45 Billion – Yes, Billion – Chopsticks

So, what exactly do you do with 45 billion pairs of chopsticks? If you have an idea, the government of China would love to hear from you.

Residents of the People’s Republic of China produce 45 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks each year, or 130 million pairs each day, according to Los Angeles Times, which reported on the story earlier this week.

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17 Fast Dinner Dishes

Busy weeknights call for ready-in-a-flash dinners, but fast doesn’t have to mean flavorless. These 17 recipes put the gourmet back in easy, quick dinners the whole family can enjoy.

Keep the deliciously fast dinners coming with these 15 quick and easy seafood dinners.

Grilled Salmon with Dill Pickle Butter

Salmon is an excellent low-maintenance ingredient for the grill because it doesn’t need careful testing for doneness — the fish is wonderful cooked anywhere from rare to medium. As soon as the fillets come off the grill, top them with a tangy pickle-studded butter.

Grilled Salmon with Dill Pickle Butter

Grilled Salmon with Dill Pickle Butter

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Gall kedvencek – Itt az igazi “cordon bleu” recept is!

Igazi francia marhargut és két bélszínből készült ételt ajánlunk. Ami a gallok kedvenc étele, az a mi gyomrunkat sem fogja “megfeküdni”..És itt az igazi cordon bleu recept!!

10 Quick and Tasty Chicken Breast Recipes

Chicken is fast, easy, and anything but boring! Here, 10 ways to enjoy this versatile ingredient. You can never have too many ideas for chicken. Try some of our weeknight chicken dinners and one-pot chicken meals.

Walnut-crusted-chicken

Walnut-Crusted Chicken Cutlets

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Immovable feasts

Have you ever successfully recreated a fondly-remembered holiday dish or had a disappointing experience ordering one in a restaurant?

A sushi lunch at Nakata restaurant in the Ginza area of Tokyo. Photograph: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

I have a dilemma, one which might not seem particularly pressing to normal, well adjusted people and which, I am ashamed to say, marks me out as an insufferable food snob. Having eaten sushi in Japan I just can’t bring myself to eat it in Britain any more.

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Toasted Pita & Bean Salad

Beans add protein to this tasty riff on the classic Middle Eastern salad fattoush, made with lettuce, cucumbers, tomato, mint and pita bread.


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Winging It! (Hunting Down the Original Buffalo Wing Recipe Sauce)

Super Bowl Sunday is a traditional day for making great finger foods to enjoy while watching the big game.  One of these classic dishes is Buffalo Chicken Wings.  One thing we at SmartShopIt continually talk about is that during events and/or seasons, certain items will go on sale.  (Like stock during Thanksgiving and Easter.)  And we should take advantage of these sales.  When I was told (thanks Aunt Lily!) that I could find the original sauce used in making Buffalo Wings at a great price ($1.50 per bottle), I had to give a try at recreating this famous spicy treat.

The generally accepted version of how this dish was invented was at Frank and Theresa Bellissimo’s Anchor Bar Restaurant in Buffalo, NY.  The restaurant is a classic Italian place. One night, back in 1964, Frank asked Theresa to fix a snack to serve at the restaurant’s bar for a bunch of his friends; something a little different from their normal Italian fare.  By mistake the night before, they had received a 30 pound box of chicken wings.   Being a good chef, Theresa figured out a good way to use the extra wings.  She first deep fried the wings.  Then she took a bottle of cayenne pepper sauce named “Franks” and mixed the sauce with melted margarine.  Then she coated the deep fried wings in the tangy and spicy concoction and served it with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.  The rest is history.

