Arabian Nights – A Dinner Party Idea

One of the most fun dinner parties I have ever been invited to had a Middle Eastern theme and it was sensational.

The reason it was so fabulous is that the hostess went to a lot of trouble to make the experience authentic.

When my partner and I arrived, the living room had been transformed – the room was lit only with candle light and a variety of cushions had been spread around the room. There was a lovely scent in the air – not too powerful. It must have been some sort of incense. The room looked totally different to the way it normally looked. I almost forgot I was actually at my friend’s house.

The background music was gentle but had that Middle Eastern beat to it – it was like Arabic chill-out music – very smooth indeed.

She’d also hung some rugs or material over the walls. It almost felt like being inside an Arabian tent – I have a warm feeling just reminiscing about it… because it had this really mystical feel to it.

I can barely remember what we ate because the atmosphere and what we had in store way over took and made the lasting impression

I do recall that on arrival we were given a glass of bubbly and could select appetizers from trays laid out with tempting dips like baba ghanoush (eggplant dip) and hummos (chick pea dip) and pitta and Lebanese breads that had been cut into smaller pieces, sprayed with olive oil and then lightly baked until crisp. There were also stuffed vine leaves along with a selection of pickled vegetables. I know my friend bought these rather than made them herself – recipes are available on the Internet for free if you want to do something similar and cook the food yourself.

We of course were all given small plates and serviettes and sat comfortably on the cushions mingling, eating and chatting. The experience had an incredibly soft and laid back feel. We’d all brought a bottle of wine so enjoyed a glass with the food.

Once we’d got through the starters my friend brought out some more dishes – felafels, lentils with spinach and some stuffed eggplant and tomatoes. Again, these were bought from a Lebanese take away restaurant and heated just prior to being served.

By this stage we were all feeling very full and content.

Then something magical happened – gradually we heard the music getting louder and louder – the beat was getting faster and then out of another room a belly dancer appeared and came dancing into the room.

She looked stunning – she had the full belly dancing costume on and her make-up was amazing – and her moves made me feel very envious (in the nicest possible way). She put on quite a performance, even producing a sword and doing the “sword’ dance.

Toward the end of her show, guests were invited to join her but we were not put under any pressure. A couple got up and it was fun to see people having such a good time. Can you believe we got to see this sort of entertainment at a friend’s house during a dinner party?

After the show, my friend served Turkish coffee and Turkish Delights which proved a lovely light way to finish off the meal.

It was such a great night that I’d highly recommend this idea to anyone who wants to make their dinner party memorable – just as this dinner party was for me. Afterwards, my friend told me she’d been taking belly dancing lessons and had found out who could do a show – it didn’t cost her much but she said it was well worth every cent to see the delight on the faces of her guests.

All about Brie Cheese

Brie appetizers are not only mouthwatering, but they are so versatile. It’s amazing

what you can do with a Brie cheese. How did “real” Brie cheese come about in the

first place? Well, according to cheese experts, producing Brie cheese started in the

French province called, not surprisingly, Brie – a town 60 miles from Paris!

The oldest recorded evidence of its existence was found in the chronicles of

Charlemagne. The Emperor at the time, tasted the cheese in the city of Brie around

the year 774 BC. And here’s another interesting tidbit about Brie cheese… Louis

XVI’s last and dying wish was supposedly to have a final taste of Brie.

It is sometimes called Brie de Meaux and is considered one of the most popular of

the 400+ cheeses from France. Brie de Meaux’s popularity can be attributed to a

competition that took place around 1814. During a Vienna Congress, an argument

broke out regarding which country made the best and finest cheese.

As a result, a Frenchman by the name of Talleyrand, suggested a competition

between the different countries and their national cheeses, as he was convinced that

France would win. And of course, they did! Brie de Meaux was the winner and

became known as the “King of Cheeses” and as you can imagine, instantly became

an overnight success that swept Europe and has retained that distinction ever since.

As a matter of fact, Brie Cheese from France won a gold medal from the Brie

National Contest in both 2000 and 2001.

