Category Archives: baking

How to Bake Bacon

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Little do people know that baking bacon can be very easy for there is a simple procedure for it. Learn about the procedure in this article.

Steps in Baking Bacon

1. Set up your oven first. Make sure to preheat it in 400 degrees Fahrenheit

The heat is depending on your bacon’s cut, be it thin or regular. For instance you are to bake a thick-cut bacon, make sure to preheat your oven into 375 degrees Fahrenheit first.

2. Line a baking pan or cookie sheet coming along side with a heavy-duty foil.

This needs to be done once the oven has been preheated. Arrange the said bacon on the pan properly. It should be arranged side by side without overlapping each other. For you to achieve this, make sure to leave a space between your bacon slices so that they can crisp and brown easily.

3. Leave it for a while after.

Now, the minutes that you need to give this depends on your bacon cut. You need 12-17 minutes for thin-cuts. This though depends on personal preference. There are people who like their bacon crispy. If this is your case, then you might have to leave your bacon for 16-18 minutes. As for thick bacon on the other hand, you will have to bake it for 10 minutes.

4. Turn the bacon using your tongs.

After turning the bacon, you may return the pan to the oven and do not forget to bake it for 12-17 minutes. Make sure that the bacon has browned.

5. Check for the bubbles.

This is important because from this, you will be able to know if you are already done with your baking. Aside from the bubbles, the baking will also make less noise.

5. Remove the bacon from the oven once you had undergone step number

6. Drain it on paper towels.

Tips!

1. Be on guard!

In baking the bacon, make sure that you are guarding it, especially during the last few minutes of baking. This will give you a chance to make sure that the bacon will not burn.

2. Remove it right away!

Do not forget to remove the cooked bacon from your hot pan. This should be done right away. If you will not do this, the heat coming from your pan and hot bacon fat will still continue cooking.

3. Do not over do it!

It would also be a good idea for you to undercook the bacon. After, cool and freeze it using a zipper bag. Once done, you may do the reheating. You can cook two slices in your microwave mostly, in a power of 30 seconds.

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How to boil chicken

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Chicken is one of the healthiest meats you can find. Boiling chicken does not just keep the poultry away from fat but makes chicken quite versatile as well. Learn how to easily boil chicken that you can use for a variety of other dishes with the simple steps below:

What you will need:

  • Chicken
  • Water
  • Seasoning
  • Pot or saucepan
  • Ladle

Procedure:

  1. Rinse the chicken or defrost if necessary.
  2. Cut the pieces to desired size.
  3. Fill the saucepan or pot with enough water to submerge the chicken pieces.
  4. Place the pot on the stove and bring it to a boil using medium to high heat.
  5. Add seasoning if needed or cook plain.
  6. Cover the pot and simmer for the chicken to cook until it has changed color from pink to white. The cooking time is as follows:
  • With bones and skin: about 30 minutes
  • Skinless and boneless: about 15-25 minutes
  • Skinless and boneless 2 inch pieces: about 10 minutes

7. Remove the pot from heat.
8.  Drain using a sieve.

  • You may keep the chicken broth for use in other recipes.
  • Store the liquid in a sturdy container; allow cooling and storing in the fridge or freezer.

9. Season the chicken and serve as desired or
10. Wait for the chicken to be cool enough to handle. Cut or shred depending on the recipe it is intended for.

Tips:

  • If you want a tasty broth, stay away from chicken breast fillets and go for pieces with bones instead.
  • For quicker cooking, skinless and boneless is the chicken to choose. But this will not have the same savory taste though.
  • Cutting up the chicken pieces also speeds up cooking time.
  • Boiling chicken in water is the most basic way but chicken also works well with vegetable stock, apple cider vinegar and dry white wine.
  • Boiled chicken in perfect for paninis, fajitas, stir-fry recipes, salads and soups.

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How to boil eggs

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Boiling is a cooking method that has been around almost as long as the invention of deep cooking utensils. Eggs are some of the most commonly heated food items and they are used for a lot of recipes. Boiling eggs can be super easy to learn and here are simplest steps you can find.

Hard boiled eggs

  1. Put the raw eggs in the deep pan.
  2. Fill the pan with water until the eggs are completely submerged.
  3. Turn up the stove at low to medium heat.
  4. Set an alarm or timer to 7-10 minutes, depending on how firm you want the egg to be.
  5. Wait for the water to boil. Bubbles will form on the water’s surface that will indicate that the water is gently boiling.
  6. Once the water has boiled, turn off the heat and transfer the eggs to cold water for one minute to stop the cooking process and make them easier to peel.

