There are a few basic rules of bartending that can take your drink from yum to yahoo. These tricks of the trade have been learned from over fifteen years bartending experience, and are easy for even the novice mixologist.

But first, let’s explore some real basics of cocktails.

Most “drinks” are made with three basic components: liquor, a mixer, and ice. Anything without a mixer is a shot (but a classier way to ask for this is either “neat” (no ice) or “on the rocks” (with ice).

The three component type of drinks are the “staples” of bars worldwide: rum and coke, whiskey and seven, gin and tonic, vodka and orange.

The three component drink is typically made by a). adding ice to the glass b). pouring in a shot and a half of liquor c). adding the mixer to the remaining space in the glass.

The most common mistake with these type of drinks is going overboard on the liquor and only having enough room for a splash of mixer. This is a favored method of dive bars, but impossible to do in those establishments (like UK pubs) that have liquor stored in measuring holders.

A double will be served in a bigger glass to allow a better ratio of mixer to liquor. If you want more mixer than liquor, a lot of folks will order their classic cocktail “tall”.

Most remember the Bond classic line “Shaken, not stirred.” This one can befuddle even a barfly. What’s the difference?

Drinks that are shaken usually have an additional component: either a complementary shot or another ingredient like sugar. Drinks may also be shaken when they are served strained as a way to “ice” the liquid.

A martini has both these requirements. It is usually accompanied by sweet or dry vermouth (thus the dry or sweet martini addition when ordering) or can be served “dirty” (juice from the martini olives). Gin and vodka martinis are also best served very cold.

Some types of gin or vodka, especially top shelf can “bruise” when being shaken and so some prefer to have the mixture gently stirred with a cocktail spoon.

Drinks that are strained (or served without ice) are commonly served “up” or in a martini glass.


1. A good drink is not a strong drink. Whether you are making a gin and tonic or a cosmopolitan a heavy handed pour can quickly ruin a quality beverage. If you don’t have a jigger or a shot glass to measure by, a good rule of thumb is that your “main” liquor component should usually be a three second count. If you are working sans pour spout, two healthy splashes ought to do the trick.

2. Ice should be your main ingredient. Whether giving your glass a quick ice bath, or filling up your Collins glass to the rim, ice is a critical ingredient to most cocktails. With most liquors, it helps to release aromas without overpowering your senses. It can also cool the peppery shock (think tequila). You can dress up a cocktail with different styles of ice cubes, but in general your glass or shaker should always have more ice than liquid. For the perfect drink served sans ice, fill up the martini glass while you are mixing (and be sure to have lots of ice in your mixing container). Toss out the ice, strain and voila! A nicely chilled drink.

3. If you are mixing with fresh squeezed juice, don’t forget the sugar! Muddling a couple of cubes with lemon or lime will take the tartness down. Why do you think soda and liquor tastes so good? Sugar!


  1. List of cocktails
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  3. Cocktail Recipes | Liquor.com

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Always have a theme! Yes it sounds cliche but it works. You don’t have to go over the top or try to come up with interesting games or costumes, the idea is more to motivate you to think outside of the box. The theme can be as simple as a colour that inspires you to make a certain drink that you love or create an atmosphere of good conversation.

I love Gin and Tonic I could drink it till the cows come home. When I drink G&T’s they make me think of lime citrus a bright fresh green colour. That colour inspires in me thoughts of summers at the beach, walking bare foot in the sand trying not to get the top of my pants wet in the ocean. I use this as a jumping off point, to inspire me and give my imagination a boost. Pool parties with G&T’s in the summer and jazz playing on the radio sounds easy enough to me as long as you have the right idea and good company.

Remember to pay attention to and use the seasons for inspiration. For example, I love the fall with all the rich colours on the trees and the air is just crisp enough to wear your favourite sweater and not get too hot. Orange and brown and gold, these are great colours to use if you want to have different types of beers from around the world to sample for your guests at a cocktail party. Choose the beers based on colour and where they are from, stray a bit from your comfort zones and try something new. You will find that different taste and opinion will keep the conversation flowing. If you are not a beer person try it with wine, there are some wonderful wines coming out of Australia and New Zealand, of course if you are more traditional you can stick to the French wines.

