March 31, 2011

Brown.... Ah! Use A Splash Of Citrus But SPRAY!

Sometimes you come across a time when you
need to cut apples or some pears ahead of time and you
want to prevent them from turning brown...

Many of us already know about how the acid in citrus fruits
like lemon help keep the apples fresher and from turning brown-

I've got 2 tips for you...
depending on what the fruit is for...
you might not want a lemony flavor on your apples
so instead of using lemon juice, you can also use a lemon-lime
soda which won't leave the lemony taste
and tip 2 is to have the lemon juice in a small spray
bottle and just simply spray or mist your apples, pears,
avocados and even lettuce for a salad. The light lemon mist
will keep your salad and fruit fresher!
If you squeeze fresh lemons into a cup and pour it into
your sprayer... the fresh lemon juice will keep for
2-3 weeks in the refrigerator!

Zestfully Let's Cultivate Food

March 30, 2011

How Much Have You Paid For Pajeon ?

Pajeon.....the "pa" prounounced "pah" for the Korean word scallions
and "jeon" pronounced "jun" meaning battered ingredients
Pajeon is a Korean style pancake that is usually eaten as a snack
or as an appetizer in restaurants.

How much have you paid for Pajeon?....
this dish that has really HIGH profit margins.

Korean style pancakes go for these prices...
$6.95, $10.95, $12.95, $17 and $18.95

You can easily make these pancakes at home with the recipe below.

2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups water
2 eggs
1 bunch scallions
shredded carrots (optional)
veggie oil to fry
S & P (salt & pepper) to taste

to make Hae-Mul (seafood) pajeon...
just add 1 cup of oysters
1 cup chopped fresh clams
1 cup of baby shrimp or larger shrimp cut into pieces
(try to use the baby shrimp tho)

Cut scallions about 1-2 inch long and mix with
all the other ingredients. Drizzle a little veggie oil in your pan
and ladle the mix into a big circle filling your whole frying pan.
After the one side cooks and you see the flour start to brown and
get a little crispy- use your flipping skills and flip the pajeon over.
Cook until it gets crispy. The skill is flipping the whole pancake
over without it breaking and having the pancake not too thick.
That's it! Don't pay $12-$15 for it.
Order something that isn't so easy to make at home.

A good dipping sauce for Pajeon is...
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 TBS on white vinegar
1 stalk of minced scallion
1 glove of grated garlic
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp of sugar or Splenda
sprinkle of sesame seeds

Roast Your Capsicum Annuum

Fancy name for bell peppers...
Eating vegetables fresh is great but,
sometimes you can do things to bring out more flavor
and of course have a little fun with it.

Roasting bell peppers separates the tough skin and brings out the
pepper's flavor by basically bringing out it's natural sugars.

You can use roasted peppers to top pizzas and salads, or add them to
Mediterranean-style sauces, make relishes, salsas for breads....
and that's only a few things you can do with them.

How can I roast bell peppers you ask.... ?

OVEN style
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Cut your peppers in half, place on a baking sheet and
drizzle a little olive oil on them
roast for 30 minutes turning a few times while roasting...
I like to turn it to broil for the last 5-7 minutes
to get a little char on it.
After you take the peppers out of the oven
you want to throw the peppers into a plastic zip lock bag
or container to keep the heat in and let them sweat in the sauna
for about 10 minutes or so.
The peppers being in a sauna will really let their skins loose.

GRILL style
Turn your grill on and throw the peppers that you cut in half- right on the grill grates.... again, drizzle some olive oil and cook until the peppers are tender and a little charred. Again, you want to let them sweat in a bag or container... cutting them into slices and throwing them into the container you want to store them is the easiest.
You can keep roasted peppers in the refrigerator
for about a week and in the freezer for about a month...

March 29, 2011

PICS of Delicious Couples or Threesomes

Brie cheese and sugar free apricot jelly
cut a slice, peel the white rind off and smear a heaping spoonful of apricot jelly
microwave for 30-45 seconds and eat with pita chips or water crackers!

