Instant Pot Brown Rice

Instant Pot Brown Rice

With a pressure cooker it’s so easy to make brown rice a versatile dish.

Add whatever spices or seasonings before cooking or fold in vegetables, fresh herbs, like cilantro or parsley or nuts and dried fruit, like pecans and dried cranberries after cooking.

With an Instant Pot you will never cook rice on the stove-top again.

Read More About The Instant Pot HERE & Get Some Recipes To Add To Your Breakfast, Lunch Or Dinner List

Instant Pot Brown Rice

2 cups water

2 cups brown rice, long grain

1 teaspoon avocado oil

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Add water, brown rice, oil, and salt to the inner insert of your Instant Pot. Close and lock the lid.

Select Manual – set timer for 25 minutes on high pressure according to manufacturer’s instructions. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for pressure to build.

Release pressure using the natural-release method according to manufacturer’s instructions, about 15 minutes.

Carefully release any remaining pressure. Unlock and remove the lid. Fluff rice with a fork or a rice paddle.

Serve topped with your favorite vegetable mix or a protein.


Vegetable Mix


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What Are Aji Dulces & How To Use Them

What Are Aji Dulces & How To Use Them

Ají dulce, ají cachucha, quechucha, ajicito, or ají gustoso as it is known throughout Latin America and the Caribbeans is a variety of sweet perennial peppers.

The pepper or chili is native to the Yucatan Peninsula of Central America and Caribbean islands.

It is most widely known in Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Dominion Republic, and Venezuela, where it refers to a specific native variety of Capsicum chinense that is related to the habanero but with a much milder, smoky flavor.

Where English is spoken in the Caribbean, the sweet chili is known as seasoning pepper and is essential to a variety of traditional dishes.

In Puerto Rico, where the chili is called Ají dulce, is an essential chili as well. It is used as a condiment of Puerto Rican cuisine called “sofrito.” Sofrito is the base of many prepared dishes.

The Meaning Of Aji Dulce Throughout Latin American

Throughout Latin America, ají means “chili pepper” and dulce means “sweet.”

Cachucha is a Latin American word for cap, so ají cachucha means “cap chili pepper” and refers to its cap-like shape.

Gustoso means tasty, so ají gustoso translates to “tasty chili pepper”.

Ajicito is the diminutive of ají and translates to “little chili pepper.”

The bottom line is, it’s a sweet chili pepper.

What A Aji Dulce Looks Like

Ají Dulce peppers widely vary in appearance depending on the climate, soil, and region they are grown in.

The pods can be squat, wrinkled, and hat-like, or they can be oblong to round in shape, averaging from 2-4 inches long and 1/2 inches to 3 inches wide.

When the peppers are young they have hues of light to dark green and as it matures, it transforms to orange-yellow, and then red.

Underneath the skin, the flesh matches the exterior part, depending on maturity.

They contain seeds that are flat, round and cream-colored.

Ají Dulce chile peppers are available year-round, with a peak season in the summer through fall.

If you can not find them in the produce section of your local supermarket, check with your local Hispanic markets.

During the summer you should be able to find them in local farmers markets.

Read And Learn More About Cooking With Chilies

How To Use Aji Dulce

Ají Dulce chile peppers have mild heat and are aromatic with a sweet, fruity, and smoky flavor.

The chile pepper is used both in raw and cooked applications. Which includes sautéing, roasting, and stewing.

Roasted Aji Dulce – Image Credit Bizcochos y Sancochos

They are most commonly chopped and used in sofrito. It is a savory sauce base made up of bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic and cilantro.

Sofrito – Image Credit: EATGORDAEAT

The peppers are also used to flavor sautéed vegetables, summer salads, meat dishes, stews, soups, rice, and bean dishes.

As they are a mild chili, they are used to flavor mild salsas, herbal vinegars, paprika, and sauces.

They pair well with potatoes, green lentils, olives, rice, beans and herbs such as cilantro, oregano, parsley, and rosemary.

