Cooking Frozen Packaged Meals in a Toaster Oven

Many people buy a toaster oven so that they don’t have to turn on their energy hogging full-sized oven for small meals. Then, to their dismay, they notice that most prepackaged frozen meals have this warning: “Do not cook in a toaster oven.” These countertop ovens are just smaller versions of normal ovens, so is it really a bad idea to cook frozen meals in them?

First, lets look at the differences between toaster ovens and full-sized conventional ovens. Both produce dry heat and in general, both have the same temperature range. The method of heating varies from oven to oven, with conventional models using either gas or electricity as the primary energy source. Toaster ovens rely solely on electric heat, but this is no different from many regular ovens out there. So why would you not be able to cook a frozen meal in a toaster oven?

I had some idea of why this would be, but rather than rely on conjecture I went straight to the source. I contacted four major companies whose products warned against using a toaster oven. All four gave me the same answer: uneven and unpredictable heating could lead to improperly cooked food. This can lead to food poisoning.

I have tested many toaster ovens throughout the years and I can tell you that they do not all have uneven and unpredictable heating, but many do. The issue with many is a discrepancy between the heat setting and actual internal oven temperature. You may have set the oven to 375 degrees F as directed by the package instructions but have an actual temperature of much less than that. This is especially true with cheap models that are poorly insulated. This can lead to undercooked foods which can be dangerous to consume.

Is there a way around this problem? There certainly is! Accurate instant-read thermometers are easy to find and inexpensive. Many have probes that can be left inside the oven while it is in use. This will allow you to ensure the internal oven temperature is where it needs to be. This will take care of any issues regarding unpredictable heating or temperature.

Uneven heating is much more difficult to overcome. Many inexpensive toaster ovens cook food very unevenly, leaving some portions of the food burnt while others are raw or undercooked. This isn’t just a problem with frozen meals; it is problematic with anything you cook. The problem is just amplified when you start with a product that is frozen rather than room temperature or close to it. I would never attempt to cook a frozen meal in an appliance that has issues with uneven heating. I would also not want to use that appliance for any of my other cooking needs.

So is it safe to cook a frozen meal in a toaster oven? I would say the answer to that is “maybe.” You probably should not risk it unless you are absolutely sure the appliance you are using cooks things evenly …

Why Consume Palm Oil From Malaysia?

WHY CONSUME PALM OIL?? It is a balanced oil with a unique chemical composition that offers greater advantages compared to other vegetable oils.

It is rich in natural chemical compounds important for health and nutrition. Among others, it is a natural source of Carotenoids & Vitamin E as well as supplying fatty acids and other important fat-soluble micronutrients. It also supplies an abundance of calories that gives us much-needed energy for our daily life.

Carotenoids are natural chemical compounds that give crude palm oil its orange-red color and that make palm oil red in color. Unrefined palm oil and crude palm oil are nature’s richest source of carotenoids as compared to the other vegetable oils – 15 times more than carrots, and 30 times more than tomatoes.The most active and important form of carotenoids found in this oil is carotene (beta-carotene). Many carotenoids contain Vitamin A which is an effective antioxidant that helps strengthens the body’s immune system and reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease and cataract. Lack of Vitamin A can lead to blindness and a variety of serious medical conditions.

It is rich in Vitamin E (tocopherols & tocotrienols). In fact, no other vegetable oil has as much Vitamin E compared to Palm Oil. Vitamin E is a powerful anti-oxidant, capable of reducing the harmful types of oxygen molecules (free radicals) in the body. This means they may help to protect you from certain chronic diseases, while delaying the body’s aging process. Latest research shows that the tocotrienol form of Vitamin E reacts more effectively than tocopherols.

Another reason why you need this oil is because it supplies fatty acids as well as important fat-soluble micronutrients like Carotenoids (includingpro-vitamin A), vitamins D, E and K.

Fatty acids are raw materials for building the membranes of every cell in your body, including your bones, nerves and brain! The micronutrients keep your body cells healthy and functioning properly.

WHY CHOOSE PALM OIL FROM MALAYSIA? Malaysia has always been ahead in regulating the oil palm industry which is controlled by the MPOB -Malaysia Palm Oil Board.

The MPOB is the premier government agency entrusted to serve the country’s oil palm industry. Its main role is to promote and develop national objectives, policies and priorities for the wellbeing of the Malaysian oil palm industry.

It was incorporated by an Act of Parliament (Act 582) and established on 1 May 2000, taking over, through a merger, the functions of the Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia (PORIM) and the Palm Oil Registration and Licensing Authority (PORLA). Each of these respective organisations has been involved in the oil palm industry for more than 20 years and it is to render more effective services as well as to give greater national and international focus to the industry that MPOB was instituted.

