Fresh Pineapple Tea

All around my neighborhood pineapple is on sale this week. At the price pineapple is selling for you can’t resist indulging in this delectable, healthy, fruit. Pineapple is a good source of nutrition, and helps with inflammation, digestion, and many other ailments. When most people eat pineapple, they discard the skin, and crown, of the fruit after cutting it. These people are missing out on a great easy way to make use of all the benefits a pineapple has to offer.

The crown once cut off makes a good garnish, if your cutting up fruit for family to eat right away. Place it in the center of your plate of cut pineapple. The crown can also be planted in your garden to grow more pineapple.

The skin makes a great easy tea, sometimes referred to as pineapple water. You can drink pineapple tea hot, or cold.

After you cut your pineapple up take the core, and skins and place them into a 8 quart pot. Fill the pot with water.

Bring this to a boil. Then simmer for 45 minutes. While simmering add honey, or sugar to sweeten. Ginger, tumeric, vanilla, and cinnamon, can also be added for flavor if you like.

Once done cooking place in a pitcher to cool, or enjoy while it’s hot. Refrigerate left over tea. Enjoy.

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How To Make Batter Stick When Frying

Tonight a problem was solved. While frying shrimp in the house, the batter would not stick . The grease I was cooking in was heated to the proper temperature. However, the shrimp kept loosing it’s batter coating while Frying.

The batter was quickly adjusted by adding seltzer water. This gave the batter some air, and thickened it to the consistency of pancake batter.

Next the shrimp were dusted in flour before dipping into the batter to fry.

Once slowly submerged into the frying oil, the shrimp adjusted perfectly. The batter stuck to the shrimp, plus they came out nicely coated golden, and brown.

These shrimp made perfect for a General Tso Shrimp dish. Once tossed in the sauce they were even better.

This was a great way to accompany Honey Ginger dressed Broccoli Slaw for an exquisite dinner. I will definitely make this meal again.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Sweet potatoes are a great side dish for any meal. They are full of vitamins and nutrients, and taste delicious. There are many ways to prepare a potato, for a meal. Tonight was my first time trying to make gnocchi. I figured why not make them with sweet potatoes. My creativity helped me enjoy a meal I had never had before.

Making the gnocchi was fun, and easy. Forming the proper shape for presentation was a challenge. However, the shape of gnocchi I made did not effect it’s flavor or taste.

The steps for production were easy. First I mixed the gnocchi. Which was less of a mess than I thought it would be. The sweet potatoes and egg held everything together.

Second I rolled four portions of sweet potato gnocchi dough. Convert portion balls into logs. Followed by cutting the logs them into pieces.

These delectable sweet potato gnocchi were then shaped with a fork, boiled and iced bathed. The ice bath stops them from sticking and being mushy.

Finally for added flavor I fried my sweet potato gnocchi in butter. This final step added flavor and made them nice and crisp, but still kept the insides soft. I would definitely make these again with other ingredients as well for flavor. They were fun to make. Delicious to taste. Moreover not time consuming. I did this all in 30 min. So give some gnocchi a try for a different side.

For a full meal I braised some chicken breast, and made a spinach ricotta cream sauce, with the gnocchi. This paired very well.

First Time Cooking Black Rice

Since I was a child I’ve always loved rice. Growing up hot bread, potatoes, pasta, or rice were served with most meals. Now at a older age in life I want to live eating more healthy. I try to eat carbs in moderation daily. I also have eliminated bleached foods from my diet.

When I eat rice it’s usually brown rice. One day someone introduced me to black rice. Once I tasted the black rice I fell in love. The flavor is stonger than brown rice, plus it has a lot of nutrients. Looking at it I thought this can not be easy to make, but I’m going to give it a try.

I purchased a 2 pound bag and said I will give cooking my own black rice a try. It was as simple preparing it as brown rice is. Now that I know how to cook it, I can have it any time. I prepared it with blackened chicken, and avocado & tomato salad, it was a great combination. Black rice also goes well with fish. With so many varieties of rice available, why not eat the ones that are most healthy for you.

Cucumber Rolls and Farro Salad

Yesterday while surfing the web, I found a recipie for cucumber rolls. I thought to myself, “wow this would be great on a salad”. The excitement of plating food is finding new creative garnishes to use. Edible garnishes are great accommodations to any meal.

The cucumber rolls were easy to make. Once you slice the cucumber on a mandolin, it can be wrapped in different ways. You can wrap it around any vegtable or stuffing you choose. Goat cheese, herbs, and mayonaise, were my choice of filling. I garnished mine with micro greens and tomatoes. Left over cold pesto salmon was used for the protein, but chicken or shrimp would go well too. farro salad was a great addition as well, with watercrest, arugala, and fennel. The salad was a good support to keep the cucumber rolls in place. Using green goddess dressing as garnish made this salad exquisite.

Homemade Split Pea Soup

Let’s be honest any bean really goes good with pork. Some peas are an accommodation to pork as well. Today I decided to make split pea soup for the first time at home. I’ve made it for restaurants several times but never at home. I wanted this dish to be so good everyone in my house would eat it. So I figured fresh food would make it best.

I put some fresh cut ham hocks, and pork neck bones from the supermarket in a frying pan. I seared these bones in olive oil until crispy brown.

Then I put them into a saucepan. In the same oil left after searing in the frying pan, I saut├ęd some mire pox, peppers, and garlic, until carmilized nicely brown. I added bay leaf, spices, salt, and pepper for flavor. Once carmilized I added vegtables to pork bones in saucepan. I discarded all grease.

I then turned saucepan on medium heat. I added 5 quarts water and a bouillon cube. You can use pork, or vegtable bouillon and bring to boil for 30 minutes. Then add beans, or peas, and bring back up to 5 quarts of liquid by adding more water. Bring to boil again 30 minutes. Once done add salt and pepper and serve.

I never knew fresh ham hocks and neck bone could be so delicious in soup. I usually use smoked meat for soup but the supermarket was sold out. THIS IS A FINE EXAMPLE OF USE WHAT YOU GOT, TO GET WHAT YOU WANT. Cooking is using what you have and making it taste good. Fresh food goes a long way.

Wow Pineapple Mint

Mint is a great addition to any meal. Today I found out each variety of mint has different tastes. Pineapple mint looks almost like regular mint, but it has some yellow color tones too it. Plus it feels a little rougher than regular mint.

When tasting it I found pineapple mint is sweeter, and less minty than regular mint. This is a great herb to add to food for people not fond of eating mint. I decided to put some in my tumeric and ginger tea tonight. Pineapple mint made my tea refreshing in a subtle minty way. I could hardly taste any mint at all in my tea. I would definitely suggest pineapple mint to non mint lovers.