Once you have your theme, or an idea in your head of what type of atmosphere you want to create, then the rest is just planning. Here are a few things to consider when planning your cocktail party:

First and foremost, who are you going to invite? Try to invite guests that you genuinely want to hear what they have to say about topics and issues. Don’t be afraid to mix your groups of friends up. The most interesting conversations are started by just getting two very different and intelligent people together to see what they have to say. A good little tip, always have a few news papers or magazines out to stimulate the conversation when it putters out from time to time.

Once you know who is coming, of course the drinks are next. I have a few friends who don’t drink alcohol, so I always try to be aware of those guests, they will want to drink something interesting as well that is alcohol free. The simplest answer is sparkling water and mixed juices with fresh fruit. Or, if it is cold outside offering virgin “hot toddies” (lemon, honey, hot water, and a bit of cinnamon) or different types of herbal teas is always nice. For the alcohol based drinks the internet is a great place to get information. You might even find ingredients to make that inspirational drink you had one time but have no idea what is in it. Search your drinks online and most of the time those websites will lead you to great recipes for nibbles too.

When it comes to food I am the most unorganised, uninspired, and uninterested in cooking you can get. However, even I can pull off some simple little treats for the guests. Again I would like to point you to the internet, always good tips there. But if you are like me and don’t feel comfortable enough in the kitchen to experiment on your guests, then stick to the basics. Chips, dip, and lots of easy finger foods. There are some great little items in your grocer’s frozen foods section if you care to check it out. All you do is pop it in the oven for a few minutes and vuala you have perfect little h’orderves ready to be served. Hey, for the rest of you that are Gods sent from above to bless us with your culinary skills, I don’t need to give you any tips in this department!

Finally we come to presentation, cleaning, and decor. This I have to admit is my favourite part it gives me an excuse to buy those little decorational items for my house that I’ve had my eye on. For example, those wonderful incense candles and gorgeous mirror for the entryway that I always pass over for the necessary items like sheets or a new broom. Heck sometimes those things are reason enough to through a cocktail party! Keep your theme in mind when shopping and use your inspirational colours to pick out decorations. I have always felt that less is more when it comes to decor. One flower arrangement and some flowers for the food platters is enough. You don’t want to clutter up your house so much that people can’t manoeuvre around the large overtly obvious flower arrangements.

Don’t leave the cleaning till the last minute! It is extremely stressful trying to hide the washing and not burn those cute little h’orderves while taking peoples coats as they start to arrive. Then you end up getting too drunk too fast because you have forgotten to relax and have a bite to eat. That never ends well! Give yourself a whole day to clean and run errands, make sure that when you went out to get the drinks and nibbles you also remembered to pick up extra cleaning product and get the dry cleaning.

Give yourself a timeline to plan the party. If you are having the cocktail party on Saturday night, then do your errands and shopping on Friday after work and clean Saturday morning. DONT ever plan a cocktail party if you have 10 other things to do that weekend, you will blow it! Trust me I have flunked party planning 101 many times by not being realistic with my time.

You will find that in no time you are the toast of the town and people are asking you to help them plan a cocktail party or find themselves wondering when your next event will be. Always remember to keep it super simple, give yourself plenty of time, and always have a theme in mind. Good luck!


  1. Cocktail party
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  3. Cocktail Party Guide | Epicurious.com | Epicurious.com

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Clams Casino Pizza is said to have originated in Rhode Island at the Narragansett Casino, which has twice burned to the ground, once in 1900 and again in 1956. However it was that Clams Casino Pizza first came into existence, it is a heavenly taste treat for seafood lovers and quite popular along the northern coastline. This is a pizza that takes some time preparing but for seafood lovers it is well worth the effort.

To create a truly excellent pizza of any flavor at home, one must first begin with a great pizza crust recipe and the proper equipment. Stoneware is the preferred baking surface in truly great pizzerias and among most master chefs when creating a pizza due to the even heating distribution of the stone.


