Saturday, November 12, 2011

Did You Know? - BASIL-

My passion in the kitchen is not limited to cooking, but understanding nutrition itself.
I am always creating something new and for that reason, I like to know about my ingredients.
That has always fascinated me.

What do they do for me?  Which vitamins and/or minerals do they contain?

I study them, plant some of them, make notes and experience them in many ways.

So, in our Kitchen you will also read about plants, vitamins and ingredients in general; and because I'm planning on posting a recipe of a good red sauce soon, BASIL is so welcome right now.

Did you know that basil leaves juice with honey may help soothe a hoarse voice, or that it may soothe indigestion? Basil juice may also relieve itching if you apply to the trouble area.

Basil is rich in rosmarinic and caffeic acid (phenolic compounds with strong antioxidant properties); and other phytochemicals: orientin and vicerin, flavonoids that protect cells from damage. It also contains oils that have antibacterial properties (volatile) and carotenoids, such as beta-carotene (which is converted to vitamin A).

(Vitamin A: if there was a "most important" vitamin, it would be that.
Did you know that breast milk is rich vitamin A?)

Basil is also a good source of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C.

Eating basil will help your body to produce platelets (a component of red blood cells), that may reduce the chance of blood clots forming.

I love talking about vitamins, and speaking about vitamin A (above), made me feel like I need to leave you a tip, for your eyes.. for a good vision: vitamin A. Ok?

So, if you didn't know, now you know: lots and lots of basil! Yeah!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Apple Surprise!

(November, 12, 2011 - Saturday => A Decent Presentation!)

I was always trying to make more time to write a decent presentation of our Kitchen, but time is passing by so fast.. is it just me or is it really flying?

So, I posted one of my favorite creations: Apple Surprise. Quick, easy and very very tasty.

I created it for Thanksgiving last year. I'm not a cook., I mean, I'm not a professional cook, but I'm a cooking lover big time.

I just have such a joy cooking and creating, and my son is learning to feel the same passion, he loves to watch or "help" me.

This is our Kitchen! You are very welcome!

I hope you like our recipes, leave me the link for your recipes, comment and always come back!

- 4 large baking apples
- 1/4 cup Brown sugar
- 1 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup orange juice

- plain roasted almonds and dried cranberries to garnish the topping.
(you can cut the almonds into small pieces if you prefer)

-> You will need a melon baller to take out the pulp.

Wash outside of apples.
Cut off the tap (as a lead, keep stem)
With a melon baller you are going to take the pulp out.
Separate the little balls of pulp in a cointaner.
Make sure you remove and discart the middle pulp with the seeds (core). But everything can be done delicatly with a melon baller.

(The idea is to make the apple look like a cup).

Place the apples (cup shaped) in a plate or any other of dish you like, they don't need to be baked.

Now, you are going to cook the little balls of the apples's pulp.

In a medium pot, melt the brown sugar while adding the wine, the water, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and all the pulp, mixing together thoroughly.

Cook it in medium-low heat for 10 minutes, turn it off and add the orange and lemon juice, stir, wait until it cool down and then you can start filling each apple with pulp with its syrup until the top.

Garnish with almonds and cranberries; you might use the apple's leads for decoration too.

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

I hope you enjoy it!!