Seafood Salad With Mixed Vegetables

When it comes to preparing a meal for several people, timing is everything. If you can manage it, it’s always best to have at least one dish that you can prepare well ahead of your guests’ arrival.

Seafood Salad with Mixed Vegetables is one of those salads that will save you considerable time when it counts the most, allowing you to focus on preparing the main course. This salad can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge. It’s a simple yet delicious salad that can be prepared in as little as thirty minutes.

Since this salad contains garlic, you should crush the garlic first and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before adding to the rest of the vegetables. By crushing the garlic and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes first, you’ll enjoy the many health benefits associated with garlic.

The next step is to prepare the vegetables. Start by thoroughly rinsing them to get rid of any dirt or sand. Trim and chop the bell peppers and shallots into very fine pieces and toss them into a medium bowl. Cut the cucumber in half and scoop the seeds out, then dice into small pieces and add to the shallots and bell peppers. Slice your tomatoes in half, drain the juice, and then cut them into small cubes and add to the veggies.

In a skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter under medium heat. Add the scallops and keep them on for no more than two or three minutes per side, turning as needed. Remove scallops and cut into very small pieces, and then add to the bowl of veggies. Cut the cooked shrimp into small pieces and add to the mix, and then do the same with the cooked imitation crab meat.

In a small bowl, mix together the balsamic dressing, olive oil, and crushed garlic. Wash and pat dry the parsley and finely chop before adding to the dressing. Finally, pour the dressing over the salad. Toss thoroughly and then cover. Place in refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Ingredients:

2 cloves of garlic

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper

1 small cucumber

3 shallots

2 large tomatoes

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup of creamy balsamic dressing

8 ounces of sea scallops (side muscle removed)

6 ounces of peeled, cooked shrimp

8 ounces of imitation crabmeat, chopped

1 bunch of parsley

Kid Friendly Recipes and Cooking

Kid friendly cooking produces a different kind of challenge in the kitchen. It’s often very hard to get kids to eat the healthy foods which are best for their developing bodies. Many of us are familiar with the old food pyramid along with the number of servings a growing child should take in of wholesome grains, proteins, fruits, vegetables, and calcium products. Although you wish to give them those very essential nutrients, we all know that getting your kids to eat and make healthy choices is another matter all together.

The good news is, there is a silver lining. When cooking for kids you don’t always have to integrate all of the essential nutrients into one meal. Try these simple suggestions instead and you will start your kids on eating a more healthy diet. Raw cucumbers, that are thinly sliced and sprinkled with a little kosher or sea salt will make a far healthier snack than potato chips and most children love this for a healthy snack. How about some ants on a log? This is actually just celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins on top. One of my children favorite is plain old carrot sticks with ranch dressing. You get some vegetable in their system and they’re getting a healthy treat at snack time. The same holds true for fruits and melons. Kids love the natural sweetness of fresh fruits and melons and they make an excellent snack that are full of much-needed nutrients for their growing bodies.

We all know that kids love their macaroni and cheese (many adults as well for that matter) but we simply can’t live on that alone (or at least we shouldn’t). It’s been tried, tested and has failed miserably. We need to mix things up a little whenever possible as to get a variety into our diets while keeping our daily meals kid friendly. It is vital that you try introducing whole grain products, healthy proteins, and fresh vegetables whenever possible at meal times. Fresh is always best but many of us don’t have the time to prepare from scratch. The good news is there are many pre-packaged convenience food items which are providing whole grains and less processed unlike in the past in order to satisfy the growing demand of consumers for more healthy food items which can be prepared with very little effort or time.

Cooking healthy foods for kids has become less difficult than in the past. Once again, fresh fruits and vegetables are always best when attainable. Having said that, if you can’t get a hold of fresh, frozen is much more superior compared to canned fruit and veggies. The canned products are often swimming in sugar or sodium and often have additives.

If you need some great recipes that are kid friendly and easy on the budget, you can easily find them online. It is possible to satisfy your child’s calcium intake simply by including milk as a beverage of choice instead of soda for daily meals. Also, you can add a slice of cheese melted over their favorite steamed veggies. What Kid doesn’t like Ice cream? If not there’s also yogurt and pudding as well, they are all excellent source of calcium. Of course these treats can be very sugary and they should be consumed in moderation.

Encourage your kids to try new things whenever possible as opposed to preparing the exact same food items that you already know they like to eat. In doing so, you will minimize a couple of things from occurring. For starters, it will help you to not get tired of cooking the same thing for your children. Second of all, it enables your kids to have a variety in their diet, give them a chance to test new flavors, try different textures along with the opportunity to form their own opinions on what they like and don’t like. By attempting new things they will discover more of what their favorite foods are.

You will quickly learn that kids are not so different from adults when it comes to their taste buds. Just like you have foods you love and others not so much, they also will establish their preferences after a while. Also, many of us find that our tastes sometimes change over time and no doubt your children’s will too. This is why it’s good to rotate a variety in our menu. As a parent I know how difficult it can be to spend both money and time making a meal only to have your little one refuse to even try it. If this happens, use a little reverse psychology. This is what I recommend you do; have them prepare the meals with you. Kids are a lot more likely to eat the foods they helped prepared due to a sense of pride and accomplishment because they actually had a hand in making the dish.

