What’s not to love about wine and cheese? Both indulgent and ever-changing, wine and cheese is a preferred and enjoyable pre-meal activity for people of all classes, races, religions, and ethnicities. All over the world you will find various kinds of cheese and wines being produced, and with modern-day importing and exporting, we are lucky to have our pick of many right here in the United States. That’s not to say that local North American wines and cheeses are not worth the choosing. We are also benefited by local wineries and cheese farms that grace us with their passion for quality craftsmanship and value.
But you don’t have to be an enthusiast or connoisseur to create your own wine and cheese pairings at home. Your local grocery store right around the corner is all you need to build the perfect charcuterie tray for your next night in. There are several quick and easy wine and cheese combinations you can go with to ensure you are coupling the right flavors and aromas for the perfect pairing experience. Below are ten examples of grocery store picks you can find at your local Kroger, Trader Joes, or Fresh Market locations.
When choosing a red wine, be sure to store it at 60 degrees Fahrenheit to allow the flavor to fully develop. And remove cheese trays from the refrigerator 30 to 40 minutes before serving to allow the cheeses to soften. Below are some easy red pairings to consider.
- SIMI Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 – $20
- Presidente Soft-Ripened Brie Cheese – $6
- Beringer Merlot Founders’ Estate 2010 – $16
- Tillamook Medium Sharp Cheddar Cheese – $5
- Francis Coppola Pinot Noir 2014 – $16
- Red Apple Smoked Gruyere Cheese – $8
- Castello Di Gabbiano Chianti 2014 – $11
- Galbani Mozzarella Fresca Marinated – $6
WhitesWhen choosing a white wine, be sure to store and serve at 45 degrees Fahrenheit for that perfect flavorful finish. And remember to remove the cheeses from the refrigerator prior to guests arriving. This will ensure every bite is gentle and pleasing. Below are some easy white pairings to consider.
- Cupcake Vineyards Chardonnay 2014 – $8
- Dofino Creamy Havarti – $6
- Barefoot White Zinfandel 2014 – $13
- Boar’s Head Muenster Cheese – $4
- Schmitt Sohne Riesling – $14
- Castello Blue Cheese – $9
- Yellow Tail Sauvignon Blanc 2014 – $15
- Montchevre Chevre Goat Cheese – &5
- Chateau Ste Michelle Pinot Gris – $10
- Private Selection Van Gogh Gouda Cheese – $7
As long as there has been a meal on the table, there has also been the need to have an accompanying beverage on hand. While the ins and outs of what is on the menu have changed over the course of time, right now, the hottest beverage around is craft beer. The small-batch, hand-crafted, detail-oriented world of craft beer has not only drawn many admirers of great beer, it has also piqued the interest of foodies the world over regarding the possible pairings that could be made with their favorite foods.
It’s easy to see why the idea of pairing a good craft beer with certain foods would be of intense interest. Think of craft beer in the same way you’d think of wine. In the same way that certain flavor notes in wine go really well with certain foods, so, too, does well-made beer.
Here are five beer and food pairings you should really take into consideration for your next get-together:
Golden Ale – These light ales are easy to drink and have a balanced taste, making them a perfect pairing with foods that are pretty familiar. Burgers, brats, and Mexican cuisine are safe bets for a killer beer/food combination.
Dark Red Ale – You’ve now moved into some more exotic flavors, but you’re still dealing with a mild, roasted flavor that has both a dose of American hops and Belgian yeast. This beer moves between flavors & styles, which would make it a nice choice when working with spicy foods and even tangy cheeses.
Chocolate-based Stout – A stout beer with chocolate notes is not about to be tame and somewhat subdued. You’re looking at a beer that aims to be noticed. A robust flavor from deeply roasted barley lingers, which goes really well with roasted foods (think root vegetables) and even desserts with more pronounced flavors.
Wit – A Belgian-style wheat beer, a wit is subtle in its spices and its citrus base allows for a refreshing citrus profile to emerge. This is the type of beer that many people wish they had discovered years before because it carries all of the flavor profiles of great beer with a certain “lightness” that makes it easy to enjoy. It goes great with vegetarian dishes, light soups, seafood, and sushi.
