Table Cloth to Decerate Your Kithen Better

January 15th, 2009

A tablecloth dresses up a table for special occasions and also protects a table from spills and messes. Tablecloths are fairly inexpensive and are found in an abundance of colors and designs, yet finding quality cloths that match your decor can be a costly business in terms of both time and money. When choosing table cloth you need consider color, size, fabric, and design.

First, set up a budget.

The amount you are willing to spend will influence the type of tablecloth you will buy. A higher budget will allow you to purchase an elegant, durable linen tablecloth that looks great for a formal lunch or dinner. A medium-budget tablecloth will usually be more usable, and may come in polyester, which allows for easy cleaning and washing while retaining the look of a pure linen. A low-budget or everyday-use tablecloth such as vinyl, or printed or plain damask is good if you don’t want the kids to ruin your glass table. Vinyl tablecloths are however easier to break, they are 100% machine made, and any tear in the vinyl material will only get bigger and bigger so watch out! Polyesters on the other hand are gaining in popularity.

 

When choosing a fabric tablecloth, select one that matches the style of your kitchen or dining room in both color and style. A formal dining room should have a formal tablecloth. You can choose a delicate white linen look or you might choose dark, rich colors and patterns. In you want to pick one table cloth for your dining table in the garden, then please take care of its colors to be coordinate with the surroundings.

 

Remember to pay attention to the size of the tablecloth when you buy it. There are four basic tablecloth shapes: Oblong(Rectangle), Oval, Round and Square. There are also various sizes of these shapes and many tablecloths styles to fit them. Round tablecloths are generally either 60 inch (152.4 cm) or 70 inch (177.8 cm) in diameter. They work well on round tables, but will not fit an oval or square table properly.

A nice table cloth will definitely promote your appetite and at most times, they are a very important decoration in your kitchen or outdoor dinning table. Be careful when choosing colors.

 

Try Magic Clay Pot Cooking Style

January 15th, 2009

Clay Pot is an old but classic Chinese cookware that has passed down through generations. The material and technology has improved slightly and the basic cookware techniques haven’t changed and the charm of this clay pot stays the same. If you want to taste and even make some of the authentic Chinese cuisine, clay pot is an necessary kitchen tools you must bring home.  

 

In clay pot cooking, poultry or meat is combined with a little liquid, vegetables, and seasonings to produce the tenderness of a braise with the finish of roasting. Most of the cooking is done with the cover in place, but when the food is nearly finished, the cover can come off to get a golden brown finish. Bread baked in a clay pot produces a crispy crust with a tender, moist interior. Some clay bread bakers are similar to metal or glass loaf pans but others come with a cover.

 

Clay pots are incredible for slow-cooked meals. Because wet clay doesn’t get as hot as metal, the pot helps you keep your braise down at a low simmer, which makes the texture of the food more luscious in the end. On the other hand, the heavy clay holds heat very well, and you may find yourself turning the heat down in order to keep the contents cooking as slowly as you like.

Because clay is porous, you should avoid using soap when cleaning your clay pots. This also allows them to become seasoned through repeated use, and some people claim that food cooked in an older, well-seasoned clay pot tastes noticably better than food cooked in a newer vessel. None of my clay pots are really old enough for me to test this proposition yet, but I’ll be sure to give you an update in a few years.

 

What to Cook in Clay Pots

Because food is cooked at high temperatures and with steam, some types of dishes are particularly well suited to clay pot cooking.

·                    Vegetable ragouts and ratatouille

·                    Baked potatoes

·                    Whole chickens, Cornish hens, and ducks, along with vegetables

·                    Meatloaf

·                    Baked ziti or lasagna

·                    Stews and casseroles

·                    Baked cheese, such as feta, with olives and fresh oregano

·                    Bread puddings

·                    Fruit cobblers

·                    Whole grain breads

The History of Tofu in China

November 3rd, 2008

ofu, also known as soybean curd, is a soft, cheese-like food made by curdling fresh hot soymilk with a coagulant. Traditionally, the curdling agent used to make tofu is nigari, a compound found in natural ocean water, or calcium sulfate, a naturally occurring mineral. Curds also can be produced by acidic foods like lemon juice or vinegar. The curds then are generally pressed into a solid block.

Soft Tofu vs. Firm Tofu

Tofu breaks down into two main types: soft and firm.

