Kristin Ryals

Author Archives: Kristin Ryals

My name is Kristin, and I'm a housewife with big love for cooking. When I'm not bringing on the Food Network and attempting to become America's Next Top Chef, I'm browsing online for unique recipes to awe my friends with. Outside of the world of cooking (as if there is one!), I enjoy reading, skydiving, live music, and of course, shopping!

How to Choose the Best Digital Meat Thermometer for Grilling

Looking for and purchasing the best digital meat thermometer can be quite challenging. This is because there are a lot of brands, price points, manufacturer claims, and types to consider.

Though digital thermometers are not new, digital meat thermometers are becoming in-demand especially for people who love the outdoors. The digital aspect makes meat thermometers more convenient to read compared to the traditional ones. Moreover, digital meat thermometers will help reduce stress and strain in terms of backyard grilling or barbecue.

Choosing the Best Digital Meat Thermometer

It is essential to be aware of the details of digital meat thermometers and compare each brand before purchasing one. Make sure to read reliable a digital meat thermometer review to help you choose the best one. So here are some features to look for in choosing the best digital meat thermometer:

Accuracy

Accuracy is the main aspect to look for in a digital meat thermometer. This is because eating undercooked food has its risks and it’s the main reason why you need to search for a digital meat thermometer that has an accuracy of not more than two degrees. Do not purchase thermometers that drastically decrease with high temperatures.

Automatic Shutdown

Look for a digital meat thermometer that automatically turns off after a certain level of inactivity. Since most thermometers run on batteries, the automatic shutdown feature definitely saves battery life.

Audible Temperature Alarm

An audible temperature alarm allows you to know when the meat has attained the preset temperature, or when the grill temperature is too high or too low.

Backlit Screen and Clear Interface

A backlit screen enables ease of reading the temperature even in low light conditions such as grilling at night or during overcast days. The screen should be large enough for you to be able to view the controls easily.

Built-In Timer

Built-in timers help establish a fixed count up or countdown especially when grilling meat to reach a certain temperature.

Durable Probes

Durable antibacterial probes should be one of the features to look for in choosing your digital meat thermometer. Probes and probe cables should be resistant to high temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

Immediate Response Reading Times

A good digital meat thermometer should possess a read refresh time of about 15 to 20 seconds for you to know exactly what is going on inside the oven or grill.

Preset Meat Temperature

The best digital meat thermometer models normally have a broad selection of preset temperatures for each level of protein doneness. Such preset controls enable you to choose a pre-programmed temperature for immediate setup according to USDA-recommended temperatures. Look for meat thermometers that will help you save and customize programmable temperature settings according to your preferred specifications.

Wide Range of Temperature Controls

Temperature controls should be easy and large enough to read. The best digital meat thermometers usually have only a few buttons. Never choose a thermometer that cannot attain a high temperature. If you are frequently grilling at 400°F, a thermometer built to withstand only 350°F is not appropriate for you. You should purchase thermometers that can withstand at least 500°F or higher. A broader temperature range that the digital thermometer can handle, the more versatile and useful it is.

The use of a digital meat thermometer will help avoid stress and strain in grilling all types of meat. Although there are several digital meat thermometers being advertised for grilling, most of them are versatile. This means that they can be utilized for baking and cooking, brewing, candy making or anything that requires precise temperature monitoring. Nevertheless, it is smarter to choose a digital meat thermometer that can cater to all your culinary needs.

The Best Ways to Cook Every Cut of Venison

When we want to eat healthier foods, we usually turn to chicken and fish. But did you know that venison is actually one of the healthiest options in the world?  Deer meat has become very popular in the Western world over the past several years because it is low in calories and fat, high in protein and contains high amounts of beneficial vitamins and minerals and therefore is a valuable source of nutrients. In addition, venison is more environmentally friendly than factory-farmed meat because deer eat nuts, acorns and healthy herbs that haven’t been exposed to harmful antibiotics, hormones, and chemicals. 

If you have tried deer meat and didn’t like the taste of it, odds are it was not well prepared. Unfortunately, while many people are aware of the health benefits this type of meat offers, not a lot of them know how to properly cook venison. If you try to prepare it the same way you prepare beef, don’t be surprised if your lunch becomes too tough and chewy. You can easily overcook it, put too much seasoning and turn a juicy steak into a dry piece of gamey meat. 

Although there are thousands of recipes online, it is important to remember that you need to match the cut of venison to the right method of cooking. For example, if you prepare rib meat and loins the same way you will end up with one tasty dish and one you will most likely serve to your dog. To avoid that mistake, read the following and learn how to properly cook venison. 

Match the cut with the right cooking method

Loins and tenderloins – These are naturally tender cuts and they can be cooked whole or cut into individual steaks.  If you wish to prepare venison steaks make sure you take them out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before you cook them because preparing room-temperature meat is much easier. Don’t forget to season both sides with salt and pepper and place it on a hot grill. Turn it over after 3 minutes and then brush a little butter onto the top of the steak to keep it moist. Be careful not to overcook venison since it is best served rare or medium-rare. 

Neck, shank, and shoulder – These are tougher muscles so they are best used in stews and soups. Since this part of venison should be cooked at a low temperature for several hours make sure to add only half of the vegetables at the beginning, and the other part about 15 to 20 minutes before the stew is done or everything will turn to mush. 

