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Halloween Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

October 31st, 2009

chocolate-cheesecake.jpgTravis Sago of bum marketing fame along with his wife Jeannie sent this chocolate cheesecake recipe to his subscribers today for Halloween. While I do not normally eat cheesecake very much, this one looks surprisingly simple to make and might be worth a try. Links to other Travis Sago favorites from previous years can be found at the bottom of the article.


Whassup this Halloween? Travis here…

Are you a choco-holic? (It’s okay…I won’t tell.)

If you are…

I betcha this little Halloween Chocolate Cheesecake will curl your toes as you take your first bite. :-)

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Umami: The Fifth Taste

September 21st, 2009

umami-foods-yummy.jpgUmami, a Japanese word for “savory”, has long been recognized by Eastern cultures as a type of taste, but it has only been in the last hundred years that the actual sources of this taste have been isolated and identified.

Umami was discovered in 1908 by Kikunae Ikeda, a Japanese researcher who was trying to isolate the strong flavor in a broth made of seaweed. He concluded that it was a chemical named monosodium glutamate (MSG) which was responsible for that particular taste. In 1913, Mr. Shintaro Kodama discovered that the umami in bonito flakes came from a nucleotide called inosinate, and then in 1960 another researcher found that the same quality in dried mushrooms came from another nucleotide called guanylate. It is the tastes of these three compounds that are known as umami.

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Fondue: A Culinary Revival

September 4th, 2009

swiss-cheese-fondue.jpgFondue pots seem to be given the same nostalgic attention as the linoleum kitchen table and avocado green appliances that were the height of fashion in the 1950s and 1960s. In other words, we retain for them a fondness that is associated with memories of home, but they are something we’d never want to have now. Others groan upon receiving a fondue pot as the quirky wedding gift that nobody really has any use for but all of us have one collecting dust in a cupboard. While the fondue phenomenon which reached its heyday in the fifties through to the seventies seemed to almost fade into nonexistence, it is facing a revival that has avant garde chefs scurrying to update recipes and trying to incorporate the fondue experience into modern day menus.

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How to Make Your Own Honey and Lemon Throat Lozenges

August 15th, 2009

lozenges-make-your-own.jpgHomemade throat lozenges are the perfect way to naturally soothe a dry, irritated throat. Honey and lemon is a classic remedy for sore throats and now you can carry this delicious home remedy anyplace you go. Singers and speakers love these drops as well as anyone who enjoys the sweetness of honey and the tart taste of lemon. This recipe makes about 40 quarter-size drops.

Ingredients:

  1. 3/4 cup sugar
  2. 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  3. 1/4 cup honey
  4. 10 drops lemon essential oil
  5. 1/4 cup powdered sugar

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How to Make Homemade Pickles

June 27th, 2009

making-homemade-pickles.jpgFor many people, the term “pickles” means pickled cucumbers, but making pickles is an ancient practice of preserving food, including a wide variety of vegetables. The pickling process uses salt and vinegar to naturally preserve vegetables, allowing us to enjoy the bright taste of summer throughout the year. Pickles can be so much more than just pickled cucumbers, but learning how to make this old time favorite is a great place to start.

There are two basic types of pickles: brined and fresh pack pickles. Basically, brined (fermented) pickles are cucumbers that are soaked in a salt solution (brine) for up to six weeks. The salt acts as a preservative by regulating bacterial growth, and it enhances flavor and crispness. Fresh pack pickles may or may not be soaked in brine for several hours first but are packed in vinegar for 4 to 6 weeks to cure and develop their delicious tart flavor. Both of these methods require fresh, high quality ingredients to produce good pickles.

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Tapas: A Spanish Culinary Tradition

June 13th, 2009

tapas-spanish-cooking.jpgTapas originated in Spain when the King of Castile, Alfonso the Wise, was convinced of the health merits of drinking wine with small bites of food between meals. After using this formula to recover from an illness, he ordered all taverns in Spain be forbidden from selling alcohol unless there were snacks or tapas also offered.

Originally slices of meat or bread that were used to cover the glasses and prevent fruit flies from getting into the beverages, these meat tapas were either chorizo or ham. Both of these were very salty and encouraged patrons to drink more. Tavern owners quickly caught on to the fact that these salty snacks increased alcohol sales, and soon the variety of tapas expanded and they became as important as the wine itself.

