Thursday, May 11, 2017

3 Delicious Pancake Recipes Made with Leftover Food

More often than not, we take food for granted. If you think about it, every day someone, somewhere throws food away, and the ingredients used for making this food are not the only thing that goes to waste. Just think about the electricity that was spent to prepare it, the water that was spent to wash the dishes it was prepared in... Ok, my aim isn’t to stress or depress you, only to make you aware that throwing food away is not okay.
Well, among the many things you can do with leftover food, pancakes are my all-time favorite, and I believe they will become yours too once you take a look at these delicious pancake recipes.

#1 Okonomiyaki Pancakes




If you have kids, then I believe that one ingredient you’ve been trying to make them eat but they won’t eat for the life of it is cabbage. Well, don’t fret, even if you ended up with loads of leftover cabbage, the okonomiyaki pancake recipe is just that: a cabbage based pancake layered with whatever you please. Actually, the name itself translates from Japanese as “what you like”, which means this is a pancake recipe that is a great base for any leftover food you might have. Carrots, green onions, eggs, bacon, cheese anything goes really. Plus, this is a great way to sneak in some more veggies into your kids’ diet. The okonomiyaki was a God send for me. My 7 and 9 year-olds adore these pancakes and I am as thrilled as ever. A friendly tip though, fry the pancakes with only a drop of virgin olive oil. Yes, there are many veggies in the pancake, but frying with too much oil might not be the best idea.

#2 Banana Bread Pancakes

Well, you probably didn’t know that this American classic dessert came to be precisely as a result of people wanting to reduce food waste to a minimum. It was at the time of the Great depression that resourceful housewives decided not to throw ripe bananas away, and that’s how it all started. Well, today I am going to share with you a recipe I found among the Best American Pancake Recipes – Quick, Easy and Delicious and it is a recipe for banana bread pancakes. Don’t do the mistake of throwing black bananas away, please, they will actually work best in this recipe.

#3 Mashed (Sweet) Potato Pancakes




I have decided to put both sweet and regular potatoes into this category because leftovers of both can be used to prepare delicious pancakes.
If you are preparing salty sweet potato pancakes, then go ahead and add a little bit of sour cream. The contrasts in flavor will make the hotcakes incredibly tasty, not to mention they will be pillowy soft. If, on the other hand, you want them sweet, then use milk and of course, nutmeg and cinnamon.

A pancake recipe you can prepare with leftover potatoes is the very Irish recipe for the boxty. The boxty is made with a grated potato, a cup of leftover mashed potatoes, a cup of flour, the same amount of milk, and of course, salt and pepper to taste. The boxty much like the okonomiyaki, is a great base for re-using any leftover food. So, mushrooms, onions, sausage, or any other meat really, can be great for garnishing this pancake. (Note: you can find all of the recipes in the collection I’ve linked to, only type the recipe’s name and voila, you will have different recipes at hand)

Pancakes are only one of the many options you have for re-using your food, so next time think twice before you decide to throw leftovers away.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

There Have Been Many Different Types of King Cakes Throughout History



King cakes are associated with the festival of Epiphany, which is the end of the Christmas season. It is commonly linked with the Pre-Lenten celebrations. The first king cakes were dry French bread, topped with sugar, and a bean in the center. King cakes aren’t restricted to be eaten by only Christians and Catholics. Most of the people prefer to have king cakes in their parties and times of celebrations.  

The king cake history dates back to 300 years ago. The original form of king cakes has undergone a milestone of changes with different multiplicities depending upon the country and the place. The initial cakes were made a mere ring of dough with few decorations. However, the king cakes of today are braided and baked with a Baby figurine inside.



The cake ring is elaborately covered with sugar toppings, tasty additives, etc. The bakers are getting creative with their talents to decorate the rings. The stuffing or the fillings have also undergone many changes, with unique flavors and fruits. You can order cakes online for your party or celebration as per your preferences.     



Types Of King Cakes:


Few king cakes are made of sweet dough, shaped in a hollow circle, with colored sugar topping.
  • The king cake can either be braided or made in different shapes. 
  • The shape will mimic the crown of a king in almost all the king cakes. 
  • King cakes can also be made up of a puff pastry with fillings inside it. 
  • The fillings are cream cheese, almonds, nuts, apple, pears, chocolate, etc. 
  • The most commonly used colors are green, gold, and purple.
  • The colors represent strong emotions such as faith, power, justice, etc.    
  • Many bakers make the king cakes with a small figurine hidden inside it.
  • The figurine will differ from one baker to the other and is mostly based on a famous cultural icon or a hit movie of the time.
  • Sometimes the king cake will have a hidden Baby Jesus inside it.
  • The Baby Jesus can be made up of plastic, porcelain, or even gold.
  • The person who gets the king cake with the Baby Jesus will be bestowed with many privileges.

