My results came in, and I have to cut back on greasy foods

 

I recently went to the doctor for my annual checkup and came back with some disturbing and depressing news. My test results came in, and now I have to cut back on greasy foods. For some people, this might not be a problem, but for me, it means a complete dietary change. That is not only depressing, it is also a little overwhelming. Do you know how hard it is to completely rework your daily eating habits?

Since I really do care about my health and want to be here for my kids for a long time, I started talking to friends, family and a nutritionist. What I found out has given me some hope that I can still enjoy mealtimes and eat healthily. Who knows maybe I’ll be able to get the rest of my family to make these same healthy changes. Here are some of the ways I am cutting back on fried and greasy foods without feeling deprived.

 

Rethink side and main dishes: Meat not only doesn’t have to be greasy, but it also doesn’t have to be the main dish. I’ve started eating smaller portions and thinking of it as a side. I also eat a lot of baked chicken and fish, which is noticeably less greasy than when it is prepared with other methods. Wheat pasta, rice, steamed vegetables or even beans all make great main dishes, and since they are non-greasy, my doctor should be happy with my next test results.

 

Substitute some ingredients: Everyone knows that I love to cook and this means that I use a lot of butter and oil. Since I have to cut back on grease and fat, I am learning that some ingredients can be substituted for others. Surprisingly this hasn’t changed the flavor or consistency of my recipes, which means the rest of my family is also enjoying a healthier diet. Cooking spray works just as well as butter and oil without the fat, grease and calories. I also discovered that I could substitute applesauce for butter when I’m baking cakes and muffins. According to my physician, every little bit helps.

 

Eat a lot of veggies: There are several benefits to vegetables that I had forgotten about, along with the fact that I like most types. Filling up on veggies instead of greasy snack foods is a great way to lose weight, eat healthier and get better test scores at your next health checkup. If you don’t want to eat raw vegetables all of the time you can also enjoy them steamed or baked.

 

 

Hopefully, these changes in my diet will improve my health, and they are not as frightening as I thought they would be. I guess all it takes it a little time to get used to eating differently, and I must say that I’m glad I took my doctor’s advice. I not only feel like I have more energy, but I’ve also lost a couple of pounds as well.

How I Finally Managed to Get a Good Sandwich Maker

 

 

Kids can be pretty fussy when it comes to eating breakfast, and I have fought plenty of battles to know what I am talking about. When there is one thing they want, for the world I won’t let them have it, mainly because all the items they would pick are sweets. So, I decided to create a more kid friendly breakfast, so I no longer have to deal with their tantrums. This is how I got to the idea that I should get myself a sandwich maker. I wasn’t sure where to search for more information.

 

 

A sandwich maker, in itself, is a pretty straightforward kitchen appliance. You take all the ingredients needed for a sandwich, assemble them together on the bottom plate of the sandwich maker, you press the top plate over everything and you keep everything there for a few minutes. The sandwiches obtained this way are quite delicious, because they make all the ingredients combine together. Especially the taste of melted cheese is a big hit with my kids, which is why I needed a sandwich maker to deal with everything for me.

And that was how my quest for the perfect sandwich maker began. First of all, I needed one with two stations, or one that could accommodate two sandwiches at a time, because my kids are not exactly the patient kind and I need to be fast about making breakfast, if I want them to eat in the morning and not leave for school on an empty stomach.

Also, I wanted more than just a sandwich maker that makes regular sandwiches and nothing more.  I like my kids to eat a complete, balanced meal first thing in the morning, so they can go through the day without the temptation of spending money on unhealthy snacks. It is also something I do for myself and my spouse, since it is my true belief that anyone who wants to maintain healthy should eat breakfast every day. I searched for different sandwich makers, went over multiple comparisons and sandwich maker reviews to see what I could buy, and I found a model that allows you to cook an egg on top of your sandwich, which is a great option for enriching a breakfast meal.

I like how this sandwich maker works. I like it a lot. I only need to use the cooking area offered by each station, to assemble the sandwiches, and, because there is basically a cylinder in which you practically assemble the entire sandwich, I can break an egg on top of everything, without worrying about spills and splashes. Even if some mishaps do occur, all I need to do is to wipe clean the cooking areas that are completely non-stick. This also serves for never adding oil or butter to my sandwich recipes, so, all in all, the sandwiches I make with this machine are healthy and tasty, and, what’s also important, my kids love them.

 

This is the first special recipe I will try!

Making Cake Pops and Other Goodies Children Like

6Are your kids nagging about how at Starbucks they now have cake pops and they are absolutely a riot? I would never allow my kids to eat the kind of cake pops they serve on the streets, because I have no idea how much sugar they put in them and what other ingredients that have nothing to do with food they add to the mix. I am a great home cook and that is why there is no challenge I cannot take. I know how much my kids love cake pops, which are nothing else but small cakes serves as lollipops, so I became quite the expert.

