Add some fun to your 4th of July party food. If you are tired of the same old burgers and hot dogs on this celebration, go ahead and add more to it or change it up the way that you would like to. There is no rule that the food should be one thing or another. In fact, a potluck of choices is the most American of all ways to celebrate. Gather up some new menu ideas and make this fourth of July fun and enjoyable for everyone.
Need some help coming up with fun ideas for party food? If so, there are more than a few things that you can do. Here are some great ideas.
Add more choices. Instead of just burgers and hot dogs, why not cook up some shrimp, crab or even lobster? You can add chicken, fish and steaks to the menu. Yes, you can cook all of this right on your grill (with the help of a side burner in some cases) and still enjoy the grilling atmosphere that the 4th is all about.
Dress up dessert. How about a cake that is in the shape of an American flag? For red stripes, go with strawberries in rows. For the stars, add enough blueberries to make them shine through. Frost the cake white and decorate. This is a great way to make a special treat.
Don’t forget the drinks. You can make various types of drinks special by just adding in flavored ice cubes, in blue and red, of course. To make them, add strawberry and blueberry flavoring to the ice cube trays. Or, just use the right colored Kool-Aid to make it work. Drop them into drinks for a festive yet fun way to add to your food celebration.
You can add virtually any side dish, any dessert and any type of appetizer to your menu and find those that will love it. The only rules to consider about food for the 4th is that it should be something that does not require fine china, something that can handle being out in the sun and something that is all about fun eating. You can come up with your own fun menu of foods, but don’t forget that some will want the traditional fare nonetheless.
When it comes to cooking, it is important to keep in mind that everyone started somewhere. I do not know of a single person who was born with a wooden cooking spoon and ready to go. There is a lot of learning that must be done in order to become a prolific cook and then there is always room for improvement. Not only do you need to begin with the basics when it comes to cooking but you almost need to begin again when learning to cook a new cuisine such as Chinese, Thai, or Indian food.
This means that at any given time in your cooking learning cycles there is quite probably someone somewhere that is better and/or worse at cooking than you. Take heart from this because even the best have bad days when it comes to cooking. There are many people who cook for different reasons. Some cook in order to eat and survive while others cook because they actually enjoy the process of cooking. Some cook during times of emotional upheaval and others cook out of sheer boredom. Whatever your reason for cooking or learning to cook you should always begin with the basics.
The first thing that you need to learn is what the different terminology you will find in recipes actually means. There are many new and sometimes foreign sounding terms that you will find in common recipes. These terms can mean the difference in recipe success or failure. You should be able to find a good section in any inclusive cookbook that explains the different definitions for unfamiliar terminology. If you aren't absolutely certain what is meant by “folding in the eggs” it is in your best interests to look it up.
Another great bit of advice when it comes to cooking basics is to try simpler recipes for a while and then expand your horizons to the more complex recipes that abound. Most recipes will have a little note about their degree of difficulty and you can read through the recipe to see whether or not it is something you are interested in preparing or confident that you can prepare. Remember Rome wasn't built in a day and it will take quite some time to build a reliable ‘repertoire’ of recipes to work into your meal planning rotation.
The good news is that once you've learned the basics of cooking it is unlikely that you will ever need to relearn them. This means that you can constantly build up and expand your cooking skills. As you learn new recipes and improve your culinary skills and talents you will discover that preparing your own meals from scratch is much more rewarding than preparing prepackaged meals that are purchased from the shelves of your local supermarkets.
You will also discover as your experience and confidence grows that you will find yourself more and more often improvising as you go and adjusting recipes to meet your personal preferences. If you prefer more or less of ingredients or want to make a recipe a little more or less spicy in flavor you can make simple adjustments along the way in order to achieve this goal. In other words you will begin in time to create recipes of your very own. And that is something you won’t necessarily learn when it comes to basic cooking skills for beginners but you would never learn if you didn't master those basic cooking skills.
Camp cooking can be as elaborate or simple as you want it to be. If you want to prepare quick and simple but nutritious meals while you are camping, camp cooking doesn't even have to require a fire. But if you are interested in fueling your camping trip with a feast, camp cooking can allow you to make hot, healthy foods that are as good as you can make them at home in your own kitchen.
Camp cooking does not have to be limited to sandwiches and baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil. Almost any cooking method you use in the kitchen can be duplicated around the campfire. For example, use a dutch oven or pit cooking to bake your food. You can also easily fry foods in a pan over a grill, or boil, braise and roast. What type of camping cookware is best for you? Camp cooking and clean-up can be easy or a hassle, it all starts with great camping equipment.
Some pots/pans come in sets that mate together or "nest" for storage and even allow you to tuck a canister of fuel inside them. This comes in handy when you're looking to save room while camping.
Following are some camping items to take with you if you are planning on preparing some meals around the campfire. These common kitchen items will allow you to duplicate tasty meals while you are out of doors.