  • Soft tofu: Has a soft creamy texture and is easily liquefied in the blender, can be used in place of sour cream, yogurt, and soft cheeses such as cottage cheese, ricotta, or cream cheese. It can also be prepared in the same way as scrambled eggs or used as a sandwich spread.
  • Firm tofu: Has a tougher spongelike texture. It cooks in a matter of minutes and can be sautéed, braised, simmered, fried, or grilled. It can also be made into a paste for use as a dip or spread. Firm tofu keeps its shape better and is easier to slice and cut into cubes than soft tofu, which is more easily crumbled and mashed.

Tofu has very little flavor or smell on its own. As such, tofu can be prepared either in savoury or sweet dishes, acting as a canvas for presenting the flavours of the other ingredients used.

Chinese People Now Drinks Soymilk

November 3rd, 2008

Soy foods are also dairy-free and are ideal for people with lactose intolerance and milk allergies. Soy foods are great for the dietary treatment of diabetes because soybeans have a low glycemic index and are cholesterol free (heart disease is a diabetic related condition). Soy foods can be used as a protein source in vegetarian diets because they contain the necessary amount of essential amino acids for tissue repair and growth.

But, it’s clearly to see that people’s enthusiasm with milk has declinded tremendously. In fact, as Chinese people, we have a better alternative, which is “soymilk“. Now the old soymilk are enjoying unprecedented popularity in China. Sales of soy milk makers have actually been booming in the past two years as more and more people have been switching to homemade fresh soy milk.

I absolutely LOVE soy milk. I am not vegan but I just think that cows milk is gross..so many hormones in it (unless you get the organic kind..but really, who knows how credible that is..)I think that soy milk is just healthier.Also, here’s something to think about:we are the only animals that drink another animals milk. I know that there have been cases where cats will drink a dog’s milk or vice versa but consider that it is the result of human interventio.

I swear by Silk Soymilk. Check it out! It comes in a few varities and is so yummy! (I even turned my omnivorous boyfriend onto it, as well as some other soy products :)  

MaPo ToFu from Sichuan

October 15th, 2008

Tofu is a kind of healthy food and a classic food elements that often used in chinese dishes. Foreigners may not eat Tofu very often, but when they got the chance to try Mapo Toufu once, they will never forget the delicious feeling.

Mapo Tofu is a popular chinese dish. Tofu, also called doufu or bean curd , is a food of Chinese origin, made by coagulating.

True Mapo doufu is powerfully spicy with both conventional “heat” spiciness and the characteristic “ma-la” spiciness of Szechuan cuisine. The authentic form of the dish is increasingly easier to find outside China today, but usually in Szechuanese restaurants that do not adapt the dish for non-Szechuanese tastes.
 

How to cook Mapo Tofu

Bring a small saucepan of water to boil

  • Blanch cubes tofu for about 4 mins
  • Rinse and drain tofu
  • Heat oil in wok and stir fry garlic and chilli for about 1 min
  • Add broad bean paste and stir fry until aromatic, about 1 more min, then stir in preserved Chinese vegetables
  • Pour in wine, add chicken or vegetable stock, soy sauce, sugar & pepper, then mix to combine
  • Add tofu and capsicum, stiring carefully, then simmer over low heat for 2 mins
  • Add cornstarch mixture then stir gently until sauce thickens
  • Sprinkle with sesame oil and serve hot, garnished with chopped scallions
  • While this recipe calls for stir-frying the ingredients, in restaurants Mapo Tofu is frequently cooked with more oil (about ½ cup) and ground chilies are added - this ensures the dish is served with a layer of red hot chili oil floating on top. Feel free to adjust the recipe as desired, using more oil and adding the ground chilies with the Chinese black beans. You can also substitute ground beef for the pork if desired.

    Distinctive Features of Chinese Cooking

    October 14th, 2008

    Sometimes, a Chinese crusine is more than just delicious food, it combines the cultures inside and enjoys many distinctivel features that surprise the westerners.

    Food concerning regional matter

    China is a vast country and it is therefore no surprise that there are many regional variations in Chinese cuisine. Chinese cooking are usually broken down into five styles of regional cuisines: Peking and the north, the Yangtze River and the east, Szechuan in the west, Fukien and the southern coast, and Canton and the south.  

    It combines food with medicine

    The cooking techniques of our country are closely related to Chinese medical treatment and health care. We believe that food and traditional medicine have the same origin and actions. We can take advantage of the medicinal properties of the raw materials and turn them into all kinds of food, thereby accomplishing the purpose of preventing and curing certain diseases.