You must first create a sponge in which to add the flour. It is best to allow pizza dough to rise naturally after kneading it at room temperature instead of placing it in warmer area. This is slower but creates a better crust. Kneading knocks the air out of the dough and eliminates the excess gas built up by the yeast. Make sure the dough is kneaded sufficiently. The following recipe is for one large pizza crust.


3/4 Cup warm water, approximately 110 degrees

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon flour

1/4 Ounce active, dry yeast


1/2 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 Cups bread flour, sifted


* Mix together the sponge ingredients and let it stand for approximately five minutes.

* Add the olive oil and salt.

* Begin mixing in approximately 1/2 cup of flour at a time. Mix well after each addition. Keep adding flour until you can form a ball of it with your hands. The dough should be rather sticky, but not gooey.

* Turn the dough out onto a well floured dough board and begin kneading. Continue pressing down in the center of the ball and pulling up the top of the dough over the depression you made, roatating the dough as you do this. Keep stretching and compressing the dough to form an elastic texture. Try to do this quickly. If the dough begins to feel like it is going to stick to the dough board, sprinkle more flour onto the board and dust your hands. This process should take 10-15 minutes.

* After kneading the dough, lightly oil a bowl and place the dough ball in the bowl. Lightly coat with olive oil and loosely wrap in plastic wrap.

* Allow the dough to rise for two hours.

* While the dough is rising, prepare your pizza ingredients and preheat your oven and baking stone at 500 degrees Farenheit. The remainder of the instructions for the pizza dough will be listed with the pizza recipe below.


The following recipe will top one large pizza crust.


8 Cherrystone clams

1/3 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 Bay leaf

1/2 small onion, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1 Sprig fresh oregano, leaves stripped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 small vine ripened tomato, seeded and chopped

8 Ounce container Ricotta Cheese

1/2 Cup grated Pecorino Ramano

1/4 Cup fresh, flat leaf parsley, chopped

4 Slices Bacon, each cut into 4 pieces

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Kosher salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste


* Wash and scrub the clams well.

* Fill a steamer pot with 1 inch of water and add 1/4 teaspoon salt and the bay leaf. Heat the water to a simmer before adding the clams. Cover and steam 5-10 minutes, until the clams open. Discard any clams that do not open.

* Remove the clams from the shells and chop them up.

* Place the chopped clams in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

* Place approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saute pan and bring to a medium heat.

* Add the onion, bell pepper, tomato, garlic, and oregano. Saute approximately 10 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked down and tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

* Take the dough out of the bowl, placing it on a well floured surface. Cover both sides with flour. Use a press and stretch method to form an edge to the crust.

* Pick the dough up and stretch and spin it into a round disk and place the dough on top of a pizza lift, pizza peel, or pizza paddles. This will allow you to slide the pizza onto the heated stoneware once you have placed the toppings on the dough.

* Spread the pizza dough with approximately 2/3 of the container of ricotta cheese.

* Scatter the clams all over the top of the cheese.

* Top with the sauted vegetable mixture.

* Scatter the 16 small pieces of bacon around on top of the pizza.

* Slide the pizza onto the hot pizza stone in the oven. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until crust is golden and cheese is bubbling.

* Drizzle the baked pizza with olive oil and sprinkle with grated pecorino ramano. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

* Slice and serve.

Be prepared for this pizza to do a quick disappearing act! If entertaining guests who like seafood, you will definitely need to make two or three pizzas.


  1. Clams Casino Pizza Recipe : Tyler Florence : Food Network
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The image of a stogie-chomping, high-powered celebrity can be a glamorous one that we all would like to emulate at times however the serious health issues caused by the growing fad of cigar smoking are many and a long-term concern for both the health system and general public.

Cigar smoking has many proven associated health risks and not just for the smoker either; people who passively inhale the cigar smoke may be at greater risk of developing certain diseases.

So, are the health risks for cigar smokers severe? According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse the use of tobacco kills more people than alcohol, cocaine, heroin, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fire and AIDS combined, (annual statistics from the U.S.). Scary!

