Dining with Style

Family meals are an important part of the day in any culture, but with today’s busy lifestyles, we are more often grabbing things on the go and rushing to finish the meal with the minimum of dishes to wash up afterward. But it is more important than ever to make mealtimes an event, since they are often the only time we see our family members during the day. But how can you take something as plain as a Wednesday night dinner and make it into something elegant? Here are a few easy tips.

Set a time in advance

If people know exactly when dinner will be taking place, they can coordinate their schedules around it and make sure they are available. However, everyone’s schedules are different and that means that you won’t be able to choose one time that will fit everyone every day. It’s a good idea to get a whiteboard or a decorated schedule poster and set a dinner time for every day of the week that suits everyone. This way, it’s not just a meal to fill your stomach, but an event where you gather with your family. You can have some extra rules, for example that everyone needs to be dressed properly, as if you were going out to eat.

Up your plating game

Any professional chef will tell you: plating is half of the dish. If what you are serving looks unappetizing, you don’t stand much chance in getting people to like it. Look at references in magazines and online, then try to replicate their plating. Just drizzling some sauce on top or smearing the mash on the plate can be what the dish is lacking to be taken to a whole new level. This also means that everything is pre-plated, which can take away from the family-style dinner, but you can compensate by starting with a soup that everyone pours from a large bowl in the middle of the table, or by plating on a large platter and letting people take what they like from there.

Invest in dinnerware

The Mickey Mouse printed plates just won’t cut it for a stylish dinner. When people are eating from good looking plates, they will feel like the dinner is a lot more elevated. If you can’t afford to splurge on designer plates, stick with something monochrome. Just plain, white circular plates can look amazing if combined with the right accessories. Make sure that all of your silverware is from a matching set, and if you really want to take it to a new level, learn a few napkin folding techniques and decorate the table with them. Don’t forget about your serving dishes: a cake served on an elegant Robert Gordon cake stand will always look better than if it were served on a plain cake board.

Elevate the family favorites

If you have some dishes that your family loves, but are a bit too rustic to look good, try toying with them and finding a way to make them look like they came out of a five-star kitchen. This can mean trying new spices, serving it differently, or reinventing the recipe completely. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time – all chefs do a hundred test-recipes until they get the perfect one. And if you want to make something new that will wow the family, you can consider beef Wellington, baked Alaska, lamb lollipops or a refreshing scallop salad.

Have a theme on the table

A table that looks unified will always look elegant. Even if you have to put two tables together to seat your large family, you can tie them together with a theme. That can be as extravagant as choosing a space theme and decorating everything with stars and serving everything in balls to represent planets, or it can be as minimal as picking a color that will match the candles with the napkins. Adding details like flower arrangement, candles, print-outs with the menu for the evening or other decorations will bring a tone of elegance as well as help start a conversation.

If you can’t manage to dine in style every night, you can try setting a few days of the week to do it, and if you enjoy it, expand to the other days as well. Make sure that everyone is lending a helping hand in preparing the dinner, so that all responsibility doesn’t land on a single person.

 

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad Eat Drink Binge

Caesar salad is a fairly simple salad with just a few ingredients involved.  A good dressing is what makes it remarkable.  This is a different take on the classic Caesar salad which contains anchovies and a touch of mayonnaise in the dressing in place of raw eggs. Avocado is also added into the mix to add some creamy texture in contrast to the crunchy croutons and romaine lettuce. Caesar salad is probably the most common salad out there but when done right, it can be extraordinarily good.

INGREDIENTS

For the Dressing:

6 anchovy fillets 
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice (more to taste)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
salt & pepper (to taste)

For the Salad:

2 romaine hearts (washed, dried, cut into pieces)
1 cup croutons (store-bought)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
1 Hass avocado (cut-up)

Caesar Salad Ingredients Eat Drink Binge

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prepare the dressing: Mince anchovy fillets and garlic. Using the flat side of the knife, mash to a paste.  A sprinkle of kosher salt will help soften the garlic.mashing anchovies and garlic Eat Drink Binge
  2. Add all other dressing ingredients (oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, mayonnaise, and parmesan cheese) into a bowl.  Whisk it together.Caesar Salad Dressing Eat Drink Binge
  3. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Assembly: Combine romaine lettuce, croutons, and avocado in a bowl.Caesar Salad with avocado and croutons in a bowl Eat Drink Binge
  5. Pour the dressing over the top of the mixture and toss gently, careful not to get the avocado mushy.Pouring Caesar Salad dressing Eat Drink Binge
  6. Add some grated parmesan cheese.  
  7. Add more dressing, as desired.