    It pays attention to temperament and interest

    The cooking of our country has placed an emphasis on taste and interest since very early time. It not only has strict requirements on the color, fragrance and flavor of meals and snacks, but also has certain requirements for the naming of dishes, the manner of tasting the flavor, the rhythm of having dinner and the insertion of entertainment. The names of Chinese dishes can be called reaching for perfection and suiting both refined and popular tastes.

     Let’s just name a few, to discover more interesting cooking art and styles, please stayed tuned and pay attention to my blog often.

    Chinese Tea and Chinese Wine

    October 14th, 2008

    The Chinese wine is different from wine of Occident, the wine of Occident was made by the fruit; Chinese wine was made by the grain. The Chinese wine is known as Chinese liquor too. For the most part, grains were used to ferment wine throughout China in ancient times. Thus, whether or not the grain harvest was bountiful became a criterion by which successive governments decided whether to lift their ban on wine making or how heavy a wine tax to levy. Over the ages, wine gradually became directly linked to the daily life and tax burden of the people.

    In China History, Chinese can express the miss, commemorate, cherish the memory, the friendship, etc. emotions through the wine. The wine makes the atmosphere warm, enable relax in the heart, make the distance between people and people close, has promoted mutual understanding. So the wine is the articles expressing the emotion in China.

    Not only the Chinese wine have refined names in the beverage, Chinese Tea is more graceful than the Chinese wine, but Chinease tea can’t replace the status of wine, not merely because the Chinese wine is elegant, Chinese tea is fresh and cool, also because the Chinese wine is lively, Chinese tea is exclusiveness.

    Chinese tea and Chinese wine is a pair of good friends. The person who the drink tea might not drink wine, the person drinking will certainly drink tea. As a kind of food culture, Chinese wine has already blent into the old civilization of Chinese nation; as the necessities of the Chinese people’s lives, Chinese wine has already blent into the blood of social life. 

    Chinese Tea  is the Chinese drink of drinks. Tea is a symbol of earthly purity. It’s reparation calls for the most fastidious cleanliness from the time of picking and drying of the leaves to the final infusion and drinking. Tea is easily spoilt by the slightest contamination of oily hand or cups, or scent. It must therefore be kept away from scent of any kind. It has been pointed out that tea resembles the recluse and is for quit company. It can only be enjoyed in an atmosphere where there is no ostentation or suggestion of luxury.

    It is said that wine can be enjoyed with sing-song girls, but not tea.For more than a thousand years tea drinking has given the greatest pleasure in Chinese life. it is for more than just quenching of thirst. It is for relaxation in quiet company. With children or babies crying or people quarreling it would be impossible to enjoy the tea. The atmosphere for drinking should be such that it leads to quiet contemplation and to the realms of the immortals. this is exactly what a scholar of the seventh century A.D. said. He wrote about his tea drinking pleasure.

    Tools and Techniques of BBQ

    August 11th, 2008

    Between the relaxed atmosphere and great food, there’s virtually no downside to barbecuing. 

    The ultimate grill tool - a BBQ basket

    BBQ baskets come in all shapes and sizes (the one above is designed for a fish) so I’m sure you’ll end up buying a few in your barbecuing life so to start you off here’s just a couple of pointers to get you going:-Make sure there’s a long handle preferably encapsulated in plastic (so you don’t burn your hands) Consider plastic handles rather than wood if dish washing is your preferred method of cleaning To prevent food sticking, brush the BBQ basket with a little oil before putting the food in. TIP - If your basket has hinge rings (they don’t stand much pressure) strengthen the joint using a couple of key rings. This is essential when doing the spatchcock chicken, if you don’t the rack will just ping apart.So there you have it, the ultimate grill tool - a BBQ basket. 

    Learn the BBQ techniques in advance 

    So enjoy your Happy Summer Time with Barbecue The nice thing about using a barbecue, whether it’s a gas grill or charcoal grill, is that the techniques used are pretty universal when it comes to cooking your food. Do be aware that different grills will cook differently so there may a learning curve of just getting used to a grill when you first start out. There is a plethora of information and references out there for first time barbecuer. You can buy hardbound books filled with recipes and tips, or download digital e-books that contain the same, or even search the Internet for tons of free recipes and advice on all things barbecue. With any of these resources you can become a seasoned grill master in a relatively short time.