The hindquarter – It can be prepared in several ways, unlike other parts of the deer.  You can cut the hindquarter into cubes and put it in a stew or you can tenderize it and then prepare it like the loin. It can also be cut into strips and used in sandwiches, burritos, and salads. 

Tenderize the meat

Venison can often be gamey and tough if not prepared well, so be sure to tenderize the meat before cooking it, especially when dealing with the tougher cuts. First, you will need to pound the pieces with a meat mallet and then marinate them for at least eight hours. You can find various recipes for marinades online or even get store-bought. The important thing is that the mixture contains acidic ingredients such as lemon juice, which will break down the muscle fibers in the meat and make it tender and easier to chew.

Avoid common mistakes

Venison is not beef – Deer meat loses moisture in a different way than beef, so you should never cook them the same way. During the cooking process beef leaks out melted fat into the pan or on the grill, while with venison that moisture simply evaporates. 

Take the fat off – Maybe you believe that keeping the fat on will make your venison less dry, but deer fat actually tastes terrible and it is often the reason why deer meat is called gamey. 

Be careful with salt – Venison steak should not be seasoned like the regular steak. This type of meat is lean and easily dries out, so unless you want to see it turn into jerky before your very own eyes, salt it very lightly or do it after the meat is cooked. 

Learning to prepare venison takes time, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t immediately succeed. Take time to learn these tricks and soon you will be able to prepare a delicious dinner for you and your loved ones. 

What are the Benefits of CBD Gummies?

With CBD gummies, you have the added benefit of eating a treat that is beneficial to your health. 

Gummies are infused with cannabidiol hemp extract. This is the same CBD that goes into oils. Since the Farm Bill of 2018 made hemp and hemp products legal in the U.S. Gummies that contain hemp (not marijuana) and have little THC can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. 

Most people dislike CBD oil’s taste. So, eating the gummies is a much more palatable way of ingesting CBD. In other words, they taste great. CBD gummies are a convenient way of taking CBD.

 You can carry them in a baggie and put them in your purse or pocket and no one’s the wiser. This allows you the luxury of privacy when taking your CBD. Because it’s just eating candy, a CBD gummy is easier to take than Oil.

 It’s a matter of just popping a gummy in your mouth. Other benefits include a reduction of anxiety and pain. A CBD gummy can also help your depression as well as alleviate your insomnia. And finally, pediatric epilepsy studies have shown lowered seizure activity.

If you’re anxious in social situations, or just anxious overall, you might want to pop a CBD gummy. 

Although more studies are warranted, preliminary ones are suggesting that CBD, including CBD gummies, can be used to alleviate social anxiety. 

There are many Benefits of CBD Gummies

  1. The Mayo Clinic reported on a CBD study published in January 2019. The study examined the effects of CBD on patients with anxiety. Seventy-two participants were followed. It was found that fifty-seven of those patients had decreased anxiety symptoms after taking CBD. 
  2. The researchers concluded that CBD may be beneficial for anxiety-related disorders. However, they emphasized that more research is needed. 
  3. Another study by the Institute of Psychiatry’s Laboratory of Panic and Respiration, examined CBD using both animal models and healthy volunteers. They also showed a reduction in symptoms in those participants suffering from social anxiety. The conclusion was that more clinical trials regarding CBD and anxiety were warranted.
  4. CBD edibles, like gummies, are increasingly being used to treat chronic pain. CBD can be used to treat neuropathic pain. People with malignant diseases can also have their pain relieved. A Republic of Macedonia university, reviewed double blind controlled randomized trials. 
  5. The trials studied the effects of CBD on pain patients. These trials were also determining the correct dosage. The Goce Delcev University researchers determined that fifteen of the eighteen trials showed a substantial positive effect of CBD over a placebo. Responders reported a forty three percent reduction of pain. A massive dose of CBD gummies isn’t necessary to achieve these results. The target dose was 25-30 mg. 
  6. Chewing on a CBD gummy can actually help relieve your depression. And because an edible effects last an extended period, your symptoms will be relieved. Antidepressant studies show that CBD is regarded as promising. CBD has been effective in animal models by showing a quick and sustainable antidepressant effect. The study also found that CBD can interact with several neurotransmitter systems. These are systems that are involved with depression. 
  7. If you Google insomnia, you see all kinds of ways to fall asleep. Some cures have to do with prescription drugs and some sleep techniques including cognitive therapy. But, there’s no need to stay up counting sheep when you have a CBD gummy close by. CBD is a great way to overcome insomnia. 
  8. CBD gummies alleviate anxiety, so when those worrisome moments of life keep you awake, have a CBD gummy. In a CBD sleep study that had seventy two adult participants, sixty six percent had their sleep scores improve in the first month. Most participants liked that CBD is a natural way to deal with their insomnia.
  9. CBD edibles like gummies are helping reduce epileptic seizures. And unlike standard anti-convulsive medication, CBD shows little to no side effects. In an Israeli study that encompassed five pediatric epilepsy clinics, CBD was used to treat children experiencing seizures. Seventy-four children participated. Of those participants, eighty-nine percent experienced a reduction in seizures. In some instances, standard anti-convulsive medicines were able to be reduced. Besides diminished seizures the children benefited with improved sleep, motor skills, behavior and more.
  10. Gummies provide you with an easy convenient way to take CBD. As with any edible, once the gummy’s CBD absorbs into your system the benefits last longer than with a liquid or inhalant. It’s done wonders to relieve depression and seizures. Eating a gummy at night to sleep or when you’re feeling anxious, doesn’t take any time. And when you’re on the go, having some CBD gummies in a container or baggie is a nice benefit.

