Category Archives: Food

How to Make Zobo Drink

West Africa is a region with many delicious foods and drinks, a favorite across many countries is a drink called Zobo (also known as Solobo or Bissap). If you have ever wanted to try something from a different culture or if you are a foodie looking for new recipes, this tasty drink is a great place to start because it is quick and very easy to make.

Choose your hibiscus leaves.

Get dried hibiscus leaves (sorrel or roselle) from your local supermarket or African/Caribbean market. Make sure you get red sorrel not white sorrel for this drink.

Choose a pineapple.
When looking for a pineapple at the store make sure to get a ripe pineapple, the skin should be more yellow and orange than green, this will result in a better flavored drink.
Choose a sweetener.
You can use any sweetener you want to make this drink for example Agave Nectar, Cane syrup, cane sugar etc. You can make this drink without a sweetener for a sugar free, low-calorie alternative.

Pick appropriate sized pot.

Choose a pot depending on the amount of the drink you want to make. for a small amount of Zobo for 2-4 people you can use a saucepan, for a larger quantity you can use a bigger pot.
Remove pineapple skin.

Cut off the the crown of the pineapple. Cut off the base, then cut the pineapple in half to make it easier to work with.
Cut vertically down around the perimeter of the pineapple to get rid of the skin.

Dice the pineapple.

Working on one half of the pineapple at a time, cut that half piece in half again then cut each of the two new pieces into medium sized chunks

Add ingredients into a pot.

Pour the sorrel leaves into a pot, fill it up half way then add the pineapple chunks, finally add just enough water to cover the leaves.

Let the mixture boil.
Let it boil for approximately 30 mins, turn off the heat when the mixture begins to bubble over, you should notice the dark purple-red color of the drink at this point. Let the drink cool down to room temperature, this should take approximately another 30 minutes.
Drain the juice.

Drain the juice through a sieve, colander, cheese cloth or anything you have that can separate the liquid from the solid parts.

Wring out any remaining juices in the sorrel and one pineapple mixture with you hand (use a glove)

Add sweetener and refrigerate.

Add your sweetener of choice (optional), stir the mixture well and refrigerate it if you desire a cold drink. Enjoy

How to make Pretzel

For a pretzel fan, there’s nothing better than baking these treats fresh at home. Pretzels are first boiled, then finished in the oven to achieve the classic taste and texture. Learn how to make either big soft pretzels or crunchy snack pretzels in your own kitchen.

  • 1 cup water, warm
  • 3 1/4 of cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 ounce unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 8 more cups of water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Pretzel salt

MAKING THE DOUGH

Proof the yeast.

Place the warm water, sugar, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a mixing bowl. Stir the mixture until the sugar and salt are dissolved, then sprinkle the yeast over the liquid. Stir gently, then allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes, or until the yeast starts to foam and produce little bubbles.

Add the flour and the butter.

Sprinkle the flour evenly over the mixture, rather than dumping it all in one place, as it will be easier to mix this way.

Mix the dough.

Using the dough attachment on the mixer set to the lowest speed, or a wooden spoon and your own elbow grease, mix the dough until it is completely combined.

Knead the dough.

If you’re using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, change the speed to medium and let it work the dough until you can see clearly that it pulls away from the bowl. Otherwise, knead the dough by hand for about 10 minutes, until it’s no longer sticky and forms a smooth, elastic ball.
If the mixture is still gooey and does not pull away from the bowl, add a tablespoon of flour at time and keep stirring until the consistency is right.

Let the dough rise.

Grease a large bowl with the oil and put the dough in it. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit somewhere warm for an hour or two, until the dough has doubled in size.

ROLLING AND SHAPING THE PRETZELS

Roll the dough.

Grease a work surface with some oil and place the dough on it. Grease your hands as well. Set the dough on the work surface and roll it with your hands to form a thick rope Roll the dough into a think rope about the length of your forearm (the length from the tip of your middle finger to your elbow). Divide it into 8 more or less equal size pieces.

Shape the pretzels.

To make the classic pretzel shape, arrange a length of dough in a u-shape. Cross the ends and press them into the two sides of the U. You can also break up the dough into smaller pieces and create mini pretzels, spears, or other fun shapes.
Make sure the ends are securely pressed or they will loosen later when you drop them in the boiling water.
If you’re making hard pretzels, break the dough into about 24 pieces and create smaller shapes, like rods or twists.