Scramble Eggs With Aji Dulce Peppers
Scramble Eggs With Aji Dulce Peppers

Ají Dulce chile peppers can also elevate your scrambled eggs. The peppers scramble well with eggs, Smoked Gouda cheese, bacon, shallots, bell pepper, and Anaheim chilies.

Read More About The Different Ways To Cook Eggs

Where To Find Aji Dulces

Ají Dulce chile peppers are available year-round, with a peak season in summer and fall months.

If you can not find them in the produce section of your local supermarket, check with your local Hispanic markets.

During the summer you should be able to find them in local farmers markets.

Pickle Aji Dulces Using This Recipe – Pickled Mini Sweet Peppers

And if you are an avid vegetable gardener, seeds can be found on Etsy, eBay or Amazon.

They will keep up to one week after harvest when stored in a paper bag in the refrigerator.

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Know Your Herbs – Spices & How To Cook With Them

Know Your Herbs – Spices & How To Cook With Them

This article will cover the basics of knowing your herbs and spices and how to cook with them.

Herbs and spices are a treasure chest of zesty, sweet, savory and spicy flavors. These flavors fresh or dried impart flavor to any cooked dish or baked good they are used in.

One of the best qualities of herbs and spices is the variety of flavors you can add to foods without adding salt.

Some of these flavors include turmeric (a blend of spices), cayenne pepper, ginger, paprika, garlic, lemon juice or zest, black pepper, dill, Rosemary, coriander, cilantro, Sage, tarragon, and cinnamon.

Examples of fresh or dried herbs used in recipes include among others: basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, sage and dill weed.

Note that for each of these plants, the herb is the green leafy part.

Herbs Used To Flavor Food

As for spices they include any other part of the plant, but not including the leaf.

Spices include dried bark (cinnamon), seeds (cardamom), flower buds (cloves), the roots (ginger), dried berries (allspice) and twigs or just about any part of the plant, but again, not including the leaf.

Take note that spices are used in dried form while herbs can be used either fresh or dried.

How To Cook With Herbs & Spices

When a recipe calls for a type of herb, be sure to use it in the form it is called for. Either fresh or dried.

Dried herbs and spices which are particularly resistant to heat and prolonged cooking are typically used in roasting and baking.

Dried herbs are typically add at the beginning of the cooking process so as to impart flavor while cooking.

On the other hand, when herbs are fresh, they are typically added just as the cooking has been completed.

Fresh herbs are more vulnerable to heat. To much exposure to heat will kill the flavors.

Fresh herbs bring brightness and fresh flavor to a recipe. They are used more typically were no cooking or use of heat is involved.

Fresh herbs can be used in salads, to make sauces, like pesto sauce, and dressings or vinaigrette’s.

Melon Berry Fruit Salad with a Mint-Lime Dressing
Melon Berry Fruit Salad with a Mint-Lime Dressing

The most common dried herbs used include: oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, cumin, bay leaf, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg among others.

Cinnamon is a common spice used in both cooked and baked dishes.

Like these recipes.

Read More Here About – Cooking With Cinnamon

Where as the most common fresh herbs used are: basil, mint, cilantro, parsley and dill weed.

Garnishing With Herbs & Spices

Roasted Yams with Cilantro and Lime Juice 
Roasted Yams with Cilantro and Lime Juice

Other recipes may ask for a teaspoon or two of chopped parsley, cilantro, mint or basil to be sprinkled over the food at the end of cooking to bring some fresh flavor to the dish.

Dried spices can also be used as a garnish such as cinnamon, nutmeg and paprika.

This information is basic, but the idea is herbs and spices (dried or fresh) will significantly elevate the flavor of your dish.

Read more here about How To Spice Things Up When Cooking.

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Banana Walnut Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese was invented in the U.S. in the 1870s by a New York dairyman named William Lawrence.

Cream cheese frosting became popular in the 1960s, due to increasing availability of packaged cream cheese in supermarkets.

The frosting is a traditional choice for red velvet cakes, carrot cakes, spice cakes, and banana cakes.