There’s no mess. A lot of people like the discreet way in which you can eat a gummy. Is it no wonder that CBD gummies are so popular?

10 Mouthwatering Dishes You Can Make from Empanada Maker

Dumplings are merely a mouthful but packed with sheer scrumptiousness. These tiny portions can be served on side of the main course, as a delectable appetizer or a delicious snack served with steaming coffee or tea during lunchtime.

They were bought on the stage of the culinary world 1800 years ago by Chinese cooks before being adopted by French and American chefs. Today, it is one of the most enjoyed dishes among people and is largely consumed by people of America.

They are formed into moldings by an Empanada Maker.

What is this Empanada maker?

What is the one thing that is most difficult to achieve when making dumplings? It’s sealing them securely so that it doesn’t open up while being boiled or fried. Empanada maker helps in achieving that effortlessly.

It is a gadget which first makes equal sizes of dough cuttings and then seals the filled packets easily from the edges. You see that wriggling patterns at the border of half-moon dumplings – that’s the magic of empanada makers. Here are the top dumplings you can make from them that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

1. Mixed shellfish Dumplings


Via: Pexels

Only a few don’t approve of seafood. Those who don’t should shift to the second dish straight away because this is for all the seafood-lovers. The filling is mixed with shellfish, crabmeat, scallops, and shrimps with an addition of mushrooms and garlic for that zesty flavor. Chinese boil the dumplings in water but you can also fry them in oil.

They can be served with a sweet sauce.

2. Lamb dumplings


Via: Unsplash

Hailing from the spices-rich lands of the Middle East, these lamb dumplings are a fuss-free dish for any type of family or formal occasion. Mixed with the chewiness of lamb and the saltiness of fried potatoes, the inundation of varying spices gives it a wholesome and mouth-watering taste.

Steam it for about five minutes till the wrapper becomes translucent before frying it in sizzling oil. It can be served with different dipping sauces like cucumber vinegar, spicy tomato or hot and sour.

3. Pork dumplings


Via: kevinscooking

With a pinch of black pepper and salt, a sprinkle of red chili powder and a masterly addition of ginger paste into minced pork, you can get just the perfect filling for dumplings for a homecoming party. One can paint each dumpling with a single stroke of egg yolk for a nice, crispy feel to it.

Fry them in oil until it turns reddish brown and complement it with your favorite ponzo-ginger sauce or simple tomato ketchup.

4. Apple dumplings


Via: Freepik

Most doctors say “Say no to sugar” but that’s raw sugar they refer to. Using sweet fruits to your advantage is the best way to satisfy your “sweet” cravings. Partner up the sweetness of mashed apples with the saltiness of nutmeg and flavorful bitterness of cinnamon before enveloping them in pie dough.

Bake it in the oven once they are “groomed” with the Empanada maker and throw a little caramel sauce over each of them for sheer irresistibility.

5. Vegetable dumplings


Via: Freepik

The thing we like about the culinary world is their ability to bring several simple ingredients together and adding spices in them to credit them with a taste they are not capable of producing solely. Vegetable dumplings is that sort of a dish.

With a succulent combination of cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and seitan, the tang of the filling is augmented with soy sauce and chives. Fry them in pan on a gentle heat and serve with the unique black rice vinegar sauce.

6. Soup dumplings

How many of you are crazy about the mesmerizing liquid chocolate falling out of a molten lava cake when you cut the first piece with a spoon or fork? Many of you, we assume. Soup dumplings follow the same configuration except there is pork gelatin soup cascading out instead of chocolate.

The mystery of getting a liquid in a dumpling is very easy to comprehend. Soup is prepared by boiling pig foot with pork slivers, scallions, and ginger. The collagen present in them causes it to solidify when chilled. So there are cut in pieces and added to the pork filling when inserting in the dough pieces.

The dumplings are steamed in the steaming pots where the frozen soup transforms into a liquid. This can be consumed with extra soup or solely. Whichever the way you choose, it’s delectably enriching!

7. Strawberry dumplings


Via: Unsplash

Getting itchy about not having another sweet dumpling on the list? Here it is. Made with rich strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and butter, you can add as many ingredients you like to make it more flavorsome.

Make a nice, fine filling and wrap them securely into dough portions mixed with cheese through an Empanada Maker. Boil them in water for about 15 minutes before a brown crispy shade starts appearing on the dumplings. Serve them with a sauce of your choice.

8. Mediterranean dumplings


Via: Pixabay

Ever mixed lamb or beef with cherry and pine nuts? It’s always a first time for everything so go on with it now. Supremely enriching and excessively intriguing, these Mediterranean dumplings transit deliciously between the saltiness of the meat and sweetness of the cherry.