• Salt and pepper
• Other of your favorite herbs and spices
• Cooking oil
• Pot holder
• Hand-held can opener
• Aluminum foil
• Tongs and spatula
• Cutting knives
• Cutting board
• Mixing bowl
• Paper or plastic silverware, plates and cups
If you have just a few campers and are looking for some simple camp cooking, try the easy and quick technique of tin can cooking. All you will need is a clean tin can – a one gallon size can works well. Your source of heat can be a small campfire, or if wood burning is prohibited, a small buddy burner will work well, which can be found at sporting good stores or online. Place your meal in the tin can and simply heat the contents of your can over a flame. You will have a hot meal ready in minutes. This technique works great for soups, beans and tuna fish.
A more time-consuming camp cooking technique that also produces tasty meals is pit cooking. Pit cooking is great for items that can be wrapped in aluminum foil to be cooked. It is also a great camp cooking method if you are using a dutch oven or cast iron cookware. Pit cooking warms your food by heating rocks and coals that are buried in the ground. As the rocks cool off, their emitted heat cooks the food. To pit cook, first dig a hole that is about three times larger than your cookware. Line the pit with rocks and build a fire in the middle. Once the fire has burned rapidly for about an hour, push the hot coals and rocks into the center. Layer your wrapped food or covered skillets on top of the rocks and coals and place more on top. After a few hours, you will have some delicious camp food to enjoy.
It's a trite, but often repeated saying: The way to a man's heart is through his stomach. So why, when Father's Day rolls around, do we buy endless ties and "message" T shirts? Is the way to his heart through his clothes? Not likely. It's the stomach, people, and that means good food. For many men, good food comes in the form of a great steak.
So what if you're not a steak eater, or you eat it only in restaurants and the thought of purchasing a raw slab scares you to death? Fear not. It's not that complicated, really. Even a caveman can handle this job.
It's important to know your cuts of meat before planning the menu. You don't want to cook the dad in your life a tasteless, tough piece of leather. You might not notice the difference, but let's face it - he will. Since you'll likely be grilling, it's important to know the best cuts of meat for the grill.
You want to choose the most tender portions of meat for grilling. Experts generally consider these cuts of beef to be the best for grilling:
If there is the word "loin" on the package, you're in good shape, though most grill experts agree the T-bone is the most superior cut of beef for grilling. It stays tender and juicy, and is thick enough to withstand a fair amount of time on the grill without overcooking. Stay away from top round or anything with "round" or "chuck" in the name. These will not cook well on the grill. Flank steak and London broil can also be tough.
Next, it's important to know how to choose a steak. Don't just grab the first package that looks good to you. Look for some good marbling in the steak. Yes, this is another word for fat. But we're not cooking for the dieter in the family on this special day, we're trying to give dad a good steak, remember? Those little bits of fat scattered about the steak will essentially melt while the meat is cooking, giving the meat a rich and more tender flavor.
In that same vein, don't trim the fat from your steak before cooking. It might be the diet book author in you coming out, but that thick layer of fat around your steak is what will give the steak a wonderful juicy quality and rich flavor. You can cook the steak, and then trim the fat, but cook the steak while it's still dressed in its fat clothes. It's worth it.
Do you need to buy a "name brand" steak? Experts say it's not necessary, even though branded meat is a new commodity and becoming more widely available. Nor is it necessary to choose a steak from a butcher shop or from behind the glass window in the meat department at your local grocery store. Usually the pre-packaged steaks are the same you would get from behind the glass, and since the butcher is a dying breed, you could certainly go that route if you have a neighborhood butcher, but if not, a good quality grocery store will provide what you need.
Finally, it's important to know your grades of steak.
Prime is the top grade, and it features the most marbling and is the most tender, but most of us don't have access to this grade in mainstream grocery stores. This is often what you get in a restaurant.
Choice is the best grade most of us can get in the grocery store. But choice does not guarantee high quality as this grade encompasses meat that can be almost as good as prime, or almost as bad as select, our next grade.
Select beef is the most lean and least expensive beef and is the grade of beef most commonly found in your grocery store meat case. Since this is Father's Day, try to find choice and splurge a little.
If you are unsure about your ability to pick up a good steak locally, consider ordering online and having fresh, high-quality steaks delivered to your door.
At OmahaSteaks.com, you can buy a large variety pack of meat, grill some for dad, and then send him home with a few spares for another day. KansasCitySteaks.com offers prime quality steaks for a restaurant-quality dad's meal.
When it comes to barbecuing, what could be more fun than whipping up sumptuous food on the grill in the company of family and friends? The thing of course is finding the right place for grilling and barbecuing. One favorite spot among true barbecue aficionados would be their very own backyard or outdoor kitchen with their own brick barbecue pit. Actually, any outdoor area is a potential spot for a barbecue but truth be known, the best places for a barbecue are the safest ones.
Choose a location for your BBQ grill that is away from trees, leaves, brush and overhanging limbs. Do not setup your gill in a high traffic area where someone may accidentally brush up against the hot grill.