    Choose the suitable Grills

    Everyone who barbecues has their own opinion on what type of barbecue is best. The traditional charcoal barbecue grill and the more modern barbecue gas grill are the two best selling types of grill today. Aficionados of the charcoal grill continually espouse the classic smoky barbecue taste that a charcoal grill brings while those who favor the gas barbecue grill enjoy the ease of use and controllability of the gas grill. No matter which one of these barbecues you choose you are sure to enjoy them for years to come. There are many ways you can turn your grilling not only into a flavorful and fun way to cook, but also into a healthy way to eat. By choosing foods that are low in fat, high in nutrients and full of flavor you can get great meals that are also healthy. Either by fat being heated to extreme temperatures or by the smoke created by fat burning. For the most part this applies to meat fats and not just the grease and fat from what you are cooking but the build up from the bottom of your grill.

    Happy Summer Time with Barbecue

    August 7th, 2008

    As the weather gets warmer many of us turn our thoughts and stomachs to that great past time, the barbecue. We all know there is that time of the year when suddenly the mouth-watering smell of someone barbecuing begins to waft across the neighborhood. And with almost limitless choices, such as, steak, chicken, pork, ribs, hamburgers, hot dogs, shish kabobs and anything else you can think of, to throw on the grill the tasty goodness can last all summer long. The nice thing about firing up the barbecue is that it takes minimal effort and little cleanup to have your favorite food cooked and served. Most of the food cooked on a barbecue just need to be thawed, maybe marinated a few hours before and then slapped on the grill for that smoky great taste. 

    All across America, grilling is hot, even when the weather is not hot. Anyone want to learn some knowadge about the Tools and Techniques of BBQ. Americans and 25% of northeasterners cook out year-round. “Barbecuing has become a national phenomenon,” says Steven Raichlen, author of The Barbecue Bible and How to Grill, “and it’s not hard to see why that’s the case. Cooking out makes any meal a lot more exciting for the whole family.” The McMenamins’ fondness for outdoor grilling is part traditional, part practical. “My husband and I grew up in families that cooked out a lot, so it’s a natural part of our lives,” says Susan. “Plus, with grilling there are no pots and pans to clean, and the food is nutritious for the kids.” 

    Of course, just about any meat is healthier when grilled because the fat drips off. But the McMenamins’ favorite dishes feature especially vitamin-rich ingredients. Susan buys salmon, sea bass, or tuna in a teriyaki-style sauce from The Seafood Shoppe in Wainscott, NY, or marinates skinless chicken breasts in Italian dressing. She pairs fish or poultry with grilled vegetables and couscous for a balanced meal. “The girls like it all,” says Susan. “I decided a long time ago that I wasn’t going to make special meals for them, and I think that helped expand their tastes.” In fact, the couple serves hamburgers and hot dogs only when friends’ children visit.

    Healthy Tips for Barbecue Season

    August 7th, 2008

    barbecue tips 

    The latest health scare: even if you do everything else right, barbecuing your food can make you sick. Barbecue, recent research has found, can create carcinogens in high enough quantities to make a real impact on your health. While the risk is real and you really need to keep this in mind, there are some simple things you can do to greatly reduce the cancer risk. Keep the following tips in mind, then you will have a Happy Summer Time with Barbecue.

    1.       Keep it in moderation.

    Anything taken to excess is likely to be bad for you, and barbeque is no exception. If you don’t barbecue more than once a week, you’ll minimize the impact of your tasty meats and vegetables on your health.

    2.        Don’t cook it too hot.

    I know, I know, the only proper way to barbecue is to roast the meat at the highest possible temperature. Here’s the problem: the hotter your temperature and longer the exposure, the more likely carcinogens will be formed in your meats. The good news is that meat is better if it’s only seared or slow-cooked at a lower temperature. So learn to cook your barbeque better for the healthiest results. 3.       Coat your meat with BBQ sauce before grilling, instead of afterward. When smoke hits bare meat, the proteins are transformed into benzopyrenes, which are carcinogens. If your meat is well coated with sauce before you grill, that will protect the outer layer of meat from that change in character. You can also keep a spray bottle filled with water handy to put out any flareups, or keep your meats on heavy-duty aluminum foil instead of the bare grill rack.Putting it into perspective, however, the smoke from your grill or cigarettes and not using sunscreen are both more likely to cause cancer to avid cookout chefs than charred meat. Don’t stress too much if you don’t get that side strip on your chicken breasts thoroughly coated.  4.       Choose less fatty cuts of meat.

    Carcinogens aren’t just found in barbecued meats; they are also found naturally in all meat, and fat is the worst part for storing them. Skin your chicken, and consider trying some juicy portabella mushrooms as an experimental substitute.