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A Closer Look at the Mulligatawny

April 14th, 2009

mulligatawny-soup.jpgMulligatawny is an Indian soup. It was probably the first Indian dish to go global, much before samosa or chicken tikka masala! The name ‘Mulligatawny’ is a transliteration. It is derived from the Tamil Milagu thanneer, which literally means black pepper water. The soup, however, is closer in taste to what south Indians call Rasam (extract).
There are several variations to Mulligatawny, but it essentially consists of tamarind water seasoned with ground spices like turmeric, pepper, and cumin. The pepper and tamarind combination gives the soup a hot and soothing taste. Mulligatawny has some medicinal qualities to its credit too.

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Simple Beer Bread Recipe

December 25th, 2008

beer-bread-recipe-easy.jpgThis morning Travis Sago of bum marketing lore sent out this simple beer bread recipe to his mailing list. Although I have made homemade bread before (yum!), beer is not something that I would normally think to put in it, so this should be an interesting recipe to try. Apparently the beer acts as a substitute for the standard baking yeast because the beer already contains its own yeast, an ingredient that is necessary for the fermentation process. Here is the email from Travis, with the actual recipe printed below the green line.

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Four Fantastic Ideas for Homemade Applesauce

November 4th, 2008

applesauce-recipes.jpgHomemade applesauce is a delicious, healthy, and versatile food that can be eaten alone or used to boost the flavor and health content of other foods and recipes. This article by Kristie Leong provides some suggestions for using applesauce in ways that you may not have thought about but that can help to supplement a healthy and tasty diet.


Apples are a rich source of flavonoids which are thought to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, promote heart health, and even protect against vision-related problems such as cataracts. They are also high in pectin which helps to lower cholesterol and promote weight loss by giving a feeling of satiety.

With so many wonderful health benefits, it’s obvious that apples and homemade applesauce should be a part of your diet. Although you can buy canned applesauce at your grocery store, it’s worth the extra effort to make your own apple sauce as the taste difference between homemade and store bought versions is remarkable. Plus, you don’t have to worry about added sugar and preservatives when you make it yourself. You can find a variety of recipes for homemade applesauce on the Internet.

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10 Great Tasting Meals for Five Dollars a Day

October 17th, 2008

cheap-meal-ideas.jpgWith limited incomes and recent increases in food prices, many of us are faced with the challenge of coming up with ideas for meals that are relatively inexpensive but still taste good enough for us enjoy eating them. This article by Spring Stillman lists ten such ideas, many of which can be adapted to your own tastes by adding or substituting various ingredients.

Last year I had managed to develop a quick meal similar to the “Egg Fried Rice” one listed here. I wound up using cubed Spam (yes, the actual edible kind, not the email variety) as the meat and added a spicy fried rice seasoning package (can be purchased for less than a dollar in most areas) for flavoring along with the other ingredients mentioned by the author. The final product was quite tasty, and after adding up the cost, I arrived at a figure between four and five dollars. Considering the fact that the quantity of food was enough to feed four people, it easily ranks as one of my least expensive meal ideas. Eventually I’m planning to post this one as a full-fledged recipe along with an appropriate picture after we have the chance to make it again.


How to live on five dollars a day? How many different kinds of meals can you make on a five dollar budget?

If you wish to add variety to your meal plan, check out this list of suggested dishes which can be easily prepared with for less than five dollars. Based on these ideas, you can create your own menus and choose your own ingredients. Each of these meals feeds at least one to two people at a cost of no more than five dollars per person.

1. Egg Fried Rice

This is a favorite home style quick meal. Cook scrambled eggs, add pieces of ham, chicken or other meats of your choice, and lightly fry with cooled steamed rice. For greens, toss in chopped scallion or bell pepper toward the end of the cooking process. Add salt, pepper, and the one-dish dinner is ready. Serve warm with hot tea as beverage.

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Green Tea Is the New Black

September 18th, 2008

green-tea2.jpgTraditional black tea is out! Although Asia is well known for its superior knowledge in the field of electronics and gadgets, they are also well known for their traditional and cultural beliefs. The Western world has embraced the Asian culture for many reasons, including health, longevity and spirituality. Asian culture has become popular for its spiritual connections with nature, Feng Shui, Tai Chi and yes, the infamous green tea. Green tea has become so popular that it ranks as the most widely consumed beverage worldwide, second only to water. This article by Chantel Davis describes some of the benefits of this newly popular beverage.

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