BOILING AND BAKING THE PRETZEL

Heat the oven.

If you’re making soft pretzels, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. For hard pretzels, you need only heat it to 350 degrees.

Prepare the water bath.

Mix the 8 cups of water and the baking soda in a shallow pan. Bring the water to a boil and then turn the heat off.

Boil the pretzels.

While the water is still boiling, drop each pretzel carefully, one by one, into the boiling water for around 30 seconds (counting). Place them back on a greased baking sheet.

Brush the pretzels with egg wash.

Mix the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water and brush each pretzel with this mixture.

Sprinkle each pretzel with pretzel salt.

Bake the pretzels.

Soft pretzels should be placed in the oven for about 12 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Hard pretzels are cooked for 50 minutes at a lower temperature. Check on them every 15 minutes to make sure they aren’t burning.

Remove the pretzels from the oven and let them cool.

Place them on a cooling rack or a clean plate. Let them cool for about 10 minutes or until they’re no longer piping hot to the touch. Serve with mustard or cheese sauce, or enjoy plain.

How to make Pancakes

Pancakes are a traditional breakfast treat that are easy to make. Once you get the basic recipe down, you can start experimenting and putting your own spin on these breakfast-time favorites.

Ingredients
The following ingredients will make about 8-10 inch (25 cm) pancakes (more or fewer, depending on the size); you may change the amounts of ingredients according to the number you wish to serve:

2 cups (18oz/510g) self-rising or all-purpose flour (See tips below)
2 or 3 eggs
1 1/2 cups (350ml) of milk
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
2 tablespoons of butter or vegetable oil
5 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)
A pinch of salt.

Italian Lasagna with Creamy Bechamel Sauce

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk (room temperature)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chuck beef
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 pound lasagna sheets, cooked al dente (see Tips section for details)
  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Servings: 6

Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius).

Prepare the Bechamel sauce.

In a large pot, melt the butter completely over medium heat. Add in the flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add in the milk, continuing to whisk and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
The sauce should be thick, smooth, and creamy when finished. Set aside and allow to cool completely.

Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a sauté pan and then add the ground beef.

Season with salt and pepper and cook the meat until it is browned. Drain the excess fat and set aside, allowing to cool completely.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the eggs.

Add in the ricotta cheese, salt, and pepper and then mix thoroughly.

Spread an even layer of the Bechamel sauce (about 1/3 of it) into the bottom of a baking dish.

Cover it with one layer of pasta, overlapping the pasta slightly to make sure the entire dish is covered.

Cover with one layer of the ricotta mixture.

Follow with one layer of spinach, and then add another layer of pasta sheets.

Add all of the ground beef in an even layer.

Cover it with 1.5 cups of mozzarella cheese.

Spread another 1/3 of the Bechamel sauce over the mozzarella.

Arrange another layer of pasta on top, and then spread the remaining bechamel sauce over it. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes.

Remove the cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Allow to cool before serving. Enjoy with a glass of red wine if you are old enough.

Basic Lasagna with Meat

Lasagna is a traditional Italian dish comprised of overlapping layers of pasta, cheese, meat, and tomato-based sauce. This article will walk you through takes on this popular dish that will be finished and ready to eat in under two hours!

Basic Lasagna with Meat

  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 4 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 (15-ounce) containers ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 9 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Servings: 12
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius).

In a large skillet, add the ground beef and sausage and cook on medium heat until lightly browned.
Drain most of the fat from the pan, leaving some behind for flavor.

Stir in four cups of the spaghetti sauce.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and then add the ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, garlic powder, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Mix all of the ingredients together.
Set the remaining mozzarella cheese aside for later.

Add one cup of the meat sauce to the bottom of a baking dish.

Spread the mixture out evenly to form a smooth layer. Cover the meat sauce with one layer of uncooked noodles (about 3).

Spread half of the cheese mixture over the noodles.

Make sure to form an even layer that covers the entire dish.

Repeat the process with another layer of meat sauce, noodles, and cheese.

Then add an additional layer of noodles and top it with the remaining meat sauce.

Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese over the meat sauce.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

Remove the dish from the oven and take off the foil.

Bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes, or until the noodles are tender.
Let the lasagna stand for 15 minutes before serving.

How To Make Homemade Vanilla Icecream

Nothing beats the smooth, creamy delight of homemade vanilla ice cream, served solo or accompanying a delicious dessert.