Frostings have existed for well over 350 years with the first documentation occurring in 1655, and included sugar, eggs and rose water (Source: Rise Bake Shoppe).

Can Cream Cheese Frosting Be Left Out At Room Temperature

Banana Walnut Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting can sit at a cool room temperature in a bowl or spread on a baked good for up to 8 hours before it should be refrigerated.

The frosting after being made can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Are Confectioners’ Sugar & Powdered Sugar The Same

This is important to know when making a choice between these two refined sugar products to make a cream cheese frosting.

The terms in the culinary world are often used interchangeably, but technically these two types of processed sugars are different.

Powdered sugar is simply granulated sugar that has been ground to a very fine powder.

Where as, confectioners’ sugar also called icing sugar, is powdered sugar with starch added, to prevent it from caking as it sits or is being stored.

Confectioners’ sugar contains a starch and depending on the brand you purchase, the starch could be corn, potato or tapioca starch.

By adding the starch this helps keep the confectioners’ sugar from melting into cakes, cookies, and other sweets when sprinkled on after baking.

The starch also helps to absorb moisture, prevent clumping, and improve flow.

Because of anticaking agents, confectioners’ sugar is not a good substitute for granulated sugar.

Also, the frosting holds its shape better at room temperature with confectioner’s sugar than with powdered sugar.

Get The Know On How to Make Really Moist Banana Bread

Banana Walnut Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 stick (4 tbsps.) butter, unsalted, room temperature

2 teaspoons coconut, finely shredded

3 tablespoons walnuts, finely chopped

1/2 medium banana, not over ripe, mashed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

In a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese and butter. Mix by hand or with a hand held electric mixer.

When we’ll combined, add the coconut, walnuts, mashed banana, vanilla and mix in.

Next mix half of the confectioners’ sugar until combined. Then add the other half and mix in well.

After your baked good has cooled, spread cream cheese frosting evenly over cake, cupcakes or cookies.

Try These Deliciously Yummy Recipes Made With Bananas

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What To Know When Baking Cookies

What To Know When Baking Cookies

Cookies are often one of the first desserts we’re taught to make as children, and they’re always the first to disappear at a picnic, brunch or bake sale.

Cookies are very popular and easy to make. They are also a great treat to enjoy with family and friends.

Surprisingly, the cookie has a very long history and is loved by millions. The word cookie is Dutch in origin and is related to the word cake.

Cookies though are not of Dutch origin. The exact origins of cookies can be traced to Persia in the 7th century who were cultivators of sugar.

The cultivation of sugar led to the creation of pastries, cakes, and cookies of all sorts, which Persia quickly became known for.

At that time, Muslims had conquered parts of Europe, bringing cookies with them. This staple dessert spread all across Europe.

Cookies could even be found both with street vendors and royal cuisine in 14th century Europe as they were very common and popular.

Sizes & Shapes Of Cookies

Cookies are broadly classified according to how they are formed or made, including at least these categories:

Bar Cookies

The bar cookie is batter that is poured into a single pan and cut into cookie-sized pieces after baking.

Examples of bar cookies include fudgey and cakey brownies, lemon bars, blondies, oatmeal bars, fruit bars, nut bars, and date bars.

Bar cookie recipes tend to be moister, as there are extra eggs or shortening added that are lacking in traditional cookie recipes.

Pecan Praline Bar Cookies

Bar cookies can bear similarity to tarts and pastries, featuring layers for different textures.

Many of these start with a shortbread base, like the Pecan Praline Bar Cookies featured above (follow link in image to find recipe).

Sandwich Cookies

A sandwich cookie is made from two thin cookies of small to large is circular size with a filling between them.

Many types of fillings are used and can include, cream, ganache, buttercream, chocolate, cream cheese, jam, peanut butter, lemon curd, and even ice cream.

Drop Cookies

Drop cookies are made from a relatively soft dough that is dropped by spoonfuls (typically 1-2 ounces of cookie dough) onto the baking sheet. During baking, the mounds of dough spread and flatten.

