Do you want a Dessert that is Easy and Delicious try this Pavlova next Time you Decide to Bake

With its crispiness on the outside and soft, marshmallow-like within, the pavlova can create a perfect ending to a dinner of any kind as well as stir up diplomatic debates over its ‘territoire’. Both Australian and New Zealand claim to have invented it.

In 1935, an Australian chef called Bert Sachse creates the pavlova at the Esplanade Hotel in Perth, honoring the Russian famous ballerina Anna Pavlova, who visited Australia in 1926 and 1929. New Zealanders’ claim that pavlova had made an appearance in their country long before, precisely in 1919. After years of intense research, the recipe of pavlova dessert has been found in New Zealand cookery books dating 1929.

The Sydney Morning Herald food critic, Matthew Evans, argued that apart from all these palavers, “people have been doing meringue-like desserts with cream and fruits for a long time.” Therefore, it is somehow hard to believe that Australians or New Zealanders were the first to create this seemingly innocent pavlova. We cannot help but be grateful that this playful fusion of textures and flavors has been invented. Whether it meets the juicy, ripe berries, kiwifruits, passion fruits or any other fruits combination, pavlova is always a delightful dessert for summer entertaining.

Ingredients (serves 6)

4 egg whites

1 cup superfine sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon hot water

½ teaspoon vanilla extract


8 fl oz heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon superfine sugar


1lb (16 oz) strawberries, hulled, sliced

2 kiwifruit, peeled, sliced

1/2 lb (8oz) blueberries 


Step1. Preheat oven to 275°F. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Make sure, that the bowl you are going to use for mixing is dry otherwise the moisture will stop the whites from aerating. Begin by whisking the whites using an electric mixer; gradually add the sugar, occasionally scraping down the side of the bowl. Once all the sugar is added, whisk for a little while until the mixture is thick and glossy allowing the sugar to dissolve completely. Add the lemon juice, vanilla extract, and the hot water all at once and continue whisking further for about 5 minutes.

Step 2. Spoon meringue onto prepared baking sheet making 6 mounds (about 1/4 cup each), living space in between; flatten the tops and using the back of a spoon, make a wide depression in the center of each mound. Place it in the oven, and bake for about 70 minutes; the pavlovas will get golden on outside but still soft on the inside. Turn off the oven and leave the pavlovas inside to cool completely.

Step 3. Beat the cream and sugar using the electric mixer, to soft peaks. Fill each pavlovas with the cream, and mound fruits on top of the cream. If you prefer, you can dust with powder sugar and serve.


The meringues can be made up to three months ahead and can be stored in the fridge for later use. You can mound your pavlovas with any type of fruits, depending of season, a good reason to get creative.


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Essential Herbs and Spices

Without spices and herbs the act of cooking and the sensation of eating would be very boring. But what sort of flavor enhancers do we really need? This article will attempt to break down what spices and herbs any cook should have to get the most out of their creations. Its about more than salt and pepper although these two are essential; just wait until your have cumin and coriander but are caught without table salt.

On the subject of salt and pepper, getting some sea salt and fresh ground black pepper is a good idea. Both are frequently called for in recipes and pack more of a punch than their common table varieties.

If you don’t have fresh onions and cloves of garlic in your kitchen at all times, garlic salt and dried minced onion are great substitutes to keep on hand. Plus, garlic salt makes delicious garlic bread when dusted over bread that’s been buttered and toasted.

For delicious desserts, cakes cookies and cooked fruit always have: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Its pretty much impossible to overuse cinnamon, but a little of the spicey ginger goes a long way. Cloves are sweet, intense and make everything taste holiday. Nutmeg is less sweet than the other three and is more of a crossover spice as you are more likely to use it on poultry, in soups and sauces, or on vegetables.

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. There’s a reason these four were immortalized, they are endlessly useful and versatile. The ubiquitous green parsley is often used fresh as garnish, but also adds a subtle sweet flavor. Rosemary has a flavor like no other but is surprisingly subtle and can enhance most meats, soup and sauces. Sage is at its best when used in stuffing so be sure to stock up before Thanksgiving. Thyme smells wonderful and is indispensable for stocks and sauces.

If you enjoy Italian cooking you’ll need basil and oregano. Tomatoes and all things tomato sauce related aren’t complete without the licoricey mint of the basil or the harsh green smokiness of the oregano.

Curry is actually not a spice or and herb but a blend of about 16 spices including red pepper and ginger. As such it can be quite hot (though this depends on the blend you buy) and should be use sparingly but is essential for the distinct taste and aroma of Indian food.

