between Sunflower Oil and Soya Oil

There is quite a variety of cooking oils available that are suitable for different applications as well as for certain dietary requirements. Generally, most people tend to use sunflower oil for their daily cooking needs whereas there are others that use soya oil. But what is the difference between sunflower and soya oil?

Sunflower Oil.

Pure sunflower oil is the most popular one. As the name implies, it is made from sunflowers, or more specifically from the sunflower seeds. It is triple refined to ensure its purity. It is golden yellow in colour and has no objectionable odour when it is heated to 180 degrees Celsius. It is used in various cooking applications such as frying, cooking, baking, roasting and for use in salads. This cooking ingredient is high in polyunsaturated fats yet it is low in saturated fats. It is also, surprisingly, low in cholesterol. Sunflower oil contains antioxidants that enhance its lifespan thus it can be stored for up to 24 months in a sealed container. It also contains antifoam which prevents excessive foaming during cooking. Overall it is a healthy oil provided that it is consumed in moderate quantities therefore it is suitable for most people. In addition, used sunflower oil is recycled to become the main component in the manufacturing of alternative fuels such as biodiesel.

Soya Oil.

Soya oil is made from the extracted seeds of soya beans. It is usually considered to be a healthier alternative for individuals who have certain dietary restrictions and is one of the most popular cooking oils. It is also sometimes considered to be a vegetable oil and is used often in the preparation of processed foods. It can be used mainly for frying and baking applications as well as a condiment for salads. The soya version differs to its sunflower cousin in its texture and drying ability. It will solidify or harden when it is exposed to air for a long period of time. In certain industries, soya oil can be used in the manufacturing of certain printing inks.

Cook Like Jamie Oliver

“Cooking is one of the oldest arts and one which has rendered us the most important service in civic life.” – Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)

This quote itself suggests a reason why one should learn to cook. People who never learn to cook are missing a great opportunity to learn one of the most valuable skills. Cooking is an important skill that everyone should acquire. The time spent on learning how to cook will absolutely not go to waste. And cooking is not as hard as you think. It can be so entertaining to master the culinary arts. Learning to cook is totally worth trying!

1. Self-reliant

Why depend on other people when you can cook a sumptuous meal on your own? No matter where you go, you have the freedom of cooking whenever and however you want. Learning how to cook is especially useful if you have certain diet restriction as you can be in control of all the ingredients that you use.

2. Convenience and taste

Getting hungry in the wee hours? You have the convenience of cooking a quick and healthy meal to satisfy your hunger at any point of time. Best of all, you have full control of the taste and you can adjust it to your liking.

3. Helps with weight management

Going on a diet means strict control on the choice of foods. It is easier to manage your caloric intake if you have control over the ingredients for your meal, which is hard to achieve when eating out. Cut down on unnecessary oil and salt for a healthier meal.

4. Sense of satisfaction

Cooking for yourself and your loved ones can bring about great sense of satisfaction. Add a bit of garnishing and snap a gorgeous photo for your Instagram will certainly gather a lot of great comments from your friends.

5. Saves money

Eating out can be expensive and it will most likely be cheaper if you do-it-yourself. Choose the ingredients based on your budget and you will be surprise that it may even taste better the same dish served in your local restaurants.

6. Fun

Who say cooking is boring? The process of cooking can be more enjoyable than you think. Cook with your friends or your loved ones and it will definitely leave behind great memories. There can also be lots of funny moments if one of your friends is an amateur cook!

7. Impress your date

There is no better way to impress your date than to cook a romantic and delicious dinner. Cooking something they love shows you know them and what they like, and making it yourself shows you care enough to put in effort to make them happy