Saturday, May 29, 2010

how to cut a watermelon

Watermelon is one of the most refreshing and 'cool' fruits of the summer season. With approximately 92% water content, this juicy and thirst-quenching fruit is a favorite of all dieticians and health conscious people. Moreover, the fruit is rich in potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C and hence, is highly beneficial for health. As summer approaches, we all eye this delicious delicacy of nature. However, to enjoy this great low-calorie sweet treat, the first task would be to crack it open. Though there are sliced watermelons available in the market, buying a whole one would serve as the best option. The latter is fresher and sweeter, when compared to the ones that are available in chunks. Cutting a watermelon can be quite a challenging task, unless you are aware of the best way of doing the same. In the following lines, we have provided information on how to cut a watermelon, easily and safely.
Cutting A Watermelon

Serrated knife

The first step would be to rinse the watermelon with a mild soap. This is necessary, as the dirt outside may come in contact with the watermelon flesh, when it is cut. Using the serrated knife, chop off both the ends of the watermelon.

Now, position the knife at one of the ends and slice it through the center. Make sure that you cut along the dark stripes on the outside of the watermelon. This would help you remove the seeds later, as they would end up on the outside of the pieces of watermelon.

Now, cut each half of the watermelon further into sections. Holding the small section in one hand, slice off the watermelon flesh from the rind.

Once you have sliced off the watermelon flesh, cut the big piece into even smaller sections.

Place each of the small sections into a bowl. Your healthy, refreshing treat is ready to be eaten!

Cutting A Watermelon Into Wedges
Serrated knife

Rinse watermelon with soap, to get rid of harmful foreign materials and pat it dry. Cut the watermelon in two equal halves, lengthwise and then further cut down the halves, lengthwise.

Use fork to remove seeds, if you want to and then slice the pieces horizontally, into equal wedges.

If you want to remove the rind, do so by inserting the knife between rind and flesh, to get it away. Your delicious watermelon is ready to eat.

Cutting A Watermelon Into Cubes

Serrated knife
Chopping Board

Wash the watermelon using mild soap and pat it dry. Now, cut the watermelon from both ends and let it stand on one end on the chopping board, so that it does not shake while you are cutting it. Remove the rind from the watermelon, by slicing it out and further cut it into two halves.

Now, cut one of the half into 3-4 pieces, like sliced bread and lay it on the board, to further chop it into 1-2 inch slices.

Cut the pieces in opposite direction, to slice them into cubes. Repeat the process with the other half as well. Your fruit is ready enjoy!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

coca cola baby back ribs

1 cup Coca-Cola Classic
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 cup of your favorite bbq sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray's)
1/4 cup Mango Peach hot sauce
2 racks baby back ribs
coarse sea salt and coarse black pepper

To make the glaze, in a small saucepan, bring the Coca-Cola, vinegar, brown sugar, and red chile flakes to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until syrupy, about 45 minutes. Whisk in bbq sauce. Decrease the heat to low and keep the sauce warm while the ribs cook. Preheat your grill to low. Liberally season both sides of the ribs with coarse sea salt and coarse black pepper. Place the ribs on grill and glaze top with sauce and grill for 15 minutes. Turn ribs over and glaze. Continue to flip and glaze every 15 minutes on low for 1.5 hours or until the ribs are tender and the meat is starting to pull away from the bone. If they start to blacken move to second rack. When the ribs are cooked through remove from grill, cut and coat with remaining glaze. Serve immediately with lots and lots of napkins!! Enjoy!!

baby back ribs 101

Baby back ribs are the filet mignon of pork ribs. The trick is find baby back ribs that have not had the meat on top of the ribs trimmed off by a butcher. The best place to find good baby backs is at the large warehouse stores like Costco and at meat wholesalers. Baby back ribs also know as loin back ribs.

Just as beef filet mignon does not have a lot of flavor, pork back ribs do not a lot of flavor. To get the most out of them a marinade is a really good idea and mopping also helps.

Prep is much simpler than for spare ribs. Remove the outer membrane as detail above and your done. Then you can get on to the marinade, mustard, rubs and mops. One very successful method of cooking baby back ribs is 2-2-1. The times are approximate. Lower weight or higher cooking temperatures will shorten the time required. Two hours at 225ºf to 275ºf with smoke to form a nice crust and get the smoke into the ribs. Two hours in foil to tenderize the ribs. One hour to firm up the crust. Add BBQ sauce at the very end of the final hour.

grilling 101

Gas Grilling

Gas-fired grilling has the clear benefit of being extremely convenient. Simply turn a knob, and say hello to your highly adjustable heat source. Gas grills are fueled by liquid propane stored in refillable tanks.