Chili powder is also a blend of several spices, its flavor mainly drawing from red peppers, and is an integral part of all chilis and most Mexican dishes.

Paprika is also a red pepper spice but it unlike its relatives, it takes a lot before its taste becomes detectable. Use it for garnish and a more delicate heat.

There are also a lot of blends out there (Italian seasoning, Pizza seasoning, pumpkin pie spice) but for a hint of lemon and spice on poultry and vegetables, obtain some lemon pepper.


“Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book” Des Moines: Better Homes and Gardens Books, 1996.

Gisslen, Wayne. “Professional Cooking”. 5th ed. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2003.


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Different Styles of African Food and Restaurants

African cuisine is rich in its diversity and bountiful in it’s harvest. Traditional foods are prepared in enticing ways, using traditional ingredients sumptuously blended with modern ones. The exciting thing about African food is as suggested in the title, “different styles”, which debunks the myth that Africa, on a historical and cultural level, can be seen as a single entity. You can find influences of Portuguese, French, British as well as traditional differences in the North, South, East and West African regions, which makes for a multi ethnic culinary experience.

The pig, now a stable in East Africa, was introduced there by the Portuguese. The French brought ginger and chilies to Africa’s West coast. The Arabs contributed, saffron, cinnamon and cloves to Ethiopia. Due to the Dutch influence in South Africa, many of the receipts used by the Dutch survive today in South African foods, like Kaiings, which is a combination of wild cabbage fried in the fat from a sheep’s tail. Yummy!

While flavors, tastes and and traditions differ, there are some common staples traditionally used in African foods such as corn, millet, rice, barley, cassava, coconuts, yams, citrus and pineapples, but they are skillfully blended with the spices and products, both indigenous and imported.

So it is that you would rarely see an “pure African ” restaurant, but much like with Asian food, where there are different types of Asian food , there are different kinds of African food and restaurants. It is common to see, anywhere in the world and even in African countries, Ethiopian, West African, South African , African Caribbean, Ethiopian, North African and Nigerian restaurants and foods, to name a few. Each of them offering a different taste of the many cultures of Africa. Some of foods offered at these restaurants even claim to have blended flavors of India, Africa and Asia. Many of the menus are predominately vegetarian, along with fish, okra, peanut soup and fried plantains – a mainly West African cuisine.

West Africa, is made up of Gambia, Nigeria, Togo, Mali, C, Benin, Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Guinea. This food is dominated by starch, lots of fat and small portions of meat. North African, which includes Morocco have tangy, perfumed flavored delights like pickled lemons, barley couscous.

When the urge to eat at an African restaurant strikes you, don’t believe that if you have tasted one, you have tasted all. To indulge all the unique and exotic tastes of African food, be prepared for a culinary tour of Africa that may take months, even years to complete.


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Easy Frozen Cocktails

Take the scorching heat, great friends gathered by the pool, add a frozen cocktail to your hand and you have the perfect summer day. Pina coladas, frozen margaritas and daiquiris are just a few of the frozen cocktails that refresh us during the dog days of summer. The simplest way to enjoy these refreshing treats is right at home and preparing them only requires a few essentials.

*Crushed ice
*Frozen glasses

Unless you possess a slushy machine, you will need a quality blender that has sharp blades. If planning on preparing more than one type of frozen cocktail, consider having more than one blender so that flavors don’t get mixed. If you only have one blender, always rinse it out before preparing a different flavored cocktail. For most recipes you will need a measuring cup, measuring spoons and a jigger. A shot glass can be used as the jigger and a long spoon will make mixing easier. If mashing of fruit such as limes will be required, you may consider purchasing a muddler which is fairly inexpensive.

It is obvious that the bigger and harder the cubes, the more difficult it will be to get the consistency desired for a frozen cocktail. Crushed ice and ice chunks can be purchased and ice cubes can be made at home. Ice chunks and cubes should be placed into a freezer bag and crushed down into smaller pieces. A rolling pin works well for the crushing process, using caution not to bust the bag.

The better the ingredients, the better the drink. The ingredients used will depend upon which cocktails you have chosen to prepare. Use fresh fruit and juices whenever possible for fruit-flavored cocktails. Many frozen cocktails require simple syrup which can be made right at home. Use equal portions of water and sugar. Bring the water to a boil and then add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool. The simple syrup can be placed in a squeeze bottle for easy use.