It’s mission is to enhance the well-being of the Malaysian oil palm industry through research, development and excellent services.

It’s strategies are:

  • Expand and improve the current uses of oil palm products.
  • Find

Dangerous Foods For Dogs, What You MUST Know If You Love Your Pet

It would blow your mind if you really knew how many foods are dangerous for dogs.

Sure, we have all heard over and over again not to overfeed your dog. Many otherwise loving pet owners are just unaware of just how many varieties of our “people” food that is perilous, if not deadly to your dog.

For starters, let’s look at garlic and onions. I don’t know about you but these are required ingredients in almost all of my cooking, especially Italian cuisine and they are terrific for our health. However, these veggies can have a devastating effect on your dog’s health. A  dog’s constitution can only handle a very small dose of these, ideally it is best if they had none at all.

I don’t know about you, but I grew up with the little “raisin-maid” raisin girl and to this day it is my favorite element to any trail mix I eat. Also, any type of grapes, either red or green, is a regular part of my healthy diet. As these are beneficial and healthy for us and a preferred snack I give to my kids but, they are very bad for our dog’s health.

Did you know that raw pork is also  a very dangerous food for your dog. If they ingest any of this raw meat they can quite possibly acquire an incurable diseased digestive condition. If you really need to give them pork, you can over cook it or freeze it for at least 3 weeks to make it safe and no longer a dangerous food for your dog.

It is also imperative that you never feed your dog avocados as the seed, flesh, and skin are all poisonous for dogs.

Macadamia nuts are one of the most dangerous foods for dogs. Also, most other forms of nuts are questionable and a loving pet owner would be responsible to avoid all together.

At the top of the list is Chocolate!  Most of us know that this deliciously deadly food is severely toxic to our dogs and should never be given to your friend as it is the most dangerous of all foods for your dog.

Now, this may be the most controversial dangerous food for your dog of all. That food is bones. I know you are saying to yourself that bones are a natural treat for dogs. That bones are what they might eat if they were wild. How can it be possible that bones are toxic to dogs? Let me just say that “raw” bones are great for your dogs health and are actually good for your dog. However,  “cooked”  bones are out. The problem with cooked bones is that they can easily splinter and cause internal lacerations to their digestive tract, not good! So, stop giving your dogs a cooked bone. If you are grilling that steak, then take the time ahead of time and cut the bone out first prior to cooking. If that is too much to do, then just …

Types of Restaurants and Their Characteristics

A restaurant is a place where food & beverages are sold & served to customers. There are different types of restaurants that have evolved to meet the dynamic demands of consumers. The following are some well-known types of restaurants & their special characteristics:

Bistro: it is a small restaurant that serves simple, moderately priced meals & wine. Braised meets are typical dishes that are provided in a bistro. It may not have printed menus.

Brasserie: formal restaurant which serves drinks, single dishes & other meals. The waiters are in traditional uniform of long apron & waistcoats.

Coffee shop: mainly serves snacks & beverages 24 hours a day; however it may serve all the three meals. This concept has come from the USA. A ‘cover’ is a term referring to a place setting with necessary cutlery, crockery & glassware required at the beginning of the service for one person. Though the main feature is 24-hour operation, some coffee shops may close early, depending on their location.

Specialty Restaurant: it serves specialty dishes which are its strength & contribute to the brand image. It operates during luncheon & dinner hours, between noon & 3 PM & between 7 PM & 11 PM. The ambience & décor of the restaurant reflect the theme of the specialty restaurant. The dishes of a particular region of a country or a particular set of people are also termed as ethnic cuisine.

Fine Dining Restaurant: this kind of restaurant primarily caters to the requirement of the affluent market segment which wants to experience fine dining. The restaurant may either offer dishes of one particular region or country or exotic dishes from various cuisines, wines, spirits & digestives. It opens mostly during dinner time. The ambience & décor of the restaurant will be elegant & rich. The wait staff employed is skilled & has a sound knowledge of the dishes served. The restaurant employs sommeliers to serve wines & other alcoholic beverages.

Popular Restaurant: this type of restaurant is informal, yet hygienically kept & it is located in a busy area such as bus stands, railway stations, shopping area & so on, catering to the requirements of the middle class & the customers who are in a hurry. The menu may either be displayed on a board at a prominent place or printed & laminated. It operates from 7 AM to 11 PM. The food is plated in the kitchen & carried to the table on a tray & served. The service standards are low & informal. Space is utilized to the maximum to accommodate more covers. The seat turnover is very high but the average revenue per cover is low.

