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Cooking

  • Sesame oil is a popular ingredient in Chinese cooking

    Sesame is one of the oldest seeds known to man. Thought to have originated in India or Africa, the first written record of sesame dates back to 3,000 B.C.

    According to Assyrian mythology, sesame's origins go back even farther—there is a charming myth about the Gods imbibing sesame seed wine the night before they created the earth. References can be found to Babylonians using sesame oil, and to Egyptians growing their own sesame to make flour.

  • Whole grain brown rice a good source of vitamins and minerals

    The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend grains as the foundation of a healthy diet. In fact, the new Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid recommend at least three servings of whole grains daily, or making half your grain servings whole, with the other half coming from enriched or whole grains. Yet currently, less than 10 percent of Americans eat three servings daily and most eat an average of less than one serving per day.

  • The blend of basil and tomatoes is a marriage made in heaven

    Basil, like many foods throughout the ages, has had a multitude of identities.

    Basil is derived from the Greek word basiliskos, which literally translates as “Little King.”

    It is alleged basil was a constituent in various regal potions and medicines; however, if you were to hop in your time machine and visit various eras and places around the globe, you would encounter many different associations with basil.

    Legend of basil

    Legend has it basil grew around Christ’s tomb, as well as on the spot where the Holy Cross was found.

  • Balsamic vinegar's unique flavor brings out the sweetness of fresh fruits

    Unlike most other vinegars, balsamic vinegar is a perfectly tuned balance of sharp, sweet, rich and piquant. It is believed the best balsamic vinegars hail from the Modena and Reggio-Emilia regions in Italy, where the use of barrels made from various woods give these vinegars their exceptional flavor.

    ORIGINS AND HISTORY

  • It's time to fire up the grill and start barbecuing!

    Nothing epitomizes summer cooking more than grilling; however, grilling can be very confusing. The more recipes, cookbooks and perspectives you encounter, the greater the diversity of opinion that arises.

    When do you apply the barbecue sauce? Gas or charcoal? Flip the food only once or frequently? High heat or low heat? Dry rubs or marinades? Cover closed or open? It can drive you nuts. Let’s check out the variables.

    BARBECUE SAUCE

  • Bananas are actually a large herb, not really a fruit!

    The banana tree originated in India and eventually found its way through the tropical regions of the world, namely, Africa, Latin America, Australia and Southeast Asia.

    If you want to get technical however, the banana is not a tree, nor is the yummy yellow edible a fruit. The “tree” is actually a large herb and the banana is seedless and thus, botanically speaking, not a fruit.

  • The full flavor of pecans add a unique, rich taste to many foods

    You say PEE-can, I say pa-KAWN, or so the saying goes. However, a new national survey finds PEE-can is the overwhelming choice among Americans.

    Nearly half of all pecan consumers prefer this pronunciation of the all-American tree nut, with the rest of the nation roughly split between pa-KAWN and PEE-kawn.

    With April being National Pecan Month, now is the perfect time for all of us to start taking advantage of the versatility of pecans and reaping the health benefits at the same time.

    PECAN HISTORY

  • Follow these tips to help ensure healthy bones

    Building strong bones is a lot like building a healthy balance in your “calcium bank account.” Bones are living tissue and constantly in a state of turnover, making calcium deposits and withdrawals daily. Bones don’t come with a lifetime guarantee. They need continuing maintenance or they can weaken and break.

  • Crescent rolls eliminated from tasty French onion and beef entree

    Over the last few months, I’ve been trying to cut down on excessive fats and carbohydrates in my diet. I have been rather successful at it, losing almost 30 pounds in the last three months.

    Now this doesn’t mean I’ve stopped making and eating anything that contains excessive fat or carbs. I’ve just learned recipes can be adjusted to be healthier and still taste just as good, and in some cases, even better.

  • Use cumin to perk up bland foods like beans, lentils and rice

    Cumin (Indian name Jeera) is a pungent spice used in many traditional Indian dishes.

    It is a staple of most curry spice mixes (though not all) and lends itself many dishes of other countries. Its supposed medicinal qualities are numerous, although in today’s western medicine it is used largely only in veterinary medicine.

    Its alleged health indications in the human are as an alleviant for stomach upsets and flatulence and in pregnancy to aid lactation and to reduce morning sickness.