What makes it so darn good? Brie is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk and has

an appealing combination of flavors including hazelnut, fruit and herbs. And it takes

approximately 6.6 gallons of milk to make one round of brie cheese!

The process of making it consists of heating the milk to no more than 37 degrees C

– but only during the renneting stage. Therefore, the cheese is never cooked. After

being put into a mold with a special, perforated shovel called “pelle à Brie”, it is

salted with a dry salt. This salting process is used to balance the sweetness that

occurs because of the high quality of milk used.

Maturation takes place in a cool cellar. The cheese develops a white mold around it

and the creamy part turns to a light straw color. The whole process takes at least 4

weeks and sometimes more.

In France, there are only 5 or 6 real Brie de Meaux producers left. Apparently it’s an

economically-challenged industry to get into. Brie has a very fragile curd that is

easily broken and requires a special room built only for the use of making Brie and

Triple Crème. It has to maintain just the right temperature or the maturation

process will not work. This, in itself, makes Brie hard to make and evidently requires

quite an investment. Therefore, farmers are not as inclined to invest their time and

money on such a delicate, not always reliable process.

To serve Brie cheese properly, it’s best to allow it to come to room temperature.

Some good suggestions of wine to serve with any kind of Brie appetizer is a red

Côte-du-Rhône, a red Bordeaux or Burgundy and it always goes well with a good

quality Champagne.

In the United States, we don’t sell “real Brie” because of the pasteurization laws that

have been installed in this country. US FDA regulations say that you can only make

cheese with our pasteurized milk. Our “Brie” is not true Brie, but it’s as close as we

can get to make it taste like Brie de Meaux from France. If you were to put true

French Brie next to Brie made in the United States, the difference would be highly

noticeable. You would get hooked on the French Brie and have to make yearly trips

to France to feed your new craving!

In lieu of going to France, try this savory Brie appetizer. You’ll be glad you did!

Amaretto Brie Appetizer

There’s nothing like serving this yummy Amaretto Brie appetizer. Especially when

you watch everyone diving into it without leaving a trace behind. Your friends and

guests will beg you for this recipe. It’s simple to make and the creamy almond flavor

is fantastic with a baguette or gourmet-type crackers.

What you’ll need:

– 1/2 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)

– 1/2 cup butter

– 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

– 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

– 1 oz. of amaretto liqueur

– 1 round of Brie cheese

– 1/4 cup sliced almonds (chopped walnuts will work also)

– Toast points, sliced apples, baguette or crackers

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then melt the butter and add the brown

sugar in a heavy sauce pan. Stir until heated through and consistency is smooth and

thick.

Remove the pan from the heat and add cinnamon, nutmeg and the Amaretto. Mix

ingredients well.

Next, place the Brie round (remove Brie from packaging) in an oven-safe dish. Take

the sauce you just created and pour over the Brie. Then, top the sauce with the

sliced almonds.

All you need to do is bake it for 10 or 15 minutes until the cheese is soft. You could

also microwave it if you are in a big hurry. But only put it in the microwave for 30

second intervals until it is soft and warm. If you microwave it for too long you will

end up with Amaretto Brie appetizer soup, and that is not what we want here!

You can serve the melted Brie on a pretty plate surrounded by apple slices, sliced

baguette and crackers. It will fast disappear!

If you are interested in other Brie appetizers and other easy to make appetizer

recipes, please visit Easy Appetizer Recipes found at the URL below where

you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the variety of choices.

Important: Feel free to republish this article on your website. However,

you are not allowed to modify any part of its content and all links should be kept

active.

Aklan’s Chicken Inubaran

Chicken is the most common poultry dish feature in Philippine cuisine. The widespread recipes in various restaurants and by home chefs are evidences of this liking. What’s great about Pinoy delicacies is the creativity in indigenous cooking. When you get the chance to travel around places, each locality has popular specialty dishes that leave a mark in every tourist’s heart.