When one considers that a single cigar can contain more tobacco than a whole packet of cigarettes then the full weight of the smoking risk involved begins to come to light. Add to this the components found in cigars; these include the following long list: carbon monoxide, nicotine, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, volatile aldehydes, formaldehyde, urethane, naphthalene, benzene, aromatic amines (carcinogens – 2-naphthylamine, 4-minobiphenyl), vinyl chloride (substance used to make plastics), ethylene oxide, arsenic, chromium. nitrosamines, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, cadmium, radioactive polonium 210 and nitrogen compounds – nitrates and nitrites. Throw tar into the equation too. Yuck!

The specific health problems related to cigar smoking are many and varied and considering that cigar manufacturers are not legally obliged to include health warnings on their packaging the situation is indeed a frightening one.


* Cancers of the lung, mouth, lip, tongue, throat, pharynx, larynx (voice box), esophagus, stomach, and possibly pancreas.

* Chronic bronchitis

* Emphysema

* Aggravation of asthma

* Coronary heart disease, including stroke and heart attack. (One fifth of heart diseases are attributable to smoking).

* Vascular diseases, aneurysms.

* Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a lung disease).

* Peridontal disease, tooth erosion, tooth and supporting bone loss, stained teeth, chronic bad breath.

* Other chronic conditions of the liver, brain, gastrointestinal concerns, prostate problems, rare form of male breast cancer, lymphoma and even leukemia. Some studies have suggested that cigar and cigarette smoke may even be a contributing factor in sudden infant deaths (SIDS).

Many cigar smokers have an immediate improvement in their blood pressure, pulse rate and breathing patterns when they give the habit up. A great incentive to do so!

Although some famous cigar smokers like the legendary George Burns live to a ripe old age, they tend to be the exception to the rule. The media and Hollywood have glamorized cigars but the evidence of health risk is unquestionable. Cigar tobacco may be less chemically processed than cigarette tobacco, and lung inhalation is less, but the toxic effects of cigar smoke are still a grave concern.

According to statistics cigar sales have increased by 50% since 1993 and over 5 billion units are sold every year! (That’s nearly one cigar for every person on Planet Earth – Yikes!)

Cigars can kill, have no doubt about it!




  1. Cigar Smoking and Cancer – National Cancer Institute
  2. Cranberry for UTI
  3. The Risks of Cigars – HealthDay

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I think there are certain recipes every home cook should know. Pancakes, meatloaf, pot roast, maybe a really great stew or chili con carne recipe. You get the idea. As such, stock belongs in the category of must have recipes. You could use canned stock or bouillon cubes or whatever. But given how easy stock is to make, and how much better it tastes than store bought, there’s really no excuse for not making your own stock.

There are many reasons why I like this recipe. It’s easy to use and can be easily doubled, tripled, or halved. There’s room for variation (sometimes I like to roast the bones in the oven first). And once assembled, the stock cooks itself. Which is a real plus for those of us who have better things to do than slave over a hot stove all evening.

3 lbs chicken bones

10 cups water

2 celery stalks, cut into chunks

2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

1 onion cut into chunks

1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

1 red bell pepper cut in chunks

2 bay leaves

2 tsp thyme

2 tsp basil

Put chicken bones, vegetables and garlic in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and allow to come to a simmer. With a strainer or slotted spoon remove foam that forms on top of the soup and discard. Once no more foam forms on top of the soup, add seasonings.

Simmer stock partly covered for two hours, stirring occasionally. When done, remove pot from the heat. With tongs or a slotted spoon remove vegetables from the stock and discard. Remove bones to a plate and allow to cool. When the bones are cool enough to handle, remove and shred any meat, returning it to the pot.

Skim any fat from the top of the stock and discard. Remove stock to storage containers and freeze until ready to use. Sometimes for variation I like to use shallots, white or purple onions. If you want a richer chicken stock, brown the bones in the oven at 450F for 45 minutes or until the bones are nicely browned. Remove from the oven and proceed as directed.