Drop Cookies Made With Pecans & Chocolate Toffee Bits

Drop cookies include chocolate chip, peanut butter or oatmeal cookies among many others.

The Cookie Scoop

To make cookies is to mix, scoop, bake and serve. But are all your cookies evenly sized? If not, then you may need a cookie scoop.

A cookie scoop is a handheld kitchen tool that is spring-loaded. It scoops uniform sizes of dough that helps maintain size consistency and even baking of cookies.

How To Scoop The Perfect Cookie

All cookie dough recipes are not the same, as each recipe has its own ingredient ratio.

Some cookie dough recipes have a higher butter content and lower flour content, which makes the dough spread out more.

Where as a recipe with lower butter content and higher flour content, the dough doesn’t spread out as far.

So it’s a good idea to remember not to treat your cookie scoop sizes the same for every recipe.

First bake a practice round of cookies, just two scoops of dough dropped onto a cookie sheet and baked to see how much they spread and if you like the size of the finished cookies.

Cookie Scoops

Depending on the size cookie you want will determine what size scoop to use.

As an example. If you are making cookies for ice cream sandwiches, then you will need a large cookie scoop. A large scoop holds about 4 – 5 tablespoons of dough or about 2-3 ounces.

Top Right Cookies Used A Large Scoop To Make Ice Cream Sandwiches – Bottom Right Cookies Used A Small Scoop For Average Size Drop Cookies

If you want to make drop cookies than a small (1.5 tbsp.) or medium (2.8 tbsp.) scoop will work. These two sizes make the typical size or average size cookie.

Using a cookie scoop will give you a uniformed size cookie that you want every time.

Cookie Baking Tips

Here are a few tips to follow when baking cookies.

  1. Use only the freshest ingredients whenever possible.
  2. Unless the recipe specifies, large eggs are the standard eggs to use in a cookie recipe.
  3. It’s best not to use substitute fats. If the recipe calls for butter, then use butter.
  4. Make sure you measure your ingredients properly.
  5. Keep the dough chilled in between baking batches of cookies.
  6. Use parchment paper to prevent your cookie baking pan from becoming greasy between batches.

More cookie information.

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Using Citrus Zest When Cooking & Baking

Using Citrus Zest When Cooking & Baking

When a recipe calls for “zest” of a citrus fruit, it’s referring to the colorful outer part of the skin, not the inner white part, which is known as the pith.

You can use the zest of oranges, lemons, and limes, among many other citrus fruits, to bake and cook with.

The zest of citrus fruits contains all of the aromatic citrus oils and provides a hint of citrus tang to the recipe.

A simple method of obtaining a fine zest is by rubbing the fruit against the smallest holes of a cheese grater.

Besides Zest, Lemons Have Many Other UsesThe Many Uses Of A Lemon

The Solution To Having Zest On Hand When You Need It

After squeezing or juicing lemons or oranges do not toss the peels.

Freeze the peels or rinds in a freezer bag and whenever you need zest of a lemon or orange, you can grate it from the frozen peels.

grating lemon zest
Zesting Frozen Citrus Peelings

The flavor is just the same as if the peel were fresh.

It will save a trip to the store just to buy a citrus fruit for a small amount of zest.

Besides freezing the citrus peelings, here are some other ideas as to what you can do to save zest for baking and cooking.

Read More Here About The Benefits Of The Orange Peel

Blanch The Zest

Immerse peels in cold water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Drain the zest. This technique allows to remove their bitterness.

Make Zest Powder

Set zest ribbons to dry for 2 days. Next, place zest in a preheated oven (250-300 degrees) for 5-10 minutes.

Let cool and grind them into a powder using a mortar or a grinder. Ideal to finely season any recipe calling for zest.

Try some of our favorite recipes using zest.

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Blind Baking Your Pie Crust

Blind Baking Your Pie Crust

Blind baking means pre-baking an empty crust before filling it with a cream filling or fresh fruit filling.

Placing any fruit with liquid over a raw crust will make for a soggy crust once baked.

