Yes, You Can Make Canned Soup Taste Like Homemade

Minnesota has been in a deep freeze for months, with temperatures of 20 below zero and wind chills a startling 45-50 below. Though the evening television news is packed with stories about frozen pipes, the broadcasts haven’t mentioned frost bite or frozen tummies. However, the newscasts urge parents to bundle up their children and protect their skin.

During weather like this parents tend to feed their children comfort food like soup. Sandwiches often accompany the soup of choice. I ate lots of soup when I was a child and still enjoy it.

An early riser (5 a.m. or even 4 a.m.) I’m ready for lunch around 10:15. The other day I longed for homemade soup, but didn’t have time to start from scratch. So I opened a can of cream of chicken soup. Canned soup has several advantages. First, it’s quick. Second, the manufacturer has spent years on product development. Third, the manufacturer strives for a consistent product.

A little of this, a little of that, and 15 minutes later, I had a satisfying lunch. You may enjoy these recipes, one for a creamy vegetable soup, and the other for fresh mushroom. Both may be doubled if you’re feeding a large family. For a heartier dish, add cooked chicken to the first recipe. Then pass crackers or crusty bread.

Creamy Vegetable Soup

10 3/4 ounce can lower sodium cream of chicken soup

3 soup cans water

3 packets salt-free chicken soup base

1 package Trader Joe’s frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, cauliflower, corn in sauce)

1/4 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)

1 cup cooked chicken, cubed or shredded (optional)

In a soup kettle whisk together canned soup and water. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer over medium heat until the vegetables and pasta are tender. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese if you wish. Makes 6 servings.

Fresh Mushroom Soup with Dry Sherry

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

8-ounce package button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (Use another variety of mushroom if you wish.)

10 3/4 ounce can lower sodium cream of mushroom soup

3 soup cans water

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

2-3 tablespoons dry sherry

Put butter and oil in soup pan. Add sliced mushrooms and saute over medium heat until they start to brown. Add soup base, water, and dried thyme. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Just before serving add sherry and cook one minute longer. Makes 6 servings.

Spice-Rubbed Steak With Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges

Rich, aromatic spices add depth to beef, even before it’s cooked. The smoky, savory taste of chile powder, cumin, and paprika penetrate the meat for an intensely flavored steak. Searing the beef in a hot cast-iron skillet with very little oil seals in the flavor and fragrance of the spices-and results in tender, juicy, flavor-packed meat. And, of course, less oil means less fat.

I seared a 1-1/4-inch-thick top sirloin steak that had very little noticeable fat. You can use a different cut, such as New York strip or boneless rib-eye, but make sure it’s trimmed and fairly thick.

Sweet potatoes are naturally high in nutrition and low in fat, and they need nothing more than a little oil and seasoning to bring out their creamy, caramelized goodness when roasted.

This dinner is done in less than 45 minutes. It’s steak and fries, without the guilt-and all the flavor.

Serves 2 (easily doubled)

Ingredients

For the Potatoes

1 medium, rounded sweet potato (about 3/4 lb), scrubbed and cut into 8 wedges
2 tsp olive oil
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the Steaks

1/4 tsp ground chile powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp smoked paprika
1 10-oz top sirloin steak, about 1-1/4-inch thick
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil, for brushing

Preparation

For the Potatoes

Preheat the oven the 400� F.
Place the potato wedges in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Season with cinnamon, salt, and pepper and toss well to coat.
Place a wire rack in a shallow baking pan (line the pan first with parchment paper or foil, if desired). Spread the potato wedges skin-side down on the rack.
Roast until tender and browned, 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with a little more salt before serving.

For the Steaks

Combine the chile powder, cumin, and paprika in a small bowl. Trim any side fat from the steaks and rub the spice mixture all over them. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes.
Heat a heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat and brush with oil.
Season the steaks with salt and pepper and sear until lightly charred, 5-6 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until desired degree of doneness. Remove to a cutting board and let rest 3 minutes.

To serve, cut the steaks across the grain into thin strips. Divide between 2 plates and serve potato wedges alongside.