Caesar Salad
2017-07-22 21:45:17
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For the Dressing
  1. 6 anchovy fillets
  2. 2 garlic cloves
  3. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 tablespoon lemon juice (more to taste)
  5. 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  6. 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  7. 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  8. salt & pepper (to taste)
For the Salad
  1. 2 romaine hearts (washed, dried, cut into pieces)
  2. 1 cup croutons (store-bought)
  3. 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  4. 1 Hass avocado (cut-up)
Instructions
  1. 1. Prepare the dressing: Mince anchovy fillets and garlic. Using the flat side of the knife, mash to a paste.  A sprinkle of kosher salt will help soften the garlic.
  2. 2. Add all other dressing ingredients (oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, mayonnaise, and parmesan cheese) into a bowl.  Whisk it together.
  3. 3. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. 4. Assembly: Combine romaine lettuce, croutons, and avocado in a bowl.
  5. 5. Pour the dressing over the top of the mixture and toss gently, careful not to get the avocado mushy.
  6. 6. Add some grated parmesan cheese.
  7. 7. Add more dressing, as desired.
By Theresa Polo
Eat Drink Binge http://www.eatdrinkbinge.com/

The post Caesar Salad appeared first on Eat Drink Binge.

 

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad Eat Drink Binge

Caprese salad is a super simple, minimally prepared salad that is a classic in the summer when tomatoes are at its best. A great Caprese salad depends on the quality of its ingredients – sweet and juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella that is soft and creamy, and fresh basil to liven things up. Also, a good quality olive oil does make a difference. This is one of those things when a recipe may not be necessary, but here’s how I made mine.   

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INGREDIENTS

1 pound tomatoes (any kind/size that is ripe and delicious)
8 ounces fresh mozzarella ball or log (I used cherry-size balls, ciliegine)
basil leaves (a bunch)
extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt & pepper (to taste)

Caprese Salad Ingredients Eat Drink BingeHeirloom Tomatoes in a bowl Eat Drink BingeMozzarella Cheese in a bowl Eat Drink Binge

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut tomatoes and mozzarella into thick slices, or cut them in halves if using bite-size tomatoes or mozzarella balls like I did.  
  2. Arrange tomatoes and mozzarella cheese on a plate.  
  3. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Top with torn or cut-up basil leaves.  Enjoy immediately.drizzling extra virgin olive oil onto Caprese Salad Eat Drink Binge

Caprese Salad
2017-07-24 20:50:04
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound tomatoes (any kind/size that is ripe and delicious)
  2. 8 ounces fresh mozzarella ball or log (I used cherry-size balls, ciliegine)
  3. basil leaves (a bunch)
  4. extra-virgin olive oil
  5. kosher salt & pepper (to taste)
Instructions
  1. 1. Cut tomatoes and mozzarella into thick slices, or cut them in halves if using bite-size tomatoes or mozzarella balls like I did.
  2. 2. Arrange tomatoes and mozzarella cheese on a plate.
  3. 3. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.  Add salt and pepper. Top with torn or cut-up basil leaves.  Enjoy immediately.
By Theresa Polo
Eat Drink Binge http://www.eatdrinkbinge.com/

The post Caprese Salad appeared first on Eat Drink Binge.

 

Garlic-Herb Chicken

Garlic-Herb Chicken Eat Drink Binge

This is an easy way to transform your rather plain chicken and make a stunning dish with a simple marinade of herbs, onion, and garlic.

Cooking chicken should be effortless and not complicated, right? However, that is not always the case. It is actually easy to screw up chicken, by overcooking and drying it out. Retaining moisture is important to achieve. If you’re using a whole cut-up chicken, dark meat pieces cook a bit longer than white meat. Chicken breast, which is prone to drying out, may need pounding to make it level and even. Season each piece with salt and pepper to make sure no piece is overlooked. Then let it sit in the marinade for at least an hour to overnight, for a very flavorful chicken. 

Grilling outside on a beautiful day may be ideal. But grilling indoors is not entirely impossible, neither a challenge. A cast iron grill does a pretty good job. Roasting in the oven also works great by placing them on a baking sheet and cooking at high temperature to get a nice crusty exterior. Any way you make it, this recipe make chicken moist and delicious.

