A Gluten Free Lifestyle

Five Tips for the First-Time Oolong Tea Brewer

Posted by on 10:22 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Five Tips for the First-Time Oolong Tea Brewer

If you’re new to loose-leaf tea and are preparing to brew an oolong, it’s important to realize that the way you brew the tea will have a notable impact on its flavors and overall appeal. To ensure your oolong is as enjoyable as possible, follow these brewing tips. Make sure your water is between 180 and 190 degrees F. A lot of beginner tea brewers make the mistake of simply pouring boiling water over their tea leaves. While this may be adequate for preparing mass-produced tea bags, it is too hot to extract the proper flavors from the oolong. Use a thermometer to ensure your water is between 180 and 190 degrees F when you pour it over the tea. It’s generally easier to heat your water in a pan than in a kettle, since you can monitor the temperature more easily this way. Steep quickly. Oolong is not intended to be steeped (or brewed — the words are used interchangeably in the tea world), for a long period of time. Once you introduce the leaves to the water, only leave them to steep for about 30 seconds to a minute. Any longer, and you risk extracting bitter compounds, called tannins, from the tea. Use a tea ball or net. Because oolong is steeped so quickly, the easiest ways to steep loose-leaf oolong are to either put it in a metal tea ball, which you then immerse in your cup or pot of water, or enclose some of it in a single-use mesh pouch and insert that into your water. Start by using about 1 teaspoon of oolong leaves per cup of tea. If you desire a stronger flavor, add a little more the next time, and experiment until you find the right proportion of tea leaves to water for your personal tastes. Re-steep your tea leaves. Don’t discard your tea leaves after you have removed your tea ball or pouch from the water! Set this aside, and when you’re done drinking your first cup of tea, make a second one using the same tea leaves. Traditionally, oolong leaves are brewed several times. You can keep reusing the leaves until the tea tastes too bitter for your preferences. Don’t add anything to your oolong tea. Oolong is traditionally enjoyed as-is. You do not need any milk, sugar, honey, or lemon with this luxurious and flavorful beverage. Just sip and enjoy its subtle nuances. If you’re able, it’s always nice to buy several different types of oolong at the same time, and brew them side by side to compare their flavors. For more information about oolong tea, talk to a professional like My Fresh...

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When Is It Time To Serve The Champagne At A Dinner Party?

Posted by on 9:16 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When Is It Time To Serve The Champagne At A Dinner Party?

Champagne isn’t just for special occasions. In fact, it can be consumed by a solo person when they need a little bubbly. For many people who throw dinner parties, the go-to drink is wine rather than champagne. When you want to serve something a little different at your dinner party, there are an array of champagnes you can turn to. As a host, you have the responsibility of making sure everyone is happy. Part of this means knowing when to serve the champagne at your dinner party so that your guests enjoy it more. There is a lot to having champagne including picking it out, pouring it, and serving it. Here are some things you should know about providing champagne to your guests.  Champagne vs. Sparkling Wine Many people may pick up sparkling wine out of mistake instead of choosing champagne. This can be confusing since a lot of sparkling wines can be called champagne. The difference is that champagne is made in the Northeastern region of France. Other wines are made in other parts of the country. Another difference is that champagne is aged for years before being sold unlike wines that can be aged for months. You want to do a little background research (with companies like Pacific Wine Merchants) to make sure you are choosing champagne and not wine if that is your preference.  Personal Preference Choosing the flavor is more of a personal choice rather than trying to get what everyone likes. Because everyone has a different preference, it is important to buy what you like. Even if a person has never tried it before, they may end up loving it after it is served at your dinner party. You can choose from dry, sweet, and semi-sweet champagne. You want to take into consideration the type of food you are serving when you select the champagne.  Champagne and Food Pairings If you select a more intense champagne with a dry taste, you will likely want to serve it with a heavier meal like ham, chicken, or stews. For a rose champagne, you can serve it with lamb or fruity dishes. For more classic champagnes, this is better served with oysters, scallops, or even lobster. Serving the champagne with the right foods will help bring out the flavors in the drink. Your guests will likely enjoy it more and see that you put in a good amount of effort to get the pairing...

