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Webmaster | 29. June 2006 @ 17:02

A wok can last a lifetime with the proper care. This includes occasionally seasoning it, as well as properly storing it. Luckily, both are very easy to do and can be done in just a few minutes. Follow this step-by-step guide that will teach you one of the steps of proper wok care - seasoning it.

It’s important that you do NOT follow these instructions for a wok with a non-stick coating. Following these instructions will damage the non-stick coating.

Seasoning a Wok

1. Rinse the wok in hot water and some heavy duty soap (e.g. kitchen cleaner or comet).

2. Place the wok on the stove over a high heat.

3. Heat the wok until the bottom of the wok becomes a dark bluish color (about twenty minutes). Rotate the wok on its side and burn similarly until entire wok is dark bluish.

4. Cool down wok until room temperature.

5. Fold a paper towel, and soak it with cooking oil (such as peanut or corn oil).

6. Spread the oil all over the inside of the wok. Make sure to completely cover the interior of the wok with oil. The wok will now be ready to use.

In the beginning, you will need to season the wok very frequently, after every use is best. When the food begins to stick to the surface of the wok, it may be time to re-season your wok. Eventually, a thin layer of oil will begin to permanently set into the wok. After this happens, you will not really have to worry too much about seasoning it again. From time to time the seasonings on the surface of the wok will be depleted, and it will be necessary to re-season the wok.

Both seasoning and storing your wok are important in keeping your wok in excellent shape. If you happen to get a little rust on it, don’t worry about it too much. Try to lightly brush it away, but, otherwise, just re-season the wok and continue using it. Other than that, use your wok often to develop a tasty seasoning on it to enhance your flavors.

About the author:

Ala Luke is the author of the #1 Rated "The Definitive Chinese Cookbook." His techniques have taught thousands of people how to cook like a Master Chef. Check out his site for free recipes and a FREE Chinese Cookbook!

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Webmaster | 28. June 2006 @ 17:02

Everyone wants smooth, glowing beautiful skin! How many of us can say that we actually posses it? We purchase countless products, undergo expensive treatments and still suffer with dry, flaky or “ashy” skin. In order to see a long lasting change, you must examine your lifestyle. Take time to consider what impact your diet, sleeping habits, activity and skin care routine have on your skin.

1. Be sure to include fresh fruit, nutritious vegetables, whole grains and clean water in your daily diet. Your skin is a living organ. Give it what is needed to stay healthy.

2. Start the day with invigorating stretches. Learn basic yoga and practice it for 10-30 minutes each morning.

3. Cleanse your skin with cold-processed soaps. They contain plant oils that nourish the skin cells. Avoid products with Sodium Laurel Sulfate or other harsh detergents.

4. Exfoliate skin weekly to remove dead skin cells and toxins. Use a scrub with plant-based ingredients to restore moisture and elasticity.

5. After the bath or shower, moisturize the entire body with a mineral oil-free product. Be sure to read labels. Even some “natural products” contain mineral oil. It is a cheap by product of petroleum and does not contribute the health of your skin.

6. Monitor the water temperature when bathing, extremely hot temperatures can be drying as well.

7. Use proper sun protection and limit your exposure to direct sunlight.

8. Retire by 10:00 pm each evening. This allows your body time to heal itself and restore all organ systems. In turn, promoting good skin health.

By following this holistic approach you should experience a significant difference in the health of your skin.

About the author:

Chanelle Washington, BSN is a Certified Holistic Practioner. She is an honors graduate of Temple University and member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nurses. She is an informative speaker, inspiring author and owner of Indigofera “ Plant Based Body Care Collection”. Contact her at

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Webmaster | 27. June 2006 @ 17:02

Making pizza from scratch, at home, isn't really as hard as you might think---and once you learn just a few secrets about how to make a great pizza crust, you might never want to "order in" again!

First, there is the matter of a recipe for pizza dough. Most of them call for very similar ingredients, basically water, yeast, oil, and flour. Some have a little more oil, some use less oil and add an egg. Whichever recipe you use, making the pizza dough goes fairly quickly and doesn't need to rise for hours like bread dough.

Here's a tip: If you aren't familiar with working with recipes that call for yeast, you might not know that yeast has to "proof"---that is, activate. You do this by combining it with water water (about 110*), and usually a little bit of sugar (1 teaspoon or less). After you combine the yeast, warm water, and sugar, you need to let this mixture "rest" for about 5 minutes. This allows the yeast to activate or "proof."

Don't just assume that you can run hot water from your tap and it will be "warm" enough, without being "too hot." A small cooking thermometer is handy to have. It might be easier to heat up water to 110* rather than run hot water and then try to cool it down (especially if your water heater is set at 120* or above). I put room temperature water in a Pyrex measuring cup and heat the water in the microwave. After a while, you'll know exactly what setting and how long it takes to heat up the water.

After the yeast has proofed, stir in the other ingredients, following the recipe. You'll probably have to knead the dough a bit to mix all of the flour in, so that you have a smooth and dry mound of pizza dough. Be very careful about kneading the pizza dough---it is easy to knead in too much flour. As long as the dough isn't actually sticking to your fingers, it is OK.

