Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Honolulu's Dry-Cured Pork And Surfing Heaven

Hawaii is a complex island network to understand. It's the 50th state of the United States, but it rises out of North Pacific Ocean 3,758 miles away. Overall there are eight islands, but there are six main islands that are inhabited and used as settlements. Oahu is the second largest island but harbors the state’s capital city of Honolulu. The island itself has a population of around 960,000 people, but only 330,000 people inhabit the capital. Oahu was once an ancient retreat for Hawaiian royalty which would most likely be the tribal chief. However, now it's a bustling capital that acts as a gateway between Asia and America. Honolulu is known the world over for its magnificent beaches with acres and acres of unspoiled beaches. As you would expect, the food is tropical but with a hearty twist as pork is the main meat source for locals and tourists alike. Of all the neighborhoods of Honolulu, there are two main boroughs you should take the time to explore.

Source Mr. Blue MauMau
Upscale Kaimuki 
Kaimuki is one the neighborhoods that have really taken to the Western style of life. There lots of coffee shops with the same type of flavors and drinks you get back home in the US. Affordable family diners can also be found where you can get a good wholesome bite to eat. One of the best places to go is the Royal Hawaiian Center which is an island-style mall. Traditional singers can often be spotted energizing the crowds of people who come to listen to them. Lots of retail stores of specific Hawaiian-style clothing taking care of both classic and surfer needs. The decor style is homely with uses of dark hardwood that’s carved into traditional cultural designs. You can get pretty much anything you want here, fast food, clothes, jewelry, shoes and sweet baked goods.

Wicked Waikiki

Once you see the gorgeous blue waves gathering toward you and slowly dissipating on the shore, you’ll be less afraid of them but more inclined to go surfing. Well, that is certainly what Hawaii is famous for, and there’s no shortage of instructors to help you master the basics. On Kuhio Beach, you can find the Surfline service which helps beginners to get used to the waves and their boards. You’re in the hands of expert surfers who know the island and the tides very well so no need to worry for those of you who are health and safety conscious. After a day of surfing and using muscles that have perhaps been lying dormant for a while, you’ll want to stay at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. The resort boasts day treatments in the spa that has rejuvenating treatments with Aveda products known for their tonic effect. No doubt you’ll be feeling peckish after all your activities so book yourself a seat in one of the resort’s award-winning restaurants. While you’re here try the dry-cured pork which is made in the traditional island style.

Honolulu is a city of high rises and a laid-back retail area. There’s so much to do, but honestly, if you’re here, you must enjoy a surfing experience, lay back on the beaches and enjoying the fresh cocktails by the poolside.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Kitchen Tricks and Tips That Will Change Your Life

