Whip together a meal!

February 17, 2011

Have you ever been low on money and hungry? Or just didn’t feel like going out to eat or grocery shopping? In times like these you need to find something you can quickly put together from things you may have in your cabinet.

First look in your cabinet for things you may have that could be combined to create a meal. I usually have rice or pasta in my cabinet. Most people always have bread or eggs. I also have canned vegetables. These are all things that can be used and combined to make a nice little meal.

Take the pasta or rice and combine it with any vegetables you may have laying around. If you have some sauce or meat, you should add it to the mix. If not go through your spice rack and add some butter with some of those sauces.

You can get creative with other things you may have in your cabinet that I do not have in mine. You could use other left overs and combine it with some of these items. But before calling it done, I would taste it to make sure it is good. If you don’t you may go to eat your food and discover it is nasty or bland. For me if I’ve decided I am done cooking and it doesn’t take right instead of fixing it, I tend to just don’t bother and don’t eat it.

Making the Bread

February 13, 2011

You can make bread with and without a bread machine. I am fortunate enough that I received one, a while back. This being said, the ingredients I will be using will be a little different than if you make it by hand, without a bread machine.

When making bread every ingredient you use matters. If you use bread flour it will make better bread with more protein, but however all purpose flour will work for most recipes. However, you should not use cake flour, the protein is not high enough. I found a simple bread machine receipe and I will be going over the ingredients. This recipe is very simple, that I found on allrecipes.com(http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/best-bread-machine-bread/Detail.aspx). For the most part all you are doing is putting all the ingredients together in the bread machine pan and letting the bread machine do all the hard work.

First you will need to buy the ingredients. Some of the ingredients you may already have in your house like white sugar, vegetable oil,and salt. You are also going to need a package of bread machine yeast. You will need to make sure the yeast is fresh. You are also going to need warm water(110 degrees F/ 45 degreed C). The waters temperature is very important, and should us a thermometer especially since it will be my first time making the bread. As I mentioned before, bread flour will give you more protein and a better bread. I also mentioned that all purpose flour can be used for some recipes, however this is not one of those. Since I do not have bread flour, I will need to purchase some at the store.

Now all I need to do is make sure I have a clean bread pan. Then add the warm water, sugar and one bread package yeast. Wait 10 minutes so that it can dissolve and foam. Then add the rest of the ingredients to the yeast; 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, teaspoon of salt and three cups of bread flour. Press the bread setting and press Start. The bread machine will do all the work. When it is done, I will have a new loaf of homemade bread. I can then let it cool, cut it up and have a slice. Last thing to remember is to, wash the bread pan to get all the bread crumbs off.

Here is the recipe:

  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package bread machine yeast
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

 

Directions

  1. Place the water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for 10 minutes. Add the oil, flour and salt to the yeast. Select Basic or White Bread setting, and press Start.

 

 

http://busycooks.about.com/od/howtobake/a/bread101.htm

Using a bread machine

February 7, 2011

A while back I got a Williams Sonoma Bread Machine from Freecycle. I have not touched it since I placed it on my counter in my kitchen. Since I have no idea how to use it, I think it is about time to figure it out.  From what I have gathered using a bread machine is the same as if you were to do it all by hand. Since I have not made bread by hand, I will be starting from the beginning.

First thing I should do is clean the bread machine. Don’t want any dirty or dusty bread. First what I need to do is take the pan out and wash it.Normally, I would need to make sure that any bread crumbs have been removed using a cloth wet with water and soap. Under no circumstances should any sharp or metal objects should be used. The pan is coated with non-stick and hard objects will scratch off the non stick. The paddle will also need to be soaked in soap water and cleaned before using. Clean the rest of the inside and maybe the outside of the bread machine with a wet cloth.

Every bread machine has different settings. Figuring out what things my bread machine can do will become beneficiary later. Since the bread machine does all the hard work for me I need to figure out what will go inside the bread machine. With the bread machine I will be able to add dry ingredients together and let the machine mix and cook the bread.

When using a bread machine you will need to know what kind of yeast you are using so that you can set the time correctly. Bread machine yeast and rapid-rise yeast are made for the bread machine since they become active faster. Bread machine yeast can be mixed with dry ingredients while Active Yeast must be dissolved in water first. To determine if your active-yeast is still usable you must proof it. To do so you will need to get a bowl and put 1 cup of warm water that is 110 degrees F. Then you will need to add 2 teaspoons of sugar and stir it to dissolve. You will then need to sprinkle 2 and half teaspoons of yeast on top. Let it sit for a few minutes then stir until dissolved. The bowl will need to be covered with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft- free place. After 5-10 minutes if the top does not turn creamy or foamy then there is no activity and should be thrown away and replaced with new yeast.