INGREDIENTS

3-4 pounds whole cut-up chicken or other parts

for the marinade

6 cloves garlic
1 red onion (medium size)
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons canola or olive oil (any neutral or light-flavored oil)
1 zest of a whole lemon
kosher salt & pepper (I used about 4 teaspoons of kosher salt)

for serving

Juice of a whole lemon
drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil

Garlic-Herb Chicken Ingredients Eat Drink Binge

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prepare the chicken: Trim any excess fat.  Wash thoroughly. Pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Season the chicken: Apply salt and pepper generously. Add in lemon zest and chopped herbs, and coat the pieces evenly.Garlic-Herb Chicken mixture Eat Drink Binge
  3. Prepare marinade: In a food processor, blend garlic, red onion, and oil together (the puréed mixture is better absorbed by the chicken).Before and after garlic mixture for garlic-herb chicken Eat Drink Binge
  4. Marinate: Coat each piece with the mixture and marinate chicken for at least an hour to overnight.Pouring mixture on chicken Eat Drink BingeGarlic-Herb Chicken mixture in a bowl Eat Drink Binge
  5. Cook the chicken:  Preheat your outdoor grill or cast iron grill to medium high, place chicken skin side down. Turn the heat down a notch so the skin doesn’t get burned and the inside gets cooked. But you want to make the skin crispy and nicely charred. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes. Then flip and cook the other side. If you have a thermometer, 165° is the perfect internal temperature for dark meat and 160° for white meat, inserted in the thickest part. Otherwise, I would usually poke the chicken and see if juices run clear and not pinkish.Grilling Chicken Eat Drink BingeClose up of grilled chicken Eat Drink Binge
  6. If you’re roasting in the oven, preheat to 400°. Place chicken on a baking sheet with enough spaces in between them to breathe so they brown nicely and not steam. The baking time will depend on the cut you’re using and the size of each. Flip the chicken halfway, after about 10-15 minutes. Check for internal temperature to avoid over baking.
  7. Serve: Drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil and squeeze a lemon just before serving.

Garlic-Herb Chicken
2017-06-24 12:37:20
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Ingredients
  1. 3-4 pounds whole cut-up chicken or other parts
for the marinade
  1. 6 cloves garlic
  2. 1 red onion (medium size)
  3. 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  5. 1/2 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  6. 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil (any neutral or light-flavored oil)
  7. 1 zest of a whole lemon
  8. kosher salt & pepper (I used about 4 teaspoons of kosher salt)
for serving
  1. Juice of a whole lemon
  2. drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. 1. Prepare the chicken: Trim any excess fat. Wash thoroughly. Pat dry with paper towel.
  2. 2. Season the chicken: Apply salt and pepper generously. Add in lemon zest and chopped herbs, and coat the pieces evenly.
  3. 3. Prepare marinade: In a food processor, blend garlic, red onion, and oil together (the puréed mixture is better absorbed by the chicken).
  4. 4. Marinate: Coat each piece with the mixture and marinate chicken for at least an hour to overnight.
  5. 5. Cook the chicken:  Preheat your outdoor grill or cast iron grill to medium high, place chicken skin side down. Turn the heat down a notch so the skin doesn’t get burned and the inside gets cooked. But you want to make the skin crispy and nicely charred. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.  Then flip and cook the other side. If you have a thermometer, 165° is the perfect internal temperature for dark meat and 160° for white meat, inserted in the thickest part.  Otherwise, I would usually poke the chicken and see if juices run clear and not pinkish.
  6. 6. If you’re roasting in the oven, preheat to 400°. Place chicken on a baking sheet with enough spaces in between them to breathe so they brown nicely and not steam. The baking time will depend on the cut you’re using and the size of each. Flip the chicken halfway, after about 10-15 minutes. Check for internal temperature to avoid over baking.
  7. 7. Serve: Drizzle with some extra-virgin olive oil and squeeze a lemon just before serving.
By Theresa Polo
Eat Drink Binge http://www.eatdrinkbinge.com/

 

 

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Grain and Bean Salad

Grain and Bean Salad Eat Drink Binge

A delicious and hearty salad, one that will make you feel fuller longer.  This grain and bean salad is not a mere side dish or an introduction to your entree, but substantial enough to become a meal of its own.  It is also a great portable salad to bring to picnics or potlucks.  