Once the dough is ready, let it "rest" for about 5 minutes. That's right, just let it lay there. This gets the rising process started.

Hand form, or use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to the desired size.

After experimenting with the different types of pizza pans and stones that are available, I have concluded that the one-ply pans with holes in them are the best. This helps to bake a crust that is nicely done on the bottom without being burnt, and yet leaves the dough nice a "chewy" in the middle. Depending on your preference for pizza dough, you can experiment by first baking pizza on regular cookie sheets. After that you can get inexpensive pizza pans at dollar stores or discount stores like Wal-Mart to continue to experiment until you find the pan you prefer.

Now you are ready to bake the pizza. Here's a tip: pre-bake just the pizza crust for about 6 minutes before you load on the sauce and toppings. This helps to cook the crust enough so that the sauce won't sink in too much, leaving a gooey crust.

After you've pre-baked the crust, remove it from the oven and load it with sauce and meat toppings (be sure that anything other than pepperoni is pre-cooked, such as sausage or ground beef). If you like onions and peppers, then here's another tip: pre-cook them so that the onions are almost transparent and the pepper is limp. Load on the onions and peppers. Sprinkle on oregano or any other spices that you desire.

Return to the oven and bake for about 13-15 minutes. This is long enough to heat the sauce and other toppings.

Remove from the oven and add the cheese. (If you are like me and like Hawaiian pizza, add the pineapple now, too.) Return to the oven for about 3 minutes, or just long enough to melt the cheese without burning it.

Once the pizza is baked, I like to slide it onto a pizza stone that I've sprinkled with cornmeal. Then, I let the pizza cool for about 5 minutes. The cornmeal keeps the bottom of the crust from getting soggy, and sure adds a nice "zest" to the taste of it! Cut with a pizza cutter (or kitchen shears---which work great!).

Enjoy with your favorite beverage!

For an illustrated tutorial on making pizza dough and then baking the pizza, go to Jan's Reading Room:

For a free recipe for Jan's Dough Sourdough Pizza Crust, go to Jan's Dough:

About the author:

Jan Kovarik, The Proofer is a freelance copyeditor and proofreader. Visit for more information about Jan's free information and resource sites, as well as Jan’s business services. Be sure to visit Mom's Break ( for free printable crafts and projects. © Copyright 2005 to present. All rights reserved.

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Webmaster | 26. June 2006 @ 17:02

These taco cookies look really cute, are fun to make, and best of all, taste great!

1 (18 oz.) pkg. Refrigerated sugar cookies
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
3 cups assorted fresh berries
1/3 cup chocolate flavored syrup
2 tablespoons sliced almonds (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll a 15-inch sheet of foil into a 15-inch log 1 ½ inches in diameter.

Cut 16 (1/4-inch) slices from cookie dough (wrap remaining cookie dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for another use). Place 4 slices on ungreased cookie sheet; press each slice into 3-inch round.

Bake slices 5 to 7 minutes or until light golden brown around edges.

Immediately remove cookies from cookie sheet and place over foil log, pressing gently to form into taco shell shape. Cool completely while baking next 4 slices.

Remove cooled cookies from foil log and place on wire racks. Repeat with remaining slices.

In a small bowl, combine whipping cream, sugar, cinnamon, and almond extract; beat until soft peaks form.

Place cookie shells on dessert plates. Sprinkle shells with powdered sugar. Fill shells with berries. Top with whipped cream. Drizzle with chocolate. Garnish with nuts.

About the author:

© Donna Monday
Cha…cha…cha…it’s chili time!

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Webmaster | 25. June 2006 @ 17:02

Do you enjoy the zesty yet mellow taste of chicken quesadillas? Now you can make your own at home with this tasty recipe.

2 cups Mexican flavored cheese, shredded
6 flour tortillas
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
½ cup tomato seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons canned green chilies, chopped
Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the cheese evenly over half of each tortilla. Sprinkle remaining ingredients over cheese. Fold tortillas in half over filling. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 5 minutes, or just until cheese melts. Serve quesadillas whole, or cut each one into 3 wedges.

About the author:

© Donna Monday
Cha…cha…cha…it’s chili time!