During busy lunch hours, these restaurants serve business lunch, mini-lunch, & thali meals in a separate area to speed up service.

Dhaba: it is a roadside food stall found on national & state highways, mainly catering to the requirements of heavy vehicle crew. It specializes in ounjabi cuisine & tandoor cooking, serving very limited dishes, which are …

Kitchen Utensils For Salad Preparation

Preparing a delicious salad requires using the proper kitchen appliances. There are plenty of kitchen appliances essential in preparing any type of salad. A well organized kitchen appliance is also important so you can easily find the tools you need and enjoy the preparation of your food.

A refrigerator is one of the most important kitchen appliances. It is where you store the salad after you have prepared to make it cold which makes it more delicious. You can also preserve the freshness of other salad mixtures and ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, cheese, milk, cream and mayonnaise to avoid spoiling.

Salad bowls come in different sizes, designs and materials. If you want a traditional look you can buy wooden salad bowls. If you are more concerned with modern utensils you may opt to choose that of glass materials. Just be sure have the proper size to accommodate all mixing requirements of the salad you are going to prepare. Also choose thicker materials for your salad bowl since you are going to manually mix all the ingredients subject to a lot of pressure.

Salad knife is another essential utensil used in slicing vegetables, fruits and garnishes. It is important that you choose a knife specifically made for such purpose. Avoid those knives with steel blades since it reacts to vegetables and fruits leaving a brownish mark. Salad knives made of plastic nylon are good options.

Salad spinners also make the preparations more quickly. It is composed of a plastic bowl with s plastic strainer and cover. It drains easily excess water after washing your ingredients. It can also be used to store your fresh salad. Just remove the strainer and close with the lid.

A chopper is a small kitchen utensil ideal for chopping ingredients for salads into little bits. It is capable of chopping food into uniform pieces. There is no need to go to the process of manually chopping those ingredients.

Measuring spoons comes in different sizes and designs. It is useful in measuring liquid ingredients for your dressing. Measuring cups offer the same purpose. Choose a set of measuring spoons and cups that come in many different sizes.

Pans and pots come in sets with different sizes. These kitchen utensils are ideal for preparing and cooking food like sausages, eggs and pastas. Choose those that come with heat resistant handles. These items are one of the more essential. Every kitchen can not do without it. Most cooking needs are done with pans and pots, from boiling, broiling, sautéing, frying and steaming.

Mixing spoons are used for mixing different ingredients together. They come in different sizes for different purposes. Mixing spoons can be made up of wood, plastic or stainless steel. The common and most basic ones are the ladle for soups, spatulas and other spoons.

The measuring spoon variety is ideal for baking needs, because baking requires precise and exact measurements. These spoons have markings/labels in liters or milliliters.

Kitchen towels are the most basic necessity in …

Parboiled Rice – Advantages & Disadvantages

Rice has one of the biggest consumption levels all across the world. It’s available in several varieties. One such variety is the Parboiled Rice which is amber in color. It has different properties than that of normal white rice because both go through different filtration processes. Parboiling is a common practice in many parts of Asia & Europe. It’s a 3-step process: Soaking, Steaming & Drying after which the rice is taken into mills for hulling. We get hulled parboiled rice once it gets out of the mills.

Change after Parboil

Rice goes through some major changes after the parboil process. Most of the changes regard to its nutritional levels and quality. As a result of the change, some people dislike it but most like it.

Some major changes are:

Milling – Milling becomes easier as the hull becomes easy to remove. However, bran removal becomes a more difficult task.

Starch Gelatinization – The starch present gelatinizes which makes the grain hard, translucent and tough. Breakage during milling decreases as total yields increase compared to white rice.

Texture & Taste – The whole process affects the coarseness of the grain. It becomes hard and at the same time smooth. This directly influences the taste. Some people find ultimate satisfaction in the taste while for some it’s not so heavenly.

Inactivation of Enzymes – The remaining enzymes inactivate during the process which halts fungus growth and biological processes.

Advantages of Parboiled Rice

There are great overall advantages of parboiling.

Due to hardening of the grain, insects find it more difficult to infect (bite).

Total yield after milling increases by 3-4{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} when compared to regular rice as the breakage reduces.

It’s rich in minerals as it contains 3{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} of calcium, potassium, zinc, iron and magnesium which if consumed on a daily basis is very beneficial for the body.

It loses less starch during cooking. Once cooked, it stands for long times and stays fluffy.

High blood sugar levels of body are well-managed because of sufficient carbohydrate presence.

Being rich in vitamin B & niacin, it helps in producing neurotransmitters and helps our body metabolize food into energy.