History Of King Cakes:
  • The name “king cakes” was coined after the Biblical Kings of the olden days. 
  • The eve of the Epiphany is the Twelfth Night, counted from the Christmas Eve. 
  • The day is called as Mardi Gas or Fat Tuesday, which is the day before the start of Lent. 
  • It is also called as “Little Christmas.”
  • It is 47 days before the “Easter Day.”
  • It is a time of celebrations, festivity, exchange of gifts, and feasting.
  • King cakes are popularly made during the Christmas season.
  • Early January is the time of the year when the bakers start displaying their skills in making the king cakes.
  • The king cakes are mostly available to eat until the start of Lent.
  • However, many bakers take orders even throughout the year. 
  • The name of the cake changes across the different parts of the world.
  • The cake can be made in various shapes, styles, flavors, decorations, colors, etc.
  • The king cakes had originated in France and Spain, and slowly the tradition spread across the globe.  
  • The various places where king cakes are made and eaten by people are as follows:

·       Belgium

·       France

·       Quebec

·       Switzerland

·       Portugal

·       Spain

·       Greece

·       Cyprus

·       Bulgaria

·       New Orleans

·       Bay Saint Louis

·       Pensacola

·       Galveston


Religious Significance Of The King Cakes: 
The day of Epiphany has great historical significance for the Catholics. It marks the arrival of the kings of Bethlehem, who had delivered gifts to the newly born Baby Jesus. It is the reason why a trinket or figurine is placed in the center of the King cakes.
The person who finds the trinket or gets the slice of the cake with the figurine inside it is supposed to be the lucky one! The person will be considered to be the king of the day. It is said to bring good luck and happiness in the life of the individual. The person is mostly made to get the next king cake, in the party or celebration which follows.  


Ordering The King Cakes:

King cakes are ordered by most people these days in parties, office, social gatherings, etc. People from all over the world are placing the order king cake. There are many bakers and confectioners who willing take up the orders online through bookthesurprise, throughout the year, making it convenient for one and all.

You can conveniently order king cake online through the various websites. They give the complete details about the kind of fillings they offer, the toppings, the figurine, the colors and the flavors of the cake for you!

The websites will also have the option of the payment to the made either when you place the order online and also have the cash on delivery options. The estimated time for the king cake delivery will be mentioned online, and you can give you preferred date.  

There are many recipes available online these days, which will help you in making the DIY cakes at home. There will be a complete list of ingredients required for the baking of the cake, the variations that can be made, and the different decorating options. If you don’t wish to make the figurine at home, you can purchase one from any store and place it in the center of the cake. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Review: Sun Basket Home Delivery

In the last two years, home food delivery services have been quite the craze online. Now I’m not talking about companies such as GrubHub or Seamless, but companies that actually send you raw ingredients to your front door. This is a pretty interesting concept, especially since why wouldn’t you just head over to your local supermarket to pick up said ingredients?

When I spent some time looking at the large competitors in the home food delivery industry such as Blue Apron, HelloFresh or Sun Basket it finally made sense to me. These companies don’t just promise a meal, they promise a healthy, and tasteful meal.

When you make an account with any of those companies, you will be shown a bunch of meals lined up for the next week. For each meal, you’re able to see how the food looks like when cooked, the nutrition facts behind your meal, and each meal’s recipe.



If you’re a vegetarian, or a vegan, or simply someone looking for a gluten free meal, there will always be an option available for you.

I spent some time reading reviews from customers, and it stuck out to me that people love the idea of receiving portioned ingredients by mail because they use all their ingredients in the meal. We’ve all been there when we go shopping, we buy a bunch, and then in a few weeks we end up cleaning out the fridge to only realize that half the stuff we purchased is now spoiled.

In terms of price, it’s safe to say that using a home food delivery service is a definite luxury. 
Typically, these competitors price their meals at $9-$12 each. When you end up selecting a meal from their websites, that meal is for 2 servings and will run for $18-$22. Yes, quite the premium as opposed to heading over the supermarket and preparing the meal yourself.

An obvious downside that I have found to utilizing such a service is that you’re somewhat forced to cook your meals ASAP, and you must order at least 3 meals at a time. If you’re simply looking to cook one meal a week from any of those companies, you’re out of luck, you need to purchase at least 3 meals. Depending on what your meal consists of, you’ll typically have to cook your meals within 4-5 days before some ingredients begin to spoil.

While doing my research, I did land on a review website known as ReviewingThis. Their website consists of reviews on various products across all industries and they also had a detailed review on Sun Basket.