You can either fry or bake the dumpling although we prefer baking it. Serve it pleasantly with a Yogurt Mint sauce to make the consumers lick their fingers.

9. Flaky Samosas


Via: Freepik

It is another vegetable dumpling with the addition of peas, onions, and mint. Prepare the filling by boiling potatoes, peas, and carrots. Add onion crumbs and mint leaves according to your wish, not to forget your favorite spices and shrubs like Rosemary and cumin.

Encapsulate them in dough cuttings which are prepared with flour, egg yolk, and melted cheese. Fry them in oil and get an agreeably appetizing end-product.

10. Asian chicken dumplings


Via: Freepik

You guessed the main ingredient right – It’s chicken. Either mince it before boiling or tear it in thin, fibery sections after boiling. Mix them with mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and spices like white pepper, turmeric, and coriander powder.

Prepare them well, insert them carefully and pan-fry them precisely. Serve it with soy sauce and fries on the side for a yummy treat!

Final words

Hope to have covered your dumpling base from all sides. We wish you all the best for preparing them.

Author: Emma Wick Walker

People have meme videos, short stories and movie reviews bookmarked to their web browser; I have food blogs and recipes through the entire list. That’s me! I am a student who started cooking as a hobby but is now an unannounced chef in my house and among my friends.

How To Safely Use An Electronic Smoker?

If you are looking to eliminate the guesswork when smoking meats, then the electronic smoker would be the right match for your cooking needs. It’s a no-brainer to use even for beginners. However, safety measures need to be in place so you avoid mishaps when you smoke your meats.

Smoking has always been the best option for those who are looking for a healthy and sumptuous feast. When you smoke meats, you get to cook it at low temperatures and slow cooking time which adds to the richness and smokiness of the flavor plus also preserves the quality and freshness of the meat.

What is the Best Type of Smoker for You?

We all have different needs and preferences with everything, even when it comes to cooking appliances like smokers. There is a right type of smoker for every individual.

According to Yahoo News, If you want to learn how to barbecue, the old style, then a traditional offset smoker would do the trick. This is the best way to learn the barbecue craft and smoke the classic and challenging route. 

 If you love that smoky aroma and taste plus the convenience factor then an electronic smoker would be the perfect fit.

There are digital and analog styles of electronic smokers to choose from. You can also decide whether you need an electric cabinet smoker type which is similar to a small refrigerator or a vertical electric smoker which is best used in warm weather.

The best type of electronic smoker would be one that gives you more control and power over smoking your favorite hotdogs and ribs so it comes out as mouth-watering and savory as you want it. Whether you are looking for one that gives more value for your money or the high-end features for an extra price then there is an electronic smoker that would surely fit your expectations.

Steps on How to Safely Use an Electronic Smoker

Just when you thought you did your homework and have covered the basics, there are things that could go out of control when you least expect it. Knowing the basics and the safety precautions of using an electric smoker can help you prepare delicious meals without falling into any smoking mishap.

Read and Understand the User Manual

You can’t just use any equipment or appliances without reading the manufacturer’s instruction or user manual first. There is a booklet included in your electronic smoker or you can check the official website directly for instructions and safety guidelines. Treat this as a bible in using your electric smoker.

Buy the Right Wood Chips

It takes around 4 cups of flavored wood chips to cook or smoke for 3 to 5 hours. You can purchase wood chips online, in grocery stores, or hardware specialty shops. There are different flavored wood chips to choose from like plum, alder, hickory, or cedar. However, there are smokers that work with a specific type of wood chips so you should check on this when you purchase an electronic smoker.

Check the Smoker Temperature

Most electronic smokers have built-in internal temperature control or gauge. It is important to set the temperature first and then wait until the desired temperature is achieved before you place the meat and start the smoking process.

Keep the Smoker in a Dry and Safe Place

Smokers are designed to be set up outdoors as the smoke can be nauseating if you set it up indoors. For condos or apartments though, you can opt to place smokers inside especially if your electronic smoker has a smoke control feature. Always set your smokers in a dry and safe place; preferably roofed places. Check for a solid and hard surface. Make sure that your smokers stay dry even if it’s stored away by using a protective cover. It can be hazardous when smokers get wet because this can cause damage and premature wear and tear of electric parts.

Fill Smoker Pans with Water and Wood Chips

If your smoker has a water pan, it is important to fill it with wood chips and water. The water stabilizes the temperature and the wood chips help accentuate the flavors and aroma of the meat. It is recommended to add more wood chips as you smoke to keep the texture and flavors consistent and up to your desired taste. Always check on the water content as it would need refilling every now and then.

Wait Until the Right Temperature is Achieved Before You Put the Meat In

This is one of the most common mistakes when handling smokers. To heat up the smoker, treat it as an oven, you have to set it to the desired temperature and then put the food inside once the smoker has reached its target temperature and not before it reaches that. Check when the wood chips are starting to burn and that would be your cue.

Put the Meat in as Quickly as Possible

With smoking meat, timing is really everything. Once the temperature is all set, you have to put the meat in quickly. You need to do this in a snap or you could lose more temperature and smoke when you leave the doors open for so long. The best way to do this is to plan ahead and test how much meat you can put into the smoking racks so you would know how to execute.