Tip: Eggs should not be boiled for longer than 12 minutes because the egg yolks will crumble and the egg whites will get rubbery.

Soft boiled eggs 

The basic difference between soft boiled and hard boiled egg is the cooking time which results to a variation in the consistency of the yolk and egg white after boiling.

  1. In a pot or pan, gently bring water to a boil.
  2. Using a slotted ladle, carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water.
  3. Set the timer. For large eggs, the approximate time for soft boiling is about four minutes while for small or medium sized eggs it is about three minutes.
  4. Once the time is up, carefully take out the eggs and plunge them in cold water to prevent overcooking.

Boiled cracked eggs or poached eggs 

When thinking about boiled eggs, people often just remember soft boiled and hard boiled eggs. But poached eggs are cooking by boiling too. Poaching is basically boiling a cracked egg and it is considered a healthier substitute for fried sunny side up eggs. Poached eggs are commonly found in breakfast dishes, salads and prepared as eggs Benedict.

  1. Boil water in a pan or pot.
  2. Carefully crack one egg on a small bowl or soup ladle.
  3. Spin the water using a spoon or ladle
  4. Drop the egg and wait for 3-5 minutes for it to cook.
  5. Remove the egg from the water.

Tips:

  • Adding any kind of vinegar to the water before boiling helps the egg look better because it coagulates the egg white.
  • Using milk instead of water for boiling the crack eggs result in richer taste.

Additional Tips:

  • Making use of eggs from the fridge is not such a good idea. It is best to use room temperature eggs for boiling to avoid cracking and have a more predictable cooking time.
  • Remember that cooking rapidly with high heat makes the protein in eggs tough and rubbery so it is better to cook slowly at low temperature. 

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How to roast garlic

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Other than being very flavourful, roasted garlic also has a handful of health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, lowers blood sugar and acts as antioxidant.

What you’ll need:

  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • knife
  • teaspoon
  • kitchen foil
  • cutting board
  • baking pan or muffin pan

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400⁰F.
  2. Peel off the outer layer or paper-like skin of the garlic bulb but leave the skin on the cloves intact.
  3. Use the knife to cut ½ inch off the top of the cloves.
  4. Get the baking pan or muffin pan and place the garlic heads on it.
  5. Drizzle a few teaspoons of olive oil over every garlic head and make sure that each head is coated well. You may also use a brush instead.
  6. Cover the pan or each head with aluminium foil
  7. Bake for 30 minutes at 400⁰F. The garlic should be soft when it is done roasting.
  8. Let the garlic cool before touching it.
  9. Individual cloves should be easy to pop out using a fork when cooked properly.

Tips:

  • Roasted garlic can be eaten as is or mashed and used for bread, mixed with sour cream, used in pasta or sauces.
  • Others prefer to remove cloves individually before roasting but it takes more prep time.

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How to cook artichokes

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Artichokes are interesting to work with in recipes because they have ample flavour, are rich in potassium and vitamin C, and have lots of antioxidant properties. Unknown to most, artichoke is actually a kind of flower and it grows mostly in California and the Mediterranean. Learning how to cook artichokes can take a little bit of preparation and practice.

What you will need:

• Artichokes

• Bowl

• Lemons

• Knife

• Pot

• Steaming basket

• Grill

Procedure:

1. Prepare the artichokes.

• Fill the bowl with cold water and squeeze some lemons into the water.

• Rinse the artichokes under cold running water to clear away dirt or sand.

• Take a few inches off the stem using a knife. Keep some parts of the stem because it has lots of flavour.

• Take off the small leaves near the stem of the artichokes.

• Slice off 1 ½ inches off the top of the artichokes.

• Put the artichokes in the bowl with lemon water to prevent them from getting discoloured.

2. Cook the artichokes with any of the following methods:

• Boiling: Put the artichokes in a large pot with water and boil them for 30-45 minutes.

• Steaming: Put a steaming basket on top of a pot with 4cm of water. Put the artichokes on the steaming basket once the water boils and steam for 20 minutes.

• Grilling: Cut the artichokes in lengthwise and discard the choke (hair-like inedible part). Drizzle with olive oil and put the artichokes on the grill.

Tips:

• Fresh artichokes have very closed leaves and are deep green in color.