The grains in this salad consist of a combination of quinoa, millet, wild rice and a brown rice mix.  It could be anything from your favorite grain to what you have left in the fridge from the previous meal. The little kernels of corn, which is also a grain, gives the salad some crunch and sweetness, along with maple syrup in the dressing. Black-eyed peas is my preference for this salad because it is light and has a smooth texture. Other types of beans like chickpeas or black beans will also work. The freshness of cilantro, lime and cumin will make you think of Mexican fare.

This grain and bean salad has simple and common elements to it but when put together creates a satisfying dish that everybody can enjoy.  It also keeps well in the fridge for days.

INGREDIENTS

1 15.5 ounce can black-eyed peas (drained)
2 ears corn (cooked; about 2 cups)
2 cups grains (for example: quinoa, brown rice)
1 red bell pepper (seeds and ribs removed; minced)
1 jalapeño pepper (seeds and ribs removed; minced)
1/8 cup red onion (minced)
cilantro, a bunch (chopped)
1/4 teaspoon cumin

For the vinaigrette dressing:
1 lime (juiced)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey)
salt & pepper, to taste

Grain and Bean Salad Ingredients Eat Drink Binge

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook the grains according to package instructions. If you are serving the salad warm, no need to cool after cooking.
  2. Boil the corn for about 3 minutes. Cut the kernels off the cob.
  3. Start by making the vinaigrette dressing: In a bowl, add lime juice, extra-virgin olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine grains, corn, beans, red bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, red onion and cilantro.  Grain and Bean Salad pre mixed in a bowl Eat Drink Binge
  5. Season with cumin, salt and pepper. Mix it altogether.Grain and Bean Salad mixing Eat Drink Binge
  6. Drizzle the dressing over the top of the salad and mix well. If you like the salad warm, microwave the dressing for a minute before adding to the mixture.Grain and Bean Salad pouring oil Eat Drink Binge
  7. Taste the salad. Adjust by adding more salt, pepper or cilantro.
  8. Serve warm or cold.

Grain and Bean Salad
2017-05-22 22:50:33
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Ingredients
  1. 1 15.5 ounce can black-eyed peas (drained)
  2. 2 ears corn (cooked; about 2 cups)
  3. 2 cups grains (for example: quinoa, brown rice)
  4. 1 red bell pepper (seeds and ribs removed; minced)
  5. 1 jalapeño pepper (seeds and ribs removed; minced)
  6. 1/8 cup red onion (minced)
  7. cilantro, a bunch (chopped)
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cumin
For the vinaigrette dressing
  1. 1 lime (juiced)
  2. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or honey)
  4. salt & pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. 1. Cook the grains according to package instructions.  If you are serving the salad warm, no need to cool after cooking.
  2. 2. Boil the corn for about 3 minutes.  Cut the kernels off the cob.
  3. 3. Start by making the vinaigrette dressing:  In a bowl, add lime juice, extra-virgin olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper.  Whisk to combine.  Set aside.
  4. 4. In a large bowl, combine grains, corn, beans, red bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, red onion and cilantro.
  5. 5. Season with cumin, salt and pepper.  Mix it altogether.
  6. 6. Drizzle the dressing over the top of the salad and mix well.  If you like the salad warm, microwave the dressing for a minute before adding to the mixture.
  7. 7. Taste the salad.  Adjust by adding more salt, pepper or cilantro.
  8. 8. Serve warm or cold.
By Theresa Polo
Eat Drink Binge http://www.eatdrinkbinge.com/

The post Grain and Bean Salad appeared first on Eat Drink Binge.

 

Quick Microwave Dishes for When You’re Short on Time

You know that cook-book that came with your microwave oven when you first brought it home from the store? Yes, the one which has some recipes that seem impossible to prepare using the microwave oven? Well there’s a lot more to it than what you might think. With the right dedication to getting the full measure of the functionality of your microwave, you can indeed prepare some quick meals which nobody could ever guess you used the microwave oven to prepare.

Preparing the Dishes

With the right kind of effort and dedication to learning the various functions of your microwave oven, you can prepare just about any dish, even something like a roast dinner or a rice dish with veggies and the works. You can even bake potatoes or even bake a whole cake, but it’s not as simple as using the functions in the manner which they’re described in the microwave oven’s instruction manual.