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Webmaster | 24. June 2006 @ 09:06
Many of us know someone in our circle of friends, family and acquaintances with diabetes. The number of cases has risen despite our greater awareness of the importance of a healthy diet.:'( But don't worry. will be with you always. More recipes on diabetes will be coming.:) Want something for breakfast. Try this! [b]Ingredient[/b] * 2 medium sized apples,peeled, cored and diced * 1/2 cup self-raising flour * 1/2 cup self-raising wholemeal flour * 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (needed if use microwave method only) * 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon * 1 tablespoon honey * 1/3 cup natural low fat yoghurt * 1 egg white, unbeaten * Extra cinnamon (needed if use microwave method only) [b]Using Conventional[/b] 1. Preheat oven to 200 degree celsius. 2. Lighty oil a muffin pan. 3. Cook the diced apple in a little water for 10 minutes to soft. Allow the apple to cool. 4. In a separate mixing bowl, sift two flours and cinnamon together. 5. In another separate mixing bowl, combine honey, yoghurt and egg white. 6. Add cooled apples, combining well. 7. Stir in dry ingredients. Mix until combined. 8. Spoon into a muffin pan and bake for 12 -14 minutes or until muffins spring back when slightly pressed. 9. Remove the muffins and cool on a wire rack. 10. Ready to serve. OR [b]Using Microwave [/b] 1. Place the apples in a small microwave-safe container and cook on HIGH for 4 mintues. Allow to cool. 2. In a mixing bowl, sift two flours, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon together. 3. In another separate mixing bowl, combine honey, yoghurt and egg white. Add cooled cooked apples, combining well. 4. Combine the two mixture (2) & (3) together and mix well. 5. Spoon into a microwave-safe muffin pan. 6. Place the pan on the outside of the turntable and microwave on HIGH for 90 seconds, then move the pan to the opposite side of the turnable and microwave for a further 90 seconds on HIGH. 7. Allow to cool and sprinkle with extra cinnamon to serve. 10. Ready to serve. Happy cooking!!!smiley
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Webmaster | 22. June 2006 @ 17:02

When bread makers first came out years back people felt that all you could use them for was plain white bread. Well that is not even close to being true any more. There are now dozens of fantastic recipes available for all kinds of bread. What you will find is that the ingredients you use in a bread machine will be a little different than if you were baking bread normally. The results are just as good however.

Below is a selection of recipes that are very simple to make, very affordable, and most of all, deliciously healthy. They only take a few minutes to prepare and the results will make everyone happy. So go ahead and try them out. Crack open your breadmaker and give one of these yummy recipes a try.

Basic White Bread

1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons powdered milk
2 TBSP oil (l usually use canola)
1 tsp salt
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp yeast

Just use the standard wet on the bottom dry on top mixing process. This is delicious with butter and honey while it is still hot.

Grain & Honey Bread

3/4 cup warm water
2 TBSP honey (liquid or melted)
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 TBSP lemon juice
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (mixed grain flower is OK too)
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tsps granulated yeast

Put the salt in the breadmaker first, then add all other ingredients except the yeast, oats and flour. Add the oats and flour. Make a small hole at the top of the dry ingredients for the yeast. Bake as usual.

Cheesy Buttermilk Bread

This yields a moist and tasty loaf. It also stores very well, but you'll probably finish it before that even matters!

1 and 1/8 cups buttermilk
1 tsp salt
2 TBSP sugar
.75 cup extra sharp chedder (grated)
3 cups bread flour
1.5 tsps bread machine yeast

Prepare as usual. All wet ingredients first, then the cheese, then dry ingredients, and the yeast on top.

Oat Bread

Use natural rolled oats. Just put them in a pot with boiling water, and then let them soak until they cool off. Then add the other ingredients and proceed as usual.

1 cup rolled oats
11 fl.oz. water
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups flour
1 tsp yeast

Baking bread is a wonderfully delicious way to add great nutrition to you family's diet. Give the recipes a try and add some flavour to your meals.

About the author:

Lynne Birch writes on home decor and home improvement. has a selection of articles and reviews of kitchen appliances that is growing daily. Updated coffee maker reviews.

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Webmaster | 21. June 2006 @ 17:02

The new food guidelines issued by the United States government recommend that all Americans eat between five and nine servings of fruits and vegetables each and every day. When you first hear that number, it may seem like a lot, but it is actually much easier than you think to fit that many servings of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. For one thing, the shelves of the grocery stores are fairly bursting with fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, vegetables and fruits are some of the least expensive, most nutrient rich, foods in the supermarket. With all these fruits and vegetables to choose from, it is very easy to make these nutritious, delicious foods part of your daily meals and snacks.

When you take into account how much a serving really is, it is actually quite easy to get five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day. For instance, the recommended daily amount actually equates to a quite reasonable two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables every day. When you consider how many fruits and vegetables are available, and how low the prices usually are, it is easy to see how easy to reach this daily goal really is.

One great way to get the nutrients you need from fruits and vegetables every day is to take full advantage of the variety of these foods available. Eating the same thing every day quickly becomes boring, so why not pick a variety of fruits and vegetables, in every color of the rainbow and in every conceivable shape, size and texture, to give yourself a varied diet every day.

When shopping for fruits and vegetables, it is important to choose a variety of different colors. This is for more than purely artistic reasons. Different color fruits and vegetables have different types of nutrients, and choosing a variety of colors will help ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need each and every day.

Finding new recipes is another great way to ensure you get those five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Everyone likes to try out new recipes, and these new recipes may just provide the impetus you need to eat all those fruits and veggies.

New recipes can also provide you the important opportunity to try out some fruits and vegetables you have never tried before. For instance, everyone has eaten oranges, but have you tried kiwi fruit or mangoes? How about spinach or kale? Trying new things is a great way to find new favorites while getting the best nutrition available.

Many people mistakenly think that they do not need to eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day if they just take a vitamin supplement. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. That is because fruits and vegetables contain far more than the micronutrients identified by science and synthesized in vitamin pills. While these micronutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E are important to good health, so too are the hundreds of other elements that are contained in healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. These elements are not available in any pill, they must be ingested through a healthy, balanced diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables.