American IPA – American IPA combines malt, citrus, and the floral notes of American hops, balancing flavors that figuratively set your taste buds on fire. That said, you have quite an interesting array of foods that can go with this particular beverage. Spicy dishes from all corners of the globe are fair game, as are more tried-and-true snacks like salty & fried foods more familiar to your average beer drinker. Curries are also a very worthwhile option.
Craft beer, much like modern art, can be daunting to the person who is not so sure stepping away from their usual adult beverage of choice is the best idea. However, when you realize how much fun it can be to explore the cuisine of the world with a frosty drink in hand, you might just wish you’d discovered craft beer earlier. So, indulge in the goodness (and plentiful options) that is craft beer, and enjoy your next meal with a cold one.
If you are having a party there is no reason that you cannot indulge in the appetizers that you have created for your other guests, as there are many great tasting appetizers you can fix. Gluten is the protein found in spelt, barley, and wheat, which people who have celiac disease cannot tolerate. These appetizers are naturally gluten-free. One example of a gluten free appetizer is a mini-egg frittatas that are made with minced vegetables, bacon bits, and cheese. When you use crackers to put appetizers on read the ingredients to make sure that they are made using rice flour. These crackers can be wheat or cheese flavored. Before making the appetizers, use a recipe book that contains only gluten free recipes because with other recipes you will have to read them carefully to make sure that they do not contain ingredients like wheat.
Fruit and cheese plate
This is a simple appetizer and can be served with a fruit dip that is cream cheese based to add a little more sweetness to the fruit appetizers. It is best that you make your own because the ones in the store could contain ingredients that are wheat-based. You could also make a caramel-based fruit dip but do not buy it in the store ready-made because the caramel color could be wheat based. Homemade caramel is gluten free naturally.
Other simple gluten free appetizers
• Shrimp with homemade cocktail sauce of horseradish and ketchup
• Tortilla chips with fresh guacamole and tomato salsa
• Vegetable sticks with hummus
• Asparagus spears that are wrapped in prosciutto, which is a thinly sliced, uncooked Italian dry-cured ham. All you need to do is warm it in the oven.
• For a spicy appetizer make buffalo chicken wings with a hot sauce dip you make yourself
• Using slice turkey and cream cheese, put them on a romaine lettuce left and make roll-offs. If they are too big you can cut them in two or three pieces and secure them using toothpicks
• Cheese and dips served with bread
• Brie cheese on baguette slices that are toasted
Appetizer ingredients to avoid
Some ingredients should be avoided when making appetizers that are gluten free because they can be manufactured with wheat.
• Barbeque and Worcestershire sauce because of the caramel coloring
• Soy sauce unless it is certified as being one
One important thing to note is that if you decide to make appetizers that are not gluten free and some that are, do not use the same utensils for both appetizers because there is a risk of cross-contamination. To help avoid this make the gluten free appetizers first and mark them as such.
Strawberries grew wild for centuries and were enjoyed by many Europeans, although much smaller in size than we have now. But they first became cultivated in France in the 1750s (leave it to those French). Like so many other fruits valued originally as medicinal and mentioned in ancient Roman writings, they are depicted in oil paintings during the 15th century by Renaissance artists (a little snacking on the side, perhaps?). Seems they were consumed as a panacea to depression (who can feel blue when you have sweet berries to nosh on?).
Gathered in the woods by early colonists, foodie president Thomas Jefferson experimented with different varieties in his vast gardens as early as 1789, serving them up at grand dinners to the delight of his guests. His frustration was the small size at that time, still a strain of the Alpine variety which he brought home from France. Fortunately, horticulturists and growers continued to work on producing a larger size and of course were eventually successful.
But Americans are not the only country which cherishes this delightful red fruit. They are a tradition at England’s Wimbledon annual tennis tournament, served with cream. In Italy, strawberries are a favorite gelato flavor. The Greeks like to dip them in sugar, then roll them in brandy. Japan still experiments with dozens of varieties, which were originally very expensive and available only for royalty. During the 1930s, their production was increased dramatically, and they now rank as one of the top growers in the world.