Different drinks use different types of alcohol and there are also pre-made mixers to make the process even smoother. Need a few choices to get you started? Hundreds of recipes are available right here on the internet and over two hundred choices are available at this site alone:

The deer killer and the Florida pina colada are my personal favorites.

The glasses should be well chilled in the freezer. Having a warm glass will melt the crushed ice turning a perfectly executed frozen cocktail into flavored water. The glass shape will vary depending upon the drink. Customary glasses include those with a v-shaped bowl or a tall, parfait style. Some frozen cocktails are also served in highball or hurricane glasses. There are no hard written rules about which should be used but try to use what is customary at professional bars or what style is recommended with the recipe.

Customarily the order of the ingredients would be liquor first, the mixer, fruit and last is the ice. This can also change depending upon the different ingredients required for the frozen cocktail. The last two steps to remember are the most important-relax and enjoy.


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Difference between Sea Salt and Table Salt

Salt has been used for thousands of years as a valuable product because of its ability to preserve and to season food.  Salt is also an essential mineral for aiding the human body to operate. Are sea salt and table salt the same? The answer to that question is no, sea salt and table salt are different to each other.  Sea salt and table salt mainly consists of sodium chloride but are extracted in different ways and their nutritional values are not the same. 

* Introduction to salt *

* Why does the human body need salt? *

The human body needs salt in order to function properly. Human bodies are made of approximately 75% of water but this water is not in
its true form without salt. Water in bodies has salt dissolved in it which helps a number of functions to operate within the body. Salt has an important role to play within human bodies as it is present in the cells and tissues. Salt helps muscles to contract, assists the transport of nutrients, aides the digestive system and helps in the conduct of nerve impulses.

Salt provides two elements – sodium and chloride, both of which are essential for mankind. Sodium and chloride are both elements that the
body cannot make for itself and must be supplied by food.

*An explanation between table salt and sea salt * 

* Table Salt *

The common table salt is obtained from salt deposits which are mined, heat and chemically treated. Due to the way table salt is processed,
all of the naturally occurring minerals are stripped other than sodium chloride. This makes it an unnatural substance as compared to sea salt, and contributes to blood pressure, heart and kidney diseases. Table salt consists of 99% of sodium chloride with anti-caking agents or additives added to make it free flowing and dry, making it easier to use.

* Sea Salt *

Sea salt is the unrefined salt that is obtained by purely evaporating the water from the sea. Once the sea water has been collected and
the water has been evaporated by the sun, all that remains is the salt, a natural product from the ocean. Sea salt is 98% sodium chloride and the remaining 2% is made up of naturally occurring minerals, depending on where the salt was originally harvested. Sea salt has a higher mineral content and contains important minerals like iron, sulphur and magnesium. Sea salts have more flavour than table salt due to the higher mineral content.

* The conclusion – the differences between sea salt and table salt *

Sea salt and table salt are nutritionally separate products simply by their processing methods. Table salt is a refined product as it has been processed more.  Table salt contains chemically treated sodium chloride. Sea salt is an unrefined and natural product as it has not been
processed industrially.  Although both table and sea salts consist of mainly sodium chloride, just by processing them by in different methods changes their consistency and their nutritional value, making them both very different products.


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Difference in Drinks using Filtered Water – Yes

Water, the very thing that gives almost all organisms life. While we drink it in one form or another, we seldom think about the difference between normal water and filtered water. I know that there is a difference as I often drink tea, sometime having to use regular water due to a used up filler. While it’s small, the problem is still there. The question is, why is this so? Here are a few reasons behind this.

It’s often believed that boiling cold water before using it kills any harmful microbes. This is true, but it doesn’t get rid of any foreign substances that might happen to be in it. This includes Fluoride or perhaps something else. While you might not see it, try splashing a bit of water onto a clear, clean glass and wait for it to evaporate. You will see residue left behind, proving that tap water isn’t as clean as you might think. The amount varies from place to place, while one place might be clean, another, like New York, would have less safe drinking water.

With filtered water, these things are not a problem. This is water without anything in it that might change the taste or look. No bacterica, no chemicals, no microbes, or anything else that might be in there. This allows anyone to taste the drink rather than what is hiding in the drink. It means when you use this water, you can fully taste the texture, taste, and aroma of the drink to its fullest. Some state it might be a psychological affect as people believe that filtered water would taste better because they think it would. This might have some merit, but I don’t believe it to be true.

