American cuisine

How to Make Pastry

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Pastry_cTraditionally, pastry has been made from a combination of fat plain flour and water. You can also make an excellent shortcrust pastry from a mixture of plain and wholemeal flours, or a more substantial pastry from 100% wholemeal flour. The type of pastry depends on the proportion of fat to flour and that determines the amount of water to be added, the method of preparation and the temperature at which it is baked.

Tips for Making Hot Puddings and Cold Sweets

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pudding_cThe pudding course, when included, can provide a contrast to the main course in texture, colour and flavour and round off a meal. A substantial main course should be followed by a light course, whereas a lighter meal can accommodate a more substantial pudding. Care must be taken to ensure that those with a sweet tooth don't substitute their favourite dessert for the main course!

How to Freeze Complete Meals

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Freezer-Meal-Storage_cSome freezer owners prefer to store all vegetables together, all cooked dishes together and so on. Others find it more convenient to package complete meals in one polythene bag for easy storage, and this is useful if the cook is not available to complete the serving of a meal. As a compromise between the two systems, it may be practical to package sauces with pasta or with an appropriate dessert, or to prepare a complete dinner party menu and package it with a preparation timetable.

Storage and Freezing Bread, Cakes and Biscuits

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Bread_cAll types of bread, cakes and biscuits freeze extremely well. They may be frozen unbaked or ready-to-serve; biscuits are better cooked after freezing. Read about such bread, cakes and biscuits: bread and buns, doughnuts, croissants and brioche, danish pastries, muffins and crumpets, fruit and nut breads, scones, pancakes, griddlecakes and dropscones, savarins and babas, sponge-cakes and iced cakes, ice cream cakes, fruit cakes, small cakes, eclairs and cream buns, biscuits, waffles.

Cooking and Storring Stocks, Soups and Sauces

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soup1_cThe advance preparation and freezing of stocks, soups and sauces is a valuable aid to kitchen economy; vegetables can be preserved in a useful form when they are cheap, stock can be kept safely, and much time can be saved in the final preparation of cheap meals. Read about such dishes: stock and bouillon, thick soups, basic sauces, meat sauce, tomato sauce and puree, fruit sauces.

Tips and Rules for Freezing and Cooking Fish and Shellfish

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fish-and-shellfish2_cRead and remember tips and rules for freezing and cooking different fish and shellfish: white fish (Cod, Plaice, Sole, Whiting); fatty fish (Haddock, Halibut, Mackerel, Salmon, Trout, Turbot); smoked fish (Bloaters, Kippers, Haddock, Trout); crab; Lobster and crayfish; oysters and scallops; shrimps and prawns.

Food Can Heal Insomnia

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insomnia_cFew things are more miserable than lying awake, frustrated and tired, when everyone else is sleeping soundly. Here is our advice: get out of bed, put your slippers, and head for the kitchen. There's good evidence that what you eat before going to bed can help turn out the lights on insomnia.

Freezing and Storing Vegetables

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vegetables_cHome-grown vegetables freeze extremely well if young, tender and at the peak of perfection. Shop vegetables are rarely fresh enough to freeze though imported delicacies such as peppers and aubergines are worth freezing for variety. Vegetables should be prepared for freezing in small quantities, and are best prepared immediately after picking, preferably in the early morning.

Tips for Freezing and Thawing Fruit

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freeze-berries_cHome-grown fruit should be frozen on the day it is picked. Shop fruit such as pineapples or figs may be frozen when cheap and plentiful but should be handled in small quantities. Fully-flavoured fruit is the most successful. Bland fruit such as pears will appear satisfactory but have little flavour. Fruit should be of top quality in peak condition; unripe fruit will have a poor flavour and colour, although it can be preserved for future use in jam-making. Very ripe fruit should be stored as puree.

Tips for Cooking Meat, Poultry and Game

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Meat-poultry-game_cMeat, poultry and game are all important sources of protein in the diet. Poultry and game are generally lower in fat than other meats. When choosing meat, try to choose lean cuts, and remove visible fat before cooking. The mineral, iron and B vitamins, nicotinic acid, riboflavin and folate are found in meat. Meat also contains thiamine, the highest content being in pork. Offal, such as liver, is a valuable source of nutrients.