In the Western part of the Visayas region lies the oldest province in the country, Aklan. Along the rich heritage is their sumptuous cookery. And one of the most popular Aklan specialty dishes is the Chicken Inubaran (chicken with banana pith). It is a chicken dish cooked with coconut milk and slices of banana pith, locally termed as ubad, which is the center-most layer of the banana trunk. This tender and sweet white part is what gives the recipe a blissful flavor. The preparation of this dish is actually laborious since you have to cut down a whole banana tree to get the pith. But nowadays, you can buy canned hearts of palm or ubod (in Filipino) in local markets or grocery stores.

Chicken Inubaran is preferably cooked with native chicken as it gives the dish its real authentic taste. Since native chicken requires more cooking time than commercially bought chicken, you can make use of your best slow cooker to tenderly cook your Chicken Inubaran recipe. Slow cooker is ideal for inexpensive cuts of meat. Likewise, other ingredients are very common and within reach. It includes lemon grass, salt, vinegar, onion, garlic, black pepper and ginger as spices to taste. You can also add libas leaves, a souring ingredient, if you want your recipe to have a little bit sourly taste. Simply put all the ingredients in a crock pot. Cover and cook on low for about 6 to 8 hours, or until chicken is tender. Afterwards, you can now enjoy the creamy soup over hot steamed rice and savor a flavor rich eating experience. It perfectly goes well with your favorite grilled food too.

Aklan’s cuisine looks exotic but the taste is very much pleasing since it makes use of common ingredients. It showcases an original way of cooking that provides an appetizing experience to all the local and foreign visitors of the land. Considered as the best tasting dish in the province of Aklan, Chicken Inubaran is something that you should try to cook. Introduce an exhilarating flavor of Visayan cooking to your friends and family.

It’s quite amusing to discover the finest gastronomic flair of every region that makes cooking at its best! You can have all the opportunity to explore and enrich your cooking preferences. Truly, Filipinos have exceptional range of culinary grace which represents simplicity and resourcefulness.

A Simple Syrup Recipe – Homemade Tangerine Syrup

Simple Syrup- Tangerine

I did not know that simple syrup was so, well… simple. On a recent March morning, as my two boys sat at the breakfast bar watching me prepare French Toast, my oldest announced, “Mom, we should make our own syrup. Healthy syrup like apple syrup.” This got my wheels turning and so I went off in search of simple syrup recipes.

It didn’t take long to find a really simple recipe for blueberry syrup, and as I thought about my own back yard. I have a mature fruit tree that I thought was a loquat tree. I went outside to check out the fruit, and discovered that they were tiny tangerines. I couldn’t wait to try out the recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Of Tangerines
  • 1 Cup Of Sugar

Equipment: 5qt pot, flat bottom coffee cup, stirring spoon, strainer, creamer jar…

For the record, we just moved in to this house, so some ‘improvisation’ was necessary. The coffee cup replaces a food processor, potato masher or blender, and the creamer jar replaces the Ball jars used for canning. * My lack of canning supplies is also the reason I only made 1 cup of syrup.

First, the kids picked the tangerines right from our tree, and then peeled them. We wound up with a total of 4 cups of tangerines, but we only used 1 cup to make our syrup. The rest got ‘munched.’

Now, I made a few ‘mistakes’, (I didn’t quite read the directions on the blueberry syrup recipe all the way through,) and I started to ‘mush’ the tangerines down in a strainer with the bottom of a coffee cup (my blender, potato masher and food processor were not yet unpacked), and into a bowl. I didn’t really care for that, so I started to try juicing them by hand… I didn’t particularly enjoy that either, so then I went back and read the directions on the blueberry recipe.

This is when I put a fresh cup of tangerines in the 5qt pot, and ‘mooshed’ them again with the coffee cup.

I then brought the fruit to a rapid boil

Next I strained the remnants into a bowl and mixed in the sugar- (another mistake: I was supposed to put it back in the pot, and stir the sugar in, bringing it to a rapid boil again.)

Finally… I poured the contents into the creamer jar…

We all tried a tiny taste on our fingers and it was good. I poured a little bit into a Ramakan (sp?) and dipped a Saltine cracker in it… also good. Then I made some French Toast and put it on that… it was a bit tart.

Next time, I plan to use a Agave sugar, and possibly a little brown sugar, and add cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or a little lemon juice, and maybe persimmons, to cut down on the tartness.