In addition, fruits and vegetables are much less costly than vitamin pills. Fruits and vegetables are very inexpensive, especially when purchased in season and grown locally. In the long run, getting the nutrition you need from the food you eat is much less expensive, and much better for you, than popping those vitamin pills every day.

So don’t forget to get your five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day. It may seem like a lot, but you can meet this quite reasonable goal simply by including fruits and vegetables as snacks, as garnishes, as side dishes and as meals.

About the author:

Christos Varsamis is a Marketing Consultant at Get your Free E-courses “How to Create Minisites That Make Money in Just 24 Hours + Secrets of Internet Millionaires” at If you do not have time to eat vegetables, try the simple way! That is put supergreen in water. and consume it. This will means you have eaten 20 pounds of veg with just 1 teaspoon of supergreen. Fast and Effective! Interested, pls check out this website

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Webmaster | 20. June 2006 @ 17:02
Desserts Lovers! If you love eating desserts, don't miss out this! :thumbsup: Check out this website
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Webmaster | 19. June 2006 @ 17:02

Indian children love the Khomcha-Wallah. He wanders the streets, the busier the better, basket of goodies on his head and a cane stool under his arm. When he encounters a likely crowd he sets down his basket on the stool and starts to trade. The basket will contain the half-prepared ingredients of what is known in northern India as chaat - savoury snacks from traditional Hindu cuisine - which may be served in a banana leaf bowl.

One item might be Aloo Chaat which is fried, golden-brown potato cubes tossed with chilli powder, roasted cumin powder and chaat masala**.

Another, Dhai Baras which are split-pea patties. They will be already fried and softened in warm water. To complete the dish the Khomcha-Wallah may add beaten, creamy plain yoghurt with salt on top, and a choice of spice mixes. One mixture will be aromatic and probably contain roasted cumin, black pepper and dried mango powder, another will be hot a fiery with chillies, another sweet and sour like tamarind chutney.

Some Indian cities have become renowned for a certain sort of chaat - Jaipur for Paapri Chaat (similar to Dhai Baras but served with cubed potatoes chick peas) and Mumbai for Pau Bahji (spicy potato and vegetable curry served in a bun) but it is Delhi which is the chaat capital of India.

Some other chaats are:

Aloo Samosa - little pastry triangles filled with a spicy mixture of small diced potatoes and peas with chillies, chilli powder, fresh coriander, cumin and garam masala.

Keema Samosa - similar to above but including minced beef or lamb.

Aloo Tikki - mashed potato mixed with peas, cumin powder, corn flour, chilli powder and salt, formed into patties and fried until crisp and golden.

Tandoori Chicken Chaat - Tandoori chicken, shredded and mixed with diced green mango, onions, green chillies, coriander leaves and chaat masala**, dressed with lemon juice, oil and chilli powder.

**Chaat Masala is a spice mix made by combining the following ingredients.

4 tsp powdered dried mango
3 tsp cumin seeds, roasted and ground
3 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander seeds, roasted and ground
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp fennel seeds, roasted and ground (optional)
¼ tsp cayenne pepper

For all your Indian cooking needs why not visit my Asian Food Online Store at

About the author:

Liz Canham is the webmistress Asian Food and Cookery at and Travellers' Tales at

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Webmaster | 18. June 2006 @ 17:02
This dish is easy to do and healthy too! :) Try it! Check out this website
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Webmaster | 17. June 2006 @ 17:02

Did you know that tomatoes were once considered poison? It's true, the tomato is a member of the nightshade family, and was at one time considered to be toxic. Tomatoes were first eaten in the U.S. in the early 1800's, when a gentleman by the name of Robert Johnson shocked his hometown by eating a basket of tomatoes in the middle of town. When he didn't die, or even get sick from the tomatoes, they became a part of the American diet.

We now know that tomatoes are not toxic, and in fact are quite nutritious. First of all, tomatoes contain a lot of vitamin C, which is quite beneficial, as you've probably heard. Vitamin C helps the body to produce collagen, an important protein skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, helping to prevent cell damage by free radicals.

Tomatoes also contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Studies have shown that men consuming 10 servings of tomatoes a week cut the risk of prostate cancer by 45%. Lycopene also lower the risk of colorectal cancer and stomach cancer, and inhibits the growth of other types of cancer cells. Lycopene may also help older folks remain active.

Coumaric acid and chlorogenic acied are also found in tomatoes. These two compounds are thought to block the effects of nitrosamines, which are formed naturally in the body, but are also a strong carcinogen in tobacco smoke.

Tomatoes may also help to reduce the risk of heart disease. Tomatoes are a good source of potassium, niacin, vitamin B6, and folate. Niacin has been used for years to lower cholesterol. Potassium has been shown to lower high blood pressure. And vitamin B6 and folate are used by the body to convert a dangerous chemical called homocysteine into more benign compounds.