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If you’re looking for a great meal and you don’t have a whole lot of time to devote to the process of making that meal, then you may want to consider making a simple chicken casserole. The chicken casserole is perhaps one the best tasting and simplest meals to make for you and your family. Also, it can be made into quantities for all sizes of families whether it be for one person or a family of ten. All you need to make the simple chicken casserole is a few ingredients and some time to prepare and cook it. This article will outline the steps for making a simple chicken casserole.

First, you’ll need to gather all of the ingredients need to make the chicken casserole. The ingredients include eight ounces of egg noodles, twelve ounces of drained canned chicken, one and a half cups of sour cream, one half cup of milk, four ounces of mushrooms, a teaspoon of salt, one quarter cup of black pepper, one quarter cup of bread crumbs, one quarter cup of parmesan cheese, and two tablespoons of butter or margarine. This is all of the ingredients that you will need to make the casserole.

Once you have all of the ingredients, you may begin the process of cooking the casserole. Start by boiling the noodles until they are cooked to recommended texture. Drain the water and set the noodles aside until you are ready to include them in the rest of the process.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and then take out a casserole dish, which is usual 2 to 3 inches thick, and spray it with a non-stick spray before continuing. Pour the cooked noodles into the a large bowl along with the canned chicken and the mushrooms. Mix these ingredients together until they are well blended.

Next, you can mix in the sour cream, milk, and seasonings that were mentioned in the ingredients list. If you would like to add some of your own favorite seasonings, you may do so but be aware of how much seasoning you are using as you do not want to over do it. When this is complete, add the entire mixture into your casserole dish which should be about 2 to 3 inches thick.

In a smaller bowl of your choice, mix the parmesan cheese, butter, and bread crumbs together. You may then sprinkle this mixture onto the top of the mixture in the casserole dish. The casserole is now prepared and ready to cook.

Place the casserole in the oven and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the casserole bread crumbs are golden brown and you feel that it has been cooked enough. When it is done cooking, let it stand for 10 minutes and then serve. Your family will be very happy with the dinner and so will you.

For more information on the cordless electric can opener and other great products, visit ElectricCanOpenerPlus.com


  1. Grandma's Chicken Casserole recipe from Betty Crocker
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  3. Chicken Casserole Recipes – Allrecipes.com

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Cutting expenses from the monthly budget often means foregoing eating out at restaurants.  The average cost of eating at a family restaurant for a family of 4 can cost over $50 – and this is for an inexpensive eatery.  However, if you want to take the family for a nice sit-down, there are cheap ways to eat out at restaurants and still have a wonderful meal.


Skip the appetizers.  Often, these before-dinner snacks can run a family anywhere from $6 to $10 per appetizer.  Appetizers also tend to fill-up the kids and they won’t finish their dinner.  If you like to have appetizers with dinner, find a restaurant that gives complimentary appetizers like bread or bread sticks.  Some Mexican restaurants even have free chips and salsa appetizers.


For a family of 4, drinks will cost approximately $2 each or an additional $8 to your dining bill.  At most restaurants, water is free and it’s better for you and the kids than soda.  Even if you let the kids splurge, adults can opt for water with a side of lemon – perfect for any meal.  When ordering regular drinks, watch for those drinks that do not have free refills like milk.  Some restaurants don’t offer free refills on sodas so watch for these extras that you may not be aware of.


Individuals who enjoy a drink with their meal are restaurant’s favorite customers.  Generally, drinkers never stop at one and are tempted at buying more during “happy hour”.  While 2-for-1 drinks sounds like a bargain, the cost can quickly add up.  For an inexpensive meal, best skip the alcoholic beverages.


Check specials for the restaurant when ordering.  These are sometimes posted but you can also ask your server for any specials.  But before ordering what seems to be a good deal, check the menu for less expensive alternatives.  Sometimes the specials may be for an expensive cut of meat when a less expensive alternative is on the menu.  Also check beforehand for early bird specials.  By eating early, you can save money on meals that generally cost more during dinner hours.

Other specials to watch for are coupons that can be found in your local newspaper or coupon inserts.  Some coupons have huge savings off a restaurant’s best menu items.  Some restaurants offer discounts to seniors which is a great way to get a good deal on a restaurant meal.