I wanted to recreate the original recipe.  When I received what was deemed to be an original recipe from another friend (thanks Howard), it said to purchase “Durkee Frank’s Original Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce”.  However I initially found that this product was a bit harder to find then I originally thought it would be.  More research uncovered that this had to do with what has happened to the name and brand of the Frank’s sauce product.  The original sauce was produced by the Frank Tea & Spice Company, where a Dr. Jacob Frank perfected the Louisiana Sunlong Pepper which was the base for his special sauce.  The Frank Tea & Spice company was then purchased by Durkee Foods.  Durkee Foods tried to name it “Durkee’s Louisiana Hot Sauce” but there was already a brand with that name so they had to stop using that name.  Now it is part of the French Food Company (who also produces mustard and Worcestershire Sauce) and it is currently sold under the brand of “Frank’s Red Hot“.

To add to the confusion, Frank’s has also come out with a few other variations including “Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing” sauce.  They advertise this as a ‘ready to go’ sauce and it looks like they have added ingredients to eliminate having to mix margarine with the sauce.

Even in our SmartShopIt.com product database, we have it listed as “Durkee Famous Sauce” selling for $4.85 for a 10 oz. bottle.  I will have our web site Product Admins update the information as it is now sold as “Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce”.   In fact, it can be found on sale right now at Safeway/Genaurdi’s for $2.00 (2/$4.00) for a 12 oz. bottle and this sale lasts until Feb. 3rd.  In addition, a $.50 coupon can be found on FranksRedHot.com web site making the final price only $1.50 per bottle.  (Note that Safeway/Genaurdi’s requires a free frequent shopper card membership to receive this sale price.)  A truly great deal right now!

Furthermore, due to having the same name (Frank) many people thought that Frank Bellissimo invented the original sauce and searched for a sauce distributed by the Anchor Bar.  And so to fill that demand, the Anchor Bar ultimately came out with their own line of bottled sauce called the “Anchor Bar Original Wing Sauce” and can be purchased on line for $4.99 per 12 oz. bottle.  They also have a few varieties, mostly focused on the “heat” value of the sauce (mild to suicide).

If you visit the Anchor Bar restaurant today to enjoy some ‘traditional’ Buffalo Wings in person, you will get a dish made with the Anchor Bar brand sauce, so I am sure that product is very good.  But I am trying to replicate the original recipe as made by Theresa Bellissimo that fateful night in 1964.  Therefore, I am using “Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Sauce” mixed with margarine.  And since the sauce is such a good price right now, I am also trying “Franks Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce” straight up.

I am trying two preparation methods for the wings.  The first is to deep fry the wings in oil.  The second is a healthier method, where I steam the wings for 10 minutes to render out some of the fat and then bake the wings in the oven.

I then asked a bunch of my friends and family to try the various wings to see which they liked the best.  Here is what I found.  First of all, the deep fried wings were preferred much more then the baked wings, regardless of the kind of sauce on them.  So much for the healthier approach!  The texture of the fried wing really made a difference and everyone liked the bit of crunch you get with the fried version.


But I can also attest that I saw a good amount of fat left in the steamer and on the paper towels after the wings had a chance to dry in the baked method.  So the rendering does really reduce the amount of fat in the wings making for a healthier option.  Maybe you can splurge once or twice a year and deep fry the wings.  The rest of the time (don’t you eat wings weekly?) you can prepare them using the healthier option.

As for the sauce, I found that the “Original” sauce fared better by those who ate them just after they were prepared.  The sauce has a bit of a smoother and sweeter flavor.  However, a big shift happened after the wings sat for a couple of hours.  The “Original” sauce lost some of its zing, possibly due to the margarine breaking down.  The “Buffalo Wing” sauce certainly held up better over time.

One thing to also note is that the sodium levels between the two products are tricky to compare.  The “Buffalo Wing” sauce has 460 mg. of sodium per serving, but the serving size is 1 tbsp.  The “Original” sauce has 200 mg. per serving with a serving size of only 1 tsp.  So if you use the “Original” sauce straight up you actually have more sodium per the same volume at 600 mg. of sodium per tbsp. (3 tsp.) size serving.