Whether you own an ice cream maker or not, everyone should have the perfect homemade vanilla ice cream recipe in their repertoire. All you need is the best quality ingredients you can find and a little patience. You may never eat store-bought vanilla ice cream again!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt

Using an Ice Cream Maker
In a medium saucepan, heat up the milk, sugar and salt. On a chopping board, use a paring knife to scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean carefully. Add these seeds to the milk, with the scraped bean pod. Take the saucepan off the heat, cover with a lid, and allow infusing for at least an hour.

You can tell if a vanilla bean is good quality by smelling it. You should be able to smell the vanilla. Don’t be fooled by the plumpness of the bean — a plump bean doesn’t automatically equal more flavor, it may just have a high water content.

If the bean smells smoky, this means the bean was not left to dry out properly, rather it was quickly flash dried over a fire. If this is the case, the vanilla beans are probably not of a high quality.

Chill the cream.

Next, you will need to chill the heavy cream in an ice bath. You can make an ice bath by filling a large bowl halfway with icy water. Place a smaller bowl into the water, into which you will strain the cream. Let the heavy cream sit in the ice bowl until cooled.

Make the custard.

In a large, clean bowl, whisk the egg yolks until combined. Take the vanilla-infused milk mixture and warm it up again. Once it is warm, gradually stir it into the bowl with the egg yolks, adding a little at a time and whisking constantly to combine. Once all the milk has been combined with the yolks, pour this mixture back into the saucepan.

Place the saucepan on a low heat and stir the custard constantly.

Make sure to scrape the bottom of the saucepan with a spoon or spatula to prevent any of the mixture from sticking. When the custard forms a light coat on the back of the spoon or spatula, it is ready.
Depending on how rich you want your custard to be, you can add up to three more egg yolks.

Combine the custard with the heavy cream.

Pour the custard mixture through the strainer, into the heavy cream in the ice bath. Remove the strainer and stir to combine. When the mixture has cooled fully, add in the vanilla extract, cover the bowl, and place in the refrigerator. Leave for several hours or overnight, if possible.

There are three main types of vanilla extract: Bourbon, Tahitian and Mexican. Each has a slightly different flavor. Bourbon vanilla is from Madagascar and has a strong, bold flavor; Tahitian vanilla is floral, while real Mexican vanilla is creamy-tasting, with a pronounced flavor.

Always use a vanilla essence with an alcohol base.

The alcohol, even if burned off during cooking, enhances the flavor of the vanilla extract.
For a lighter custard, you can replace the heavy cream with half-and-half. Just be aware that your ice cream will turn out less smooth as a result.

Removes the ice cream custard from the refrigerator.

Remove the vanilla bean and spoon the mixture into your ice cream maker. From this point, you can follow the manufacturer’s instructions to find out how to freeze the ice cream mixture in your particular machine.

Serve or store.

Serve your homemade vanilla ice cream straight from the ice cream maker or store in an airtight container in the freezer to create a firmer ice cream.

Vanilla ice cream is the perfect accompaniment to homemade fruit pies and warm chocolate cakes.

It also makes a delicious dessert served on its own, covered in chocolate or caramel sauce and toasted pecans or almonds.

How to Get Children to Eat Healthy

Of course, every child loves to take a bite out of a fatty hamburger and chug a bottle of root beer. However, if a child is constantly eating like this, serious health risks could become a reality. To get your child to eat healthy foods, there are certain steps you must follow.

Figure out the reason why he does not want to eat fruits, vegetables, or other healthy food. He may not like the taste of them, or simply prefer to eat unhealthy foods such as fast-foods

Show children what is in processed foods.

If they know how much sugar and fat they are consuming, they will be less likely to want to continue eating it. Teach them to read ingredients’ lists and recognize the unhealthy and disgusting components. However, if the children are very young, they may need your help explaining what all of the nutrition facts mean.

Get them involved.

If you force your child to eat healthy at home when they really don’t want to, they aren’t going to continue these healthy eating habits at school or at a friend’s house. It’s important to make children want to eat healthy instead of forcing it upon them.

Let them pick out foods from the vegetable and fruit section.

If children pick up the types of healthy foods they like to eat, then they will be more wanting to eat them. You could also try purchasing “fun” fruits and vegetables, such as a banana with a face on it or an apple with a sticker. Children actually love to eat foods that look fun and exciting.