A Low Fat Curry Recipe Using Curry Oxo Cubes

Are you looking for a low-fat curry recipe using curry Oxo cubes? If so, then help is at hand. I have become somewhat of an expert on low-fat simple meals using Oxo cubes, using Curry, Chicken and Beef cubes you can make simple healthy meals in minutes.

The great thing about using Oxo cubes to add a little extra spice and flavor to your meals, is that they are very affordable and very easy to use. Many people think low-fat meals have to be boring, or take a long time to make, but that is simply not true. The easy meal I am going to show you below, is not only very quick to make, low in fat, but it has also helped me lose 20 pounds in only several months. If you are also looking at meals that can help you lose weight fast, then this is one of them.

The ingredients you are going to need to make this simple, low-fat curry recipe using curry Oxo cubes.

3-4 Chicken breasts

Olive oil or low-fat spray for frying

1 Chopped onion

250 ml of natural yogurt

2-3 Curry Oxo cubes depending on how spicy you like your curry.

How to make this healthy chicken curry.

Fry the chicken and onion, in a little olive oil or low-fat frying spray until golden and soft. Leave over a very small heat, while you make the chicken curry sauce. Mix 2 to 3 Oxo Curry cubes depending on how hot you like your curry, with the 250 ml of natural yogurt.

When the chicken and onion is completely cooked and no juices remain, you can simply add the yogurt curry sauce to the chicken, stir and the serve immediately. I find if you leave the yogurt curry sauce on the heat, it will lose the thickness, and turn very watery.

You can also add sweet potatoes to this recipe too, and these are also very healthy and great for helping you lose weight. 1 to 2 large sweet potatoes can be peeled, cut into small cubes and then boiled for 10 to 15 minutes until soft. You then simply add them to the mixture at the end, for a great extra health kick.

As you can see, this low-fat curry recipe using curry Oxo cubes is very easy to make, is extremely low in fat and is great for the whole family to eat. I serve this creamy chicken curry recipe to my children over rice, and they love it too, and they have no idea how good it is for their health.

7 Easy Breakfast Recipes – Quick n Easy Breakfast Ideas!

This video have 7 Easy Breakfast Recipes that I try collection for all of you and i hope all recipes you want to try.

1. Mac ‘n’ Cheese Pancakes
2. Savory Crêpe Roll
3. Protein Pancakes 4 Ways
4. 6 Adorable Breakfast Toasts
5. 4 Ways to Stuff a Chocolate Bar in Stuff
6. Cheese Crêpes
7. Breakfast Popsicles

6 Week Body Makeover – Body Recipe Samples

You shouldn’t have to suffer and starve yourself on a diet. Learning how to eat healthy and occasional exercise is the key to losing weight and keeping off that weight in the future. The 6 Week Body Makeover teaches people how to lose weight by eating the foods that are right for your body type. Based on your body types, you are allowed different types of food which will increase your metabolism and help you burn fat in the future. Here is a sample of recipes that you could be eating for breakfast on the Michael Thurmond diet.

Breakfast Menu Sample

Eye Opening Omelet – Include 4 egg whites, 4 tbsp water, black pepper, fresh veggies& herbs

If you want to spice up your omelet, you can try the fiesta omelet, spring primavera, Hawaiian sunrise or Denver omelet.

Egg whites are great lean protein which are easy to cook and can even be used for other meals.

Hash Browns – Include 2 large russet potatoes and freshly ground black pepper. For some extra “kick” add 4 chopped green onion and 1/2 tsp garlic powder before cooking. This will add some crunchiness to your hash browns. Additional recipes include Mexicali Browns and Sweet Browns.

If you are not a big fan of eggs, you can even eat turkey sausage for breakfast. Turkey sausage includes 1 pound of lean ground turkey breast, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp coriander, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp basil and a 1/2 cup chicken broth (make sure to get the low sodium broth).

This is just a sample breakfast that you can eat with this type of diet. If you use the Infinite Menu Planner, you can create an unlimited amount of meals that fit your diet and body needs.