But remember the “Original” sauce is diluted with margarine.  The margarine I used has 105 mg. of sodium per tbsp.  Therefore, if you used the ‘medium’ strength dilution of 50% sauce and 50% margarine (see below), you end up with about 350 mg. of sodium per tbsp serving which is less then using the straight up “Buffalo Wing” sauce.  I know, very confusing.   Just realize that one serving is about 15% of the recommended amount of daily sodium.

(The www.SmartShopIt.com site now has nutritional information on many products so you can see these facts while deciding what products to buy.  In addition, the new Smart Compare feature allows you to easily compare these nutritional facts (as well as price) between products.)

The nice thing with the “Original” sauce is that you can vary the degree of “heat” by altering the ratio of sauce and margarine.  Yes, I guess you could do the same with the “Buffalo Wing” sauce but it is designed to be used with no dilution.

In summary, the best results were wings that were deep fried and mixed with the “Original” sauce using the “Hot” ration (3 to 1) and consumed immediately.  However, if the wings will be sitting for more than a few hours before serving, then the “Buffalo Wing” sauce (straight up) on deep fried wings got the thumbs up.  The key is to find the one you like best.  Of the four samples I had, each one had at least one taste tester that liked it the best.

Or you can experiment with teriyaki, garlic and butter, honey BBQ, citrus glaze or any other style that suits your fancy.  Even though none of my teams are playing, I know I am looking forward to enjoying some great Buffalo Wings while watching the big game.  Hey, the commercials are supposed to be good again this year!

Original Buffalo Chicken Wings Recipe

Ingredients

12 Whole Chicken Wings

Frank’s Original Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce (amount to taste – see below)

Margarine (amount to taste – see below) (If you are concerned, purchase non-trans fat margarine.)

It will take 1/2 cup of total sauce to coat the wings.  (See ratios below for the amounts of sauce and margarine to use.)

Preparation

Using kitchen shears or knife, prepare wings by separating them at the joints.  Discard or save the tips for stock.

Deep Fry Method

Place wings on a rack set in a half sheet tray lined with paper towels and place in the refrigerator to drain all liquid for 24 hours.

Preheat deep fryer by bringing heat of oil up to 375 degrees.  (I also like to sprinkle a little salt, pepper and smoked paprika on the wings at this point but this is optional and not true to the original recipe.)  Fry wings in batches being careful not to over-crowd your fryer which will bring the temperature of the oil down too low.  Fry approximately 10 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.  A good way to tell it is done is that the bubbling of the oil will slow down significantly.   Also note that the drummettes section will take a minute or two longer to cook.

Baking Method

Steaming The WingsTake prepared wings and place in a steamer basket sitting in a 6 quart sauce pan with an inch of boiling water on the bottom.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and steam for 10 minutes.  Remove the wings and carefully pat dry.  Lay the wings on a cooling rack set in a half sheet tray lined with paper towels and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Replace the paper towels with parchment paper.  Sprinkle wings with salt and pepper.  Roast on the middle rack for 15 minutes.  Turn the wings and roast another 15 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.

Sauce

Put the Frank’s Original sauce and margarine into a small sauce pan to melt the margarine and heat the sauce through.  Purists say not to substitute the margarine for oil or butter as you will not get the right taste or resistance to burning.

For differing levels of heat, try the following proportions of sauce to margarine:

  • Suicide:  Undiluted Frank’s sauce doesn’t taste as good, but is pretty hot.  (Super Suicide can be made by adding a few drops of Tabasco to undiluted sauce.)
  • Hot:  Three to one, sauce to margarine is about as hot as I like it.
  • Medium:  Equal parts is the nominal starting point (called “medium” in Buffalo).  A bit of tingle, but not very spicy.
  • Mild:  For the really timid (like kids) just a splash of sauce in the margarine gives a little flavor but no noticeable heat.

The idea is to cook up the sauce and margarine to a bit thicker consistency. It should simmer for 5 minutes or so and then be kept hot.

Place the cooked wings and sauce in a large metal, non-reactive bowl and toss the wings in the sauce.  Place the wings back on your sheet tray and place in the oven for a few minutes at 350 to “bake on” the sauce.  Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing and celery sticks.