Make homemade foods with the children.

Whenever you buy products from a store, they contain a lot of processed junk that makes the food extremely unhealthy.

Also, when you take your child out to eat at a fast-food restaurant, they are eating a lot of hidden fat and sugar that you probably didn’t even know was there. Try making your own peanut butter with the children. Not only will they be eating more healthy, but they will also get to spend quality time with you and learn a new skill.

Teach them how to cook simple meals.

If children learn how to cook fun foods on their own, they will be more than thrilled to eat their own creations. This can be beneficial because soon enough, your children will want to make their own food instead of begging you to take them out to a fast-food restaurant. You will save a lot of money by spending a few extra minutes to help them make a meal.

Children can make breaded chicken cutlets if you show them how.

They can make meatballs and brown them in olive oil.
They can make cakes and pies from scratch and enjoy doing it.

Know the consequences.

You may think this is time-consuming but you will be helping them live longer, so isn’t it worth it? If children constantly eat unhealthy foods, they could become overweight, or even obese. They could get made fun of at school and suffer emotional impacts. No parent wants to see their child suffer, so teach children to eat right to avoid the consequences.

Set boundaries.

Encourage your child to eat half of their plate or a certain amount of food before leaving the table or getting dessert. Provide plenty of praise and encouragement as they eat.

Try preparing healthy foods different ways.

If he does not like how fruits or vegetables taste, try promising him that, after he eats them, he will receive some of the food he likes too. Or, you can promise him you will let him do things he likes (playing computer, going with him outside for a walk, etc.)

Quick mix sponge cake

Here’s a no fuss, fool proof all in one cake, where the ingredient are quickly mixed together.
The following quantities and baking instructions are for a deep 20cm/8 inch round cake tin or a 20 cm/ 8 inch ring mould.

Ingredients
115g/4oz/1 cup self raising flour
I tablespoon baking powder
115g/4oz/0.5 cup of soft margarine
115g/4oz/0.5 cup of pasta sugar
2 (size 3) eggs

STORING AND FREEZING
The cake can be made up to 2 days in advance, wrapped in clear film or foil and stored in an airtight container. The cake can be frozon for up to three month.

Steps

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/gas 3. Grease the round cake tin, line the base with grease proof paper and grease the paper, or grease and flour the round mould.
  • Sift the floud and baking powder into a bowl. Add the margarine, sugar and eggs.
  • Beat with a wooden spoon for two to three minutes, the mixture should be pale in color and slightly glossy
  • Spoon the cake mixture Into the prepared tin and the smooth the surface. Bake for 20-30 min. To test if cooked press the cake lightly in the center. If firm the cake is done, if soft cook for a little longer.

FLAVORINGS
The following amounts are for a 2-egg, single quantity cake as above. Increase the amount proportionally for larger cakes.

  • Chocolate. Fold one table spoon cocoa powder blended 1 tbsp boiling water into the cake mixture.
  • Citrus. fold 2 tsp of finely grated lemon, orange or lime zest into the cake mixture

How to make homemade ketchup

Ketchup is a sauce used as a condiment. Originally, recipes used egg whites, mushrooms, oysters, mussels, or walnuts, among other ingredients, but now the unmodified term usually refers to tomato ketchup.

Here’s how to make homemade ketchup

Prepare the tomatoes

Select 18 lb. of Roma tomatoes or 25 lb. of another variety. Roma tomatoes are a good choice because they have lower water content.

Remove the skin of the tomatoes.

  • Boil water in a stockpot.
  • Add a few tomatoes at a time and cook for about a minute.
  • Dip the tomatoes into a bowl of ice water.
  • Slide the skins off.

Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze to remove the juice and seeds.

Scoop out any remaining seeds with your fingers.

Set the tomatoes in a strainer to drain any remaining juice.

The more liquid you can remove from the tomatoes the faster the ketchup will reach the desired consistency.

Cook the Tomatoes

Simmer the tomatoes in an uncovered stockpot with the onion, garlic, sugar, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper. It should take about 30 minutes for them to get mushy

Wrap the celery seed in a 12-inch square piece of cheesecloth and tie it with a twist tie.

Measure 3 cups of apple cider vinegar into a saucepan and set the cheesecloth into it.

Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Pour the cooked tomatoes through a food mill and discard the skin and seeds.

Discard the cheesecloth bag with the celery seed.