Vitamin K, found in tomatoes helps to maintain healthy bones. Vitamin K1 activates a protein in the bones called osteocalcin, which anchors calcium inside the bone. Without enough vitamin K, bone mineralization is impaired.

When you buy tomatoes, be sure to buy the ones with the brightest red color. This indicates high amounts of beta-carotene and lycopene. Lycopene is found in the cell walls of the tomato, so by cooking it in a bit of oil, more lycopene is fully released. Also, cooking the tomato in a bit of olive oil helps your body to absorb the lycopene. If all you can find are canned tomatoes, that's fine. Cooking and canning don't cause tomatoes to lose any of their nutritional value. So cooked and processed tomatoes are just as beneficial as fresh tomatoes.

So tomatoes, once thought to be deadly poison, are now a nutritious staple of our diet. They help to fight cancer, and they contain a good amount of vitamin C, and other vitamins and minerals. So go ahead and start adding tomatoes to your diet.

Spaghetti Sauce:

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced (or more if you want)
1 lb ground beef (optional)
4 28oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
1 28oz. can of tomato sauce
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp dried oregano
3 bay leaves

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion, and cook for a couple of minutes, until the onion is tender. Add the garlic, and cook briefly. Be sure not to burn the garlic.

If using ground beef, cook the meat in a skillet until browned. Drain the meat, and add it to the pot.

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, oregano, and bay leaves. Stir everything together, then turn the heat to medium low, and simmer for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

Remove the sauce from the heat, and serve over pasta. The leftover sauce will freeze well.

About the author:

Tim Sousa is the webmaster for, A blog about the negative calorie diet, and negative calorie foods.

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Webmaster | 15. June 2006 @ 17:02
Do you like drinking soup? I definitely loved it. Want something easy to cook so that you can watch soccer on time? [b]Ingredients[/b] * 1 large potato, peeled and diced * 1 large onion, sliced * 6 cup chicken stock * 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or according to taste * 250g cooked chicken, chopped * 300g canned corn, drained * 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley * freshly ground black pepper [b]Cooking Method[/b] 1. Place potato, onion, stock and chili powder in a large saucepan. 2. Simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. 3. Remove vegetables using a spoon and puree in a food processor or blender. 4. Return to stock mixture and whisk to combine. 5. Add in chicken and corn. 6. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes. 7. Add parsley. 8. Add pepper accordingly to your taste 10. Ready to serve Hope you love it!! :)
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Webmaster | 14. June 2006 @ 17:02

This delicious hot dog recipe will add some fun to your dinner table.

1 1/3 cups dry mash potato mix
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup sweet pickle relish
2 tablespoons mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 tablespoon instant minced onion
2 teaspoons mustard
4 to 6 hot dogs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare mashed potatoes as directed on package, using water, milk, margarine and salt. Stir in relish, mayonnaise, onion and mustard. Spread into ungreased 1-quart casserole.

Cut each hot dog lengthwise in half, then crosswise in half. Insert hot dog pieces around edge of mashed potatoes.

Bake 25-30 minutes.

About the author:

© Donna Monday
Over 100 easy-to-make meals at your fingertips

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webmaster | 13. June 2006 @ 17:02

Here’s a slight twist on the traditional taco casserole recipe. The cheesy potatoes add another level of flavor to the tasty beef and seasoned cheese. Run for the border indeed!

½ pound ground beef
1 package au gratin potatoes
2 ¼ cups boiling water
2/3 cup milk
1 cup shredded taco-seasoned cheese
1 cup coarsely broken tortilla chips


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook beef in 10-inch skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown; drain.

Mix uncooked potatoes, sauce mix, boiling water and milk in ungreased 2-quart round casserole. Stir in beef and ½ cup of cheese.

Bake uncovered 30 minutes or until top is light golden brown. Sprinkle chips over casserole; sprinkle remaining cheese over chips.

Bake 3 to 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand 2 minutes before serving.

About the author:

© Donna Monday
Over 100 easy-to-make meals at your fingertips

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Webmaster | 12. June 2006 @ 17:02

Jam-making is over for the year, the summer heat has finished off the strawberries, the apricot season went by in the blink of an eye, it’s too hot to think of cooking anything at all until evening cools the air. Even the memory of standing over a simmering pot of jam makes me perspire.

The dog days of summer have us heading for the beach or pool, sandwiches for lunch, the swiftest of stir-fries or pasta dishes for supper, so I can get quickly out of the kitchen again to eat outside. Baking has been reduced to a minimum, bought biscuits replace home-made, the bread is baked in the evening so as not to heat up the house unnecessarily in the sweltering daytime. The jam, fruit of my spring labour, stays on the shelf in the larder, half used pots hide in the fridge, the pots of apricot jam that I burnt (yes it happened again, when I turned my back for five minutes, so much for learning from experience) wait for me to get baking again to be used up.

Eventually school starts after the long holidays and I am forced back to the kitchen stove to bake once more, for my son’s class cake sale. The weather is still hot so the attraction of spending part of the afternoon getting even hotter next to the hot oven is zero, but in order to qualify for even the starting rounds of the Supermum stakes I have to get that apron on and sweat!