Franks Hot SauceSmartShopIt Price Guide – Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce (12 oz.) or Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce(12 oz.)

Smart Buy Price Range – $1.50 – $2.25 each

Average Price – $4.50 each

High Price – Greater than $5.00 each
SmartShopIt Price Guide – Chicken Wings

Smart Buy Price Range – $1.75 – $2.25 per pound

Average Price – $3.99 per pound

High Price – Greater than $4.75 per pound

(Visit our main site and become a free member at SmartShopIt.com to save time and money grocery shopping. Create shopping lists, see product price and nutrition information. Get free coupons and compare products. Also accessible via your mobile web device at http://m.SmartShopIt.com)

Csokoládémáz – tortabevonat

Tizenöt deka kristálycukrot leöntünk nem egészen 1 dl. vízzel és sűrű sziruppá főzzük. Beleteszünk 10 dkg darabokra tördelt étcsokoládét, és addig keverjük, amíg felolvad. A tűzről levéve tovább keverjük a masszát, amíg hűlni kezd és sűrűsödik. Ekkor hozzákeverünk egy kávéskanálnyi vizet és 1/2 tojásfehérjét. Amikor teljesen síma, leöntjük vele a torta tetejét, szétfolyatjuk rajta, az oldalán is késsel szétosztjuk. További díszt csak akkor teszünk a tortára, ha a bevonat már megdermedt. Vagy:  a finom csokoládémáz tetszés szerint más módon is  felhasználható …

Junk Food that’s Good for You

Did you know there are more than 15 types of saturated fat? And despite the fact that they’ve been damned as a whole by nutrition experts for decades, some of them are actually heart healthy. That’s good news, since high-fat foods are often the tastiest.

Chich

But a bad reputation is hard to shake. And though saturated fat is the most obvious example of a bad  food gone good, it’s not the only one. I’ve run the numbers and scoured the research to determine which vilified foods have been unjustly convicted. The result: six snacks and drinks that deserve an immediate pardon.

Pork Rinds


Why you think they’re bad: These puffy snacks are literally cut from pigskin. Then they’re deep-fried.
Why they’re not: A 1-ounce serving contains zero carbohydrates, 17 grams (g) of protein, and 9 g fat. That’s nine times the protein and less fat than you’ll find in a serving of carb-packed potato chips. Even better, 43 percent of a pork rind’s fat is unsaturated, and most of that is oleic acid—the same healthy fat found in olive oil. Another 13 percent of its fat content is stearic acid, a type of saturated fat that’s considered harmless, because it doesn’t raise cholesterol levels.
Eat this: Because the rinds are cooked and puffed in a microwave instead of deep-fried, each serving contains only 4 g fat—meaning they’re lower in calories and less greasy than regular pork rinds.

Alcohol


Why you think it’s bad: It has little nutritional value and is the reason we need the term “beer belly.”
Why it’s not: In a study of more than 18,000 men, Harvard scientists discovered that those who had an average of two drinks every day, 5 to 7 days a week, had the lowest risk of heart attack. And researchers at the University of Buffalo found that men who consume that same daily amount have lower levels of abdominal fat than those who drink only once or twice every 2 weeks but down more than four drinks each time.
Drink this: Pinot noir. It contains more disease-fighting antioxidants than any other type of alcoholic beverage. Look for a Santa Barbara County pinot noir that’s a 2002 to 2004 vintage; those are generally recognized as the top wine-producing years for this finicky grape.

Beef Jerky

Why you think it’s bad: It’s unhealthy meat that’s loaded with preservatives.
Why it’s not: Beef jerky is high in protein and doesn’t raise your level of insulin—a hormone that signals your body to store fat. That makes it an ideal between-meals snack, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. And while some beef-jerky brands are packed with high-sodium ingredients, such as MSG and sodium nitrate, chemical-free products are available. If you have high blood pressure, check the label for brands that are made from all-natural ingredients, which reduce the total sodium content.
Eat this: It has no preservatives and is made from lean, grass-fed beef. Research shows that, unlike grain-fed products, grass-fed beef contains the same healthy omega-3 fats found in fish.