Those instructions are actually just there to serve as guidelines and quite frankly they never seem to work out right. What you’ll need to do is a bit of experimentation, but not the kind of experimentation which will result in food spoilage and wastage. If you want to learn how to cook rice using the microwave oven for example, you would have your backup option on standby, which is simply to transfer the rice to a regular pot and then boil it like you’d normally prepare it.

Otherwise you might have to contend with not quite knowing whether the rice cooking in the microwave is still raw or if it’s been overcooked and has dried up.

So while we’re on the topic of rice as a dish you can prepare using the microwave, it’s as simple as combining a cup of long-grain white rice with two cups of water and half a teaspoon of salt in a microwave-safe baking dish. Do not cover. Proceed to microwave at your oven’s equivalent of power level 10 until the grains are tender and all the liquid has evaporated, some of which will be absorbed by the rice. This should take between 15 to 18 minutes, but again it all depends on getting your microwave settings just right.

This Chick Cooks

Pretty much the same applies to the other ingredients you’ll be adding to your rice dish and to the other dishes you prepare. Ordinarily, each food type cooks a bit differently, like pumpkin which would have very little to no water added to it if cooked in the microwave and each food type also cooks over its own time, but once you’ve figured out how you can pair certain food types together (in terms of their cooking time), you can make use of disposable, microwave-safe plastic food containers to cook those foods simultaneously in separate containing wells. That way serving becomes that much easier and also it saves you the trouble of having to do the dishes afterwards.

When I’m short on time I do use the microwave to prepare quite a few good dishes, but it’s never as directed in the manual. I don’t use the “baked potato” function to prepare baked potatoes for instance, rather using the grill function since it retains a good amount of the moisture in the potatoes. Other dishes I’ve prepared using only the microwave oven include the likes of grilled/baked salmon, fried scallops (yes you can fry stuff in the microwave) and even roast beef with all the sides to go with it!

 

Safely Carrying Out a Food Allergy Elimination Test

If you or anyone in your family experiences symptoms such as itchy ears when taking the first bite of your food, chances are you might be carrying some food allergies. Food allergies are often detected very early on in one’s life, but they can be developed over time, mostly due to an unbalanced diet which is severely deficient in one form of nutrient or one which contains too much of a certain food which comes with an excess of a certain nutrient or a selection of nutrients.

A visit to the specialist to officially test for food allergies can be a bit expensive since it likely falls under “non-essential” medical care, but ultimately that should be the aim. You should go for an official allergy test so that you can be sure of which foods are causing your body to react.

That said, while you’re perhaps putting the money together to be able to go to a food allergy specialist, there’s a way to safely carry out a food allergy elimination test, but it’s something which should perhaps only be tried by those whose reactions to certain foods are of a milder nature.

This Chick Cooks

For months on end one of my cousins would feel really, really sick after enjoying a full English breakfast, but it took a while to realise that it was indeed something in the full breakfast which was causing this allergy. It was indeed the egg, which she had somehow developed an allergy to and the symptoms were rather severe at times, including painful heels, double-vision in one eye, vertigo and constantly having a feeling of wanting to throw-up whenever she woke up in the morning.

Eggs as the culprit were narrowed-down on when she’d eaten more than one egg on a particular occasion when she’d been really hungry over breakfast and that’s when the symptoms were aggravated. All she did was eliminate eggs from her diet completely and the symptoms disappeared.

So to do a safe food allergy elimination test one must focus on the most common food items which are known to cause allergies, even if they’d previously not caused any reactions. Eggs definitely form one of these food groups, so too the likes of peanut butter, anything with gluten (which is just about everything these days), different types of nuts like almonds and even peanuts, cow’s milk and even something like artificial flavourings.

It doesn’t end there however because even sugar can cause allergies, particularly white sugar, but mostly when you react to white sugar you’ll most definitely react to brown sugar as well, which sort of gets worse because you might react to sweetener as well.

So while you’re eliminating the potential allergy-causing foods you should proceed to replace them with more natural whole foods, like perhaps replacing white sugar with honey as a natural and healthier sweetener. While you’re at it, keep a box of anti-allergy tablets handy for possible breakouts caused by a food you’re sill eating that might be the cause of the allergy, but yeah, often just eliminating known allergy-causing foods one by one does the trick to find out just what it is you’re allergic to.