Pour the vinegar into the tomato mixture.

Thicken the ketchup in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring regularly.

If you cook it in a slow cooker set on low heat, it will take about 12 hours with the lid off

Can the Ketchup

Pour the homemade ketchup into sanitized canning jars and put the lids and rings on.

Place the jars in a stovetop pressure canner and cover with at least an inch of water. If you don’t have a pressure canner, you can use a regular canner.

Heat for about 30 minutes at low pressure and then remove the jars with a tongs.

Wait for the jars to cool and check that each lid is properly sealed. Push down on the center of the lid and if it doesn’t move or make a sound, it’s properly sealed.

Store or chill the jars of ketchup

How to make homemade peanut butter

Peanut butter is a food paste or spread made from ground dry-roasted peanuts.

It often contains additional ingredients that modify the taste or texture, such as salt, sweeteners, or emulsifiers. Peanut butter is popular in many countries.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (470 ml) peanuts
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons (7 ml) peanut oil or vegetable oil (optional)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon (2 ml) sugar (optional)
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons (7 ml) molasses, honey, or brown sugar (optional)
  • pinch of salt (optional)
  • Makes about 1 1⁄2 cups (350 ml) of peanut butter

Prepare the peanuts.

Before you use your peanuts to make peanut butter, you should rinse them under cool water to get rid of any excess dirt.

You can then pat them dry. If they’re unshelled, then you should shell them by hand, which is a bit easier when they’re dry; they don’t have to be perfectly shelled, either.

Spanish peanuts are a good choice for peanut butter due to the high oil content.

Roast the peanuts (optional).

Some people prefer to roast their peanuts before processing them, to give them that additional crispy, crunchy flavor.

However, this is completely optional and does make the process take quite a bit longer, so it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to roast them; you can also buy pre-toasted peanuts.

If you do decide to roast them, however, then here is what you’ll need to do:

Place the peanuts in a bowl and lightly toss them with the peanut or vegetable oil.

Preheat your oven to 350°F (176°C).
Spread the peanuts on a single layer on a baking pan. You want to make sure they aren’t on top of each other so they are fairly evenly cooked.
Cook them for about 10 minutes, until they’re lightly covered in oil and are golden brown.

If you’d like, you can gently shake the pan they’re in every 2 minutes or so to take extra precautions against burning.

Pulse your peanuts in a food processor until they are ground.

This should take just a few pulses. For best results, do this while the peanuts are still warm.

Process your peanuts for 1 minute.

The mixture should begin to look more creamy and more like that peanut butter you’ve been craving.

Scrape peanuts down from the food processor bowl into the bottom, as needed, when processing the peanuts. Continue processing the mixture, processing for 1 minute, scraping it off the sides of the processor, and repeating, until it is of your desired consistency. At least 3 minutes of processing should do the trick.

Just remember that this peanut butter will never look as creamy as the kind you may be used to from Jiffy. That’s because it’s more natural. Don’t expect that it will ever look as creamy as it can from the jar—though it will taste more delicious!

Scrape the peanut butter into a bowl when you’re done.

Use a big spoon to do this.

Add salt and sugar to taste if needed.

Taste your peanut butter and see if it needs a bit more salt and sugar. If it tastes the way you like it, then there’s no need to add salt or sugar!

Add small quantities of brown sugar, molasses, or honey, if you prefer a sweeter taste.

You can also substitute molasses or honey for sugar, if you like. Some people prefer to place these ingredients in the processor and to blend them together with the peanuts; it depends on whether or not your processor will be able to handle all of the honey or other ingredients.

If you’re adding these ingredients by hand, then make sure to stir them until they are thoroughly incorporated.

Spoon peanut butter into an airtight container.

Store in the refrigerator for a day or two so it can set in to a lovely peanut butter paste.

Of course, the shelf life of homemade peanut butter is shorter than commercial counterparts, but chances are, your homemade peanut butter will have all been gobbled up even before you get the chance to consider its storage life!
You can store this peanut butter in the fridge for up to a few weeks.