Here’s one of the meals that they cooked up:


ReviewingThis gave Sun Basket a glowing review, and some of the points they made towards being a customer of Sun Basket did make sense. Even so, I do feel that only select individuals will benefit from such a service. If you’re someone who eats out multiple times a week, then using a company such as Sun Basket or Blue Apron as an alternative is a good idea. It does end up being cheaper, and you’re more informed as to what you’re putting inside your body. I did notice that Sun Basket states that all their ingredients are organic and that they donate over 1,000 pounds to a local food bank week, so that’s impressive.
Anyhow, I figured I would share my thoughts on the whole home food delivery service, I’m sure I’ve made it clear that there are pluses and minuses. By the way, I did notice that ReviewingThis shares a $35 off coupon on Sun Basket in their review, so it’s worth taking a look if you’re interesting in being a customer. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Site Update

Have had several comments recently asking about the status of this site and why there have been so many non-review posts lately.

I've started a new job in the past six months, along with some other life changes, that have prohibited me from posting/doing reviews.

Without getting into too many boring details, my revenue from advertising was already trending down in the six months prior to that and that money from advertising is what was paying for the products I reviewed.  I was breaking even prior to those changes (income from revenue was paying for the products in their entirety), but once that revenue went down due to changes in policies with my advertisers, the site became a personal money loser for me and it was not something I could continue in perpetuity without having to borrow money from my actual day job earnings.

As it stands now, the non-review posts are a way to put some content up on the site, but in reality, I'm not sure that there will be much (if any) new, original content from me going forward.  I won't shut the door entirely on the site, but as of now, I do not have the time to pick the site back up as it was.

Anyway, just wanted to answer a few of those comments.  Here's hoping everyone out there has a happy and healthy 2017!

-Crazy Food Dude

Monday, December 26, 2016

Apple Cider Vinegar – Uses and Health Benefits

Vinegar is used since ages for various reasons like food preservation, cooking, and various other household applications. It was discovered in 5000 BC and soon the experts found many uses of this sour liquid. Vinegar that is also called sour wine in French is the fermented juice of different types of carbohydrates like dates, grapes, beet, potato, coconut, and apple. The slow fermentation of vinegar develops antimicrobial and antibacterial properties in it. Many bioactive components like gallic acid, acetic acid, epicatechin, caffeic acid, catechin, and several important antioxidants are produced during the process of fermentation.

You will find various types of vinegars in the nearby super market, but the one that is making the mark worldwide is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). This vinegar is naturally loaded with health benefits and that makes it one of the most popular forms of vinegar. Ancient medical science believed in the health benefits of this vinegar and now it is accepted by the modern science as well. The uses of ACV range from fighting the fruit flies to managing diabetes and many of these benefits are backed by science. Some major health benefits of ACV are –
·         



  • Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

ACV has shown promising results in diabetes management. The use of vinegar is becoming common in fighting Type 2 Diabetes, the one that is caused due to lowered insulin production or insulin resistance. The sugar level needs to be controlled if you are suffering from diabetes or even in case you are approaching your 40s. Sugar fluctuation becomes common with ageing and it becomes important to control blood sugar to avoid other related problems. You can always reduce the sugar intake, however there are many other sources of sugar that cannot be completely avoided like fruits, spices, pulses, and many more. ACV improves insulin sensitivity, which may result into lowered sugar levels. Studies have also shown that having 2 tablespoons of ACV at bedtime decreases the blood sugar level by almost 4%. 

  • Weight Loss 

This point will surely grab your eyeballs! Vinegar keeps you fuller or you can say that it gives the feeling of being full much before you actually are! The calorie intake is reduced by almost 200 to 275 calories on adding vinegar to the meal. According to the study carried out on set of obese people, consuming vinegar daily has shown visible reduction in waist line, belly fat, and also triglyceride levels. One can lose up to 2.6 pounds on consuming 1 tablespoon of vinegar daily, and up to 3.7 pounds on taking 2 tablespoons daily. Though addition of ACV is alone to your diet cannot bring in a major change as you need to club it with workout and low calorie diet for better results.

  • Controls Cholesterol Levels

This is another major health benefit of ACV, but the studies are only carried out on rats and there is no human study evidence. Still if you go by the rat studies, ACV reduces triglycerides and cholesterol. The antioxidant called Chlorogenic acid present in ACV controls the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which may otherwise be quite harmful for the heart. Animal studies also suggest reduction in blood pressure.

  • ·         Antibacterial Properties to Treat Infection

Antibacterial properties of vinegar have made it a good choice for food preservation, but the same was also used to treat many types of ear and nail infections in earlier times. However, due to lack of research ACV is not much used by modern medical science to treat such infections.
Apple Cider Vinegar can be the best liquid for germ free home and healthy body. Keep the bottle handy to use it when needed.