Slices of tomato with slices of fresh mozzarella and basil leaves
Put all 3 together on a crusty piece of bread, mix it in pasta or put it on a
ready made pizza dough. You can substitute basil pesto from a jar if you'd like!

Good old peanut butter and jelly
on bread or crackers.... always good!

BBQ ribs and home-made coleslaw....
always wet and dampen 3-5 paper towels when eating this duo!

Coconut flakes plus Shrimp... battered in Panko (Japanese Bread Crumbs)
deep fried in vegetable oil equals.... coconut shrimp!

Cooked ham from your deli and white American cheese....
this combo is good with Pillsbury ready made crescent dough
folded into ham and cheese croissants!

March 28, 2011

Don't Cry Anymore Dicing Onions

Before you peel, cut and dice your onions.
Turn a candle on, onions contain a natural oil, yes, oil which contains
sulfur which is an irritant to both our noses and eyes. When we cut
an onion the gases within the onion propanethiol S-Oxide mixes with
the enzymes in the onion letting out a sulfur compound.
Basically, when it reaches our tear ducts and our eye lids,
our eyes start to water. Why turn a candle on?
The flame of the candle actually burns up the sulfur....
so it helps burn it up in the air before it reaches our eyes.

When you are dicing onions-
start with cutting it in half and laying the one side down.

and you want to cut in layers almost up to the end with the root...
almost in a grid like way...

and then when you slice it, the onion will cut in diced pieces...

March 27, 2011

Nachos, Nachos & Nachos

Nachos began in the city of Piedras Negras-Coahuila, Mexico in 1943
by Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya.

Nachos of course are good as a snack or a full meal.
Typically the chips are made from corn and you can
literally throw any topping on them. You could seriously
make over 50 different types of Nachos.
Below are just a few to give you an idea...

BBQ Chicken Nachos
Buy already roasted chicken or chicken breast and shred
with your fingers or a fork. Then simmer BBQ sauce on
medium heat in a pan and toss the shredded chicken in
the BBQ sauce. Lay some nachos in an oven safe pan.
Add some shredded cheddar cheese on top and bake until
the cheese melts and throw some chopped scallions
on top if you'd like.

You could do a Buffalo chicken one as well. Top blue cheese
on top of the shredded Cheddar on this one!

Pulled Pork Nachos are good with topped pineapple chunks,
bell peppers, shredded jack pepper cheese, cilantro and a little
juice from a fresh lime.

Veggie Nachos can have sauteed red bell peppers, zucchini,
mushrooms, red onions, corn and shredded cheddar or monterey jack.
Also good with sour cream on top after it comes out of the oven.

Cheesesteak Nachos usually have sliced roast beef and caramelized
onions, cheese whiz, and is good with diced hot peppers.

Frank and Bean Nachos have sliced hot dogs that you first cook in a
pan and baked beans from a can that you simmer on the stove.
Add the frank and beans on top of the tortilla chips and then the
shredded cheddar with some chopped scallions and relish if you want.

Margarita Shrimp Nachos are good with shredded white cheddar cheese
and muenster cheese. Throw the LIME flavored chips in the oven until the
cheese melts and then top with sauteed shrimp that you sauteed on the
frying pan with a little garlic salt. Squeeze some juice from a fresh lime
to top off your shrimp margarita nachos.
Mushroom Nachos... dice up some button, shiitake, portobellas and
saute in the frying pan in olive oil adding some season salt or a
splash of soy sauce and throw onto the tortilla chips with
shredded provolone cheese.

Send me a comment with a Nacho that you came up with or favor!

