steak Food to try 

How to Cook a Perfect Steak

Many people who enjoy an excellent steak go out to eat as they are reluctant to prepare it at home. Cooking a steak at home will be less expensive, and you are sure to get exactly what you want. With a little preparation and practice, cooking a steak to perfection at home can become second nature. This article discusses pan frying the steak, but you can easily adapt the technique to the grill.

Buy a Perfect Steak

It doesn’t matter how you cook it if you don’t start with a great steak. Find a good butcher and let them help you pick out your steak. A lot of people will atomically go for the filet mignon, but you are going to get the best flavor in a strip or rib-eye. A bone-in steak will have more flavor, but until you get the hang of cooking it, a boneless steak will be easier. Make sure you get a steak well marbled with fat and preferably prime grade or better.

Prepare the Steak and Pan

You don’t want to cook the steak cold, so leave it out when you get home or take it out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes prior to cooking. The steak will cook more evenly if it is room temperature. Sprinkle both sides liberally with ground pepper and a little silt.

When you are ready to cook, place a good cast iron skillet over a high flame. Pour enough good olive oil in the pan to coat the bottom. As soon as the oil starts smoking, it’s time for the next step.

Sear All Sides of the Steak

Put the steak in the hot oil and sear it well on one side. This shouldn’t take more than about a minute. Be careful as the hot oil will tend to spatter. (This is another reason not to cook a cold steak.)As soon as it is well seared, flip it over and do the same to t Read More

home-canning Food Alternatives 

Home Canning – Getting a Tight Seal

Food canning is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, as more people are taking an interest in being more connected to their food. Knowing how to can food is a very
resourceful skill, and it can be a lot of fun too. However, food Safety is an important issue. Getting a tight seal on your jars is essential in making sure that your canned food will be safe to eat when you unseal your jars. Below are a few tips to ensure that you get a good seal every time.

Make Sure Your Contents Reach the Proper Temperature

The vacuum seal that occurs during the canning process happens primarily because of steam. When the contents of jar are heated, the steam inside takes up all of the available room in the jar. But when the jar is removed for the heat source, and begins to cool down, the steam reverts back to water which takes up a lot less space and a vacuum is created. But if your contents do not get hot enough, there may not be enough steam to create a good seal.

Fill Contents to the Line on the Inside of the Jar

On the inside of canning jars, there is a fill line. This line isn’t just a suggestion. Filling your jars to the line creates the right about of head space in the jar for the
vacuum sealing process to be successful. You don’t want to go over the line or under the line. You want to be right at the line. Use a spoon or other utensil to push your contents down inside the jar to remove air bubbles. If you don’t, when your contents settle in the jar they could be too far below the fill line.

Make Sure Your Sealing Surfaces are Clean

As you fill up your jars, you might spill some of the contents on the rim. Even if you don’t see anything on the rims of Read More

farm-to-table Uncategorized 

Farm to Table on a Budget – How to Get the Best Deals at Your Local Farmers Market

The farm to table movement is all the rage these days, but all that freshness comes with a hefty price tag. A locally-grown salad at your local restaurant might cost twice as much as the shipped variety, and the price tag on that farm-raised grass-fed steak could be even higher.

That might be discouraging but you do not have to let your limited budget get in the way of your quest for fresh local food. The freshest produce and great locally-grown meats could be as close as your local farmers market. The key is knowing how to strike the best bargain and find the best providers.

Use the Quest for Freshness to Your Advantage

The local farmers market is all about freshness, and you can use that to your advantage. Farmers from around the area strive to provide the freshest possible fruits and vegetables, picking them at the peak of freshness and rushing them to market. That means the shelf life of their local produce may be somewhat limited, and you can use that fact to strike a better bargain.

When shopping at your favorite stand, ask the farmers if they have any riper fruit on hand. From peaches bursting with flavor to bananas that are slightly past their prime, you can get some great fresh produce. Since the farmers know that this almost too-ripe fruit will not be good for much longer, they may be willing to negotiate a lower price.

Show Up at Closing Time

If you want some even better bargains, consider showing up just as the market is closing up for the day. Local producers are often reluctant to pack up their unsold produce, especially if it will be too ripe by the next market day. You can strike some great bargains this way and get some great fruits and vegetables for your family.

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coffee-ground Food Alternatives 

6 Ways to Make Great Use of Leftover Coffee Grounds

For many people, a cup of excellent coffee is an essential start to every day. While once upon a time instant coffee granules were the norm, in recent years more and more coffee is made at home with freshly ground beans. This results in a much tastier cup, but also poses a question: what to do with all the leftover coffee grounds?

While of course you could simply throw them into the garbage, that would be a sad waste, as spent coffee grounds can be put to many clever uses around the home. Here are just six of the best ways of using this deceptively valuable waste product.

An Easy Fridge Deodorizer

Even the most spotlessly clean refrigerator can pick up the odors of strong foods stored within it. A simple cup of used grounds at the back of your refrigerator will help soak u p’ any bad odors, leaving your fridge smelling crisp and fresh.

A Useful Garden Compost Addition

Coffee grounds contain high levels of carbon, nitrogen, and other essential plant nutrients that make them ideal for adding to a compost heap. They are quick to break down when mixed well with other more traditional compost ingredients, adding both bulk and texture along with the nutrients. Be aware though that coffee is fairly acidic, so you may need to balance this out with an addition of lime or similar if your garden soil already has a low PH level.

An Organic Plant Feed

The high nutrient levels of coffee grounds can also be used for direct feeding of many plants, including roses, tomatoes, and strawberries. You can sprinkle the grounds onto the surface of the soil around the plant, leaving them to slowly release their goodness, or speed up the process by making a liquid feed: simply stir a hand Read More

pizza-toppings Food to try 

6 Unusual Pizza Toppings to Try Tonight

Pizza is a great go-to food, but it can get pretty boring. If you are tired of the same old pepperoni and sausage, why not spice things up tonight and try some unusual toppings? The great thing about pizza is that you can top it any way you want it. Whether you order from the local pizza shop or pick up a roll of dough and make your own, you can top your pizza anyway you want. Here are 6 unusual, and unusually delicious, pizza toppings to try tonight.

1. Broccoli

You have probably had broccoli on a white pizza, but this versatile vegetable is a great topping no matter what the sauce. Get creative with broccoli the next time you make pizza – pair it with your favorite meats, pile it on and enjoy the crunch. No matter how you enjoy it, broccoli is a wonderful way to top a pizza.

2. Pulled Pork

If you are a dedicated carnivore, you will love pulled pork as a pizza topping. Whether you soak the pork in barbecue sauce for a unique twist on the traditional BBQ chicken pizza or just top a traditionally sauced pie with the delicious meat, your taste buds will be watering long before the pizza comes out of the oven.

3. Eggs

You have probably had cold pizza for breakfast today, but that is not the only way to enjoy it. Breakfast pizza is a great way to start the day, and it is easy to whip one up. Just lay out the dough, fluff up some scrambled eggs and add diced tomatoes, fresh veggies and your favorite breakfast sausage. What a great way to start the day.

4. Shrimp

It might not be right for everyone, but if you love seafood, why not add it to your favorite pizza? The crunch and unique flavor of the shrimp is the perfect counterpoint to the other flavors of the pizza, and once you try it once it is sure to become a Read More