Gas grilling is clean and quick. There's no messing with briquettes, no stacking, no lighting, no smelly starter fluid and no waiting around for the coals to glow. And once dinner is over, there's no ashy mess to clean up. Return the switch to off, rub a metal brush over the grate and clean-up time is over.

On the technical side, gas burns clean, but it doesn't impart much flavor to grilled foods.

Charcoal Grilling

Charcoal grilling might not offer the same level of convenience as gas, but it does boast one benefit that stands out above all others: smoke flavor. The dry, white-hot heat of charcoal sears meat quickly, creating a crusty, caramelized exterior and smoky flavor.

Of course, charcoal grilling requires more time and attention than gas, from building and lighting the briquettes to waiting for the coals to get hot to managing the flame. Since you can't dial down the heat of white-hot coals, it's a good strategy to leave empty spaces on the lower grill grate (areas without briquettes). These cool spaces allow for better control, letting you sear food first over the hot spots before transferring it to cooler parts to finish cooking.

Charcoal grills are also less expensive than gas grills, though the cost of charcoal will add up over the years. Charcoal is also more portable than gas grills. A bag of charcoal can easily be chucked into the car and taken to the park or beach.

And let's face it--charcoal also involves an enticing element of danger. Playing with fire is fun. (Of course, this can be a plus or minus, depending on who's behind the flame.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

veggie pizza

a fresh twist on a classic favorite

2 (8 ounce) cans Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or refrigerated flaky dough sheet
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
veggies... broccoli florets, green onion, olives, cucumber, cherry tomato, shredded carrot, green, yellow and red peppers

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. If using crescent rolls: Unroll both cans of dough; separate dough into 4 long rectangles. If using dough sheets: Unroll both cans of dough. In ungreased 15x10x1-inch pan, place dough; press in bottom and up sides to form crust. Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. In small bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream, dill and garlic powder until smooth. Spread over crust. Top with your choice of veggies. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours before serving.

fruit pizza


1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
fruit in season...blueberries, strawberries, bananas, kiwi, peaches, mandrin oranges, raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth. Mix in egg. combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Press dough into an ungreased pizza pan. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until light. Spread on cooled crust. Arrange desired fruit on top of filling, and chill. Enjoy!!

vanilla fruit salad

A quick and yummy addition to any summer party!!

2 20 ounce cans unsweetened pineapple chunks
2 3 ounce packages vanilla pudding
2 1/2 cups orange juice
1 small cantaloupe, cubed
3 1/2 cups cubed honeydew
2 cups fresh strawberries, halved
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups seedless green grapes
2 medium firm bananas, sliced

Drain pineapple reserving 1 cup juice, set pineapple aside. In a large saucepan, combine the pudding mix, pineapple juice and orange juice. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from the heat; cool. In a large bowl, combine the pineapple, melon, berries, grapes and bananas. Drizzle with pudding mixture. Refrigerate until serving. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

rootbeer baked beans

Perfect for summer barbeque's!!
4 bacon slices
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 8-ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained
2 16-ounce cans pork and beans
1/2 cup old fashioned root beer don't use diet
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp; remove and drain on paper towels, save 3 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon. Sauté diced onion and green pepper in hot bacon drippings in skillet over med high heat until tender. Stir together onion, crumbled bacon, beans, and remaining ingredients in a lightly greased 1-quart baking dish. Bake beans, uncovered, at 400° for 55 minutes or until sauce is thickened.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

easy chicken salad


4 chicken boneless breasts, cooked and chopped into bit size pieces
1/4 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1/4 cup candied walnuts
1/4 cup of minced red onion
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 tbsp Mayonnaise not Miracle Whip
salt and white pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Enjoy on mixed greens or on a croissant!

avocado corn salad


1 cup fresh salt and pepper corn, cut of the cob
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 dash red pepper flakes
1 avocado
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 medium red bell pepper
2 tablespoons minced red onions
salt and pepper to taste


In a large skillet, add corn, oil, water, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Over medium heat, cook, covered, for 5 minutes or until the corn is tender. Uncover and continue to cook for a few minutes to evaporate the excess moisture. Set skillet aside to cool. Slice the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Peel the avocado and chop into 1/2 inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Add in the lime juice and stir. Chop the bell pepper into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the bowl. Add the red onion and cooked corn; stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or cover and chill for 30 minutes.

broccoli salad

summer salad time :)

2 medium head broccoli, cut into individule floretes
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 cup rasins
20 peicec thick cut bacon, cooked and crumbled

mix together:

1 cup mayo
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
2 Tabblespoons sugar

toss everything together and chill for 1 hour, enjoy!!