This strategy has worked for me with amazing results when it comes to cooking for my own kids and I’m confident it can work in your household as well. You no longer have to “force” your children or convince them to eat more healthy when they are the ones actually making the food. By helping you prepare the meals they become the chef and will have a better appreciation for the culinary arts and the effort that goes into making a meal.

Factors You Need to Consider While Introducing a New Food Product

Change is inevitable. It is impossible to progress without making necessary changes. What seems to be good and sufficient for today, may not be adequate for tomorrow. All aspects of our lives, starting from food to clothes, leisure to entertainment, jobs to careers need to be changed at some point of time for making advancements. Designers, providers and manufacturers of every product inevitably fail to meet the expectations of their customers after a certain point of time. Even when the products are absolutely up to the mark, manufacturers need to make changes to cater successfully to the changes in the tastes, preferences and requirements of customers.

Smart manufacturers recognize the significance of making changes and introducing new products in the market. They constantly strive to understand the changing tastes and needs of their customers in order to update their products efficiently. When it comes to our food habits, they keep on changing with the passage of time. The increasing popularity of ready made food products and a variety of junk food has marked a noticeable change in peoples’ food habits in recent times. Increasing work pressure and scarcity of time has led to a decrease in peoples’ tendency to prepare nutritious food and a tendency to opt more and more for ready made and junk foods. These changes in peoples’ lifestyles call for new food products that can successfully cater to their needs and preferences of customers.

When you are introducing a new food product in the market, it is necessary to keep in mind certain important aspects in order to make it a success. Let us discuss some of the significant factors:

Innumerable products are introduced in the market every year. The key to success is to make sure that the food product you manufacture must be something new and innovative, which would successfully cater to the requirements of the customers. It must fill an empty space in the market in order to become a success.

Make a thorough research to obtain necessary information regarding the local laws related to retail food jobs. The product you introduce in the market must be eligible to pass regulatory standards.

It is extremely important to make a thorough research of the market. You must obtain detailed information regarding every aspect related to a successful marketing of your product starting from the packaging to the store where you would sell your product to your target customers. You must know your target customers and their tastes and preferences in order to market your products more efficiently.

Make a list of all the necessary aspects including the services, proprietary tools and techniques and materials required to manufacture the new food product and market it to target customers. Considering these important aspects help in knowing the costs involved in the entire process, and also the various ways you can cut down on the costs while still maintaining the standard of the product.

Besides keeping in mind the above mentioned factors, it is also extremely important to take good care of sanitation and the local laws. It is also overly important to plan meticulously and carefully to carry out the entire manufacturing and marketing process efficiently and successfully.

Right Brain Consulting is a highly reputed food manufacturing consultant providing assistance to companies in dealing efficiently with contract manufacturers to source new food products.

5 Basic Tips for Baking Cookies

Baking cookies is one of life’s sweet pleasures. So why don’t more people bake them?

Maybe you don’t think you have the time… maybe you’ve tried before with less-than-stellar results… maybe you think it’s a hassle… or maybe you simply don’t know how.

You can get delicious results simply and easily when you follow these tips for baking cookies.

Tip #1: Read the Cookie Recipe

Before you get started, read the cookie recipe from start to finish to find out how much time you need and steps you need to take while you bake. You may need to set out butter to soften or bring eggs to room temperature before you begin mixing.

The recipe also tells you what items you need – both ingredients and equipment. No one wants to make an emergency run to the grocery store in the middle of making cookies. And you need to retrieve the 13 x 9 pan you lent to Aunt Myrtle before you get started.

Tip #2: Measure Accurately

Mis-measurement is the easiest-to-fix mistake when baking cookies. Use liquid measuring cups (which are clear) to measure water, milk, and oil, setting the cup on a flat surface and checking the measurement at eye level. Use dry measuring cups and measuring spoons for dry ingredients (such as flour, sugar, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda), always leveling off ingredients with a straight-edge utensil before adding them to the dough.

Tip #3: Handle Dough Well

Add ingredients in the order specified by the recipe… and as you do, avoid the number one no-no in making cookie dough: overbeating. Over beating cookie dough, whether when creaming together butter and sugar (which adds air pockets) or when adding flour (which activates gluten, also building air and volume), can cause cookies to fall and flatten – or be too tough.

Tip #4: Monitor the Oven

Preheat the oven as you prepare cookies. Setting cookie dough in a cold oven alters the baking time and outcome. Use an oven thermometer to check your oven’s temperature before baking cookies.

But don’t pop the batch in the oven and forget them. Most cookie recipes designate a baking time window (“Bake for 10-12 minutes”). Watch your cookies as they recommended amount of time so they are not over baked.

Tip #5: Store Wisely

Keep homemade cookies fresh by allowing them to cool completely after baking. Otherwise, condensation from cooling will collect and cookies will become soggy.

Follow the recipe’s directions as to whether to store cookies at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Store them in an airtight container. Don’t combine different kinds of cookies in one container. Flavors will bleed from one type of cookie to another. Different types of cookies stored together changes their texture, too. Moisture from chewier cookies transfers to crisper cookies – and vice versa.

Baking cookies is easy and fun. Plus, you can share the end results – cookies – with family, friends, and colleagues. That is assuming you haven’t eaten them all as soon as they come out of the oven.