Blind baking a pie crust is necessary if it will be filled with a liquid filling like pudding or custard pies such as pumpkin, pecan, or even a key lime.

Likewise, a crust is blind baked if the filling has a shorter bake time than the crust itself.

Blind baking a pie crust also helps prevent the crust from becoming soggy from the filling.

Try This Southern Pecan Pie

Freeze the dough in its pie plate before blind baking it. Frozen dough is less likely to shrink and slump. Freeze the dough in the pie plate for at least 2 hours.

Blind Baking Your Pie Crust

The pie crust is first poked with a fork to produce small holes that helps steam to escape and prevents the crust from bubbling up.

Blind Baking Your Pie Crust

Next parchment paper is placed over the raw crust and then filled with pie weights. Alternatively, you can use dried beans, such as pinto beans.

Yummy Gluten-Free Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Pie You’ll Be Glad You Baked It

Blind Baking Your Pie Crust

After the pie crust is done, the weight or beans are removed along with the parchment paper.

The pie is filled with the prepared filling and is baked according to the pie recipe instructions.

How Long Should You Blind Bake Your Pie Crust

Blind bake until the edges of the crust are starting to brown, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the pie crust from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper (with the weights) out of the pie shell.

Should You Blind Bake For A Savory Pie

Most savory pies such as quiches would also benefit from a prebaked crust, preventing the crust from getting soggy by any liquid ingredients in your savory pie dish.

Oh My Berries and Vanilla Pudding Pie

In Conclusion

Blind-baking causes the shell to shrink a bit, so account for this when lining the pan. Follow the simple steps outlined above the next time you’re rolling in the dough for a sweet custard pie, berry or apple pie and even a savory one.

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Cooking With Chilies

Cooking With Chilies

Almost every Latin American country has its own variety, shape, and size of chili or hot pepper and including sweet peppers.

Up until the arrival of Spanish and Portuguese explorers to the New World, peppers grew only in Latin America.

After the discovery of hot peppers, they have truly become integral to cuisines across the world, from Mexico to Thailand, the Congo to India, and from Hungary to Tunisia.

The Carolina Reaper is one of the world’s hottest chilies. And the Bell Pepper is one of the world’s sweetest peppers.

Scoville Heat Units

Scoville heat units (SHU) is a measurement of sugar-water.

The Scoville Organoleptic Test measures chili heat by figuring out how much sugar-water is needed to dilute a chili pepper to the point where you no longer feel the heat at all.

Scoville heat units of chili peppers

As an example, you have a teaspoon of jalapeño peppers. And the question is, how many teaspoons of sugar-water do you need to dilute the peppers heat?

So a cup of mashed jalapeños labelled 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville heat units would mean it would take anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000 cups of sugar-water to dilute it to zero heat.

The reason for the range of sugar-water is due to the growing factors like the soil and region were the chili was planted and harvested.

Cooking With Chilies

If you want the chilies flavor without your mouth being scorched, you will need first to remove the seeds and interior ribs as that is were most of the chilies heat resides.

No matter which chili you cook with, always wash your hands and kitchen tools and surfaces after working with these spicy peppers.

Before we go further, a word of caution – DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE – Especially Your Eyes and Noise when cutting open a chili. As well as when touching the seeds and ribs.

It is also a good idea to have a small glass of milk or some yogurt near by. Dairy products contain casein, which helps neutralize capsaicin, the chemical that gives chiles their heat.

If you happen to touch your mouth, a few sips of milk or a bite of yogurt will Neutralize the stinging heat of a chili.

Cooking With Fresh Chilies

When buying fresh chilies choose ones that are bright, firm, and crisp. If their fresh they should snap in half with ease.

Keep in mind that green chiles are not fully ripened. As such, they lack the complexity and depth of flavor of their ripened counterpart the red chili (we are not discouraging the use of green peppers – but if you want a full flavored chili, the red ones are the best).

As the green chilies ripen and turn red, the natural sugars and acids are fully develop.

Here are a few among many fresh chilies sweet and spicy used in cooking.