Stick to the Recipe

This is particularly true to those who are new with using electric smokers. You have to follow the recipe and then adjust your smoking temperature or hours after that. It is advisable to choose a smoker with a window so you can always check on how the meat is doing while smoking.

Use Heat-Resistant Gloves

When handling any hot food, you must always wear protective or heat-resistant gloves to avoid burns or scalds when taking out the food from the electronic smoker. Prevention is always better than cure so wearing protective clothing and gloves would surely help you avoid any dangers or accidents in food preparation.

Clean Your Smoker ASAP!

Getting your smoker cleaned up after using it is a great way to keep it in good shape and condition for many years. First off, you have to allow it to cool down and then that’s when you clean it up to decrease the chances of having accumulated dust and debris that can also spoil or affect the taste and quality of your food. Cleaning your smoker helps you keep healthy by serving delicious and clean meals for the family.

If you have no clue how to use an electronic smoker and what smoker to use, then here are CookoutPal Smoker Reviews – Check em out here!. We all start clueless at many points in our lives and yet survive it all with a few necessary glitches to teach some lessons. There are many trials and errors when using smokers but keeping the points easy to follow and simple to use will help you use the electronic smoker safely and accurately in every cookout. 

Healthier Snacks Your Kids Will Actually Want to Eat

Every parent can relate to the everlasting struggle of getting their little ones to keep up with a healthy diet. 

Let’s be honest, junk food is tasty and comforting and it is not easy to compete with a Big Mac, Cheetos, or Oreo. It is easy to succumb to cheap and available highly processed food, so it can be quite tricky to find a way to interest your kids in good ol’ fruit, nuts, and veggies. 

The Mayo Clinic offers a brief guideline for children’s healthy diet.

So, instead of grabbing packaged snacks which are usually full of added sugars, refined flour, salt, and artificial ingredients, how can you sneak healthy nutrients into recipes for a youngster?

Here is a list of easy, time-saving recipes.

Almond & Banana Oatmeal

This quick and nourishing healthy snack is best to let sit for a while. If it’s summertime, refrigerate it for an hour or so, as it’s quite refreshing when prepared like that. The ingredients include 120ml of water, 2 bananas, 4 tablespoons of oats, 1 tablespoon of ground almonds, 1 teaspoon of honey, and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon.

Veggie Wraps

Wraps are a great way to smuggle quality ingredients into your kid’s diet. As a spread you can use hummus, sour cream, or cream cheese. Add some raw or grilled veggies such as zucchini, cucumber, corn, tomatoes, peppers or eggplant in the tortillas. Legumes are a superb choice, too. Sprinkle the veggies with a bit of olive oil and spices and your healthy snack is ready. The sky’s the limit when it comes to playing with different ingredients and enriching the original recipe.

Home-Made Granola

Gather around some oats, nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds), chia seeds, oil, honey or maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and vanilla extract. Mix together dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients. Evenly blend them together. Spread this mixture on a baking sheet evenly and bake at 180°C for 20 minutes. After granola cools down, you can mix in dried fruit for some extra flavor and serve it.

Power-Packed Veggie Muffins

Muffins are a great choice when looking for healthy snack recipes for kids. Moreover, this option is a lifesaver when you plan a camping trip and when you need tasty, shelf-stable food that can be easily packed. The prep process takes just a few steps: beat 6 eggs with a whisk, sauté the veggies (onion, bell peppers, spinach, mushrooms) in an olive-oiled skillet until onions are translucent and the veggies are soft. Blend with the eggs and stir carefully. Add a pinch of salt. Pour the mixture into greased muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes at 180°C. This is an awesome way to incorporate more veggies into your kids’ diet.

Fruitilicious Ice Cream

This is the easiest and quickest way to make ice cream. All you need are three ingredients: a banana, some raspberries, and some honey which is optional. The fruits have to be frozen. After you let them sit a bit at room temperature to soften up, put them in a food processor and blend. And that’s about it. Add some honey – or don’t, it is sweet enough as it is. It is possible to have a healthy and guilt-free dessert that your kids will enjoy. 

Pinwheel Veggies

Pinwheels travel well and can be made in advance, which is definitely a plus. The creamy base to spread over tortillas is made with sour cream and cream cheese. They act as a glue for the veggies. Here are some veggie ideas:  bell peppers, sliced zucchini, cucumber and carrot strips, and broccoli. You can also add some legumes, chicken, mushroom or ham, as a recommended protein sources. These nibbles are full-flavored and yummy. Refrigerate the pinwheels for at least two hours and make sure to use enough filling, wrap them up tightly, and they are good to go. 

Fruit Salad

This one never gets old. Just slice and dice some of your children’s favorite fruits and you’re done. Bananas are often a must because it adds sweetness most kids prefer. You can add a bit of a twist with some tropical treats such as chunks of pineapple or mango. 

Eggplant Pizza

Eggplant is an underrated veggie. It is high in fiber and packed with a lot of vitamins and minerals. Use a sliced eggplant instead of regular pizza dough, and top it with (almost) anything! Sprinkle eggplant slices with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper and place it in an oven for 10 minutes. When they are done, use spiced tomato sauce as a base and add some fresh tomatoes, ground meat, chicken breast, or mushrooms. Garnish with shredded mozzarella on top. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for about 5-10 minutes.