Needless to say, America’s love affair with the strawberry is legendary, as we far surpass any other country in production and usage, cranking out 1.5 million tons a year, a third of the entire world’s production. Translating into just over 9 pounds per American in consumption, here’s what tops the U.S. hit parade:
Jam – America’s favorite flavor
Shortcake – with biscuits or sponge cake, topped with whipped cream, a classic
Pie – either fresh (with a sugar glaze) or baked, often with rhubarb
Ice cream – in popular Neapolitan (with chocolate and vanilla) or by itself
Yogurt – fruit on the bottom or blended
Smoothies – blended and flavorful
Pairs well with bananas
Fresh – by themselves, sliced and sugared or as a topping
Chocolate-covered – a candy and fruit in one
Sliced – on breakfast cereal and pancakes
Hardy and easy to grow, the plants also make an attractive ground cover, although local critters like to sneak into backyards and devour the fruit when the coast is clear. They also freeze well and can be enjoyed year-round.
If you are fortunate to live in a region where strawberries are grown, an enjoyable outing is visiting a “pick your own” field, even though it’s tiring under a hot sun and puts a strain on the back, worth doing once (and all you can eat in the process). So make it a point to pick up a quart or two on your next visit to the local supermarket or farmers market. The best ones are fresh, ripe and flavorful.
Congratulations on your healthier new lifestyle! Plenty of things will change, including your diet. But don’t worry, nobody said that you can’t have your sugar fix when you crave for it! Although you have to be more careful with the ingredients of your desserts, it doesn’t mean that the delicious taste will be compromised!
Try these 3 guilt-free desserts that are incredibly mouth-watering:
What you need:
- 2 apples, sliced into skinny wedges
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 4 teaspoons coconut oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon finely shredded coconut
Mix together 1 tablespoon chocolate chips and 2 teaspoons coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave until melted. In a separate bowl, combine peanut butter and remaining coconut oil and heat in the microwave until melted. Arrange apple wedges on a plate and sprinkle with lemon juice. Pour chocolate mixture followed by peanut butter mixture. Top with remaining chocolate chips, pecans and coconut.Gluten-Free Choco Avocado Brownies
What you need:
- 2 large avocados
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Scoop out the flesh of the 2 avocados and place in a food processor. Add the coconut sugar and cocoa powder to the blender and blend until smooth. Add the eggs, brown rice flour and baking soda and continue processing just until eggs are well-combined with the mixture. Carefully fold in chocolate chips. Pour the batter in a greased 8×8 inches brownie pan. Bake in a pre-heated oven (350F) for 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving.Dark Chocolate Chewy Cookies
What you need:
- 2 eggs
- 10 pcs. dried dates, boiled
- 2 cups almond butter
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Combine softened dates, water and sea salt in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Add almond butter, vanilla extract and baking powder to the food processor and blend until smooth. Stir in (by hand) the chocolate chips. Form mixture into balls and arrange on greased baking sheets. Bake in a pre-heated oven (350F) for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool for several minutes in a cooling rack before serving.Satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling guilty – try these delicious guilt-free desserts!
The question came up as to the safety of the salt we eat. Is there any chance of radiation contamination? Lets investigate Redmond Real Salt and see what the chances are of radiation contamination. We use this tasty organic salt everyday, and the company is literally right down the street, so I thought I would look into the matter.
Real Salt is mined by Redmond Trading in Southern Utah, and the product is organic sea salt. The salt comes from an old lake known as Lake Bonneville. Before any history was written this organic salt was formed. Real Salt is all natural, unlike the table salt we are used to. Real Salt is not refined in any way, it is just ground up and packaged just a natural salt was meant to be.
We have to look at the Nevada nuclear testing grounds and see if this would have any effect on our savory product. Two counties in Utah had some significant radiation fallout from the Nevada testing center. Further investigation shows that the Real Salt mine is approximately 125 miles away from the two counties in Utah that were effected, and approximately 300 miles away from the Nevada testing ground itself. the National Cancer Institute regards this as a safe distance and would not consider this hazardous.