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers also called sweet peppers, can be eaten raw or cooked.

Bell pepper plants produce different colors, including red, yellow, orange, green, white, chocolate, candy cane striped, and purple.

Hot Pastrami Sandwich With Provolone Cheese & Roasted Sweet Peppers

Bell peppers are delicious roasted. Roasted bell peppers make a great – Hot Pastrami Sandwich With Provolone Cheese & Roasted Sweet Peppers.

Poblano Peppers

Poblano peppers are a mild variety of chili pepper. They are as large as a bell pepper but are thinner and have a pointed tip.

Poblanos are best when peeled and seeded, which can be done more easily after roasting them.

Roasted Poblanos – Skin – Seeds – Veins – Removed

Poblano peppers are named for the state of Puebla, Mexico, where they are believed to have originated.

The mild pepper is grown and used extensively in Mexico and the southwestern United States, and while it can be eaten raw or cooked, it is frequently roasted.

Poblanos when dried are called ancho or chile ancho.

Stuffed fresh and roasted it is popular in making Authentic Mexican Chile Rellenos.

Anaheim Chili

Anaheim chilies can be used when green or red and are the most common chili pepper used in the United States.

Anaheim peppers are a mild variety of chile pepper typically used in Mexican and Southwestern cooking.

Roasted Anaheim Chilies

Anaheim peppers are named after the city in Southern California, were the pepper was first grown commercially by Emilio Ortega who founded the company that sells canned green chiles under his name.

Like Poblano peppers, Anaheim peppers are often substituted for making the dish chile rellenos.

Fresno Chili

The Fresno chile is a medium-sized pepper. It is typically confused with the Fresno Bell pepper which is a sweeter chili.

The Fresno is a cultivar of New Mexico. The chili is similar to the jalapeño pepper but has thinner walls, milder heat, and takes less time to mature.

The Fresno is genetically distinct from the jalapeño and it grows point up, rather than point down as with the jalapeño.

The fruit starts out bright green changing to orange and red as it fully matures.

They are glossy, firm, and medium thickness in flesh. A great chili to use in Latin dishes like stews, soups, dips, or even fire roasted.

These chilies are also used in Asian dishes – like this Thai Salmon Noodle Bowl.

Jalapeño Chili

The jalapeño is picked and consumed while still green, it is occasionally allowed to fully ripen and turn red, orange, or yellow.

It is wider and generally milder than the Serrano pepper.

The majority of harvested jalapeños are either canned or pickled on harvesting. Though they can be bought fresh.

As one of the more common peppers to cook with, they go great in everything from chilis and soups to salads. Like this Corn Salad with Queso Fresco.

These are one of the more common peppers to cook with, though they are also used fresh, like with this Molcajete Salsa.

Here’s a fun fact not commonly known, a chipotle pepper is simply a smoked jalapeno pepper.

Serrano Chili

Serrano peppers are hotter than jalapenos but not as hot as habaneros.

They are typically eaten raw and have a bright and biting flavor that is notably hotter than the jalapeño pepper.

Serrano peppers are also commonly used in making pico de gallo and salsa, as the chili is particularly fleshy compared to others, making it ideal for such dishes.

Like jalapenos, they’re sometimes minced and used in salsas and guacamole. Like this Authentic Guacamole recipe.

Cooking With Dried Chilies

Dried chilies on the other hand, are soft, pliable, and deeply colored.

Photo Credit: Twenty Mile

When selecting dried chiles, the general rule is that the larger peppers are milder in spice and the smaller chiles are the spiciest.

Most recipes often call for the dried chili to be rehydrated or roasted, and many can be ground into flakes or powders for quick seasonings.

The most commonly used dried pepper is the cayenne pepper. It is usually a moderately hot chili pepper used to flavor dishes. Like with this Instant Pot Filipino Style Pork Adobo.

They are also used in some varieties of store bought hot sauces in the United States. Such as Franks Red Hot and Texas Pete.