Sour Cream

Why you think it’s bad: You know 90 percent of its calories are derived from fat, at least half of which is saturated.
Why it’s not: The percentage of fat is high, but the total amount isn’t. Consider that a serving of sour cream is 2 tablespoons. That provides just 52 calories— half the amount that’s in a single tablespoon of mayonnaise—and less saturated fat than you’d get from drinking a 12-ounce glass of 2 percent reduced-fat milk.
Eat this: Full-fat sour cream. Unless you actually prefer the taste of light or fat-free products (and who does?), opt for the classic version; it tastes richer, and the fat will help keep you full longer.

Coconut

Why you think it’s bad: Ounce for ounce, coconut contains more saturated fat than butter does. As a result, health experts have warned that it will clog your arteries.
Why it’s not: Even though coconut is packed with saturated fat, it appears to have a beneficial effect on heart-disease risk factors. One reason: More than 50 percent of its saturated-fat content is lauric acid. A recent analysis of 60 studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that even though lauric acid raises LDL (bad) cholesterol, it boosts HDL (good) cholesterol even more. Overall, this means it decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease. The rest of the saturated fat is almost entirely composed of “medium-chain” fatty acids, which have little or no effect on cholesterol levels.
Eat this: Shredded, unsweetened coconut.Have a handful as an anytime snack, straight from the bag. (Don’t gorge; it’s still high in calories.) It’ll be filling, and won’t spike your blood sugar.

Chocolate Bars

Why you think they’re bad: They’re high in both sugar and fat.
Why they’re not: Cocoa is rich in flavonoids—the same heart-healthy compounds found in red wine and green tea. Its most potent form is dark chocolate. In a recent study, Greek researchers found that consuming dark chocolate containing 100 milligrams (mg) of flavonoids relaxes your blood vessels, improving bloodflow to your heart. What about the fat? It’s mostly stearic and oleic acids.
Eat this: CocoaVia chocolate bars. Each 100-calorie bar is guaranteed to contain 100 mg flavonoids. As an added benefit, the chocolate has been beefed up with phytosterols, compounds that have been shown to help reduce cholesterol.

Junk Food that’s Good for You

Did you know there are more than 15 types of saturated fat? And despite the fact that they’ve been damned as a whole by nutrition experts for decades, some of them are actually heart healthy. That’s good news, since high-fat foods are often the tastiest.

But a bad reputation is hard to shake. And though saturated fat is the most obvious example of a bad food gone good, it’s not the only one. I’ve run the numbers and scoured the research to determine which vilified foods have been unjustly convicted. The result: six snacks and drinks that deserve an immediate pardon.

1 Pork Rinds

Why you think they’re bad: These puffy snacks are literally cut from pigskin. Then they’re deep-fried.

Why they’re not: A 1-ounce serving contains zero carbohydrates, 17 grams (g) of protein, and 9 g fat. That’s nine times the protein and less fat than you’ll find in a serving of carb-packed potato chips. Even better, 43 percent of a pork rind’s fat is unsaturated, and most of that is oleic acid—the same healthy fat found in olive oil. Another 13 percent of its fat content is stearic acid, a type of saturated fat that’s considered harmless, because it doesn’t raise cholesterol levels.

2 Alcohol

Why you think it’s bad: It has little nutritional value and is the reason we need the term “beer belly.”

Why it’s not: In a study of more than 18,000 men, Harvard scientists discovered that those who had an average of two drinks every day, 5 to 7 days a week, had the lowest risk of heart attack. And researchers at the University of Buffalo found that men who consume that same daily amount have lower levels of abdominal fat than those who drink only once or twice every 2 weeks but down more than four drinks each time.