Eating Free

There are many restaurants that allow kids to eat free when you purchase an adult meal.  This is a great way to eat cheaply at some popular restaurants.  Free-kid’s nights are generally during the week to draw in the weekday customers but it can save you on average $5-$8 per child.

Most importantly, before heading out to your favorite restaurant – set a budget and stick to it.  By following these few tips, you can have a nice family dinner out and not break the bank!


  1. Cheap Fast Food – Places for Meals Under $10 – Thrillist
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  3. 12 Ways to Dine Out on the Cheap | Personal Finance | US News

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I have been suffering from a lung infection for almost 8 months now and the only thing that seems to soothe my symptoms and treat it is my homemade herbal chicken noodle soup. It contains powerful healing herbs and spices, chunks of chicken, vegetables, and broth. All of these ingredients contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants the body needs to help fight infections and illnesses. The soup is very easy to make and makes about 6 full bowls of chicken noodle soup to eat to help soothe and treat your infection or illnesses.

The ingredients that are needed to make my homemade herbal chicken noodle soup are 1 roughly chopped chicken breast, 4 large carrots roughly chopped, 1 onion finely chopped, 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic, 5 bouillon cubes, 2 teaspoons of black pepper, 1 teaspoon each of sea salt, cumin, thyme, turmeric, onion powder, garlic powder, basil, and oregano, 1 tablespoon of parsley, ¼ teaspoon of Echinacea and Goldenseal tincture, 8 cups of water, and 3 cups of broken spaghetti. All of these ingredients can be found in your local grocery stores and whole food health stores. Hopefully you will have most of these ingredients on hand because they can cost a bit, but they are worth buying and having on hand to make as much herbal chicken noodle soup as you want and need when you are sick.

Now the reason I use all these ingredients in my homemade herbal chicken noodle soup is because like I said before all the ingredients contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants the body needs to help heal itself from an infection or illness. Chicken contains vitamins and minerals in it such as vitamin B6 and 3, selenium, phosphorus, tryptophan, and protein. These vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and protein are needed more by the body when it is fighting an infection or illness. The vegetables contain loads of vitamin C, A, K, and B, minerals, folic acid, falconoid, phenolic acids, and antioxidants. These are essential for the body to heal properly. The spices contain antioxidants in them that help reduce and treat inflammation, formation of free radical cells, nausea, chills, fevers, runny noses, sneezing, chest congestion, ear aches, lung and sinus infections, headaches, body aches, rashes, and the list goes on and on. The herbs in the soup do the same thing as the spices, but also help treat common illnesses such as the cold and flu and can sometimes even cure it because they contain natural chemicals and compounds in them that help kill bacteria and germs that make us sick with an infection or illness in the first place. The water in the soup helps keep your body hydrated and flush your system out of all the bad germs so you can heal faster, and well the pasta provides carbohydrates so you get some energy. All these ingredients combined together you get a really delicious homemade herbal chicken noodle soup to help you get better fast.

The way you make the soup is by chopping up the chicken and veggies and tossing them into your soup pan and fry them up with a tablespoon of butter for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are tender. After add in the 8 cups of water, spices, herbs, and bouillon cubes into the pan with the chicken and vegetables and allow them to simmer together on medium heat for 30 minutes. After add in the 3 cups of broken spaghetti and cook it for another 10 minutes. After you will have a delicious nourishing homemade herbal chicken noodle soup to eat up. You can eat as many bowls of the homemade herbal chicken noodle soups as you want or need to help treat and soothe your infection or illness. You should eat up to 2 to 3 large bowls of the soup each day until you are feeling better.

I hope those of you who end up making my homemade herbal chicken noodle soup have an easy time making it, and I hope your like it. I wish you all the best with getting better soon. Eat up!