What Is Margarine, Know The Truth

Not all margarines are created equally and they are certainly not all made the same. I am going to take you through the list of general ingredients that will go into making quality margarine. Choosing a quality made margarine is perfect for those of you who want to live healthier. Most quality margarines and spreads contain more good fats than butter and there are even some varieties that can help you lower blood cholesterol (such as those that contain plant sterols). It is always best to choose a soft margarine that is in a tub that is labelled one of the following: “vegetable oils based fat spreads”, or “margarine spreads” or “spreads.” Generally speaking these types of margarines contain more good fats, but as always check the food label to be sure.

We think margarine is the best thing since (and on!) sliced bread. But wait just a minute – what is margarine, exactly?

There are lots of myths and stories spread around about margarine and they’re mostly all out-dated rumours. I am here to tell you the margarine true facts and answer the big ‘what is margarine?’ question, so that you can make a balanced decision on what’s best for the health and lifestyle of your family.

Originally developed as an alternative to butter, margarine is a spread that can be used in just about every recipe as a substitute for butter which is lower in saturated fats. It’s produced with a combination of different types of vegetable and plant oils from all around the world.

Soft spread margarines usually have fewer calories per serving than you’d normally find in solid fats, such as butter. You can even make your own margarine at home with simple ingredients which you probably have in your kitchen already. So why not give it a go?

Okay, so what is margarine made of? Put simply, margarine is a blend of plant oils and water bound together with an emulsifier – such as lecithin of egg yolk fame – with a dash of salt added for flavour and a sprinkling of vitamins A and D for that nutritional boost we all need. Margarine is a healthy, tasty way of giving your body the good fats and oils that it needs, but cannot create on its own.

Switching to margarine from butter doesn’t mean reducing the flavours in your cooking; in fact, it could mean the exact opposite! Why not try some festive cookies or a hearty winter soup?

Making simple switches in your diet can make a huge difference – simply swapping butter for margarine in everyday recipes can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. With today’s extensive variety of flavoursome margarines you won’t notice a change in the taste!

Sue Batty loves margarine and has been using it as her preferred ingredient in cooking since she was very young. Always the baker of her family Sue now cooks, writes recipes and taste-tests new foods professionally and has years of experience behind her. To know more about what is margarine and its ingredients

Delicious K-Cup Coffee Recipe_ Caramel Vanilla Delight

Despite the fact that summer is in full swing, as Americans, we still love our hot coffee. Now, iced coffee does take a nice uptick in popularity but sales for hot coffee are still higher than iced. Due to that, we looked back at which recipe for incredible K-Cup coffee recipes we found and wrote about and the Caramel Vanilla Delight was the winner.

So, for those of you who missed the recipe, here it is again. The wonderfully delicious caramel vanilla delight. The ingredients in this recipe are simple and easy to get; none of them will require you to go to some exotic store or order $1000 worth of ingredients. Most of these are likely already in your home, if they are not, then a simple run to the store down the road should suffice.

The ingredients you will need are:

� One extra bold coffee K-Cup – this can be whatever brand you like the best. The bolder, the better. Why? The coffee flavor will stand out among all the other ingredients.
� One French vanilla K-Cup – again, any brand you like the best. French vanilla is better for the recipe than just a vanilla blend.
� Two tablespoons of caramel syrup. If you want to use another form of caramel like solid, then you can go for it, just melt it down to a syrup consistency.
� Half and half creamer. This will give the coffee some body and a thicker consistency. Not too thick, though, so still perfect for summer.
� Any sweetener you want. This one is completely optional.

Now, do you have all your ingredients together and ready to go? Good, let’s get to making the caramel vanilla delight!

1. Brew your extra bold K-Cup into a 16-20 ounce mug. You want a mug that will be able to hold all the ingredients. Brew about 8 ounces of the coffee.

2. Brew the French Vanilla K-Cup into the mug as well. See? You needed that large mug. O ye of little faith! Again, brew about 8 ounces of the coffee.

3. Add in some of the half and half creamer, and any sweetener, to the coffee. Do it to taste. This is your drink, after all!