Dishes with Squash

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squash_cThe envoys of fall arrive to greet us well before the autumnal equinox. Gourds, which include pumpkins, winter squash, and those warty, odd-shaped decorative miniatures, begin showing up in supermarkets and roadside stands in late summer. Appearing even before the leaves start changing, they're a distinctive harbinger of autumn. For the gourmet, they're a key ingredient in a variety of seasonal dishes.

Potato Dishes Are Very Popular

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jaket-potato_cCome evening, families across the U.S. all have one burning question ... What's for dinner? Now more than ever, family chefs need super supper staples that allow for a hearty meal at a moment's notice on a family-friendly budget that still delivers big on flavor. For ease, simplicity, great taste and a grocery bill that won't break the bank, comfort foods win every time. In particular, the humble potato weighs in as one of the top, all-time favorite comfort foods.

All about Basil

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basil_cBasil is one of the most popular herbs used in cooking today. It is a very versatile herb, and is used in Italian, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines amongst many others. It has a warm, aromatic but gentle flavor, with a hint of spicey aniseed. It's well known that it goes extremely well with tomatoes, where it can be served raw in salads such as the classic Italian Caprese, or cooked into a rich tomato sauce for pasta or other hot dishes.

History of Sweet Ice Tea

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tea_cThere are two traditional iced teas in the United States. The only variation between them is sugar. Southerners swear by their traditional sweet ice tea and drink it by the gallons. In the South, ice tea is not just a summertime drink, it is served year round with most meals. When people order tea in a Southern restaurant, chances are they will get sweet ice tea. Outside of the southern states, iced tea is served unsweetened or "black," and most people have never even heard of sweet tea.

What should Men Eat

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eating_cMan cannot live by meat alone. Surveys of eating habits suggest that men eat more meat and far fewer fruits and vegetables than women do. Men usually reach for comfort foods that are warm, hearty and satisfying. Men should be eating better because a bigger waistline can hurt their heart health. Is it possible to eat healthy and still get the satisfaction of "man food"? The answer is yes.

Cool Summer Desserts

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pudding_cSummertime evokes charming images of long peaceful days relaxing in sun-dappled shade, but the reality is that summer usually has more crazy days than lazy ones. All we can hope to do is carve out a few periods of calm and tranquility to enjoy with family and friends. Hot summer days are the perfect time to serve chilled dishes. By serving cool food, you can prepare dishes in advance so that you don't have to heat up the kitchen at the last minute.

History of Sea Island Red Peas

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RedPeas_cThe first professional rice farmers to engage in colonial rice production in the Sea Islands just South of Charleston were Italian canal engineers from the Sea Islands near Venice. These engineers were employed to develop the complex bay systems that made Carolina rice cultivation possible before planters employed the African tidal trunk and dike system to open new ricelands to satisfy growing export demand. One of the most significant creolizations between Italian presence in the Antebellum Carolina Sea Islands and the many African diaspora grains and legumes involved in rice husbandry is the dish "Reezy Peezy" in Gullah, the African Creole dialect of the Carolina Sea Islands around Charleston, South Carolina.

Olives Are Good for Your Health

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olives_cHistorical record of the medicinal uses of this attractive tree has been confirmed back as far as the ancient Egyptians, and further. The Egyptians considered the branches a symbol of everlasting power, and according to some historians olive oils were used in many mummifications. The ancient Greeks used woven crowns of young olive branches to celebrate the winners of the first Olympic events.

Make Veggie School Lunches Funny

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veggie_cThe start of another school year means parents will be looking for ways to set their children up for success in the classroom, including making sure kids are getting healthy fuel for their bodies and minds. With approximately 84 percent of kids trading lunch items with their friends at school, it's important parents fill their children's lunchboxes with items that are both nutritious and enticing.

How to Prepare Healthy Snacks

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snack_cThe National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Cancer Institute are committed to promoting good health and reducing the loss of life from heart disease and cancer. You can help. By using the ideas in this booklet, trying recipes that have been modified to decrease fat and sodium and increase fiber, and planning menus that are high in fiber and low in fat, especially saturated fat, you may reduce the risk of these diseases for yourself and for those you love.

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