How to make Homemade Pizza

Pizza is a savory dish of Italian origin, consisting of a usually round, flattened base of leavened wheat-based dough topped with tomatoes, cheese, and various other ingredients baked at a high temperature, traditionally in a wood-fired oven

This recipe makes enough for two 10-inch to 12-inch (25.4-cm to 30.5-cm) pizzas

  1. 1-1/2 cups (375 ml) warm water
  2. 1 package or 2-1/4 tsp (11.25 ml) active dry yeast
  3. 3-1/2 cups (875 ml) bread flour
  4. 2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  5. 2 tsp (10 ml) salt
  6. 1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
  7. Pizza Sauce
  8. Makes 2 cups (500 ml) of sauce
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) minced sweet onion
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) dried basil
  • 1 lb (450 g) diced fresh tomatoes OR 14.5-oz (430-ml) can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) sugar
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) ground black pepper

This Pizza Toppings makes enough for 1 or 2 pizzas

8 oz (225 g) mozzarella cheese
4-inch (10-cm) stick of pepperoni
4 oz (110 g) bulk sausage
1/2 of a small onion, roughly chopped
1 sweet bell pepper, roughly chopped
Olive oil
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh basil
Pizza Assembly
1 to 2 Tbsp (15 to 30 ml) olive oil
1/4 cup (60 ml) cornmeal

Prepare the Pizza Dough

Combine the water, yeast, salt, and sugar. Place all four ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir gently to combine.
Ideally, the water should be “blood temperature,” or between 96 to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (35.5 to 37 degrees Celsius).

Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes, or until the yeast fully dissolves and starts to foam.

Form a well with the flour.

Dump the flour out onto a clean, sturdy work surface and form it into a mound. Use your hands to alter the shape of this mound into a deep well with high walls.

For this recipe, you’ll knead the dough by hand. If you plan to use a stand mixer, however, you can place the flour into the bowl of the mixer instead of the table or counter.

Gradually combine the water and flour.

Add one-third of the water mixture. Use a fork to carefully knock some of the flour from the wall of the well into this puddle, but do not allow the well to collapse.

After mixing the water into the flour, repeat this step with another one-third of the water, followed by the remaining third.
When finished, a very sticky dough should form.

Knead for 10 minutes.

Dust your hands with flour, then knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes. Stop only when the dough feels firm and cohesive.

If you’d prefer to knead the dough using a stand mixer, fit it with the dough hook attachment and work the dough on low to medium spread for 10 minutes.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl. Spread the olive oil over the bottom and sides of a large mixing bowl. Place the dough inside, then turn it several times to coat the surface of the dough with oil.

Let the dough rise.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to sit in a warm spot for 60 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size.

Ideally, the air temperature should be between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 29 degrees Celsius).
If you do not have a warm enough spot, heat the oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius). Turn off the preheated oven and give it several minutes to cool slightly, then allow the bowl of dough to rise inside.

Divide the dough.

Separate the risen dough into two halves. Roll each half into a ball.
Place the balls of dough 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on a lightly floured surface. When they expand enough to touch, they’ll be ready to use or store.
If you wish to save one or both rounds for another time, you can place the dough in an airtight container and freeze it for up to two weeks. Fully thaw frozen dough to room temperature before working with it, though.

Prepare the pizza sauce

Crush the tomatoes.

Place the diced tomatoes into a medium mixing bowl and crush them using the back of a fork. Continue until the tomatoes are soupy, yet still chunky.

If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, you could also crush the tomatoes by hand instead of using a fork. Doing so would actually make it easier to control the process.
Set the tomatoes aside after crushing them.

Heat the oil.

Pour the oil into a heavy, 2-qt (2-L) saucepan. Set the pan on the stove over medium-high heat.

Give the oil at least 30 to 60 seconds to warm up. You should be able to turn the pan and easily coat the bottom with the oil once it’s warm enough.

Cook the onion.

Add the minced onion to the hot oil and cook, stirring frequently, for several minutes or until the onion becomes slightly translucent.

Cook the garlic.

Add the minced garlic to the oil and onion. Saute, stirring frequently, for another minute or until the garlic looks golden in color.

Watch the contents of the saucepan carefully at this point. Minced garlic can burn quickly if you leave it unattended.

Add the remaining ingredients.

Add the prepared tomatoes, oregano, basil, sugar, salt, and pepper to the saucepan.
Allow the mixture to cook at medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until it begins to boil gently.

Simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes.
You can simmer the sauce for up to 90 minutes. Sauce that simmers for longer periods will be thicker and more flavorful.

Let it cool.

Remove the finished sauce from the heat and let it cool down to room temperature.
If you want to save part of the sauce or all of the sauce for later, you can pour the cooled sauce into an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to one week. If frozen, the sauce can last for up to two months.