300 feet below the surface is where the salt is located at the Redmond mining location. Shielding is extremely adequate from radiation fallout for our Real Salt. According to experts, levels of radiation are cut by 50% with only 3.6 inches of earth. Simple mathematics reveal that the radiation levels would be reduced by 50%, 83 times.
Time would be a function of radiation depreciation. Scientists use a 7-10 rule that reveals gamm radiation retains ten percent of its exposure after 7 times the length in time occurs. After 7 hours, ninty percent of the radiation would be gone, and after an additional 2 days the remaining ten percent is almost entirely gone. The last Nevada test was completed over 50 years ago.
Redmond Real Salt and it’s radiation exposure would have been very minimal, if at all. It would be nice if we could be 300 feet underground and 300 miles away of any nuclear explosion. Concerned with safety, Redmond did some evaluation testing on their real salt. Positive for radiation is what the test showed. It would take 8 pounds of Real Salt to equal the amount of radiation forund ion one quart of clean tap water. Conclusive evidence. Our experimental investigations of Real Salt conclude that it is safe.
The use of herbs as natural medicines goes back thousands of years, to when their use was first recorded in China. Throughout the ages, their uses have been recorded and passed down from generation to generation. Herbs seemed to drop out of favor with the rapid development of synthesized drugs. They have recently made a resurgence, with many people realizing, that although the quick fix associated with the drugs, may temporarily alleviate a problem, it may not be the best way of remaining healthy.
What Is A Herb?
Basically a herb is any plant that can be used medicinally to treat the body. Such definition includes fruit, vegetables and culinary herbs.
Garlic is a good example, because it has so many medical applications. They include, colds and flu, blood pressure, high cholesterol, and urinary infections amongst many others.
Many people include culinary herbs, such as parsley, coriander, fennel, fresh mint, basil and others, in recipes, and food preparations. They are, perhaps unwittingly, getting regular doses of herbal medicine.
How Do Herbs Work?
Herbs, or shall we call them medicinal plants, work in a variety of ways. The active content of different herbs determines which medical conditions they are able to treat.
There are herbs that treat infections.
Herbs to assist with blood circulation.
Herbs to treat mucus membranes.
Herbs to stimulate appetite and digestion.
Herbs to detoxify and assist with waste elimination.
Herbs to assist with hormone problems.
This list is by no means exhaustive, as there are herbs to use with most afflictions, but it serves to demonstrate that different herbs can help to strengthen, and balance bodily systems, and treat a host of maladies.
How to Take Herbs
There are many ways to take herbs internally, and the most obvious is as a food, as already indicated. Otherwise they can be taken as teas, tinctures, capsules, tablets, and powders. Some herbs may also be useful for gargles, and mouth washes. Herbs are also beneficial for external usage as herbal baths, ointments, lotions and creams, and essential oils.
Where Do Herbs Come From?
Because herbs are natural plants, they are obtained from different parts of the world, depending on the climatic and other conditions they require. Modern international trading means that it is probably easier than it has ever been, to purchase anything, including herbs and herbal preparations, from wherever they originate.
There are at least hundreds and more probably thousands of different medicinal herbs growing in our world. As with orthodox medicine, expert help should be sought, before taking any herbal preparation that you are not 100% sure about. Professional advice is readily available, and there are also excellent books and periodicals that are informative.
There is much concern these days about poor diet, obesity, malnutrition, and lack of exercise. People are slowly coming to realize, that to a large extent, they are responsible for their own health and well-being. Some are seeking a natural health lifestyle, including wholesome organic food, free from highly toxic pesticides and fertilizers.
There is nothing more wholesome than naturally grown herbs and plants. They provide not only the food you eat, but also the air your breathe.
If you care for them – they will care for you.
Olive Oil is pressed from the Olive fruit which grows on the Olive tree.