• The freshest artichokes are available during spring.

• Artichokes can be eaten hot or cold.

• They are often served with a dip of mayo, balsamic vinegar or melted butter.

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How to cut a pineapple

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Pineapples are delicious tropical fruits that are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are used in a lot of drinks, desserts and they are even useful in main dishes too. As with most fruits, pineapples are also best eaten fresh compared to its can or jar counterparts. Most people prefer prepared pineapples though, because not everyone knows how to cut a pineapple.

What you will need:

  • Pineapple
  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board

Here are the steps:

1. Prepare the pineapple

  • Turn the pineapple on its side, on the cutting board.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut off both ends of the pineapple (called the crown and stem).

2. Peel the pineapple

  • Make the pineapple stand on one end.
  • From the top to bottom, carefully slice the skin off the sides as thinly as possible.
  • Follow the shape of the fruit in slicing off the skin so you will not lose the good and sweet flesh.
  • Do not remove the dark spots or “eyes” while peeling the skin off.

3. Remove the eye spots.

  • Cut a groove in the shape of a v along the diagonal line where the eyes are found.
  • You will lose a little bit of pineapple flesh but this is easier than removing the eyes one by one.

4. Cut the pineapple

Circles or rings:

  • Lay the pineapple on its side and cut ¾ inch thick slices.
  • What you will have are pineapple circles with some ridges.
  • The tough core is edible but you may cut it out using a cookie cutter to have rings.

Strips or chunks

  • Have the pineapple stand on one end.
  • Cut from top to bottom into quarters then into strips.
  •  Lay the strips down and cut them smaller into cubes or chunks.

Tips:

  • When selecting a pineapple, smell it from the bottom. The freshest are the ones that smell sweet. Sour odor suggests fermentation which you do not want in a pineapple fruit.
  • Fresh pineapples should not have bruising and the color at the bottom should be golden. The sides can have a little green but majority should be golden in color.
  • Overripe pineapples are mushy and soft which you should avoid.

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How to french braid

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There are a handful of hairstyles that women refer to as their must-learns. One of these classic hairstyles is the French braid. This kind of braid appears sophisticated and chic but it is actually simple to do.

What you will need:

  • Hair that falls below the shoulders (all braids look better with longer hair)
  • Hair brush
  • Elastics
  • Bobby pins

Here’s how:

1. Prepare your hair.

  • Brush to carefully remove the tangles.
  • Dry your hair if you do not want to end up with waves after removing the braid.

2. Part your hair into sections.

Use your fingers to get 3-4 inch hair sections from the sides of your temples or just above your ears. Bring them to the center back of your head.

3. Create 3 strands out of the joined sections.

Make sure that all 3 strands are similar and even.

4. Begin the braiding.

  • Take two strands with one hand and the third strand on your opposite hand.
  • Braid a few rows (about three to four) of regular braids by alternately crossing the three strands.
  • As you continue down , incorporate the all of your hair strands into the braid.

5. Secure the braid with a durable elastic.

When you have all your hair in a braid, tie it with an elastic before accessorizing with a ribbon or any colourful hair tie of your choice.

6. Use bobby pins for the wispy sides around your nape or next to your ear if you want a sleeker look.

 Tips:

  • Braid your hair as tightly as you can because it will loosen up as you move throughout the day.
  • Using hairspray or similar products will keep every strand in place.
  • When you French braid your hair wet it will eventually dry and you will have curls when you remove them.
  • French braids work well for formal events when the strands are accessorized with jewels or tied in a bun at the bottom.

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How to do a sock bun

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Whether it is the hot summer day or a hot date that pushes you to want the perfect bun, the secret is a simple everyday item you probably did not think was for the hair—a clean sock. Knowing how to do a sock bun is a must for young ladies and women who a polished look with minimum effort.

The perfect sock bun in 5 steps:

1. Choose a sock to use.

Pick a sock that is clean but is not useful to you anymore like one that does not have a pair or a style that you don’t like anymore. The sock’s length should be ankle or mid-shin length. Socks that are too long usually bunch up while too short socks just don’t hold.

2. Cut off the toes.

Using a pair of scissors, follow the seams and cut the bottom part of the sock. Clean the edge and hem if needed.

3. Roll and scrunch the sock until it looks like a donut.

4. Make a ponytail.

You can make it as high as you want to.