 

7There are a few ways of making cake pops and other mini treats for kids. One way is to do everything by hand. In the case of cake pops, you basically use a cake mix, you bake it and then you turn it into crumbs. I know; it sounds like some work, but, in the end, it is all worth it. Now that you have the cake turned into crumbs, you pick whatever frosting you like and you add some to the crumbs, so you can again, turn everything into some kind of dough. The dough you obtain this way must be modeled in round shapes for the next step. Using a cookie scooper helps a great deal. Place all the balls of dough on some baking paper on a flat pan and put them in the fridge for several minutes. That will help them become firm and fit of being turned into cake pops. After that, get some lollipop sticks and put each ball on each stick, until you are finished with them. Melt some chocolate or make the frosting you desire and dip each ball into the mix. Make sure they are well covered and they do not drip when you place them on a stick holder, which is preferably to have.

 

8The second and easier way of making cake pops is by using a cake pop machine. This machine is quite handy, because it takes a lot from the effort and time you will have to put into creating the cake pops. Basically, this type of machine has holes in which you pour the cake dough and you cook it, therefore obtaining all the cake balls needed for transforming into cake pops. From there, you just need to dip them in the frosting like described before and you will be done with them in no time. One great thing about these cake pop machines is that they can often make other small treats for children, such as donut holes and mini cupcakes. With one such machine, you don’t have to worry about running out of ideas for desserts. You can choose any of these methods and I hope you will be able to make plenty of cake pops for your kids, just like I do.

Welcome to my blog

Hello, everyone! My name is Rosalia de Castro, mother of 3, and a passionate home cook. I have not been to cooking school, if that is what you are wondering right now, but I know plenty about cooking, things I have learned from my mother and grandmother, and of course, from cooking shows and the like, since I moved away from home, to start my own family. Not only my family, but my friends and acquaintances have often praised me for my cooking, but since it was something so common for me to cook at home, I did not think of it as being something extraordinary. However, at one point, one of my best friends asked me why I wasn’t trying to share my knowledge with others and I didn’t know what she meant by that. She showed me a few cooking blogs written by other passionate home cooks, like me, and I was instantly sold on the idea.

The reason why I am writing this blog in English, is because I want to spread the knowledge I have as far as possible, since English is currently a language spoken all over the world, and I think this is the best way of making my cooking recipes and tips known to everyone interested. I know that I have a head full with ideas and recipes and, since there are so many people in love with my cooking, it must be something I am doing right.

Cooking at home is easier than you think. It is really not as big a deal as some people might think. Of course, you do not have to expect starting today and waking up tomorrow as good as Gordon Ramsay or Jamie Oliver. I find some much pleasure in cooking, because I love my family and I love seeing them happy. And what I can tell you is this, that they are really happy when they eat home cooked meals. I care about their health and being in charge of what they are eating is good for my peace of mind, because I know they will not eat anything too salty or too sugary, or junk food.

All that you will find in the pages of my blogs will be authentic recipes that I cook every day for my family. So they will not be just lists of expensive exotic ingredients that you do not have where to buy them from. Also, I will present you with many good healthy cooking practices, so you will rest assured that your cooking will add value to your food. I am a pretty enthusiastic person, especially when I am in the kitchen, so I hope that you will become enthusiastic about cooking, just like me! Just join me by reading this little blog, and it is guaranteed that we will have a lot of fun together!

Why Mexican food is so popular in the United States

 

 

A common question I’ve been getting lately is why Mexican food is so popular in the United States, and of course I want to answer “because it tastes great”. While this is certainly true, it’s not the only reason Mexican food can be found on almost every restaurant menu and is commonly eaten at home.

There are several reasons why salsa is the number one condiment in the United States and more tortillas are sold than hot dog buns. Immigration plays a key role, and is thought to be the number one reason for  Mexican food’s popularity. There is a large Mexican American population throughout the United States, and they have continued to proudly serve their native dishes. In part to help keep their cultural history alive, and because it is something that they are familiar with. Over time these dishes and recipes have been shared across all cultures, and now it is hard to find a restaurant that does not have quesadillas and nachos on their menu.

The United States also shares a border with Mexico so it only makes sense that Americans would be familiar with the food. The close proximity of the two countries is also what led to the birth of Tex-Mex cuisine. Now you can find restaurant chains that specialize in Tex-Mex cooking across the U.S.

 

Frito-Lays introduction of the tortilla chip in the 1960’s solidified Mexican cuisine’s popularity with Americans, especially when Doritos were introduced to the market. Now anyone could eat Mexican food out of a vending machine. Fast, affordable and delicious, it’s no wonder it often seems like everyone is eating Mexican food.

The fact that Mexican food is fast and affordable are the other main reasons for its popularity. It is well known that Americans always seem to be in a hurry, and this often applies to meal times. There are several nationwide fast food restaurants that specialize in Mexican, and for an incredibly low price you can easily order enough to feed two. Best of all with most of these fast food restaurants you don’t even need to get out of the car. Simply order, pay and pick up at the drive-thru window.

 

These are some of the main reasons why Mexican food is so popular in the United States, though I still firmly believe that it is because it simply tastes great. The spices, flavors, textures and even colors all combine to make authentic Mexican cuisine something delicious and special. If there is a special reason for Mexican food’s popularity I would love to hear from you or if you just want to leave any friendly comments or suggestions.