4. If you have any whipped cream on hand, then go ahead and add some of this on top! This will make it fancier.

5. If you have any caramel syrup, go ahead and drizzle some of that on top as well. Again, fancy.

6. Enjoy.

Coffeevines is an online coffee distributor of K-cup coffee! We carry many name brands of coffee, tea, & cocoa.

Doughnuts – The Lighter Side

The word doughnut needs no explaining, it is common throughout the world. It is called “sufganiyah” in Israel and the Malaysians have a similar dish called “Kuih keria”. Nevertheless, it is a simple and delicious dessert with unique variations. A particular type of doughnut, The Boston Cream is so famous that it made its way far away to Pakistan and is called as “Navaz Sharif” variety, funnily after the current Prime Minister of Pakistan though.

Now that I’ve said all about the fame of this simple little dessert, what actually is a doughnut? Flour is made into a dough and then deep fried, but that doesn’t make it a doughnut quite yet. What’s unique of the doughnut is that it has a circular shape with a circle cut out from the centre, it’s actually a baked flour ring. To give it this ring shape, a doughnut cutter is used which will cut out a circle from the centre and make sure it is perfectly round from the outer side, or the dough can be simply kneaded into a rope like structure and the ends joined to form a circle. Baking times vary from types and variations, but that’s just another thing.

There are countless variations of the doughnut and it’ll take another read to talk about them, but fortunately there are primarily only two types of this creative dessert, the cake doughnut and the yeast doughnut. As the name suggests, yeast doughnuts have yeast included in the dough and swell up to give a nice fluffy doughnut, but they take longer in the frying pan and are 25% oil. On the other hand, the cake based doughnuts are made from a special cake batter and take less oil to fry, but they get their share of fats already included in the batter.

Doughnuts are also recognised without the centre part cut out, well the centre part that I’ve been referring to is actually called a doughnut hole, this doughnut hole after being cut out, can be added back to the mixture or be fried and served itself. Doughnuts have actually made these one-bite doughnut holes quite famous! With or without doughnut holes, doughnuts have a lot of variations and by a lot, I really mean like a lot! They can be topped with icing, cinnamon, granulated sugar or whatever confectionery you could think of. Aside from topping, filled doughnuts are quite popular too. Cream or flavouring of any colour can be injected and you get yourself a delicious juicy doughnut. Doughnut holes are also very popular and can be similarly treated, but people like George Jean believe in the classic doughnut as he is famously quoted to have said, “An actor without a playwright is like a hole without a doughnut”.

Doughnuts have been massively popular in the United States where they are written as donuts, and are a popular breakfast for many when coupled with a coffee. No doubt doughnut chains like “dunkin’ donuts” have made a fortune out of this dessert and can be regularly seen advertising coffee with doughnuts for breakfast. Care needs to be taken with doughnuts because though they may be appealing to the taste buds, they are high on fats and calories. Nevertheless, they are very much of a tasty treat and popping them up occasionally wouldn’t harm. Happy dunking!

Scandinavia – Home of the World’s Most Healthy Food

Why are foodies all over the world falling in love with Denmark and the Nordic cuisine?

The recent wave within the Nordic kitchen primarily originates from the kingdom of Denmark. Nevertheless, Denmark is mainly known as the country of fairytales, H.C Andersen, The Little Mermaid, and a high standard of living. However, recently Denmark has been known as home to some of the world’s best restaurants such as NOMA. It is also known as Scandinavia’s food capital and features some of the best chefs in the world in it’s more than fourteen Michelin starred restaurants.

But what is the Nordic kitchen all about? The Nordic gastronomes are first and foremost raving about exploring the history and ancestry of the authentic Nordic food aging back to the times of the Vikings; traditional dishes that has traveled through generations and made their way into the modern Nordic kitchen.

The Nordic ways of cooking are about doing research to extract some of the best and freshest ingredients available. It is about discovering new ways of mixing and matching the traditional ingredients that will yield the best taste. Nature has it’s own space in the Nordic households and to the Danish chefs, that is what the Nordic Kitchen is all about. The cooking is kept simple, seasonal and tasty. People should be able to prepare the dishes themselves in their homes and perhaps this it one of the reasons why the Danes has been known to be the happiest people in the World.