Another dried pepper is jalapeños. When they are smoked and dried, the jalapeño is referred to as a chipotle pepper.

It is said that smoking jalapeño peppers originated in the area surrounding Mexico City. People who lived there before the Aztec civilization are thought to have invented it.

The peppers may have been smoked to preserve them as the jalapeño is prone to rotting quickly.

Sweet and Spicy Chilies Dried and Ground To Make Paprika

Chilies are also dried and turned into flakes, such as pepper flakes (typically made from cayenne peppers) or paprika.

Paprika powder is often made from larger, sweeter peppers which includes bell peppers as well as varieties of hot peppers.

In the United States though, what is typically used is the Hungarian sweet paprika. Try this Southwestern Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup which used chili powder or paprika.

Cooking With Jarred or Canned Chilies

Jarred or canned chilies or peppers take on one of three qualities: sweet, sour-pickled, and spicy.

Once roasted and marinated, red bell peppers are perfectly sweet and tender without an ounce of heat. And they have a tasty charred flavor.

The can be added to recipe dishes such as a frittata, sandwiches, pasta dishes, and potato salads, like this Mediterranean Potato Salad

Besides flavor, they add a boost of color to every dish you add them too.

Canned green chilies, like the jalapeños, can range from medium-to-very spicy. They are sold in either whole, sliced, or diced form and can be found in glass jars or cans.

Jalapeños are also smoked, dried and canned. As such they are called a chipotle pepper.

It is said that the smoking and drying of jalapeños originated in the area surrounding Mexico City. People who lived there before the Aztec civilization are thought to have invented it.

The peppers may have been smoked to preserve them as the jalapeño is prone to rotting quickly.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings

Give this Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings a try. It is made with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

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Different Ways To Cook Eggs

Different Ways To Cook Eggs

If you were to eat a three-egg omelet every morning, you would have eaten roughly 1,095 eggs in a year.

The average American eats 250 eggs per year, which translates to a total annual consumption of 76.5 billion eggs.

Eggs are packed with protein and are a truly versatile food that can be cooked in many ways.

Here are just a few of the most popular methods with recipes included. So let’s crack into it.

Shirred Eggs

Shirred eggs, also referred to as baked eggs, are eggs that have been baked in a flat-bottomed dish.

The name “shirrrd eggs,” originates from the cooking vessel in which the eggs were traditionally baked. The vessel or dish was called a shirrer.

Shirred eggs are considered a simple and reliable dish as it is very versatile. The recipe is easily varied and expanded upon.

An alternative way of cooking shirred eggs is in individual ramekins, cook in a water bath, creating the French dish eggs en cocotte.

Instant Pot Eggs en Cocotte – French Baked Eggs
Instant Pot Eggs en Cocotte – French Baked Eggs

Sunny-Side Up

The first known use of the phrase sunny-side up was used in 1887.

A sunny-side up in culinary terms is an egg cooked on one side.

In other words, it is an egg, fried in a pan with butter or oil on one side so that the yolk remains runny on the top.

After the egg is cooked, the round yellow yolk gives a sun-like appearance, hence the name.

Usually it takes about 2 to 3 minutes to a cook a sunny-side in a skillet on medium low heat.

But there is a faster way.

Place the skillet over a medium-high heat. Add butter and melt.

Lid Removed After One Minute

Next, crack egg over butter. Add 1 tablespoon of water and place a small lid over egg for 1 minute.

Sunny-side Eggs Served With Different Dishes

When egg is done, remove from heat and slide onto a plate.

What video here on How To Make The Perfect Egg In One Minute.

Sunny-side up eggs make great Eggs Rancheros

Poached Eggs

A poached egg is an egg that has been cooked, outside the shell, by poaching, as opposed to simmering or boiling.

This method of preparation can yield more delicately cooked eggs than cooking at higher temperatures such as with boiling water.

How To Poach Eggs

This is the traditional way to make poached eggs on the stovetop.

1. Use Fresh Eggs

Egg whites turn runny with age, so the fresher the egg, the firmer the whites. Make sure to check the date on the carton before you buy.