March 25, 2011

Win Win Win With Crispy Peking Raviolis

These fusion ravioli's are a win, win, win.
Easy to make, really cheap and so yummy.
All you need is a pack if wonton wrappers
(usually near the organic section
of the produce section in most supermarkets)

you want to mince all the items below into really small pieces
3-4 button mushrooms
3-4 shittake mushrooms
1/4 of a small onion
2 cloves garlic
3-4 stems of flat leaf parsley
and a splash of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce

mix the filling well and take a small spoon
and spoon into a wonton wrapper...
put a little egg or water on a 2nd wonton wrapper
and put on top folding the sides up or over or any fun way...
fry in a pan with a little olive oil...

drizzle a little soy sauce before eating....

Pica's Restaurant in Upper Darby, PA

Pica's pizzeria was opened in 1941 by Frank Pica Sr. in West Philly. It was a small, old fashioned establishment that became a special part of the neighborhood. In 1959, Frank Sr. together with Frank Jr. moved the restaurant to 7803 West Chester Pike in Upper Darby where it resides today.

The draw to this very large seating restaurant is that everything is made FREEESHH! There is nothing like fresh, daily made - pasta.  You will notice immediately the difference between this and the boxed pasta that you've been getting at probably every other restaurant in the Philadelphia area.

Next is their famous pizza.  Their sauce is soooo good that they make their pies upside down (sauce on top of the cheese).  Some say they don't like that style, but trust me, try Pica's.

Reservations are definitely recommended for this busy Italian Restaurant (especially on the weekends). Any time of day you pass this restaurant (could be 2pm on a Monday or 4pm on a Wednesday), the parking lot is packed with cars.  On the weekends, it's almost incredible to see how many times in a 15 minute period someone goes in/out of the special takeout door.

This restaurant has to get 5 stars as the food is so good, so plentiful, and so budget friendly, that even the outdated decor or being in Upper Darby (which is relatively safe) won't cause a loss of a star.

Keating's River Grill

Keating's River Grill is located on 201 South Columbus Blvd. in Philadelphia by the River- inside the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The positives seem to outweigh the negatives at Keating's River Grill.

The positives:
They have complimentary valet service up to 4 hours.
It's also right next to the River Rink so dinner & ice skating in the Winter can be a plus. 

The food is very good and the ambiance is nice as well. Two winners on the menu were the Bruschetta Flatbread and Roasted Salmon Cavatappi. The roasted salmon dish is served with asparagus while the sauce is a creamy pesto sauce made with pine nuts and white wine. The Bruschetta Flatbread is made from grilled bread with mozzarella, parmesan, tomato and a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar.

March 23, 2011

Food Your Face!

You have eaten a lot of food... but
what kinds of food have you put on your face?

~ egg yolks are high in vitamin A and a common
ingredient in acne-fighting products. Spread the yolk
on your face and neck and leave it on your skin for
about 30 minutes. Rinse with cool water.
~ egg whites are good for getting a lifting effect as the protein
in egg whites dries onto your skin. Beat 1 egg white with a fork
until it gets frothy and then spread it on your face, especially the
side of the eyes. Wait until it dries and then rinse it off
with warm water.
~ grapes contain antioxidants, called polyphenols,
which help combat aging. You can cut one grape in half
and rub lightly all over face or mash several grapes up & smear
on your face like a mask. You do need to be laying down for this one.

~ bananas are one of the most nourishing fruits
available because they contain many vitamins such as
magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, iodine, folic acid
and vitamins A, B, and E.  You can easily mash one overripe
banana and spread it all over your face.
Rinse it off well after 15 to 30 minutes with warm water.

~ baking soda has a gentle abrasive action where you can
actually use it as a pretty cheap but more importantly effective
exfoliant for your face by adding it to your regular cleanser.

~ olive oil is a good source for moisturizing. Some people
actually drink a shot daily. Really. Vitamins A & E are found in
olive oil and are good to put on chapped lips over night.
~ cucumbers are great for hydrating your face and is often
used in beauty products, particularly cleansers. They are great
for around your eyes, for reducing puffiness, and revitalizing
tired skin. They are also great for keeping cool on a really
hot summers day. They are ice cold on your skin.