At last though an opportunity to clear out those perfectly good but unfinished pots of jam, slightly solidifying, that no-one can be bothered to excavate, when the larder is still full of enticing new pots. I’ll make jam squares, even the slightly caramelised apricot jam works well with these and you can do stripes of different jams, if more than one kind need finishing. Jam squares are even worth opening a new perfect pot of jam for, they don’t last long in this family, in fact I’m likely to be in trouble if I send the whole batch off to the cake sale and don’t keep any back for home consumption!

So the recipe:

Jam Squares

250 g soft butter
250 ml sugar
2 eggs
5 ml vanilla essence
15 ml baking powder
a pinch salt
1 pot jam

Cream the butter and sugar well. Beat the eggs with the vanilla, add to the butter and sugar and mix well. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and add to the mixture one cup at a time until it forms a soft dough. You may have to knead with your hands at the end. Set aside one third of the dough and press and pat the rest into a greased 37 x 25 cm baking tray till even. Spread generously with jam. Use the coarse side of the grater to grate the remaining dough over the top – leave it loose and spread with a fork to cover any gaps. (If you run the grater under cold water now and then it should stop the dough from sticking). Bake at 180 degrees C for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Don’t let it get dark brown as it will be too dry. Cut into squares and leave to cool in tin. You can sift some icing sugar over the top if you like, but I tend not to as it makes it too sweet for me.

Well, I survived the baking session, temper just about intact, sweat flowing from my brow and made for the pool afterwards to recover my cool, hoping for autumn to arrive before the next cake sale does. This led to thinking about quick baking things to do in summer – a kitchen smash and grab raid.

Scones have to be one of the quickest things to make and bake – 5 minutes of mixing, 10 minutes to bake and served immediately with two types of home-made jam, excellent for impressing visitors and family or just having something to give unexpected arrivals for tea, when the cupboard is bare. They are also one of the best ways of presenting really nice home-made jam simply, so that it can be tasted and appreciated. If you take them out to a shady spot in the garden to eat, then it doesn’t matter that the kitchen is now hot, steamy and floury and so are you! Get all the rest of the tea things ready before you start, so that you can evacuate the kitchen as soon as they are done.


2 cups self-raising flour
half a teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 dessertspoons sugar
1 egg
¾ cup milk

Sift together the flour, salt and sugar. Rub in the butter. Add the beaten egg and milk to make a light, moist dough (it can be very sticky, just use plenty of flour for rolling and cutting). Roll out to about 2 cm thickness and use a medium sized cutter to cut out rounds (avoid twisting as you press or the scones will be uneven). I vary the size of cutter, I find people prefer to eat a few small scones rather than one huge, intimidating one. Brush with a little milk or beaten egg. Bake at 200 degrees C for 10-12 minutes. Cool on a rack but eat while very fresh, even straight away. If you don’t have rolling-pins and cutters use a smooth bottle to roll and a glass to cut.

These are also good for winter, the heated up kitchen will then seem warm and cosy and the baking smell enticing and hospitable. The jam will bring reminiscences of sunshine and summer fruits and you can be nostalgic about summer days when it is too hot to bake.

About the author:

Kit Heathcock

Sometime flower photographer, keen observer of the resonances of life and fulltime mother. Born in the UK but now living on a farm in the southern hemisphere. Contributor to the creation and maintenance of one of the homes of chakra flower art.

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Webmaster | 11. June 2006 @ 17:02
Want something special and easy to cook ? [b]Ingredients[/b] * 4 boneless chicken breast,skinned * 2 teaspoons cornflour blended with * 3 tablespoons chicken stock * Marinade sauce - Combine 3/4 cup orange juice, 1 tablespoons grated orange rind, 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, freshly ground black pepper together [b]Cooking Method[/b] 1. Place chicken in a single layer onto a shallow dish. 2. Pour the marinade sauce over the fish. 3. Cover and marinade for 1-2 hour. 4. Transfer chicken and a little marinade to a baking dish. 5. Bake at 180 Degree Celsius for 30 mins. 6. Place remaining marinade and cornflour mixture in a saucepan. 7. Cook over medium heat until sauce boils and thickens. 8. Pour over chicken. 9. Ready to serve Hope you love it!! :rolleyes:
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Webmaster | 11. June 2006 @ 08:34
It is the time that many of us started to having late nights and having stay-at-home period. But it is important for us to take good care of our health. Since there is less time in preparing the food as many of us are trying to catch more sleep, this week will come out with easy-to-cook recipes. So watch out for them!!:lol: If you miss put the soccer results, dun worry!! Check out [url] [/url] This website have a special feature- it has the time customize according to your country. Soccer Fans!!! Take good care of your health and enjoy!! :thumbsup:
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Webmaster | 8. June 2006 @ 17:02

Keeping our brew fresh and hot is a big deal for some of us coffee drinkers. There is nothing worse than a tepid mouthful of stale coffee. How you keep your coffee hot depends a little on where you are and what you're doing. What happens to coffee as we keep it warm? Are there things I should never do to keep my coffee warm? Knowing a little more about coffee will help you understand how to keep it hot and tasting great.

This little set of points should help you out in most situations.