The Old Fashioned Way – Sandwiches

A sandwich is a great way to provide your children with energy and nutrients between meals. What you put in it is what counts. Cottage cheese or hummus, fresh salad, ham or hard-boiled eggs with pickles are a great, nutrient-dense choice. Whole grain bread is what you should opt for.


Make sure to choose as many whole foods as you can and try not to process them much so that all the good stuff is kept inside. A great tip to all parents trying to introduce a more balanced diet to their offspring is to experiment and find healthier versions of your kid’s favorite snacks.

Grilling Mistakes you’re Probably Making

The ultimate form for a perfect summer afternoon is grilling. Unfortunately, grilling is intimidating, especially if you keep making mistakes, and the meat turns out awful. Whether you are new to the whole grilling game or can’t get your act right, there is a chance that you are making these errors. Here is to fantastic steak!

Mistake #1 – Preparing the meat right before searing

What to do instead: Prep meat ahead of time

Any meat expert will tell you the worst you can do to your meat is putting it over the grill immediately after removing it from the fridge. Allow meat to sit for at least 20 minutes after removing from the refrigerator before throwing it over the fire. That way, your steak won’t be warm on the outside and cold in the inside. However, don’t allow it to stay for more than 30 minutes from the fridge because bacteria thrive in raw meat. After the meat gets to room temperature, pat it using a paper towel.

Mistake #2 – Marinating your steak

What to do instead: Use brine

There is no way you can grill without using a marinade, right?. Well, it’s time to debunk the myth because marinades don’t perform as well as we think they do. Although they taste great, they don’t get into the meat fiber and thus don’t release their flavor. What’s the need of having a strong flavor at the surface and nothing on the inside?  On the other hand, brines get inside the meat. They also change the protein structure to help in holding onto the moisture.

Mistake #3 – Not preparing the grill

What to do instead: Clean the grill and gates

Give your grill a considerable amount of care and attention, probably as much as you give to the meat. While at it, create different zones for indirect and direct heat. When using a charcoal grill, make sure you don’t cover the entire surface using charcoal briquettes. Instead, have a hot zone area in one section of the grill and leave the other for indirect heat cooking.

Mistake #4 – Overcrowding the grill

What to do instead: Leave some space between the meat pieces

If you are having a family BBQ or if you live in a condo and want to cook meat quickly, you might be tempted to throw everything in there. Unfortunately, the grill can only give the best results when it is used to its best capacity. Anything more than that means that your meat will have fewer flavors and won’t be done like you would have wanted it to.

Mistake #5 – Cooking the meat in a cold grill

What to do instead: Preheat the grill

Ensure that you preheat your grill before you start preparing your meat. A rule of the thumb is that you should allow between 15 and 25 minutes of pre-heating before you throw in the steak. The practice not only helps in killing the bacteria, but it also gives the steak a good start. It is particularly vital for gas stoves.

Mistake #6 – Turning meat to get the perfect cross-hatch grill marks

What to do instead: Don’t turn your steaks frequently to allow even cooking

Grill packaging and advertising pictures depict cooked steaks with cross-hatch grill marks. That is why many people are usually looking to get the markings. Unfortunately, they do that at the expense of evenly cooked meat. The lighter marks between the steaks are of unfulfilled potential. When you turn the chicken every often, you will achieve the aesthetically appealing markings, but some of the parts of your steak will be uncooked.

Mistake #7 – Adding sauce to the meat at the wrong time

What to do instead: Add sauce when the meat is cooking

When you cover proteins in sugar before putting them inside the grill, the result is likely to be charred and burned meat. The reason is that when sugar is exposed to high heat, it melts and caramelizes. Common culprits for this are fruit glazes, barbecue sauce as well as teriyaki-based sauces. To avoid this error, apply sauces and glazes during the last few minutes of grilling. Besides, you won’t achieve any added flavor when you add the seasonings before cooking.

Mistake #8 – Cooking many things at once

What to do instead: Put one item at a time

Backyard BBQs are a great way of chilling on a warm afternoon, but you shouldn’t overwork the grill. When you throw in steak, chicken, hotdogs, and anything else at once, you compromise on the quality of your final product. Cook one food item at a go. That way, you can set the right temperature for the meat. It also helps you to concentrate on one piece and avoid cross-contamination. Remember that flavors are essential when it comes to all matters grilling.

How to Grill Tuna Steaks

Time for some lean and juicy beef tenderloin of the sea!  Well you got the hint. Tuna fish has earned the title of being juicy enough to replace beef tenderloin and that is perhaps why it is now known to be the fleshiest fish found in the deep waters.

Trust us on this one! When cooked right, tuna fish can easily replace the juiciest roast beef or lamb! The secret lies in the technique used in cooking up a tender tuna steak.

While tuna sandwiches have long earned all the fame, it is about time this delicacy gets the TLC it needs in order to tantalize the taste buds to the max. There is a whole cuisine dedicated entirely to grilling and smoking fish and we are here to let you in on those secrets. If you are in for some juicy grilled fish, get your utensils out and read on for more!