When barbecuing in your backyard, be sure that you're 5 to 10 feet away from your house or any material that can potentially catch fire. Also, be sure the grill is stable and is away from children or pets that may bump into it. It would also be a good idea to have a water supply nearby like a garden hose.
If you live in an apartment building with a balcony or rooftop or any other outdoor space, be sure to consult with your building administrator (or in some instances, your local fire department) regarding specific restrictions. Generally, using charcoal and gas grills indoors or anywhere above the first storey is prohibited so you may want to consider electric grills instead for your barbecuing efforts.
Another great place to barbecue is in a campsite. Camping is such an exciting way to experience the great outdoors and barbecuing food over a campfire is definitely one of those practical yet cozy things you can do. Just be sure that you are at least 15 feet away from your tent and other camping gears.
Protect yourself by using the correct BBQ utensils such as oven mitts, thongs and a good spatula. Avoid wearing loose clothing while near the grill.
Always leave the lid to a gas grill open when lighting the fire so the gas does not build up under the cover. If the fire does not initially start, turn off the gas, leave the lid open and wait for at lest five minutes before trying again.
It is always a good idea to give your grill a checkup before using for the first time of the season and always store your tanks outside in a upright position where the temperature will never go over 125 degrees.
Of course, it's not just the atmosphere of being outdoors that can make a barbecue fun and special. It's also in the delicious barbecue dishes that you share with your loved ones. To make it all the more special, try a variety of BBQ rubs, marinades, salsas and BBQ sauce to capture the true taste of great outdoor barbecuing.
We are super excited and proud to see our gloves on the awesome Home and Family show with Matt Rogers segment Daddy-O PatiO on “Must-Have for Daddy’s” for occasions like Mother’s Day and Memorial Day.
During the May 8th Episode of Home and Family, Matt Rogers gave viewers a list of BBQ equipments for effective grilling.
Matt made a demo on how to use some of the equipments while wearing our silicone gloves. It is great to realize just how popular and reliable the Grill Armor Gloves are!
Check out the video segment of Matt confidently using our Grill Armor Silicone Gloves.
Rice may be cooked by 3 methods, each of which requires a different proportion of water. These methods are boiling, which requires 12 times as much water as rice; the Japanese method, which requires 5 times as much; and steaming, which requires 2-1/2 times as much. Whichever of these methods is used, however, it should be remembered that the rice grains, when properly cooked, must be whole and distinct. To give them this form and prevent the rice from having a pasty appearance, this cereal should not be stirred too much in cooking nor should it be cooked too long.
BOILED RICE - Boiling is about the simplest way. Properly boiled rice not only forms a valuable dish itself, but is an excellent foundation for other dishes that may be served at any meal. The water in which rice is boiled should not be wasted, as it contains much nutritive material. This water may be utilized in the preparation of soups or sauces, or it may even be used to supply the liquid required in the making of yeast bread.
BOILED RICE (Sufficient to Serve Eight)
1 cup rice ; 3 tsp. Salt; 3 qt. boiling water
Wash the rice carefully and add it to the boiling salted water. Boil rapidly until the water begins to appear milky because of the starch coming out of the rice into the water or until a grain can be easily crushed between the fingers. Drain the cooked rice through a colander, and then pour cold water over the rice in the colander, so as to wash out the loose starch and leave each grain distinct. Reheat the rice by shaking it over the fire, and serve hot with butter, gravy, or cream or milk and sugar.
JAPANESE METHOD - Rice prepared by the Japanese method may be used in the same ways as boiled rice. However, unless some use is to be made of the liquid from boiled rice, the Japanese method has the advantage of being a more economical way of cooking this cereal.
JAPANESE METHOD (Sufficient to Serve Eight)
1 cup rice ; 1-1/2 tsp. Salt; 5 c. boiling water
Wash the rice, add it to the boiling salted water, and boil slowly for 15 minutes. Then cover the utensil in which the rice is cooking and place it in the oven for 15 minutes more, in order to evaporate the water more completely and make the grains soft without being mushy. Serve in the same way as boiled rice.
STEAMED RICE - To steam rice requires more time than either of the preceding cooking methods, but it causes no loss of food material. Then, too, unless the rice is stirred too much while it is steaming, it will have a better appearance than rice cooked by the other methods. As in the case of boiled rice, steamed rice may be used as the foundation for a variety of dishes and may be served in any meal.
STEAMED RICE (Sufficient to Serve Six)
1 cup rice; 1-1/2 tsp. Salt 2-1/2 c. water
Wash the rice carefully and add it to the boiling salted water. Cook it for 5 minutes and then place it in a double boiler and allow it to cook until it is soft. Keep the cooking utensil covered and do not stir the rice. About 1 hour will be required to cook rice in this way. Serve in the same way as boiled rice.
For more tips and recipes, visit http://mycookery.com/blog.
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"The gloves really work! I used them to remove hot trays from the oven, in addition to not feeling any heat at all the trays didn't slip out of my hand. I was anxious to use them while grilling and they really made the whole experience much easier. I was not worried about getting burned when I was turning the food."
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