Is your kitchen a joy to be in? Do you find meal times a breeze? Most people reading this post will probably be
thinking “of course not!” The kitchen can certainly be one of the most stressful places in the house, especially
when you are cooking for a big number of people. However, there are some useful kitchen hacks that can
make your life much easier. Read on to discover more about them…
-        If you use an egg boiler, you can clean this with ease by boiling it for a short amount of time with a bit of
vinegar in. the vinegar will lift all of the residue and dissolve everything.
-        An air fryer is a must-have appliance for all kitchens, yet so many people don’t have one or have never
heard of one. Your air fryer will replace seven different appliances. Yes, that’s right: seven! You will free up
so much room in the kitchen, and you can cook with much greater ease and speed. What’s not to love?
-        Give your chicken breasts a whack with a rolling pin or anything else sturdy beforehand. This will tenderise
the meat, and it will taste much better.
-        Keep your bananas from going off quickly by separating them from one and other, and by keeping them
away from other fruit.
-        Does your brown sugar keep forming clumps? You can use marshmallows to stop this from happening.
-        Stop peeling your potatoes before you cook them. The best thing to do is cook your potatoes, soak them in
cold water, and then the skins will come right off.
-        If you have added too much salt to your stew or soup, add a peeled potato to the mix, and this will absorb
all of the salt for you. It takes about ten minutes for the magic to happen.
-        If you are dicing up avocados for guacamole or a salad, you can save yourself heaps of time in the kitchen
by using a potato masher.
-        While we are on the subject of avocado, you can sprinkle lemon juice on top of sliced avocado to stop it
from turning brown.
-        Freeze your wine! If you have a bit of leftover wine, you should freeze it in an ice cube tray. Whenever you
cook something like Bolognese, you can pop a red wine ice cube into the mix.
-        Chocolate, cheese, tomato, and citrus fruits all taste better at room temperature. Give it a try!
-        If you are sick of your wine getting too warm in the summer yet you don’t want to dilute it with ice cubes,
add frozen grapes to it instead. Perfect!
-        If you do a lot of baking, you should keep some butter in the freezer. You can then grate it whenever you
are making pastries, cakes, and so on. This is beneficial because it melts quicker and it mixes into the flour
-        Cut through the likes of cakes and cheeses with unscented floss.
-        One of the best ways to peel ginger is by using a spoon. This will ensure you do not lose all of that extra
-        Are you worried that your eggs in the fridge have gone off? Place one in a glass of water. If it is off, it will
float. If it sinks, it is good to eat.
-        You don’t need to peel garlic. You can simply cut the root end off, and then use the flat side of the blade
on the knife the squish it. Crushed garlic imparts much more flavour into a dish than minced garlic anyway.
-        If you are going to prepare Carpaccio, you should put your meat in the freezer for a small amount of time.
This will make it much easier for you to cut those super thin slices you need.
So there you have it: some of the best kitchen hacks to make your life easier! Try the suggestions that have
been provided above and see how much of a difference this makes when you next prepare a meal. Life in the
kitchen does not need to be as difficult as it seems.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Mistakes You're Probably Making In The Kitchen

It is easy to develop bad habits in the kitchen, especially if you have been cooking while you are in a rush. 
So, let’s take a look at some of the common mistakes most people make in the kitchen…
Substituting dried herbs for fresh – If a recipe calls for fresh herbs, use fresh herbs. Dried tarragon cannot substitute 
the fresh version. In fact, the fresh version of tarragon adds a light flavour, while the dried version is much more powerful.
 For other herbs, the opposite can be said, for example, with basil and parsley, the dried versions have much less flavour.
Purchasing cheap pots and pans – A pot and pan set may not seem like the sort of purchase you should splurge on, but
 quality really is important. While you do not need to spend a fortune, you should avoid going for the cheapest pans 
available for sale. Poor quality pots and pans will cause the food to burn and stick to the surface.
Overcrowding the pan – This is an easy error to make. After all, you are in a rush, and you have many mouths to feed. 
However, overcrowding the pan can ruin the food, especially when cooking meat.
Grilling meat straight from the fridge – You can ruin a steak the moment you place it in the pan if you have not allowed it
 to get to room temperature before cooking it. This is because the steak will not cook evenly. The best thing to do is take 
your steak out of the fridge 20 minutes before you intend to cook it.
Cooking meat without a thermometer – Estimating when a piece of meat is cooked can be a nightmare. You will 
almost always end up overcooking it because you are worried about eating raw meat. This is where a thermometer 
shows its worth.
You don’t taste as you go – You may assume there is no point in tasting as you go because you have followed the recipe 
to perfection anyone. However, everyone has different palates, and tasting as you go gives you the chance to season the 
dish to your liking.
Turning your food too often while cooking – While it can be tempting to turn your food to ensure a consistent bake on 
both sides, this can be detrimental for foods such as pan-fried chicken and steak, as you won’t develop the delicious crisp
 crust you are aiming for.
You start cooking before you have read the entire recipe – This is a mistake that a lot of people make. There is nothing
 worse than finding out that what you thought was a simple Ragu is going to take two and a half hours to cook because
 it involves gradually adding ingredients while the mixture simmers.
So there you have it: some of the most common kitchen mistakes people make. Are you guilty of committing any of the 
cooking sins mentioned above? If so, use the advice that has been provided to right these wrongs!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Entertaining and Events: The Best Food to Serve!

As someone who loves food and loves to cook, chances are you’re always looking for an excuse
to feed the ones you love. So whenever there’s an event- whether it’s a birthday, wedding, family
reunion or any other kind of occasion it will be you that steps up to the plate to provide the food.
If you have a number of different events coming up this year, here are some ideas for different kinds
of foods you could present and serve.