“How to Grill Tuna Steaks The Right Way!”

While the marinade and the quality of the fish are key here, it all boils down to the searing technique you apply to your fish. If you are really looking for restaurant quality gourmet cooking, we would highly recommend investing in a quality smoke oven.

Once you have your smoker set in place, you have a whole aisle of recipes to explore. There are tonnes of techniques involved in cooking up some top notch tuna steak but what tops it the most is the smokey flavor of slow cooked tuna that you can only get when you let it simmer in a smoke oven.

Let the savory goodness of a smoke oven take you right back to the heart of Seattle with the tiniest bit of effort and perfect results each time. An offset smoker is truly worth an investment when it comes to delicious long and slow easy cooking. Camp Chef’s SmokePro DLX Pellet Grill is quite the choice.

Want to explore more on pellet Grills? Probarbeque has it for you right here!

If offset smokers are not the thing for you than you can surely try out the Traeger grills. Sturdy and fully automated, Traeger grills give you an option to control your cooking session through even your phone!

Yes, Wi-Fire technology is what they call it and it does work like a charm each time! The best model that gets a 5 star rating on Amazon is their Traeger PRO 575. This one is definitely a steal.

Once you have your brine set, make sure you leave your tuna steaks marinating in there for a good four hours.

Preheat your smoker oven to 250 F and add the apple flavored wood to it. Cherry wood goes well too with tuna. Brush the fillets with some low sodium soy and place them on a clean grill that has been moistened with a little oil.

All you have to do now is wait for the deliciousness to cook for just 1 hour now and it’s good to go. Don’t forget to flip the steak once in between the session.

Best sauce for tuna steak

Now what’s a steak without some good old ginger sauce? We thought we should turn up the basic ginger sauce recipe up a notch and add a tangy orange kick to it. All it takes is some oil heated up in a pan but be careful not to burn the oil. Put the heat on a low setting before you add a knob of butter to it. The oil in the pan will prevent the butter from burning.

Add the key ingredients to the pan now; ginger and the chile flakes and cook it till the ginger gets rid of its raw crunch. Now it’s time to increase the heat a little with the added splash of some freshly squeezed orange juice. Once it comes to a boil, add your brown sugar to it along with a dash of soy sauce and lime juice but remember the rule of thumb though, a little goes a long way.

Let the broth simmer till it reduces to one-quarter of what it was. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes on medium heat and that’s all there is to it.  This is hands down the best sort of tangy sauce that compliments all sorts of fish, especially tuna.

Tips to keep in mind when cooking tuna

As delicate tuna flesh is, attention to detail is necessary here. The right temperature is crucial with fish. Ideally, the temperature should range between 190-200 degrees Fahrenheit for a tuna steak so you may want to keep an eye on that thermometer. A cast iron skillet is quite a safe option to use but when you are smoking tuna fish, we would rather recommend you don’t use a skillet at all. Placing the steaks right onto the grill of a quality smoker is what will give it the optimal flavor of the smokey goodness.

Another handy tip to get the most out of your fish is to keep it on the top shelf of the smoker which is presumably the farthest away from the fire box. Any sort of meat when being smoked should in fact be placed on the top shelf of the smoker. Anywhere closer to direct heat will give the meat a tougher texture. A water pan right above the firebox with some stems will work like a charm. It will add the earth flavor and aid in retaining the tenderness of the steak.

Four Healthiest Types of Cooking Oils

Are you on a quest to start cooking healthier dishes and be more mindful of what you are putting into your body ingredient-wise? If so, there is no doubt you’ve been busy scouring recipe books and websites in search of tasty yet healthy dishes that you can try out. Besides just the dish itself, you will also want to consider the cooking oils that you use, as this is another area you can put your health first and choose varieties that offer benefits to you.

Here we’ll take a look at the top four healthiest types of cooking oils and how you can use them properly in all your tasty creations.

Think Twice Before You Reach for Vegetable Oil

If you’ve been in the habit of using vegetable oil for all your recipes, it’s time to think twice. The name “vegetable” oil gives the impression that this is a naturally occurring oil and, therefore, it’s healthy, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Not all vegetable oils are the same but they do share a few things in common – they are bad for your health and the environment at large.

Vegetable oil is simply an oil that has been extracted from different types of seeds. These seeds include such varieties as peanut, safflower, soybean, rapeseed (canola oil), sunflower, and corn. The problem is that in order to extract the oil, an unnatural process has to occur. Typically the seeds the oil is being extracted from have been genetically modified and then the process itself includes the addition of chemicals and solvents. This doesn’t exactly make it a naturally occurring oil by the time you get the finished product.