This rice is heaven for diabetics as it has low glycemic index meaning the food gets converted to sugar very slowly thereby keeping the sugar levels low.

Cooking quality differs from normal rice as it’s non-glutinous & non-sticky.

Some Disadvantages

It almost doubles the total processing cost as bran removal is more difficult which costs more.

Longer cooking times mean more usage of fuel.

It develops a darker color compared to raw rice.

It has more chances of developing rancidity because of the loss of natural antioxidants during parboiling.

Due to long soaking in traditional process, some mycotoxins may develop and cause health hazards.

The whole process of parboiling needs extra investment.

If you look at all the facts, advantages & disadvantages, this variant seems like a good option as far as healthiness remains a concern. It’s rich in minerals, carbohydrates, & Vitamins which is …

Advantages and Disadvantages of Fast Food

In this modern world people are used to having fast foods more than the foods that are home made. The reason behind this interest is that fast food saves time and the effort that is needed for cooking a meal at home. The fast food system is well suited to the fast paced life of a very busy working individual today. But the most important factor to be kept in mind while having fast food is the disadvantages it has. Though fast food is very suitable to meet our appetite needs in this busy life which is an advantage, they also have a large number of disadvantages that is solely related to the health of the individual. Some of the most important advantages as well as disadvantages of fast food are discussed in this article.

Advantages

The large number of outlets of this restaurants that are working all over the world greatly shows the popularity behind the system of it. A hard working professional who is away from his home or homeland will have to depend on such fast food restaurants and franchisees like KFC Bangalore home delivery. This is a big necessity of man. The biggest advantage that shall be pointed out by the people favoring it is nothing but the time saved. Today people consider getting a readymade meal is better than everything in this world. Even though the benefits and advantages of fresh food are known by all at the end of the day returning home all tired, then there is nothing great than getting a pizza or burger for our hunger. Other than spending time for cooking a meal in the kitchen, most of the people find it difficult tom collect the ingredients needed for day to day cooking. Going for a shopping for this purpose is considered as a tiresome job. Time required to get the raw materials ready by washing, peeling and cutting them is considered a big waste. If a person leads a lonely life then buying something to eat from the restaurant is surely cheaper than preparing each day at home. Online pizza ordering and such related facilities greatly add to the popularity of fast foods.

Disadvantages

The biggest and the well-known disadvantage of it is the adverse effect it may cause to our health. It is a reality and popular fact that fast food is very much unhealthy than the food that is freshly prepared at home. The reason behind this is that it contains larger amounts of salt, oil and fat contents thus increasing our calorie intake. It is an important reason for the problem of obesity. This also has led to many fatal diseases in many. The cardiovascular diseases are the most important among them. There are many outlets of the famous fast food restaurants that greatly consider the comforts of customers. As a leading step to this customer satisfaction they offer home delivery like the McDonald’s home delivery Bangalore.…

Traditional Food in Colombia – Know Some Facts

Colombia has a privileged location in South America, with part of its coast to the cool Pacific Ocean and part in the Caribbean with its warmer waters. Part of the country has mountains, other part has valleys. Therefore they can grow all kinds of fruits, vegetables and have all kinds of seafood. 

Through its history, Colombia has received influence of the Peruvian and Brazilian cuisine’s tradition, but also from the Japanese and Arabic way of cooking. To this add their own cultural heritage, as the Amerindians also raised different species of animals, with which they could make delicious dishes. And to this variety we also must add the Spanish tradition.

We could say that the Colombian cuisine uses different meats, fishes, plenty of vegetables and lots and lots of exotic and delicious fruits.   Also their delicacies depend on the regions, as food is different in the mountain regions than what is on the coastal regions. Its food is always, anyway, very tasty, with natural flavors, and not too spicy. Colombians also love soups, which are practically a must in each dinner or lunch. But the most important fact is that they love their food done with fresh ingredients, and fresh fruits.

In Colombia people have usually three meals a day. First one, breakfast, before to going to work. The most important meal is lunch. It is a meal consisting of three courses, soup, main dish and a drink, and dessert or fruit. Dinner is very light, taken around 9:30 PM. 

What is more fascinating about Colombia is that all changes according to the region where one is. If in the jungle, or in the coast, or in the valley, people have their own way of dressing, have their different food preferences, their favorite drinks. And this is what makes it such a rich country and so very interesting.

But in all these regions there are some things in common too. They take it very seriously what their food is, the recipes they use and the different techniques are they same as centuries ago, giving them a sense of nationalism, reinforcing the feeling of being all from the same country. Their typical meals are full of tradition and history and they won’t change that.