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Ways To Liven Up Your Recipes With Fresh Goat Cheese

Posted by on 10:04 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Ways To Liven Up Your Recipes With Fresh Goat Cheese

Are you a cheese lover who is bored with the most common cheeses available in your area? Do you find yourself wishing that you knew how to introduce new and exciting cheese to your family? If you are looking for ways to make meals more interesting with fresh goat cheese, try these ideas: New cheese in favorite foods: If your children are a bit picky, try introducing the fresh goat cheese in dishes that are familiar to them. Tell him or her that you’ll be making grilled cheese sandwiches with the new cheese and let them try it as they choose. By allowing them to experiment gradually, they won’t feel pressured to try the new cheese and will be less likely to rebel when you use it in other dishes. Goat cheese cheesecake: Are you looking for a new dessert option? Try making a fresh goat cheese cheesecake instead of your usual recipe. In place of cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese, you use a combination of goat cheese and yogurt. As a topping, you can either use your favorite caramel or chocolate topping, or serve warmed honey as a garnish on the side. A fresh goat cheese cheesecake tastes almost identical to the cheesecakes you’re used to, so your family might not  even notice that everyone is trying a new cheese. Liven up pasta dishes: Use fresh goat cheese to create a new family favorite by replacing the cream cheese in your four cheese Alfredo sauce recipe. Give your lasagna dish a whole new taste by substituting fresh goat cheese for the Ricotta. Add extra creaminess to your baked ziti dish by dotting the top with fresh goat cheese five minutes before the dish is finished cooking. Southwestern cooking: Fresh goat cheese works well with Mexican food and can be easily substituted for queso fresco or queso añejo. Consider using it in your favorite cheese enchilada recipe, baked quesadillas, or mixed with frijoles for a robust burrito filling. Make a zesty snack by putting a handful of corn tortilla chips on a baking sheet, covering them with fresh goat cheese, and broiling for a few minutes until the cheese is melted.  Breakfast ideas: Use fresh goat cheese as a topping for your morning bagels. Its versatility allows it to be enjoyed with either sweet or savory breads. Add a unique layer of flavor to your scrambled eggs by stirring in fresh goat cheese just before the eggs solidify. For breakfast on the go, use fresh goat cheese in place of cow’s milk in your favorite smoothie...

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3 Tips for Finding the Perfect Caterer for Your Wedding

Posted by on 5:45 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Your wedding is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life. After all, you are marrying the person you love and want to spend the rest of your life with—and you are sharing it with all of your family and friends. But that beautiful dream can quickly turn into a nightmare if you hire the wrong caterer for your wedding reception. Here are three tips to help you find the perfect caterer for your wedding. 1. Go to wedding expos in your local area. One way you can find a great caterer for your wedding is to go to a wedding expo in your city or, at the very least, in a city close by. There you will have access to many different caterers who will pitch themselves to you in order to get your business. Some of them may even have sample foods for you to try. This is a very good way to select a caterer if there are several great ones in your area to choose from. Once you see them all in the same room together, you will be better able to compare them and determine which one is the better choice for your wedding. 2. Ask friends and family who they used for their wedding. If you attended a recent wedding reception for a friend or family member where the food was amazing, don’t be too shy to ask them who their caterer was. Most former brides don’t mind sharing the name of their wedding caterer. And, you have the added benefit of having already tasted the caterer’s food. Caterers love getting business through the work they have done previously. Why? Because it means they obviously did a great job since you loved their food enough to contact them about your own wedding. 3. Look in local and regional wedding publications. Many cities and regions have wedding publications. Even if they only publish a couple of times a year, they will likely have a feature about a local caterer, complete with pictures of their work and testimonials from previous customers. Not only that, but there will also be ads throughout the publication, and in the very back, for various wedding and event vendors, including caterers. While this method of finding the perfect wedding caterer, one like Kickapoo Creek Catering, will take a bit more work on your part—as you will have to contact each caterer and ask around to see if anyone you know has used them or heard of them—it can still help you get the job...