 

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara Eat Drink Binge

Spaghetti carbonara is a delicious pasta dish you can whip up in 15 minutes. It is rich and creamy (with no cream) but made with simple ingredients – eggs, bacon, cheese and a generous amount of black pepper. So easy to make that you can have it for breakfast (to inspire you to get out of bed) or a late-night craving (why not?!) when you can’t wait until morning. The real challenge in making carbonara is how to combine all ingredients without scrambling the eggs. There’s a little technique to it worth mastering. 

This recipe, scaled down to serve 2-3, uses whole eggs. Traditional pasta carbonara calls for guanciale (cured meat prepared from pork cheeks) which I never have at home so I happily replaced with thick-cut bacon instead. Pancetta is also a good substitute. Freshly grated pecorino or parmesan are your cheese options,  or a combination will be even better. If spaghetti is not your preference, other string pastas will do. You will also be needing a generous amount of black pepper.  And most important of all, carefully following instructions (timing and order) will make this dish truly easy and successful. A good carbonara is a simple, comforting pasta dish best made at home, enjoyed right after cooking. 

INGREDIENTS

1/2 pound spaghetti
6 oz cup bacon (diced) 
2-3 garlic cloves (minced)
3 eggs
2/3 cup parmesan and/or pecorino (finely grated; more for serving)
salt and pepper (to taste)

Spaghetti Carbonara Ingredients

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Start by boiling a pot of salted water where pasta will be cooked in, according to package instructions.
  2. In a large bowl, whip eggs and cheese together. Add a pinch of salt and a generous amount of pepper. Set aside.Egg Cheese Pepper mixture in a bowl Eat Drink Binge
  3. In a skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Discard excess fat. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant (avoid burning). Turn off heat.Cooking bacon and garlic in a pan Eat Drink Binge
  4. As soon as the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain and immediately toss with the egg mixture in the bowl. The residual heat will cook the eggs and will beautifully coat each strand with the silky egg mixture. Continue tossing until the mixture is mostly absorbed by the pasta.Freshly Cooked Pasta in a bowl
  5. Transfer to the pan with bacon and garlic. The pan should still be slightly warm at this point and will cook it more without scrambling.Freshly Cooked Pasta in a bowl
  6. Enjoy while warm and add more cheese, as needed.

Spaghetti Carbonara
2017-05-29 19:24:19
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 pound spaghetti
  2. 6 oz cup bacon (diced)
  3. 2-3 garlic cloves (minced)
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 2/3 cup parmesan and/or pecorino (finely grated; more for serving)
  6. salt and pepper (to taste)
Instructions
  1. 1. Start by boiling a pot of salted water where pasta will be cooked in, according to package instructions.
  2. 2. In a large bowl, whip eggs and cheese together. Add a pinch of salt and a generous amount of pepper. Set aside.
  3. 3. In a skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Discard excess fat. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant (avoid burning). Turn off heat.
  4. 4. As soon as the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain and immediately toss with the egg mixture in the bowl. The residual heat will cook the eggs and will beautifully coat each strand with the silky egg mixture. Continue tossing until the mixture is mostly absorbed by the pasta.
  5. 5. Transfer to the pan with bacon and garlic. The pan should still be slightly warm at this point and will cook it more without scrambling.
  6. 6. Enjoy while warm and add more cheese, as needed.
By Eat Drink Binge
Eat Drink Binge http://www.eatdrinkbinge.com/

 

 

 

 

 

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Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Eat Drink Binge

As we anticipate summer, we start thinking about picnics and backyard parties. Then comes packing picnic baskets or prepping dishes to bring to potlucks or cookouts. Salads (or desserts) usually come to mind. Something that travels well and easy to put together are ideal. Delicious is a must. This Mediterranean orzo salad is one of many simple, creative and flavorful salads you can make. 

Orzo, the rice-shaped pasta, may be tiny but has a great texture and is versatile, as always. It blends nicely with other ingredients in this dish, served cold or at room temperature. This pasta salad is light enough to serve as a side.  It has all the elements of freshness to it that a simple lemon vinaigrette dressing is all you need.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup uncooked orzo 
1 cup Kalamata olives (pitted, chopped/halved)
1 cup cucumber (chopped)
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)
1/4 cup red onion (minced)
4 oz feta cheese (crumbled)
fresh Italian parsley (chopped)

Mediterranean Orzo Salad Ingredients Eat Drink Binge

For the vinaigrette dressing:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon (juiced)
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 garlic clove (minced)
salt and pepper (to taste)