On top of that, Denmark also hosts some of the best international food sites about the Nordic kitchen, at which you can find numerous healthy dinner recipes from the Nordic countries, but the most famous ambassador for the new Nordic kitchen is Noma, which has been awarded the best restaurant in the world in 2011, 2012 and 2014. However, in recent times several new restaurants serving Nordic food have entered the stage, and now all the Nordic capitals are considered havens for gastronomes looking for a new adventure. One of the more popular dishes is the nordic carrot cake recipe based on pure organic ingredients.

The recent Nordic gourmet wave is here to stay and if you are ever in Copenhagen, you will have plenty of opportunity to experience why by yourself. Here is a list of the five most well known restaurants in Copenhagen serving Nordic Food:

1) Noma – Strandgade 93, 1401 – Copenhagen

2) Amass – Refshalevej 153, 1432 – Copenhagen

3) Krog’s Fish Restaurant – Gammel Strand 38, 1202 – Copenhagen

4) H�st – N�rre Farimagsgade 41, 1364 – Copenhagen

5) Torvehallerne – Frederiksborggade 21, 1360 – Copenhagen

Chicken Noodle Soup

Cold weather brings on sickness especially if you have school age children. When fall approaches it is common that I will get a cold since school starts at the end of summer and goes into fall. My throat becomes irritated, and nose begins to run. Since it’s that time of year, you want to try to fight off any illness before it takes hold of you, and the best way I have found is to start eating plenty of soup.

Eating hot soup and drinking hot herbal tea is one of my go to meals for sickness. A hot bowl of chunky chicken noodle soup is the best medicine. What or why would a child turn down chicken noodle soup? Sometimes my child might get set in her ways and put up a fight but once she tastes it then her mind changes quickly.

Chicken noodle soup is the easiest recipe to make. I make mine really simple since I am only concerned with the hot liquid. The chicken, noodles, and vegetables are a bonus. If you ever have a sore throat and it hurts to swallow, I suggest sipping on broths and hot tea until your throat feels better. I am sharing with you a simple chicken noodle soup I make at home when I feel under the weather.

Ingredients

1 lb chicken breast/chicken tenders

1 onion

2 to 3 stalks celery

2 to 3 carrots

1 Tsp chicken seasoning

1 Tsp thyme

2 bay leaves

� package of egg noodles

Salt and pepper to taste

I wash the chicken then I cover with water in a saucepan and start cooking the chicken. I like to cook the chicken a bit before cutting it into chunks. Season the water generously with salt and pepper, chicken seasoning, and add 2 bay leaves. I chop the onion, celery and carrot. In a skillet, I saut� the onion and celery until tender. Before the chicken cooks thoroughly, I strain the chicken liquid through a sieve. I remove the chicken and place on a cutting board then cut into pieces to finishing cooking. I add the meat back to the sieved liquid then add the vegetables and noodles. If you already have cooked chicken and chicken broth then you can add the chicken to the broth along with the vegetables and cook until vegetables are tender. Cook the soup until vegetables are tender and the noodles al dente. Serve with some crackers or a grilled cheese sandwich on the side.

Loose Leaf Green Tea Offers Amazing Taste and Refreshment

Most of us start our day with a cup of tea in the morning. Around the world tea had always been the most consumed beverage than any other one. It is not only refreshing but offers health benefits too.

Origin

This nature’s delicious gift originated from China and was then brought to Japan in A. D. 803-805. The Japanese Emperor ordered for the cultivation of it where different varieties were born. This became known to Asia and then quickly spread all over the world.

Varieties of loose leaf green tea:-

It is made of ‘CamelliaSinensis’ -a plant species from which all sorts of teas are made. To make its big tea buds are picked and dried/heated to stop fermentation of loose leaf green tea. The Chinese method to heat the leaves and to remove moisture is roasting whereas steaming is done in Japan. After heating is done tea leaves are rolled and dried again before they are used. After this it is available in the market.