Butter

So what about the good fats that you can use for cooking? Well, good old-fashioned butter is actually one of the best options out there. Butter uses a very simple process, there are no chemicals or solvents added, and the end result is pure. Of course, with that said, you want to go easy on how much butter you use, but at least you know it’s a healthy cooking oil/fat. Butter is excellent for baked dishes, but also for browning and adding flavor. Keep in mind that its low smoke point can make it a bit tricky to fry with. You will want to use low heat and watch it carefully, or it will soon burn in the ban – burnt butter smells bad and will taint the rest of your dish with an unpleasant flavor.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil seems to be getting a lot more attention over the past few years as people start to realize just how healthy and tasty it is. Just like butter, it is in a solid form that you want to keep at room temperature. Where this one really shines is if you’re baking since it is creamy in texture. Keep in mind it tends to have a low smoking point, rather like butter, which means it’s not ideal for frying.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Even though this one isn’t meant to cook with, it’s still a great oil for recipes. Any time your non-heat recipe calls for an oil opt for this one. For example, extra virgin olive oil works great in salad dressings, homemade mayonnaise, and humus. What makes extra-virgin olive oil such a great choice is that it is the heart-healthy monounsaturated fat that offers a number of great benefits.

Avocado Oil

Avocadoes are the hottest thing on food blogs right now. Instagrammer lifestyle influences love nothing more than to post photos of avocadoes artfully arranged. If it’s frying that you want to be able to do, then avocado oil could be ideal. It has a high smoke point so it can handle the heat, but this one is pretty pricey, so it’s not always great for your wallet. However, it is known to be low in saturated fat but high in monounsaturated fats, making it heart-healthy. This makes it a great choice if you are trying to reduce your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.

Other healthy oils worth considering include safflower oil and peanut oil (unless you have a peanut allergy, of course).

Now that you’ve familiarised yourself with some of the more healthy options, you can start searching for the ideal recipes to make use of these oils and fats.

10 Amazing Honey Recipes

Life is sweeter with honey, that’s a fact. Packed with plenty of nutrients and sweetness, honey mixes well with every crowd.

As a common pantry staple, honey’s complex taste and versatility make adding a little of this sweet nectar to some of your recipes a no-brainer. But aside from its obvious flavor-enhancing powers, honey is also full of health-boosting properties.

If you’re someone who loves discovering and exploring new restaurants and you often wonder if you can make the same amazing dishes yourself, don’t worry! We have compiled a list of 10 recipes using honey that you can try at home!

1. Traditional Jewish Honey Cake

Considered a staple in Jewish culture, this honey cake is alive with flavor. If you want to bake this cake in celebration of Rosh Hashanah, you can opt for a kosher honey like the ones you can find in these honey gift sets. 

Honey is the signature ingredient, giving the cake its moist texture and delicious. But this recipe is also packed with other ingredients like tea, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom to give the cake a delightful spice and scent.  This sweet treat is the perfect mixture of sweet, spice and comfort.

2. Honey-roasted Carrots

Liven up your vegetable dish with a delightful honey glaze. Combine two tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of bourbon or fruit juice to take your roasted carrots to the next level. This glaze paired with some cut up shallots, garlic, and salt will work to balance the sweet and rich flavors in your vegetable roast.

3. Honey and Avocado Facial Cream

Honey isn’t only great for eating, it’s also very beneficial for your skin. This a powerful addition to any skincare routine, is packed with antioxidants and natural anti-bacterial agents. This means that honey is perfect for purifying and revitalizing your skin.

When it comes to making your own DIY face mask, honey makes for the perfect secret weapon. To moisturize your skin, all you need is 1-2 tablespoons of raw honey and ½ a ripe avocado. Combine ingredients and let the mask sit on your face for 15-20 minutes.  Otherwise, if you want to keep it plain and simple, you can leave out the avocado and just stick with the honey.

Without a doubt, applying a DIY honey face mask to your face would have your skin feeling fresh and clear in no time.

4. Honey and Soy-Lacquered Ribs

You can’t go wrong with this sweet and salty combo. This sticky mix of honey and soy will both enhance and enrich the flavor of your meat as well as providing you with a tender texture. Try out this flavor-rich recipe to enjoy these ribs for yourself.

5. Honey Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

How can you improve a classic? Only with honey, of course. Adding some honey to this Southern classic will not only ensure your sponge is super moist but also enhance the cake’s sweetness. Going hand in hand with this classic recipe, this incredible honey glaze is simply irresistible.

6.      Honey- mustard Vinaigrette

A good condiment can enhance any dish. There’s really no surprise that honey-mustard dressing is a popular go-to for so many people. The mix of the sweetness from the honey with the sharpness of the mustard works well to add flavor dimension to your deal. This all-purpose dressing is not only undeniably delicious but also low in cholesterol and saturated fats.

7. Honey Yeast Rolls

A tender warm roll is the perfect partner to any meal. This sweet twist on a dinnertime classic is sure to please the whole family. We’re sure this recipe will become a staple in your household.

8. Chewy Honey Granola Bars

Honey is the glue that brings granola together. This recipe has a fantastic mix of flavor and texture. With the sweetness of the honey, chewiness of the raisins and crunch of the oats, these granola bars make for the perfect snack.

9. Honey and Lemon Chicken

Sticky and saucy are the two perfect words to describe this dish. With either chicken breast or thigh, this simple dish is both light and packed with flavor.

10.  Greek Melomakarona

Melomakarona is a traditional Greek egg-shaped dessert. The core ingredients for this cookie are flour, egg and olive oil. A syrup, made from honey is then poured over the cookies as they bake to create a delightfully sweet flavor. Try this super simple recipe, but be warned, they are highly addictive.

Well there you have it, this mix of honey-full recipes will have you buzzing for more of the sweeter side of life! 

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