2. Use A Ramekin

Crack each egg into a using a small ramekin to crack one egg into, will be easier to see and remove any bits of egg shell.

Also if the yolk ends up cracking you can dispose of the egg without dirtying your poaching water.

The bowl also makes it easier to slip the egg into the water gently, so it stays in one piece.

3. Add A Splash Of Vinegar

Adding vinegar to the water helps keep the whites together. It also firms up the proteins on the outer surface of the egg, making the egg rounder and the white less wispy.

No need to season the egg. Just add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart of water and a splash of white vinegar (about 1/8 teaspoon).

Alternatively, you can use a small skillet to poach eggs in. Add 3 cups of water, boil, then lower heat to simmer. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a splash of white vinegar.

4. Do Not Drop The Egg Into The Boiling Water

Dropping a raw egg into boiling water is the recipe for scrambled egg soup.

Get the water hot by bringing it to a boil over high heat. Next, lower the heat until the water is just barely simmering. Gently simmering water keeps your eggs together.

5. Set Timer

Poached eggs cook fast. egg. About 2-3 minutes for soft poached and about 4 minutes for medium to firm yolks.

For hard poached eggs, bump the cook time up to 5 minutes.

6. Dry Before Serving

Remove the eggs from the poaching water with a slotted spoon so the water can drain off.

Then, blot the bottom of the spoon with a clean kitchen towel to remove any remaining water.

Poached eggs are great for making Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise Sauce.

Read more here for Tips For Working With Eggs In The Kitchen.

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What Apple To Use For Cooking & Baking


When using apples for cooking and baking does it matter the apples you choose to use? It does matter. As all apple varieties have their own flavor and texture.

All apples are made to eat fresh. But to use an apple to make apple pie, apple sauce and even apple juice, the apple you choose matters.

As noted, each variety of apple has its own flavor and texture. And each of those varieties react differently to heat.

In the United States alone, there are 2,500 different varieties of apples. And for that reason it can be challenging to know which apple to use for what kind of recipe.

What Apple To Use For Cooking & Baking

The following are some of the more popular apples available to buy at the market.


These apples have a sweet-tart flavor. The texture remains firm when it’s baked. Braeburn is an all-purpose apple, as if bakes well in pies and tarts where you don’t want the filling to be overly juicy.


This apple is a cross between McIntosh and the Red Delicious. It has a firm texture and a sweet-tart flavor. The Empire is a fine all-purpose apple good for juicing, making apple sauce, baking, salads, eating fresh, and drying.


The Fuji apple is firm, crisp, and juicy. It’s the most popular apple for eating fresh and for baking as they hold their shape when they cook.


The Gala is a mildly sweet apple. It’s among one of the best apples to use for making applesauce, juicing, adding to salads, and eating fresh

Golden Delicious

This apple is mildly sweet, and is a good all-around cooking apple that maintains its shape when baking.

Granny Smith

The Granny Smith is a crisp sour or tart apple. It’s an all-purpose cooking apple, and the apples flavor is enhanced when paired with sweeter, spicier apples in pies and tarts.


Honeycrisp apples deliciously yummy eating apples. As the name would indicate, they are crisp and juicy, with a honey-sweet tart flavor. They are good for baking and making applesauce.

Ida Red

Ida Reds have a tinted rosy pink flesh that has a tangy flavor. These apples are good for making applesauce and they keep their shape during baking and are also excellent in salads and for freezing.


Jonathans are very tart, and they have a slightly spicy flavor. They hold their shape well when baked. They are also good in salads and for making applesauce.


These apples are crisp and juicy. They tend to break down when cooked so are great for making apple sauce. The are delicious eaten fresh and are best paired with Golden Delicious or other apples in pies and other baked goods.

Different kinds of apples are better suited for certain kinds of recipes than others, but you don’t have to limit yourself to using just one variety of apple when cooking or baking.

Many experienced cooks like to use a mixture of apples to get more complex flavors and textures.

Here are some deliciously yummy recipes using apples.

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