Blend the sauce, if necessary.

If the sauce seems too chunky or thick, use an immersion blender to puree it until it reaches the right consistency.
After you puree the sauce, it should be ready to use.

Prepare the pizza Toppings

Shred the cheese.

Use a box grater to shred the mozzarella cheese into thick shreds. Place the shredded cheese in a bowl and set aside.
For an even cheesier experience, double the amount of cheese and slice it into 1/4-inch (6-mm) thick pieces.

You can save time by using pre-shredded cheese or change the flavor by mixing different types of cheese.

Slice the pepperoni

Use a sharp knife to cut the pepperoni into slices. The slices should be between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch (3-mm and 6-mm) thick.
If desired, you could dice the pepperoni into small cubes instead of slicing it.
You may omit the pepperoni if you do not wish to include it.

Cook and crumble the sausage.

Place the bulk sausage in a skillet set over medium heat. Break it apart into crumbles with a spatula and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until the sausage is fully browned.

The sausage is only optional. You can skip it or add other meats to the pizza, as well. Some meats, like bacon, will need to be cooked and crumbled ahead of time. Others, like ham, only need to be sliced.

Poach the vegetables in oil.

Fill a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan with 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.6 cm) of olive oil. Heat the oil and poach the onions and peppers for 5 minutes, or until soft.

While this recipe only lists onions and peppers, you can use other vegetables, as well. Poaching the vegetables in oil will make them taste richer.[5]
Allow the oil to heat slowly to 190 degrees Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius) before adding the vegetables. If the oil sizzles or steams, it is too hot. Poach the vegetables in this hot oil until they soften, then fish them out with a slotted spoon and drain on clean paper towels.

Tear the basil.

Tear the basil into small strips using your hands.
Do not use a knife. Chopping fresh basil could cause it to bruise.
You can also experiment with other fresh herbs, like oregano and parsley.

Assembling and cooking The Pizza

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (230 degrees Celsius).

Allow the oven to preheat for at least 30 minutes or up to 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare a pizza stone or round baking sheet by coating it with a fine, even layer of cornmeal or flour.

Flatten and shape the dough.

Place one rounded ball of dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently stretch it into a flat circle. Use your hands to push out the edges.
If necessary, use a lightly floured rolling pin to flatten the dough to thickness of 1/4 inch (6 mm) or less.

Alternatively, spread the dough out as much as possible on the work surface, then carefully pick it up. Place both fists beneath it and gradually stretch the dough out further, using a circular motion.
Note that if the dough shrinks back while you roll it out, allow it to rest for 5 minutes before continuing.

Transfer the dough to the pizza stone.

Carefully lift the dough and place it onto the prepared pizza stone or baking sheet. Use your fingers to reshape it as needed.

Brush olive oil over the crust.

Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the top and sides of the dough with olive oil. Use just enough oil for a light coating; do not drench the crust.
The oil should help the crust remain crisp even after you add the toppings.

Spread sauce over the dough.

Ladle up to 1/4 cup (60 ml) of pizza sauce over the center of the dough. Use the back of the ladle to spread the sauce to the edges.

Ideally, you should leave 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) between the edge of the sauce and the edge of the pizza dough. Leaving a little space should prevent the sauce from bubbling over the edge of the pizza and making a mess.

Add your toppings.

Spread your cheese over the sauce, followed by the prepared meats and vegetables. Finish by sprinkling the pizza with the chopped herbs.
Continue to leave 1/2-inch (1.25-cm) of the outer crust edge uncovered.
Add toppings sparingly. If you add too many, you run the risk of drowning out the flavors instead of allowing them to complement one another.

Bake the pizza.

Place the pizza in the oven and cook it 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese looks golden and the crust looks golden-brown.
Consider rotating the pizza after the first 5 to 7 minutes to ensure even browning.

Slice and serve.

Remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool for several minutes. When it is cool enough to handle, slice it into serving portions and enjoy.

How To Make a Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs at home

How To Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

What’s a perfect hard boiled egg? The whites are firm but not rubbery; the yolks are cooked but still creamy. Here’s how to boil an egg right.

Boiled Eggs
Boiled Eggs

The 4 steps to hard-boiling eggs for breakfast, salads, or Easter eggs.

1) Place eggs in a saucepan or pot and cover with cold water.