Finger Food Buffet
A buffet is good for just about any special event. Most people can find something they like to eat from
 a buffet, and there are lots of tasty finger food items you could put together. Sandwiches, homemade
quiches, sausage rolls and pies all go down well. You could marinate some chicken and serve chicken
drumsticks, or cover mini fillets in breadcrumbs and serve some tasty goujons. You could serve chips
with dips, cakes, pastries and other sweet treats. And best of all you can choose what items you want
 to make and what you want to buy in ready. For example, you might want to bake your own cupcakes,
 but buy in things like gateaux which is more complicated to make. You could make all of your favourite
 finger foods, then bulk up the spread with some pre- bought items to save time if needed.

Pizza Party
If you have a small group of friends coming over for food, throwing pizza party at home is a fun and
 interactive way to feed everyone. If you have a bread machine, it’s easy to whip up a few portions of
pizza dough with no hassle. The machine will mix, knead and prove the dough for you, then you can
wrap it in cling film and rest it in the fridge until you need it. Put out a selection of grated cheeses,
meats and veggies on a table or work surface, and let everyone stretch their own dough base and
add their own sauces and toppings to make their pizza exactly how they want it. If you have a pizza
oven in the garden you could pop them in there, they only take a few minutes each. Otherwise, buy
a pizza stone and do them in the oven. You can all try each other’s creations and it’s a fun and
informal alternative to a dinner party.

Afternoon Tea
A selection of canapes, finger sandwiches and other tasty nibbles- what’s not to like? When the sun
 is shining, getting outside for an afternoon tea is one of life’s little pleasures. A elegant way to serve
food, it would make for a lovely birthday idea especially for a female relative. Fill some helium balloons,
 and wrap dainty flowers around the strings for a pretty way to decorate. Pop some LED tealight
candles into mason jars, and use cake stands and mismatched china to serve your cakes and tea.
If your afternoon tea is a celebration then you could pop open some champagne or prosecco too.

Is there anything better than tasty grilled food on a scorching hot day? Fire up the grill and serve
guests a selection of carefully marinated meats, homemade burgers along with beautifully prepared
salads and grilled veggies. There are lots of ideas online for additional recipes you could add if you
wanted to take it to the next level, from grilled fruit to smokey casseroles cooked over the grill and
much more.

Curry Night
Flavoursome, vibrant and all round delicious, curry is always a crowd pleaser. Cooking a selection of
different curries might feel like a big job, however you can start off with the same base so it’s not quite
as complicated as you might think. Caramelising onions then adding garlic fresh tomatoes until pulpy
can be the start of many wonderful curries. Wait until the mixture is cool, blend it and divide it into as
many dishes as you want to create. You could add different fresh and dried herbs, spices and spice
blends to each dish to get a very different taste each time. Some curries could have cream or yoghurt
added to them, some could have marinated chicken pieces, others marinated lamb. You could quite
easily create four or five different variations for an incredible curry night, and best of all they store well
 too. So it’s something you could do a couple of days in advance. Serve with naan breads, onion
bhajis, poppadoms and rice. Just be sure to make your curries at varying spice levels so that there’s
 something for everyone.

Professional Caterers
If it’s going to be a large event, with more people than you can comfortably cook for yourself then
why not get in professional caterers? They could provide the bulk of the food, and then you could do
 the fun, extra things and dishes you could enjoy cooking the most. For example, companies like
Boos Philly offer catering for parties- you can get more info here. That way you can provide everyone
 with cheesesteaks, then perhaps you could cover starters and desserts? You could even use your
 local pizza joint and order in a tonne of pizzas, and do the extra things like chicken and other sides
yourself. If it’s more of a formal party then professional caterers could put together fancy dishes for
 you. As you’re only relying on them partially it will be less expensive, and you still get the fun of
cooking just without all the pressure.

Pot Luck
If you’re on a bit of a budget or just want to do something fun and exciting then a potluck party is
always good. Assign a starter, main dish or dessert for your guests to make and bring, and then
when everyone arrives you have a nice selection of different foods. Because you’re not making all
of the food yourself if works out a little cheaper and you get to experience your friends and family’s
recipes too so could find something new!