Flavors of the leaf green tea

People often find that raw green leaf tea is not so good in taste. So, to suit their taste buds a variety of flavored teas are now available in the market. Some of the flavors are listed below:

� Tulsi flavored

� Peppermint flavored

� Jasmine flavored

� Cherry flavored

� Apricot-mango flavored

� Pineapple papaya flavored

� Walnut flavored

Now a day, a lot of flavored are made available in the market keeping in mind the taste of what people expect. The leaves are carefully handpicked, processed and flavored so that consumers can relish a delightful taste.

Varieties of loose leaf green tea:-

There is a wide range of variety of tea available in the market. Some of the varieties of the green leaf tea from China are Gunpowder Tea, Long Jing (Dragon Well), Pi Lo Chun green tea leaves, HouKui, Xin Yang Mao Jian and many more. The popular Japanese varieties of tea are Gyokuro, Sencha green tea leaves, Bancha green tea leaves, Green Matcha Powdered etc.

Gyokuro is the best variety of tea from Japan. It is prepared by keeping the plant in shade so as to give better taste to its chlorophyll content. Among the Chinese variety of tea Long Jing or the Dragon Well is the best one. It has a distinctive sweet after taste. Jasmine dragon phoenix pearl is another best variety which is made from the youngest tea buds, hand rolled into pearls, and jasmine flowers are used to flavor it.

Keeping in mind the taste and frequent utility of loose leaf green tea different types of tea flavors are available in the market within a reasonable price. As such tea is consumed by all classes of people and the most consumed beverage by the masses. Even the best loose leaf green tea is available within a range of $7. 25 to $10. 20. One can relish this delightful beverage anywhere because tea is available throughout the world

Cooking With the Electric Teppanyaki Grill – How to Get the Best From Your Teppanyaki Grill Plate

Originating in Japan Teppanyaki is a style of cooking that has become particularly appreciated in the wider world, more so even than in Japan itself. The word ‘Teppanyaki’ is an amalgam of two words, ‘Teppan’, meaning an iron plate, and ‘Yaki’ which translates as ‘pan fried’, ‘broiled’ or ‘grilled’. Foods typically cooked in this style would include various meats, poultry and sea foods.

This method of cooking lends itself to outdoor use, possibly fired with charcoal or gas, or, more importantly when heated with electricity, it allows us to bring the grill indoors. The purpose of this article is to concentrate on the Teppanyaki cooking method inside the house.

Almost everyone I know loves either hosting, or being invited to someone else’s barbecue. This is an excellent way to meet up with friends whilst enjoying good food and great company. These are the times that we look back on with fond memories. Of course there are times when these occasions have to be postponed because of inclement weather and for some of us; the winters can be long and dark. This is electric Teppanyaki grill time!

Electric Teppanyaki Grills are incredibly cheap to buy, take a look, you’ll be surprised. They are cheap to run, very reliable and easy to clean. They are also incredibly easy to use. Anyone who can cook an egg can use a Teppanyaki grill. Unlike many charcoal and gas grills they do not produce a raging inferno. Many of us have seen the novice with a new charcoal BBQ sharing soot blackened meat that is raw inside. This does not happen with Teppanyaki.

You can have confidence that when you turn on your electric Teppanyaki grill it is not going to attack you or your food! Most models generally on sale have thermostatic temperature control and you’ll soon realise that meats that need searing will require the grill to be turned onto maximum and allowed to heat up. Use tongs to place your (previously oiled) meat onto the grill, sear and turn the meat. Once this is done turn the temperature down. Once the meat has been sealed by searing, it needs to cook through and you can do this gently.

A general tip, if this is new to you, is to ensure that you know which steaks or burgers are to be well done. You can ‘cheat’ by putting a small cut in the meat to see how the cooking is coming along and serve your rare and medium cooked meats based on your observations of someone else’s food! Naughty but forgivable.

More experienced cooks can really shine. What might otherwise have been a barbecue in different weather can now become an informal dinner party. The host or hostess can cook food in front of their friends just as might be seen in a Japanese steak house. Salad or vegetables can be pre-prepared and eaten on a serve yourself basis. This takes the concept of the stodgy old dinner party to a whole new level.

