Category Food Info & News

Grilling Hints and Tips for Barbecue

Make Summer BBQs Better with These Grilling Tips


Summer is right around the corner, and it’s time to pull out the BBQ grill and start grilling in the backyard sun. This article provides some hints and tips for perfect grilling.
Everyone who owns one is likely dreaming of getting the outdoor grill ready for the summer barbeques. Outdoor grilling can be a fun family or friend activity during the warmer months, and grilling meats and veggies make for more flavorful foods.

Good outdoor grilling begins before you start up the flames. Let’s look at some pre-grilling hints and tips first.

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Chocolate – Food of the Gods – All About Chocolate

Do you like chocolate? So many do, as it is one of the most widely purchased and consumed delicacies available today. Read more about chocolate and its history.
From the cacao tree comes the base ingredient for chocolate – the cocoa bean. Chocolate has a rich history, steeped in mystery and divine properties, 1435534_18022037throughout the ages as a delicacy, from the Mayan and Aztec societies, whose elite drank an unsweetened cocoa drink, all the way to the modern-day chocolate confection bar that is so common today.

The cacao tree has pods that contain seeds, and it is these seeds that are used to be crushed or pressed to begin the process of making ‘chocolate’, or sometimes at this stage better known as cocoa. These trees were native to the Americas, especially Central America, and this is where the rich history of chocolate seems to begin, over 2000 years ago. Soon, the Spanish conquistadors came and took the seeds back to their country, and the use of cacao seeds to make chocolate type beverages and foods expanded, until, as it is now, chocolate is available in many forms all over the world.

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Asian Cooking Kitchen Staples

asian-food-1136156-mAsian and Asian-fusion cuisine is easy to prepare, healthy, and full of color and flavor. Keeping a few Asian cuisine staples in the kitchen makes Asian dinners easy.

Asian food has its own flare of spicy, sweet and savory, in unique combinations that are distinctly Asian-infused, unmistakable in flavor. Quality Asian food is difficult to find outside of large cities or communities with Asian influence. The best way to experience Asian food in those cases, or when you want fresher and less expensive Asian cuisine than the restaurants can provide, is to make it yourself at home. It’s not hard. All you need are a few of the basic ingredients and tools.

Let’s look first at the basic foodstuff ingredients necessary for your pantry. The dry goods are easy to buy in advance and keep around. The perishable items can be purchased a few days to right before preparing an Asian meal. Spices and liquids can be kept in the pantry or refrigerator, but you’ll want to check the expiration dates to ensure they don’t go bad.

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Bountiful Baskets–Stretch Your Produce Dollar & More

UntitledWhen I started the Michy’s Food Stamp (SNAP) 30-Day Challenge, I posted about it all over Facebook and asked my friend there to help me keep it real. I explained that, to appease politicians, I would do the challenge with some ‘supplemental’ cash kicked in, since certain politicians insist a food stamp recipient is, by natural of the name of the program “supplemental” nutritional assistance, supposed to supplement their grocery budget with food stamps, not make it their entire budget. Well, I debunked that with the guidelines USDA has posted about how the food stamp allotment is calculated. (Essentially, the food stamp maximum allotment is figured on the USDA ‘thrifty food budget’ for a family. If you have zero income, after your deductions, they give you the maximum allotment, and if you have some income, they deduct from that allotment, award you less than the maximum, and YOU supplement the difference between that and the maximum allotment. So the point is, it’s only supposed to be supplemented with your own cash if you are receiving anything less than maximum–which means, the $6 per day figure is pretty much what you’re supposed to work with.)

So that said, I worked with it. I basically estimated a food stamp budget of $180 for the month, per person, based on the family maximums for Texas, then I added another $20 total of my own cash to the budget. That leaves us with $20 to spend on food in cash, while the rest if ‘food stamp budget’ money. That means, $20 can be spent anywhere–farmer’s markets, co-ops, etc.–and I took a chance and decided to order from Bountiful Baskets. The basket of food was supposed to be full of produce and I’ve heard mixed reports about what to expect. However, the majority of the reports said the food is really good.

When you’re on a limited budget, buying $15 worth of food that you haven’t seen and don’t know if it’s any good, well… that’s a risk. You never know if it will be worth it. Scared me a bit with the challenge, because if I got a dud basket, that would be a lot of wasted cash for stretching the budget. But if it worked, that would be fantastic!

So I took the chance. Food stamp recipients have to take chances too. It’s realistic to the challenge.

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