As an adult, you often would drink the same kind of coffee or drink everyday. It’s when you get so used to drinking the same kind of drink you begin to taste subtle differences. There is a subtle difference in taste between the two drinks with one as tap. This is due to the previously mentioned substances lurking within the water. While it may not be enough for the first time drinkers, someone who casually drinks, it’s enough for them to say filtered is better. I should know, I tried it myself with green tea.

While many people might not agree with that, there are also other people who might. Until there is a scientific study to prove this, there is no real way to prove it as fact and it can only be deemed as an opinion. Even so, I strongly believe that filtered water improves the taste of any tea or coffee. If you have doubts, compare two cups of your favorite drink with one of them having tap water and the other with filtered water. You’ll be amazed by the difference.


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Difference between Scotch and Whiskey

If you believe there’s no difference between whiskey and Scotch, don’t say it out loud in front of a Scotsman – at least, not if you value your health. While whiskey is a certain type of spirit that can be brewed all over the world in various ways, only whiskey produced and matured in Scotland can be labelled ‘Scotch,’ although it can be shipped elsewhere for bottling and labelling.

Scotch outsells the whiskies produced by Japan, America, Ireland and Canada – the other four main whiskey producers. The generic name ‘whiskey’ comes from the Gaelic ‘uisge beatha,’ which means ‘water of life,’ and while Scotch should correctly be called ‘Scotch whisky,’ it’s generally referred to simply as ‘Scotch.’ It’s a bit like Elvis – it’s so famous, it doesn’t need the second name for people to know what’s being alluded to! Note the spelling difference – Scotch is whisky without the ‘e.’

Scotch tends to be lighter in colour than American bourbons and other blended whiskies, which can also have a sweeter taste on the palate. Scotch has a distinct ‘peaty’ flavour, which comes from the peat-fuelled fires used to dry the grain. A true Scotch expert – or even an enthusiastic amateur – can tell from the taste whether a particular Scotch came from the Highlands, Lowlands, Speyside, Islay or the Isles.

Scotch is usually aged in old, used barrels, and takes longer to mature than American whiskey, which is matured in new, white oak casks, which impart a slight but distinctive vanilla flavour to the spirit. Japanese, Canadian and Irish whiskey producers mature their product in used barrels. These barrels may have previously contained sherry or Bourbon – the distiller selects the casks he requires to produce a uniform product of consistent quality and flavour.

Japanese whiskey is made using the methods used to produce Scotch, but matured in a climate more like that in America, so their whiskey has some of the characteristics of both Scotch and Bourbon. Canadian whiskies are similar to American spirits. Irish whiskey has some similarities to Scotch, although it is usually triple distilled, where Scotch is usually distilled twice and aged for longer. That said, some brands of Scotch are triple distilled, and some Irish whiskeys are only distilled twice.

In order to be called Scotch whisky, the spirit must be matured in casks for at least three years. In practice, the maturation period is often much longer. Some single malts are matured for up to 30 years. The aging period for most other whiskies is usually much shorter. Whether you prefer Scotch or one of the other whiskeys is down to taste and availability. In the case of all whiskies, longer maturation will result in a smoother tasting spirit. However you take your whiskey – or Scotch – take it with pleasure and in quantity. Cheers!


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Desserts Fruit Apple Desserts Feed a Crowd no Bake Desserts

Try this unique and delicious treat to serve the next time you find yourself feeding a crowd! Apple tostadas are scrumptious, easy to prepare, unique, kid friendly, and a wonderful dessert idea for your next gathering! This dessert is also a big hit when serving a Mexican menu!

There are two steps. The first is to fry up the tostadas and sugar. The next is to prepare the Apple Salsa, which will take some time due to the peeling of apples and dicing.


Flour tortillas small taco size not burrito size, 2 packages to make 24 tostadas

Vegetable oil; 1 cup

Cinnamon sugar mix 1 cup 2 cups of sugar, and 3 tablespoons cinnamon

6 large red delicious apples; peeled and diced

6 large granny smith apples; peeled and diced

6 golden delicious apples; peeled and diced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons of peanut butter

2 king size snickers bars

1 16 ounce tub kool whip


Flour tortillas small taco size not burrito size, 2 packages to make 24 tostadas

Vegetable oil enough in frying pan to be able to submerge flour tortillas 1 cup

Cinnamon sugar mix 1 cup 2 cups of sugar, and 3 tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat oil in small fry pan over medium heat

Submerge one flour tortilla into oil fry on one side for 30-45 seconds, turn, fry other side, submerge into oil with a holder: a potato masher works well. Keep tostada in oil until hard. Remove from oil and dust in cinnamon sugar mix. If you use a larger pan, you can fry more than one at a time, however, tostadas should not overlap. You must stand over this and watch. The flour tortillas cook fast and can easily burn.