Author Bio:
Carol has been writing for various health and fitness websites for almost a decade. This has turned out to be her hobby, profession and passion. She also shares her knowledge about health, fitness and weight management with Nutra Pure HCG to spread awareness about weight loss and homeopathic HCG drops.

Image Credit: ClearSkin Acne

Friday, November 11, 2016

Healthy Meat Recipes Your Kids Will Love

When it comes to cooking for little ones, many mums will tell you that it’s not the easiest of tasks. With disagreements about who wants what for dinner, fussy eaters, and kids who don’t like trying new foods, cooking up healthy, nutritious meals for your kids which are also going to taste yummy can sometimes seem impossible. But, there’s no need to give in and make chicken nuggets and chips every night – these healthy meals are perfect for little mouths and won’t be a let down on taste, either!

Spaghetti Bolognaise

A firm favourite with children throughout the decades, this Italian classic pasta dish is both simple to make and enjoyable to eat. Although it may admittedly get a little messy around the dinner table with kids excitedly slurping their spaghetti down, the meaty sauce made with a minced meat of your choice can provide the perfect hiding place for nutritious veggies such as tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, and onions.

Sausage and Mash

Another family favourite, sausage and mash has been known as ‘good old comfort food’ for decades and can be tweaked and customised to suit different tastes. Whether you’re using pork sausages, traditional Cumberland, chorizo sausages or vegetarian sausages, this meal can be different every single time you make it – don’t forget to switch up the potatoes by trying sweet potato mash, or even go for a lower-carb version with carrot and swede mash! For kids who find eating vegetables difficult, make sure to add plenty of flavour to the mash with butter! Why not get involved with the Meat and 2 Veg campaign with your family this November by tweeting pictures of your sausage and mash to help raise awareness for male cancers.

Healthy Burgers

Cheese burgers are a huge hit with most kids, but we all know that getting dinner from the burger place every night isn’t healthy. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make your own healthier versions of your favourite burgers at home. Making burgers can be tons of fun, and you can customise them with various types of meat or even using beans as a vegetarian option! Not only is this a tasty and fun recipe that all the family will love, it’s also a great way to spend some fun time together preparing food as a family!

Tacos

Crunchy on the outside and filled with tasty flavours on the inside, tacos are the perfect size for little hands and can be far more interesting to eat than a plain salad. The great thing about tacos is that most kids will love the shells, so use this to your advantage and stuff them with healthy fillings and a generous helping of your little one’s favourite sauce. Chicken tacos are simple to make and bound to go down a treat.


Which meat recipes do your kids love the most? Our readers are always on the lookout for new and exciting meal ideas to try as a family, so we’d love it if you shared yours in the comments!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

5 amazing food hacks

If your food costs are getting out of control, you need to do something to bring them back to a level that will fit within your budget. Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to save money in this area. These are our five of our favorite tips for saving money on your food budget.

1. Make your breakfast ahead of time. Cold cereal can get boring, but going out for bacon and eggs can get expensive. Instead of spending a lot of time in the morning making your own, use your muffin tin to create bacon and egg cups in bulk. Layer strips of bacon in the bottom of each cup, then crack an egg on the top. Bake the tin on 350 for about 15 minutes. You can freeze them and microwave them in the morning in seconds.

2. Use coupons. Look for coupons for stores such as 7 Eleven and other lesser-known grocery stores. Often, you can save a lot in places you normally wouldn’t shop. Smaller stores tend to offer really good deals on items they don't sell as frequently in order to attract new customers to their stores.

3. Make your baked goods last longer. This is especially important if you are living by yourself. Placing a piece of bread on top of a cake can help to absorb moisture in the air and prevents the cake from drying out. If you're not planning on eating your bread, buns, or cakes for a while, use your freezer instead of your fridge to store them. Freezers will preserve the moisture in your baked goods, while refrigerators tend to have high humidity, causing them to dry out. If you don't want to use your freezer, be sure to store your baked goods in a dry area. Refrigerators tend to have high humidity.

4. Learn to make your own healthy snacks. Dried fruit and items containing nuts are some of the most expensive products in the grocery store. Save money by making in-season dried fruit in your oven (use a heat setting of 150 degrees for six hours for most fruit). By nuts in bulk and make your own trail mix. It's often cheaper to buy a large bag of pecans or walnuts directly from a farmer's market then use a food processor to chop or grind them. You might also want to consider making your own yogurt, butter, and other dairy products. Homemade versions tend to taste better and can be a lot cheaper than store bought ones.



5. Use paper towels to keep cut produce fresh. Save money by chopping items such as salad and tomatoes yourself. To keep these things fresh all week, wrap them in bowls with a lid and a paper towel. The towel will absorb excess moisture.
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