Eggs first, then water. Why? Because if you put the eggs in second, they might crack as they fall to the bottom of the pan. It’s no fun to learn this the hard way.

Also, very fresh eggs are delicious fried or scrambled, but older eggs are actually easier to peel. Your best bet for hard-boiled eggs is to choose eggs you’ve had in the refrigerator for a week or two.

2) Put pan over high heat and bring water to a rolling boil.

Remove pan from heat and cover.
You want the water to come just to a boil, but not stay there. Eggs exposed to high heat for a long time go through a chemical reaction that turns the yolks green! So to answer the question “how long should I boil eggs?” The answer is pretty much not at all. And because the eggs don’t really cook in boiling water, some people prefer the term “hard-cooked eggs” to hard-boiled eggs.

Compared to a simmer, here’s what a rolling boil looks like.

3) Let the eggs stand in the hot water for 14-17 minutes.

How long you let the eggs stay in the water depends on how big the eggs are and how hard you want them cooked. To cook small eggs to medium, let them stand for 14 minutes. To cook extra-large eggs to medium, let them stand for 17 minutes. (We’re talking about chicken eggs here. You’re on your own with ostrich eggs.)

4) Drain eggs and put in a bowl filled with ice water.

The ice water isn’t just a nice-to-have; it cools the eggs down and prevents the green yolk problem. If you’re planning to peel the eggs, like if you’re chopping them for egg salad, crack them slightly before putting them in the ice water, and let them sit for an hour for maximum ease of peeling.

Ready to take a closer look? Here’s how to boil eggs, the movie.

Why does this method of hard-boiling eggs work? Because by bringing the eggs just to a boil, you can’t overcook them. You’ll never have to deal with dry, chalky, overcooked eggs with weirdly greenish yolks again. Nothing but beautiful bright yellow yolks and amazing texture for you!

So good you’ll want to eat them with just a sprinkle of salt. Here are some additional recipe ideas for your perfectly hard-boiled eggs:

And here’s a cheat sheet full of tasty tricks for enjoying hard-boiled eggs sliced into soups, layered into sandwiches, blended into salad dressing, paired up with potatoes, and perfectly pickled!

Store any remaining hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator in a covered container — the lid prevents odors from getting out into the fridge.

But wait, there’s actually one more way to hard-boil eggs. In the oven.

How to Hard Boil Eggs in the Oven
This method is just a bit unorthodox. It requires zero water — which, true, technically makes this method more hard-baking than hard-boiling. But stay with us here. Oven-baked “hard-boiled” eggs are just eggs heated up in a hot, dry oven. It’s a smart move when you’re making loads of eggs or stovetop space is at a premium. Pro Tip: Use a muffin tin to keep the eggs from rolling about in the oven. Here’s the technique in action:

Discover more egg info, including nutrition and safety tips, additional cooking methods, egg recipes, and more — it’s All About Eggs.

Protein

Proteins are large biomolecules, or macromolecules, consisting of one or more long chains of amino acid residues.

Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including catalysing metabolic reactions, DNA replication, responding to stimuli, providing structure to cells and organisms, and transporting molecules from one location to another

The best-known role of proteins in the cell is as enzymes, which catalyse chemical reactions.

Enzymes are usually highly specific and accelerate only one or a few chemical reactions.

Enzymes carry out most of the reactions involved in metabolism, as well as manipulating DNA in processes such as DNA replication, DNA repair, and transcription.

Some enzymes act on other proteins to add or remove chemical groups in a process known as posttranslational modification. About 4,000 reactions are known to be catalysed by enzymes

Many proteins are involved in the process of cell signaling and signal transduction. Some proteins, such as insulin, are extracellular proteins that transmit a signal from the cell in which they were synthesized to other cells in distant tissues.

There are nine essential amino acids which humans must obtain from their diet in order to prevent protein-energy malnutrition and resulting death. They are phenylalanine, Valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine.

Protein is a nutrient needed by the human body for growth and maintenance. Aside from water, proteins are the most abundant kind of molecules in the body. Protein can be found in all cells of the body and is the major structural component of all cells in the body, especially muscle. This also includes body organs, hair and skin.

Proteins are also used in membranes, such as glycoproteins. When broken down into amino acids, they are used as precursors to nucleic acid, co-enzymes, hormones, immune response, cellular repair, and other molecules essential for life. Additionally, protein is needed to form blood cells