Note:

I used an assortment of olives – green, kalamata and niçoise.  You can use any pitted olives that you prefer or have available.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain and cool completely. Set aside.
  2. Make the vinaigrette dressing: combine extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk together. Try it and adjust the taste, if needed. Remember that feta cheese and olives in the salad mixture add more saltiness. Set aside.Mediterranean Orzo Salad Dressing Eat Drink Binge
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked orzo, olives, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese and parsley.
  4. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and mix it up well.Pouring dressing on bowl of Mediterranean Orzo Salad Eat Drink BingeMixing Mediterranean Orzo Salad in a bowl Eat Drink Binge
  5. Try it and adjust to your taste.
  6. Serve right away or refrigerate for a nice cold salad.Mediterranean Orzo Salad on a bowl Eat Drink Binge

Mediterranean Orzo Salad
2017-06-01 18:37:40
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup uncooked orzo
  2. 1 cup Kalamata olives (pitted, chopped/halved)
  3. 1 cup cucumber (chopped)
  4. 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)
  5. 1/4 cup red onion (minced)
  6. 4 oz feta cheese (crumbled)
  7. fresh Italian parsley (chopped)
For the vinaigrette dressing
  1. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 lemon (juiced)
  3. 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  4. 1 garlic clove (minced)
  5. salt and pepper (to taste)
Instructions
  1. 1. Cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain and cool completely. Set aside.
  2. 2. Make the vinaigrette dressing: combine extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk together. Try it and adjust the taste, if needed. Remember that feta cheese and olives in the salad mixture add more saltiness. Set aside.
  3. 3. In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked orzo, olives, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese and parsley.
  4. 4. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and mix it up well.
  5. 5. Try it and adjust to your taste.
  6. 6. Serve right away or refrigerate for a nice cold salad.
Notes
  1. I used an assortment of olives – green, Kalamata and Niçoise.  You can use any pitted olives that you prefer or have available.
By Theresa Polo
Eat Drink Binge http://www.eatdrinkbinge.com/

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The Health Nut’s Guide to Healthy Eating-Out Choices

Health nuts almost never eat-out for fear of what the fast food industry is generally associated with, which is unhealthy junk food. For the most part they’re right because fast food has this way of luring you in and making you feel like you’re not doing something too bad by indulging in what are actually very unhealthy eating choices and so you find yourself making all sorts of “making up” promises to yourself, like perhaps resolving to put in a double shift next time you hit the gym.

How your body reacts to something like some bad food which you’ve eaten is the perfect indicator for how long the contents of the food you eat last in your body. I mean think about what is the rather unpleasant experience of diarrhoea — how long do you experience the discomfort of having to run to the toilet every few minutes or hours? The same applies to experiencing the effects of having had some food poisoning or in fact just a reaction to some food which you might have an intolerance for or which you’re allergic to. Symptoms such as blackheads developing in your ears or acne breaking out on your face are the real indicators of how long food remains in your system since the likes of experiencing diarrhoea or reacting by vomiting are ways for your body to get rid of toxic food constituents as soon as it can.

This Chick Cooks

So a moment on the lips is indeed very close to making for a lifetime on the hips, but even if you are a health nut, this doesn’t mean you can’t indulge every so often.

What being a health nut also means is that you don’t have to be afraid of perhaps eating out at a restaurant or other “fast food” joint where the food is prepared for you. More and more “fast food” outlets are taking this fast food thing quite literally and only really referring to the food they offer as “fast” because it’s prepared quickly.

So you can maintain a healthy diet while eating out, but be prepared to fight off the natural urges and the rather leading suggestions of the likes of serving waiters and the advertised special of the day.

You need to go with a set plan — there are certain foods you must be okay with eating when you leave the house and you should stick to your guns when you arrive at the restaurant or other food outlet at which you want to get your quick fill.

Unfortunately as far as restaurant menus go, the healthier options seem to be a bit more expensive, so you might want to listen to what the waiter is trying to up-sell you on, but often what is put up as the “manager’s special” or any other form of special of the day normally isn’t healthy. If you also demonstrate the intention to become a regular customer of a specific restaurant (or even if you aren’t) it doesn’t hurt to ask for the food to be prepared in a special way just for you, like perhaps replacing fries with a salad in a certain dish or something like replacing the fizzy drink with yoghurt.