5. Slide the sock onto the hair until it reaches the crown area of the head.

6. Cover the sock with hair. Make sure that no part of the sock can be seen.

7. Slide a scrunchie or elastic to secure the hair.

8.  Secure any loose hair with bobby pins.

Tips:

  • Thicker socks make for better sock buns.
  • Multiple thin socks can be used to create one rolled sock.

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How to cook rice

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Rice is a staple in Asian cuisine. It is well-loved for being able to provide carbohydrates and nutrients and its usefulness in many dishes. Cooking rice can be simple and easy. For the steps below, all you will need are the following:

  • Rice
  • Measuring cup
  • Rice cooker
  • water

Traditional Rice

  1. Measure the amount of rice you need using the measuring cup.
  2. Pour the rice into pot of the rice cooker.
  3. Rinse the rice: run water into the pot, swirl the water and rice. Wait for broken husks, tiny stones or any other debris to float.
  4. Drain the water.
  5. Measure the right amount of water for cooking. The rule of thumb is 1 cup of rice = 1 cup of water.
  6. Put the pot back into the rice cooker. Plug the appliance and push the “cook” lever or button.
  7. The rice cooker will do the cooking for you.

Tips:

  • Instead of measuring the water by cup, a simpler way is to poke the rice in the pot using your middle finger. Mark where top of the rice is using your thumb and that will also be the amount of water you need to put.
  • Putting a knot of Pandan leaf on top of the rice before turning on the rice cooker gives a good aroma to the cooked rice.

Japanese Rice for Sushi

The rice used for sushi is a little bit different than the average rice. Special Japanese sushi rice has shorter grains, turns out sticky and it is slightly sweet. After following the steps in cooking the rice above, here are the additional steps:

  1. Use a wooden spoon to take the rice out of the pot and into a plastic or glass bowl.
  2. Let the rice cool for about two to four minutes.
  3. Mix rice vinegar, sugar and salt (see the proportion below) in a saucepan and heat until the solids dissolve. Cool the vinegar mixture.
  4. Mix the rice and vinegar well while fanning the rice.

Proportion for 3 cups of Japanese rice:

  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar

Tips:

  • It is important to avoid using metal utensils when making sushi rice because metal reacts with vinegar.
  • Fanning the rice gives it the shiny texture.
  • For the best results, sushi rice is advised to be used after preparation.

Whether you are cooking rice as a daily meal, as part of an Asian feast or for making sushi, these procedures and steps will truly come in handy.

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How to bake a potato

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Baked potatoes make for excellent dinners and they are pretty easy to make. There are different ways on how to bake a potato but each has just a handful of steps.

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes
  • Olive oil or butter
  • Seasoning (sour cream, chives, cheese or anything you like)

Basic steps:

  1. Wash the potatoes well and scrub them until cold tap water.
  2. Dry the potatoes using a clean towel.
  3. Cut the bruised spots, bad spots and take out the eyes.
  4. Prick the potatoes using a fork once on each side.

Baking potatoes in the conventional oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rub the potatoes with olive oil or butter.
  3. Sprinkle seasoning (salt and pepper).
  4. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet or directly onto the oven rack.
  5. Bake for about 40-60 minutes depending on the sizes of the potatoes. You will know it is done when the skin is crispy and the potatoes can be pricked without resistance.
  6. Garnish as needed.

Baking potatoes wrapped in foil:

  1. Follow steps 1-3 of baking in a conventional oven.
  2. Wrap the potatoes in aluminium foil.
  3. Pop them in the oven for 40-60 minutes. The skin will be soft and not crispy and have a creamier center.
  4. Garnish as you please.

Baking potatoes in the microwave:

  1. Follow steps 1-3 of baking in a conventional oven.
  2. Put the potatoes in a microwave-safe dish.
  3. Microwave at full power for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn the potatoes over and microwave the other side for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  5. Prick up to the middle to check if it is done.
  6. Use 1-minute intervals until fully cooked.
  7. Garnish as needed.

Baking potatoes in the slow cooker:

  1. Clean the potatoes but do not dry them.
  2. Place in the slow cooker and cook for 5 to 8 hours at low heat to minimize risks of overcooking.

Tips:

  • Baking at lower heat means more cooking time but it also means other dishes can be baked alongside the potatoes such as meat loaves or pastas.
  • Bacon bits, chives, cheese, sour cream and butter are the most popular garnish for baked potatoes.
  • Baked potatoes also work well with steaks and chilli dishes.

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