Cleaning:

http://www.ehow.com/how_2329724_clean-bread-maker.html

getting Started:

http://www.ehow.com/how-does_5405354_do-bread-makers-work.html

Reciepe:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Basic-Sourdough-Bread/Detail.aspx

Spaghetti & Meatballs

January 30, 2011

I always find it rewarding when I make my food instead of getting it store bought. I always like trying new recipes. Instead of find something new to cook I have decided to make spaghetti and meatballs from scratch. It all started with me having a desire for some time now to make my own pasta. Recently I have found myself wanting to make my own meatballs. This is how I decided that I want to make homemade Spaghetti and Meatballs.

I have found that I will need a food processor and rolling machine. which I do not have. I did some research on making pasta without a roller machine. From what I have found, it is not impossible to make the pasta without a roller machine. I will have to put more effort into making thinly sliced spaghetti without a roller machine. Since I will be making the dough from scratch, I am a little concerned about messing it up and not getting it the right consistency. But I will never know until I try.

Making the meatballs seem to be pretty easy to do. From what I have gathered you will need the meat in a bowl and add bread crumbs. There are two methods for  bread crumbs. The first is to make toast and put it into a food processor or to crush it. The second is to buy the store brand, but you should make sure to check the ingredients for spices that may already be included or for ingredients you do not want to be included. After the meatball mixture is finished you will need to roll the meatballs into “golf ball-sized.” There are two ways the meatballs can be cooked, in a greased skillet on the stove or in a baking dish in the oven.

The sauce seems pretty straight forward. I will need the ingredients like tomato diced and spices. I will have to put them at a simmer on the stove just like if I were to buy the store brand. This way I will be able to control the ingredients in the sauce. Most sauces have vegetables I do not like, this way I can decided what vegetables are in there and that aren’t. I have discovered from an article from Eat This Not That, that you can finely chop up vegetables in spaghetti sauce. Since the spaghetti sauce is so strong you can not taste the vegetables and still get the nutrition of the vegetables.

Pasta:

http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tips/t–792/making-homemade-pasta.asp

http://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-Pasta/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMD9kIZMvZk

http://italianfood.about.com/od/pastarecipesandsauces/a/blr0001.htm

http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/tools-and-techniques/how-to-make-pasta2.htm

http://www.sugarlaws.com/whole-wheat-pasta

http://www.ehow.com/how_5033915_make-homemade-pasta-machine.html

Meatballs:

http://www.ehow.com/how_2151288_meatballs-spaghetti.html

Sauce:

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Homemade-Spaghetti-Sauce

http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1655,133175-243197,00.html

http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/homemade-spaghetti-sauce/Detail.aspx

Progressive Enhancement

July 28, 2010

A List Apart: Understanding Progressive Enhancement

This had a comparison between progressive enhancement and graceful degradation. Then it compared progressive enhancement to a peanut M&M.

Progressive Enhancement: Paving the Way for Future Web Design

Advantages of progressive enhancement

Progressive Enhancement – What is it and How to use it? – Smashing Magazine

What is the importance of Search Engine Optimization?

It is very important for users to be able to find your website. They may need to find your phone number or a way to contact you or even just information on your company. Even if you place your website URL on every advertisement, that doesnt mean that your customers see or know you have one. It is also important for those that dont know your company even exists, it will make it easier for a user to find you when they are search for something relevant to your site.

What are its features:

  • Increase traffic count.
  • The more traffic the more likely you are to sell your product
  • The higher ranking in Search Engines

What is done to optimize a site for search engines?

  • Meta tags (keyword & description)
  • Keywords in title
  • Keywords in Headings
  • Keywords in Alt Tags
  • Keywords in Anchor Tags

Here is A List of things that can affect your ranking in search engines:

15 Minute SEO List

Why would it be important for you to add these concepts to your web design practice?

A company needs customers. If a customer cant find a phone number or location, the less customers you have. If your site is hard to find by customers they wont know its there , slowing down the traffic of the site. Websites are created to promote and access easy information on that company. If the website is doing neither then why is it there?

Read the rest of this entry »

Best Practices

July 16, 2010

Web Design Best Practices Checklist

Web Page Development: Best Practices

Best Practices for Speeding Up your Web Page

Best Practices in Web Design

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Web Performance Best Practices

Mobile Web Best Practices