- Use a thermal cup or mug for commuting or to keep it hot for short periods of time

- Glass and stainless steel thermos style bottles barely effect coffee taste at all

- French Press brewers (like Bodum) are not good for keeping coffee hot. They continue to brew and can produce very bitter coffee

- Try to not use direct heat from an element or hotplate if possible

- A sealed or closed container slows the loss of essential aromas that influence coffee flavour.

- You get the best flavour from coffee that is kept at least 170F.

There are a number of taste related components in a cup of coffee that change or degrade over time. This means that the taste of a cup of coffee will continue to change, for the worse most would say, just because time passes. The best way to manage this problem is to simply brew smaller amounts of coffee more frequently. As we all know, the best cup of coffee is a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

So as you get your next pot of coffee ready, think about how you are going to consume it. If you plan on having it right away, no problem. But if you are thinking about drinking it over a longer period of time, keep the points we made above in your mind. Plan out how you will keep it hot and tasting fresh. Only then start the brew.

About the author:

Lynne Birch writes on home decor and home improvement. has a selection of articles and reviews of kitchen appliances that is growing daily. Updated coffee maker reviews.

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Webmaster | 7. June 2006 @ 17:02
Want something easy to cook ? [b]Ingredients[/b] * 4 large white fish fillets * 2 teaspoons sesame seeds * Garnish with watercress * Marinade sauce - Combine 3 tablespoon teriyaki sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon sherry, 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, 1 clove garlic, crushed together [b]Cooking Method[/b] 1. Place fish fillets in a single layer onto a shallow dish. 2. Pour the marinade sauce over the fish. 3. Cover and marinade for 1 hour. 4. Toss sesame seeds in frypan and cook over medium heat until golden brown. 5. Stir sesame seeds frequently and turn off fire when done. 6. Remove fish from the marinade sauce. 7. Grill each side for 2-3 minutes. 8. Brush occasionally with marinade during cooking. 9. Sprinkled with sesame seeds on the fish fillet 10. Ready to serve Hope you love it!! :)
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Webmaster | 6. June 2006 @ 17:02

This bacon cheeseburger pie recipe is the perfect easy casserole for those Saturday nights when you want to whip up a fun meal.


1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, quartered, sliced
1 medium bell pepper, cut into bite-sized strips
6 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1 (14.5 oz.) can chunky pizza sauce
2 to 3 Italian plum tomatoes, chopped
4 oz. (6 thin slices) cheddar cheese


2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large saucepan brown ground beef with onion and bell pepper; drain. Stir in 6 slices crumbled bacon and pizza sauce. Spoon into ungreased 13x9 baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with tomatoes; top with cheese slices.

In medium bowl, beat eggs slightly. Add milk and oil; mix well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour and salt; beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Pour evenly over cheese slices. Sprinkle with 2 slices crumbled bacon.

Bake 20-30 minutes or until topping is slightly puffed and deep golden brown.

About the author:

© Donna Monday
Over 100 easy-to-make meals at your fingertips

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Webmaster | 5. June 2006 @ 17:02

What’s the first thought that comes to your mind, when you think of strawberry – a mouth-watering dessert of strawberries mixed with fresh cream? To end an interesting evening on sweet note, this is just the right dessert. Strawberries serve more than just fulfilling the sweet tooth. It is packed with hordes of health benefits, making a nutritious fruit for mind and body.

Eat this succulent fruit in its raw form or serve it as jams, syrups, salads, smoothies, wine, juices, and more. Strawberries are full of vitamin C, potassium, sodium and iron as well as being low in calories. Not just delicious, a strawberry is also a great skincare additive, especially due to its mildly astringent properties. Strawberry flesh and juice is recommended mainly for oily skin to improve texture, minimize greasiness and encourage a healthy and more radiant complexion. The ellagic acids in strawberries appear to inhibit the growth of tumors (cancer cells). They are also a good source of salicylic acid that removes dead cells and clean pores.

Strawberry helps in soothing sunburned skin, skin blemishes as well as discolored teeth. An alternative to placing cucumber on the eyes, place a sliced strawberry to reduce the puffiness. They are known to fight heart disease and provide a number of vitamins and minerals that support overall human health. By adding strawberries to your diet, we build a healthy immune system. In addition to various nutrients and minerals, strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese, as well as folic acid, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, copper, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Packed with immense health benefits, strawberries when added to beauty recipes for skin exude magic… Try out these homemade recipes made with this luscious fruit as main ingredient.

Kiwi Cucumber Strawberry Facial Cleanser - Blend 5 to 6 strawberries, 1 kiwi, peeled and 1/2 cucumber to a smooth paste, not a runny mixture. If the mixture is slightly runny, add bit of oatmeal until the potion is of proper consistency. Apply to your face and neck area with gentle massage to exfoliate the skin. Let the paste settle on your skin for 10 minutes and then rinse well with warm water. Your skin will feel fresh and clean.

Strawberry Facemask - Combine 2 or 3 ripe strawberries with 2 tbsp of finely grounded oats and 1 drop of lemon essential oil to form a paste. Spread the paste on to the face and neck area with fingertips. Relax for 20 minutes. Rinse off with cool water followed by a toner and moisturizer. The pieces of strawberry seeds aid in the skin treatment process.