  1. Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe – Allrecipes.com
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  3. Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe : Alton Brown : Food Network

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I’ve been hearing about this dish from my roommate, who’s Italian-American, and who used to own and run a restaurant for many years. Living with 3 other male roommates who are finicky with their food, it takes sometime before we decide which dinner we’re going to prepare for the evening (unless we decide to order from our trusted neighborhood food places.). We agreed then, that we can make this chicken dish tonight after the Thanksgiving dinner a few nights ago, and after we’ve checked what we still got left in our well-stocked pantry. My Italian-American roommate took the lead in cooking.

Here’s a clear-cut variation of this recipe from what’s usually found in most cookbooks:

What you will need:

4 pieces of chicken (around 5 pounds), whole leg, cut into serving portions (the size of a medium sized potato) – or you may use whatever parts you prefer

2 cans (28-oz) of peeled whole tomatoes
1 can (28-oz) of crushed tomatoes
1 can (26-oz) garlic and herb spaghetti sauce
4 medium sized onions – 2 pieces have to be diced, 2 pieces have to be sliced length-wise
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
4 medium sized carrots, peeled, sliced to serving portions
6 medium sized potatoes, peeled, quartered
6 medium sized green bell pepper, sliced into lengthwise
The biggest cooking pot you have, so that you’ll have space to stir constantly, without being splattered on
1 cup olive oil
Seasoning: parsley, salt, oregano, crushed basil

Heat olive oil in a skillet. Brown the chicken into it. Put on a separate plate the browned chicken in the meantime.

In the pot, pour the olive oil you used for browning the chicken, and saut the diced onions and garlic. Add a little salt to taste.

Add into the pot with sauteed onions and garlic the 2 cans of peeled whole tomatoes, mash them with your fingers as you go about pouring its contents. Then add the contents of the canned crushed tomatoes. Add 2 cups of water into the mixture that you have gathered from rinsing the cans rather than throwing them right away – to keep the savor and taste.

Season it with parsley, oregano, basil, and salt. Let it boil in medium fire for 15 to 30 minutes, so you’ll have the juices of the tomatoes and the mixture cooked in well together.

Add the potatoes, the pepper, carrots. Add the browned chicken pieces. Give the mixture a good stir.

Let it simmer in low fire for 2 and a half hours, preferably longer. Stir occasionally.

Good for at least 8 people. Serve with bread, or steamed rice.

Note: The big secret in this dish is to let it simmer for sometime, just like making sauces that you prepare for your other pasta-based meals. The whiff of simmering tomato sauce with basil, oregano and other herbs will certainly remind you of slow, home cooked food when you were younger. And for those who come from the Philippines, this dish may remind you of “Mechado.”


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this recipe is great for the kids birthday parties!
this is a recipe for a “dirt mud cake”
2 cup butter
4 cups white sugar
2 tsp vanilla flavoring
4 eggs
1 cup cocoa
4 cups plain flower
ingredients: 2.
one fourth cup sugar
one fourth cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 Tbs cornstarch
pinch of salt
4 cups whole milk
2 large egg
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
ingredients: 3. (not needed)
cookies (any kind homemade or store bought sugar cookie recommended)
gummy worms
vanilla ice cream
whipped cream
cream the margarine and sugar together
add the vanilla and eggs and mix until smooth
pour in cocoa and flower mix until lumps are broken up and smooth
now thats the brownie mix so put it in 4 8×8 pans and cook for 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees
Whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. gradually start mixing in the milk. bring it to a boil don’t stop mixing!
keep on whisking until pudding is thick, 3-5 minutes. remove from heat.
Immediately beat the egg lightly in a medium, heat-proof bowl, such as a hard plastic or ceramic mixing bowl. Very gradually add the hot chocolate mixture to the egg, whisking constantly. Whisk in the chocolate chips until they are melted and the mixture is smooth.
Pour the pudding into a tall 8×8 0r 9×9 pan or anything that size. put in the refrigerator until cold, about 2 hours.
put one layer of the brownie into a tall 8×8 or 9×9 pan or anything that size (this will be the serving dish) now scoop one fourth of the pudding onto that layer. on top of the pudding put crumbled cookie crumbs or fudge or caramel (get creative). now continue this until all the pudding and brownie layers are used up. now on top of the finished product put some vanilla ice cream and cherries.
now cut and serve!


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