Apple mix:

6 large red delicious apples diced

6 large granny smith apples diced

6 golden delicious apples diced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Cream cheese mix:

2 -8 ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons of peanut butter

2 king size snickers bars

1 16 ounce tub whipped topping

-Peel and cut apples into diced size pieces. Add lemon juice and mix, refrigerate

In mixing bowl mix cream cheese, peanut butter, and brown sugar.

Fold in thawed whipped topping. Fold in apple chunks, and diced snickers bar. Refrigerate at least two hours

When ready to serve you can either make them yourself and serve, or leave the apple salsa in a center bowl with sugared tostadas surrounding the bowl for guests to make them themselves.

This crowd pleaser is popular so make sure you make enough!


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This recipe will reveal how to make a simple yet a very successful Chocolate Mousse.

You need:

6 Eggs
200 gram bitter chocolate (notice that the chocolate must not contain any milk).
A breeze of salt.

Step 1. Melt the chocolate.
One simple way to do this is to take two pots. One of the pots should fit into the other. Fill some water in the bigger pot, insert the smaller pot in it and put the chocolate in it. Let the chocolate melt on a moderate heat and continue with step 2.

Step 2. Make ‘snow’ from the white of the six eggs.
Take a bowl, big enough to be able to work with, and extract the white of all the six eggs into it and add a breeze of salt to it. It is very important not to let any of the yellow of the eggs drop into the bowl. Use a hand mixer to make snow out of the egg white. To check if it is ready check in the bottom of the pot that there are no fluids there. Then take a spoon and take some of the snow in it and turn it upside down. If the snow sticks to it and doesn’t fall then it’s ready.

Step 3. Mix the eggs yellow with the melted chocolate.
Take another bowl and put the eggs yellow (I recommend taking only five of them) into it. Put the chocolate aside for a couple of moments to let it cool a little (you don’t want to fry the eggs yellow). And then pour the chocolate into the bowl and mix the it with the eggs yellow. Make sure to mix them well such that no egg yellow parts are left visible. The mixing part here and in the following step should be quick to achieve optimum taste.

Step 4. Mix the snow with the rest.
With a spoon take some of the snow and mix it with the rest in the other bowl. The ingredients should be mix quickly and until it has a homogeneous look with a brown color. Then take some more of the snow and mix them together. Repeat these steps until all of the snow is mixed with the rest of the ingredients.

Step 5. Cooling.
Cover the bowl with the Chocolate Mousse hermetically (Or as best as you can) and put it in the refrigerator and leave it there three hours.

After three hours it is ready. The smell is wonderful and if everything is done right it tastes great.


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Crab Delight

The finished meal that this recipe produces will tantalize your taste buds and leave your tummy very happy. Our family seafood soup recipe originated in Norway several generations ago and started with only seafood, milk, potatoes, onions, butter, salt and pepper.

The ingredients can be varied to suit your taste. My wife thinks carrots add color, she will also add celery when I am not watching. I think adding carrots and celery border on treason. Inserting new ingredients really take away from the original recipe. The original texture and taste will become altered and leave the diner short changed.

Enjoying a traditional meal should be a marriage between taste and memory. You should be able to have your meal along with the long ago memories of the family all sitting at the table together. Dining should be much more than just putting food into the stomach. Enjoy your soup and your memories.

Crab soup

3 cups diced potatoes,
1/4 cup diced onions,
1/4 cup bacon pieces
2 cups chicken broth,
2 cups evaporated milk,
2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces of crab pieces

Fry four slices of chopped up bacon, drain off grease.

Saute onions, parsley and carrots in butter and bacon pieces.

Boil the diced potatoes in chicken stock until done, add the sauteed items, and crab meat, boil for two minutes.

Turn off heat and add milk, reheat to desired temperature, “do not boil”. For thicker soup add potato flakes.

Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley or the parsley flakes from the seasoning aisle of your store, add salt and pepper to taste, serves four.

If you live in an area where you do not have access to fresh seafood you will have to settle for the seafood that your local supermarket has to offer. Salmon could be used instead of crab. Fresh salmon is always the best but canned salmon will pass as the last resort.


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