Antioxidant mask with Strawberry and Papaya starring - ½ papaya, 4 strawberries, 1 tbsp rolled oats, 1 tsp honey and 1 tsp fresh lemon juice. Grind the oats, blend papayas and strawberries until smooth and warm honey until it is flowing freely. Combine and mix well all the ingredients. Apply this mixture on the face and let it remain for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water followed with moisturizer.

For beautiful and radiant skin – mash 1 or 2 strawberries mixing it with water to form a smooth paste. Apply the paste on your face, neck overnight. Rinse it in the morning.

Face Lifting Face Pack - 3 to 4 strawberries, 5-6 grapes, 1/2 pear, 1/2 apple and 1 ounce of orange juice. Before putting this paste on apply a coat of honey which is later on covered with this fruit mixture. Leave it for 30 minutes and then rinse it with lukewarm water. For the final rinse use vinegar to give your face, a perfect lift.

Strawberry Mask – 4 to 5 strawberries, 1 tbsp. milk and 1 tbsp. cornstarch. Mix all the three ingredients to make a paste to be applied on your face for 20 minutes. Rinse it first with warm water, then cold water. You can better this pack by using a mild astringent and then use a light moisturizer. You can use this pack for week.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautions while following instructions on the recipes from this article. Avoid using if you are allergic to something. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.

About the author:

Sharon Hopkins is webmaster for sites like The site provides you information on hair and skin care and its related issues. Strawberries are packed with various vitamins, minerals and nutrients that work wonderfully for skin and hair care.

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Webmaster | 4. June 2006 @ 17:02

Time after time I wondered about making this particular cheesecake; will it be good or will it be a fly by night idea? After all, who ever heard of putting shrimp into cheesecake?! Well it turned out to be a fantastic idea and you just can't believe how good it really is...

1 pounds cream cheese(get a good solid cream cheese not one of those presoftened ones)
1/2 pound sour cream
1 1/2 pounds fresh medium shrimp
1/3 cup green bell peppers chopped fine
1/3 cup red bell peppers chopped fine
1 large clove garlic minced
2 ounces butter
3 medium eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup heavy cream
6 ounces shredded New York sState sharp Cheese pepper as you like it.

Lining For Pan:

10 ounces dried unflavored bread crumbs
6 ounces melted butter

Tomato Sauce:

1/4 cup chopped onions
1 medium bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons dried italian seasoning
1 clove minced garlic
2 tablespoon olive oil
28 ounces crushed tomatoes (canned)

Cook, clean, and chop your shrimp.

Saute peppers, garlic, onions, in 2 ounces melted butter for 6-7 minutes on medium heat, add your shrimp and cook for 2 more minutes, drain well and put aside.

Beat your cream cheese so it is smooth, then add your sour cream and mix until fairly fluffy, add your eggs one at a time mixing well after each one.

On low speed gradually add the heavy cream until blended. Stir in the shrimp and vegitable mixture and sharp cheese now add the pepper.

Prepair your 10 inch x 2 inch springform pan:

In a medium mixing bowl place your bread crumbs and your melted butter, blend them together well.

Using melted butter and a pastry brush butter the sides of your springform pan.

press the buttered bread crumbs to the sides of the pan and the remainder to the bottom of the pan.

Pour the cheesecake into the pan and place in a preheated 300 degree oven for 55 minutes or until jelled( it might be slightly wiggly in the center but thats OK, but not mutch ) after 55 minutes shut OFF the oven and let it remain in there for 3 hours, then remove it and let it cool, when cool, remove it from th pan.

Prepair your tomato sauce while your cheesecake is cooling:

Saute your onions, garlic,and italian seasoning,and bay leaf in hot oil until vegitables are tender, add your tomatoes, simmer about 30 minutes uncovered on low heat or until you reach your desired consistency, remove the bay leaf from your sauce.

Serve hot over room temperature cheesecake.

About the author:

Andrew Krause is a Chef and Pastry Chef for over 30 years, at persent I own a Gourmet Bakery called The Cheese Confectioner. You can visit my site at

NOTE: You are welcome to reprint this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the about the author info at the end). Please a send a copy of your reprint to

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Webmaster | 3. June 2006 @ 17:02

This recipe is a marriage made in nacho heaven! Zesty barbecue sauce enhances the hearty flavor of chicken, chili beans, and melted cheese.

1 ½ cups cooked chicken, chopped
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
8 cups corn tortilla chips
1 (15 oz.) can chili beans in sauce, undrained
1 (2 ¼ oz.) can sliced ripe olives, drained
1 cup plum (roma) tomatoes, chopped
3 cups Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, shredded


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Line a 15 ½ x 10 ½ x 1-inch jelly roll pan with foil.

Mix chicken and barbecue sauce. Layer half each of tortilla chips, chili beans, chicken mixture, olives, tomatoes, and cheese in pan. Repeat.

About the author:

© Donna Monday
Cha…cha…cha…it’s chili time!

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