I know that you are going to love turning a wet and windy afternoon or evening into a stunning event that your friends and family will love. If you are a little nervous, don’t worry, you can always practice on the kids first!

The Teppanyaki cooking style can be used in every culture in the world where food is cooked. My idea of a great idea is a small dinner with family and a few friends in the middle of winter. We don’t want to be formal, just an easy going meal cooked on our electric Teppanyaki grill. A salad covers half the table, and at the other end the Teppanyaki is cooking peppers, onions, steak, burgers and sausages. This is the most successful ‘help yourself’ meal known to mankind. My website has two special pages that look further into these excellent grills

6 Different Types of Tea That Will Cleanse Your Body and Mind

Starting your day with a cup of your favorite freshly brewed tea choice seems delightful and refreshing. However, today you should consider trying some other flavors that offer great benefits to the mind and body. You may have never tasted one or more of these wonderful teas but it may be time to open your mind to these new flavors.

There are teas prepared from herbs rather than leaves, and each of these varieties has certain medicinal effects to offer your body. Herbal teas will flush the toxins from your body and help you stay fit and healthy. One cup each day can eliminate some specific health problems such as stress, anxiety, obesity, gum problems, coughs, cold and other symptoms.

Passionflower tea will relieve stress and anxiety.

A cup of passionflower tea taken daily will help ward off stress and anxiety. Passionflower is an herb containing flavone chrysin which has a calming effect on your nerves. This is a wonderful remedy for people who easily get anxious over petty matters and experience recurring obsessive thoughts.

Though passionflower is known to be safe and does not react with prescription sedatives, it is better to ask your doctor if taking medication to treat anxiety and/or a nerve condition. If approved by a physician, drinking one cup before bedtime will ensure a good and restful sleep.

Oolong Tea will help you to stay in good shape.

Rich in antioxidants like catechin and caffeine, Oolong tea can ignite certain enzymes responsible for dissolving the fat molecules in your body. This tea boosts your metabolism which helps the body to burn fat at a higher rate.

The herb also contains polyphenol which can negate the fat building enzymes and sustain weight loss. The result is a thinner waist line and a more toned figure. Remember, Oolong tea is already rich in taste and you need not add sugar. Additives will only reduce its amazing health benefits.

Drink White Tea to reduce weight and look younger.

Since white tea leaves are picked and processed while still very young, the flavor is mild but the antioxidants remain highly active. Polyphenol and ECGC that is present in white tea will prevent fat cell formation in your body and works as an anti-aging agent. Daily intake of white tea also reduces the risk of colon cancer and lowers your LDL cholesterol level.

Black Tea will keep away bad breath.

There is no need for chewing gums or artificial breath fresheners if you drink black tea every morning. Black tea or Camellia Sinensis is the most common type of tea, contributing to 75% of the global tea intake.

Black tea has strong antioxidants that kill germs inside the mouth and prevent plaque and cavities, which are the chief causes for bad breath. Research confirms that drinking four cups of black tea daily also keeps your hearth healthy.

Ginger Tea will fight a cough and cold.

Coughs and other cold symptoms can leave your throat feeling very sore. One cup of warm ginger tea can help you get rid of these petty health problems. Ginger is a natural remedy for both coughs and colds. As an anti-inflammatory agent, this tea has a soothing effect on sore throats and headache.

Boil a few slices of fresh ginger root in one cup of water for at least 10 minutes. Then strain the water into a cup. Add two teaspoons of honey and fresh lemon juice for additional benefits. This not only adds taste to your ginger tea but also makes it a strong germ-fighting recipe.

Green Tea promotes good health and youthful looking skin.

Rich in powerful antioxidants known as catechins, green tea helps fight many issues ranging from cancer to cardiovascular diseases and maintain overall good health. Green tea is also a natural anti-aging agent that removes toxins and impurities from the blood and cleanses your body from within. The result is a radiant youthful skin and a healthy heart.

So, what are you waiting for? Choose the tea that offers the benefits your body needs. You do not have to give up your favorite tea but rather supplement your diet with one cup per day to achieve some healthy results.

Can you name other teas known to promote good health?