If we were to name some of the traditional dishes or food of Colombia, we could choose the arepa, the sancocho, the fritanga. Also lots of chicken, beef, fish corn, onions tomatoes, potatoes, rice and several different legumes.

To all this we should add a wonderful cup of coffee, the best in the world!…

Attributes of a Good Caterer

Just like any profession, being a caterer needs a combination of hard work, training and honed skills. In order to succeed in the business you need to have dedication, the right kind of skills to manage a catering business and always ready to all kinds of problems and challenges. Aside from that, you will be dealing with a lot of work that is important in the business from accounting, customer relations and marketing. You will have the necessary knowledge and skills in order to manage everything from the actual catering service to the paper works.

However, a person who is capable of dealing with all the paper works does not make a good caterer. So what makes a good caterer? In a highly competitive business, you need to possess an efficient set of catering skills that is tailored with good characters in order to stand out among competition. You also need to have the following:

Great Cooking Skills– Remember that catering in its most basic level is all about food. A good caterer must possess enough cooking experience. You need plenty of experience in order to know how to make recipe substitutions, plan new menus and safely prepare and transport large amounts of food. You need to impress the customer not only with the decoration and place settings but most importantly the quality of the food.

Comply with food safety Laws – A good caterer must follow the most-up-to-date food safety laws or regulation. Every state has its own law and you need to get familiar with this in order to avoid violating them.

Good Customer Service – You must be good in dealing with clients and must possess traits such as courteous, tactful and diplomatic. It is possible to find difficult clients which you need to impress with the preparation and preparation of the food. If necessary, you need to be good with persuasion at times when you need to change the menu or to substitute ingredients and explaining this to a client is not easy.

Leadership – You need to manage your staff from the cook, servers, cleaners, to dishwashers. Your business will not succeed without proper leadership and good management.

Flexibility and Creativity – A good caterer must be very creative and flexible in order to cope up with unexpected changes in plans. Be aware about food allergies and religious dietary requirements that may affect your cooking methods and menu. Being able to survive these challenges is a true testament of your capabilities.

Attention to details – It is important to have a keen eye to everything. Do not miss simple things that may affect your service from the catering equipment, kitchen utensils and appliances, decoration, table arrangements and food presentation.

In order to succeed in the catering business, you need to have the right skills, knowledge and attitude to face the many challenges and demands the business require. Your attitude towards work will make a big difference between failure and success.…

Top 3 Cracker Barrel Recipes

Cracker Barrel Chicken And Dumplings Recipe

Chicken and Broth

3 quarts water

1 3-4 pound chicken cut up

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 small onion sliced

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered

1 bay leaf

4-6 whole parsley leaves

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Dumplings

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons of salt

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the chicken, 1 teaspoon of salt, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and parsley to the pot. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook the chicken, uncovered, for 2 hours. The liquid will reduce by about one third.

2. When the chicken has cooked, remove it from the pot and set it aside. Strain the stock to remove all the vegetables and floating scum. You only want the stock and the chicken, so toss everything else out.

3. Pour 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) of the stock back into the pot (keep the leftover stock, if any, for another recipe-it can be frozen). You may also want to use a smaller pot or a large saucepan for this. Add coarsely ground pepper, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the lemon juice, then reheat the stock over medium heat while preparing the dumplings.

4. For dumplings, combine the flour, baking powder, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and milk in a medium bowl. Stir well until smooth, then let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface to about a 1/2 inch thickness.

5. Cut the dough into 1/2 inch squares and drop each square into the simmering stock. Use all of the dough. The dumplings will first swell and then slowly shrink as they partially dissolve to thicken the stock into a white gravy. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick. Stir often.

6. While the stock is thickening, the chicken will have become cool enough to handle. Tear all the meat from the bones and remove the skin. Cut the chicken meat into bite-size or a little bigger than bite-size pieces and drop them into the pot. Discard the skin and bones. Continue to simmer the chicken and dumplings for another 5-10 minutes, but don’t stir too vigorously or the chicken will shred and fall apart. You want big chunks of chicken in the end.

7. When the gravy has reached the desired consistency, ladle four portions onto plates and serve hot. Serve with your choice of steamed vegetables, if desired.

Source: Cooking Cache.com

Cracker Barrel Biscuits

8 servings

2 c Bisquick

2/3 c Real buttermilk

1. Work together Bisquick and buttermilk to smooth dough. Dip hand in just enough Bisquick to kneed dough in bowl until smooth and elastic.

2. Shape dough into 16 thin patties, placing 1 atop another forming 8 biscuits in greased 93 round baking pan. Bake at 450 16 to 18 minutes or until golden. …