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Two Amazing And Easy Recipes Using Kosher Dill Pickles

Posted by on 12:07 pm in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Kosher dill pickles are a great idea for a refreshing snack. They also make a very tasty addition to sandwiches and burgers. However, if you find yourself getting tired of the same old pickle combinations, you can try one of these delicious recipes which take a simple pickle and make it amazing. Grilled Cheese A grilled cheese by itself is great and delicious, but adding some kosher dill pickles will give it a nice kick. Ingredients: Sandwich bread Cheddar cheese Kosher dill pickles Butter Begin by placing a skillet on the stove over medium heat. Once the pan is warm, butter one side of your bread and place it butter side down on the pan. Take at least two pieces of the cheddar and lay it on the bread. Next you can grab the pickles and line them on top of the cheese. Butter the other piece of bread and place it with the butter on top. After the cheese has started to melt, you can flip the entire sandwich over to give the other piece of bread a chance to grill for a few minutes. Once each piece of bread is as golden brown as you desire, remove the sandwich from the skillet and enjoy! Pickle Chips You can’t go wrong mixing one amazing snack with another. Pickle chips are an easy and yummy recipe that makes a great appetizer for parties. Ingredients: 3 cups kosher dill pickles sliced into desired size of chips 1 cup milk ¼ teaspoon pepper 2 eggs 2 cups flour ½ teaspoon salt Oil The first step is mixing the ingredients for the batter together. Grab two small mixing bowls. In the first bowl, mix together the flour, pepper, and salt. In the other bowl you will combine the eggs and milk. Take a pickle and dip it in the flour bowl, then into the second bowl, and once again in the first bowl. This is the batter for your chips. Repeat this step until all the pickles have been covered in the batter. Pour a small amount of oil into a skillet over medium heat on the stove. Carefully place the pickles on the hot skillet one at a time. Allow the pickles to fry for three minutes, turning halfway through to allow for each side to brown. Drain the pickles and serve with your choice of dipping sauce. Remember These are just two fun recipes you can do with kosher dill pickles. If you enjoy these, don’t be afraid to try more! You can even be creative and make your own recipes using the...

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Tips For Making A Good Impression The First Time You Meet Your Girlfriend’s Parents

Posted by on 10:11 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Embarking on a relationship is an exciting time where you are able to get to know another person on a deep level, and develop strong romantic feelings for her. When things get serious, there is a good chance that your girlfriend will ask you to meet her parents- this question strikes fear in many men, but don’t let your anxiety keep you from presenting your best self. Use the following tips to make a great impression the first time you meet your girlfriend’s parents: Don’t Walk in Unprepared When meeting your girlfriend’s parents, don’t walk in without doing a little bit of homework beforehand. Take the time to ask your girlfriend questions about her parents in advance so you can get an idea of their interests and occupations. You may also want to find out if there are any sensitive issues that should not be mentioned in conversation. Always Bring a Gift Bringing a gift when meeting the parents shows that you are thoughtful and considerate. You can bring flowers, or if you really want to wow them consider picking up a wine gift basket filled with a bottle of their favorite wine and a wine gift basket. A nice gift will cast you in a positive light before you even have a full conversation with your girlfriend’s parents. Looked Well-Groomed Your girlfriend may not mind when you wear your favorite shirt that is ten years old and full of holes, but when it comes to meeting her parents you want to look professional. Depending on the plans that the two of you have with her parents, at least wear a polo shirt and nice pants. Don’t forget to shave and style your hair- skip wearing a hat. Act Like a Gentleman Whether they admit it or not, almost all parents have a secret list of attributes that they look for in their children’s significant other. One of the top things on that list is their child having a significant other who treats them with respect and love. While meeting your girlfriend’s parents act like a gentleman by opening doors for your girlfriend, pulling out her chair, or offering to refill her drink. It is okay to show some affection, but refrain from any displays of affection that may embarrass your girlfriend or make her parents uncomfortable. Thank Them for the Evening No matter what you think about her parents after meeting them, always thank them for the evening and tell them how great it was to meet them. Being respectful goes a long way with making a good impression with parents, and it will show them that you also respect your girlfriend and her relationship with her...

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