3 Beef Jerky

Why you think it’s bad: It’s unhealthy meat that’s loaded with preservatives.

Why it’s not: Beef jerky is high in protein and doesn’t raise your level of insulin—a hormone that signals your body to store fat. That makes it an ideal between-meals snack, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. And while some beef-jerky brands are packed with high-sodium ingredients, such as MSG and sodium nitrate, chemical-free products are available. If you have high blood pressure, check the label for brands that are made from all-natural ingredients, which reduce the total sodium content.

4 Sour Cream

Why you think it’s bad: You know 90 percent of its calories are derived from fat, at least half of which is saturated.

Why it’s not: The percentage of fat is high, but the total amount isn’t. Consider that a serving of sour cream is 2 tablespoons. That provides just 52 calories— half the amount that’s in a single tablespoon of mayonnaise—and less saturated fat than you’d get from drinking a 12-ounce glass of 2 percent reduced-fat milk.

5 Coconut

Why you think it’s bad: Ounce for ounce, coconut contains more saturated fat than butter does. As a result, health experts have warned that it will clog your arteries.

Why it’s not: Even though coconut is packed with saturated fat, it appears to have a beneficial effect on heart-disease risk factors. One reason: More than 50 percent of its saturated-fat content is lauric acid. A recent analysis of 60 studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that even though lauric acid raises LDL (bad) cholesterol, it boosts HDL (good) cholesterol even more. Overall, this means it decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease. The rest of the saturated fat is almost entirely composed of “medium-chain” fatty acids, which have little or no effect on cholesterol levels.

6 Chocolate Bars

Why you think they’re bad: They’re high in both sugar and fat.

Why they’re not: Cocoa is rich in flavonoids—the same heart-healthy compounds found in red wine and green tea. Its most potent form is dark chocolate. In a recent study, Greek researchers found that consuming dark chocolate containing 100 milligrams (mg) of flavonoids relaxes your blood vessels, improving bloodflow to your heart. What about the fat? It’s mostly stearic and oleic acids.

World Of Mysteries – World Of Facts

Minjoni

mignons
These are minjoni (“mignons”), wonderful bite-sized serbian cake, or maybe it’s not really serbian, but I haven’t seen it anywhere else in Europe. It’s very sweet and soft and cheap. We bought this at discount price (EUR 6 for 1kg) at the city patisserie (on ada ciganlija).  They were wonderfully fresh and delicious.

Marielle LaVille – Cookery and Recipes

This Makes My Life Complete! Cheese Straws? Perfection!

Beautiful cheese straws!

Cheese Straws
Adapted from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook

1 1/2 cups (about 6 ounces) grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
3/4 cup flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon half-and-half (I used cream, because I had it on hand; suspect milk would work just as well)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a food processor, combine the cheese, butter, flour, salt and red pepper in five 5-second pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the half-and-half and process until the dough forms a ball, about 10 seconds.

3. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 8- by 10-inch rectangle that is 1/8-inch thick. With a sharp knife (or a pizza or pastry wheel; both worked great), cut the dough into thin 8-inch strips, each 1/4- to 1/3-inch wide (dipping the knife in flour after every few inches ensures a clean cut). Gently transfer the strips to an ungreased cookie sheet (though I lined mine with parchment), leaving at least 1/4-inch between them. The dough may sag or may break occasionally in the transfer, but don’t be concerned — just do your best. The straws can be any length, from 2 to 10 inches.

4. Bake the straws on the middle rack for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the ends are barely browned. Remove from the oven and set the cookie sheet on a rack to cool.

5. Serve at room temperature. Cheese straws will keep in the refrigerator, in a sealed container, for two days. They will not last an hour at a party.

Variation: One adaptation I am curious to try would be to roll these into thin, round crackers. Because they puff a bit, I’d roll them as thin as possible, and use a fork or skewer to make some holes to keep the expansion in check. If you try this, I’d love to hear how it went for you.

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