The wild Olive tree originates in Asia Minor. Successive civilizations have spread the olive tree over a large area of the world. It reached Greece in the 14th century BC and in the 6th century BC the Romans introduced the Olive all around the Mediterranean.
After the discovery of America the Olive tree spread to the West Indies and the American continent.
Olive oil is the oil obtained from the fruit of the olive tree (Olea europaea L.).
Virgin olive oils are produced solely by mechanical or other physical means under conditions, particularly thermal conditions, that do not lead to alterations in the oil, and which have not undergone any treatment other than washing, decantation, centrifugation and filtration. There are several categories of olive oils varying in quality and taste. Olive oil connoisseurs talk about Olive Oils in a similar way as wine fans rave about their favorite vintage.
There are two types of olive oil: “huile vierge” (virgin oil) and “pure” oil. Good olive oil (cold pressed from ripe fruit) must have a pale clear color and be absolutely odorless.
Virgin oil is produced by the cold pressing of only first class fruit. This oil is never bleached and always shows it’s natural color. It is excellent for the making of vinaigrettes and dressings. This fresh and fruity oil combines well with green salads. It is also an excellent base for delicious sauces such as pesto, which is made by mixing olive oil, fresh basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and garlic. Or add that special touch to some warm, crusty bread by spreading it with olive oil, some crushed garlic and tomato.
Pure olive oil is pressed from both the olive pits and the olive fruit. It is excellent for baking, frying and marinading. The advantage of using olive oil rather than butter or margarine for baking and frying, is that it can be heated to high temperatures without burning. This makes it very suitable for the stir frying of vegetables as well as meat, chicken or fish. It is important to heat the oil prior to frying as this scalds the outside of product being fried, keeping all the juices contained within and allowing very little fat to absorb. The combination of olive oil and garlic makes a delicious, healthy marinade.
Olive oil is probably the most versatile of all oils used in the kitchen. Greece, France, Italy and Spain are the most important producers of olive oil and make up the largest part of the annual world production of 1.5 million tons.
Fruits not only contain vitamins and minerals which are necessary for the body, but also provide lots of plant nutrients. These fruits with different colors have different functions. Understand the characteristics of each kinds of fruits with different colors, choose reasonable food, it is good for women who want to lose weight.
Orange color fruits
The representatives of orange color fruits are lemon, mango, oranges, papayas, persimmons, pineapple and orange. All of them contain natural antioxidants β-carotene, which can improve immune function. In addition, the orange pigment in citrus also fight with cancer, its effect may be stronger than β-carotene.
Red fruits include tomatoes, pomegranate and so on. Carotenoid which have antioxidant effects is their root. As is known to all, Carotenoids can clean up free radical, inhibit the formation of cancer cell and improve human immunity. In addition, most red fruits have very low calories, so it good to health.
Dark purple fruits
Purple fruits contain proanthocyanidins which can eliminate eye fatigue, such elements which can enhance the elasticity of blood vessels to prevent cholesterol accumulation is the best ingredients to prevent cancer and arteriosclerosis. The representatives of dark purple fruits are grapes, blackberries, blueberries, plums and so on. Compared with light-colored fruits, dark purple fruits contain more vitamin C which cans increase the body’s resistance.
In addition, the purple fruits have higher mineral contents such as potassium, magnesium, calcium than normal fruit. These ions mostly exist in fruits with the form of organic salts. It has a crucial role in balancing ion in people’s body.
Green fruits such as green apples contain lutein or zeaxanthin, their antioxidation can protect the vision.
In addition to the color, when we select fruits, we should also consider our own constitution. People with heat body are advised to eat cold fruits such as pear, banana, watermelon, cantaloupe and other fruits. People with cold body are advised to eat chill litchi, longan, cherry, chestnut, etc. Myocardial infarction, stroke patients should eat fruits help digestion such as bananas, oranges and peaches, not to eat persimmons, apples and other fruits which contain more tannic acid. Coronary heart disease, high blood lipid of patients should eat fruits which are rich in vitamin C and niacin such as hawthorn, citrus, grapefruit. All of them can reduce blood fat and cholesterol.